Category Archives: Money

Is your internet provider cheating you?

The FCC has a tool you can use to find out if your broadband provider is advertising better speeds than they provide.Check it out over at

This seems like a nice crowdsourced way to catch cheats. It will work better the more people participate, so go over and take the test.

Also of interest is that they are using open source software to provide the tests – software that can be independently verified.

How to make money from market volatility

A friend recently wrote me about a strategy he heard for exploiting market volatility.  I get these questions sometimes because I’m in finance, and because I’m in finance let me be up front.  I’m not giving you financial advice here.  I’m not an advisor, I’m not competent, you should probably close this page now and burn your computer.  Past performance has no correllation with future performance, as everyone should have learned in, oh, 2008.

That said, let’s have a little fun with these ideas.  To paraphrase my pal’s email:

Apologies in advance for what I hope is a not-too-complicated financial question.  So you ever heard of something called volatility drag?  Something to do with how over time double- and triple-leveraged ETFs always lose money. I found an investment opportunity that uses this principle to make money.  The pitch I heard says that the strategy is sound and has data to back it up since the 90s.  I find it hard to believe that something that automatically mints you money (admittedly at a “watching paint dry” pace) exists, yet it seems so from what I can tell…

I hadn’t heard of volatility drag before but it was fun to learn about.  Under the fold:  Charts! Definitions! Sage Advice! Links to books!

Continue reading How to make money from market volatility

Lost Photos of NYC

Sam works for the New York City Store now as Marketing Manager.

There is a book signing tonight at the City Store that I’m going to go to. Eugene de Salignac was the official photographer of NYC bridges for thirty years at the beginning of the 20th century. His work was carefully filed away in the archives and forgotten about. Recently, Michael Lorenzini found 20,000 glass plates of Eugene’s and published them in “New York Rises – The Photographs of Eugene de Salignac“.

I suggested to Sam that she tell the Dead Programmer about the signing and he’s coming! I’m excited – Michael’s writing is some of my favorite – it’s always a pleasure when he updates and I see something new in my feed reader.

GWEI – Google Will Eat Itself

GWEI – Google Will Eat Itself
They subscribe to Google’s AdSense program and serve ads.
As the ads earn money, the money is automatically used to buy shares of stock in Google (GOOG).
Anyone who visits the site can become a shareholder in their corporation (GTTP Ltd – Google To The People Company). Therefore we all become shareholders, in effect, of Google.
They calculate that they we will fully own Google in 202 years.

This feels distinctly like art to me.

NASA being slowly dismantled

Thought my pals might want to read this entry I found from Bruce Sterling about the Planetary Society’s campaign to fight for the mission and budget of NASA . It was bad enough when this administration removed “to understand and protect the Earth” as a primary goal of NASA. It just gets worse, and because there isn’t a clear bodycount, it isn’t going to be big news.

Go check out that article and then maybe give the planetary society a donation and sign their petition. I’m going to give them $20 and sign the petition. If you email me what you’ve donated, I’ll also match what you’ve donated. is here!

Prosper has revealed their lending API/Tools section . Right now it is just a dump of data from their db, but the api section promises webservices coming soon.

What’s cool about this? Now you should see smart folks like me building tools to analyze and pick through prosper loans, flagging good stuff and dissing bad loans. By opening up the data like this, prosper is letting interested people create tools for themselves and others to get better results for their systems.

This kind of openness will be good for their business as reliability goes up and people can make better informed decisions.