Friday, May 31, 2019

See what I mean?

Apparel retail earnings haven’t been this bad since the Great Recession.

Apparel retailers’ earnings, as a group, are down 24% for the first quarter of 2019, according to an analysis by Retail Metrics.

The last time the group’s earnings were this bad was the first quarter of 2008, when they fell 40%.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Burn him!

Frequent ADA plaintiff Scott Johnson indicted for tax fraud.

"Scott Johnson, who has filed thousands of lawsuits against businesses — including many in the Palo Alto area — claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday (May 23) for tax fraud.

Johnson, 57, of Carmichael, has sued at least six hotels and restaurants in Palo Alto and Mountain View. His suit against Jason’s Cafe in Menlo Park — its third ADA suit — forced owner Jason Kwan to close the restaurant on April 30.

“We can’t handle it,” Kwan said after Johnson’s suit. “I’m really upset about it.”

Johnson has been filing about 44 lawsuits a month, according to attorney Rick Morin, who often defends businesses against Johnson and other ADA plaintiffs."

Some people are absolutely horrible scum of the earth type people. This guy Scott Johnson is THAT guy. He is basically a professional extortionist. Of which we have a lot of in California.

He has caused countless mom and pop business to close or fight lengthly legal battles. Unless you just rolled over and paid his extortion fee. When I saw this pop up in the news I wondered if he was the cause of the Sacramento Squeeze Inn being closed and moved. The place was really no wider than a shack. But they would bring food to your car. The place was enormously popular. The first time I went there I waited in line for two hours! I tried to find my original photos. but couldn't.

Turns out - he was behind the extortion of the Squeeze Inn and countless others. I think he has filed maybe half of all the ADA suits against businesses in California. You can see what a horrible garbage person this guy is.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

California is the stupidest place on Earth.

Days-long PG&E outages may be coming. Here's what to do if you lose power for days.

After the Northern California wildfires last year everybody decided - hey I know, let's not let that happen again. We will just preemptively shut off power to EVERYONE in a wind zone. It doesn't matter that this grinds the economy of that city to a complete halt. We don't want to harm any trees, so this is the only option. 

Of course this annoys me because, it isn't like the power grid is that stable now. I have a summer bug out plan because of bunnay. Bunnies can not pant, so they don't tolerate the 100 degree + temps we get in summer without AC. We have only had to go to a hotel once when we were out of power for three days. But every year I pick a hotel that is most likely to stay on the grid just in case.

Luckily the city next to me put up a hotel right next to the hospital. It's likely on the hospital grid and won't be shut down. But this is life in California.

As ridiculous it sounds, I'm rooting for this to happen. Just because I want to see what happens when people can't plug in their effing cars. And to see the teeth gnashing of solar owners who thought they were protected from power shut outages. Which is mostly not the case.

The world is pretty annoying right now. So I'm giving you underwater VR headsets.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

AnimeCon 2019. End.

Some guy was walking around with this sign and handing out these wipes.

Pikachu always makes you smile.

It's Misses Meeseeks!

AnimeCon 2019. Part 1.

This was my favorite costume. I'm a die hard Bioshock fan.

Friday, May 24, 2019

This just can't be real.

The CEO of pogo stick-sharing startup Cangoroo insists his company isn’t a hoax.

Probably gets a billion dollars in round one of funding. Said in the most sarcastic way. The CEO claims he wants to put them in San Fransisco. Which I would freaking pay to see. Pogosticking down Lombard.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

At this rate we will be in contraction by next month.

"An IHS Markit “flash” survey of U.S. manufacturers fell to a nine-and-a-half year low of 50.6 this month from 52.6 in April. Manufacturing conditions have been soft for months.

Even more ominous, the firm’s survey of U.S. service-oriented companies such as banks and retailers slipped to a 39-month low of 50.8 from 52.7. Service companies employ about four-fifths of all U.S. workers. Until recently they’ve been expanding rapidly."

We are just above contraction at 50.6. If we fall under 50 we will be in contraction. To put it another way - we are back in 2009.

"The U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index, or PMI, fell to the lowest level since September 2009, according to a Thursday report from financial data firm IHS Markit. This was a sign to financial markets that the trade battle could be slowing the U.S. economy." Source.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Watching you watching me.

Facial recognition kiosks. I think the thing more frustrating than the technology is the mindset of people making this stuff right now. If you try at all to push back, they make you feel like a luddite or like you have something to hide. Very Google-esque.

I have a pretty liberal opinion about public places. But I think the public is getting very creeped out about this stuff. And I really just think it won't achieve what they claim. I think there is going to be so many false positives, making their dataset worthless.

It also makes me think that A.I. is in a big fat bubble.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

How low does it go?

Southern California builders, swamped with unsold homes, cut construction to 3-year low.

The volume of unsold, finished homes is up 22% in a year as construction is slashed by 18%.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Probably the last year.

I wasn't going to do Maker Faire this year, but Mr S. talked me into going today. The past few years it had gotten really corporate. Which I don't care about one way or another. But this year all of that was gone, and I'd say the whole thing was pretty hollowed out. Lot's of rumors about it not coming back.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

If you bought last year you are feeling butthurt.

When light retail sales came in it wasn't a surprise to me. Gas prices have been up for months, and home prices have been down.

Last week all these stories start circulating about how housing inventory was surging in the Bay Area and I had to take a couple of days to see if I thought the word "surging" was appropriate. People use a lot of hyperbolic language today.

So yesterday I looked through the MLS and started seeing the craziest shit. Sept of last year was a turning point. Tons of houses fell out. But there is one particular house that stood out to me. It was obviously a flip. Bought in Sept, put right back on the market  a few months later for a 200 thousand dollar loss. That doesn't even include what it cost him to fix it up.  That is a 20% loss.

Which why underwater houses have started to rise I guess. That house is pretty close to their criteria. 25% underwater.

For a couple of months it seemed like home owners were getting with the program and right pricing things. But now there are a lot of huge markdowns again. Inventory in my town is up 30%. Which should be good for some people. But I'm guessing it doesn't stop there since this has been hitting my local news. That makes bottom fishers dig in their heels and wait for things to fall further.

Lowered expectations.

Nvidia reports 30% less income. Stock up 9 bucks after hours. Seems legit. Said in the most sarcastic way.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Maybe they don't know what investing means.

WeWork urges investors to see losses as ‘investments’ as it reports first-quarter loss of $264 million.


3D without glasses is hard.

You don't have a 3D device, so you aren't going to be able to see this. The reason I am showing you pictures is because this is one method of trying to accomplish 3D. It tracks your eyes because 3D without glasses is very sweet spot dependent. As you can see in the last image. If you move out of the sweet spot things suck. By tracking your eyes they can change the sweet spot if you move.

I just have to give Red Hydrogen a lot of props on their phone. I see glassesless 3D  technology a few times a year, and if Mr S. were going to buy that phone today - I would have still pleaded with him not to. So far they have done the best. And it's not perfect, but a million demos will never replace having a device in the wild where people can experiment with what works and what doesn't. I think that is how 3D steps forward.

At least it's different.

They started rolling this out at CES this year. Pun NOT intended! I sort of like the idea of them having a very low profile, but I'm still not sure about the burn in rate of OLED's.

Despite Samsungs recent phone failure, I am not that concerned about the rolling part of this. I was pretty shocked about the Samsung thing because these companies have machines that do nothing else but bend these devices over and over and over. And have for a very long time now. I thought it would take much longer for the device to stress out and fail.

In this state you can display pictures. Although it's sort of hard to see.