Yuksek - Tonight

DoCoMo P905i

Bored. Just a nice phone running Linux.

Panasonic, the Japanese giant electronics producer, showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, its Panasonic VIERA P905i mobile phone (or simply Panasonic P905i), a handset that packs lots of evolved features and can stand beside any other high-end phone. Panasonic P905i offers a splendid 3.2 inch VIERA display with a 480 x 854 pixel resolution and a 2000:1 contrast ratio, hence being one of the best TV phones released until now. The handset is 1-Seg compatible, allowing users to watch a wide range of TV programs, and it can be opened both as a normal clamshell and in a TV mode, to offer an excellent viewing experience. Weighing 137 grams and measuring 106 x 49 x 18.5 millimeters (when closed), Panasonic P905i comes with a simple but elegant design and is one of the first phones that runs on the LiMo open source Linux OS. The TV phone offers HSDPA connectivity for data transfer speeds of up to 3.6 Mbps, built-in GPS, video and audio players, a 5.1 Megapixel camera with image stabilizer and video recording at 30 frames per second, and a secondary VGA camera for video calls. Panasonic VIERA P905i in TV mode Enlarge picture On WCDMA networks, the phone can provide 580 hours of stand-by time and 200 minutes of talk-time, while on GSM networks it can offer 260 hours of stand-by time and up to 190 minutes of talk-time. Panasonic P905i is currently available (as FOMA P905i) only via NTT DoCoMo, the largest mobile operator in Japan, in black, white, red and pink-gold. However, I assume it can be used by consumers from other countries too, since it's a quad-band GSM / 3G phone.


Kyteman's Circus

Hip-hop, some electronica and a twenty man orchestra: Kyteman.

I am not easily impressed, but I am now. (kyteman@last.fm - I like French hip-hop so check out 'Un Seule Fois'; I also love Austrian hip-hop, but that's another story.)

Mobile Types for Mobile Code

Something I once dwelled upon: using modal logic to reason over mobile code. A PhD dissertation by Tom Murphy.

Modal logic allows for reasoning about truth from multiple simultaneous perspectives. These perspectives, called “worlds,” are identified with the locations in the distributed program. This enables the programming language to be simultaneously aware of the various hosts involved in a program, their local resources, and their differing perspectives on each other’s code and data. This leads to a clean and general type structure for programs that respects locality while permitting high-level language features.


Childs' Play

Last in a series of Geo-financial jokes trying to get my head around Economy 101 which I never followed.

It's a thing all children do: If you lose the game, you change the rules. In this article by Buffet et al., a tit-for-tat scheme is proposed to get US import and export balanced. A slightly more cynical view in a replay among two rivalling countries: Rice Land and Wheat Land.

Rice Land and Wheat Land are two countries of roughly the same size producing rice and grain. Both countries worship the Goddess of Finance which, in a divine intervention, placed magical machines in both temples. These machines, when prayed to, produce paper called Rice bucks and Wheat bucks used as currency.

The farmers of Rice Land are conservative hard-working savers and produce more than the life-enjoying Wheat Landers. For a generation, the Wheat Landers import rice and celebrate their fortune and easy living style. When needed, they turn to the temple and pray for Wheat bucks which they trade for rice.

The Rice Landers are at first very happy by their accumulated wealth, but become unhappy that they have to stash this unfortunate amount of bucks in their farms. The Wheat Landers propose a solution: they will stash the Wheat bucks in return for IOUs over which the Rice Landers will receive interest. The Wheat Landers find themselves pretty smart since they now have more money to buy rice and just need to prey to their Goddess for interest. Again, happy with this arrangement, both cultures thrive although the Wheat Land's fields become barren and their tools rusty.

After another generation, the Rice Landers again become unsettled by this arrangement. Their assumed number of owned Wheat bucks in IOUs grows and grows, but they wonder whether they cannot strike a saver deal with the Wheat Landers who are now almost fanatical in their worship of their Goddess. They start buying farms in Wheat Land which they rent back and start making a sizeable profit.

After a decade, Wheat Landers are getting annoyed. For some reason, they need to carry around bags of bucks to buy the smallest items and they are not enjoying the demands for production of their new masters. Some bright priests decide that it must have been the result of over-worshipping. The priests enforce a tit-for-tat scheme: A fixed amount of bucks may be spend and earned across the border. The amount is fixed with special tokens sold at the temple.

Within a few years, Wheat Landers are angry because they now need to work hard for their own consumption, and Rice Landers are furious because they thought they could retire but are still working hard and, internally competing, spend exorbitant amounts of Wheat bucks to buy grain tokens. They start to scoff at each other over the border, go to war, and both countries are burned to the ground in a hail of flamy arrows.

Will it happen? Probably not. But given this thought experiment, one might as well derive some laws and trends:

  1. The ICs as proposed by Buffet are a thought experiment, but they do exactly the same as a hefty import tax combined with substantial export subsidies.

  2. The US will not pay for Chinese or European pensions because it is not profitable for them to do so. It won't be ICs but a range of protective measures which will protect the US economy.

  3. Lastly, most surprisingly, the most unsettling factor to world peace is not a bunch of Afghan goat-herders, puzzled by an exercise in misplaced American anger-management, but the US wallet.

(The good part of Buffet's proposal is that if all economies would implement such a scheme, no nation can accumulate wealth at the expense of another.)



In the table below, import/export numbers in million dollars, volume number (gross estimate of economic activity), and ratio between import and export. The US builds up a trade deficit of about half a trillion dollars a year. China almost saves that amount a year and now holds about two trillion dollars of currency in banks, mostly invested in US debt.

Country Import Export Volume Ratio
United States 1,968,000 1,477,000 3,445,000 4:3
European Union 1,466,000 1,330,000 2,796,000 10:9
China 904,600 1,465,000 2,369,600 6:10

Ultimately, all money has to flow back to the country which issued it. Ultimately, all money can only be transferred into goods as exported by the country which issued it. Although, of course, the dollar is the currency of the world which means that there is a very large buffer before inflation will set in. Asians are increasingly investing in resource options, so they may be ahead of that problem - i.e., a large number of dollars will be milled around as oil for Asian cars.

Two trillion -if they didn't loose it- at, say 4%, means that the Chinese can now import 80,000 million dollars worth of products without doing anything. The Chinese hardly use that money to invest in their own economy. Why would they: They are the #1 rulers of the world according to their own standards and we should be made to serve them at some point. I wonder how many generation they need to starve before they can live like kings, import all goods by interest alone. Like, one or two?

(Why didn't it happen earlier?)


Hillary 'visits' China

Hilary Clinton is visiting China to talk about the financial crisis, trade, and human rights.

The US needs access to the wealth of US dollars owned by the Chinese which is the by-product of years of running a trade deficit. The Chinese need the American economy to run to achieve their economic goals, and stop the declining growth of their industrial expansion to avoid local unrest.

By borrowing Chinese dollars, the US has again grow their debt, but might also have set up future generations with an enormous task of paying back interest. American 'winner' mentality dictates that this cannot happen.

Nothing is what it seems. China is hardly a communist nation. In essence, it is closer to a imperialistic feudal technocrat society where in a one-party system the biggest manipulative technocrat 'entrepeneur' ends up on top. By standards, it more resembles one big capitalistic Coca-Cola Inc. than a European social state.

I have little doubt what will happen. The Chinese will keep on investing their money in the US but will strike a hard bargain in diplomatic currency. And not even improbable, given Chinese tradition, the actual ROI on their supplied capital will never be known.

A new Chinese-American symbioses will grow if the Chinese will agree to the right bargain, and the Europeans risk being not part of that profitable deal.


Killing Nurse?

A case of a nurse who was condemned by a Dutch court because, in a nutshell, she was in the proximity of a number of deaths.

Similar reasoning:

  1. If at your work bicycles are stolen, you're a thief.

  2. If you life opposite of a school, you're a pedophile.

  3. If two cars in your street have bumps, you're a hooligan.

  4. If you live near a red-life district, you're a John.

  5. If you're a pharmacist, you take drugs.

(Even worse, part of the argument was statistics: the chance of these events happening was one in seven billion. Of course, the statistics were flawed, but worse, it's irrelevant. By similar reasoning, everybody who won the lottery twice should go to jail since there is enough evidence of fraud.)

Filing for Bankruptcy

A paper on whether the US is bankrupt.

Even economists don't understand basic economy: Since there is a surplus of foreign US dollars, and the deficit is already too large, the last thing you want is foreign investment. It doesn't matter if it is in state bonds, real-estate or anything else, because revenue will go back to foreign nations any investment will build up the national deficit in an increased rate long term. (Unless foreign nations want US dollars to stay in the US economy; which is actually the same as just giving it away.)

Only a devaluation of the dollar with respect to local currencies will level of the deficit, and yes, the US may well be bankrupt. The latter is just in the eye of the beholder. If we want it to be bankrupt, it will be, and if we don't want it to be bankrupt, it won't be.

(Or foreign nations can just give money back, which we actually, just did. Devaluation or giving it back: it is all the same. In the end, the world is just trading their commodities with the US for green paper which must turn worthless since there isn't enough to buy back.)


American Greed

A reason why we may not end up in a lengthy recession: I believe the whole financial crisis was produced by too much cheap money which I think is the by-product of overspending. I.e. given the deficit the US build up, and increased worries, there were a lot of dollars floating around outside of the US which had to go back somehow. Since the deficit of the US is already high, loaning it back was getting insecure so a lot of money was invested back in the US, making -seemingly- everybody in the US wealthy. But in the absence of a competing economy, it is being outsourced, it had to go other places to find revenue: insecure loans for poor people. That, of course, backfired.

The question as always is: Who pays the bill? I think the rest of the world just have payed the bill of US overspending by throwing money into possible collapsing banks, thereby filling the US gap by creating a foreign gap (or we acquitted part of the US deficit, which may be good - I am not sure here). It might be better than banks falling over, but, well, unless American spending is controlled, it seems we are forced to create our own deficit to fill the American deficit ad nauseum.

Anyway, it might be we just made it possible for the Americans to start spending again. Which might mean a short recession, but, god, what a lousy deal for us.

Idiot Country

On the news, I saw a work-shop for people of NXP who were giving job-interview trainings being layed off because of the recession. These 'challenged' technicians should be 'helped' since they have 'poor' presentation qualities. A number of them didn't want to appear on the screen, which the interviewer explained as 'shame' for having lost their job.

The truth: NXP has bought Philips and people are being layed off because Asian technicians develop chips cheaper. The recession is just an excuse. I estimate that those 'challenged' technicians were probably responsible for generating tens of million, if not hundreds of million, of revenue. They don't need 'help,' they are just being thrown out with the garbage, and these 'poor' people don't want to appear on the screen because they are pissed-off. And, of course, in a normal Dutch manner, they are presented as idiots by a person whose best contribution to our society is that he is able to produce noise nobody is interested in.

Financial Crisis

I've been predicting it for the last ten years or so, a financial crisis was building up. Unfortunately for me, it has become true.

The reason, in my simplistic view is simple: Too much cheap global money. A lot of money means you're stuck in a casino game and without control that will be invested at those places with the biggest pay-off, which, almost by necessity, are those places with the biggest risk. And since companies, or banks, are driven by profit, they are, to some extend, forced to follow the lead of others, and invest, either direct or indirect, at those places.

The general feeling was that we had good control of the global economy; the bad implication of that is that that feeling alone means that risk builds up in pyramid schemes, and that means the following recession will only be deeper since it is inversely related to the summation of trust which has been build up in a badly controlled financial environment.

The current solution as provided by the US government is that they will introduce more money into the system, thereby making money more easily available, but also introducing the risk of inflation, which in turn might deflate their national debt. Another risk is that if inflation sets in, foreign countries will lose their trust in the dollar and the US economy will come to a grinding halt.

The Dutch cannot follow this scheme. We don't have a national monetary system, so we will need to follow the lead of the international markets. So far, the Dutch have pumped money into the banks, to avoid any major collapse. The Dutch are exceptionally wealthy, even if their national debt is not that much lower per person than the US'es, a nineteen-thirties like depression is unlikely. A problem with financing the banks is that our national debt has been raised, which may work-out good or bad pending US developments.

The Dutch government is puzzled by what they should do about the recession, but being a small country they cannot change global tendencies. A problem is that politicians are driven by simplistic ideologies, not economic consensus.

My personal take is that they should invest in something very un-Dutch: Nationalism. Enforce trust among local companies, keep employment high, very gradually minimize investments in US-related capital but spread it internationally and keep bilateral loans and investments in balance, invest in structural projects, heavily in small wealth-producing companies and international relations and just keep a tight budget.

(And, preaching for my own kind. IT producing companies are a rare industry where software sometimes has margins of 200% instead of most normal brick-and-mortar companies which often work with margins of at most 5%.)


Hair Day

Today, Jupiter aligns with Mars.1 A beautiful rerendering of the song 'Aquarius' can be found on Klaus Waldeck's 'Balance of the Force.'

Dub, jazz and electronica: great mix. (YouTube) Gabin is big too.

1. There's a silly comment on the bottom of that page. Dude, you are at least forty years out of tune, and the whole sexual revolution was just an excuse for men to 'liberate' women. As often as possible, of course. (Not to say that the reverse wasn't sometimes just as much as true.)


Added a favicon which is a stylized version of the graph of the term 'x(xx)' the smallest tautology in the nand boolean base.

For some reason, it doesn't always display.


I made a comment once on LtU about spacialy aware computing. Of course, other people were already way ahead of me:

MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables -- cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?


Happiness is a Disease

We found that social networks have clusters of happy and unhappy people within them that reach out to three degrees of separation. A person's happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends' friends, and their friends' friends' friends—that is, to people well beyond their social horizon. We found that happy people tend to be located in the center of their social networks and to be located in large clusters of other happy people. And we found that each additional happy friend increases a person's probability of being happy by about 9%.

Social Networks and Happiness, Nicholas A. Christakis & James H. Fowler.

(This publication is actually full of statistics you can read in reverse: if richer people are more happy, it might be that happy people advance easier and are therefore richer. Lies, damned lies, and statistics.)


On the (Im)possibility of Obfuscating Programs

Trying to understand a reverse problem relating to this.



Stefan, lead lighting of Extravaganza put up a lot cam-shots of Extravaganza parties. I am among one of them.

Stefan (around 1:35) is a pro, I (starting from 2:25) am just there along for the ride. I think I had to use some unknown equipment on that party; don't really remember. Sometimes, you just find out on-the-fly how new stuff works. This is me too:

Extravaganza as a party is not really my thing, though they organized some pretty impressive parties and helping the organization out was great fun. Nice bunch of people too. Actually, often it is nicer to be in the organization than in the crowd. I guess this was one of the last times I did it.

PTSS Music

I've downloaded some of DJ Avi's mixes, a former university colleague, which are, if getting a bit old, still very good. Absurd Productions was one of two dance event organizations I was involved in the late nineties of the previous century; the other one was called the Extravaganza, still active, in which I played a small role as roady/light-jockey.

Absurd Productions, staging GOA/psychedelic trance, never drew more than three hundred man; the Extravaganza, staging regular house, was always sold out on a steady thousand to several thousand depending on the venue.

Goa is weird music. It developed independent of most major music genres in Goa, India, where hippies were experimenting with music and drugs. Most hippies there were often German, getting rid of some PTSS war trauma, or Israeli, getting rid of several thousand years of war trauma.

Goa was/is very popular in Israel. One major reason being that young Israeli often plan post-army trips to Goa, and while getting rid of having lost friends or having shot other people, immerse themself in day-long party frenzies. Some people believe that the Mossad was actively involved in supplying the region which clean drugs such that their youth would return in a state of bless instead of depression. (I had a fling with an Israeli girl in a similar state of mind; it ain't nice.)

Goa boasts a scene of all ages, it is not uncommon to find children as well as very old people on the bigger parties; often, you'll find a lot of different nationalities since the parties are often frequented, or partly organized, by travelling hippies. On the right party you'll find a gathering of misfits, juveniles, but also well-off partying adults who are just into something different once in a while.

Most parties are organized out-doors and you'll find a lot of black-lights (acid origin), Chai (thee of Indian origin), mandalas (hippie/Buddhist origin), and silly stuff relating to mushrooms and other bullshit.

A good Goa party lasts at least a day, often several days, where, often, people in-the-scene will wait till four o'clock at night until the regular beer-drinking crowd leaves. High-point of most parties are just before dawn up to midday, when most people are sufficiently mellowed down. A good party is an experience, with a Burning-Man like crowd; sometimes smaller parties end up with just the wrong average-Yoe crowd, and sometimes bigger parties end up being too commercial.

Old Goa has its roots in ambient music and psychedelic rock lifted with a stomping beat often with ethnic references. Old full-on trance has, believe it or not, a lot of screaming guitars in it. In years, it has progressed from a psychedelic/humoristic full-on sound to commercial Israeli trends, more minimalistic techno Northern European, or punky Finnish/!!Japanese!! sounds. And, of course, the Australians make fun of it all. (Videos are not really representative, the scene changes every few years or so. I don't see any Sanyassins anymore, so it's mostly rave-culture now.)

I've seen enough of it, but, yeah, if you want to go to the the mother of all parties, go to an open-air medium sized one in the summer. These people live to party, sometimes even for several generations.

Oh, and whatever you do, don't take it seriously.

(That is, unless you want to grow your hair, have several children, and travel the world in a van while DJ-ing, selling Chai and other substances, meanwhile blubbering about Peace, Love, Unity and Respect, worshipping the sun in the morning, and jump around like a troll on what-other-people-regard-as pretty foolish music.)