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Archive for the ‘finance’ Category

Trumpet Winsock Author Compensation #risk #business

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trumpet winsock logo

You wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for Trumpet Winsock, after my initial use of Bulletin Boards in the early days of the internet it was thanks to the ISP Netland and Trumpet Winsock that I first arrived on the net. Being a snotty nosed kid I quite happily used shareware programs without a thought to the writers, let alone paying for it. I well remember the joy that this tool brought to me, although the rest of the internet may not be too happy about it.

I was sad to hear that Peter Tattam, the writer of Trumpet Winsock, got very little for the most widely used piece of shareware software[1]. So now is the time to set it right by paying the fee you should have originally paid using PayPal:

Thanks all… I had honestly thought the Internet had forgotten about me.
Peter Tattam

Image source: Imperial College London


Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

March 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Posted in finance, network, risk, technology

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Yuan Better Than Lottery? #money #finance

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Money collecting - This man brings out his money collection for people to see. He quickly names off prices of old renmibi as curious onlookers flip through his collection.

I think the RenMiBi ¥, Yuan, is probably a better investment than the US Dollar $ and Euro €. Had I invested the €10 a month that I didn’t spend on the Lottery in the Yuan I could have earned 20% in the first 6 months or 10% had I held on to it until 2011. With $10 I would have earned nothing for the first 6 months, and I could have ended the year up 5%. As a Dollar investment it looks like you can’t lose investing in Yuan, and with the adjustment of the currency basket in 2008 and the fickle nature of the US Dollar the CNY to EUR is more profitable and slightly more risky in the short term.

Image source: Han Xu. Graphs by Yahoo! Finance.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

February 8, 2011 at 9:13 am

Posted in finance

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Flogs VC funding delayed #ical #calendar

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Flogs, which offers a shared calendar and digital organizer system, went through another round of funding recently. They had already received €2M[1] VC funding from Lost Boys, Media Republic and Guerilla Games. The VC, who I have not been able to identify, has delayed the capital injection which Flogs currently needs. The VC cited the “current economic climate” as reason for the delay.

For Flogs, who are in their second year and have yet to turn a profit, this has meant that the purse strings are being pulled tight, which means they are losing some of their current staff.

Flogs are still looking for developers: Jobs @ Flogs

  1. Flogs on CrunchBase

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

February 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Posted in finance, risk

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Just Finsihed Reading: “Fooled by Randomness” #books

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For Christmas my girlfriend’s mother followed the advise I long ago gave to my girlfriend: “Only buy a book for when you don’t understand what it says on the cover.” That resulted in the book Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It covers a number of points, one of which is excellently explained in the Dilbert strip below:

Dilbert Strip

One of the point that Taleb makes is one that Bruce Schneier also makes: the difficulty for people to understand causality and correlation. It is such a difficult subject that even Taleb confuses correlation with causality when it comes to smoking, for which I assume he has a distaste, and this exactly proves the point that his book is making.

Brilliant book!

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Facebook is the new Portal for Insurers and Banks #social #finance

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FaceBook Logo

It looks like every man and his dog needs to have a Facebook page, even banks and insurance companies are getting into the game. Very much like the turn of the century idea that every company needed a landing page or portal. What’s the advantage for an insurance company or bank? Customer knowledge.

Many interesting things can be gleaned from Social Media, such as behaviour patterns of customers. And it is an ideal way to direct market to current customers. Still customers may be fearful of exposing their habits to their bank or insurance company. I wouldn’t want an insurance company knowing everything about me and raising my premiums as a consequence, and theirin lies the rub. Both banks and insurers have been known for being poor customer service providers when it comes to paying out the money to customers who have placed their trust in them, charging – in some cases overcharging – and leaving the customers with nothing or even with huge debts.

How can the insurance companies overcome the cognitive bias that the customer has? Possibly by giving up their attitude polarization and playing a game which is win-win in the best case or a non-zero sum in the worst.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

December 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Prosper allows loans to fund Kiva projects #microfinance

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Some days ago I tweeted to Prosper, a personal loan marketplace, whether they would allow somebody to take out a personal loan and use it to fun a project on Kiva. The idea came to me after reading a note from somebody on recycling money on Prosper for investment – borrowing at a low rate and lending at a higher rate.

So I thought I should ask Proper about the possibility, they said:

Yes! Just choose “other” on your loan type and explain to potential lenders what you are using the loan for. Thanks 4 asking

Naturally you are responsable for any defaults on the loan, but spreading small amounts round different projects will reduce your risk, while allowing you to make a difference for others even if you yourself don’t have the money to lend.

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

November 24, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Investigating the FaceBook Adverts #advert #fb

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This is the first advert I’ve created, mostly I stay away from adverts as I’m not a marketeer. This case was different, as I am running a test campaign for a friend as a Xmas gift, last year I did a series of CraigsList ads last year, so this year I thought I would use FaceBook as it was possible to get some information back and learn something about the ad system which FaceBook has.

It is possible to target the following:

  • Likes & interests
  • Connections (connected to)
  • Connections (not connected to)
  • Friends of connections
  • Demographics (age/birthday/sex/relationship status/language)
  • Education
  • Location

Based on the information I know I have given FaceBook this is rather limited, it should be possible to target people using specific keywords or phrases to use the implicit knowledge that FaceBook has gathered about its users.

Why is CPC a bid? And who is earning money from this?

Written by Daniël W. Crompton (webhat)

November 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Posted in business, finance, networking, social

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