October 26, 2008

A friend of mine got me back using Twitter again. I’m still not sure how useful I find it, but now I know the truth.

My friend is a terrorist…


October 25, 2008

I don’t know what’s funnier, this story, or the fact that there’s a village in the UK named Crackpot…

The Mortgage Crisis in Stick Figures

October 22, 2008

All you need to know…

Manipulating InTrade

October 22, 2008

I’ve posted before about my fascination with predictive markets. In an election season InTrade is especially fascinating. During the primaries you could watch how candidates “stock” would rise or fall on the actual primary day and get an early (and accurate) prediction of the winner before the networks announced anything (presumably people are betting based on some inside information on exit polls).

So this article was hugely interesting to me. Apparently a single “institutional” member on InTrade was deliberately bidding up the overall McCain for president contract value. There is one contract that you can trade for the overall chance of McCain (or Obama) winning the election and there is also a contract for each state for who will win that state. This person was bidding up the overall contract, but not the individual state contracts.

I do recall a point after the Republican convention where if you added up all of the states electoral votes based on who InTrade was prediction you would forecast an Obama win, but the overall contract was predicting a McCain win. Markets are supposed to be rational, but this one was clearly not.

Now we know why. But we don’t know why this person was doing it. A McCain fan with money to throw around? Did he/she really think that InTrade could drive the conventional wisdom and influence the election? There aren’t enough people as geeky as me for that to work…

Political Humor

October 17, 2008

If you haven’t seen Obama and McCain at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, check out the videos. This is a charity event where the candidates traditionally roast themselves and each other. The speeches are about 15 minutes each. Both are hilarious.

McCain’s speech

Obama’s speech

Interesting week…

October 15, 2008

Everyone knows what happened this week so I won’t comment on it. If people are looking to reach me, use my personal email at

Every challenge is an opportunity…

More Comedy Central

October 8, 2008

OK, I have small children so I pretty much never watch Comedy Central even though I do like John Stewart. Parents may chuckle at the fact that I remember him from Elmopalooza (which, if you have small children, is excellent by the way). But I do check out The Daily Show on the web from time to time.

John Stewart had an interview with an author who I don’t know, and they were discussing people who come to Ground Zero for a photo op and then leave and bad mouth New York. This author had the great quote:

…the east coast was American enough for Al Qaeda, so it should be American enough for them.

After a bit more discussion, she said:

It’s great to have this show where you can just say stuff…

You can like or hate The Daily Show, but that cracked me up…