Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Target for Gravity Wave Detector: Giant Freaking Radio Wave Burst Coming from Galaxy 6 Billion Light Years Away

It looks like a juicy target for our newfound gravity wave detector.
On April 18, 2015, a telescope caught sight of the FRB, and mere hours later, other telescopes found its location, tracing the source of the burst to a galaxy about 6 billion light-years away, according to a new study published in the journal Nature this week.
This marks the first time the distance to an FRB has been measured.

FRBs send out as much energy in a fraction of a second as the sun puts out in 10,000 years, but they are exceedingly difficult to find. 
Now that is something to check out using gravity waves. I wonder what could be causing such a powerful burst.

Friday, February 19, 2016

On Feb 21st We Mark 100 Years Since the WW1 Battle of Verdun

The worst part is that this battle was pretty much for no real gain or loss.
It was the middle of World War I , and the fighting all along the Western Front that ran between the Channel and the Alps had settled into a static confrontation of men, planes and guns — guns, above all. That day the Germans dropped a million shells onto the forts, forests and ravines around Verdun, and in the 10 months that followed, 60 million more would fall in the area. By then the French had stopped the German advance and even recovered most of the terrain they had lost, reduced by then to a lunar landscape bereft of vegetable or animal life. And 300,000 men had died.
Think about that 300,000 figure for a moment. That is 4 full Allianz Stadiums (where Bayern Munich plays) full of soldiers that would die between Feb 21st and Dec 18th when the battle was officially over. The worst part is was all futile because as it says above the Germans attacked the French counter attacked over and over but they were right back where they started at the end of the battle. It was pretty much all of WW1 encapsulated in one disastrous battle.

Also the Douaumont Ossuary on the site contains the unidentified remains of 150,000 French and German war dead. Those are unidentified soldiers. Blown apart by bombs or artillery or chopped apart by machine guns or whatever. Also 65 square miles of the battlefield is called a Zone Rouge (“Red Zone”) because therein lies perhaps 10 million unexploded shells. Every now and then one blows up or releases mustard gas into the air. Those chemical weapons are still deadly 100 years later. It might take another 100 years or more to clear all the bombs and make that place inhabitable again. More than likely it will always be a haunted wasteland where people will never go again.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A "Great Game" Development: Iran and China Restart the Silk Road will Pipelines be Next?

It seems the Red Chinese are moving in quick now that sanctions have been lifted on Iran.
The first cargo train from China to Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday, marking a milestone in reviving the ancient Silk Road trade route.

The 32-container train passed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran, taking 14 days (30 days less than a typical sea voyage between Shanghai and the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas) to complete the 6,462 mile journey from China’s eastern city of Wiyu.

The Silk Road – envisioned as a rail and sea route – is part of China’s “One Belt, One Road,” an economic development strategy, which has opened a new chapter of win-win cooperation between China and Iran, Xinhua reported.
That is kind of a long haul but the idea of a long pipeline bringing Iranian oil to Chinese refineries and then sold directly into China might be a smart play. It would have to cross through several countries but I'm sure the Red Chinese can grease a few palms to get the thing going.

It would be a perfect "Great Game" strategy. China gets away from American/Saudi oil coming by ship and moves toward a fairly stable pipeline coming from Iran. In return Iran gets a stable market for their oil and also gets the Red Chinese to move into their sphere of influence. Israel or the US would be loathe to bomb nuclear sites when it could raise the ire of Red China. Even if sanctions were threatened on Iran the Chinese would vote anything down because they have an economic dog in the game. Very canny by both players.

Largest Blackhole Ever Identified Filmed by Hubble: No It's Not Ted Cruz's Soul

Now this is one big assed black hole.
So how big is it, exactly? Well, according to our best estimates, the supermassive black hole is roughly 21 billion times the size of the Sun, and its event horizon (an area so dense and powerful that light can’t escape its gravity) measures 130 billion kilometers in diameter. That’s about 15 times the diameter of Neptune’s orbit around the Sun, according to scientists at the Hubble Space Telescope.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Legendary Technician Tom Demark says the market bottom will be in the next few days

Sounds good to me. It looks like there will be one final toilet flush then hopefully we will be headed back northward.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Thursday, he said that he's looking for a bottom in the S&P 500 over the next couple of days.

DeMark told Bloomberg that he expects we'll find a bottom at 1,792 for S&P 500 futures and 1,797 for the index.

The S&P closed at 1,829 on Thursday. He is a legendary market technician known for making big and specific market-timing calls.

First, however, DeMark thinks that stocks are going to head lower and that this final dive will probably happen "in the next two or three days."
This market is totally irrational pricing in a recession for some reason. Good stocks were getting killed on rumors of things that would never happen. Does anyone really think the Fed would be okay with negative rates when they are doing everything they can to raise them? The banks got killed on that mis-information. 

Also high-growth stocks all got nailed because Tableau missed their numbers
To recap: shares went from $81.75 with analysts predicting target prices of $100 and above, to below $40 on Tuesday, with average analyst targets of $74.

For instance, Morgan Stanley analysts who had been bullish on Tableau did a complete about-face. They downgraded the stock from overweight to equal-weight and slashed their target price from $125 to $55.

All this because Tableau lowered its earnings expectations to $830 million to $850 million from its previous guidance of $845 million to $865 million.
The problem is that it seems to be Tableau's (DATA) problem and not the entire industry.
He suggest that Tableau is facing more competition (driving down prices), internal sales issues and, perhaps the fact that some companies are focused more on moving their IT to the cloud than they are in ramping up their big data projects.
So these companies are using their IT spend to buy something else instead of big data projects. Big data always seemed like the kind of project that you would launch if you had cash left over. However, taking your infrastructure to the cloud or cyber-security is something you have to buy (and pay maintenance year after year) no matter what. Hopefully, this irrationality will bleed out of the market next week.

Why Millennial's Hate Hillary in one Article

This is from a very liberal point of view from a feminist.
The reason Wall Street is dropping zillions of quarters into Hillary's Super PAC-Man machine isn't because it wants change — it's because Wall Street sees revenue in her promises of keeping things much the same. Under Hillary, our prisons will continue to punish for profit. Our schools will continue to be sold off to private contractors. And despite 87 percent of Democrats standing behind universal health care, Hillary insists it will "never, ever come to pass." Not from her, I guess, since she's taken over $13 million from the health care industry.
Yeah Hillary really is yet another bought-and-paid-for politician and Sanders doesn't seem to be that way with his $27 average donation. It is simple as that. She also is disingenuous, crooked, and a national security threat because she wanted what she wanted. She may even be under indictment for felony charges before too long.
If Millennials are coming out in droves to support Bernie Sanders, it's not because we are tripping balls on Geritol. No, Sanders's clever strategy of shouting the exact same thing for 40 years simply strikes a chord among the growing number of us who now agree: Washington is bought. And every time Goldman Sachs buys another million-dollar slice of the next American presidency, we can't help but drop the needle onto Bernie's broken record:
I think it is a sense that the Wall Street sharpies, their captive regulators, and their salaried politicians tanked the economy. In a sense the Millennials are right when they say this. So socialism looks much better to them than rigged capitalism. Bernie offers free college tuition and universal healthcare. The optimistic, dreamer type of things. Hillary offers them the hard truths like how these things get paid for. That is a non-starter with a generation that is starting their lives in the Great Recession.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Astronomers Find Gravitational Waves: Ushers in New Field of Gravity Wave Astronomy

Now this is one interesting breakthrough that will probably get lost in all the stupid crap out there nowadays.
In other words, gravitational wave astronomy will usher in an entirely new era of space discovery.

"Things we should never be entitled to see -- colliding black holes, merging neutron stars, gargantuan collisions of galaxies -- can now be routinely revealed to us. We are poised to discover whole new types of phenomena, and we will now receive entirely new insights on familiar objects," said astronomer Bryan Gaensler, director of Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto and the Canadian SKA science director, who has not worked on the LIGO project.

"There have been many scientific highlights of physics and astronomy in recent years: the Higgs Boson, landing a probe on a comet, and an amazing fly-by of Pluto," he said. "But all this is dwarfed by what has been announced this week. A new era of science has begun."   
The idea that two black holes can collide and we could not see that phenomenon before sounds really interesting. Imagine the forces that are brought to bear when these two infinite mass objects smash into each other. It would be interesting to peer into the gravity wave signature in the center of our solar system.

Also I wonder if this gravity wave detection could find wormholes by tracking their gravitational waves? It does seem like a new day in astronomy. Thank you Dr. Einstein for providing the theory and LIGO for proving it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Christie and Fiorina are Out: Too Much Trump for Them

New Hampshire seems to be the great winnowing of the field. In past elections this is when people just got interested. I have been following it when there were like 15 people in the field so it feels strange now that there are only a few left.

The choices we have left are mostly unpalatable as well. The megalomaniac billionaire, the hated Senator from Texas, the young robot from Florida, the decorated surgeon that knows nothing about foreign policy, the wooden brother of the other President, and the likable Governor from Ohio (who I could actually vote for without reservation.) The Dem side has the duplicitous potential felon that had her email hacked and the septuagenarian socialist that all the Millennials love. I might have to vote present like Obama in this election because nearly everyone sucks.

Hillary's Quid Pro Quo With the Press

So this is what they mean by "objective" journalism.
“1) You in your own voice describe them [Clinton’s remarks] as ‘muscular’ 2) You note that a look at the CFR seating plan shows that all the envoys — from Holbrooke to Mitchell to Ross — will be arrayed in front of her, which in your own clever way you can say [is] certainly not a coincidence and meant to convey something 3) You don’t say you were blackmailed!”

Ambinder delivered the gushing story Reines wanted after getting the speech early to scoop rivals.

Ambinder told Gawker he regretted cutting the deal.
It also show how her handlers micro-manage her image to make her look less insecure. I would be willing to bet that Condelezza Rice's people didn't have to cut deals with the press to make her look "muscular" or have the other envoys "arrayed in front of her." I assume the envoys were genuflecting worse than these press sycophants.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Well Idiot Cruz admits that His Campaign Used some Lies by Omission on the Iowa Caucus: #LoseCruz

And this guy is going to try to run against the Queen of Lies herself, Hillary?
CNN reported Monday night that Carson would go home to Florida following the Iowa caucuses instead of flying directly to the early voting states New Hampshire and South Carolina. The network added that he planned to stay in the race.

Some Cruz allies shared that news widely on the night of the caucuses, including to Carson supporters, but did not include the part about Carson remaining in the race.
Now that is dirty politics and I would expect nothing less from idiot Cruz. The funny thing is that he can no long accuse Hillary of being untruthful because he was caught red-handed to try to win Iowa at all costs. If Cruz is the nominee I will probably vote for the devil I know (aka Hillary) and not the idiot America should fear. 

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Looks Like Amazon Found Their Retail Store Head: Steve Kessel

Hmm I guess Bezos trusts the guy.
Kessel joined Amazon in 1999 and was part of the team that built the original Kindle. He's known to be close with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as he was one of the 10 people who directly reported to him before leaving for a sabbatical in 2012.

In early 2015, Kessel returned to Amazon, but his role has been unclear until now. Re/code says he's been working on this project secretly for a long time.
Amazon's retail ambitions were first revealed in November 2015 when it opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in downtown Seattle.

Aside from the bookstore, Kessel's team is also planning to open physical stores that sell things other than books, although it's unclear what they will be. Another idea it's testing is a store without a payments gateway, allowing the customer to pay with a smartphone app instead.
Hmm does that mean there might be Amazon clothing stores or even Zappos shoe stores opening up? Might be yet another reason to head back to the mall. 

Amazon to Open Brick-and-Mortar Book Stores: A Great Idea Indeed: Time to Buy the Stock?

One of the things I used to love was perusing the bookstore to look for things I would like to read. Ever since Amazon killed Borders and severely damaged Barnes and Noble I haven't done this very much. Now this news is very welcome.
After dipping its toes into brick-and-mortar retailing last year with its first physical bookstore, online giant Inc. is poised to dive into the deep end.

The Seattle company plans to open as many as 400 bookstores, Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive of mall operator General Growth Properties Inc., said on an earnings call on Tuesday.

“You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400,” said Mr. Mathrani in response to a question about mall traffic.
One thing about a book is that it is great to flip through a copy and see if you like the prose style and such. I don't do this on my tablet because you have to download some of the book or read a preview. It is just so much easier to pick up a book and flip through it and put it down if you don't like it. Hopefully Amazon understands this and that is why they are going brick-and-mortar. I would love to have my Amazon stuff sent to the store and pick it up there and maybe buy something else while I'm doing that. The Wal-Mart online shopping model. 

Another idea is that they can use these stores as the hub of Amazon fulfillment services. If you are a seller on Amazon you just drive your products down to these stores and they will send them out for you. That way Amazon doesn't have to have the seller mail them the product so they can store them in some warehouse. 

They had higher costs this past Christmas because so many people used their fulfillment services that they had to rent a bunch of overflow warehouse space really quickly. I'm sure that space was very costly being around the holiday season. If they had a brick-and-mortar they would store the items there as well as in their fulfillment center. In fact the seller could drive the product there and a buyer can then pick it up from that same store. Or they can save money by simply using Amazon trucks and planes to send them back and forth.

Finally, with Amazon Web Services they could build out an engineering force based at their brick-and-mortar places. Imagine them having a Geek Squad like group that could come into your business and set up your virtual servers, email system, do any programming your company needs, offer testing in the cloud etc. for one price. Kind of a Data Center in a box. 

With this they can get into tech consulting and go head-to-head with IBM and whomever for that high margin business. If they want they could even do an Amazon network services fiber to go head-to-head with Google. They could conceivably sell you the network and the data center all at once. All of this would be very easy if they have a Amazon Consulting Services (or whatever they call it) added to their brick-and-mortar place. Kind of like CompUSA used to have business services added onto their stores back in the day. However, it will be much cheaper and more lucrative because they won't have to sell you expensive servers made by HP or Dell. They simply sell you cloud services using AWS.

In any case, I think this might be a buying opportunity for the stock. It got beaten down when they missed earnings due to the problems above. They had great revenue growth but they had to spend a bunch of extra money that they might not have had to if they had brick-and-mortar to augment their fulfillment centers. They will have a high CAPEX in the near term to open these stores but it will save them big money and allow many more ways of selling their products. Hell, I would drive down to an Amazon Store simply to try out Amazon Echo to see if all the hype is justified.

Trump Cries like a Baby on Iowa Caucus: Accuses Cruz of Stealing it #DumpTrump

Just win the next one (if you can) you whiny blowhard.
Two days after finishing second to Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump is accusing the Texas senator of fraud and demanding that either a “new election” take place in the Hawkeye State or that its results be “nullified.”

“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”
This guy is such a whiner. You would think a New Yorker that made his money in the the real estate market would have thicker skin. I guess not.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Yahoo to Concentrate on Mobile? Case in Point on How Bad They Are: You cannot change portfolio contents from the mobile app

I really think they should fire Marissa Mayer's and bring in a turn-around expert.
The company’s turnaround plan includes continued investment in what the company calls “Mavens,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said on the company’s earnings conference call. Mavens refers to Yahoo’s mobile, video, native and social businesses, where its ad revenue is growing.

“Our plan involves continued investment in Mavens to counterbalance legacy declines, with a particular emphasis on mobile,” Mayer said on the call. “With Mavens revenue at over $1.6 billion for the year, mobile is the largest contributor, adding over $1 billion, or nearly a quarter of our traffic-driven revenue.”
It's funny that they are going after mobile at long last because their mobile has been woeful. I have used the Yahoo Finance app for several years and it has been a long slog. First of all you cannot change your portfolio from the app. You have to log into the website for that and then it is carried over. That is something that should have been implemented years ago. Secondly there is all this stale news on there that is different than the webpage. So I just repeat the stock search from the CNBC app so I can read current news.

The only reason I even use the Yahoo Finance app is that I have had my watchlists and such on there for years and years so I am a legacy user. If an easier app that contained more information came along I would certainly go through the long process of shifting everything there and not look back.

Blackrock Head Takes Other CEOs to Task: Forget about Quarterly Earnings Guidance

I agree with him 100%.

"Today’s culture of quarterly earnings hysteria is totally contrary to the long-term approach we need," Fink, the CEO of BlackRock Inc., wrote in a letter to more than 500 companies, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. Instead of focusing on small deviations from analysts’ earnings estimates, management should use quarterly reports to demonstrate progress against strategic plans, he wrote.

This is exactly why companies use their cash on pointless stock buybacks instead of increasing value for their businesses. Even acquisitions seem to be a waste of money for the most part. Look at Yahoo's terrible spending spree of failed businesses. You can point to any number of failures when it comes to buying out other companies. However, you might get good engineers or top salespeople or something so it is at least a better use of cash than stock buybacks. They only benefit short-term thinking.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Bernie Whipping Hillary in Millennial Women

Who would have thought a 74 year old white guy would be the choice of a new generation?
The age gap is stark. A recent Quinnipiac poll found that Sanders bests Clinton among 18- to 44-year-olds, 78 percent to 21 percent. But support for Clinton seems to grow with age: 53 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds chose her, along with 71 percent of people 65 and older.
So older women like Clinton for some reason or another but young women want Sanders. I think the idea that Wall Street sharpies and connected Washington big-wigs tanked the economy and made it so the millennials might be one of the first generations in decades that will be poorer than their parents. Hillary is the epitome of the Washington big-wig with pockets full of Wall Street sharpies money. I wonder if it will lose her Iowa again?