Forbes’s Janet Novack says “Forget the promises. The government will grab lots more of your money.”
One of the suggested solutions…a value-added tax. Hard to say whether or not a VAT would cripple an economy driven primarily by consumer spending, but that is certainly what folks start screaming whenever a VAT is mentioned. And, you don’t see significant personal savings in countries that employ VATs (or at least I don’t, so please enlighten me on success stories if there are any).
On a related note, Jerry Bowyer asks “What if Steve Forbes Had Won the Election?” (h/t Glenn Reynolds). Not sure I agree with Mr. Bowyer’s steadfast conclusions, but it would be interesting to see some well thought out pro-formas, looking back, under a flat tax.
RFO (Request for Opinions) on PGP Whole Disk Encryption:
Interestingly, it is hard to find any negative articles on PGP, probably because most of them are written by IT pros who are only focused on the security, and not usability. I therefore ask the Slashdot community, what are the disadvantages of PGP in terms of performance, Linux, and high-performance computational research?
I’m not sure about the performance aspects, but I’ve always been a fan of virtual disk (image) encryption. It’s a usability issue, centered primarily on portability.
Secondarily, I was always wary about relying on one piece of third-party software that I was constantly forced to upgrade along with OS’s. During my last OS upgrade (from OS X 10.4 to 10.5) I bagged PGP altogether – I’m now using regular old disk images and encrypting them with 10.5′s resident AES-256 functionality. As for email, usability (centered on the relative complexity of public key encryption in available email clients) really stinks all around, which is probably why so few have adopted it. But I suspect a solution to that issue will present itself forthwith.
From “The Curve” Dude:
These issues aren’t Republican or Democrat, left or right, liberal or conservative. They are simply economics, and wish as you might, bad economics will sink any economy no matter how much they believe this time things are different. They aren’t.
By the way, Mr. Laffer also points out the hilarity of government bailouts, and makes quick work of how intervention flies in the face of demand/supply practice and how it’s going to push the economy further down the rabbit hole.
According to Bloomberg, it’s globalization itself.
Yesterday the catch was a grand total seven fish between three people – to add insult to injury the largest was a foul hooked tandem streamer victim that couldn’t be included in the count. Thankfully, however, we follow tip #1682 around here – included are:
Seeking additional excuses to add to the arsenal.
A lucid analysis of the predicament facing VCs and their investments as a result of the liquidity crisis, from Techdirt/Mike Masnick. Included within is this:
Usually startups go through multiple rounds of funding, which the VC firm bakes into its calculations when doing the initial funding. That initial firm may not lead later rounds (in fact that’s rare), but it usually will participate, and now that may be more difficult. That could cause some VCs to push their portfolio companies to sell off or close up shop much faster than they normally would.
The statement assumes there will be buyers around, and while that may be I suspect the spread between arms-length exit price (if there is such a thing) and liquidation price is going to close very very quickly now.
“We’ve reached a situation of sheer panic,” Roubini, who predicted the financial crisis in 2006, told a conference of hedge-fund managers in London today. “There will be massive dumping of assets” and “hundreds of hedge funds are going to go bust,” he said.
Of course, hundreds of hedge funds are already going bust, and those that aren’t are still seeing massive withdrawals that are forcing them to liquidate positions.
We are also witnessing a “stampede for the exit” – it’s just that some are slipping back in when the door is ajar.
Most email clients, including Blackberry devices, offer you the ability to turn off delivery confirmations and read receipts. This is supposed to be a good thing – spammers often send emails to arbitrary addresses with receipt requests, hoping to find valid, active addresses they can pummel with Viagra offers.
Unfortunately, Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) also contains an extra special feature which automatically sends delivery receipts, regardless of whether you have all receipt types turned off! If someone sends you an email with any type of receipt request, Blackberry’s servers send this:
Your message was delivered to the recipient.
I spent the better part of two hours this morning on the phone with technical support at Blackberry. I noted I had already run through all the available settings, switched the device on/off, removed the battery, and done a hard reset. The technician was actually able to duplicate the problem by sending me emails with read and/or delivery receipt, and he actually received the message above even before I had received his test emails on my device (confirming this is a server issue, not a device issue). Their last test required I turn the device off and then wait to see if one of these confirms occurred – I had to laugh, as they couldn’t comprehend that once my device went off and I started taking email via the desktop POP client, BIS wasn’t going to be receiving any email at all.
Nonetheless, the final item on the technical support checklist before escalation could occur was reloading the device firmware – this would solve zip, considering the results of the test (and I’m incapable of doing it anyway since Blackberry’s support for the Mac is sub-par). Further, numerous customers are having the same problem – just search for “Blackberry delivery receipt” and you’ll find plenty of forums and blogs loaded with the same complaint across multiple cell carriers…and all seem unresolved.
I’m now getting plenty of new spam, and I have this mysterious Blackberry Internet Service “feature” to thank for it.
Global finance sans a single unemployed investment banker
- Auctions are hot – when the chips are down, the wealthy stock up on jewelry and clothes! We’re in fly reel acquisition mode over here, but only because some manufacturers have turned over their lines – the old but still good gear goes to eBay. I guess everyone has their needs.
- Jim Cramer is 100% entertainment, which is why his show’s ratings are going through the roof now that the S&P is off 38% over the last twelve months. Nutty Money sells a lot of ads, and your retirement account spirals down the crapper.
- The government is “rescuing” banks galore under the guise of getting them to lend again. Many community banks are refusing the cash, saying they don’t need it. Maybe they should think again – the big banks taking the free money are using it not to perk up their core business, but instead for acquisitions. Gotta have a warchest, even if it’s compliments of taxpayers.
- The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is taking the rest of the week off. The financial markets have temporarily stabilized (emphasis on temporary), so they’ve gone out partying and chasing MILFs. The bill for their carousing has blown through $3 trillion (emphasis on trillion), it’s just that they won’t see the tally until the next statement arrives.