Thursday, March 1, 2007

My new investment

Last week I made a fairly major acquisition (at least major in terms of my capital). I bought the domain name Tryst. I am planning on developing it as a Craigslist casual ads type clone but will be just as happy once I set up my email and start using Yay for me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Rubik's Cube

When I was younger I was briefly fascinated by the ubiquitous cube of colors that is the Rubiks Cube. I remember buying one, scrambling the sides, and then furiously spinning away for about a week or so before losing interest, or more accurately, giving up. 43 quintillion combinations is a lot.

Recently, while waiting for a friend to arrive at Qdoba, I stumbled into a Discovery Store. There it sat, taunting me on its freshly configured display. I had to buy one. After I ate and took my burrito induced coma nap, I tore open the hard plastic shell and was pleasantly surprised when I found...a hints sheet? Apparently, people have long since devised the proper series of twists and turns necessary to solve a Rubiks cube. After going step by step like I was putting together a long lost Lego set I had a homogeneous series of faces.

I guess if Will Smith can do it anyone can (just kidding).

Monday, January 15, 2007

The PayPal Wars

I just finished reading The PayPal Wars by Eric M. Jackson which basically chronicled PayPal from near day one upto its purchase by Ebay. As an entrepreneurial person, I found it extremely enlightening to see the how such a intelligent group played its hand through various trials. I had the benefit of never being to informed about PayPals history so for me most of the events were new.

I was very suprised though by Jackson's characterization of Elon Musk. From all the readings I have come accross on Musk he seemed extremely intelligent and visionary. His stuborn unwillingness to deemphasis the brand, an action that would likely have sank the ship in PayPals case, was shocking. Especially as he now is moving foward with his SpaceX (he must really like that letter) and Tesla Motors.

Anyways, if you have the chance you should pick up the book (this is not an affiliate link / spamvertisement).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Demise of The Donald

I must preface this post by noting my extreme distaste for Donald Trump. His recent attacks of Rosie O'Donnell made me recall a debate in my Intermediate Finance class. I was asked what I thought of Donald Trump to which I responded "I think Fred Trump was a brilliant man". I think his sheer lack of dignity is cause for reproach. Those who have great means should exercise humility or at least avoid attacks based on something so trite as a woman's appearance.

I went recently went to Donald Trump's blog to see if I was heard him correctly in a TV interview when he was refuting O'Donnell's bankruptcy claims. At first I was pleasantly surprised when he did not mention Rosie. Maybe he was showing restraint. The I realized that this blog was nothing more than promotional material for his laughable Trump University. I couldn't find reference to his defence against bankruptcy accusations. I think Rosie claimed he filed for personal bankruptcy when he only filed for a corporate restructuring that screwed a great many people.

I am a bit embarrassed to be suckered into this debate but today while perusing Google News, something I find more addictive than caffeine, I stumbled across Trump and the Death of the American Gentleman. The article compares him to other wealthy powerful individuals which is something not often done. I'm sure if Mr. Trump had seen it his PR sensitive mind must have been up in arms. He contributes relatively nothing to the public compared to his peers (or compared to Rosie for that matter).

The sad thing is his latest stunts may be an continuing exercise of his one true talent. Selling himself. The Apprentice will likely have boosted ratings, the semi-misogynistic, wanna-be wealthy demographic that his books and tutorials target will probably be more inspired, and he has successfully wasted more of everyone's time.

My one conclusion: If Barbara Walters stand against you (or more accurately stands by someone you have ridiculed) you have probably crossed a line.

Thorium Power Ltd.

Thorium is a radioactive element that is more common and safer than Uranium. Also of increasing importance, it yields very little viable Plutonium which helps allay political fears of nuclear proliferation for non nuclear weapon states.

Thorium Power Ltd, formerly Novastar Resources Ltd., has recently caught my attention as an investment opportunity. In an story reported by Wired Magazine in July of 2005 titled Thorium Fuels Safe Reactor Hopes Thorium Power (Novastar at the time) Director of Strategic Planning Seth Shaw stated

We feel that it's inevitable that the U.S. and other countries in the world -- India of course -- will exclusively use thorium in the future.
For those uninformed the U.S. is currently in legislative bickering and foreign negotiations to extend our knowledge to the construction of civilian nuclear power plants in India. Although the plan is riddled with significant risks, especially politically in the form of the would-be tainted NPT, it seems as though if it does go through this small D.C. based firm is poised to exploit such an event. Additionally, giants such the Council on Foreign Relations have put their muscle behind such a pact (see Indias Energy Crunch).

Besides the politically motivated preference for Thorium in India it has solid economic foundations as well. India has enormous, economically extractable Thorium reserves second only to Australia. I believe that the U.S. has decided to forge the above mentioned pact out of necessity. India is going to move forward with a Thorium research program regardless of U.S. action. If a deal is struck between the two countries then U.S. firms, such as Thorium Power, should take home large gains. The U.S. has typically had great success, at least from their perspective, with similar deals in developing countries. I believe this is a continuation of a historically successful play albeit with more advanced technology.

Finally, it is worth noting that Thorium Power is not only involved in Indian maneuverings. Mr Grae has his firm involved in the audacious plan to sanitize loosely guarded Russian plutonium stockpiles while producing electrical power in existing Uranium based reactors (CNN Money). As Grae's influence in the Beltway seems to be increasing as of late it is possible that both plans may move forward netting Thorium Power handsome rewards.

Hello, World!

I have tried, and failed, several times to start a successful web log. Initially, I find the experience liberating but my interest quickly wanes and my account falls to the wayside. As a knowledgeable programmer the chain of events always begins with me torn between developing my own blog application, downloading someone elses blog software, or using a hosted blog service. This time I am just going to skip my internal debate and use Googles Blogger. At least they have domain hosting now.

Moving along. I will pretend you are interested to know that my blog will feature writings on politics, science, programming, business, and probably anything. I am posting as Obfusicated Coward in a nod to the popular SlashDot scheme of recognizing someone who does not wish to be recognized. If you really took a few minutes you could figure out who I am. Blogging is not really anonymous. It is more obfuscated.