Rational And Efficient? Are You Kidding Me?

So, you may have seen. The markets were up big today.

U.S. stocks jumped on Wednesday, giving the S&P 500 its best day since December

And why were the markets up today?

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested earlier Wednesday that further stimulus to tackle the euro zone’s debt crisis would not necessarily be forthcoming…
The ECB left interest rates unchanged following its meeting Wednesday.

So the ECB did, nothing. No really. It literally did nothing at all today. It specifically said, typical of pols in trouble, that someone else should be doing something about the finance issues in Europe. And that caused markets worldwide to soar?

But what is the real reason people say the markets went up today?

but speculation persisted that the ECB could act if financial market tensions intensify further.


The market went up that much on speculation, rumor and innuendo.

But but… I’ve been told repeatedly that the market is efficiant. It is rational and all the information needed exists in the prices. Entire careers and economics departments have been created due to this theory.

Again, I’m an amateur, however, it seem easy to me to see that the market is most definitely not efficient and runs rampant on rumor, innuendo and speculation. That theory is the triumph of the academy over reality. The market is not efficient and yes, does run on rumor, innuendo and speculation. That’s bloody obvious to see and today proves it rather simply.

Dear Auto Industry, Take Responsibility, Will Ya?

It’s obviously too much to ask that since the auto industry has started to stuff all sorts of electronic goodies and networks, that they actually lock that stuff down. Having since abrogated their responsibility to release safe cars, the feds have decided to step in and screw it up even more.

As cars and other forms of transportation increasingly rely on online systems for everything from safety to onboard entertainment, the cybersecurity threat from those who would exploit such electronic control packages has also increased. That’s why the US Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued a Request For Information to the security industry to help it build a roadmap to build ‘motor vehicle safeguards against cybersecurity threats and assure the reliability and safety of automotive electronic control systems.’

Great. Cause the feds did such a great job with the deficit and debt, let’s give them direct control over all automobiles in the country.

Is there any real reason why the automakers in this country aren’t being held responsible for this sort of thing? You know that Cisco and HP spend a heck of a lot of money trying to keep their hardware safe and secure. Is there any reason that GM or Ford shouldn’t also be held responsible? I mean, they’re responsible for creating bad steering and braking systems, why not bad networks? They’re the ones putting it in the cars, right? They should be held responsible for those networks then.

$40 Silver?

Holy crap. Silver is almost at $40 dollars.


Bloomber screenshot of the price of Silver

Talk about your inflation. I remember trying to buy silver jewelry for my wife when it was at $10 and I thought it was incredibly expensive then.


h/t Zero Hedge

I Am In The Wrong Business

I guess I should have gone in to the consultancy business.

Despite a ballooning administration budget – already £6.6 billion a year and growing by 4.5 per cent next year – the EU spent more than £500 million on “external advice” on consultants between 2005 and 2008. Among the other consultancy items were £11,000 courses for officials on “taking notes and writing minutes” and a £44,000 opinion survey on the “working environment for Commission staff”.

Mats Persson, the director of the Open Europe campaign group, highlighted the spending of £580,000 on research into marketing fruit and a £290,000 study on domestic violence in Afghanistan.

“Far too much money is being squandered on all kinds of studies and evaluations which are either irrelevant or which cover areas that the EU should have no business in dealing with,” he said.

That is a lot of money to spend on consultants. I’m quite certain when I say this, they are definitely not getting their money’s worth from their consultants…lol

Fannie Mae Losses In An Ugly Chart

Take a look at the following chart. It shows the cumulative profits and losses of Fannie Mae.
Cumulative financial losses for Fannie Mae

Note that it was essentially flat a year ago and then there is that huge & massive spike in losses. Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ll see anything but red for the next few years. That’s unfortunate because you and I will be paying for those losses.

(h/t The Atlantic)

.htaccess voodoo

As I mentioned before, I was attempting to get a Django page up and running but was having trouble with my .htaccess file.

The kind folks over at the hosts forum was able to let me know the answer to my problem.

Directives in the configuration files are case-insensitive, but arguments to directives are often case sensitive. Lines which begin with the hash character “#” are considered comments, and are ignored. Comments may not be included on a line after a configuration directive. Blank lines and white space occurring before a directive are ignored, so you may indent directives for clarity.

The .htaccess file I had copied had comments. And the comments were the issue. Who knew. As soon as I removed the comments the Django welcome page greeted me.

Now I just have to create something with it.

Can You Wait For Firefox 4?

I’m not sure, but here’s the story about what to expect in the new release.

Mozilla has given a breakdown of its plans for Firefox 4, including a pledge to make it “super-duper fast”.

Perhaps the most striking change to Firefox 4 is the user interface, which takes a great deal of inspiration from Google Chrome. Though Mozilla was keen to note that the mockups shown in the presentation were subject to change, it’s clear Firefox 4 will benefit from the design choices made by Google’s pared-back browser.

I don’t really care about the UI. What I really need is for the damned thing to not be so sluggish. Firefox 3 was fine, at first, but then it slowly seems to get slower and slower. Hey, I have no doubt that some of that is my fault, but really, it shouldn’t get all that slow, especially as I’m smarter than the average bear.

Build Your Own Cellular Network?

Let’s be honest, haven’t you always wanted to own your own cellular network? Now you can.

The task of running a cellular network has usually been reserved for major carriers. But now an open-source project called OpenBTS is proving that almost anyone can cheaply run a network with parts from a home-­supply or auto-supply store. Cell-phone users within such a network can place calls to each other and–if the network is connected to the Internet–to people anywhere in the world.

Sweet. Now that sounds like a fun afternoon of tinkering.

Concurrent System Design For Dummies…

You really should read the following post by The Reinvigorated Programmer. It’s one of the funnier things I’ve read in a long time. And it’s also helpful. Can’t say that about too many things on the web.

I explained to her that it’s an elementary principle of concurrent system design that you minimise your lock phases: acquire a resource, use it and release it as quickly as possible, so that the resource can be used by other agents. But she gave me some dumb story about having had to get up to fetch drinks for the boys.


It really is funny. Check it out.