Month: April 2008

Stockholm and “Geek Meet” Pics


The main purpose of the trip was so I could attend a tech event on Thursday night (you can read more about that on The BuzzPal Blog). Friday we around Stockholm all day, then came back to Gothenburg on Saturday morning. Great trip. Thanks Albert, Anne, DJ, Robert, and Susanne! More pics below:

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Odd Behavior And Creativity May Go Hand-in-hand

Another interesting article along the lines of this one on Dyslexia and Entrepreneurs.

ScienceDaily
Sep. 7, 2005
Odd Behavior And Creativity May Go Hand-in-hand

These images summarize the results of near infrared spectroscopy scans of schizotypes, schizophrenics and normal controls during divergent thinking tasks. Image (a) illustrates where the probe holder was placed for the brain scan. Image (b) shows the increase in oxyhemoglobin, which corresponds to an increase in brain activity, that occurred in both the right and left hemispheres of all three groups. Image (c) shows the increase in oxyhemoglobin in the right hemisphere of schizotypes compared to normal controls, while image (d) illustrates the much greater activation in schizotypes over schizophrenics. Image (e), which compares the different reaction of schizophrenics and normal controls, shows no difference between the two groups. (Courtesy of Park Lab)

ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2005) —

Often viewed as a hindrance, having a quirky or socially awkward approach to life may be the key to becoming a great artist, composer or inventor.

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The Bellwether — Google Stock — Explodes

First update since this post on November 9, 2007. That post exactly marked GOOG’s reversal off it’s all-time high, after the 3-month relief-rally off the August lows. Today’s chart shows the end of that 40% bloodbath. Same as back in November, Google stock is the bellwether. It tells you pretty much all you need to know.

The other things to watch remain commodities, the Chinese market (and the other BRICS), and the dollar, which I’ve been bearish on since (before) this post on April 6, 2004. Back then one Euro cost $1.22, now it costs $1.59 (30% more).

I actually think the dollar will probably catch a bounce once the Fed makes its final interest rate cut of this cycle. That’ll probably also mark the top of the massive commodity and commodity stock run, as money rotates (see this). We will see. Those are just probabilities and scenarios to watch for. As always, the technicals must confirm and the market is always right (or at least it doesn’t pay to argue with it!).

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Article: Coins in the New Realm

It’s interesting to see more and more people realizing the value of domain names. I’ve been building my portfolio for about 10 years and each year revenue grows, with little effort. It’s the real estate of the virtual world.

February 1, 2008
New York Times
Coins in the New Realm
By BRAD STONE

HOLLYWOOD — Xavier Buck planned to spend $100,000 to bid for domain names, those parcels of virtual Internet real estate, at a live auction here last week.

He blew past his limit in less than an hour.

By the time the three-hour auction had ended, Mr. Buck, the chief executive of the Luxembourg-based company EuroDNS, had spent $150,000 for 15 appealingly generic names, including 7th.com, chaptereleven.com, microfinancing.com and computersystems.com.

“These names will pay for themselves within two years,” Mr. Buck said, as he sat in the ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel with a business partner who wore an identical gray suit and shirt with the company logo. “The world is only now beginning to discover how important it is to have these assets.”

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Five Delectable Examples of “Stein’s Law”

A good one from John Mauldin’s “Outside the Box” newsletter. It’s all about leverage and mean reversion.

Five Delectable Examples of “Stein’s Law”
By Dr. Woody Brock

The most basic statement of Stein’s Law says: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop”. More specifically, the late Herb Stein stressed that, when a trend cannot go on, it always stops–even when nothing is done about it. This yardstick of common sense is particularly apposite today, as we see in the following five examples of trends whose time has come and gone.

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Quick Update: Mosaic Company

Just a quick update on this March 28th posting in Mosaic Company (MOS).  You can see the stock got a big pop on the earnings report and is now hanging at it highs.  It’s still on my watch list (for the short entry, not the long one).  Should break pretty good one way or the other, but maybe not until after April options expiration.  Cheers.

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Article Excerpt and Quotes of the Day

First the quotes:

  • “Bernanke peso” – New nickname for the U.S. dollar.
  • “It may be our dollar, but it’s your problem.” – Former Tres. Sec. John Connelly.
  • “The world’s largest banana republic” – The U.S. under Bernanke/Bush/Greenspan policies.
  • “The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” – Thomas Jefferson (3rd President of the United States. 1743-1826)

Now the article excerpt, from MoneyWeek (article by Bill Bonner):

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Iraqi Refugees Find Sweden’s Doors Closing Immigrants Overtax System, Critics Say

I thought people and countries were supposed to clean up their own messes? I mean since when can you go into someone else country, destroy it, displace the occupants, and then expect other people to fix it, help those displaced people, and pay for it? It makes no sense, yet that’s what George Bush is doing with his Iraq war mess. Sweden is one of the countries stepping up to help the fleeing refugees, but the flow is too heavy.:

Sweden, which has one of the world’s most welcoming refugee policies, has become the new home of 40,000 Iraqis since the war began in 2003. Last year alone, more than 18,000 Iraqi refugees came to Sweden. According to the State Department, the United States has taken in roughly 6,000 Iraqis in programs for refugees and translators. If the United States accepted as many people per capita as Sweden, a nation of 9 million, he said, it would have taken in 500,000 refugees. If the United States accepted as many people per capita as Sweden, a nation of 9 million, he said, it would have taken in 500,000 refugees.

Iraqi Refugees Find Sweden’s Doors Closing Immigrants Overtax System, Critics Say

By Mary Jordan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, April 10, 2008; A01

SODERTALJE, Sweden — Behind the wheel of his old Ford Escort, Oshin Merzoian puttered happily along snowy streets. Back home in Baghdad, he said, he always drove at crazy speeds to avoid killers and kidnappers.

But here in “Little Baghdad,” as this city that has accepted roughly as many Iraqi refugees as the entire United States is called, Merzoian is enjoying the luxuries of living in peace. He doesn’t strap on a gun for protection, and he notes that Swedish police worry more about seat belts than roadside bombs.

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Article: Drowning In Student Loans

I post this article for two reasons:

  1. Good information for people who are feeling crushed by their student loan payments.
  2. Note to self: Develop StudentLoanConsulting.com to take advantage of the growing demand for everything having to do with student loans.

January 11, 2008
When You’re Drowning In Student-Loan Debt
By SUE SHELLENBARGER
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

Question: My daughter, who just received a master’s degree in counseling, has a heavy college-debt load. She’s been paying $100 a month on her student loans. One bank that gave her a private student loan, however, wants $700 a month and is threatening to turn her loan over to a collection agency, garnish her wages and take her old car. What should she do? — E.K., Kirkland, Wash.

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