Monday, December 26, 2005

interesteching

22% Rougly one out of five users lost a mobile device in 2005
74% Three out of four corporate telephony lines will be IP-based by 2009
90% Nine out of ten major U.S. companies will test or use VoIP this year, up from 75% in 2005
$24.6B Global spending on IT security services in 2009
$81B Total server market in 2011, up from $49.8 billion in 2004
$329B Total annual online retail sales in 2010, up from $172 billion in 2005

Sources: Forrester Research
Gartner
IDC
Radicati Group







Wednesday, December 21, 2005

gdp rise of 4.1 percent

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the gross domestic product, the nation's total output of goods and services, rose at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the July-September quarter. It was the fastest pace of growth in 1 1/2 years. The new figure demonstrated that the economy kept expanding at a strong pace during the summer, led by solid increases in consumer demand, especially for autos, and business investment.

The third quarter performance was up substantially from a 3.3 percent GDP growth rate in the April-June quarter and was the best showing since the economy expanded at a 4.3 percent rate in the first three months of 2004. The economy had originally been estimated to have grown at a 3.8 percent rate in the third quarter, a figure that was revised up to 4.3 percent last month and now revised slightly lower to 4.1 percent.








Tuesday, December 20, 2005

could this picture be any more stupid?

Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame should have known better than to have this picture taken let alone published.... and of all places Time Magazine.

He looks like a husband that's wanting someone to get him out of the mess he's in and she looks like she just woke up with a grand champion hangover or she is still drunk. Maybe she was drunk when this picture was taken. Maybe they just always use poor judgement.



Monday, December 19, 2005

Federal ID card rules will apply to contractors

Under a soon-to-be- issued rule in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, agencies will have to vet contractors through the same processes they put employees before issuing identification cards. The Federal Identity Credentials Committee the interim rule should be issued in the Federal Register soon. The idea is to plug a security hole. The CIO Council's IT Workforce Committee sponsored a forum in Washington, D.C. where the topic of due diligence for contractor personnel cam up for discussion.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

science.gov upgrades to verision 3.0

The science.gov search engine uses metadata to rank results, which should give users more accurate responses to queries. Version 3 makes searches for obscure terms easier bacause it incorporates bibliographic information into its searches. The data is ranked by using title, author, date, abstract, and other key identifiers. Users can now search in specific fields, such as date or author.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

KING KONG: Not King for an Opening Day


King Kong wasn't the king on opening day, grabbing $9.8 million from around 7,500 screens at 3,567 playdates. Director Peter Jackson's $207 million remake of the 1933 monster movie notched the 21st biggest Wednesday opening on record, significantly less than the $18.2 million start of Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Additionally, King Kong bowed in 36 foreign territories on Wednesday and racked up an estimated $8 million, bringing its worldwide opening day to about $17.8 million.



Wednesday, December 14, 2005

TITAN RAIN

Reports are that Chinese Intelligence is making an effort to hack U.S. Military computer systems. The effort seems to be well organized and the attacks have been traced to the Chinese province of Guangdong. The techniques used make it appear unlikely to come from any other source than the military. Guangdong is the location of a military academy and is also believed to be the source of SARS. This operation has been code named TITAN RAIN by the U.S.

Pentagon officials confirmed earlier this year that US Defense Department websites are probed hundreds of times a day by hackers, but maintained that no classified site is known to have been penetrated by hackers. The TITAN RAIN hacking effort appears to be well organized.

News earlier this week has China overtaking the U.S. in supplying IT goods. Reports show that China's exports of information and communication technology--including laptop computers, mobile phones and digital cameras--increased by more than 46 percent to $180 billion in 2004 from a year earlier, easily outstripping for the first time United States exports of $149 billion, which grew 12 percent from 2003. China has come close to matching the United States in the overall value of its trade in information and communications technology products. China's efforts to impose its own technology standards across a range of consumer products, including mobile phones, digital photography and wireless networks, are widely interpreted as a strategy to dominate the global market for information technology goods.

This has me wondering. Are the Chinese putting devices into the equipment they are selling? Are they making their equipment "hackee friendly" and if so does the U.S. military/intelligence services have any information on what those devices could be?



iraq war and victory strategy by bush

President Bush delivered a speech on Iraq strategy for victory today in Washington at the woodrow Wilson Center. Bush urged patience with the entire war effort. Bush has had to deliver several speeches on Iraq lately due to increased negativity from the media and Democrats on the Hill.

The media negativity has not waned since early autumn. Journalists are far more negative about the war than the American public. With elections being held and a new government in place the Iraqi situation is slowly getting stabilized. The progress factor is not what we had in mind. Afterall we wanted a swift end to Iraq, but that's not happening. The media feels unconsulted on the entire war and seems to take that out on Bush by throwing more and more negatives on their newscasts. Will this effort crack the American public shell? We shall see.

One item remains.... Bush needs good news to come from Iraq or the war on terror for his numbers to improve and allow the media to give us some positive news.





Tuesday, December 13, 2005

like it or not the u.s must win in iraq

Personally I was not for the United States invading Iraq the way we did. Why? Because we weren't ready. But then is any army really ready to invade another country? D-Day we were... but look at all the preparation the Allies did before the invasion. Fast forward to Iraq and we didn't prepare that way. Some would probaly say we don't have to prepare that way anymore because the technology allows for more coordination and logistics corrections when things go wrong. Fine. But let's face the fact we weren't ready to invade Iraq. OK then what. Well we invaded and the resistance has been brutal. Car bombs, etc.

However through it all our troop's moral has been very high. Higher than the average American citizen. We have to ask ourselves: Do we have the patience, the courage and the will to win in Iraq. We better have because the price of failure is way too high.

How many Americans favored George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq? Many. But some of the vocal hawks are now vocal doves. There are several lists of those political leaders that once said Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction and needs to be stopped and now pleading to get out of Iraq. Why is this? Could it be position labeling? If it is than the multi-million dollar media moguls are to blame. They have produces several little positon labelers whose job is to stir the pot, not report.

We are at war and we can't forget that. And we can't forget that the U.S. can't lose this war in Iraq. We can't lose the war on terror. There is too much too lose. Like peace and freedom.





Wednesday, December 07, 2005

could buckyballs deform dna?

Researchers have found through computer models that buckyballs (spherical fullerenes) could bind with dna when in an aqueous environment. Buckyballs were known to be toxic.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

first signs of human-to-human avian flu

The World Health Organization-sanctioned laboratory in Hong Kong has so far confirmed 13 bird flu cases in humans in Indonesia, with eight people dying from the virus. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, the disease is spreading so rapidly, particularly in the capital of Jakarta, some health officials strongly suspect the long-dreaded mutation has occurred. There are more signs the virus is spreading – outward from Asia and through Europe. Romania appears to be the hardest hit.

Three more villages in eastern Romania have been quarantined following the discovery of an H5 strain of avian influenza in poultry in one of the villages. The Romanian Ministry of Agriculture suspects the presence of bird flu in the other villages but is awaiting confirmation of test results from the United Kingdom.


digg comments


Thursday, December 01, 2005

3 species of fruit bats linked to ebola

Researchers working in Gabon and Congo have identified three species of fruit bat as the long-sought reservoirs of one of the deadliest known human pathogens, the Ebola virus. The team tested more than 1,000 bats and researchers found minute genetic traces of the virus in 22.6% of the bats tested. More important, they found that the virus produces no symptoms in infected bats, thus allowing it to spread without disabling its carrier.



Wednesday, November 30, 2005

online activities

According to Harris Interactive for iCrossing, 75 percent of survey respondents reported getting directions or finding maps online via search engines - the second most common activity online. The following are online activities for which U.S. adult internet users utilize search engines, as a percentage of respondents.

  1. Researching specific topics 88%
  2. Getting directions/maps 75%
  3. Looking for news or information about current events 64%
  4. Conducting general surfing/trawling 62%
  5. Using the Internet instead of the phone 54%
  6. Shopping 51%
  7. Looking for entertainment-related Web sites/activities 47%

developing IT systems that fix themselves

IBM wants computers that fix themselves. Several companies are making the creation of intelligent systems. This story tells the progress being made and what to expect in the future.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

activists kidnapped in Iraq


Al-Jazeera broadcast an insurgent video Tuesday showing four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with The Swords of Righteousness Brigade claiming responsibility for the kidnappings. The aid group Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four of its members were taken hostage Saturday. The corner of the video showed two, crossed black swords and the name of the insurgent group written in red Arabic script.




Monday, November 28, 2005

China says bird flu virus in humans mutating


The H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in human cases in China has mutated as compared with strains found in human cases in Vietnam.

Chinese labs have found that the genetic order of the H5N1 virus seen in humans infected in China is different from that found in humans in Vietnam.








the 100 notable books of 2005

The New York Times is out with their list of the 100 most notable books of 2005.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Expert says: pull out of New Orleans

An expert says New Orleans will be under sea level in 90 years. Tim Kusky speaks to 60 minutes about the situation. Katrina has sped up the process of land loss on the Mississippi Delta.



Top 25 Inventions of 2005

Time Magazine has brought to use the greatest inventions of this year. From the cloned dog, to an airless tire. Cool read.

read more | digg story

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Citibank hits the streets

As reported on Seth's Blog, a door-to-door salesman walked in and was selling business checking accounts. The salesman was fron Citibank. Seth considers door-to-door selling to be struggling. So do I.



U.N. predicts that machines will overtake the Internet


The Internet is ripe for the picking as machines will take up where humans leave off. In a world of sensors, tags and "smarts" a technological revolution will take place. This is from a report by the International Telecommunication Union. The report laid out economic opportunities, a huge expansion of the IT industry and innovation in a wide range of fields from health to entertainment, and also warned of a number of challenges, including privacy issues.

WORLD




consumer data danger

According to an Experian Personal Credit Index Survey fielded by Gallup, 16 percent of consumers have had their financial information stolen, 13 percent have experienced financial loss because of the theft of their financial data and 12 percent have had their Social Security numbers stolen.
77 percent of consumers polled think of credit card fraud as identity theft. 4 in 10 said that they don't believe they'll become a victim of identity theft. One-third said they can't do anything to prevent someone from stealing personal information. 74 percent said that they would take preventative measures to protect themselves if they knew what to do.





WORLD

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

flu scare!

More than 50 birds died in a U.K quarantine facility, hit by an outbreak of avian flu. Tiawanese mesia birds are the likely source. They tested positive for the H5N1 flu strain. The virus detected is most likely associated with Chinese ducks.



What happened on any day in history


Find out what happened on your birthday (or any other day) right back to 100AD. On my birthday Robert Redford was born, the first English child (Virginia Dare) was born in the new world in 1587, and James Meredith became the first black graduate from the University of Mississippi in 1963.

read more | digg story


Monday, November 14, 2005

Actor James Cromwell looks like Copernicus





Actor James Cromwell looks like the forensic skull that was produced in a lab at Warsaw, Poland. The remains are believed to be those of Nicolas Copernicus, the great mathematician and philosopher. Copernicus developed the heliocentric theory which took account of the orbit of planets around the sun. The normal belief at the time was that the earth was the center of the entire universe. Copernicus was a canon in the Roman Catholic Church and went against Church doctrine and teachings by developing the theory. His greatest work was published shortly after his death.
The remains were found in a cathedral in Frombork, Poland and were taken to a forensics lab for testing. Copernicus , born in 1473, was a canon in Frombork at the time of his death in 1543. The skull was used to reconstruct the head, shown above.
If a motion picture or television show is to be made about Copernicus, look no further than James Cromwell to play the part. Cromwell is known for his work in movies (Babe and L.A. Confidential) and television.

The Evolution of Computer Viruses

A virus timeline starting with the first time the term "computer virus" was coined back in 1983.

read more | digg story





Sunday, November 13, 2005

spies in the server closet

Since last June when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that file- sharing companies like Grokster could be sued, programmers are pursuing so-called darknets. Although they would be used to get around the entertainment industry's zeal for going after digital piracy, they could create channels for corporate espionage.

read more | digg story


Saturday, November 12, 2005

corporate snooping justified?

"Business purposes" is the answer we get when asking corporate executives about information gathering. How much information gathering is going on? Plenty and the increase of information gathering is staggering. Is anyone keeping track?
For example Google's Gmail scans customers' e-mail content and delivers targeted ads based on interests and buying patterns. If you write someone with a Gmail account your messgae will be scanned and stored. In 2004 a federal appeals court ruled that companies providing e-mail service may read clients' e-mail and use it as they wish. Phone calls can be recorded legally only by a court order, however e-mails are available to industry and the government.
In APril of 2004 the Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract to Northrup Grumman for up to $350 million dollars to build a "network of networks" to connect all levels of government. The government is tying government networks together in a supernetwork controlled by a super-agency. The technologies IT controls can be used for good or evil. The moral dimensions must be considered and the potential for abuse recognized.





Thursday, November 10, 2005

Top 50 indie films

The top 50 independent films have been rated by empire.com and this is a very careful and thoughtful compilation.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Who's Killing New Orleans?

This story gives us a view that if New Orleans fails to rebuild, the reason wouldn't be poverty, but murder. In 2003 New Orleans had a murder rate 8 times the national average. The local economy had sputtered due to the high crime rate in general. Local authorities had not been able to secure the personal safety of citizens.



Monday, November 07, 2005

rootkits can get planted on networks

This article describes what rootkits are and that they are getting more popular. Rootkits are being embedded into worms so that access can be obtained on compromised systems. Rootkit scanning and detection products are gaining attention.

read more | digg story

Defend against Sony's rootkit



Sony DRM phones home

Sunday, November 06, 2005

introduction and description to meetup.com

This is an e-mail to the syndic8 group about meetup.com which seems to be gaining popularity by "meeting people together." Groups of people are formed by location, topic, both.

read more | digg story

Maunsell Towers

About WWII defense towers constructed within the Thames Estuary area in 1942. They are still standing today. Their purpose was to house anti-aircraft batteries. There ar very good pictures of these towers on the Website.

read more | digg story

Amazon and Google rush to sell parts of books online

In a race to become the iTunes of the publishing world, Amazon.com and Google are both developing systems to allow consumers to purchase online access to any page, section or chapter of a book.

read more | digg story


Saturday, November 05, 2005

The ASME's Top 40 Magazine Covers

The American Society of Magazine Editors chose their Top 40 magazine covers.
First is the January 22, 1981 issue of THE ROLLING STONE with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.


Top 40 Covers

Friday, November 04, 2005

Michael Brown's e-mails made public

The emails former FEMA head Michael Brown wrote during the Katrina crises have been made public.

"Can I quit now? Can I come home?" Brown wrote to Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of public affairs, the morning of the hurricane.

On August 26, just days before Katrina made landfall, Brown e-mailed his press secretary, Sharon Worthy, about his attire, asking: "Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?"

A few days later, Worthy advised Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working."





Thursday, November 03, 2005

sharing business data with xml extensions

More types of security data are bring shared. The Global Justice Extensible Markup Language Data Model is used to tag criminal and public safety data so it can be shared effectively.

Another extension is the Electronic Business XML (EbXML) which is a modular suite of specifications.
The United Nations was the early champion of this concept to streamline international transactions.

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business promotes EbXML and you can find out more by visiting www.unece.org/cefact.

OASIS devotes a special link for e-government business.



Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Vampirism presentation

....the evolutionary explanation for the existence of vampire, and the argument for genetic tweaking to create more vampires, backed up with real biology.







mystery object identified

A mysterious object found in a Davenport, Iowa home was not a bomb, at first thought.
It is a device that is suposed to scare off aliens living underground. Th device was examined by the local bomb squad and an evacuation of the area was done as police investigated.



Monday, October 31, 2005

transcript from The Horror of Dracula (1958)


The Parlor
Enter Harker

Woman: (appearing from behind door) Mr. Harker, you will help me?

Harker: If it's still possible. But, tell me, why is Count Dracula keeping you prisoner?

Woman: I cannot tell you that.

Harker: But if I'm to help you, I must know.

Woman: I'm sorry, it's not possible.

Harker: You make it very difficult for me. After all, I'm a guest here. If I'm to help you, I must have a reason.

Woman: A reason! You ask for a reason! Is it not reason enough that he keeps me locked up in this house, holds me against my will? You can have no idea of what an evil man he is or the terrible things he does. I could not...dare not...try to leave on my own. He could find me again, I know. But, with you to help me, I would have a chance. Oh, you must help me. You must! You're my only hope. You must!

Harker: (holding her in his arms) I'll help you, I promise. Please don't distress yourself.

Woman: Thank you (She bites Harker's neck.)

Harker: (Pushes vampiress away)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

voip vendors don't like wiretaps

VOIP service providers, an alliance of civil liberties groups and technology companies recently filed a petition seeking a court ruling that the Federal Communications Commission "exceeded its statutory authority" when it adopted rules to ensure that law enforcement can tap Internet phone calls.

The petition was filed in the U. S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia and a variety of companies and organizations are the plaintiffs. The petitioners indicate that the FCC is extending federal wiretapping rules to technologies that Congress did not intend it to cover, and also imposes a burdensome mandate on innovators.



Friday, October 28, 2005

is google getting to thin?

Google this, Google that. Everyday we hear about a new Google feature. Growth is not a bad thing, but is Google growing out more than it is growing up? Google is a powerful company, led by brilliant people, but the dominance of Google is still an infant. will they grow with the times?

When reading about Google, think about Netscape. Remember how dominant they were before they franly lost customers. Google is being hailed as the company that will kill Microsoft... so was Netscape. Google is branching out with new services.... so did Netscape.

Google may be taking on too much all at once. If they are they'll do what companies do in this case. Make big mistakes.



Thursday, October 27, 2005

prime numbers

79: Number of different, dialectical nicknames for the dragon fly in American English
105: Number of flights made by the Wright Brothers
2473: Number of sheets of paper used by Marva Drew to type out every number from 1 to 1,000,000

oil for food probe continues

More than 2,200 companies, including major concerns like DaimlerChrysler, Siemens and Volvo, made illicit payments totaling $1.8 billion to Iraq's government led by Hussein. This acording to a report released today.

The program, which began in December 1996 and ended in 2003, was aimed at easing the impact of U.N. sanctions imposed in 1990 after Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait.

Condi Rice demonized

USA Today manipulated a photo of Condi Rice, making her eyes look as if she was possesed by a demon. Michelle Malkin has an article about it on her blog. Check the link.

Miers Withdrawls

Harriet Miers, whom the president announced on October 3rd to be the next nominee to the Supreme Court, withdrew her name from consideration earlier today. This was a shock to the Washington Beltway crowd. Miers had come under more and more criticism for U.S. senators on her lack of qualifications. President Bush said that he would fill the court vacancy in a timely manner.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

World Wide Web may be related to Frankenstein


In an article by legendary Arthur C. Clarke, he relates when he wrote a story called, "Dial F for Frankenstein" he had a scenario about all the telephones in the world being connected to each other. This story inspired Tim Berners-Lee to invent the World Wide Web in 1990.

Clarke goes on to say that humans have a need to communicate and that computers in general will help us do that. With memories and bandwidth getting larger tasks will be simpler and faster to finish.



state department to put rfid tags in passports

As reported on April 6, 2005 on westhamlet, the U.S. State Department was proposing putting rfid tags in passports. It was announced yesterday that rfid tags will be issued in passports in October 2006. The U.S. State Department reported that the International Civil Aviation Organization had outlined electronic guidelines for passports to aid in security.

The Bush administration could face an eventual legal challenge. A letter to the State Department from privacy groups (PDF here) says there is "no statutory authority" for the RFID passport because Congress has not authorized it. Over the last year, opposition to the idea of implanting RFID chips in passports has grown amidst worries that identity thieves could snatch personal information out of the air simply by aiming a high-powered antenna at a person or a vehicle carrying a passport.





apple adult beverages

Celebrate apple season with this trio of decidedly adult mixed drinks -- and leave the apple cider for the kids.

Apple Kir
1 oz. Jose Cuervo Gold Tequila
1/2 oz. Crème de Cassis
1 oz. apple juice
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Mix in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Apple Pie
1/2 oz. Apple Schnapps
1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Dash of powdered cinnamon
Shake with ice and strain into a shot glass.

Appletini
2 parts DeKuyper Pucker Sour Apple
2 parts VOX VodkaShake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with an apple slice.


anatomy of a blog

We do so much blogging, did or do we ever take time to study what a blog really is?
Structure, guts, look, workings... the list go on and on.
John Dvorak put together a good article on blog basics: Dvorak's Blogging Primer.
This gives the blog basics and more.

Look at Anatomy of a Blog for a good reference.



companies increase monitoring internet use


Companies are increasing the monitoring of employee Internet use for productivity and security reasons. Based on responses from 2540 U.S. business-technology and security professionals who participated in the
Infromation week/Accenture Information Security Survey.

Get more info on securing see: informationweek.securitypipeline.com



the art of jackie part II
























More computer art from jackie!!





Tuesday, October 25, 2005

the art of jackie




My daughter Jackie, who is now 14, made these images when she was 10. Hope you like!!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Anti-Semitic series now airing on Jordanian TV

The Diaspora (Al-Shatat), a Syrian-produced TV series depicting how Jews, as ideology and religious conviction, are trying to subjugate the entire world, is now being broadcast for the third time in recent years on Arabic language Satellite TV.

The series includes horrific distortions of Judaism, including the presentation of the use of a Christian child's blood in preparation of Matzah for Passover, as religious necessity.


The Top 100 Novels

TIME Magazine has compiled a list of the top 100 novels of all time. Interestingly enough E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime is on the list. My son Derek produced and directed the musical Ragtime back in July, 2005.

There were some surprises for me, as I'm sure there are for everyone, but the list did make me think and I now have a larger "to read" list.

Young Singers spread racist ideology

Thirteen-year-old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede have one album out, another on the way, and a music video. Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker personna. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate.

Known as "Prussian Blue" — a nod to their German heritage and bright blue eyes — the girls from Bakersfield, Calif., have been performing songs about white nationalism before all-white crowds since they were nine.

Lynx and Lamb have been nurtured on racist beliefs. They were home schooled. In addition, April's father surrounds the family with symbols of his beliefs — specifically the Nazi swastika.





Thursday, October 20, 2005

Yahoo Hong Kong ratted out Chinese dissident


Yahoo Hong Kong ratted out a Chinese dissident journalist to the Chinese government, sending the journalist to prison for ten years. Yahoo founder Jerry Yang shrugged off the public outcry over this by saying that helping to send Yahoo customers to jail was just the price of doing business in China.

Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo wrote an open letter to Yahoo founder Jerry Yang criticizing Yahoo’s collaboration with the Chinese government.
“You are helping the Communist party maintain an evil system of control over freedom of information and speech,” he writes.

I wonder if China will ever have true freedom: freedom of the press, etc. ?
At this rate probably not.



Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wilma most intensive Atlantic storm ever

Wilma is gathering strength at a pace that is mind boggling. Winds are at 175 mph and it is a category 5 storm. ts confirmed pressure readings Wednesday morning dropped to 882 millibars _ the lowest ever measured in a hurricane in the Atlantic basin, according to the hurricane center. The strongest on record based on the lowest pressure reading is Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, which dipped to 888 millibars. Forecasters said Wilma was more powerful than the devastating September 1935 hurricane that hit the Florida Keys, the strongest Atlantic hurricane to make landfall on record.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

data brokers


A growing number of data aggregators - otherwise known as data brokers - collect data on citizens' identifying information and sell it for profit. The buyers are law enforcement agencies. The practice of selling data gained interest when ChoicePoint acknowledged that crooks had duped the company out of personal information of nearly 145,000 people.

Data aggregators collect information from a multitude of public and private sources, and assemble dossiers on many, if not most Americans. Under the the federal Privacy Act citizens have the right to make sure data held by the government is correct. The information gleaned from commercial databases may not be covered by the act. Many data brokers admit that they collect everything.

David Newberger wrote in his blog that data will be the commodity of the future. Data may already be the commodity of the present.



Wilma strenghtening and turning

Wilma has developed a core and the winds are strengthening. Wilma could very well develop into a hurricane today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Greenspan says flexibility is the driving force


Alan Greenspan has said economic flexibility is how to avoid recessions. Maximum competition has been the driving force to help the economy withstand a number of shocks. Since Greenspan took office in August 1987, the U.S. economy has undergone only two mild recessions, one in 1990-91 when oil prices surged after Iraq invaded Kuwait and the most recent one in 2001 when the bursting of the stock market bubble helped push the country into a downturn. Greenspan cautioned against government action to take away flexibility, such as by erecting barriers to protect U.S. industries and workers from global competition.



the key to energy is demand

Many of us are wondering about the price of "liquid energy" and seeing how we can save money. Do we just sit around and wish for the price to go down. Yes, but will that always work? Probably not. That's why we need to concentrate on demand. Our demand. Habits will have to change. This reminds me of the conservation tips I heard about in the 1970's. They're back!

The Big Picture sems to allude to the consumer and how the Fed will tighten money and this could give us a slow-down in the real estate market and the end result is a lower demand for fuel and lower prices. I have to ask if the consumer has the time to wait on the Fed. Probably not. Consumers need a break now and that's why good conservation practices are a must. Were you for the speed limit going back up to 65 mph after it had been 55 mph? I wasn't because of conservation needs in the country. Granted cars have better mileage than ten years ago even when they're going 70 mph, however the situation has abruptly changed. Conservation will bring lighter vehicles and that will bring more safety concerns. Can these challenges be hashed out in committee hearings throughout the halls of the U.S. Congress? Uh.... I think you know the answer. Their solutions won't make much sense to most of us. They rarely ever do.

My advice.... conserve. Start a plan and stick with it. Remember the word sacrifice?





Tuesday, October 11, 2005

cfo economy concern before Katrina

Even before Katrina hit the Gulf Coast...chief financial officers were concerned about the economy.
CFO's were less optimistic about economic prospects in the U.S. than they have been in four years. According to the Duke University/CFO Business Outlook Survey conducted in August, only 29 percent of respondents said they were more optimistic about the economy than the previous quarter. That's down from 40 percent in July.

Katrina is likely to further weaken the economy. It could cut 400,000 jobs and stunt growth by a full percentage point. Higher fuel prices also have a negative effect. CFO's had already ranked higher fuel prices as their biggest economic concern. The housing market was also high on the list in which a bubble could be ready to pop.







pakistani earthquake prologue

The help is starting to arrive but the devastation in Pakistan is so great that one wonders if enough help will arrive. The magnitude of the disaster is overwhelming. So far, international donors have announced tens of millions of dollars in aid. But, again echoing the tsunami relief effort, aid agencies were quick to draw attention to the shortfall which almost always occurs between pledges made by governments in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and the total money that eventually arrives.
Three days after the magnitude-7.6 temblor struck the Himalayan region, thousands of people in outlying communities waited for help and complained they had run out of food and water. Some organized their own expeditions for supplies. Get the real story.


Friday, October 07, 2005

two peas in an economic pod

President Lyndon Johnson thought that the US economy could support a war and his Great Society program. He thought surely there could be an economic boom in the late 1960's like there was in the late 1940's.
There wasn't. Economic growth stopped.

Forty years later another Texan thought a war could be fought, taxes cut and serious energy conservation could go by the wayside with the help of an expansive economy. Inflation returned.

Johnson tried to provide guns and butter without raising taxes. George Bush tried to serve up large tax cuts without reducing spending or addressing the nation's rapacious thirst for motor fuels, particularly gasoline.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NASA official foam loss theory

Workers may have accidentally cut or crushed a section of foam that broke off during Discovery's launch. The section in question was on the fuel tank. That is the leading theory for the cause behind the disturbing loss of foam insulation that cast a cloud over NASA's return to space, said Wayne Hale, the newly appointed manager of the space shuttle program. To NASA's horror, a 1-pound, 3-foot chunk of insulating foam peeled away from Discovery's external fuel tank during liftoff in late July. In addition to the big chunk of foam, several smaller pieces broke off, including at least one from an area of the fuel tank that had been modified after Columbia. Thermal tile was also damaged on Discovery's belly; one tile lost a 1 1/2-inch piece right next to the set of doors for the nose landing gear, a particularly vulnerable spot.





avian flu quarantine in the u.s.?

The topic was discussed on WLS-AM radio in Chicago this morning. President Bush said that if a quarantine had to be done that use of the military might be considered.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

bendable color e-paper

Fujitsu debuted bendable color e-paper xtreme ultra at CEATEC. The screen/paper/whatever won’t break or anything when bent, thus making it the ideal replacement for paper.

The new electronic paper features vivid color images that are unaffected even when the screen is bent, and features an image memory function that enables continuous display of the same image without the need for electricity. The thin and flexible electronic paper uses very low power to change screen images, thereby making it ideal for displaying information or advertisements in public areas as a type of new electronic media that can be handled as easily as paper.

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace.

dr dean tells a story

Scientists have long warned of a possible human pandemic if the bird flu virus mutates and becomes more easily passed between people. So far, the H5N1 strain of the virus has led to the deaths of more than 50 people in Southeast Asia and the slaughter of millions of birds.

Deano is not impressed by panicy situations. But he sounded scared on the radio about this bird flu thing. Currently the bird flu can only be caught by human exposure to an infected bird.



Monday, October 03, 2005

hurricane forecaster says busy october

William Gray, a Colorade State hurricane forecaster says get ready for a busy October. This year is the seventh busiest since 1950. Three tropical storms, two hurricanes and one major hurricane are predicted this month and the season does not officially end until November 30.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

oil infrastructure problems

The oil infrastructure in Iraq is not fit and able to get the oil to where it is needed.... the U.S. According to Smash Monster reports that poor leadership is one item to blame. The failure to re-build Iraq's vast oil fields have impeded production. Oil production remains below pre-war levels of 2.5 million barrels per day. In southern Iraq where most of the oil fields are, attacks against those installations have been light and the real problems seem to come from poor planning and logistics to resume oil production.

Friday, September 30, 2005

new flu pandemic could kill millions

A top U.N. public health expert warned Thursday that a new influenza pandemic could come anytime and claim millions of lives unless officials to take action now to control an epidemic in Asia.

Dr. David Nabarro of the World Health Organization called on governments to take immediate steps to address the threat at a news conference following his appointment as the new U.N. coordinator to lead a global drive to counter a human flu pandemic.



Wednesday, September 28, 2005

the value of health IT

Floodwaters destroyed the medical records of thousands of evacuees from New Orleans, washing away orders for cancer and diabetes treatment and medication information stored in physician offices and clinics.

The Health and Human Services Department is trying to recreate some of the medical data electronically that was destroyed by floodwaters, in what is proving to be a test case for the government’s efforts to develop health IT systems.

Most doctors have no idea how to implement an electronic health records system and have little trust that the federal government does either.

One California doctor, for example, met with 200 vendors over five years trying to figure out exactly what hardware and software his office needed, to no avail.

The problems most physicians face is that implementing health IT is both expensive—some estimate the cost between $15,000 to $30,000 per doctor—and intimidating because of the changes technology brings, said Chuck Parker, DOQ-IT team leader and the director of health care IT for MassPro, a doctors’ office quality program.

Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt has taken rapid steps to bring the public and private sectors together to address the technical challenges. Efforts are being launched to agree on needed common standards, develop the capacity for certification, and examine legal and business practice barriers. This effort also will support prototype projects. A new advisory group, the American Health Information Community, is intended to bring together the many stakeholders who need to share in steering this effort. And when standards are developed, federal health programs will adopt them to provide leadership and a sound foundation.


major hurricane likely in October forecasters say

Meteorologists examining the conditions that spawned hurricanes Rita and Katrina say there is a strong likelihood that another intense hurricane will occur in October. Researchers also warn that the country should brace for 10 to 40 more years of powerful storms because of a natural ocean cycle in the midst of the most active hurricane period on record.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Voice of the Caliphate

An Internet video newscast broadcast for the first time on Monday, purporting to be a production of al Qaeda and featuring an anchorman who wore a black ski mask and an ammunition belt. The anchorman, who said the report would appear once a week, presented news about the Gaza Strip and Iraq and expressed happiness about recent hurricanes in the United States.
The broadcast is called th VOICE OF CALIPHATE.

is there a media crisis?

There seems to have been stories of rape and murder that did not occur in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Was there a bias attempt to give false impressions about President Bush, FEMA, and the state of things in general? Maybe.

How can the media sent to report on the happenings of such an historical event allow unconfirmed stories out on the airwaves or in print? Relief workers said that while the media hyped criminal activity, plenty of real suffering did occur at the Katrina relief centers. Rumors of death were greatly overblown and some criminal activities reported never happened.

track kenneth

Hurricane Kenneth has been tracked.

Monday, September 26, 2005

blogger handbook

Bloggers get people going... news, opinion, theory..... those are just three blog items or ideas. Blogs are good for freedoms of expression. There is a new handbook out to help get your blog noticed. You'll also find help in setting it up.


Streisand says there is a global warming crisis

The summer's back to back superstorms are proof positive we have entered a new period of global warming emergency, according to Barbra Streisand. "There could be more droughts, dust bowls. You know it's amazing to hear these facts", said Streisand to ABC News Diane Sawyer.

Friday, September 23, 2005

gas at 5.00 per gallon?

Say it ain't so! But Rita has given us that very real possibility. So many refineries, but so little time. We are in such a hand-to-mouth situation with our energy consumption that problems with Katrina and Rita can hamper the entire process of getting the oil out of the ground and into our gas tanks.

The New Orleans levee broke again according to FOX news. READ MORE

rita update

The Category 4 hurricane was barreling northwest across the Gulf, with winds near 140 mph (220 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Rita was expected to make landfall late on Friday or early on Saturday but its destination was unclear.

The growing violence of storms such as Katrina, which wrecked New Orleans, and Rita, now threatening Texas, is very probably caused by climate change, said Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Hurricanes were getting more intense, just as computer models predicted they would, because of the rising temperature of the sea, he said. "The increased intensity of these kinds of extreme storms is very likely to be due to global warming."


Thursday, September 22, 2005

can you hear me now google?

Now Google owns a network and offers telephone service and access to high-speed Internet connections. Google Inc. watchers say the search giant appears headed in the telephone company direction.

refinery, refinery, where for out thou refinery?

About 18 Texan oil refineries are threatened by Hurricane Rita.

On Thursday, September 22, 10 refineries in the Lone Star State and one in Louisiana were fully shut, including Exxon Mobil's Baytown, Texas refinery, the biggest in the United States. Three others were at least partially shut. A significant amount of oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut and reports of banged-up platforms and rigs continued to trickle in as companies conducted aerial inspections of offshore facilities.


higher oil

Rita has the oil patch in her crosshairs. Prices at the pump.... $4.00?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

indonesia flu update

The government of Indonesia said that an outbreak of the avian flu could become widespread. to the point of becoming an epidemic. Time might be well spent by attending to the animals rather than people at this time so that a pandemic can be kept from spreading.

rita track

Hurricaine Rita has been tracked.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

refineries

Check out Energy Tracker to see how mother nature has impacted energy prices. Around the U.S. citizens will see higher energy prices with no reductions expected in 2005. Natural gas bills could easily be 20 percent higher.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

how big will the pricetag be?

Already 100 billion.... Katrina re-building efforts have the federal government thinking about all kind of new programs, and programs that aren't so new but have a new twist. That twist is big federal spending. How about school vouchers for students who are displaced because of the storm? That's just one example.

no more pillows, no more pretzels

Both Delta and Northwest Airlines declared bankruptcy. Delta and Northwest both filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on Wednesday. Both companies said the timing was a coincidence.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

do the deal and move on to the next

Ameriquest says they are the sponsor of the American dream. But at what cost? The loan processors were tirelessly working on 15 loans per month when 3 to 5 loans a month was standard. Ameriquest has been paying the price, in court cases that have already cost it more than $100 million. And company officials have set aside another $325 million to settle other lawsuits on the horizon.

Monday, September 12, 2005

a new kind of war

In the new conflict in the 21st century, we must believe that information technology, computer viruses, financial tools and non-military technology can be used in combination to defeat an enemy.

Have other nations of the world given the new conflict priority? Planning counter-terrorism with terrorism may be the priority nations are looking for. Cracking down on groups with terror may become more common in the years ahead. Could the use of nuclear weapons be far behind?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

joe namath

The 2005 NFL season gets into full tilt on Sunday, September 11th. I am sure that there will be several tributes about the September 11, 2001 tradgedy of terrorist strikes. I know that we as gratefull Americans need to pay tribute to our fallen citizens. They should not be forgotten.

microsoft acquires Internet Voice startup

Microsoft Corp. said August 30 it had acquired Teleo Inc., a small San Francisco startup whose software lets people make calls from computers to traditional telephones.

Vonage said on September 6 that they had one million customers. Vonage has also managed to grow—it has doubled subscribers during the last six months—despite serious challenges from major U.S. cable operators Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp. and Comcast Corp.

DOD to ship handhelds to the Gulf Coast

The Defense Department's Theater Medical Information Program will ship handheld devices to Federal Emergency Management Agency workers to help them treat Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The handhelds will provide military medics with instant access to patient records and potential treatment plans.


Feds have mobilized Katrina recovery

President Bush has declared major disasters for impacted areas in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. In the near term, FEMA will concentrate on lifesaving and life-sustaining efforts.

The Homeland Security Department also announced today that it is sending a vast array of resources to the region.





Friday, September 09, 2005

LA gov blocked superdome aid

The Red Cross was told by agencies of the State of Louisiana not to go to the Superdome. The concern was that a magnet did not want to be created that would attract people to that facility. The state agencies ultimately wanted the people out of the facilities like the Superdome and the Convention Center.

more military in disasters?

The U.S. Government appears to be ready for talks on first response by the military during natural disasters. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has not agreed to talks yet, but in the past he had reservations about the military role in natural disaster response.

The military may be asked to take the lead during responses which means that they may direct local and state authorities during disaster relief.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

interest in katrina felt on the web

The traffic on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web site has increased dramatically due to the interest in Hurricaine Katrina. NOAA Web sites have seen traffic in excess of 5200 hits per second. You might want to also check the web site for NOAA National Hurricaine Center.

Help Katrina victims

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

terrible mess in n.o.

With at least one New Orleans hospital threatened by Katrina's floodwaters, patients were being transferred to the Superdome, said Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and medical personnel were being sent in to treat them.

The damage is "very, very sobering," Brown said. "And of course the flooding is just everywhere ... New Orleans, all through Mississippi and Alabama. This storm is really having a catastrophic effect," Brown said on CBS'"The Early Show."


Monday, August 29, 2005

Fort Monmouth to close

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission voted to shut down the Army base in Fort Monmouth, N.J.— home to many of the Army’s command and control and research and development programs. In addition to Fort Monmouth, the commission also voted to close Army bases in Virginia, Georgia and Michigan, as well as hundreds of Army Reserve and National Guard installations across the country. The Army’s Training and Doctrine Command headquartered in Fort Monroe, Va., was one of the bases voted to be closed.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

thin skin helps robots feel

Japanese researchers have developed a flexible artificial skin that could give robots a humanlike sense of touch. The transistors used in the circuits and the semiconductors both use "organic" materials based on chains of carbon atoms.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

IT Battle Testing

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, information usage is a vital part of the operation. Test equipment is now important to determine performance metrics of equipment in the field. The test equipment determines performance assessments and help with trouble shooting.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Thursday, July 28, 2005

teens and the internet

Teens are using the internet in a saturated market. Pew internet complied a report in which 9 out of 10 people aged 12 - 17 use the internet. The survey compiled late in 2004 used 1100 responses.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Flickr pics capture London terror

A total of about 300 photos have been contributed, and certain photos have been viewed up to 6,000 times.

One Flickr picture of a London-based mosque, once suspected of being an al-Qaida recruitment center, showed the building draped with a sign claiming its "new beginning."


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

WHO appeals to China to test for bird flu

The World Health Organization urged China on Tuesday to step up testing of wild geese and gulls, as well as humans who've come in contact with them near a remote saltwater lake where 5,000 birds have died. Officials say 54 people have died in Asia so far this year after becoming infected by sick birds - although none in China. So far, Chinese authorities have tested only 12 dead birds and two people, with the people coming up negative.



more avain flu news

windows wins

Windows is the PC operasting system of choice at large U.S. businesses. Apple's Macintosh captured just 2% of systems across the companies that Gartner surveyed.
  1. Windows 2000 - 40%
  2. Windows XP - 32%
  3. Don't Know - 9%
  4. Windows NT - 8%
  5. Windows 98 - 6%
  6. Windows 95 - 2%
  7. Mac - 2%
  8. Linux - 1%
Gartner Large U.S. Business PC Market survey of 177 PC decision makers

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

service level rankings for banking web sites

Which banking Web sites provide the fastest transactions?
Which are the most reliable? Download Keynote's free
Service Level Rankings Report and find out who the top performers
are in the online banking industry and what you can do to improve
your competitive positioning.
Click on the link download your free copy.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

data cutbacks

Four rules for cutting back the data you keep.

  1. Determine what info you collect. Audit all sources and forms of data you gather. Make sure there is a business reason for each.
  2. Protect sensitive data. Determine what employees or customer information you absolutely need; then, enhance the security around the most important, critical information.
  3. Prepare for the long haul. You can't flip a switch and instantly stop packing away data. Getting more selective will take years.
  4. Get thick skin. Debates on what to minmize will be fierce. What you view as a liability is another department's future revenue generator.

steps to VoIP success

1. Assess your needs: Determine who within your organization demands real time communications across voice and IP systems.

2. Assess your infrastructure: Identify how your current telecom systems will need to evolve to support VoIP without pursuing a "rip-out and replace" strategy.

3. Draw up a blueprint: Use the assesment to design a flexible, reliable IP infrastructure that supports voice and data.

4. Ensure proper training: Determine who will handle training for the VoIP system, and how it will be offered.

5. Deploy and manage: Even after the network goes live, be sure you have a monitoring service in place to maximize ongoing performance.


voip Links

Firebox VoIP Cyberphone http://del.icio.us/nleghari
Skype - Free Internet telephony that just works http://del.icio.us/dantreacy
RTFM: Divide and rule - Computing http://del.icio.us/bmacauley
RTFM: Preparing for VoIP - Computing http://del.icio.us/bmacauley
wie funktioniert enum - homepage http://del.icio.us/carixus
enum howto - homepage http://del.icio.us/carixus

voip posts
from Technorati
Communications Mergers Full Committee Hearing POSTPONED
For what it's worth. Hopefully the consumer will win as a result of this hearing -- when it happens. POSTPONED -- Communications Mergers Full...VoIP Blog - Rich Tehrani 50 links from 30 sources
Telecom Competition
I received this e-mail this week from Consumer's Union and agree that we are seeing too many mega-mergers in telecom. The telecom industry is turning...VoIP Blog - Rich Tehrani 50 links from 30 sources
VoIP and Outdated Telecom Laws
Here is a great article on VoIP regulation and outdated telecom laws by TMCnet’s newest reporter, Ted Glanzer. Here is an excerpt: The Brand X case:...VoIP Blog - Rich Tehrani 50 links from 30 sources
Skype Rules VoIP: cheap/free telephone
New York wants license plates to identify drunken drivers ·Good News Blog 10 links from 6 sources
End of rumors: Yahoo! buys up Dialpad
We talked about it over the weekend. End of story yesterday. From Stowe's site: Yahoo! has had a frenzy of activity this year...Rodrigo A. Sepúlveda Schulz 157 links from 84 sources
Another video plugin for Skype is out
Just out. It seems limited to the first 5000 beta testers. It allows for multiple video conference calls. Haven't checked it yet, but...Rodrigo A. Sepúlveda Schulz 157 links from 84 sources
Add-on per Skype
Cooler weather.. More VoIP related stuff..
It has still been pretty cool out the past couple of days. It's really nice to get out at 10:30 PM and feel a cool breeze instead of that freakish...Why The Hell? 6 links from 4 sources
Lots going on in the Skype-o-sphere
Wow, I tell you it's an exciting time to be a Skype user. Seems like every few days I'm hearing about something new and cool to try. So we now have...Blog Consulting & Professional Blogging a View from the Isle :: Main Page 116 links from 70 sources
Skype in merger talks with Yahoo?
Permanent Link Friday, June 10...North American Bandwidth News :: Main Page 26 links from 17 sources
Research and Markets: VoIP - Spending and Trends
Research and Markets: VoIP - Spending and Trends June 17, 2005–Research and Markets has announced the addition of VoIP: Spending and Trends to their...VOIP News 0 links
Inflight mobile calls by 2006?
Boeing’s Connexion business unit expects to sell mobile phone services to travelers as early as next year, despite resistance from passengers...Oloop.org 28 links from 25 sources
Yahoo buys Dialpad, enters Net phone market
Internet portal giant Yahoo has acquired Dialpad, a 6-year-old provider of Internet phone services. The acquisition, which was announced on...Oloop.org 28 links from 25 sources
More on VOIP (Video over IP)
Permalink I had a brief play with Video4Skype last week - I was chatting to a friend in the UK (for free, via Skype) and mentioned a link I'd seen so...Mirror World 64 links from 49 sources
VOIP 911 Calls
Permalink As a user of Skype - I found the recent ruling by the FCC (in the US) interesting - the FCC demands that VOIP service providers be able to...Mirror World 64 links from 49 sources

voip photos
from Flickr





Friday, June 17, 2005

the next pandemic?

International health officials are warning that a deadly avian influenza virus may soon spread rapidly, overwhelming unprepared health systems in rich and poor countries alike. If the virus mutates to become easily transmittable among humans, the death toll of the resulting global pandemic could number in the millions.

As a call to action, the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs will be publishing a special set of articles.

energy estimates

Oil prices are expected to remain high for the balance of the year -- peaking at $62 a barrel -- it is believed that prices will drop within the next five years, a survey of energy executives and institutional investors found at RBC Capital Markets 2005 North American Energy and Power Conference in Boston. Of those polled, two-thirds expect oil prices to fall back to $35 a barrel in the next five years, while nearly one-third said it could reach $100 a barrel in the same time-frame. Respondents also indicated that they believe oil prices will retreat to roughly $53 a barrel by year end. When asked about the average price at the pump this year, survey respondents believed prices would be about $2.60 a gallon. Separately, individuals predicted that natural gas would sell for $7.70 per million cubic feet (Mcf) by the end of the year, up significantly from last winter's $6.24 price.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dollar and gold decoupling?

Are the dollar and gold decoupling? Lately the very tight negative correlation between gold and the dollar has vanished. Over the past couple of weeks as the dollar has rallied, so has gold. Theories:

1) Short-term aberration

2) Euro money that’s still afraid of the dollar—It could be that those disappointed in the euro, still have little faith in the dollar as a store of value—so where else to turn—gold. And as the gold price rises sharply in local currency terms (outside the dollar) the rising price trend creates an incentive to add to positions.

3) Financial risk building in the system—attached below is the same series as above, but this time it is on a weekly basis – US $ Index (inverted) verse gold futures. What’s interesting is that the last significant “decoupling” we saw coincided with the Asian Financial Crisis and was exacerbated by the blow up of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), September ’98; the Trading Wizard hedge fund of the day. The demise of LTCM was a real blow to the global financial system through its labyrinth of intricately linked derivative relationships. The Fed and assorted big boys had to step in and fill the breach.

What was interesting during this same time was the action of the bond market—it was in the midst of a blow-off rally, maybe driven by a safe haven run into Treasury bonds.



Tuesday, June 14, 2005

rising gold and u.s. dollar

Normally, when the dollar rises, gold does not rise too. However, recently, the dollar has been rising against the euro and the yen, but gold has rallied to $431.10 an ounce, the highest closing price since May 5th. This needs careful monitoring. It may be painting a picture for the global economy in coming months.



Sunday, June 12, 2005

the crude war


the crude war Posted by Hello
The Cold War is over, but the Crude War has just begun. It is not an arms race, it's an oil race. America and China - the biggest and the fastest growing economies - are now in a race to secure supplies of crude oil and natural gas all over the world. This new Crude War will keep energy prices high, and drive energy stocks higher.

"Absent adequate supplies of natural gas...there is no readily apparent means to meet the incremental needs of the U.S. economy over the next 5 to 7 years - raising serious questions as to how the growth of the U.S. economy will be sustained during the remainder of this decade...
I'm quite surprised at how little attention the natural gas problem has been geting, because it is a very serious problem." - Alan Greenspan, Federal Reserve Chairman

Global demand continues to grow unabated and supplies are dwindling. We are on an unsustainable track straining the world's supplies, which must eventually push prices much, much higher. Chinese firms are building extensive business connections in energy around the world: investing in Iran, partnering with Brazilian state oil firm Petrobas, planning acrude oil pipeline in Columbia, proposing a $2 billion dollar in vestment in northern Alberta, and increasing already huge stakes in some of the world's largest resource companies. As China's demand pushes international prices higher, America will need to pay the spot price. But America's "ace up the sleeve" is an estimated 315 billion barrels of oil recoverable in Canada in the oil sands of Alberta.

The days of cheap energy are gone forever. The American consumer will continue to bear the financial brunt of America's uncontainable energy crisis. Americans use an average of 25 barrels of oil per capita per year. Chinese use 1.3 barrels and India uses less than 1. The U.S. represents 5% of the world population yet consumes 25% of the world's oil supply.

As the world's largest oil fields lose their production, Canada and particularly Alberta is ramping-up. With oil now trading well above $35 a barrel even the heavy oil in Alberta's oil sands is economic. Keep in mind that, right now, Canada is the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S.

Americans are likely to pay more but the supply for America will not dry up. This new Crude War is a race for oil supply. Our "neighbor to the north" might well be what helps the U.S. win the race.