Tag Archives: Break
When the Internet became popular in early 1990s, Microsoft was late to the partly. In a desperate catch-up move, Microsoft decided to drive Netscape (the most popular browser of the time) out of business by grafting Internet Explorer onto Windows.
The U.S. government slapped Microsoft with an anti-monopoly lawsuit, which hung around in court for about a decade, by which time Netscape had become an historical footnote, rendering the issue moot.
By that time, though, Microsoft no longer dominated high tech. Industry growth was shifting to up-and-comers like Google and Facebook, as well as a resurgent Apple. And so it remains today: Microsoft is too big to ignore but, frankly, about as exciting as IBM.
All that might change in the next few years, though, according to a recent article in Business Insider. Turns out that Microsoft is quietly testing a product, code-named “Bali,” that would completely disrupt and even destroy the business models of its chief rivals.
Today, online firms gather information about us, and use that information to increase the effectiveness of the ads they display by better targeting them to prospective buyers. Under this business model, Facebook and Google get 90% of the world’s online ad revenue.
Microsoft’s Bali turns that equation around. With Bali, you own your personal online data, which you can (if you choose) sell to the companies that want to target you with ads. Facebook and Google would only know what you want them to know.
Everything about you would, by default, be private. If you wanted it to remain so, fine. But you’d also have the choice to tell Facebook, Google and other online firms that “you can track me and sell ads to me but only if I get a piece of the action.”
In short, you’d get paid to use the Internet.
Will it work? Well, in the wake of multiple privacy scandals, this seems like an idea whose time has definitely come. And there’s no question whatsoever that Microsoft has the technical chops to develop and bulletproof the environment.
On the downside, though, Microsoft’s most successful products (Windows, Xbox, Azure, etc.) are imitations of innovations from other firms. The company’s track record launching something completely new is spotty, at best.
Still, if Microsoft pulls this off and Bali catches on, Microsoft might easily find itself in the same enviable position of massive market dominance it had back before the Internet upended their erstwhile Windows monopoly.
Frankly, I’m not sure I want Microsoft to have that kind of power. I am sure of this, though: if a single company is destined to dominate the future of the Web, I’d damn sight rather it be Microsoft than Facebook.
You’re just what I needed. The mobile search home page of Google got a makeover to promote links to other content. The new “discover” feature positions a curated list of content below the search box. The choice of new topics and stories is based on the user’s web habits. (I’m mostly getting suggested stories about the Red Sox World Series win this morning. Sigh.) Meanwhile, a story that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was planning to eliminate the ability to “like,” or favorite tweets blew up across Twitter on Monday, forcing the company to issue a semi-denial. “We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now.”
It’s not the perfume that you wear. In less positive news from Google, a backlash is brewing in the wake of a New York Times story alleging that male senior executives (including Android founder Andy Rubin) left with millions of dollars after being accused of sexual misconduct. A group of about 200 engineers is organizing a “women’s walk” walkout for later this week, BuzzFeed reports. And Intel is declaring that is has reached “full representation” in its workforce three years after making that a top priority. But at 27% female, 9% hispanic, and under 5% black, the employee base is still not representative of the U.S. workforce. Intel says the stat is one of its own devising measuring the make up of workers available in its market. Meeting the target is only a first step on its path to diversity, the company says.
I don’t mind you comin’ here. How is my favorite note organizing app doing? I’m note sure. Evernote CEO Chris O’Neill, who took over for co-founder Phil Libin in 2015, is departing after “putting Evernote on solid financial footing so we can continue to build for the future.” Those are the words of incoming CEO Ian Small, who had run video platform TokBox.
And wastin’ all my time. The new $ 1,300 Hydrogen One phone from high-end camera maker Red arrived on Monday and got some of the worst reviews in recent memory. The phone’s much hyped holographic screen “looks like the entire display has been smudged up when holographic mode kicks in,” The Verge says. “The phone seems misguided and unfinished,” adds PC Magazine “The phone’s advertising also lies about its screen being holographic, which makes me really cranky.”
Standin’ oh so near. My colleague Phil Wahba has a interesting take on a kind of boring subject. He reports how rental car company Avis plans to survive and thrive in the coming wave of self-driving cars.
(Headline reference explainer video for non-Gen Xers.)
High-speed cameras, commonly known as slow motion cameras, imbue milliseconds with the weight they’re so rarely granted. A balloon pops, with the water inside it still holding its shape; a bullet shot underwater leaves an attenuated cone of air in its wake. Daniel Gruchy and Gavin Free, known on YouTube as The Slow Mo Guys, have captured these moments and more than 150 others in painstakingly slow detail. (In one personal favorite, the duo recorded the fracture pattern in glass that was heated and then rapidly cooled. At 343,000 frames per second, five seconds of IRL action resulted in 19 hours of footage.)
“Everything looks cooler in slow mo,” says Free, who aside from his involvement in multiple RoosterTeeth productions also works as a slow-motion cinematographer on big-budget features (Dredd, Snow White and the Huntsman).
Since November 2010, the Slow Mo Guys channel has amassed millions of subscribers and nearly 1.5 billion views—which is a lot of frames, feats, and stories to share. In this Tech Support, the guys answer viewers questions about where they get all of the food they blow up, and which stunts were the messiest, the hardest and the most painful (like having a soccer ball thrown against your face). Gruchy shares that he’s tried much of that exploded food, and Free reveals his sound design technique for filling lapses in sound during the videos.
Watch the video to learn more. Don’t worry, it plays at regular speed.
More Great WIRED Stories
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
They say you should get out ahead of a bad story.
Present your version before the story hits, so that people can have good feelings about you before aspersions are cast.
I wonder, therefore, what Allegiant Air might do this weekend.
I wrote about this airline a couple of years ago, after it had been accused of having planes that break down four times more often than those of other airlines.
In mid-air, that is.
Of the airline’s 86 planes, it was said that 42 of them had broken down in mid-air the previous year.
The airline fought back and claimed that the accusations were “incendiary.” Indeed, its stock went up 24 percent soon after the original Tampa Bay Times article was published.
Now, though, Allegiant might have a bigger PR problem.
On Sunday, it’ll be featured in a 60 Minutes segment, one that CBS teases will be twice the usual length.
Here’s the teaser.
Just those 48 seconds suggest that Allegiant should brace for something of calm, considered skewering.
I asked the budget airline what it thought of the upcoming exposé. A spokeswoman told me Allegiant would wait until the segment airs before offering a rebuttal.
One of the main issues with Allegiant’s record of breakdowns is that it flies old planes. Very old planes, some 22 years of age.
Recently, though, it has begun to replace these planes with Airbuses. Indeed, last May was the first time that Allegiant enjoyed the experience of fitting out a new(ish) plane.
The question, then, is how much Sunday’s 60 Minutes piece will reflect the whole current scenario.
The problem for the airline’s PR department, though, is that Allegiant will surely come out looking not so good on one of the most respected news programs in America, one that’s watched by 12 million people.
It’s inevitable, then, that it will instantly be associated with the sort of bad reputation that plagued United Airlines over the last year.
Worse, perhaps, is the idea that instead of a brutal lack of customer sensitivity — as in the United case — Allegiant might be tarred with the notion that it’s simply an unsafe airline.
On Friday, the airline’s stock began to drop. What might happen to it on Monday?
For those that follow me regularly, you will know that I have been tracking a set up for the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX), which I analyze as a proxy for the metals mining market. I believe that the GDX can outperform the general equity market once we confirm a long term break out has begun, and I still think we can see it in occur in 2018. This week, I will provide an update to the GDX, but want to also discuss the GLD, which is an ETF which attempts to mirror the movements of gold. While I have gone on record as to why I do not think the GLD is a wise long-term investment hold, I will still use it to track the market movements.
While the GDX did move through the resistance region I noted last weekend, it did not do so in what I wanted to see as an “impulsive” move. That is a term of art which means a standard 5-wave structure which adheres to our Fibonacci Pinball methodology. Rather, when the market broke out over 22.30, it set up to run strongly towards the 23.20 region, which is the analysis I presented to those that follow my work daily. In fact, just before the market opened on Valentines Day, I sent out an Alert to my members noting how I viewed the smaller degree structure:
“Over 22.30, and we have an initial indication of a bottom in place. 23.20 then becomes the next higher resistance.”
As we saw, the market broke over 22.30, and then moved quite strongly higher, and topped out this week at 23.16. But, as I noted once we reached the 23.20 resistance region, this can still be a 4th wave rally and point us down towards the low 20 region unless we are able to take out the 23.20 resistance strongly. As we now see, the market may be pointing us directly down towards that low 20 region in the GDX, as we have been unable to break over 23.20, and have turned down.
As far as the GLD is concerned, this is still presenting as a very bullish pattern. While I would have loved to have seen this break out already, the current micro structure is not strongly suggestive of an immediate break out. In fact, should we see an impulsive drop below 127 in the coming week, it opens the door to a drop down to at least the 124 region, but more preferably down to the 121.50-122 region, before we can set up again for a break out.
But, as I have noted many times before, for those who are looking for a long-term investment hold for gold, I would not suggest using the GLD as I have presented in this webinar I did some time ago. Rather, I tend to use the GLD as a trading vehicle rather than an investment vehicle.
Lastly, a break out over last week’s high in either GLD or GDX can alter the analysis presented above, as it is contingent on last week’s highs holding as resistance. Remember, we cannot know what will happen in the future with certainty. Rather, we can plan for what may happen based upon probabilities. But, we also have to know rather quickly when and where those probabilities are no longer in our favor. Remaining in a wrong position while “hoping” is what destroys more accounts than anything else.
It seems that Seeking Alpha has changed the way they tag articles. So, while my articles used to be sent out as an email to those that follow the metals complex, they are now only being sent out to those that have chosen to “follow” me. So, if you would like notification as to when my articles are published, please hit the button at the top to “follow” me. Thank you.
The Market Pinball Wizard
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Disclosure: I am/we are long PHYSICAL METALS AND VARIOUS MINING STOCKS.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: I hedged my portfolio on Friday with stops at 23.20 GDX.
After I had graduated from college, I was working 20 hours a week as a coach and 30 hours a week as a high school counselor. On top of that, I was attending graduate school. I was making good grades (3.7 average), doing a good job as a first-time school counselor and a pretty good job as a coach. In a five year period, I coached 20 state champions, three regional champions, and one national champion.
Many people would have considered my accomplishments to be respectable and possibly even impressive; but for me, I was miserable. I was miserable because I spent very little time focusing on the things I did well and tremendous amounts of time thinking about where I felt like I fell short. I wasn’t getting a 4.0, I wasn’t making more money, and my athletes weren’t the dominating force I wanted them to be.
I had the “perfectionist mentality.” I would do 100 things well in any given day and 1 thing less than perfect, and it was that 1 less than perfect thing that I was focused on. I was constantly beating myself up and rarely giving myself any credit.
Luckily for me, I was being forced to read sport and performance psychology textbooks at the time, and the one thing that kept showing up in the research was something called “expectancy theory.” Expectancy theory basically states that what a person focuses on expands. In essence, allowing myself to focus on what I didn’t have was actually causing me to have less. I didn’t believe this at first. In fact, I used to believe that beating myself up for not accomplishing more would actually cause me to perform better.
The research, however, was too strong to ignore. All the research was saying the same thing–negative self-talk does not cause improved performance. In fact, it’s counter-productive. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have, I needed to focus on what I did have or what I wanted to have.
For me (and for many perfectionists), thinking about what I do have doesn’t actually do a lot for me. However, focusing on what I want to have and, specifically, what it will take on my part to get it is a tremendous help. In doing so, I actually cause myself to become more successful. Further, it is undoubtedly a much more enjoyable way to experience life.
The key to channeling the perfectionist mentality into something advantageous is to first be aware of the thoughts in your head. When you find yourself focusing on what you don’t have or what you are not happy with, make it a point to answer the following solution-focused question:
What is one thing I can do that could make my current situation better?
You don’t have to make your current situation perfect, but do identify one thing that will make it even just a little bit better. The trick is to become relentless with this process. By “relentless,” I mean that within 60 seconds of having any thought focused on what you are unhappy or dissatisfied with, re-direct your thoughts to solutions by answering the above question.
For most individuals, especially the perfectionists, it is a very foreign process to replace problem-focused thoughts with solution-focused thinking. A method of training your brain to develop a relentless solution focus is to answer the following three questions at the close of each day:
- What three things did I do well today?
- What one thing do I want to improve on tomorrow?
- What is one thing I can do differently that could make the above mentioned improvement?
By making the commitment to answering these three questions daily and whenever negative thinking occurs, you will literally train your brain to use expectancy theory to your advantage. Remember, that which you focus on expands, and if you are constantly focusing on solutions, your success will grow. Not to mention, this is a much more enjoyable way to live your life, and I can assure you that the perfectionist tendencies will become an asset rather than a hindrance.
Twitter has responded to people who criticized it for not taking down President Donald Trump’s bellicose tweet about North Korea, which led the country to claim he had declared war on it. The tweet was too newsworthy to take down, the social media platform said.
The tweet, which Trump posted on Saturday, followed a speech to the United Nations General Assembly by North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho.
Ri said it was “inevitable” that his country would fire missiles at the U.S. mainland. In response, Trump tweeted: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”
Twitter’s terms of service claim the company does not “tolerate behavior that crosses the line into abuse, including behavior that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence another user’s voice.” Many people have wondered why, given the nature of Trump’s Twitter activity, this rule hasn’t led to his suspension from the platform.
In a thread late Monday, Twitter’s policy team addressed the question. The team insisted that it holds “all accounts to the same rules,” but pointed out the factors it takes into account when assessing violations.
“Among the considerations is ‘newsworthiness’ and whether a tweet is of public interest,” the policy team wrote. “This has long been internal policy and we’ll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect this.”
“We need to do better on this, and will,” the team added.
Twitter has a longstanding problem with abuse that many see as contributing to its stagnant user growth. It has brought in several new measures this year to address the issue, such as making it harder for abusive tweets to reach the eyes of their targets, and banning more people for their trollish behavior.
The U.S. administration has strongly denied that Trump’s Saturday tweet was a declaration of war, with White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders calling the assertion “absurd.”