Saturday, February 08, 2014

Stories I Found Of Interest (weekly)

    • every time AAII bullish sentiment has dipped below 25% during this bull market, the S&P 500 Index went on to rally over the next six months
    • February is the second-worst month for the Dow
    • However, it's essentially a flat month, which is followed by two of the most consistently profitable months of the year.
    • Bitcoin is an excellent technology, with many very good use cases. But for the average end user—be it an individual wanting to pay for goods or a merchant wanting to accept payments—the new reality of those risks will be more than they can swallow
    • Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.


        What kinds of digital property might be transferred in this way? Think about digital signatures, digital contracts, digital keys (to physical locks, or to online lockers), digital ownership of physical assets such as cars and houses, digital stocks and bonds … and digital money.

    • In addition, merchants are highly attracted to Bitcoin because it eliminates the risk of credit card fraud. This is the form of fraud that motivates so many criminals to put so much work into stealing personal customer information and credit card numbers
    • Bitcoin is a monumental technical achievement in its simplicity and effectiveness. But just as the dot-com era overestimated the impact of the Web in the short term by several orders of magnitude (a hype-filled time during which Mr. Andreessen made his initial fortune selling a piece of free software to AOL, only to see it fall from grace and never monetize) so too do investors risk once again pouring billions into the currency equivalents of Web Van and, failing to analyze all the dynamics of the market in which it competes
    • And dealing in currency requires protection of government and consumer interests—neither of which Bitcoin is well suited to
    • The co-evolution of hardware and software is going to define a lot of what’s going to happen..Everything is going to be connected to cloud and data…All of this will be mediated by software.”
    • Obamacare will push the equivalent of about 2 million workers out of the labor market by 2017 as employees decide either to work fewer hours or drop out altogether, according to the latest estimates Tuesday from the Congressional Budget Office.
    • the health care law’s incentives are driving businesses and people to choose government-sponsored benefits rather than work
    • the current recovery has been driven almost entirely by the upper crust,
    • the head of Microsoft’s cloud division, Satya Nadella, looks set to be its next CEO
    • Microsoft has struggled with a good response to the dual iOS/Android device and marketplace strength
    • The telecom gear business has not been touched by the crushing economics of software delivered via cloud computing, the kind of low-price, high-versatility product that has caused so many problems for companies making business software, and for many traditional high-cost computer hardware makers.
    • The report found that the most vulnerable workers were those that followed well-defined procedures that were executed on a repeated basis. Jobs such as factory and warehouse workers, paralegals, payroll administrators, office assistants, and retail salespeople are but a few of the repetitive jobs that developers can write code for.
    • While eliminating repetitive middle-class jobs through software automation seems to be inevitable, a dire future also lies in wait for many upper middle-class jobs requiring higher cognitive skills. An increasing commoditization of their skillset will occur through cloud-based technologies.
    • Right now there is approximately a billion square feet of vacant retail space in the United States.
    • While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen from 19.8 weeks to 37.1 weeks.
    • According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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