Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stuff I learned today

The surface area of the moon is the equivalent of Africa plus Australia.

Kazakhstan is the 9th biggest country in terms of area.

Trading in shares of Citi accounted for a quarter of all volume on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

Apple is now bigger than Berkshire Hathaway, General Electric, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Google and JPMorgan Chase.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

about that Chinese firewall...

"In the 21st century, can anyone really attempt to block out global information sharing and communication with a straight face?  China's gonna try, I guess, but I think we all know what a Sisyphean gambit that will be."

via The Reformed Broker

Monday, March 29, 2010

Religious Criminals

"What does Dolan’s whiny deflecting and excuse-making say about the church as an arbiter of ethical values? These pompous assholes run around in their poofy robes and dresses shaking smoke-filled decanters with important expressions on their faces and pretending to great insight about grace and humility, but here we have the head of the largest Diocese in America teaching his entire congregation that when caught committing a terrible sin, the appropriate response is to blame the media and pull the “All the other kids were doing it, too!” stunt!

I was raised Catholic but stopped going to church at the age of 12. I was a complete idiot at that age with regard to almost every other area of human knowledge, but even I knew back then that the church was a scam. There are good and decent people working as individual priests, but the institution as a whole is a gang of cheap charlatans preying on peoples’ guilt feelings (which of course are cultivated intentionally by the church, which teaches children to be ashamed of their natural sexuality) in order to solicit a lifetime of contributions.

That’s all the church is. They’re a giant for-profit company using predatory salesmanship to sell what they themselves know is a defective, outmoded, basically unnecessary product. They’ll use any means necessary to keep their market share and if they have to lie and cheat and deflect and point fingers to keep the racket going, they’ll do it, just like any other sleazeball company."

The Catholic Church is a Criminal Enterprise - Matt Taibbi

Religion, just like politics is a very touchy subject. I, too, never really 'got' religion. I always thought it was the continued marketing of a book or story, akin to people using a modern novel of today to tell a morality story in a few hundred years time. I am not religious, I do not go to church, in fact the Japanese Shinto 'religion'(?)/'faith'(?) makes more sense to me that Christianity, Islam etc. Whatever the spin, the frame of reference or belief, child abuse is despicable and as Matt says in his article 'if someone molested my child and was allowed back in the priesthood, I’d be reaching for an axe'.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cycling Podcast

I have been listening to the Real Peloton podcast (when I can) with Matt Rendell (Author: The Death of Marco Pantani) and Ned Boulting (ITV sports reporter) "for their occasional pontifications on cycling, sport, life, books, and whatever else we spontaneously deem appropriate for your edification and entertainment".

Either via my Google Reader feed or via iTunes podcast.

As a cycling enthusiast, I really enjoy their blathering. Recommended.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Ride



Garmin Connect here

Great day. Cold, but clear.

Post-ride rehydration


taken at PE club house (central Tokyo chapter).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Danny McAskill. Again. In Chamonix.

Hidden gem

John Candy in Cool Runnings:
“…a gold medal (or winning) is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.”

Yahoo Pregnancy

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Four Lions

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-gb&amp;from=sp&amp;fg=shareEmbed&amp;vid=05c571ca-2619-47f2-89c5-7bf454f4ec5a" target="_new" title="Four Lions - Trailer">Video: Four Lions - Trailer</a>

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Efficiency of Government

"A clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year at 15 mpg uses 800 gallons of gas a year.

A vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year at 25 mpg uses 480 gallons a year.

So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.

They claim 700,000 vehicles so that's 224 million gallons saved per year. That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil.

5 million barrels is about 5 hours worth of US consumption.

More importantly, 5 million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars. So, the government paid $3 Billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million.

We spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved.

I'm pretty sure they will do a great job with our health care, though."

via Money Talks (and DH)

I'm pleased the vote went through, now they can begin.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Next Generation with James Tyler.

"Why did we have a crisis over the last two years?
Could it have anything at all to do with the world’s central bankers panicking after 9/11 and massively reducing interest for three long years? Could this have created the greatest property bubble the world has ever seen?
Could this have been the process that almost collapsed the world economy?
And now that the money planners have made money, essentially, free. What about that? What will be the consequence? What happens now?
Austrian economics predicted this crisis and has solutions. Austrian economics can prevent this from happening in the future. Find out about it and understand it.
It’s your responsibility. Your generation is going to pick up the bills for the morons we have in charge of us.
The massive debts my generation has amassed and the fiscal diarrhoea being sprayed upon us by the establishment. This will be paid back by you."
The Next Generation with James Tyler - adamsmith.org


"A CITY trader who made millions during the credit crunch has given £250,000 to the Conservatives in the hope of getting rid of the “morons” who presided over the economic collapse.
As well as wanting to eject Gordon Brown from Downing Street, James Tyler advocates radical reform of the City. He deplores the financial system that, he says, allows “banksters” to run a “legalised Ponzi scheme”."
Tories given £250,000 to beat ‘morons’ - Telegraph

Putting your money where your mouth is.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Prime Rib.

Well deserved I think.

Lake Okutama and back







Jerome, Jamie, Dominic, Shane




Lake Okutama map and Jamie stretching






Canned Maxx coffee - the secret weapon






Jerome, Jamie, Dominic, Me.




7am from Ebisu, Dominic and I were joined for the first time by Shane and Jamie. Met Jerome at the bottom of Komazawa dori and off up the Tama we went. Met Michael up the river, but our plans didn't align today, so it wasn't long before he was off on his own and we carried on to Ome.

Breakfast at the obligatory Aurore bakery, a sit in the sun, and some gentle arm-twisting had Shane throwing caution to the wind and continuing on with us for Leg 2 up to Lake Okutama and the climb up and over to Tomin no mori.

It was a truly beautiful day, perfect for riding, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves keeping a decent pace up to the lake itself. We stopped to fill water bottles and have a small caffeine fix, then onto the main climb itself. This is a pretty steady gradient and very scenic. The three Positivistos moved off ahead, whilst our intrepid newcomers set their own pace. This is 50 or so minute climb, hitting a peak elevation of 1150m. We were almost to the top when Shane came up to let us know that Jamie had stopped to stretch his back whilst muttering dark thoughts about turning around and returning to Ome.

So it was to our thorough delight that just as we were about to set-off on the descent, that Jamie should arrive crying the British paratroop motto 'Pain is just weakness leaving the body.'

We descended to Tomin no Mori and refilled bottles and treated ourselves to soba and fried rice whilst sitting in the glorious (and hot) sunshine.

From here it was down to Itsukaichi, where Jamie and Shane hopped the train back to Shinjuku. This was to prove the wisest decision of the day. Jerome, Dominic and I were to make decent time back to the Tama river, but then found ourselves with 45km into a pretty brutal headwind. Hard work indeed. A quick stop at Segafredo for pannini and caffeine before the last 10km home was an inspired call made by Dominc.

193km, 8hrs, avgHR 135, avgPWR 189

Garmin connect here

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Financial regulation

Betting on the blind side

"When he’d started Scion, he told potential investors that, because he was in the business of making unfashionable bets, they should evaluate him over the long term—say, five years. Now he was being evaluated moment to moment.

“Early on, people invested in me because of my letters,” he said. “And then, somehow, after they invested, they stopped reading them.” His fantastic success attracted lots of new investors, but they were less interested in the spirit of his enterprise than in how much money he could make them quickly. Every quarter, he told them how much he’d made or lost from his stock picks. Now he had to explain that they had to subtract from that number these & subprime-mortgage-bond insurance premiums.

One of his New York investors called and said ominously, “You know, a lot of people are talking about withdrawing funds from you.” As their funds were contractually stuck inside Scion Capital for some time, the investors’ only recourse was to send him disturbed-sounding e-mails asking him to justify his new strategy.

“People get hung up on the difference between +5% and -5% for a couple of years,” Burry replied to one investor who had protested the new strategy. “When the real issue is: over 10 years who does 10% or better annually? And I firmly believe that to achieve that advantage on an annual basis, I have to be able to look out past the next couple of years.… I have to be steadfast in the face of popular discontent if that’s what the fundamentals tell me.”

In the five years since he had started, the S&P 500, against which he was measured, was down 6.84 percent. In the same period, he reminded his investors, Scion Capital was up 242 percent. He assumed he’d earned the rope to hang himself. He assumed wrong. “I’m building breathtaking sand castles,” he wrote, “but nothing stops the tide from coming and coming and coming.”"

Betting on the blind side - Vanity Fair

Really looking forward to Michael Lewis's latest book...

Or..

"Last October, Barnett-Hart, received a call from Lewis, who had heard about her thesis from a Harvard doctoral student. Lewis was blown away.

“It was a classic example of the innocent going to Wall Street and asking the right questions,” said Mr. Lewis."

Michael Lewis’s ‘The Big Short’? Read the Harvard Thesis Instead! - WSJ

The Story of the CDO Market Meltdown

2weeks+

Speaks for itself.. it's a mad, mad world... CHART OF THE DAY: YOU CAN’T LOSE IN THIS MARKET - The Pragmatic Capitalist

True grit

"I miss family and friends," he said. "What I don't miss is the cynicism in Britain. In Britain the glass is half empty most of the time. Britain has become a binge society. We drink the most alcohol. We have the most teenage pregnancies. We are more celebrity obsessed. Almost every show on TV is now a reality show. We have an extreme approach to everything.

"But there is this British grittiness. It makes our humour sharp and critical and analytical. It creates a sort of edgy dynamism," he said.

"I've talked about the downside [of life in the UK]. The upside is that it produces great comedians and very articulate, humourous politicians. There's that grittiness that you sort of miss when you're away. What I don't miss are the often damp, drizzly, cold and miserable days."

'Britain has become a binge society' - Expat Telegraph

I find it sad to say that I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Heineken Italy: Case Study

Air Guitar Nation - World Air Supremacy

Memoirs of an office scanner


Memoirs of a Scanner (Martinibomb Version) from Damon Stea on Vimeo.

Happy Paddy's Day

Health

"20 per cent of visits to GPs are for “common disturbances to normal good health, such as coughs and colds. This costs the NHS about £2 billion a year without making any difference to people’s health, since they could just as effectively treat themselves. According to the medics, “The NHS has become the victim of a demand-led culture.”

Then, having got almost all the way to the answer, they miss it. It is like watching your one-year-old with a square peg in hand and the square hole directly in view, trying to stuff it into the round hole. The square peg in the medics’ hand is the word “demand”, and the square hole is the fact that the price of visiting a GP is zero."

Of course demand for GPs is too high — a visit costs zero - Times

"Rachel said she could hardly bring herself to talk about President Obama and then talked about him at length. “I see him destroying our country every day,” she said. “Take healthcare. Last year I needed surgery on my knee. My insurance didn’t cover it. Then I needed post-operative care and the insurance didn’t cover that either.”

We should all sympathise with Rachel, whose “good” leg looked as if it was going to need surgery pretty soon as well. We should also be ready to sympathise with Barack Obama in case he meets her and proves unable to resist the urge to bang her head against one of her 300-year-old brick walls for being so unbelievably obtuse.

The Republican strategy is working because Americans, like Britons, look at healthcare through an ideological lens.

The fight against the White House health reforms is a classic rearguard action by deep-pocketed vested interests masquerading as defenders of the public interest and mobilising “grassroots” activists in their support. Similar things have been written about the opposition to every great social advance since the Great Reform Bill, and they were just as accurate."

Obama is bashing on the brick wall of unlogic - Times

Gawd, what a topic. What a nightmare.

Generation Rent

"The average age of first-time buyers in the UK is now 38.

An Englishman's home is no longer his castle: it's a bedsit on a six-month lease that he's not allowed to redecorate. In 1999, private renters accounted for 9 per cent of British households. Now it's 14 per cent.

Ten years ago, a first-time buyer had to raise a deposit worth, on average, 16 per cent of their annual income. In 2009, that figure was 64 per cent.

But saving is much harder than borrowing.

It's not as if I live like a monk," Ed, my stepbrother, says. "I've always enjoyed the process of saving. Even at university, cash never burned a hole in my pocket. If I earned a bit I just put it away somewhere and pretended I didn't have it... I sound like a freak, don't I?" Of course not, I tell him. You just sound like a smug git.

In September 1980, Mrs Thatcher had only been in Downing Street for 18 months, and my parents' mortgage remained the one socially acceptable form of debt. I, on the other hand, managed to burn through five figures of credit before even leaving university: on student loans, credit cards and overdrafts. And I've no assets to show for it besides a fractious relationship with literary theory and a killer-CD collection."

No place like home: the generation who can't afford to buy - Independent

Norwegian Guide Dog

Dog joins troops on parachute jump in Norway via DH

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Developing Microsoft tablet software

"Monday, March 15, 2010
How Not to Manage Microsoft…Like a Car Company

As far back as April, 2006 we here at NotMakingThisUp reported on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s refusal to spring for iPods for his children, and his insistence that they not use Google.

In “Over-Share from Dr. Evil’s Hideaway,” we quoted Ballmer from a Fortune Magazine story thusly, when asked if he had an iPod:

“No, I do not. Nor do my children…. I’ve got my kids brainwashed: You don’t use Google, and you don’t use an iPod.”

The danger of this line of thinking, we noted, was that a heretofore successful company thus cuts itself off from knowing what its customers want.

One year later, in “Random People Creating Value,” we reported further on the dangers inherent in Ballmer’s insular, hard-headed management style, after he dismissed the Google management style as “a random collection of people” attempting to “create value.”

We likened Ballmer’s approach to that of the old car companies, thusly:

Such a blinders-on, head-in-the-sand, not-invented-here mindset has heretofore been more closely associated with Detroit, where auto executives drive only their own company’s best cars. Small wonder the bigs at GM, Ford and Chrysler failed to grasp, before it was too late, the quality and innovation that allowed Toyota and other imports to eat their collective lunch.

—NotMakingThisUp, March, 2007

Little did we know that Steve Ballmer’s father once worked for Ford.

That’s right. In “Forbidden Fruit: Microsoft Workers Hide Their iPhones” the weekend Wall Street Journal describes—and we are not making this up—“the perils of being an iPhone user at Microsoft”:

Kevin Turner, chief operating officer…said he discouraged Microsoft's sales force from using the iPhone... "What's good for the field is good for Redmond," Mr. Turner said, recalls one of the people who heard his comments.

Mr. Ballmer took a similar stance at the meeting.

He told executives that he grew up in Detroit, where his father worked for Ford Motor Co., and that his family always drove Fords, according to several people at the meeting.

—The Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2010

Ballmer’s father, of course, was not alone. All the car companies used to feed spanking-new, smokin’-hot, top-of-the-line models to ‘the suits.’ That’s why the suits never saw the Japanese coming.

And Ballmer—like father, like son, it would seem—is doing the same for Microsoft.

It’s been four years since we here at NotMakingThisUp flagged that intransigence as a potentially fatal flaw—and that was back when the iPod was the hot new product.

Of course, the iPod long ago made Microsoft’s “Zune” music player as extinct as monks transcribing bibles. More recently, it is the iPhone that has been pushing Microsoft’s own smart-phone software off the shelves and into computer museums, where it belongs.

Now, just this weekend, we ordered an iPad, and it’s only a matter of time before the Dell notebook on which we write these virtual columns will go wherever dead Zunes are buried.

Seems to us that if Bill Gates is as smart as Warren Buffett thinks, and if Bill Gates really wants to see his legacy survive, he should buy Steve Ballmer an iPad.

And Steve Ballmer should use it, to understand—really understand—what Microsoft is up against.

Otherwise, Microsoft just might need to call Alan Mulally in a few years, to clean up the mess in Redmond.

Mulally, for readers not familiar with the name, is the genius behind the recent Ford renaisscance.

Mulally’s very first act upon being named CEO by the Ford family? He drove every Ford in the lineup.

Not just the good ones.



Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up"

http://jeffmatthewsisnotmakingthisup.blogspot.com/

Love these.. so basic.. how can you be successful without knowing what the competition is up to? Whether you choose to compete is another question.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Procession

"What became clear today was that Formula One is the new Premier League, with a Big Four whose cars finished in the top eight positions followed by a group of worthy midfield runners (Force India, Renault, Williams and Sauber are the equivalents of Spurs, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton) and a sweaty bunch of relegation contenders. Despite spinning his Force India on the opening lap while blinded by a cloud of oil smoke from Mark Webber's Red Bull, Adrian Sutil looked the most likely to disturb the established order."

Fernando Alonso win delights Ferrari but refuelling ban throttles thrills - Guardian

And just as dull as the footie then.. pfft. I'd really looked forward to the opener.. what a let down.

Buffett insight

"Fuld and Buffett spoke on Friday, March 28, 2008. They discussed Buffett investing at least $2 billion in Lehman. 2439 Two items immediately concerned Buffet during his conversation with Fuld. 2440 First, Buffett wanted Lehman executives to buy under the same terms as Buffett. 2441 Fuld explained to the Examiner that he was reluctant to require a significant buy‐in from Lehman executives, because they already received much of their compensation in stock. 2442 However, Buffett took it as a negative that Fuld suggested that Lehman executives were not willing to participate in a significant way. 2443 Second, Buffett did not like that Fuld complained about short sellers. 2444 Buffett thought that blaming short sellers was indicative of a failure to admit one's own problems."

Excerpts from the Lehman Report - WSJ

http://lehmanreport.jenner.com/

Guessing

Dilbert.com

Buying a toxic asset



The big black Angus cow that everybody wants? We're not buying that cow because it's too expensive," he says. "We want the cow that's got a wounded leg, but she might produce a few more calves for us — and [she's] cheap."

"We get a little money every month from people paying off their mortgages. We just got a check for $141. If it goes to Thanksgiving, we could double our money."

We Bought A Toxic Asset; You Can Watch It Die - NPR

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Recovery

"Recovery ride". What does that actually mean?

80km, 3:15, avg HR 125, avg PWR 185

Definitely felt the after-effects of yesterdays ride. Struggled to get HR into the usual 'working zone'.
Delayed leaving this morning, so up the Tama solo into a reasonable headwind. Colder than yesterday, but a beautiful riding morning. Not the fastest of rides. Caught up with Dominic and David, who had settled into breakfast at Starbucks.

Back home, collecting fresh baguettes on the way, in good time to clean the bike from the grime of yesterdays melted snow, make a couple of adjustments and grab a hot shower.

210km for the weekend, happy with that.

Now for a sausage sandwich. Ketchup or HP?

Garmin Connect here

Saturday, March 13, 2010

To Odawara via the back roads

128.8km, 5:47, Avg HR 137, avg PWR 201.

Great ride of about 130km, Tokyo to Odawara via the beautiful Yabitsu pass. Snow all the way up. Melting and very wet underfoot.

Highlights included:
  • "Let me show you the back road to Odawara"
  • Snow lined roads everywhere.
  • Freshly baked donuts!
  • Inspecting the Tomei from beneath on the path to nowhere.
  • Exploring underneath the Tomei expressway.
  • Surviving the strong, gusting winds all day.
  • Odawara station's French bakery.
  • The can of Kirin on the Shinkansen home.
Thanks to Dominic and Jerome for waiting for me.

Garmin Connect link

Friday, March 12, 2010

Front fell off

Blog mining

"The web could be mined to track information about emerging trends and behaviours, covering everything from drug use or racial tension to interest in films or new products. The nature of blogging means that people are quick to comment on events in their daily lives. Mining this sort of information might therefore also reveal information about exactly how ideas are spread and trends are set.

In the world before the web, chatter about the trivialities of everyday life was shared in person, and not written down, so it could not be subjected to such analysis. While recording their words for posterity and obsessively checking their hit counters to see if anyone is reading them, today’s blog authors can console themselves with the thought that computers, at least, find their work fascinating."

Blog mining - The Economist

Clever?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Genius

Little Billy's Letters

These are fantastic..



"In the 1990s Bill Geerhart was an unemployed, not-so aspiring screenwriter in his 30s. To pass the time, he channeled his inner child, 10-year-old Billy, and started writing letters to famous and infamous people and institutions. These letters, written in pencil on elementary school ruled paper, asked funny but relevant questions to politicians, serial killers, movie stars, lobbyists, CEOs, and celebrity lawyers.

Geerhart saved copies of his letters and the replies he got back. This week, Harper Collins published them in a book called Little Billy's Letters: An Incorrigible Inner Child's Correspondence with the Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Bewildered."

Little Billy's Letters to famous and infamous people - Boing Boing

Building skis

Ads

If you visit this site on a regular basis, and even if you don't, do me a favour and click on a, or the, google ad (sidebar on the righthandside) or one of the amazon ads that appear at the bottom of posts from time to time. It doesn't cost you anything, and I am really interested to see what the real world "earnings", if any, are from these sources.

This is the data from March 7 for this site:


Visits

Total ....................... 18,476
Average per Day ................. 25
Average Visit Length .......... 1:22
This Week ...................... 175

Page Views

Total ....................... 25,907
Average per Day ................. 36
Average per Visit .............. 1.5
This Week ...................... 254

Small I know, but if I'd like to see what the "earnings" are for this kind of readership. I am not giving up my day job, just interested is all.

This was brought on by the following 2 posts:

Ars Technica: Don't C*ckblock Our Ad Revenue. Please.

Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love

Dude, GO CLICK ON AN AD..

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nocturne



1080p video shot at 6400 ASA - with all available light. No outside light sources were used.

via Vimeo's 25 favorite videos of 2009

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Winter Olympics Hockey Final


"Edmonton’s water utility published this graph of water consumption during last Sunday’s gold medal Olympic hockey game. Roughly 80% of Canadians were watching. I believe the beer consumption picture looks exactly the same, but upside down."

via Economist's View

Gold reflections

"Most of the hyperinflationists or gold investors I know are worried that the Fed’s printing press (or button pressing if you will) will ultimately result in inflation. This is not entirely correct. There is no demand for credit as of now and therefore there is no expansion in the amount of actual money in the system. Because the private sector is busy repairing their balance sheets aggregate demand remains historically low. Therefore, the hyperinflation argument remains bunk. The latest readings on wage inflation, demand for credit, etc all point to continued de-leveraging and low demand for credit, and in our banking system that means inflation is not yet a concern."

"The argument that 99% of all fiat currencies have failed is simply an outright falsehood. Fiat currencies restricted by the gold standard or pegged to another currency have failed repeatedly. [China Yuan peg?] That is not the system in which we reside today. It’s important to understand that the currency system in which we reside is vastly different from the pre-Nixon Shock currency system in which currencies did not freely float and currencies were convertible.?"

"In conclusion, I continue to fail to grasp the rationale for gold as a safehaven in this environment. As we learned in 2008 the true safehaven in the modern floating exchange rate fiat currency world is actually the reserve currency. With little to no inflation the inflation hedge argument remains bunk. As for sentiment and the collapse of the modern economy, well, I don’t think gold will be the thing you really want to own in that world. It is not gold we will all be clamoring for, but lead and God save you if you don’t have something to load that lead into because those gold bricks are mighty hard to throw at someone…."

Reflections on Gold as an Asset Class - The Pragmatic Capitalist



from the comments:

"I think you are misunderstanding what causes hyperinflation. Jordan Roy Byrne explains in on Seeking Alpha:

“Hyperinflation occurs when a country’s bond market breaks. In other words, the sovereign nation is no longer able to fund itself. Its bonds fall (yields rise) to the point where the government has to print money or default. Rising interest rates cause the interest payments to consume too much of the overall budget. The government or central bank then begins to print money to fund its deficit. Then the citizens start to consume, knowing the currency is rapidly losing value. Demand has nothing to do with the cause or the onset of hyperinflation.”

THIS is why Taleb said “every single human being” should bet U.S. Treasury bonds will decline, and why John Williams at ShadowStats might have a valid argument for massive inflation in the next five or so years."

Monday, March 08, 2010

Addison Lee

“Success is a fractional move every day,” he says. “It is fractions, fractions, fractions – we are chiselling away at fractions.”

The challengers to London’s black cabs - FT Interesting article

Welcome to the Future

"And speaking of water (above), I was hoping to hear that we were further along with the cheap purification of water. I queried several venture capitalists, who see literally thousands and thousands of business proposals. While lots of people are working on it, they are aware of nothing on the near horizon. Water may be my #1 concern about the future. It is an intractable problem and one that must be solved. There is Microsoft- or Google-type wealth awaiting the team that creates an inexpensive way to purify water. Water management will be a major issue in the future. There are those who think we will go to war over oil or energy in the future. I rather doubt it. Water rights are going to be the issue that will divide nations and peoples unless we can find new technologies to create cheap supplies of fresh water and move it to where it is needed."

"The theme of the conference was accelerating technology. Things are going faster and faster. I had a thought. Our bodies can take only so much acceleration before we pass out. Will an increasingly fast world have the same effect on our minds? Is there a limit to how much change we can adapt to? Just a question; not sure of the answer."

"In the future, the world will get turned on its head. Instead of 15 minutes of fame, you will only get 15 minutes of anonymity."

Welcome to the Future - The Big Picture

Saturday, March 06, 2010

One-77 Testing

Testing video

Just a bit out of my price range unfortunately..

Friday, March 05, 2010

Shoot

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Time Lapse over the Big Island

The American Map of Burger Domination

Tullybucks time

SSDs and the MacBook Pro

I recently came across this article - Add an ExpressCard solid state drive to some MacBook Pros - and the follow-up - SSDs and the MacBook Pro and after a slight hiccup after ordering an incompatible SSD from Amazon, I managed to very quickly get this set-up. It is indeed much faster and a very slick minor upgrade if you have a suitable MacBook Pro. Much impressed.

48GB Filemate Solid State Drive ExpressCard

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Dogs catching snacks



See films differently - Toy Story - and the new single from the Gorillaz - Stylo - starring Bruce Willis.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Splutter

"I love newspaper headlines, the way that they shout at you competitively from the stand on a Sunday morning – imploring your attention like a bunch of gape-mouthed nestlings. I have always admired the art with which the headline writer will take the story before him and bleach it of conditionals, sharpening and condensing and pushing it to the limit of credibility so that the faltering fingers of the deluded consumer will feel unable to resist. And yet in all my years of knowing chuckling at the headlines, I don't think I have ever come across such a brazen confection of suggestio falsi and suppressio veri as appeared yesterday in large print across one of the Sundays. "Brown on course to win election," it said."
"I have an answer for all those befuddled by the recent mutability of the polls. May I direct you to Betfair, a political betting website that in my experience is almost uncanny in its accuracy. Here you are looking at the predictions that people are willing to defend with their own money."

"This is a (Labour) Government that is so addicted to regulation that it has banned about 9,000 courses of human conduct, and done so much damage to the wealth and job-creating sectors of the economy that youth unemployment is higher now than it was 13 years ago when Labour came in, and the gap between rich and poor is bigger than ever."

Gordon Brown 'on course to win the election'? You've got to be joking - Boris Johnson via DH

Couldn't agree more. Hope he is right.

Monday, March 01, 2010