Friday, July 25, 2014


So today, sports writer and native San Diegan Nick Canepa twice wrote that "L.A. doesn’t deserve an NFL franchise." In the first instance, Nicky seems to imply that politicians of the City of Los Angeles doesn't deserve to have a team and presumably any tax revenue associated with an NFL team playing within the city limits. In the second instance, Nicky seems to imply that residents don't deserve to have a team fielded for each NFL season.

Many spin webs of lies about Los Angelenos and the history of the NFL in Los Angeles. Many claim Los Angeleos failed to support the Los Angeles Rams. Yet, while in Los Angeles, the Rams were among the most successful franchises in the history of the NFL in terms of attendance.

Having relocated from Cleveland, the Los Angeles Rams played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum between 1946 and 1979. In 31 of 34 seasons during those years, the Rams registered in the top 10 in attendance for NFL games. Between 1951 and 1960, the Rams topped the league in attendance every season. Between 1968 and 1976, the Rams never fell below fourth in season attendance.

Before a crowd of 102,368 on November 10, 1957, the Los Angeles Rams played the San Francisco 49ers setting the one-game paid attendance record that stood for 49 consecutive seasons until broken by a game played between the 49ers and Arizona Cardinals in Azteca Stadium of Mexico City in 2005.

In 1980, the Rams moved 29 miles south to Anaheim. Anaheim is a city in Orange county and not Los Angeles county. From that move, attendance dropped significantly. The franchise only fielded one team with season attendance breaking the top 10 for the league, in 1980.

In the last four seasons the Rams played in Anaheim and not Los Angeles, attendance never broke the top 20 in a league that had 28 teams. In the final season in Anaheim, the Rams came in dead last in attendance for the league. In the final game ever played by a Rams team in Anaheim, the Rams lost to the Washington Redskins in front of a paltry 25,750, which registered 42.8% of the league average.

The NFL held its first Super Bowl in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1967. In nearby Rose Bowl Stadium of Pasadena, the NFL held five more Super Bowls (11, 14, 17, 21, 27).

It should be quite clear to anyone with a pulse that Los Angelenos have a stellar record when it comes to paying for tickets to watch NFL football.

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Blogger Tricks


So today, Yahoo! News has a story by Zach Epstein of BGR who writes that Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft doesn't get why Apple's iPhone has been a smashing success and why Microsoft's smart phones have not been successful products.

Epstein quotes Nadella who has said, "any thinking consumer should consider Microsoft because guess what, you’re not just a consumer. You’re also going to go to work, you’re also going to be productive and we can do a better job for you in there. And that’s what I want to appeal to."

Nadella looks at quite wrong. Nadella fails to see that long ago, Apple execs forged a belief in the minds of many. Apple means "Think Different". So to many, Apple means, I'm not in the office right now. Work is over. Having Apple means I am more than my job.

So what does Microsoft mean to many? Blue Screen of Death. Office. Work. Spreadsheets. My jerky boss. Deadlines. Still no raise.

Epstein cites Yoni Heisler of iMore who says Microsoft execs harp on productivity for their USP, a USP no one cares about. In his public memo about Microsoft, Nadella wrote, “At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.” In reality, Microsoft is a company who sell business software accessible through desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft needs to break up. XBox, Surface, Nokia, Skype and PC games should become one firm. Someone else should take the helm at the firm selling XBox, Surface, Nokia. Maybe the new firm should go by the name Orange. The new firm should run with one slogan: Life. Easy. 

The other firm should consist of what is now the Commercial segment. All Office licensing should revert to this new firm.

Since his focus is productivity, Nadella seems like a guy ready-made for the commercial segment of the current Microsoft as a guy leading a company who sell business software and services. In a break-up scenario, the Nadella-run Microsoft should adopt a slogan as well:  Microsoft means business.

MSN, Bing and any other web properties ought to be sold off and not owned by either firm as Microsoft is not an ad media business.

No one cares about operating system software. No one buys smart phones nor tablets for the sake of productivity.

Everyone wants status from what they communicate with others. Communication is what people crave.

Look at the success of GoPro. Look at the success of Instagram. Look at the success of Pinterest.

Arguably, Apple means productivity far
more than Microsoft ever could. Apple delivers productivity where it counts — status gained with peers through communication.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014


Putin. It's over.

The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and the spin that ethnic Rus separatists in east Ukraine are the culprits has given political leaders of European countries and the United States the persuasion in propaganda fodder needed to sway public opinion worldwide against the separatists and Putin in favor of the European Union.

Those living in eastern Ukraine better learn to speak Ukrainian. Otherwise, they ought to emigrate to Russia.

As for Putin, he has a few cards in his hand. The first one he must play is ending any covert support for separatists. For the remaining cards, Putin shall need to wait until winter. Then, Putin can cut off all nat gas sales piped through Ukrainian pipes.

It could be a bitter cold and rather pricey winter in Europe upcoming. Good luck Czechs, Slovenes, Austrians, and Italians. As well, good luck to Latvians and Estonians and all those who had harsh rhetoric for Putin and his band of Ruskies.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


President Urkel Obama has OK'd another round of sanction against Russians. This time Obama has approved of attacks against those Russians who earn their living through the firms Rosneft and Novatek.

Rosneft is the largest oil producer in Russia. Novatek is a  natural gas producer, primarily.

Let no one in America lose the significance of Obama's action undertaken from advice of his brain trust.

When someone or a group attacks individuals in effort to get those suffering from attacks to pressure their politicians for changes to political policy, all English speakers have a word for such attacks. All English speakers call those attacks by the word TERRORISM. Such is the picture-perfect definition of terrorism. Terrorism means living by striking terror into individuals to get them to pressure their politicians for change in political policy.

One would think in light of 9/11, no politician in the United States of America would be so stupid as to stoop as low as those who attacked and slaughtered 2,752 Americans through something as cowardly as terrorism.

Sanctions amount to terrorism. There is no getting around it. Harming individuals in hopes they turn on their own politicians is the exact purpose of every terrorist alive and of every terrorist who has ever lived.

Presidents ought to act and act decisively in the best interests for all Americans and not merely those profiting from oil or those profiting from banking through a unified Europe and so on.

Obama has the authority to send troops to Ukraine. Obama has the authority to order air strikes against so-called Russian-leaning "separatists" in Eastern Ukraine. So why does Obama act so cowardly, so gutless, so unmanly, so anything but presidential?

Why does Obama act like a terrorist? 

Why are untold and unwarranted taxes blown for military if presidents fail to use the weapons of war when negotiation fails?

Yet, what everyone should truly ask himself or herself is this:

Why should Americans care if five million or even 20 million Ukrainians become ex-Ukrainians and join up with the Russians? 

Americans are not affected by such a change at all. American politicians care because their financial bankers who have a vested interest in expanding the European Union or who have a vested interest in seeing Russians become weaker make them care.

What does anything about the Ukraine have to do with you? Nothing.

The more competition American firms face, the more efficient those firms must become and the lower the prices you shall see over time.

You should hope that many Russians rises to challenge American firms in commerce. You should hope that Germans do as well. You should hope that Indians do, that Brazilians do, that firms from people the earth over do.

The more firms competing for your wages, the more firms competing to hire you, the better your living shall become. The more firms that rise up and push aside government protected firms, such as the USA-based Fortune 500 firms, the better your living shall become.

Capitalism rocks. Crony politics sucks.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


The Android smartwatch and all copy cats seem to be produced by those with limited imagination. Even the footprint seems stuck in the standard watch face.

These "smart" watches can do little and require an Android-based smartphone with the latest specs and Bluetooth to work.

By the time you command your "smart" watch to do something with your smartphone, you could have retrieved your phone from your pocket and used your phone directly.

For now, the smartwatch Google many have rushed to make seem to be little more than a device providing almost nothing consumers seek. "Smart" watch design seems little more than wishful desires of Dick Tracy childhood fantasies.

Instead of the standard watch face, someone could have made a rectangular watch face, 4 cm x 15 cm. That size is about half the size of a ruler.

The interface could have featured sinistrodextral text scrolling. Scrolling messaging could have leveraged GPS presence to present shopping offers, RSS news feeds and more.

Much more intel could have been presented in a 60 cm2 surface.

In effect, such a "watch" would become a smartphone for one's forearm.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014


The Internet attracts all kinds of crazies, doomsayers and hucksters. Sometimes the Internet attracts doomsaying hucksters. Among those are the gold bugs.

Gold bugs shall tell you there is no better time to buy gold. Then they shall tell story after story saying the apocalypse is nigh.

Many of them earn their living brokering gold. The more they can cajole others to buy, the higher the price for gold. The higher the price, the more commission they earn from the same percent.

Buying gold is speculating long on price. It's not investing. 

Investing means buying an income stream. Speculating means betting on price changes.

Anyone who tells you that you can invest in gold either is clueless or is lying. Never is there an income stream from gold.

Since going long gold is speculating, what counts is how much stuff you can buy when you sell gold should you own any. What you want to know is how many gallons of gasoline can you buy in future or how many airline tickets or how many back massages and  so on.

Anyone who has bought gold since the end of Q3 2011 has lost buying power, that is three years running. Gold is a horrible speculation play today. 

Anyone who would have bought gold after Q3 1980 until Q1 2001 would have taken a bath, with the first washing done from Q3 1980 until Q2 1986. After a head fake through Q4 1987, gold buyers continued to lose buying power every year until the end of Q1 2001.

Sure, if someone caught the wave of gold starting Q1 2001 to Q3 2011, that one lucked out. True gold, that is gold priced in gold window dollars, the only authentic inflation deflator, went from a low of $51.94 to a peak of $172.05. Gold grew at a yearly rate of 11.8%, growing a whopping 231.2% from low to peak.

In that time, True S&P 500 fell at a yearly rate of -5.8%, falling a painful -47.7%.

Yet, had someone bought the True S&P 500 at $86.50 at the end of Q1 1994 and rode that until Q3 2000, that lucky one would have enjoyed a yearly growth of 22.3%, double the return of the great gold rush of the 2000s, with the total growth coming in at 251.4%.

In the long bull run between Q3 1974 and Q3 2000, True S&P 500 grew at a yearly rate of 7%, growing a full 484.3%.

In the long gold run from a Q3 1976 to Q3 2011, True Gold grew at less than 1% a year, coming in at a scant 0.5% a year for a total of 19.6%, from $87.11 to $104.18. In the same period, True S&P 500 grew almost 4 times as fast, albeit at 1.8% a year for a total of 95%, from $78.12 to $152.33.

Easily then, compared to gold, even with the crash of 1987 and the following bear that ended in q1 1988 (-32.2% annual decline), and the much longer bear markets of 2000-2002 (-21.7% annual decline) and 2007-2009 (-35.9%), stocks were still a much better deal over the period 1976 to today. 

As I show in LOSING ITS LUSTER. THE SECRET FUTURE OF GOLD REVEALED, gold trades in ratio to true prime rate. Current gold already has priced in what true prime should look like absent interest rate suppression by your friendly Fed Res central bankers.

In S&P 500 VS GOLD, I show the true price of gold and the true price of the S&P 500. As politicians long ago demonetized gold, gold pricing works the same as any other commodity, adhering to the forces of the Law of Prices — the winning bids of purchase and sale in the face of what is on offer set the price — and the Axiom of Profit — the sum of sales set on winning bids must at least equal the cost of production, otherwise the producer goes to ruin.

The days are long past when faced with inflation — too much bank credit circulating beyond trade needs — pushed anyone to ship their gold to other countries with bankers who offered higher interest rates.

The 2000s gold rush has brought out every gold bug who at long last felt vindicated for all of their ranting against financial asset-backed cash vs their favored gold-backed cash. That rush is over and has been three years. All of the doom and gloomers lack facts of reality as you now have them. For if they had them, long ago would they have shut up about gold. 

And if you stopped and then started to think about it, that should be so. Mankind gets ever smarter and more efficient at organizing matter and energy into property that ever more desire. Efficiency with respect to gold mining and possession is much harder to gain.

Likely, no one is going to see another gold run as we have seen for another 25 years. The big run up in gold mostly came with the big credit expansion and bubble. Gold then went higher when uncertainty grew. 

No one on earth is going to see another big run in gold like the run between 2001 and 2011 unless another credit expansion happens at an alike rate of 7.1% a year. Normal true credit growth from low to high runs at 2.5% a year.

The 2000s gold rush has brought out every gold bug who at long last felt vindicated for all of their ranting against financial asset-backed cash vs their favored gold-backed cash. That rush is over and has been three years.

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Friday, July 4, 2014


So today on Forbes, Will Burns, CEO of a "virtual marketing ideas company pioneering the Expert Sourcing model" (whatever that is) shared his thoughts on a the Guinness "Empty Chair" ad.

The rather bad, sappy ad shows a barmaid pouring Guinness beer into a glass, night after night, setting those beers on a table at which no one sits. At long last, a battledress wearing soldier walks into the bar, the barmaid nods to him and he picks up the glass. Then a few other drinkers hoist their also-filled with Guinness bar glasses in salute to the soldier. The ad ends with a voiceover:
"The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character."
Will seems to believe such an ad makes Guinness "the icon of great branding." Will views this 1:30 spot as mini-movie because of the editing techniques which give a sense of time passage.

Fair enough. Almost all ads are in short-story format, happening in one place, at one time, with one protagonist. Few ads try to suggest the passage of time spanning days or weeks.

Will believes all viewers get hooked straight away on this ad because the barmaid places beers on a table seemingly for no one. Will sees the barmaid as the hero who never gives up hope on the returning soldier.

And then Will jumps to wild conclusion. First Will claims, "The beer itself was a glass full of hope," and then Will doubles down with,

"... that glass of Guinness is made of much more. It is a symbol of the bartender’s hope. It’s the very manifestation of the choice she made. It’s a liquid representative of her character."

Anyone who believes that Guinness ad is good advertising simply doesn't understand advertising and beliefs manipulation that leads to action. The ad agency and the execs of Guinness simply do not understand advertising at all.

The ad relies upon indirect suggestion to support a well-known technique known as testimonial: "An unknown bartender serves Guinness"That is one step worse than an ad featuring a celebrity doing the same, "Kim Kardashian drinks Guinness." Implied in both is suggestion that because one does it, you should too.

Against what Will believes, watchers don’t give a flip about the barmaid and her character. No one watching the ad says to himself, Wow. I want to be like the barmaid. I want a job like a barmaid. I want to serve Guinness. So I should go out and buy Guinness so I can be like the barmaid.

If anything, anyone watching the ad might think, Wow. I need a friend like the barmaid. What am I doing with the friends I have? I should go find new friends. But how? 

"The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character" slogan could be the slogan against drinking or against drugging. It is not befitting for any alcohol product.

Everyone knows that anyone drinks alcohol for its mind altering effects. There isn't anything character building about altering one's mind.

As well, any beer could have been placed on that table and nothing would change for that ad, even a generic, no brand beer. There isn't anything to connect the brand with the act of putting out a beer upon an empty table night after night.

Where does the ad show the reward to the watchers? What do watchers get for switching brands and buying Guinness or for taking up drinking beer?

The Guinness ad does nothing to suggest a future for the individual watching it. The ad fails to show watchers they will gain any of the key drivers of behavior by buying Guinness — praise, sex, love, respect, power — or suffer personal disadvantage through lack while others are getting and thus getting ahead.

The barmaid fails to get rewarded by her peers for being loyal to the soldier. If the Guinness ad were structured right, it is the barmaid and not the soldier who should have received glasses-raised toasts from the other drinkers.

If anything, the ad suggests that if you join the military and return home, your reward shall be one glass of Guinness that your local haunt barmaid buys for you. Your pub peers will not even bother to throw you a homecoming party.

The ad is a rather clumsy application of an appeal to patriotism. In effect, having the patrons raise their glasses to the soldier is a visual salute by the execs of Guinness to soldiers. The act implies having said We salute you for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The timing of such an ad could not be worse. Anti-war sentiment is near a high in America. People have grown war-weary over Afghanistan and Iraq.

Though some might get touched by the sappy sentimentality, that ad isn't going to sell anyone. The ad violates core understanding of how true advertising works. The ad fails thoroughly at selling Guinness but might sell many on friendship seeking services, might get some into Alcoholics Anonymous or might get some to join the military.

A great ad does this and this alone: It puts the one seeing the ad into a wanted future and in so doing, triggers that one to act now in effort to get that future.

People seek status among their peers by wowing them with their purchases and in so doing demonstrating their superiority. Nothing in that ad says any of these:

  • Gain status tomorrow by buying Guinness right now. 
  • Get sex tonight from your partner by buying Guinness right now. 
  • Catch up with everyone by buying Guinness right now otherwise you are going to be cast away as an outsider.

A better ad would have featured a homecoming party for the soldier with a loser, who, when it his turn to buy the soldier a beer, orders a cheap beer, but with everyone else shouting at him, saying in unison, "What are you doing? Buy him a Guinness!"

And entire campaign could be built on the slogan, What are you doing? Buy him a Guinness! It is easy to see future scenarios of persons about to make the mistake of buying another beer only to be rescued at last second with someone's suggestion to buy a Guinness. I bought him a Guinness would make for a fine extension of the theme.

Businessmen spend on advertising to increase sales because it takes too long to wait for word of mouth to take hold. Advertisers don’t exist for advertising agencies. Ad spending does not exist for ad agencies.

The secret to all good ads is this: any ad must reflect what the plain man or woman believes rather than what the advertising agency execs believe. Yet, all kinds of ad creatives believe good advertising is what they desire to make.

For many years running, businessmen as advertisers have been swindled by agency execs into making one-off ads, ads often filled with mixed messages that neither inspire watchers to act nor establish mnemonic for would-be shoppers.

Contemporary television advertising idles in such a sorry state. Every ad is either a Clydesdale tear-jerker, like the lame Guinness ad or a build-up to a corny, sappy one-liner bad joke.

Here is the ad in all of its glorious fail.

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