Into Thin Air

Garth Turner really does not like Bitcoin. Or any other cryptocurrency for that matter:

Bitcoin is done. Kaput. So is Ethereum, Tether, Ripple and all the other kiddie cryptos which people have been mining in their bedrooms and selling on unregulated, undisciplined, unsecure, immature and unstable exchanges.

You can read his post here.

I was giving a technology presentation last December. During sound check, the sound person asked me if I was going to say anything about Bitcoin. I told him that I was going to talk a little bit about Blockchain, the technology underneath Bitcoin, but nothing specifically on cryptocurrencies.

“Why do you ask?” I said.

Turns out that he had purchased Bitcoin simply because everyone else was making out like bandits and he wanted in. Unfortunately, as you can see from the chart above, he bought in near the top of the mountain, that initial drop from peak which tempts everyone to dive back into the pool and snap up the coins quickly, while they are still on sale.

Except that Bitcoin wasn’t on sale.

Whether cryptocurrencies will bounce back or not is hard to say. Any type of bubble, whether it is the current nonsense with real estate in Canada, marijuana stocks or Bitcoin, will make a small group of people very, very wealthy. For most, bubbles end badly. With Bitcoin, many people bought with debt, usually credit card debt.

Someone bought Bitcoin at $19,870 USD on a credit card.

They cannot be having a good day today.

Here are some predictions about the future value of Bitcoin. A couple of these predictions claim $1 million or more for Bitcoin.

A gold rush.

At least until the bubble bursts.

Big Payday for Intel’s CEO

You might recall a little incident with Intel, Meltdown and Spectre. Almost all Intel processors since 1995 were impacted.

On the cover of Intel’s Code of Conduct, we find this note from Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich:

Intel has consistently been recognized as one of the world’s leading corporate citizens and most ethical companies. I would like to thank you for your contribution in role modeling Intel values and maintaining our reputation as a company that is well respected, trusted, and admired.

As we embrace new challenges and increase our presence in rapidly changing markets, one thing that must never change is our unflagging commitment to our values and the highest ethical standards. These core values and standards are the foundation of the unique Intel culture that differentiates us, builds our brand, and inspires our customers and suppliers.

Our Code of Conduct is and will always be our steady compass. The Code sets the expectations for integrity and ethics that I expect all employees to follow. Read it, discuss it, and commit to upholding it. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your manager, your Business Group lawyer, your Ethics and Compliance Business Champion, any member of Intel Ethics & Legal Compliance, or the Intel Ethics & Compliance Reporting Portal (intel.ethicspoint.com).

I look forward to your continued commitment to live our values in the workplace each and every day.

Brian Krzanich
Chief Executive Officer

Now the code of conduct did not stop Brian from selling all of the Intel stock he could after Intel learned of this security issue. Part of his unflagging commitment to Intel’s values and their highest ethical standards allowed him to profit before public disclosure.

Brian was also carrying on a “consensual” relationship with an Intel employee, against Intel company policy.

I guess someone decided to hold him to account.

He resigned today.

But don’t feel sad for him.

Looking at Intel’s latest 14a filing, which you can download here, Brian has a big payday coming.

His walk away compensation is estimated at $38 million dollars.

Not bad for a former CEO with a demonstrable track record of modeling Intel values and profiting in a timely fashion on the sale of Intel stock.

I Am At Risk

Such a wonderful world this world of email. Tracking me to see if I have opened or clicked on any of their emails.

In this case, their emails went directly into my spam folder, including this ACTION REQUIRED email.

Clicking on that “Update Your Email Preferences” link looks dangerous to me.

I think I will just leave it alone.

In Spam.

Where it belongs.

I Get Mail

I will miss email encounters like this one after I retire.

You would be surprised at how difficult it is to answer questions honestly, simply and with absolute clarity but somehow, with decades of experience answering hundreds of thousands of emails just like this one, I think I finally found a way.

Gmail has a new AI auto responder.

The AI wanted me to answer this way:

Yes, I am. I would love to chat. You’re looking at him!

I think Google has some work to do with their AI auto responder.

The Future of Work

From the Atlantic:

This moment we’re in right now—where humans and bots find themselves in an unprecedented admixture—is one more step in the automation of different kinds of human labor. In the quiet, white-collar automation that swept the world in the last quarter of the 20th century, the messiness of human processes required many intermediate steps in the transition from paper and human to computer and computer. Much of what service work used to be was automated over the last few decades. Now, computers make the decisions, and the main role of the human is to deliver this information after pressing some keys on a computer.

Governments are looking into universal basic income programs because they can see where the technology advances are leading: to a society where most will not have work of value.

50 Years Later

From a recent Washington Post about “2001: A Space Odyssey”:

“2001’s” official premiere was at the Uptown theater in Washington’s Cleveland Park neighborhood, with stars and MGM brass in attendance.

By intermission, attendees were “streaming out. It was a disaster. No one liked it,” Benson recounts in his book.

Wrote one British journalist: “There was not a single handclap. … The audience just rose, stunned and thoughtful, and shuffled out to the pavement.”

The next night, after the New York premiere, Clarke reportedly heard MGM suits saying: “Well, that’s the end of Stanley Kubrick.”

50 years later? One of the most influential of all science fiction films.

This film tops my list of the best science fiction movies. Others include Alien, Blade Runner, Inception, Metropolis, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Matrix, Interstellar, Mad Max:Fury Road, Gravity amongst others.

But 2001: A Space Odyssey remains at the top for me.

April 2nd, 1968. I cannot believe it has been 50 years since it was first released.

On Its Way

I had posted about a recent experience at Jump Plus here which pushed me to use an online retailer to replace my aging iMac.

I watched the order as it went through these various stages:

  • Order Placed:Your order has been placed.
    We’ve received your order and payment information. Though you can’t make changes to your order right now, you’ll be able to when we start preparing your order.
  • Order In Progress:Your order will be available soon.
    We have all the information needed to complete your order. As soon as the item is ready, we’ll send you an update and prepare the shipment. You can still make changes to the order at this point.
  • Preparing to Ship:Your order is being prepared for shipment.
    We’re completing some final details before we ship your order. As soon as it ships, we’ll email you the delivery information. At this point, you can no longer make changes to the order.
  • Shipped:Your order has shipped.
    You can use the “Track Shipment” button to follow your package online. This information will be available within the first 24 hours of shipment.
  • Delivered:Your order was delivered.
    The package has been dropped off at the shipping address specified in your order. If you need to return any part of your order, you can initiate the process online.

This particular iMac was a custom order and Apple had it ready to go in just a few days.

It was shipped yesterday from Fremont, California and it will arrive at my home in Kingston tomorrow.

Pretty impressive. I remember when it used to take weeks, even months, for an order from the U.S. to make its way into Canada.

His Last Post

If you are reading this, it means I am no longer here.

I was shocked to learn of Jordon Cooper’s death. It just didn’t seem, well, right. He was one of the early Canadian bloggers and I followed him for many years. We traded emails from time to time and we linked to each other’s posts. He started his blog in 2001. I started mine in 2004.

I learned of his battle with cancer through his post “The Beginning of the End.”

I was heartbroken.

Less than a year later, he was gone.

Only 44.

This was his last post delivered after his death.