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  • Roku Is Changing The Landscape Of Streaming Video [View article]
    I think the more interesting discussion is the 14% who have adopted and the remaining 86% who have not.

    Content providers have been taken completely by surprise and don't yet know how to respond. This exacerbates the problem of adoption when shows/movies appear and disappear from the different providers.

    Personally, I've seen a very large number of very good movies disappear from streaming media only to be replaced by "original content TV shows". This does not move me to higher adoption as the quality of movies available is falling rapidly.

    Once the major movie theaters figure out a way to do this we can start moving forward, but for now it appears that they are all trying to go on their own with subscription channels that offer only their product. Making the cost of access for the consumer excessively high.
    Sep 9 05:53 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 3 Most Dangerous Regions In The World [View article]
    Funny how all the comments debate the political arena of Jews vs Arabs instead of the focus of the article which is identifying areas of extreme volatility and why. I think the comments put more support behind the idea that volatility is derived (some how) via Israel than any argument possible. Observe the behavior of the mice when....

    Now I have a question about Europe because I think I'm missing something and always have. If Europe in on one currency and it's not working how then would Europe function under a one currency standard like gold? Is this still subject to the fiat money printing games? Seems to me that, without the interventions of the printing presses, the Euro would balance itself out through the classic mechanisms of default and deflation.

    Help me out here...
    Aug 26 06:27 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Obama administration has trimmed its economic outlook, predicting that GDP will grow 2% this year vs a prior forecast of 2.3%, and 3.1% in 2014 vs 3.2%. The White House's Office of Management & Budget cited "serious headwinds" for the reduced estimate, such as sequestration, European austerity and China's slowdown. The government also cut its deficit prediction to what would be the lowest level in five years, $759B, or 4.7% of GDP. The forecast in April was $973B, with higher-than-expected tax revenue helping to reduce the deficit. [View news story]
    I think it's funny that they are blaming things that have been in the works for a rather long time and much of which have been already recognized/realized by the market. Sequestration is old news and just a ploy to hike tax & spend practices. Austerity -- been there, done that, nothing new. China might be new but it's been in the works for a quarter.
    I think what's really happening with the economic slowdown has more to do with the twisted effects of obamacare causing a shift of full-time to part-time employment over the last year and growing rapidly. Unemployment is flat by Whitehouse terms, but U6 is climbing. But this is only one affect.
    My opinion is that the federal reserve money policies has never restored the economy in any real sense, it merely propped up specific numbers and the demise of everything that wasn't being measured. I mean, we all know that inflation has been flat despite a near doubling in food and energy costs. Why is that? Housing is a large factor in their numbers.
    According to the government everything is fine. There is no "check engine" light on and yet... Things are starting into a strange veering off course pattern. What's really interesting is what is not in the news.
    Jul 9 05:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Chinese hackers have stolen the designs for some of the U.S.'s most advanced weapons' systems, a study for the Pentagon has reportedly alleged. The programs to have been breached include missile systems from Raytheon (RTN) and Lockheed Martin (LMT), and aircraft made by Boeing (BA), Textron's (TXT) Bell Helicopter and United Technology's (UTX) Sikorsky. Pentagon officials are not surprisingly frustrated by the degree of theft from the contractors. [View news story]
    It's a little ironic that foreign companies and/or facilities manufacture many of the components (particularly electronic) that make up these systems and we cry about the plans being stolen.

    If we were to go to war with China we wouldn't have the equipment to wage war with them.
    May 28 05:45 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With their healthcare costs ballooning, many companies have started to penalize fat employees with regards to healthcare coverage, raising all sorts of legal, privacy and discrimination questions. Michelin North America, for example, plans to cut healthcare credits for staff who fail to meet requirement for waistline and other metrics, and don't sign up to health programs. Other companies making similar moves include Mohawk (MHK), CVS and Honeywell (HON). [View news story]
    What you miss about the person who lives or dies is that we spend a lot of money on that terminal healthcare. If someone chooses to die in their 60's that's fine with me - but please don't burden me with their medical coverage in the meantime.

    You see, if I wasn't going to be burdened with someone's cost of choice then I wouldn't care. Companies could opt to simply not provide any insurance coverage -- except there is that huge distortion called tax shelter. That would simplify things a bit.

    Almost - now you can't disallow coverage for a pre-existing condition (obesity). Soon you'll be forced to pay the same premiums -- so the person who has the worse health benefits the most.

    Unless we can actually get society to support fitness over tolerance of the morbidly obese or anorexic. And do not try to tell me that they can't help it. I've watched friends lose 200 pounds just by living better - no fads, no operations, no kidding.
    Apr 7 11:31 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • With their healthcare costs ballooning, many companies have started to penalize fat employees with regards to healthcare coverage, raising all sorts of legal, privacy and discrimination questions. Michelin North America, for example, plans to cut healthcare credits for staff who fail to meet requirement for waistline and other metrics, and don't sign up to health programs. Other companies making similar moves include Mohawk (MHK), CVS and Honeywell (HON). [View news story]
    I saw this coming two years ago. It's only going to get worse.

    Soon they will tell you what you must eat -- even if you choose to eat better than that. You will still be penalized for non-conformance. Reminds me of Animal Farm.
    Apr 7 11:26 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Signs The U.S. Economy Is Heading For Big Trouble In The Months Ahead [View article]
    20 gallons of gas to fill a vehicle isn't unheard of. So yes, you can spend that much to fill up the vehicle.
    I spend over $50 to fill up a very small compact vehicle.

    I think it has a lot to do with the economy.

    And $100 for groceries is becoming commonplace. Worst part is, you can't even cover the bottom of the cart for $100 on some days.
    Feb 21 05:48 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Biggest Threat To Stocks, Bonds, And GDP Growth [View article]
    Most LT investors are probably the 401K accounts.

    Most 401K accounts don't really start up in earnest until later in life. Being that close to retirement there's a tendency to roll heavy into bonds based on your age. Very applicable to the older age groups.

    And there's a lot more deleveraging going on - so money is diverted from investments into debt repayment. Very applicable to middle and older age groups.

    As for the youngest age groups - jobs, college debt, skepticism at large.
    Dec 14 06:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Euphoria Continues As We Get Ready To Jump Off The Fiscal Cliff [View article]
    What you are describing doesn't sound much like a compromise but an assumption that the Democratic party is able to establish a much stronger control of the government than has been over the past 4 years. I firmly believe that neither party, even in a indisputable super-majority of both houses and the White House is capable of resolving these problems. It's more likely that they will claim solution and the blame the resulting Unintended Consequences on someone else.

    What is most likely with the Cliff is that everyone will let it happen, laying blame on the other party. Once it happens then they can claim massive tax cuts to boost their next election cycle coming in 2 years. But it's typical that government first has to have a crisis created (Fiscal Cliff) so that they can use that Emergency to invoke further rules and regulations to strip the citizens. So the crisis will allow them to do things that ordinarily seem illogical and even irresponsible.
    Dec 1 09:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle Battery Grants, 3 Years Of Disappointment And Failure [View article]
    They can always go back to the Layden Jar
    Nov 13 06:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle Battery Grants, 3 Years Of Disappointment And Failure [View article]
    Interesting point but I would ask that you complete the analysis in terms of the costs for the different components required for the two vehicles to operate.

    The cost of batteries, to the consumer, is significant. This is something else to consider as well as the various TCO line items for making the various motor/engine and fuel systems.

    It is a trivial fact that conversion of chemical energy to heat at the source of consumption (engine) is far more effective in power delivery than current technologies for converting chemical energy to electricity.

    Now, if you change this from "effective power delivery" to "efficient work" you may change the argument. But that requires us to resist jack-rabbit starts and a focus on performance.

    It may be more efficient and effective to reconsider the concept of the design entirely. I recall 20 years ago Ford developed a Taurus that ran in excess of 100mpg using something similar to the diesel electric design of trains and shipping.

    There are many factors which make this venture nearly impossible. Even our crash safety standards are wrong. Did you know that a vehicle is considered safe if you can survive a crash without wearing a seat belt - yet not wearing a seat belt will get you a ticket? Talk about reinforcing bad behavior... Sheesh!
    Nov 13 06:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The economy, says Harvard's Clayton Christensen, suffers from too much "efficiency" innovation, which tends to lead to job losses, and not enough "empowering" innovation, which creates jobs. Because "efficiency" innovation provides a quicker return, one remedy is to change the tax code to encourage long-term innovation. [View news story]
    They are kidding themselves if they think they are that smart.

    So change the tax code to encourage/discourage different behaviors and you will push the economy out of balance but at the other end of the scale.

    The only solution is to get Washington out of the way and allow the economy to find it's own balance. Over time these things become self regulating and balanced. There are always temporal inconsistencies but that's the nature of a dynamic system - it moves. And the movement is what drives changes.

    Washington would like to implement Directive 10-289.
    Nov 4 09:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The economy, says Harvard's Clayton Christensen, suffers from too much "efficiency" innovation, which tends to lead to job losses, and not enough "empowering" innovation, which creates jobs. Because "efficiency" innovation provides a quicker return, one remedy is to change the tax code to encourage long-term innovation. [View news story]
    Why have a progressive tax code at all? That's still "encouraging" activity... You are discouraging success and encouraging status quo by punishing those who chose to make more money.
    Nov 4 08:55 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Making A Case For U.S. Treasuries [View article]
    I wouldn't expect to see an increase in rates for a very long time. Perhaps a decade.
    We seem to be doing everything we can to follow Japan even though the Talking Heads assure us they know what they are doing and that this time it will be different.

    I'm still inclined to stick with the primitive notion of a core investment that starts out as equal portions of Bonds, US Stocks, non-US Stocks and going for a walk. There is so much back room manipulations that it's very difficult to make headway beyond a fundamentals portfolio in a consistent manner.
    Oct 29 06:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why There's Less High-Frequency Trading [View article]
    I think you have your math close. You want something like a -c*log(t) so that .001s is 10X more expensive than .01s.
    I get your point and I think it's excellent.

    I would advocate that anything over a time limit (eg: 5 minutes) would be exempt from such a charge. But even an hour might be a better number since the original idea behind a stock exchange was for Capital Investment and not Gambling/Speculation.

    I'm currently leaning heavily on limit orders so I don't get too swept away by HFC actions.
    Oct 16 06:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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