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Comment I may not know precious metals (Score 1) 482

But I do remember the final signs in each of the last several bubbles and stuff like this reeks of this. Currently, September 28 2010 the SPDR Gold trust is at 127.85 , an all time high since its listing. While no one can forecast the short term with much certainty, this seems like a strong indication that the amount of vehicles to sell gold is running dry, and that the gold market may implode in the next few years.


Local TV Could Go the Way of Newspapers 180

Hugh Pickens writes "Alan D. Mutter writes on his 'Reflections of a Newsosaur' blog that the economics of local broadcasting may begin to unravel as dramatically in the next five years as they did for newspapers in the last five years, due to the unparalleled consumer choice made possible by a growing mass of (mostly free) content on the Internet. 'Once it becomes as easy and satisfying to view a YouTube video on your 50-inch television as it is to watch "Two and a Half Men," audiences will fragment to the point that local broadcasters will not be able to attract large quantities of viewers for a particular program,' writes Mutter. The economics of cable TV programming already are geared to serving small but targeted niches, but as audiences shatter, those options won't be available to local broadcasters, who will be deprived of the vast reach that enabled the high ad rates and enviable profits long associated with their businesses. Although barely 8% of US households had access to IPTV in 2009, this technology is likely to be available to some 20% of the more than 100 million homes subscribing to pay-television services in 2014, according to senior analyst Lee Ratliff of iSuppli, a private market research company. 'We already have gotten a hint of what the future could hold. Acting to trim spending during the recession, many local stations cut back their news staffs, resulting in a decline in the caliber and depth of their coverage,' writes Mutter."

Comment Its not just about terrorism (Score 1) 131

The US Navy Marine Mammal Program has been in place for fifty years now and predates the "war on terrorism." It used to be heavily classified but its a lot more open than it used to be. The short summary of its mission:
1) The Navy claims they have never used the program in an attack mission, but does admit they have been used in combat zones.
2) The Navy recognizes the animals use in Mine Detection, object/personnel recovery, and enemy detection
3) While originally a large array of animals were used, due to efficiency the only known mammals in-use are Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions. Since each of these creatures don't get too much larger than 500 lbs, they are easily deployable from San Diego to wherever they are needed. Earlier posts about using Orcas or larger creatures would most likely be more hassle than they are worth.

Comment Re:you're a dumbass (Score 1) 333

I've invested in companies where the CEO was somewhat established by birthright due to family control of the majority of the shares. While this can be a bad thing, the family will most likely have a long term dedication to the company as opposed to the quarterly. It also assures that the CEO will have a very low turnover usually due to retirement or death, so the company will often be able to plan and execute long-term goals without having to worry about their next position or retaining their chair.

The CEO in question does not have absolute power as its a publicly traded company with regulations and shareholders. While the family has great control over the company, the shareholders have consistently voted to retain the board as they've done an excellent job and have not appeared to violate any of the shareholders trust.

Even with my positive outlook on the company, I would not be an investor without the restraints the law puts on public companies. Without those in place, I would be very vulnerable with little recourse to the majority/controlling party. Oversight is always needed, even for the benevolent.

Comment Re:There are more than a few "winners" at E3 (Score 2, Interesting) 101

Exactly, this is a win-win situation for publishers/developers and gamers as they each get their own dedicated conventions. E3 and GDC were losing focus and trying to do too many things at once. Now its very clear what each convention represents.

PAX - For the gamers, Concerts/Fan Events, Game Announcements and Betas.
E3 - Vendors, Publisher Press Conferences, Developer networking, Private Meeting Rooms, Lineup annoucnements
GDC - Process sharing, Education, Job Fair, Tech Demos

None of these conferences are perfect, but I did see a marked improvement in the latter two that I attend compared to a few years ago. GDC was starting to have press conferences, E3 was having hour+ long lines to play games due to the tens of thousands of gamers in attendence, and gamers just wanted a convention of their own to attend. It seems all three conferences are learning their niche and will hopefully flourish as the industry gains value by holding these annually.

Comment There are more than a few "winners" at E3 (Score 5, Interesting) 101

All of us on the floor who were making deals, and making important contacts all won this year as opposed to last year where it was very difficult to meet everyone due to how spread out it was.

E3 in its current form is far more likely to succeed than its previous form. Booth babes and glam weren't the only things brought back this year. E3 was slowly becoming Gamestop-fest where more than 50% of the attendees were game players as opposed to game makers. The ratio was far better this year, with all of the infrastructure that was lacking in the E3 Santa Monica model.

Comment Re:That's false advertising--made up data (Score 1) 136

Worst of all they don't even try to hide its a random number. I was on ESPN and all 3 text ads at the bottom were for IQ tests. All three listed the same player, and gave three different IQ scores and despite having different URLs listed used the same exact "Can you beat his?" text.

Some scammers have gotten smarter and things such as Flat Stomach Rule (obey), Teeth whitening success, $5000 a month from Google or Obama, now check where the incoming request comes from and changes the fake blog to appear like its coming from a mom/teacher/veteran who lives in your hometown. They also now dynamically rotate the fake endorsements from ( Abc News / Fox News / Oprah / Rachel Ray ), along with rotating the names of the women pictured in the blog in an attempt to prevent customers from google searching to find out that woman firstname,lastname is scamming people. Instead of just harvesting your personal info, these companies send you out "free trials" that soon cost $100 and have recurring billing that is supposed to be difficult to get out of.

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has been on the internet for the past few years. Advertising is no longer about getting brand name recognition on the web or sales, its about scamming gullible people out of every cent possible. We stopped enforcing truth in advertising laws, we shouldn't be surprised that this has become the result.

Comment Re:I just don't see how it would work. (Score 2, Interesting) 462

You don't need an iPhone for what you described, people have been cheating using a step counter for years and even the best got caught from time to time. Pitbosses will have zero difficulty picking up a bunch of amateurs trying this. The only thing this does is reduce the barrier to entry for people without hardware experience.

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