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Blogging my Activities ... Interests
It has been a while since I posted on Bill'sView. The main reason is I just have not felt like sitting in front of the computer and dictating my random thoughts. It's a nice Thursday morning here in Vero Beach and I'm inclined to mention a few things.
Lately I've been reading more in more about Internet security and watching news programs on television which talk about Internet security. It is intuitively obvious to me now that individual privacy no longer exists. I also believe that now more than any time in the past we have to pay close attention in the area of security for our computers. Don't ever download an attachment on an e-mail from someone you think you know. It could be that person's e-mail account has been hacked and the e-mail may contain a virus. Don't ever click on a link from what appears to be an institution with which you do business like a bank, credit card company, online retailer,etc. Always put in the URL of the institution or business yourself and then go to the link suggest. I didn't like it at first but now I believe double verification on certain sites is a good idea.
Last weekend I sort of turned out of very thing except watching the college world series in baseball and parts of soccer games. I admit I don't know much about soccer and watch it even less but this world cup series has been an overwhelming success. The United States plays Germany at noon today and in order to stay in the mix the US has to either beat or tie Germany.
Yesterday I was screwing around with my surround sound amplifier thinking I wanted to test different settings. My amplifier is more confusing to me then the computer on which I'm dictating now. It has an enormous amount of settings you can choose and speakers you can regulate but unfortunately you have to do it using a handheld remote. That makes it more time-consuming and easier to make a mistake. I did discover a few things but I'm going to have to dedicate time when I can start in the morning and work on until I have a better understanding of how to adjust all the settings. Although my TV doesn't have anything to do with my surround sound amplifier I did discover some new settings on it yesterday.
Of course Bitcoin continues to be in the news every day. More and more vendors are accepting Bitcoin as payment for products and services each and every day. Recently Hotels.com joined although Dish Network remains the largest single user of Bitcoin. Yesterday Intuit implemented their Bitcoin platform for the thousands of customers they have using QuickBooks.
Bitcoin is now listed under stocks on both Yahoo.com and Google.com as well as the financial information provider Bloomberg. This morning Western Union said that they would start using Bitcoin as soon as it became more accepted. My question is why would anyone want to use Western Union if you can transfer money around the world without cost using Bitcoin? If you've ever used Western Union to send money you know that they are rather expensive. Bitcoin is free and is available everywhere not just in some countries.
I've been looking for new movies to download but there have not been many thus far this summer. I suspect that will change toward the end of the summer as blue Ray discs become available for holiday sales. There is a BBC series I've started to watch called Orphan Black; it is really good with a surprise around every corner and continual action. Just my kind of series or movie.
The series deals with human cloning and the ramifications thereof. As each episode goes by we discover more clones of the same female first introduced in episode one. They all have different lives but are genetically equal. At the moment there are two series each of which has 10 episodes. Thus far I'm through episodes seven in series 1. I tend to watch two or three at a time. They are so good I don't want to stop but decide it's best to keep something to look forward to the next evening of a few episodes. Stay tuned.
When I was a student at Georgia Tech there was a course I took in the Mechanical Engineering department that after taking it I felt like I knew less than when I started. It was called the mechanics of deformable bodies. Who of you reading this have any idea what I might be talking about? I tell you this to make a point; I watched a movie yesterday that after watching it I felt like I knew less about the movie than I did when it began. The name of the movie was Everwhen. I highly recommend you do everything in your power to avoid getting anywhere close to this movie. I paid attention to it for a full hour and a half and this morning I can't tell you what it was about. Jeez!
The last couple of days we but having real thunder busters here in what is normally sunny Vero Beach. You've heard of raining cats and dogs right? Well over this weekend it was raining elephants and whales. My weather station indicated it rained over an inch in less than an hour. We've not had much rain in a few weeks so this was needed to water our plants for those who do not have an irrigation system. Actually I don't mind the rain it's the gloomy overcast days without rain that I don't like. Those days put me in a depressed mood as was the case this morning. Having had lunch and a couple of strong Cokes Zeros I'm feeling better.
Well Bitcoin took a rather significant plunge last week but overnight it started on the way back up. After reaching a low of about $450 per Bitcoin on Saturday is now back to about $600 per Bitcoin. I've been tracking charts trying to make heads or tails of why the value of Bitcoin moves in one direction or the other and I can now report I am a 100% failure in recognizing any patterns. It just seems to move on news and rumors. The thing is the news is been rather good recently which does not explain the drop last week. Maybe the fact that the US treasury is going to sell 30,000 Bitcoin's at the end of this month may have people thinking the value will go down.
To participate in the auction you must first wire transfer $200,000 to the U.S. Treasury and be willing to pay 100% of the balance after a "block" is won doing the auction. A block consists of 3000 coins and can easily be worth more than $2 million dollars. My belief is that exchanges are likely candidates for buying a block or investment whales wanting a lot of Bitcoin to stash away. Those who buy one of these blocks will not want to sell them right away because that would flood the market and make the value of Bitcoin go down. I think those who believe the value of Bitcoin will go down after the auction haven't thought this through. On the other hand it may go down because many people haven't thought it through and believe it's a negative thing. Remember my famous saying, "perception is in the eyes of the perceiver".
There's a program on television call Mecum Auto Auctions. This program last several hours each day that it's on and many cars are sold doing that time. Most of the cars up for auction are the muscle cars from the 1960s and most of the people buying these cars are people like me who in the 1960s couldn't afford these cars. Yesterday a 1961 Plymouth Barracuda sold for an amazing $3.5 million! What's up with that? Most of the muscle cars sell in the $50,000-$200,000 range although specialty cars can go much higher than that. I'd like to have a 1965 white Corvette convertible but I guess I'm going to keep on wanting one because I sure set can afford to buy one. These cars sell for about $150,000. It is fun to watch the auction which I plan to do in just a few moments.
Yesterday morning I received a call from Matthew which is the first time I've had a chance to chat with him in several months. He is doing well and his life is in a state of flux not really knowing what's going to happen next with regard to his situation. People who know Matthew understand what I'm talking about and for those who don't I need not go into further detail. We are all looking forward to seeing him back in Vero Beach very soon.
On Tuesday of this week I resolved that which lies ahead for me over the next 10 months. All I will need to do is to turn in a form on a monthly basis. All fees have been paid in advance. This incident has turn out to be a minor inconvenience but there for several months it was unclear as to just what might happen. Scary to say the least!
On Tuesday I was talking to a lady involved in the "system" and she wanted to know what the heck I was doing there in the first place! Well, that's sort of been my question for over a year now. She strongly indicated there's a lot more going on and that she would be willing to talk to me about it - she's angry too. This lady was so polite and informative; I want to go visit with her again early next week. Depending on what she tells me there may be something I can do to help others in the future. I have the elements needed to follow through; I'm angry, I'm inclined to take action, and I have the resources to put my money where my mouth is. I'll be very careful about this but it could come to be rather interesting.
My cousin Jimmy said his daughter's computer has pop up ads every time she turns it on. He asked if I will look at it and of course I'll be happy to do so. My initial inclination is to reformat everything on the hard drive and reinstall a new operating system. The one problem is that it may have Windows 8 instead of Windows 7 installed. I'm not so sure how easy it will be to reset the computer to factory defaults but I think that's what I'm going to try once I take off important documents, pictures, music, etc. I don't know when I'll get the laptop but it should be soon. I bet she has "Conduit" malware.
My friend in Atlanta from the club has a device that is not a tablet nor is it a laptop but something in between. It's having problems and I said I'd be happy to fix. The tricky part comes because the machine is in Atlanta and I am in Vero. It also does not have a DVD drive which makes installing a new operating system a bit tricky but certainly possible. I think I'm going to ask him to send the device to me once his wife returns from her trip; she has the device with.
The hot news all week long has been in the world of Bitcoin. I've been kept busy several hours each day reading news, watching Bitcoin kickers, and trying to make sense of the whole thing. Click on the image at the top of the page to see a clear view of the graph I've posted. Basically it says the Bitcoin exchange rates dropped over $100 in two days. I've been sitting at my computer watching the live ticker and witnessed it dropping $30 in 15 seconds. That ain't right! Bitcoin is still in the young phase were many news articles and new developments can cause a dramatic swing up or down in a matter of hours or even less.
A couple of days ago the US government treasury announced it would be auctioning off 30,000 Bitcoin seized in the Silk Road operation. The coins will be sold in lots of $3000 and in order to bid you must first deposit $200,000 in U.S. Treasury and be able to pay whatever price a block costs doing the bidding process. This could easily range from $2 million-$4 million or perhaps even more. The average guy is priced out of this auctions only institutional investors like Bitcoin exchanges will want to bid. Of course there can be some whales out there willing to put a few million dollars in Bitcoin speculation which if I were a whale I'd probably do.
I like to take the optimistic view about those things occurring around me. With this treasury auction I believe it will signal the United States government is firmly part of the Bitcoin community. It will be hard for the Treasury to say they don't believe in it and don't think it should be traded when they themselves sold 30,000 Bitcoin. I see this auction as a positive thing. Some are concerned about a huge number of Bitcoin is becoming available in the marketplace but I don't think that will happen. The more Bitcoin available the lower the price per coin and so why would someone buy millions of Bitcoin's and flood the market with them causing the price to go down and thus they lose their investment? DOH! I don't believe the amount of Bitcoin available for purchase the day after the auction will be much different then the number of Bitcoin available the day before the auction. We'll find out the cost of this event occurs at the end of this month.
I could go on and on but I think I've babbled enough for now. I'll try to post more often.
I'm mad as hell after my meeting this morning. I was instructed to go to yet another organization for further review. You folks know me understand this is total BS and irritates the heck out of me. Unfortunately I have to march to their drums because if I don't the consequences could be nasty. So I set up another interview for next week and hopefully at that time it will be resolved with no further action needed. I know this may sound petty to some of you but what they are asking is certainly not needed by me and I do not like the inconvenience and irritation of having to leave the house to do this. Heck I rarely leave the house anyway! Stay tuned.
Starr came by yesterday for a nice visit after helping Johnny moved to Tampa, Florida from Tallahassee. He will be working with his good friend from high school, Douglas, on buying and renovating foreclosed properties. My own view is this sort of business can be very profitable but dangerously risky if you don't know what you're doing. The "knowing what you're doing"usually comes from years of experience, guidance by others or both. I am more than happy and indeed I'm eager to help John with my personal experience of buying homes in Atlanta years ago. Douglas is got a good head on his shoulders; John is a great salesman and has proved himself to be a reliable hard worker.
The economy and market for this sort of thing in Florida is good at the moment. Because the real estate property values are coming out of recession now is a great time to pursue such an endeavor. With the right direction & hard work I'm convinced both John and Doug can become very successful economically in a short period of time. I'm not talking about a few months but rather a few years when they can find themselves financially ahead of their contemporaries. I'm very pleased with John's decision to go into partnership with Doug and follow this business past. My only real worry about John is he may be distracted by extracurricular activities hindering the success and growth of their business. If this were to happen I can see Doug and John going in different directions but still being friends.
The world of Bitcoin changes every day and for the most part changes for the better. The president of eBay was on CNBC this morning and announced that his subsidiary, PayPal, will move into the Bitcoin-like digital currency. I would expect them to realize that Bitcoin has a firm footing and adopt that platform rather than trying to create one of their own. Last year iPhone users could install a Bitcoin wallet on their smartphone. Apple decided to stop this practice and at the moment digital wallets are not available for the Apple phone platform. My personal opinion is that this is a huge mistake but I also believe they may be doing this to create their own private digital wallets rather than use many popular and successful wallets available for the Android operating system. Because Bitcoin wallets are not available for iPhones many users have changed to an android or Windows phone.
I have a good bit more on my mind but for the moment I'll save that for later.
It has been four days now since I stop my Efudix treatment. The pain is subsiding and the only area that is still tender is around my neck particularly as it rubs against the collar of the shirt I'm wearing. I've been putting cortisone on my neck area which helps with the pain and will help prevent or cure any infection. The recovery is a slow process and likely will take several weeks before I come back to a semi-normal state. However I can already see areas that are clearing up and I can say now based on what I see I'm going to be happy with the results.
Bitcoin has done it again! Overnight the value increased by $25 which is a good thing but I'm unhappy I didn't buy more yesterday before it went up. I bought half a Bitcoin this morning and in less than an hour it went up $12. Increases in the value of Bitcoin are to be expected but not at the rate I've seen in the last several days. In the last week the value has increased from $531 to $660. The last time it was in the mid-$600 range was the middle of February. I'm cautious not to buy more than a quarter or half a Bitcoin at a time. I am reminded of an old fable that goes like this:
I need to be mindful of how many Bitcoin "rocks" I buy. There is a correction coming buy I have no idea when. That would be the time to pick up some BTC at a reduced price.
Yesterday I did watch the movie "The Purge". In case you don't know is a movie about a night once a year when anything goes without consequences including murder. The plot was good enough to keep me interested throughout the movie and of course it had to have enough action for me to watch. I'd watch it again but I'll have to wait a couple of weeks so I can forget about what happens in the movie. The one thing about getting older is I can watch a movie and then two or three really weeks later watch the same movie and think it's new!
After I delivered Walt's new computer to him yesterday he gave me his old computer which had smoke coming out of it the last time it was turned on. This is not a good sign. I'll plug it in and see what happens when I try to turn on because he seems to think it was the on-off button that has a short meaning the rest of the computer may be okay. If it is I'll fix it up and give it to the next person needing a computer.
FYI this post was made using my voice recognition software which seems to be getting better and better the more I use it. Actually it is supposed to learn the more I use it but if you read something that looks a bit off it's because I did not completely proofread the post.