Amit's Planet

November 29, 2018

Memes Intertwingly:

April 01, 2018

Brad DeLong - Grasping Reality with Both Hands

April Fools: John Cochrane Obtrudes Himself on My Consciousness Again...

It's time to spin the Big Wheel for April Fools' Day! Who will it be this year? Cliff Asness? Doug Henwood? Niall Ferguson? Donald Luskin? David Graeber?... No! The Big Wheel stops on... John Cochrane!

Alas! The smart Martin Sandbu has been sold a pile of horseshit by the clown John Cochrane. (No: I don't know why John Cochrane decided to become a clown in 2007, and has remained a clown without interruption since. But we describe the world as it is, not as it ought to be.)

Martin Sandbu: Free Lunch: Can the US return to high growth?: "There has been much harrumphing about Jeb Bush's pledge to target a real economic growth rate of 4 per cent... so far beyond the realm of possibility as to be irresponsible.... John Cochrane begs to differ.... From the 1950s to 1973, growth fluctuated around, yes, a 4 per cent average annual rate. For the next three decades it averaged between 3 and 3.5 per cent except for the early 1980s.... Cochrane's conclusion... "avoiding a recession and returning to pre-2000 norms gets you pretty close".

Free Lunch Can the US return to high growth FT com

The scorn that the idea has received elsewhere is no doubt a reaction to its somewhat crank pedigree. But it also reflects a certain disregard for the historical record. Mother Jones claims no president since FDR has managed to sustain a 4 per cent average growth rate throughout his presidency. But this is just false. Truman, Kennedy and Johnson all did: Notice a pattern there: the best growth spurts all happened under Democrats. In fact, with two exceptions, every postwar Democratic president has overseen faster growth than every Republican one. The first exception is the second-worst performing Democrat, Jimmy Carter, who with 3.3 per cent was pipped to the post by Ronald Reagan, the best-performing Republican with 3.5 per cent. The second exception is Barack Obama, who was elected seven weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered the worst financial crisis since Harry Truman was a county court judge. This prompts two thoughts. The first is that 4 per cent may be hard, even unrealistic, but certainly not impossible. The second is that Democratic presidents - and by extension, Democratic policies - have been historically much more successful at making it a reality (Obama's record, shaped by the financial crisis, is hardly representative). And there is good reason to think this may still be true. Raising growth from its lacklustre rate means bringing output closer to its potential in the short term and raising the potential growth rate in the long run. The short-term imperative involves fiscal and monetary stimulus - ie worry less about the budget deficit and don't tie one arm behind the Federal Reserve’s back. These are positions more associated with Democrats than Republicans, to put it mildly. The long-term goal can only be achieved with contribution from all the components of GDP growth: faster productivity growth, faster population growth and greater labour force participation. That observation immediately invites more policy ideas to warm a liberal's heart: boosting public infrastructure, a more open immigration policy and copying the countries that are most successful at getting people into employment: Canada, Germany and the Scandis. Indeed getting the US employment rate to the Swedish level over 10 years would entail a 1 percentage point higher growth rate a year in that period, other things being equal. Why, then, are liberal economists and policy types so up in arms against a 4 per cent target? One possibility is the fear expressed in Carole Binder's intelligent blog: targeting the growth rate may favour short-termist stimulus to boost growth rather than a long-term measure. But that could be a whole lot better than the status quo - at least if it involves broad fiscal and monetary stimulus rather than Florida-style housing bubbles. A "high-pressure economy", which prominent centre-left economists call for, may well make longer-term structural policies easier, too. Another possibility is the fear that a Jeb Bush administration would use the 4 per cent target to push through policies, such as tax cuts for the rich, that they claim will raise growth but don't. If that's the reason, it reflects a sad lack of political confidence. A more inspiring response to Jeb Bush's growth target would be to match it and try to force the politics to be about which policies are most likely to achieve the goal. On the current state of US politics, that's a fight that the centre-left can and should win.

by J. Bradford DeLong at April 01, 2018 12:22 PM

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

September 20, 2017

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ATM Pin:9272
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BRAZIL Track1:%B6593182112368584^laleh/babanazari^15012017313800000123000000;659318211236 8584=15012017313800123000;
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ATM PIN:7252
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PIN:1027
TAIWAN,_PROVINCE_OF_CHINA :T1:%B4067701731557109^Wei-Chun/Chang^19011014045400000988000000; T2: 4067701731557109=19011014045400988000;
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CANADA:T1: %B4530920124710013^Bibliotheque^170322061280000005 47000000;T2: 4530920124710013=17032206128000547000;
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VENEZUELA,_BOLIVARIAN_REPUBLIC_OF: T1: %B5412474300815295^Rafael/Cort^19081011050000000578000000;T2: 5412474300815295=19081011050000578000
;PIN:1050
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PIN:5081 -
FRANCE :T1: %B4974903419054100^guihard/pascal^18021104400000000091000000; T2 : 4974903419054100=18021104400000091000;
PIN:0004 -
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PIN:2267 -
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atm PIN:7100
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Atm PIN:2221

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CardNumber=4541225301891017
HolderName1=MASON/DIXON
HolderName2=
CardExp=12/06
Carrier=201
Track1=

Pin :09093

CardNumber=4303269004813835
HolderName1=KOLNER /LEA B
HolderName2=
CardExp=10/18
Carrier=101
Pin : 3321
Track1=B4303269004813835^KOLNER /LEA B^101110100001388
Track2=4303269004813835=101110100001388
CardNumber=4022320000050409
HolderName1=MAJESKI/CARRIE L
HolderName2=
CardExp=11/21
Carrier=101
Pin:5542
Track1=B4022320000050409^MAJESKI/CARRIE L^11021011000000884000000
Track2=4022320000050409=110210110000884

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Track1 : B4096663104697113^FORANTO/CHRI STOPHER M^09061012735200521000000 ,
Track2 : 4096663104697113=0906101273525 21
372376064851003=0904051136147; PURCELL/JOHN
5232258252218386=0904101000007 2500604
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5109300003266718=16091010000000000533%b51093000032 66718^sciaudone/jacob m^1609101000000000053300000000000
5109300003262279=16091010000000000060%b51093000032 62279^selvey/taylor l^1609101000000000006000000000000
5109300003194241=16091010000000000595%b51093000031 94241^raef/brittainy n^1609101000000000059500000000000
5109300003134221=16041010000000000051%b51093000031 34221^cornett/teresa^1604101000000000005100000000000
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Turkey Track1:%B4155650149958727^FATIH/GUCER^17102018476709881212000000? ; T2:4155650149958727=17102018476709881212000 ;
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ATM PIN:7252
HUNGARY Track1 : %B5542040007316003^Artur/Beke^15091101088000000987000000; Track 2 :5542040007316003=15091101088000987000;
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TAIWAN,_PROVINCE_OF_CHINA :T1:%B4067701731557109^Wei-Chun/Chang^19011014045400000988000000; T2: 4067701731557109=19011014045400988000;
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VENEZUELA,_BOLIVARIAN_REPUBLIC_OF: T1: %B5412474300815295^Rafael/Cort^19081011050000000578000000;T2: 5412474300815295=19081011050000578000
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PIN:5081 -
FRANCE :T1: %B4974903419054100^guihard/pascal^18021104400000000091000000; T2 : 4974903419054100=18021104400000091000;
PIN:0004 -
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NETHERLANDS :Track 1:%B5528850001859800^Pieter/Guelen^17112100000000000953000000;Track 2 :5528850001859800=17112100000000953000;
atm PIN:5371
SOUTH_AFRICA : Track 1:%B5221182034692226^Western/Cape^15011010000000000549000000;Track2 :5221182034692226=15011010000000549000;
atm PIN:7463
HONG KONG : Track 1:%B4009750000123060^ WAI-LUN/YIP^18091100000000000141000000;Track 2 :4009750000123060=18091100000000141000;
Atm PIN:2221

- B4339931830284717^AGUSTINE/TONY ^1507101189490000457000000*4339931830284717=150710 11894945700000*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*FIA CARD SERVICES NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (2)*UNITED STATES

- B4246315185161583^VAUGHAN/BOBBY ^1612101110181100000000944000000*4246315185161583= 161210111018944*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*CHASE BANK USA N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4280480000022241^LLC/MARCHING ANTS^1512101161280000000000728000000*4280480000022 241=15121011612800007280*VISA*BUSINESS*DEBIT*CALIF ORNIA C.U.*UNITED STATES

- B4718288565124217^LE/KENNETH ^16041011027200000000000700000003*4718288565124217 =16041011027207000082*VISA*SIGNATURE*CREDIT*U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ND*UNITED STATES

- B4246315185161583^VAUGHAN/BOBBY ^1612101110181100000000944000000*4246315185161583= 161210111018944*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*CHASE BANK USA N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4128003815725596^REE/LI-CHIH ROLAND ^1507201000000119010000004630000001*41280038157255 96=15072011190104634635*VISA*CLASSIC*CREDIT*CITIBA NK N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4128003612976525^KAZANCI/CANER ^150310100000017401000000227000000*412800361297652 5=1503101174010227227*VISA*CLASSIC*CREDIT*CITIBANK N.A.*UNITED STATES

CardNumber=4541225301891017
HolderName1=MASON/DIXON
HolderName2=
CardExp=12/06
Carrier=201
Track1=

Pin :09093

CardNumber=4303269004813835
HolderName1=KOLNER /LEA B
HolderName2=
CardExp=10/18
Carrier=101
Pin : 3321
Track1=B4303269004813835^KOLNER /LEA B^101110100001388
Track2=4303269004813835=101110100001388
CardNumber=4022320000050409
HolderName1=MAJESKI/CARRIE L
HolderName2=
CardExp=11/21
Carrier=101
Pin:5542
Track1=B4022320000050409^MAJESKI/CARRIE L^11021011000000884000000
Track2=4022320000050409=110210110000884

Format Of My Dumps:

Track1 : B4096663104697113^FORANTO/CHRI STOPHER M^09061012735200521000000 ,
Track2 : 4096663104697113=0906101273525 21
372376064851003=0904051136147; PURCELL/JOHN
5232258252218386=0904101000007 2500604
4217642188250286=1011101803115 5200000;B42176421882 50286^POPOVICH/SHERRY ^10111018031155200000
================================================== =========================
FRESH DUMPS FROM MY POS
===============================
5109300003162123=16061010000000000760%b51093000031 62123^vanessa m helming^1606101000000000076000000000000
5109300003168609=16071010000000000332%b51093000031 68609^moore/dana d^1607101000000000033200000000000
5109300003266718=16091010000000000533%b51093000032 66718^sciaudone/jacob m^1609101000000000053300000000000
5109300003262279=16091010000000000060%b51093000032 62279^selvey/taylor l^1609101000000000006000000000000
5109300003194241=16091010000000000595%b51093000031 94241^raef/brittainy n^1609101000000000059500000000000
5109300003134221=16041010000000000051%b51093000031 34221^cornett/teresa^1604101000000000005100000000000
5109300003109967=16021010000000000652%b51093000031 08647^coil/mcgee d^1602101000000000024400000000000

****Dumps Pin Track 101/201 Dumps - 98% to 100% validity!!
****I'm work online 24/7
****Sell fullz dumps with pin High balance and Valid
****Update more Dumps have All Country good and fresh
****Have Good Base and vaild rate 95% bulk dumps with Pin and code 101,110,201,210,220 and more Country

__________________Contact Detail____________________

--ICQ: 663194705
--Gmail: cvvdumps79@gmail.com
>>My Shop: Http://DumpsTrack.Com
>>Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dumpspinonlineru-Sell-DumpsTrack-12-With-Pin-642722729111511/?ref=settings
>>Video Shop: https://vimeo.com/187625492

by DumpsGoodTrack101 at September 20, 2017 12:34 PM

DumpsGoodTrack101 on "Http://DumpsTrack.Com SELL DUMPS/TRACK/PIN All Fresh Balance Quality Good"

Http://DumpsTrack.Com SELL DUMPS/TRACK/PIN All Fresh Balance Quality Good

Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance Sell Dumps track 1&2 with out pin
Sell dumps, buy dumps, dumps shop, fresh dumps, dumps sale dumps, track 1&2,cvv dumps,skimmed, dumps with pin
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==Price Sell Dumps Like In Shop
-US (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-UK (Track1-Track2-PIN) /35$
-CA (Track1-Track2-PIN) /20$
-EU (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-BR (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-AU (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-CHINA (Track1-Track2-PIN) /35$

-- We Accept Payment Via : Bitcoin - Web Money - (Western Union - Money Gram 'Pick Minimum 200$')

Please Contact me

== ICQ: 663194705

==Gmail: cvvdumps79@gmail.com

Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance
Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance
Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance

>>My Shop: Http://DumpsTrack.Com

>>Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dumpspinonlineru-Sell-DumpsTrack-12-With-Pin-642722729111511/?ref=settings

>>Video Shop: https://vimeo.com/187625492

+my shop verified dumps seller, dumps forum, fresh dumps, skimmed dumps
good T1.T2,have Good Base and vaild rate 95% bulk dumps with Pin and code 101,110,201,210,220 and more Country
dumps shop, credit cards cvv, credit cards cvv2, dumps, dumps with pin, cvv2, buy dumps, buy credit cards, buy creditcard, buy cvv, buy cvvs, d+p, sell dumps, buy dumps, buy cvv, buy cvv2, sell dumps, sell track2, buy track2, buy cards, cheap cvv, buy cvv, sell cvv, fresh cvv, good cvv, buy good cvv, sell good cvv, best cvv, check cvv, cvv2 dump, buy cvv online, sell cc, dump shop

We guarantee that ourDumps are good with good balances !!!
- RULE 1: I never sell the same Dumps, ATM skimmer to more than a person.
- RULE 2: I don't work with share Dumps, Dumps for test free, not cashout and share %
Fresh + Valid Track 1&2 fulls and Dumps with pin verified seller ,have shiping Msr 206 ,I'm have check the balance on the dump, so you never get a balance of less than 1000 euros

>>Some Sample Dumps Track 1/2 (With/Without) Pin

Japan Track1:%B4541148282107007^Mamiko/Kobayashi^19081100000000000221000000? ;Track2:4541148282107007=1908110000000221000 ;
ATM Pin:9272
Turkey Track1:%B4155650149958727^FATIH/GUCER^17102018476709881212000000? ; T2:4155650149958727=17102018476709881212000 ;
ATM Pin:0912
INDIA Track1:%B4155650149958727^FATIH/GUCER^17101103410400000211000000;4155650149958727= 17101103410400211000;
ATM PIN:9889
BRAZIL Track1:%B6593182112368584^laleh/babanazari^15012017313800000123000000;659318211236 8584=15012017313800123000;
ATM PIN:5778
INDONESIA : Track 1 %B4158469878712212^ika/sri/purnamaningsih^17012201274000000213000000;Track 2:4158469878712212=17012201274000213000;
ATM PIN:7252
HUNGARY Track1 : %B5542040007316003^Artur/Beke^15091101088000000987000000; Track 2 :5542040007316003=15091101088000987000;
PIN:1027
TAIWAN,_PROVINCE_OF_CHINA :T1:%B4067701731557109^Wei-Chun/Chang^19011014045400000988000000; T2: 4067701731557109=19011014045400988000;
PIN:2405
CANADA:T1: %B4530920124710013^Bibliotheque^170322061280000005 47000000;T2: 4530920124710013=17032206128000547000;
PIN:3377
VENEZUELA,_BOLIVARIAN_REPUBLIC_OF: T1: %B5412474300815295^Rafael/Cort^19081011050000000578000000;T2: 5412474300815295=19081011050000578000
;PIN:1050
AUSTRALIA : T1 : %B4072209014479002^Priya/Selva-Nayagam^18082010000000000112000000;T2: 4072209014479002=18082010000000112000;
PIN:5081 -
FRANCE :T1: %B4974903419054100^guihard/pascal^18021104400000000091000000; T2 : 4974903419054100=18021104400000091000;
PIN:0004 -
ECUADOR : Track 1:%B4568890000178269^Ernesto/Sierra^17081010901762200321000000;T2: 4568890000178269=17081010901762232100;
PIN:2267 -
Pakistan : Track 1:%B6273770006050836^nusrat/jokhio^18122010000000112000000;Track2: 6273770006050836=18122010000000112000
atm PIN:7100
NETHERLANDS :Track 1:%B5528850001859800^Pieter/Guelen^17112100000000000953000000;Track 2 :5528850001859800=17112100000000953000;
atm PIN:5371
SOUTH_AFRICA : Track 1:%B5221182034692226^Western/Cape^15011010000000000549000000;Track2 :5221182034692226=15011010000000549000;
atm PIN:7463
HONG KONG : Track 1:%B4009750000123060^ WAI-LUN/YIP^18091100000000000141000000;Track 2 :4009750000123060=18091100000000141000;
Atm PIN:2221

- B4339931830284717^AGUSTINE/TONY ^1507101189490000457000000*4339931830284717=150710 11894945700000*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*FIA CARD SERVICES NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (2)*UNITED STATES

- B4246315185161583^VAUGHAN/BOBBY ^1612101110181100000000944000000*4246315185161583= 161210111018944*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*CHASE BANK USA N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4280480000022241^LLC/MARCHING ANTS^1512101161280000000000728000000*4280480000022 241=15121011612800007280*VISA*BUSINESS*DEBIT*CALIF ORNIA C.U.*UNITED STATES

- B4718288565124217^LE/KENNETH ^16041011027200000000000700000003*4718288565124217 =16041011027207000082*VISA*SIGNATURE*CREDIT*U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ND*UNITED STATES

- B4246315185161583^VAUGHAN/BOBBY ^1612101110181100000000944000000*4246315185161583= 161210111018944*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*CHASE BANK USA N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4128003815725596^REE/LI-CHIH ROLAND ^1507201000000119010000004630000001*41280038157255 96=15072011190104634635*VISA*CLASSIC*CREDIT*CITIBA NK N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4128003612976525^KAZANCI/CANER ^150310100000017401000000227000000*412800361297652 5=1503101174010227227*VISA*CLASSIC*CREDIT*CITIBANK N.A.*UNITED STATES

CardNumber=4541225301891017
HolderName1=MASON/DIXON
HolderName2=
CardExp=12/06
Carrier=201
Track1=

Pin :09093

CardNumber=4303269004813835
HolderName1=KOLNER /LEA B
HolderName2=
CardExp=10/18
Carrier=101
Pin : 3321
Track1=B4303269004813835^KOLNER /LEA B^101110100001388
Track2=4303269004813835=101110100001388
CardNumber=4022320000050409
HolderName1=MAJESKI/CARRIE L
HolderName2=
CardExp=11/21
Carrier=101
Pin:5542
Track1=B4022320000050409^MAJESKI/CARRIE L^11021011000000884000000
Track2=4022320000050409=110210110000884

Format Of My Dumps:

Track1 : B4096663104697113^FORANTO/CHRI STOPHER M^09061012735200521000000 ,
Track2 : 4096663104697113=0906101273525 21
372376064851003=0904051136147; PURCELL/JOHN
5232258252218386=0904101000007 2500604
4217642188250286=1011101803115 5200000;B42176421882 50286^POPOVICH/SHERRY ^10111018031155200000
================================================== =========================
FRESH DUMPS FROM MY POS
===============================
5109300003162123=16061010000000000760%b51093000031 62123^vanessa m helming^1606101000000000076000000000000
5109300003168609=16071010000000000332%b51093000031 68609^moore/dana d^1607101000000000033200000000000
5109300003266718=16091010000000000533%b51093000032 66718^sciaudone/jacob m^1609101000000000053300000000000
5109300003262279=16091010000000000060%b51093000032 62279^selvey/taylor l^1609101000000000006000000000000
5109300003194241=16091010000000000595%b51093000031 94241^raef/brittainy n^1609101000000000059500000000000
5109300003134221=16041010000000000051%b51093000031 34221^cornett/teresa^1604101000000000005100000000000
5109300003109967=16021010000000000652%b51093000031 08647^coil/mcgee d^1602101000000000024400000000000

****Dumps Pin Track 101/201 Dumps - 98% to 100% validity!!
****I'm work online 24/7
****Sell fullz dumps with pin High balance and Valid
****Update more Dumps have All Country good and fresh
****Have Good Base and vaild rate 95% bulk dumps with Pin and code 101,110,201,210,220 and more Country

__________________Contact Detail____________________

--ICQ: 663194705
--Gmail: cvvdumps79@gmail.com
>>My Shop: Http://DumpsTrack.Com
>>Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dumpspinonlineru-Sell-DumpsTrack-12-With-Pin-642722729111511/?ref=settings
>>Video Shop: https://vimeo.com/187625492

by DumpsGoodTrack101 at September 20, 2017 12:33 PM

DumpsGoodTrack101 on "Http://DumpsTrack.Com SELL DUMPS/TRACK/PIN All Fresh Balance Quality Good"

Http://DumpsTrack.Com SELL DUMPS/TRACK/PIN All Fresh Balance Quality Good

Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance Sell Dumps track 1&2 with out pin
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==Price Sell Dumps Like In Shop
-US (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-UK (Track1-Track2-PIN) /35$
-CA (Track1-Track2-PIN) /20$
-EU (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-BR (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-AU (Track1-Track2-PIN) /30$
-CHINA (Track1-Track2-PIN) /35$

-- We Accept Payment Via : Bitcoin - Web Money - (Western Union - Money Gram 'Pick Minimum 200$')

Please Contact me

== ICQ: 663194705

==Gmail: cvvdumps79@gmail.com

Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance
Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance
Sell dumps, track 1&2 with pin, best dumps shop, high balance

>>My Shop: Http://DumpsTrack.Com

>>Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dumpspinonlineru-Sell-DumpsTrack-12-With-Pin-642722729111511/?ref=settings

>>Video Shop: https://vimeo.com/187625492

+my shop verified dumps seller, dumps forum, fresh dumps, skimmed dumps
good T1.T2,have Good Base and vaild rate 95% bulk dumps with Pin and code 101,110,201,210,220 and more Country
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We guarantee that ourDumps are good with good balances !!!
- RULE 1: I never sell the same Dumps, ATM skimmer to more than a person.
- RULE 2: I don't work with share Dumps, Dumps for test free, not cashout and share %
Fresh + Valid Track 1&2 fulls and Dumps with pin verified seller ,have shiping Msr 206 ,I'm have check the balance on the dump, so you never get a balance of less than 1000 euros

>>Some Sample Dumps Track 1/2 (With/Without) Pin

Japan Track1:%B4541148282107007^Mamiko/Kobayashi^19081100000000000221000000? ;Track2:4541148282107007=1908110000000221000 ;
ATM Pin:9272
Turkey Track1:%B4155650149958727^FATIH/GUCER^17102018476709881212000000? ; T2:4155650149958727=17102018476709881212000 ;
ATM Pin:0912
INDIA Track1:%B4155650149958727^FATIH/GUCER^17101103410400000211000000;4155650149958727= 17101103410400211000;
ATM PIN:9889
BRAZIL Track1:%B6593182112368584^laleh/babanazari^15012017313800000123000000;659318211236 8584=15012017313800123000;
ATM PIN:5778
INDONESIA : Track 1 %B4158469878712212^ika/sri/purnamaningsih^17012201274000000213000000;Track 2:4158469878712212=17012201274000213000;
ATM PIN:7252
HUNGARY Track1 : %B5542040007316003^Artur/Beke^15091101088000000987000000; Track 2 :5542040007316003=15091101088000987000;
PIN:1027
TAIWAN,_PROVINCE_OF_CHINA :T1:%B4067701731557109^Wei-Chun/Chang^19011014045400000988000000; T2: 4067701731557109=19011014045400988000;
PIN:2405
CANADA:T1: %B4530920124710013^Bibliotheque^170322061280000005 47000000;T2: 4530920124710013=17032206128000547000;
PIN:3377
VENEZUELA,_BOLIVARIAN_REPUBLIC_OF: T1: %B5412474300815295^Rafael/Cort^19081011050000000578000000;T2: 5412474300815295=19081011050000578000
;PIN:1050
AUSTRALIA : T1 : %B4072209014479002^Priya/Selva-Nayagam^18082010000000000112000000;T2: 4072209014479002=18082010000000112000;
PIN:5081 -
FRANCE :T1: %B4974903419054100^guihard/pascal^18021104400000000091000000; T2 : 4974903419054100=18021104400000091000;
PIN:0004 -
ECUADOR : Track 1:%B4568890000178269^Ernesto/Sierra^17081010901762200321000000;T2: 4568890000178269=17081010901762232100;
PIN:2267 -
Pakistan : Track 1:%B6273770006050836^nusrat/jokhio^18122010000000112000000;Track2: 6273770006050836=18122010000000112000
atm PIN:7100
NETHERLANDS :Track 1:%B5528850001859800^Pieter/Guelen^17112100000000000953000000;Track 2 :5528850001859800=17112100000000953000;
atm PIN:5371
SOUTH_AFRICA : Track 1:%B5221182034692226^Western/Cape^15011010000000000549000000;Track2 :5221182034692226=15011010000000549000;
atm PIN:7463
HONG KONG : Track 1:%B4009750000123060^ WAI-LUN/YIP^18091100000000000141000000;Track 2 :4009750000123060=18091100000000141000;
Atm PIN:2221

- B4339931830284717^AGUSTINE/TONY ^1507101189490000457000000*4339931830284717=150710 11894945700000*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*FIA CARD SERVICES NATIONAL ASSOCIATION (2)*UNITED STATES

- B4246315185161583^VAUGHAN/BOBBY ^1612101110181100000000944000000*4246315185161583= 161210111018944*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*CHASE BANK USA N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4280480000022241^LLC/MARCHING ANTS^1512101161280000000000728000000*4280480000022 241=15121011612800007280*VISA*BUSINESS*DEBIT*CALIF ORNIA C.U.*UNITED STATES

- B4718288565124217^LE/KENNETH ^16041011027200000000000700000003*4718288565124217 =16041011027207000082*VISA*SIGNATURE*CREDIT*U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ND*UNITED STATES

- B4246315185161583^VAUGHAN/BOBBY ^1612101110181100000000944000000*4246315185161583= 161210111018944*VISA*BUSINESS*CREDIT*CHASE BANK USA N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4128003815725596^REE/LI-CHIH ROLAND ^1507201000000119010000004630000001*41280038157255 96=15072011190104634635*VISA*CLASSIC*CREDIT*CITIBA NK N.A.*UNITED STATES

- B4128003612976525^KAZANCI/CANER ^150310100000017401000000227000000*412800361297652 5=1503101174010227227*VISA*CLASSIC*CREDIT*CITIBANK N.A.*UNITED STATES

CardNumber=4541225301891017
HolderName1=MASON/DIXON
HolderName2=
CardExp=12/06
Carrier=201
Track1=

Pin :09093

CardNumber=4303269004813835
HolderName1=KOLNER /LEA B
HolderName2=
CardExp=10/18
Carrier=101
Pin : 3321
Track1=B4303269004813835^KOLNER /LEA B^101110100001388
Track2=4303269004813835=101110100001388
CardNumber=4022320000050409
HolderName1=MAJESKI/CARRIE L
HolderName2=
CardExp=11/21
Carrier=101
Pin:5542
Track1=B4022320000050409^MAJESKI/CARRIE L^11021011000000884000000
Track2=4022320000050409=110210110000884

Format Of My Dumps:

Track1 : B4096663104697113^FORANTO/CHRI STOPHER M^09061012735200521000000 ,
Track2 : 4096663104697113=0906101273525 21
372376064851003=0904051136147; PURCELL/JOHN
5232258252218386=0904101000007 2500604
4217642188250286=1011101803115 5200000;B42176421882 50286^POPOVICH/SHERRY ^10111018031155200000
================================================== =========================
FRESH DUMPS FROM MY POS
===============================
5109300003162123=16061010000000000760%b51093000031 62123^vanessa m helming^1606101000000000076000000000000
5109300003168609=16071010000000000332%b51093000031 68609^moore/dana d^1607101000000000033200000000000
5109300003266718=16091010000000000533%b51093000032 66718^sciaudone/jacob m^1609101000000000053300000000000
5109300003262279=16091010000000000060%b51093000032 62279^selvey/taylor l^1609101000000000006000000000000
5109300003194241=16091010000000000595%b51093000031 94241^raef/brittainy n^1609101000000000059500000000000
5109300003134221=16041010000000000051%b51093000031 34221^cornett/teresa^1604101000000000005100000000000
5109300003109967=16021010000000000652%b51093000031 08647^coil/mcgee d^1602101000000000024400000000000

****Dumps Pin Track 101/201 Dumps - 98% to 100% validity!!
****I'm work online 24/7
****Sell fullz dumps with pin High balance and Valid
****Update more Dumps have All Country good and fresh
****Have Good Base and vaild rate 95% bulk dumps with Pin and code 101,110,201,210,220 and more Country

__________________Contact Detail____________________

--ICQ: 663194705
--Gmail: cvvdumps79@gmail.com
>>My Shop: Http://DumpsTrack.Com
>>Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dumpspinonlineru-Sell-DumpsTrack-12-With-Pin-642722729111511/?ref=settings
>>Video Shop: https://vimeo.com/187625492

by DumpsGoodTrack101 at September 20, 2017 12:31 PM

The Big Picture

10 Wednesday AM Reads

My midweek morning train reads: • U.S. Stocks Are Front-Running Third-Quarter Earnings Beats (Bloomberg) • Myths, Markets and Easy Money (Bilello) • Capitalism and democracy — the odd couple (Financial Times) • The Lie of Averages (Flirting with Models) • Audi takes lead in automated driving, but others wary to follow (Reuters) but see Why ‘killer robots’ are becoming a real threat – and…

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

by Barry Ritholtz at September 20, 2017 12:30 PM

European steel merger could see 4,000 jobs axed

European steel merger could see 4,000 jobs axedBERLIN (AP) — Germany's Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel of India signed a preliminary deal on Wednesday to merge their European steel operations, a combination that could lead to up to 4,000 job cuts.


September 20, 2017 12:29 PM

3G and 4G Wireless Blog

A quick starter on 4G voice (for beginners)


I recently did a 4G voice presentation for beginners after realizing that even though so many years have passed after VoLTE was launched, people are still unsure how it works or how its different from CS Fallback.

There are many other posts that discuss these topics in detail on this blog (follow the label) or on 3G4G website. Anyway, here is the video:


The slides are available on 3G4G Slideshare account here. More similar training videos are available here.

by Zahid Ghadialy (noreply@blogger.com) at September 20, 2017 12:29 PM

How $5 billion of debt caught up with Toys 'R' Us

How $5 billion of debt caught up with Toys 'R' UsThe largest U.S. toy retailer's decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday took investors by surprise, given that the company faced no imminent debt maturities and had managed to overcome financial stress in the past by securing concessions from its creditors. The bankruptcy filing was the culmination of an unsuccessful seven-month effort by Toys "R" Us to find relief from its $5.2 billion debt pile, according to bankruptcy court filings and people familiar with the deliberations. The advisers that Toys "R" Us hired to fix its capital structure explored at least two deals with some of its creditors to raise money that would have helped the company stave off bankruptcy before the key holiday shopping season, avoiding a supply chain disruption stemming from vendor fears about repayment, a bankruptcy filing shows.


September 20, 2017 12:20 PM

Diageo expects second half to drive full-year growth

Diageo expects second half to drive full-year growthDiageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka, forecast stronger sales and profit growth in the second half of its financial year after a first half affected by negative factors in China and India and higher spending. The world's biggest spirits maker said earlier on Wednesday that its first-half sales growth would be hurt both by the Chinese New Year falling later than in 2017 and a ban on selling alcohol near Indian highways. Diageo gave the warning in a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting in London on Wednesday, sending its shares down 2 percent and making them the weakest performer on the FTSE 100 Index.


September 20, 2017 12:20 PM

Zero Hedge

"We've Never Seen Anything Like This" - Maria Slams Puerto Rico With 9-Foot Storm Surge, 155Mph Winds

Hurricane Maria made landfall near the city of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, at around 6:15 am Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center, battering the densely populated eastern side of the island with torrential rains and 155 mph gusts as hundreds of thousands of people hunkered down in one of the island's 500 storm shelters in hopes of riding out the second major hurricane to impact the island within two weeks.

Category 4 Maria slammed the island with winds of 155 mph, just 2 mph short of category 5 status.

The island's governor has said the hurricane will likely cause "catastrophic" damage to the island's power grid and infrastructure, much of which has yet to be repaired following Hurricane Irma, which didn't make landfall in Puerto Rico, but passed close enough to cause $1 billion in damage. As Bloomberg points out, Maria is the fourth major hurricane and 13th storm in the Atlantic this season that’s wreaked havoc from Texas to the Caribbean and left dozens dead.

According to the NHC, the storm made landfall around 6:15 a.m. The NHC has instituted hurricane watches and warnings for many of Puerto Rico's neighboring islands.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Saba
* St. Maarten
* Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of
the Dominican Republic and Haiti
* Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
* Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is saying Maria is "potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit" the U.S. territory in a century. Rossello said up to 25 inches of rain could fall in some areas and he urged anyone in a flood-prone, mudslide-prone or coastal area to leave.

 

 

"We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history," Rossello said. "Although it looks like a direct hit with major damage to Puerto Rico is inevitable, I ask for America’s prayers," he said. "No matter what happens here in the next 36 hours, Puerto Rico will survive, we will rebuild, we will recover and with your support, we will come out stronger than ever."

The NHS expects the storm to cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday and then move just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic later in the night and on Thursday. Maria had earlier battered the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean island nation of Dominica on Tuesday, devastating the island, according to the island's governor, Roosevelt Skerrit.

“It is devastating, indeed, mind boggling,” Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s prime minister, said in a statement. The eastern Caribbean nation with a population of 75,000 has “lost all what money can buy and replace,” he said. Skerrit said he was rescued after the roof of his house was torn off by the storm.

At least six people have died on the island of Dominica, according to a spokeswoman for the government in London. “Damage is extensive throughout the island,” she said, “and people are walking the streets in a delirious state of mind.” With all lines of communication down, the government was relying on amateur radio, or ham radio, operators for updates, according to Bloomberg. In addition, at least two have been confirmed dead on the island of Guadalope.

Many Puerto Ricans were busy reinforcing their homes with plywood and other supplies ahead of the anticipated landfall.

 

 

Maria could cause $30 billion in damage to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, according to Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler for Enki Research. The island, which filed for bankruptcy in May after years of economic decline while a series of defaults, has been effectively shut out of capital markets, which could slow the recovery process, Bloomberg reports. Its aging government-owned electric utility operates under court protection from creditors and its emergency fund stood at about $32 million before Irma knocked out electricity access for hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans.

It could plunge “their not-all-that-robust electric grid into a pit of despair,” Watson said.

A dangerous storm surge of as much as 9 feet is expected along the coast of Puerto Rico, and according to NHS data, water levels have already risen precariously.

Meanwhile, vacationers and honeymooners visiting the island confronted a troubling reality earlier this week: With flights quickly filling up ahead of the storm, many tourists found themselves stuck on the island, forced to ride out the hurricane in whatever hotel or accomodations they had booked.

Heather Farrell, a visitor to the island, is on her honeymoon with her husband Luke. They were married on September 9. She says that they had tried to cut their trip short when it became apparent that they were in Maria's firing line.

"We did try to get off, as early as Saturday but all flights were either booked or canceled. We actually are on the ocean -- our room faces the ocean. It's pretty windy but there is no rain. We'll stay inside for now."

 

She said that hotel staff had asked that all guests that are staying at the hotel come downstairs early Wednesday morning to a safe room that they have set up for them.

 

"I would rather be home than here but I guess we're making the best of it," she said.

 

According to CNN, calls for rescue immediately started pouring in. But first responders weren't expected to be able to help immediately because they'd been ordered to head indoors when sustained winds reached 50 mph. Thousands of Puerto Ricans did obey calls to seek refuge in emergency shelters. "As of 2:30 a.m. we count 10,059 refugees and 189 pets (in shelters)," the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, tweeted.

Maria became the first category 4 hurricance to hit the island - which presently has a population of about 3.3 million people - in about 80 years. Conditions were expected to worsen between 8 am and 9 am ET Wednesday, when the storm's eye wall - typically the part of the storm with the most powerful winds - is expected to reache island's eastern coast. The Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan - which was still housing Hurricane Irma evacuees from other Caribbean islands - prepared to accept thousands more residents.

The storm is likely to break all previous records, according to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.

"This could potentially be the strongest hurricane to ever reach the shores of Puerto Rico," he said from San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital.

 

"A lot of people remember or have heard of the storms that hit in 1928 and 1930. Well, guess what? This could pale those in comparison. ... It will go down in the record books."

According to Bloomberg, most long range models keep Maria away from the US coastline after it passes through the Caribbean and the Bahamas this week, said Shane Mill, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “But I am not comfortable saying the entire East Coast is out of the woods yet,” he said.

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 12:20 PM

Boy Genius Report

This is the $20 Echo Dot accessory you had no idea you needed

Echo Dot Case

We’ve told you about the VAUX Cordless Home Speaker accessory for the Echo Dot a bunch of times. Simply drop in your Dot and it’s instantly transformed into a portable Alexa smart speaker like the Amazon Tap. Now, it’s time to check out an equally cool accessory that’s designed for the opposite purpose. The VAUX is great for using your Dot on the go, but the Mount Genie Flush Mount is designed to improve the way you use it at home. Specifically, it’s a flush mount that lets you install your Echo Dot in a wall. It looks awesome, and it even improves performance when you’re summoning Alexa from far away!

* PLEASE NOTE: Power is still needed for the device. Requires minor installation which is easy for most and includes wiring. (10’ USB and AUX adapter)
* Held in place with precise pressure fit and wire placement.
* The mount comes in bright white like most switch plates but can be easily painted if desired.
* Patent Pending "Sound Channel" provides un-muffled, crisp sound from built-in speaker.
* Compatible with most round speakers up to 3.4” diameter, including the Echo Dot 2nd Generation, ZOEE Aluminum Round, Smileto Mini Round, MindKoo Smart Wireless, and XinDingLi X1 360.

The Flush Mount – Built-in Wall or Ceiling Mount for Round Puck Speakers – Includes Wiring…: $19.99

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by Maren Estrada at September 20, 2017 12:20 PM

Brand New

Noted: New Logo for Teatum Jones by Peter and Paul

<h1>“Tough Break”</h1> <a href="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_for_teatum_jones_by_peter_and_paul.php"><img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/teatum_jones_logo_before_after.png" alt="New Logo for Teatum Jones by Peter and Paul" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual" /></a> <p>"Established in 2011 by Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, <a href="http://teatumjones.com/" target="_blank">Teatum Jones</a> is a London based luxury label recognised for its modern, polished and bold aesthetic, speaking to super smart, creative and confident women. Having trained at Ravensbourne University and Central St. Martins respectively, the two were united by a shared love of human stories. Driven by a love of human stories, the designers create exquisite textiles layered with narrative and marry these with cool, refined shapes. This has earned the two 'methodical designers' accolades, reviews and recognition as London's young 'textile pioneers' and 'innovators'. Teatum Jones won the prestigious 2016 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear. Recent accolades also include The BFC Fashion Trust Award, The Scottish Fashion Council - 2017 Hawick Knitwear Competition Winners, UKFT Best Womenswear Designer of 2015, as well as CFE's 2014 Venture Designers."</p> <p><strong>Design by</strong><br /> <a href="http://www.peterandpaul.co.uk/" target="_blank">Peter and Paul</a> (Sheffield, UK)</p> <p><strong>Related links</strong><br /> N/A</p> <p><strong>Relevant quote</strong><br /><em>Peter and Paul were given the provocative brief to ‘tell the brand story loudly’. The identity solution works in two parts to do that. There’s a constant: the Teatum Jones logo – fixed, always there, broken to leave a space between the names, and a variable: a bespoke piece of design, visual language or typography that is born of the human story attached to a collection. The agency have also launched the Teatum Jones website designed around the premise of allowing people in to the process of making, being honest by showing research imagery and films as well as early stage experimentation alongside the fashion lines. </em></p> <p><strong>Images</strong> (opinion after)</p> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/teatum_jones_logo.png" alt="New Logo for Teatum Jones by Peter and Paul" /> <figcaption>Logo.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/teatum_jones_body.jpg" alt="New Logo for Teatum Jones by Peter and Paul" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/teatum_jones_ley.jpg" alt="New Logo for Teatum Jones by Peter and Paul" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/teatum_jones_humans.jpg" alt="New Logo for Teatum Jones by Peter and Paul" /> <figcaption>Logo with collections and messaging.</figcaption> </figure> <p><strong>Opinion</strong><br /> The old logo was pretty nice, in an elegant and modest serif. Perhaps it didn’t say much in terms of the approach or aesthetics of the fashion duo but it played will within the context of fashion brands. The new logo is a literal 180-degree change, going from serif to sans serif, lowercase to uppercase, and easily readable to challengingly readable. I’m no fashion expert but based on the current collection shown on their website, the logo feels appropriate as there is a sense of challenging conventions with slightly awkward shapes and things that don’t quite fit right but that make you take notice — just like the logo. It isn’t quite right, with its awkward line breaks but there is something intriguing about it. I like how they forced 4 characters in the first lines, then 2 characters in the second lines, aided by the introduction of a period at the end of the name. Maybe there is a little bit of pretentiousness involved, like “We are too cool to care about hyphens or proper line breaks” but, hey, they made <a href="http://teatumjones.com/site/assets/files/1057/look_07.jpg" target="_blank">this</a>, so… there. The logo actually works pretty well when paired with some crazier, bolder graphic behind it, so maybe the identity will put more of that layering into action.</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ucllc/brandnew/~4/-sgCM-JyIgA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

September 20, 2017 12:18 PM

Smashing Magazine Feed

Playing With Color: Vibrant Options For Apps And Websites


   

Color is one of the most powerful tools in a designer’s toolkit. Color can draw attention, set a mood, and influence the user’s emotion, perception and actions. When it comes to the web and mobile app design, this is definitely a time of vibrant colors. Designers use vibrant colors to focus people’s attention on important elements and to make their designs memorable.

Playing With Color: Vibrant Options For Apps And Websites

In this article, I’ll summarize a few popular techniques of using vibrant colors in web and mobile design. Also, if you’d like to get started designing and prototyping your own web and mobile experiences, download Adobe XD.

The post Playing With Color: Vibrant Options For Apps And Websites appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

by Nick Babich at September 20, 2017 12:16 PM

Signal vs. Noise

Bury the lede

How can we keep people interested?

Technology doesn’t always give us the highest quality outcome. Sometimes it just buys us more convenience.

Look at coffee. It used to be a pain to prepare and drink. Then in 1850 Folgers started roasting and grinding it for us. It wasn’t as fresh, but it sure was fast.

Or look at photography. Today, smartphones put everything from supercomputers to cameras into our pocket. But the pictures pale in comparison to what my 5lb DSLR can take.

But we compromise. Sometimes convenience wins. Writing made a similar compromise.

The telegraph was a huge improvement in communication compared to smoke signals. We could now transmit messages over long distances.

But man, were those early messages expensive. A trained operator needed to type each letter by hand. And so compromises were made to shorten and change the message. For example, when the Wright Brothers completed their first flight, they couldn’t gush to their parents. Orville had to send this:

Success four flights thursday morning all against twenty one mile wind started from Level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty one miles longest 57 seconds inform Press home Christmas . Orevelle Wright

(Yes, his name was spelled wrong)

Newspaper articles also had to change. They couldn’t be narrative. They had to get to the point immediately. Just the facts. And the inverted pyramid style of writing was invented.

Get the important stuff out first. Everything else is less and less important.

It’s a style that lives on today. Not because we need help anymore in transmission, but now when newspaper and magazines are laid out, it helps an editor to quickly chop off a writer’s article from 500 words to 400 words, and worry little about changing the quality of the writing. Just cut from the bottom.

And we wonder why people aren’t interested in our writing? Look at the rules we’re following. Most of us learned in high school or college to “write well” with the inverted pyramid. Get the necessary stuff out first. The 5 W’s (Who, what, when, where, and why). Don’t bury the lede.

But we weren’t taught enough how those styles are tools, and even compromises, for specific situations. So, that’s how most of us write everything.

Even an attempt at some form of narrative gives into the idea it still needs a “TL;DR” (Too Long; Didn’t Read).

Yet think about what you read and watch that keeps you interested. How do you think Game of Thrones turns out as an inverted pyramid of a story? You’ll get punched in the eye if you TL;DR that for a fan who's behind.

But we keep doing it to ourselves. Sometimes even others do it for us:

Very much appreciate the share, but you blew one of the best parts — the surprise.

Skip the TL;DR.

If you have people requesting that from you, let them move on and find more headlines to read. It is your job though to keep them interested throughout your writing. If you still feel like whatever you’re writing would benefit from a TL;DR, consider throwing your post away and just Tweeting something.

If you’re going to write 500+ words, give them the importance they deserve. Keep people interested by flipping the inverted pyramid back, and making your writing more and more interesting as it goes along, not less. Give your readers a journey. Make them something to be inspired about at the end of a piece. A TL;DR rarely moves anyone.

Of course, there are situations that require conciseness. Just the facts. Anticipation that people will just read the headlines. But don’t cargo cult the styles of newspaper and magazine writers for all the writing you do. Better yet, don’t worry about rules from high school and college. Ignore style and grammar. Learn to tell a better story. Surprise people.

I’ve had an above average bit of success as a writer and getting people interested in my work. My secret? I bury the lede.

P.S. You should follow me on YouTube: youtube.com/nathankontny where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life.

And if you need a zero-learning-curve system to track leads and manage follow-ups you should try Highrise.


Bury the lede was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

by Nathan Kontny at September 20, 2017 12:16 PM

Zero Hedge

"We Are In A State Of Siege": Spanish Police Arrest Top Catalan Officials In Referendum Raids

Spanish police arrested top-ranking Catalan officials including the region’s junior economy minister Josep Maria Jove, as Madrid launched a crackdown on Catalonia over the upcoming Independence referendum Reuters reported. Jove, who is a senior member of the Republican Left of Catalonia political party, was detained following a Wednesday morning raid carried out by Spain’s Civil Guard, which has the authority of both the Interior and the Defence ministries.

At least a dozen high-ranking local officials were arrested, La Vanguardia newspaper said. Among those detained are Josue Sallent Rivas from the Centre of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Xavier Puig Farré from the Office of Social Affairs and Josep Maria Salvat Tenesa from the Ministry of Economics and Finance.

Police, acting under court orders, have stepped up raids on printers, newspaper offices and private delivery companies in recent days in a search for campaign literature, instruction manuals for manning voting stations and ballot boxes.

 

On Tuesday, Spain’s Civil Guard, a national police force, seized more than 45,000 envelopes packed in cardboard boxes that the Catalan government was ready to send to notify people around the region about the referendum.

"Catalonia is now in a state of siege ”, Catalonia’s Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family Dolors Bassa said on Twitter, confirming that the Civil Guard has also entered her department.

Meanwhile, the fiercely pro-independence leader of the regional government, Carles Puigdemont, has called an emergency meeting of his cabinet for 10:30 CET (8:30 GMT), the sources said.

Police efforts to stop the planned Oct. 1 referendum on splitting from Spain have intensified in recent days as the wealthy northeastern region shows no signs of halting the vote which the central government says is illegal.  Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the offices of the regional government’s economy ministry in the center of Barcelona’s tourist district, chanting “They will not pass” and “We will vote”, a Reuters witness said.

That did not stop the Civil Guard from conducting searches of the Catalonian government buildings including the region’s economy, interior, foreign affairs, welfare, telecommunications and tax departments.

“They are attacking the institutions of this country and attacking the citizens. We will not allow it” Oriol Junqueras, the Vice President of the Catalan Government, wrote on Twitter.

On Wednesday, a protest has been staged in front of the Economic Department of the Catalonian Government, according to photos and videos on Twitter. People were reportedly shouting “We want to vote” and “democracy.”

Earlier in the month, Catalonia’s Parliament passed a bill paving the way for an independence referendum to be held on October 1. However, the Constitutional Court has suspended the vote after the central government challenged its legality. Spain’s central government says the referendum goes against the country’s 1978 constitution which states Spain is indivisible.

As reported previously, the Spanish state prosecutor ordered a criminal investigation of 712 Catalan mayors for co-operating with the process. Catalonia previously held an independence referendum in 2014, which saw 80 percent of voters choose independence. Nevertheless, it was ruled unconstitutional by Madrid.

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 12:08 PM

datameet Google Group

Re: [datameet] Re: India GIS Data Update/ Questions

thanks. As soon as you send it, I can compare with what I have and send you two or three versions of villages for that area. I know sometimes generalized data for boundaries is good enough. But the higher quality, more detailed data going into any dataset would be best. Then you can generalize

by Justin at September 20, 2017 12:03 PM

Wired Top Stories

'Freeways' Is a Mobile Game That Lets You Play Traffic Enginner

Justin Smith's game will drive you crazy and make you appreciate hardworking highway builders.

by Aarian Marshall at September 20, 2017 12:00 PM

*Dishonored: Death of the Outsider* Review: Ending the Franchise With Some Much-Needed Anger

In the series' final installment, you go hunting for the trickster deity who started it all.

by Julie Muncy at September 20, 2017 12:00 PM

Zero Hedge

“This Is Where The Next Financial Crisis Will Come From”

“This Is Where The Next Financial Crisis Will Come From”

 By Zero Hedge

In an extensive, must-read report published on Monday by Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid, the credit strategist unveiled an extensive analysis of the "Next Financial Crisis", and specifically what may cause it, when it may happen, and how the world could respond assuming it still has means to counteract the next economic and financial crash.

In our first take on the report yesterday, we showed one key aspect of the "crash" calculus: between bonds and stocks, global asset prices are the most elevated they have ever been.

With that baseline in mind, what happens next should be obvious: unless one assumes that the laws of economics and finance are irreparably broken, a deep recession and a market crash are inevitable, especially after the third biggest and second longest central bank-sponsored bull market in history.

But what will cause it, and when will it happen?

Needless to say, these are the questions that everyone in capital markets today wants answered. And while nobody can claim to know the right answer, here are some excerpts from what DB's Jim Reid, one of the best strategists on Wall Street, thinks will take place.

Below we present the key excerpts from his must read report;

* * *

We think that the post Bretton Woods (1971-) global financial system remains vulnerable to financial crises. A simple internet search of financial crises through history (Figure 1, LHS chart) confirms that the frequency has increased over this period. Examples include the UK secondary banking crisis (1975), the two Oil shocks (1970s), numerous EM defaults (mid-1980s), US Savings and Loans mass failures (late 80s/early 90s), various Nordic financial crises (late 80s), Japanese stock bubble bursting (1990-), various ERM shocks/devaluations (1992), the Mexican Tequila crisis (1994), the Asian crisis (1997), the Russian & LTCM crisis (1998), the Dot.com crash (2000), the various accounting scandals (02/03), the GFC (08/09) and the Euro Sovereign crisis (10-12).

A more quantitative search backs this up (Figure 1, RH chart). We show the number of DM countries (%) in our sample back to 1800 experiencing one of the following on a YoY basis; -15% Equities, -10% FX, -10% Bond move, a sovereign default, or +10% inflation. This is our crisis/shock indicator. 0% equals no country with one of these conditions met, 100% equals all in our sample with one being met.

It would therefore take a huge leap of faith to say that crises won’t continue to be a regular feature of the current financial system that has been in place since the early 1970s. The near exponential growth of finance and its liberalisation since this point has encouraged this trend.

Indeed as we’ll show in this report there are a number of areas of the global financial system that look at extreme levels. This includes valuations in many asset classes, the incredibly unique size of central bank balance sheets, debt levels, multi-century all-time lows in interest rates and even the level of potentially game changing populist political support around the globe. If there is a crisis relatively soon (within the next 2-3 years), it would be hard to look at these variables and say that there was no way of spotting them.

Having said that, crises tend to have a large element of unpredictability. If they didn’t then surely more would predict their imminent arrival. So while we highlight a lot of the main global vulnerabilities in this report, history would tell us that there is still a chance that when the next crisis comes its origin will take us by surprise to a certain degreeAs will its timing. In the remainder of this executive summary we highlight the conditions that have encouraged crises through history and the main areas of worry as to why we may be vulnerable for another financial crisis relatively soon.

Periods with a higher number of crises/shocks coincide with higher levels of debt….

…and with it higher budget deficits. G7 Government Debt was only previously higher with impact of WWII and before the early 1970s, persistent budget deficits only really existed in war time. Now a permanent feature.

We think the final break with precious metal currency systems from the early 1970s (after centuries of adhering to such regimes) and to a fiat currency world has encouraged budget deficits, rising debts, huge credit creation, ultra loose monetary policy, global build-up of imbalances, financial deregulation and more unstable markets.

The various breaks with gold based currencies over the last century or so has correlated well with our financial shocks/crises indicator. It shows that you are more likely to see crises/shocks when we break from hard currency systems.

Some of the devaluation to Gold has been mindboggling over the last 100 years...

 

 

Related Content

Gold Protect From $217 Trillion Global Debt Bubble

Global Debt Bubble Sees Wealthy Diversify Into Gold

World Is Now $199 Trillion In Debt

 

News and Commentary

Gold Hedges, Higher Caution Sets in Ahead of FOMC Statement (BullionDesk.com)

Gold prices nearly flat as investors wait for Fed outcome (Reuters.com)

Traders Hold Back Before Fed Decides on Policy (Bloomberg.com)

U.S. import prices post biggest gain in seven months (Reuters.com)

U.S. current account widens sharply in second quarter (Reuters.com)

 Blame Tricky Dicky for the next financial crisis. Source Money Week

Next financial crisis is coming – and it’s all Richard Nixon’s fault (MoneyWeek.com)

One Fund I Met Is Convinced Bond Markets Are On The Edge Of A Precipice (ZeroHedge.com)

Advice from the trader who made $1+ billion in 1929... (Sovereignman.com)

Bitcoin receives yet another eulogy from a financial luminary (StansBerryChurcHouse.com)

Gold Investment Resuming - Push Gold Dramatically Higher (ZealLLC.com)

Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

20 Sep: USD 1,314.90, GBP 970.53 & EUR 1,094.79 per ounce
19 Sep: USD 1,308.45, GBP 969.30 & EUR 1,091.25 per ounce
18 Sep: USD 1,314.40, GBP 970.16 & EUR 1,100.68 per ounce
15 Sep: USD 1,325.00, GBP 977.32 & EUR 1,109.16 per ounce
14 Sep: USD 1,323.00, GBP 1,002.44 & EUR 1,111.58 per ounce
13 Sep: USD 1,332.25, GBP 1,003.85 & EUR 1,112.43 per ounce
12 Sep: USD 1,326.25, GBP 1,000.66 & EUR 1,109.41 per ounce

Silver Prices (LBMA)

20 Sep: USD 17.38, GBP 12.84 & EUR 14.48 per ounce
19 Sep: USD 17.15, GBP 12.70 & EUR 14.31 per ounce
18 Sep: USD 17.53, GBP 12.94 & EUR 14.66 per ounce
15 Sep: USD 17.70, GBP 13.03 & EUR 14.81 per ounce
14 Sep: USD 17.75, GBP 13.40 & EUR 14.91 per ounce
13 Sep: USD 17.91, GBP 13.50 & EUR 14.94 per ounce
12 Sep: USD 17.75, GBP 13.37 & EUR 14.87 per ounce


Recent Market Updates

- Global Debt Bubble Understated By $13 Trillion Warn BIS
- Bitcoin Price Falls 40% In 3 Days Underlining Gold’s Safe Haven Credentials
- Gold Up, Markets Fatigued As War Talk Boils Over
- Oil Rich Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars
- Massive Equifax Hack Shows Cyber Risk to Deposits and Investments Today
- British People Suddenly Stopped Buying Cars
- Buy Gold for Long Term as “Fiat Money Is Doomed”
- Conor McGregor – Worth His Weight In Gold?
- Gold Has 2% Weekly Gain,18% Higher YTD – Trump’s Debt Ceiling Deal Hurts Dollar
- ‘Things Have Been Going Up For Too Long’ – Goldman CEO
- Physical Gold In Vault Is “True Hedge of Last Resort” – Goldman Sachs
- Bitcoin Falls 20% as Mobius and Chinese Regulators Warn
- Gold Surges To $1338 as U.S. Warns of ‘Massive’ Military Response

Important Guides

For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland

Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore

Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK)

Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

by GoldCore at September 20, 2017 11:55 AM

Frontrunning: September 20

  • Fed Poised to Set Portfolio Reduction Plan in Motion (WSJ)
  • Dollar close to 2015 lows as conflicted Fed prepares policy update (WSJ)
  • The Risk of a New Economic Non-Order (El-Erian)
  • A last, last chance: Republicans strain for Obamacare repeal (AP)
  • McConnell Won’t Promise Obamacare Repeal Vote as Foes Mobilize (BBG)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Rips Into GOP Health Bill for Failing ‘Kimmel Test’ (BBG)
  • Stress at UN Not Shared on Wall Street as Stocks Set Records (BBG)
  • Trump’s North Korea threat leaves Asia struggling to explain (AP)
  • China offers support for strife-torn Venezuela at United Nations (Reuters)
  • States Need $645 Billion to Pay Full Health-Care Costs (WSJ)
  • Trump Aides Caught in Russia Probe Face Legal Bills and Paranoia (BBG)
  • Police arrest high-ranking Catalan officials in raids (Reuters)
  • Opioids on the Job Are Overwhelming American Employers (BBG)
  • Russia's B&N Bank seeks bailout: central bank (Reuters)
  • Toys ‘R’ Us Will Live Because Mattel and Hasbro Can’t Let It Die (BBG)
  • From Russia with fuel - North Korean ships may be undermining sanctions (Reuters)
  • Two Big Words Show Why U.S. Oil May Finally Be Turning a Corner (BBG)
  • How $5 billion of debt caught up with Toys 'R' Us (Reuters)
  • Why This Hurricane Season Is So Intense (WSJ)
  • Buffett calls pessimists about United States 'out of their mind' (Reuters)
  • Uber reviews Asia business amid U.S. bribery probe (Reuters)
  • Amazon Is a Lifeline for Retail Workers. (If They Live in the Right City.) (BBG)

 

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Central Mexico was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that collapsed scores of buildings in Mexico City, killing at least 149 people in a toll that was rising by the hour on Tuesday night. on.wsj.com/2fiIicV

- Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc received regulatory approval to acquire nearly 2,000 stores from Rite Aid Corp , but only after the number of stores to be purchased in the deal was again trimmed to allay antitrust concerns. on.wsj.com/2fhvBiC

- Post Holdings Inc said it plans to buy breakfast-sausage maker Bob Evans Farms Inc for a deal valued at $1.5 billion. on.wsj.com/2fiTSo8

- Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it will temporarily idle production lines at five North American plants, including three in the U.S. on.wsj.com/2fi80ON

- Creditors of Australia's Ten Network Holdings Ltd accepted an increased offer for the broadcaster from CBS Corp , rejecting a rival proposal from media moguls Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch. on.wsj.com/2fiJmNU

- Hurricane Maria, with sustained winds near 160 miles per hour, thrashed the eastern Caribbean on Tuesday, killing at least one person on Guadeloupe and devastating the tiny island nation of Dominica, now heads for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. on.wsj.com/2fhwaZM

- U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to annihilate North Korea if the United States has to defend itself or its allies against the Pyongyang regime, delivering the dire warning on Tuesday during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. on.wsj.com/2fjXo1D

- Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her government would investigate all allegations of human rights abuses in her country, and said Myanmar would allow Rohingya who could prove they had lived in the country to return. on.wsj.com/2xvnMMW

 

FT

At least three audit contracts were lost by KPMG in South Africa as it faces widespread client reviews after it got involved in a high-profile political scandal involving South Africa’s billionaire Gupta family.

In an attempt to prove that a technologically enabled urban environment can improve quality of life, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc is working on a plan to build a city from the ground up, the executive in charge of its urban innovation business said on Tuesday.

The activist investor fighting Clariant AG has increased its stake to 15.1 percent in the Swiss chemicals group and repeated that it demands to drop the $20 billion planned tie-up with Huntsman Corp of the United States.

The British government has told German Chancellor Angela Merkel to expect Theresa May to offer this week to fill a post-Brexit European Union budget hole of at least 20 billion euros ($23.98 billion), this week.

 

NYT

- In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. President Donald Trump brought his confrontational style of leadership to the platform. While his tough words were cheered by Israel and Republican lawmakers, leaders of France, the European Union and the United Nations were sharply critical of his tone. nyti.ms/2xl00lZ

- Eleven governors, including five Republicans, urged the U.S. Senate on Tuesday to reject a new push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. nyti.ms/2xlrhoE

- Senate Republicans agreed on Tuesday to move forward on a budget that would add to the federal deficit in order to pave the way for a $1.5 trillion tax cut over the next 10 years. nyti.ms/2xecOvz

- In contrast to soaring health insurance premiums in many Affordable Care Act marketplaces, the cost of coverage for vast numbers of people who get insurance through their jobs rose relatively little this year, according to a national survey released Tuesday. nyti.ms/2fyyo3O

- Hurricane Maria is expected to produce more than 12 inches of rainfall, which will cause "life-threatening flash floods and mudslides" in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the National Hurricane Center said. nyti.ms/2wFBeJI

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** Swiss advocacy group, the Bruno Manser Fund pursuing allegations of financial crimes against Ottawa real estate company Sakto Corp, is turning to Ontario's courts to obtain sensitive financial records from three Canadian banks and a major accounting firm. tgam.ca/2hipoj9

** The future of Alimentation Couche Tard Inc remains clouded after its chairman expressed doubts that he and the company's three other founders will be able to maintain control of the retailer as the clock starts ticking on the expiry of their special stock rights. tgam.ca/2hho6Fg

** The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development raised its projection for growth in Canada this year by 0.4 of a percent point from its earlier forecast, to 3.2 percent. tgam.ca/2hho28u

NATIONAL POST

** The solvent Canadian subsidiary of Toys R Us Inc (IPO-TOYS.N) was granted court-appointed relief on Tuesday to continue operating through the holidays as it disentangles aspects of its business from that of its struggling U.S. parent company. bit.ly/2hgmQC0

** Investigators for Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change raided the headquarters of Volkswagen Canada on Tuesday morning, executing a search warrant as part of the massive international investigation into "cheat devices" meant to evade emissions regulations. bit.ly/2hh1X9P

 

Britain

The Times

BHP Billiton is rethinking its membership of Australia's leading mining organisation over differences on climate change. The company committed on Tuesday to publishing a review of its membership of trade associations and explicitly disclosing where there were "material differences" in their positions. (bit.ly/2fxp1kD)

The head of the Treasury select committee has demanded a "full explanation" from the accounting watchdog for its decision to drop an investigation into KPMG's role as auditor of HBOS. (bit.ly/2fzkpe5)

The Guardian

Yoko Ono Lennon has stepped in to rescue the name of her husband from fizzy pop reinvention, taking legal action to halt the sale of a lemonade called John Lemon. The Polish company which sells the beverage has agreed to change its name to On Lemon after legal letters were sent by Ono Lennon's lawyers to the parent company and its distributors across Europe. (bit.ly/2fz1Wy8)

One of Lloyd's of London's largest insurance syndicates is to move its European headquarters to Dublin because of Brexit, Ireland's prime minister has announced. XL Group Ltd, which operates the XL Catlin brand, chose the Irish capital as its preferred location for its principal EU insurance company subject to regulatory approval, said the Irish Industrial Development Authority. (bit.ly/2fz4kVI)

The Telegraph

German dairy business Müller is defying worries about Brexit's impact by revealing plans for 100 million pounds ($135.15 million) of investment in its UK business. (bit.ly/2fz0Kux)

French oil company Total SA is in talks with Alphabet's Google Inc and Microsoft Corp to help develop bespoke artificial intelligence in the energy sector's race to tap digital technologies. (bit.ly/2fyfud9)

Sky News

Chinese insurer Ping An Insurance and consulting firm Oliver Wyman are buying stakes in 10X Future Technologies, the financial technology start-up founded by former Barclays chief Antony Jenkins. (bit.ly/2fxH0Yf)

Wyevale Garden Centres, which is owned by Guy Hands' Terra Firma Capital Partners has struck a 100 million pound debt deal with Hayfin, a specialist lender. (bit.ly/2fyChWr

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 11:49 AM

Boy Genius Report

The iPhone X and iPhone 8’s ‘A11 Bionic’ is just a marketing gimmick

iPhone X vs. iPhone 8

Back in September 2013 when the iPhone 5s became the first smartphone in the world to sport a 64-bit processor, many were quick to call it a marketing gimmick, including Qualcomm. The truth was that Apple’s accelerated chip development sent the competition into panic mode, as it realized the advancements of the A7 chip were beyond anything they made. Qualcomm quickly retracted those comments and hurried to catch up.

Fast-forward to today, and all high-end smartphones have 64-bit chips, including every iPhone launched since the iPhone 5s. The A11 Bionic is hardly a marketing gimmick, and four years later Apple is still the undisputed leader in this business. But the name of the chip? That really is a marketing gimmick.

Continue reading...

Trending right now:

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by Chris Smith at September 20, 2017 11:45 AM

Zero Hedge

The Morning After: Mexican Earthquake Leaves Over 248 Dead, Millions Without Electricity

Across central Mexico, rescue workers including soldiers and volunteers worked late into the night Tuesday to free the living who were still trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings following Mexico's deadliest earthquake in more than 30 years.

The death toll from the 7.1 magnitude quake – which bizarrely occurred on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that left 5,000 dead – has climbed to 248, with more than half of those deaths occurring in the Mexican capital city.  It also comes two weeks after another powerful quake left nearly 100 dead in Mexico City. The quake was unusually close to Mexico City, located just 60 miles south of the capital in Chiautla de Tapia, a small town in neighboring Puebla state, according to Mexico’s seismological service.

More are feared dead, including possibly dozens of teachers and schoolchildren feared buried in the rubble of a Mexico City school, one of hundreds of buildings that was destroyed by the quake, according to Reuters

Additionally, several buildings collapsed in the chic neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa in central Mexico City, where many foreigners live. In Condesa, rescue workers scrambled to find eight to 10 people believed trapped under the debris of a building that collapsed near Mexico Park, one of the city’s most famous parks. Hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain to help clear rubble and bring food and water to rescue workers.

Mexico was also hit earlier this month by Hurricane Katia, which killed two. Even the Popocatépetl volcano southeast of the city sent a large cloud of ash into the sky on Tuesday. “This is too much. It’s like we’re cursed or something,” said Marcos Santamaría, a 62-year-old retiree.

Philippines and the United Nations have offered to support the recovery effort. At least 30 second-grade students are still missing, along with eight adults.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a video message released late Tuesday that the initial focus of rescue efforts must be to find people trapped in wrecked buildings, according to the Associated Press.

"The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people."

Pena Nieto added that, as of late Tuesday, 40% of Mexico City and 60% of Morelos state had no electricity.

Dust-covered and exhausted from digging, 30-year-old Carlos Mendoza said two people were pulled alive from the ruins of a collapsed apartment building in the Roma Sur neighborhood during a three-hour period.

"When we saw this, we came to help," he said, gesturing at the destruction. "This is ugly, very ugly."

In Condesa, rescue workers scrambled to find eight to 10 people believed trapped under the debris of a building that collapsed near Mexico Park, one of the city’s most famous parks. Hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain to help clear rubble and bring food and water to rescue workers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Gabriela Magaña, who works in a nearby art gallery, was inside the building when the quake hit. She managed to make it to the street just before it fell.

“I just saw an immense black cloud of dust and heard a big bang. Then I started to hear crying, and the smell of gas was unbearable. It was a nightmare,” she said.

At least 86 dead had been counted in Mexico City and 71 in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital. Another 43 were known dead in Puebla state, where the quake was centered. Twelve deaths were listed in the State of Mexico, which surrounds Mexico City on three sides, four in Guerrero state and one in Oaxaca, according to the official Twitter feed of civil defense agency head Luis Felipe Puente.

Mexico City residents rallied and joined the rescue efforts to free their neighbors following the quake.  Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed and twisted and hundreds of thousands of people, fearing for their lives, ran into the streets. Buildings also collapsed in Morelos state, including the town hall and local church in Jojutla near the quake's epicenter. A dozen people died in Jojutla. The quake also ruptured gas mains and sparked fires across the city and other towns in central Mexico as falling rubble and billboards crushed cars.

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano, visible from the capital on a clear day, had a small eruption. On its slopes, a church in Atzitzihuacan collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, Puebla Governor Jose Antonio Gali said, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Mexico City residents slept in the streets while authorities and volunteers set up tented collection centers to distribute food and water. The city’s metro area has a population of some 20 million. Federal authorities ordered schools in seven states, as well as Mexico City, closed until further notice. Patients were evacuated from many hospitals.

Hours after the quake, residents were still huddled on the streets, too afraid to go back inside. Along the boulevard Paseo de la Reforma, a strong smell of gas caused panic.

President Donald Trump, who had been criticized for taking days to contact Mexican Mr. Peña Nieto after the quake earlier this month, was quick to offer support. “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you,” Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 11:23 AM

Daring Fireball

★ Apple Watch Series 3

When is the right time to ship a product? In particular, a hardware product? The answer, sometimes, is not when it’s done, but rather when it’s useful.

The original Apple Watch was too slow. It was too dependent on being tethered to an iPhone. The user interface was too unfocused. But it was useful in some meaningful ways — primarily fitness tracking and as a convenient display for notifications.

With WatchOS 2 and 3, Apple focused the experience on fitness tracking and notifications. With last year’s Series 2 hardware, performance improved and the screen got much brighter, making it far more legible outdoors.

With the addition of cellular networking in Series 3, Apple Watch gains something essential: independence. It’s not just a cool feature. It’s aimed smack dab in the middle of the two things people like best about Apple Watch: notifications and fitness. When are you separated from your iPhone? When you’re exercising. What do you miss most when you’re away from your phone? Messages and phone calls.

Phone anxiety is a weird, and, for me at least, irrational thing. I know that mankind survived for millennia without the ability to communicate with each other out of ear shot. But once you get used to having your phone with you at all times, you get used to feeling that if anyone needs you, they can get you.

Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular networking completely alleviates this anxiety. It is not a replacement for a phone, and is not supposed to be. But it lets you leave your phone at home when you go for a run, or in your locker while you’re at the gym, or in your hotel while you go to the beach, and not worry in the least that you’re out of touch.

Audio quality for phone calls on the watch is very good. People I called via the watch said I sounded great, and I could hear them loud and clear. And all of my testing of phone calls on the watch took place mid-day on busy city streets — full of traffic and pedestrians — here in Philadelphia. People won’t know you’re calling them from your watch if you don’t tell them.

Siri sounds great on the watch, too: crisp and clear. The hardware performance improvements surely help here — the S3 dual core CPU is “up to 70 percent” faster, and the new W2 chip for wireless improves Wi-Fi performance “up to 85 percent”. (The W2 also makes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth more energy efficient, and, it seems obvious, is one of the reasons that cellular networking is possible at all.) The effect of these performance improvements isn’t that it makes Apple Watch Series 3 feel fast, but that it makes it feel not slow. When you dictate a text message to Siri and it just works, without delay, it just feels like it should.

But it really feels like a big difference that Siri now talks back to you. The non-talking Siri on previous Apple Watches now feels half-baked to me. (And, at least here in the U.S., you get the new improved Siri voice that also ships with iOS 11.)

The only thing I don’t like about the addition of cellular networking to Apple Watch is out of Apple’s hands: the monthly price to add it to a cellular plan. AT&T and Verizon are both charging $10 a month per watch. I don’t expect it to be free, but $120 a year feels like too much for a device that I’m using instead of the iPhone I’m already paying (a lot) for. With our Verizon family plan, it also costs $10 a month to add an iPad. But an iPad is a device we use in addition to our phones, not instead of. I think $5 per month is the right price. (And DF readers in Canada and Australia report that that’s about what it costs from the carriers in those countries — this is perhaps a U.S. problem, not a worldwide one.)

Battery life has been fine. “All day” is about right — charging at night, using it all day, and I’ve had plenty left in the tank when I went to bed again. That said, I’ve been testing a 42mm watch. I can’t speak to the battery life of the 38mm models. This is what I expected, but it’s kind of exciting when you think about it. Apple turned Apple Watch into a goddamn cell phone, without making the device thicker1 or heavier, and it still lasts all day.

It’s worth thinking about that. Apple is a company that is driven to make its devices thinner and thinner. To the consternation of many users, when Apple creates more efficient chips, they tend to keep battery life the same while making the devices thinner, rather than keep the devices the same size and extend battery life with bigger batteries. But in the early years of a new product line, they don’t do that. iPhone stayed the same basic thickness until the iPhone 4. In those early generations, it was more important to add essential missing features, like 3G networking, a better camera, and a faster processor, than to make it thinner. Apple Watch might stay the same size for a few more years.

There’s no way to review this watch without mentioning the red dot on the digital crown. Every cellular equipped Series 3 watch, including all the stainless steel models, the ceramic Edition models, and the Hermès models, have this red dot. I don’t get it. It’s not that it looks bad in and of itself, but it draws unnecessary attention to itself. I would much prefer this watch if it were black. Also, red doesn’t go with everything, and a huge part of the fun of Apple Watch is swapping bands. Apple sells a lot of watch bands that clash with the red dot.2

The Future

My two big wishes for future generations of Apple Watch: a camera and some form of always-on display.

A camera is the one thing I miss when I leave my iPhone at home and go for a run. I have no idea how a camera could work ergonomically on a watch. Maybe it’s just not feasible. But it is mildly frustrating when I’m out on a run and see something interesting that I’d like to photograph. In the same way that always carrying a phone gets you used to always being in contact with friends, family, and colleagues, always carrying a camera gets you used to always being able to take a photo.

Raise-to-wake works about as well as I could hope it to, but as someone who regularly wears mechanical watches, trust me, it’s no substitution for always being able to glance at your wrist for the time. I don’t know what the answer is, technologically, but I feel like Apple has to be working on this, and that it’s coming in some future model.

WatchOS 4

This is not a full review of everything new in WatchOS 4, but there are two features I want to point out.

First, I love the new option to show the app screen as a simple vertically scrolling list of apps, sorted alphabetically. The honeycomb design — which is still the default in WatchOS 4 — has frustrated me ever since the original Watch. It’s a bad design in several ways:

  • The icons are unlabeled, and at a small size, many of them look very similar. At a glance the Stopwatch and Timer apps are practically identical.
  • The arrangement is seemingly random. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” trying to find a specific app.
  • The tap targets are way too small and packed too close to each other. Even when you find the app you’re looking for, it’s all to easy to accidentally launch a neighboring one.
  • It suggests that the Apple Watch is like an iPhone, with a home screen. It’s not. The “home” screen on Apple Watch is your watch face.

The new simple scrolling list of named apps solves all of these problems. I’d go so far as to say that Apple should have made this the default. The honeycomb design is a violation of the adage that design is how it works. The honeycomb looks cool, especially when you pan around, but it works like shit.

Second, there’s a new feature in WatchOS called “Auto-launch Audio Apps”. It’s in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, in the General: Wake Screen section. What happens with this is that when you initiate audio playback on your iPhone, if there’s a corresponding WatchOS app on your watch, when you raise your wrist that app is what you see, instead of your watch face. This was on by default with my review unit, which I set up as a new watch, and I noticed it while listening to podcasts in Overcast. Because I wasn’t expecting it, I was irritated at first, and thought about disabling it. But now that I know it’s there, I really like it. I don’t know how much of this to attribute to WatchOS 4, and how much to attribute to the performance improvements in Series 3, but there is zero lag involved. No spinner while the app launches or anything like that. When I play podcasts from my iPhone, my watch just automatically turns into a remote control for the audio playback. It’s nice.


  1. To be pedantic, as Jeff Williams pointed out on stage at the event last week, the casing for Series 3 watches is unchanged in size, but the covering on the back of the watch (ceramic on all cellular models, composite on non-cellular ones) is 0.2mm thicker. Not 2mm thicker — 0.2. As Williams described it, that’s “two sheets of paper”. Side-by-side it is indistinguishable in thickness compared to a Series 2, but I admire Apple’s exactitude. ↩︎

  2. While I’m talking about aesthetics, allow me to plop in an unrelated suggestion: try the “Bold Text” option in the Brightness & Text Size section of Settings. When you toggle this, the watch warns you that it will need to restart. That warning kept me from trying this option for a long time, because it takes Apple Watch so long to restart. I was worried that if I didn’t like the way Bold Text looked, I’d have to wait for two reboot cycles to get back to the default setting. But it’s not really a full reboot. WatchOS just needs to restart it’s presentation layer, much like on iOS when you switch to zoomed mode. And I really like the way Bold Text looks. Small text in complications just looks cooler, more like the way I’d expect small text to be printed on a nice mechanical watch. Seriously, give it a try. ↩︎︎

by John Gruber at September 20, 2017 11:18 AM

Schneier on Security

What the NSA Collects via 702

New York Times reporter Charlie Savage writes about some bad statistics we're all using:

Among surveillance legal policy specialists, it is common to cite a set of statistics from an October 2011 opinion by Judge John Bates, then of the FISA Court, about the volume of internet communications the National Security Agency was collecting under the FISA Amendments Act ("Section 702") warrantless surveillance program. In his opinion, declassified in August 2013, Judge Bates wrote that the NSA was collecting more than 250 million internet communications a year, of which 91 percent came from its Prism system (which collects stored e-mails from providers like Gmail) and 9 percent came from its upstream system (which collects transmitted messages from network operators like AT&T).

These numbers are wrong. This blog post will address, first, the widespread nature of this misunderstanding; second, how I came to FOIA certain documents trying to figure out whether the numbers really added up; third, what those documents show; and fourth, what I further learned in talking to an intelligence official. This is far too dense and weedy for a New York Times article, but should hopefully be of some interest to specialists.

Worth reading for the details.

by Bruce Schneier at September 20, 2017 11:12 AM

Zero Hedge

Bill Blain: "We’ve Heard JPM Traders Bragging In The Pub How Much They’ve Made From Bitcoin"

Submitted by Bill Blain of Mint Partners

Blain’s Morning Porridge – September 20th 2017

     “New Car, caviar, four star daydream, think I’ll buy me a football team….”

Will they? Won’t they?  I’m not talking about Donald’s playground bluster about nuking North Korea back to the 1950s. Shocking and intemperate. Yes. But, plays to his audience.

Of more import are Central banks and how they wriggle out of their current chains. Will the Fed put another nail into QE this afternoon? We think they will announce the end of coupon reinvestment: de-facto normalisation/tightening. Get on with it! US markets are resilient enough to cope – but we really need to see serious spread decompression between the fixed income asset classes.

As we’ve written before, it’s more a problem for the ECB. They are caught in a horrible decision matrix: the imperative to continue QE infinity to maintain the illusion nothing is wrong, the Germans sticking to their guns about normalisation and no debt mutualisation, and electorates who aren’t anywhere near ready to surrender that kind of economic sovereignty to Brussels.

I suspect the stories about the ECB being split as it sounds off on setting a firm date in October for scaling back their bond buying is a bit of Kite Flying. If they asked me, I’d say bite the bullet and say it’s going to happen. It make Angela Merkel’s job constructing a new German coalition next week much easier, but will just fuel electoral tensions across the various Italies.. (Yes.. I wrote Italies..)

Personally, I suspect Draghi is praying for a crisis.

It would allow him to play his “Kick-the-Can-Card.” Remember he said: “Unless a risk that is not seen today materialises, we should be ready to take the bulk of these decisions in October.” A nice little bond crisis, stock market collapse, or renewed Global Financial Crisis (maybe even some unpleasantness in Asia or Middle East), would allow him to put the back the decisions, massage some votes and keep the QE illusion in place till after next year’s Italian vote. It’s all about timing.

As they used to say on Stringray: “Anything can happen in the next 20 minutes. (I guess there may still be a few of us who remember Troy Tempest and Aquamarina.. if you are one of them, I’ll see you in the bond traders’ retirement home shortly)

Regular readers will know I’m worried about the unintended consequences of QE – and just how distorted markets have become as a result. I’m not alone in that view – I’ve read many reports of other market watchers saying similar.

For instance, one bloke says: “Evaluating the effects of monetary policy is difficult, even in the case of conventional interest rate policy.. with respect to QE, there are good reasons to be sceptical that it works as advertised, and some economists have made a good case that QE is actually detrimental”. Same chap says asset prices have climbed but inflation remains elusive.

But this wasn’t some jumped up teenage scribbler like myself – this was a senior Federal Reserve economist – Stephen D Williamson - reported on CNBC! A “No Sh*t Sherlock” award on his way to him then.

On the other hand, Bloomberg report European economists saying that monetary policy is now working across Europe, and the key moment was when TLTROs went negative rate, allowing peripheral banks to really start lending across the European periphery states. I’d always assumed the main effect of free ECB money to banks was for them to buy Government bonds (safe in the knowledge the ECB would be the buyer of last resort) – but apparently I’m wrong: the reason we’re seeing 3% growth in Spain and close to it in Portugal is due to renewed lending.

That would be lending by the same European banks that have experienced massive Non-performing loans and enforced capital rises then? I must look into this.. I hae ma doots.

And thanks to all the readers who commented on yesterday’s porridge and my note on Greece. As expected I got pillioried by European chums (you know who you are!) for my lack of faith in the European dream and got well put in my place about the failure of the UK to exploit the weak currency.

But I also had some Europeans agree with me. A very senior banker told me he doubts the EU will survive much beyond the end of ECB QE – and he’s French!

A bigger worry was my blithe assumption the Global economy is on the road to recovery. More than one reader pointed out their fears the last 18 months of sluggish growth will shortly run out of steam and we’re heading into a new recession, which could be exacerbated by the negative sentiment from a market slowdown. This morning I’ve just been sent articles hinting of a China slowdown next year hitting commodity markets..

Gosh.. this global economic thingymaboab is complex stuff.. 

Meanwhile… I’ve been asked a number of times to comment on cryptocurrencies.

I try not to – on the basis I don’t really understand the underlying logic. But a blog I read this morning struck a chord. I can’t grasp why they have taken off - except to make things like Silk Road the modern equivalent of smuggling as it hides transactions from financial scrutiny raising questions of illegality and tax. That is legally and morally wrong. Their valuations are bubbletastic, and there are now over 1200 of the things looking ripe for legislative sideswipes.

Neither can I figure how Bitcoin can possibly work – apparently the Blockchain underlying it can only handle 6 transactions per second, unlike your average credit card which can handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous deals. In other words, you could never run a global economy off it!  More to the point, I’m not quite sure why we need it when we have well established offshore currency markets and accepted “stores-of-value” like the gold brick.

And then there is the story Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan will sack any of his bankers who own them. (Hah.. we’ve heard them bragging in the pub about how much they’ve made from holding Bitcoin.)

Step back and the kinds of gains Crypto-currencies have made scream “bubble”! – fuelled by the sillies now pilling into them looking for big bucks, lured in by unverifiable stories about the riches to be made.

When a London taxi driver tells you he’s long Bitcoin… Sell! And all the folk who say they look like a Ponzi scheme – they might well be right.

But, for all their faults, the dodgy trading arenas, and the desperation of buyers, the bottom line is Bitcoin and others have made money for early investors. Why? It’s gone through successive waves of enticing reasonings: first it was the smart technological solution to a perceived crisis of confidence in currencies, before morphing into the “insider” financial trade, and now it’s a sure fire route for “Lovely Linda from Liverpool” to turn her £20k retail wages into million.

There will be tears.

Maybe Bitcoin was a well intentioned attempt to practically demonstrate the monetary theories of the Japanese bloke who is said to have invented the concept.. but today? They are a scam designed to tap the spigot of idiocy. Caveat Emptor. 

Like I say.. I don’t really understand cryptocurrencies..

In a world where the biggest real definable threat may be cyber attacks on banking systems, perhaps they might be a secure store of value. But I also suspect the first place cyber crims will ransack accounts will be the cryptocurrencies themselves.

I really don’t like this digital world..

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 11:12 AM

It's Nice That

Henry Gorse photographs his mum in a thoughtful Hermes shoot for Petrie magazine

Henrygorse-hermes-publication-itsnicethat-list

Photographer Henry Gorse’s latest shoot for Petrie magazine in Hermes special issue, stars his nearest and dearest, his mum.

Read more

by Lucy Bourton at September 20, 2017 11:03 AM

Brand New

Reviewed: New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house

<h1>“Instant Gratification”</h1> <a href="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/new_logo_identity_and_packaging_for_polaroid_originals_done_in_house.php"><img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_logo_new.png" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual" /></a> <p>Launched this year, <a href="https://polaroidoriginals.com/" target="_blank">Polaroid Originals</a> is a new brand from Polaroid that is dedicated to analog instant photography in the original, iconic format. This sentence may seem confusing and it is, because why would Polaroid launch a new Polaroid? Also because we all wrote off Polaroid about seven years ago when they announced they would cease production of the film that makes Polaroid Polaroid. As a reaction, The Impossible Project was born, a group of enthusiasts who first bought all the film inventory left, then began creating their own film, keeping the Polaroid dream alive. (For a play-by-play turn of events, I suggest <a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/9/13/16304360/polaroid-onestep-2-instant-camera-impossible-project" target="_blank">this article</a> at The Verge.) The Impossible Project eventually came to own the rights to the brand and the intellectual property of Polaroid -- even though Polaroid proper still exists on its own -- and Polaroid Originals is the next evolution of that effort, which launched last week with the announcement of the first new Polaroid camera in years, <a href="https://us.polaroidoriginals.com/products/onestep2-polaroid-camera" target="_blank">the OneStep 2</a>, and the revival of one of the most iconic brands. The identity has been designed in-house led by creative director, Danny Pemberton.</p> <blockquote>The organized research began in January when our team traveled to Boston and spent a few days digging through Harvard's Polaroid Archive. They've got something like 4,000 linear feet of Polaroid's corporate material stored there, from the very early days, right up to 2006. It's a modern day treasure trove, containing R&amp;D records, marketing materials, packaging, test photographs, and much more. The visual material that we gathered served as our departure point for Polaroid Originals, and throughout the design process, we have constantly referred back to this material.<br /><br />I'd like to make a special mention to Paul Giambarba in connection to the archival material. Giambarba is the art director who was responsible for, among many other wonderful things, introducing the color stripes (the "rainbow," if you prefer) to Polaroid's visual identity during the 1960s.</blockquote><h3><a href="https://magazine.polaroidoriginals.com/bringing-polaroid-originals-to-life/" target="_blank">Polaroid Originals blog post</a></h3> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_research.png" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Research.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Before going viral was a thing, I remember <a href="http://giam.typepad.com/the_branding_of_polaroid_/" target="_blank">Paul Giambarba's Typepad site</a> going exactly that when he posted all the work he had done for Polaroid and Design Internet went nuts. With good reason because the work on that site was literal vintage design porn. All that to say, it won't be a surprise that that stuff in this post looks like it does because how could you resist such a trove of visual references?</p> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_sketches.png" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Early concepts.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_logo_formula.png" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>The logo takes the original rainbow motif and spreads the color bars to form an abstract Polaroid print.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_logo.png" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Logo.</figcaption> </figure> <p>What's good -- or perhaps bad -- about the new logo is that it looks like the Polaroid we all know. It's good because there is an instant connection and everyone will quickly <em>get</em> that this is Polaroid. It's bad, though, because there is no clear sense that this is new. It really looks like someone dusted off an old logo. So, depending on how close to the original you like this to be, then your appreciation will shift. I would have loved to see a little more distancing from the original, somehow being clearer that this is version 2.0 (or more like 10.0). Even if we agree that this was the right approach, the logo is slightly odd, with a super tight "Polaroid" and super loose "ORIGINALS" that don't look good together. The icon is clever and charming but, at least to me, it wasn't obvious that the proportions of the bar were meant to evoke a Polaroid frame. The red bar maybe had to be bigger and the spacing above it more exaggerated as it's barely different right now than the spaces between the rest of the bars.</p> <p>Despite my misgivings with the logo, the identity system and packaging picks up the slack.</p> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_business-cards.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Business cards.</figcaption> </figure> <blockquote>Each format we produce film for is represented by a color: blue for 600, red for SX-70, and so on. This color acts as a wayfinder for the customer, from the packaging, the user manuals, the brand photography, right through to the entire digital experience. But finding the appropriate executions for simple ideas is alway far more difficult than it seems. To quote Giambarba himself; "You know how long it takes to do simple? About ten times longer than fast and dirty."<br /><br />The typeface was obviously a big decision, and the archive was instructive here, too. Giambarba had originally chosen News Gothic because it was, "the only decent sans-serif face available at the time." It's a classic, and we spent a lot of time considering a return to News or something similar, but it never felt quite right. [&hellip;] When we came across FF Real, it clicked almost immediately. FF Real is a grotesk designed by Erik Spiekermann and Ralph du Carrois, with more warmth than you'd expect from the category, and full of charming little details, like the old-school double-storey "g", and a slightly odd "7". The relatively high x-height and the round points give the typeface a character that asserts itself without ever overwhelming or shouting for attention. FF Real is a contemporary take on a solid 20th century typographic tradition. Much like Polaroid Originals.</blockquote><h3><a href="https://magazine.polaroidoriginals.com/bringing-polaroid-originals-to-life/" target="_blank">Polaroid Originals blog post</a></h3> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_font_colors.png" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Custom type family and color palette.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_film-packaging.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_film-packaging-2.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_film-packaging-3.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_film-packaging-4.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Film packaging.</figcaption> </figure> <blockquote>The two-tone camera illustration style we developed is another nod to Giambarba's illustrative work for Polaroid. We created these camera images the modern way (using vector software), but because they felt a little cold, we ended up re-drawing them by hand. The result is a kind of warmth that speaks to the power of analog creativity - such as that of Polaroid pictures themselves.</blockquote><h3><a href="https://magazine.polaroidoriginals.com/bringing-polaroid-originals-to-life/" target="_blank">Polaroid Originals blog post</a></h3> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_collectors-cards.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Collector cards.</figcaption> </figure> <figure class="full"> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_refurbished-packaging-1.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_refurbished-packaging-2a.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <hr /> <img src="http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/polaroid_originals_refurbished-packaging-2.jpg" alt="New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Polaroid Originals done In-house" /> <figcaption>Refurbished camera packaging.</figcaption> </figure> <p class="end">While I have the same overall feeling about the packaging as the logo -- of it being too close to the original to be considered new -- it's hard to not be completely smitten by the colors, bars, rainbow diamonds, and overall nostalgia for the Polaroid brand. The camera drawings are a great addition and the only visual cue that there is something new going on here along with any packaging that features the number "7", which looks amazing in <a href="https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/fontfont/real-text/?refby=ucllc" target="_blank">FF Real</a>. Overall, what this does best is cater to the diehard Polaroid enthusiast <em>and</em> any new user that responds to the vintage patina of pre-Instagram days and it does so beautifully but I feel like there was too much emphasis placed on the past and not enough on the future.</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ucllc/brandnew/~4/_KDM7LDzbVY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

September 20, 2017 11:03 AM

Rackspace Cloud Computing & Hosting

Are You Reaping the Benefits of Azure SQL in your Sitecore Environment?

Sitecore now supports Microsoft Azure SQL, from Sitecore 8.2 and above. In this post, I’ll explain in depth the two flavors of Azure SQL, plus how they can potentially help you cut costs. This follows my previous post, which covered the dilemma of paying for SQL Server Enterprise licensing to get official support for a […]

The post Are You Reaping the Benefits of Azure SQL in your Sitecore Environment? appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

by Pete Petley at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

If you want the iPhone X, prepare to pay the full $999

If you want the iPhone X, prepare to pay the full $999The death of the $199 iPhone subsidy from mobile carriers means you&aposll have to pay full price for the new $999 iPhone X.


September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

Calculated Risk

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications decreased 9.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 15, 2017. Last week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday.

... The Refinance Index decreased 9 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 11 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 10 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago ...

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) increased to 4.04 percent from 4.03 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance Index Click on graph for larger image.


The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

Refinance activity will not pick up significantly unless mortgage rates fall well below 4%.


Mortgage Purchase IndexThe second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.

According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 2% year-over-year.

by Bill McBride (noreply@blogger.com) at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

Wired Top Stories

These Startups Want to Be Tinder for Your Rolodex

Shapr and BumbleBizz want to adapt the dating app model for business. But it's hard to sell networking with the same tools used to sell sex.

by Alexis Sobel Fitts at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

Apple Watch Series 3 Review: The Apple Watch Fulfills Its Destiny

Now that it has LTE built in, the Apple Watch finally makes good on its promise to save you from your phone.

by David Pierce at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

Tech Firms Open to Changing Law to Combat Sex Trafficking

Bill would change part of the Communications Decency Act, which protects site operators for content posted by others.

by Nitasha Tiku at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

Apple Becomes a Chipmaker to One-Up Smartphone Foes

Apple's iPhone X and Apple Watch 3 rely on new, company-designed chips.

by Tom Simonite at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

O'Reilly Radar

Good research starts with good questions

How to construct inquiries that will result in good, useful data.

Researchers always struggle when it comes to writing down the questions they need to ask their participants. Sure, this gets easier over time and with experience, but the act of writing an interview guide or test plan never gets “easy.” At the end of the day, we are all human and we are susceptible to our own weaknesses and limitations.

The deck is stacked against us when you start to consider social, personal, professional, and sometimes logistical factors that can inhibit our ability to have a conversation with someone else. Predicting all these factors before research even starts is no small feat. This in turn makes writing down lines of inquiry that will result in good, useful data seem daunting. But you have to start somewhere and iterate as you learn what questions work and which fall flat. To help you with this, first we need to discuss what role questions fulfill when you’re conducting any type of research.

The role of questions in research

It’s hard to conduct research when you don’t know what question needs to be answered. Every research effort starts with you needing to know why something happens, what people do in certain circumstances, and how they perform key tasks. To answer these questions, we must find people to talk to and phrase our questions effectively to get to the heart of the matter. Otherwise, we would be making wild guesses and shooting in the dark. While that’s often tempting, this degree of freedom leads to failure and your product never seeing the light of day.

How good questions go wrong

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve written down a question and thought, “This is it! This will get us some awesome information from people,” only to have it fall flat during a session. This happens to all researchers and it will happen to you. And that’s OK! Bad questions can be mitigated through the planning phase if you know what makes a question go bad. The following factors can lead to misinformed or poor research results.

Leading questions

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of research. This can trick you into asking questions that give participants a clue, or directly point them, to the type of answer you’re looking for. These are called leading questions, and they can hinder your research session and the data collected. An example of a leading question would be asking, “How do you use Outlook to communicate your work status?” A better alternative would be “How do you communicate your work status?” The second question allows more responses than leading the participant to describe a specific use of email. Research participants want to be helpful and want to provide value to your team. Since they are primed to help, if you ask a question that implies the type of answer you want, they are more likely to give you that answer, even if it doesn’t really apply to them.

Shallow questions

One golden rule of research is never ask yes/no questions. When creating questions for an upcoming research effort, you’ll find avoiding these questions is hard. Yes/no questions are harmful because they give participants an easy out. The question “Do you use Yammer for team discussions?” can quickly be answered and dismissed. Participants don’t have to think deeply to respond, and they are giving you confirmation that may or may not be useful. A better question is “How do you communicate with your team throughout the day?”

Personal bias

We all have our own beliefs about how products work, or how they should work. These biases can sneak into our questions. The best approach, then, is to remove yourself from the actual research. While strict practice may suggest not conducting the research, we recommend developing questions from the point of view of the product, the customer, or even stakeholders of the product. The less “you” there is in the interview, the better the information that you collect will be. This results in questions more like “Tell me about your experience with your accounting software” than “I know I always struggle with invoices; what challenges do you have with your software?”

Unconscious bias

Our brains make tons of decisions every day, many of which we aren’t aware of. These can be influenced by social norms, personal history, past experiences, or expectations. These biases are the hardest to catch. Unconscious biases fail to recognize that others’ perception of a situation is not the same as our own. To avoid this, dig deeper no matter how uncomfortable that might make you feel. For instance, gender bias exists within the workplace because most people aren’t aware that the bias exists at all. Asking “Where do you guys go to unwind after work?” has implicit gender biases, whereas “Where does your team go after work?” is more neutral.

Knowing when to break the rules

If you’re just starting to build out your research skills, it’s important to avoid the aforementioned factors. However, once you get a few studies under your belt, you’ll find you can use leading questions and shallow questions in strategic ways. You can even use a participant’s personal and unconscious bias to drive to a deeper conversation about how people might use a product.

Leading

These are best used when you suspect the response will be opposite to the hints you provide in your questioning. You can use leading questions to help build trust with a participant and to validate a previous comment they made that maybe wasn’t totally clear.

Example: How much do your friends and family appreciate photo albums when you make one for them?

Shallow

When you start a research session, sometimes participants aren’t yet comfortable and they need to get used to talking with you and answering your questions. Shallow questions give participants that opportunity and can help ease them into the activity so you can get to the good stuff.

Example: How many times do you log in to Facebook in a day?

Personal bias

There is something to be said about being a good devil’s advocate—someone who can take the opposite view in a conversation to spark additional thought or comments. You can use your personal thoughts and opinions to get to deeper conversation by giving the participant something to disagree with.

Example: Do you think the Cubs actually have a chance at the World Series this year?

Years of practice and failure to master

The only way to practice research is by finding people to talk to. The first few studies you run won’t be the best, and that’s OK! You will learn something after each session, even if every question you ask isn’t the best version of that question. The goal is to improve your line of questioning and to find ways to hold a meaningful conversation with someone rather than treat research like a verbal questionnaire.

We have both had our fair share of failing during our years as researchers. In the early days, we asked overly leading questions and missed important areas of discussion because we didn’t know what we were looking for. But thanks to mentors providing feedback and guidance, we eventually overcame these failings. We still make some mistakes today, and you will too, but as long as you have a consistent feedback loop in place, you’ll continue to improve and eventually master the art of research.

Continue reading Good research starts with good questions.

by David Farkas, Brad Nunnally at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

Environmental sensing with recycled materials

Electronic waste is an economic and environmental problem, but citizen scientists can take action by using harvesting sensor from discarded electronics.

Environmental sensing—the process of gathering information from ecological systems—is an essential part of ecology and sustainable agriculture. However, sensors can be expensive and difficult for citizen scientists to obtain, even though their parts are all around us, in the form of technological waste. When a gadget breaks, it is often easier and cheaper to throw it away and purchase a new one than to attempt to repair it. Citizen scientists can take advantage of this unfortunate by-product of "throw away culture" by harvesting the sensor technology that is often found in e-waste. In this article, we discuss an approach to the development of such sensors.

When assessing and addressing environmental issues, especially at a local level, it is more advantageous to involve community members—those who are directly affected by such issues—than scientists and academics. Such an approach has been found to be both faster and more efficient, as dedication amongst local volunteers has been found to be much higher than those with little attachment or stake in the success of the project (Danielsen et al. 2010, 1166–1168). However, oftentimes there is very little funding and resources available to citizen scientists and thus necessitates support from non-local institutes.

There are a number of projects that purport to address exactly this issue. However as we traverse this technological landscape of citizen sensing, although the economic climate is shifting toward affordability, mass distribution of these devices (in detector arrays, for example) is still quite out of the scope of many budgets.

According to Sui and Elwood in “Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge”, there exists four levels of participation in citizen science activities. The majority of the projects outlined here fall within the first two levels of engagement; however, this should not be interpreted as an inability for citizen scientists to participate in environmental sensing projects at higher levels. While there are many ecological sensing projects worthy of examination, to list them all would be well outside the scope of this paper; therefore only a select few are outlined.

Figure 1-1. Sui and Elwood propose 4 levels of involvement in citizen scientists ranging from "passive sensors" to "active collaborators" (Sui and Elwood, 2013)

Smart Citizen

One of the most polished options for citizen-scientist environmental sensing is the Smart Citizen project. The Smart Citizen Kit is billed as “an Open-Source Environmental Monitoring Platform consisting of arduino-compatible hardware, data visualization web API, and mobile app” (Smart Citizen 2014). It is the result of a crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter by Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. The sensor board can measure air composition (CO and NO2), temperature, light intensity, sound levels, and humidity. It is capable of communicating data wirelessly to iOS devices via the Smart Citizen App. The kit itself consists of three boards: the ambient board, which houses the sensors; a data-processing board based on an ATMega32u4; and a Baseboard with USB socket, SD card reader, EEPROM, battery holder, and clock (The Smart Citizen Kit: Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring 2014). The Smart Citizen Kit places a particular emphasis on large-scale collaboration. Users can register their sensor board on the Smart Citizen website and communicate their local conditions over the web. The result is an international “sensornet” that is openly available for anyone to make use of (Smart Citizen 2014). There are a number of shortcomings with the Smart Citizen, however, especially the price tag — the Smart Citizen kickstarter edition sells for 105 USD unassembled.This sensor would be considered a one or two on Sui and Elwood’s engagement scale because, currently, it only affords citizens the role of data collector and reporter.

Figure 1-2. Smart Citizen sensor board (The Smart Citizen Kit: Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring, 2014)

GardenBot

According to the gardenbot.org website, GardenBot “is an open source garden monitoring system” (Frueh 2014). However, GardenBot is more than just a “garden monitoring system”; it is a comprehensive how-to on small-scale environmental monitoring. The bot itself is composed of an Arduino Uno as the “brain,” an LM335 temperature sensor, a small photocell (for monitoring light), and a moisture sensor made of galvanized wire. Furthermore, the system incorporates a water valve as the control for an automated watering system that responds to soil moisture levels. The system, despite being quite simple, has been featured on wired.com, treehugger.com, OpenSourceEcology, and SparkFun.com.

Figure 1-3. Close-up of a part of the gardenbot (Ganapati, 2010)

There are, however, a number of notable drawbacks to this system. Most notably is the fact that it must be connected to a PC. The system works on PC-Arduino serial communication and therefore requires a dedicated PC to run and thus does not allow for the sort of portability that one might hope from an environmental monitoring system. Moreover, because the system incorporates an Arduino board and a number of other components that must be purchased, the setup is not particularly scalable on a tight budget (an Arduino board alone is upwards of 40 USD). Given the rather involved nature of constructing the device—there is no option to order it pre-assembled—any citizen scientist working with it must have a fair bit of aptitude. Therefore, the GardenBot rises above the first and possibly the second level of engagement to level three “participatory science,” at least for the principal stages.

Growerbot (formerly garduino)

The Growerbot, another Arduino-based garden monitor, is billed as a “gamified gardening assistant”. The Growerbot is equipped with a soil probe, a temperature/humidity sensor, and a TSL2561 luminosity sensor. It is also WiFi-enabled with an Electric Imp connectivity platform for connecting to the Internet of Things, thus giving the Growerbot the capacity to share data both locally and over the web. The standard kit also contains an LCD interface and a light/pump controller. The final system is a handsome and well-polished device which is ready to be crowd-sourced.

Figure 1-4. Growerbot—polished, yet expensive

The Problem of Electronic Waste

While purchasing commercially available tools for environmental sensing is an attractive option, introducing new technological mass into circulation would be a self-defeating exercise.

In 2012 alone, the average Canadian generated 24.72 kg of electronic waste. This is a staggering fact, given that the average Canadian consumed 28.59 kg of electronic products that same year (StEP 2014). In a year, we dispose of 86% of the electronics we purchase. Many of these items, if not disposed of properly, pose environmental and health hazards. Cathode ray tubes, for example, are known to leach heavy metals such as lead into groundwater. Gold-plated components such as IC’s discharge hydrocarbons and bromide into bodies of water, turning them acidic and killing fish. Plastics from electronics housings emit dioxins and hydrocarbons (Wath et al. 2011). In industrialized countries, these problems are well-managed with recycling and reclamation programs.

However, a good deal of electronic waste is exported to developing countries where there is little infrastructure to deal with it, and so those people are often forced to live alongside hazardous waste (Grossman 2006).

The irony of producing e-waste to develop environmental sensors is not lost on the researcher and it is, therefore, the philosophy of this project—so much as possible— that no new materials should be produced to develop it.

Environmental Sensor Development

The intended final application of this project is an agricultural sensor grid spaced throughout a local crop field. To begin with, we consider three important growing variables for most crops: the amount of light received, the local temperature, and the local soil moisture (i.e., conductivity). Therefore, three separate sensors must be developed: a light-meter, a thermometer, and a conductivity sensor.

Light Meter

A new light meter is around $6 (Adafruit Industries 2014). While this is perfectly sensible for a single meter, scaling into the hundreds gets expensive. However, electronic waste is rife with photoresistors, which can be used as rudimentary luminosity sensors. However, a reading from a photoresistor will not be in the standard measurement of light (lumens), and we therefore must calibrate any photoresistor that we use for this purpose. Calibration can be accomplished by measuring the voltage across a photoresistor, as a light source provides different levels of light,and then comparing that value to a calibrated light meter. Because lab-grade light meters are not readily available, a simple solution is to use the light meter that most smartphone devices have. Using a three-level desk lamp as a light source and Sensor Logger by i-RealitySoft on a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone, we calibrated a simple photoresistor circuit to respond with acceptable accuracy. To do so, we plotted the average luminosity against the reading from our photoresistor, and we found a nearly linear relationship of lux = 5.3(lx/(unit/3v))*(resistor)-2401.5 lx with an R^2 of 0.97.

Figure 1-5. A deceased Furby with a photoresistor exposed (circled)
Figure 1-6. Set-up for calibrating the photoresistor. A 10k pull-down resistor provides a steady ground and an MSP430 reads the voltage values.
Figure 1-7. Plotting the average LUX reading against the average photoresistor reading gives us a near linear relationship (R^2 = 0.97) for the few light conditions tested. We find that: lux = 5.3 (lx/(unit/3v))*(resistor)-2401.5 lx

Temperature Sensor

The MSP430G2553 microcontroller unit which serves as the “brain” of this project contains an internal temperature sensor that can be easily read via either a serial connection or an attached display. These chips are very common both in industrial applications and in commercial ones such as children’s toys. (Four-Three-Oh! 2012) Before attempting to utilize the internal temperature sensor, an exact idea of how accurate it is must be determined.

The procedure for cross-checking the temperature was simple: a digital house thermometer was placed next to the MSP430 Launchpad Development board, which was in turn connected via serial over USB to a computer where the temperature was read out. Randomly over a week the temperatures read by both devices were recorded and compared.

Figure 1-8. Determining the accuracy of the internal temperature sensor of the MSP430G2553

Over 30 samples recorded during the week, the average percent error was approximately 2.4%. Although this is certainly not lab-quality scientific accuracy, as a makeshift environmental sensor, this small bit of seemingly systematic error is quite acceptable.

Soil Moisture Sensor

To determine the moisture of soil, a pair of galvanized nails are soldered to a pair of wires, with one lead connected to +3.3 V and the other connected via a 10K pull-down resistor and to an analog input on the MSP430. The simple idea behind this setup is that as moisture is added to the soil, it becomes more conductive and thus there is less and less resistance between the sensor nail and the voltage source nail. To test this, three quarters of a cup of potting soil was placed in a cup with the nails spaced a few centimeters apart, and water was added in one-eighth cup increments until the soil was saturated. The values were recorded over the serial port and plotted to examine what constitutes “underwatering” and “overwatering”. It was found that in completely dry soil, the reading is nearly zero. Once the first 1/8 cup of water is added, that value changes quickly to be around 600. Another 1/8 cup brings the value up to a little over 650, and it appears to max out at around 700, whereby the soil is saturated with water.

Figure 1-9. Testing the soil moisture sensor
Figure 1-10. A soil moisture reading is taken to determine what sorts of values correspond with dry, under-watered, properly watered, and over-watered plants

Demonstrator Build

With the sensors (mostly) working, a final build to enclose the sensors was constructed. The components were removed from the breadboard and soldered directly to a small prototyping PCB. A recycled pill bottle was chosen as a housing, and a 3 V coin-cell battery installed. Holes for the moisture sensor probes and the light sensor were drilled on the bottom and top, respectively. Hot glue served to water-tighten the ports for the sensors.

Figure 1-11. The final build is ultra portable and extremely inexpensive (the MCU was the only nonrecycled part, but was free)

While it is yet to be tested, the final build is meant to be watertight and weather- resistant, with the ability to survive an entire season in a field or garden. Afterward, the capsule can be extracted and the chip removed from the device. The data periodically stored to the nonvolatile flash memory within the MSP430 can then be collected and interpreted. It is intended that the final product will fall within the first level of citizen science involvement, allowing volunteers to passively collect data (literally burying the equipment in the ground and forgetting about it) without needing to concern themselves with the broader work.

Figure 1-12. The final build displaying the internal circuitry

Conclusion

Here we described building a sensor system constructed entirely of electronic waste as a way for citizen scientists to participate in mass sensing without spending much money.

Continue reading Environmental sensing with recycled materials.

by Trevor Tomesh, Daryl Hepting at September 20, 2017 11:00 AM

It's Nice That

Lennarts & de Bruijn’s “hot as hell” campaign for Utrecht club, Ekko

Lennartsendebruijn-graphicdesign-itsnicethat-list

How do you make a sweaty club look tempting in the hot summer months? You call design studio Lennarts & de Bruijn to make you a series of naughty moving posters.

Read more

by Lucy Bourton at September 20, 2017 10:56 AM

naked capitalism

Wired Top Stories

Graphic Design Is About to Be Upended By AI

Apple's 1984 Macintosh revolutionized graphic design—but that was nothing compared to the coming wave of websites that'll design themselves.

by Jason Tselentis at September 20, 2017 10:55 AM

It's Nice That

Rodion Kitaev illustrates the goings on of an office party in mammoth detail

Rodionkitaev-illustration-itsnicethat-list

We’ve all been to an office party, the kind where alcohol-fuelled chats with your colleagues are rife but you’re secretly keeping an eye on the door for the next round of canapés. Later, dancing and debate ensues or you head to a quieter area for a bit of gossip.

Read more

by Lucy Bourton at September 20, 2017 10:54 AM

Zero Hedge

Global Markets, US Futures Barely Move With All Eyes On The Fed

The day has finally arrived: today the Fed will officially announce the start of its balance sheet shrinkage (full preview here) while keeping rates unchanged, perhaps hiking again in December (market odds at 56%), while revising its economic projections and "dots", most likely in a lower direction.

And while we wait for the announcement and press conference after 2pm, US index futures - as well as European and Asian equities - are little changed, signaling a pause for Wall Street’s three major benchmark indexes after they hit new all-time highs ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement due today. They probably will not be changed after 2:30 pm, however, especially if Yellen surprises on the hawkish side. Don't look at the dollar for clues though: The DXY fell less than 0.1% against a basket of major currencies and was down against the euro, the yen and sterling. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell a second day, with the U.S. currency confined to a narrow trading range, as Treasury yields edged lower; broad lack of directional catalyst seen over the session as traders awaited the FOMC decision.

“If we move closer to a U.S. rate hike, that should come along with a bit more dollar strength and euro weakness which would harden the ECB’s exit case and be a headwind for government bonds,” said Commerzbank strategist Rainer Guntermann.

Ahead of the Fed, Europe's Stoxx Europe 600 Index was mixed alongside S&P 500 futures and a fractionally higher session for Asian equities. The dollar slipped, the euro and yen gained and the British pound jumped as data showed U.K. retail sales rose more than forecast in August. Spanish assets showed resilience even as the government stepped up its crackdown on an illegal separatist referendum planned for the Catalonia region. The Mexican peso swung after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck. Benchmark crude rose but struggled to break $50 a barrel. US Treasuries halted a three-day decline awaiting the Fed's interest-rate projections. New Zealand’s dollar led gains versus the greenback after an election poll showed the ruling National Party ahead, while the pound advanced after U.K. retail-sales data beat forecasts.

Financial markets remain largely calm - even after President Donald Trump used a UN speech to threaten to annihilate North Korea - as all eyes turn to Wednesday’s Fed decision. Expectations are high that the central bank of the world’s biggest economy will unveil plans to start shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, while any clues on the chances of a rate increase this year could tip the balance - market expectations of another hike in 2017 are at about 50 percent.

Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as investors awaited the Fed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent to 164.44 even as most shares declined, after earlier falling by the same magnitude; the gauge closed Tuesday at its highest level since December 2007. The Topix index ended the session in Tokyo almost flat at the highest since August 2015. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and the Kospi index in Seoul closed slightly lower. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong swung between gains and losses with the Shanghai Composite Index, before both advanced.  Telecommunications and energy stocks advanced, while utilities and consumer shares slipped. SoftBank Group Corp. was the biggest boost the gauge while Sony Corp. was among the biggest drags after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded the stock, saying earnings may plateau in fiscal 2019. Japanese shares fluctuated in a narrow range throughout Wednesday’s session as investors awaited the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting. The benchmark Topix index ended little changed, with about five shares declining for every four that rose. Nintendo Co. and telecommunications companies provided the most support, while chemicals and pharmaceutical shares were the biggest drags. The yen strengthened slightly against the dollar following a three-day. 1.2 percent drop

The Asia benchmark has risen about 22 percent this year, outstripping the S&P 500 Index’s 12 percent advance to a record, as investors looked past tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Further gains may lie ahead because the Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged and may use “slightly dovish” language when announcing its decision later Wednesday in Washington, said James Soutter, a fund manager at K2 Asset Management in Melbourne. “Lower for longer rates probably means the U.S. dollar remains weak,”  Soutter said in an email. That’s “a positive for Asian stocks."

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar surged after a poll put the ruling National Party back in the lead ahead of the main opposition Labour Party ahead of this weekend’s election. And the fixing of the yuan remained in focus as investors try to gauge where the People’s Bank of China wants the currency. In a notable move in Chinese rates, the local 5Year bond yield had its biggest move since March.

Similarly, European equities are little changed for a second day, unwilling to make major moves ahead of any potential Fed surprises: the Stoxx Europe 600 Index was unchanged. Zara owner Inditex SA was among the worst performers after posting first-half earnings that missed analysts’ forecasts, while Kingfisher Plc was the best gainer after reporting France retail profit for the first half that beat the average analyst estimate.

In rates, the yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 2.22 percent, the largest drop in almost two weeks. Germany’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to 0.44 percent, the biggest drop in almost two weeks. Britain’s 10-year yield declined less than one basis point to 1.327 percent.

In commodities, gold advanced 0.3 percent to $1,315.36 an ounce. Oil prices rose after Iraq’s oil minister said Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries producers and others were considering extending a supply cut and after data showed U.S. crude stocks were lower than expected.

Aside from the Fed, economic data include mortgage applications and existing home sales. General Mills is reporting earnings

Bulletin Headline Summary From RanSquawk

  • GBP & NZD see initial bids following Retail Sales and Election Polls
  • UK PM May intends to make a EUR 20bln Brexit payment offer to the EU, according to the FT
  • Looking ahead, highlights include DoEs and the FOMC announcement & press conference

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures little changed at 2,505.10
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.03% to 382.25
  • MSCI Asia up 0.2% to 164.48
  • MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.2% to 544.19
  • Nikkei up 0.05% to 20,310.46
  • Topix unchanged at 1,667.92
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 28,127.80
  • Shanghai Composite up 0.3% to 3,366.00
  • Sensex up 0.03% to 32,413.08
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.08% to 5,709.09
  • Kospi down 0.2% to 2,412.20
  • Brent futures up 0.9% to $55.61/bbl
  • German 10Y yield fell 1.0 bps to 0.442%
  • Euro up 0.1% to $1.2011
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 2.4 bps to 1.756%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.0 bps to 1.546%
  • Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,313.11
  • U.S. Dollar Index down 0.1% to 91.68

Top Overnight News from BBG

  • Investors looking to own exposure on the euro need to pay the stiffest premium since December 2016 when it comes to a Federal policy decision
  • Even as the Fed will likely hold rates today, futures suggest another Fed hike could happen this year
  • Oil rises on signs the pace of U.S. stockpile gains is slowing as refiners resume operations after Hurricane Harvey, boosting crude demand
  • At least 248 people were confirmed dead after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck near Mexico City
  • Bitcoin is looking increasingly likely to splinter off again in
    November, creating a third version of the world’s largest cryptocurrency
  • Hurricane Maria was on course to hit Puerto Rico just two weeks after Irma caused as much as $1 billion in damages
  • Impact of pound fall on goods inflation may have peaked, BOE says in quarterly agents’ summary of business conditions
  • Capital Four, which is the largest European high-yield bond fund, is now cutting down on risk as higher interest rates loom on the horizon
  • Merkel pact with SPD still looks most likely after Germany votes
  • Abe said to delay fiscal 2020 primary balance target: Nikkei
  • U.K. retail sales rise 1% m/m in Aug. vs est. +0.2%
  • Japan Aug. exports rise 18.1% y/y; est. +14.3%
  • Bain Is Said to Plan Toshiba Deal Close Despite Legal Threat
  • Thyssenkrupp and Tata to Create Europe’s No. 2 Steelmaker
  • Maersk Sells Tankers Unit for $1.17 Billion to Holding Company
  • After Reaping 40% in Turkey, Traders Eye 2017’s Worst Stocks
  • Noble Group CDS Ruling Puts Payouts in Doubt in Market Feud
  • OPEC Has Success at Last, But Oil Revival May Be Short-Lived

Asia markets saw an indecisive trading day amid a cautious tone ahead of today’s FOMC announcement. The looming risk event initially sapped the momentum from another record close on Wall St. and kept bourses in Australia and Japan subdued, while Chinese markets also conformed to the tentativeness after a significantly weakened liquidity operation by the PBoC. However, sentiment then gradually improved throughout the session which helped Nikkei 225 (Unch), Hang Seng (+0.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) pare losses, although gains were only superficial as focus remained on the FOMC and ASX 200 (-0.1%) continued to lag amid weakness across its major industries. 10yr JGBs were flat with participants sidelined amid an enhanced liquidity auction in which the b/c fell from previous, while the BoJ also kick starts its latest 2-day policy meeting where it is widely anticipated to refrain from any policy tweaks. PBoC injected CNY 20bln via 7-day reverse repos and CNY 10bln via 28-day reverse repos. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.5670 (Prev. 6.5530) Japanese Trade Balance Total Yen (Aug) 113.6B vs. Exp. 104.4B (Prev. 418.8B).

Top Asian News

  • China Is Said to Mull Relaxing Foreign EV Maker Restrictions
  • Buffett-Backed BYD Looks Overcharged on China Electric Car Bets
  • Philippine Tax Reform Bill Heads for Senate Plenary Debates
  • Iron Ore Sinks as ‘Peak Steel’ Call, Supply Angst Rattle Market
  • Yuan Fix Back in the Spotlight as Traders Track PBOC Signals
  • Bitcoin’s Likely to Split Again in November as Debate Rages On

European equity markets trade close to flat levels, as much of the anticipation is on the Fed decision and press conference later in the session. Kingfisher is the notable out-performer following their better than expected trading update, while Thyssenkrupp also trade in the green, following agreeing a JV with Tata Steel. Bonos have been surprisingly calm ahead of the Catalonia independence referendum, where we saw earlier reports stating that the Spanish Police have arrested the Catalonian Jr Minister. 10y spreads to Bunds have been tighter by over 10bps to 111.3bps, from a wide of 123bps earlier this month. Much fixed income anticipation was on the new German 30y Bund auction, with a B/C of 1.8 and an average yield of 1.27%. Gilts saw some bearish pressure following the stela Retail Sales report from the UK, falling 30 ticks as a reaction and printing fresh recent lows

Top European News:

  • Banks Are Said to Hire Lazard to Solve Turkey’s Biggest Default
  • Zara Owner’s Profitability Drops to Eight-Year Low on Euro
  • Volkswagen Comeback Pushes Europe Bond Sales Past Trillion Euros
  • U.K. Retail Sales Rise More Than Forecast as Consumers Stir
  • Kingfisher Gains Most Since 2011 in ‘Litmus Test’ for Sector
  • NorteGas Energia May Sell EUR Benchmark 5Y, 10Y Bonds Tomorrow
  • Major Lender Requests Bailout as Russian Banking Woes Spread

In currencies, GBP was the outperformer early in the EU session, evident of the aforementioned strong Retail Sales report from the UK, printing the largest increase since April. Cable was pushed towards the week’s high around the 1.3619 area, finding some resistance around these levels and retracing much of the move, trading back at pre-announced levels. EUR/GBP bears also took advantage of the strong figures, reversing the failed attempt to attack yesterday’s high. The latest New Zealand election poll sparked some early volatility on the futures open, with the seemingly market friendly, National Party regaining ground in the One News Poll (National Party 46% (+6%), vs. Labour 37% (-7%), vs. Green 8% (+1%)). AUD/NZD trades back inside the 2017 range and back below 1.1, a close below 0.9 could see the 1.1 – 1.03 2017 range once again become the trading pattern in the pair. The DXY remains range bound as much focus is on the Fed later in the session

In commodities, oil markets have seen slow trade, with WTI’s attempt of a successful break of yesterday’s high failing, and now consolidating back in the post API range. Elsewhere, Saudi Aramco will be able to release its financial accounts in early 2018 if the government decides where they plan to list the oil giant, according to sources.

Looking at the day ahead, Germany’s August PPI printed at 2.6%, vs 2.5% yoy expected; in the US, data wise there is MBA mortgage applications and existing home sales. Onto other events, the main story is the FOMC rate decision in the US, followed by Yellen’s press conference at 14:30 EDT. Elsewhere, EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier will speak and the OPEC’s panel of technical representatives will meet to discuss production cuts.

US Event Calendar

  • 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 9.9%
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales, est. 5.45m, prior 5.44m
  • 10am: Existing Home Sales MoM, est. 0.18%, prior -1.3%
  • 2pm: FOMC Rate Decision (Upper Bound), est. 1.25%, prior 1.25%
  • 2pm: FOMC Rate Decision (Lower Bound), est. 1.0%, prior 1.0%

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

I was casually watching CNBC yesterday afternoon, listening on my headphones while doing some work. So generally minding my own business. However I nearly spilt my coffee when the anchor suddenly asked one of the guests whether he thought Jim Reid was "crazy" for the conclusions of his latest report. I suppose they say all publicity is good publicity. One pastime I'm strangely addicted to is occasionally reading the comments section of the more 'far out there' financial market blogs whenever they quote one of my pieces. Yesterday was no exception with hundreds of comments from readers at the bottom of one questioning  me (a polite way of putting it), my profession and then discussing numerous random conspiracy theories which in the past have included whether or not man walked on the moon. To be fair, my dearly departed  father was absolutely convinced that man on the moon was a Hollywood stunt. I spent years trying to have a rational conversation with him about it. Alas I never got him to change his mind.

Hollywood are unlikely to make a movie about the last 6 days of trading as the S&P 500 (+0.11%) saw its 6th consecutive session where the intraday range was no larger than 0.35%. This is the first time that this has happened since Bloomberg started collating intra-day data back to April 1982. I suspect with the Fed concluding their FOMC today this run will come to an end.

For those who may have missed it, DB’s Peter Hooper and his team expects the reinvestment tapering to begin on October 1 and that the Committee will also signal, via its economic projections and in Yellen’s commentary during the press conference, that it still anticipates raising rates one more time this year so long as incoming data are supporting its projections for inflation and growth. In their view, the median Fed expectation of three rate hikes next year will likely also remain intact despite downward revisions to individual forecasts.

Staying in the US, Trump’s debut speech at the UN general assembly seemed to have lots of punchy rhetoric but little material policy implications. On North Korea, he said “if US is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will...totally destroy NK” and that “rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime”. On Iran, he said its nuclear program is “an embarrassment to the US” that should be revisited. He also stressed the importance of sovereignty for individual nations, noting “as president of US, I’ll always put America first”. Finally, on the UN, he said the institution was often associated with “bureaucracy and process”, although later noted that he hopes disputes would be resolved via the UN. Notably, other world leaders including Germany’s Merkel, Russia’s Putin, UK’s May and China’s President Xi were absent from  the meeting given their domestic commitments.

Turning to Europe, Reuters reported that the Euro’s strength is causing a rift among ECB policymakers on the timing and approach to the unwinding of QE. Sources told Reuters that Germany is ready to wind down the bond purchase program, while others prefer to reduce the monthly pace of buying, with earlier reports suggesting the scenarios discussed involved reducing the monthly buying to €20bln-€40bln (from €60bln). The split of opinions may mean no definitive end date for QE will be set when officials formally met in October. There was some talk of a delay on the decision until December.

Looking at how markets are kicking off on FOMC day over in Asia, we've pared back earlier losses following stronger than expected Japanese August import (15.2% yoy vs. 11.6% expected) and export (18.1% yoy vs. 14.3% expected) figures. As we type, markets are mixed but broadly unchanged, with the Kospi (-0.04%) and ASX 200 (-0.19%) down slightly, while the Nikkei is flattish and the Hang Seng is up 0.23%. Notably, Japan’s Abe is holding a press conference on 25 September, with speculation suggesting that a snap early election will be called. Returning to yesterday, US equities edged up slightly with all three bourses at fresh all-time highs. The S&P and Nasdaq were both up 0.1% and the Dow rose 0.18%. Within the S&P, gains were led by the telco sector (+2.25%), partly buoyed by merger talks between Sprint and T-Mobile. European markets were also higher, but little changed, with the Stoxx 600 (+0.04%) and DAX (+0.02%) broadly flat, while the FTSE 100 advanced (+0.30%) for the second consecutive day.

Core bond yields were also little changed, with Bunds and French OATs 10y yields down slightly (c0.5bp), while 10y Gilts continued to underperform (+2.7bp).

Elsewhere, peripherals have continued to outperform, with Italian and Spanish 10y yields down 2.5bp and 3bp respectively. Over in the US, yields were slightly higher (2Y: +0.5bp; 10Y: +1.6bp) yesterday, but are firmer (-0.7bp) this morning. Turning to currencies, Sterling was range bound intra-day on reports of whether Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will resign or be sacked after his unauthorised Brexit manifesto but closed the day little changed (+0.06% vs. USD). Elsewhere, the US dollar index dipped 0.28% and the EURUSD gained 0.33%. In commodities, WTI oil rose 0.57% and Iron ore fell 4.06% as concerns build that Chinese steel production may be close to a peak. Precious metals have slightly recovered (Gold +0.28%; Silver +0.60%) after two consecutive days of weakness, while industrial metals broadly rose, with Copper (+0.04%), Zinc (+2.23%) and Aluminium (+1.38%) all up modestly.

Away from the markets and back to Brexit. Yesterday was an evolving day on the political front. Initially, the Telegraph reported that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson may quit if PM Theresa May oppose his Brexit demands in her big speech later this week. Perhaps in response to this, Bloomberg reported that PM May has called a special cabinet meeting and avoided answering whether Johnson will resign or not. Then finally, later reports suggest the situation has been defused with Johnson planning to attend her keynote speech at Florence and that PM May plans to pay €20bln divorce payment to the EU to kick start the stalled Brexit talks. We can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

Elsewhere, the FT reported that France’s Emmanuel Macron will outline his proposal for EU reform in a speech on 26 September, potentially including themes such as a separate budget, a finance ministry and an EU monetary fund. This broadly echoes earlier comments made by EC President Juncker in his State of Union address where he called for a tighter EU integration.

Finally, the power of Amazon on traditional bricks and mortar stores has been shown again with Toys R US officially filing for Chapter 11 after c12 years under private equity ownership. Notably, its October 2018 bond now trades at 26c versus 97c at the start of this month. Elsewhere, S&P noted that 24 US retailers have filed for Chapter 11 this year, compared to 18 for all of 2016. So in a low default world the retail sector is certainly bucking the trend.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, August housing starts were soft, edging down 0.8% mom (vs. 1.7% expected), in part due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey. However, building permits were stronger than expected, rising 5.7% mom (vs. -0.8% expected) and leaves annual growth at 8.3% yoy. The level of permits has now returned to 1.3m, which is in line with this year’s high in January. Moving along, higher fuel prices have helped to drive a 0.6% mom increase in import prices in August (vs. 0.2% expected). Elsewhere, the 2Q current account deficit was -US $123.1bln (vs. -US$116bln expected), equivalent to c2.6% of GDP.

In Germany, the ZEW survey was above market expectations in the lead up to elections. For the current situations component, the reading came in 87.9 (vs. 86.2 expected) and on the expectations component, it was also higher at 17 (vs. 12 expected) – the highest in ten months. In the Eurozone, the ZEW survey on expectations rose to 31.7 (vs. 29.3 previous), while the July construction output came in at 0.2% mom (vs. 0.2% previous).

Looking at the day ahead, Germany’s August PPI will be out early in the morning (0.1% mom, 2.5% yoy expected). In the UK, there is retail sales for August (0.1% mom for core expected). Over in the US, data wise there is MBA mortgage applications and existing home sales. Onto other events, the main story is the FOMC rate decision in the US, followed by Yellen’s press conference at 14:30 EDT. Elsewhere, EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier will speak and the OPEC’s panel of technical representatives will meet to discuss production cuts.

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 10:53 AM

Boy Genius Report

Amazon’s next Alexa product? Smartphone-connected glasses for a phone it doesn’t have

Amazon Alexa AR Glasses

Who would have thought that Amazon would have a chance of dominating the ecosystem of smart devices after the massive Fire Phone failure from a few years ago? The smartphone seems to be the logical platform to build on, but Amazon pretended the Fire Phone never existed and came out with a different way to launch its own voice-based operating system. Powered by Alexa, the Amazon Echo is the best sold smart speaker out there, a success that allowed Amazon to pack Alexa into a variety of devices, including smartphones made by its biggest rivals.

It sure looks like Amazon doesn’t even need a phone of its own to let users take Alexa on the road with them, and a new report says the company is already working on a device that might “kill” the smartphone.

Continue reading...

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by Chris Smith at September 20, 2017 10:50 AM

Wired Top Stories

Silicon Valley Eats Its Young with "Disruption"

A decade of genre-busting innovation from Silicon Valley has us primed for transformative companies. But those expectations are killing fledgling startups.

by Karen Wickre at September 20, 2017 10:50 AM

The Ellen Pao Effect Is What Happens After Lean In

Ellen Pao's Reset is ushering in a new corporate code. We should listen.

by Jessi Hempel at September 20, 2017 10:45 AM

Rackspace Cloud Computing & Hosting

Channel Program Brings Fanatical Cloud Strategies to Our Partners

As the cloud market continues its rapid growth and change, organizations often struggle to understand how they can leverage the cloud to drive efficiencies and boost revenues. While Rackspace can reach a portion of those, we rely heavily on our partners to bring our integrated multi-cloud Fanatical Support to a much larger audience. You are […]

The post Channel Program Brings Fanatical Cloud Strategies to Our Partners appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

by Kyle Surratt at September 20, 2017 10:30 AM

The Big Picture

Electricity Production is Radically Changing

The age of batteries is just getting started. In the latest episode of our animated series, Sooner Than You Think, Bloomberg’s Tom Randall does the math on when solar plus batteries might start wiping fossil fuels off the grid.   The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever Source: Financial Times  (hover over…

Read More

The post Electricity Production is Radically Changing appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Barry Ritholtz at September 20, 2017 10:30 AM

naked capitalism

Brexit Denialism: The Customs/Border Problem and the Curious Case of the Pallets

A case study of how basic, critically important Brexit issues like customs are being ignored by the Government, to the peril of the public.

by Yves Smith at September 20, 2017 10:03 AM

The Simple Dollar

Nine Things We Look for When Buying Rental Property

When my husband and I bought our first rental property in 2007, we barely knew what we were doing. We saved up a large down payment and qualified for a mortgage, then stumbled through the rest of the details without much outside help. Eventually, we found what we thought was a good property for the local rental market. Fortunately, our offer was accepted and we found renters right away.

A few years later, we turned our then primary residence into our second rental at the same time we upgraded to a larger home.

This means that, by the age of 30, we had two rental properties. While we mostly just “winged it” – especially at first – I’m happy to report that we did things mostly right. We bought properties that were in good shape and profitable, and we have managed to keep good renters over the years (with only one big exception). We paid off one of our rental properties earlier this year, and should pay off the other next year.

Our experience as landlords has not been perfect, but I think we did pretty well for people who didn’t know a lot when we got started. Thank goodness for Google, because that’s where we found out nearly everything we needed to know about taxes, writing a lease, insurance, and potential legal issues to be aware of.

With our second property on its way to being paid off, we’ve thought a lot lately about purchasing a third rental home in our area. While our other two rentals are in my hometown of Greenfield, Ind., around 30 minutes away, we would like to purchase a rental (or several more rentals) closer to our current home in Noblesville.

There are a few reasons we’d prefer to purchase a third property where we live now, in Hamilton County, Ind. For starters, rents around here are higher, and rental units aren’t staying empty for long, per my research. Second, the job market around here is extremely solid – especially since we’re just a 30-minute drive from the Indianapolis metro area. Lastly, the schools in our area are great and rated at the top of our state school systems year after year.

In summary, our area isn’t just a great place to live; it’s also a great place to own rental property – at least on paper.

But, we don’t want just any property. And, truth be told, we’re not in a huge hurry. The housing market in our area has been “hot” for a while, so I could envision us waiting a year or more to dive in.

With that being said, here are nine major features we’re looking for in a new rental property:

#1: Profitable Rental Market

Obviously, the #1 factor we’re considering is profitability and the potential for long-term appreciation. Generally speaking, we follow the rule of thumb that rental properties should rent for at least 1% of their purchase price per month.

My goal is to purchase a single-family residence for less than $150,000 that rents for at least $1,500. After studying rents in my area for a while now, I can say with certainty that this is extremely feasible.

Let’s say we purchased a $150,000 property and put down 20%, for a total mortgage amount of $120,000. At 5% APR, the monthly mortgage payment for a 30-year loan would be around $644, including principal and interest, but before insurance and taxes. For a 15-year loan, which is likely what we’d choose, we would owe $949 per month in principal and interest. If our property taxes were around $250 per month and our landlord’s insurance policy was around $100 per month, our total housing payment would be around $1,200.

Since most single-family homes in our area rent for well over $1,500 per month, this means we could turn a $300 profit and pay off our home in 15 years or less. Of course, this all hinges on our interest rate, down payment, the purchase price of the property, and the variable costs of taxes and insurance.

#2: Simple Landscaping

Another factor we look for in rental properties is simple landscaping that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep for us or our renters. While it’s normal in our area to expect renters to mow the grass at the property they’re renting, you can’t really expect all renters to want to plant flowers or keep up with huge beds of plants.

Ideally, we’d like to purchase another property with simple landscaping made up of some bushes and rock or mulch. At the very least, we would want a property with the potential for low maintenance landscaping if we put in some work upfront.

#3: Three or More Bedrooms

Since we live in an area with lots of families with children, it only makes sense to buy a rental property that is marketable to as many families as possible.

Both of our existing rentals have three bedrooms, and that has made them an option for so many families we have barely had any vacancies over the last 10 years. When buying a new rental, I’d prefer to buy a property with at least three bedrooms, but I would be over-the-moon if we found an affordable four-bedroom home that met all our other criteria.

The more bedrooms you have, the more rent you can charge, and the broader your net of potential tenants becomes.

#4: Major Updates Completed

The reality is, most homes in our area within the $150,000-and-below price range need some work. So far, we’ve looked at homes with outdated kitchens, out-of-style bathrooms, and none of the modern upgrades you find in newer, more expensive homes.

Fortunately, all of that is fine with me. I would never put a new kitchen or bathroom into a rental home unless I absolutely had to. Generally speaking, the only upgrades we invest in are needed repairs, new floors, and new paint.

With that being said, I’m still looking for properties with at least a few major updates made. Homes with a newer roof or HVAC system are given priority, even if those components are a few years old.

Basically, what we don’t want is a home that will need a new roof, a new air conditioner, and a new furnace within the next five years. For me to consider a property with an old roof and old HVAC system, the house itself would have to be one heck of a deal.

While we do have an emergency fund for our rental properties, I don’t want to deplete it right away.

#5: Family-Friendly Neighborhood With Great Schools

Since we want a property that is marketable to families with children, the neighborhood is just as important as the home itself. While we live in a great area with plenty of nicer neighborhoods, I want to be picky about where the property sits and what amenities are available nearby.

If we could find a property that’s in a good neighborhood but also near parks, schools, and shopping, that would be ideal. Obviously, the more convenient a property is, the more people will find it appealing.

#6: Low Property Taxes

In the state of Indiana, property taxes are pegged to the gross assessed value of your property and tiered based on the type of property you own. What this means is, you’ll pay a maximum of 1% of your property value in taxes for your primary residence, a max of 2% for other residential and agricultural land, and 3% for other real and personal property. Basically, property taxes on rental real estate are capped at 2% of the gross assessed value of any given property.

That removes a lot of the guesswork of figuring out taxes, but I would definitely want to look at the gross assessed value of any property we considered – and the respective property tax bill – before I pulled the trigger. We all know that assessments can be strangely incorrect at times, and I want to make sure any property I buy has been treated fairly.

#7: Properties With Noticeable Upkeep

How a property has been maintained can make a big difference in the future costs of upkeep. Unfortunately, we have looked at homes that have had very little upkeep for years – and it shows. It’s never a good look when a home you’re visiting hasn’t had the furnace filter changed for years, or when the home’s siding is dirty, worn, or even falling off.

We tend to look for homes that have obviously been cared for, because a lack of maintenance could mean big repair bills for us down the line. While proper maintenance can be hard to detect, we’re looking for a home that has had its HVAC system serviced and cleaned regularly and is free from damage caused by water, wind, or dirt.

#8: Brick or Low-Maintenance Exterior

While one of our current properties was built with flawless, easy-to-care-for red brick, the other has old steel siding. I prefer brick hands-down, and I hate the fact we’ll probably have to replace the siding on the other property one day.

It looks fine right now, but we’ve had to fix a few of the pieces of siding into place over the years. And the way it looks, a big wind could likely blow some of it off!

Only time will tell, but I’d prefer a home with a low maintenance exterior that won’t cost us a bundle to replace later on. Not only is the mere thought of it a pain, but siding is expensive.

#9: No Water Issues

This is one lesson we had to learn the hard way. When we bought our second property and moved in, we ignored the fact that a small amount of water pooled in the backyard near the stairs of our deck. After turning it into a rental, the problem worsened and our renters started getting standing water in their yard for a few days after a big rain.

Eventually, we had to put in a new sump pump and a new drain beneath the house. We also put a French drain into the back yard that funneled water to the road in front of the house.

These two fixes were enough to remedy the situation completely, but they were very costly and the entire experience was stressful, too.

After enduring that ordeal for years, I am now extremely leery of water or any trace of water or water problems. Ideally, we want to buy a house that sits similarly to the one we live in – high up on a lot with excellent drainage away from the property. If a potential rental house has any inkling of water problems, you better believe I will run for the hills!

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

Related:

What do you look for in a rental property? What would you add to this list?

The post Nine Things We Look for When Buying Rental Property appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

by Holly Johnson at September 20, 2017 10:00 AM

O'Reilly Radar

You need an Analytics Center of Excellence

Learn how to add big data to your organization's business processes.

More than 10 years after big data emerged as a new technology paradigm, it is finally in a mature state and its business value throughout most industry sectors is established by a significant number of use cases.

A couple of years ago, the discussion was still about how big data changed our way of capturing, processing, analyzing, and exploiting data in new and meaningful ways for business decision makers. Now many companies undertake analytical projects at a departmental level, redefining the relationship between business and IT by the adoption of Agile and DevOps methodologies. Real-time processing, machine learning algorithms, and even artificial intelligence are the new normal in business talk.

However, companies are still struggling to adopt big data at a corporate level. In many corporations, there is a gap between launching departmental projects and industrializing and scaling-up those use cases across corporations. Embedding big data in scalable business processes is crucial to becoming a data-driven organization. Building an Analytics Center of Excellence (ACoE) can be the basis for this transformation.

Remaining challenges

There are three important issues that must be addressed in order to scale-up big data across a corporation and make a real impact on business outcomes:

1. Lack of skills across the organization.

There is an identified global shortage of analytical talent, a set of data experts ranging from data engineers, big data architects, and data scientists. It is not easy for a company to find these profiles, attract them and retain them. And it gets more difficult as technologies continuously evolve at a challenging, rapid pace. When a company employs these experts, they are not always equally distributed throughout the organization but sometimes concentrated in a particular department or business function (for example, in the risk or marketing departments), making it difficult to leverage these skills for the good of the entire organization. If a company has multiple locations, it is even harder to keep the right balance of skills in all the subsidiaries.

The shortage of skills affects the technical or analytical departments as well as the business areas. Companies need subject matter experts who understand business needs to communicate with the data experts, as well as managers able to make decisions based on data and supported by facts more than by personal, biased experience. Furthermore, the new skills require new ways of working and therefore an organizational cultural change.

2. Lack of standards, methodology, and governance

Even mature organizations with analytics teams in place in different departments, business units, or countries find that every team tends to work with their own tools, libraries, software versions, and data sets. This variety can make it difficult to industrialize and implement global solutions, and ensure code reusability. Companies need to define standards regarding coding, tools, version control, and quality control, and have all the teams working with the same tools and sharing their methodologies. Additionally, analytics teams must have big data governance policies and processes in place, controlling and limiting the access of data in the data lake and ensuring security and data privacy controls. In Europe, for instance, a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires a very demanding process regarding data traceability at a field level. Data is a key asset, and companies will be required to protect it. big data governance is a must not only because of legislation, but in order to secure a business’ reputation for security and privacy.

3. Lack of use cases prioritization

Big data must be led by business, but often companies face organizational issues as a result of the lack of use case prioritization. Although the companies are willing to implement big data projects in various business areas, the projects are usually planned according to the big data architecture roadmap or the data provisioning strategy defined by IT, instead of prioritized according to business impact. When there are several departments pushing for a centralized big data budget, a business-oriented, ROI-driven approach is needed to define the use case roadmap in order to maximize the impact the entire organization.

Accelerating big data adoption by business

These three challenges are not an excuse for failing to adopt big data solutions. The most effective way to create mechanisms to deploy big data across the entire organization in a systematic and scalable way is to launch an ACoE.

Although the concept may be familiar, the element of ACoE we’re focusing on here is not that of an “algorithms factory” or “a technical team of product specialists.” Instead, an ACoE should consist of a team of business and technical people with centralized and distributed capabilities and resources, working in big data advanced analytics projects and creating a common workspace in which methodologies, tools, models, and techniques are shared in order to gain efficiency when implementing the initiatives across different business units and markets.

The operational model to make an ACoE successful is not obvious. Here are some of the key principles of an ACoE.

First, it must be connected with the business. The ACoE must include a team of business experts able to align the business strategy of the company through the prioritization of use cases and coordinate the implications at a technology, architectural analytics, and governance level with the different stakeholders.

Second, it has to be able to grow organically; as the company expands and scales-up new big data projects across the corporation, more people and teams will join. The AcoE hosts what we call the core team—a centralized function—while the expansion is through the extended teams, a distributed function across geographies. The core team shares and expands best practices and methodologies, accelerating know-how transfer.

Another principle is that it should be able to deploy as a service. The ACoE must be able to deploy as a service for the business units as a shared services operation, a fully outsourced operation, or in an extended capability, allowing infrastructure and resources rationalization, scalability, and elasticity. ACoE costs should be allocated as a service to the business units.

Key benefits of an ACoE

An ACoE is essential to accelerate big data adoption by business at scale. It reduces the implementation times drastically and therefore the time-to-market to deploy new data-driven products and services. It ensures best practices and methodologies are shared through different teams in the organization. An ACoE is alive, and it expands and it grows as the organization’s needs evolves, a key factor for realizing the business value of big data.

Data is the key competitive advantage and differentiating factor for companies in any industry. A true data-driven organization understands that data is at the center of any business strategy. Companies must be able to use data not only to improve decision-making and operational efficiency, but they must have the capacity to create new products and processes based on data-driven insights. In order to do so, companies must embed the necessary organizational and cultural changes at a corporate level that it takes to succeed. An Analytics Center of Excellence is an important tool for accomplishing these goals.

Continue reading You need an Analytics Center of Excellence.

by Carme Artigas at September 20, 2017 10:00 AM

Recognizing and evaluating scientific claims in security

Five questions for Josiah Dykstra on techniques to expose and invalidate misleading claims.

I recently sat down with Josiah Dykstra, Senior Security Researcher at the Department of Defense, to discuss the topics of both accidental and intended misleading communications in security, common pitfalls made in evaluating scientific claims, and the questions you should ask when evaluating scientific claims and third-party vendor solutions.

What are some basic tips for recognizing and understanding scientific claims in security marketing, journalism, or other security-related materials?

People and companies use a variety and spectrum of truly scientific, possibly-scientific, and unscientific statements to talk about products and services. Some are trying to persuade you to buy something, others are simply trying to communicate information. Though scientists themselves can produce misleading and manipulative results, I am generally more concerned about the potential damage caused from seemingly scientific-sounding claims by other sources.

Continue reading Recognizing and evaluating scientific claims in security.

by Courtney Allen, Josiah Dykstra at September 20, 2017 10:00 AM

Official Google Blog

Why we should develop “circular cities” and how Google technology can help

Today we published a white paper with our partners at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that explores how digital technology and Google’s existing efforts can help enable “circular cities.”

by Kate Brandt at September 20, 2017 10:00 AM

It's Nice That

Makings of a Man: It’s Nice That and Harry’s invite you to be a life model for a day

Harrys_its_nice_that_makings_of_a_man_launch_list

It’s Nice That and Harry’s are partnering to challenge what being a “man” actually means, by hosting a life drawing event that celebrates the diversity of the male form. Makings of a Man will see us bring together top creative talent and the It’s Nice That audience, to champion the qualities that make every man unique.

Read more

by It's Nice That at September 20, 2017 09:55 AM

Zero Hedge

Why This Time Is Different: "Fed Guidance Really Matters"

From Bloomberg macro commentator Marc Cudmore

Today’s Fed meeting is critical for all financial assets. A large part of the framework for how to trade the year ahead will be clarified between Wednesday’s statement, the dot plot and subsequent FOMC member speeches in coming days.

Fed meetings are often overhyped, particularly by financial commentators. Don’t dismiss the hype this time. And because the Fed’s decision is so crucial for the path of FX and rates, every other asset hinges on the outcome by extension.

It’s not that Fed guidance has never mattered before, but it’s vital now that we have moved beyond the data dependence that was the key theme for the last few years.

Previously, those traders who believed in higher yields bought into the idea of inflation accelerating, whereas those who were most bullish Treasuries feared for the strength of the economy.

Investors are still as divided as ever on the path of U.S. rates and the dollar, but the arguments have radically shifted. There’s a broad consensus that the economy is solid but that inflation isn’t at risk of surging any time soon. The data trends have been remarkably clear, so who cares too much about the marginal releases?

What people do care deeply about now is the reaction function of the FOMC. Will the committee ignore the lack of inflation and press on with policy normalization for as long as easy financial conditions suggest the economy can cope? Or, given its official mandate, will the fact that core personal consumption expenditure growth has been in a clear and sharp downtrend all year mean that it immediately ends the hiking cycle?

A December rate rise is approximately 50% priced going into the meeting. Such a binary setup, in the context of crystal clear data trends, shows how it’s now all about the reaction function for traders.

The Fed’s statement and press conference will clarify that reaction function. Speakers may refine the message in the coming days but, if the committee is to maintain credibility, it can not reverse completely from the course it’s about to set. The underlying asset-price directions prompted today are likely to sustain well into 2018.

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 09:50 AM

Full Preview Of Today's "Historic" FOMC Meeting

It is virtually guaranteed that on Wednesday the FOMC will make history by officially announcing the Fed's plan to begin shrinking its balance sheet through the gradual phasing out of bond reinvestments, which however in a world in which other central banks continue to pump $125 billion per month, will hardly by noticed by markets at least in the beginning.

So aside from the start of balance sheet renormalization what else should traders expect tomorrow? Earlier today, we showed a cheat sheet from ING that broke down the various USD bullish and bearish permutations of how Yellen could still surprise the market, including the Fed's signalling on policy rates, economic projections, a shift in the "dots", comments on asset prices and, last but not least, whether Yellen will stay or leave when her term expires in Feb 2018.

* * *

For those seeking a more in-depth preview, here courtesy of RanSquawk, is the full "historic" September 20 FOMC Preview.

  • FOMC likely to maintain rates between 1.00-1.25%; there will be focus on whether it flattens the rate hike trajectory
  • The formal announcement of balance sheet reduction is expected; it’s unclear what size the Fed wants to return it to
  • Growth and unemployment projections unlikely to see major changes; inflation may be trimmed again

RATES

  • Money markets price a very slim chance that the FOMC will hike rates this week, with an overwhelming 98.6% implied probability that the Federal Funds Rate target will remain between 1.00% to 1.25%. Looking ahead, markets now assign a 58% chance that rates will be lifted again in 2017.
  • Federal Funds futures currently price in just two more hikes over the Fed’s current forecast horizon; the FOMC’s June forecasts pencilled in seven rate rises over that timeframe. Note, this week’s forecast will extend the horizon out to 2020.
  • Given the cautious tone of comments from FOMC participants in recent weeks, it will be interesting to see whether the central bank lowers its trajectory for the rate path down, in line with the market’s view. However, analysts at Barclays do not expect a major revision to the median view of the rate profile, but sees the average falling: “We expect the median policy path to remain unchanged, but the average policy path should decline. We believe the average funds rate will decline by 15-25bp across the forecast horizon, and we believe as many as seven participants may signal that they prefer no further rate hikes this year (against nine participants who view one or more as appropriate).”

BALANCE SHEET

  • It is an almost a forgone conclusion that the FOMC will formally announce the start of its balance sheet programme; indeed, ‘several’ were ready to make the announcement in July. The Fed has also been given some leeway not that the debt ceiling has been extended until December.
  • In June, the FOMC suggested a plan where it will allow $6bln of maturing Treasuries and $4bln of maturing MBS to roll-off per month for a three-month period; that amount would then be raised to $12bln for Treasuries and $8bln for MBS for another three months, and after a year, redemptions would be capped at $30bln for Treasuries and $20bln for MBS per month.
  • The plan ensures the Fed wouldn’t have to outright sell any of its holdings immediately, which would cause a market reaction. In fact, Fed commentary suggests that the central bank wants to avoid any “shock and awe”; Loretta Mester (non-voter) said the intention is to set the policy, then “forget it”, suggesting that balance sheet would not be an active policy tool.
  • Some questions remain unanswered; for instance, what size the FOMC is ultimately seeking to cut the balance sheet to. It is currently around $4.5trln; pre-crisis, it was around $800mln, but it is unlikely that the Fed intends to bring it down to that size. It seems as though the FOMC is still undecided: William Dudley (NY Fed, permanent voter) sees the balance sheet falling to between $2.4trln and $3.5trln – a wide range, but there doesn’t seem to be any firm consensus as yet.

STAFF ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS

  • The Fed meets amid an improving tone in US economic data: The labour market has been ticking along nicely for some time, with the rate of joblessness beneath the Fed’s estimate of NAIRU. The second estimate of growth in Q2 was revised higher to 3.0%, well above the Fed’s longer-term view between 1.8% and 2.0%. Inflation has been the Achilles heel, but there are some signs of improvement here too. Recent CPI data showed upside surprises to headline and core rates; but the Fed’s preferred measure – core personal consumption expenditures – lingers at the lowest since Q4 2015 at (1.4% vs Fed’s June forecast of 1.7% in 2017); additionally, wage growth continues to disappoint, which may give the Fed ammunition to remain dovish.
  • Analysts at Oxford Economics say “a key focus will be on the FOMC’s view of recent inflation readings and its degree of conviction about whether inflation will hit the 2% target over the medium-term,” adding “this in turn will underpin the committee’s decision about raising rates further this year and the pace of rate increases next year.” FOMC Chair Janet Yellen has previously attributed the weak inflation to temporary factors and called for patience. Many will look out for commentary on whether the Committee has reached a consensus on the extent to which low inflation is transitory, and how much patience should be extended. The likes of Neel Kashkari (voter, dovish) expressed outright concerns on inflation, whereas centrists like William Dudley see a return to target in the medium-term; others, like Robert Kaplan (voter) want to see more evidence before committing to a tighter monetary policy path.
  • It is worth noting that the Fed’s forecast horizon will be extended out to 2020, and the FOMC’s June forecasts and the current market view are generally in line, with the exception of inflation, suggesting growth and unemployment forecasts will be little changed, though its short-term inflation views may be cut.

PRESS CONFERENCE WITH CHAIR YELLEN

  • Chair Janet Yellen will likely adopt her usual balanced approach in her press conference, according to SGH Macro Advisors, to ensure that the FOMC still has the option of a rate hike in 2017. “She will certainly give voice to dovish concerns over the persistence in low inflation and the possibility of a new inflation dynamic emerging,” SGH says, “but on balance, we still expect her to modestly tilt her remarks to a base rate path that would warrant a possible third-rate hike in December.”
  • In addition to inflation, the Fed’s forecasts, and the immediacy of near-term rates hikes, Yellen may also be quizzed on FOMC personnel following the early resignation of Stanley Fischer. Tradition dictates that outgoing Governors do not usually attend the last meeting of their term; however, the Fed has confirmed that Fischer will be in attendance, though it is unclear whether he will be submitting economic forecasts.
  • The upshot of Fischer’s resignation means that there would be four vacancies on the Fed’s Board of Governors; but additionally, there remains doubt around Chair Yellen’s own position when her term expires next year, and on top of that, the position of President of the Richmond Fed (which will have a vote in 2018) remains unfilled.

* * *

Finally, here are select sellside research takes on what to expect:

  • Barclays: We believe the Fed will begin balance sheet normalization as described in the June 2017 Addendum to the Committee's Policy Normalization Principles and Plans. Beyond this, the committee will likely engage in extensive discussions about how much the underlying trend rate of inflation has slowed. We do not believe the committee will reach consensus on the extent to which slower inflation is transitory and, in turn, how much “patience” is needed before proceeding with further policy rate normalization or whether it is worth the risk to financial stability to run the domestic economy hotter. Yet, we believe some members will reflect their view that some of the slowing in inflation will be persistent and mark down modestly their inflation forecast for 2018. Although we do not expect the median policy rate path to change, we do expect the average federal funds rate projection to decline.
  • Credit Suisse: We expect the Fed to keep the fed funds rate unchanged and to begin reducing the size of their balance sheet. We expect an announcement in line with their June policy normalization plan which stated that reinvestments are ended up to a gradually-increasing cap. The caps are likely to begin at a modest $10bn per month, but are scheduled to rise every quarter before levelling off at $50bn. Aside from the balance sheet reduction, we expect a dovish tone from the September meeting.
  • Goldman Sachs: We expect the FOMC to officially announce next week that balance sheet runoff will begin in October. As the Fed has already communicated extensively about its plan for a gradual and predictable runoff, we expect markets to focus instead on the outlook for the federal funds rate. The key question is whether the committee’s expectations for the federal funds rate have declined in light of the surprising deceleration in the inflation data since the start of the year. Several Fed officials have expressed reduced confidence in the view that the recent decline is a blip and that inflation will reaccelerate. Despite this week’s stronger-than-expected CPI report, Fed officials will still be looking at year-over-year core PCE and CPI inflation rates that are three tenths and five tenths lower, respectively, than in March. We therefore look for lower core inflation in the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) and expect the “dot plot” to show a decline in the average projected funds rate path. While risks are tilted to the downside, we still expect the median projection to continue to show a third rate hike this year, 3 hikes in 2018 and a longer-run funds rate at 3%. Ultimately, there are three reasons why we expect only minor dovish changes. First, several influential FOMC members have highlighted that there is not yet enough data in hand to abandon the view that the economy is close to full employment and that diminishing spare capacity will gradually push inflation back up to the target. Second, growth momentum has remained very firm and while hurricanes will make the activity data noisier in the near term, they are unlikely to derail firm underlying trend growth. Third, financial conditions have continued to ease even as the FOMC moved to a path of quarterly tightening last December.
  • ING: We think this may be one of the more difficult meetings and press conferences for Chair Yellen to navigate, not least because of the growing dichotomy within the FOMC over the appropriate near-term policy approach. Our base case is for the doves to prevail, with a lower conviction over the pace and extent of future policy tightening visible in the Fed's dot plot. While the median 2017 dot is still set to tentatively pencil in a Dec rate hike, we expect to see more members calling for a pause for the remainder of the year; anything more than five would suggest that hopes of a Dec hike stand on a fragile footing. More telling of a dovish shift would be if the 2018 dot also moves lower; here we require five or more members to downgrade their views over future policy hikes, a scenario that cannot be ruled out given the softer US inflation dynamics. What is highly likely is that we'll see the 2019 and longer-run dots moving lower – with Fed officials acknowledging that a 2% handle for the terminal Fed funds rate is more realistic in the prevailing US economic environment.
  • Morgan Stanley: Our US economists expect the Fed to announce balance sheet normalization at its September meeting. They also expect the median dots to remain as they were in June, with the Fed adding a final rate hike in 2020 (see FOMC Preview: Auto Pilot). In our view, the risks to this outcome are that the 2018 median dot falls to 1.875% from 2.125% and the longer-run median dot falls to 2.75% from 3.00%. To assess the risks, we constructed the September 2017 dot-plot scenario in Exhibit 4. First, we attempted to match up dots in 2017 with dots in 2018. This allows us to create the following scenarios we felt were reasonable. We assume: 2 more FOMC participants pencil in no further hikes in 2017 and decrease the # of subsequent hikes in 2018 to 2from 3; 2 participants keep the third hike in 2017, but decrease the # of subsequent hikes in 2018 to 2 from 3;and 2 participants decrease the # of hikes in 2017 to 3 from 4, but keep 4 hikes in 2018. Given we assumed only 2 more participants join the "no more hikes in 2017" camp, the 2017 median dot remains at 1.375%. However, given our other assumptions, half of the Committee ends up with a 2018 dot below 2.00% and half ends up with a dot above 2.00% – leaving the median between 1.875 and 2.125% versus its 2.125% position in June. It is possible that Randal Quarles is confirmed by the Senate and sworn in before the meeting, thereby allowing a 17th dot to be added. But, at this point, the Senate has not scheduled his confirmation hearing. As a result of our scenario analysis, we think there is a reasonable risk that the 2018 median dot falls by 25bp,even though it's not our base case.

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 09:45 AM

Ajay Shah's blog

An analysis of Puttaswamy: the Supreme Court's privacy verdict

by Vrinda Bhandari, Amba Kak, Smriti Parsheera and Faiza Rahman.

Introduction

On 24th August 2017, a nine judge bench of the Supreme Court in Justice K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India passed a historic judgment affirming the constitutional right to privacy. It declared privacy to be an integral component of Part III of the Constitution of India, which lays down our fundamental rights, ranging from rights relating to equality (Articles 14 to 18); freedom of speech and expression (Article 19(1)(a)); freedom of movement (Article 19(1)(d)); protection of life and personal liberty (Article 21) and others. These fundamental rights cannot be given or taken away by law, and all laws and executive actions must abide by them.

The Supreme Court has, however, clarified that like most other fundamental rights, the right to privacy is not an "absolute right". Subject to the satisfaction of certain tests and benchmarks, a person's privacy interests can be overridden by competing state and individual interests. This post discusses the tests that have been laid down by the Supreme Court in the Puttaswamy case, against which privacy infringements will be evaluated going forward. Based on this analysis, the post argues that a majority of the judges in this decision have agreed that the European standard of proportionality shall be applied to test privacy infringements in the future. However, the rigour and technicality with which this doctrine is applied will depend on the nature of the competing interests in question and will evolve on a case by case basis. At the very least, any impugned action will continue to be tested on the "just, fair and reasonable" standard evolved under Article 21 of the Constitution. However, before we delve into the standards laid down by the Court, it is important to understand why the Supreme Court was called upon to decide if we have a fundamental right to privacy and how to read the decision it finally delivered.

Why was a nine judge bench constituted to decide upon the right to privacy?

The question of whether or not privacy is a fundamental right first arose in 2015 before a three judge bench of the Supreme Court considering the constitutional challenge to the Aadhaar framework. The Attorney General had then argued that although a number of Supreme Court decisions had recognised the right to privacy, Part III of the Constitution does not guarantee such a fundamental right since larger benches of the Court in M.P Sharma (8 judge bench) and Kharak Singh (6 judge bench), had refused to accept that the right to privacy was constitutionally protected. Consequently, this bench referred the matter to a five judge bench to ensure "institutional integrity and judicial discipline". Thereafter, the five judge bench referred the constitutional question to an even larger bench of nine judges to pronounce authoritatively on the status of the right to privacy.

How do we read the Puttaswamy judgment?

The judgment, spanning 547 pages, contains six opinions and a lot of interesting observations. At the outset, however, it is important to note that only the majority opinion in a judgment is binding on future cases. In this case, Chandrachud J. wrote the plurality opinion, on behalf of four judges (Kehar C.J., Agrawal J., Nazeer J., and himself), while the remaining five judges (Nariman J., Kaul J., Bobde J., Sapre J., and Chelameswar J.) wrote concurring opinions. Thus, while Justice Chandrachud's opinion is the "plurality" opinion, it does not constitute the majority, since it has not been signed by a total of five or more judges. Similarly, the concurring opinions too, are not binding, and do not constitute 'precedent' for future cases. Thus, the operative part of the judgment, i.e. the binding part, is only the order that has been signed by all nine judges, which holds:

  1. The eight judge bench decision in M P Sharma (1954), which held that the right to privacy is not protected by the Constitution stands over-ruled;
  2. The Court's subsequent decision in Kharak Singh (1962) also stands over-ruled to the extent that it holds that the right to privacy is not protected under the Constitution;
  3. The right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution; and
  4. The body of case law that developed subsequent to Kharak Singh, recognising the right to privacy, enunciated the correct position of law.

It is a well settled legal principle that a case is only an authority for what it actually decides, not any observations made in the course of the judgment or any propositions that may logically follow from it. Hence, to determine what aspects of the judgment are binding, it is important to examine each opinion, and see the point of agreement amongst a majority of the nine judges. So, if any judge agrees with a view taken by Chandrachud J. on any proposition, that would result in a majority of five out of nine, and hence, be binding on smaller benches and other courts. For instance, since a majority of the judges agree that privacy is an inalienable, natural right, that forms part of the binding element of the case.

With this in mind, let us now examine each of the opinions in Puttaswamy to see what they hold, how they construe the right to privacy, and what standard of judicial review they apply.

The Court's (multiple) views on privacy

Writing the plurality opinion, Chandrachud J., holds that the right to privacy is not independent of the other freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution. It is an element of human dignity, and is an inalienable natural right. He focuses on the informational aspect of privacy, its connection with human dignity and autonomy, and rejects the argument that privacy is an elitist construct. During the course of his opinion, Chandrachud J. makes several observations about privacy in the digital economy, dangers of data mining, positive obligations on the State, and the need for a data protection law. He also raises an important point about the negative and positive elements of privacy. The former restricts the State from unfairly interfering in the privacy of individuals, while the latter obliges it to put in place a legislative framework to restrict others from doing so.

Chelameswar J. on the other hand, grounds the right to privacy, as comprising of three facets, namely repose (freedom from unwarranted stimuli), sanctuary (protection from intrusive observation) and intimate decision (autonomy to make personal life decisions). Nariman J. too, endorses Gary Bostwick's conceptual understanding of privacy as encompassing "repose, sanctuary and intimate decision". He gives further content to the right by classifying it into three categories: (1) that which involves invasion by the State into a person's physical body, (2) information privacy which captures unauthorised uses of personal information, and (3) privacy of choice, or "individual autonomy over fundamental personal choices".

For Bobde J., fundamental rights have two aspects - first, to restrict legislative powers and second, to provide the conditions for the development and dignity of individuals. Thus, similar to Chandrachud J., he recognises both the positive and negative aspects of enforcing fundamental rights, although he is clear that fundamental rights claims (as opposed to other laws) fall squarely on the State.

Kaul J., on the other hand, recognises the claims of privacy against the State and non-State actors. In respect of the State, he identifies concerns of surveillance and profiling, whereas in respect of non-State actors, he emphasizes on the impact of technology, in the form of pervasive data generation, collection, and use in a digital economy. Kaul J. also elaborates on the influence of big data, in particular, its impact on the actions of an individual and the resultant chilling effect it may have on free speech and expression. He thus observes the need to protect certain information from both the State as well as private actors. Finally, Sapre J. focuses his opinion on the importance of the Preamble to the Constitution, and the principles of liberty, dignity, and fraternity enshrined therein.

Given the Court's varying conceptions of privacy, it is easy to understand why the suggested standards for evaluating an infringement of the right also varied so widely. We turn to this in the next section.

Tests for infringement of privacy

After a bumpy start in the MP Singh and Kharak Singh cases referred to above, the Supreme Court's jurisprudence on privacy evolved to accept that privacy forms an integral part of ``personal liberty" under Article 21 of the Constitution, which cannot be denied except through a "procedure established by law". The Supreme Court has clarified this to mean that the procedure prescribed by law must necessarily be "just, fair and reasonable". How this, and other standards of judicial review, will apply in the case of intrusion by the State into the right privacy, was the subject matter of much discussion in the various opinions in Puttaswamy. This section discusses some of the key observations.

The judgment written by Chelameswar J. provides a good overview by highlighting that the requirement of reasonableness pervades throughout Part III, albeit operating slightly differently for different fundamental rights. Accordingly, he suggests a "menu" of tests that can be used in privacy cases, depending on the underlying rights that are affected. Thus, a violation of privacy in the context of an arbitrary State action would attract a "reasonableness" enquiry under Article 14; similarly, privacy invasions that implicate Article 19 freedoms would have to fall under the specified restrictions under this constitutional provision like public order, obscenity etc; and finally, intrusion into life or personal liberty under Article 21, which forms the "bedrock of the privacy guarantee", would have to be just, fair and reasonable. For instance, over-broad telephone-tapping regulations would implicate both a citizen's freedom of speech (Article 19(1)(a)) as well as her personal liberty (Article 21). Under the Courts analysis, such a law would have to be justifiable under one of the specific restrictions in Article 19(2), in addition to being "fair, just and reasonable" as required by Article 21, as was held in the PUCL case.

Notably, Justice Chelameswar also includes a fourth test for privacy claims which deserve the "highest standard of scrutiny" and can be justified only in case of a "compelling state interest". Borrowing the strict scrutiny standard, typically reserved for discrimination cases in the U.S., he notes that there exists a category of privacy claims which must satisfy not just the tests of being "just, fair and reasonable" under Article 21, but also a higher level of importance in terms of the government's interest in the privacy intrusion. While laying down this higher standard of scrutiny, Chelameswar J., however, stops short of illustrating what sort of actions could fall under this category, and what would be the trigger for the application of this test. These issues have been left open for future Courts to deal with.

Nariman J. adds to this analysis by giving several examples to emphasise that the restrictions on privacy will need to be tested based on the combination of rights being infringed. For example, if the violation is of Article 21 read with Article 14 (right to equality), then tests of arbitrariness and unreasonableness will apply; or under Article 21 read with Article 19(1) (a) (freedom of speech), then the impugned law/policy will have to relate to the reasonable restrictions specified in Article 19(2), as described in the wiretapping example above. Thus, Nariman J., rather than elucidating a test, only clarifies that the analysis will be case by case - based on existing jurisprudence under the relevant fundamental right that is invoked. In a similar vein, Bobde J. states that privacy infringements will have to answer the tests under those particular freedoms ``in addition to the one applicable to Article 21".

Borrowing vaguely from the restrictions on the right to privacy as specified under the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 8), Sapre J. brings in a slightly different perspective. He notes that the State can impose reasonable restrictions on the right to privacy "on the basis of social, moral and compelling public interest in accordance with law". If Sapre J. is indeed articulating a new test, it is unclear where its textual basis lies in the Indian Constitution, given that many fundamental rights, such as the freedom of speech and expression, do not recognise public interest as a valid restriction. Moreover, such an articulation lacks clarity on what standards will apply to judge the "social, moral, and compelling public interest" or how this would interact with Chelameshwar J's "compelling state interest" test. It may thus be better understood as a general articulation of the Article 19 standard for reasonable restrictions, which will apply differently based on the specific right that has been infringed.

Interestingly, two of the judgments (representing the views of five judges) provide more teeth in terms of how existing tests under Article 21 should be interpreted. Drawing from the concept of proportionality that is used to balance rights and competing interests under European law, Chandrachud J., notes that any invasion of life or personal liberty must meet the three requirements of (a) legality, i.e. there must be a law in existence; (b) legitimate aim, which he illustrates as including goals like national security, proper deployment of national resources, and protection of revenue; and (c) proportionality of the legitimate aims with the object sought to be achieved. Although Chandrachud J. has used the term "proportionality", he stops short of actually adopting the very technical European proportionality standard, with its focus on narrow tailoring and least restrictive means.

Kaul J.'s "proportionality" test differs slightly from Chandrachud J. It requires (a) legality, (b) necessity (narrow tailoring) and (c) proportionality, which is closer to the European standard. He adds to this a fourth element of (d) procedural safeguards against abuse of interference with rights, which echoes Article 21's central requirement of having a "procedure established by law".

How then do we read the majority opinion on the judicial review standard adopted in Puttaswamy? One way of reading the judgment could be through the proportionality standard espoused by Chandrachud J. and elaborated by Kaul J. According to this, the four elements of the judicial review standard are as follows, although it is relevant to note that the additional observations made by Kaul J. do not constitute part of the "majority view":

  1. Legality: The existence of a law.
  2. Legitimate goal: The law should seek to achieve a legitimate state aim (Chandrachud J.). The proposed action must be necessary in a democratic society for a legitimate aim (Kaul J.). Justice Kaul's opinion can be read to espouse the EU narrow tailoring test.
  3. Proportionality: There should be a rational nexus between the objects and the means adopted to achieve them (Chandrachud J.). Extent of interference must be proportionate to its need (Kaul J.).
  4. Procedural guarantees: To check against the abuse of State interference (Kaul J.)

There was unanimity amongst the nine judges that privacy is not an absolute right, although the basis for assessing violations is less clear. While the content and applicability of the aforesaid proportionality test will be determined by subsequent decisions, what is certain is that privacy claims will be tested against the existing standards applicable under the Constitution or developed by Courts for different categories of fundamental rights. At the very least, the impugned action should satisfy the test of "just, fair and reasonable" procedure under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Conclusion

The Court's broad interpretation of the right to privacy has paved the way for a wide range of claims. While the exact boundaries of the right will continue to develop on a case to case basis, it is clear that privacy claims will often have to be weighed against other competing interests. In the absence of a defined hierarchy among the various rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution, the decision in each case will vary based on facts at hand and the judicial interpretation. For instance, can the dignity of a married woman, which is central to her privacy and liberty, be infringed by a law on marital rape so as to shield the "private affairs" of the family? Does the efficiency of having a meta database of information on all citizens trump the autonomy of those who resist its adoption? Can an individual's "right to be forgotten" on the Internet override the open information needs of many others. In fact, just last week, a PIL was filed before the Delhi High Court that the restitution of conjugal rights provision in the Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act is violative of the right to privacy. The real test of privacy will lie in how subsequent Courts apply the Puttaswamy decision to determine these varied questions.

 

Vrinda Bhandari is a practicing advocate in Delhi. Amba Kak is a Mozilla Technology Policy Fellow. Smriti Parsheera and Faiza Rahman are researchers at the National Institute of Public Finance & Policy.

by Anurodh (noreply@blogger.com) at September 20, 2017 09:35 AM

It's Nice That

A higgledy-piggledy, funny yet tragic tale: The Romance of the Skeleton

Adele-davies-victoria-bastos-animation-itsnicethat-list

The Romance of the Skeleton is a two-and-a-half minute, weird and wonderful animation depicting “the lows and lower lows of love in the afterlife.” Equal parts funny and touching, the short is the result of a collaboration between Brazil-born Vitoria Bastos and Adele Davies from Devon (a small town famous for its carpets to be specific). Although from very different backgrounds, the pair bonded over alien abductions, UFOs and a shared interest in weird, sexual and deliberately ugly work – interests which are clearly reflected in the project. Having barely spoken while studying the same course (Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins), the collaboration came about as a way to get out their frustrations with the “final year grind and the inclination towards polished and commercial work.”

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by Ruby Boddington at September 20, 2017 09:35 AM

Zero Hedge

At Least 139 Dead, 60 Pulled Alive From Rubble After Powerful Earthquake Rocks Central Mexico

Update 9 (9:10 pm ET): The head of Mexico's National Civil Defense agency says the death toll from a major earthquake that rattled the center of the country has reached 139.

Luis Felipe Puente said 64 people had died in the state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City, though local officials reported only 54.

In addition, 36 people died in Mexico City, 29 in Puebla state, nine in the State of Mexico and one in Guerrero.

*  *  *

Update 8 (7:15 pm ET): Death toll from Mexico earthquake now at 119, according to state and city officials.

That makes it the deadliest to hit the country since the 1985 quake that, in an incredible coincidence, occurred exactly 32 years ago today, surpassing the death toll from another earthquake the shook the region less than two weeks ago.

* * *

Update 7 (6:50 pm ET): Mexico City government says 30 dead in capital, bringing nationwide total to 94, according to AP.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said that the number of buildings that collapsed has risen to 44, and that between 50 and 60 people have been pulled alive from rubble.

Horrifying videos of buildings crumbling into piles of rubble continue to emerge on Twitter.

Journalists in Mexico City are sharing reports of ordinary citizens rushing to pull people from the rubble. Here's more from the AP.

Carlos Mendoza was standing just blocks away when an apartment building collapsed in Mexico City's trendy Roma neighborhood.

The 30-year-old joined the rescue efforts and said he has been able to pull two people alive from the rubble in three hours of work.

"When we saw this we came to help. This is ugly, very ugly," he said, covered in dust.

Also in Roma, Alma Gonzalez was in her fourth floor apartment when the quake collapsed the ground floor of her building, leaving her no way out.

She was terrified until the people living in the neighboring house mounted a ladder on their roof and helped her slide out a side window.

"They helped us leave with a ladder," Gonzalez said. "I think my father the Lord who has us here for some reason."

...and more from the NYT

Buildings also collapsed across the neighborhoods of Condesa, another fashionable district in the city constructed atop soft soil and extremely vulnerable to earthquakes. Outside, thousands and thousands stood in the streets, avenues and sidewalks, filling the popular neighborhoods with a sense of dread.

On Laredo Street, an entire eight-story apartment building had fallen into the road, leaving an enormous heap of concrete and rubble pouring into the street. At least 100 people stood atop the pile clearing it by hand, piece by piece, passing boulders and twisted steel pipes along a human chain that radiated from the heap like spokes.

Update 6 (6:30 pm ET): More than 3.8 million Mexicans are without power after today's quake, while the death toll climbs to 79, according to the AP.

Here's a particularly harrowing video of what looks like an old warehouse collapsing like a house of cards during the earthqake.

In another video, viewers can hear alarms ringing out across the city as smoke billows out of buildings.

...and here's video of people stampeding out of Mexico's Chamber of Deputies...

* * *

Update 5 (6 pm ET): The death toll has risen to 61, according to the Associated Press. 

Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City. At least 11 others died in Puebla state, according to Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the state's Interior Department. There were no immediate official reports of deaths in the capital, but anecdotal reports of deaths in Mexico City had begun to circulate.

One Mexico City resident described her experience to the AP:

Mariana Morales, a 26-year-old nutritionist, 26, was one many who spontaneously participated in rescue efforts.

She wore a paper face mask and her hands were still dusty from having joined a rescue brigade to clear rubble from a building that fell in a cloud of dust before her eyes, about 15 minutes after the quake.

Morales said she was in a taxi when the quake struck, and she out and sat on a sidewalk to try to recover from the scare. Then, just a few yards away, the three-story building collapsed.

Here's another live feed:

Meanwhile, more photos have begun to emerge. These come courtesy of Axios.

 

 

 

* * *

Update 4 (5:14): President Nieto has confirmed that the death toll has risen to 53. EPN has declared a national state of emergency to deal with the aftermath of the quake.

Follow along with live coverage of the quake aftermath below:

Education Minister Aurelio Nuño tweeted "all public and private schools in Mexico City are cancelled until further notice." He said schools in the states of Puebla and Guerrero also are closed until further notice.

Update 3 (5 pm ET): Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will give a statement about today's quake later tonight. In the meantime, he has urged people to stay off the streets. The water system in Puebla, the state where today's earthquake was centered, has been damaged, according to media reports.

More footage and images of the quake are beginning to emerge, including this shot, taken by a drone camera, of a building collapsing in Mexico City. In a series of tweets, EPN warned residents returning to their homes to turn off the gas and close the door. He also noted that patients from damaged hospitals were being evacuated, and that Mexico's IMSS and ISSSTE emergency services are open to the entire population.

* * *

Update 2 (4:38 pm ET): The governor of the Mexican state of Morelos said at least 42 people have died in the central Mexican state, which shares a border with Puebla, the state that contains Mexico City. Counting the five confirmed deaths in the state of Puebla, the quake's body count has risen to 47.

Meanwhile, the Mexican government has asked to restrict phone and internet use to emergency situations only as the Mexican military has arrived in the Roma and Condesa areas of the capital city.

*MEXICAN MILITARY ARRIVE IN ROMA, CONDESA AREA OF CAPITAL
*MEXICO GOV ASKS TO RESTRICT PHONE, INTERNET FOR EMERGENCIES

Mexico City's governor says 27 buildings have collapsed...

*MEX. PRES SAYS 27 BUILDINGS IN MEX CITY HAVE COLLAPSED:TELEVISA

* * *

Update (4:05 pm ET): The BBC is reporting that several deaths have already been reported as a result of the quake. Reuters says at least five have been killed. The AP quoted Mexico City's mayor as saying that there are reports of peole still trapped in collapsed buildings.

President Donald Trump has taken time out of his day of meetings at the UN to tweet his support: "God bless Mexico City. We are with you and we will be there for you."

Meanwhile, there are reports that tremors were felt as far away as Guadalajara, more than 300 miles away...

* * *

On the anniversary of a massive 1985 earthquake that killed at least 5,000 people, Mexico City has been shaken by another powerful earthquake, the second the shake the city in the past two weeks. The 7.1 magnitude quake shook buildings in the capital city, sending thousands rushing into the streets, according to Reuters.

The earthquake damaged hundreds of buildings in the city, according to initial reports. Ironically, the quake hit only hours after many people participated in earthquake drills around the nation - drills specifically timed to mark the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake.

The epicenter of the quake was 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles (51 km), Reuters reported, citing the US Geological Survey.

A powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico earlier this month, killing at least 98 people.

Accordin to the Associated Press, much of Mexico City is built on former lakebed, and the soft soil can amplify earthquakes even hundreds of miles away.
 

The Mayor of Mexico City announced on Twitter that he had activated an earthquake-related emergency committee to organize and supervise the city's response to the quake.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced that he is returning to Mexico City immediately, and would convene an emergency council to supervise the federal government's role in the disaster response. He is presently on a flight headed for Oaxaca.

At least one flight from Dallas to Mexico City was being diverted to Monterrey as the Mexico City airport ceased operations to conduct a thorough review...

The breaking news headlines are still rolling in...

*MEXICO CITY QUAKE DAMAGED HUNDREDS OF BUILDINGS
*MEXICO CITY AIRPORT SUSPENDS OPS UNTIL INFRA REVIEW IS DONE
*MEXICO CITY AIRPORT SAYS IT'S INSPECTING RUNWAYS AFTER QUAKE
*MEXICO CITY AIRPORT SAYS IT'S INSPECTING TERMINALS FOR DAMAGE
*MEXICAN BOLSA CEO: STILL DECIDING WHETHER TO RESUME OPS TODAY
*MEXICO CITY QUAKE DAMAGES DOZENS BUILDINGS IN FIN. DISTRICT
*MEXICO CITY AIRPORT SAYS IT'S INSPECTING RUNWAYS AFTER QUAKE
*MEXICO CITY POLICE CLOSE OFF STREETS IN ZONA ROSA AREA
*NO QUAKE DAMAGES REPORTED AT THE MOMENT:MEXICO CIVIL PROTECTION
*7.1 MAG. EARTHQUAKE PUEBLA MEXICO :EMSC
*7.1 MAG. EARTHQUAKE CENTRAL MEXICO :GFZ
*MEXICO CITY QUAKE CAUSES POWER OUTAGE IN FINANCIAL DISTRICT
*MEXICO CITY BUILDINGS SHAKE IN EARTHQUAKE
*MEXICO BUILDINGS ROCK IN APPARENT QUAKE
*SMOKE SEEN COMING UP FROM SOME BUILDINGS IN MEXICO CITY
*MEXICO STOCKS FALL NEAR SESSIONS LOWS AFTER QUAKE
*SOME BUILDINGS IN ROMA NEIGHBORHOOD IN MEXICO CITY COLLAPSED

Here's a map showing where the quake occurred:

Images of collapsed buildings populated twitter as residents documented the damage...

 

Roads around terminals at the Mexico City airport were damaged...

 

Pictures of the damage are just starting to emerge on twitter:

Mexican stocks fell to the lows of the day after the quake, while the dollar surged against the peso.

Video showing the aftermath of a building collapse has emerged...

Here's a clip of an office building shaking...

A video taken inside what appears to be a well-furnished apartment depicts the room shaking and dressers toppling over....

...in another video, plumes of smoke can be seen rising from buildings.

Another video shows Mexico City's National Employment Service building shaking...

Footage from tourist attraction Xochimilco showed tourists having a harrowing time as the quake caused choppy waters - "this is a bad idea to be one this boat!" one tourist can be heard shouting.

And here is footage of a factory explosion caught on camera.

by Tyler Durden at September 20, 2017 09:32 AM

It's Nice That

Tiago Galo’s refreshing, travel-themed illustrations remind us of sunnier times

Tiago-galo-illustration-itsnicethat-list

Illustrator Tiago Galo’s portfolio has been updated with an array of travel-themed images that relate to his recent commissions for Condé Nast Travel, National Geographic Travel and British Airways Magazine among others. “It’s been exciting working with different art directors, sometimes at the same time, and realising that my personal style and approach in my illustrations can sometimes evolve into something unexpected even for me,” explains Tiago. “I find myself exploring different themes and situations at the eyes of other creatives and that really pushes my illustrations to the next level.”

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by Rebecca Fulleylove at September 20, 2017 09:23 AM

The Big Picture

Everything must go

Everything must go A rash of store closings is a sign that the ground has shifted under bricks-and-mortar merchants, with consequences for the retail sector and district communities PHIL DAVIES Fedgazette, September 19, 2017         The death notice typically goes out several months before the sad event. In a terse press release,…

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The post Everything must go appeared first on The Big Picture.

by Guest Author at September 20, 2017 09:00 AM

Official Google Blog

Supporting new ideas in the fight against hate

Google.org is launching a $5 million fund to support nonprofit organizations working to combat hate and extremism around the world.

by Kent Walker at September 20, 2017 09:00 AM

It's Nice That

Beetles+Huxley opens Sleeping By the Mississippi by Alec Soth

Alec-soth-photography-itsnicethat-list

It’s safe to say that Sleeping By the Mississippi by Alec Soth is one of the seminal bodies of work that helped to shape what contemporary photographic practice is today. This month sees the first exhibition in London to focus on the critically acclaimed series at Beetles+Huxley, which is now open and will run until 21 October 2017.

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by Ruby Boddington at September 20, 2017 08:54 AM

Artist Alex Chinneck reveals plans for Sheffield’s “largest art commission ever”

Alexchinneck-art-itsnicethat-list

Today (20 September), four sizeable red brick chimneys – each one broken, contorted or twisted – have been unveiled an an “immersive sculptural experience” linking Sheffield and Rotherham in what is the largest art commission ever for the area.

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by Bryony Stone at September 20, 2017 08:28 AM

naked capitalism

Out of Africa: Why the Migration Wave?

Why are so many risking their lives to flee Africa?

by Yves Smith at September 20, 2017 08:18 AM

Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist

How to cope with the need for external validation

The reason I’m not homeless after basically taking a year off from writing is that I have been doing a lot of coaching. I say career coaching, but honestly, no one over 30 has a career problem. All problems that look like career problems are really something else.

But the only coaching most people can justify spending $350 on is coaching that will lead to making more money. So people hire me to talk about their career and they realize they do not have a career problem. After talking with me for ten minutes. So with the remaining 50 minutes I do career coaching about non-career problems.

I love talking with the people who call. It takes a smart, curious, brave person to set up a coaching session with me. If you read this blog for even just a tiny bit of time you know there will be no beating around the bush. A lot of people cry. And I tell them, “Don’t worry, a lot of people cry. And anyway, I have Aspergers so I can just ignore it.”

Well. If they want me to. Or I can express empthy. But for sure no one is signing up for a coaching session because they heard I’m great with empathy.

I get lonely. I spend all day with my kids. They say interesting things, like, “Mom, why are you so forgiving to everyone in your life? I think you have Stockholm Syndrome.” But in spite of that, or maybe because of that, I need to talk to adults; I need to talk to someone who I don’t cook dinner for.

Actually, I have had a few people over for dinner and in-person coaching. They begged, so I tried it once, and I liked it. I charged double. That might be why I liked it. But it’s fun to cook dinner and talk about someone’s life.

I coach a lot of people at Google, and sometimes I keep in touch. One of those people is a woman who recently had a baby and is trying to figure out what path to take moving forward. Google is not particularly family friendly. Of course they say they are family friendly, but there are no people at Google moving up the ladder while being the parent in charge of young kids. There are people moving up the ladder with a stay at home spouse, or a team of nannies.

Anyway, this woman I am corresponding with is obsessed with what other people are doing with their kids. I get that. I am always looking around at who is doing what so that I can do it that way, too. But when you spend your whole life competing – in school for grades, then at work for titles and for money — and then you have a baby, it’s disorienting when you start looking for the competition.

She has found the alternative ways parents who cannot compete at work can continue to measure themselves in order to find external validation. For example, sleeping through the night (nice for parents; irrelevant for the future happiness of a child) or getting into the right preschool (this woman has discovered schools don’t like to take kids with IQs higher than 130 because they are too much trouble to deal with).

Anyway, I confess that I love the information she digs up, but I think it’s messed up that she’s obsessed with finding another way to compete. And, on top of that, I think I am aiding and abetting in her misguided attempts to find another way to get external validation now that she has a kid. I feel like a heroin dealer. Every time she brings me fascinating data, I tell her she is fascinating, and then she does more.

Being a new mom is lonely – you don’t really have a solid new identity to hold on to, and you don’t really have any mom friends yet. New mom life is a life unmoored. I think probably she is just lonely and she deals with loneliness by seeking external validation.

Not that I, too, do not want to be fascinating. I want you to think I’m fascinating. But in the sort of trusted friend kind of way, or at least trusted paid friend so that you’d want to talk to me but you’d know that if you paid for a coaching session I would not divulge everything about you, like I am in this post.

Well, I am not divulging everything. I mean, there are thousands of women who fit this profile. But the truth is I asked her before I wrote abut her, and she’s thrilled  because she wants to be doing something that matters.

I have found that the most messed up people I coach are the ones who most need external validation. Another interesting thing: all S types need external validation. They care about rules and duty and want admiration that they are approaching those important markers with competence. They want acknowledgement for doing the right thing.

But I don’t coach many S types. They are concrete thinkers and not particularly interested in analyzing themselves or planning the future. People who I coach want to make sure they have a plan that will allow them to self-actualize. S types won’t even read this paragraph. They will get to self-actualize, quit reading, and go to the gym. Or the garden. Depending.

So I coach N types and you can imagine, the NTs do not give a shit what anyone thinks of them. I am like, the most insecure NT in the history of the universe, and I still let you guys write in the comments section that I’m a narcissist idiot and I’m destroying my children. So really, trust me that NTs do not need external validation.

This leaves the NFs. I coach mostly NFs and their number-one problem, no matter how old or what stage of life they are in, they want external validation. But the people NFs want external validation from are the NTs and the NTs don’t care about anyone enough to give them validation. This is not to say that NTs do not give praise. We do. In order to move things along. And, for the most part, we are horrified when someone thinks we need external validation from them.

So I coach NFs about how to not be so concerned about external validation and just do their life. The people who have the hardest time doing this, by the way, are INFJs, because they are reticent to admit how much they seek external validation; you can’t solve a problem if you don’t admit it’s there.

Still, my favorite people to coach are INFJs. Because they know so much about everyone but they have big blind spots about themselves. And, as someone with Aspergers, I have a good understanding of the blind spot thing. A blind spot means you don’t know you have a blind spot, so when someone tells you something is off, it’s mind-blowing.

For an Aspergerian (is that a word?) it’s mind-blowing to hear, for example, that people care if their socks match. I mean, now it’s not mind-blowing, but when I was not matching socks, it just never ever occurred to me that people care. It’s so much work for so little reward. That was my thinking.

The corollary for an INFJ is they are shocked to hear that half the world does not care about values. The INFJ feels they are winning the competition for living life according to one’s values. So they are shocked to hear that the rest of the world isn’t even in the competition.

For the INFJ it’s not enough to live according to their values. They want to be recognized and respected for that. The INFJ will say, “Everyone wants respect.” Then they will be shocked to hear that is not true.

We spend so much time trying to find out what the game is, and find the rules, and then win. School is like that, and money is like that, but for the most part, the rest of life is not. So the hardest thing in life is to get an internal compass that allows you to measure yourself against your own values and your own goals. You have to find your own, internal way to validate your choices in life.

I, for example, do not want your respect. I just want you to read to the end of this post so that I feel like I had a conversation. Because it’s midnight and I don’t have a call lined up from Australia tonight, so I’m lonely.

SaveSave

by Penelope Trunk at September 20, 2017 08:11 AM

Seth's Blog

Can you live in a shepherd's hut?

The best way to plan a house on a vacant piece of land is to move into a tiny shepherd's hut on a corner of the property. It's not fancy, and it's not comfortable, but you can probably stay there for a week or two.

And during that week, you'll understand more about the land than you ever could in an hour of walking around. You'll see how the rain falls and the sun shines and the puddles form.

As you've probably guessed, you can do that with the job you're thinking about taking or the project you're thinking about launching. Show up in the market and make some sales. Take a role as an intern and answer the customer service hotline for a day. Get as close as you can to the real thing, live it, taste it, and then decide how to build your career or your organization.

If the shepherd's hut feels too uncomfortable, it might not be the land you wanted in the first place.

       

by Seth Godin at September 20, 2017 08:08 AM

datameet Google Group

Urgent: Send feedback regarding Media Reporting in courts

Hi All, The Delhi high court is inviting feedback through a google form regarding how anyone can report on going court proceedings by tomorrow. While you may consider this not related to data yet. This could be start of conversations related to Indian courts publishing court transcripts and

by srinivas kodali at September 20, 2017 08:06 AM

It's Nice That

“My personal work informs everything that comes after it” and other bits we learned at September's Nicer Tuesdays

Nt-sep-list

At September’s Nicer Tuesdays (this month on a Monday), four very different talks taught us about the different routes creatives apply to projects.

Read more

by It's Nice That at September 20, 2017 08:06 AM

naked capitalism

The Boring Story of the 2016 Election

The most accurate story of why Clinton lost in 2016 is the simplest and most obvious: many people really really didn't like her.

by Yves Smith at September 20, 2017 08:02 AM

Pointy Haired Dilbert: Charting & Excel Tips - Chandoo.org

Power BI Play Date is here. Come, join us for a play

Hello friends,

It’s here. Power BI Play Date – our online training program is now ready for your consideration. Please take a few minutes to read this to know all about the program. If you are ready to join, click here.

What is Power BI?

Considered to be one of the fastest growing technologies in the world of data, Power BI is an incredible software to collect data, model it, analyze it, visualize and publish your work – all with ridiculous ease. Think of  Power BI as a natural extension to Excel based reporting with built-in capabilities to publish to mobile phones, web and everyone in your organization securely.

What can Power BI do for me?

I won’t tease. Check out below show reel to see some of the reports you can create in our course. It is #AWESOME.

What is this play date?


Power BI Play Date is an online training program to teach you how to use Power BI.

Working with data in Power BI feels like playing, hence the name Play Date. This program is completely online and self-paced. You can learn about Power BI from the comfort of your couch (or playpen). I take you from a Power BI rookie to rock star by the end of this course.

In this program (more than 8 hours long), you will learn:

  • Getting started with Power BI – Your first ever play
  • Create and publish a KPI dashboard
  • Analyzing customer service data and creating powerful reports (the CliQ customer service db you see above)
  • Understanding your new play mate Power Pivot – the engine behind Power BI
  • DAX in the park – an introduction to DAX formulas for Power BI
  • Whats up with the chicken prices in New Zealand – an exploratory analysis
  • Introduction to Power Query – your faithful ball fetcher
  • Creating an executive reporting system with forecasting, what-if analysis and more
  • Play time – Roger Federer’s 8th Wimbledon win
  • Play time – Craft Beer, anyone?

Be warned though. This is thoroughly awesome and intense play. Prepare for some serious exercise.

Is it good for me?

Let’s be honest. Power BI is awesome and all, but not everyone can hop on the bandwagon. You need below skills to successfully use Power BI:

  • Decent understanding of business and reporting concepts (ie are you building some reports in Excel or other tools already?)
  • Beginner to intermediate level of Excel (while you won’t be using Excel in Power BI, knowing things can simplify your work)
  • Passion to learn new things (Power BI feels almost nothing like Excel)

and oh yeah, you will also need:

  • Free Power BI Desktop software (you can download this from powerbi.microsoft.com)
  • Optional Power BI online account (this will let you publish things on web etc.)

In this play date, I assume that you have little or zero experience with Power BI and build from that level. At the end of this program you will be able to create awesome reports with the program. That is my promise.

Important Dates

Our Power BI Play Date runs in batches. The first batch enrollment is now open. Keep these dates in mind.

  • Enrolments: Open now
  • Enrolments close: 29th of September, 2017 (Friday)
  • Play begins: As soon as you join.

How to enroll?

Oh simple. Just click here and signup.

Thank you

Thank you so much for all your love, support and feedback. With out you, I couldn’t have created this or any other programs. Thanks for taking time to play and learn from me. I hope to see you in our Power BI play date.

PS: If you have any questions about this course, reply back or leave a comment so I can help you.

by Chandoo at September 20, 2017 08:01 AM

O'Reilly Radar

Mint.com - Personal Finance Blog, Online Money Management, Budget Planner and Financial Planning

How to Get the Most Out of an Awesome Job Offer

Sep 20 How to Get the Most Out of an Awesome Job Offer

In the past, employees would stick with a company for decades. It wasn’t unusual in the 20th century for someone to stay at the same company for their entire career, consistently garnering raises and promotions until they retired with a hefty pension.

Obviously, those days are long gone.

The job market in 2017 is a cutthroat place, and you have to look out for number one if you want to advance. That can be difficult when you like the company you work for, but can’t seem to move forward. That’s why people start looking for outside offers. Whether you’re actually looking to jump ship or not, an offer with a larger salary and better benefits can go a long way to proving your value. Sometimes, you can use that to leverage a raise or promotion with your current employer.

But don’t march in and demand a corner office yet. This kind of power play needs to be done thoughtfully – or not at all.

Should You?

Even if you do get a great offer, some HR experts agree that it’s a bad idea to leverage the offer with your current employer. Your boss might not like feeling pressured, even if he or she does agree to give you a raise or promotion. Even if you end up making out like a bandit at your current job, entertaining the offer and then turning it down might preclude you from being considered for any future positions at that company.

Some industries, such as most media fields, are more receptive to this tactic than others. If you know of coworkers or peers who have used this strategy successfully, don’t hold back in doing it yourself. Ask them how they negotiated with the employer and what worked.

This whole approach used to be a big no-no, but these days companies are more open to the idea of competing to retain talent. As the culture of company loyalty has dissipated, many HR departments have realized that a competitive counter-offer is almost always a better strategy than hiring and training new employees.

You’ll probably have better luck trying this with a larger organization than a mom and pop company. Small business owners tend to value loyalty more highly, and might take your ultimatum personally. At large companies, people in charge of hiring tend to be more personally detached from the process.

How to Go About It

Make sure to have a clear plan of what you’re looking to get out of negotiations. Do you just want a higher salary? Are you feeling unchallenged with your responsibilities? It’s also important to realize that you might not get 100% of what you’re asking for. Try not to have unrealistic expectations about what your boss can offer or you might end up disappointed.

The best way to approach this situation is to start an honest discussion with your employer about why you’re considering jumping ship. If you’re feeling underappreciated, bring up the specific reasons why you feel that way. If you want the company to match your new offer, state that explicitly. Emphasize that you’re bringing this up because you’d like to stay with the company, but need to put your career first. As long as you don’t come across as entitled or greedy, there’s a good chance you’ll walk away with a raise or promotion.

When you negotiate, rest easy with the confidence that you have a better offer waiting if things don’t go well. State your case clearly, sit back and let your supervisor do the talking. In negotiations, the person who talks less usually wins.

If Your Employer Agrees

If your boss agrees to your requests, it’s good practice to then stay at that position for a reasonable length of time – usually at least a year. If you get a raise and then leave after six months for greener pastures, you could burn bridges and end up ruining a previously good reference.

It’s also vital that you prove worthy of your new title and responsibilities. Don’t start slacking once you’ve gotten what you really want. That could make them wary of extending this offer to anyone else or giving you another raise in the future. Remember, no one wants to work with someone who talks a big game and then under-delivers.

After you’ve made your play to leverage a job offer, you probably won’t have as much success doing it again with the same company. Once you’ve established a pattern as a cutthroat ladder-climber, supervisors might not be so receptive to the idea that you’re only asking for a counter-offer because you love working for your current company. You’ll likely need to switch companies if you find yourself stagnating again.

 

Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Debt Free After Three.

by Zina Kumok at September 20, 2017 08:00 AM

datameet Google Group

Everything that is being done Badly is a Job opportunity in India

Hello, Fellow Datameeters, This is more of a post about my feelings rather than related to Data. We are talking about reducing Job opportunities, Unemployment and frustrated youth. But I am confused. Every time I do anything, any work, I go anywhere I see the world full of job opportuniti

by Dilip Damle at September 20, 2017 07:42 AM

FlowingData

Visual narrative of six asylum seekers

We often visualize migration and people movement as lines that go from point A to point B. While this can be interesting for overall trends, we lose something about the individuals leaving their home and traveling in hopes to find something some better. Federica Fragapane, in collaboration with Alex Piacentini, focuses in on six people leaving point A for point B to tell their stories.

Tags: ,

by Nathan Yau at September 20, 2017 07:17 AM

NYT > Economy

Senate Republicans Embrace Plan for $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut

Senate Republicans, abandoning a key fiscal doctrine, agreed to move ahead on a budget that would add to the federal deficit in order to pave the way for a $1.5 trillion tax cut.

by ALAN RAPPEPORT and THOMAS KAPLAN at September 20, 2017 07:00 AM

RubyFlow

Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – OPEC to Debate Extending or Deepening Supply Cuts

Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – OPEC to Debate Extending or Deepening Supply CutsU.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil settled slightly lower on Tuesday ahead of inventories reports from the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Energy Information Administration. November WTI Crude Oil settled at settled at $50.28, down $0.07 or -0.14% and December Brent Crude oil closed at $55.15, down $0.10 or -0.18%. Both … Continue reading Oil Price Fundamental Daily Forecast – OPEC to Debate Extending or Deepening Supply Cuts


September 20, 2017 05:39 AM

Boy Genius Report

Nurses post Snapchats of themselves giving babies the finger and calling them ‘mini Satans’

snapchat nurses

The disappearing photo messages of Snapchat have given people freedom to speak their minds in ways not possible in other messaging apps, but for several nurses in the Jacksonville Naval Hospital, being rude to babies and then posting their escapades on the app has landed them in hot water.

Continue reading...

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by Mike Wehner at September 20, 2017 05:00 AM

naked capitalism

Reminder: Kansas City Meetup This Friday, September 22

Looking forward to seeing Kansas City readers and perhaps some attendees from the MMT conference at our meetup this Friday!

by Yves Smith at September 20, 2017 04:18 AM

Trump takes a jab at the Emmys after threatening to 'destroy North Korea' in first UN speech

Trump takes a jab at the Emmys after threatening to 'destroy North Korea' in first UN speechTwo days after celebrities threw verbal jabs at President Donald Trump during the 69th Primetime...


September 20, 2017 04:05 AM

Andrew Tobias

The Easy, Cheap Way Is The Best Way

Index funds: boring and tax efficient.

You know who is never boring?  And who famously beats index funds by a mile?

Warren Buffett.

So have a little fun reading about the ten-year $1 million bet he made — and has just won.  (Namely, that 0ver 10 years a cheap index fund — with no active management at all — would outperform any basket of five hedge funds, however brilliant their highly paid managers.)

It’s rich. As is Warren.  And as are those hedge fund managers, even though they added no value.  Subtracted value, actually.

(And we haven’t even talked about tax efficiency yet.  In a taxable account, that gives index funds an even greater edge over hedge funds.)

That said, I’m an investor in one tiny hedge fund in which I have high confidence and that has, as some do, at least in hindsight, consistently outperformed.

And I don’t write off the possibility of finding undervalued stocks.  I’ve suggested lots of losers here over the years, to be sure; and others that may not ultimately be losers but surely, sorely try one’s patience.  But some work out.

For example, as 2015 drew to a close, I apologized for the losers, but asked: “would this be a time to buy a little GLDD?  A little PRMRF?  A little BOREF?  Each under $5?  Check back with me in a year or two and we’ll know.”

Well, as of last night, BOREF and GLDD were essentially unchanged, but PRMRF had quadrupled.  (And you would be forgiven if you now took some or all your gain on that one, as the at least the first 400% upside has now been realized.)  I hang on to BOREF and GLDD, and to SPRT and GEC and HD and others.  Hope springs eternal.  (And in the case of HD, has panned out but may have further to pan.)

 

by A.T. at September 20, 2017 04:02 AM

Airbus opens China A330 plant amid market push

Airbus opens China A330 plant amid market pushAirbus SE on Wednesday opened its Chinese completion plant for A330 jets, with hopes that an increased presence in the world's fastest growing aviation market would help boost demand for the firm's profitable ...


September 20, 2017 03:49 AM

Daring Fireball

★ The iPhones 8

I was tempted to write this review under the conceit that there was no such thing as the iPhone X. Just don’t even mention the iPhone X, and consider the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as though they were the only two new phones coming from Apple this year. That conceit would work, insofar as the iPhones 8 are excellent year-over-year upgrades compared to their iPhone 7 counterparts.

But ignoring the iPhone X would actually do an injustice to the 8 and 8 Plus, because so much of what is inside the X is also inside the 8’s. These phones are in no way shape or form1 some sort of half-hearted or minor update over the iPhone 7.

The Outside: Design and Display

These new iPhones look and feel great. I’ve been testing a silver iPhone 8 and gold iPhone 8 Plus since last Wednesday. Whether you like the way their polished back glass looks is subjective, but I like it a lot. Feel-wise, there’s no question in my mind that glass is better than aluminum. My personal iPhone 7 that I’ve been using for the last 11 months, however, is the jet black model, which in hand feels very similar to the glass of the iPhones 8. With both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 in my pocket I can’t tell them apart by feel, but that’s only because my 7 has the jet black finish.

I’ve never owned a Plus-sized iPhone, and last year my review unit did not have the jet black finish, so I found the 8 Plus with glass back to be a revelation. I prefer it so much to any previous Plus-sized iPhone I’ve tested that it almost feels like a different form factor, not just a different material. I’ve always found the Plus unwieldy, and part of that is that aluminum is slippery enough that, combined with the size of the device, it just felt like something I had to consciously think about to avoid dropping. However, just like the jet black aluminum finish, the polished glass back of these new phones is grippier. That grippiness is a nice feature for the 4.7-inch size, but for the Plus, I think it’s a necessity — it makes it far more pleasant to hold and use.

This is the fourth Plus-sized iPhone Apple has made, and it’s the first time that I personally would seriously consider buying one. (I probably would have thought the same thing if I had tested a Plus with the jet black finish last year, though. The difference for me is all about the grippiness.)

Here’s what I wrote about about the jet black aluminum finish last year:

I’ve spent the last five days testing one iPhone of each finish: a jet black iPhone 7 and a matte black iPhone 7 Plus. On Friday I devoted an entire piece — “Black vs. Jet Black” — to help pre-orderers decide between the two, based on my initial impressions. Long story short, my initial impression was that black looked better, and jet black felt better. I stand behind my initial description of jet black as the grippiest iPhone Apple has ever made. I also stand by my prediction that Apple wasn’t joking around about the footnote on the iPhone 7 web page:

The high-gloss finish of the jet black iPhone 7 is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process. Its surface is equally as hard as other anodized Apple products; however, its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use. If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use one of the many cases available to protect your iPhone.

After just five days — more than half of which I’ve spent using the matte black iPhone 7 Plus — this jet black iPhone 7 has a few “micro abrasions”, to use Apple’s own term. I can only see them when I’m looking for them, and only when I reflect light off the surface at the perfect angle, but they’re there. This is after two days of careful use, and never putting it in a pocket that contains anything else. The back surface of this phone shows more wear after (effectively) two days of use than my space gray 6S does after nearly a year.

After six days of daily use, this iPhone 8 shows no scratches or “micro-abrasions” whatsoever. With a wipe on my shirt to remove fingerprints, it could pass for mint new-in-box condition. The iPhone 8 Plus I’ve been testing has not been in my pocket every day, but it too looks flawless.

I don’t mind the micro-abrasions on my jet black iPhone. After nearly a year of daily use, almost all of it sans case, its back is covered with these fine scratches. That’s what I expected based on Apple’s warning last year. There’s no such warning from Apple this year. I think these glass backs are going to hold up nicely.

Color-wise, I can’t say much about space gray, since I don’t have one to test. But that’s the one I’d buy if I were going to buy an iPhone 8, because I always prefer black or space gray or whatever name Apple is calling the black one this year. But the silver looks nice, and the new gold is very interesting. Rather than two golds — a yellow gold and a pink rose gold — Apple has honed in on one true gold this year, a sort of slightly rosy gold. The back glass panel is a sort of taupe. It looks like a slightly different color under different lighting conditions.

A lot of people out there have been asking me who the iPhone 8 is for, other than people who can’t or don’t want to spend $999 or more on an iPhone X. One group, I think are people who’ll want this gold color.2

Now, everything I’ve written about what’s new about the exterior of the iPhone 8 is moot if you put your phone in a case, and from what I’ve observed, I’d guess 90-95 percent of iPhones in use are in cases. Some cases have clear backs, which do show the color and design of iPhone back. I think it must be so weird to be a hardware designer at Apple, though, working to make these devices that look beautiful, knowing that 90+ percent of the people who buy them will put them in case within minutes of unboxing them and never take the case off.

In a lot of ways, I think the iPhone 4/4S design was the pinnacle of the iPhone’s perfection. No camera bumps, no notches. So much symmetry, including a symmetric feel between the front face and back, because both were made of glass. Those backs were prone to shattering when dropped, and I’ve always suspected that’s what led them to switch to an aluminum unibody case with the iPhone 5. We’ll see how durable this new “most durable glass ever in a smartphone” is (those are Apple’s own words), but in terms of look and feel, I’m glad glass is back.

A11 Bionic Chip

I asked Apple last week what exactly was “bionic” about the A11 chip system. The answer, translated from Apple marketing-speak to plain English, is that The Bionic Man and Woman were cool, and the A11 chip is very cool. I think they’ve started giving these chips names in addition to numbers (last year’s was the A10 Fusion) because the numbers alone belie the true nature of how significant the improvements in these chips are. Going from A10 to A11 is like going from 10 to 11 mathematically, which implies a 10 percent improvement. That’s not the case at all here — the A11 is way more than a 10 percent improvement over the A10. So they’ve given it a name like “Bionic” to emphasize just how powerful it is.

I wrote about the A11 Bionic chip last week in my thoughts and observations on the event, and I don’t have much more to say here, but I’ll repeat this line:

The specs aren’t what matters — the effects are what matters. But the specs are what we can measure, and the faster the chips are, the better the effects are in the user experience.

Apple isn’t using the power of the A11 simply to make the things older iPhones do faster. They’re using it to power new features, like the lighting effects in Portrait mode on the 8 Plus and the various machine learning stuff.

Cameras

Six days is not a lot of time to spend with a new phone, let alone two new phones. Photography is one area where I don’t yet have a handle on how much better these iPhones are than their predecessors. The lighting effects in Portrait mode, though, are interesting. This feature is still in “beta”, but man, I’ve already taken some shots of my wife and son that I just love. There have also been a few where the edges of their hair have confused the hell out of the iPhone’s depth sensing. But the original Portrait mode last year shipped in similar state, and got better quickly. When it works, though, it’s amazing. (And when it doesn’t work well, you can always revert to the plain no-lighting-effect Portrait mode shot, with nothing lost.)

From a high-level perspective, a camera is three things: a lens, a shutter, and a surface on which to focus the image. That surface used to be film; today it’s a digital sensor.3 For the most part, if you wanted to improve the image quality, you had to improve (or change) the lens or the film. Over the decades, there were breakthroughs based on electronics — automatic focus and exposure are the ones that spring to my mind — but the biggest technical factors in photography were based on the simple physics of light passing through a lens and being focused onto a sensor surface.

What’s interesting to me is that some of the camera improvements Apple is talking about with the iPhone 8 aren’t about that. Yes, the sensor has been improved, and is apparently even better at capturing colors in a wide color gamut. But the advances in phone photography are driven more by computing — both hardware and software — than by advances in lens optics or sensors. There’s just not much more that can happen between such small lenses and sensors. The real action is in hardware and software.

Here’s one example from the iPhone 8, in Apple’s own words:

The intelligent, Apple-designed image signal processor in the A11 Bionic chip detects elements in a scene — like people, motion, and lighting conditions — to optimize your photos before you even take them. It also delivers advanced pixel processing, wide color capture, faster autofocus, and better HDR photos.

Apple is so confident in their improvements to HDR that with the iPhone 8, by default HDR is simply engaged automatically, and iOS no longer stores separate HDR and non-HDR images. HDR just turns on when iOS thinks you need it, and it simply leaves one image in your camera roll. The Settings app has options to enable manual HDR mode and to save HDR and non-HDR versions of images, but until I run into a problem, I’m sticking with the defaults. HDR is no longer something I need to think about.

Charging

In addition to the fact that the glass backs look and feel nicer, they also allowed Apple to add inductive charging to the iPhones 8 — a feature the industry and, alas, Apple itself insists upon calling “wireless charging”. Don’t get me started. Inductive charging is not wireless. But it is nice. Apple supplied me with a review unit of Belkin’s $60 wireless charging pads. Other reviewers were given Mophie’s, which is also $60. It’s convenient and works great. Design-wise the Belkin pad is what it is — it looks Belkin-y. My biggest complaint is that the plug that goes into the wall is enormous and ugly. I’ll probably buy the Mophie one simply because I prefer black to white, and their wall plug has to be better than Belkin’s.

I’m glad Apple decided to support the Qi (pronounced “chee”) standard, which several Android handsets already support. This is an area where Apple has been behind its competition. You know how like 10 years ago, hotels started buying bedside alarm clocks with built-in 30-pin iPod docks? And then they were rendered useless when the iPhone switched to Lightning? And how those Lightning docks are utterly useless to Android users? If they start switching to Qi charging pads, it’ll just work for everyone, and that’s a good thing.

The iPhones 8 also now support “high-speed charging” when you connect them to a Lightning cable attached to a high-wattage charger. In the box, both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus both still come with the same rinky-dink 5-watt charger that all iPhones have shipped with since 2008’s iPhone 3G. iPhones have long charged faster when connected to one of the larger 10- or 12-watt chargers that ship with iPads.4 I went out and bought one of Apple’s 29-watt chargers that ship with the MacBook ($49 bucks, not cheap). I also bought a USB-C to Lightning cable ($25 for 1 meter, $35 for 2 meters — also not cheap). Anker makes a 30-watt USB-C charger that sells for under $30, but I figured I’d test fast-charging with Apple’s kit.

The bottom line: it’s faster, yes, but not that much faster. I ran the iPhone 8 battery down until it powered off. I plugged it into the 29-watt charger, and got the following results: after 15 minutes it was back to 27 percent, at 30 minutes it was at 54 percent, and at 45 minutes it was at 72 percent. But then I did the same thing with my year-old iPhone 7. After 30 minutes it was at 43 percent, and at 45 minutes it was at 65 percent. (I didn’t pay attention to where it was at after 15 minutes.) The iPhone 8 does charge faster than an iPhone 7, but not by much.

Display

There’s one major difference between these displays and those of the iPhones 7 — True Tone. This is a feature where the device uses a 4-channel ambient light sensor to detect the color temperature of your surroundings. It then adjusts the color temperature of the display to match. I love True Tone. Back in March 2016, Apple introduced the first True Tone device: the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Describing the feature, Phil Schiller said something to the effect of “Once you get used to it, you can’t go back.” I took this as a sign that it would be coming in the iPhone 7 last year, too. It didn’t.

But the iPhones 8 have it now, and it’s great. True Tone, though, is the sort of feature that you don’t notice, but rather that you notice the absence of in other devices. It ruins you. When I flew home last week, I spent the first few hours of my flight using the iPhone 8. I find phones to be convenient devices on planes — and the flaky nature of in-flight Wi-Fi is a good stress test for battery life. Two or three hours into the flight, I needed to check something on my personal iPhone 7 — I don’t remember what it was exactly, but it was something from an app I didn’t have installed on the review unit. When I took my iPhone 7 out of my pocket, my first thought was “What’s wrong with the display, why is everything gross and blue?” Then I remembered: True Tone.

(Battery life, by the way, has been fine. 4 hours into my flight last week and the iPhone 8 was still at 50 percent — that was pretty much non-stop use.)

Conclusion

The pricing has changed slightly since last year. Last year’s entry model iPhone 7 cost $649. This year’s 64 GB iPhone 8 costs $699. Apple, of course, has no explanation for this. But RAM prices have gone up so much in the last year that it’s probably the biggest reason.

Each phone comes in two sizes: 64 GB and 256 GB. The iPhone 8 costs $699 and $849; the Plus $799 and $949. I like this change from three sizes to just two. And even more than that, I like that after years of languishing with 16 GB base models, Apple has quickly moved to 64 GB as the base model capacity.

No one is going to describe the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus as having a radical new design. But they do have new glass backs that are the biggest change to their finishings since this general form factor started with the iPhone 6. The displays have gained True Tone. The cameras are significantly improved, both for still images and video. (Did I mention that both the 8 and 8 Plus can shoot true 4K video at 60 frames per second when you use the new HEVC format instead of the more compatible H.264?) The iPhone 8 Plus gets the new Portrait mode lighting effects. Both phones have the amazing A11 Bionic chip. They get inductive charging.

These are solid year-over-year updates — at least as impressive as the iPhone 7 was over the iPhone 6S. If they hadn’t debuted alongside the iPhone X we’d be arguing about whether these are the most impressive new iPhone models since the iPhone 6. There’s a lot to love about them and nothing to dislike.

But they did debut alongside the iPhone X, and because of that almost nobody is excited about them. There’s no use pretending otherwise.

But it’s worth noting that it’s just as instructive to compare the iPhones 8 to the iPhone X as it is to compare them to the iPhones 7. The iPhone X certainly has much to offer: the edge-to-edge 5.8-inch OLED display, the form factor that’s easier to hold and pocket than the Plus, the front-facing sensor array for Face ID and depth mapping with the front-facing camera, and an even better camera system on the back (with optical image stabilization for both lenses — the iPhone 8 Plus only has OIS for the wide angle lens). But the A11 chip (including the improved image processing that I described above), inductive charging, True Tone — all of these things in the iPhone X are also in both iPhone 8 models.

Pretty good for a boring update.


  1. Well, I guess the shape and form are actually the same. I need a new idiom here that includes the word “finish”. ↩︎︎

  2. Another group are people who value familiarity over being on the bleeding edge. You, the sort of person who reads the footnotes on Daring Fireball iPhone reviews, are not that person. But an awful lot of regular people out there just want a nice new iPhone that looks and works like the one they’re replacing. ↩︎

  3. No offense to you photographers still shooting on real film. I love your work. ↩︎︎

  4. I’ll go so far as to call the rinky-dink 5-watt charger the new 16 GB storage tier — a nickel-and-dime move whose time was up a few years ago. Oh, and one more nickel-and-dime move: Apple only includes a USB-A-to-Lightning cable in the box. The Google Pixel I bought last year included two cables, USB-A and USB-C. And Apple is the company selling laptops that only include USB-C ports. If you buy a new MacBook or MacBook Pro and a new iPhone 8, you’re spending upwards of $2,500 and Apple still requires you to buy a separate $25 cable if you want to connect that new iPhone to your new MacBook or to use the MacBook’s high-wattage charger to power your phone. That’s embarrassing. ↩︎︎

by John Gruber at September 20, 2017 03:47 AM

Boy Genius Report

Report: Discovery of an earlier Equifax hack complicates matters even further

Equifax hack

Earlier this month, credit reporting agency Equifax informed the public that its computer systems had been breached, exposing the private data of 143 million Americans. But according to a new report from Bloomberg, it wasn't the first time that Equifax was the victim of a cyber attack in 2017. Unnamed sources tell the publication that Equifax's systems were also breached in March in a separate, previously undisclosed incident.

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by Jacob Siegal at September 20, 2017 03:31 AM

Buffett calls pessimists about United States 'out of their mind'

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September 20, 2017 03:27 AM

Crazy video shows what it’s like to be attacked by helicopters

Russian helicopter attack video

At least two people have been injured as a result of a friendly-fire incident during a Russian military exercise. That's bad; what's more shocking is the video footage that emerged of the incident, which paints a very terrifying picture of what it's like to be attacked by a rocket-wielding helicopter.

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by Chris Mills at September 20, 2017 02:03 AM

SANS Internet Storm Center, InfoCON: green

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

September 20, 2017 01:55 AM

9 NBA teams lost money last year, and a fight is coming

9 NBA teams lost money last year, and a fight is comingA big report from ESPN's Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe revealed 14 NBA teams lost money last...


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Amazon sends accidental gift email to shoppers due to glitch

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September 20, 2017 01:25 AM

Mueller is drilling into Manafort's past — and it could spell trouble for Trump

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Boy Genius Report

Designer argues why iOS 11’s new design is inconsistent

iOS 11 Release

Apple earlier today rolled out iOS 11, a gigantic new software update for iPhone and iPad users. As is to be expected, iOS 11 is chock-full of interesting new features, including a complete rethinking of the iPad user experience, the ability to send money to friends and family via Apple Pay, welcome updates to the Live Photos feature, a redesigned App Store, support for ARKit developed apps and much more.

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by Yoni Heisler at September 20, 2017 01:01 AM

Wired Top Stories

Got a PS4? Add Virtual Reality for Only $300

The most affordable VR bundle is $100 off right now with a coupon code.

by Wired Staff at September 20, 2017 12:47 AM