Amit's Planet

November 29, 2018

Official Google Blog

Google Open Source team

The Google Code-in contest is now open! Students ages 13 to 17 gain real-world software development experience by building open source software with the support of mentors.

by Mary Radomile at November 29, 2018 01:00 AM

November 02, 2017

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

har ek nazar idhar udhar... ik nayaa taraanaa

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

har ek nazar idhar udhar hai beqaraar mere li_e
mahafil kaa dil dha.Dak rahaa hai baar-baar mere li_e

huu.N mai.n 
ik nayaa taraanaa ik nayaa fasaanaa ik na_ii kahaanii huu.N mai.n
ek ra.ng ra.Ngiilii ek chhail chhabiilii ek mast jawaanii huu.N mai.n

ruup kii raanii naam hai meraa dil ta.Dapaanaa kaam hai meraa
ko_ii kahe matavaalii koi kahe bholii bhaalii ko_ii kahe diiwaanii huu.N mai.n 
ek ra.ng ra.Ngiilii ek chhail chhabiilii ...

merii adaa_e.N mere bahaane ko_ii na samajhe ko_ii na jaane
ik pavan jhakolaa ek u.Dan khaTolaa ek yaad khaanii huu.N mai.n
ek ra.ng ra.Ngiilii ek chhail chhabiilii ...

Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2017 01:35 PM

jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo a.Nkhiyaa.N do chaar kar lo
suno ye raat nahii.n hai ek tiin chaar kii
suno ye raat hai bas do dilo.n ke pyaar kii

dil hai diiwaanaa samaa suhaanaa 
uff ye jawaanii uff ye zamaanaa
jab tak hai.n jhuum sako jhuumate jaanaa haay re jhuumate jaanaa
jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo 

ra.ngii.n fizaaye.n mast hawaaye.n
kal kaun jaane aaye na aaye
jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo 

ulfat ke pyaale pii le pilaa le
kar de ye duniyaa dil ke hawaale
jii bhar ke pyaar kar lo 







Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2017 01:18 PM

ek raat kii ye priit

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

ek raat kii ye priit ek raat kaa hai giit
kahii.n to.D ke ye sapane ye raat na jaa_e biit

ai chaa.Nd na jaanaa so ai taaro na jaanaa kho
jo bhii ho so ho jag me.n ek bhor kabhii na ho

ye uu.Nchaa aasamaa.N ik baar jo kah de ho
to ye raat maa.Ng luu.N de ke dono.n jahaa.N



Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2017 01:06 PM

dil churaa luu.N

Album: Faraar / Dev Anand In Goa

dil churaa luu.N churaa luu.N dil me.n chhupii baat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii rah jaa_e.N malate haath

subah kii a.Nga.Daa_ii huu.N mai.n raat kaa huu.N mai.n Kvaab
duniyaa kii mahafil me.n huu.N mai.n apanaa aap jawaab
mukh dekhe to, dekhe to chandaa khaa_e maat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii ...

muskuraake jidhar dekhuu.N khilane lage phuul
aane jaane waale raahii rastaa jaa_e.N bhuul
mai.n chaahuu.N to, chaahuu.N to din ko karuu.N raat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii ...

bhole-bhaale suurat waale matavaale diladaar
bachake rahanaa phir na kahanaa kiyaa na Khabaradaar
ba.Dii hai zaalim, hai zaalim in naino.n kii ghaat
ba.De-ba.De dil waale bhii ...

Contributed by Anonymous

November 02, 2017 12:57 PM

October 06, 2017

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii

Album: Navrang

naa raajaa rahegaa naa raanii rahegii
ye duniyaa hai faanii aur faanii rahegii

na jab ek bhii zi.ndagaanii rahegii
to maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

dikhaayegii raaNaa ke raN kii nishaanii
kahegii shivaajii ke praN kii kahaanii
bataaegii muGhalo.n kii baate.n ajaanii
us Gaddaar jayacha.nd kii zi.ndagaanii
ye aapas kii sab badGumaanii kahegii
ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

jo the desh dushman Ghulaamii ke raahii
lage pherane is vatan par siyaahii
videsho.n kii karane lage vaah-vaahii
gayaa desh haatho.n se aayii tabaahii
ye bhar-bhar ke aa.Nkho.n me.n paanii kahegii
ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

fir swaata.ntra kaa aisaa sa.ngraam aayaa
ki har aadamii desh ke kaam aayaa
la.Dii viir jhaa.Nsii kii raanii bhavaanii
hazaaro.n ne laakho.n ne Jauhar jalaayaa
ye kurbaaniyaa.N Khud zubaanii kahegii
ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2

swaata.ntra kaa sa.ngraam nahii.n vo baGaavat thii,  yahii itihaas kahataa hai

(jalaa do)-2 ye itihaas jhooThe tumhaare
yahaa.n zarre-zarre pe sach hai likhaa re
zulam vo tumhaare sitam vo tumhaare
karo yaad uf kaaranaame vo kaare
ki patthar se aa.Nsuu kii dhaaraa bahegii

ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2
ye maaTii hai tab se ki jab tum naa aaye
ye maaTii rahegii na jab tum rahoge
is maaTii ke niiche dabii hai.n kathaaye.n
jo Khud hii kahegii re tum kyaa kahoge
zamii.n aasamaa.N tharatharaa ke rahegii

ye maaTii sabhii kii kahaanii kahegii-2
 

Contributed by Saket Jain

October 06, 2017 12:37 PM

August 17, 2017

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain

Album: Parichay

mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
mitawaa mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
saaware kajaraare nain mitawaa bole miiThe bain 

aaj soye tuu saa.Njh bulaaye 
jaage tuu bhor kare saa.Nse.n lete nain
mitawaa tere nain mitawaa bole miiThe bain 

pyaasaa hai aaj bhii tarase pyaasaa hai aaj bhii tarase 
o baraso saawan barase chhalake tere nain 
mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
mitawaa mitawaa mitawaa bole miiThe bain 
saaware kajaraare nain saaware kajaraare nain
mitawaa bole miiThe bain


Contributed by Rajeeva Karandikar

August 17, 2017 06:51 PM

May 25, 2017

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

huaa yuu.N pyaar jawaa.N

Album: Jab Andhera Hota Hai

huaa yuu.N pyaar jawaa.N
basegaa dil kaa jahaa.N
koii na ham ho.n jahaa.N
chalo chale.n ham wahaa.N

yahii hai dil kii sadaa
raho nazar me.n sadaa
ab ek pal bhii sanam
kabhii na ho.nge judaa

huaa yuu.N pyaar jawaa.N
basegaa dil kaa jahaa.N
koii na ham ho.n jahaa.N
chalo chale.n ham wahaa.N

dulhan banuu.Ngii sajan
chaluu.Ngii mai.n ban-Than
bhar do maa.Ng merii
khilegaa dil kaa chaman

huaa yuu.N pyaar jawaa.N
basegaa dil kaa jahaa.N
koii na ham ho.n jahaa.N
chalo chale.n ham wahaa.N

huaa yuu.N pyaar jawaa.N
basegaa dil kaa jahaa.N
koii na ham ho.n jahaa.N
chalo chale.n ham wahaa.N

Contributed by Asif Alvi

May 25, 2017 03:05 AM

April 17, 2017

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

zindagii ham tere haal par

Album: Wohi Baat

zindagii ham tere haal par muskuraa_e.N ke royaa kare.n
dard kii dhuup Dhalatii nahii.n kaise raaho.n me.n saayaa kare.n

bhar ke daaman me.n rusavaa_iyaa.N ham pe ha.Nsatii hai.n tanhaaiyaa.N
haay re aalam-e-bebasii tuu hii kah de ke ham kyaa kare.n

raat Gam kii hai Thaharii hu_ii ham hai.n baa.Nho.n me.n tuufaan kii
ko_ii shamaa jale kis tarah dil me.n kaise ujaalaa kare.n


Contributed by Anonymous

April 17, 2017 09:34 PM

April 06, 2017

giitaayan - Recently posted songs

mar jaauu.N sharmaake uii

Album: Chhupa Rustam

chhuo na
( mar jaauu.N sharmaake uii
mai.n huu.N chhuii muii
aa.Nkho.n se dekho lekin chhuo na ) - 2
mar jaauu.N sharmaake uii

khilate baaGo.n kii mai.n
komal Daalii thii
ghar me.n laakar rakhaa tumane
chaahaa dil se
phir bhii murajhaauu.N
mar jaauu.N

mar jaauu.N sharmaake uii
mai.n huu.N chhuii muii
aa.Nkho.n se dekho lekin chhuo na
mar jaauu.N sharmaake uii

madiraa kii huu.N pyaalii
lekin chhoTii sii
pyaase ho tum kue.N jaise
thar thar kaa.Npuu.N
mai.n Dar jaauu.N
mar jaauu.N

mar jaauu.N sharmaake uii
mai.n huu.N chhuii muii
aa.Nkho.n se dekho lekin chhuo na
mar jaauu.N sharmaake uii
mai.n huu.N chhuii muii
aa.Nkho.n se dekho lekin chhuo na

Contributed by Asif Alvi

April 06, 2017 04:06 AM

March 01, 2017

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

Live from America's Better Self: Heather Boushey: Winning Change for Women & Families: "Wed, Mar 1 5:30 PM The Bentley Reserve San Francisco, CA, United States...

  • Wednesday March 1 2017 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM PST
  • The Bentley Reserve, 301 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA, United States

Featuring a conversation with Heather Boushey, who previously served as Chief Economist to Hillary Clinton's transition team, current Executive Director of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and author of Finding Time: the Economics of Work-Life Conflict.... Heather will be interviewed by PL+US Executive Director Katie Bethell. Katie is a 15-year veteran of grassroots social change campaigning. With PL+US, Katie and her team are bringing state-of-the-art communications and mobilization strategy to the fight for paid family and medical leave in the U.S.

by J. Bradford DeLong at March 01, 2017 11:30 PM

February 27, 2017

It's Nice That

Node Berlin Oslo talks through its redesign of Haus der Kulturen der Wel

Hkwnodelist

Multifaceted design studio Node Berlin Oslo has created a redesign of Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Germany’s national centre for international contemporary arts based in Berlin.

Read more

by Lucy Bourton at February 27, 2017 01:43 PM

Boy Genius Report

At $5, our favorite iPhone 7 Plus case just dropped to its lowest price ever

Best Thin iPhone 7 Plus Case

In a perfect world, we would all use our iPhones caseless. Apple's gorgeous design on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus deserves to be shown off, not hidden under a bunch of plastic or even leather. Unfortunately, Apple's latest aluminum iPhones are as slippery as they are sleek, so going "naked" isn't really an option unless you're willing to completely throw caution to the wind.

The next best thing to going caseless is using a paper-thin case that doesn't add any bulk to the phones, but still adds some grip and protects against scratches. And as it turns out, our favorite paper-thin iPhone 7 Plus case — the TOZO Case for iPhone 7 Plus — is on sale right now on Amazon at its lowest price ever.

Here are the highlights from the product page:

  • [Compatible with iPhone 7 Plus 5.5 inch] 0.35mm Thinnest protect case. Simple, elegant. The iPhone 7 Plus 5.5 inch case features a refined design, Maximum keep your iPhone 7 Plus slim and provide scratch protection.
  • MATTE FACE - with matte optical texture, anti-glare(reduced reflection),reducing fingerprints or grease buildup.
  • CAMERA RAISED - Camera hole ring raised protective layer, provide cell phone camera detail protection.
  • PERFECT FIT - Specially designed for iPhone 7 Plus 5.5 inch, has precise cutouts for speakers, charging ports and buttons.
  • Warning Tips: This Case is compatible only for iPhone 7 Plus 5.5 inch phones. It does not fit for iPhone 7 4.7 inch phones. TOZO also have same series for iPhone 7 4.7 inch phones. Please search "TOZO iPhone 7 Case" for the related items.

Note that there appears to be a very limited supply available at the $5 price point. Of course even if this seller runs out, this awesome case is well worth the regular price of $8.99 with free Prime shipping.

TOZO Case for iPhone 7 Plus, PP [0.35mm] Ultra-Thin/Slim [Perfect Fit] Thinnest Hard Protect Ca…: $5.00

Trending right now:

  1. Sony quietly came out with the most surprising smartphone of MWC 2017
  2. Check out Sony’s crazy concept: Wireless earphones that let you hear everything around you
  3. Huge leaks bring us the first ever Galaxy S8 hands-on videos

by Maren Estrada at February 27, 2017 01:41 PM

datameet Google Group

Reminder: Hangout Tomorrow 7pm

Just reminder to set your calendar's for tomorrow's hangout on Open Budget Data with Guarav! Nisha -- Nisha Thompson DataMeet.org ni...@datameet.org skype: nishaqt mobile: 962-061-2245

by Nisha Thompson at February 27, 2017 01:40 PM

Wired Top Stories

No, Cellphones Don’t Cause Cancer. Probably

No, Cellphones Don’t Cause Cancer. Probably
This is the first entry in our new series Is That a Thing, in which we explore tech's biggest myths, misconceptions, and---every so often---actual truths. The post No, Cellphones Don't Cause Cancer. Probably appeared first on WIRED.

by Matt Simon at February 27, 2017 01:30 PM

Yummy Fresh grain feed!

Martin Steiner

Martin Steiner

Martin Steiner is a German graphic designer who lends his talents to festivals, theaters, and a variety of clients in the cultural and commercial sectors. I’m especially fond of his work for the yearly Fotodoks photography festival. Pairing bold and minimal typography with rich colors and gradients, he creates striking layouts for the event’s catalogs and posters.

Martin Steiner

Martin Steiner

Martin Steiner

Martin Steiner

Martin Steiner

Martin Steiner

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by Sandy at February 27, 2017 01:30 PM

Planet Python

Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Victor Stinner

This week we welcome Victor Stinner as our PyDev of the Week! Victor is quite active in the Python community and is a core Python developer. You can see some of his contributions here. He is the author of eight accepted PEPs which you can also read about at the previous link. If you’re interested in seeing what else Victor has been up to, then I highly recommend checking Github and ReadTheDocs. Victor also has put together some interesting benchmarks for CPython. You might also want to check out his latest talk about Python benchmarks here: https://fosdem.org/2017/schedule/event/python_stable_benchmark/

Now let’s spend some time getting to know Victor better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

Hi, my name is Victor Stinner, I’m working for Red Hat on OpenStack, and I’m a CPython core developer since 2010.

I am an engineer from the engineer school UniversitĂŠ de Technologie de Belfort-MontbĂŠliard (UTBM), France. When I don’t hack CPython, I play with my two little cute daughters đŸ™‚

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

I was always programming. I tried a wide range of programming languages from the lowest level Intel x86 assembler to high level languages like Javascript and BASIC. Even if I now really enjoy writing C code for best performances, Python fits better my requirements for my daily job. Since it’s easy to write Python code, and I’m not annoyed my memory management or analyzing crashes, I use the “free” time to write more unit tests, take care of the coding
style, and all tiny stuffs which make a software a “good software”.

After 10 years of professional programming, I can now say that I spent more time on reading “old” code and fixing old complex corner case, than writing new code from scratch. Having an extensible test suite makes me more cool. Having to work under pressure without straps is likely to lead to burnout, or more simply to quit a job.

What projects are you working on now?

At Red Hat, I have a big project of porting OpenStack to Python 3. This project is made of more than 3 millions of Python code, and it is growing everyday! More than 90% of the unit tests already pass on Python 3, we are now working on fixing last issues on functional and
integration tests.

On CPython, I spent a lot of time on fixing Unicode in the childhood of Python 3. Nowadays, I’m working on multiple projects to make CPython faster. The very good news is that CPython 3.6 is now faster than 2.7 on most benchmarks, and CPython 3.7 is already faster than CPython 3.6! In short, Python 3 is finally faster than Python 2!

Last year, I spent a lot of time on a “FASTCALL” optimization which avoid the creation of a temporary tuple to pass positional arguments and a temporary dictionary to pass keyword arguments. More than 3/4 of my FASTCALL work is now merged into CPython. When a function is converted to FASTCALL, it becomes usually 20% faster, and the conversion is straightforward.

While working on FASTCALL and other optimizations, I was blocked by benchmarks which were not reliable. You can see the “How to run stable benchmarks” talk which I just gave at FOSDEM (Brussels, Belgium) which lists all my findings and explains how to get reproducible and reliable results: https://fosdem.org/2017/schedule/event/python_stable_benchmark/

See also the perf project that I created to make benchmarks more reliable. It’s a Python module to write a benchmark in two lines of code. The module provides many tools to check if a benchmark is reliable, compare two benchmarks and check if an optimization is significant, etc.

Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?

In the Python standard library, I like the asyncio, argparse and datetime modules.

The datetime does one thing and does it well. It was enhanced recently to support Daylight Saving Time (DST): https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0495/

The argparse module is very complete, it allows to build advanced command line interfaces. I used it in my perf module to get sub commands like “python3 -m perf timeit stmt”, “python3 -m perf show –metadata file.json”, …

The asyncio is a very nice integration of cool things: efficient event loop for network servers and Python 3 new async/await keywords. Not only asyncio has a nice API (no more callback hell!), but it also have a good implementation. For example, few event loop libraries support subprocesses, especially on Windows IOCP (the most efficient way to do asynchronous programming on Windows).

As a core developer, I care mostly on modules of the standard libraries, but in fact the best libraries maintained on PyPI! Just a few examples: pip, jinja2, django, etc. Sorry, the list is too here to fit here đŸ™‚

Where do you see Python going as a programming language?

My hope is that Python will stop evolving, I’m talking about the language itself. During the slow transition to Python 3 which took years, I realized how much users like that Python 2.7 stopped evolving. Not having to touch their code is seen as an advantage, compared to fast-moving libraries or even programming languages.

Since packaging now runs smoothly with pip, it became easy to have external dependencies. The advantage of external code is that it can move much slower that the Python standard library which is basically only updated every two years with a major Python release.

Even if I dislike evolutions, I have to admit that the recent additions to the language are really cool: generalized unpacking, async/await keywords, f-string, allow underscores in numbers, etc.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

When I listen to Twitter, Go, Rust, Javascript, Elm, etc. seem to be much more active than any other language.

In the meanwhile, I’m always impressed by all the work done in each Python release. Even the Python language is still evolving. Facebook decided to use Python 3.5 only to get the new async and await keywords with asyncio! Python 3.6 adds even more things: f-string (PEP 498), Syntax for Variable Annotations (PEP 526) and Underscores in Numeric Literals (PEP 515).

By the way, many people are complaining against type hintings. Some see them as “non pythonic”. Others fear that Python becomes a boring Java-like language. I also know that type hintings are already used in Python in large companies like Dropbox and Facebook, and they are very helpful for very large code bases.

The cool thing with Python is that it doesn’t enforce anything. For example, you can design a whole application without using objects. You can also ignore completely type hintings, they are fully optional. That’s a strength of Python!

Thanks so much for doing the interview!

February 27, 2017 01:30 PM

Zero Hedge

Deep State War? Russian Officials Keep Dying Unexpectedly

Six Russian diplomats have died in the last 60 days. As Axios notes, all but one died on foreign soil. Some were shot, while other causes of death are unknown. Note that a few deaths have been labeled "heart attacks" or "brief illnesses."

1. You probably remember Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov — he was assassinated by a police officer at a photo exhibit in Ankara on December 19.

 

2. On the same day, another diplomat, Peter Polshikov, was shot dead in his Moscow apartment. The gun was found under the bathroom sink but the circumstances of the death were under investigation. Polshikov served as a senior figure in the Latin American department of the Foreign Ministry.

 

3. Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York this past week. Churkin was rushed to the hospital from his office at Russia's UN mission. Initial reports said he suffered a heart attack, and the medical examiner is investigating the death, according to CBS.

 

4. Russia's Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, died after a "brief illness January 27, which The Hindu said he had been suffering from for a few weeks.

 

5. Russian Consul in Athens, Greece, Andrei Malanin, was found dead in his apartment January 9. A Greek police official said there was "no evidence of a break-in." But Malanin lived on a heavily guarded street. The cause of death needed further investigation, per an AFP report. Malanin served during a time of easing relations between Greece and Russia when Greece was increasingly critiqued by the EU and NATO.

 

6. Ex-KGB chief Oleg Erovinkin, who was suspected of helping draft the Trump dossier, was found dead in the back of his car December 26, according to The Telegraph. Erovinkin also was an aide to former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, who now heads up state-owned Rosneft.

If we go back further than 60 days...

7. On the morning of U.S. Election Day, Russian diplomat Sergei Krivov was found unconscious at the Russian Consulate in New York and died on the scene. Initial reports said Krivov fell from the roof and had blunt force injuries, but Russian officials said he died from a heart attack. BuzzFeed reports Krivov may have been a Consular Duty Commander, which would have put him in charge of preventing sabotage or espionage.

 

8. In November 2015, a senior adviser to Putin, Mikhail Lesin, who was also the founder of the media company RT, was found dead in a Washington hotel room according to the NYT. The Russian media said it was a "heart attack," but the medical examiner said it was "blunt force injuries."

 

9. If you go back a few months prior in September 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s driver was killed too in a freak car accident while driving the Russian President’s official black BMW  to add to the insanity.

If you include these three additional deaths that’s a total of nine Russian officials that have died over the past 2 years that WeAreChange.com's Aaron Kesel knows of - he notes there could be more.

As Kesel explains, it’s worth noting that governments, specifically the CIA, have for long periods of time had chemical concoctions that can induce a full systematic shutdown of a person’s nervous system and in some cases cause someone’s’ heart to explode.

Former CIA employee Mary Embree discusses the infamous heart attack gun and how she was tasked with finding a chemical concoction that would cause a heart attack. The weapon was first made public during the Church Committee hearings in 1975 by former CIA director William Colby. It was said to be very lethal and untraceable, by using this weapon a murder is made to look natural while the poison dissolves in hours.

It seems highly unlikely and improbable to write off that six Russian officials would die in under 60 days in such an influx in various different mysterious ways without a catalyst. And let’s not forget RT founder and former Putin aide Mikhail Lesin was found dead in 2015 from a blunt weapon that was originally blamed on a heart attack so assassination can’t be taken off the table and ruled out in any of these cases. Turkey and Russia already accused NATO of a false flag attack killing Karlov the Russian-Turkish Ambassador. NATO also had a dead diplomat Yves Chandelon mysteriously die of a gunshot wound to the head in his car a week before the death of Karlov. Chandelon was the Chief Auditor in charge Of Counterterrorism funding.

“Turkey and Russia have the will not to be deceived by this false flag attack,” they said.

Don’t forget that on Christmas day, a Russian military jet went down over the Black Sea, killing 60 members of the Red Army choir and 33 others that just adds to the massive coincidence list.

On a final note, former acting director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Michael Morell openly conspired to “covertly” kill Russians and Iranians in Syria in an August 2016 interview with Charlie Rose. While Morell was talking about killing Russian and Iranian soldiers it is definitely a strange piece to add to this puzzle.

Are we witnessing a battle between the deep state and Russia in a spy versus spy plotline or is this all just a freak coincidence?

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 01:29 PM

RubyFlow

[Screencast] Ruby on Rails 5.1.0 Changes and New Features

Screencast on the beta release of Rails 5.1.0 and the upcoming features, including Yarn/Webpack, System Tests via Capybara, Encrypted Secrets and a bunch of other cool things! https://www.driftingruby.com/episodes/ruby-on-rails-5-1-0-changes-and-new-features

February 27, 2017 01:28 PM

Boy Genius Report

Oscars winners 2017: The complete list of winners (and losers) at the Academy Awards

Oscars Winners 2017

Drama! Heartbreak! Scandal! Last night's 89th annual Academy Awards show had it all. Okay, fine, so it was pretty much just another boring awards show. There actually were some highlights during last night's Oscars 2017 show though — there were also no Samsung-sponsored selfies, which itself is a highlight — and there was some serious drama as well. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced on stage that "La La Land" had won the Oscar for best picture. It wasn't entirely unexpected, of course, but there was one big problem... "La La Land" didn't actually win the Oscar for best picture. Ruh roh...

Which film actually won highest honors at the 89th annual Academy Awards? Below, you'll find the complete list of every single winner — and every single loser — from last night's Oscars 2017 awards show.

Continue reading...

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by Zach Epstein at February 27, 2017 01:16 PM

Zero Hedge

PwC Apologizes For "Historic, Colossal, Ludicrous" Oscar Screw-up

For those who missed last night's ritual of Hollywood self-congratulation, it ended in perhaps the greatest humiliation in Oscars' history, when the spectacle that relentlessly mocked and ridiculed Donald Trump, both directly and indirectly, concluded by handing the Best Picture award to the wrong movie.

The award was given to Moonlight after presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway initially announced that La La Land had won best picture. As the film's producers were making their acceptance speeches, producer Jordan Horowitz informed viewers that the category's winner was actually Moonlight, and showed the card announcing the winner to the camera. Beatty then informed the stunned audience of the mix-up, as he and Dunaway had mistakenly been given, and read, the card for best actress, which was presented to La La Land's Emma Stone just minutes before.

As the WSJ's Jason Gay summarized hours after the show, "Well, that was nuts, even for Hollywood."

Let’s be clear: the Oscars were already a fairly ridiculous exercise. A cathedral of glamour and ego, the movie industry’s annual awards conclave is a bloated exercise of hype and self-satisfaction that takes as long to complete as the second year of medical school. This is, of course, why we watch it. An Oscars ceremony that isn’t too long, inane and occasionally infuriating—that’s not a proper Oscars, buddy!

 

And yet, what happened late Sunday in Los Angeles redefined the already high standard for absurdity at the Academy Awards. An event that once gave us a Rob Lowe duet with Snow White, as well as Telly Savalas,Pat Morita and Dom DeLuise singing “Fugue For Tinhorns” from “Guys & Dolls,” now has its signature moment of insanity: “Bonnie & Clyde” compatriots Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway erroneously awarding Best Picture to “La La Land”— rather than the actual winner, “Moonlight.”

 

I’ve watched the sequence on replay several times now and, to be honest, it’s way too bizarre to be infuriating. It appeared that Mr. Beatty and Ms. Dunaway were somehow in possession of an incorrect envelope, containing not the Best Picture winner, but the Best Actress, which had just been awarded to Emma Stone of “La La Land.” Opening the crimson envelope, 79-year-old Mr. Beatty seemed baffled, pausing briefly before handing it off to Ms. Dunaway, who announced “La La Land” as the winner.

 

The most painful thing, really, is that mistake wasn’t recognized immediately. Where was the production team? Already tucking into steaks at Musso & Frank? Even Steve Harvey botching the prize for Miss Universe 2015—the previous gold standard for bungled awards show finales—was faster to repair the damage of a winner incorrectly named.

 

* * *

Between the election, the Super Bowl, and now this, it has been some stretch for late-breaking upsets. It will be tempting for some to seize upon the Oscar flub as an example of Hollywood hubris, or karmic retribution for the political leanings of the filmmaking tribe. I guess you could do that, though that sort of takes the fun out of it. Conspiracy theories will pop up, too, but it really seems like what happened Sunday was a screw-up.

Gay's punchline: "a historic, colossal, ludicrous screw-up, which undoubtedly has some very talented people feeling very terrible. But let’s keep some perspective. It’s just the Oscars, man. It’s a TV show that’s always been too long and too weird. If they promise to always be this crazy, I’ll stay up late to watch every time." Which perhaps was the whole point.

In any case, with the damage done, the fingerpointing begins, and as expected, the first on the firing line is none other than the firm tasked with making sure epic fiascos like this never happen.

Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP took responsibility and apologized early Monday for the error that led to the mistaken announcement of “La La Land” as Best Picture at the Academy Awards instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.” PwC, the longtime overseer of the Oscar voting process, said Best Picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway had mistakenly been given the envelope for the wrong category. PwC has two sets of envelopes at the ceremony with the winners’ names, and the presenters were apparently given the duplicate envelope for the Best Actress award, which had already been announced as Emma Stone of “La La Land,” instead of a Best Picture envelope.

Beatty and Dunaway proceeded to announce “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner, and that film’s creators were giving their acceptance speeches when the error was discovered and the award given to “Moonlight.” 

“We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred,” PwC said. The firm said “(w)e appreciate the grace” with which the situation was handled by the nominees and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars.

PwC and its predecessor firms have been in charge of the Oscar ballot process for 83 years on the Academy’s behalf. PwC keeps sole custody of the votes and tabulations of Oscar ballots and is in charge of maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the process.

As the WSJ reports, the PwC partners in charge of the effort, Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, are the only people who know who the Oscar winners are before the envelopes are opened on the live Oscar telecast. They are the ones who maintain the briefcases that hold the sealed envelopes with the winners’ names, and they are stationed backstage during the Oscar ceremony, handing each envelope to the presenters before they go on stage.

According to PwC, Cullinan and Ruiz memorize all the winners, and if a mistake is made in an announcement, PwC has said it has protocols in place for correcting the error immediately. Both Mr. Cullinan and Ms. Ruiz were visible on stage as the confusion unfolded and the error was corrected.  Cullinan, who resembles the actor Matt Damon, is PwC’s U.S. board chairman and managing partner of the firm’s Southern California practice. Ms. Ruiz is a tax partner who specializes in providing tax compliance and advisory services to the firm’s entertainment-industry clients in Southern California. In retrospect, the IRS may want to double check the tax returns of Ms Ruiz' clients.


PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Martha Ruiz and Brian Cullinan are the only
people who know who the Oscar winners before the envelopes are opened

“As long as our relationship is good and strong and we do a good job, which we always do, the Academy has been pleased, I think, with how we’ve been involved,” Mr. Cullinan told Financial News in a recent interview. “It’s such a long-term relationship that we know intricately how everything works, the timing of it, the process that we use, and they have absolute trust in us and what we do.”

That may no longer be the case, although the auditor's logical replacement to take over the Oscar award distribution, Arthur Anderson, was unable to return phone calls seeking comments.

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 01:05 PM

Calculated Risk

Black Knight: House Price Index up 0.1% in December, Up 5.7% year-over-year

Note: I follow several house price indexes (Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, Black Knight, Zillow, FHFA, FNC and more). Note: Black Knight uses the current month closings only (not a three month average like Case-Shiller or a weighted average like CoreLogic), excludes short sales and REOs, and is not seasonally adjusted.

From Black Knight: Black Knight Home Price Index Report: December 2016 Transactions: U.S. Home Prices Up 0.1 Percent for the Month; Up 5.7 Percent Year-Over-Year
• U.S. home prices rose a total of 5.7 percent in 2016, having seen an average of 5.4 percent annual appreciation each month of the year, accelerating into the later months

• December marks 56 consecutive months of annual national home price increases

• Home prices in four of the nation’s 20 largest states and seven of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks
The year-over-year increase in this index has been about the same (5% to 5.7% range) for the last year, although the index picked up a little at the end of 2016.

Note that house prices are close to the bubble peak in nominal terms, but not in real terms (adjusted for inflation).  Case-Shiller for December will be released tomorrow.

by Bill McBride (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2017 01:01 PM

Oblivious Investor

Are Inflation-Protected Bonds Unnecessary in Mostly-Stock Portfolios?

A reader writes in, asking:

“I was recently reading an article on Investopedia, about using Vanguard ETF to build a commission free portfolio.

What was interesting to me is this author based his article on Vanguard Target Date Funds. One of the conclusions he suggested is that a portfolio that has a stock allocation of 65% and above doesn’t need inflation protected bonds in it at all. This seems to be validated by Vanguard when you check the Target Date Funds they offer, anything with an allocation of 65% stocks indeed has no inflation protected bonds. However Vanguard’s Life Strategy Funds have no allocation to inflation protected bonds no matter the stock allocation. Was just curious about your thoughts on this.”

The purpose of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) is to provide a specific, predictable after-inflation return. And they are very effective at doing this, provided that you hold them to maturity.

This makes them a super neat tool for funding a specific expense in the future, or for funding a series of expenses over time (e.g., everyday living expenses in retirement, funded via a TIPS ladder). For this purpose, they’re pretty clearly preferable to regular nominal Treasury bonds.

As a part of a portfolio, they’re perfectly fine, but not nearly so powerful. That is, they still reduce the inflation risk to which you’re exposed, but they can’t provide your overall portfolio with a predictable after-inflation return if they’re only a small part of your portfolio.

Imagine, for example, that I have a 70/30 stock/bond allocation, and 15% of the portfolio (i.e., half of the bonds) is in TIPS. Sure, that 15% of the portfolio has a predictable after-inflation return. But who really cares? I’m concerned about the return on my entire portfolio, and the uncertainty that comes from the 70% stock allocation will absolutely dwarf the uncertainty (or lack thereof) that comes from switching 15% of the portfolio between TIPS or nominal bonds.

I often think it’s instructive to look at mutual fund return charts from Morningstar — not for showing which funds are better than others, but for showing how similar or different various funds are.

The following chart plots:

  • Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund (in blue),
  • Vanguard Intermediate-Term Treasury Fund (in orange), and
  • Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (in yellow)…

…since the TIPS fund was first created in June of 2000.

Morningstar Performance Chart

Sure, you could make a case for picking one of the bonds funds over the other. But if the portfolio primarily consists of that stock fund, it wouldn’t have made a heck of a lot of difference which of the bond funds was used.

In other words, I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all to include TIPS (rather than just nominal bonds) in a mostly-stock portfolio. Rather, I just don’t think it’s likely to make that much of a difference.

This is markedly different from a situation in which the portfolio is mostly (or entirely) bonds. A nominal Treasury ladder and a TIPS ladder provide two very different levels of certainty in terms of the spending they can support.

What is the Best Age to Claim Social Security?

Read the answers to this question and several other Social Security questions in my latest book:
Social Security Made Simple: Social Security Retirement Benefits and Related Planning Topics Explained in 100 Pages or Less

Disclaimer:Your subscription to this blog does not create a CPA-client or other professional services relationship between you and Mike Piper or between you and Simple Subjects, LLC. By subscribing, you explicitly agree not to hold Mike Piper or Simple Subjects, LLC liable in any way for damages arising from decisions you make based on the information available herein. Neither Mike Piper nor Simple Subjects, LLC makes any warranty as to the accuracy of any information contained in this communication. I am not a financial or investment advisor, and the information contained herein is for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. On financial matters for which assistance is needed, I strongly urge you to meet with a professional advisor who (unlike me) has a professional relationship with you and who (again, unlike me) knows the relevant details of your situation.

You may unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of this email (or by removing this RSS feed from your feed reader if you have subscribed via a feed reader).

by Mike at February 27, 2017 01:00 PM

Wheaties for Your Wallet

4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious problem, and it is getting even worse. Last year, reports of identity theft surged over 50 percent from the previous year. Identity theft can be costly, too. A criminal who assumes your identity can rack up thousands of dollars of fraudulent charges on your credit card, wreck your credit rating, and cost you hundreds of hours and peace of mind as you attempt to combat the fraud and restore your good reputation. It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Here are four tried and true steps you can take to help protect your personal information, and prevent criminals from stealing your identity.

Don’t Leave a Paper Trail

Your papers – bank or credit card statements, bills, receipts etc. – are a treasure trove for identity thieves. They will often root around in trash or dumpsters to retrieve them, and then use the information to steal your identity, order more credit cards in your name, and wreak havoc with your finances. You can beat them at their own game by shredding everything. Buy a good crosscut shredder that absolutely destroys all of your paperwork and make a habit of shredding all of your documents when you are done with them. Develop the self-discipline to save receipts, ATM stubs, and the like while you are away from your house, and have a system for shredding those upon your return as well.    

Review Your Credit Report

A skilled identity thief may be able to remain undetected for months or even years, slowly draining your bank accounts and gradually moving you to a financially untenable position, without you ever knowing about it until it is too late. One of the best ways to guard against this is by monitoring your credit. If you subscribe to a credit monitoring service, you will be able to instantly detect any major changes to your credit rating. If you do not want to subscribe to a service, everyone is eligible to receive one free credit report per year. Take advantage of the free report, and use it to detect identity theft issues before they can cause you real harm.

Secure Your Papers and Electronics

You cannot shred everything, as much as you would like. So make sure you have a secure place to store important documents with sensitive personal and financial information that you plan to keep. Make it as difficult as possible for would-be identity thieves to obtain your important papers. Consider investing in a locking file cabinet, safety deposit box, or even a safe, and make a habit of securing your papers there after you are done reviewing them. Additionally, keeping your digital information secure is equally, if not even more important. Invest in a good firewall and antivirus software, and ensure you keep it updated at all times. Choose strong passwords for your electronic devices and update them frequently. Finally, if at all possible, try to limit the amount of sensitive personal information you store on your computer, regardless of how secure it is.

Don’t be Too Social

There are a multitude of social networks out there, and they are a happy hunting ground for identity thieves. Make sure that you do not overshare on these sites, and leave yourself vulnerable. Refrain from posting personal data that could be used to steal your identity like your home address, or personal info like your date of birth or SSN. Be wary of unsolicited friend requests from people you don’t know, the request may be a phishing scam. Check your privacy settings on each social network platform you use, and make sure you know who can see your data. Finally, read the terms of service each time a social media website changes them, so you know what the platform plans to do with your personal data.

The post 4 Ways to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft appeared first on Due.

by William Lipovsky at February 27, 2017 01:00 PM

Wired Top Stories

The Big Picture

10 Monday AM Reads

And the winner for best morning reads goes to  . . . wait a moment . . . umm . . . there’s been a mistake . . . • Warren Buffett, in Annual Letter, Offers Hymn to U.S. Economy (Dealbook) see also Proudly Permabullish (Reformed Broker) • A brief guide to Kevin Hassett, Trump’s new chief…

Read More

The post 10 Monday AM Reads appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Barry Ritholtz at February 27, 2017 01:00 PM

Dark Reading: Dark Reading Column

It's Nice That

Advertising Shits in your Head extract on subvertising and “graphic resistance”

Advertising-shits-in-your-head-list

Not-for-profit publisher Dog Section Press describes itself as a distributor of rebellious literature, and its latest title isn’t shy about it. Advertising Shits in your Head explores the history and significance of the subvertising movement, featuring contributions from prominent members of the “graphic resistance” including Public Ad Campaign, Brandalism, Special Patrol Group and Dr. D. Here, we publish an exclusive extract.

Read more

by Dog Section Press at February 27, 2017 12:56 PM

swissmiss

Filling Spaces

As a visual person that loves piano music this photo by graphic designer Frederico Picci made me look.

by swissmiss at February 27, 2017 12:47 PM

Zero Hedge

Frontrunning: February 27

  • Epic Oscars Mistake: Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty Announce Wrong Best Picture Winner (Variety)
  • 'Moonlight' upsets 'La La Land' for top Oscar after major gaffe (Reuters)
  • Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel turns Trump into recurrent punch line (Reuters)
  • After Mix-Up, Hollywood Searches for an Explanation (WSJ)
  • Trillions at Risk When Trump Speaks to Congress (BBG)
  • Bond Market Is Flashing Warning Signal on Trump Reflation Trade (WSJ)
  • Mexico Warns U.S. It'll Cut Off Nafta Talks If Tariffs Proposed (BBG)
  • Trump to Ask for Sharp Increases in Military Spending, Officials Say (NYT)
  • GOP Leaders Bet on Cooperation in Push Against Obamacare (WSJ)
  • Euro-Area Economic Confidence Climbs to Highest Since 2011 (BBG)
  • Billionaire Warren Buffett more than doubled his holdings in Apple in 2017 (CNBC)
  • Mystery deepens over Chinese forces in Afghanistan (FT)
  • Will Beijing blink again on Pyongyang? (Nikkei)
  • VX Nerve Agent Killed Kim Jong Nam in 20 Minutes (WSJ)
  • Wal-Mart launches new front in U.S. price war, targets Aldi in grocery aisle (Reuters)
  • A Radical Experiment in Monetary Policy Isn’t Working (WSJ)
  • GM Dials Up Discounts on Pickups as Rivals Tread on Truck Turf (BBG)
  • Job Hoppers Are Redefining Wage Inflation for the Fed (BBG)
  • Funds prepare $2 billion oil market play as supply tightens (Reuters)
  • Supersmart Robots Will Outnumber Humans Within 30 Years, Says SoftBank CEO (WSJ)
  • The Man Who Moved Oil With His Words Won’t Talk About It Anymore (BBG)
  • North Korea spy agency runs arms operation out of Malaysia, U.N. says (Reuters)
  • US prime property is magnet for illicit wealth, warns Treasury (FT)
  • Russian frigate heads to Mediterranean on Syria mission (Reuters)
  • Trump's trade czar expected to get easy U.S. Senate confirmation (Reuters)
  • Philippines says hostage may have been beheaded because he was sick (Reuters)
  • Philadelphia Jewish cemetery desecrated by vandals (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Facing mounting criticism about prices, drug companies put some limits on their increases this year. Prescription-drug makers traditionally raise list prices in January but this year they didn't raise prices for as many drugs as the year before. According to an analysis by investment firm Raymond James & Associates, about 5.5 percent of the increases reached the 10 percent level. A year ago, 15 percent did, and two years ago, 20 percent did. http://on.wsj.com/2lWcbRd

- Malaysia said Sunday that a high dose of a lethal nerve agent killed Kim Jong Nam within 20 minutes of being assaulted on Feb. 13, while authorities checked for traces of the substance at the main international airport and at a condominium here. Medical specialists are now turning over a full autopsy report to the police. http://on.wsj.com/2lW02vo

- The planned megamerger between Deutsche Börse AG and London Stock Exchange Group PLC to create Europe's largest exchange is at risk after the LSE said late Sunday it wouldn't sell its majority-owned fixed-income trading platform in Italy to appease antitrust concerns over the deal. http://on.wsj.com/2lW667d

- 'Moonlight' shocked audiences around the world by winning best picture at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday. It was a Hollywood twist at the last minute of the ceremony, after presenter Faye Dunaway announced that frontrunner 'La La Land' was the winner. While that movie's producers were making their acceptance speeches, they were interrupted and told that 'Moonlight' was the actual winner. http://on.wsj.com/2lW4j1V

- President Donald Trump's first budget will seek a sizable increase in military funding but won't make changes to the largest future drivers of government spending: Social Security and Medicare. Work to prepare the president's first budget proposal, expected to be released in mid-March, ramped up last week following the Feb. 16 confirmation of Mick Mulvaney as director of

 

FT

London Stock Exchange Group Plc said on Sunday it believes the European Commission is unlikely to approve its proposed merger with Deutsche Boerse AG after LSE's board concluded it would not be able to meet a new condition proposed by antitrust regulators in Brussels.

Prudential Regulation Authority Chief Executive and Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods warned against rolling back reforms made in the wake of the financial crisis, arguing against any "retreat" to light-touch regulation after Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump.

The European Commission plans to take a tough stance on rules that could provide a post-Brexit lifeline for the UK financial sector, according to a document obtained by the Financial Times, dealing a blow to the City of London's hopes of maximising access to the EU.

The Father of the House of Commons, Gerald Kaufman, died on Sunday evening having been ill for several months, his family said. He was 86.

 

NYT

- The London Stock Exchange Group said late on Sunday that European regulators were unlikely to approve its merger with Deutsche Boerse, which would have created a European heavyweight in a rapidly consolidating industry. http://nyti.ms/2lprOxv

- President Donald Trump will instruct federal agencies on Monday to assemble a budget for the coming fiscal year that includes sharp increases in Defense Department spending and drastic enough cuts to domestic agencies that he can keep his promise to leave Social Security and Medicare alone. http://nyti.ms/2lphBRG

- The father of the commando killed in a Special Operations raid in Yemen last month said in an interview published this weekend that he had refused to meet with President Trump on the day his son's body was returned home, and criticized the White House over the mission, saying, "Don't hide behind my son's death to prevent an investigation." http://nyti.ms/2lpCuvX

- As Defense Secretary Jim Mattis prepares to submit his first big pitch to his new boss — options for accelerating the fight against the Islamic State — he is balancing the need to rein in President Trump's more extreme impulses without distancing himself too much and losing White House favor. http://nyti.ms/2lpF4C5

 

Britain

The Times

Frontier Economics, the consultancy helping to make the competition case for Tesco Plc's merger with Booker Group Plc, has provoked concerns over a potential conflict of interest after winning a contract with the Competition and Markets Authority. http://bit.ly/2mtsbrK

A government green paper suggests that struggling companies could soon be allowed to dodge their liabilities to former employees by separating out their pensions funds and setting them up as standalone entities. http://bit.ly/2mtqMkE

The Guardian

Workers in UK saw their wages fall by 1 percent a year in the period following the financial crisis, putting the country in 103rd place in a global ranking of pay growth compiled by the TUC. http://bit.ly/2mtsHpG

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is lobbying Japan, the country that pioneered modern high-speed trains, to buy rolling stock from Derby as part of the government’s post-Brexit trade push. http://bit.ly/2mtvL4R

The Telegraph

The London Stock Exchange Group Plc's merger with Deutsche Boerse AG was thrown into doubt last night after the LSE's board said addressing EU competition concerns would be "detrimental" to the business. http://bit.ly/2mtse6I

UK has risen a place in investors' eyes to equal Germany as the third most-important country for company growth prospects in a sign that Brexit has not weighed on the country's international business standing, according to analysis from PwC. http://bit.ly/2mttSWa

Sky News

Barclays Plc will this week announce the appointment of Ian Cheshire as chairman of its UK-based operations, a key milestone in its planning for new rules aimed at protecting taxpayers in a future banking crisis. http://bit.ly/2msBlEB

The Independent

Gerald Kaufman, the father of the House of Commons as the oldest serving MP, has died at the age of 86. http://ind.pn/2mtoNwY

 

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 12:47 PM

Boy Genius Report

Huge leaks bring us the first ever Galaxy S8 hands-on videos

Galaxy S8 Hands-on Video Leaks

The Galaxy S8 was the biggest elephant in the room at Samsung's Mobile World Congress press conference on Sunday night, but the company officially revealed that the phone will be unveiled on March 29th in New York right at the end of its tablet-centric event. Forget all that for a second, as it appears that a couple of Galaxy S8 hands-on videos were already posted online. After all, what better time to see hands-on videos of the Galaxy S8 than during MWC 2017?

Continue reading...

Trending right now:

  1. Check out Sony’s crazy concept: Wireless earphones that let you hear everything around you
  2. Sony quietly came out with the most surprising smartphone of MWC 2017
  3. Oscars 2017 live stream: How to watch the Academy Awards online

by Chris Smith at February 27, 2017 12:45 PM

Zero Hedge

Trump Seeks Sharp Increases In Military Spending, "Drastic Cuts" To State Department, EPA

As part of his proposed budget, President Trump will instruct federal agencies on Monday to assemble a spending plan for the coming fiscal year that includes sharp increases in Defense Department spending and "drastic cuts" to domestic agencies such as the State Department, the EPA and other non-defense programs, so that he can keep his promise to leave Social Security and Medicare alone, according to four senior administration officials cited by the NYT. The budget outline will be the first move in a campaign this week to reset the narrative of Mr. Trump’s turmoil-tossed White House.

Coming one day before delivering his high-stakes "State of the Union" address on Tuesday to a joint session of Congress, Trump will demand a budget with tens of billions of dollars in reductions to the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department, administration officials reported. The NYT adds that social safety net programs, aside from the big entitlement programs for retirees, would also be hit hard. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking on Fox News earlier on Sunday, said Trump's budget would not seek cuts in federal social programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

While preliminary budget outlines tend to be little-noticed administrative exercises, the first step in negotiations between the White House and federal agencies that usually shave the sharpest edges off the initial request, this plan, a product of a collaboration between the Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney; the National Economic Council director, Gary Cohn; and the White House chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, is intended to make a big splash for a president eager to show that he is a man of action.

Resistance from federal agencies could ease some of the deepest cuts in the initial plan before a final budget request is even sent to Congress. And Capitol Hill will have the last word. To meet Mr. Trump’s defense request, lawmakers in both parties would have to agree to raise or end statutory spending caps on defense and domestic programs that were imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

As Reuters adds, one of the officials said Trump's request for the Pentagon included more money for shipbuilding, military aircraft and establishing "a more robust presence in key international waterways and chokepoints" such as the Strait of Hormuz and South China Sea. Meanwhile, the State Department's budget could be cut by as much as 30%, which would force a major restructuring of the department and elimination of programs. 

Last Friday, speaking to conservative activists, Trump promised "one of the greatest military buildups in American history."

Some defense experts have questioned the need for a large increase in U.S. military spending, which already stands at roughly $600 billion annually. By contrast, the United States spends about $50 billion annually on the State Department and foreign assistance. The amounts that Trump is proposing to add to the Pentagon budget and trim elsewhere are not yet publicly known.

Quoted by Reuters, John Czwartacki, a spokesman for the White House's Office of Management and Budget, said the budget blueprint would be released in mid-March.

"It would be premature for us to comment - or anyone to report - on the specifics of this internal discussion before its publication," he said in a statement. The budget plans that the White House is expected to send to departments and agencies on Monday are just one stage in a lengthy process.

The agencies can argue for more funding, and final spending plans must be approved by the U.S. Congress.

Pouring cold water on previous reports of optimistic economic projections, Trump's budget assumes annual economic growth of "only" 2.4%, an official told Reuters. While campaigning for the presidency last year, Trump called for a "national goal" of 4 percent economic growth. For next year, the operating assumption is only slightly higher, "a sign that the budget process will not be too out of step with economic reality."

Meanwhile, the NYT notes that Trump’s top advisers huddled in the White House this weekend to work on his Tuesday night prime-time address.

They focused on a single, often overlooked message amid the chaos of his first weeks in the White House: the assertion that the reality-show candidate is now a president determined to keep audacious campaign promises on immigration, the economy and the budget, no matter how sloppy or disruptive it looks from the outside.

 

“They might not agree with everything you do, but people will respect you for doing what you said you were going to do,” said Jason Miller, a top communications strategist on the Trump campaign who remains close to the White House. “He’s doing something first, and there’s time for talk later,” Mr. Miller added. “This is ultimately how he’s going to get people who didn’t vote, or people who didn’t vote for him, into the fold. Inside the Beltway and with the media, there’s this focus on the palace intrigue. Out in the rest of the country, they are seeing a guy who is focused on jobs and the economy.”

The budget plan, which will probably be substantially altered by House and Senate Republicans, and vociferously opposed by congressional Democrats, will be Mr. Trump’s first big step into a legislative fray he has largely avoided during the first 40 days of his administration.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, who was Mr. Obama’s first chief of staff, told the NYT in an interview Sunday night that Mr. Trump was trying to create a “sense of urgency, which most people aren’t feeling right now, which was a reality to us” in order to generate support for his unspecified economic agenda, including an infrastructure bill and a tax overhaul.

One West Wing official, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about strategy, said the administration craved the split-screen television images of Mr. Trump at round-table discussions with business executives every few days on one side, and the vehement protesters of his administration on the other. But his critics say such photo opportunities are all an act, a not-very-entertaining real-life rendition of “The Apprentice” by an ineffective rookie president.

“This man is not a doer,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, who will host a Monday “pre-buttal” of Mr. Trump’s Tuesday speech. “Oh, please. He has nothing to show for what he’s been doing in office for 40 days. It’s all been squandered.”

Other disagreed: “During his first month in office, President Trump has done exactly what he said he was going to do,” said Thomas Barrack Jr., a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s who ran his inaugural committee. “No president has worked harder or accomplished as much, even with tremendous political resistance forcing him to operate with a small team of outsiders possessing little government experience.”

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 12:30 PM

Across the Curve

Index Extension

Via a fully paid up subscriber:

Bloomberg Barclays duration extension estimates as of Feb. 23 are unchanged from Feb. 15 estimates:

• U.S. Treasury: 0.11yrs
• U.S. Agency: 0.08yrs
• U.S. Credit: 0.07yrs
• U.S. Govt/Credit: 0.10yrs
• U.S. MBS: 0.09yrs
• U.S. Aggregate: 0.09yrs
• U.S. High Yield: 0.07yrs

by John Jansen at February 27, 2017 12:26 PM

Schneier on Security

A Survey of Propaganda

This is an excellent survey article on modern propaganda techniques, how they work, and how we might defend ourselves against them.

Cory Doctorow summarizes the techniques on BoingBoing:

...in Russia, it's about flooding the channel with a mix of lies and truth, crowding out other stories; in China, it's about suffocating arguments with happy-talk distractions, and for trolls like Milo Yiannopoulos, it's weaponizing hate, outraging people so they spread your message to the small, diffused minority of broken people who welcome your message and would otherwise be uneconomical to reach.

As to defense: "Debunking doesn't work: provide an alternative narrative."

by Bruce Schneier at February 27, 2017 12:24 PM

It's Nice That

The New York Times launches The Truth Is Hard advertising campaign at the Oscars

Newyorktimestruthlist

At the Oscars yesterday evening, The New York Times aired the first ever newspaper commercial during the ceremony.

Read more

by Lucy Bourton at February 27, 2017 12:17 PM

Zero Hedge

Buffett Boosts Apple Holdings To 133 Million Shares In 2017, Becomes Top 5 Holder

Traders, analysts and Buffett-watchers were amazed two weeks ago when in its 13F filing, Berkshire Hathaway reported that it had nearly quadrupled its Apple stake from 15.2 million shares as of Sept 30 to 57.4 million shares on December, making it a Top 10 holder in the tech company. Then, moments ago, the surprises continued when speaking to CNBC's Becky Quick, the Berkshire Hathaway Chairman said that he more than doubled his holdings in Apple yet again between the start of 2017 and the tech company's most recent earnings report.

At this point, Buffett owns $17 billion worth of the tech giant's stock he told CNBC making him a Top 5 holders of the stock, sandwiched between CapRe in 6th spot and Fidelity in 4th.

The purchases that Buffett revealed on Monday give Berkshire Hathaway about 2.5% of the outstanding Apple shares. It also made Apple one of Buffett's company's largest holdings, second only to Coca-Cola.

The investor said that he upped his stake because of the consumer-retaining power of Apple. "Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product, and an enormously useful product to people that use it," Buffett told CNBC.

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO said that a book by famed investor Philip Fisher called "Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits" inspired him to research how consumers feel about Apple products. "He talks about something called the 'scuttlebutt method,' which made a big impression on me at the time, and I used it a lot," Buffett said. "[It's] essentially going out and finding out as much as you can about how people feel about the products that they [use.]"

Yet while the results were favorable enough for Buffett to greatly up his stake in Apple, he said that he does not personally own an iPhone.

Apple stock was creeping higher in early hours trading on Monday, up 0.4 percent at $137.20 a share.

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 12:06 PM

Brand New

Reviewed: Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union

<h1>“Headed in the Right Direction”</h1> <a href="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/follow_up_new_logo_and_identity_for_tyson_foods_by_brand_union.php"><img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_00.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual" /></a> <p>After being <a href="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_for_tyson_foods.php" target="_blank">Noted last Wednesday</a>, <a href="http://www.brandunion.com/" target="_blank">Brand Union</a>, responsible for the identity, was quick to let us know that some application images were on their way and here they are today. As a quick recap: Established in 1935, Tyson Foods is a food company responsible for major consumer brands like the eponymous Tyson, Hillshire Farm, and Sara Lee, among others, covering pretty much every manufactured food need. The logo was presented last week without any design credit or further explanation and now we have a proper follow-up.</p> <blockquote>The legacy of this company is one of food, family and a pioneering spirit.<br /><br />We have always worked hard today while dreaming about what could be. From John Tyson's decision to move his family to Arkansas and start something--to the company's game-changing new purpose, Tyson is a family, and a business--of momentum, innovation and progress.<br /><br />The weathervane is a farmer's compass, it signals direction. At Tyson Foods, our compass points North, always forward.<br /><br />Our monogram speaks to both the direction of the company--focused on the future, raising expectations--and its strong family roots.</blockquote><h3>Brand Union provided text</h3> <figure class="full"><div class="video-container"><iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kg-SJ1N5ITk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <figcaption>Logo animation.</figcaption> </figure> <blockquote>Our new color goes all the way back to the introduction of the Tyson's Pride blue emblem, designed by Donald "Buddy" Wray. We've deepened and enriched our blue to signal heritage, quality and integrity. It can be reliably printed and meets modern accessibility standards online.</blockquote><h3>Brand Union provided text</h3> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_pride_blue.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Tyson's key color.</figcaption> </figure> <p>While the Tyson brand has long been associated with yellow and orange from its shelf presence, the corporate brand establishes a clear distinction by adopting the single blue color as its own. It's a nice blue, as far as blues go.</p> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_foods_logo_before_after.png" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Logo, before and after.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_logo_colors.png" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Logo, colors.</figcaption> </figure> <p>We've already talked about the logo in <a href="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_for_tyson_foods.php" target="_blank">the Noted post</a> but it's still good to have it summarized here and, more importantly, accompanied by the concept behind it. The monogram has received a fairly positive reaction in the polls, with close to 60% voting Great.</p> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_brands.png" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Tyson Foods' brands.</figcaption> </figure> <p>It's great to see the corporate logo in context of the consumer logos as its simplicity allows it to pair well when needed in packaging and also to broadly represent all of them without conflicting with their individual aesthetics.</p> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_business_cards.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Business cards.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_tote.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Tote.</figcaption> </figure> <p>The straightforward applications are, well... straightforward, but the strength of the logo and the classiness of the wordmark and type selection make for very nice straightforward applications.</p> <blockquote>Our imagery provides a backdrop to the Tyson brand, showcasing the important moments, ingredients and settings that define who we are and what we do. Without exception it is warm, bold and authentic. More than any other visual element it is a tangible expression of our commitment to raising the world's expectations for how much good food can do.</blockquote><h3>Brand Union provided text</h3> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_imagery.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Imagery.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_office_02.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_office_01.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Office interiors.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_sales_report.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Sales report.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/tyson_followup_truck.jpg" alt="Follow-up: New Logo and Identity for Tyson Foods by Brand Union" /> <figcaption>Truck.</figcaption> </figure> <p>The applications with imagery feel like <em>Martha Stewart Living</em> magazine spreads... which is not a bad thing at all and the darkish backgrounds of the photos help add a layer of corporate-ness. My only philosophical complaint would be that the imagery looks <em>too</em> nice, almost like that of a farm-to-table restaurant and, unfortunately, it's not something I associate any of Tyson Foods' brands with. Their ambitions and way of talking about their company is great but I give my kids Tyson's frozen chicken nuggets every now and then and they don't look <em>anything</em> like those pictures.</p> <p class="end">Nonetheless, it's a lovely identity, well thought out, that has the potential of establishing the desired associations and bridge the realities of what the products of a major mainstream food company are with its mission and vision.</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ucllc/brandnew/~4/T-eip3v9vNs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

February 27, 2017 12:02 PM

Wired Top Stories

I Am Groot*

I Am Groot*
A <em>Guardians of the Galaxy</em> helmet with built-in Bluetooth headphones is the new way to chillax on the subway. The post I Am Groot* appeared first on WIRED.

by Tim Moynihan at February 27, 2017 12:00 PM

Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter Is Like Time Travel for Design Nerds

Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter Is Like Time Travel for Design Nerds
The book lays bare the interconnectedness of the visual world, spanning time and geography and bridging hundreds of seemingly unrelated subjects. The post Graphic: 500 Designs That Matter Is Like Time Travel for Design Nerds appeared first on WIRED.

by Margaret Rhodes at February 27, 2017 12:00 PM

Siiimple

Wired Top Stories

How to Use Dark Matter Detectors to Catch a Uranium Thief

How to Use Dark Matter Detectors to Catch a Uranium Thief
It turns out, the tools for hunting dark matter help nuclear watchdogs look inside nuclear reactors. The post How to Use Dark Matter Detectors to Catch a Uranium Thief appeared first on WIRED.

by Sophia Chen at February 27, 2017 12:00 PM

RubyFlow

How to Cleanly Test Rails Rake Tasks with RSpec

When you need to test Rake tasks for a Rails app, its convenient to be able to write short, snappy specs. https://www.wetestrails.com/blog/test-rails-rake-tasks-with-rspec

February 27, 2017 11:59 AM

It's Nice That

Anxiety, speed and rave flyers: artist Mark Leckey on his iconic video "Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore"

List

Artist Mark Leckey is glued to the internet, watching the closing days of his largest solo exhibition unfold across the Atlantic. Mark Leckey: Containers and Their Drivers, taking place at MoMA PS1 until 5 March, is both Mark’s first major US show and the first retrospective of his work.

Read more

by Bryony Stone at February 27, 2017 11:59 AM

naked capitalism

Zero Hedge

Goldman Downgrades Tesla To "Sell" On Cash And Execution Risk

The recent avalanche of bad news for Tesla has refused to stop this morning, when former Tesla cheerleader, Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino, announced he was cutting the company's stock rating to "Sell", slashing his price target to $185, and predicting 28% downside from current prices. TSLA stock was down -2.3% in premarket trading on the Goldman report.

As Tamberrino explains, "we downgrade shares of Tesla to Sell from Neutral with 28% downside to our 6-month price target of $185 (lowered from $190), vs. 8% downside for our coverage. While we believe Tesla currently has a lead relative to OEM peers with respect to vehicle technology adoption, electric vehicle architecture, and (potentially) battery scale, our concerns are more near-term oriented with respect to operational execution on the Model 3 launch, an unproven solar business, and cash needs. Ultimately we see a delayed launch (pushing volume growth out and to the right) and FCF burn rate (necessitating a capital raise before 4Q17) to weigh on TSLA’s shares."

Some additional details why Tamberrino changed his opinion (aside, perhaps, from the immediate lack of more secondary offerings on which Goldman can be lead underwriter):

We downgrade shares of Tesla from Neutral to Sell with 28% downside to our 6-month price target of $185. We expect to see pressure on shares as we progress through the year, as cash burn intensifies and the ramp of Model 3 volumes proves to be slower and flatter than assumed in guidance/consensus. Further, the acquisition of SolarCity – which is undergoing its own business model transition – comes at a time when we believe Tesla should be singularly focused on becoming a mass automobile manufacturer. Lastly, while we see Tesla as a net beneficiary of potential tax reform, we believe the net present value of those benefits would remain effectively unchanged from the current tax system given the increased time it would require to utilize increased NOLs. Our key concerns are as follows:

  • Model 3: Launch curve a concern, operating margin dilutive at current cost, and reservation conversion may be hindered by higher selling prices. We believe the Model 3 will have a more subdued launch curve than the company is targeting as some suppliers have expressed concern around final designs not being locked down. As a result, we expect the company to achieve mass market volumes (i.e., above 100k annualized run-rate) in 4Q18 vs. Tesla’s target of 4Q17.
  • SolarCity business model unproven and acquisition comes at a pivotal point in Automotive product cycle. We believe the recent acquisition of SolarCity increased the risk profile of Tesla amidst a business model transition – from company-owned equipment installation and lease/PPA contracts to customer purchased equipment on cash/loan sales – and provides limited synergies. Ultimately, the acquisition raised the net leverage of Tesla while creating EBITDA and FCF drag that requires incremental non-recourse debt to be raised.
  • Capex ramping significantly, driving incremental capital raise: We forecast a significant increase in near-term capex levels required to bring both the Fremont, CA factory and TSLA’s gigafactory to scale. Overall this drives our forecast for $3bn of automotive capex in 2017 and FCF burn of $2.8bn in 2017. Ultimately we see another equity raise needed before 4Q17. This is further exacerbated by the addition of SolarCity, whose business would continue to be a FCF drag and requires an equal amount of sale of project level debt and tax equity financing to maintain cash balances.
  • Potential tax benefits significant, but would be recognized over a longer period of time – driving net present value lower. While we would expect TSLA to be a net beneficiary of potential US tax changes (i.e., scenario including destination-based tax with border adjustment as well as full capex expensing and elimination of net interest expense) and forecast its NOLs to grow under a potential tax change scenario, based on our model we find that the net present value of these higher NOLs is slightly worse than the status quo given a longer time period to achieve (the company is not currently a cash tax payer and a lower corporate tax rate would push out recognition of NOL benefits).
  • Estimates now include SolarCity; we are well below the Street: We update our 2017 through 2020 estimates following 4Q16 results and further layer on our SolarCity forecast. Overall, our EBITDA estimates fall by an average 12% (SolarCity inclusion, lower Automotive gross margin, pushed out Tesla Energy volume ramp) and are on average approx. 30% below the Street.

Goldman then explains "what would make us more positive?" andnoes the following:

We would become more positive on the stock if the company were able to demonstrate improved manufacturing execution by driving more rapid quarterly production growth in its current vehicle offerings than we model, demonstrate key milestones implying its Model 3 launch remains on track for mass volume in 2H17, drive down the cost of its battery packs faster than expected, demonstrate considerable market demand for the cross-selling between Tesla products and SolarCity products, and deploy capital more efficiently – driving reduced incremental capital requirements.

Unwilling to disappoint the Tesla fanatics, of which Goldman itself was a member until recently, the bank offers the following "quick word to the Tesla bulls"

We continue to view Tesla as a disruptor in the electric vehicle and alternative energy segments – with a clear lead relative to its peers with respect to vehicle technology adoption (increasing advanced driver assist features, revolutionary over-the-air update capabilities, infotainment capabilities, and general consumer-desired features), electric vehicle architecture, and (potentially) battery scale with the build-out  of its gigafactory. However, over time we do not see competitive barriers to entry (other than ease of raising capital and achievement of scale) that traditional OEMs, new entrants into the space, and other battery manufacturers could not duplicate. As a result while we do believe the company has at least one product cycle lead on its competitors, there ultimately could be a Samsung to this Apple (think smartphones), with incremental competition on the horizon as we have detailed in past reports. That being said, this is still an unprofitable Apple at present and pushing growth out and to the right would drive present value down. With that as a backdrop, we see valuation as appropriate at $185, and anticipate downside to shares as we progress through what we believe will be a choppy Model 3 launch that is slower than anticipated.

Some more valuation observations:

  • Share move opens entry point: Since 12/2/16, TSLA shares have risen 42% (vs. S&P500 +8% and Auto coverage average +9%) driven by a mixture of positive news flow (potential beneficiary from tax proposals, gigafactory investor tour, Model 3 pre-production). However, fundamental operations have not exhibited a material improvement and we estimate potential tax benefits are a wash looking at the net present value of NOLs generated.
  • Operational execution still unproven: We see room for shares to de-rate as the Model 3 production launch likely disappoints and as an unproven SolarCity business model likely weighs on the company’s focus/results.
  • Capex ramping, see capital raise in 3Q17: We forecast $3bn of automotive capex in 2017 and FCF burn of $2.8bn, necessitating a $1.7bn equity raise.
  • Valuation: Our 6-month price target becomes $185 (from $190), now adding SolarCity ($9) to Tesla Energy ($31 from $34 on slower ramp) and probability-weighted automotive segment ($145 from $156 on lower margins) valuations.
  • Key risks: Stronger Model S/Model X demand and/or production, positive free cash flow generation, and incremental new product announcements

Finally, and perhaps most amusing, is Goldman's rendition of what the bank calls Tesla's "hype cycle"

Trading the TSLA hype cycle: TSLA shares have mostly traded in a $180 to $280 range over the past couple years (Exhibit 1), and we again see room for downside toward the bottom of this band. Historically, (1) the stock takes an average 3 months to move significantly higher driven by “hype” around incremental product launches, new business lines, and delivery growth is priced in; (2) post these runs, TSLA takes approx. 7 months to de-rate as launches are pushed out, deliveries miss expectations, and gross margin percentage disappoints. This has occurred three times over the past three years. And as laid out above, we believe the drivers behind the most recent stock surge (beneficiary of potential tax changes, Model 3 launch/delivery timing, and gigafactory investor tour) are baking in benefits that will take longer to materialize and we expect the stock to de-rate as a result.

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 11:52 AM

Boy Genius Report

LG just confirmed the G6’s release date and price

LG just confirmed the release date and price of the G6

LG kicked off the pre-MWC press conference marathon on Sunday in style: it announced the smartphone we already expected to see at the show, the G6. The handset has a massive display, and LG spent most of its press event talking about the various features of FullVision screens, ignoring other details that consumers might be interested in, such as availability details and pricing.

However, LG confirmed the release date and price for the G6. We have good and bad news for you.<!—more-->

Cho Juno, the head of LG’s mobile division talked to The Investor about the LG G6 handsets, revealing launch details in the process.

“The phone will hit the Korean market first on March 10,” Cho said when asked about the launch timeframe. “The price starts at 899,800 won (US$796.85)”

The good news here is that the phone is indeed launching in early March, just as previously rumored, At around $800, the phone’s price may seem rather steep, but the LG G6 will still be less expensive than the Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 8 coming out later this year.

It’s not clear when the LG G6 will arrive in other markets, and Cho wasn’t that forthcoming about this particular detail.

“We will make new investments for promotional activities in April and May before the phone’s full-scale shipment starts in the third quarter,” Cho said. “We need to see the spending and device sales during the period. Sales will be better than those of the G5 or V20. We cannot reveal the sales target.”

Let’s just hope that America, China, and the main European markets are going to get the phone as fast as humanly possible. We told you in our hands-on preview of the handset that the G6 has some 42 days to shine until the Galaxy S8 launches. It’s up to LG to take advantage of that massive lead.

Cho also explained that it faced various yield issues last year that made it impossible for the G5 to compete. That might be true, but the phone’s modular design was probably the reason why the G5 never stood a chance.

This year, LG may have fixed both problems. We already know the G6 is a beautiful handset, and it seems that LG has been getting ready for it accordingly. LG started “preparations for the G6 more than six months earlier than usual,” Cho said. “We have also secured enough products to sell this time.”

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by Chris Smith at February 27, 2017 11:50 AM

Smashing Magazine Feed

The Art Of Calligraphy: Getting Started And Lessons Learned


   

Typography is a primary element of composition. Being a designer, I pay a lot of attention to its quality. Operating Photoshop is easy for me; however, to level up my skills, I am always learning to work with letters, using my hands, without any computer programs.

The Art Of Calligraphy: Getting Started And Lessons Learned<

The first time I took a calligraphy course was about a year ago, and the decision was quite hard. I was sure that it would be painstaking and that I would need excellent handwriting to learn this art. How mistaken I was!

The post The Art Of Calligraphy: Getting Started And Lessons Learned appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

by Anastasia Shevchuk at February 27, 2017 11:44 AM

Boy Genius Report

This pair of magnetic bluetooth earbuds from Freshebuds is on sale for less than $25

27902be2f7854fc7aae42475f66f11a39775358c_main_hero_image

Whether you're working out or just riding through your daily commute, music makes the time fly. However, when you're in public, it can be a pain dealing with a long wire flopping around, getting caught on people or pulled out while you're working out. Luckily, FRESHeBUDS Air Bluetooth 4.1 Earbuds provide a completely immersive listening experience for just $24.95 from the BGR Store.

Continue reading...

Trending right now:

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by BGR Store at February 27, 2017 11:41 AM

Zero Hedge

Global Stocks Drop, Futures Flat; French Yields Slide As Political Jitters Subside

In a quiet night for markets, in which the top highlight was the Oscar's historic peddling of best picture "fake news" and where "millions" of Academy members seemingly voted illegally, European stocks were little changed after a selloff that pushed them to a two-week low, while the MSCI Asia index fells as Japan’s Topix dropped for third day. S&P futures were unchanged after hitting a a fresh all time high on Friday. Oil futures gained, with the dollar little changed against a basket of major currencies. Priceline, Albemarle and AES are among companies reporting earnings. Dallas Fed manufacturing activity, durable goods sales data due.

European politics once again drove sentiment, this time higher after French electoral polls boosted the country’s bonds and reports of a potential Scottish independence referendum sank the British pound. The dollar was little changed before a key speech from U.S. President Donald Trump.

French bonds gained for a fourth day, with the 10-year OAT yields hitting a one-month low on Monday, pushing other euro zone sovereign yields lower, while a more cautious mood hung over world stock markets and the dollar, both of which struggled for clear direction.

The fall in French bond yields came as polls (everyone knows how accurate those can be) showed centrist Emmanuel Macron would easily beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in May's presidential election runoff, relieving some fears that have built up in recent weeks among investors. "Macron gained further support in the polls," said DZ Bank rates strategist Rene Albrecht. "Another important point is that it looks like Hamon and Melenchon won't merge, so there is less of a chance that we will have a left-wing candidate that could outpace Macron or Fillon."

Over the weekend, French press reported that Socialist lawmaker Christophe Caresche has announced that he will now back Macron, calling him the “only solution to counter effectively Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election”. That follows the news of Francois Bayrou publicly announcing his backing of Macron last week and the latest polls from the weekend suggest a boost to Macron following that. An Odoxa Dentsu poll published yesterday showed Macron as gaining 25% in the first round compared to 19% for Fillon and 27% for Le Pen. The pollster highlighted that this is the first time Macron has taken a 6% lead over Fillon in the first round. In a second round runoff the poll showed Macron as defeating Le Pen by 61% to 39%. The other weekend poll is the Kantar Sofres poll for Le Figaro. It showed a similar trend with Le Pen at 27% in the first round ahead of Macron with 25% and Fillon with 20%. A second round between Le Pen and Macron has the latter coming out on top at 58% to 42%.

Following the latest polls, Oddschecker saw Macron gaining, with his victory odds rising above 42%, while Le Pen remained flat at just over a third.

As a result, France's 10-year bond yield fell 2.5 basis points to a one-month low of 0.90%, outperforming euro zone peers. Safe-haven German bond yields DE10YT=TWEB edged higher, narrowing the gap between French peers to around 70 basis points, its tightest level in just over a week.

Furthermore, as discussed last night, sterling weakened against all its major peers after The Times reported Prime Minister Theresa May’s team is preparing for Scotland to potentially call for an independence referendum in March. European stocks fell, tracking a negative day across Asian equities.

It will be another week in which Trump can make or break the recent market euphoria. With elections taking place this year in France, the Netherlands and Germany against a backdrop of rising populism, and uncertainties around Trump’s policies, investors have been hanging on every word from central bank officials and politicians. The next focus is set to be the U.S. president’s speech to Congress on Tuesday, which will be parsed for details on spending and tax plans.

“We are concerned that the markets could be heading for a harsh reality check if the Trump administration fails to meet high expectations as reflected in strong equity gains, including risky assets,” Piotr Matys, currency strategist at Rabobank in London, wrote in a note to clients. “It seems to us that the markets are too optimistic, looking from the glass half full perspective and not pricing enough of the negatives.”

In Europe, the French-led fall in bond yields and tightening of spreads over Germany were the most notable moves at the start of a week in which U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday will loom large. Trump is expected to unveil some elements of his plans to cut taxes in his joint address to Congress.

It was also a mixed bag in stocks. Benchmark European markets were flat, Asian bourses fell and U.S. futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street. "This morning's moves follow what was a fairly cautious end to the week on Friday for markets," said Jim Reid, markets strategist at Deutsche Bank (see full note below). MSCI's benchmark world stock index slipped 0.1 percent to 444.53 points on course for its first consecutive daily fall for three weeks. On Thursday, it hit a record high of 447.67 points.

The index of the leading 300 European stocks was flat on the day at 1,457 points. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 percent, near the day's lows and following Friday's 0.7 percent fall. The Euro zone's STOXX 600 index was down -0.3% at last check, at 369. Japan's Nikkei closed 0.9 percent lower, hitting a 2-1/2 week low on concerns that a stronger yen would crimp corporate earnings.

Though U.S. stocks clawed their way to a higher close on Friday, major indices spent much of that day's session in negative territory, suggesting increased caution. Yet it was the Dow's 11th consecutive record high on Friday, which is the longest such run since 1987.

In currencies, the dollar was flat on an index basis. The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.0580 EUR=, but the dollar was 0.1 percent higher against the yen at 112.30 yen and sterling was down 0.3 percent at $1.2430. In addition to Trump's address to Congress, rates and the dollar will take their cue this week from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. "In order for the Fed to really have the option of hiking next month, Yellen will have to make a much stronger case relative to what's been said recently," Deutsche's Reid said.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose 2 basis points to 2.335 percent. On Friday it hit a five-week low of 2.31 percent, and last week's fall of nearly 11 basis points was the steepest weekly decline since July last year.

In commodities, Brent crude rose 1.15% to $56.62 per barrel while WTI was up 0.8% at $54.42 per barrel as a global supply glut appeared to ease.

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down less than 0.1% to 2,364.5
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.28% to 368.96
  • MXAP down 0.6% to 144.98
  • MXAPJ down 0.3% to 466.49
  • Nikkei down 0.9% to 19,107.47
  • Topix down 1% to 1,534.00
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 23,925.05
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,228.66
  • Sensex down 0.2% to 28,824.19
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 5,724.18
  • Kospi down 0.4% to 2,085.52
  • German 10Y yield rose 1.5 bps to 0.201%
  • Euro up 0.2% to 1.0587 per US$
  • Brent Futures up 1.2% to $56.65/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 3.0 bps to 2.195%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 2.2 bps to 1.676%
  • Brent Futures up 1.2% to $56.65/bbl
  • Gold spot down 0.13% to $1,256
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.07% to 101.02

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • Last-Minute ‘Moonlight’ Oscar Win Marks Black Film Milestone
  • Buffett Stings Hedge Funds Anew Over Their ‘Misbegotten’ Rewards
  • AbbVie Gets EMA Panel Nod for Shorter Chronic Hep C Combo Course
  • Chevron Says Gorgon Train 2 Resumed LNG Production on Sunday
  • Berkshire Hathaway 4Q Oper EPS $2,665, Est. $2,717
  • Blackstone, Prudential Said to Win in $16 Billion Loan Sale
  • Sasol First-Half Net Income Up 19% to 8.7 Billion Rand Y/Y
  • IMI’s Selway Tells FT U.K. Co. Seeking Acquisition Opportunities
  • Samsung SDI Supplies Batteries for Energy Storage System in U.S.
  • Fortescue, Apollo Said to Bid for $1.5 Billion Wesfarmers Mines
  • Proposed Trump Budget Said to Hike Defense Spending, Cut EPA

Asia equities shrugged off last week's positive sentiment and traded with a negative tone despite Friday's last minute record rally on Wall Street as most major bourses in the region traded lower. ASX 200 (-0.3%) was down following weakness in the commodity sector after energy shares were dampened by an initial decline in oil and declines from Friday in which WTI crude futures briefly dropped below USD 54/bbl, while Nikkei 225 (-0.9%) underperformed alongside a firmer JPY. Shanghai Comp. (-0.4%) and Hang Seng (-0.4%) were subdued with participants cautious following another weak PBoC liquidity injection and amid regulatory concerns after the CIRC banned Evergrande Life from stock trading for 1 year, while CSRC Chairman Liu also stated that China is ready for a greater number of IPOs and vowed stricter regulations. 10yr JGBs were higher as the risk averse tone and BoJ presence in the market supported demand for Japanese paper. Furthermore, 5yr yields fell to a 3-month low and the curve flattened amid outperformance in the super long-end.

Top Asian News

  • Hedge Fund Joins Tactical Crowd as Trump Clouds Dollar View
  • China Will Allow More IPOs to Lure Capital, Regulator Says
  • Japan Stocks to Watch: Toshiba, Panasonic, Sumitomo, Mitsubishi
  • GLP Committee in Talks With Shortlisted Parties on Proposals
  • Noble Group FY Net $8.7m Vs $1.7b Loss Y/y

The European Indices trade in the green this morning with the FTSE outperforming currently up 0.4%, being lent a helping hand by the softer GBP. The main headline grabber has been reports that the potential tie up between LSE and Deutsche Boerse could be off the cards. Insurance names have taken a hit in the UK after the UK chancellor changed the discount rate. Elsewhere in Europe, Intesa (+5%) and Generali (-4%) cancelled a possible merger between the two Co.'s which benefitted Intesa shares. Finally, Unilever trade higher amid shareholder pressure to break the company up. The German French spread has traded below 69bps for the first time in ten days after Macron increases his lead in the first round polls for the French election. Italian paper saw underperformance against that of Spain ahead of this morning's auction and failed to regain any ground in the wake of the results.

Top European News

  • Euro-Area Economic Confidence Climbs to Highest Level Since 2011
  • LSE Says Deutsche Boerse Deal Unlikely After Year-Long Try
  • Deutsche Bank Cuts 2016 Bonus Pool by Almost 80%, FAS Reports
  • Macron Extends Lead Over Fillon, Nears Le Pen in French Race
  • VimpelCom Boosts Dividend After Italy Deal; to Become Veon
  • Agrokor’s Senior Notes Fall to Record Low After Serbian Dispute
  • GAM Shares Gain as Investor RBR Seeks Seats on Company’s Board
  • UniCredit Unexercised Rights Sold for About EU15.1m
  • Anglo Profit Surge Has Little to Do With Commodities Rally
  • BTPs Rally, Following OATs, as Italian Bank Stocks Gain Off Open
  • U.K. Insurers Fall After Government Cuts Ogden Discount Rate

In currencies, the British pound lost 0.3 percent to $1.2422 as of 10:58 a.m. in London after an overnight report from the Times of London that Theresa May was considering a second Scottish referendum. The euro gained 0.2 percent to $1.0582. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The gauge fell 0.4 percent last week, its first drop in three weeks. Thin market conditions as FX trading confined to relatively tight ranges. The early focus has been on GBP where talk of another Scottish referendum on independence — perhaps announced in tandem with the triggering of Article 50 - has once again reminded the market of the destabilising effect of Brexit. Cable has tested down through 1.2400 — both in London and Tokyo — but the selling has been well absorbed as yet. Month end flow pushing EUR/GBP higher has also played its part as the cross rate has pierced through 0.8500, but highs set around 0.8534/5 contain for now. In Europe, French election candidate Macron has made some modest gains in the polls (for the first round), and along with the EUR/GBP flow mentioned above has given EUR/USD as modest bid this morning (edging towards 1.0600). USD/JPY continues to hover above the 112.00 level, with the initial test below the figure finding some support. President Trump's address to Congress tomorrow will put the USD trade 'on hold' for now, with UST yields also basing out for now at some key levels to further prop.

In commodities, WTI crude futures rose 0.7 percent to $54.37 a barrel, near the Feb. 23 closing price, which was the highest since July 2015. Gold was little changed at 1,256.21 an ounce. The metal jumped 1.8 percent last week for its fourth straight weekly advance. Gold continues to hold better levels as the USD remains pressured on the dip in yields. However, the flight to safety has also played its part, with the French (and Dutch) elections having also provide a catalyst for demand for the yellow metal. Elsewhere, hedge funds are said to be positioning for a break higher in Crude prices closer in on the curve. This has helped maintain WTI towards the upper end of the recent USD50-55 range, but the recent test through here was met with strong supply. In base metals, Copper prices stay comfortably below the USD2.70 mark, but finding some support on the session, but Nickel and Tin are showing the stronger gains on the day.

Looking at today's key events, in the US we’ll get a first look at the January durable and capital goods orders data as well as pending home sales and the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey index.

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: U.S. durable goods orders, est. 1.7% (pr. -0.5%)
  • 10am: U.S. pending home sales m/m, est. 1%, (pr. 1.6%)
  • 10:30am: Dallas Fed manf. activity, est. 19.4 (pr. 22.1)

* * *

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Before we kick off properly this morning, tomorrow marks the 10 year anniversary of the EMR. To mark the occasion we'll be doing a performance review of the whole period which hopefully will be interesting as the start of the publication coincided with what we think was the start of the global financial crisis given this was when the US subprime bond market was just starting to disintegrate. We'll also republish the first ever edition from February 28th 2007 if for no other reason than to prevent the touts from trying to sell the first edition on eBay at an exorbitant price.

So 10 years from the origins of the crisis and the truth is that the ramifications are still front and centre in financial markets. Bunds capped a remarkable week by rallying -4.6bps to 0.181bps on Friday (10 years) and -11.7bps on the week. At the short end 2y Bund yields also rallied another -3.3bps to -0.965% on Friday (and a new record low) and so taking the weekly move to -13.4bps and the biggest rally since 2012. A combination of pricing in of political and redenomination risk and a collateral shortage seem to be growing themes. Our European FI strategists think the market is pricing in around a 5% risk of Bunds being redenominated back into DEM. It's a strange market though as French OATs also rallied on Friday and more or less matched Bunds on the week (10yr -11.1bps) and European equities were fairly flat last week (notwithstanding a weak Friday session which we’ll touch on below) with inflows the highest in over a year in the week to Wednesday. So Bunds seem to be the magnet to any systemic fears at the moment with other markets barely recognising much additional risk.

The main news concerning the French election from the weekend is of another endorsement for Emmanuel Macron. French press are reporting that Socialist lawmaker Christophe Caresche has announced that he will now back Macron, calling him the “only solution to counter effectively Marine Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election”. That follows the news of Francois Bayrou publicly announcing his backing of Macron last week and the latest polls from the weekend suggest a boost to Macron following that. An Odoxa Dentsu poll published yesterday showed Macron as gaining 25% in the first round compared to 19% for Fillon and 27% for Le Pen. The pollster highlighted that this is the first time Macron has taken a 6% lead over Fillon in the first round. In a second round runoff the poll showed Macron as defeating Le Pen by 61% to 39%. The other weekend poll is the Kantar Sofres poll for Le Figaro. It showed a similar trend with Le Pen at 27% in the first round ahead of Macron with 25% and Fillon with 20%. A second round between Le Pen and Macron has the latter coming out on top at 58% to 42%.

The other notable weekend news concerns comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Speaking on Fox News TV, Mnuchin said that at the much anticipated Trump speech this week to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night the President will be using it to preview some of his sweeping plans to cut taxes and also simplify the tax system. Mnuchin hinted that the President’s budget will not touch social welfare programs such as Social Security and Medicare or cuts to any other big entitlement programs. The Treasury Secretary didn’t give much away on the proposed border tax, saying that he was “still studying very carefully” the proposal. Mnuchin added that “there are certain aspects that the president likes about the concept of a border adjusted tax” and that “there are certain aspects that he’s very concerned about”.

Trump’s speech is almost certainly the main event for markets this week although there’s still a relatively packed data docket to get through with the final PMI’s in Europe to be confirmed on Friday, a second reading of Q4 GDP in the US tomorrow and also an economic outlook speech by Fed Chair Yellen on Friday in Chicago. On that it’s worth noting that the March hike probability did steadily climb last week to 40% on Friday from 34% the week prior based on Bloomberg’s calculator but you’d imagine that in order for the Fed to really have the option of hiking next month, Yellen will have to make a much stronger case relative to what’s been said recently.

Ahead of that, this morning in Asia it’s been a relatively soft start to the week for markets. The Nikkei (-0.94%), Kospi (-0.36%) and ASX (-0.31%) in particular are all in the red while the Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp have also just turned negative after a more resilient start perhaps reflecting the news from China’s securities regulator that it is looking to allow for more IPO’s in China, suggesting increased confidence in the market’s recovery from the 2015 rout. Meanwhile the focus in FX this morning has been on Sterling which has fallen -0.32% after the UK Times reported that PM May is preparing for the Scottish government to call another independence referendum to coincide with the triggering of Article 50 next month. Elsewhere it’s been a fairly quiet start for commodities while Asia bond markets have generally echoed the strength from Friday.

This morning’s moves in Asia follow what was a fairly cautious end to the week on Friday for markets. With an uncertain political environment bubbling away the European session in particular was weak and that was evident through a -0.76% decline for the Stoxx 600 which was the sharpest fall since the end of January. The DAX also tumbled -1.20% while France’s CAC retreated -0.94%. Perhaps also reflecting some disappointment at the lack of details from Mnuchin’s interview on Thursday it had looked like US equity markets might follow a similar route before a late surge into the close helped both the S&P 500 (+0.15%) and Dow (+0.05%)  just about hold onto gains. Notably that is now the 11th consecutive record high for the Dow which is the longest such run since 1987. The fairly cautious mood though was still reflected in the strong rally for Gold (+0.61%) while base metals also generally rebounded from losses on Thursday. Like their European counterparts, US Treasuries also had a strong day with 10y yields finishing the day -6.0bps lower at 2.313% and the lowest closing yield since November.

Friday’s economic data didn’t really add much to proceedings. In the US we learned that new home sales in January rebounded a slightly less than expected +3.7% mom (vs. +6.4% expected). The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment reading was meanwhile revised up 0.6pts to 96.3 in February albeit still a couple of points below its January reading. In France we learned that consumer confidence was stable in February while in the UK the BBA recorded a modest rise in home loans in January.

Before we wrap up, in a report published this morning Wolf von Rotberg on our European equity strategy team highlights the likely winners and losers among European corporates from a US tax reform that would see the introduction of a border tax adjustment in exchange for a lower corporate statutory rate. He finds that such a reform would reduce net profits for the 70 European companies most exposed to the US by an average of 5%, implying a net negative impact of around 1% on Stoxx 600 earnings overall. At the European sector level, he identifies that autos are the biggest losers, while earnings for health care equipment, construction materials and food retail could see a minor uplift.

On to this week’s calendar now. It’s a quiet start to the week in Europe this morning with just February confidence indicators for the Euro area due out. In the US this afternoon we’ll get a first look at the January durable and capital goods orders data as well as pending home sales and the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey index. Tuesday kicks off in Japan where the latest retail sales, housing starts and industrial production data are due. In the European session we’ll get France CPI, PPI and Q4 GDP and the February CPI estimate for the Euro area. Over in the US it’s all eyes on the second reading of Q4 GDP, while core PCE, wholesale inventories, advance goods trade balance, S&P/Case Shiller house price index, Chicago PMI and Richmond Fed manufacturing survey round out a busy day of releases. In Asia on Wednesday the early focus is on the official manufacturing and services PMI’s in China. Over in Europe we’ll then get the final February manufacturing PMI’s followed by CPI in Germany and UK credit and money aggregates data. In the US there is more important data in the form of the January core and deflator PCE readings, ISM manufacturing, construction spending, vehicles sales and the final manufacturing PMI. Thursday looks set to be quieter with just Euro area PPI due in the morning and initial jobless claims in the US. We end the week on Friday in Japan with CPI and the latest employment numbers. China will also release the Caixin services and composite prints. In Europe we get the remaining services and composite PMI revisions for February as well as Euro area retail sales. The final services and composites are  then due in the US alongside the ISM non-manufacturing print.

Away from the data the Fedspeak during the week consists of Kaplan today, Williams and Bullard on Tuesday, Kaplan and Brainard on Wednesday and then a bumper day on Friday headlined by Fed Chair Yellen when she gives an economic outlook speech in Chicago. Fischer, Powell, Evans, Lacker and Mester will also speak. Away from that, arguably the biggest event of the week is President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress at 9pm ET in the US on Tuesday (early Wednesday morning in the UK). Also worth noting is the House of Lords debate on Brexit where talks are due to start about a more detail examination of the proposed bill.

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 11:32 AM

A Fresh Cup

Double Shot #1814

by Mike Gunderloy at February 27, 2017 11:31 AM

The Big Picture

Best Markets Since 1900?

What has been the best performing markets over the past century plus?     click for ginormous graphic Source: Bloomberg  

The post Best Markets Since 1900? appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Barry Ritholtz at February 27, 2017 11:30 AM

Blogical Conclusion

War in peace

This was written for an Arts Illustrated issue whose theme was Conflict & Art. Their brief: “For the cinema story we had in mind, we thought it would be interesting to look at a retrospective of Mani Ratnam’s films that deal effectively with the theme of conflict – both the inner and outer…” An unmarried […]

by brangan at February 27, 2017 11:30 AM

O'Reilly Radar

It's Nice That

Iris Erlings’ delicate drawings are inspired by the works of modernist sculptors

Iris_erlings_int_list

Iris Erlings has created MYND, a Risoprinted zine that depicts works by the illustrator’s favourite modernist sculptors including Jean Arp, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. “I’m really interested in sculpture and form, but I’ve only ever been good at making 2D images,” says Iris. “I decided I wanted to make drawings that represented the materiality, texture and physicality of these beautiful works. On top of that I mainly sourced referenced photos that came from old catalogues from around the 60s, where the image quality and high contrasts added another layer of texture to the sculptures.”

Read more

by Rebecca Fulleylove at February 27, 2017 11:20 AM

Boy Genius Report

Check out Sony’s crazy concept: Wireless earphones that let you hear everything around you

Sony Xperia Ear Open-style Concept

Apple made waves recently with its brand new wireless headphones that it launched alongside the iPhone 7 last fall. The AirPods are best-selling headphones, but they’re not the only wireless solution out there. In fact, at last year’s Mobile World Congress, Sony came out with the Xperia Ear, its own smart wireless headphones.

On Monday, Sony revealed a bold new design for the Xperia Ear, proposing those in attendance at its MWC 2017 press conference a pair of wireless headphones that would sit outside the ear. You know, so you can listen to your favorite tunes, issue orders to the assistant, and receive audio inputs from your surroundings. In other words, Sony appears not to want you to take the new Xperia Ear earphones off.

Continue reading...

Trending right now:

  1. Sony quietly came out with the most surprising smartphone of MWC 2017
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  3. Pokemon Go: Two new region exclusive Pokemon arrive with Generation 2

by Chris Smith at February 27, 2017 11:05 AM

Rackspace Cloud Computing & Hosting

Don’t Forget the Data: the Value of Ceph Storage in Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by Red Hat

One of the most important assets in any business is its data. Without data, operations are stalled and business is at risk for everything from financial loss to potential loss of life. Yet amazingly, data is often entirely forgotten when building a private cloud. Dependable shared storage is critical when building private clouds. It not

The post Don’t Forget the Data: the Value of Ceph Storage in Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by Red Hat appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

by Philip Williams at February 27, 2017 11:00 AM

Zero Hedge

Stockman: "After March 15 Everything Will Grind To A Halt"

Two weeks after David Stockman warned that "the market is apparently pricing in a huge Trump stimulus. But if you just look at the real world out there, the only thing that's going to happen is a fiscal bloodbath and a White House train wreck like never before in U.S. history" and exclaimed that, when looking at markets, "what's going on today is complete insanity" he is back with another interview, this time with Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog in which he, once again warns, that a giant fiscal bloodbatch is coming soon, and urges listeners to pay especially close attention to the March 15, 2017 debt ceiling deadling, at which point everything could "grind to a halt."

As Greg Hunter writes, former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman says financial pain is a mathematical certainty. Stockman explains, “I think we are likely to have more of a fiscal bloodbath rather than fiscal stimulus.  Unfortunately for Donald Trump, not only did the public vote the establishment out, they left on his doorstep the inheritance of 30 years of debt build-up and a fiscal policy that’s been really reckless in the extreme.  People would like to think he’s the second coming of Ronald Reagan and we are going to have morning in America.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it looks that promising because Trump is inheriting a mess that pales into insignificance what we had to deal with in January of 1981 when I joined the Reagan White House as Budget Director.”

So, can the Trump bump in the stock market keep going? Stockman, who wrote a book titled “Trumped” predicting a Trump victory in 2016, says, “I don’t think there is a snowball’s chance in the hot place that’s going to happen. This is delusional.  This is the greatest suckers’ rally of all time.  It is based on pure hopium and not any analysis at all as what it will take to push through a big tax cut.  Donald Trump is in a trap.  Today the debt is $20 trillion.  It’s 106% of GDP. . . .Trump is inheriting a built-in deficit of $10 trillion over the next decade under current policies that are built in.  Yet, he wants more defense spending, not less.  He wants drastic sweeping tax cuts for corporations and individuals.  He wants to spend more money on border security and law enforcement.  He’s going to do more for the veterans.  He wants this big trillion dollar infrastructure program.  You put all that together and it’s madness.  It doesn’t even begin to add up, and it won’t happen when you are struggling with the $10 trillion of debt that’s coming down the pike and the $20 trillion that’s already on the books.”

Then, Stockman drops this bomb and says:

“I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th 2017.  That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015.  That holiday expires.  The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion.  It will then be law.  It will be a hard stop.  The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash.  We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate.  By summer, they will be out of cash.  Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises.  Everything will grind to a halt.  I think we will have a government shutdown.  There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace.  There will be no tax cut.  There will be no infrastructure stimulus.  There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”

Stockman also predicts very positive price moves for gold and silver as a result of the coming budget calamity.

There is much more in the video interview below in which Greg Hunter goes One-on-One with David Stockman.

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 10:34 AM

It's Nice That

A closer look at five creatives speaking at Design Indaba 2017

Di

For the fourth consecutive year, It’s Nice That has media partnered with Design Indaba. We will be delivering news, highlights, interviews and reactions direct from each day of the three-day conference from Cape Town. This year promises to be bigger and better, with fashion designer Selly Raby Kane leading the art direction. The event will be live broadcast via simulcast to a number of South African cities, allowing each presentation to resonate around the country. Design Indaba will also be hosting the first-ever European Simulcast at ECAL in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Read more

by Bryony Stone at February 27, 2017 10:21 AM

FlowingData

Bill Paxton tribute through storm spotters’ GPS coordinates

Bill Paxton, who played a storm chaser in Twister, died on Sunday. To honor him, storm spotters gathered at various coordinates to form Paxton’s initials.

I don’t know much about storm chasing or the man, but this seems special. It’s like a hello sent to the skies.

Tags: ,

by Nathan Yau at February 27, 2017 10:15 AM

It's Nice That

Chinese photographer Ren Hang has died aged 29

Ren-hang-list

Renowned and controversial Chinese photographer Ren Hang has died aged 29. He was born in 1987 in Changchun, China, and resided in Beijing.

Read more

by Jenny Brewer at February 27, 2017 10:12 AM

swissmiss

Create

“If I couldn’t create there would be nothing for me to live for. It’s selfish, I know, but geniuses are selfish.”
Miles Davis

by swissmiss at February 27, 2017 10:09 AM

Ajay Shah's blog

Protecting retail investors' interest in the bond market

by Ritika Chhabra and Anjali Sharma.

Context

On January 04, 2017, SEBI released a discussion paper titled "Public Issuance of Non-Convertible Debentures having credit rating below Investment Grade" (hereafter, discussion paper) for public comments. The proposals in the discussion paper focus on retail investors' participation in public issuances of sub-investment grade non-convertible debentures (NCDs). Each of these terms is technical and its useful to understand what they mean before analysing SEBIs proposals:

  • While protecting retail investors' interest in securities markets is one of SEBIs stated objective, there is no standard definition of a retail investor which is consistent across securities. For example: for equity public issuances, a retail investor is one whose bid does not exceed Rs. 2 lakhs. For issuance of tax free bonds, the IT Act, 1961 defines retail investor as one whose bid does not exceed Rs. 10 lakh.

  • A public issuance is defined as per Section 42 of Companies Act, 2013 as one where securities are issued to more than 200 investors. Typically, public issuance of corporate debt securities is in the form of NCDs. The issuance process is laid down by the SEBI Issuance and Listing of Debt Securities (ILDS) Regulation, 2008. As per ILDS Regulation 4(2)(c), for public issuance of debt securities, the issuer has to get at least one credit rating.

  • A sub-investment grade rating is one that is below BBB-. Debt securities with this rating are commonly referred to as junk bonds.

In the discussion paper, SEBI makes two proposals with regard to such issuances. First, the introduction of a pictograph, known as the risk-o-meter, to disclose credit rating in the offer document. Currently, credit rating is disclosed on the first page of the offer document in text form. Second, the introduction of a two level restriction on retail investor participation - an investor level restriction: Rs. 2 lakh; and an aggregate restriction on all retail investors: 5% or 10% of the issue size.

In this article, we evaluate SEBIs proposals and offer our analysis of key issues that this discussion paper highlights.

Analysis of SEBIs proposals

  1. The proposals are relevant for a very small part of the corporate bond issuance market: The market for public issuance of sub-investment grade NCDs is small, both in absolute terms and relative to the corporate bond market (Table 1). In 2015-16, 2 of the 20 public issuances were sub-investment grade and these accounted for only 1.3% of the public issuance volume. As a proportion of the total corporate bond issuance volume, these were less than 0.1%.

    When we look at the identity of issuers and the rating profile of their issuances, we find that the public issuance market is dominated by highly rated issuers. These include large public sector entities like NTPC, NHAI, NABARD, IRFCL and 3-4 private non-bank finance companies (NBFCs) who are regular issuers. There are only 2-3 NBFCs which issue in the sub-investment grade category and these are repeat issuers.

  2. Table 1: Corporate bond issuance market in India

    Year Issuance value Private placement Public issuance Public issuance - sub-investment grade1
    (Rs. trillion) (%) (%) (%)




    2014-15 4.1 97.7 2.3 0.34
    2015-16 4.9 93.2 6.8 0.09
    2016-172 5.1 94.3 5.7 0.09

    Source: SEBI
    1 Sub-investment grade represents a credit rating below BBB-
    2 Data till December, 2016

  3. Retail investors, for whom investment limits are proposed, are the main investors in publicly issued sub-investment grade NCDs: We find that retail investors are the primary investors in these issuances. For example: 16 unique ISINs were generated as part of 2 issuances in 2015-16. An analysis of the ownership pattern of these ISINs, using data from NSDL, shows that in 15 ISINs, retail investors' subscription was more than 90% of the issue size. In the remaining one ISIN, it was more than 70%.

  4. SEBIs problem identification is unclear and not supported by data: In the discussion paper, SEBI states:

    Unlike private placement of debt securities, retail investors participate in the public issues. These public issues which are rated below investment grade (i.e. below BBB-) give high coupon rate. The advertisements of such issues also focus mainly on the coupon which lures the retail investors to invest.

    Further, certain issuers with credit rating below investment grade, have issued both secured and another unsecured NCD through same offer document with different credit ratings. Thus, for a retail investor to differentiate between secured and unsecured tranches within the same offer document and with different credit ratings may be a complex task and may affect their investment decision.

    It is felt that there needs to be an additional layer of protection for the retail investors, who get attracted towards such debt securities which though on one side pay higher coupon but on the other side have a below investment grade credit rating.

    From these statements, it appears that SEBI identifies three problems: (1) the manner of disclosure of credit rating in sub-investment grade issue advertisements; (2) issuers offering secured and unsecured tranches within the same offer document, which makes in complex for retail investors to understand credit rating; and (3) retail investors getting attracted to the return and investing in risky securities.

    There are two issues with SEBIs problem identification process. First, it is not supported by any data or analysis. For example in case of problem (1) and (2), there could be two issues: with the visibility of the text based disclosure, or with investors' understanding of the meaning of a credit rating or both of these. It could also be that there are more problems with disclosure quality than just credit rating or that disclosure quality is not a problem at all. Retail investors are attracted by high returns, are aware of the risk, yet invest because of other considerations, such as fact that these are repeat issuers and their past performance is known. Second, the problem identification does not evaluate whether a regulatory intervention is needed. For example: in case of problem (3) if retail investors are attracted to risky securities, it is unclear why the regulator should step in.

  5. Cost benefit analysis is missing: Proposal 1 -- introduction of a risk-o-meter, seeks to address problem (1). Credit rating is currently displayed in text form on the first page of the offer document. The table that explains the implications of the rating is placed inside the offer document (Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Current disclosure of credit rating in offer document

    The proposed NCD risk-o-meter makes the credit rating more clearly visible than a text based disclosure (Figure 1 and Figure 2). However, it does not necessarily improve investor understanding of the credit risk. In case of the mutual fund risk-o-meter, from which this proposal is inspired, the risk of the offer can be clearly understood from the risk-o-meter (Figure 3). As mentioned earlier, its possible that investors do not understand credit risk or that there is no problem with the current disclosure format. In both these cases, the inclusion of a risk-o-meter adds no value. The modification of the offer document format may create costs for issuers. However, no cost-benefit evaluation is offered in this regard.

    For problem (2), where an unsecured and secured tranche is issued through the same offer document, SEBI offers no proposals. For example: it does not state whether such offer documents will have two risk-o-meters.

    Figure 2: Proposed NCD risk-o-meter

    Figure 3: Mutual fund risk-o-meter

    In Proposal 2 -- introduction of a investor level and aggregate level investment limit for retail investors, SEBIs approach is contrary to its approach to retail investors in equity markets. An equity security is far riskier than a sub-investment grade bond, yet SEBI actively encourages retail investor participation in equity issuance. Further both the limits proposed: Rs. 200,000 per investor and 5% or 10% aggregate limits are arbitrary. The benefits of this proposal from an investor protection perspective are unclear. Yet the costs are obvious. Given that retail investors are the main investors in these issuances, these limits may cause the sub-investment grade issuance market to dry up completely. Also, regulatory interventions that seek to limit investor choice are a firm step away from SEBIs stated objective of being a disclosure based regulator and a step towards being a merit based regulator.

A small survey: can key disclosures be easily found in offer documents?

Given that SEBI has identified the visibility of credit rating disclosure in offer document as a problem, we conducted a small survey to understand whether other key disclosures can be easily found from an NCD offer document. We gave respondents an offer document for a public NCD issuance, and asked them to find three details about the issue from it: (1) whether the issue is secured or unsecured, (2) what is the rate of return, and (3) what is the tenure. We asked them to measure the time it took them to find this information. 15 personnel from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy participated in the survey. Table 2 provides a profile of the respondents and Table 3 shows they survey results.

Table 2: Profile of survey respondents

No. of respondents 15
Respondents with demat account 53%
Respondents who invested in equity securities in the last 18 months 40%
Respondents who invested in debt securities in the last 18 months 20%
Average time taken to respond to the survey 15-30 minutes

Table 3: Survey results

Responses
Questions Correct (%) Incorrect (%) Can't say (%)




Is the issue secured or unsecured? 67% 20% 13%
What is the size of the issue? 47% 40% 13%
What is the minimum tenure of the NCD? 27% 53% 20%
What is the yield for minimum tenure NCD? 40% 40% 20%
What is the maximum tenure of the NCD? 33% 40% 27%
What is the yield for maximum tenure NCD? 20% 53% 27%

The survey results point to a deeper problem in offer document disclosures than just the credit rating. Even locating basic information like yield and tenure is not easy.

As a separate exercise, we reviewed 5 abridged prospectuses from public issuances done in 2015-16 and 2016-17. An abridged prospectus accompanies the application form, and SEBI has mandated that the issue term sheet be disclosed on the first page. Even here, we found that in 1 case the terms of the issue were not on the first page. This was a case where issuance was done as part of a shelf prospectus. A typical abridged prospectus is around 40 to 50 pages in length, and even here it is not easy to locate key disclosures within it.

Conclusion: way forward for SEBI

SEBIs proposals in the discussion paper focus on retail investor protection. Globally, regulators follow a two pronged disclosure based approach to do this. First, reducing information asymmetry between issuers and investors by regulating the quantum and quality of disclosures. Second, enforcing disclosure standards and penalising violations of disclosure norms. Securities regulators, even in Asian countries, have moved away from the merit based approach of imposing investment limits.

Given SEBIs stated objective of being a disclosure based regulator, it needs to focus on improving disclosure quality, not on constraining retail investor participation. However, this requires adopting a systematic and research based approach to addressing the disclosure problem. Our survey findings suggest that SEBI needs to do the hard work of evaluating disclosure effectiveness more comprehensively. In undertaking this exercise, SEBI can take cues from the recommendations of the Sumit Bose Committee (2015) on improving disclosures and curbing mis-selling for financial products. Simply, introducing a risk-o-meter will be insufficient and ineffective.

Other measures, such as stepping up investor education efforts in the debt securities space, may also be relevant. In case of equity securities, SEBIs efforts in this area along with the efforts of a growing industry of equity analysts and proxy advisory firms has contributed to improving investors' understanding of risks and return. A similar effort for the corporate debt market may have greater long term benefits, for both investors and issuers, than introducing any investment constraints.

Finally, sound regulatory governance is critical to building participants' confidence in the financial system and fostering certainty. Regulatory capacity is finite and regulatory interventions not cost-less. Hence, regulation making needs to follow the discipline of a robust process of identifying a problem, proposing an appropriate solution based on research and analysis, evaluating costs and benefits and carrying out a public consultation process. This will ensure that only meaningful interventions, for which benefits exceed the costs, get enacted. SEBI has already started on this path by regularly seeking public feedback on proposed interventions. However, its proposals are not supported by robust problem identification. There is no cost benefit analysis, research or empirical evidence in support of the proposals made. It shows that SEBI has some way to go in meeting global standards of regulatory governance.

The Finance Research Group has submitted its comments on this discussion paper to SEBI.


Ritika Chhabra and Anjali Sharma are researchers at Finance Research Group. We thank all the FRG-IGIDR and NIPFP team members who took time out from their busy schedules to respond to our survey. We also thank Renuka Sane and Bhargavi Zaveri for useful discussions and suggestions.

by arjun gupta (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2017 10:08 AM

Boy Genius Report

Sony quietly came out with the most surprising smartphone of MWC 2017

Sony Xperia XZ Premium Hands-on: Release Date

Sony early on Monday morning took the wraps off what can only be described as the best smartphone of Mobile World Congress 2017 so far, a phone we didn’t see coming. With the Galaxy S8 missing in action, we expected LG, Huawei, and even Nokia, try to steal the spotlight of the show. But Sony casually announced during a press conference hosted at its booth at MWC a brand new flagship handset that’s not only the first smartphone with a 4K HDR display, but it also packs the one chip that we're yet to see out in the wild, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.

Sadly, the Xperia XZ Premium will likely be just another hot Sony phone that the crowds will ignore.

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by Chris Smith at February 27, 2017 10:08 AM

swissmiss

The Simple Dollar

10 Friends Who Will Ruin Your Finances If You Let Them

We’ve always heard a good friend is “worth their weight in gold.” But is that always true?

With some friends, absolutely. A good friend can be there for you when times are tough, help you celebrate when times are good, and make your day-to-day life a lot more fun. Unfortunately, not all “good friends” are good with money. And some friendships can be costly – especially if you have trouble setting boundaries.

Let’s face it: If you’re not careful, even a great friend can leave you broke. If you’re worried how your friendships are affecting your finances, watch out for these 10 types of friends who might throw you off your game:

#1: The friend who always wants to go out

We’ve all got that friend who never wants to hang at home. Given the choice, she’ll go out to the movies instead of renting a new release, plan a fancy sit-down dinner instead of trying out a new recipe, or hit the club instead of uncorking a bottle of wine at home.

When you suggest a Netflix movie night or basically anything that involves wearing pajama pants, her lack of enthusiasm is palpable. She wants to get out and meet new people and not just sit on your couch, she says.

While that’s great and all, the financial impact of all these outings can be costly. That’s why the best way to deal with this friend is to choose the outings you’ll truly enjoy and leave the rest.

#2: The friend who loves doing expensive stuff

This friend is nothing more than a juiced-up version of friend #1. The biggest difference is, he or she loves blowing cash on crazy-expensive events.

This is the type of friend who will invite you to see their favorite band when tickets are $100+ apiece. Not only that, but they expect you to go out to dinner beforehand and out for drinks after.

The upside that comes with this type of friend is that they can help you get out of your comfort zone. The downside is, their idea of fun often involves spending hundreds of dollars.

When you’re trying to save for the future, this type of friend can ruin your budget if you let them. If you want to keep the friendship regardless, let them know what you can – and can’t – afford. Then, stick to your guns.

#3: The friend who always promises to ‘catch you next time’

You know that one friend who always says they’ll pick up the tab next time? They claim they left their wallet at home or that they’re short on cash, then they expect you to pay the bill. The problem is, they never pay their own way when the “next time” rolls around. What gives?

While this friend might fool you a few times, you shouldn’t let them get the better of you over the long haul. Forgetting your wallet once or twice is probably forgivable, but never having any money on hand when the check comes is cause for alarm.

It’s okay to keep this friend if you set some boundaries. If they’re out of cash more than a few times, let them know you’re happy to hang out with them – at home.

#4: The friend who games splitting the check

When you’re on a budget and dining accordingly, it can be annoying when friends want to split the dinner check down the middle, regardless of what you ordered. This is especially true if your friends always splurge. There’s always that friend who orders filet mignon and six martinis, but thinks it’s perfectly fair to split the bill 50/50.

If you order salads and appetizers and drink water to save money when you dine out, you shouldn’t have to subsidize your spendy friends. You can thwart this friend’s efforts by insisting on a split check from the get-go. If they’re against it, it’s perfectly reasonable to tell them they’re being unfair.

Try communicating directly and firmly. Say, “I’m ordering a salad to save money, so I want a separate check.” You shouldn’t have to negotiate how to spend your own money, so don’t.

#5: The friend who shops for fun

If you pick up a friend who shops for fun, you may be in for a new level of temptation. Whether or not you enjoy bouncing from mall to mall, it can be disastrous for your wallet. As your friend shops for something unique and new, you’ll be exposed to new products, too. And if you’re not careful, you could wind up buying stuff you don’t need and can’t even afford.

This type of friend can be harmless if you set limits and stick to them. Just because you tag along for a shopping trip doesn’t mean you have to buy anything. And, as long as your friend never pressures you to splurge, it might be fine.

#6: The trust fund baby

When you work hard for every dollar you earn, it can be maddening to hang out with someone who was born rich. If they’re a big spender, it can leave you feeling resentful. And if they expect you to “keep up” with their level of splurging, it can wreak havoc on your budget.

It’s possible to maintain a friendship with a trust fund baby as long as they understand your limits and respect your limitations. The key here is letting them know what you can (and can’t) afford ahead of time. If they’re truly your friend, they’ll understand.

#7: The friend who wants to split stuff you don’t even want

Have you ever had a friend who wants to split the bill for stuff you don’t even want? It could be anything – an appetizer you don’t like at dinner, a private cabana on vacation, or a clown for a joint kid’s birthday party. If you don’t want it in the first place, why should you pay half?

The best way to deal with this type of friend is to make your feelings known. If you don’t want to pay half the cost of something, say so. If they put up a fight, it’s perfectly fair to call them out.

If you don’t, you could wind up paying for half of all sorts of stuff. With this type of friend, you’ll be better off if you create boundaries – and stick with them.

#8: The friend who sucks with money and doesn’t even care

If you’re someone who makes responsible financial decisions most of the time, maintaining a friendship with someone who’s just plain terrible with money can be hard. You may watch them blow their savings one minute, then listen to them complain about how they’re late with bills the next. No matter what, it’s not easy to watch people struggle when they’re the source of their own problems.

The best way to approach this kind of friendship is to offer advice when asked, and try your hardest to ignore the rest. As long as they’re not ruining your finances, it’s really none of your business.

#9: The one-upper

One-uppers are some of the most annoying friends you can have. If they’re not trying to have a better car or bigger house, they might focus on outdoing your relationship (at least in their eyes) or just looking better than you do (again, at least in their eyes).

If you’re competitive in nature, being friends with a one-upper can be costly, too. Competing to have the nicest stuff if never cheap, but it’s worse if you’re buying stuff you don’t need and can’t afford.

The best way to deal with a one-upper is to ignore their competitive nature and focus on their good traits. No matter what, the best way to win this game is not to play.

#10: The friend who gives extravagantly

Birthdays aren’t that exciting once you reach adulthood, yet there are those who continue celebrating and want others to do the same. This could mean they invite you to outrageous birthday parties (for example, a girl’s weekend in Lake Tahoe for a 30th birthday), but it could also mean they shower you with expensive gifts on your big day.

What do you do when a friend gives you a $150 bag for your 32nd birthday? Do you repay the favor once their birthday rolls around, or do you cheap out with a card instead? You don’t want to risk hurting their feelings, yet you can’t stomach spending hundreds of dollars on adult friends.

This is yet another situation where direct communication works best. Tell your spendy friend the truth – that you’re living on a budget and can’t afford to be exchanging pricey gifts. Be honest and hope they get the hint. If not, it’s their problem.

Final Thoughts

It’s perfectly okay to have friends who spend differently. The key is making sure you don’t let their bad habits bleed into your own life.

Also, keep in mind that a real friend will understand your position and try not to put you in awkward financial situation. If a friend is always pushing you to your financial limits despite your protests, it might be time to hang out with someone more respectful of your perspective.

Holly Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer and the author of Zero Down Your Debt. Johnson shares her obsession with frugality, budgeting, and travel at ClubThrifty.com.

Related Articles:

Do you have any friends that fit these descriptions? How do you set boundaries with spendy friends?

The post 10 Friends Who Will Ruin Your Finances If You Let Them appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

by Holly Johnson at February 27, 2017 10:00 AM

The Big Picture

Historical Echoes: Are There Any Banks on Bank Street?

Historical Echoes: Are There Any Banks on Bank Street? Amy Farber Liberty Street Economics, JANUARY 20, 2017         Bank Street in New York City is a quaint little six-block stretch in Greenwich Village (see this 48-second video) with a huge cultural legacy—but no banks. Many cities and towns have a Bank Street…

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The post Historical Echoes: Are There Any Banks on Bank Street? appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Guest Author at February 27, 2017 10:00 AM

Known Turf

Gulab, now in Tamil

Gulab, a novella I wrote that was published two years ago by Harper Collins India, has been lucky enough to find a Tamil publisher in Anangu, an imprint of a journal devoted to feminist themes and literature. I am very pleased, of course. Cannot find a link where people can buy online yet but will update as soon as I can. In the meantime, here's the cover:

by Annie Zaidi (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2017 09:44 AM

RubyFlow

datameet Google Group

Re: [datameet] Datameet Hyderabad Open Data Day Community Hackathon

Great! We need quite a bit of help with the new OpenCity platform http://opencity.in/ It would be great to have people play with data and do some visualizations on the data there for us to broadcast. I will add data we need help liberating on the hackpad Nisha On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 10:33

by Nisha Thompson at February 27, 2017 09:10 AM

Boy Genius Report

Lenovo’s Windows 10 and Android computers keep getting better

MWC 2017 Lenovo's Windows 10 Laptops

Contrary to what some people might think, Mobile World Congress isn’t a show dedicated solely to smartphones. We’ve got all sorts of other products coming out of each edition, including laptops and tablets. And it’s precisely laptops and tablets that I talked to Lenovo about at MWC 2017 — you know, soon after I spoke about smartphones with Lenovo's Motorola.

Just like last year, Lenovo brought over a slew of new computers at MWC, including Android tablets that won’t break the bank, and Windows 10 laptops that will make the most of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

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by Chris Smith at February 27, 2017 09:01 AM

Zero Hedge

Poland, Hungary Join Together To Challenge EU Bureaucracy

Submitted by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The rifts within the EU continue to widen as Poland and Hungary join together in opposition to the EU bureaucracy.

Soon after Poland’s ultra-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in October 2015, the Polish parliament passed a law allowing the government to appoint the judges of its choosing to the highest court and not recognize those chosen by its predecessor, the liberal Civic Platform party.

The crisis began in 2015 when Civic Platform, the party then in power, improperly nominated two judges to the constitutional court. When the PiS won October’s elections, it refused to recognize them and also blocked three other judges who had been properly selected by parliament. PiS also wants the court to hear cases in chronological order, rather than setting its own priorities for tackling its caseload. The Polish government believes it is unfair that a constitutional court with a majority of judges appointed under the previous parliament should be able to scupper flagship policies for which PiS secured a mandate in democratic elections in 2015.

Legal experts advising the Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights watchdog, have concluded that the changes breach the rule of law, democracy and human rights. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed their concerns and urged the government to backtrack on its reform.The constitutional crisis has already given rise to a string of large demonstrations by a new Polish popular movement, the Committee for the Defence of Democracy.

Last December, President Andrzej Duda appointed a candidate backed by PiS as the new head of the constitutional court, which had been locked in a struggle with the government. In response, the European Commission said it considered the procedure which led to the appointment of Judge Julia Przy??bska to the post as “fundamentally flawed as regards the rule of law.” The Commission has set the Polish government a late February deadline to implement measures to protect the powers of the constitutional court.

On February 20, Poland dismissed demands that it implement judiciary reforms deemed essential by the European Commission to uphold the rule of law. Warsaw risks being stripped of its voting rights in the 28-member bloc, but such a move requires unanimity, while Hungary said it would not support sanctions. Hungary has also been harshly criticized by European structures for alleged violations of EU rules and standards.

In 2015, Poland and Hungary joined together to stop an EU ministerial agreement that would have forced all EU countries to honor same-sex “marriages” wherever they were contracted in the European Union. The botched agreement proposed by Luxemburg to the EU justice ministers addressed property rights, pensions and insurance. Poland and Hungary opposedit on the grounds that this would violate their sovereign prerogative to legislate on marriage and family matters.

The fact that two countries in the heart of Europe would oppose even an indirect recognition of same-sex “marriage,” and undoubtedly in the face of strong pressures from other EU states, speaks volumes about the direction Poland and Hungary have chosen. It is not the trajectory in which EU diplomacy, reliant on EU consensus, has taken so far.

The Hungary’s stance on Poland makes EU divisions come in the open to put an end to all the talkingabout the much-praised European unity. And it’s not Brexit only.

Actually, the EU is already divided. The «Alliance of Europe’s South» is being formed to include Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta. Several EU members mull the possibility of a mini- Schengen bloc to comprise the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria – the nations sharing deep cultural and historic links and opposing the idea of wealthy countries in the north subsidizing poorer EU members in the south.

The Visegrad group (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) openly opposes the EU migration policy and offers its own vision of what the EU should become in the future. An extraordinary conference of the groups prime ministers in February, 2016, led to a statement reasserting the members’ insistence on “more effective protection” of the EU’s external borders to “stem the migratory flow.” It also repeated the countries’ opposition to a quota system for resettling refugees through the EU.

The group possesses enough significant growth and influence to move beyond the Continent. In particular, the combined GDP of the group makes it the world’s 15th largest economy, and the number of its representatives in the European Parliament is twice as large as the number of representatives of France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Europe is facing a prolonged period of political upheaval, with elections also slated for 2017 in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy – all countries where economic anxiety, opposition to the EU and a surge in migration have fed growing support for populist parties.

The EU is also deeply divided over the sanctions imposed against Russia. Many countries oppose the «trade war» and the discontent is growing. Imposed three years ago, the restrictive measures have failed to achieve any results. The policy has little impact on Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has said manty times that Russia’s economy can rebound stronger from Western sanctions. It has been estimated that the cost to European farmers of the sanctions against Moscow is equal to 5.5 billion euros a year.

According to the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), the macroeconomic effects of the trade loss, amounting to €34 billion in value added in the short run and €92 billion in the longer. Keeping farmers in business, on a drip of multi-million euro rescue packages is not a sustainable solution.

Poland and Hungary are getting closer as their criticism of European institutions grows stronger. Both nations defend measures to freeze the process of European integration and take back national prerogatives transferred to Brussels. They will work together to resist the EU’s attempts to enforce a scheme to relocate refugees across the bloc.

One thing leads to another. Poland is working to extend its influence beyond the Visegrad Group by giving a boost to the relations with Romania and Slovakia – EU member states also opposing the bloc’s asylum seekers’ relocation plans imposed by Germany.

The disenchantment with European integration is already pervasive in the region. Eurosceptics not only challenge Brussels, they demonstrate their willingness to unite. A new alliance appears to be emerging inside the EU to undermine it, or even destroy it, from within. Other nations inspired by this example are likely to join, spurring the process that can hardly be stopped.

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 09:00 AM

Seth's Blog

What bureaucracy can't do for you

It lets us off the hook in many ways. It creates systems and momentum and eliminates many decisions for its members.

"I'm just doing my job." 

"That's the way the system works."

Most of all, it gives us a structure to lean against, a way of being in the world without always understanding the big picture or the side effects or the implications of our actions. Bureaucracy, the organizational imperative, the system of meetings and people and leverage—it keeps us sane.

The one thing it can't do, though, is let you off the hook.

When you write your history, and when others judge you, they will not accept that you had no choice. What you did when it felt like it was too difficult to say 'no' is precisely who you are.

We remember the people who said 'no' when they thought they had no good options. And we remember the people who went along as well.

We get the benefits of bureaucracy, but we also have to accept the costs. And the biggest one is that we're required to own our actions, to speak up, stand up and act up when we're asked to do the wrong thing.

The alternative is to lose our agency and to accept that we're no longer human.

       

by Seth Godin at February 27, 2017 08:59 AM

Zero Hedge

"Welcome To The Next Awakening" - Author Of Steve Bannon's Worldview Explains The Path Ahead

"Where did Steve Bannon get his worldview? From my book..."

* * * by Neil Howe via WaPo,

Neil Howe is the author, along with William Strauss, of “Generations,” “The Fourth Turning” and “Millennials Rising.”

The headlines this month have been alarming. “Steve Bannon’s obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome” (Business Insider). “Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable” (the Huffington Post). “Steve Bannon Wants To Start World War III” (the Nation). A common thread in these media reports is that President Trump’s chief strategist is an avid reader and that the book that most inspires his worldview is “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy.”

I wrote that book with William Strauss back in 1997. It is true that Bannon is enthralled by it. In 2010, he released a documentary, “Generation Zero,” that is structured around our theory that history in America (and by extension, most other modern societies) unfolds in a recurring cycle of four-generation-long eras. While this cycle does include a time of civic and political crisis — a Fourth Turning, in our parlance — the reporting on the book has been absurdly apocalyptic.

I don’t know Bannon well. I have worked with him on several film projects, including “Generation Zero,” over the years. I’ve been impressed by his cultural savvy. His politics, while unusual, never struck me as offensive. I was surprised when he took over the leadership of Breitbart and promoted the views espoused on that site. Like many people, I first learned about the alt-right (a far-right movement with links to Breitbart and a loosely defined white-nationalist agenda) from the mainstream media. Strauss, who died in 2007, and I never told Bannon what to say or think. But we did perhaps provide him with an insight — that populism, nationalism and state-run authoritarianism would soon be on the rise, not just in America but around the world.

Because we never attempted to write a political manifesto, we were surprised by the book’s popularity among certain crusaders on both the left and the right. When “The Fourth Turning” came out, our biggest partisan fans were Democrats, who saw in our description of an emerging “Millennial generation” (a term we coined) the sort of community-minded optimists who would pull America toward progressive ideals. Yet we’ve also had conservative fans, who were drawn to another lesson: that the new era would probably see the successful joining of left-wing economics with right-wing social values.

Beyond ideology, I think there’s another reason for the rising interest in our book. We reject the deep premise of modern Western historians that social time is either linear (continuous progress or decline) or chaotic (too complex to reveal any direction). Instead we adopt the insight of nearly all traditional societies: that social time is a recurring cycle in which events become meaningful only to the extent that they are what philosopher Mircea Eliade calls “reenactments.” In cyclical space, once you strip away the extraneous accidents and technology, you are left with only a limited number of social moods, which tend to recur in a fixed order.

Along this cycle, we can identify four “turnings” that each last about 20 years — the length of a generation. Think of these as recurring seasons, starting with spring and ending with winter. In every turning, a new generation is born and each older generation ages into its next phase of life.

The cycle begins with the First Turning, a “High” which comes after a crisis era. In a High, institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Society is confident about where it wants to go collectively, even if many feel stifled by the prevailing conformity. Many Americans alive today can recall the post-World War II American High (historian William O’Neill’s term), coinciding with the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies. Earlier examples are the post-Civil War Victorian High of industrial growth and stable families, and the post-Constitution High of Democratic Republicanism and Era of Good Feelings.

 

The Second Turning is an “Awakening,” when institutions are attacked in the name of higher principles and deeper values. Just when society is hitting its high tide of public progress, people suddenly tire of all the social discipline and want to recapture a sense of personal authenticity. Salvation by faith, not works, is the youth rallying cry. One such era was the Consciousness Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s. Some historians call this America’s Fourth or Fifth Great Awakening, depending on whether they start the count in the 17th century with John Winthrop or the 18th century with Jonathan Edwards.

 

The Third Turning is an “Unraveling,” in many ways the opposite of the High. Institutions are weak and distrusted, while individualism is strong and flourishing. Third Turning decades such as the 1990s, the 1920s and the 1850s are notorious for their cynicism, bad manners and weak civic authority. Government typically shrinks, and speculative manias, when they occur, are delirious.

 

Finally, the Fourth Turning is a “Crisis” period. This is when our institutional life is reconstructed from the ground up, always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival. If history does not produce such an urgent threat, Fourth Turning leaders will invariably find one — and may even fabricate one — to mobilize collective action. Civic authority revives, and people and groups begin to pitch in as participants in a larger community. As these Promethean bursts of civic effort reach their resolution, Fourth Turnings refresh and redefine our national identity. The years 1945, 1865 and 1794 all capped eras constituting new “founding moments” in American history.

Just as a Second Turning reshapes our inner world (of values, culture and religion), a Fourth Turning reshapes our outer world (of politics, economy and empire).

In our paradigm, one can look ahead and suggest that a coming time period — say, a certain decade — will resemble, in its essential human dynamic, a time period in the past. In “The Fourth Turning,” we predicted that, starting around 2005, America would probably experience a “Great Devaluation” in financial markets, a catalyst that would mark America’s entry into an era whose first decade would likely parallel the 1930s.

Reflecting on the decade we’ve just lived through, we can probably agree that the 1930s parallel works well. In the economy, both decades played out in the shadow of a global financial crash, and were characterized by slow and disappointing economic growth and chronic underemployment of labor and capital. Both saw tepid investment, deflation fears, growing inequality and the inability of central bankers to rekindle consumption.

In geopolitics, we’ve witnessed the rise of isolationism, nationalism and right-wing populism across the globe. Geostrategist Ian Bremmer says we now live in a “G-Zero” world, where it’s every nation for itself. This story echoes the 1930s, which witnessed the waning authority of great-power alliances and a new willingness by authoritarian regimes to act with terrifying impunity.

In social trends, the two decades also show parallels: falling rates of fertility and homeownership, the rise of multi-generational households, the spread of localism and community identification, a dramatic decline in youth violence (a fact that apparently has eluded the president), and a blanding of pop youth culture. Above all, we sense a growing desire among voters around the world for leaders to assert greater authority and deliver deeds rather than process, results rather than abstractions.

We live in an increasingly volatile and primal era, in which history is speeding up and liberal democracy is weakening. As Vladimir Lenin wrote, “In some decades, nothing happens; in some weeks, decades happen.” Get ready for the creative destruction of public institutions, something every society periodically requires to clear out what is obsolete, ossified and dysfunctional — and to tilt the playing field of wealth and power away from the old and back to the young. Forests need periodic fires; rivers need periodic floods. Societies, too. That’s the price we must pay for a new golden age.

If we look at the broader rhythms of history, we have reason to be heartened, not discouraged, by these trends. Anglo-American history over the past several centuries has experienced civic crises in a fairly regular cycle, about every 80 or 90 years, or roughly the length of a long human life. This pattern reveals itself in the intervals separating the colonial Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and World War II. Fast-forward the length of a long human life from the 1930s, and we end up where we are today.

America entered a new Fourth Turning in 2008. It is likely to last until around 2030. Our paradigm suggests that current trends will deepen as we move toward the halfway point.

Further adverse events, possibly another financial crisis or a major armed conflict, will galvanize public opinion and mobilize leaders to take more decisive action. Rising regionalism and nationalism around the world could lead to the fragmentation of major political entities (perhaps the European Union) and the outbreak of hostilities (perhaps in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, the Baltic states or the Persian Gulf).

Despite a new tilt toward isolationism, the United States could find itself at war. I certainly do not hope for war. I simply make a sobering observation: Every total war in U.S. history has occurred during a Fourth Turning, and no Fourth Turning has yet unfolded without one. America’s objectives in such a war are likely to be defined very broadly.

At the end of the 2020s, the Fourth Turning crisis era will climax and draw to a close. Settlements will be negotiated, treaties will be signed, new borders will be drawn, and perhaps (as in the late 1940s) a new durable world order will be created. Perhaps as well, by the early 2030s, we will enter a new First Turning: Young families will rejoice, fertility will rebound, economic equality will rise, a new middle class will emerge, public investment will grow into a new 21st-century infrastructure, and ordered prosperity will recommence.

During the next First Turning, potentially the next “American High,” millennials will move into national leadership and showcase their optimism, smarts, credentials and confidence. Sometime in the late 2030s, the first millennial will be voted into the White House, prompting talk of a new Camelot moment. Let a few more years pass, and those organization-minded millennials may face a passionate and utterly unexpected onslaught from a new crop of youth.

Welcome to the next Awakening. The cycle of history keeps turning, inexorably.

by Tyler Durden at February 27, 2017 08:55 AM

Prof. Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog

Uberization or not of finance

Two years ago, Mike Carney (Chairman of the Financial Stability Board apart from being Governor of the Bank of England) warned financial regulators that they should:

not be in this position where we’re filling in with prudential regulation after the fact. In other words, facing an Uber-type situation in financial services, which many jurisdictions are struggling with.

(This discussion can be found around 59 minutes into the video from the World Economic Forum Annual Summit at Davos in 2015).

The Uberization of finance does appear to be a probable outcome, and many fintech startups are predicated on this possibility. But then I read the paper by Pollman and Barry on Regulatory Entrepreneurship which they define as:

pursuing a line of business in which changing the law is a significant part of the business plan

Uber and Airbnb are among the prominent examples of regulatory entrepreneurship that they discuss in their paper. Pollman and Barry enumerate several business-related factors, law-related factors and startup-related factors that facilitate regulatory entrepreneurship. Among these are two that appear to pour cold water on the Uberization of finance:

One important factor is the penalty that the law imposes on violators. For example, if the only penalty is a civil fine imposed on the corporation, pushing the boundaries of the law may be an attractive prospect. ... On the other hand, if a law provides for the incarceration of the executives of a company that violates it, that may deter the guerrilla growth strategies that some modern regulatory entrepreneurs employ.

Relatedly, another key element is whether the law in question is determined at the local, state, or national level. Change at the state and local level is often possible more quickly than at the national level.

The authors refer to the shutting down of Napster to highlight the difficulties of regulatory entrepreneurship in the face of national level laws that carry significant criminal penalties. This lesson is clearly quite relevant to much of finance.

Another aspect that Pollman and Barry do not mention is that much of regulatory entrepreneurship has succeeded against incumbents who are not very technology savvy. The finance industry on the other hand is technologically quite sophisticated, and is quite capable of adopting and co-opting any successful innovations that the regulatory entrepreneurs may come up with. Examples of such behaviour include:

  • Large investments that the big banks have made in blockchain technology in response to Bitcoin which was a highly anarchist innovation to begin with.

  • Integration of peer lending institutions into mainstream finance – extensive use of securitization, reintermediation by hedge funds and other financiers, collaboration with large banks and so on.

A counterpoint to this is that historically some of the truly radical innovations in finance have come from criminal enterprises. Three centuries ago, central banking was created largely by criminals. Johan Palmstruch, the founder of the world’s oldest central bank, the Sveriges Riksbank of Sweden, was sentenced to death before a royal pardon reduced the death sentence to imprisonment. Another great pioneer of central banking was John Law, who escaped from the English prison where he was held on charges of murder, and went on to preside over the French experiment with central banking in the early eighteenth century. John Law was probably the greatest central banker of his generation, but he spent most of his life roaming across Europe as a fugitive from the law. The founder of the Bank of England, William Paterson was an exception in this regard (he was certainly of high integrity), but he was a reckless adventurer who would probably not be acceptable to any modern central bank. A lot of modern finance is actually re-purposed criminality – negotiable instruments (bills of exchange) were originally created to evade usury laws, fractional reserve banking is alleged to have evolved out of goldsmiths fraudulently lending out customer gold which was not theirs to lend (though this has been disputed), and so on. If there is money to be made in fintech, even the threat of a death penalty will not deter would-be entrepreneurs, and it is at this edge of criminality, that we must look for future radical innovations in finance.

by Prof. Jayanth R. Varma at February 27, 2017 08:41 AM

Wired Top Stories

Waze Digs Into Your Car’s Dashboard

Waze Digs Into Your Car’s Dashboard
It will run on your in-car navigation system—and learn a lot more about you. The post Waze Digs Into Your Car's Dashboard appeared first on WIRED.

by Aarian Marshall at February 27, 2017 08:30 AM

naked capitalism

How Russia Is Using Oil Deals To Secure Its Influence In The Middle East

A string of oil deals between Russian oil companies and Arab petrostates have shifted the center of political gravity in the Middle East and North Africa towards Moscow

by Jerri-Lynn Scofield at February 27, 2017 08:25 AM

RubyFlow

Rib - a new irb replacement

rib is an irb replacement which aims to be faster, more extensible and with less bugs. It will start up in half the time compares to irb or pry. Version 1.5 is released today.

February 27, 2017 07:56 AM

GOOD

Shocking Oscar Upset Triggers Post-Election PTSD

An unsinkable campaign. A clear (if overrated) winner. Then—out of nowhere—the odds-busting, eye-popping upset. Sound familiar? Leave it to Hollywood to steal the plot from the 2016 elections with the film “Moonlight” claiming Best Picture over the assumed winner “La La Land.” Only, of course, this time a lot of us are actually happy with the outcome of director Barry Jenkins and Co. taking home the Oscar vs. Damien Chazelle’s splashy crowpleaser.

Sure, the stakes here are nothing like the competition for running the free world, but something about the unexpected yanking of a sure thing has triggered a vulnerable and divided nation’s PTSD from the election, as we remember the shock and what-the-fuckness of this past November. 

They say time heals all wounds. We’ll give it four years max.

In the meantime, congrats to “Moonlight” and props to “La La Land” producers for stepping aside with grace.

We trust the transfer of power will go smoothly.

 

by Raleigh Van Ness at February 27, 2017 07:10 AM

Shyam's Blog

12 Months

I couldn't think of a better title to this post than putting '12 months'. This blog is to recollect the last 12 months. There is always a story for becoming successful - it could be exam, or career, or business. But, mine is a story with a difference. My story is still in the middle of recovery to path of success.

Last 12 months have been the toughest part of my life. The first part of this was dark and deep in the tunnel, while, the second half saw ray of hope. Having a disease at its peak for long duration is next to being in a dark dungeon with no food or water. Being hospitalized 6 times made me feel that nurses are going to be my friends for future and doctors will be my Protectors on this earth.

I thank everybody who came in my path of this life for their support and wishes. I tried following their advice for most part. At times, I couldn't stick to their instructions due to my limitations. Family, friends, neighbors, office-mates, well-wishers, etc - all come to mind for me to acknowledge and show my gratitude. I felt their nearness as well as their distance, both were required to keep me comfortable. As an individual, I see myself as two parts - physical and mental. Both were put to test. My mental part being winner at times and my physical body trying to cope with stress and anxiety. Body and mind fought with each other and each complemented at times.

Going in to depression is an ugly experience. Not just for me, but, also for people with me, i.e., my family. I had no control on my emotions. Crying had become a normal emotion in depression. Asking for the unnatural was a mad effect. Watching TV, reading something, talking something sensitive - all led to outburst of tears. Being a dad of 2 kids, I feel that I had the extra pressure of taking care of my family. Question of 'how do I make my family safe?' haunted me.

In the hospital once, I blabbered something that I vaguely remember. I was on pain-killer injections and sedatives and this is what I said. "I want to go far away, far far away from the people I know. I want to go to a holy place and live a lonely life for next few years till my end. I am sure somebody there in that holy shrine will serve me 2 meals a day." I uttered these to my mom and I don't know what happened next.

My health condition is improving and my mom smilingly compares my story to mega-television soaps. Progress is slow. But, I see progress and I am positive. I see success in me coming out of ill-health that was like a deep well which doesn't have a way out. I am climbing the steps up and am confident that I will view the greens soon.

by Shyam (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2017 06:37 AM

naked capitalism

Understanding the Global Role of the US Economy

Investigating the spillover channels linking the US and the global economy.

by Yves Smith at February 27, 2017 06:34 AM

EU Dings Yet Another Brexit Fantasy: “Equivalence” Deal for the City

Yet another scheme, equivalence, by which the City hope to have its Brexit cake and eat it too, looks to be a non-starter.

by Yves Smith at February 27, 2017 06:00 AM

Atanu Dey on India's Development

The Wealth of Nations — Part 1


Warren Buffett
In his 2016 annual letter (pdf, 28 pp) to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett makes this observation about America’s economic dynamism.

One word sums up our country’s achievements: miraculous. From a standing start 240 years ago – a span of time less than triple my days on earth – Americans have combined human ingenuity, a market system, a tide of talented and ambitious immigrants, and the rule of law to deliver abundance beyond any dreams of our forefathers.

“You need not be an economist to understand how well our system has worked. Just look around you. See the 75 million owner-occupied homes, the bountiful farmland, the 260 million vehicles, the hyper-productive factories, the great medical centers, the talent-filled universities, you name it – they all represent a net gain for Americans from the barren lands, primitive structures and meager output of 1776. Starting from scratch, America has amassed wealth totaling $90 trillion.”

Buffett is right about the factors that create wealth — ideas (or human ingenuity), ambition, the free market system, and the rule of law. Let’s explore some of these in more details.

Wealth

Buffett estimates the accumulated wealth of the US to be $90 trillion. I assume that it refers to aggregate household wealth.

The accuracy of any estimate related to the total wealth of such a large collective as the US is likely to depend on what one counts as wealth. One way would be to add up the household wealth and government owned wealth. Household wealth is easy enough to estimate using statistical techniques and readily available data. The total value of homes, vehicles, shares of stocks, and savings held by households are easy to aggregate. Estimating government wealth is harder because local, state and federal governments own land which has natural resources that constitute national wealth but cannot be priced.

The 2015 US GDP in 2015 dollars was $18T according to the World Bank. Total world GDP for 2015 was $75T. That is, the US accounted for around 24 percent of world income with only a little over 4 percent of the world population. The question is: why is the US so successful in creating wealth?

(A related question would be why the US tops the rest of the world in the destruction of wealth — through wars and the mass production and stockpiling of a vast array of weapons of mass destruction. I will deal with that in a different piece.)

The one word answer to that question is “Freedom.” Free people create the institutions that help people create wealth. The institution most critically important is what is called “free markets”, and it can only be created by free people. The progression is simple: free people ⇒ free markets ⇒ wealth creation.

Free Markets

We humans exchange all kinds of stuff among ourselves. Why we exchange stuff is because we are not equally good at producing all the things that we want to consume. That is, through exchange individually we are able to consume a larger set of goods than if we were confined to consume only what we individually produce or was available to us. Where exchanges are done is called the market. It need not necessarily be a physical location, although commonly it is, because markets in essence are a mechanism (an institution) where rights are traded, and rights are abstractions. I can buy the right to a piece of land by paying for it by a bank transfer over the web.

Markets are as old as civilization. More precisely, as old as the invention of human laws that established the notion of private property. The important advance was the establishment through some rule the link between something and someone. Without private property, there can be no exchange since what you don’t own, you cannot exchange. A certain set of rules lead to ownership, that creates the possibility of exchange, and therefore markets.

Different sets of rules create different kinds of markets. One special kind is “free markets.” Free markets are those in which there are no barriers to entry or exit. Anyone can participate as a buyer or a seller in a free market, and equally importantly, anyone can exit the market as a buyer or a seller. There is no force or coercion involved in a free market.

Slavery

Examples of not-free markets abound. A slave market is not a free market for one obvious reason: a slave does not own himself. The lack of self-ownership is a consequence of the set of rules in a society that recognizes slavery.

The US used to have a set of rules of that kind until slavery was abolished in December 1865. The UK abolished slavery in 1833 in the British Empire except for the territories held by the East India Company. The Indian Slavery Act of 1843 outlawed slavery in India under East India Company rule.

Self-ownership is a necessary precondition for the existence of a labor market where people can buy and sell labor. But that is not a sufficient condition for free labor market. When there are barriers to entry (or exit) in the labor market, then it is not a free market. These barriers are always created by the government. For instance, a minimum wage is a barrier to entry in the labor market.

British Raj

In India, there are laws that forbid certain firms from letting go of labor at will. That is, there is no free exit from the market as a buyer. This is supposed to help labor but it actually hurts the interests of labor and thus is a major factor that impoverishes India.

For around 150 years until 1947, the British crafted all the rules that governed British India. These rules were understandably designed to keep Indians under British government control, and therefore India lacked free markets. That led to deepening poverty in India. After 1947 when the British left, the Indian leaders took over the task of denying freedom to Indians using essentially those British era rules, including the restrictions on free markets. India’s poverty was engineered by the British and implemented enthusiastically by Indians.

One of the features that distinguishes India and the US, and which explains why India is poor while the US is rich, is that the US has relatively more free markets than India. Of course the lack of free markets is a consequence of a general lack of freedom in India. That’s India’s “license control permit quota raj” that Indian politicians of all stripes absolutely adore.

Competition

Competition is a universal feature of the biological world. Indeed the variety of life on earth is a consequence of that universal biological drive. The origin of species, as Charles Darwin discovered, requires competitive success. Every animal that ever lived has had an unbroken line of successful ancestors.

Humans are not only not immune but are masters of the competition game. Wealth creation depends on competition. Even cooperation — the seeming opposite of competition — is at least partly motivated by the competitive instinct in the sense that absent the necessary cooperation of others, one would be handicapped in any competition.

Free markets, with their characteristic lack of barriers to entry and exit, is the battle ground for competition, and the source of all the wealth that we enjoy. Free markets create wealth through competition.

Look around yourself and see all the material goods that you value. Take the computer that I am using to write this, the internet that will make this piece accessible to anyone who is interested in reading this perhaps on a smart phone. All of them the products of intense competition. The big corporations such as Google, Apple, Tesla, Microsoft etc., and the innumerable small firms all the way down to the little corner stores — all of them products of competition that markets enable. Also note that the greater the extent of free markets, the greater the range and scope of wealth producing firms.

South Korea is a rich country, while North Korea is a poor country. The South Koreans have freedom that the North Koreans don’t have. Hence South Korea produces great wealth. The distinction between the two comes down to the set of rules.

South Korea’s Samsung competes with Apple. Apple is forced to be as good as it is because of Samsung, and vice versa. The same story can be told in any industry. The auto industry keeps innovating and turning out ever better products because of the competition among automotive firms. Boeing and Airbus keep improving their jetliners not because they love airlines but because they want a greater share of the commercial jetliner pie. Airlines compete with each other by providing the best price-services value not because they love airline passengers but because they love to make a profit.

Love and Self-love

Love is always in short supply relative to demand. Therefore economizing on love is always a great idea. What makes the world go around given the scarcity of love is the desire for the easily attainable commercial profits. The great Scottish enlightenment moral philosopher, Adam Smith, the granddaddy of economics, put it very nicely in his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, published by happy coincidence the same year that the US became independent, 1776.

Without apology and with great delight, I present an extended quote from Volume 1, Chapter 2 of the book. Smith discusses exchange and cooperation, and how self-interest, far from impoverishing the world, leads to socially beneficial outcomes even though that is not the primary interest of the participants in a market exchange:

Wealth of Nations “Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that. When an animal wants to obtain something either of a man or of another animal, it has no other means of persuasion but to gain the favour of those whose service it requires. … In civilised society [man] stands at all times in need of the cooperation and assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons. In almost every other race of animals each individual, when it is grown up to maturity, is entirely independent, and in its natural state has occasion for the assistance of no other living creature. But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

Not love but self-love that makes motivates people to do what they do, and that creates wealth.

Alice’s Insight

I cannot leave this topic without a respectful nod toward another great mind — the logician, mathematician, author Lewis Carroll (born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 1832 – 1898). Most people know of his famous books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1871). But only scholars interested in voting methods know that he is the author of the Dogdson’s Method that selects a Condorset winner in an election.

alice-and-the-duchessDon’t bother yourself with what a Condorset winner is. I mention that only BTW. What I really want to point to is that matter of love. In Wonderland, Alice meets the Duchess and in one exchange, the Duchess makes the extraordinary claim that the moral of a particular event is that:

“Oh, ’tis love, ’tis love, that makes the world go round!”

Clearly Alice was not going to buy that leftist bile.

“Somebody said,” Alice whispered, “that it’s done by everybody minding their own business!”

I’d like to believe that it was good ol’ Adam Smith whom Alice was quoting. I will go into minding your own business in part 2 of this piece.

Be well, do good work and please keep in touch.

{Hat tip Rajan Parrikar for the Buffett letter.}


by atanu at February 27, 2017 05:45 AM

GOOD

Social Media Goes Wild After Shocking Mix-Up At The Oscars

Anything can happen on live TV.

On Sunday night, the Oscars seemingly came to a very expected end with “La La Land” taking home the Best Picture award. However, a few moments into the film crew’s acceptance speech, Warren Beatty came back onto the stage to announce he had made a mistake and added that “Moonlight” had actually won the award. 

While no presenter has ever admitted to mistaking the name on the envelope, theories abound that 1993’s Best Supporting Actress winner Marissa Tomei was wrongfully given the award by presenter Jack Palance. The rumor, however, has been thoroughly debunked

Perhaps all this added drama will help the flagging ratings of the Oscars. One place the moment surely won big was on social media, where news outlets, fans, and actors had a field day with the upset. Check out a few of the reactions below. 












February 27, 2017 05:30 AM

Shantanu's Blog

list of useful containers

Here is a list of some of the containers those I use frequently. Here is how to install docker
First make sure that you are a root user. And there is enough disk space available.

# install docker
yum install -y docker

# start docker
vi /etc/sysconfig/docker-storage

DOCKER_STORAGE_OPTIONS="--storage-opt dm.basesize=200G"

/etc/init.d/docker start

# Install docker-compose
curl -L https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.8.0/docker-compose-`uname -s`-`uname -m` > /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

# Install aliases
curl -sf -L https://raw.githubusercontent.com/shantanuo/docker/master/alias.sh | sh

Editing storage options above will allow bigger containers (upto 200 GB) to be loaded. The container may get out of space once you start saving data into it.

Node.js

In order to use node application within docker environment, you can use the official node image that can be found here...

https://hub.docker.com/r/library/node/

Change to the directory where you have already written code and add the dockerfile with these 2 lines...

$ vi Dockerfile
FROM node:4-onbuild
EXPOSE 8888

Once your script is ready, you need to build an image...

$ docker build -t shantanuo/my-nodejs-app .

And run the node application...

$ docker run -p 8888:8888 -d shantanuo/my-nodejs-app
_____

You can push this image to docker hub as a private or public repository.

docker login
username:shantanuo
password:XXXX

docker push shantanuo/my-nodejs-app

MySQL

ofifical mysql repository

mkdir -p /storage/test-mysql/datadir
docker run -d -p 3306:3306  -e MYSQL_ALLOW_EMPTY_PASSWORD=yes  -v /my/custom:/etc/mysql/conf.d  -v /storage/test-mysql/datadir:/var/lib/mysql   -v /my/custom:/etc/mysql/conf.d  mysql:5.6

(size: 100MB)
Just by changing the name to test-mysql2 we can set up another mysql container. Instead of mysql official version, we can use tutum/mysql which has customized installation.

fixed the bug in the official mysql image

https://github.com/shantanuo/mysql

Percona with tokuDB

docker run -e MYSQL_ALLOW_EMPTY_PASSWORD=yes -e INIT_TOKUDB=1 -d percona/percona-server

log in to the container and run this command to enable tokudb if "show engines" command does not show tokudb.

ps_tokudb_admin --enable

Backup
# backup of mysql hosted in the folder /storage of another container named mysql-server

docker run -it \
--link mysql-server:mysql \
-v /storage/mysql-server/datadir:/var/lib/mysql \
-v /storage/backups:/backups \
--rm=true \
severalnines/mysql-pxb \
sh -c 'exec /run_backup.sh'

# backup of mysql from hosted machine

docker run -it \
-v /var/lib/mysql:/var/lib/mysql \
-v /storage/backups:/backups \
--rm=true \
severalnines/mysql-pxb \
sh -c 'exec innobackupex --host="$hostname" --port="3306" --user=root --password="$rootpassword" /backups'

Utilities

# cluster control container:
docker run -d --name clustercontrol -p 5000:80 severalnines/clustercontrol

elastic

1) official container

Here are 2 commands to start Elasticsearch with Kibana using docker.

# cat /tmp/elasticsearch.yml
script.inline: on
script.indexed: on
network.host: 0.0.0.0

# docker run -d -v /tmp/:/usr/share/elasticsearch/config  -p 9200:9200 -p 9300:9300  -e ES_HEAP_SIZE=30g elasticsearch

Find the name of the container and link it to kibana by changing kibana_name_here below like this...

# docker run -d -p 5601:5601 --link   kibana_name_here:elasticsearch -e ELASTICSEARCH_URL=http://elasticsearch:9200 kibana
_____

Login to the newly created elastic container and install plug-ins
docker exec -it container_id bash

# pwd
/usr/share/elasticsearch

# bin/plugin install analysis-phonetic

Once the plugin is installed, restart the container so that elastic service will be restarted....
# docker restart c44004a47f46

2) custom container

elastic - customize elasticsearch installation and maintenance

3) elastic with kibana version 5
docker run --name myelastic -v /tmp/:/usr/share/elasticsearch/config  -p 9200:9200 -p 9300:9300 -d elasticsearch:5.0

docker run -d -p 5601:5601 --link myelastic:elasticsearch -e ELASTICSEARCH_URL=http://elasticsearch:9200 kibana:5.0
_____

# docker run -p 9200:9200 -p 9300:9300 -e ES_JAVA_OPTS="-Xms512m -Xmx512m" -d elasticsearch:5

You may get this error in your logs:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.RuntimeException: bootstrap checks failed max virtual memory areas vm.max_map_count [65530] likely too low, increase to at least [262144]

You'll need to fix up your docker host to support more vm.max_map_count. For reference:

sysctl -w vm.max_map_count=262144

https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/guide/current/_file_descriptors_and_mmap.html

adminer

adminer is the web interface to connect to any database like postgresql, mysql or oracle
Instead of linking adminer on any port, use --net=host to use the default port 80 of host machine. It will also use default mysql port 3306 that is fortunately linked to mysql container as shown above.

If you do not want to add one more parameter i.e. --net then use the default "bridge" network protocol. You will need to use the following command to find the IP address of the docker host.

# ip addr show docker0

This command will show the docker host IP address on the docker0 network interface.

redshift connection:

docker run -i -t --rm -p 80:80 --name adminer shantanuo/adminer

The above command will log-in to docker container. You need to start apache service within container...

sudo service apache2 start

Or use any of the method mentioned below:

download

wget http://www.adminer.org/latest.php -O /tmp/index.php

connect to any database like mysql, pgsql, redshift, oracle or mongoDB

postgresql (redshift) or mysql

docker run -it -p 8060:80 -v /tmp/:/var/www/html/ shantanuo/phpadminer

mongoDB

docker run -d -p 8070:80 -v /tmp:/var/www/html ishiidaichi/apache-php-mongo-phalcon

oracle

docker run -d -p 8080:80 -v /tmp/:/app lukaszkinder/apache-php-oci8-pdo_oci

# not sure about how to support mssql

python

compact packages

1) pyrun
python versions 2 and 3 compact, without any external libraries, for basic testing like this...
here is an easy way to convince people to upgrade to python 3.0+

# docker run -it --rm shantanuo/pyrun:2.7 python
>>> 3/2
1

# docker run -it --rm shantanuo/pyrun:3.4 python
>>> 3/2
1.5

Python 2.7 version returns absolute value 1 while 3.4 version correctly returns 1.5

2) staticpython 
4 MB single file python package!

3) socket 
 python with application files

Complete python package

4) conda official 
Official python installation:

https://github.com/ContinuumIO/docker-images

And here is the command to start miniconda and ipython together...

docker run -i -t -p 8888:8888 continuumio/miniconda3 /bin/bash -c "/opt/conda/bin/conda install jupyter -y --quiet && mkdir /opt/notebooks && /opt/conda/bin/jupyter notebook --notebook-dir=/opt/notebooks --ip='*' --port=8888 --no-browser"

5) miniconda customized
Here is an impage with pandas and sqldf modules

# Start ipython container that is based on miniconda image in a screen session
docker run -p 7778:7778 -t shantanuo/miniconda_ipython_sqldf /bin/bash

# better start with environment variables
docker run -p 7778:7778 \
-e DEV_ACCESS_KEY=XXX -e DEV_SECRET_KEY=YYY \
-e PROD_READONLY_ACCESS_KEY=XXX -e PROD_READONLY_SECRET_KEY=YYY \
-e PROD_READWRITE_ACCESS_KEY=XXX -e PROD_READWRITE_SECRET_KEY=YYY \
-t shantanuo/miniconda_ipython_sqldf /bin/bash

# Log-in to newly created container
docker exec -it $(docker ps -l -q) /bin/bash

# Start ipython notebook on port 7778 that can be accessed from anywhere (*)
cd /home/
ipython notebook --ip=* --port=7778

# and use the environment keys in your code like this...
import boto3
import os
s3 = boto3.client('s3',aws_access_key_id=os.environ['DEV_ACCESS_KEY'], aws_secret_access_key=os.environ['DEV_SECRET_KEY'])

application containers

Here is an example from amazon about how to build your own container with php application.

https://github.com/awslabs/ecs-demo-php-simple-app

Utility containers

1) myscan 

Use OCR to read any image.
alias pancard='docker run -i --rm -v "$(pwd)":/home/ shantanuo/myscan python /scan.py "$@"'

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dilippuri/PAN-Card-OCR/master/testcases/1crop.jpg

pancard 1crop.jpg

2) panamapapers 

container with sqlite database ready for query

3) newrelic
newrelic docker image that works like nagios

docker run -d \
--privileged=true --name nrsysmond \
--pid=host \
--net=host \
-v /sys:/sys \
-v /dev:/dev \
-v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
-v /var/log:/var/log:rw \
-e NRSYSMOND_license_key=186b2a8d6af29107609abca749296b46cda9fa69 \
-e NRSYSMOND_logfile=/var/log/nrsysmond.log \
newrelic/nrsysmond:latest

docker run -d \
  -e NEW_RELIC_LICENSE_KEY=186b2a8d6af29107609abca749296b46cda9fa69  \
  -e AGENT_HOST=52.1.174.168 \
  -e AGENT_USER=root \
  -e AGENT_PASSWD=XXXXX \
  newrelic/mysql-plugin

4) OCS inventory
docker run -d -p 80:80 -p 3301:3306 zanhsieh/docker-ocs-inventory-ng

http://52.86.68.170/ocsreports/
(username:admin, password:admin)

5) selenium
simulate a browser (crome) with selenium pre-installed

docker run -d -v /dev/shm:/dev/shm -p 4444:4444 selenium/standalone-chrome

The Hub url...
http://52.205.135.220:4444/wd/hub/


6) Deploying registry server
#Start your registry:
docker run -d -p 5000:5000 --restart=always --name registry registry:2

#You can now use it with docker. Tag any image to point to your registry:
docker tag image_name localhost:5000/image_name

#then push it to your registry:
docker push localhost:5000/image_name

# pull it back from your registry:
docker pull localhost:5000/image_name

# push the registry container to hub
docker stop registry
docker commit registry
docker push registry

7) Docker User Interface
docker run -d -p 9000:9000 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/docker.sock --name dockerui abh1nav/dockerui:latest -e="/docker.sock"

Better user interface with shell access:

docker run -d -p 9000:9000 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock portainer/portainer

8) docker clean up container
docker run -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock -v /var/lib/docker:/var/lib/docker --rm martin/docker-cleanup-volumes --dry-run

9) prometheus monitoring
check port 9090 and cadvisor on 8080

git clone https://github.com/vegasbrianc/prometheus.git
cd prometheus/

/usr/local/bin/docker-compose  up -d

10) open refine utility
# docker run --privileged -v /openrefine_projects/:/mnt/refine -p 35181:3333 -d psychemedia/ou-tm351-openrefine
Or use this:
docker run -p 3334:3333 -v /mnt/refine -d psychemedia/docker-openrefine

11) Freeswitch
docker run -d sous/freeswitch

12) mongodb
from tutum
docker run -d -p 27017:27017 -p 28017:28017 -e MONGODB_PASS="mypass" tutum/mongodb

offical image with wiredTiger engine
docker run -p 27017:27017 -v /tokudata:/data/db -d mongo --storageEngine wiredTiger

with tokumx compression engine
docker run -p 27017:27017 -v /tokudata:/data/db -d ankurcha/tokumx

# create alias for bsondump command

# alias bsondump='docker run -i --rm -v /tmp/:/tmp/ -w /tmp/ mongo bsondump "$@"'

# bsondump data_hits_20160423.bson > test.json


# alias mongorestore='docker run -i --rm -v /tmp/:/tmp/ -w /tmp/ mongo mongorestore "$@"'

# mongorestore --host `hostname -i` incoming_reports_testing.bson

# docker exec -it 12db5a259e58 mongo

# db.incoming_reports_testing.findOne()

# db.incoming_reports_testing.distinct("caller_id.number")


13) Consul Monitor
docker run -d --name=consul --net=host gliderlabs/consul-server -bootstrap -advertise=52.200.204.48

14) Registrator container
$ docker run -d \
--name=registrator \
--net=host \
--volume=/var/run/docker.sock:/tmp/docker.sock \
gliderlabs/registrator:latest \
consul://localhost:8500

15) wordpress

There is a custom image here...

docker run -p 8081:80 -d tutum/wordpress

docker has official wordpress containers.

docker run -d -p 3306:3306  -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=india mysql:5.7

docker run -p 8083:80 --link gigantic_pike:mysql -e WORDPRESS_DB_NAME=wpdb -e WORDPRESS_DB_USER=root -e WORDPRESS_DB_PASSWORD=india -d wordpress

And we can also use docker compose the start and link db and application containers.

vi docker-compose.yml

version: '2'

services:
   db:
     image: mysql:5.7
     volumes:
       - "./.data/db:/var/lib/mysql"
     restart: always
     environment:
       MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: wordpress
       MYSQL_DATABASE: wordpress
       MYSQL_USER: wordpress
       MYSQL_PASSWORD: wordpress

   wordpress:
     depends_on:
       - db
     image: wordpress:latest
     links:
       - db
     ports:
       - "8000:80"
     restart: always
     environment:
       WORDPRESS_DB_HOST: db:3306
       WORDPRESS_DB_PASSWORD: wordpress

/usr/local/bin/docker-compose up -d

15a) Drupal

docker run --name cmsdb -p 3306:3306  -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=india -d mysql:5.7

docker run --name mydrupal --link cmsdb:mysql -p 8080:80 -e MYSQL_USER=root -e MYSQL_PASSWORD=india -d drupal

Choose advance option and change "localhost" value for Database host to the mysql container name.

16) Packetbeat container
docker run -d --restart=always --net=host shantanuo/packetbeat-agent

17) Django

docker run --name some-django-app -v "$PWD":/usr/src/app -w /usr/src/app -p 8000:8000  -e location=mumbai -d django bash -c "pip install -r requirements.txt && python manage.py runserver 0.0.0.0:8000"

18) rabbitmq
docker run -d --hostname oksoft -p 8080:15672 rabbitmq:3-management

19) ruby and passenger
(official docker image from phusion)

docker run -d -p 3000:3000 phusion/passenger-full

# login to your container:
docker exec -it container_id bash

# change to opt directory
cd /opt/
mkdir public

# a test file
curl google.com > public/index.html

# start passenger:
passenger start

20) update containers
# monitor the containers named "nginx" and "redis" for updates

docker run -d \
  --name watchtower \
  -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \
  centurylink/watchtower nginx redis

21) sematext monitoring
Access your docker and other stats from # https://apps.sematext.com

docker run --memory-swap=-1  -d --name sematext-agent --restart=always -e SPM_TOKEN=653a6dc9-1740-4a25-85d3-b37c9ad76308 -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock sematext/sematext-agent-docker

23) network emulator delay
Add network delay of 3000 mili seconds to docker traffic.

# terminal 1
# docker run -it --rm --name tryme alpine sh -c     "apk add --update iproute2 && ping www.example.com"

# terminal 2
# docker run -it --rm -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock gaiaadm/pumba pumba netem --interface eth0 --duration 1m delay --time 3000 tryme

by shantanu (noreply@blogger.com) at February 27, 2017 05:11 AM

datameet Google Group

Re: GeoHYD Meetup: 26th Feb 12 p.m -1 p.m

A lot of people wanted to attend this meetup and where asking me for live video. I intend to write a tutorial on the blog and update it here. Also we had a good set folks who want to work on lot of things. Someone from SLFC attended to show internetshutdowns.in If you have suggestions for

by srinivas kodali at February 27, 2017 05:07 AM

GOOD

After Making History, Viola Davis Gave A Powerful Oscars Speech That Left Pretty Much Everyone In Tears

Viola Davis has earned herself a reputation for giving emotional speeches this awards season. So when she tearfully accepted her first Oscar Sunday night—as Best Supporting Actress for her powerful work in the film adaptation of playwright August Wilson’s Fences—it wasn’t exactly a surprise. But even typically droll host Jimmy Kimmel was a little weak in the knees by the time Davis left the stage, remarking, “Viola Davis just got nominated for an Emmy for her acceptance speech… I don’t know if anyone’s going to be able to make a speech after that.”

Notably, Davis is only the second black actor (after Whoopi Goldberg) in history with a Tony, an Emmy, and an Oscar under her belt—and she’s the first to earn all three awards for her acting. Now she just needs a Grammy to complete her EGOT. Below, read Davis’ full acceptance speech (and try not to end up in tears yourself):

Thank you to the Academy. You know, there's one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place and that's the graveyard. People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artist—and thank God I did—because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.

So, here's to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people. And to Bron Pictures, Paramount, Macro, Todd Black, Molly Allen for being the cheerleaders for a movie that is about people. And words. And life and forgiveness and grace. And to Michael T. Williamson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, for being the most wonderful artists I've ever worked with.

And oh captain, my captain, Denzel Washington.

Thank you for putting two entities in the driving seat: August and God. And they served you well. And to Dan and Mary Alice Davis, who were and are the center of my universe, the people who taught me good or bad, how to fail, how to love, how to hold an award, how to lose. My parents―I'm so thankful that God chose you to bring me into this world. To my sisters, my sister Dolores, we were rich white women in the tea party games. Thank you for the imagination. And to my husband and my daughter. My heart, you and Genesis. You teach me every day how to live, how to love, I'm so glad that you are the foundation of my life. Thank you to the Academy. Thank you.

We are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.

Davis wasn’t the only one left weeping in the wake of a speech that will surely be remembered for years to come. Sunday night, the entire internet seemed to have gotten something in its eye:






by Katie Wudel at February 27, 2017 04:00 AM

Planet Python

William Minchin: Post Stats Plugin 1.1.0 for Pelican Released

Post Stats is a plugin for Pelican, a static site generator written in Python.

Post Stats calculates various statistics about a post and store them in an article.stats dictionary:

  • wc: how many words (i.e. word count)
  • read_mins: how many minutes would it take to read this article, based on 250 wpm
  • word_counts: frquency count of all the words in the article; can be used for tag/word clouds
  • fi: Flesch-kincaid Index/ Reading Ease (">">more info)
  • fk: Flesch-kincaid Grade Level

Installation

The easiest way to install Post Stats is through the use of pip. This will also install the required dependencies automatically.

pip install minchin.pelican.plugins.post_stats

Then, in your pelicanconf.py file, add Post Stats to your list of plugins:

PLUGINS = [
           # ...
           'minchin.pelican.plugins.post_stats',
           # ...
           ]

You may also need to configure your template to make use of the statistics generated.

Requirements

Post Stats depends on (and is really only useful with) Pelican. The plugin also requries Beautiful Soup 4 to process your content. If the plugin is installed from pip, these will automatically be installed. These can also be manually installed with pip:

pip install pelican
pip install beautifulsoup4

Configuration and Usage

This plugin calculates various statistics about a post and store them in an article.stats dictionary.

Example:

{
    'wc': 2760,
    'fi': '65.94',
    'fk': '7.65',
    'word_counts': Counter({u'to': 98, u'a': 90, u'the': 83, ...}),
    'read_mins': 12
}

This allows you to output these values in your templates, like this, for example:

<p title="~{{ article.stats['wc'] }} words">~{{ article.stats['read_mins'] }} min read</p>
<ul>
    <li>Flesch-kincaid Index/ Reading Ease: {{ article.stats['fi'] }}</li>
    <li>Flesch-kincaid Grade Level: {{ article.stats['fk'] }}</li>
</ul>

The word_counts variable is a Python Counter dictionary and looks something like this, with each unique word and it’s frequency:

Counter({u'to': 98, u'a': 90, u'the': 83, u'of': 50, u'karma': 50, .....

and can be used to create a tag/word cloud for a post.

There are no user-configurable settings.

Known Issues

An issue, as such, is that there is no formal test suite. Testing is currently limited to my in-use observations. I also run a basic check upon uploaded the package to PyPI that it can be downloaded and loaded into Python.

The package is tested in Python 3.6; compatibility with other version of Python is unknown, but there should be nothing particular keeping it from working with other “modern” versions of Python.

Credits

Original plugin by Duncan Lock (@dflock) and posted to the Pelican-Plugins repo.

License

The plugin code is assumed to be under the AGPLv3 license (this is the license of the Pelican-Plugins repo).

February 27, 2017 03:52 AM

The Django community aggregator

lines and colors :: a blog about drawing, painting, illustration, comics, concept art and other visual arts

Marie Egner

Marie Egner, Austrian painter, still life, florals, landsapes
Marie Egner was an Austrian painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who focused largely on floral still life and landscapes that often incorporated floral subjects along with architectural elements and woodland scenes.

Egner was adept with both oil and watercolor, her approach in both mediums combining bold statements with passages of great delicacy.

 
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by Charley Parker at February 27, 2017 03:14 AM

Daring Fireball

Uber Misled Public About Its Self-Driving Car That Was Caught Running a Red Light

Mike Isaac and Daisuke Wakabayashi, reporting for The New York Times:

The experiment quickly ran into problems. In one case, an autonomous Volvo zoomed through a red light on a busy street in front of the city’s Museum of Modern Art.

Uber, a ride-hailing service, said the incident was because of human error. “This is why we believe so much in making the roads safer by building self-driving Ubers,” Chelsea Kohler, a company spokeswoman, said in December.

But even though Uber said it had suspended an employee riding in the Volvo, the self-driving car was, in fact, driving itself when it barreled through the red light, according to two Uber employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements with the company, and internal Uber documents viewed by The New York Times. All told, the mapping programs used by Uber’s cars failed to recognize six traffic lights in the San Francisco area. “In this case, the car went through a red light,” the documents said.

I called this correctly back in December: their PR statement was carefully worded to mislead:

At first read, it sounds like Uber is saying there was a human driving the car. But if you parse it closely, it could also be the case that the car was in autonomous mode, and the “human error” was that the human behind the wheel didn’t notice the car was going to sail through a red light, and failed to manually activate the brake. I think that’s what happened — otherwise the statement wouldn’t be ambiguous.

Another case where lying has made a situation much worse. Everyone now knows the truth — their self-driving car was caught running a red light in downtown San Francisco — and the company’s (already questionable) credibility is shot. No one will believe a word the company says about future incidents with its autonomous cars.

by John Gruber at February 27, 2017 03:10 AM

sen city

Oscars 2017: The 9 Best Picture nominees, ranked

hellorhw1.jpg

The Oscar race has been run.

The votes have been cast and the envelopes are sealed. I’ve speculated enough about each category — actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and director  and made predictions, but let’s take a closer look at the biggest envelope of all. Regardless of who actually wins.

The 89th annual Academy Awards nominated nine feature films for the Best Picture award this year. Here, in ascending order, is my ranking of these nominees.

9. Lion

A sweet true story about a child finding his way home, this simple and linear Garth Davis film is single-handedly made special by wonderful child-star Sunny Pawar.

Read review here.

8. Hidden Figures

An inspirational film about the trials and tribulations faced by brilliant black women at NASA during the space race, Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures proves that movies about math can be genuinely exciting.

Read review here.

7. Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson returns to form with this powerful World War II film about a conscientious objector, played compellingly by Andrew Garfield.  A film both spectacular and sincere.

6. Manchester By The Sea

Kenneth Lonergan’s masterful study of grief puts the viewer through the wringer. A difficult but worthy film, Manchester By The Sea rests on the able shoulders of a striking lead performance from Casey Affleck.

5. Fences

Take a bow, Denzel Washington. This adaptation of the August Wilson play arguably features the best acting all year. The popular criticism that the film is too much like a stage-play rings shallow when you see how magnificently nuanced the performances are.

4. Moonlight

An exquisitely shot and evocative triumph, Moonlight is a fine and fractured narrative about a fine and fractured protagonist. This Barry Jenkins film is lyrical, poetic and intentionally slow — like the gaps between changing songs in a jukebox.

Read review here.

3. Arrival

Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is a modern masterpiece, a visionary work of filmmaking that expands on a science-fiction short story by repeatedly asking the most elegantly logical questions. When the aliens ask to be taken to our leader, how will we understand them? This film, in a way a film about the very idea of language, tries to give us a way forward.

2. Hell Or High Water

Thanks to technology, neo-westerns look tastier, hotter and more textured than ever. And yet David Mackenzie’s Hell Or High Water — a mouthwatering film where every other frame can be hung up on the wall like a painting — stands head and shoulders above others in the genre, including the Coens’ No Country For Old Men. At once immediately thrilling as well as deceptively profound, this is a film to love.

1. La La Land

Speaking of love… Damien Chazelle’s throwback to old Hollywood musicals is an exultant magic trick, a film that shows us love and longing while giving us songs to soar with.

It’s all very well to draw a line of reference between Chazelle’s film and Jacques Demy’s 1964 classic The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg, but — blasphemy and bad editorials be damned — the truth is that Chazelle’s film is a greater accomplishment and a finer film, working on more levels and giving us something that is both more satisfying as well as more challenging. Unravel it over and over again.

This is the film that deserves to define 2016.

Read review here.

~


by rajasen at February 27, 2017 03:03 AM

SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green

ISC Stormcast For Monday, February 27th 2017 https://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=5391, (Mon, Feb 27th)

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. https://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

February 27, 2017 03:00 AM

Planet Python

William Minchin: Optimize Images Plugin 1.1.0 for Pelican Released

Optimize Images is a plugin for Pelican, a static site generator written in Python.

Optimize Images applies lossless compression on JPEG and PNG images, with no effect on image quality. It uses jpegtran and OptiPNG.

Installation

The easiest way to install Optimize Images is through the use of pip. This will also install the required Python dependencies automatically (currently none beyond Pelican itself).

pip install minchin.pelican.plugins.optimize_images

It is assumed both jpegtran and OptiPNG are installed and available on the system path.

Then, in your pelicanconf.py file, add Optimize Images to your list of plugins:

PLUGINS = [
           # ...
           'minchin.pelican.plugins.optimize_images',
           # ...
           ]

Requirements

Optimize Images depends on (and is really only useful with) Pelican. This can be manually installed with pip:

pip install pelican

It is assumed both jpegtran and OptiPNG are installed on system path. On Windows, installers are available at each respective website. On Ubuntu systems (including Travis-CI), the two can be installed via apt-get.

apt-get install optipng libjpeg-progs

Configuration and Usage

The plugin will activate and optimize images upon finalized signal of Pelican.

The plugin has no user settings.

Known Issues

Image manipulation like this can take some time to run. You may consider only adding this plugin to your publishconf.py (rather than your base pelicanconf.py), which will then only run this image optimization in preparation for site publication.

An issue, as such, is that there is no formal test suite. Testing is currently limited to my in-use observations. I also run a basic check upon uploaded the package to PyPI that it can be downloaded and loaded into Python.

The package is tested in Python 3.6; compatibility with other version of Python is unknown, but there should be nothing particular keeping it from working with other “modern” versions of Python.

Credits

Original plugin from the Pelican-Plugins repo.

License

The plugin code is assumed to be under the AGPLv3 license (this is the license of the Pelican-Plugins repo).

February 27, 2017 03:00 AM

GOOD

Here’s Why Oscar Attendees Wore Blue Ribbons At The Oscars

Celebrities looked predictably stunning on the red carpet at the 89th annual Academy Awards on Sunday evening. Women and men alike rocked the latest couture from Armani to Zuhair Murad, but there was one tiny accessory that made the biggest statement: a royal blue ribbon signifying support for the American Civil Liberties Union. 

“Loving” actress Ruth Negga, “Hamilton” creator Lin Manuel Miranda, actress Busy Phillips, and perhaps most interestingly Karlie Kloss, who is dating Joshua Kushner, brother of Trump advisor Jared Kushner, all showed up in Hollywood, California in their best frocks, but also with the the small symbol of support meant to send a message to President Donald Trump. 

Negga’s ribbon comes as a homage to her character from the film, Mildred Loving, who was banished from Virginia along with her husband for their interracial marriage. In 1967, the ACLU took her case to the Supreme Court, which struck down the law that enforced segregation in relationships, according to The New York Times

Negga said on her Instagram account it is the accessory she is “most proud of.”  She additionally told PEOPLEshe wore the ribbon because she has “basic love of human rights. That’s what they champion. And they’re a big part of our film.”

The blue ribbon initiative was launched by the ACLU in the days leading up to the Oscars, The Hollywood Reporter notes as, “a symbol of solidarity with the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, which has worked for nearly 100 years to defend and protect individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and law of the U.S.”

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said in a statement to Vanity Fair, “The support of the entertainment community for the A.C.L.U.’s work protecting our civil liberties has been nothing short of spectacular, and tonight is no exception. Their voices are crucial in our fight to defend the Constitution and its promise of equality and justice for everyone in our country—no matter who they are and where they come from.”




Other actors and directors chose to show their support for Trump’s usual targets in other ways, including director Ava DuVernay who chose to wear Ashi Studio, a design house from Lebanon. 

For her part, actress Emma Stone wore a tiny silver Planned Parenthood pin. 

In case any Hollywood types are looking for further inspiration, look no further than GOOD’s own alternative Oscars goodie bag

by Stacey Leasca at February 27, 2017 02:10 AM

Krebs on Security

More on Bluetooth Ingenico Overlay Skimmers

This blog has featured several stories about “overlay” card and PIN skimmers made to be placed atop Ingenico-brand card readers at store self-checkout lanes. I’m revisiting the topic again because a security technician at a U.S.-based retailer recently shared a few photos of several of these devices pulled from compromised card terminals, and the images and his story offer a fair bit more detail than in previous articles.

An "overlay" skimming device (right) that was found attached to a card reader at a retail establishment.

An “overlay” skimming device (right) that was found attached to a card reader at a retail establishment.

The device featured here is a Bluetooth-based skimmer; it is designed to steal both the card data when a customer swipes and to record the victim’s PIN using a PIN pad overlay.

The Bluetooth component of the skimmer allows the thieves to retrieve stolen data wirelessly via virtually any Bluetooth enabled device — just by being in proximity to the compromised card terminal (~30 meters).

If we look on the backside of this skimmer, we can see the electronics needed to intercept the PIN. The source who shared these pictures said an employee thought the PIN pad buttons were a little too difficult to press down, and soon discovered this plastic overlay and others just like it on two more self-checkout terminals.

PED1

Here’s a closeup of the electronics that power this skimmer (sorry, this is the highest resolution photo available):

closeupe

This model of overlay skimmers appears to be quite similar to a version sold in the cybercrime underground and detailed in this post.

According to my retail source who shared these pictures, the overlay skimmers used parts cannibalized from Samsung smart phones. The source said the devices placed themselves in a mode to transmit stolen card data and PINs as soon as they were turned off and back on again. Investigators also discovered that they could connect via Bluetooth to the skimming devices by entering the PIN “2016” on a Bluetooth-enabled wireless device.

However, the source said none of the overlay skimmers they found appeared to have any on-board data storage, suggesting the thieves had planted a second wireless device somewhere in or near the store and were hoovering up card and PIN data via Bluetooth in real time. Or, perhaps the crooks were simply sitting outside the store in the parking lot, using a laptop and high-gain antenna to pull down card and PIN data.

skimside“We combed the property for something like an old cell phone gathering data, but we didn’t find anything,” the source told KrebsOnSecurity.

Customers generally are the first line of defense against these types of scams. Not long ago, KrebsOnSecurity published a post on how to spot Ingenico self-checkout skimmers. Unfortunately, most of the telltale signs are only noticeable if you are already well familiar with the appearance of a legitimate Ingenico ISC 250 terminal. Nevertheless, most of these skimmers will detach themselves with a gentle tug on the card reader.

For more tips on spotting these Ingenico overlay skimmers, check out this post. Want to read more about skimming devices, check out my series, All About Skimmers.

by BrianKrebs at February 27, 2017 01:54 AM

Matthew Garrett

The Fantasyland Code of Professionalism is an abuser's fantasy

The Fantasyland Institute of Learning is the organisation behind Lambdaconf, a functional programming conference perhaps best known for standing behind a racist they had invited as a speaker. The fallout of that has resulted in them trying to band together events in order to reduce disruption caused by sponsors or speakers declining to be associated with conferences that think inviting racists is more important than the comfort of non-racists, which is weird in all sorts of ways but not what I'm talking about here because they've also written a "Code of Professionalism" which is like a Code of Conduct except it protects abusers rather than minorities and no really it is genuinely as bad as it sounds.

The first thing you need to know is that the document uses its own jargon. Important here are the concepts of active and inactive participation - active participation is anything that you do within the community covered by a specific instance of the Code, inactive participation is anything that happens anywhere ever (ie, active participation is a subset of inactive participation). The restrictions based around active participation are broadly those that you'd expect in a very weak code of conduct - it's basically "Don't be mean", but with some quirks. The most significant is that there's a "Don't moralise" provision, which as written means saying "I think people who support slavery are bad" in a community setting is a violation of the code, but the description of discrimination means saying "I volunteer to mentor anybody from a minority background" could also result in any community member not from a minority background complaining that you've discriminated against them. It's just not very good.

Inactive participation is where things go badly wrong. If you engage in community or professional sabotage, or if you shame a member based on their behaviour inside the community, that's a violation. Community sabotage isn't defined and so basically allows a community to throw out whoever they want to. Professional sabotage means doing anything that can hurt a member's professional career. Shaming is saying anything negative about a member to a non-member if that information was obtained from within the community.

So, what does that mean? Here are some things that you are forbidden from doing:
  • If a member says something racist at a conference, you are not permitted to tell anyone who is not a community member that this happened (shaming)
  • If a member tries to assault you, you are not allowed to tell the police (shaming)
  • If a member gives a horribly racist speech at another conference, you are not allowed to suggest that they shouldn't be allowed to speak at your event (professional sabotage)
  • If a member of your community reports a violation and no action is taken, you are not allowed to warn other people outside the community that this is considered acceptable behaviour (community sabotage)

Now, clearly, some of these are unintentional - I don't think the authors of this policy would want to defend the idea that you can't report something to the police, and I'm sure they'd be willing to modify the document to permit this. But it's indicative of the mindset behind it. This policy has been written to protect people who are accused of doing something bad, not to protect people who have something bad done to them.

There are other examples of this. For instance, violations are not publicised unless the verdict is that they deserve banishment. If a member harasses another member but is merely given a warning, the victim is still not permitted to tell anyone else that this happened. The perpetrator is then free to repeat their behaviour in other communities, and the victim has to choose between either staying silent or warning them and risk being banished from the community for shaming.

If you're an abuser then this is perfect. You're in a position where your victims have to choose between their career (which will be harmed if they're unable to function in the community) and preventing the same thing from happening to others. Many will choose the former, which gives you far more freedom to continue abusing others. Which means that communities adopting the Fantasyland code will be more attractive to abusers, and become disproportionately populated by them.

I don't believe this is the intent, but it's an inevitable consequence of the priorities inherent in this code. No matter how many corner cases are cleaned up, if a code prevents you from saying bad things about people or communities it prevents people from being able to make informed choices about whether that community and its members are people they wish to associate with. When there are greater consequences to saying someone's racist than them being racist, you're fucking up badly.

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February 27, 2017 01:40 AM

RubyFlow

How to Run Multiple Dependent Builds on Circle CI

Running dependent builds on Circle CI is not something trivial. You need to configure your application to do this with a few simple steps.

February 27, 2017 01:35 AM

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

Procrastinating on February 26, 2017

We re All Public Intellectuals Now The National Interest

Over at Equitable Growth: Must- and Should-Reads:


Interesting Reads:


And Over Here:


Perhaps Worth Looking at...

by J. Bradford DeLong at February 27, 2017 01:14 AM