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Can SETI Avoid Intelligent Design Implications by Rebranding?

first_img(Visited 379 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A SETI leader thinks the label has outlived its usefulness and does not reflect what SETI scientists actually do.Jill Tarter, a 35-year leader of the Center for SETI Research (part of the SETI Institute), wants to ditch SETI – the name, at least. According to Space.com,At a recent meeting of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Astrobiology Science Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe, held here at the University of California, Irvine, Tarter explained that the phrase “search for extraterrestrial intelligence” generates an incorrect perception of what scientists in this field are actually doing. A more appropriate title for the field, she said, would be “the search for technosignatures,” or signs of technology created by intelligent alien civilizations.“We need to be very careful about our language,” Tarter said during a presentation at the committee meeting on Jan. 18. “SETI is not the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. We can’t define intelligence, and we sure as hell don’t know how to detect it remotely. [SETI] … is searching for evidence of someone else’s technology. We use technology as a proxy for intelligence.“[The acronym] ‘SETI’ has been problematic in history, and we should just drop [it] and just continue to talk about a search for technosignatures,” she said.As reported often here since 12/03/05, SETI is de facto intelligent design science. Its practitioners are to a large degree atheistic naturalists, believing that everything, including life and intelligence, emerged from a physical big bang. They are often adamant in their denunciations of creationism and intelligent design. And yet, curiously, their mission has depended on the ability to differentiate intelligent causes from natural causes, which is the core aim of intelligent design. Can they escape the conundrum by rebranding their work? What could cause a ‘technosignature’?Through a convoluted chain of reasoning, with detours into the mystical realm, Tarter tries to equate technology with nature:Science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke wrote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” which would mean that alien technology could be as mysterious and unexplainable to humans as technologies that appear in science-fiction TV shows and movies. That opens up a dauntingly large range of possibilities for what technosignatures might look like. What if an alien civilization were communicating via a mechanism that Earth-based scientists haven’t discovered yet? Would humans immediately recognize these “magical” technosignatures, or would we not see them as unnatural?Tarter said she prefers to focus on a slight alteration of Clarke’s prediction written by the futurist Karl Schroeder: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from nature.“If advanced civilizations have reached technological nirvana, she says, they will have no wastage and “appear natural” to us. She advocates, therefore, looking for civilizations that have “not yet reached that level of sophistication.” Insufficiently advanced technologies will be wasteful, like that of humans, she thinks. Maybe we could find fellowship at that level.“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from nature.“Tarter, whose work inspired the main character in the movie Contact, says that old SETI looked for direct communication. New SETI tries to identify ‘technosignatures’ by eavesdropping on internal communications of aliens. One way to do it is to identify planets that appear to have modified their natural environments. An example she points to is the recent interest in a possible alien megastructure around Boyajian’s Star. Further investigation by the Breakthrough Listen project falsified those hopes, finding a natural explanation.So is there a difference between old SETI and new SETI? Basically, Tarter has encapsulated technology within nature, saying that it may look designed by intelligent beings because it is mysterious to us. But this explanation begins to unravel when you reflect these ideas back on herself. Is she intelligent? Did she uses intelligent causes, or natural causes, to propose the philosophical ideas in this article?The rebranding proposal is self-defeating. If alien technology that leaves technosignatures is not caused intentionally by intelligent minds, then our own human minds reduce to natural causes, and nothing we do has any purpose or direction. Technology just ’emerges’ magically. Stuff Happens.last_img read more

Everything-as-a-Service: It’s Happening Right Now

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#cloud computing#IaaS#paas#saas#Services Related Posts brian proffitt 100 years from now, when the historians look back at the beginning of the 21st Century and shake their heads in amazement that we hadn’t yet figured out flying cars, one thing they should give us credit for is that we finally figured out how to scale… everything. Even though the promise of the Web as a center of knowledge has been overrun with rampant commercialism, sometimes commercial interests actually align with the delivery of knowledge.Software, databases, customer relationship management… these are all key elements of information technology that haver been pushed into the cloud to be deployed “as-a-Service” (or *aaS). This follows the model of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), and the like. Other, more rudimentary, aspects of IT have already been deployed this way, to great effect: Witness how online bookseller Amazon now dominates cloud computing by introducing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) a few years ago.As the idea of a sharing and scaling services that were otherwise once local and isolated continues to spread, we are now seeing just about every function you can imagine being delivered as-a-service to any business who wants them.Marketing-as-a-ServiceThe most recent example of this new *aaS trend is the release of the Vocus Marketing Suite, a hosted marketing service that enables small- to medium-sized businesses to access marketing tools and (more importantly) expertise for those SMBs to use.Anyone, really, can toss together a bunch of tools to market with social media, email and press releases. A one-pane aggregate application could handle that. But using the publicly available big data that’s readily available on the Internet, Vocus’ new application is designed to push out very targeted information that pertains to a business’ marketing goals.Say a business wants to sell jewelry, outlined You Mon Tsang, Vocus’ Senior Vice President of Products. The Marketing Suite will listen for keywords on social media channels to determine who’s an influencer in the jewelry scene or maybe just which desperate significant other is out there looking to buy an anniversary gift fast.If you’re using email marketing, the tool will make sure you’re not spamming potential clients, either in frequency or through the language you’re using. Human editors will also step in to help craft messaging. The key to this new service making the expertise affordable to SMBs who might otherwise have to go it alone.Big data, as mentioned, makes this all possible. In the past, marketing was sort of a gray area when it came to hard results. Using a new class of metrics, marketing’s return on investment is now much more easily calculated, and results can be concretely measured.Healthcare-as-a-ServiceThere are some who would argue that some things still don’t scale very well. Medical information and healthcare services seem to be one of them.  Sure, you can go on to WebMD and find out how to treat the cold that seems to be coming on… but without medical expertise at your disposal, you may decide that you really have the bubonic plague. And while “the plague is upon us” has a nice historical ring, it also tends to be a bit alarmist.Healthcare professionals don’t scale terribly well online, if only because the medical arts depend, usually, on face-to-face contact between the patient and the caregiver.This is not to say that some aspects of healthcare can’t be found in *aaS. A new startup in Indiana called hc1.com, for instance, has created a very niche cloud approach to resource management for medical labs, so they can work with multiple providers and deliver analyses more efficiently.As medical providers continue to work with government and market requirements to use electronic health records, vendors like ClearDATA are working the edges, delivering secure messaging and cloud computing services.So healthcare and medical-sector services are finding their way into the cloud, though still more on the edges instead of a full-on approach. But after a few more years of medical-monitoring innovation, who’s to say you won’t someday get a text message that says “Stop eating that pastrami, your arteries are about to pop!”Anything-as-a-Service?The world around us, thanks to connectivity and much faster computing platforms, seems destined to push all manner of services on to the Internet, where they can be acquired on demand, without having to build your own infrastructure to support them. Distance learning, shopping, news gathering and many more are already there. Others are coming, and there’s no telling how far the trend will go.Image courtesy of Shutterstock.center_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

India vs Pakistan highlights: Stars glitter in Mohali

first_imgThe  stars were on the field, in the stands and among the crowd as Mohali came to a stand still to witness the culmination of days of expectation, nervous anticipation and chestthumping patriotism. The lazy roads of the city met at one point on Wednesday as the PCA Stadium here burst at its seams to accommodate all the politicians, VIPs and celebrities who came from all over the country to be a part of a spectacle that was the World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan.There were frequent traffic jams on several routes – except the one meant for VVIPs – before the match.On Wednesday, the Chandigarh airport remained one of the busiest destinations with several chartered and scheduled flights landing and taking off prior to the match.As the Indian and Pakistani teams warmed up before the toss, the 28,000 fans had a tough time sifting through the personalities on and off the field.It is not often that the crowd turns its back when Sachin Tendulkar is going through the drills near the boundary. But that is what happens when Aamir Khan, Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, son Siddharth, Deepika Padukone, Shashi Tharoor, along with various tinsel-town stars, turn up.But even these distinguished guests had to take a back seat as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani made their way to the ground. They were greeted by ICC president Sharad Pawar, BCCI president Shashank Manohar and PCB chief Ijaz Butt and were presented mementos.advertisementThe two then made their way to the playing arena, where the Indian and Pakistani teams stood side by side, soaking in one of the most mesmerising sights in competitive sport – the national anthems of two countries joined by a common yet turbulent past. As soon as the anthems were played out, the two PMs came out on the field and met the players and wished them the best.If any player was trying to keep the political and cultural significance out of his mind, the meeting with the heads of state put them face to face with stark reality; it was more than just a semifinal.Manmohan Singh first met Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, who then introduced the rest of the squad to the PM, with Gilani right behind him. It was then the turn of Gilani to give his best wishes to Dhoni and his boys. However, the Indian skipper only greeted the two dignitaries and didn’t introduce his players to them, allowing the two to meet the squad themselves.All formalities done, it was time for business to start and the fans who had thronged the stadium in all shades of blue, with a smattering of Pakistan fansin green, to shout their hearts out and cheer for some high-voltage cricket.Though the Pakistan fans were outnumbered, they did everything in their capacity to lift the eleven players from just across the border.The overpowering presence of police, commandos, paramilitary, special forces and dozens of bomb-sniffing dogs did have most present at the venue a bit edgy. The security personnel even frisked policemen in charge of manning the stands at the PCA gates.There was tension when two senior Punjab police officers were not let in. Later, senior police officers intervened to diffuse the situation. But once the first ball was bowled by Umar Gul, all apprehensions faded away as it was time to watch cricket.last_img read more

In the locker room A behindthescenes look at Ohio State womens soccer

Benitez warns Newcastle to not get carried away with winning run

first_imgNewcastle United manager Rafael Benitez insists they are still very much in a relegation fight, despite their recent run of formThe Magpies secured back-to-back wins for the first time this season before the international break.The six points moved Newcastle up to 14th-place and, critically, out of the relegation zone – albeit by just one point.Therefore, ahead of Monday’s trip to Burnley, Benitez is adamant they cannot look any further than a relegation battle.“We started walking and now we are running, but we still have to improve our pace and go faster,” said Benitez, according to BT Sport.“We have got to keep winning because two games is not enough.“Confidence is much better at the moment. I was praising the players because they were training well and not winning, but as soon as you start winning games you can see that things are much more positive.”Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…Aside from losing Wales defender Paul Dummett to injury over the international break, Benitez has no fresh injury concerns.Captain Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto could all make their returns to action at Turf Moor after recovering from injuries.While French defender Florian Lejeune has made an earlier than expected return to training from a knee problem.But Benitez, who reckons the Christmas fixtures will be vital for Newcastle, fears it will be hard to avoid a season-long relegation fight.The Spaniard referenced the unbeaten Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea when explaining the difficulty of the Premier League.“This league is quite special because you have three teams in November who still haven’t lost any games,” added Benitez.“There is a big difference between those teams and the others so you can have a bad run and then you lose confidence, and it can get worse for every game.”last_img read more

Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Canceled Over Challenges and Sensitivities

first_imgThe company didn’t elaborate on what those “challenges and sensitives” were. BASE Hologram did not respond to a Variety request for more information.The planned Winehouse hologram tour had the blessing of Mitch Winehouse, her father, when it was first announced last fall. Proceeds from the tour were to have gone toward the Amy Winehouse Foundation, dedicated to addiction awareness and prevention among young people. Winehouse, a six-time Grammy winner, died on July 23, 2011, at age 27 after years of publicly battling drug and alcohol addiction.Other current productions by L.A.-based BASE Hologram also feature dead artists, including “In Dreams: Roy Orbison – The Hologram Concert” and “Callas in Concert” with footage of opera singer Maria Callas. Popular on Variety Amy Winehouse will not be “Back to Black” in a holographic live tour after all.The late British singer, who died in 2011, was to be featured in a stage show slated to launch near the end of 2019. But the producer of the show, BASE Hologram, has indefinitely postponed plans for the Winehouse show, which was to feature a holographic representation of her performing her greatest hits backed by a live band, singers and “theatrical stagecraft.”“In developing the type of highly ambitious, state-of-the-art hologram/augmented reality theatrical event that would truly capture [Winehouse’s] genius and incredible artistic and social contributions, we have encountered some unique challenges and sensitives,” BASE Hologram tweeted in a statement Feb. 19.The Winehouse show will be “on hold until we determine the best path to a creatively spectacular production that would properly honor Amy’s legacy at its highest caliber,” the company said.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Perfectionism may stress you out

first_imgConcerns about perfectionism may lead to stress, burnout and potential health problems, says a study.“Perfectionistic concerns capture fears and doubts about personal performance, which creates stress that can lead to burnout when people become cynical and stop caring,” said lead researcher Andrew Hill, associate professor of sport psychology at York St. John University in England.“It can also interfere with relationships and make it difficult to cope with setbacks because every mistake is viewed as a disaster,” Hill said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In this study of the relationship between perfectionism and burnout, the researchers analysed the results from 43 previous studies conducted over the past 20 years.Concerns about perfectionism can sabotage success at work, school or on the playing field, the results said.The study found that “perfectionistic concerns” had the strongest negative effects in contributing to burnout in the workplace, possibly because people have more social support and clearly defined objectives in education and sports. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixA student can be rewarded for hard work with a high grade, or a tennis player can win the big match, but a stellar performance in the workplace may not be recognised or rewarded, which may contribute to cynicism and burnout.“People need to learn to challenge the irrational beliefs that underlie perfectionistic concerns by setting realistic goals, accepting failure as a learning opportunity, and forgiving themselves when they fail,” Hill said.“Creating environments where creativity, effort and perseverance are valued also would help,” Hill said.The study was published online in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review.last_img read more

The dollar index closed late on Monday afternoon i

first_img The dollar index closed late on Monday afternoon in New York at 89.12.  From there it ‘rallied’ to its 89.26 high tick of the day, which came shortly after 11:30 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Tuesday morning.  From that point it headed lower, with the decline really picking up steam once the London p.m. gold fix was in at 10 a.m. EST.  But a minute or so before 10:30 a.m. it appeared that ‘gentle hands’ showed up to save the dollar from a full-fledged crash, just as it knifed through the 88.20 level.  The index rallied back to around 88.75, before rolling over a bit into the close.  The index finished the Tuesday session at 88.67—down 45 basis points. Of course you’ll note that the rallies in gold, platinum and palladium all ended at the low tick in the dollar index. Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas.  As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6. Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, info@uraniumenergy.com. And here’s a chart that I ripped out of Mark O’Byrne’s column over at the goldcore.com Internet site yesterday.  It’s headlined “Are Your Savings Safe From Bail-Ins?”  Use the ‘click to enlarge’ feature and look it over.  However, I wouldn’t allow those assigned numbers to give you any comfort, as all the world’s banks are toast on mark-to-market basis, even our beloved Canadian banks.  Mark’s commentary about this is well worth reading—and is linked here.  It also posted in the Critical Reads section as well The rally in platinum was very similar to gold’s rally.  It ended/got capped the same time as gold.  From its high, half its gains disappeared by noon in New York, as platinum finishing the Tuesday session at $1,242 spot, up 14 bucks from Monday’s close. The gold stocks gapped up at the open, hitting their high tick at, or shortly after, the high in gold.  Within half an hour of the high tick, the stocks gave up 2 percent of their gains before chopping sideways in a tight range into the close of trading.  The HUI finished up an even 5 percent. In the last five weeks we’ve had four ‘orphan’ rallies The gold price got sold down within a few bucks of the $1,200 spot price mark early in the Far East trading session on their Tuesday, but began to rally shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  That tiny rally took the price back a few bucks above unchanged by 9 a.m. GMT in London.  The real action started the moment that the noon London silver fix was in—and the rally that began at that point got capped/ran out of gas shortly after 10:30 p.m. EST.  From its high tick it got sold down about ten bucks, before chopping sideways into the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading. The low and high ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,199.50 and $1,239.00 in the February contract. Gold was closed in New York yesterday at $1,232.40 spot, up $28.20 on the day—and well of its high.  Volume, net of December and January, was an enormous 252,000 contracts. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and 72 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday.  The two largest issuers in silver were Canada’s Scotiabank and ABN Amro with 51 and 20 contracts respectively.  HSBC USA and Jefferies were the long/stoppers on 55 and 11 contracts respectively. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday session showed that gold open interest in the December contract dropped by 848 contracts—and now sits at 1,087 contracts left.  In silver, December o.i. declined by only 12 contracts—and the balance outstanding is 575 contracts. After a withdrawal on Monday, an authorize participant added 86,473 troy ounces of gold to GLD yesterday.  And as of 9:28 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. Late last night the folks over at the shortsqueeze.com Internet site updated the short positions for both SLV and GLD for the two week period ending on November 28—and this is what they had to report.  The short position in SLV declined from 17.45 million shares/troy ounces, down to 15.41 million shares/troy ounces—which was a decline of 11.68 percent. In GLD, the short position declined from 1.77 million troy ounces, down to 1.57 million troy ounces.  That was a decline of 11.29%. These very similar declines for the period ending at the close of trading on November 28—were in sharp contrast to the very similar increases in short positions that were posted for the prior reporting period that ended on November 14.  The previous report showed that SLV’s short position increased by 17.53%—and GLD’s short position was up by 17.37%. Much to my surprise, there was another 187,000 silver eagles sold by the U.S. Mint yesterday and, for the second day in a row, there was no gold sold. There was almost no in/out activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  Nothing was reported received—and only 3 kilobars were shipped out—96.450 troy ounces worth. It was busier in silver, of course, as 391,778 troy ounces were received—and 846,875 troy ounces were shipped out the door to parts unknown.  The link to that activity is here. The chart below is one that Nick Laird slid into my in-box just after midnight MST this morning—and its contents don’t require any embellishment by me. Palladium’s rally was a mini version of the other three precious metals—and every attempt to break above the $810 spot mark got turned back.  Palladium closed at $807—up 9 dollars on the day. Once again Brad Robertson sent us the 5-minute tick chart for gold—and you can see the big volume spikes that occurred while yesterday’s rally was underway, with most of the big volume coming between 9:40 and 11:00 a.m. EST in the COMEX session.  Other that that, volume was pretty quiet.  Add two hours for EST—and use the ‘click to enlarge’ feature. The price rally in silver was almost the same as the rally in gold, with the only real difference being the time of the high price tick.  In the case of silver, this occurred shortly after the London close, which came shortly after 11 a.m. in New York. The low and high in silver were recorded as $16.29 and $17.23 in the March contract. Silver finished the Tuesday trading session at $17.105 spot, up 73 cents from Monday’s close.  Net volume was very heavy here as well.  Net of December and January, it was 69,500 contracts. The silver equities rallied until 2:15 p.m. EST, before getting sold down the same 2 percent into the close.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 5.25 percent. As you can see, the 50-day moving averages in both gold and silver got obliterated to the upside—and platinum also broke through, but with somewhat less authority.  Palladium continues to ‘struggle’ just under its 200-day moving average. As I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away—and at the moment, the prices of all four precious metals are up relatively decent amounts from their respective closes in New York yesterday.  Gold volume is just north of 28,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is around 4,600 contracts.  Neither volume is exactly light.  The dollar index, which touched its 88.80 Far East high just before 10 a.m. Hong Kong time, is down 14 basis points from its Tuesday close as of this writing. Since yesterday [at the close of COMEX trading] was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, all of that price/volume activity from Tuesday will be in it.  All that matters—and it’s what Ted and I will both be looking for, is whether or not the ‘Big 8’ traders on the short side in both silver and gold increased their short positions on this rally.  On the surface it’s looked ugly, but the last four weeks of COT Reports have show huge and positive changes, despite the headline numbers.  Ted is hoping we’ll see more of the same in this Friday’s report.  So do I—and so should you! And as I fire today’s effort out the door at 5:25 a.m. EST, I see that the tiny rallies in both gold and silver that developed an hour or so before the London open have reversed themselves—and both precious metals are now down on the day by small amounts.  Gold volume is just over 40,000 contracts, which is quite a bit all things considered—and silver’s volume is getting up there as well, at just over 8,200 contracts. Both platinum and palladium are still up on the day, but also trending lower as of this writing.  The dollar index hasn’t changed much in the last couple of hours—and is down 7 basis points at the moment. I note that crude oil is down $1.20 a barrel—and a new low for this move down. Like yesterday, I won’t hazard a guess as to how the remainder of today’s trading session will unfold and, as usual, nothing will surprise me when I check the charts after rolling out of bed later this morning. See you tomorrow. I have a more reasonable number of stories for you today—and I hope you can find some in here that interest you.  There are two absolute must reads included. Being that futures trading is a zero sum game, the $400 million that the technical funds booked in profits on COMEX silver shorts (so far) was largely lost by the raptors—the Commercial traders other than the ‘Big 8’. Technical funds closed out 22,000 short contracts at a profit—and some, but not all, raptors sold nearly 19,000 long contracts at a loss of close to $400 million. While the large gain will undoubtedly increase the technical funds’ financial war chest, the loss to the 10 or so raptors which sold contracts, is devastating. Because the loss was not only large but concentrated among so few raptors, it’s reasonable to assume the losses have knocked those traders out of the silver game for good. No speculator can lose an amount equal to years’ worth of cumulative gains in any one trade and remain solvent, or continue as if nothing extreme has occurred. Therefore, the relatively few raptors who got caught and sold the 19,000 long contracts in the downdraft from over $17 as recently as Oct 28—to $14 and $15—can no longer be, effectively, in business. It is highly unlikely that these traders will trade silver futures anytime soon. And it’s possible that the large selling by the raptors in gold [last] week may be related to the massive losses of the silver raptors. After all, how hard is it to imagine that the raptors who got caught flat-footed in silver were also long gold futures?  While the losses to the raptors in silver overshadowed what might have been lost on gold longs, what real difference does it make? A trader put out of business by silver losses isn’t going to trade gold as if nothing mattered. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 06 December 2014 Although it was nice to see the precious metals rally, once again there has been absolutely no follow-through in Far East trading, or early London trading this morning.  In the last five weeks we’ve had four ‘orphan’ rallies with no follow through.  All of them can be easily classified as “key reversal” days—and every one has failed.  One wonders what the T.A. gurus have to say for themselves at this juncture. However, having said that, every one of these out-of-the-blue one-day-wonder rallies has resulted in internal structure changes within the Commitment of Traders Reports that, as Ted Butler said on Saturday—“were so extreme as to potentially be a game changers.“ Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus WTIC.  Crude oil hit a new intraday low yesterday, but did not close there.last_img read more

first_img— Ready or not here it comes. I’ve been talking about it for a couple years. Most (95%) people deny that it could happen and that they will never embrace it. At least half of them are scared of the maybe, and stick their heads in the sand. I’ve brought it into conversation many times and witnessed the reaction. The cars of the near future will move like a school of fish or a flock of birds, all totally aware of everything around them and will react in micro seconds, calculating the best moves within the safe parameters of the vehicle’s stability. Thanks for the email, I’ve been following Casey Research for half a dozen years. – RobertAs always, if you have any questions or suggestions for the Dispatch, send them to us at feedback@caseyresearch.com. Get more details on his latest idea here Increasing TransparencyFor years, the crypto space has been like the Wild West. There have been few – if any – regulations on crypto assets… and little or no protection for investors, either. Regulated exchanges will change that by bringing transparency to the crypto market. And that transparency will lead to real price discovery of the value of bitcoin.Price discovery is the process of determining the proper price of an asset through the interactions of buyers and sellers.Let me explain…The value of the entire cryptocurrency market is about $110 billion. That’s tiny compared to other asset classes. For instance, the global stock market is $50 trillion – or 450 times greater than the crypto market.Because it’s relatively small, the crypto market is easier to manipulate.I’ve heard stories about some unscrupulous people sending bitcoin back and forth to each other at slightly higher prices. That gives the appearance of increased volume.When unsuspecting traders start piling in, the perpetrators unload their huge stakes for big profits. Those who are late to the game are left holding the bag.To be clear, manipulation happens in all types of markets – including the stock market.Now, it’s nearly impossible to manipulate large, liquid stocks of companies like Apple and Amazon.But it’s easier for crooked actors to manipulate small-cap stocks. They just need to spread a rumor to pump up the stock. And when other investors pile in, they dump their shares for big profits.These new crypto exchanges will greatly reduce manipulation of crypto prices by allowing supply and demand to meet in a regulated environment. And that will bring asset prices closer to their true value.So for the first time, we’ll have actual price discovery in bitcoin. And here’s why that’s important…Removing a Roadblock to Institutional BuyingIn July 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied the Winklevoss twins’ application for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). (The Winklevoss brothers are best known as early investors in Facebook.)The SEC said the proposed ETF failed to satisfy the requirements of the Exchange Act – specifically, “the requirement that its rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”The SEC won’t be able to use that rationale to block a bitcoin ETF once the ICE and Nasdaq launch their exchanges.Once these exchanges are up and running next year, we’ll have regulated and trustworthy market mechanisms to tell us the actual worth of bitcoin.In 2019, we’ll finally discover the true price of bitcoin. And we think it’ll be much higher than it is now.That’s why you want to own cryptos before institutions get into the ICE and Nasdaq platforms – and before the average investor can buy a bitcoin ETF. If you believe that this will happen like we do, use the pullback to buy some bitcoin now.Just remember, cryptos are volatile. So keep your position sizes small. You don’t need to bet much for the potential of life-changing gains.Regards,Nick Rokke Analyst, The Palm Beach DailyP.S. The launch of two regulated crypto exchanges will boost the prices of cryptocurrencies in 2019. But most people don’t know that there’s another way to make money from cryptos…You see, some crypto projects pay “dividends.” That way, you can generate crypto income no matter what the market does. Here’s the thing: As the value of these crypto projects increases, so do their payouts.World-renowned cryptocurrency expert Teeka Tiwari has unearthed 10 opportunities in this niche of the crypto market. To learn more, go here to get his 2019 crypto forecast… and the details about his bold new venture.Reader MailbagToday, a true gold fan…I take a bath in a solid gold tub, comb my long wire braids with a gold comb. All this, because I’m a gold bug. – JackAnd two readers who are ready for the electric car revolution…I bought my Nissan Leaf around the time LED lighting was ramping up. From that time period when I replaced all my light bulbs, my electric bill dropped almost half. To this day it still is not even close to what it used to be. I use my Nissan Leaf almost every day. With a 220v charger it takes only about three hours to recharge. It is so much cheaper to operate as a second vehicle for driving around town… nothing compares. No, I wouldn’t take it on vacation. But only a fool would toss it out… And it’s still running on its original battery. I believe it’s one of my best investments. I used to respect Rush Limbaugh, but after what he’s been saying lately about electric vehicles, I quit listening to his program. He is obviously full of sh*t…– Patric Recommended Link Click here to get the details behind which companies could make the biggest gains in this brand-new sector Justin’s note: Today, I’m handing the reins to my good friend Nick Rokke, lead analyst for The Palm Beach Daily. His recent essay on bitcoin is so good, I had to share it with you right away.As Nick explains below, we’ll soon know the true price of bitcoin. Read on to see why this is important, and what you should be doing today… By Nick Rokke, analyst, The Palm Beach DailyBitcoin is in its worst bear market since 2014…The world’s largest cryptocurrency has dropped nearly 85% since trading at an all-time high near $20,000 in December 2017.But that crash isn’t scaring everyone away… The world’s second-largest stock exchange still plans to launch bitcoin futures contracts early next year.According to recent reports, Nasdaq is still working with regulators to introduce new crypto products by the first quarter of 2019, despite the weak crypto market over the past year.Nasdaq will join the world’s largest exchange operator and owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) – which will launch its own physically delivered bitcoin futures exchange on January 24, 2019.center_img Silicon Valley Insider Reveals His Shocking Tech Forecast for 2019His previous forecasts have given early investors the chance at rare and exceptional gains as high as 200%… 1,011%… and more. December 25 could be the start of a medical revolution“These FANG stocks already hit the top. But there’s a new industry just starting to make its way up.” Early investors in four tech industries likely became millionaires as innovative breakthroughs disrupted their fields… Today, there’s only one breakthrough capable of upending the market… It’s what I call the “God Key,” and it’s expected to grow by 35,000% in the coming years. — Whether you’re a crypto skeptic or believer, this is bullish news for cryptocurrencies over the long term.It bears repeating: The world’s two largest stock exchanges are still on board with bitcoin – despite its recent crash.Nasdaq and the NYSE didn’t become the top two global exchanges by offering products their clients didn’t want, either. Their institutional clients are demanding crypto products. Otherwise, they wouldn’t put their money and reputations on the line.Nasdaq and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE, the owner of the NYSE) are laying the groundwork for institutions to make crypto investments.When these institutions enter, they won’t just send a trickle of money into this market… they’ll send a flood. And that will be great news for all crypto holders.But there’s another important thing institutional investors will give bitcoin: a true measure of its value. More on that in a moment… Recommended Linklast_img read more

It sounded like such a good idea at the timeThe y

first_imgIt sounded like such a good idea at the time.The year was 2005. Global oil prices were climbing dramatically. Countries in the Caribbean were facing major fuel shortages. Venezuela, one of the world’s largest producers of crude, offered to ease the staggering fuel costs faced by its neighbors. And that’s why Hugo Chavez launched PetroCaribe. He billed it as an “energy alliance” that would spur economic growth and development in the region. The program sent oil to countries in the Caribbean and Central America on extremely generous terms. The PetroCaribe countries essentially only had to pay for half of the fuel up front. Venezuela financed the remainder of the fuel bill at as little as a 1% interest rate for the next 25 years. To sweeten the deal even more Venezuela granted a 24-month grace period before any of those financed payments came due.As oil prices were careening toward $100 a barrel this was incredibly good news for many of these countries. Higher oil costs were driving up prices at the gas pump, causing electricity outages and squeezing their entire economies.On the surface it looked as if Chavez was offering discounted fuel to his neighbors. But that wasn’t the case. The countries were purchasing the oil at the market rate, which was going through the roof. So PetroCaribe only eased the shock of rapidly rising gas prices by allowing countries to pay for the fuel over the next 25 years. But those countries were still on the hook for those $100 barrels of crude. Oil is now trading for roughly $60 a barrel.”PetroCaribe wasn’t so much cheap fuel,” says energy analyst David Goldwyn. “It was cheap money.”Goldwyn is president of an international energy consulting firm, Goldwyn Global Strategies, and a former special envoy for international energy affairs at the U.S. State Department. He’s written several reports on PetroCaribe.”The fuel itself was never discounted. This was a public finance program,” Goldwyn says. In his estimation, what the PetroCaribe countries “got was a loan from Venezuela to buy that fuel over a very long term at a very low rate.”Since the inception of PetroCaribe in 2005, 17 countries took part. They included the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the tiny island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, with a population of just 50,000 people.President Chavez claimed the program would free up government funds for schools, roads and other public infrastructure. His idea was that the money the nations saved by not paying full price up front would be parked in a local PetroCaribe development fund and could be used to finance social programs. Jamaica stashed billions of dollars in fuel savings into a trust that handled the fuel debt payments to Caracas and offered discounted loans for local development projects. The Dominican Republic used PetroCaribe funds to offer subsidized electricity. But with little oversight and oil prices skyrocketing, some other countries used the long-term loans simply to keep gas prices low at the pump. Critics say PetroCaribe suppressed the development of renewable energy, burdened these small nations with billions of dollars in debt – and spurred corruption.Haiti set up a PetroCaribe development fund but legislators now say that $1.7 billion went missing between 2008 and 2016. Questions about corruption in the program led to violent protests this year in Port au Prince and calls for Haiti’s president Jovenel Moïse to resign.Even with the collapse of Venezuela’s economy, including its oil industry, the government claims that PetroCaribe continues in force as a regional energy alliance.But others say the program is basically out of business.”Today the only country that’s receiving crude oil from Venezuela at this type of preferential treatment is Cuba,” says Jorge Piñon, director of the Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program at the University of Texas, Austin.”We know for a fact that none of the Caribbean islands and none of the Central American countries that have been members of PetroCaribe are receiving crude.”There are a several reasons for this. First, Venezuela oil industry is in turmoil. Venezuela’s oil rigs, which had been producing nearly 3 million barrels of crude a day in 2014, are now producing just a fraction of that.”The country with the largest [proven] “largest crude oil reserves in the world” crude oil reserves in the world is producing today less than a million barrels a day,” says Piñon. “So that’s really the biggest challenge for Venezuela [regarding PetroCaribe]. They can no longer provide cheap barrels to a lot of these countries.”Much of the oil that they are extracting is now going straight on to tankers bound for Russia or China to pay off Venezuela’s debts to those countries.In addition to the economic collapse of Venezuela, U.S. sanctions against the country are making it almost impossible to route bank payments to Caracas. So even PetroCaribe countries that are trying to make payments on their oil debt to Venezuela or arrange shipments of more oil at market rates can’t find banks willing to transfer the money. Now that the fuel shipments under PetroCaribe have come to a halt, the lasting legacy of the program is a net negative: many regional governments still owe billions of dollars to Venezuela but can’t even logistically pay because of U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan banks[ because of the bank routing thing?]. Piñon says Cuba is still getting some oil through Petrocaribe and doesn’t have the debt problems because it brokered a deal to pay for its oil by sending doctors to Venezuela. One country did a good job handling the payments. In 2015 the Dominican Republic took advantage of the chaos in Caracas to pay off 4 billion dollars in PetroCaribe debt at a steep discount, by giving Venezuela $1.9 billion in cash.But some of the other PetroCaribe nations still owe Venezuela huge sums of money. David Goldwyn, the international energy consultant, says the relatively cheap access to oil under PetroCaribe left many Caribbean island nations tied to aging, inefficient power plants. And the debt from the program now makes it hard for those countries to finance new, cleaner energy infrastructure — for instance, for solar or natural gas.”They’re not only highly indebted, they’re considered middle income (by international development agencies) because of their small populations,” Goldwyn says. “So now they are really squeezed in terms of the ability to access capital markets to do development. From a fiscal perspective they’ve done themselves in many cases some very significant harm.”From a short-term perspective PetroCaribe eased the shock of wildly fluctuating oil prices for Venezuela’s neighbors. For president Hugo Chavez it won him political friends and allies in the region whose support was particularly helpful to Chavez in getting resolutions passed at the Organization of American States. But Chavez passed away in 2013. PetroCaribe oil shipments started to sputter soon after as Venezuela’s economic collapse deepened. And after years of offering this “cheap” fuel throughout the region, now Venezuela is suffering from major gas shortages at its own pumps. “Right now there is no gas in the country,” says Jose Toro Hardy, an economist in Caracas and a former board member of the Venezuelan state oil company. “In Caracas still there is some gas but if you go to any other state in Venezuela, [there are] lines for two, three, four hours and sometimes days to get some gas. It’s amazing.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more