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 27, 2017

The Django community aggregator

Django ile Web Programlama Video Serisi

Toplam 41 video dan oluşan Django ile Web Programlama eğitim serisi, temel düzeyde Python bilgisi olanlar ve daha önceden web programlama bilgisine sahip olmayanlar için temel seviyeden başlayıp, adım adım giderek Django ile bir web sitesi oluşturmayı hedefler. Django’nun temel mantığını anladıktan sonra, ortalama bir websitesini geliştirmek vaktinizi çok fazla almayacaktır. Django Nedir? Django, tamamen...

Django ile Web Programlama Video Serisi yazısı ilk önce Python Türkiye üzerinde ortaya çıktı.

by Python Turkiye at March 27, 2017 02:54 PM

swissmiss

Small Victories

Small Victories takes files in a Dropbox folder and turns them into a website. I just gave it a try with an photo folder that is sitting on my Dropbox but I am not doing anything with. It works like magic. Wheee!

by swissmiss at March 27, 2017 12:33 PM

The Big Picture

10 Monday AM Reads

Deep from the Heart of Texas: Our Austin sourced morning reads: • How Sears CEO Lampert cashes in as stores cash out (USA Today) • The reason Hollywood’s studio leadership is in flux: The business model is changing (LA Times) • The Dow’s tumultuous 120-year history, in one chart (MarketWatch) • There are 2.4 billion robo-calls every month. The FCC…

Read More

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

by Barry Ritholtz at March 27, 2017 12:30 PM

Zero Hedge

It's "Judgment Time": Goldman Sees Three Options For Traders

From Goldman's Tony Pasquariello

Judgment Time … Options Include:

  1. get bearish S&P for a trade.
  2. don’t fight the primary trend -- this is a melt-up, and there are good (macro) reasons behind it. 
  3. simplify the portfolio; wait for better location to re-load length.

A case for door #1:

  • US equities are OWNED right now.  positioning metrics look very stretched (particularly for the levered community and retail money) and the options market smells of complacency. 
  • the second derivative of global growth will likely turn lower; see first chart below on why that could really matter.
  • plot crude oil, high yield, small cap or the banks -- all of these assets are encountering some turbulence. 
  • coming out of this week, policy expectations surrounding the new administration need to be reconsidered. 

A case for door #2:

  • in February, the Current Activity Index printed its best month in a decade and financial conditions … got easier (as. the dollar and the bond market were well behaved; link).  in English: the interplay between global growth and financial markets is a stock operator’s dream. 
  • a global cyclical upswing was taking shape before the US election; that narrative remains intact today and will underpin cyclical assets irrespective of DC headlines.
  • failure to pass healthcare reform doesn’t necessarily doom tax reform nor other pro-cyclical policy ambitions (deregulation, fiscal expansion). 
  • unless you foresee a recession, it’s unlikely that stocks will trade lower; see very last chart at bottom.  again, don’t ignore the history book. 

A case for door #3:

  • some blend of the previous points, principally that global growth is apt to slow from its locally best levels -- but, it will remain durable enough. 
  • the policy path will be erratic and come up short of the highest hopes from late ’16 -- but, in the end, you’ll end up with some degree of lower taxes / less regulation / more fiscal spending. 
  • the Fed is neither fish nor fowl.  which is to say, the FOMC ain’t as dovish as they appeared last week -- nor will they normalize policy in a manner that dislocates risk assets. 
  • it may sound like heresy, but maybe the macro trading in 2017 winds up being … boring.  who would have thought coming out of last year that Q1 would see a collapse in both realized and implied volatility (sales & trading colleague Brian Garrett notes that only 8% of S&P 500 constituents, over the past three months, out-realized where implieds were marked at yr end). 

Bottom line and some trade ideas: put me in camp #3.  I’m leery of short-term technicals and the news feed, while still of the view that stocks enjoy a healthy macro backdrop.  therefore, I like reducing both net and gross exposure and swapping physical exposure into options.

* * *

A few ideas, pls ask for specifics if you’d like ‘em:

  • for the bulls … May expiry upside calls on S&P … I don’t think call wing implieds can go much lower.
  • for the bulls … May expiry upside calls on SX5E or SX7E … on a clean election outcome, I think pent-up capital makes its way to European equities (and, perhaps from here to there).-- what I really like is options that pay out on an SX5E rally … with the condition that S&P trades higher but underperforms … specifics available.
  • for the bears … short-dated put/call skew on RTY is near all-time lows (25dp - 25dc implieds).
  • for the bears … puts or put spreads on HY ETFs … protect you from a lot of things. 

* * *

Other stuff / charts:
 
1. attached is a comprehensive assessment of global oil supply and demand dynamics.  punchline as I read it: “our Top Projects database of the industry’s new oil & gas developments shows that 2017-19 is likely to see the largest increase in mega projects production in history, as the record 2011-13 capex commitment yields fruit.  this long-lead-time wave of projects and a short-cycle revival, led by US shales, could create a material oversupply in 2018-19.” 

2. YTD: SHCOMP +5%, HSI +11%, HSCEI +12% (best start since ’06).  lest it be said, the Chinese asset story is in a profoundly better place than most would have expected a year ago; even the bears feel pretty neutral right now.  against the backdrop of better global growth and easy US financial conditions, as well as underweight index investors, I suppose this makes sense -- although I’d remain in the medium-term bear camp.

3. bigger picture, this has been the best start for EM equities in 11 years (MXEF +13%).  the same growth / rates interplay applies here.  as sales & trading colleague Scott Rubner notes, all the outflows from EM debt and equity funds in the aftermath of the US election have been recouped. 

4. at the start of 2013, there was quite a bit of hype surrounding expectations for asset allocation out of bonds and into stocks.  that narrative wound up getting lost in H1’13, only to quietly play out post taper tantrum.  anyway, I bring it up b/c at the time I remember there were 3 preconditions you needed to believe in: (1) confidence in the durability of US growth; (2) good equity performance; (3) bad fixed income performance.  you can probably see where I’m going with this. 

5. courtesy of GIR’s Ben Snider, an illustration of the interplay between stocks and the industrial cycle:

6. simple plot of the term structure of equity implieds.  I have no quibble with SX5E given the election premium, nor NKY as it tends to trade with at the whim of global risk sentiment.  the wild part to me is S&P … i.e. we slope down in the front of the curve (blue line):

7. YTD sub-sector returns … some fairly serious moves in just one quarter, with respect to both magnitude and divergence: 

8. as many other thematic trades have come off the boil, this keeps plowing ahead … the US Portfolio Strategy basket of US dividend growth stocks:

9. from GS Investment Management.  executive summary: it’s very rare for US equities to have a down year in the absence a recession (link):

Source: Goldman Sachs

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 12:25 PM

As Market Tumbles, Investors Rush Into Safe Haven SNAP After Mass Wall Street Upgrade

While US equity markets are shuddering under the uncertainty of President Trump's agenda, it appears investors have found a safe haven for their hard-gambled retirement funds. Following a series of upgrades, overweights, and "buy" recommendations from Wall Street's biggest and brightest commission-takers, SNAP shares are soaring - back to their post-IPO open at $24.

Why SNAP is up: GS: Initiate Buy, $27 PT Citi: Buy, $27 PT MS: Overweight, $28 PT RBC: Outperform, $31 PT Jefferies: Buy, $30 PT

 

Goldman initiates a "buy"...

 

Morgan Stanley is a huuge fan now...

 

But Morgan Stanley's outlook seems more like a coin toss?

 

With a bear case of a 50% drop from here...

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 12:13 PM

Boy Genius Report

$8 screen protector slaps a black front onto your new red iPhone 7

Red iPhone 7 Plus Black Front

As you can see in the image at the top of this post, Apple's new Product Red iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are absolutely stunning. The anodized metal looks fantastic in red, making this the perfect sixth color for Apple's flagship iPhone lineup. Well, it's almost perfect. When you flip the new red iPhones over you'll see that the front is white instead of black. Product Red devices have a red and white theme, but to put it plainly, it's ugly. Red and black look a hundred times better — in fact, people have actually been doing part swaps in order to get a black front on their new red iPhones.

Instead of voiding your warranty and ruining the water-resistance on your new Product Red iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, we've got another option for you: slap on a SPARIN iPhone 7 Screen Protector for $8 or a SPARIN iPhone 7 Plus Screen Protector for $14. Problem solved!

Continue reading...

Trending right now:

  1. Monster Galaxy S8 and S8+ leak includes new photos and specs for both models
  2. Uber suspends self-driving car program after bizarre accident
  3. Tesla’s Model 3 dashboard won’t be as futuristic as we hoped

by Maren Estrada at March 27, 2017 12:10 PM

Zero Hedge

Kremlin Rejects US, EU Call To Free Detained Protesters As Court Fines Opposition Leader Navalny

One day after snap protests against corruption and Russia PM Medvedev broke out across numerous Russian cities, leading to the detention of hundreds of protesters as well as opposition leader Aleksey Navalny, the Russian opposition activist was found guilty of staging an unsanctioned rally, and will be fined 20,000 rubles (US$350) for his role in organizing what the authorities said was an illegal protest in Moscow on Sunday.

The Russian protests, estimated to be the biggest since a wave of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2011/2012, come a year before a presidential election that Vladimir Putin is expected to contest, running for what would be a fourth term.

The same court was due, later on Monday, to consider a separate charge against Navalny of disobeying a police officer.


The Russian opposition activist Aleksey Navalny

"Those who claimed on the previous day in pseudoacademic language that the event was lawful and in no way violated the law – they were telling blatant lies,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, referring to the organizers of the event.

As reported on Sunday, Navalny was detained shortly after arriving at an anti-corruption protest in downtown Moscow on Sunday. He was charged with violating a law on public gatherings and faced a fine, community service, or administrative detention. Moscow police have officially confirmed that they detained some 500 demonstrators.

Approximately 8,000 people took part in the protest in Russia’s capital, law enforcement officials reported. As the rally continued, police used loudspeakers to call on the protesters to disperse.

Protesters turned up despite failing to obtain a permit from the mayor’s office to hold a rally at the site of their choosing. The authorities had suggested two alternative venues, which the organizers rejected. Moscow police said that taking part in the unsanctioned rally could pose a safety risk and advised people against it. Similar rallies, some unsanctioned and others permitted by local authorities, were attended by thousands of people across Russia on Sunday.

Additionally, on Monday the Kremlin rejected calls by the United States and the European Union to release opposition protesters detained during what it said were illegal demonstrations the previous day and accused organizers of paying teenagers to attend.

Police detained hundreds of protesters across Russia on Sunday, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev's spokeswoman has called corruption allegations against him "propagandistic attacks," saying they amount to pre-election posturing by Navalny, who hopes to run against Putin next year.

According to Reuters, which cites opinion polls, the liberal opposition, which Navalny represents, has little chance of fielding a candidate capable of unseating Putin, who enjoys high ratings. But Navalny and his supporters hope to channel public discontent over official corruption to attract more support.

On Sunday, the U.S. and the European Union both issued statements calling on Russia to free detained protesters, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday such calls were wide of the mark. "We can't agree with these calls," Peskov told reporters on a conference call, saying the police had been professional and properly enforced Russian law.

He said the Kremlin had no problem with people expressing their opinions at protest meetings, but said the timing and location of such events had to be agreed with the authorities in advance, something which he said had not been done in large part on Sunday.

The authorities are concerned opposition activists will try to encourage people to break the law again in future, he said. "We can't respect people who deliberately misled minors -- in essence children -- calling on them to take part in illegal actions in unsanctioned places and offering them certain rewards to do so, thus putting their lives at risk," said Peskov.

"What we saw yesterday in certain places, and especially in Moscow, was a provocation." He said police had gathered factual evidence that some teenagers, who had been detained, had been paid cash by protest organizers to attend.

The Kremlin would listen to what people who took part in other sanctioned anti-government protests in some Russian cities had said on Sunday, Peskov promised.

Needless to say, the US and EU, which have accused Russia of hacking the US election and of being behin attempts to manipulate both the Brexit vote and the upcoming French election, were not amused.

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 12:03 PM

Blogical Conclusion

Readers Write In #12: A Chennai story

City | Chennai Location | Shivan Park, Ashok Nagar A bright little evening on a weekend, I was taking a walk with my friend/mentor, a man of action with words to match up for it. The usual gleeful evening crowd filled up the park ; Children playing see-saw and swing, parents with their kids, the badminton […]

by brangan at March 27, 2017 12:02 PM

Wired Top Stories

Social Media Influencers Finally Come to … Medicine

Social Media Influencers Finally Come to … Medicine
The gig economy isn't just for website designers and juice cleanse diet diehards anymore. The post Social Media Influencers Finally Come to ... Medicine appeared first on WIRED.

by Megan Molteni at March 27, 2017 12:00 PM

RubyFlow

[Screencast] Pagination with Kaminari

When displaying a significant number of records, it is often a basic functions in a web application is to paginate the records and load them as requested. https://www.driftingruby.com/episodes/pagination-with-kaminari

March 27, 2017 11:59 AM

It's Nice That

71-year-old, formerly homeless Romanian collage artist Ion Bârlādeanu opens first UK show

Gallery-of-everything_ion-barladeanu_barl-063

Romanian collage artist Ion Bârlādeanu, now 71, was made homeless following the 1989 revolution in his home country. He lived for almost 20 years in the rubbish tip under a block of flats, making collage artworks from magazines and other trash he found, satirising both the Communist former nation and the capitalist, celebrity culture he once admired. Ranging from the lighthearted to the darkly comical, and dangerously risky amid the tumultuous political era, the works were a relief for the artist and a candid social commentary.

Read more

by Jenny Brewer at March 27, 2017 11:58 AM

Dark Reading: Dark Reading Column

Cybercriminals Exploit March Madness Frenzy

Users are clicking on dubious links to stream matches and exposing confidential data to hackers, says Zscaler.

by Dark Reading Staff at March 27, 2017 11:52 AM

Zero Hedge

Frontrunning: March 27

  • Markets Slide on Doubts that Trump Can Deliver (BBG)
  • Dollar hits four-month low as Trump trade deflates (Reuters)
  • These Charts Show Alarm Bells Ringing on Trump Trade (BBG)
  • White House may court Democrats on tax reform (Reuters)
  • Republicans Could Have Another Fight Over Tax Overhaul (WSJ)
  • 'Religious left' emerging as U.S. political force in Trump era (Reuters)
  • Democrats Weigh Next Steps on Gorsuch Nomination (WSJ)
  • Iraq Military Rejects Claim U.S. Airstrike Killed Civilians (WSJ)
  • Deutsche Bank in Bind Over How to Modify $300 Million Trump Debt (BBG)
  • ‘Project Scalpel’: Behind Big Banks’ Plan to Save $2 Billion (WSJ)
  • Trump to sign order on Tuesday easing energy regulations: officials (Reuters)
  • United Airlines bars teenage girls in leggings from flight (Reuters)
  • Rich Chinese Race to Apply for a U.S. Golden Visa (BBG)
  • Huishan Had Emergency Creditor Meeting Before Rout, Lender Says (BBG)
  • France's Le Pen says the EU 'will die', globalists to be defeated (Reuters)
  • Shell and Anadarko mull clean break from Permian venture (Reuters)
  • How a Battle Over Fish Could Batter Brexit Talks (BBG)
  • U.S. tourist killed in London would not have borne ill feelings toward attacker (Reuters)
  • High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase (WSJ)
  • Tesla Model 3 Ramp Up Aims to Crush BMW and Mercedes (BBG)
  • Toshiba shares rise after report Westinghouse may file bankruptcy Tuesday (Reuters)
  • Kremlin rejects U.S., EU calls to free detained opposition protesters (Reuters)
  • Hedge Funds Are Training Their Computers to Think Like You (BBG)
  • China state firms eye land around Panama Canal: waterway authority (Reuters)
  • EU antitrust regulators clear $130 billion Dow, DuPont merger (Reuters)
  • China Southern in talks over American Airlines tie-up (Reuters)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- South Korean prosecutors said they would seek an arrest warrant for former President Park Geun-hye, just 17 days after she was removed from office as part of a wide-ranging political scandal that caused her to be impeached. http://on.wsj.com/2olCJJw

- Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of cities across Russia on Sunday to protest official corruption in the most significant challenge to President Vladimir Putin in years. Sunday's marches were called by leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who was detained during the protest in Moscow. http://on.wsj.com/2nXYUsS

- The Iraqi military said Sunday a blast that killed scores of civilians in western Mosul was triggered by an Islamic State booby trap, contradicting local officials and residents who claimed a U.S.-led coalition airstrike caused the deaths. http://on.wsj.com/2nUJeGp

- The White House sent a warning shot to congressional Republicans that it may increase its outreach to Democrats if it can't get the support of hard-line conservatives, a potential shift in legislative strategy that could affect drug prices, the future of a tax overhaul and budgetary priorities. http://on.wsj.com/2nD0GPv

- Hollywood studios are preparing to upend decades of tradition by releasing movies at home less than 45 days after they debut on the big screen, according to people with knowledge of their plans, a goal they have pursued unsuccessfully for years. http://on.wsj.com/2mEg2Ur

- Barclaycard is shedding a chunk of its subprime card balances, in a deal that reflects diverging views in the card industry about the future of the U.S. economy and the wisdom of wagering on risky borrowers. The credit-card issuer sold $1.6 billion of credit-card balances owed by mostly near-prime and subprime borrowers to privately held personal-loan firm Credit Shop Inc. http://on.wsj.com/2nDIaGo

 

FT

- Advertisers are demanding prime space from Google at discounted prices rates after it was came to light that many brands had appeared next to extremist content on YouTube. Group M's, a part of WPP, Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman said he has been in “constant dialogue with Google” suggesting “a range of actions they may take to give greater comfort and security” to advertisers.

- Britain’s leading banks Standard Chartered and Barclays have drawn ire from some big shareholders over decisions to lower hurdles for long-term bonuses for their bosses, in the latest conflict with investors over executive pay. Some leading investors in Standard Chartered and Barclays object to plans to cut the profit triggers for long-term incentive plans to levels below the banks' own stated targets.

- Hurricane Energy has made oil discovery west of the Shetland Islands barely days after Royal Dutch Shell and BP won exploration licences in an area the UK is counting on to breathe new life into its struggling oil and gas industry. The company is expected to announce that initial data from its Halifax well indicates the presence of a 1km-deep oil column and it appears to be part of “a single large hydrocarbon accumulation” connected to the its Lancaster field.

- Brussels is considering publishing its main negotiating positions in Brexit talks, adopting a policy of full transparency. UK is preparing to trigger the Article 50 divorce clause Wednesday and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, is advocating an “open” style similar to the bloc’s conduct in US-EU trade negotiations. This move could increase pressure on May to reveal more of UK strategy in further talks.

 

NYT

- Illinois legislators are considering a "right to know" bill that would let consumers find out what information about them is collected by companies like Google and Facebook, and what kinds of businesses they share it with. Such a right, which European consumers already have, has been a longtime goal of privacy advocates. http://nyti.ms/2nYcYTo

- Even after hundreds of companies decided to block their advertisements from running on Breitbart News, the alt-right website closely tied to U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, their advertisements have appeared on the site anyway, another example of how little control companies often have over where their ads are seen online. http://nyti.ms/2mGeV6x

- Uber said it was suspending the testing of its self-driving vehicles, a day after one of the vehicles was involved in a collision in Tempe, Arizona. http://nyti.ms/2n5keJa

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has convened a meeting of senior auto sector executives to make sure the government and the industry are on the same page amid the looming renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. https://tgam.ca/2myNz2v

** China's new envoy says Beijing is seeking unfettered access for Chinese state-owned firms to all key sectors of the Canadian economy during free-trade talks now under way with Ottawa - including an end to restrictions barring these enterprises from investing in the oil sands. https://tgam.ca/2myOU9h

** Ottawa's plan to end tax allowances for oil firms seeking to drill new wells is riling the energy sector - especially small and medium-sized producers who have already been hit hard by the oil-price drop and increasing competition from the United States. https://tgam.ca/2mys81b

NATIONAL POST

** The U.S. State Department is expected to approve TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL pipeline as early as Friday, eliminating a crucial hurdle for the project after years of political wrangling. http://bit.ly/2myFBGC

** Investors at two of Canada's biggest banks, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, will vote soon on whether shareholders with smaller holdings should have a bigger voice when choosing directors for the board — a move that investor advocates say would, if successful, be a big step towards "shareholder democracy". http://bit.ly/2myA9Ud

** The government of Canada will play the role of venture capitalist and booster to clean technology companies with billions of dollars in funding and outright share purchases budgeted over the next several years. http://bit.ly/2myBudk

 

Britain

The Times

- Hurricane Energy has made another oil discovery near the Shetland Islands, bolstering hopes that it may have the biggest find in British waters this century. The Surrey-based oil company is expected to announce today that surveys of its Halifax well in an area off the west of the Shetland Islands have identified a “kilometre-deep oil column” linked to its existing Lancaster find. http://bit.ly/2n89A4h

- OPEC ministers are to consider extending their agreement to curb supplies for a further six months, it said yesterday as it reported high levels of compliance with the deal to date. A committee of OPEC and non-OPEC ministers met in Kuwait to monitor compliance with the November accord, under which the cartel and other countries, including Russia, agreed to cut output by a combined 1.8 million barrels per day for the first six months of 2017. http://bit.ly/2n7ZyzX

The Guardian

- British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland on Monday at the start of the week in which she will trigger Britain’s departure from the EU, and argue that the four nations of the UK represent an “unstoppable force”. May is visiting Scotland as part of a tour of all four UK nations before she formally triggers Brexit, starting the two-year EU withdrawal process. http://bit.ly/2n80MeF

- Talks aimed at restoring Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government have broken down after Sinn Féin said that the party would not be nominating Michelle O’Neill, its leader in Northern Ireland, for the post of deputy first minister. An option for the British and Irish governments who are overseeing the talks would be to hold fresh elections just weeks after the previous electoral contest in March. Another option would be to impose direct rule on the region from Westminster. http://bit.ly/2n84BR6

The Telegraph

- US shared offices company WeWork will almost double its space in London this year, as it launches a 1.2 million pound ($1.50 million) award scheme to back UK start-ups. It is launching an award scheme for companies at three stages: those in “incubation” stage with a specific project needing research and development funding; those wanting to launch an existing business; and companies who want to scale up their activities. http://bit.ly/2n89fyx

- Investments giant Old Mutual is selling a $446 million stake in its asset management arm in the latest stage of its plan to split itself up into four independent companies. The finance firm is cutting its stake in OM Asset Management in half, losing its majority position by selling down from a 50.8 percent shareholding to 25.9 percent. http://bit.ly/2n8dQAC

Sky News

- Supermarkets are cutting fuel prices just days after official figures showed sharp increases at the pumps had helped pushed inflation to a three-and-a-half year high. Tesco , Britain's biggest supermarket, said it was cutting the cost of petrol and diesel by 2 pence per litre at all of its petrol stations. The cuts come after a barrel of Brent crude slipped below $50 this week for the first time since November. Sainsbury's and Asda also said they were cutting prices by 2 pence a litre. http://bit.ly/2n866yP

- EasyJet will announce within weeks the location of a new European base as Britain's airline industry grapples with the potential consequences of a 'hard Brexit'. The low-cost carrier's board has pencilled in an April decision on the location of a new air operator's certificate (AOC), which will allow it to continue flying between EU member states. The decision will effectively entail the establishment of a new legal headquarters for easyJet. http://bit.ly/2n7VXSv

The Independent

- Theresa May’s suggestion that no Brexit deal was better than a bad deal risked condemning UK manufacturing to a “painful and costly” exit from the EU, an employers’ body EEF has warned. It said that losing access to the single market and the customs union would be “simply unacceptable”. Without a favourable trade deal, average tariffs for manufacturing exports to the EU could be expected to increase by approximately 5.3 per cent, the body said. http://ind.pn/2n8eq1g

- Cadbury will consider shrinking the size of its products or raising its prices after Brexit, the company has said. Cadbury would follow other food manufacturers in using an industry tactic known as “shrinkflation” to offset the cost of Brexit. http://ind.pn/2n8ajSX

 

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 11:50 AM

Gold, Silver Rise 2.5% and 3.2% As ‘Trump Trade’ Fades

Gold, Silver Rise 2.5% and 3.2% As ‘Trump Trade’ Fades

Gold and silver jumped another 1% overnight in Asia, building on the respective 1.5% and 2.2% gains seen last week. The 'Trump trade' is fading, impacting stock markets and risk off has returned to global markets with the Nikkei, S&P 500 futures and European stocks weakening.

The precious metals had their second consecutive week of gains last week. Gold rose 1.5% and silver 2% while platinum rose 0.5% and palladium surged 4.8%. Today, gold has risen from $1,247.90 to a one month high of $1,259 per ounce and silver from $17.74 to $17.92 per ounce.

Market Performance 2017 YTD 

The precious metals continue to outperform most assets in 2017. Year to date, gold is 9% higher and silver is 11.7% higher. Platinum is 8.4% higher and palladium has surged 18% to two year highs.

Gold and silver have eked out gains as the dollar and stocks have come under pressure after U.S. President Donald Trump failed in his attempts to abolish Obama care. Trump suffered a major political setback on healthcare reform, raising doubts about his ability to steer the economic agenda.

The dollar has fallen to the lowest level in five months and stock markets globally are seeing sharp falls today. Trump's inability to deliver on a major election campaign promise marked a big defeat for a Republican president whose own party controls Congress, and raised doubts whether he would be able to push through tax reforms and mega-spending packages.

Growing U.S. political  uncertainty is creating concerns that a recent pick-up in global business and consumer sentiment, particularly in Asia, may be impacted.

Bullion coin and bar demand remains robust. US Mint data shows that strong demand for gold and silver coins continued last week.

Sales of gold coins were the highest since the week ended February 10 and silver coin sales were the highest since the week ending January 20.

As reported by Coin News:

Gold coins advanced by 13,000 ounces after rising by 8,000 ounces last week. Splits include 9,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 5,500 ounces previously and 4,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo compared to 2,500 ounces previously.

Silver coins jumped by 795,000 ounces compared to 220,000 ounces previously. And like in the last two weeks, American Silver Eagles accounted for all sales.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
  Friday Sales Last Week This Week Feb Sales Mar Sales 2017 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin 0 0 0 0 0 20,000
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 2,500 8,500 21,000 14,500 122,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin 0 1,000 0 5,000 1,000 25,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin 0 2,000 0 4,000 2,000 42,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin 0 20,000 5,000 30,000 35,000 190,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin 0 2,500 4,000 15,000 7,000 54,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin 0 220,000 795,000 1,215,000 1,295,000 7,637,500
2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin 0 0 0 19,500 0 19,500

Speculators became bullish on gold and raised net gold longs last week. Bullion banks, hedge funds and money managers boosted their net long positions in COMEX gold after two weeks of cuts and reduced them slightly in silver in the week to March 21, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

There is now the real risk that Trump becomes a "lame duck" President and that his business friendly policies struggle to be enacted. This bodes badly for stocks and the dollar and well for safe haven gold which should continue to see risk averse flows.

 

Gold and Silver Bullion - News and Commentary

Gold hits 1-mth high as dollar slides on Trump healthcare failure (Reuters.com)

Shares slide and pound rallies as Trump's healthcare failure rattles markets (TheGuardian.com)

Stocks stumble on U.S. policy woes; Trumpflation trades suffer (Reuters.com)

Gold rallies to a one-month high (FXStreet.com)

Gold, Silver Log Second Week of Gains; US Mint Bullion Sales Jump (CoinNews.net)

These Charts Show Alarm Bells Ringing on the Trump Trade (Bloomberg.com)

Gold Is Back As Dollar’s Reserve Status Questioned (Barrons.com)

“They hate our freedom?” - Paul Craig Roberts (PaulCraigRoberts.org)

Federal Reserve is almost insolvent (ValueWalk.com)

Gold gains altitude, nears 200-DMA (FXStreet.com)

7RealRisksBlogBanner

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

27 Mar: USD 1,256.90, GBP 1,000.49 & EUR 1,157.86 per ounce
24 Mar: USD 1,244.00, GBP 996.20 & EUR 1,150.82 per ounce
23 Mar: USD 1,247.90, GBP 997.95 & EUR 1,157.93 per ounce
22 Mar: USD 1,246.10, GBP 999.50 & EUR 1,154.76 per ounce
21 Mar: USD 1,232.05, GBP 989.21 & EUR 1,141.37 per ounce
20 Mar: USD 1,233.00, GBP 993.92 & EUR 1,146.57 per ounce
17 Mar: USD 1,228.75, GBP 991.85 & EUR 1,140.53 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

27 Mar: USD 17.94, GBP 14.25 & EUR 16.51 per ounce
24 Mar: USD 17.63, GBP 14.11 & EUR 16.31 per ounce
23 Mar: USD 17.55, GBP 14.04 & EUR 16.27 per ounce
22 Mar: USD 17.58, GBP 14.12 & EUR 16.30 per ounce
21 Mar: USD 17.31, GBP 13.88 & EUR 16.01 per ounce
20 Mar: USD 17.23, GBP 13.92 & EUR 16.03 per ounce
17 Mar: USD 17.40, GBP 14.08 & EUR 16.21 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

- Gold ETFs or Physical Gold? Hidden Dangers In GLD
- Gold Prices See Seventh Day Of Gains After Terrorist Attack In London
- Peak Gold – Biggest Gold Story Not Being Reported
- Silver 1/ 70th The Price of Gold – Silver Eagles Sales Jump
- The Best Ways to Invest in Gold Today
- Gold Cup – Horse Racing’s Greatest Show, Gambling and ‘Going for Gold’
- Gold Up 1.8%, Silver Up 2.6% After Dovish Fed Signals Slow Rate Rises
- Most Overvalued Stock Market On Record — Worse Than 1929?
- EU Crisis Is Existential – Importance of Tomorrow’s Vote
- Digital Gold On Blockchain – For Now Caveat Emptor
- Gold $10,000 Coming – “Time To Prepare Is Now”
- Silver Very Undervalued from Historical Perpective of Ancient Greece
- Gold Investing 101 – Beware Unallocated Gold Accounts With Indebted Bullion Banks and Mints (Part II)


Access Daily and Weekly Updates Here

Interested in learning more about physical gold and silver?
Call GoldCore and speak with a gold and silver specialist today

by GoldCore at March 27, 2017 11:48 AM

Brand New

Reviewed: New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins

<h1>“It's Hyatt's World, we are Just Sleep in it”</h1> <a href="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_and_identity_for_world_of_hyatt_by_wolff_olins.php"><img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_logo_before_after.png" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual" /></a> <p>Previously known as Gold Passport, <a href="https://world.hyatt.com/" target="_blank">World of Hyatt</a> is the rewards program of Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its portfolio of over ten hotel brands. There is not much <em>point</em> getting into a deep explanation: You earn points the more you stay at Hyatt properties, that earn you better status and are redeemable for hotel use or other shopping. The name change was announced last summer and the new program started this month with a new identity designed by <a href="http://www.wolffolins.com/" target="_blank">Wolff Olins</a>.</p> <figure class="full"><div class="video-container"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/210232899?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <figcaption>Introduction video.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_logo.png" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <figcaption>Logo.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="quarter"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_logo_with_stuff.gif" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <figcaption>Logo with stuff.</figcaption> </figure> <p>The old logo wasn't much; just the main Hyatt logo with Gotham underneath, which was fine but unexciting and perhaps too corporate-looking, making it feel more like an employee-benefits program than a jet setter's. The new logo gives the rewards program its own, standalone brand that builds only on the equity of Hyatt name but not the logo, making it more independent. The logo is fairly straightforward with a nice contrasted sans serif that's unusual in its more condensed structure and thick-and-thin relationship that sets it apart from the avalanche of geometric sans serifs. It has a classic feel that makes it look upscale but not overly stuffy.</p> <p>The most visible graphic trait, though, is the monospace approach to "OF", which I think you will either love or hate... I'm heavily undecided and my main concern is that I keep wanting to read something vertically but all I'm left with is "OOY" or "LFT". That "OF" opens up to the edges to accommodate graphics is kind of interesting, but I wonder how many times that really happens in application and, of those times, how many does the end user realize that what the logo is doing is on purpose and not a confusing mistake? The opened "OF" looks best when it frames people faces than when it does objects, as the knocked-out objects start to look cheap. Still, for a rewards program, it's one of the more interesting and ambitious logos out there.</p> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_various_materials.jpg" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <figcaption>Various materials.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_package_01.jpg" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_package_02.jpg" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_package_03.jpg" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <figcaption>Welcome package.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_passport_01.jpg" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/world_of_hyatt_passport_02.jpg" alt="New Logo and Identity for World of Hyatt by Wolff Olins" /> <figcaption>Fancy thing.</figcaption> </figure> <p>In application, the identity introduces a great serif, <a href="http://www.radimpesko.com/fonts/larish-neue" target="_blank">Larish Neue</a>, that makes for an odd but nice complement to the logo and somehow gives the program a more worldly aesthetic. The big, low-contrast photos also add an engaging touch to the identity. Overall, this does a solid job in creating a tangential, complementing brand to Hyatt that feels like an insiders club but without too much pretense (just a little) while looking crisp and contemporary.</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ucllc/brandnew/~4/IAtF2yXz2Sg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

March 27, 2017 11:44 AM

Boy Genius Report

Monster Galaxy S8 and S8+ leak includes new photos and specs for both models

Galaxy S8 Specs

Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus aren't exactly mysterious devices. Over the past few weeks, it seems that we can't even go a day without coming across newly leaked photos or learning more about each device's respective specs. At this point, there's not much Samsung can announce at its upcoming Unpacked event that would leave us surprised.

That said, a new leak over the weekend from the German-language site WinFuture has provided us with even more details regarding Samsung's 2017 smartphone lineup. As far as leaks go, this is unquestionably the biggest one we've seen yet. What's more, the site even published a few Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus marketing renders that have yet to make the rounds. In short, if you have any questions about the S8 and S8 Plus, we've got the answers for you below.

So without further ado, let's dive right in.

Continue reading...

Trending right now:

  1. Tesla’s Model 3 dashboard won’t be as futuristic as we hoped
  2. Five months later, Samsung is finally about to kill every remaining Note 7 phone
  3. Uber suspends self-driving car program after bizarre accident

by Yoni Heisler at March 27, 2017 11:35 AM

Zero Hedge

South Africa's Zuma Unexpectedly Recalls Gordhan From International Roadshow; Rand Tumbles

The rand tumbled as much as 1.7% and banking shares on the Johannesburg bourse fell more than 2% after South African President Jacob Zuma unexpectedly ordered Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to return from an investor roadshow to Britain and the United States on Monday because he "did not give permission for the trip" a government source said.

"They were told last night or this morning to come back... the presidency did not give permission for the trip," the government source said.

Gordhan's team on the trip to London, Boston and New York included deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and Treasury director general Lungisa Fuzile, as well as business executives and union leaders.

Appointed in late 2015 after a predecessor's sudden sacking, Gordhan was in London for the first leg of a week-long non-deal investor roadshow in Britain and the United States, Reuters reported.

Weak economic growth and tensions within the ruling party African National Congress (ANC) have put South Africa's investment grade credit rating at risk. Recently Zuma called on parliament to confiscate the land owned by "white people", a move reminiscent to events that took place in Zimbabwe that led to the collapse of the country's economy and currency.

Africa's most industrialised economy escaped being downgraded to junk status last year. S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings both rank the sovereign one level above junk, while Moody's puts it two notches higher. Moody's, which put South Africa on negative watch in its latest review, is due to revisit that on April 7, followed by S&P at the beginning of June.

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 11:29 AM

Schneier on Security

The TSA's Selective Laptop Ban

Last Monday, the TSA announced a peculiar new security measure to take effect within 96 hours. Passengers flying into the US on foreign airlines from eight Muslim countries would be prohibited from carrying aboard any electronics larger than a smartphone. They would have to be checked and put into the cargo hold. And now the UK is following suit.

It's difficult to make sense of this as a security measure, particularly at a time when many people question the veracity of government orders, but other explanations are either unsatisfying or damning.

So let's look at the security aspects of this first. Laptop computers aren't inherently dangerous, but they're convenient carrying boxes. This is why, in the past, TSA officials have demanded passengers turn their laptops on: to confirm that they're actually laptops and not laptop cases emptied of their electronics and then filled with explosives.

Forcing a would-be bomber to put larger laptops in the plane's hold is a reasonable defense against this threat, because it increases the complexity of the plot. Both the shoe-bomber Richard Reid and the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab carried crude bombs aboard their planes with the plan to set them off manually once aloft. Setting off a bomb in checked baggage is more work, which is why we don't see more midair explosions like Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

Security measures that restrict what passengers can carry onto planes are not unprecedented either. Airport security regularly responds to both actual attacks and intelligence regarding future attacks. After the liquid bombers were captured in 2006, the British banned all carry-on luggage except passports and wallets. I remember talking with a friend who traveled home from London with his daughters in those early weeks of the ban. They reported that airport security officials confiscated every tube of lip balm they tried to hide.

Similarly, the US started checking shoes after Reid, installed full-body scanners after Abdulmutallab and restricted liquids in 2006. But all of those measure were global, and most lessened in severity as the threat diminished.

This current restriction implies some specific intelligence of a laptop-based plot and a temporary ban to address it. However, if that's the case, why only certain non-US carriers? And why only certain airports? Terrorists are smart enough to put a laptop bomb in checked baggage from the Middle East to Europe and then carry it on from Europe to the US.

Why not require passengers to turn their laptops on as they go through security? That would be a more effective security measure than forcing them to check them in their luggage. And lastly, why is there a delay between the ban being announced and it taking effect?

Even more confusing, the New York Times reported that "officials called the directive an attempt to address gaps in foreign airport security, and said it was not based on any specific or credible threat of an imminent attack." The Department of Homeland Security FAQ page makes this general statement, "Yes, intelligence is one aspect of every security-related decision," but doesn't provide a specific security threat. And yet a report from the UK states the ban "follows the receipt of specific intelligence reports."

Of course, the details are all classified, which leaves all of us security experts scratching our heads. On the face of it, the ban makes little sense.

One analysis painted this as a protectionist measure targeted at the heavily subsidized Middle Eastern airlines by hitting them where it hurts the most: high-paying business class travelers who need their laptops with them on planes to get work done. That reasoning makes more sense than any security-related explanation, but doesn't explain why the British extended the ban to UK carriers as well. Or why this measure won't backfire when those Middle Eastern countries turn around and ban laptops on American carriers in retaliation. And one aviation official told CNN that an intelligence official informed him it was not a "political move."

In the end, national security measures based on secret information require us to trust the government. That trust is at historic low levels right now, so people both in the US and other countries are rightly skeptical of the official unsatisfying explanations. The new laptop ban highlights this mistrust.

This essay previously appeared on CNN.com.

EDITED TO ADD: Here are two essays that look at the possible political motivations, and fallout, of this ban. And the EFF rightly points out that letting a laptop out of your hands and sight is itself a security risk -- for the passenger.

by Bruce Schneier at March 27, 2017 11:28 AM

Calculated Risk

Black Knight: House Price Index up 0.1% in January, Up 5.4% 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 - January 2017 Transactions: U.S. Home Prices Up 0.1 Percent for the Month; Up 5.4 Percent Year-Over-Year
• U.S. home prices at the start of 2017 continued the trend of incremental monthly gains, rising 0.1 percent from December

• January marks 57 consecutive months of annual national home price appreciation

• Home prices in three of the nation’s 20 largest states and nine of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks
The year-over-year increase in this index has been about the same for the last year.

Note that house prices are close to the bubble peak in nominal terms (just 0.3% below), but not in real terms (adjusted for inflation).  Case-Shiller for January will be released tomorrow.

by Bill McBride (noreply@blogger.com) at March 27, 2017 11:01 AM

Wired Top Stories

The Eternal Search for a Gun That Doesn’t Kill

The Eternal Search for a Gun That Doesn’t Kill
Even amid controversy over effectiveness and dangers, the spring-loaded electrified Taser remains pretty much the only option. The post The Eternal Search for a Gun That Doesn't Kill appeared first on WIRED.

by Robin Washington at March 27, 2017 11:00 AM

I Took the AI Class Facebookers Are Literally Sprinting to Get Into

I Took the AI Class Facebookers Are Literally Sprinting to Get Into
Internet giants have vacuumed up the world's AI talent, but they still need more. Now they're trying to cultivate it in-house. The post I Took the AI Class Facebookers Are Literally Sprinting to Get Into appeared first on WIRED.

by Cade Metz at March 27, 2017 11:00 AM

Zero Hedge

Republican Lawmaker Quits Freedom Caucus Over Healthcare Bill Disagreement

Republican Representative Ted Poe resigned from the House Freedom Caucus on Sunday in disagreement over the conservative group's role in sinking President Trump healthcare plan. He suggested his resignation was because he wanted to vote for the Republican healthcare proposal which was adamantly opposed by the right-wing caucus.

“I have resigned from the House Freedom Caucus,” Poe said in a statement. Poe broke with the House Freedom Caucus’s views of the GOP healthcare proposal and planned to vote for the bill, which House leaders ultimately pulled from the floor on Friday.

Poe said his decision to leave the caucus will enable him to better serve his constituents.

“In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward. Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do. Leaving this caucus will allow me to be a more effective Member of Congress and advocate for the people of Texas. It is time to lead,” Poe added.

Poe told Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows about his departure from the group, according to a tweet by reporter Chad Pergram.  The Freedom Caucus does not keep an official list of members, and Poe was a recent addition to the group.

Poe was in favor of the Republican legislation, but the Freedom Caucus argued the proposal did not go far enough in repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

The Freedom Caucus, consisting of the House of Representatives' most conservative members, was instrumental in dealing Trump a stunning political setback on Friday when Republican House leaders pulled the healthcare legislation, derailing a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies. Trump's fellow Republicans control both houses of Congress.

Trump had courted Freedom Caucus lawmakers intensively. Outside conservative groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America that are closely aligned with the Freedom Caucus had strongly opposed the Republican healthcare bill and urged lawmakers to vote against it.

The caucus, rooted in the Tea Party movement, said the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) did not fulfill the Republican promise to fully repeal and replace ObamaCare. Despite President Trump’s and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s late attempts to amend the bill to gain support from the caucus, Meadows said the bill does not do enough. 

Trump reportedly threatened to target Meadows and other naysayers politically if they opposed the bill. Despite his threats, the House Freedom Caucus did not budge and Ryan indefinitely postponed a vote on the AHCA.

In a tweet on Sunday morning, Trump lashed out at both the Freedom Caucus and other conservatives, saying their actions had left "Democrats smiling in D.C."

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 10:57 AM

naked capitalism

O'Reilly Radar

"Subramanian Swamy" - Google News

Subramanian Swamy writes PM Modi: Prosecute Chidambaram and family for Benami and corruption - India Live Today


India Live Today

Subramanian Swamy writes PM Modi: Prosecute Chidambaram and family for Benami and corruption
India Live Today
New Delhi, March 27: Citing the new Black money Act and Benami Act, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prosecute former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his family members. As background for the case, ...
Swamy urges PM to prosecute PC under new Black Money ActDaily Pioneer

all 3 news articles »

March 27, 2017 10:54 AM

Boy Genius Report

Uber suspends self-driving car program after bizarre accident

Uber Self-Driving Car Accident

Uber’s bad streak continues, with a different kind of scandal. The company had a tough year so far, having to face accusations of rampant sexism and harassment, but also a patent-based lawsuit from Google, which alleges that self-driving technology that Uber is currently employing had been stolen by a former Waymo engineer.

Self-driving cars are also involved in Uber’s latest mishap, as a test vehicle crashed in Arizona, prompting Uber to suspend the pilot program.

Continue reading...

Trending right now:

  1. Tesla’s Model 3 dashboard won’t be as futuristic as we hoped
  2. What if Apple already told us what it’s going to call the iPhone 8?
  3. Five months later, Samsung is finally about to kill every remaining Note 7 phone

by Chris Smith at March 27, 2017 10:50 AM

Zero Hedge

Trump Handed Merkel $375 Billion Invoice For NATO Defenses During Recent Visit

A couple of weeks ago we wrote several notes about German Chancellor Angela Merkel's painfully awkward visit to the White House.  After meeting in private, the pair sat down in the oval office for a brief press conference where you could cut the tension with a knife.  At one point someone from the media asked for a handshake but the request was promptly ignored.

 

Now, a couple of weeks later, we learn what may have prompted some of the tension in the room between Merkel and Trump that day.  According to a new report from The Times of London today, Trump apparently took advantage of Merkel's visit to Washington D.C. to pass her a $375 billion invoice for 'overdue' NATO defense expenses.  Per The Hill, Merkel largely ignored the invoice though it certainly seems to have accomplished it's goal of ruffling some feathers.

“The concept behind putting out such demands is to intimidate the other side, but the chancellor took it calmly and will not respond to such provocations,” a German minister told the newspaper.

 

Trump during his presidential campaign railed against the NATO alliance and has called for member countries to increase defense spending to support the organization.

 

Merkel “ignored the provocation,” the Times said.

As reported, the invoice was based on a 2014 pledge from NATO countries to spend 2% of their GDP on national defense.  As such, Trump allegedly instructed aides to calculate how much German spending fell below that 2% target for the past 12 years, added interest and created an invoice which he hand delivered.

Meanwhile, with the benefit of this new information, Trump's tweets from March 18th, after his meetings with Merkel, take on all new meaning.

 

And while Merkel has largely ignored the invoice, other German ministers have decided upon more aggressive responses.  Per the Independent:

In response to the claims, German defence minister Ursula Von der Leyen rejected the notion the European nation owed the US or Nato.

 

She issued a statement saying: “There is no debt account at Nato

 

“Defence spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against [Isis] terrorism.”

 

Her comments were backed by Ivo Daalder, permanent representative to Nato from 2009 to 2013 under the Obama administration, who queried the President’s understanding of the organisation.

 

He tweeted: “Sorry Mr President, that’s not how Nato works. The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending Nato.

 

“This is not a financial transaction, where Nato countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.”

Never a dull moment in the Trump White House.

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 10:49 AM

FX Week Ahead: Highlights Include Article 50 And Sterling, Q4 GDP And The USD

By Shant Movsesian (RANsquawk) and Rajan Dhall MSTA (RANsquawk/Tradingview)

UK in the spotlight this week as Article 50 set to be triggered. Is this priced in to GBP? We’ll find out. The USD may start to find some support as key levels (against its major counterparts) near. Japanese year end on the Friday.

Looking to next week, few can look past the impending triggering of Article 50 – on Wednesday – which is widely expected to produce a knee jerk hit on the Pound. Given the slow grind higher through the week, some would assume that much of this is priced in, with GBP arguably at (near term) fair value levels. The healthier mood in the Pound has been partially ‘aided’ by the BoE tone, where the majority of the MPC are warming to a rate hike closer in on the horizon. Higher than expected inflation reported this week was followed up by stronger retail sales, which went against the anecdotal evidence suggesting pressures on household income, but this will likely pass through further down the line. Cable remains inside 1.2000-1.2800 for now, so the focus could switch to EUR/GBP again.

The cross rate has been bolstered by the backdrop of improving data out of the EU as a whole, and this was underpinned by the PMI’s in Germany and France on Friday morning, leading to the composite index for both manufacturing and services beating expectations. The shift in ECB policy to a more neutral stance has also given the single currency a boost with some members advocating a rate move ahead of tapering. EUR/USD is now challenging the sell zone through 1.0800, but this will prove tough going ahead of the French elections, along with the clear rate differentials, which cannot be ignored as the market looks to ‘price in’ what is effectively ‘normalisation’ much further ahead.

We look for 1.0900-1.0950 as the next major area of resistance in EUR/USD, and this will in part be down to what many see as an overreaction to the FOMC’s ‘dovish hike’. There was a clear case to suggest that USD gains had been overrun in response to the dot plot almost 3 months ago, but the retracement may be close to running its course, with USD/JPY value buyers likely to step in from circa 110.00 levels. Given next Friday is Japanese year end, we have to factor in some overshoot, but through this level, we can only see a major turnaround in global stocks taking us back to levels south of 107.00-108.00. Equities have stabilised (somewhat predictably) in recent sessions, but we may get some pre weekend volatility after the healthcare vote late Friday.

Focusing on US economic performance, Thursday’s Q4 GDP is the final reading, so core PCE could be of greater influence on US Treasury yields. Little else of note apart from a range of Fed speakers through the week. Plenty more in Japan to contend with, alongside repatriation flow, looking to the latest CPI data, industrial production and unemployment.

In Europe, we have a number of sentiment indices, headlined by Germany’s IFO survey on Monday, with the preliminary EU wide inflation releases towards the end of the week.
The commodity currencies will be trading largely on the back of the USD as well as Oil and base metals, though Friday sees the Jan GDP release for Canada. Friday’s CPI release was largely in line with expectations, giving credence to the cautious tone from the BoC. It is worth noting that gov Poloz is due to speak next week, but we are also watching the price action in Oil prices, where WTI is struggling to reclaim USD50.00.

Very little on the data schedule for either Australia or NZ, but we have domestic credit data in the former, which will shed some fresh light on worrisome residential leverage. ANZ business confidence also due. Moody’s cited economic resilience in NZ, and with the RBNZ sounding a less urgent tone on exchange rates, we expect NZD to find a modicum of support near term. 

Any opinions, chats, messages, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained on this Website are provided as general market information for educational and entertainment purposes only, and do not constitute investment advice.

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 10:46 AM

Planet Python

Zaki Akhmad: Test Python/Django Script

Now I am thinking a better approach on testing Python/Django script. I have a Python script which runs in a Django application. For example, this script will send an email with how many new users registered in this week.

So far, I use the manual approach, which requires me to have new user registered within this week. I am not very satisfied with this approach, as the script is getting complex, I need to manually prepare the data.

Any idea?

March 27, 2017 10:46 AM

FlowingData

All major meteor showers, as seen from space

There are a lot of meteoroids circling around in space. Ian Webster visualized all of the major ones at once.

Meteor showers on Earth are caused by streams of meteoroids hitting our atmosphere. These meteoroids are sand- and pebble-sized bits of rock that were once released from their parent comet. Some comets are no longer active and are now called asteroids.

This visualization shows these meteoroid streams orbiting the Sun, some stretching to the outer regions of the solar system.

Pan and zoom, filter by time, select specific showers, and watch from multiple vantage points. Nice. (It was sluggish in Safari but was smooth in Chrome.)

See also Webster’s Asterank.

Tags: ,

by Nathan Yau at March 27, 2017 10:41 AM

Zero Hedge

Global Stocks Slide, S&P Futures Tumble Below 50DMA As "Trump Trade" Collapses

Global stocks are lower across the board to start the week, as concerns about Trump's administration to pull off a material tax reform plan finally emerge, pressuring S&P futures some 20 points lower this morning, following European and Asian shares lower, while crude oil prices fall unable to find support in this weekend's OPEC meeting in Kuwait where a committee recommended to extend oil production cuts by another 6 months. Safe havens including the yen and bonds climbed as did gold, which continued its advance above the key resistance level of $1,250, while industrial commodities dropped.

So-called "Trumpflation trades" - bets that Trump's pro-business policies would stoke growth and inflation in the U.S. and global economies, boosting assets such as commodities - came under heavy selling pressure.  The dollar, whose index had surged more than 6 percent in the aftermath of Trump's election to hit 14-year highs at the start of 2017, slipped to its lowest since Nov. 11, two days after the results of the presidential vote.

"Investors are viewing this setback as a broader loss of faith in the Trump administration’s ability to deliver on other campaign pledges - namely tax and spending policies, which have underpinned asset prices since the U.S. elections," said ING currency strategist Viraj Patel, in London.

U.S. equity index futures suggested stocks would retreat for the seventh time in eight days, with S&P futures sliding below the 50 DMA for the first time since the election.

The fall in risk appetite dominated European stockmarkets, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index falling 0.8 percent on the day led by the Basic Resources index which was the biggest sectoral loser, down 2 percent to a two-week low as copper prices slipped, while the banking index was down 1.3 percent. The Euro rose to the highest level of 2017...

... on the heels of a strong German IFO Business Climate reading, which rose to 112.3, beating expectations and above the last 111 print, indicative of a 3% GDP German print.

However, a potential red flag emerged in the latest monetary aggregate data out of the Eurozone, where M3 growth dipped from 4.9% to 4.7%, below the 4.9% expected, despite the ECB continuing its monetary blast at record levels, not to mention last week's massive TLTRO.

Bucking the weaker trend among European stocks were precious metal miners such as Randgold and Fresnillo, both up more than 1 percent, as risk aversion boosted gold. Gold prices climbed more than 1 percent to a one-month high of $1,259 an ounce.

Attention today will remain fixed on Trump’s inability to push through the Republican healthcare bill through the House, which as noted last night, has derailed investor hopes that his pro-business agenda will pass smoothly through Congress. Reflation trades sparked by his election are faltering, with the dollar retreating and the S&P 500 Index headed for its worst month since October.

“Trump’s failure to get the health care bill through a Republican majority led Congress has raised some concerns about the President’s ability to implement his agenda of cutting taxes and raising infrastructure spending,” Ole Hansen, chief commodity strategist at Saxo Bank, told Bloomberg.

Failure would deflate further the months-long rally in stocks while reducing the need for further Fed action. The result of this has seen the dollar, stocks and bond yields lower which are all good news for investors looking for gold as an alternative.”

The market reaction has been uniformly negative, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index falling 0.3 percent, with more than three shares falling for every one advancing. Japan’s Topix led declines, dropping 1.3% to the lowest since Feb. 9 and almost wiping out gains for 2017. Chinese shares traded in Hong Kong fell 1.1% and India’s Sensex index slid 0.4 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 lost 0.9 percent, or 20 points, to 2,324 as of 10:12 a.m. in London. The underlying gauge last week tumbled 1.4%, its worst week of 2017. The Stocks Europe 600 Index fell 0.6 percent as it was dragged down by miners and banks. In terms of relative valuations, U.S. stocks are trading well above their historical averages while Asia stocks are still broadly in line with theirs despite a recent bounce.

WTI and Brent both dropped as markets looks past producers' soft committment to extend oil production cuts. A pledge by crude producers to consider extending their output-cut deal failed to excite oil bulls, with prices dropping as more time seen needed to trim swollen global stockpiles. Five OPEC producers joined with non-member Oman to voice support for prolonging supply curbs past June, with Kuwait saying it should be for an additional six months. Committee of ministers from Kuwait, Algeria and Venezuela and their counterparts from Russia and Oman that met over the weekend asked OPEC to review the market and give them a recommendation in April on rolling over the output reductions. Russia said it needs more time before making a decision.

Oil prices rallied as OPEC, 11 other major producers including Russia agreed last year to slash production; the rally stalled this month as U.S. output, supplies have continued to grow. Libya’s biggest oil terminal was loading its first tanker since fighting earlier this month halted shipments. “There’s a lot of impatience when we continue to see builds in inventory and growing U.S. output,” Daniel Hynes, an analyst in Sydney at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, says in a Bloomberg Television interview. “The market’s definitely asking for it,” he says, referring to a deal extension.

In rates, U.S. Treasury yields fell to a one-month low of 2.35%, while borrowing costs across the euro zone also fell sharply, as investors ditched riskier assets and unwound bets on higher inflation and interest rates. 

Bulletin Headline Summary

  • European equities slip after US President Trump's healthcare bill collapsed, with markets now questioning whether Trump's other proposals can come to fruition.
  • USD is on the backfoot, while EUR finds support early on with a data heavy week for the Eurozone kicking off to a strong start as German IFO data beats expectations.
  • Looking ahead, highlights include comments from Fed's Evans and Kaplan

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures down 0.8% to 2,325.00
  • MXAP down 0.3% to 147.70
  • MXAPJ down 0.1% to 478.21
  • Nikkei down 1.4% to 18,985.59
  • Topix down 1.3% to 1,524.39
  • Hang Seng Index down 0.7% to 24,193.70
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.08% to 3,266.96
  • Sensex down 0.5% to 29,284.04
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 5,746.70
  • Kospi down 0.6% to 2,155.66
  • STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 374.02
  • German 10Y yield fell 2.5 bps to 0.378%
  • Euro up 0.6% to 1.0865 per US$
  • Brent Futures down 0.7% to $50.47/bbl
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 4.8 bps to 2.224%
  • Spanish 10Y yield rose 0.4 bps to 1.697%
  • Brent Futures down 0.7% to $50.47/bbl
  • Gold spot up 1.1% to $1,257.71
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.5% to 99.13

Top Overnight News

  • German Business Confidence Increases to Strongest Since 2011
  • Trump Policy Travails Could Boost the Appeal of Asia’s Markets
  • Lockheed’s $29 Billion Copter Poised to Win Pentagon’s Approval
  • Apicorp in JV With Goldman Sachs for Energy Investments
  • Goldman Sachs Said to Be in Talks for Saudi Equities License
  • China Southern Says in Strategic Talks With American Airlines
  • MoneyGram Enters Confidentiality Pact With Euronet Worldwide
  • Fitbit Moves Toward Trial in Jawbone Trade Secrets Theft Case
  • Coca-Cola to Add Fruit Juice to Fanta, Sprite in India: Standard
  • Google Plans to Start Android Pay in S. Korea in May: ETNews
  • Google Faces Demands for Ad Discounts After YouTube: FT
  • Westinghouse Chapter 11 Filing May Come March 28: Nikkei

Asia equity markets traded mostly lower as the region digested the cancellation of the American Health Care Act vote on Friday due to insufficient support and the implications on the Trump reflation trade. This pressured US equity futures and Asia-Pac indices alike, with ASX 200 (-0.1%) also weighed by mining names after iron ore prices extended on last week over 7% declines. Nikkei 225 (-1.4%) underperformed on a firmer currency, while Shanghai Comp. (-0.1%) and Hang Seng (-0.7%) were choppy for much of the session as downside had been initially counterbalanced by several upbeat earnings and a 31.5% increase in Chinese Industrial Profits. 10yr JGBs traded higher as the cautious risk tone spurred safe-havens flows. However, upside was limited after the BoJ Summary of Opinions provided no surprises and the central bank also refrained from a Rinban announcement.

Top Asian News

  • Bonds Surge in India as Rupee Rally Spurs Bets of More Inflows
  • China Said to Approve Carbon Quota Plans for National Market
  • PBOC’s Zhou Signals Financial Opening Will Require Negotiation
  • Don’t Fear This Selloff Is Investors’ Bold Call: Markets Live
  • Skylark’s Largest Shareholder Bain to Sell Part of Its Stake
  • Zhou Signals China Financial Opening Will Need Negotiation
  • Korean Prosecutors Seek to Arrest Park on Graft Allegations
  • Noble Group’s Elman Mixes Mea Culpa and Optimism Before Exit
  • Hong Kong Stocks Decline as Developers Drop Amid Curb Concerns

European equities slip after US President Trump's healthcare bill collapsed, with markets now questioning whether Trump's other proposals can come to fruition. As such, there has been a notable broad based sell off as the negative sentiment spares no sector with very few stocks trading in positive territory include precious metal miners, which are being supported by their link with higher gold prices, while financials are providing the biggest drag to EU bourses. In terms of equity specific newsflow, Zurich underperforms in the SMI amid reports that the insurance firm is seeking raise EUR 8.6bIn via a capital increase. Fixed income markets have benefited from the risk averse tone, although the price action among spreads have been somewhat modest. Of note, as we approach the quarter-end, there has been notable corporate issuance.

Top European News

  • Oil Producers Consider Extending Output Cuts as Support Grows
  • London Mansion Owners Turn to Airbnb as Buyers Turn Up Noses
  • BOE Cites Brexit Among Financial Stability Risks for U.K.
  • Cecabank Hires BBVA’s Head of Cash Equity Execution for New Unit
  • Minsheng Investment Targets Elderly Care Groups Across Globe

In currencies, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.5 percent. The yen rose 0.9 percent to 110.32 per dollar. The euro gained 0.5 percent to $1.0857 and the British pound added 0.8 percent. There is only one overriding theme the FX markets are trading off, and that is the failure of the Trump administration securing a vote to repeal Obamacare, abandoning proceedings late Friday. The initial response was to be ignored given liquidity issues, but this morning, traders have been left in no doubt as to where market sentiment lies. US Treasuries have been bid up as fiscal stimulus plans in the US have clearly suffered a blow, and watching the cash open on Wall Street, the latest sell off in risk/carry trade does not bode well. USD/JPY is an obvious casualty, but demand still reported ahead of 110.00, and given rate differentials, does not look out of place. EUR/USD has moved higher accordingly, pushing through 1.0850, but as noted, strong resistance levels of note at 1.0900 and 1.0950. Improving economic data in the EU has been a firm driver of trade, with last week's healthy PM! stats across the region backed up by a better than expected German Ifo survey today. Merkel's win in Saarland also supportive.
No jitters over Wednesday's scheduled activation of Article 50 as the Pound remains on the front foot. Cable has tested up to 1.2580 today, supported by the USD backdrop, but EUR/GBP also edging back under 0.8650 to put in a strong showing this morning.

In commodities, gold rose 1.1 percent to $1,257.28, heading for the highest close since Nov. 10. West Texas Intermediate oil slipped 0.7 percent to $47.62 a barrel, erasing an earlier gain of as much as 0.7 percent. Crude producers pledged to consider extending their pact limiting supply. Iron ore futures slid 3.9 percent, after briefly erasing gains for the year. The commodity surged in the opening weeks of 2017 following a surprise rally last year amid optimism about the demand outlook in China. Copper fell 1.3 percent and tin dropped 2 percent. A mixed bag of drivers in the commodity markets at the moment, but a clear move in precious metals in response to the USD drop as a result of the failure to secure a positive health care vote for the Trump administration. US Treasuries have garnered a bid and this has sent Gold cleanly through USD1250.00, trading a little shy of USD1260.00. Sliver still unable to regain USD18.00 however. Base metals largely in the red, but platinum and palladium getting real money demand out of the European car-makers. Copper has dipped below USD2.60, with a (temporary) resumption in the Escondida mine having a modest positive impact. Iron ore prices in China are taking a hit as reports of China stockpiles at the major ports unsettle the supply/demand balance — demand still relatively steady though. Oil prices continue to look on the heavy side, as any recovery now looks to rest on whether OPEC/non OPEC decide to extend the production cut agreement. Some argue that the existing output adjustments have not fed through to inventory levels.

We kick off things this morning in Europe with Germany where the March IFO printed at 112.3, beating expectations and rising from February's 111. The latest M3 money supply reading for the Euro area was released, and disappointed when it dipped from 4.9% to 4.7%, missing expectations. Over in the US the sole release is the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing survey for March. The Fed's Evans and Kaplan speak later in the day.

US Event Calendar

  • 10:30am: Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 22, prior 24.5
  • 1:15pm: Fed’s Evans Speaks on Economy and Policy in Madrid
  • 6:30pm: Fed’s Kaplan Speaks in College Station, Texas

* * *

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

It'll be interesting to know what words Mr Trump spoke on Friday night after the healthcare bill vote was abandoned. Even though defeat is not encouraging for markets there's an element of "healthcare reform is dead, long live tax reform". I write this this morning fairly confused as to how to think about markets in the near term though. The best way to benchmark my thoughts is perhaps to look back at what we expected for 2017 at the end of last year and work out what's occurred relative to expectations and whether anything has changed. The view then was that ultimately central banks pulling back from extreme policy was good for animal spirits and also that Trump was ultimately good for growth. We also thought Europe would have lots of political near misses without a fatal blow.

A combination of these near misses and the fact that there was plenty of opportunity to doubt the ability of Trump to be radical growth wise meant we thought we'd have plenty of pockets of volatility without it changing the end result of the year. So as we approach the end of the first quarter where do we stand. Well the aborted health care bill is such an example of doubting Trump's legislative abilities. However so far all it's done is cause a -1.44% sell off in the S&P 500 last week (only the second down week in nine and the worst week since November last year) and a spike intraday on Friday of the VIX to 14.16 and briefly to the highest point of the year. It's still very low historically though so as yet there is no major damage done. This morning S&P futures are -0.50% and as we'll see below sentiment has been a bit softer in Asia.

Although the healthcare bill was always going to be a huge test of the new administration's ability to peruse aggressive legislation Mr Trump has so far refrained from being too confrontational in defeat and there seems to be a desire to 'learn' from any mistakes and move on to tax. However he did blame the Freedom Caucus in a tweet yesterday and before that cryptically tweeted that his followers should watch Jeanine Pirro on Fox News on Saturday. On the show she called for Paul Ryan to step down. So this is perhaps some sign of tension and frustration without things blowing up directly.

Friday's failure does now increase the risks of further difficult negotiations going forward which Ryan hinted at on Friday night but the reality is that tax reform is of far more economic consequence than healthcare so the market could give the GOP some benefit of the doubt. Event risk should be higher now though and volatility should be higher. However while global growth numbers continue to be decent then the risk premium increases will be probably be more muted than we thought they might be when we published our 2017 outlook. Although we thought growth would hold up in 2017 it's probably surprised on the upside relative to our expectations.

So net net it leaves us with similar views to the outlook. A decent year for risk but with the technicals slightly negative for credit and thus encouraging mildly wider spreads. We think Euro IG will outperform HY from this starting point and we expect higher yields. However perhaps the vol we were expecting won't be quite as large even if we think it's still coming.

Moving on to the immediate future, this week will see the UK activate article 50 on Wednesday with the Scottish Parliament debating the proposed second independence referendum tomorrow. So watch out for plenty of headlines on these topics. I can't help but think that PM May will have something up her sleeve for announcement day. What I'm not too sure.

While on the topic of politics, Mrs Merkel got an unexpected boost yesterday following a relatively comfortable victory in the state election in Saarland. Merkel’s CDU party secured 40.7% of the vote which is up from 35.2% in the 2012 election. The Social Democratic Party, led by new leader Martin Schulz, took home 29.6% which is down from 30.4% five years ago. The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany secured 6.2% of votes. While Saarland is small with just 1 million people, the strong result for Merkel comes following rising support for the SPD following the announcement of Schulz as the leader of the  party. Indeed the last 2 opinion polls (Emnid and Infratest dimap) show that support between the two parties at a national level is tied. This compares to the start of the year when the CDU held a double digit lead over the SPD across the vast majority of pollsters. So it’s worth seeing if this result is reflected in the next round of polls.  Two more regional elections are due to be held in May (Schleswig-Holstein and Northrhine Westpahlia) before the national election in September.

Over in markets this morning there is definitely a slightly more negative tone sweeping through Asia to start the week. That is being reflected in the bid for safe havens with the Yen (+0.89%), Gold (+1.07%) and Treasuries (10y -4.8bps) all stronger. In equities the rally for the Yen isn’t helping the Nikkei (-1.51%) while the ASX (-0.25%) and Kospi (-0.57%) are also in the red. The Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp are little changed however.

Staying in Asia for a second, another interesting story from the weekend comes from China where, in a bid to clamp down on further capital flows out of China, banks are asking property agents in Hong Kong not to accept mainland China issued UnionPay cards for home purchases. This follows similar curbs on high priced insurance products and speculative offshore corporate acquisitions.

Moving on and quickly recapping Friday’s session. Despite the abandoned healthcare vote coming to a head late in the day the S&P 500 did only finish down a fairly paltry -0.08% and with that in fact had its second best day in the last seven sessions. That said there’s plenty asking the question about whether or not we’re starting to see the unwind of Trump trades and while the headline moves haven’t been particularly eye catching, there is some evidence of it coming through at a domestic and stock specific level. The biggest loser on Friday in the S&P was a company which supplies gravel for roads - Martin Marietta Materials which tumbled -2.93% - which perhaps reflects some fading hopes in the infrastructure trade. Meanwhile, while the move lower in rates has also clearly had a big impact US Banks declined -4.81% last week and are off nearly 8% from the March highs. Small caps – a decent barometer of domestic performance – also tumbled -2.65% last week and fell for the fourth week in five. So perhaps some evidence of pockets of weakness but the overall magnitude of the selloff has still been fairly muted in the grand scheme of things.

At the other end of the risk spectrum Gold, which did actually edge down -0.13% on Friday, rallied +1.16% last week and is now back into positive territory month to date. In rates Treasuries didn’t move much on Friday but the 10y yield still finished down 8.8bps last week and is now down around 22bps from the intraday highs just two weeks ago. Finally the US Dollar, measured by the Dollar index, fell -0.67% last week and is now down -2.68% from the early month highs.

Closer to home on Friday it was economic data rather than politics which stole the spotlight in Europe. Indeed it was the release of the flash March PMI’s which were the focus with the big news being a further improvement in the Euro area composite PMI this month to 56.7 (vs. 55.8 expected) – a rise of 0.7pts from February. With that the reading notched up a second consecutive cyclical high and encouragingly the growth appeared to be broad-based with both the services (+1pt to 56.5) and manufacturing (+0.8pts to 56.2) PMI’s rising. Regionally both France (+1.7pts to 57.6) and Germany (+0.9pts to 57.0) led the way for the acceleration with the data suggesting a marginal decline (-0.2pts) on average for the composite of the non-core. All in all our economists in Europe highlight that they see a more significant risk from the positive PMIs relative to their view as being for Q2. At its latest level, the euro area composite PMI is in line with the economy growing at between 0.7% and 0.8% qoq. Our economists’ moderate Q2 growth view (0.3%) is predicated on some slowdown in activity due to the political calendar. However, surveys have shown no sign of this having an effect thus far. With less reason to expect temporary effects to weigh on activity as in Q1 (e.g. the very cold January), they see the PMIs as presenting a clearer upside risk to their Q2 view than for Q1.

Wrapping up the remaining data on Friday, in the US headline durable goods orders rose a slightly better than expected +1.7% mom in February (vs. +1.4% expected) however largely as a result of a surge in aircraft orders. Indeed core capex orders were -0.1% mom (vs. +0.5% expected). Meanwhile the flash March composite PMI in the US declined 0.9pts to 53.2 and a six month low with both the manufacturing (-0.8pts to 53.4) and services (-0.9pts to 52.9) readings lower.

To this week’s calendar now. We’re kicking off things this morning in Europe with Germany where the March IFO survey is due out. The latest M3 money supply reading for the Euro area is also due this morning. Over in the US this afternoon the sole release is the Dallas Fed’s manufacturing survey for March. With little to highlight in Europe tomorrow, the focus will be on the US where we get the advance goods trade balance for February, wholesale inventories for February, consumer confidence for March, S&P/Case-Shiller house price index for January and Richmond Fed manufacturing survey for March are due. Wednesday kicks off in Japan where retail sales and small business confidence data is due. Over in Europe the focus will be on the UK with the February money and credit aggregates data. In the US on Wednesday the only data due out is pending home sales. Turning to Thursday, during the European session the most notable data is due out of Germany where the first estimate of CPI in March is due. Also due out are various March confidence indicators for the Euro area. In the US on Thursday the early data is the third estimate of Q4 GDP and Core PCE, while initial jobless claims data is also due. The busiest day looks set to be reserved for Friday. In Japan we will get February CPI, industrial production and employment data, while in China the official manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI’s for March are due. In Europe we’ll get CPI reports for France and the Euro area along with Q4 GDP in the UK and unemployment in Germany. In the US data due includes February personal income and spending reports, PCE core and deflator readings, the Chicago PMI for March and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading revision.

Away from the data the Fedspeak diary this week is packed. Today we see Evans and Kaplan speak, tomorrow we have George, Kaplan and Powell speaking along with Fed Chair Yellen (albeit at a conference which doesn’t suggest a focus on the economy or monetary policy), Wednesday see’s Evans, Rosengren and Williams speak, Thursday has Mester, Williams and Kaplan scheduled and Friday finishes with Kashkari. Away from that other important events this week include the BoE bank stress test scenarios today, a Scottish Parliament debate on a possible independence vote tomorrow and of course UK PM Theresa May officially triggering Article 50 on Wednesday.

by Tyler Durden at March 27, 2017 10:38 AM

It's Nice That

Andrea Ucini’s conceptual illustrations play with perspective

Andrea_ucini_itsnicethat_list2

Illustrator Andrea Ucini creates conceptual images that are inspired by everyday life. “In each illustration I try to create as much as possible, without letting the concept be expressed through an image too distant from reality,” explains Andrea. Currently represented by the Anna Goodson Illustration Agency, he has been commissioned by Wired, Scientific American and John Hopkins University among others. “The thing I enjoy most is the challenge proposed when I receive the article to illustrate. The creative part and when the idea takes shape is almost like a drug,” explains Andrea. “Thinking and processing the perfect visual version, in which all these words can be melted in an image is priceless!”

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by Rebecca Fulleylove at March 27, 2017 10:35 AM

The Big Picture

National Foreclosure: 10-Years Later

Comprehensive data and analysis on completed U.S. foreclosures and foreclosure inventory: Fascinating report from Core Logic on the past decade, looking at from a national and state by state perspective. Definitely worth checking out the complete report (click on graphic below).   United States Residential Foreclosure Crisis: Ten Years Later click for full report SOURCE:…

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The post National Foreclosure: 10-Years Later appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Barry Ritholtz at March 27, 2017 10:30 AM

It's Nice That

“Sensitive, rigorous” graphic design from Parisian Jérémy Glâtre

List

After studying graphic design at northern France design school ESAD Amiens, Jérémy Glâtre began his career at L’Atelier de création graphique in Paris. Jérémy also spent some time in Parisian suburb Saint-Ouen at Mains d’Œuvres, where he did a residency with Pierre Martin Vielcazat and Cedric Pierre under the moniker Stalles, before setting up his own studio.

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by Bryony Stone at March 27, 2017 10:29 AM

Glossy nostalgia from fashion photographer Charlotte Wales

Charlottewales_mlemonde_dec2016_6-500x611list

It’s a hard life for British photographer Charlotte Wales, who spends her days flitting across the Atlantic between New York and London.

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by Bryony Stone at March 27, 2017 10:29 AM

Milliblog!

Veera (Music review), Tamil – Leon James

Ootaanda soltuvaa is a fun, pulse-pounding mix, layering thara local lyrics and kuthu rhythm on top of a significantly more upmarket, funky package. A similar raucous mix in Mama mama and Nijaaru usaaru don’t work as well as Ootaanda, though. The choice of Sid Sriram and Neeti Mohan works wonders in Verrattaama verratturiye—an ear-worm of a pathos melody—as does the synthetic mridangam’ish percussion. Pradeep Kumar’s singing is obviously the highlight of Pogaadhey kanmaniye, an affecting tune, though the backgrounds seem outdated. In only his 4th soundtrack, Leon James’ music shows signs of a weary familiarity, despite 3 very good songs.

Keywords: Leon James, Veera

Listen to the songs on Saavn:
Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 3.52.43 PM

Listen to the songs on YouTube:

by Karthik at March 27, 2017 10:17 AM

Smashing Magazine Feed

Building For Mobile: RWD, PWA, AMP Or Instant Articles?


   

As we look deep into 2017, one of the questions on every web developer’s mind ought to be, “What trend will define the web in 2017?” Just three years ago, we were talking about the “Year of Responsive Web Design”, and we’ve all seen how the stakes were raised when Google announced Mobilegeddon (21 April 2015) and started to boost the rankings of mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results.

Building For Mobile: RWD, PWA, AMP Or Instant Articles?

Today, as our findings indicate, responsive web design is the norm, with 7 out of 10 mobile-optimized websites being responsive, up from 5 last year, which begs the questions: What’s next? Where is it all heading? We solved the screen-size issue and had a great run for a few years — now what?

The post Building For Mobile: RWD, PWA, AMP Or Instant Articles? appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

by Ciprian Borodescu at March 27, 2017 10:07 AM

The Simple Dollar

Five Expenses We Didn’t Have to Deal With in the ’80s

Remember the ’80s? The stonewashed jeans? Hypercolor t-shirts? The bad hair and cheesy tunes? Punky Brewster, Alf, and Garbage Pail Kids?

If you were a child of the ’80s, you probably wore bright neon colors and tight-rolled your jeans. You watched VHS tapes and recorded songs off the radio with cassette tapes. Your first real introduction to technology was probably Oregon Trail or Nintendo. Heck, some of us wore jelly shoes and worshiped Pee Wee Herman.

And that’s just if you were a kid.

If you were an adult in the ’80s, you probably endured your share of M.C. Hammer and big bangs, too. On the plus side, however, it’s possible you had a lot fewer bills to worry about.

Think about it: Modern technology was in the works in the ’80s, but most gadgets hadn’t become mainstream. Early car phones were the size of a small briefcase, and 1980s-era computers were clunky, slow, and largely colorless. Heck, just Pac-Man was a technological feat!

We could argue all day about whether life was better or worse before the internet, cell phones, and other modern marvels transformed our lives. But there’s no denying the number of new monthly bills people have today. Here are five expenses almost nobody had to factor into their budget just a generation ago.

#1: Cell Phone

While cell phones were technically invented in the 1970s, they didn’t become available to the masses until the ’90s. And those early cell phones were awkward and hardly usable.

Many of us can recall our first cell phones and their crazy usage plans. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, it was commonplace to pay 10 cents or more per text message, and cell phone usage was billed by the minute — but hopefully your plan offered free calls on nights and weekends.

Nowadays, with our smartphones sucking up expensive wireless data, an average cell phone bill can easily top $100 a month or more, especially for family plans. And it’s totally normal for a new smartphone to cost $600 or more, which many people simply tack on to their monthly bill over the course of two years.

The ability to stream YouTube videos on the bus is pretty amazing when you think about it, but it certainly wasn’t something people paid for in the ’80s, when most families had just a land-based home phone bill to worry about.

#2: Internet Service

The internet didn’t become available to consumers until the ’90s (which is perhaps one reason those of us who grew up in the ’80s spent so much of our childhoods playing outside).

Some of the first internet service providers are history now — remember Prodigy? Netscape? The pages loaded so slowly, the internet was hardly worth using back then. And obviously, there was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, either.

The internet has changed our world in too many ways to count, but it’s also added a new burden to the 21st-century budget. The average internet bill has been climbing steadily, reaching $47.30 a month at last count, according to a 2015 analysis by Quartz.

This monthly expense is one that appeared out of thin air once the internet took hold, but it affects nearly everyone and shows no sign of disappearing.

#3: Cable TV (or Netflix & Hulu)

While cable television reached major markets in the 1970s, many households didn’t even bother with cable TV until the mid- to late-’80s or ’90s. Instead, people relied on old-school antennas that helped them access local broadcast stations and news networks.

In 1980, there were only 16 million cable TV subscribers in America, and they paid about $7.50 a month ($22 in today’s dollars) for the service — typically a very basic package with 20 some-odd channels, including pioneers like ESPN, CNN, and MTV. By 2016, there were between 99 million and 116 million cable subscribers, who were paying an average bill of $104 a month.

These days, it’s a lot cheaper (and increasingly common) to skip cable and opt for cheaper streaming services instead. Enter Netflix and Hulu, to name a couple of them. Both services offer streaming television videos for around $10 a month. While that’s cheap compared to the average cable bill, these services were unheard of just a few decades ago, when most Americans simply watched their TV shows for free.

#4: Paid Radio Subscriptions

If you grew up in the ’80s, you know that radio was huge! Without the internet to keep you occupied, you could find your favorite tunes on the radio — and maybe even indulge in some light copyright infringement by recording them live (praying that the DJ wouldn’t talk over the whole intro). Of course, the radio was free as long as you didn’t mind enduring countless commercials that cut into your listening pleasure.

Satellite radio services such as Sirius XM Radio didn’t launch until after the year 2000, though they did change radio for the long haul. With these new services, you could pay for radio service to score premium content and niche channels without all the commercials and interruptions.

If you had told a mom in the ’80s she’d be paying for radio one day, she may not have believed you. But today, you can pay around $15 a month for a satellite radio subscription, and more than 30 million people do just that. Another 50 million pay $5 to $15 a month for a Spotify streaming radio subscription.

#5: Gym Memberships and Streaming Fitness Subscriptions

While fitness clubs with monthly memberships have been around for decades, they really caught fire during the vainglorious ’80s and have continued to grow ever since. Remember the old Gold Gyms that featured mostly free weights, beefy men in tight shorts, and aerobics classes taught by legwarmer-clad, onesie-wearing ladies?

Those gyms of the old days have been reimagined to fulfill 21st-century needs – with on-site coffee shops, daycare, and fancy exercise equipment no one could dream of using in the 1980s. They’ve also become a much bigger part of our lives and a bigger drain on our wallets. There were just 3,000 fitness clubs in the United States in 1978, according to a 2008 study by Bentley University’s Marc Stern; by 2015, there were more than 36,000, taking in more than $25 billion in total revenues.

The ’80s also saw the stratospheric rise of fitness videos like “Jane Fonda’s Workout,” first released in 1982. And obviously, VHS-era exercise programs have now gone online. Due to their busy lifestyles or the ease of technology, many exercise enthusiasts choose to bring the workout home through online subscription services these days.

Daily Burn and Beach Body are two companies that make exercising at home easy with any computer, smartphone, or tablet. Both offer a free 30-day trial, then cost less than $15 a month to maintain.

Since the average gym membership rang in at $58 in 2016, these services are actually an upgrade from an earlier time when your choices were the gym or bust.

Were the ’80s Cheaper?

The ’80s were notoriously crazy, with embarrassing hair, awkward fashions, and dance music that still perplexes us to this day. But, were the ’80s cheaper? It really depends.

There may be more ways to spend money than ever before, but technology has also made our lives cheaper and more convenient, too. And while some core expenses, such as healthcare, housing, and education, have skyrocketed since the 1980s, others, such as cars, TVs, and food, have actually gotten cheaper when adjusted for inflation.

Either way, it’s fun to remember a time when boy bands reigned and even hair had wings.

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.

How do you think your bills are different in 2017? What bills would you add to this list?

Related Articles:

The post Five Expenses We Didn’t Have to Deal With in the ’80s appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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

It's Nice That

Simon Eeles’ photographic series is “a tender and wry postcard” from Australia

Simoneeleslistint

Australiania is a photographic series by Simon Eeles and the first instalment of five books he will release over the next two years.

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by Lucy Bourton at March 27, 2017 09:57 AM

A Fresh Cup

Double Shot #1828

by Mike Gunderloy at March 27, 2017 09:55 AM

Across the Curve

Credit Pipeline

Via Bloomberg:

IG CREDIT PIPELINE: KEB to Price, Solid Issuance Week Expected
2017-03-27 09:33:48.225 GMT

By Robert Elson
(Bloomberg) — 84% of dealers and clients in a Bloomberg
News poll expect IG issuance to total at least $20b this week.
50% think it will be over $25b; 16% over $30b. At least 2
industrial deals were held back last week and may come forward
as soon as today. Stocks, however, may be a drag as futures are
currently -133.

Expected to price today:

* KEB Hana Bank (KEBHNB) A1/A+, to price $benchmark 144a/Reg-S
3Y FRN, via managers BAML/BNP/Cmmrzbk/HSBC/ING/KEB/SG: IPT
3ML +90 area

Recent updates:

* CMPC (CMPCCI) Baa3/BBB-, to hold investor meetings March
27-29 via BofAML/JPM/Santander; USD-denominated,
intermediate maturity deal may follow
* It priced a $500m 144a/Reg-S 10Y in 2014 at +225
* Airbus (AIRFP) A2/A+, mandated C/GS/JPM/MS for investor
meetings March 28-30.
* Benchmark USD 144A/RegS sr unsecured notes offering
targeting intermediate and/or long tenors may follow
* Its last USD issuance was a 10Y in 2013 at +98
* Amphenol (APH) Baa1/BBB+, filed senior debt shelf
* Has not issued since 2014; has $375m maturing in Sept.
* Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance (MUFJLF) A3/A, to hold
investor meetings March 13-14, via MS
* Woori Bank (WOORIB) A2/A, mandates BNP/C/HSBC/JPM/Nom to
hold investor meetings March 6-9
* 3M (MMM) A1/AA-; filed mixed shelf
* Plans up to $2.8b debt in 2017, suggesting another yr of
incrementally higher leverage, BI says (Dec. 14)
* Texas Instruments (TXN) A1/A+, has history of March, April
issuance
* Mosaic (MOS) Baa2/BBB-, filed automatic mixed shelf; has not
issued since 2013
* $2.5b deal for Vale fertilizer ops; to fund purchase via
$1.25b cash and debt issuance
* Allergan (AGN) Baa3/BBB, exits blackout; last issued in 2015
* Has $1b maturing March 1
* General Motors Company Files Shelf; Parent Last Issued Feb.
2016
* CNA Financial (CNAFNL) Baa2/BBB, Exits Blackout, Has History
of Feb. 10Y Issuance
* Exxon Mobil (XOM) Aaa/AA+, has a history of Q1 issuance
* Feb. 29, 2016: $12b in 8-tranches
* March 3, 2015: $8b in 7-tranches
* March 17, 2014: $5.5b in 5 parts
* Has $2.25b maturing March 15
* Filed debt shelf March 10

* M&A deals expected in 2017, updated
* List grows with the addition of RBLN, BATSLN, FOXA
* MARS, the privately help candy behemoth of M&M fame has
a $5b loan outstanding for its VCA purchase; a private
place or debut bond sale to support the acquisition is
possible

SHELF FILINGS

* Panama; debt shelf amended to offer up to $3b debt, warrants
(Jan. 9)
* PG&E Corp (PCG) Baa1/BBB; $350m mixed shelf; Feb. 2014 was
last issuance at this level (Jan. 4)

OTHER

* United Technologies (UTX) A3/A-; plans to tap debt markets
in early 2017 to complete share buyback (Dec. 14)
* European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Aa1/–; mandates for
advisement on inaugural USD issuance (Oct. 21)
* Conagra Brands (CAG) Baa2/BBB; could add up to $2.5b debt
for M&A, BI said
* CAG was raised to BBB by S&P in Nov. on the expectation
co. will maintain debt leverage ~3x and below

by John Jansen at March 27, 2017 09:44 AM

It's Nice That

Billboard illustrated using recycled pollution Air-Ink goes up in London

Kristopher-ho-draws-air-ink-art-for-shaftesbury-avenue-in-london

A hand-drawn billboard by Kristopher Ho will go up in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue today drawn with Air-Ink, an ink made from particles of black soot captured from car exhausts and chimneys. It is an invention of Anirudh Sharma, formerly of MIT Media Lab, and his company Graviky Labs, supported with investment from beer brand Tiger.

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by Jenny Brewer at March 27, 2017 09:37 AM

Across the Curve

FX

Via Marc Chandler at Brown Brothers Harriman:

Macro Drivers as Q1 Winds Down

  • Trump’s economic agenda is called into question following the inability to replace the national health care
  • The eurozone may report the first slowing in headline CPI in seven months.  Core CPI languishes a little above the 0.6% trough
  • Triggering Brexit is simply a formality for investors
  • There was little evidence that the new SPD leader in Germany has reinvigorated the party’s fortunes, as the CDU expand its votes in Saarland state election

The dollar  was marked down in Asia, and Europe is pushing through an open door to extend the greenback’s losses.   With US rates falling and equities trading heavily, the yen is easily the strongest of the majors.  The dollar is approaching the JPY110 area.  A convincing break would likely trigger stops and options that could see losses accelerate.  The euro is bid near $!.0875,  and a break of it could quickly see $1.0935, a retracement objective of the euro’s losses since the US election.  The Australian dollar, which is the strongest major currency this year, is lagging, perhaps as the crosses adjust and the sell-off in industrial metals takes a toll.  Equity markets are down across the board as the reflation story is questioned and quarter-end position adjustments take a toll.  The US 10-year yield is off 5 bp to 2.35%,  Core European benchmark 10-year bonds are 3-4 bp lower.  Peripheral yields are off 1-2 bp.  

The first quarter winds down.  The dollar moved lower against all the major currencies.  The best performer in the first three months of the year has been the Australian dollar’s whose 5.8% rally includes last week’s 1% drop.  The worst performing major currency has been the Canadian dollar.  It often underperforms in a weak US dollar environment.  It’s almost 0.5.% gain is less than half the appreciation of the sterling, the second worse performing major currency here in Q1.

Although there are conflicting impulses, interest rate differentials continue to appear to be the single most important factor in considering currency movement presently. The question of the dollar is in good measure a question of the direction of interest rates.   US rates have fallen since the Federal Reserve hiked rates in the middle of the month, as they did following last December’s rate hike.

There are three considerations in the week ahead:  economic data, Fed comments, and an initial assessment of the implications of the failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.   Although Q4 GDP may be tweaked higher to 2%, the most important piece of economic data will be the February personal consumption figures.  The pullback in the consumer is weighing on Q1 growth estimates, while the rise in business investment does not appear sufficient to counter it.  Although February retail sales (~40% of PCE) was soft, the January figure was revised sharply higher.  This means that the February PCE report should catch these developments.  The targeted core PCE deflator is expected to be unchanged at 1.7%.

We note the contrasting projections by the Atlanta and New York Federal Reserve’s GDP trackers.  The Atlanta Fed’s model has the US economy slowing to a 1.0% annualized pace in Q1. This would be just below the average Q1 pace beginning in 2010.  However, the New York Fed’s model has the economy tracking 3.0%.   The market (Bloomberg median) is smack in between.

It is another busy week for Fed officials.  Ten different officials speak, including  Chair Yellen, Governor Powell, and NY Fed’s Dudley.  Outside of Bullard, it does not appear that anyone has downplayed the possibility of a June hike, to the extent that the issue was addressed.  There is no reason for the Fed to be too direct now.  The decision is not imminent.  The Bloomberg calculation puts the odds at 44.6%, while the CME’s interpolation is 50.7%.

Like some Fed officials, many investors have made assumptions about fiscal policy in their economic forecasts and investment strategies.  The inability to agree on the alternative national health care insurance raises questions about much of the administration’s economic program.  The markets may have held up well in the face of the news before the weekend as some positions had already been pared and there is some hope that the next priority, tax reform, will be more successful.

We are skeptical.  First, on practical grounds, the savings from abolishing taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act was going to be an important source to fund tax reform.  That is why it was embraced first.  Second, on political grounds, the inclusion of the border adjustment tax, which is the other major source of funding for the anticipated tax cuts remains highly controversial.  In fact, the same Republican group that sank the Trump/Ryan alternative, the Freedom Caucus, is opposed to the border adjustment tax.

Third, there is a question of timing.  Tax reform cannot be taken up meaningfully over the next couple of months  This also the assessment of the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is its purvue.  There are some more immediate issues that must be dealt with first. They include approving a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.  The one that President Trump first proposed which included several controversial cuts, including of substantial cut of the State Department, while funding a large increase in defense and security, including infamous Wall, will be another fight.

In the coming weeks, Congress will also have to agree to extend the federal government’s spending authority.  It runs out at the end of April.  The Treasury is already taking measures to honor the debt ceiling, which also needs to be lifted.  There is also a two-week recess in April, and what looks to be a fight (and possible Democrat filibuster) over the Supreme Court nomination.  A third vacancy on the Fed’s Board of Governors will be exposed when Tarullo steps down next month.

There is some talk that the Republicans could force a rule change to allow a simple majority to confirm Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.  Doing so, however, would make it harder to reach out to Democrats on other issues.  The Republican Party, like other modern political parties, are coalitions. To be successful, Trump has to forge a majority coalition with the Republicans or find a rump of Democrats with whom to deal.  It is questionable whether the requisite skills for either strategy currently exist.  And even if they do, are they ten-times better?  Consider that the Affordable Care Act was over a year in the making.  The new plan about five-weeks-old, and changing at the last minute. A test for Democratic leadership is whether they can regain the initiative and propose their own reforms to the Affordable Care Act.

One of the factors that helped the euro recover in recent weeks is speculation that the ECB could hike rates this year before ending the asset purchase operations.  The speculation was fanned by comments from some officials and the steady increase in inflation.  At the end of the week, investors will likely learn that the six-month rise in CPI was snapped February.  The year-over-year pace may slow to 1.8% from 2.0% on softer energy prices.  The core rate may have eased to 0.8% (from 0.9%) and remains stuck in the trough after having bottomed at 0.6%. 

Merkel’s CDU did better than expected in the state election of Saarland.  Although it is one of the smallest German states, there were ideas that the  SPD, under new management was going to give the CDU a formidable challenge.   The CDU did a few percentag epoints better than last time.  The status quo under which it leads a coalition with the SPD, will likely continue.  Of note, the  anti-euro and anti-immigration AfD appears to have seen its support slip. .  That said there are two more state elections next month ahead of the natinoal election in late September.    

In Japan, industrial output is improving with the help of better exports.  Despite firm labor market, household spending remains depressed.  Since August 2015, it has only risen on a year-over-year basis once (February 2016).   Meanwhile, core inflation (excludes fresh food) is expected to rise to 0.2% from 0.1%.  While this may not sound impressive, it would be the highest core reading since April 2015.   BOJ policy is set, and the immediate interest has shifted to a scandal involving a conservative school’s ability to get a sweetheart deal and whether the Prime Minister or is wife gave a modest sum of money to it.  Although support for the cabinet has fallen, it is not (yet) a significant factor that is offsetting the other economic drivers, like interest rate differentials.  

In the UK, May will trigger Article 50 of the Maastricht Treaty to begin the dissolution of its EU membership.  In so doing, the UK will be subject to rules designed to discourage a country leaving. It will lose the initiative.  In any event, the actual trigger is a formality for investors.  The BOE’s Financial Policy Committee meets and there is an expectation for an update of the counter-cyclical capital buffer (currently set at zero) that is set to expire in June.  Sterling’s correlation with the 10-year interest rate differential between the US and UK is among the strongest since the late 1990s.  

Lastly, we note that OPEC continues to report high compliance and the drop in prices make it increasingly likely it will continue at reduced output.  That said, it seems to be relying on demand catching up to supply.     US rig count and output are still increasing.  Still, after declining nearly 14% this month, the downward momentum seems to be exhausted.   More stable oil prices, and possibly return to $50 a barrel,  also may help ease the weight on US rates.   

by John Jansen at March 27, 2017 09:34 AM

swissmiss

Nima Chaichi

These soft, layered photographs made me look. They are by Iranian born, NYC based photographer Nima Chaichi. What an eye!

by swissmiss at March 27, 2017 09:32 AM

The Psy-Fi Blog

The Future is Made in the Bedroom, Not the Boardroom

RIP Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling was, if you’re a data geek like me, a hero. His life was spent not just combating fake facts and opinion based decision making but also in finding new and imaginative ways of visualising real data. And he was in demand by corporations across the world because his work showed them where to invest.

So obviously Rosling wasn’t an economist: he was a population statistician who built his ideas on data, rather than models. And what his data suggests is that the future is made in the bedroom, not the boardroom.

Pollyanna?

Unlike many people in his profession Rosling was an optimist who believed our problems could be solved without a descent into some kind of dysfunctional dystopia. Not everyone agrees with him – Anne and Paul Ehrlich took particular issue with his presentation of data in A Confused Statistician:

Rosling’s soothing assurances are analogous to a physician telling her lung cancer patient, not to worry, don’t get treatment. There’s lots of good news: your teeth have no cavities, your vision is excellent, and I see no symptoms of flu.

Whether or not you think Rosling was suffering from Pollyannaism, he and his son Ola have been performing an unmitigated good in attempting to raise awareness of the underlying biases that limit our capacity for analysing these types of arguments in the face of the deluge of facts, fake and otherwise that we face each day. As heuristics these aren’t bad rules of thumb for an investor. Go look at the TED Talk they gave on the topic:


Bias and Heuristics

They start by identifing three sources of bias that impact our reasoning: personal bias, outdated facts and news bias. Personal bias we’ve met many times before (see, for example, Experience, Rare Events and Risky Choice) – it’s the problem of extrapolating from our own limited, personal experience of the world into more general rules. Our own experiences are not necessarily typical of the general trend, but our brains are wired to value them over any amount of verifiable statistics.

Secondly, having been biased by our experiences we’re then subjected to fake facts – or at least outdated ones – by education. Textbooks are out of date and teachers are educating based on what they were taught, which was also out of date, and was also based on outdated information. So we heap inaccurate information on top of a skewed set of experiences.

And then we’re bombarded by news which even when not overtly fake is always biased towards the newsworthy and away from the norm (c.f. The Media, Fear and Stockmarket Manias). Announcing that knife crime has risen by 300% is much more newsworthy than stating that there were 3 stabbings this year compared to 1 last year.

To deal with this Hans and Ola suggest that we bear in mind four rules of thumb – heuristics – which we should apply to debias the information we’re presented with.

#1: Most things improve

In the absence of hard data or certainty then the default position should be to assume things are getting better. My father continually laments the lost land of his youth before relating tales of people dying of septicaemia and relatives lapsing into waking comas because of hypothyroidism in a time before universal healthcare in the UK.

We can all find examples of investments that were a disaster but a chart of stockmarket growth over any twenty year period will show a positive outcome for an unbiased investor. Sadly most investors, especially inexperienced ones, chase blue sky growth opportunities like kittens chasing torchlight.

#2: Most people are in the middle of a distribution

We tend to polarize to extremes, but the truth is more prosaic. Most of us are average at most things, even if we think we’re not. As we saw in Where Two Strangers Never Meet most people – and especially most men – thing they’re above average drivers. Well, clearly that’s not possible.

The same is true in investment. Most of us are average investors, even though we think we’re not. Most stocks are average performers, but an average stock performance should still beat most investing classes.  Mostly we should invest in index trackers or diversify widely to avoid our average natures accidentally capturing too many worse than average stocks. An investor that under-diversifies is assuming that they’re at the top end of the distribution, a really great driver. Well, you might be: but you're probably not.

#3: Social development comes before wealth

People don’t have to be rich to be clever, or healthy. We should look to invest where population growth is slowing because that’s where excessive economic growth will happen next. We’ll return to this in a minute.

#4: Sharks kill few people – we exaggerate the risk of things we’re personally scared of

Ola Rosling gives the example of sharks not being dangerous. Of course, sharks are dangerous, but the actual risk of one chowing on you is very small. But we’re scared of sharks so we exaggerate the threat.

The world is investment is full of sharks, often played up by news channels who know that nothing sells like a good scare story. But investors should try to operate on a fact driven basis, not an emotional one.  You’re more likely to die driving than in a plane crash, no matter how much news coverage is given to a plane going down. Or how good a driver you think you are.

Population Orthodoxy

What we, as investors, would like to do is invest in a way that biases the odds in our favour. If we’re average – as we probably are – and inclined to be swayed by stories that have especial significance for us then we’re better off relying on the fact that most things improve over time and using index trackers or broad diversification. But Rosling’s work on population growth was of interest to multi-national corporations because it suggested an opportunity to beat those odds.

The orthodox view of population growth and wealth is that countries have to become wealthy before population growth declines – basically people in poor countries are likely to see some of their children die and so have larger families to compensate. Rosling argued that this isn’t necessarily so, pointing to South East Asia where family sizes declined before economic growth soared.

Over the last 50 years in Vietnam family sizes have dropped from 6.5 to 1.7, in South Africa from 5.8 to 2.3, in Bangladesh from 6.9 to 2.1. Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania are seeing rapidly dropping fertility rates. You can play about with this on the UN World Population site, looking at various projections - although obviously the further into the future you go the greater the likely inaccuracies.

Health Before Wealth

His argument, therefore, is that we should focus on improving the health of the people in poor countries. If infant mortality drops people will have smaller families and because they’re healthier will be able to work harder, and think better. Fix the health problem and the wealth problem fixes itself. And this accords with the research we looked at in Economic Parasites suggesting that poor countries are poor because their people are unhealthy.

If that thesis is right then anywhere we can see population growth falling is potentially a future growth economy. Of course, there may be hidden variables here – if a country is seeing a reduction in child mortality and in family sizes it suggests it has some functioning institutions capable of managing the processes that make that possible – which in itself suggests the basis of a functioning economy.

Bedroom Economics

One final “fact”. Based on projecting current economic growth patterns by 2035 Ola suggests that 73% of rich consumers will live outside of the developed nations. So will most of the poor consumers, but an investor that focuses on the poverty of the majority will miss the growth from the minority.

If you are – like me – an average investor then the best way of generating excess returns is not to chase story stocks. It’s to invest in the markets that will generate the best returns. As Hans Rosling himself said in a final interview with the BBC:
"Governments can't run bedrooms. Bedrooms run the world"
The future is not being made in boardrooms, it’s being made in bedrooms.

Addendum

Gapminder was set up by Ola and Hans Rosling and provides visualisation tools to look at the kinds of data discussed here. They promote "Factfulness":
"... the relaxing habit of carrying opinions that are based on solid facts".
If you want to lose a few hours of your life online there are many worse ways of doing so.

by timarr (noreply@blogger.com) at March 27, 2017 09:30 AM

swissmiss

RubyFlow

Tutorial: Uploading files in your Rails application

Uploading files into your Rails application has never been easier, and with the a wealth of useful gems around to help there’s no better time to be working with files.In this tutorial, I’m going to run through uploading an image. https://atech.blog/atech/file-attachments-in-rails-tutorial

March 27, 2017 09:05 AM

The Big Picture

The Need for Very Low Interest Rates in an Era of Subdued Investment Spending

The Need for Very Low Interest Rates in an Era of Subdued Investment Spending Liberty Street Economics 3.22.2017 Thomas Klitgaard and Harry Wheeler         Why have interest rates stayed low for so long after the financial crisis—and will they remain low for the foreseeable future? One way to answer these questions is…

Read More

The post The Need for Very Low Interest Rates in an Era of Subdued Investment Spending appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Guest Author at March 27, 2017 09:00 AM

swissmiss

Mammals by Tinybop

The fine folks over at Tinybop have been busy and launched a new app, called Mammals. The app comes with a free handbook to play and learn with your kids. It entails interactivity tips, fun facts and questions you can ask the kids.

by swissmiss at March 27, 2017 08:55 AM

Seth's Blog

Unselling

Getting someone to switch to you is totally different from getting someone who's new to the market to start using the solution you offer.

Switching means:

Admitting I was wrong, and, in many cases, leaving behind some of my identity, because my tribe (as I see them) is using what I used to use.

So, if you want to get a BMW motorcycle owner to buy a Harley as his next bike, you have your work cut out for you.

He's not eager to say, "well, I got emotionally involved with something, but I realized that there's a better choice so I switched, I was wrong and now I'm right."

And he's certainly not looking forward to walking away from his own self-defined circle and enduring the loneliness as he finds a new circle.

Which leads to three things to think about:

  1. If you seek to grow quickly, realize that your best shot is to get in early, before people have made a commitment, built allegiances and started to engage in cognitive dissonance (since I picked this one, it must be good).

  2. If you are marketing to people who will have to switch to engage with you, do it with intention. Your pitch of, "this is very very good" is insufficient. Your pitch of, "you need something in this category" makes no sense, because I'm already buying in that category. Instead, you must spend the time, the effort and the money to teach me new information that allows me to make a new decision. Not that I was wrong before, but that I was under-informed.

  3. Ignore the tribal links at your peril. Without a doubt, "people like us do things like this," is the most powerful marketing mantra available. Make it true, then share the news.

We invent a status quo every time we settle on something, because we'd rather tell ourselves that we made a good decision than live with the feeling that we didn't.

       

by Seth Godin at March 27, 2017 08:55 AM

Planet Python

EuroPython Society: EuroPython 2017: Call for Proposals (CFP) is open

We’re looking for proposals on every aspect of Python: programming from novice to advanced levels, applications and frameworks, or how you have been involved in introducing Python into your organization. EuroPython is a community conference and we are eager to hear about your experience.

Please also forward this Call for Proposals to anyone that you feel may be interested.

image

Submit your proposal!

Submissions will be open until Sunday, April 16, 23:59:59 CEST.

Please note that we will not have a second call for proposals as we did in 2016, so if you want to enter a proposal, please consider to do this in the next few days.



Presenting at EuroPython

We will accept a broad range of presentations, from reports on academic and commercial projects to tutorials and case studies. As long as the presentation is interesting and potentially useful to the Python community, it will be considered for inclusion in the program.

Can you show something new and useful? Can you show the attendees how to: use a module? Explore a Python language feature? Package an application? If so, please consider submitting a talk.

There are four different kinds of contributions that you can present at EuroPython:

  • Regular Talk / approx. 150 slots

    These are standard “talks with slides”, allocated in slots of

    • 30 minutes
    • 45 minutes
    • 60 minutes

    The Q&A session, if present, is included in the time slot. 3-5 Minutes for Q&A is a good practice. Please chose a time slot you see fit best to make your presentation in a compact way (So the audience may follow along but is not bored). We will only have a limited number of 60 minute slots available, so please only choose these slots for more in-depth sessions or topics which require more background information.

  • Trainings / 20 slots.

    Deep-dive into a subject with all details. These sessions are 2.5 - 3.5 hours long. The training attendees will be encouraged to bring a laptop. They should be prepared with less slides and more source code. Room capacity for the two trainings rooms is 70 and 180 seats.

  • Panels

    A panel is group of three to six experts plus a moderator discussing a matter in depth, an intensive exchange of (maybe opposite) opinions. A panel may be 60-90 minutes long. We have introduced this interactive format for EuroPython 2017 due to the many requests we have received to make the conference more interactive and have more challenging / mind-bending content in place. If you have any questions or if you want to discuss an idea for a panel upfront, please feel free to contact the Program WG to discuss.

  • Interactive

    This is a completely open 60-minute format. Feel free to make your suggestions. There are only two rules: it must be interactive, real-time human-to-human-interaction and of course compliant with the EuroPython Code of Conduct. If you want to discuss an idea upfront, please feel free to contact the Program WG to discuss.

  • Posters / approx. 30 slots

    Posters are a graphical way to describe a project or a technology, printed in large formats; posters are exhibited at the conference, can be read at any time by participants, and can be discussed face to face with their authors during the poster session.

  • Helpdesk / 10 slots

    Helpdesks are a great way to share your experience on a technology, by offering to help people answering their questions and solving their practical problems. You can run a helpdesk by yourself or with colleagues and friends. Each helpdesk will be open for 3 hours in total, 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the afternoon. People looking for help will sign up for a 30 minute slot and talk to you. There is no specific preparation needed; you just need to be proficient in the technology you run the helpdesk for.

Tracks

You may suggest your submission for a track. Tracks are groups of talks, covering the same domain (e.g. Django), all in the same room in a row. You may choose one of these specialized tracks: 

  • Business Track (running a business, being a freelancer)
  • Django Track
  • Educational Track
  • Hardware/IoT Track
  • Science Track
  • Web Track

PyData @ EuroPython 2017

There will be a PyData track at this year’s conference. Please submit your papers for the PyData track through the EuroPython form and make sure to select “PyData” as sub community in the form.

Discounts for speakers and trainers

Since EuroPython is a not-for-profit community conference, it is not possible to pay out rewards for talks or trainings. Speakers of regular talks, panels, posters and interactive will instead have a special 25% discount on the conference ticket. Trainings get a 100% discount to compensate for the longer preparation time. Please note that we can not give discounts for helpdesks.

Topics and Goals

Suggested topics for EuroPython presentations include, but are not limited to:

  • Core Python
  • Alternative Python implementations: e.g. Jython, IronPython, PyPy, and Stackless
  • Python libraries and extensions
  • Python 2 to 3 migration
  • Databases
  • Documentation
  • GUI Programming
  • Game Programming
  • Hardware (Sensors, RaspberryPi, Gadgets,‌)
  • Network Programming
  • Open Source Python projects
  • Packaging
  • Programming Tools
  • Project Best Practices
  • Embedding and Extending
  • Education, Science and Math
  • Web-based Systems
  • Use Cases
  • Failures and Mistakes

Presentation goals are usually some of the following:

  • Introduce the audience to a new topic
  • Introduce the audience to new developments on a well-known topic
  • Show the audience real-world usage scenarios for a specific topic (case study)
  • Dig into advanced and relatively-unknown details on a topic
  • Compare different solutions available on the market for a topic

Language for Talks & Trainings

Talks and trainings should, in general, be held in English.

Inappropriate Language and Imagery

Please consider that EuroPython is a conference with an audience from a broad geographical area which spans countries and regions with vastly different cultures. What might be considered a “funny, inoffensive joke” in a region might be really offensive (if not even unlawful) in another. If you want to add humor, references and images to your talk, avoid any choice that might be offensive to a group which is different from yours, and pay attention to our EuroPython Code of Conduct.

Community Based Talk Voting

Attendees who have bought a ticket in time for the Talk Voting period gain the right to vote for talks submitted during the Call For Proposals.

The Program WG will also set aside a number of slots which they will then select based on other criteria to e.g. increase diversity or give a chance to less mainstream topics.

Release agreement for submissions

All submissions will be made public during the community talk voting, to allow all registrants to discuss the proposals. After finalizing the schedule, talks that are not accepted will be removed from the public website. Accepted submissions will stay online for the foreseeable future.

We also ask all speakers/trainers to:

  • accept the video recording of their presentation

  • upload their talk materials to the EuroPython website

  • accept the EuroPython Speaker Release Agreement which allows the EPS to make the talk recordings and uploaded materials available under a CC BY-NC-SA license

To simplify the organization, we ask all speakers and trainers to accept the video recording and publishing of their session. All talks will be recorded. Whether trainings will be recorded as well, is not yet clear. Please contact our Program WG Helpdesk for details, if you would rather not like your training to be recorded.

Talk slides will be made available on the EuroPython web site. Talk video recordings will be uploaded to the EuroPython YouTube channel and archived on archive.org.

For more privacy related information, please consult our privacy policy.

Contact

For further questions, feel free to contact our Program WG Helpdesk

Enjoy,
–
EuroPython 2017 Team
EuroPython Society

March 27, 2017 08:36 AM

swissmiss

♥ / Driftaway Coffee

Big thanks to Driftaway Coffee for sponsoring my blog and RSS feed continously.

Driftaway Coffee is a freshly roasted coffee subscription that is personalized to your taste. They roast right here in Brooklyn in our quirky neighborhood of Red Hook, and ship all over the US.

All subscriptions start with a tasting kit of four different coffees, you try them out, enter your favorites and based on which ones you like, you will get coffees matching your taste.

Driftaway was started to “fulfill our desire to create, do work we were passionate about, as well as our need for and interest in great coffee.” It’s something we believe will resonate with SwissMiss readers.

Join 1000’s of creatives, designers, developers and coffee lovers by signing up for a Driftaway Coffee subscription. Use coupon SWISSMISS to get 75% off your first delivery (usually $16.50) (expires Apr 20th).

We hope you love it!

by swissmiss at March 27, 2017 08:30 AM

naked capitalism

Italy at the Grim Edge of a Global Problem

With the average 20-year-old Italian now looking to wait 18 years before living independently, who will support Italy's pensioners?

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

Planet Python

EuroPython: EuroPython 2017: Call for Proposals (CFP) is open

We’re looking for proposals on every aspect of Python: programming from novice to advanced levels, applications and frameworks, or how you have been involved in introducing Python into your organization. EuroPython is a community conference and we are eager to hear about your experience.

Please also forward this Call for Proposals to anyone that you feel may be interested.

image

Submit your proposal!

Submissions will be open until Sunday, April 16, 23:59:59 CEST.

Please note that we will not have a second call for proposals as we did in 2016, so if you want to enter a proposal, please consider to do this in the next few days.



Presenting at EuroPython

We will accept a broad range of presentations, from reports on academic and commercial projects to tutorials and case studies. As long as the presentation is interesting and potentially useful to the Python community, it will be considered for inclusion in the program.

Can you show something new and useful? Can you show the attendees how to: use a module? Explore a Python language feature? Package an application? If so, please consider submitting a talk.

There are four different kinds of contributions that you can present at EuroPython:

  • Regular Talk / approx. 150 slots

    These are standard “talks with slides”, allocated in slots of

    • 30 minutes
    • 45 minutes
    • 60 minutes

    The Q&A session, if present, is included in the time slot. 3-5 Minutes for Q&A is a good practice. Please chose a time slot you see fit best to make your presentation in a compact way (So the audience may follow along but is not bored). We will only have a limited number of 60 minute slots available, so please only choose these slots for more in-depth sessions or topics which require more background information.

  • Trainings / 20 slots.

    Deep-dive into a subject with all details. These sessions are 2.5 - 3.5 hours long. The training attendees will be encouraged to bring a laptop. They should be prepared with less slides and more source code. Room capacity for the two trainings rooms is 70 and 180 seats.

  • Panels

    A panel is group of three to six experts plus a moderator discussing a matter in depth, an intensive exchange of (maybe opposite) opinions. A panel may be 60-90 minutes long. We have introduced this interactive format for EuroPython 2017 due to the many requests we have received to make the conference more interactive and have more challenging / mind-bending content in place. If you have any questions or if you want to discuss an idea for a panel upfront, please feel free to contact the Program WG to discuss.

  • Interactive

    This is a completely open 60-minute format. Feel free to make your suggestions. There are only two rules: it must be interactive, real-time human-to-human-interaction and of course compliant with the EuroPython Code of Conduct. If you want to discuss an idea upfront, please feel free to contact the Program WG to discuss.

  • Posters / approx. 30 slots

    Posters are a graphical way to describe a project or a technology, printed in large formats; posters are exhibited at the conference, can be read at any time by participants, and can be discussed face to face with their authors during the poster session.

  • Helpdesk / 10 slots

    Helpdesks are a great way to share your experience on a technology, by offering to help people answering their questions and solving their practical problems. You can run a helpdesk by yourself or with colleagues and friends. Each helpdesk will be open for 3 hours in total, 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the afternoon. People looking for help will sign up for a 30 minute slot and talk to you. There is no specific preparation needed; you just need to be proficient in the technology you run the helpdesk for.

Tracks

You may suggest your submission for a track. Tracks are groups of talks, covering the same domain (e.g. Django), all in the same room in a row. You may choose one of these specialized tracks: 

  • Business Track (running a business, being a freelancer)
  • Django Track
  • Educational Track
  • Hardware/IoT Track
  • Science Track
  • Web Track

PyData @ EuroPython 2017

There will be a PyData track at this year’s conference. Please submit your papers for the PyData track through the EuroPython form and make sure to select “PyData” as sub community in the form.

Discounts for speakers and trainers

Since EuroPython is a not-for-profit community conference, it is not possible to pay out rewards for talks or trainings. Speakers of regular talks, panels, posters and interactive will instead have a special 25% discount on the conference ticket. Trainings get a 100% discount to compensate for the longer preparation time. Please note that we can not give discounts for helpdesks.

Topics and Goals

Suggested topics for EuroPython presentations include, but are not limited to:

  • Core Python
  • Alternative Python implementations: e.g. Jython, IronPython, PyPy, and Stackless
  • Python libraries and extensions
  • Python 2 to 3 migration
  • Databases
  • Documentation
  • GUI Programming
  • Game Programming
  • Hardware (Sensors, RaspberryPi, Gadgets,‌)
  • Network Programming
  • Open Source Python projects
  • Packaging
  • Programming Tools
  • Project Best Practices
  • Embedding and Extending
  • Education, Science and Math
  • Web-based Systems
  • Use Cases
  • Failures and Mistakes

Presentation goals are usually some of the following:

  • Introduce the audience to a new topic
  • Introduce the audience to new developments on a well-known topic
  • Show the audience real-world usage scenarios for a specific topic (case study)
  • Dig into advanced and relatively-unknown details on a topic
  • Compare different solutions available on the market for a topic

Language for Talks & Trainings

Talks and trainings should, in general, be held in English.

Inappropriate Language and Imagery

Please consider that EuroPython is a conference with an audience from a broad geographical area which spans countries and regions with vastly different cultures. What might be considered a “funny, inoffensive joke” in a region might be really offensive (if not even unlawful) in another. If you want to add humor, references and images to your talk, avoid any choice that might be offensive to a group which is different from yours, and pay attention to our EuroPython Code of Conduct.

Community Based Talk Voting

Attendees who have bought a ticket in time for the Talk Voting period gain the right to vote for talks submitted during the Call For Proposals.

The Program WG will also set aside a number of slots which they will then select based on other criteria to e.g. increase diversity or give a chance to less mainstream topics.

Release agreement for submissions

All submissions will be made public during the community talk voting, to allow all registrants to discuss the proposals. After finalizing the schedule, talks that are not accepted will be removed from the public website. Accepted submissions will stay online for the foreseeable future.

We also ask all speakers/trainers to:

  • accept the video recording of their presentation

  • upload their talk materials to the EuroPython website

  • accept the EuroPython Speaker Release Agreement which allows the EPS to make the talk recordings and uploaded materials available under a CC BY-NC-SA license

To simplify the organization, we ask all speakers and trainers to accept the video recording and publishing of their session. All talks will be recorded. Whether trainings will be recorded as well, is not yet clear. Please contact our Program WG Helpdesk for details, if you would rather not like your training to be recorded.

Talk slides will be made available on the EuroPython web site. Talk video recordings will be uploaded to the EuroPython YouTube channel and archived on archive.org.

For more privacy related information, please consult our privacy policy.

Contact

For further questions, feel free to contact our Program WG Helpdesk

Enjoy,
–
EuroPython 2017 Team
EuroPython Society

March 27, 2017 08:17 AM

The Indian National Interest

A New Nuclear Treaty?

UN Resolution L.41 calls for negotiations for a new nuclear treaty but the disarmament tide is overturning.

Disarmament was always seen as an obvious solution to nuclear weapons but the tide now seems to be turning.

Between March 27 and 31st, the United Nations General Assembly shall convene a conference on disarmament. This may mark a new set of negotiations to lead the way to a new nuclear treaty. However, there is little consensus on whether a new treaty is even needed, leaving aside all other modalities.

The origins of this new treaty to ban all nuclear weapons came after UN Resolution L.41 which was passed on December 2016. The treaty which was mindful of the failure of all previous negotiations on disarmament decided to reconvene and take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. It was decided then that two conferences will be held: one in March and the other in July to negotiate a possible new nuclear treaty.

Voting Result for new nuclear ban treaty. Graphics created by Hamsini Hariharan. CC BY 2.0

UN Resolution L.41 was passed in the General Assembly with an overwhelming 123 votes in favour. However, here is when problems with the resolution commence: 38 countries voted against the Resolution while 16 countries abstained.

While the General Assembly works on the principle of majority, power politics does not. With the sole exception of Iran, none of the other nuclear weapon possessing countries have voted in favour of the resolution.

US,UK, Russia, France and Israel voted against while India, China and Pakistan abstained from voting. This was noted by other countries as well; 24 countries who also voted against the Resolution L.41 sent in an explanation stating that this treaty would be of little consequence without agreement from nuclear weapon states:

We are concerned that to start a process towards a nuclear weapon prohibition treaty now, without the support of nuclear weapon states and a large number of other countries with specific security interests, would be premature

In a case such as this, where the most powerful countries in the world (and also the most important stakeholders) do not wish to take part in negotiations, the treaty is tantamount to little.

It is improbable that any of the current nuclear weapon countries will do a South Africa in the near future. While countries that possess civil nuclear energy or no nuclear facilities have all the good intentions of negotiating a new treaty, they cannot make it binding or successful unless the nine states holding nuclear weapons are ready to sit at the table.

Voting Patterns for UN Resolution L.41. Image credit: Hamsini Hariharan/CC BY 2.0

The above charts show that none of the countries do, at this point in time. Therefore, the conference will mean little but pointing fingers.

Why has the UN suddenly started discussing a treaty on disarmament?

2016 has been an eventful year in the nuclear realm from North Korea’s latest tests, the JCPOA, India’s bid to join the NSG and US President Trump’s seemingly new ideas about nuclear weapons. Another important factor is the end of the Nuclear Security Summits (NSS).

Since 2010, the NSS had become the biannual battleground for negotiations on non-proliferation and disarmament. But the final edition of the NSS was held in 2016 with little progress on issues of importance. Another issue of importance is that the first discussions for the 2020 Review Conference will begin in May 2017. Perhaps, the move towards a new nuclear treaty is an aim to show progress towards disarmament targets in time for the Review Conference.

A new treaty on disarmament will not materialise. Neither are countries enthusiastic about it nor is there an Overton window for it to go through. What will be interesting is to see how India reacts to a new nuclear treaty considering its shift from a rebel in the nuclear realm to a norm follower. India has been keen on projecting itself as a morally responsible player so it will not want to hold up international negotiations.

Therefore, India’s response to talks of a new nuclear treaty will be one to watch over the next couple of years.


A New Nuclear Treaty? was originally published in Indian National Interest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

by Hamsini Hariharan at March 27, 2017 08:15 AM

It's Nice That

Maximo Park releases new video and exclusive behind the scenes imagery

Maximoparklist

Newcastle alt-pop band Maximo Park have released a new video for their single, Get High (No, I Don’t).

Read more

by Lucy Bourton at March 27, 2017 08:08 AM

O'Reilly Radar

What is cloud computing?

Learn how cloud computing can help reduce business costs by using an array of cloud services.

Continue reading What is cloud computing?.

by Ric Messier at March 27, 2017 08:00 AM

How can multi-factor authentication protect your cloud computing accounts?

Learn how multi-factor authentication can better protect your data, and why it should be a primary consideration when choosing a cloud service provider.

Continue reading How can multi-factor authentication protect your cloud computing accounts?.

by Ric Messier at March 27, 2017 08:00 AM

Google News Blog

Data Journalism Awards 2017: Call for submissions

The competition is organized by the Global Editors Network: a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media innovators committed to high-quality journalism, with the support of Google and the Knight Foundation.

by Simon Rogers at March 27, 2017 08:00 AM

Allisstatus

The coming end of the EU

What none of the EU politicians and Brussels commissioners dare to confess as we we now come close to starting serious Brexit negotiations is that England plus London need the EU a great deal less than the EU needs us.  Our trade with the EU was already declining years ago.  Yet the EU depends on … Continue reading The coming end of the EU

by Keith Hudson at March 27, 2017 07:51 AM

"Subramanian Swamy" - Google News

Rajiv Gandhi 'Only Good Human Being' In Family: Subramanian Swamy - NDTV


NDTV

Rajiv Gandhi 'Only Good Human Being' In Family: Subramanian Swamy
NDTV
Mr Swamy recalled that Rajiv Gandhi allowed telecast of popular series Ramayana on Doordarshan. (Reuters). Patna: Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha lawmaker Subramanian Swamy praised former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as the only good human ...
Rajiv Gandhi was the only 'Hindu neta' in Congress, says Subramanian SwamyTimes of India
A mosque can be demolished, but not temple: Subramanian SwamyDeccan Chronicle
Rajiv Gandhi only good human in Nehru-Gandhi family, says Subramanian SwamyIndia Today
Hindustan Times -India.com -NewsX
all 72 news articles »

March 27, 2017 07:03 AM

datameet Google Group

Re: List of Schools

http://schoolgis.nic.in/map.html On Monday, 27 March 2017 12:11:40 UTC+5:30, Kedar Annam wrote: > > Hi, > > Kindly help me with the list of all schools in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. > From where can I get this. > > Warm Regards, > > Kedar Annam > +91-8898573468 > Public Policy Student | St.

by Naveen Francis at March 27, 2017 06:49 AM

Planet Python

Abu Ashraf Masnun: Django REST Framework: Using the request object

While working with Django REST Framework aka DRF, we often wonder how to customize our response based on request parameters. May be we want to check something against the logged in user (request.user) ? Or may be we want to modify part of our response based on a certain request parameter? How do we do that? We will discuss a few use cases below.

ModelViewSet - Filtering based on request

This is very often required while using ModelViewSets. We have many Items in our database. But when listing them, we only want to display the items belonging to the current logged in user.

from rest_framework.permissions import IsAuthenticated

class ItemViewSet(ModelViewSet):
    permission_classes = (IsAuthenticated,)
    serializer_class = ItemSerializer

    def get_queryset(self):
        queryset = Item.objects.all().filter(user=request.user)

        another_param = self.request.GET.get('another_param')
        if another_param:
            queryset = queryset.filter(another_field=another_param)

        return queryset

If you are using the awesome ModelViewSet, you can override the get_queryset method. Inside it, you can access the request object as self.request. In the above example, we are only listing the items which has our current user set as their user field. At the same time, we are also filtering the queryset based on another parameter. Basically you have the queryset and self.request available to you, feel free to use your imagination to craft all the queries you need!

Serializers - Modifying Response based on request

What if we don’t want to display item_count for the users by default? What if we only want to display that field when a request parameter, show_count is set? We can override the serializer to do that.

class UserSerializer(ModelSerializer):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super().__init__(*args, **kwargs)

        context = kwargs.get('context', None)
        if context:
            request = kwargs['context']['request']

            show_count = request.GET.get('show_count')
            if show_count:
                self.fields['item_count'] = IntegerField(source="item_count")

When Serializers are constructed by DRF, it gets the request in the context. So we should always check if it exists and use it as needed. We can override the serializer fields by accessing self.fields.

Please note: The request object will be passed only if DRF constructs the serializer for you, for example when you just pass the serializer_class to a ModelViewSet. But if you are using the Serializer in your custom views, please do remember to pass the request manually, otherwise it won’t work.

item_serializer = ItemSerializer(item, context={"request": request})

In our case we have just used IntegerField. You can of course use another serializer to embed the full data of a related field.

Using request in Serializer Fields

Serializer fields have context too!

class ShortURLField(ReadOnlyField):
    def to_representation(self, value):
        return self.context['request'].build_absolute_uri(value)

and here’s the serializer:

class URLSerializer(ModelSerializer):
    short_url = ShortURLField()

    class Meta:
        model = URL
        fields = "__all__"

In the URL model, there is a method named short_url that returns a slug for that url. In our custom ShortURLField, we have customized the to_representation method to use the build_absolute_uri(value) method on current request for creating the full url from the slug.

March 27, 2017 06:49 AM

naked capitalism

The Indian National Interest

What Indian states should learn from the Boao Forum for Asia

The Asian version of the World Economic Forum pushed for increased openness by using OBOR in Asia. Rhetoric though it may be, the Forum does hold lessons for Indian states.

Over the years, the Boao Forum for Asia looks at establishing dialogue amongst Asian countries

This weekend, as anti-Romeo squads roam the streets of Lucknow, visitors will throng the streets of Dongyu Island where the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) is being held between 23rd and 26th March. The Track I Forum which has been held annually since 2002 can show Indian states how they can play a larger role in foreign policy simply by place branding. An analysis of the BFA also makes China’s push for globalisation evident.

China is pushing its globalisation narrative harder than ever

The theme for this year’s Asian version of the World Economic Forum is ‘Globalisation and Free Trade: Asian Perspective’. As the western world seems to be turning against globalisation, China seems to be going ahead with championing itself as the leader.

China is touting globalisation and the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative as the pillars of development in the absence of global leadership. The forum is merely taking forward the narrative of China leading the world in economic affairs. This narrative came to the limelight earlier at the World Economic Forum in January 2017 when Xi Jinping became the first Chinese leader to address the gathering,

China’s development will continue to offer opportunities to business communities in other countries. China will keep its door wide open and not close it. An open door allows both other countries to access the Chinese market and China itself to integrate with the world. And we hope that other countries will also keep their door open to Chinese investors and keep the playing field level for us.

This strand of the narrative was made evident at the beginning of the BFA with the speech by Zhou Wenzhong, secretary general of Boao Forum for Asia,

Globalisation is not an abstract concept. The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping three years ago is China’s solution for globalisation, which seeks to build a common destiny for human being through consultation, co-construction and sharing.

Takeaways for Indian States

After the 1990s, development has caught up in Hainan Province

The Track I Forum has made glitzy statements about globalisation and has seen the attendance of over 80 countries including India that was one of the initial attendees when the BFA started in 2001. The BFA has plenty of lessons from India- particularly with regards to place branding. Boao is located within Hainan, the southernmost province which is close to the rest of East and South-East Asia. Holding the BFA in Hainan was also important because:

Hainan, China’s largest special economic zone, was an experimental area for China to deepen its connection with international community.

Till the 1990s, Hainan was known merely as a fishing province. Now, however, it boasts of large cities, two airports and even its own international airlines.

Indian states can learn from the Boao Forum for Asia, on how to use place branding to push forward their own development. Individual states’ investment summits hardly serve the same purpose because they are organised with the specific purpose of attracting investment. However, by choosing locations other than New Delhi or Mumbai for Track I/Track II dialogues can also improve states’ involvement in foreign policy at an elementary level.

It allows for state level leaders to meet with leaders from other countries. This would also trickle down to other factors including tourism, improvement of infrastructure, union-state relations, investment etc. As a large country with land and sea border and historical connectivity to the rest of the region, India can easily use its states to leverage its connections to other Asian countries.


What Indian states should learn from the Boao Forum for Asia was originally published in Indian National Interest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

by Hamsini Hariharan at March 27, 2017 04:48 AM

Too Many Canteens Spoil the State

A measured undertaking that provides one meal instead of three meals will ensure that the government is able to target malnutrition and poverty in a far more sustainable way.

Feeding the Hungry — The Seven Acts of Mercy Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) via Wikimedia Commons

At the heart of India’s hunger problem, there is a paradox that both explains and raises questions about the duties of the state and the society. Indian culture considers it reprehensible for a guest to be sent away without a plate of food or at the very least a glass of water. The country however is home to more than 15% of undernourished adults and almost 40% of children under the age of five who are stunted due to lack of nutritious, hygienic food.

Tamil Nadu was one of the pioneers in providing government subsidised food to fight hunger. The midday meal schemes, started in 1960’s for government school kids, took a good 30 years to become a national level program.

The state is proving to be a trailblazer yet again with its “amma” canteen. The state government-subsidised food canteen for adults has been, as of 2016, replicated in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, and more recently Haryana, and Karnataka.

Conceived in 2013 by Tamil Nadu’s then chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, the “amma” canteens were designed to provide low cost, nutritious food cooked and served in hygienic conditions three times a day.

When it was launched, the scheme had 200 canteens under its belt, primarily around Chennai based out of municipal and corporation buildings. There are currently close to 400 canteens in Chennai city and more than 250 around the state.

Canteen expenditures have crossed the ₹100-crore mark, and smaller corporations are starting to begrudge the deficits in their budgets. The CAG audit report for 2014–2015 points out that improper budgeting and open market purchase of raw materials has resulted in an expenditure of ₹101 crores in the Chennai Corporation alone against an income of ₹37.56 crore

Social revolution by way of constitution meant that service that used to be done by individuals, religious boards, and dharam shalas were absorbed by the state. A citizenry used to the generosity of the state is not likely to want to transfer this burden back to the public. The generosity however does not fully take into account the limitations of the government.

The USP of the canteen was high quality, hygienic, nutritious vegetarian food that was cooked and served in the canteens. There are two major issues with the system

One, the system does not have incentive to address changing food demands, market dynamics, or demand and supply issues in areas where the canteen is set up. A high amount of food is being cooked to cope with an elastic demand. Without proper mechanisms to track footfalls, or control crowds, or vary the nature of food being provided, there’s a constant supply-demand issue. There have also been concerns of lower quality products being substituted to make up for the loss to the exchequer. Rapid growth of canteens to meet initial popularity and demand has also resulted in building canteens in places where footfalls have fallen due to the migrant population moving out.

Two, providing three square meals a day at lower than market prices while noble, is not necessarily a sign of good governance. The scheme eats into a market populated with far diverse and interesting food cart scenes found in most Indian cities. Government taking over supply of what essentially needs to be a market based production and distribution model ends up costing jobs and in this case ends up impacting local diversity in food and eating habits. Food needs, patterns and habits change. Government does not have the capacity or incentive to change.

The Karnataka government needs to be aware of these pitfalls while planning “Namma canteens” in the state. A measured undertaking that provides one meal instead of three meals will ensure that the government is able to target malnutrition and poverty in a far more sustainable way.

The canteens remain a creative solution to a consistent problem of fighting hunger in the country. Tamil Nadu offers the chance for studying the long-term impact of such schemes on the state. Karnataka needs to see how the policy needs to be adjusted to be palatable to local conditions.


Too Many Canteens Spoil the State was originally published in Indian National Interest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

by Priya Ravichandran at March 27, 2017 04:42 AM

Scott Hanselman

Command Line: Using dotnet watch test for continuous testing with .NET Core 1.0 and XUnit.net

I've installed .NET Core 1.0 on my machine. Let's see if I can get a class library and tests running and compiling automatically using only the command line. (Yes, some of you are freaked out by my (and other folks') appreciation of a nice, terse command line. Don't worry. You can do all this with a mouse if you want. I'm just enjoying the CLI.

NOTE: This is considerably updated from the project.json version in 2016.

First, I installed from http://dot.net/core. This should all work on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

C:\> md testexample & cd testexample


C:\testexample> dotnet new sln
Content generation time: 33.0582 ms
The template "Solution File" created successfully.

C:\testexample> dotnet new classlib -n mylibrary -o mylibrary
Content generation time: 40.5442 ms
The template "Class library" created successfully.

C:\testexample> dotnet new xunit -n mytests -o mytests
Content generation time: 87.5115 ms
The template "xUnit Test Project" created successfully.

C:\testexample> dotnet sln add mylibrary\mylibrary.csproj
Project `mylibrary\mylibrary.csproj` added to the solution.

C:\testexample> dotnet sln add mytests\mytests.csproj
Project `mytests\mytests.csproj` added to the solution.

C:\testexample> cd mytests

C:\testexample\mytests> dotnet add reference ..\mylibrary\mylibrary.csproj
Reference `..\mylibrary\mylibrary.csproj` added to the project.

C:\testexample\mytests> cd ..

C:\testexample> dotnet restore
Restoring packages for C:\Users\scott\Desktop\testexample\mytests\mytests.csproj...
Restoring packages for C:\Users\scott\Desktop\testexample\mylibrary\mylibrary.csproj...
Restore completed in 586.73 ms for C:\Users\scott\Desktop\testexample\mylibrary\mylibrary.csproj.
Installing System.Diagnostics.TextWriterTraceListener 4.0.0.
...SNIP...
Installing Microsoft.NET.Test.Sdk 15.0.0.
Installing xunit.runner.visualstudio 2.2.0.
Installing xunit 2.2.0.
Generating MSBuild file C:\Users\scott\Desktop\testexample\mytests\obj\mytests.csproj.nuget.g.props.
Generating MSBuild file C:\Users\scott\Desktop\testexample\mytests\obj\mytests.csproj.nuget.g.targets.
Writing lock file to disk. Path: C:\Users\scott\Desktop\testexample\mytests\obj\project.assets.json
Installed:
16 package(s) to C:\Users\scott\Desktop\testexample\mytests\mytests.csproj

C:\testexample> cd mytests & dotnet test

Build started, please wait...
Build completed.

Test run for C:\testexample\mytests\bin\Debug\netcoreapp1.1\mytests.dll(.NETCoreApp,Version=v1.1)
Microsoft (R) Test Execution Command Line Tool Version 15.0.0.0
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Starting test execution, please wait...
[xUnit.net 00:00:00.5539676] Discovering: mytests
[xUnit.net 00:00:00.6867799] Discovered: mytests
[xUnit.net 00:00:00.7341661] Starting: mytests
[xUnit.net 00:00:00.8691063] Finished: mytests

Total tests: 1. Passed: 1. Failed: 0. Skipped: 0.
Test Run Successful.
Test execution time: 1.8329 Seconds

Of course, I'm testing nothing yet but pretend there's a test in the tests.cs and something it's testing (that's why I added a reference) in the library.cs, OK?

Now I want to have my project build and tests run automatically as I make changes to the code. I can't "dotnet add tool" yet so I'll add this line to my test's project file:

<ItemGroup>

<DotNetCliToolReference Include="Microsoft.DotNet.Watcher.Tools" Version="1.0.0" />
</ItemGroup>

Like this:

Adding <DotNetCliToolReference Include="Microsoft.DotNet.Watcher.Tools" Version="1.0.0" />

Then I just dotnet restore to bring in the tool.

NOTE: There's a color bug using only cmd.exe so on "DOS" you'll see some ANSI chars. That should be fixed in a minor release soon - the PR is in and waiting. On bash or PowerShell things look fin.

In this screenshot, you can see as I make changes to my test and hit save, the DotNetWatcher Tool sees the change and restarts my app, recompiles, and re-runs the tests.

Test Run Successful

All this was done from the command line. I made a solution file, made a library project and a test project, made the test project reference the library, then built and ran the tests. If I could add the tool from the command line I wouldn't have had to manually touch the project file at all.

Again, to be sure, all this is stuff you can (and do) do in Visual Studio manually all the time. But I'll race you anytime. ;)


Sponsor: Check out JetBrains Rider: a new cross-platform .NET IDE. Edit, refactor, test, build and debug ASP.NET, .NET Framework, .NET Core, or Unity applications. Learn more and get access to early builds!


© 2017 Scott Hanselman. All rights reserved.
     

by Scott Hanselman at March 27, 2017 04:28 AM

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

A Historical Document: "In the Long Run It Is the Majority Who Will Determine What the Constitutional Rights of the Minority Are": Hoisted from 2003

Rehnquist Court

Hoisted from the Archives from 2003: A Historical Document: "In the Long Run It Is the Majority Who Will Determine What the Constitutional Rights of the Minority Are": The judicial philosophy of Chief Justice Rehnquist, taken from Rehnquist (1952), "A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases"[1]. This memo expressing Rehnquist's position[2] on a number of issues is usually cited for the flat declaration at the end that Plessy v. Ferguson (establishing the legality of the "separate and unequal" principle of segregation in governmental treatment of Blacks and whites) "was right and should be re-affirmed" even though Rehnquist is aware that it is an "unpopular and unhumanitarian position" for which he has been "excoriated by 'liberal' colleagues."

More interesting, from my perspective at least, are Rehnquist's beliefs that:

  1. Jimmy Madison was an idiot for including individual rights in the Constitution: "The Constitution, of course, deals with individual rights, particularly in the first Ten and the fourteenth Amendments. But as I read the history of this Court, it has seldom been out of hot water when attempting to interpret these individual rights."

  2. No matter what the Constitution says, the Supreme Court cannot protect minority rights of any kind, and it should not try, for "in the long run it is the majority who will determine what the constitutional rights of the minority are."

  3. The Warren Court's attempt to use the law to help change the hearts and minds of Americans toward racial equality is doomed to failure: "One hundred and fifty years of attempts on the part of this Court to protect minority rights... have been sloughed off, and crept silently to rest.... [T]he present Court... must be prepared to see its work fade in time, too, as embodying only the sentiments of a transient majority of nine men."

  4. The FDR-era "Switch in Time That Saved Nine," in which the Supreme Court decided to cease blocking New Deal measures rather than continue to do so and trigger the passage of constitutional amendments explicitly increasing the government's power to regulate the economy, was a principled recognition by the Court of the general principle that "...where a legislature was dealing with its own citizens, it was not part of the judicial function to thwart public opinion."

  5. In an extraodinary misconstrual of U.S. history in the 1850s, Chief Justice Roger Taney's holding in Dred Scott v. Sanford that Congress could not prohibit slavery in any U.S. Territory was not an attempt to give slavery a chance to expand in U.S. Territories beyond its Missouri Compromise and Kansas-Nebraska Act boundaries, but was instead a defensive move: an "effort to protect the slaveholders from legislative interference." (Never mind that the legislative "interference" was at the time of Taney's decision more than seventy years old, dating back to Thomas Jefferson's Northwest Ordinance prohibiting slavery from the Northwest Territories between the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Great Lakes.)

Now the fifth of these--Roger Taney as a principled defender of minority rights against legislative encroachment--is a very strange belief for a modern American to have.

The fourth would be a strange belief for a non-lawyer to have, but lawyers spend a lot of their time asserting that a court in the past did X for reason Y even when it is plain that Y did not feature in the court's thinking at all.

And the third was clearly wrong.

But the first and second are by far the strangest and most bizarre.

It is indeed the case that a sufficiently large, determined, and durable majority could repeal the Thirteenth Amendment and reduce African-Americans to slavery, and repeal the First Amendment and establish a press completely controlled by the Ministry of Truth. But until those amendments are repealed, the prohibition against slavery and the freedom of the press are part of the supreme laws of the land that it is the business of the Supreme Court to enforce.

And Rhenquist's first? That the Court should not attempt to "interpret" any of the Constitution's provisions protecting individual rights? It seems to fundamentally miss the point of what the American Constitution is, nay, more, to miss the entire point of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence since Magna Carta itself. Rehnquist seems to have simply never gotten the point that, as Jefferson put it, here in America we believe that people have rights and that governments are established to secure those rights--that the government is our servant, not our master.

It is a very, very odd thing indeed for William Rehnquist to be Chief Justice of the United States of America.


A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases:

One-hundred fifty years ago this Court held that it was the ultimate judge of the restrictions which the Constitution imposed on the various branches of the national state government. Marbury v. Madison. This was presumably on the basis that there are standards to be applied other than the personal predilections of the Justices.

As applied to questions of inter-state or state-federal relations, as well as to inter-departmental disputes within the federal government, this doctrine has worked well. Where theoretically co-ordinate bodies of government are disputing, the Court is well suited to its role as arbiter. This is because these problems involve much less emotionally charged subject matter than do those discussed below. In effect, they determine the skeletal relations of the governments to each other without influencing the substantive business of those governments.

As applied to relations between the individual and the state, the system has worked much less well. The Constitution, of course, deals with individual rights, particularly in the first Ten and the fourteenth Amendments. But as I read the history of this Court, it has seldom been out of hot water when attempting to interpret these individual rights. Fletcher v. Peck, in 1810, represented an attempt by Chief Justice Marshall to extend the protection of the contract clause to infant business. Scott v. Sanford was the result of Taney's effort to protect the slaveholders from legislative interference.

After the Civil War, business interest came to dominate the court, and they in turn ventured into the deep water of protecting certain types of individuals against legislative interference. Championed first by Field, then by Peckham and Brewer, the high water mark of the trend in protecting the majority opinion in that case, Holmes replied that the fourteenth Amendment did not enact Herbert [S]pence[r]'s Social Statios [sic]. Other cases coming later in a similar vein were Advins v. Children's Hospital, Hammer v. Dagenhart, Tyson v. Banton, Ribnik v. McBride. But eventually the Court called a halt to this reading of its own economic views into the Constitution. Apparently it recognized that where a legislature was dealing with its own citizens, it was not part of the judicial function to thwart public opinion except in extreme cases.

In these cases now before the Court, the Court is, as Davis suggested, being asked to read its own sociological views into the Constitution. urging a view palpably at variance with precedent and probably with legislative history, appellants seek to convince the Court of the moral wrongness of the treatment they are receiving. I would suggest that this is a question the Court need never reach; for regardless of the Justice's individual views on the merits of segregation, it quite clearly is not one of those extreme cases which command intervention from one of any conviction. If this Court, because its members individually are "liberal" and dislike segregation, now choose to strike it down, it differs from the McReynolds court only in the kinds of litigants it favors and the kinds of special claims it protects.

To those who argue that "personal" rights are more sacrosanct than "property" rights, the short answer is that the Constitution makes no such distinction. To the argument made by Thurgood Marshall that a majority may not deprive a minority of its constitutional right, the answer must be made that while this is sound in theory, in the long run it is the majority who will determine what the constitutional rights of the minority are.

One hundred and fifty years of attempts on the part of this Court to protect minority rights of any kind--whether those of business, slaveholders, or Jehovah's Witnesses--have been sloughed off, and crept silently to rest. If the present Court is unable to profit by this example it must be prepared to see its work fade in time, too, as embodying only the sentiments of a transient majority of nine men.

I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by "liberal" colleag[u]es, but I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be re-affirmed. If the fourteenth Amendment did not enact Spencer's Social Statios [sic], it just as surely did not enact Myrddahl's [sic] American Dilemma.

WHR


[1] William H. Rehnquist (1952), "A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases," Hearings Before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-Ninth Congress, Second Session, on the Nomination of Justice WIlliam Hubbs Rehnquist to be Chief Justice of the United States. July 29, 30, 31, and August 1, 1986. Serial No. J-99-118. S. Hrg. 99-1067. J 60 J9 99th no. 130 DOCS, pp. 324-5.


[2] From pp. 328-332 of Richard Kluger (1977), Simple Justice (New York: Random House: 0394722558):

The memo, Rehnquist advised the Senate... had been written at Justice Jackson's request and represented Jackson's views on the segregation cases. The Justice wanted the memo, Rehnquist said, to arm himself when speaking at the conference of the Justices.... If Rehnquist was telling the truth to the Senate in 1971[3]... the Justice must have undergone a considerable change of heart... little in Burton's notes on Jackson's remarks [during the Court conference on December 13, 1952] resembles any of the thoughts attributed to him in the Rehnquist memo. And nothing in the memo that Jackson himself prepared on the subject in February 1954 remotely suggests that he ever thought that Plessy had been rightly decided...

[3] There is much evidence... that casts doubt on Rehnquist's account.... Of the two living people who might have corroborated Rehnquist's explanation to the Senate, one.. seemed to conflict with the Rehnquist account, and the other sharply denied it. Rehnquist's fellow clerk, Donald Cronson... cabled a message.... Cronson's explanation raises at least three questions.... If Jackson had requested two memos reaching opposite conclusions on the rightness of Plessy, why did Rehnquist claim that the second memo--the one bearing Rehnquist's initials--represented Jackson's view of the case?...

The other person... Elsie Douglas, Jackson's secretary... told the Washington Post that... Rehnquist had "smeared the reputation of a great Justice." She challenged Rehnquist's assertion that Jackson would have asked a law clerk to help prepare the remarks he would deliver at a conference of the Justices.... She told Newsweek that Rehnquist's account was "incredible on its face."

Without resort to the statements by Cronson or Mrs. Douglas, Rehnquist's attribution to Jackson of the views in the... memo bearing Rehnquist's initials is challenged by internal evidence.... The titles of both memos are strikingly inappropriate to the use Rehnquist claims.... Is it possible that Jackson would have disparaged... "attempts... to protect minority rights"... when Jackson himself wrote many a decision protecting minority rights?...

Is it possible... Robert Jackson would have told his brother Justices... "I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by 'liberal colleagues, but I think Plessy... should be affirmed"? The "I" in that passage, according to Rehnquist, was supposed to be Jackon... but where and when might Jackson have been excoriated by his "liberal" colleagues? And what colleagues might those have been?...

A far more plausible explanation might be that the "I" of the memo is Rehnquist... referring to the obloquy... by his fellow clerks, who discussed the segregation question over lunch quite regularly, who were... "liberal." Support for this surmise is lent by an article that Rehnquist wrote in... U.S. News and World Report.... "Some of the tenets of the 'liberal' point of view which commanded the sympathy of a majority of the clerks..." The telltale use of quotation marks around the word "liberal" adds to the suspicion that the "I" of the Rehnquist memo was never meant to be Robert Jackson speaking to his brethren...

While Rehnquist claimed his memo was intended to convey Jackson's words and thoughts... the companion Cronson memo... is plainly a memo from a clerk to his Justice...

by J. Bradford DeLong at March 27, 2017 03:24 AM

SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green

ISC Stormcast For Monday, March 27th 2017 https://isc.sans.edu/podcastdetail.html?id=5431, (Mon, Mar 27th)

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

March 27, 2017 02:35 AM

Planet Python

Mike Driscoll: Python 101 Screencast: Episode #13 – The csv module

This video tutorial is about Python’s csv module. It comes from my first book, Python 101. You can also read a version of this here.

March 27, 2017 01:56 AM

TmoNews

T-Mobile now includes AppleCare+ with JUMP! and Premium Device Protection plans

In addition to rolling out new prepaid plans, T-Mobile recently made a tweak to some of its device protection plans. T-Mobile’s Premium Device Protection and JUMP! with Premium Device Protection plans now include AppleCare+ at no additional cost. T-Mo confirmed the change today, meaning that customers paying $12 per month for JUMP! or Premium Device Protection can get AppleCare+ for their iPhone or iPad. Here’s what you get with the AppleCare+ included with JUMP! and ... [read full article]

The post T-Mobile now includes AppleCare+ with JUMP! and Premium Device Protection plans appeared first on TmoNews.

by Alex Wagner at March 27, 2017 01:36 AM

Calculated Risk

Sunday Night Futures

Weekend:
Schedule for Week of Mar 26, 2017

Monday:
• 10:30 AM: Dallas Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity for March.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P futures are down 13 and DOW futures are down 90 (fair value).

Oil prices were down over the last week with WTI futures at $47.93 per barrel and Brent at $50.80 per barrel.  A year ago, WTI was at $40, and Brent was at $40 - so oil prices are up about 25% year-over-year.

Here is a graph from Gasbuddy.com for nationwide gasoline prices. Nationally prices are at $2.28 per gallon - a year ago prices were at $2.05 per gallon - so gasoline prices are up about 23 cents a gallon year-over-year.

by Bill McBride (noreply@blogger.com) at March 27, 2017 01:30 AM

Daring Fireball

Uber Executives’ Visit to Seoul ‘Escort Bar’ Resulted in HR Complaint

Amir Efrati, reporting for The Information:

Ms. Holzwarth, who described the bar in vivid detail in an interview with The Information, said she and Mr. Kalanick left less than an hour after the men in Uber’s group picked some women to sit with. She doesn’t know what happened after she left.

Mr. Michael’s call prompted her to discuss her concerns with Uber’s top public relations executive Rachel Whetstone and Mr. Kalanick, among other people. She described and provided correspondence of those conversations for this story.

“I’m not going to lie for them,” she said in an interview with The Information this week. In the interview, she described Mr. Kalanick as “part of a class of privileged men who have been taught they can do whatever they want, and now they can.”

She said she wouldn’t have considered speaking publicly had Mr. Michael not attempted to “silence” her.

Sounds like this was less like a strip club and more like a brothel:

High-end escort-karaoke bars are fairly common in Seoul, often frequented by businessmen, who pick out women to drink with. Karaoke is typically a feature of the evening. The men can choose to have sex with the women as well. Prostitution is illegal in South Korea.

by John Gruber at March 27, 2017 12:42 AM

Devdutt

Who made God Perfect?

Published on 26th March, 2017, in Mid-day

I recently heard an Odia song where Lakshmi and Parvati tease each other by mocking each other’s husbands. Lakshmi wonders about the health of Shiva’s mount, Nandi, who she describes as an old weak bull. Parvati retorts by describing Vishnu as a cowherd who should know more about the health of cattle.

To put an end to this verbal joust, Shiva and Vishnu merge into one being Hari-Hara, to show they are the same, not different, not higher or lower. The song uses a very household scene to evoke Shaiva-Vaishnava rivalry that was at its peak in Odisha 500 years ago. The problem is resolved in a very Hindu way: the two gods are seen as two aspects of the same divine. In this song, God is not perfect. God has many forms, and each form — male and female — has flaws. The female forms quarrel. The male forms are inadequate. Each form completes the other, making them all part of a jigsaw puzzle.

However, nowadays, if you make fun of a Hindu god, point to his or her imperfection, like Ram’s inability to be a good husband, Shiva’s inability to give up his fondness for bhang, or Krishna’s failure as a father, or Saraswati’s arrogance, or Lakshmi’s fickleness, or Kali’s violence, people get upset. They feel outraged. They feel to criticise any aspect of divine, or tolerate jokes on gods and goddesses, is a sign of heresy, and disrespect. ‘How can you say such a thing about our God?’ they ask angrily. Then they point to terrorists who blow up Europeans who make fun of Allah, and his Prophet. That, sadly, has become the benchmark of faith.

The idea of God as perfect came from the Greeks, specifically Platonic philosophy that spoke of the ‘ideal’. This Greek idea was imposed on the Christian notion of God when Christianity became popular in the Greco-Roman world about 1,800 years ago. The early Christian God was a jealous, but just, tribal deity of Semitic tribes, who punished those who did not follow his commandments. Jesus Christ made him a loving God who forgives the disobedient and even sacrifices his son for the salvation of sinners. But it is the Greeks, who translated much of the Bible from Aramaic to Greek, who turned the jealous God of Moses into the loving God of Jesus into one who is all-powerful, all-seeing, just, benevolent and perfect.

This view informed in Islam 1,400 years ago. Since God was perfect, and his creation was perfect, Muslim clerics forbade artists from recreating images of God or his creation (plants, animals, humans) using paint or stone. These views reached India with Islam, and mingled with very different views of God, such as those found in the poetry of Tamil Alvars and Nayanars, who imagined God as Vishnu and Shiva around the same time.

Colonisation enforced Christian thought via educational institutions. God of all religions became the same: all-powerful, just, benevolent, and perfect. In other words, God was reduced to one rigid definition, a definition used in court cases on temple rituals and beliefs. This definition denies the protean Hindu God from being simultaneously powerful yet powerless, perfect yet imperfect, infinite yet finite, regal yet comical, different for different poets and communities, different in different contexts. Time to liberate the Hindu God from the Abrahamic, or should we say Greek, template?

by HS at March 27, 2017 12:30 AM

jwz

Joker arrested for "wearing a mask in public"

Jeremy Putnam, 31, was arrested in Winchester, Virginia, and charged with "wearing a mask in public," a felony in that state.

He was armed with a "sword" in public, which apparently alarmed residents. But they haven't charged him with that; they've charged him with this, a fascinatingly terrible law:

§ 18.2-422. Prohibition of wearing of masks in certain places; exceptions.

It shall be unlawful for any person over 16 years of age to, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer...

...with specific exceptions for "traditional holiday costumes," protective or medical masks, or ones for a "bona fide theatrical production or masquerade ball."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

by jwz at March 27, 2017 12:24 AM

Uber still literally trying to murder you

Nobody else on the road agreed to be a participant in the alpha-test of this software.

Uber to Suspend Autonomous Tests After Arizona Accident

Uber is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises.

In a photo posted on Twitter, one of Uber's Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to another car with dents and smashed windows. [...]

Uber began testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh last year and soon expanded to Arizona, after its self-driving cars were banned from San Francisco's streets in December by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Previously, previously, previously.

by jwz at March 27, 2017 12:15 AM

Freakonomics

Stupid Stuff: TMSIDK Episode 12

Aasif Mandvi

Comedian Aasif Mandvi has a head full of Stupid Stuff. (Photo: Lucy Sutton)

During the Spanish-American War and late 1800s, more soldiers died from food poisoning than from enemy bullets. Their food wasn’t just spoiled, it was filled with dangerous preservatives like borax and formaldehyde. In fact, the government didn’t regulate food additives at all until a guy named Harvey Washington Wiley came along. He was the head of the government’s Bureau of Chemistry and to study the chemicals added to food, he created a division that was later called the Poison Squad.

The squad of 12 male civil servants took all their meals in the Department of Agriculture’s basement kitchen. Every day, Wiley added more chemicals to their food, until they developed crippling nausea, headaches, weight loss or otherwise couldn’t function. When they tested formaldehyde, most of the squad ended up sick in bed.

In 1906, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, which regulated food safety and eliminated the need for the Poison Squad. Ultimately, this led to the creation of the FDA, which still regulates the food industry, and ensures that your milk doesn’t come with a side order of formaldehyde.

This episode of Tell Me Something I Don’t Know is all about “Stupid Stuff” — things that seem stupid but aren’t and things don’t but are. Our panelists are:

James Altucher, author and host of the podcast the James Altucher Show, who is an honorary Kentucky colonel.

Miki Agrawal*, entrepreneur and founder of Thinx, who built her own digital slot machine in ninth grade…sort of.

Aasif Mandvi, comedian and author of No Man’s Land, who has a knack for selling sweaters in Florida.

Our real-time fact-checker is Sean Rameswaram, producer for Radiolab’s Supreme Court spinoff, More Perfect, who definitely knows how slides work.

*This episode was recorded before a former employee at Thinx filed a sexual harassment complaint against Miki.

The post Stupid Stuff: TMSIDK Episode 12 appeared first on Freakonomics.

by Stephen J. Dubner at March 27, 2017 12:00 AM

March 26, 2017

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

Links for the Week of March 26, 2017


Should-Reads:


Links:


Lee Atwater Lyndon Johnson Sam Rayburn and Joseph Bailey Cursor and Preview of As Cosma Shalizi Says The Singularity Is in Our Past Hoisted from the Archives Cursor and Preview of What Happaned to Trump Infrastructure Push Bunga Bunga Policy or No Policy at AllNAFTA A Big Deal Plus and Minus for Strongly Affected Individuals Not a Big Deal for the U S asThinking Ahead March14 201 FINAL pdf 1 pageTrade Deals and Alternative Facts No Longer Fresh at Project Syndicate Rethinking Productivity Growth Fresh at Project SyndicateLate Monday Smackdown In Which I Am Annoyed at Being Paired with John Taylor Major Malinvestments Do Not Have to Produce Large DepressionsOn Marc Levinson and His The Box That Changed the World Hoisted from the Archives Sluggish Future Over at Finance and DevelopmentLet s Think Harder About the Role of Globalization in Wage Stagnation Twenty First Century American Nationalism Needs to Be Profoundly Cosmopoiltan

by J. Bradford DeLong at March 26, 2017 11:32 PM

Procrastinating on March 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 March 26, 2017 11:29 PM

TmoNews

T-Mobile rolls out new prepaid plans

T-Mobile today unleashed a few new prepaid rate plans. There are two new Simply Prepaid plans that include unlimited talk, text, and data, with either 4GB or 6GB of 4G LTE data. Pricing for these plans is set at $45 or $55 per month, respectively. These new plans also include Wi-Fi Calling, mobile hotspot, Music Unlimited for streaming music that doesn’t count against your data usage, and Data Maximizer for optimizing your streaming video to 480p ... [read full article]

The post T-Mobile rolls out new prepaid plans appeared first on TmoNews.

by Alex Wagner at March 26, 2017 10:42 PM

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

Should-Read: Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) leaves us in a fog—it is not clear whether he believes the government should define what constitutes a "comprehensive health insurance policy", if it should define it which level of government should define it, or what, in fact, the right level of benefits for something to qualify as a "comprehensive health insurance policy" should be. Given that his first reaction when the question is raised is that it is unfair for males to be charged some of the premiums to cover medical care for the breasts at which they nursed, I do not think that Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) will be clarifying this any time soon:

Alice Ollstein: @AliceOllstein on Twitter: "I asked Sen. [Pat] Roberts if he supports scrapping Essential Health Benefits. 'I wouldn't want to lose my mammograms', he snarked. #AHCA"

The witty line followed by the rapid backpedaling:

Ashley Killough and Ted Barrett: Sen. Pat Roberts Apologizes: "'I deeply regret my comments on such an important topic'...

...Roberts said in a statement. "I know several individuals whose lives have been saved by mammograms, and I recognize how essential they are to women's health. I never intended to indicate otherwise, and I apologize for my comments..."

by J. Bradford DeLong at March 26, 2017 10:29 PM

Live from Brownbackistan: How much money have Brownback and his Brownbackistanis thrown away over the past six years by refusing to accept federal money to fund the Medicaid expansion?

Jonathan Shorman: Medicaid Expansion Moves Forward in Kansas: "Kansas state lawmakers advanced a Medicaid expansion proposal on Thursday...

...The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee passed the expansion proposal, House Bill 2044, on a voice vote. The bill now heads to the Senate floor. The committee chairwoman, Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, expects the Senate to debate the bill.... More than 150,000 people could potentially receive health coverage under Medicaid expansion in Kansas. Expansion would help close the so-called “doughnut hole”–where individuals make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to receive government subsidies to buy insurance.... Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said lawmakers have no idea how the debate in Congress will turn out. The Kansas Senate has the votes to pass expansion, she said.

by J. Bradford DeLong at March 26, 2017 10:26 PM

Should-Read: I cannot see Trump-Ryan-McConnell coming up with anything that would get 60 votes in the Senate, and perhaps even 218 in the House, by themselves. And I do not see them willing to give what they would need to give in the way of Democratic priorities in order to get both Pelosi and Schumer on board in the sense of being willing to stand aside when Trump-Ryan-McConnell go hunting for Democratic legislative votes. So what is this tax reform that is going to pass? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Pedro Nicolaci da Costa: Trump Tax-Cut Agenda Faces Challenges: "It, it would seem like tax cuts would be fairly simple for a Republican president backed by a Republican majority in Congress...

...But... there is little unity within the governing party.... And the tax policies... aren't... simple anyway[:]... sharp cuts in corporate taxes and taxes on wealthy individuals... a hefty levy on imports, a total rewriting of corporate tax codes, and a change in... deductions... that could neutralize a huge windfall to homeowners.... "Tax reform... is every bit as complicated as health care,” said Mark Hamrick.... "The looming unpopular issue of the border adjustment tax is just one of the complicated policy wild cards.... It has been decades since significant tax reform has passed in Washington because it is not easy.” The so-called border adjustment tax, which would punish importers while rewarding exporters... is a highly controversial and, yes, complicated proposal that has already become a source of infighting within the White House.... Making matters worse, Trumpcare’s failure has deprived small-government conservatives of the “fiscal space” they had expected from kicking millions of Americans off the insurance rolls, which is what... the Obamacare repeal would have done. They'd regain that space... [with] a border adjustment tax... but they'd have to get it past free-trade advocates in their own party....

[And] another potentially insurmountable hurdle to the sort of tax reform they seek: newly-empowered Democrats... smell[ing] blood.... Trump... must work with them to actually pass any tax legislation. Their propensity to cooperate given the president’s aggressive rhetoric... will be quite low.... Bernie Sanders... was already preempting the debate on MSNBC on the very night of Trumpcare’s demise: "What this tax cut fight is about is giving huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans."

by J. Bradford DeLong at March 26, 2017 10:22 PM

Planet Python

PyBites: Code Challenge 12 - Build a Tic-tac-toe Game

Hi Pythonistas, a new week, a new 'bite' of Python coding! After last week's conceptual challenge (generators), we'd like to challenge you this week to build Tic-tac-toe. Every time we do games (previously Word Values and Hangman) we learn a lot. Enjoy and we review solutions end of this week.

March 26, 2017 10:01 PM

Carl Chenet: Retweet all tweets matching a regex with the Retweet bot

When using the Retweet bot to retweet some tweets from a Twitter account to another one, you may need some complex patterns, not easy to match with the common string you usually use.

The match feature

Starting from Retweet version 0.10 and thanks to a great contribution by @vanekjar, you are now able to use the parameter match in the [retweet] section of the configuration file  to use regular expressions for your pattern matching. Have a look at the following configuration file:

[retweet]
match=[Rr]etweet v.* available

The following configuration will retweet any tweet with a pattern matching the regular expression above, like « retweet v0.10 available » or « Retweet v1.0 available ».  Pretty cool hmm?

Full setup for Retweet

Ok, now, lets setup a full environment. First lets install the last version of retweet

# pip3 install retweet

Then lets create a retweet user with the home /var/lib/retweet:

# adduser --home /var/lib/retweet retweet

The proper way to store our configuration file is to put it in the /etc/retweet directory:

# mkdir -p /etc/retweet

Now lets write our configuration file. You have a full example available in the Configure section of the official Retweet documentation.

# vim /etc/retweet/retweet.ini

Almost ready! Last step: write a line in the crontab in order to launch Retweet on a regular basis:

*/10 * * * retweet retweet /etc/retweet/retweet.ini

And voila! Your Retweet bot is ready.

‌ and finally

You can help the Retweet Bot by donating anything through Liberaypay (also possible with cryptocurrencies). That’s a big factor motivation đŸ˜‰

March 26, 2017 10:00 PM

Andrew Tobias

“I Made A Huge Mistake”

Bill Maher’s New Rule Friday night: “America needs more Republicans like this guy.” Six minutes not to be missed.

It seems to me two things are likely to happen on parallel tracks:

  • More and more Trump voters will become disenchanted (see above).
  • Trump associates and possibly Trump himself, will face charges of treason for cooperating with Russia in its cyber attack on our country (see below).

Sean Spicer downplays Paul Manafort’s Trump connection, but he was Trump’s campaign manager.  And you wonder: of all the people in the world to run your campaign, why choose a guy who’d been paid $10 million a year to influence U.S. politics and news coverage to favor Putin?  And why name as your Commerce Secretary the co-chair of a bank best known for laundering Russian oligarch money, very possibly including Putin’s own?  Putin, who murders political opponents and journalists?

(“What,” says Trump, in Putin’s defense: “you think our country’s so innocent?”)

Watch the shootings, poisonings, and a guy fly out his fourth-floor window the day before he was set to testify.

There are other Russia ties as well, as you know (Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, around whose neck Putin draped the Order of Friendship award) . . . like National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

USA Today has prepared this devastating timeline.

I don’t see how this goes on for four years.  I think at some point, those two parallel tracks converge.

 

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by A.T. at March 26, 2017 10:00 PM

Harald Welte's blog

OsmoCon 2017 Updates: Travel Grants and Schedule

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April 21st is approaching fast, so here some updates. I'm particularly happy that we now have travel grants available. So if the travel expenses were preventing you from attending so far: This excuse is no longer valid!

Get your ticket now, before it is too late. There's a limited number of seats available.

OsmoCon 2017 Schedule

The list of talks for OsmoCon 2017 has been available for quite some weeks, but today we finally published the first actual schedule.

As you can see, the day is fully packed with talks about Osmocom cellular infrastructure projects. We had to cut some talk slots short (30min instead of 45min), but I'm confident that it is good to cover a wider range of topics, while at the same time avoiding fragmenting the audience with multiple tracks.

OsmoCon 2017 Travel Grants

We are happy to announce that we have received donations to permit for providing travel grants!

This means that any attendee who is otherwise not able to cover their travel to OsmoCon 2017 (e.g. because their interest in Osmocom is not related to their work, or because their employer doesn't pay the travel expenses) can now apply for such a travel grant.

For more details see OsmoCon 2017 Travel Grants and/or contact osmocon2017@sysmocom.de.

OsmoCon 2017 Social Event

Tech Talks are nice and fine, but what many people enjoy even more at conferences is the informal networking combined with good food. For this, we have the social event at night, which is open to all attendees.

See more details about it at OsmoCon 2017 Social Event.

by Harald Welte at March 26, 2017 10:00 PM

The Art of Non-Conformity » 3×5

Limited Time: Earn Up to 180,000 Hilton Points with Special Offers

Hilton

Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points (with $75 annual fee)
Link: Get 80,000 Hilton Points (with no annual fee)

There’s big news in the travel hacking world this week: a limited-time offer to earn a lot of hotel points has arrived. To be precise, there are actually two offers, one for an increased signup bonus amount (from 40,000 points to 75,000, which is great), and an even better one that gets you a whopping 100,000 Hilton points.

Oh, and when you get the Surpass card (the one with 100,000 points), you’ll also receive a free weekend night certificate valid at any Hilton property worldwide. Yeah, no kidding!

Several years ago I was a big fan of Hilton and spent at least 25 nights a year at their properties. On my first book tour, probably half of my stays were at Hilton Garden Inns, a comfortable mid-range brand that provides a consistently good breakfast. These days, more of my travel is with Starwood and Hyatt, but I still stay at Hilton properties as a backup.

So, why is this deal interesting?

1. 100,000 points can equal up to 25 free nights

Let’s be totally fair: most people aren’t going to get 25 free nights out of this offer, but it is technically possible. The lowest redemption category for a night’s stay is 5,000 points, and when staying five nights, you get the fifth night free.

Therefore, if you spent all your points at Category 1 properties, you’d get 20 nights free—and if you stayed five nights at the same properties for five times, you’d get 25 nights free. (They don’t have to be the same for all 25 nights, just five nights at once.)

Consider that extreme travel hacking, and some people actually do it. For the rest of us, we’ll probably get fewer nights out of the points because we don’t always want to stay in the cheapest places in the world, and we’re also not likely to stay five nights in a row very often. Personally I very rarely stay somewhere more than two nights in a row. 🙂

Still, you should be able to use the points for at least two free nights at properties that would usually cost $300 a night or more (in New York, London, Sydney, or plenty of other expensive cities), or somewhere between three and five free nights if you aim for the middle ground.

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2. You get complimentary elite status (either Platinum, Gold, or Silver) with these offers

Hotel elite status gets you perks: free breakfast, upgrades, late check-out, free internet, a bottle of champagne in your Hampton Inn bathtub, and so on. Cardholders for each of these offers receive complimentary status, but there’s a slight difference between the two.

If you get the Hilton HHonors Surpass card, you get Gold status. This status is legit. You’ll always get free breakfast and other small perks, and most of the time you’ll get a decent upgrade if it’s available.

If you get the Hilton HHonors American Express card, you get Silver status. This status is a big step down from Gold. It basically gives you late check-out and a bottle of water (seriously, they put the water bottle on the benefits list). On the plus side, this card has no annual fee and requires a lower minimum spend ($1,000) to get the bonus.

If you don’t care about status, therefore, you might be better off with the 75,000 point offer, just so you don’t have to pay the annual fee.

Interestingly, both cards will give you a higher status if you spend a certain amount over the course of a year. The Hilton HHonors American Express card will get you Gold status (upgraded from Silver) if you spend $20,000, and the new Surpass card will get you Diamond status (upgraded from Gold, and the highest possible status) if you spend $40,000 a year.

***

The increased sign-up bonus on the original card and the introduction of the new Surpass card make for the best offer I’ve ever seen for Hilton points.

Finally, it’s totally possible to get both cards—but if only getting one, personally I’d go for the Surpass. The 20,000 extra points are nice, but the free stay (anywhere!) certificate is the real prize that’s well worth the $75 fee.

Link: Get 100,000 Hilton Points
Link: Get 80,000 Hilton Points

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Images: 1, 2

March 26, 2017 09:26 PM