Pseudo Random News and Comment

The revenge of Wen Jiabao. Interesting background on the battle between Wen and Bo. It’s hard to believe significant reform can come from within the aristocracy of the leadership, princelings, state-run enterprises and connected dealings, but that anyone is even talking about saving the people rather than the party is a big step. Hard to get too optimistic though since at best it sounds a lot like “change you can believe in.”

The latest P/E report from Ed Easterling at Crestmont Research. No matter how you slice it, valuations have a lot lower to go before the end of the secular bear market. It may sound mean but mean reversion doesn’t mean it stops at the mean.

Anonymous hacks UK government sites over surveillance. They were a little slow to get to that one. Tactics are somewhat puzzling too. DDoS are quick and easy to do but unless part of a multi-layered approach they’re just a temporary nuisance. Turning the tables and publishing personal information on the proponents would have more impact. Maybe that’s in the works and DDoS was a diversion. Time will tell.

In related news, hactivists have the best records/hack conversion rate. Saw the story a couple of weeks ago and forgot to post it. Interesting how rapidly the hactivist movement is growing. The whole Lulzsec episode got me thinking about potential cooperation between hactivists and governments, with law enforcement entirely off the agenda. There are very likely government operatives in every hacking group, allowing assistance and direction to be given while maintaining official deniability. When the Cablegate story broke the US was the only government complaining because he rest were too busy reading, so it wouldn’t be at all surprising if there were ongoing attempts to redirect priorities to areas of most interest to various governments.

Josh Brown really nails the real meaning of “Committed to protecting your privacy.” I’m proud to say I have no such commitment.

Pseudo Random News and Comment

62% of men and 37% of women over the age of 65 are sexually active. Wait a second. Are there differences in definition or honesty? Are younger women taking up the slack? Or are some older women just able to keep a lot of balls in the air?

Problems with clearing houses. Any insurer or guarantor is only as good as its customers. When they are most needed they will be broke. A lone moron or two is survivable; a stampede is not and modern monetary policy produces a lot of stampedes.

A good glimpse inside the dirty undies of the shadow banking system. For the Full Monty on the house of cards see here.

Via Naked Capitalism a good piece on the Keystone Cop qualities of CEOs, CEOs and the candle problem. It’s not too surprising they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed as a group. Off the top of my head, studies have shown the following are correlated with being a CEO: Male, tall, more attractive than average, projects confidence (regardless of results), narcissism, being an asshole. Does that sound like Richard Feynman to you? Add in the compensation structures and all the problems of corporate governance –  inbred board rooms, agency issues, etc. and it’s an award-winning recipe for disaster.

Any piece on the business of porn is interesting. This is truly amazing. “in other words, a single porn site accounts for almost 2% of the internet’s total traffic.” Read the rest here  And you make fun of that dog humping your leg.

Great. I get corralled into helping a friend with a book and now prices will soon go from 0.99 to zero. Ebook price-fixing settlement in the works.

Mathbabe on why It sucks to be rich. Hedonic adaptation is always a bitch.

I knew this would happen. New SOPA being cooked up behind the scenes. I’d put it inside a military appropriations bill titled “Bill to assist disabled children living in foreclosed homes with no health insurance” if I were them.

Microsoft subsidizing app development for Windows phone. Maybe I should write something other than a blog.

The more species of hominids are discovered to have existed at the same time the more the uncanny valley makes sense. But genetic studies on Neanderthals and Denisovans that have been possible seem to indicate we’d have sex with them anyway.

I don’t consider this cause for celebration. Global manhunt contest pushes limits of social mobilization.

Apologies don’t prevent anger but may keep you from being attacked.

The Bo Xilai purge continues in China, now on the internet. I guess this means those in charge favor the western corporatist/fascist model. Very curious if there was any overlap with the 16 sites here and those targeted by Anonymous.

 

Pseudo Random News and Comment

Why is the US so prudish? Imagine sex is just sex.

Newly discovered relative of T Rex was the largest feathered dinosaur. Imagine Thanksgiving with that bird…

Part 4 of 5 in The Big Picture housing recovery series: Foreclosures!

In the world of tech it doesn’t get much bigger than this – Anonymous executes a major offensive in China. This is such a major loss of face to Chinese officials the response is likely to be extremely brutal. Social engineering is so much a part of hacking these days I have to wonder how much of an inside job this was.

World War 3.0. Battle for control of the internet.

What happens when you lose your smart phone? Symantec finds out.

“Newt Gingrich think tank files bankruptcy.”  I just find that headline hilarious.

The less energy devoted to thinking, the more conservative the opinion. I think this is somehow related to that headline..

This sounds very intriguing. New stem cell provides safe, prolific source for disease modeling and transplant studies.

To briefly summarize a host of medical studies on the subject: Exercise is good. Use it or lose it applies to everything in the human body.