From the monthly archives:

June 2010

Risk & risk management

June 30, 2010

An overview of financial risk and the risk management process.

10 comments Read the whole post →

No cash for clunkers

June 28, 2010

I'm a big fan of Emanuel Derman's work, his book and, most recently, his blog. In his latest post, Derman shows his lighter side with an entry in a contest for "plithy personal ads": "FANNIE MAE with troubled assets, bored with Freddie Mac, seeks well-regulated stimulus package from counterparty too big to fail. No cash […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

Driver’s ed for finance

June 28, 2010

James Surowiecki writes an excellent piece for the New Yorker on the state of financial illiteracy, concluding 1) we have it and 2) we have to get rid of it. Ultimately, he concludes that some form of basic financial education should be mandated before people can partake in purchasing financial products. The government’s new consumer-protection […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

A bit more on speech

June 26, 2010

As if responding to my thoughts on communicating with machines, Isaac Asimov's classic novel Second Foundation provides the following: Speech, originally, was the device whereby Man learned, imperfectly, to transmit the thoughts and emotions of his mind. By setting up arbitrary sounds and combinations of sounds to represent certain mental nuances, he developed a method […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

Speech recognition (is more prevalent than you think)

June 25, 2010

The NYT has published the second article in their "Smarter Than You Think" series on artificial intelligence (TGR covered the first here and again here). This time, the focus is on speech recognition and natural language processing. A couple passages really stood out to me in this more abbreviated overview of the technology: Computers with […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

The language of statistics

June 24, 2010

Joseph Rickert has written a piece calling R "the language of statistics," which I feel is a deserved title. As he puts it: I don’t just mean that R “is spoken” by many or even most statisticians. R’s superiority for statistics is deeper than that. R is a language with syntax and structure that have […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

Holding a mirror to artificial intelligence

June 23, 2010

Assessing the human computer.

3 comments Read the whole post →

Irrational exuberance, indeed

June 23, 2010

Here's an amusing chart showing the percent of stocks that sell-side analysts have rated "sells", on average: There's a million junk-chart bloggers who will tell you how much is wrong with this graph (myself included) - starting with the left hand scale, which should go up to 10% rather than 100%. But in a rare […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

Kicking the oil habit

June 23, 2010

Jon Stewart is insightful as always:

0 comments Read the whole post →

Twitter's firehose problem

June 22, 2010

Esquire confirms what we already knew: Twitter is a waste of time. The information "firehose" has more in common with the Deepwater site, spewing redundant and useless information at a constant pace. In that regard, truth be told, it's not much different from any other communications service - except that alternatives have either explicit or implicit filtering […]

1 comment Read the whole post →

Elementary, my dear Watson

June 17, 2010

In a pleasant surprise, the NYT Magazine has published an excellent article on artificial intelligence. What's more, it appears to be the first in a series. The article is well-written and accessible; it doesn't delve with any of the math, just the inspirations for and results of the AI procedures. It really speaks to the […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

What scapegoat?

June 16, 2010

Bad news if you're a government looking for a scapegoat; good news if you're a demonized "short" trader: A Brussels investigation into possible problems with speculative trading of credit default swaps on Greek sovereign debt in the wake of the country's crisis is understood to have found few serious flaws, triggering rumours that officials are […]

1 comment Read the whole post →

Are you joking right now, AT&T?!

June 15, 2010

Hours into the iPhone launch, you're still "upgrading your systems"?! Due to a system upgrade the site is temporarily unavailable, please try again later. For immediate assistance please contact customer service at 1-800-331-0500.

1 comment Read the whole post →

The very first CDS

June 10, 2010

Yes, conspiracy theorists, there is a link between environmental disasters and financial meltdowns. In the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster, Exxon was faced with $5B in fines. The company turned to its banking partner, J.P. Morgan, and asked for a line of credit in that amount. J.P. Morgan was reluctant to grant the loan for […]

1 comment Read the whole post →

Why can't I rent an ebook?

June 10, 2010

I know the NYPL will let me check out ebooks, but the result is wrapped in layers of DRM that tie it to my computer (or, with some work, a Sony Reader or B&N Nook). One thing I'm sure of: e-reading will succeed if and only if the text is truly portable across many devices. […]

3 comments Read the whole post →

Sweating the small stuff

June 9, 2010

An excellent (and humorous) TED talk by Rory Sutherland on the importance of detail and clarity:

0 comments Read the whole post →

Off the grid 2: here there be tourists

June 9, 2010

Eric Fischer has updated the Geotagger's World Atlas (previously covered on TGR here) by overlaying an analysis of photographers on the geo-located picutures. The result is even more stunning, capturing the different behaviors of locals (blue) and tourists (red): He drew conclusions by examining other photos by the same photographer. If they had taken photos […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

The jobs report, briefly

June 5, 2010

It's become poor form to take the jobs report at face value, and every financial blog out there is doing its best to reveal "the truth" about the misleading numbers. Most recently, the headline is that the 431,000 jobs which were added to non-farm payrolls included 411,000 temporary census-related jobs. Quick arithmetic reveals that this means only 20,000 jobs […]

0 comments Read the whole post →

Toiletries (.com)

June 4, 2010

The NYT reports on soap.com, which aims to provide drugstore items over the internet. I'm having a hard time seeing how this is really interesting news. “Nobody is really buying toilet paper online,” Mr. Bharara said. “We’re trying to shift in a big way consumer behavior over all, and take share from offline.” Merely being […]

1 comment Read the whole post →

What is data science?

June 3, 2010

The latest in a series of articles on the topic, Mike Loukides of O'Reilly Radar asks, "What is data science?": We've all heard it: according to Hal Varian, statistics is the next sexy job. Five years ago, in What is Web 2.0, Tim O'Reilly said that "data is the next Intel Inside." But what does that statement […]

1 comment Read the whole post →