Archive for June, 2013

First run of ANN php neural network on aggregated news data for DOW prediction

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Today I tested for the first time the capabilities of ANN neural network on aggregated news data compiled with Meralog news aggregator. DOW daily close values were used and 6 certain keyword statistics were used as inputs over a range of time. The goal is to predict direction of the DOW, rather than value. The outputs of the neural network for today can be found here  - http://meralog.com/nnmarket2.php. The received predicted target value for DOW’s today close value is 14734. Time is 1:25pm, today is 6/24/2013. Previous close of DOW was 14799, so the neural network correctly predicted the today’s DOW decline so far. By the end of day, we will see how much the close value deviates from the predicted value. Stay tuned for an update pass today’s market close at 4pm EST.

UPD 6/24/2013 4:05pm EST – DOW did not hold the predicted values, but was near 14734 by end of day. It closed at 14659, so the neural net correctly predicted the down direction, but deviated from value by -75 points. Stay tuned for more developments.

UPD 5/19/2014 The neutral net was re-run on July 6th 2013 to correctly predict July 8th 2013 value of DOW 15224 (Neural net showed range 15236-15240)

Chairman Bernanke’s FOMC meeting decision press-conference, the car analogy

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Financial Markets Review June 19, 2003 - Today Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had a press-conference on FOMC decision concerning continuation of the Quantitative Easing (QE) program. Markets have dropped significantly (DOW dropped by about 206 points) after Chairman indicated that if the future economic data is “broadly consistent” with a positive forecast, the committee currently anticipates that it would be appropriate to gradually scale down and terminate the currently ongoing QE program. The major news channels and the market for some reason have interpreted this as a nearly sure signal that the Federal Reserve will, in fact, scale back and terminate (taper off) the QE program sometime later this year going to 2014. This is an entirely incorrect perception of Chairman’s Bernanke’s words. Nothing in his message, which can be seen here is an indication of a sure tapering off the QE program. What has been said, is that it is only a mere possibility (which was already at the least implied status quo prior to the meeting) and only if the economic data improves. He also made a car driving analogy – asset purchases being a gas pedal, and Fed rates being the brakes. He said, that if the car (economy) picks up the speed, it would be appropriate to take the foot off the gas pedal (that is, slow down the rate of purchases of assets), and not apply brakes (increase rates). Everything here makes sense, if economy and labor force does pick up, it would be appropriate to slow down the rate of QE asset purchases, down to zero inclusively, at least for time being. What the markets seem to not perceive, is the unknowns in the scenario what happens next, if, in fact, this happens. Due to various physics, a car necessarily slows down if gas pedal is not pressed continuously, but what about economy? Besides any cruise control analogies that could be used here, are there guarantees that if the pedal is not pressed again, the economy will continue to roll on it’s own without slowing down?

Known, Unknown, and Unknowable

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

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Before I can explain the Indescribable Force ’s emanations, I have to talk about the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.

The unknown is something that is veiled from man, shrouded perhaps by a terrifying context, but which, nonetheless, is within man’s reach.

The unknown becomes the known at a given time. The unknowable, on the other hand, is the indescribable, the unthinkable, the unrealizable.

It is something that will never be known to us, and yet it is there, dazzling and at the same time horrifying in its vastness.

There is a simple rule of thumb: in the face of the unknown, man is adventurous. It is a quality of the unknown to give us a sense of hope and happiness.

Man feels robust, exhilarated. Even the apprehension that it arouses is very fulfilling. The new seers saw that man is at his best in the face of the unknown.

The unknown and the known are really on the same footing, because both are within the reach of human perception. Seers, can leave the known at a given moment and enter into the unknown.

Whatever is beyond our capacity to perceive is the unknowable.

And the distinction between it and the knowable is crucial.

Confusing the two would put seers in a most precarious position whenever they are confronted with the unknowable.

Most of what’s out there is beyond our comprehension.

- Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan Teachings

 

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

nepenthe-cobblestones-reflecting-street-lights_w725_h544

 

Mistakes are stepping stones to success

June 2013 financial markets review

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Dow Jones Industrial Index had a nice run-up to it’s all-time high (15542) on 5/22/13. However, overall, financial markets have gained a little since the dot-com crash circa 2000 has unleashed a new era of jittery financial markets – Nasdaq is 32% lower then it’s peak level on March 2000, S&P is pretty much at par (5.5% higher than peak level on October 2007), and DOW has gained a bit since then (7.1% gain since October 2007). As usual, there can be two possibilities – either the situation will develop into a deflationary Great Depression-like spiral, characteristic for the classic boom-and bust pattern of capitalism, OR the situation will develop according to the new model ever-expanding inflationary scenario fueled by programs similar to US QE-infinity. In first case, a significant correction of equities is possible, but it is unlikely, since financial powers at be have seemingly chosen the inflationary scenario. In second, and most probable case, a significant rally of equities can be expected – covering a time span of up to 20-50 years. In this likely scenario, the stocks are still very cheap. It wouldn’t be surprising to see DOW values at 60000 in 8 years (circa 2021). Gold may recover and keep it’s inflationary dollar value as well, however, due to manipulation and other factors this growth is likely to be choppy and with a lower alpha than 2002-2011 rally had. Commodities are likely to stay low. Rising bond yield are not of concern, at least in the shorter time frame (months to years) since the Fed and other central banks have lots of leverage to maintain low rates.

Current long positions -

DIA HYS BRCM DDD AXP ADSK ABT CUB DELL FDX FSLR GIS HON ILMN INTC IRBT KLAC KO LO MSFT ORCL PCP PLT POT QQQ RTN SBUX TIF TSLA TXN XLNX YUM

USD Cash – 32%, Liquids – 8%, P2P Loans – 0.46%, Real Estate – 16.7%

Internet marketing: is it possible for a single person to make money on Internet?

Friday, June 14th, 2013

The question of the matter is, is it possible to make money on Internet while doing it alone, without staff, without venture capital investment and without even friend co-authors who would collaborate on the site? What is the best strategy to choose?

For starters, let’s review the rate at with Internet grew from 1991 to 2013:

web-growth-chart-2013-upd

 

Number of internet sites chart 1991-2013

Source: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/100-million-websites/ (chart updated by Meralog.com)

  • In 1991-1997 number of Internet websites grew by 2 orders of magnitude (x100 times) in two years (1000% a year).
  • In 1997-2001 number of Internet websites grew by 1 order of magnitude (x10 times) in two years (316% a year).
  • In 2001-2013 number of Internet websites grew by 1 order of magnitude (x10 times) in 12 years (21% a year).

As you can see from the chart, it will take about 6-7 years for this number to reach 1 Billion (sites)

Since the number of people on Earth is limited (but growing) to 7 Billion people with population growth 1.1% a year, number of Internet sites should reach a saturation point

7B * 1.011^x = 1B x 1.21^x where x is number of years pass 2007

Which is roughly 11 years after 2007 which gives year 2018. On that or prior date, the Internet growth measured in number of websites will reach a saturation point.

Before that point of time, Internet is not unlike a billboard which is growing exponentially in size (21% a year of effective advertisement area space). So will the ad prices go down, at the same 21% a year down rate.

Which basically means, that when you are doing it alone, you are faced with competition from other sites which is increasing at a rate of 21% a year.

Therefore the strategy for gaining social capital on Internet historically has been creating an “umbrella” type site. Umbrella type site means, that the site serves to perform a certain function, and covers a wide range of population who needs this function. Examples of such function can be: a general social network, a green social network, a theme dating site, etc.

But what about blog writers who just want to write on a specific subject? Their strategy can be either to pump out as much content per day possible, trying to compete with increase of the effective size of Internet billboard. Or, another strategy could be, paradoxically, outsilence the Internet until it reaches it’s growth saturation point (as was shown above, the target date for this is 2018). Interestingly enough, the only way the umbrella sites were able to keep up with growing Internet size is to keep on buying-in market shares. That is, getting under their umbrellas user databases of competitors or just sites with adjacent simirarity. Examples of these is recent aquisition of Tumblr by Yahoo! and also ever-pervading swallowing of competitors by dating site Match.com.

So, in fisrt strategy, one needs to constantly create content to stay afloat on the top of the search engines. The advertising rates may go down, but the continuous influx of returning users may increase, creating a revenue source.

The second strategy, to outsilence the Internet, brings in no income by default.

In a brief summary to successfully market a website one needs to:

  • Make a decision to keep up the site every day
  • Make a desicion whether to create a site on a specific subject or create a broad subject umbrella site
  • Make a decision whether to choose advertising model or a product Point of Sale model or a combination of the two
  • Advertising model means investing more time into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Whereas Point of Sale model means investing time in both SEO and into developing products and services
  • Create the site, invest into technology and design of the site
  • Share as many links to other sites and backlinks to author’s site

If a content site on a specific subject is chosen, then the trick is to choose a certain subject red line. Your site must stand for something, something that you put in the About page. The best thing if the subject has a conflict with reality, a certain cognitive dissonance. This generates many ideas for posts and helps to stay current with the times.

If an umbrella site strategy is chosen, design your site to feed to a specific function. However, be prepared for competition, since software is barely copyrightable, you are almost certain to get competing sites which serve the same function as yours. So you have to make sure you’re ready to invest the time into developing of the features of the site.

If advertisement model is chosen, then your goal is to get as many users as possible. You do that with SEO and backlinks, and trying to promote your site on just about any other site possible. Keeping up a blog, choosing the right metatags will help. There are plenty of manuals on SEO out there, so make sure you get familiar with this subject.

If Point of Sale model is chosen, then you have to make sure your products and services are reliable and of superior quality. Your time will be invested into developing products and services, and possibly, if income allows it, you can outsource the SEO part to other firms.

This site has been maintained by single efforts from 2008 and has brought a considerable income. So, overall it is possible to do it alone in Internet marketing. One just needs to be careful in how exactly to invest time in it.

Fact Sheet: Survey of Bee Losses During Winter of 2012/2013

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

bee_plant

By Kim Kaplan

Total losses of managed honey bee colonies nationwide were 31.1 percent from all causes for the 2012/2013 winter, according to the annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  • Bee losses for the 2011/2012 winter were 22 percent. This past winter’s losses are slightly higher than the previous 6-year average loss of 30.5 percent.
  • One difference noted this winter was that there were more colonies that dwindled away, rather than suffering from the onset of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), where colony populations are lost suddenly.
  • One major difference in this survey is that beekeepers who later took honey bees to California to pollinate almonds reported higher losses than beekeepers who did not take their bees to pollinate almonds. Nearly 20 percent of the beekeepers who pollinated almonds lost 50 percent or more of their colonies, according to vanEngelsdorp.
  • More than two-thirds of responding beekeepers (70 percent) reported losses greater than 14 percent, the level of loss that beekeepers stated as allowing them to remain economically viable as a business.
  • Beekeepers did not report CCD as a major cause of colony loss this past winter, which follows the previous year’s trend.
  • More than 6,000 U.S. beekeepers responded to the survey. Those beekeepers manage about 600,000 colonies, which represent nearly 22 percent of the country’s estimated 2.62 million colonies.

Source: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/br/beelosses/index.htm?pf=1

German Village Produces 321% More Energy Than It Needs!

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Wildpoldsried-DE

It’s no surprise that the country that has kicked butt at the Solar Decathlon competition (to produce energy positive solar houses) year after year is the home to such a productive energy-efficient village.

The village’s green initiative first started in 1997 when the village council decided that it should build new industries, keep initiatives local, bring in new revenue, and create no debt. Over the past 14 years, the community has equipped nine new community buildings with solar panels, built four biogas digesters (with a fifth in construction now) and installed seven windmills with two more on the way. In the village itself, 190 private households have solar panels while the district also benefits from three small hydro power plants, ecological flood control, and a natural waste water system.

All of these green systems means that despite only having a population of 2,600, Wildpoldsried produces 321 percent more energy than it needs – and it’s generating 4.0 million Euro (US $5.7 million) in annual revenue by selling it back to the national grid. It is no surprise to learn that small businesses have developed in the village specifically to provide services to the renewable energy installations.

Over the years the village’s green goals have been so successful that they have even crafted a mission statement — WIR–2020, Wildpoldsried Innovativ Richtungsweisend (Wildpoldsried Innovative Leadership). The village council hopes that it will inspire citizens to do their part for the environment and create green jobs and businesses for the local area.

As a result of the village’s success, Wildpoldsried has received numerous national and international awards for its conservation and renewable energy initiatives known as Klimaschutz (climate protection). The council even hosts tours for other village councils on how to start their own Klimaschutz program. The Mayor has even been doing global tours ever since the Fukushima disaster.

Mayor Zengerle has gone to Romania, Berlin and the Black Sea Region to speak about how these places can transform their communities and make money in the process. Speaking to Biocycle, Mayor Zengerle said, “The mitigation of climate change in practice can only be implemented with the citizens and with the Village Council behind them 100 percent of the way. This model cannot be forced from only one side. We often spend a lot of time talking to our visitors about how to motivate the village council (and Mayor) to start thinking differently. We show them a best practices model in motion and many see the benefits immediately. From the tour we give, our guests understand how well things can operate when you have the enthusiasm and conviction of the people.”

found at: http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/06/german-village-produces-321-percent-more-energy-than-it-needs.html

source: http://inhabitat.com/german-village-produces-321-more-energy-than-it-needs/wildpoldsried-germany/?extend=1

Grow your own food in your backyard links

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

MEN-DJ10-100-sq-ft-garden-2

  • Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet! – From April to September, this little organic garden produced 77.5 pounds of tomatoes, 15.5 pounds of bell peppers, 14.3 pounds of lettuce, and 2.5 pounds of basil — plus a whopping 126 pounds of zucchini! Next time I won’t feel bad about pulling out those extra plants.

    I figured the total value of my 2008 summer trial garden harvest was $746.52. In order to get a fair picture, I also needed to subtract the cost of seeds, plants and compost (I can’t make enough to keep up with my garden), which added up to $63.09. That leaves $683.43 in savings on fresh vegetables. Of course, prices vary throughout the season and throughout the country. I live in northern California, and for comparison, Cathy, who lives in Iowa, checked out her prices and figured the same amount of organic produce in her area would be worth $975.18.

  • http://www.backyardfarmers.com – Is your family in need of healthier food choices? Backyard Farmers can help by getting everyone outdoors and involved with growing their own food. Our high quality, low- maintenance food garden systems will provide your family with the healthiest and best tasting organic vegetables imaginable.

    Whether you are an experienced gardener or have never picked a tomato, Backyard Farmers will supply (or install in some regions) what you need to enjoy low maintenance food gardens on your own roof or in your backyard.

  • Wiki How – How to Grow Your Own Food
  • Backyard Farming on an Acre: Review
  • The Benefits of Growing Your Own Food
  • Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces! – Spring is in the air – even if it is very, wet rainy air – and that means its time to get your hands in the dirt and get your vegetable garden started. What’s that you say? You have no backyard or green space to grow your own food? No worries! You can still raise fresh, nutritious, homegrown vegetables just about anywhere, as long as you can find yourself some sturdy, simple containers. Container gardening is an easy, enjoyable way to grow your own vegetables, and can be done on a windowsill, patio, balcony, doorstep, or any space that will provide sufficient sunlight and ease of care.

    The best part is, almost any vegetable that will grow in a typical backyard garden can also do well in a container. Some vegetables that are well-suited for container gardening are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, bush beans, lettuce, spinach, summer squash, radishes, and herbs. Other vegetables that can do well in containers if the conditions are right are cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower.

    When making the decision to container garden, you will want to think about many of the same things you’d be thinking about if you were gardening on a piece of land, such as healthy soil, adequate sunlight, enough water, good fertilizer, and thoughtful pest management. Of course, when container gardening, you will also have to think about what types of containers you will grow your vegetables in.

  • 21st Century Homesteading: Why Grow Your Own Food? – Many people think that the American food supply is the best in the world — the most abundant and the safest, featuring the lowest cost and the greatest convenience, the widest choice and the highest nutritional value. So why are so many of us going to the trouble of growing our own food, or seeking it from known producers close to home?

    For my wife, Ellen, and me, the answer is simple. We think the food we grow ourselves or buy from local farmers is far superior in taste and nutrition to the food found in most grocery stores. I estimate that 85 percent of the food we eat is either grown in our own back yard, or purchased face-to-face from local farmers we know personally.

    This list is in progress, check back later for more updates of this list.

  • “Silence of the Bees” movie

    Saturday, June 1st, 2013

    if there are no bees, there is no pollination. no pollination puts food supply in great danger. and then it wont matter much, whether you were an atheist or a believer, whether you believed in evolution or creation. everyone will suffer equally due to lack of food.

    если пчелы исчезнут, не будет опыления. если не будет опыления, продовольственное снабжение сократится. и тогда будет не особо важно, был ли ты атеистом или верующим, верил ли ты в эволюцию или создание. всем будет плохо потому что в мире будет существенно меньше еды.

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