Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Shakes head.

"The tech industry has showered San Francisco with high-paying jobs and cemented its reputation as a place for big ideas, but the success of home-grown companies Airbnb, Lyft and Uber has vexed some residents as streets have become more congested and the housing shortage has worsened.

“I support innovation and technology, but our residents are not guinea pigs, and our public infrastructure is not a free-for-all,” said Norman Yee, president of the Board of Supervisors who introduced the legislation.

The Office of Emerging Technology will serve as a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs who want to test their products in San Francisco’s public space. Companies will not be allowed to experiment unless the office declares the tech in question a “net public good.”

Wait! You mean Uber and Lyft and Lime and the others didn't take cars off the roads?! Shocked I am. These cities pushed these companies on us because they were suppose to get cars off the roads. And now they don't understand why there are MORE cars on the roads.

These companies had already been declared " a net public good", and that is why they were allowed to flout the rules.

Monday, December 09, 2019

I guess not.

This is what they said in October.

Only JPMorgan Can Fill WeWork’s $47 Billion Hole.

Now? I guess Goldmans is bailing out Softbank. Like when you need your parents to co-sign a loan.

Goldman Jumps Into WeWork Cleanup With Debt-Financing Plan.

I guess all of them are going in knuckles deep. I thought Goldmans, Softbank and JP Morgan were number one two and three as far as the investors in WeWork. But it won't matter. The FED is there to bail everyone out as long as your name is Goldmans or JP Morgan.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

I show up late to the party, but I eventually get there.



Update - These lights turn themselves on and off on their own. And it works I guess! I thought the timer would be bullshit, but it actually works. Loves that.

Last year I didn't get any lights up. When we went to put them up we found out the old ones were damaged. This year I started new in the summer - before they started jacking up prices.

I got a giant box of tiny led lights.


They start out looking like tassels.



And you have to spread them all out.



Eventually I had a huge pile.



The funny thing is - each box came with a remote. Because everything right now has to have a tiny remote.

Friday, December 06, 2019

If driverless cars didn't freak you out..........


I guess Ehang filed to go IPO. So - I guess this is a real product now. I'm hoping next year is going to be the year of the VTOL. (vertical take off and landing) There are really a lot of companies in the mix now.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

What a bullshit story.

Next year will be hard on the housing market, especially in these big cities.

"Home sales will drop, the housing shortage could become the worst in U.S. history, and home values will shrink in some cities. That’s the 2020 forecast from realtor.com, which holds one of the largest databases of housing statistics available.

Sales of existing homes will fall 1.8% from 2019, according to the forecast. Home prices will flatten nationally, increasing just 0.8% annually, but prices will fall in a quarter of the 100 largest metropolitan markets, including Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, St. Louis, Detroit and San Francisco."

If the reason was really due to a shortage - prices would rise. Not fall. And we are in a shortage to be sure. But no one says - we are in a shortage - lets lower the price.  If there is a shortage and the prices go down - that is due to a lack in demand despite the shortage.

Monday, December 02, 2019

It's a mad mad world.

That big fourth-quarter growth scare looks like it’s not happening.

With the fed pumping in almost a trillion dollars in overnight liquidity - you'd hope that things would not look as dire. But - NO ONE cares about this now?

It is positively surreal to see everyone shopping their hearts out without a care in the world. But then, I think we have normalized default so much that people just don't care. If you haven't defaulted on something - you are probably the exception.

"The Federal Reserve Bank of New York again saw very strong demand for liquidity aimed at helping financial markets navigate the turn of the year. The demand once again arrived as the Fed added temporary liquidity to financial markets Monday. 

All together the central bank pumped in $97.9 billion in two parts. One was via overnight repurchase agreements, or repos, that totaled $72.9 billion. The other was via 42-day repos." Source.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Remember this story when people tell you we aren't doing enough to help the poor.

I don't talk about my family a lot because my words look bad on paper. They really are the sweetest people on earth though. I can't emphasize that enough. They don't have a mean bone in their entire bodies, which makes what they do sort of frustrating. I am not resentful. I just can't do anything about it.

I do feel that if my Aunt would have married someone else she might have had a better chance at life. My Uncle lives for get rich quick schemes. He will buy into every single one of them. And guess what? Not rich!

Because of this, my Aunt and Uncle live in the projects in a fly over state because we pretty much got rid of the projects in California. I don't support them because I barely made it out of that dysfunctional family cycle alive. And I figured out a long time ago that I could give them all my money and they would still be poor. They won the California Lottery twice and basically spent the money on crap they couldn't even use. It wasn't giant lotto wins, but enough to put down on a house at the time. They used some of the winnings to buy more lottery tickets. Still to this day my Aunt feels that luck has more to do with becoming rich than good hard work. She thinks that if they win the Lotto again they will rent a cruise ship for all their friends to party on.

Anyway .....that is the backstory.

I called them over the holidays and my Aunt was complaining about her new smart phone. Why old people need smart phones I don't know. Apparently one day my Uncle just came home with two new phones. Mind you - they were previously on Obama phones. Yes.... that program is still alive - apparently. All of a sudden my Uncle felt left out because he couldn't text.

Obama phones were pretty much free. But now my Uncle is paying 90 bucks a month for these two phones. Almost 1100 bucks a year! When they are retired and living in the projects. But oh...it gets better.

The previous times I'd called, my Aunt she told me that the government used to send someone out to help her. I think for medical stuff or just social services. I can't always get a straight answer. But she would just wind up playing cards with this person. You heard that right.

I just marvel at all the weird bennies the government hands out. Once they had to move apartments in their building and the government just paid for them to move.

So, I asked her about the helper and my Aunt told me that she didn't come any more because my Uncle had apparently narc'ed her out. I guess the social worker was there and he confessed that the helper didn't do any actual work.  She came to play cards. He didn't do it intentionally - he just wanted to be part of the conversation. But if he would have kept his mouth shut that person would still be coming to the house.

Now my brain goes wild when I hear these things. Because can you believe you are paying taxes so my Aunt has someone to play cards with? It's so crazy. And these are just the things they admit to me.

I pay a lot in taxes and I still think my family is a net draw on government Beni's. But they do have some crazy stories I would never know about if I didn't have family who told me about them.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Friday, November 29, 2019

The holidays make me thankful I didn't choose a career in food service. I can't think of anything more exhausting than spending all day cooking. Even physical labor. And I like to cook. But the holiday level of cooking is just a lot.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

This blog goes off the rails around the holidays. I sort of have to be dragged into the holiday spirit. And in California you never really feel like you can rest until the rain comes. Which this year came yesterday.  You can't be lazy when the sun is shining every single day. By the time the holidays come around I'm just mentally exhausted.

It's also the time of year I try to figure out this blog and what I want to do about it. The last two years have been real crap for technology. Normally I don't need as much filler content. It takes a lot of effort for the mediocre content I got you. I'm hoping next year will improve because I have been in a real rut.

Friday, November 22, 2019

A delightful use for e-ink.



E-ink or e-paper was just rising to popularity when the i-pad came out and pretty much killed it. Turns out that people like color over greyscale. Who would have thunk it? Said in the most sarcastic way. But e-paper keeps trying and this is a clever use.

Music Sheet paper. You don't expect color there anyway.

You turn the e-pages with a device on the floor and I find the whole thing delightful even though I'm not musical. I can see this being a product.











Thursday, November 21, 2019

They might as well paint them neon.



Every once in a while I like to drive by the Byton campus. I haven't really been there since the layoff and the campus does seem less busy.

But I would have never even stopped for this car if it didn't have cammo wrap. I think this SUV phase in automotive history is about as boring as it gets. They pretty much all look the same to me. The only notable thing about this car is the lack of tail lights.

I couldn't get any other angle without stepping on their campus and I was already getting the stink eye. But I would say the quickest way to have your car photographed is to put cammo wrap on it.

Monday, November 18, 2019

PG&E is playing with fire this time.

PG&E may cut power to 750,000 California residents this week to reduce wildfire risk.

I started hearing rumors about this two days ago, but predicting the weather is hard. So I decided to wait to see what was going to happen. Now they have started notifying counties this is a possibility.

Thankfully this sounds like it's only going to be a one day event. Or until they can get the lines inspected - but a lot of people lost money last time. Can you imagine how mad they are going to be is they lose a refrigerator full of stuff right before the Holiday?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Oh Silicon Valley you make me smile.



I'm running into a little pocket of i8's right now. The license plate on this one read  LCKYBTC. I couldn't get a closer clear shot.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Are you going to believe your lying eyes now?

Economic growth is close to zero for the fourth quarter, according to Fed gauges.

Gee - seems like just yesterday the Fed was saying that there no no chance of the manufacturing recession hitting the broader economy. Oh wait...it WAS yesterday.

"Asked about the possibility the slump in manufacturing could spill over into the broader economy, Powell said central bank officials had seen no signs of that.

“That’s a risk that we monitor very carefully - we don’t see that yet,” Powell said. “The 70% of the economy that is the consumer is healthy with high confidence, low unemployment, wages moving up.” Source.

I have to admit - I've been to a couple of malls lately in different cities and they are really packed. Even I was starting to believe the consumer would never crack.

I mean, we are not at absolute stall speed. But ...... pretty close. I personally couldn't believe that the rest of the world looked so ugly and that would not affect us. And I guess I am right.

Introducing iris scanners for the low low price of 60 bucks.



I guess they are going to be everywhere now. Because hell that's cheap. Also works fine with glasses on.

i8 in the wild.



You almost never see these now so it's always a little neat when you do.



Licence plate - meh. If you aren't first - who cares.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

When they start putting hands on robots.



They are going to go on strike and throw up the robot black power fist.

Robots are boring me right now. The market right now is basically nothing but robot arms. Which all basically look the same. When they all band together there are just going to be rows of arms with their fists in the air.

In other news - your robot overlords are not as capable as everyone was freaking out about. Like I said a million times.

Boeing’s Humans Step In After Robots Fumble 777 Jet Assembly.

"Planemaker will rely instead on people assisted by machines"

All of those articles about how robots were going to take your jobs was a level of despair brought on by a horrible economy and irrationality. Robots have many shortcomings.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

I'm never entertained by the things people want me to be entertained by.






I finagled my way onto Moffett Field today. They have a McDonalds on base!

Yes.... that was my takeaway.

I didn't get an other pictures because I wasn't sure what I could photograph or not.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Winning by losing.

“Industry watchers had feared that [#China] may use #rareearths as a weapon in its #trade war with Washington... some see the policy as a way to flood the market with ample supply, keep prices low and subsequently push out any American entrants.”

ht Mark Warner

This is how war is waged in business right now. And I don't even know how to stop it. It's a complete cancer.

Everyone does it. It's why Google buys money losing companies like Fitbit. Amazon does it. China does it. WeWork is famous for their brazenness.

You sell you product at a loss. Put all of your competitors out of business because they can't compete with you. Then you are a big giant mega corporation that can't fail. Profit!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

It was a clip show.



There isn't really much new these days.  I have seen all of these cars before. But I am sort of in to the hood ornaments right now. If they are different. It might just be because I'm bored of everything else.



I also have a kink for tire stem caps. I love all the caps they have at the Asian invasion car shows. I would put them on my cars if I thought they wouldn't get stolen. I haven't seen the dice ones before though.





This hood ornament looks like a plane. Allegedly it lights up. And you know how I just love things that light up.





I had to get a shot of this van with the 1 Bedroom sign. It's the exact type of van I lived in when I was growing up. And the type of van I actually learned to drive in. It had the motor in the middle of the seats. I should drag out my photos one day.









This had adaptive camo.



Spinny wheels are back! And I don't care if you think they are stupid. I love them to death.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

It's Santa's daily driver.



Santa is now driving a caddy with a license plate holder that says ho ho ho.





I was at a car show today where they had someone singing the national anthem - and literally every single person in there stopped and oriented to the person singing the song. It had huge attendance - as it's the last show of the year. Men took their hats off and placed them over their hearts and everything.

I have seen this happen once before and it's pretty moving honestly. Especially here in California where you get the impression most people don't even like the country.

I wouldn't even consider myself very patriotic, but even I stopped this time because the whole thing is that moving. It's super fascinating.

Pictures later. Not of the people. The few things I liked of the cars. Which wasn't much. I'm bored.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Good luck with that.

WeWork says it will divest all ‘non-core’ businesses.

Ironically - I just got an email this morning from a rival co-working place in Sunnyvale with the subject line - Rent office space for 4 months and get 2 months free!

So.... I'm guessing there is a fire sale on office space right now.

The TINA market.



It became fashionable this week to say the recession has been canceled. Because all that matters is the stock market being at all all time high. How can things be bad. Right?

Well over the summer I started freaking out about the talk of negative interest rates. I said this would distort the stock market because that is where you are going to park your money if you have it. Now there is a term for this market. It's called TINA. There Is No Alternative.

It's hard to believe I only wrote that post in September. It feels like a million years ago.

In other news, my credit union has taken to sending me notices on the monthly that my savings rate has declined. That has never happened before. Not that there hasn't been a tick down here or there. But never two months in a row. Of course I started that account when we were deep in the thick of it, and banks were failing left and right. But it certainly doesn't make me feel like things are just alright. That's for sure.

If I am getting these notices - I'm sure other people are too. I am not unique in any way.