Monday, February 24, 2014

Stocks back to record highs because......

(Student answers may vary)**

The media hopped on the "stocks hit record highs" story even though at the end of the day only the Nasdaq was in record territory.  The Nasdaq was powered by another strong move in Facebook which is now above $70 after dropping a cool $19 billion on an app that most people have never heard of.  I know it's unpopular to try to interject logic into these scenarios but WhatsApp (the app bought by Facebook) has been downloaded a billion times because it offers free communication across many platforms.  If Facebook tries to monetize these users through fees or ads, it is likely that someone will launch WhatsAppDoc or whatever and steal those billion users overnight.  I have to be careful bashing Facebook too much because I know some people love it deeply, but I'll offer this anecdote -- I spent a week on vacation outside of the US and I didn't hear or see the word Facebook once.  Before you assume that I was sitting in some remote corner of Uzbekistan, I'll say that I was in major metropolitan areas in Western countries and the word Facebook might just as well have been Myspace or AOL.

This is just one of the latest chain of events in the market that are very reminiscent of February 2000.

The market is now up between 6-7.5% in A MONTH after wobbling a bit back at the beginning of February.  Today for example there was Dallas Fed business index number that was expected to come in at 3.0, but instead came in at 0.3!!  Obviously, this is a sign that things are BOOMI.... oh wait, that's a 90% miss.  Um, well, it snowed in Dallas one day in February so it was all the weather's fault.  And if it is hot in Dallas in July, we'll blame the weather for that miss as well.

There is some thinking that says the new polar vortex will mean more cold in the Northeast and more weak data which means the Fed will have to keep supporting the economy.  Thus, (in my best Oprah voice) you get a higher stock price and you get a higher stock price and you get a.......

At some point this merry-go-round will stop and people might focus on the collapsing Chinese economy, unrest in Venezuela, Thailand, Ukraine, etc., however, that day was not today.

** I read this note from a teacher in Georgia today that made me chuckle.  "Last night, I was grading homework for a day when a substitute was in my classroom.  I realized the kids must have obtained a copy of the answer key when 10 kids answered question #4 as 'Student answers may vary'. "

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Please don't throttle me bro!

So, that's a vague reference to the old video from the John Kerry speech in 2007 when a student yelled "Don't Taze me, bro!" (you can see the best part here if you've forgotten).

It also is a reference to the denials of Verizon that they are throttling content delivered to customers.

So, if you recall, there was a great deal of anger and outrage back in 2012 when Time Warner quietly decided that those 10 year old modems that they were giving you for free, should now become a $4/month rental item.  At the time the APPROVED modems that you could purchase was still in flux and there was some debate over whether or not you could even bring your own device, so I advised that you wait it out.

Well, another 16 mths have passed and in that time Time Warner has decided that the now 11 year old modem collecting dust on your shelf is worth 50% more/month so they jacked the rental up to $6/mth.  Now that's $72/year for a modem and I can buy a lot of snow gear with $72 extra dollars/year.   I did a couple of quick searches and it appears as though the top of the line modem authorized by time warner is now going for $80 on Amazon.  So, that puts the payback period at 13 months and if you don't plan on moving in the next 13 months, I'd say it makes sense to consider this switch.

Here is the process........

1) Go here and enter your zip code to see a list of approved modems.

2) Find your approved modem - the SB6141 covers just about everyone.

3) Search SB6141 on Amazon.

Add to cart and buy yourself a celebratory drink in 13 mths when you get over on the man.

** Time Warner reports that less than 10% of customers have bought their own modems since they instituted the rental fee.  That means 90%+ of customers are gladly paying $6/mth because they just forgot or can't be bothered to go through the hassle of buying their own equipment. 


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Only in America :)

These two stories pretty much sum up the state of the union today.

The state of the union is PARANOID.

1) Bomb squad called to diffuse pile of pillows

"As a precaution, we contacted the Broward sheriff's bomb squad to investigate."
The bomb squad did not find an explosive device, Rues said. A Miramar police photo showed a plaid shopping bag that had contained some of the eight or so recovered pillows.

The state of the union is flush with C-A-S-H!!

2)  The 75 cent toothpick.  I hesitate to link to these single malt toothpicks because I know of at least one reader that might order a gross of them.

Only in America could someone take something that normally costs $1.00/1,000, rebrand it, flavor it and bam!!! Profit!

"Our Single Malt NÂș16 is a SELECT  batch premium blend and as a result it has a higher price.  This is because they are made with very old, very good, very expensive single malt scotch and are a pain in the arse to make.  This time consuming process is unique to Daneson, and the resulting toothpicks are for those who enjoy finer things in life."