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Reverse indicator: The future of the Mac

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Good news, Mac fans! Apple is committed to the Mac for the foreseeable future and you can look forward to a strong product pipeline. How does the Macalope know this? Because John C. Dvorak just wrote that Apple was going to do the opposite.

“Apple Is Ready to Ditch the Mac.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @_HairForceOne, @ElPocho and Stephen.)

Does anyone remember the last time Dvorak was right about Apple? Was it during the Eisenhower administration?

To read this article in full, please click here

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1 day ago
“Apple does have some Unix in the guts of macOS, but iOS seems scratch-built.” How is it possible that people still read John Dvorak?!?
Waterloo, Canada
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Some Questions for Crypto-Exchanges

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1. Does your exchange engage in proprietary trading? [1]

A) If so, what is the nature of the prop-trading? Does it occur on your own exchange, other exchanges, or both?
B) Are there information barriers between client data and prop-trading decisions? Are customers ever front-run?
C) Does prop-trading have the same access to the exchange as other customers?
D) Are exchange operational decisions, like pausing (or not pausing) matching due to IT issues, ever influenced by profit or loss by your prop-trading?
E) Who oversees exchange prop-trading and ensures it is non-manipulative? Is oversight segregated from the rest of exchange operations?

2. Does your exchange offer securities trading functionality?

A) If so, is the exchange registered and approved by the appropriate regulators? For example, if the exchange is in the US and matches Ether (likely a security in the US [2]), is it registered as an ATS, National Securities Exchange, OTC market, Broker-Dealer, or otherwise?
B) Are the securities classified as penny stocks, NMS stocks, Regulation A stocks, or another type of stock?
C) What standards determine the securities that the exchange matches?
D) Does margin trading of securities comply with applicable regulation? [3]
E) Does the exchange report suspected insider trading to the appropriate regulators? Are exchange employees monitored to prevent them from insider trading?

3. For exchanges offering execution services such as Coinbase, how is the execution price determined?

A) Is the customer executed at the worst price over a lookback period? What is the lookback period, and can it vary?
B) Do you reject orders via last look? Is it symmetric? Does it comply with market norms? [4]
C) Are details like the above, and any additional spreads, fully disclosed to customers?
D) If you offer execution services for securities such as Ether, do they comply with best-execution requirements? Are you registered as a broker? Do your retail customers understand any risks of using your services?

4. Do clients have equal access to the exchange?

A) Can every client access the same market data feeds and order entry gateways? At similar latencies?
B) Do any clients receive different fees than the public fee schedule?
C) When the exchange has IT issues, do any clients get preferential access? E.g., when the exchange is offline for some clients, does it ever make efforts to stay online for favored clients?
D) What safeguards are in place to ensure client information isn’t leaked to other clients?
E) If there is a margin deficiency, theft, or other shortfall, how are losses distributed and who oversees the process?

5. What mechanisms are in place to prevent and police manipulation?

A) Such as: momentum ignition, denial-of-service attacks, triggering margin liquidations, collusion, spoofing, and settlement-price/benchmark manipulation.
B) Are margin levels set such that manipulative traders or hackers (outside developed market jurisdictions) can’t force liquidations?
C) What are the penalties and enforcement mechanisms? Are instances of manipulation disclosed to clients?
D) If the exchange lists derivatives that depend on other exchanges’ pricing, do you communicate with those exchanges about potential manipulation and their own prop-trading? Do you have confidence in their capacity to give you reliable and complete information? [5]

6. Does the exchange disclose and investigate security breaches?

A) E.g. if the exchange suffers a suspected DOS attack, when and how is that disclosed to customers?

7. Does the exchange guarantee that its customers are not buying stolen or laundered coins? If stolen coins were bought on the exchange by an innocent customer, and reclaimed, will the customer be compensated?

[1] It is somewhat reassuring that the Administrator of the CME’s Bitcoin settlement price, Crypto Facilities, says it does not engage in (at least some forms of) proprietary trading. In an interview with Bitcoin Futures Guide, the CEO said:

It [the Turbo 50x leverage product] also does not change the risk profile of Crypto Facilities as we are not a counterparty in the trades on our platform.

[2] The SEC “has determined that DAO Tokens are securities under the Securities Act of 1933.” You can read Ether’s offering documents and come to your own conclusions.

[3] I believe Kraken allows margin trading for retail customers of Ether and Tether at levels of up to 5x.

[4] I have heard anecdotally that, when the price moves in the customer’s favor, Coinbase may reject executions with error messages like “the exchange rate updated while you were waiting” — but may not always do such rejections when the price moves against the customer.

[5] The CME’s settlement price mechanism may be modified in “unusual and extreme circumstances.” The Administrator (Crypto Facilities) is responsible for making recommendations in such circumstances, and requires the approval of the CF Member of the Oversight Committee (who I think is currently the CEO of Crypto Facilities), and one of the CME’s representatives on the committee.

In the Bitcoin market, I’m not sure how unusual “unusual and extreme circumstances” are.

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2 days ago
I think the lack of accountability of current exchanges will be one of the main triggers for a crash(es). Somehow we've ended up with a centralized system again but they're nowhere near as well run or trustworthy as the mainstream financial system and that's saying something
Waterloo, Canada
2 days ago
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Our new game is In the Valley of Gods, a single-player...

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Our new game is In the Valley of Gods, a single-player first-person adventure set in Egypt in the 1920s. You play as a disgraced former filmmaker and explorer, reunited with your old partner for a project that could leave you with fame and fortune—or dead and buried in the sand. 

We’re currently developing the game for Windows, Mac, and Linux, with any potential future platforms yet to be determined. There’s a tentative release target of 2019, but that could change. Just like with Firewatch, follow our progress here on the blog and our Twitter account for the latest news and behind-the-scenes development. In the Valley of Gods is an adventure unlike anything we’ve ever made and we can’t wait for you to play it.

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2 days ago
Waterloo, Canada
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How To Read Financial News

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October 27th, 1929.

It’s the day before the Great Depression begins. One of the most important days in market history.

Let’s go back in a time. What would you find?

Dig through the New York Times that day, and the entirety of stock market coverage is summarized on one page, a third of which is a Chanel shoe ad.

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 3.28.41 PM.png

That’s it.

The difference in how much – and what kind of – financial information existed then vs. today is astronomical. And we don’t have to go back to 1929 to find a similar world. Twenty-five years ago the papers – and how most investors accessed market information – weren’t much different than they were in 1929. Or 1879.

All of that changed in the last 25 years. And it exploded in the last 10 years.

The advent of financial news TV mastered the art of saying a tremendous amount of something when nothing needs to be said. Blogs, Twitter, and podcasts have taken it to a new level.

Here are a few things that help me make sense of the amount of content we have today.

Bucket everything that catches your attention into a category of relevance. There’s a hierarchy of news and information that looks something like this:

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 10.06.33 AM.png

The takeaway here is that good, relevant content is extremely rare. You should have no tolerance for the lower half of categories in this chart, and asking yourself where something fits before reading it is vital. Giving yourself permission to move on quickly provides more time to find something relevant.

Read stuff you disagree with, written by people you respect. Charlie Munger says a prerequisite to having an opinion is stating the opposing side’s view as well as they can.

Modern financial media makes that hard, because no matter what you believe you can find a well-designed blog that agrees with you, and confirmation is more comfortable than opposition.

Reading stuff you disagree with is not natural. You have to force yourself into it. But even that’s not good enough, because the most attractive opposing views are written by idiots, amateurs, quacks, and salesmen. They’re the easiest to shoot down, allowing yourself to say, “Ah-ha, the other side is wrong and therefore I am right.”

You have to seek out opposing views from people whose thought process you respect. That probably means people who you agree with on other topics. If you can say, “I know you’re reasonable, because you and I agree on X. So why do we disagree on Y?” … boom! You’re a step closer to reasonably figuring out the opposing view. Figuring out how the world works. Which is what we’re all trying to do.

Read more than pure finance. Investor Patrick O’Shaughnessy has a book club. An email he sent to his readers a few years ago began: “Consistent with my belief that it is more productive to read around one’s field than in one’s field, there are no investing books on this list.”

This is so smart. Investing is not the study of finance. It’s the study of how humans behave with money. When you realize it’s the study of human behavior, you see that it incorporates the lessons and laws from all kinds of different fields. Psychology. Sociology. Statistics. Biology. History. Politics. Rule of thumb: If it looks into how people behave in groups and respond to incentives, it’ll teach you something about investing.

My friend Nick Maggiulli wrote an article this week that begins: “It had been nine days since Volkert Evertszoon and his fellow shipmates had consumed anything other than their own urine.” He uses that story to frame a discussion around investment risk and valuation.

This kind of stuff is not only more entertaining than pure finance; it gets you closer to understanding how people behave in the real world, which is what finance is all about.

Old news is the best guide of how to treat current news. Old news is amazing. It is the most unfiltered historian, offering a view of the world that suffers from no historian’s subjective editing of what’s important.

The historian of old news teaches a few things: That forecasting markets and economies is nearly impossible; that people will never stop believing in forecasts; and that the biggest news stories in hindsight are the ones no one was talking about with foresight. It’s an important framework to remember when reading today’s news.

Old news also shows that most of what seemed like important news at the time was quickly forgotten. Take this August 2011 headline: “Dow falls 512 in steepest decline since ‘08 crisis.” That was a big deal at a the time. But how many people still care about it today? Few, if any.

Every piece of financial news you read should be filtered by asking the question, “Will I still care about this in a year? Five years? Ten years?” The goal of information should be to help you make better decisions between now and the end of your ultimate goals. Read old news and you’ll quickly see that the life expectancy of your goals is higher than that of the vast majority of headlines.

Understand that people play different games. A long-term investor sees a headline about selling stocks before earnings and shakes his head in disbelief. A trader reads an article about Stocks for the Long Run and thinks people are oblivious. Momentum investors think they’re both missing it. Bond investors think all three are crazy.

It’s fine. There are all kinds of ways to invest. What’s important, as a reader, is that you don’t take your cues from someone writing about a different game. A perspective can be highly relevant to one person and irrelevant to another if those people have different time horizons or different goals. When you find yourself disagreeing with something, ask whether you’re actually just playing a different game than the person who wrote it.

Actionable takeaways should be rare. Why read something if it doesn’t lead to an actionable takeaway? I’ll tell you why: Because the person writing the article has no idea who you are, what your goals are, what your situation is, or how it will affect you.

The best kind of content is empathetic to this disconnect. It pushes readers in a general direction while leaving all actions up to the readers themselves. This is rare, especially in formal journalism. I worked with editors in the past who would basically say, “I like this article, but it doesn’t tell readers what button to push in their ETrade account.” Drove me crazy.

As a writer, you add the most value acknowledging that you don’t know your reader. As a reader, you gain the most by remembering that the writer has no idea who you are.

Now, what to read? A list of my favorites here.

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3 days ago
"Read old news and you’ll quickly see that the life expectancy of your goals is higher than that of the vast majority of headlines"
Waterloo, Canada
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The next Portal game is a bridge-building simulator


It’s been more than six years since the sequel to mind-bending puzzle adventure Portal launched, but the series is finally back… sort of. Today, indie studio Headup Games announced a surprise standalone spinoff of its Bridge Constructor series, which will take place in the Portal universe. The original Bridge Constructor first launched back in 2013, and it tasks players with, well, designing bridges. The new spinoff will take that core concept in a slightly different direction.

Bridge Constructor Portal will blend the laws of structural engineering and technology straight from Aperture Laboratories into an exciting new game experience, all under the demanding gaze of GLaDOS,” the studio explains. It’s not the first time Aperture Labs...

Continue reading…

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4 days ago
Only have to wait until Dec 20th!
Waterloo, Canada
4 days ago
just look at everything that is right with that screenshot!
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
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1 public comment
4 days ago
just take my money!
New York

28 important reminders to myself or someone like me

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  1. You can learn what you need to learn when you need to learn it.
  2. Nothing is wasted.
  3. You can’t go backward.
  4. You do not want to do all the things. You want to do some of the things. You want to do them so bad, in fact, that they scare the shit out of you, so you avoid doing them by trying to do all the other things. This is called procrastination and it’s a waste of your time. Go ahead and fail at the things you really want to do. You’ll learn how to do them better, next time around. See #2.
  5. It’s okay to quit trying so hard. In fact, it’s probably better.
  6. What you think you want is probably just a disguise. Ask it some tough questions.
  7. You’d rather spend a little more time and effort on something you enjoy than get more results faster on something you don’t enjoy. Because the process is the outcome and if you like the outcome of a particular process, then once you have the outcome you’ll be locked into that process. Exceptions are possible, or you can buy your way out at a certain outcome point, but that tends to be a trap.
  8. Ownership, like all open-ended commitments, tends to be a trap.
  9. 90% of your email is unimportant. You can let it go, let it build to a mega pile in your inbox, and nothing in your life will change in any significant way. (And if the email you’re missing doesn’t have any measurable effect on your life – negative or positive – why are you giving it any time or attention in the first place?)
  10. More people care about you than you realize. And they’re willing to do things – extraordinary things – to help you and support you when you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t hide behind your barriers of privacy or independence or self-sufficiency. None of us are self-sufficient. Autonomy is a lie. We depend on each other, we create communities, and those communities sustain us… Or, if we refuse to take part in them, we wither, slowly but surely. Don’t try to be a lone wolf, don’t pretend that you always have to be the hero. Those are self-defensive reactions built on fear and ego mythology. Let ‘em go. Say, “I could use some help, and here’s how.” See what happens.
  11. 80% of the stuff you spend time on isn’t important. If you only had electricity for two hours a day, how would you use that time? If you could only access the Internet once or twice a week, what would you do? The few things that pop up as your top priorities – the items you would accomplish in your limited accessibility – that’s your 20%. That’s your Most Important Things list. That’s what you pay attention to, that’s what you give time to, and you let the rest slide off. It’s a distraction.
  12. You tend to overestimate yourself in some areas and underestimate yourself in others. It’s difficult to get a good, objective view of what you’re capable of. That’s okay. Go ahead and try whatever it is you want to try. Be open to your own potential. Maybe you can do more than you think. Maybe you need more help than you think. Maybe both.
  13. There’s enough time in each day for the work of each day, if you don’t pressure yourself into trying to do things that seem important but aren’t, really.
  14. You regret wasting time on many pointless things, but you never regret spending time on a book.
  15. You only need to know the next step.
  16. When you find a notebook you like, buy multiples. Also pens.
  17. You can step out of roles, obligations, or commitments that don’t work for you. Very few things are meant to last forever. Maybe you’ve already passed a good endpoint and you didn’t recognize it, and that’s why you’re so tired now.
  18. What’s in your head matters more than anything else.
  19. Getting up early is good.
  20. Solitude is important. Get some everyday. You’re cranky if you don’t.
  21. Going for a walk is good. Take a walk everyday.
  22. Your brain works a lot better when you free it from distractions and short-term urgencies. (News, internet, social media, dinging emails, phone calls and text messages, now now now now now items flooding in. Control the inputs.)
  23. Physical chores and activities are a natural counterpoint to the mental work you do. You need both for a well-balanced mind and body.
  24. A good rule for eating is a) mostly fruits and vegetables with b) some protein and good fats and c) a little grain (whole grain, not processed).
  25. If you want something sweet, drink a couple glasses of water first and see if you still want it. Sometimes what you’re craving isn’t what you’re really craving.
  26. You don’t have to force yourself into anything. Say no. Say not now. Say never. Say let me think about it. Say no thanks. Wait until you’re sure.
  27. Without fail, what you ask for will show up for you. You may not recognize it. It might come in a weird, unexpected way. Try to be open.
  28. Every possible scenario in this growth of life is good and acceptable and beautiful. There is no wrong way to go about it. Judge not anyone you encounter, but most of all, judge not yourself. You are doing fine.

The post 28 important reminders to myself or someone like me appeared first on a n n i e m u e l l e r.

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7 days ago
Waterloo, Canada
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