April 2009 Archives
A company called Colligent mines social networks for data that it sells to record labels to help them decide which demographics or individual fans might like a particular artist, and those are just the very first nuggets marketers pull out of profiles. This monitoring of publicly-available data has already paid dividends. Disneyâ€™s Hollywood Records label had noticed more Latin American fans at Jonas Brothers concerts than it expected to see, but until Colligentâ€™s data revealed a â€œstatistically significantâ€ correlation between that band and the Latin American community, it hadnâ€™t capitalized on that observation. Data from social networks convinced them to increase their marketing budget in Latin American communities, and when the next Jonas Brothers album came out, Nagarajan says, the label saw a significant uptick in sales to Latin Americans. Thereâ€™s a lesson here: If you want to participate in social networks and interact with free content online, thereâ€™s a clear privacy trade-off. In a way, itâ€™s a fair deal: we get free data in the form of social networks and free entertainment, while marketers get free data about who we are â€” and what we canâ€™t resist. [By Eliot Van Buskirk]The best piece of advice is NOT to use social networks if you want to maintain your privacy.
I used to analyze risks related to animal epidemics and used distributions like: Beta, Binomial, Exponential, Erlang, Gamma, Normal, Lognormal, Pert, Poisson (of course!), Student, Weibull, Uniform (Discreet Uniform)..right now I am analyzing a broader range of risks (production, investment, planning), I notice that I am using more and more normal, lognormal, Pert, triangle, and student.What I use in my modeling is Normal, Poisson, Pert, Lognormal, and Binomial a lot.Â What do you use?
These are my links for April 28th:
- Citigroup, Bank of America Decline on Capital Report (Update2) - Bloomberg.com - after the Wall Street Journal said early results of the government’s so-called stress tests show the banks may need more capital. Company executives are meeting with regulators to dispute the findings, the Journal said, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter. - YEAH ANOTHER 1 TRILLION FOR SURE!
- Hidden Psychological Trigger Helps With Weight loss - The one most important factor to getting to successful weight loss is this: figure out why you’re doing it.
These are my links for April 26th through April 27th:
- Xinu Returns - SEO Site Statistics Tool - Check PageRank, Backlinks, Indexed Pages, Rankings and more - Neat - Via Fallond
- H1N1 Swine Flu - Google Maps - Scary stuff, is this the practice run before Avian Flu?
- Yes, Looks Do Matter - NYTimes.com - via maoxian
These are my links for April 20th through April 25th:
- 'Horse Boy,' family find respite from autism in Mongolia - CNN.com - Rowan, now 7, rides Betsy by himself. His parents never abandoned more orthodox treatments for his autism, and Rowan's applied behavioral analysis therapist has him studying math and English at the third-grade level -- a full year ahead of some of his peers.
- Troys: One Twitter Script to Rule Them All - ReadWriteWeb - Troy's Twitter script, in our opinion, is crazy awesome. If you find yourself in a memory crunch and prefer not to use a standalone Twitter application, and use Firefox, this script is a must-have. In fact, it's too bad that Greasemonkey scripts really only work well in Firefox, because it sure would be great to have all these features in every browser out there. To that end, you can try using Greasemetal (covered here) for Chrome, or GreaseKit for Safari on Mac OSX.
- History of the Republic of China - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - I love Wikipedia
- George Ernest Morrison - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Finally found this tid bit of info again. Read about him in Hong Kong and forgot his name.
- Neural Networks and Stock / Forex Trading - Via Caprica - THANKS!
- Pakistani Taliban confound Obama, Clinton - UPI.com - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted the Pakistani government of President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday for failing to confront the radical Islamic insurgents challenging it. She told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Zardari was "basically abdicating to the Taliban." But she and President Barack Obama don't seem to know what to do to reverse the disintegration of Pakistan either. - STOP INTERFERING IN OTHER COUNTRIES.
- Mexico City Closes Schools Amid Swine Flu Outbreak - WSJ.com - Mexico's Public Health Department said tests proved that 16 died from the new strain, and about 44 other suspected cases still being were still being tested. The department put the total number of people sickened at around 943 nationwide. - YIKES!
- NeoEase Theme - Saw this on the corner office blog
- My $23/month iPhone - I gotta try this - get an iPhone and jailbreak it.
- Thomas's posterous - Home - The new Twitter. Twitter is sucking balls lately.
- Stephen Marsland - Machine Learning With Python Code - Python Code for ANN's and machine learning
- World Digital Library Home - This is way cool
- YouTube - The Nano Song - Only science dorks will like this.
- Jim Rogers Bares Secrets of Investing: Eat Snake, Beware Boys - Bloomberg.com - His daughters shouldn’t get married until they are at least 28 and should avoid having drinks -- let alone dinner -- alone with the boss. They should also heed this sound principle for dealing with boys: “They need you more than you need them.”
- Projects Downloads - Download various files related to projects.
These are my links for April 19th through April 20th:
- Debt Settlers Offer Promises but Little Help - NYTimes.com - More often, they say, a settlement company collects a large fee, often 15 percent of the total debt, and accomplishes little or nothing on the consumer’s behalf.
- Preoccupations - Is This the Time to Chase a Career Dream? - NYTimes.com - This interest in what makes people tick, and curiosity about what keeps them from realizing their dreams, drove me to become a business coach 13 years ago. I never tire of hearing people’s stories, or of learning ways to help the creatively oppressed come alive. - I WORKED WITH A MAN WHO TOLD ME TO "FIND WHAT I LOVE TO DO, THEN FIND A WAY TO MAKE MONEY AT IT." HE LOVED LIFE AND HIS WORK.
- Sri Lanka Gives Rebels 24 Hours to Surrender - NYTimes.com - The government issued the ultimatum, giving the Tamil Tiger rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and his fighters 24 hours starting Monday at noon to surrender before the military launches a final assault aimed at crushing the insurgents and ending the island nation's 25-year civil war. - SUN TZU WOULD SAY SURRENDER UNDER THE TERM TO ALLOW YOU TO LIVE. THEN LET IT FESTER AND START A NEW WAR IN A FEW YEARS
- Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects - NYTimes.com - The C.I.A. officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2005 Justice Department legal memorandum. Abu Zubaydah has been described as a Qaeda operative. - ONCE WOULD BE ENOUGH FOR ME
- Global Stocks Rally May Falter, State Street Says (Update2) - Bloomberg.com - “We’re likely to see a pullback in stock markets as earnings disappoint,” said George Hoguet, global investment strategist at Boston-based State Street Global Advisors, which oversees $1.4 trillion. “We are undergoing a severe shock and the global economy will take several quarters to get back to trend growth.” - WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DONT?
- Bill Miller Not Dead Yet as Value Funds Bury Quants (Update1) - Bloomberg.com - “Not in a million years would we have expected this gyration to be as vicious and enduring as it has been,” Steven Solmonson, the head of Park Place Capital Ltd., a hedge fund that oversees $150 million, said in an interview from New York. “The quants got whipsawed badly.”
- Go4Go.net - Go for it! - Another Go site.
Bill Miller, who lost 55 percent in 2008 running the Legg Mason Value Trust after beating the Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 Index for a record 15 straight years, is topping the measure again. [By Alexis Xydias and Lynn Thomasson]It seems that he's been buying companies with a lot of debt and low ROA that rely on consumer spending, something that a lot of people shy away from these days. I'm sure many people will say that Bill caught a lucky break here but after beating the S&P500 for the past 15 years, you have to wonder if he really knows what he's doing after all.
These are my links for April 18th:
- Brooklyn Philharmonic Cancels 2009-10 Season as Donations Fall - Bloomberg.com - The orchestra found it would fall short of its $3 million budget, provided by individuals, corporations and foundations, and so decided to cancel the May 9 concert -- the last of a season that began January 31 -- and the next season, said J. Barclay Collins II, the symphony’s board chairman, in a phone interview. He declined to detail by how much donations had fallen. - THIS IS TERRIBLE, ART IS ALWAYS THE FIRST TO SUFFER BUT ARTISTS SUFFER ALL THE TIME! =)
- Jackie Chan: Chinese people need to be controlled - "I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not," Chan said. "I'm really confused now. If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic." - SOUNDS LIKE HE'S A COMMIE NOW
These are my links for April 18th from 07:21 to 07:43:
- Susan Boyle, an Unlikely Singer, Is a YouTube Sensation - NYTimes.com - But she has become a heroine not only to people dreaming of being catapulted from obscurity to fame but also to those who cheer her triumph over looks-ism and ageism in a world that so values youth and beauty. - AH BUT WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL REGARDLESS
- Personal Journeys - In Laos and Vietnam, Tracing the Path of a Colonial Ancestor - NYTimes.com - This past January, I spent a week following in the footsteps of Antoine Fayard, my maternal great-grandfather who built and designed roads, dams and canals across colonial Indochina — traveling along the sandy banks of the Mekong, across the Bolovens Plateau, rich with coffee plantations and stunning waterfalls, then across the border through the well-peopled villages and towns of central Vietnam. Two journeys, a century apart.
- Well - Stomach Bug, C. Difficile, Crystallizes Antibiotic Threat - NYTimes.com - C. difficile is not a new illness, but it appears to be spreading at an alarming rate. The rate of C. difficile infection among hospital patients doubled from 2001 to 2005, according to an April 2008 report from the C.D.C. The rise in C. difficile cases around the world is linked with the growing use of all antibiotics, particularly a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones, which came into widespread use around 2001. The use of acid-suppressing drugs, including proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec, also may be a risk factor, although studies have been contradictory.
- Obama Calls for Thaw in U.S. Relations With Cuba - NYTimes.com - Other leaders here said that in watching Mr. Obama extend his hand to Cuba, they felt they were witnessing a historic shift. And in another twist, Cuba’s strongest ally at the summit, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, no fan of the United States, was photographed at the meeting giving Mr. Obama a hearty handclasp and a broad smile. - ALTHOUGH I DIDN'T VOTE FOR BARRY, HE'S GOT THE RIGHT IDEA FOR FOREIGN POLICY. FRIENDS WITH ALL
These are my links for April 17th from 05:48 to 05:59:
- Fairness, idealism and other atrocities - Los Angeles Times - We were the moron generation. We were the generation that believed we could stop the Vietnam War by growing our hair long and dressing like circus clowns. We believed drugs would change everything -- which they did, for John Belushi. We believed in free love. Yes, the love was free, but we paid a high price for the sex.
- Stiglitz Says White House Ties to Wall Street Doom Bank Rescue - Bloomberg.com - The return to taxpayers from the TARP is as low as 25 cents on the dollar, he said. “The bank restructuring has been an absolute mess.” - MAYBE THAT'S WHY MY MODELS ARE POINTING TO A MASSIVE MOVE COMING (UP OR DOWN I DON'T KNOW)
The ups and downs of the market are prompting more retail investors to abandon buy-and-hold strategies in favor of opportunistic trading. Some want more control over their money, so they are fleeing funds and advisers -- not to mention the feelings of helplessness raised by recent months' losses. Some are attempting to recoup their losses, while others are stepping back into the markets after a recent string of stock gains and better-than-expected economic news.and,
But others say things are different this time. "The problem I have with the buy-and-hold strategy is that it's a bull-market strategy," say Matthew Tuttle, a financial adviser in Stamford, Conn. "In the bust, you give all of your profits back." Mr. Tuttle has recently taken a more active approach to trading. While short-term investors are likely to face higher tax bills -- since short-term gains are taxed at higher rates than long-term gains -- he notes that some people who incurred big losses last year will be able to carry those losses forward to offset taxes in future years. [By JANE J. KIM]Things are different this time? I can think of two times when "things were different" and then collapsed.Â Dot-coms and Real Estate.
Called the Monte Carlo method, it has driven computer programs to defeat ranking human players six times in the last year. That's a far cry from chess, the previous benchmark of human cognitive prowess, in which Deep Blue played Garry Kasparov to a panicked defeat in 1997, and Deep Fritz trounced Vladimir Kramnik in 2006. To continue the golf analogy, computer Go programs beat the equivalents of Chris Couch rather than Tiger Woods, and had a multi-stroke handicap. But even six victories was inconceivable not too long ago, and programmers say it won't be long before computer domination is complete.But the programmers admit that they're merely throwing brute computational force behind this algorithm and they're missing the nuances of intelligence that allow humans to continue to beat these programs.
"People hoped that if we had a strong Go program, it would teach us how our minds work. But that's not the case," said Bob Hearn, a Dartmouth College artificial intelligence programmer. "We just threw brute force at a program we thought required intellect." [By Brandon Keim]Well I think they're still a way off before that can happen but in the meantime I highly recommend this game to anyone.Â Especially those with artificial and human intelligence. =)
I recently downloaded the new version of TraderXL and was surprised to see a major update to the ClassifierXL module (as part of the NeuroXL suite). I’ve used this module before to classify like groups of stocks and identify (per my requirements) the right stock to buy out of a group of many. Major updates to the module include a better GUI interface and the inclusion of five neural net functions, namely the Threshold, Hyperbolic Tangent, Zero-based Log-sigmoid, Log-sigmoid and Bipolar Sigmoid functions. To see what it can do, I’m attaching a recently classified ADR stock scan spreadsheet from www.aaii.com.I downloaded this scan from AAII, used the zero-based log-sigmoid scan, and classified the stocks into 5 similar groupings.After it crunched the data it created two charts and a color coded spreadsheet from your data.If you flip to the charts in the spreadsheet, you’ll notice that cluster 1 and 5 have large groupings of similar stocks.These clusters represent the most interesting of the stock groups and should clue in the data modeler to some possible opportunities in the data. Let’s say you are interested in investing in a China based company and you have lots of data from a stock scan to go through. How can you identify a good candidate for more due diligence? First open the spreadsheet and then using the pull down data sorting menus to select China as your country of choice. The data in the spreadsheet will sort and show 7 China based stocks, with 5 being in Cluster 1 and 2 being in Cluster 5. Now this is interesting data revelation to me because not all of these 7 China based stocks are being classified as the same. If you further drill down the data by selecting the Top 10 EPS Growth Estimate, then you are left with 4 China based stocks in Cluster 1: LFC, JOBS, BIDU, and MR. These 4 companies should give you a good smaller list of stocks for further review. Granted, this example was a fast way of doing a complex data analysis but the ClassifierXL module helped simplify the process. The neat thing about this module is that it does all the heavy lifting for you and organizes the data in an easy to use spreadsheet!
Hi all! The stresses in my personal and work life are subsiding now and Iâ€™m happy to say thatâ€™ll I be posting again at some level of frequency. I was lucky to be extremely busy with infrastructure work in the past few months which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Why? It kept me out of this insane market! So Iâ€™ve been busy updating my models and getting ready to do some â€œlightâ€ trading.
Before I go back to updating my models I want to share with you a piece of exciting news, the developers of Stock Neuromaster have fixed the signal â€œflip flopâ€ issue in version 1.33! For all those that stayed away from using this product because of the comments you read on my site, please feel free to try it out now and see for yourself.
Iâ€™m glad to be back!