Indigo, what’s in the books?

I’m getting better and better with the titles for my posts, eh? 😀
Indigo Books & Music Inc. (TSX:IDG)
All values are in CAD unless noted otherwise.
The old-new CEO was replaced by the new-old CEO, Heather Reisman.
The stock price shot higher, and I have covered my virtual short position.
Continue reading “Indigo, what’s in the books?”

The cheapest tablet and strange design choices

Amazon regularly sells its tablets at or below cost.
Right now, the Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet is on sale for just C$70.
A similar 8″ Samsung tablet costs double, and some iPad Mini costs at least 4 times more.

Seventy Canadian Dollars! Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet

Continue reading “The cheapest tablet and strange design choices”

This website uses cookies

“Me want cookie!”, says Cookie Monster

And that website uses cookies. And the website over there uses cookies.
The problem with this message is that probably 99% of websites use cookies.
Session cookies, analytics cookies, advertisement cookies, your personal settings cookies, and many, many other cookies.
Online games use something similar to cookies to save your game settings and progress.
This is normal!
Continue reading “This website uses cookies”

Monte Carlo Solitaire and Robert Solitaire

 Monte Carlo Solitaire Robert Solitaire
Added two new games to All-in-One Solitaire: Monte Carlo Solitaire and Robert Solitaire.
The button for Robert Solitaire was actually generated by AI. Not a big deal, but this is the second time I’m replacing a freelancer with AI.

First came the translation.
I have my games translated into 8 languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Belarusian…
So, while I could do the English, French, Russian, and Belarusian translations myself, I had to find someone to translate to the other 4 languages, and usually there were 2-4 different people involved.
It was an annoying task: finding someone, sending text for translation, waiting a couple of days, and then checking the work to make sure it was a real translation and not just copy/paste from Google Translate. 🙂

But now, even though I mostly use DeepL, Google Translate is doing an okay job.
Several days of waiting just turned into 5 minutes of copy/paste and it’s done!
The quality of the translation is not perfect, of course, but good enough.

Now it is the same with the graphics for the games, instead of going back and forth with the freelancer, trying to explain to him what I wanted, I just did the same with AI, and after several prompts, I got my image.
Took me half an hour instead of several days, and it was absolutely free!

I guess one day AI will replace me as well. 😀

A cheap VPN alternative that works in China

And Russia, and most likely in many other countries where you have some kind of Internet censorship.

This post has been in my drafts for a year already, and I was too lazy to finish it.
But it looks like it is getting more and more relevant.
There are some limitations, this method doesn’t really work on mobile devices (PC, Mac, Chromebook, and Linux are fine).
It protects your privacy (your traffic is encrypted) and unblocks access to blocked websites.
But it does not provide 100% anonymity.

Continue reading “A cheap VPN alternative that works in China”

DuckDuckGo says market share constrained by rival Google’s huge wallet

The CEO of internet search engine company DuckDuckGo testified on Thursday that his company struggled to grow its market share because Google was paying key companies billions of dollars to keep its search engine as the default on computers or mobile devices.

Source: DuckDuckGo says market share constrained by rival Google’s huge wallet

This is most likely true, but the problem with DuckDuckGo is that it is NOT a search engine!
DDG takes the majority of the data from Bing!
DuckDuckGo is absolutely not Google’s rival, not even close.

I unintentionally realized that when Bing completely blocked my blog, and it also vanished from DDG search results.
Maybe one day I will write a post about this mysterious event. 🙂
But anyone can see that even without being blocked, the same search query usually gives very similar results in Bing and DDG, just in different order, except for the top 2-3 results, which are very often the same.
Of course, DDG adds some bells and whisles here and there to the search results; they even have their own DuckDukcBot crawler that crawls websites and probably does nothing else.
The only positive is that it seems like DuckDuckGo doesn’t share your information with Bing.

I’m sure Bing is happy with DDG anyway, it gets paid for every search query and tries to fight with Google dominance at the same time.

Btw, Ecosia, Qwant, and Yahoo! Search are also not search engines, they are just storefronts for Microsoft Bing.
Anyone can have their own “search engine” just by using the Bing Search API.

There aren’t so many real search engines out there, it is just not a trivial task to crawl the whole internet, remove SEO garbage, and show relevant results to end users.
List of “search engines” and search engines that are behind them from Wikipedia:

NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT, still a short opportunity?

NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT logo

Founded in 2004 and publicly traded since 2010, Northwest (TSX: NWH.UN) is a global real estate investor and asset manager focused on properties and partnerships at the intersection of healthcare, knowledge, and research. We’re a real estate investment trust with more than $10B of assets under management, owning and operating a portfolio of more than 230 high-quality properties across Canada, the United States, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Source: NWH.UN About page
Continue reading “NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT, still a short opportunity?”

I’m speechless

When I’m too lazy to write something meaningful myself, I will just be posting something that left me speechless…

Among the marchers was 8-year-old Athena Wilson from Boca Raton, Florida. She and her mother Maleah, flew from Florida. for Sunday’s protest.

Source: Tens of thousands march to kick off climate summit, demanding end to warming-causing fossil fuels

Cruz, however, maintains that Bitcoin can play a pivotal role in conserving energy resources. He noted that Bitcoin mining machines can swiftly power down in crisis, effectively becoming emergency reservoirs of power.

Source: US Senator says Bitcoin mining could boost energy grid resilience

Farmers protested at the Federal Reserve’s headquarters, and car dealers, who were especially affected by high interest rates, sent coffins containing the car keys of unsold vehicles. Many people also wrote letters to Volcker telling him how they had saved for many years to purchase a home but were now unable to because of high rates.

Source: Volcker’s Announcement of Anti-Inflation Measures

The Triple Action of Interest Rates

As the saying goes: Don’t Fight the Fed.

Here is my rather naive understanding of how Interest Rates influence equity markets and why I’m still bearish.

Let’s have a look at a very simplistic example of the following company:

Share price: $100
EBIDTA: $10/year
Debt: $100 (variable interest rate: 2% = $2/year)
Dividends: 3% = $3/year (payout rate is only 37.5%, nice!)
To keep things simple, the company pays no taxes.

Bottom line: after all the payments, we end up with $5 extra dollars every year.
$10 – $2 – $3 = $5.
Pretty amazing.

What happens when interest rates start going up?
For example, from 2% to 5%.
Continue reading “The Triple Action of Interest Rates”

DISCLAIMER: The content in this blog represents the opinion of the author. No information here should be used for any purpose except for entertainment.