Friday, 28 January 2011

Paulson Real Estate Recovery Fund

Brilliant strategy. Just brilliant.

“One of the fund’s main strategies is to buy undeveloped tracts of land that already have environmental and building permits. Roads, sewers and electricity may also be in place, but not homes, according to one of the people familiar with the fund. If the real-estate market recovers enough for developers to start building more new houses, this may be the type of land they buy first. That’s because a lot of the costly, time-consuming preparation work already has been done, the person explained.” – Alistair Barr, MarketWatch

Control Yourself

“In short, the marketing is the message, and the message is the service. We knowingly go to Facebook or Google now much as we go to the mall or the public square – to see and be seen, to have our intent responded to, whether those wishes be commercial or public expression.” – John Batelle

John continues…

“I think it’s worth defining a portion of the web as a place where one can visit and be part of a conversation without the data created by that conversation being presumptively sucked into a sophisticated response platform – whether that platform is Google, Blue Kai, Doubleclick, Twitter, or any other scaled web service. Now, I’m all for engaging with that platform, to be sure, but I’m also interested in the parts of society where one can wander about free of identity presumption, a place where one can chose to engage knowing that you are in control of how your identity is presented, and when it is revealed.”

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Gold Foil

“But if the best that gold can do over time is to match the increase in stock prices, while delivering enormous extra volatility along the way, then gold is not a particularly attractive asset from an investment perspective, especially since it pays not a penny of income and in fact costs money to store. And it’s particularly unattractive today, unless you are convinced that the Fed is on the verge of committing a major monetary mistake and/or the U.S. is going to default on its debt obligations.” – Scott Grannis

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Garrick’s Top 4 Favorite Tech Gadgets

In the ‘machine shop’ in the basement – I don’t have many tools. Even fewer of any quality. Even so, there are 2 screwdrivers that I’ve had for decades . These 2 screwdrivers have never let me down – whatever I ask of them.

My accumulation of computer gadgets is similar. Despite the volume of technology in my house – only a small fraction of it is ready for service – day in and day out.

  1. Leica Digilux 1

    Purchased in 2002 for ~$850
    All through high school & college, I had the same workhorse Pentax SLR. Photography class after photography class it never let me down. I loved that camera. Still do. When I saw the Digilux 1, I knew it’d be a worthy digital replacement. And it has been. Just used it again today. It goes from point-n-shoot to completely manual in seconds. The lens is fantastic and the shutter speed still astounds me a decade later. I still get great joy out of setting up the shot, holding down the button, and finding the best shot out of the 50 it takes in a few seconds.
  2. Apple Airport Express

    Purchased ~2004 for ~$100
    This one Airport Express has extended the range of the (many times replaced) main router for 6 years and two houses. It does great work. It never complains (unlike the main router).
  3. Amazon Kindle 2

    Received as a Gift ~2008
    The Kindle’s such an understated device. Quiet. Patient. Amazing battery life. While I only read on it a couple times a month. It’s always there. Read to server on a moment’s notice. Just like any one of my printed books.

    “…this is a device that always seems content with itself. Just sitting there, not caring if you pick it up or not. Like a book.” – Tom Armitage

  4. Virgin Mobile MiFi

    Purchased in 2010 for $150
    It’s so comforting to know that a fast, reliable, 3-hour internet connection is always available – for whatever device I’m using at the time. I keep the MiFi in my bag – and don’t worry about its remaining battery (charges off USB) or if my $40/month has run out. Both can be resolved in seconds after I turn it on.

Friday, 14 January 2011


“But mainly I want them, and every other silo out there, to realize that the pendulum has now swung full distance in the silo’d direction — and that it’s going to swing back in the direction of open and distributed everything. And there’s plenty of money to be made there too.” – Doc Searls

“The risk to the ’Web is not so much that open standards become extinct, such as RSS, but that more and more creativity, energy, and money goes into developing stylish, easy-to-use, incompatible silos.” – via Kroc Camen, translated from Streit um Internet-Nutzung: Komfort schlägt Freiheit

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Market Crop Circles

Remember the May 6, 2010 Flash Crash – that caused the Dow to drop 1000 points in manner of seconds (and almost immediately completely rebound)?

It was caused by a high-frequency trading bot. The Atlantic has an enjoyable write-up on the these bots – turns out – we don’t know what the hell they’re trying to do.

The software engineer profiled in the article posts some of more bizarre trading behavior these bots on his Market Crop Circle of the Day blog.

Super fun stuff.

Sunday, 9 January 2011