Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Epicurean Dealmaker: Welcome to Duloc!

Interesting site. MC recommended me to check it out. Maybe you, my faithful readers, might also. An investment banker with 'tude and smarts. Not a bad place to be at.  - Robert E.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Whistling Past the Graveyard


Seen above is a radiation dose chart depicting what excess amounts of radiation can do to the human body. Needless to say, the effects of same are not pretty, something rather disquieting to say the least while watching the nuclear fubar unfold in Japan.  Another interesting note is the fact mainline news is now saying the "worst is over and that the impact of this multi tiered meltdown will have little impact to the Japanese economy" even though 1, the plants supplied 30% of Japan's energy, 2, Japan has no natural resources and 3...

which means the...


But it's still ok even though.. 

which means


but the worst is over, right? Ah, perhaps not Grasshopper
161 microsieverts/hour = 3.86 millisieverts/day = 1410 mSv/year
Yearly dose examples
  • Sleeping next to a human for 8 hours every night: 0.02 mSv/yr[9]
  • Cosmic radiation (from sky) at sea level: 0.24 mSv/year[7]
  • Natural radiation in the human body: 0.40 mSv/year[7]
  • New York-Tokyo flights for airline crew: 9 mSv/year[10]
  • Total average radiation dose for Americans: 6.2 mSv/year[13]
  • Smoking 1.5 packs/day: 13-60 mSv/year[11][12]
  • Current average limit for nuclear workers: 20 mSv/year[10]
  • Background radiation in parts of Iran, India and Europe: 50 mSv/year[10]
  • Elevated limit for workers during Fukushima emergency: 250 mSv/year[14
Sounds like the BP drill all over again whereby the oil miraculously disappeared within 11 months just in time for Spring Break save for the inconvenient Washington's Blog post titled New Oil Spill in Gulf ... 100-Mile Slick putting forth little tidbits ignored by the media because it's "old news" not worthy of our attention while American Idol and Charlie Sheen's meltdown is. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Physicality of Data

Computing is a physical process even though the content itself cannot be directly touched or manipulated save by a quantum driven device able to handle electrons and photons with consummate ease. BRT covered the physical aspect of data, in part, years ago in a piece titled A Dangerous Thing using various sources to determine how much would the web's data-set weigh in 2010. The guesstimate back in the 2007 article was that the net's 14.6 Exabytes (10% of the world's data output) would be equivalent to the weight of a small pebble. Seems the forecasters I quoted this information from underestimated our ability to babble on by a factor of 8.2, or the weight of a small stone.

"According to the annual survey of the global digital output by International Data Corporation, the total amount of global data was expected to pass 1.2 zettabytes sometime during 2010. This is equivalent to the amount of data that would be generated by everyone in the world posting messages on the microblogging site Twitter continuously for a century.[5]"

With this information in mind, an excellent article from the NY Times titled The Digital Pileup, reinforces the physicality of data in spades.

"Because electronic information seems invisible, we underestimate the resources it takes to keep it all alive. The data centers dotting the globe, colloquially known as “server farms,” are major power users with considerable carbon footprints. Such huge clusters of servers not only require power to run but must also be cooled. In the United States, it’s estimated that server farms, which house Internet, business and telecommunications systems and store the bulk of our data, consume close to 3 percent of our national power supply. Worldwide, they use more power annually than Sweden."

What's even more interesting is the fact data overload is really just beginning...

"The current volume estimate of all electronic information is roughly 1.2 zettabytes, the amount of data that would be generated by everyone in the world posting messages on Twitter continuously for a century. That includes everything from e-mail to YouTube. More stunning: 75 percent of the information is duplicative. By 2020, experts estimate that the volume will be 44 times greater than it was in 2009. There finally may be, in fact, T.M.I."

T.M.I, I am guessing, either refers to the Duran Duran Too Much Information tune or to The Police's 

Managing the ravenous data beast in a society dependent on non renewable energy creation is a non starter, a situation that must be changed if we are to remain a viable civilization in the 21st century. (Viable sustainable energy tech, as stated many times before in BRT, is in the lab but getting it into the real world able to replace the nuclear and fossil methodologies in cost-effective manner is another matter all together.)

The 2nd law of Thermodynamics strikes again.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Seems the NY Times finally caught up with BRT regarding the mortgage furbar perpetrated by the banks and related parties including MERS, the 50 man operation miraculously able to keep tabs on 60 million mortgages while not even investing one dollar in the management and ownership of same. For the BRT take on this, check out Habius Corpus or Hey Dude, Where's My Mortgage?

Never heard of MERS? That’s fine with the mortgage banking industry—as MERS is starting to overheat and sputter. If its many detractors are correct, this private corporation, with a full-time staff of fewer than 50 employees, could turn out to be a very public problem for the mortgage industry.

Judges, lawmakers, lawyers and housing experts are raising piercing questions about MERS, which stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, whose private mortgage registry has all but replaced the nation’s public land ownership records. Most questions boil down to this:

How can MERS claim title to those mortgages, and foreclose on homeowners, when it has not invested a dollar in a single loan?

And, more fundamentally: Given the evidence that many banks have cut corners and made colossal foreclosure mistakes, does anyone know who owns what or owes what to whom anymore?

BRT is not a news outlet by any stretch of the imagination but it's nice to be out in front of something as sleazy as the mortgage fiasco foisted upon us by the Wall Street Banksters and the Federal Reserve along with significant others (Government, Regulatory etc., etc.) don't you think?

"Same as it ever was." - Talking Heads