2017-09-30

Tech Review | Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Hackers, Thieves, Cybercrime

Tech Review (TR 2017-09-30)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech news with commentary, analysis and opinion: Features • 1) Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Hackers, Thieves, Cybercrime, 2) Investing: $MU, Q3 2017 closes higher, Fed Watch, Trump's WTO reforms, Independence Votes & Black Swans, 3) Fake News = Data & News Media + Confirmation Bias, Liberal Bias, Groupthink, and False Narratives, 4) ICYMI Tech News, 5) Coming October 4.

1) Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, Hackers, Thieves, Cybercrime
Not a good week for Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies:
However, the news wasn't all bad--Japan's FSA gives official endorsement to 11 cryptocurrency exchanges | Reuters.com.

2) Investing:
 $MU
Sun Co-Founder Gets Secretive Hedge Fund to Make a Huge Chip Bet | Bloomberg.com"Bill Joy sees DRAM chip market shedding its cyclical past - Joy persuades Water Street to stop shorting Micron and go long ..." Micron $MU (NASDAQ:MU) (domain: micron.com).

Stocks closed the 3rd Quarter (Q3 2017) this week higher--S&P 500 ends at record; stock indexes close out strong month and quarter | MarketWatch.com:
 SP500
Technology and Financial Stocks Drive S&P500 & NASDAQ to Record Highs: "President Donald Trump’s meeting with former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh to discuss his potential nomination as Fed chairman was seen as a trigger for financial shares."--Reuters.com

Fed Watch (domain: federalreserve.gov):
Why Hurricanes Won't Force the Fed to Ditch a December Rate Hike | TheStreet.com: This year's third rate hike may be followed by three more in 2018, the Federal Reserve has indicated. Fed Chair Janet Yellen: "Growth will likely bounce back as activity resumes and rebuilding gets under way."  The likelihood of further hikes is good news for banks from JPMorgan Chase & Co. $JPM (NYSE: JPM) to Citigroup Inc. $C (NYSE:C), which often boost margins by passing increases on to borrowers more quickly than to the depositors whose money is used to fund loans.

Trump wants WTO reforms (domain: wto.org):
U.S. [Trump's WTO rep] shocks WTO with a novel take on trade dispute rules | Reuters.com“I think it’s the first time somebody said you need positive consensus. It means that any member can block the whole thing" said one trade diplomat who was in the meeting. “It’s power politics,” said another.

Independence Votes & Black Swans:
Catalonia Vote a Black Swan for EU, ECB, Spain, Markets, Economy? | DomainMondo.com--continuing LIVE coverage thru the weekend on the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia. See also Last flight departs as Iraq imposes ban for Kurdish independence vote | Reuters.com.

3)  Fake News = Data & News Media + Confirmation Bias, Liberal Bias, Groupthink, and False Narratives:
The Media Has A Probability Problem | FiveThirtyEight.com--by Nate Silver: "The media keeps misinterpreting data ... the media has often overestimated the precision of polling, cherry-picked data and portrayed elections as sure things when that conclusion very much wasn’t supported by polls or other empirical evidence ... documented throughout this series, polls and other data did not support the exceptionally high degree of confidence that news organizations such as The New York Times regularly expressed about Hillary Clinton’s chances. (We’ve been using the [New York] Times as our case study ... because their 2016 coverage had so many problems.) ... Probably the most important problem with 2016 coverage was confirmation bias — coupled with what you might call good old-fashioned liberal media bias ..."

Here's more #FakeNews from mainstream media debunked this week:

4) ICYMI Tech News:
  • EU ready to move on digital tax even if no global deal--Reuters.com
  • China's HNA Group says it will keep investing in the United States: "We still have a strong belief U.S. and China will have a very good relationship, we will keep on investing (in) related business." --Nasdaq.com
  • YouTube no longer available on Amazon Echo Show after Google pulls it off, saying it violated the Terms of Service (ToS) and was a “broken user experience” implementation by Amazon.--TheVerge.com
  • Why It Took Google So Long to End Shady Rehab Center Ads"In May, scores of people on the front lines of America’s opioid crisis packed the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers conference in Austin to listen to a Google contractor named Josh Weum. Google LLC doesn’t have anything to do with treating addicts, and the company didn’t send Weum there to talk about helping people get clean. He was explaining how to use Google to cash in on America’s $35 billion addiction treatment market ..."--Bloomberg.com
  • Ikea has bought TaskRabbit | Recode.net"The Swedish home goods giant is looking for some digital help from the contract labor marketplace."
  • Bill Gates now uses an Android phone | TheVerge.com 


-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

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DISCLAIMER

2017-09-29

Catalonia Vote LIVE: a Black Swan for EU, ECB, Spain, Markets, Economy?

Catalonia Vote LIVE: a Black Swan for EU, ECB, Spain, Markets, Economy? | DomainMondo.com (graphic)
Black Swan"an unpredictable or unforeseen event, typically one with extreme consequences."--Wall Street and City of London Press Panic Button on Catalonia | WolfStreet.com: "Sometimes you have to keep the black swans in mind.” 
UPDATE 1 Oct 2017: Catalonia’s Dark Days Ahead | WolfStreet.com"It isn’t just about what happens on Sunday; it’s about the ensuing days and weeks."
LIVE France 24 English 24/7 video stream below:


UPDATES:
  • Oct 4: Catalonia to move to declare independence from Spain on Monday--Reuters.com
  • Oct 2: Reuters.com: European Commission says Catalan vote was not legal; Catalonia worries knock euro against stronger dollar--Reuters.com.
  • UPDATE Oct 1: Catalan referendum: Catalonia has 'won right to statehood'--BBC.com--Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to statehood following Sunday's contentious referendum which was marred by violence.
  • Catalonia Independence Referendum Vote, Sunday, October 1, 2017.
Catalonia shuts down in protest Oct 3

Financial Times (FT.com) video above published Oct 3, 2017.

How Did Things Get So Bad in Catalonia? | WolfStreet.comThe answer, to borrow from Ernest Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises, is “gradually, then suddenly.”

Catalonia's referendum explained (video):

Above video published by FT.com Sep 26, 2017. LIVE Twitter Feed:


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DISCLAIMER

2017-09-28

Europol Report: 2017 Top Threat In Cybercrime Epidemic Is Ransomware

 EUROPOL | EC3 European Cybercrime Centre
Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2017 | Europol.europa.eu--excerpts:
"... Ransomware attacks have eclipsed most other global cybercrime threats, with the first half of 2017 witnessing ransomware attacks on a scale previously unseen following the emergence of self-propagating ‘ransomworms’, as observed in the WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya cases. Moreover, while information-stealing malware such as banking Trojans remain a key threat, they often have a limited target profile. Ransomware has widened the range of potential malware victims, impacting victims indiscriminately across multiple industries in both the private and public sectors, and highlighting how connectivity and poor digital hygiene and security practices can allow such a threat to quickly spread and expand the attack vector. The extent of this threat becomes more apparent when considering attacks on critical infrastructure." (emphasis added)
"Cryptocurrencies continue to be exploited by cybercriminals, with Bitcoin being the currency of choice in criminal markets, and as payment for cyber-related extortion attempts, such as from ransomware or a DDoS attack. However, other cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Ethereum and Zcash are gaining popularity within the digital underground." (emphasis added)
Full report (pdf) embed below:




See also: Europol: Ransomware top threat in 2017 cybercrime 'epidemic' | Reuters.com

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2017-09-27

FEMA: Puerto Rico, USVI, Areas Affected by Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico Updates: status.pr and FEMA.gov | Hurricane Maria resources.

See also:
photo: President Trump and the First Lady visit Puerto Rico and USVI Oct 3, 2017
President Trump and the First Lady visited Puerto Rico and USVI Oct 3, 2017

Excerpt from full timeline infographic referenced below
UPDATE: Hurricane Maria Federal Response Timeline (jpg)(also embed below--source: FEMA.gov)


Governor Rick Scott Gives an Update on Hurricane Recovery Efforts in Florida & Puerto Rico:

Governor Rick Scott of Florida gives an update on hurricane recovery efforts in Florida and Puerto Rico. Video above published by WhiteHouse.gov Sep 29, 2017.

Graphic of FEMA.gov Hurricane Maria
Department of Homeland Security Update on Hurricane Maria Recovery Efforts
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert Provide an Update on Hurricane Maria Recovery Efforts. Video published Sep 28, 2017.
USCG photo of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sep 25, 2017
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sep 25, 2017, deployed to aid in Hurricane Maria response operations and the ship's communications capabilities are being used to help first responders coordinate efforts.
Graphic of Puerto Rico & USVI Logistics Update for Hurricane Maria as of Sep 23, 2017
FEMA Graphic of Puerto Rico & USVI Logistics Update for Hurricane Maria as of Sep 23, 2017
Fema.gov Hurricane Maria--Find up-to-date information on FEMA's response to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, how to help, and how to search for loved ones, and apply for assistance.

Another view of USCG Cutter James in San Juan, PR, USA, Sep 25, 2017
U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Kelley
Hurricane Maria Photo Story Map
source: arcgis.com

See also:


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DISCLAIMER

2017-09-26

Tez, Google's New Digital Payment App for India (video)

Introducing Tez, a new payments app by Google

Google Tez video above published Sep 18, 2017: "When making payments, big or small, online or offline, to friends or out shopping, why must we have to choose how we pay? Introducing Tez, a simple and secure payments and commerce app from Google that lets you pay straight from your bank account." 
#GoogleTez is a payments and commerce app, made for India first. Make payments big and small, straight from your bank account. It’s money made simple.
Google Tez & India: Google Has Hit the Jackpot With 'Tez' | Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) | SeekingAlpha.com: "Total payments in India via digital payment instruments estimated to reach $500 billion by 2020. Google set to take advantage of favourable macro and industry trends through its capabilities."

Domain: tez.google.com


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DISCLAIMER

2017-09-25

What Will It Take For A Stock Market Crash? (video)

What will it take for markets to crash?

Video above published Aug 18, 2017, by FT.com: As the US stock market gets into its eighth year of gains, and with global markets caught up in a bull market for stocks and other assets, the FT.com's Dan McCrum says the big question is, what will make markets crash and when will it happen? See also: Stock Market Warning Siren is Blaring | WolfStreet.com Aug 12, 2017.

But note Professor Shiller's take:
Mass Psychology Supports the Pricey Stock Market | NYTimes.com by Robert J. Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale, 15 Sep 2017: "... current valuations make the market vulnerable. But it took more than high valuation numbers to precipitate those ugly declines in the past. The other ingredient was mass psychology ... where are we today? Mass psychology appears to be in a different, calmer place. Investors do not seem to have the concern they had in 1929 or 2000 that other investors might suddenly sell their holdings and get out of the stock market ... Why people are so calm about the high-priced market is a bit of a mystery. On this, I can only speculate ... I don’t really know. But the result is that while valuations remain very high there just doesn’t seem to be much evidence that many investors in the United States stock market are actively worrying today that other investors are on the verge of selling. Mass opinions may well change, but for now, in the critical psychological dimension, the stock market does not closely resemble the market in the dangerous years of 1929 or 2000. That doesn’t mean that there is no danger of a crash. But at the moment, the psychological preconditions for a spiraling downturn don’t appear to be in place.

 SP500

The 2008 Financial Crisis: Explaining the Start

Video above published Aug 16, 2017, by WSJ.com: August 2007 marked the beginning of worst financial crisis since the great depression. A decade later, WSJ's finance and banking editors break down the events that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

 DJIA


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DISCLAIMER

2017-09-24

News Review: ICANN Interactive Webinar, Editor's Comment on DNS Abuse

News Review | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2017-09-24) with analysis and opinion: Features • 1)  ICANN Interactive Webinar on DNS Abuse Sept 25, 2)Other ICANN news a. Editor's Comment on DNS Abuse in gTLDs, b.Latest on Spain vs .CAT, c. ICYMI RegistrarSG to ICANN Letter, 3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: Please No Emoji in Domains, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News: Internet Censorship, 5) Most Read Posts.

1) ICANN Interactive Webinar on DNS Abuse September 25
ICANN WEBINAR: Compliance & Consumer Safeguard Overview | ICANN.org: ICANN will host an interactive webinar on 25 September 2017 to discuss Compliance and Consumer Safeguard matters within ICANN’s remit, including:
  • Review and discuss existing safeguards within ICANN’s contracts and By-laws.
  • Identify types DNS abuse that may fall within ICANN’s remit.
  • Discuss voluntary efforts to address abuse within the DNS.
  • Consider possible topic(s) for discussion during a session at ICANN 60.
"This webinar will allow for an open discussion on these topics as well as any other related issues raised by members of the community. Hosted by ICANN’s Contractual Compliance and Consumer Safeguards team, the webinar will also include representatives from ICANN’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer and the Global Domains Division."--ICANN

Webinar Date & Time25 September 2017, 1500-1600 UTC | time convert 11am EDT (US)
Join via Adobe Connect: https://participate.icann.org/safeguardsandcompliance/
Dial-In Conference Number(s)--Participant Code: 1941584829:
  • US (Toll): 1-605-475-5603
  • US (Toll): 1-712-770-4202
  • US (Toll Free): 1-888-619-1583
  • Canada, Montreal (Local): +1 514 669 5944
  • Canada, Toronto (Local): +1 647 426 9168
  • Additional access numbers: here
The webinar will be conducted in English. Recordings will be published here. More info:

2) Other ICANN news
a. DomainMondo.com Editor's comment (pdf) re: Statistical Analysis of DNS Abuse in gTLDs (SADAG) Report, submitted 19 Sep 2017 (comment period now extended to 27 Sep 2017), excerpt:

"Conclusion: With its 2012 round of expanding gTLDs from just 22 to more than 1200, ICANN has made a mess of the DNS and given multistakeholderism a bad name. And it’s not as if ICANN wasn’t warned, repeatedly, as noted hereinabove. No, this disaster wasn’t any force majeure, but a disaster of ICANN’s own making, founded upon a mixture of arrogant power and greed:
"I really can’t see a legitimate upside where new benefits [of the new gTLDs] outweigh costs, and everyone I mention this to feels the same way. People just shake their heads. It’s all about the money. They [ICANN] are creating these extensions because they can."--University of Pennsylvania Wharton School marketing professor Peter Fader, co-director of the Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (source: Knowledge@Wharton May 21, 2014).
"ICANN’s new gTLDs program is a systemic failure of both the organization and the “ICANN community”—they need to own it and be held accountable. It is as important to understand “how we got here” as “what happened.” The failed ICANN leadership that got us into this mess includes Peter Dengate Thrush (former ICANN Board Chairman), Steve Crocker (ICANN Board member and Chairman), ICANN ex-CEOs Rod Beckstrom and Fadi Chehade, former ICANN Chief Strategy Officer Kurt Pritz (“architect of ICANN's new gTLD program”), and lastly but not least, Akram Atallah, interim ICANN CEO (twice) and President of ICANN’s “Global Domains Division.”" (emphasis added)

Full comment embedded below. Other comments submitted may be read here.


b.  Latest on Spain vs .CAT--gTLD .CAT domain names judicial seizure warrant
.CAT statement 22 Sep 2017: Our Director of Innovation and Information Systems has been released | fundacio.cat"... Pep Masoliver, has been released on September 22, after more than 60 hours of detention, accused with charges of embezzlement, prevarication and disobedience ..." (emphasis added)

Background: Intervention at Fundació puntCAT's headquarters | fundacio.cat 20 Sep 2017: "Fundació puntCAT wants to express its utmost condemnation, indignation and reprobation for the actions that it has been suffering lately with successive judicial mandates, searches and finally the arrest of our Director of Innovation and Information Systems, Pep Masoliver ..." (emphasis added)

See also 17 September 2017 Letter from Fundació puntCAT CEO Eduard Martin Lineros to ICANN CEO Göran Marby (pdf) published by ICANN 20 September 2017, embed below:
See also: Spain and Catalonia Wrestle Over .Cat Internet Domain - The New York Times"Given the web’s rich cat history, you’d think that domain names ending in .CAT would be another online feline gold mine."--For the love of god, not everything is about cats | theoutline.com: "The foundation that administers the .CAT domain for Catalonians just got raided by the Spanish police, but all the media wants to talk about is cats."

UPDATE--Catalonia Police Reject Madrid Orders: Barring Invasion, the Vote Will Take Place October 1st--"Given the importance of the story, Western media is amazingly silent. Stories are few and far between."--MishTalK.com.

c.  ICYMI: ICANN’s “Proposal Regarding Feasibility Analysis of Cross-Field Address Validation Services.”--Letter from Graeme Bunton to Jennifer Gore | ICANN.org embed below, highlighting added:
(Editor's Note: Graeme Bunton is manager of public policy at Tucows, and was elected as Chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group in July 2016. Jennifer Gore is ICANN Director, Registrar Services & Engagement since July, 2016; prior to that she was employed by Web.com.)

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
•  Emoji in Domains? Don't, just don'tWorth Repeating Again--SAC 095 | SSAC Advisory on the Use of Emoji in Domain Names | ICANN.org--Advisory from the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) 25 May 2017 (pdf): "... the practical implication is that domain names with emoji will not be accepted or processed consistently by applications ... Currently, it is already difficult to get people to accept the new labels that have appeared with IDNs and the new generic TLD (new gTLDs) program. Adding emoji to domain name labels will only make this problem worse ... Recommendation 1: Because the risks identified in this Advisory cannot be adequately mitigated without significant changes to Unicode or IDNA (or both), the SSAC recommends that the ICANN Board reject any TLD (root zone label) that includes emojiRecommendation 2: Because the risks identified in this Advisory cannot be adequately mitigated without significant changes to Unicode or IDNA (or both), the SSAC strongly discourages the registration of any domain name that includes emoji in any of its labels. The SSAC also advises registrants of domain names with emoji that such domains may not function consistently or may not be universally accessible as expected ..." (emphasis and link added)

•  IT Contractor Convicted of Wire Fraud for Defacing Website of Arizona Company | USAO-AZ | US Department of Justice | justice.gov"... According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, [Defendant] Tso provided information technology (“IT”) services for a company located in Phoenix, Ariz. Tso subsequently used the company’s account information to make changes to the company’s website. These changes prevented the company’s employees from using their email accounts and redirected the company’s homepage to a blank page. Tso then offered to return everything to normal for $10,000. When the company refused to pay the requested amount, Tso redirected the company’s homepage to a pornographic website. Visitors to the company’s website were redirected to the pornographic website for several days before the website was returned to normal ..."

 IP in the Digital Age: Protecting Against Domain Name and Social Media Infringement | New Jersey Law Journal | njlawjournal.com

•  Don’t Fall for a Scam: Trademark Owners Targeted | Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP - JDSupra.com"These scamming organizations, which often use names that resemble government agencies, will obtain freely accessible information regarding a registration or application ... and then create an official-looking letter or invoice seeking payment regarding the referenced trademark."

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
•  Internet CensorshipThe Terrifying Power of Internet Censors | NYTimes.com"Because of the precise nature of Cloudflare’s business, and the scarcity of competitors, its role censoring internet speech is not just new, it’s terrifying."

Iceland authorities weighing options after neo-Nazi site registers there | ArsTechnica.com“What we worry about is the reputation of the .is domain,” ISNIC CEO Jens Pétur Jensen told the Reykjavik Grapevine. “ISNIC does not want to have the reputation that we’re a safe haven for criminals.”
See also: Why many Russians have gladly agreed to online censorship | osu.edu and Iran: Policing the Internet and Social Media | AEI.org.

  • China's Great FirewallChinese man jailed for helping others break Internet firewall | newsbytesapp.comSee also U.S. seeks partners to help Internet users evade foreign censors--bgov.com: "The Office of Internet Freedom (OIF), part the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, is looking for vendors that have systems and software to counter internet censorship by foreign governments, according to a notice published Sept. 6."--helping dissident groups set up web proxies and secure email.

•  Net NeutralityFCC Chair’s “chat” with tech execs draws protest | Electronic Frontier Foundation | eff.org .See also: "... the FCC blatantly ignored the evidence that the agency had in its possession throughout its push to scrap the vital consumer protections established by the Open Internet Order," NHMC Policy and Legal Affairs Director Carmen Scurato said in a press release last week."  See also Technology is outsmarting net neutrality | AEI.org.

•  EFF Resigns from W3C over EMEAn open letter to the W3C Director, CEO, team and membership | Electronic Frontier Foundation | eff.org: ".... The W3C process has been abused by companies that made their fortunes by upsetting the established order, and now, thanks to EME, they’ll be able to ensure no one ever subjects them to the same innovative pressures. So we'll keep fighting to keep the web free and open. We'll keep suing the US government to overturn the laws that make DRM so toxic, and we'll keep bringing that fight to the world's legislatures that are being misled by the US Trade Representative to instigate local equivalents to America's legal mistakes. We will renew our work to battle the media companies that fail to adapt videos for accessibility purposes, even though the W3C squandered the perfect moment to exact a promise to protect those who are doing that work for them. We will defend those who are put in harm's way for blowing the whistle on defects in EME implementations. It is a tragedy that we will be doing that without our friends at the W3C, and with the world believing that the pioneers and creators of the web no longer care about these matters. Effective today, EFF is resigning from the W3C. Thank you"--Cory Doctorow, Advisory Committee Representative to the W3C for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (emphasis added).

•  Internet FreedomHow supporting internet freedom in Cambodia makes America great | R Street Institute | RStreet.org

Internet Regulation: FEC Dems renew bid to regulate Internet, Drudge, 'not done fighting' | washingtonexaminer.com

•  Internet Shutdowns: Togo latest country to lose web access as regimes increasingly shut down Internet to control protests | theglobeandmail.com

•  China Connecting The Unconnected: "... as new players enter the race to connect the 4 billion people who remain offline, new questions are emerging about who is providing that connection and what their agenda is. As China’s interest in global development has grown, so too has its influence in the telecommunications sector, with two companies in particular — the privately owned Huawei and state owned ZTE — making up the majority of China’s efforts to connect the unconnected."--China's role in the race to connect the next billion | Devex.com.

5) Most read posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
1.  News Review: ICANN New gTLDs Declining, But Other Domains Growing
2.  Hurricane Maria: 2017 Hurricane Season, Satellite Views .... LIVE Feeds
3.  EU Antitrust & Competition Policy, EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager
4.   MacroView: Election in Germany (video), ECB, EU, Spain, IMF & Greece
5.  Jeff Bezos Empire: Amazon $AMZN, Blue Origin, WaPo, Bezos Expeditions

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo


DISCLAIMER

2017-09-23

Tech Review | Apple $AAPL Special Event Postpartum Depression?

Tech Review (TR 2017-09-23)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech news with commentary, analysis and opinion: Features • 1) Apple $AAPL Special Event Postpartum Depression? 2) Google & HTC: Everyone Wants To Make A High-end Phone, 3) Cord-Cutting Trends--Cable Is For Old People, 4) Investing: Mass Psychology, Diversification, Gurus, US$, Buffett,  5) ICYMI Tech News.

1) Apple $AAPL Special Event Postpartum Depression?
 Apple Special Event. September 12, 2017.
NASDAQ:AAPL:
 $AAPL

2) Everyone Wants To Make A High-End Phone: Google & HTC
 Pixel Phone
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG, GOOGL) and HTC Corporation (TWSE: 2489"announced a definitive agreement under which certain HTC employees – many of whom are already working with Google to develop Pixel smartphones – will join Google. HTC will receive US$1.1 billion in cash from Google as part of the transaction. Separately, Google will receive a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property (IP) ... this agreement also represents a significant investment by Google in Taiwan as a key innovation and technology hub ... expected to close by early 2018."--HTC.com, 21 Sep 2017.--About 2,000 HTC staffers to join Google; HTC to continue making its own smartphones, including a new flagship model.

See also: Android zero-touch enrollment: seamless and secure enterprise deployment | blog.google: carrier partners who plan to offer zero-touch: USA: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile; Europe: BT, Deutsche Telekom; Asia-Pacific: Softbank, Telstra.

3) Cord-Cutting Trends--Cable Is For Old People: 
CordCutter
Cord Cutters to Top 22 Million in U.S. by End of 2017 (Study) | Variety.com: "By 2021, the number of cord-cutters will nearly equal the number of people who have never had pay TV — a total of 81 million U.S. adults." See also Cable News Is Almost Exclusively Watched by Old People.
"The last couple of years, a few friends pulled the plug on cable/satellite ... my daughter Katie ditched the corded life, as have many (most?) of her Millennial friends. They have been doing the "streaming thing," first with subscription models such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime, and then with expanded services offering network bundles: Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, etc. Those who want to add a little "premium" to their lives can get stand-alone services from HBO or Showtime. (A basic guide to streaming options can be found on the Consumer Reports free site.)."--SeekingAlpha.com.  
Editor's note: best option for many may be either, or both, an Amazon Prime subscription (using an Amazon Fire TV Stick which will give you access to Amazon Prime content as well as Netflix (subscription), HBO and much more via Amazon Channels, AND/OR a Google Chromecast to access the free and à la carte and subscription content available from the internet and via Google Play (including apps). Total one-time hardware cost less than $75.00 (Fire Stick $39.99 + Chromecast $35). Put a little money into a quality screen, good internet connection (including router and modem), and pay for only the content you really want.

4) Investing
"Investing, in other words, is an exercise in mass psychology. I’ve spent decades studying it, and believe that one way to predict future market moves is to sort through the narratives that sweep through the population and influence decisions on whether to buy or sell. Such an analysis is a matter of art as much as science, however. Getting it right is crucial in the United States right now, because stock market valuations are already high enough to be worrisome."--Robert J.Shiller, Sept 15, 2017, NYTimes.com.

Separating the Dos From the Don'ts of Investing | Bloomberg.comDiversification is the idea of reducing specific risk in your portfolio.

Investment GurusBeware of investing advice from market gurus | usatoday.com"... the ninth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and the subsequent collapse of our country’s financial system. One of the most important lessons we can learn is that no one — not even the experts — saw it coming."

US$--The Demise of the U.S. Dollar? Don't Hold Your Breath--"The USD is still the dominant reserve currency, despite decades of diversification. Global reserves (allocated and unallocated) are over $12 trillion. Note that China's RMB doesn't even show up in allocated reserves--it's a non-player because it's pegged to the USD. Why hold RMB when the peg can be changed at will? It's lower risk to just hold USD ... the problem of replacing the USD in all its roles is that no other issuer has a large enough economy and is willing to shoulder the risks and burdens of issuing a free-floating currency in sufficient size to meet global demands."--Charles Hugh Smith

Warren Buffett, The Sage of Omaha: “Whenever I hear people talk pessimistically about this country (U.S.), I think they’re out of their mind ... It has been 241 years since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence ... Being short America has been a loser’s game. I predict to you it will continue to be a loser’s game.” Buffett said he expects the Dow Jones Industrial Average to be “over 1 million” in 100 years, up from Tuesday’s close of 22,370.80, given where the index was roughly a century ago.--Buffett speaking this week in New York.


5) ICYMI Tech News:

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo


DISCLAIMER

2017-09-22

MacroView: Election in Germany (video), ECB, EU, Spain, IMF & Greece

Germany election 2017 UPDATE 24 Sep 2017: Far-right AfD stuns German establishment by finishing third with 13.5% and will enter parliament for the first time, but Merkel wins fourth term--"Of course we had hoped for a slightly better result." said Angela Merkel, who must now form a coalition government, a potentially difficult task that could take months trying to woo unwilling potential coalition partners.

The Latest: German election: Merkel vows to form stable govt | The Washington Post"Center-left challenger Martin Schulz, whose Social Democrats were the junior partners in Merkel’s outgoing government, said shortly after exit polls showed his party headed for a historic election defeat Sunday that it would go into opposition. In a television discussion involving major party leaders, he accused Merkel of conducting a “scandalous” campaign that avoided debate and created “a vacuum” that the nationalist Alternative for Germany party filled."

The German Election Explained

Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com) video published Sep 18, 2017: German voters head to the polls this Sunday in an election that determines whether Chancellor Angela Merkel remains at the helm of Europe’s biggest economic power. WSJ.com's Niki Blasina explains how the election will be won and why the race for third place is all important. See also: German election polls 2017 | FT.com

Germany's AfD Tests Merkel's Leadership, Says Posen

Bloomberg.com video published Sep 19, 2017: Adam Posen, president at Peterson Institute for International Economics, previews the upcoming German election. He speaks with Bloomberg's Francine Lacqua on "Bloomberg Surveillance."

How German Elections Can Influence the ECB's (European Central Bank) Future:

Video above published Aug 18, 2017, by Bloomberg.com: Themis Themistocleous, head of European investments at UBS Wealth Management, explains how choices made by voters in the German election on 24 Sept 2017, can impact the European Central Bank (ECB). He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets: European Close." See also:
"It's been a lost decade for investors in the world's banks. For Europe's lenders in particular, the wounds are far from healed."--Bloomberg.com
"The IMF remained upbeat about the soundness of the European banking system ... this lapse was largely due to the IMF’s readiness to take the reassurances of national and euro area authorities at face value"--IEO report, infra
IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro and apologises for the immolation of Greece | telegraph.co.uk"The three main bailouts for Greece, Portugal and Ireland were unprecedented in scale and character. The trio were each allowed to borrow over 2,000pc of their allocated quota – more than three times the normal limit – and accounted for 80pc of all lending by the fund between 2011 and 2014 ... “Before the launch of the euro, the IMF’s public statements tended to emphasise the advantages of the common currency," ... Some [IMF] staff members warned that the design of the euro was fundamentally flawed but they were overruled." (emphasis added)

The IMF and the Crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal | ieo-imf.org executive summary excerpt:
"The IMF’s handling of the euro area crisis raised issues of accountability and transparency, which helped create the perception that the IMF [International Monetary Fund] treated Europe differently. Conducting this evaluation proved challenging. Some documents on sensitive issues were prepared outside the regular, established channels; the IEO faced a lack of clarity in its terms of reference on what it could or could not evaluate; and there was no clear protocol on the modality of interactions between the IEO and IMF staff. The IMF did not complete internal reviews involving euro area programs on time, as mandated, which led to missed opportunities to draw timely lessons." (emphasis added)
Press release (highlighting added):


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