Reader Mail – 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013

Dan commented on Gold-Plated 10 oz Tungsten Bar.
I had trouble swallowing this story about the 10oz debased bar (electroplated tungsten coins on the other hand, could be plausible).

The thing about drilling into a gold bar and filling it with tungsten is this: the melting point of tungsten is 3422C while that of gold is 1064C. That is over a 2000 degree difference, and given the thermal and electrical conductive properties of gold (in a nutshell, it conducts both very well), I am supposed to believe that people are pouring molten tungsten into hollow gold bars without said bars melting long before the tungsten has solidified?

Yeah, ok. Sure.

Regarding gold-plated tungesten, I thought the way you do it is make a tunsten core first, and then plate/pour the gold core around it. The gold plating is soft and easy to work with, making it easy to add things like serial #, fake mint name, etc.

During the silver bubble in the 80's, drilled-out 1000oz bars were common. People would take a 1000oz silver bar, drill holes in it, fill it with a metal alloy cheaper than silver but with the same density, and then cover it with silver.


Dan commented on Government-Funded Arenas And The NHL Lockout.
The owner of the Oilers, Daryl Katz, recently strong-armed Edmonton council into agreeing to a new arena deal. The original proposal was blatantly one-sided and struck down by council, but the one that succeeded was barely better.

The Oilers have been catastrophic losers for the last several consecutive years. Yet the current arena sells every seat in the house at every Oilers game. We have one of the most dedicated fanbases in the league. Katz levied thinly-veiled threats that without a new arena with higher capacity, he might take the team elsewhere.

It is obvious that threat had no teeth, but it made council jump. Now, property taxes will go up in order to subsidize a billionaire's hobby enterprise. The city is on the hook for the majority of construction expenses, while Katz' portion of the cost will be paid out over the course of 35 years. It is effectively an interest-free loan made with my money at zero interest without my consent.

The ability of sports team owners to bend entire cities to their whim is frightening.

Just ask the people of Glendale, Arizona.

It's mostly lobbying and the Principal-Agent problem. Sports league owners are already billionaires and insiders. It's very easy for them to lobby for a State-paid stadium. That's a government subsidy of their business.

If I wanted to start my own entertainment business, I wouldn't get the same State subsidy that sports leagues get. I'm paying higher taxes to subsidize their business. Even if I had a successful small entertainment business, the taxes I pay subsidize my competitors, larger sports leagues.


Vanessa Bheem commented on Is The Go Programming Language Worth Learning?.
Any programming language is worth learning because they are all related in some kind of way, if you know one, you get to learn the others relatively easily. The following are ten free resources that can help you learn programming .

Jerome commented on Small Fixed-Bid Software Contracts Are A Bad Idea.
I think if you did help write the specification with no pay you should reasonably be able to insist it is your intellectual property and if he wanted to use it for a different contractor's bid he would have to compensate you.

I know you will find pitfalls with that solution but it might be worth considering.

If he uses my specification with someone else, how can I prove it? It isn't practical to sue and collect.

The best defense against a shady employer is refusing to deal with them.


not_PC commented on Reader Mail - 06/23/2013 To 06/29/2013.
You were told to go to college, keep your head down and work. Now, you look up and see that you were screwed by those that led you there... now what?

There are two lies. One lie is the "broken social contact". That's the lie "Go to college, learn useful skills, work hard, and you'll always have a job." That turned out to be a lie for me.

There's the bigger lie, that the political and economic system is one big scam. For that, agorism is the only strategy I can think of that works. However, that requires some competent partners, to get an underground economy started.


Anonymous Coward commented on Partially Employed!.
> Fixing someone else’s code is a lot harder than writing new code from scratch.

You are absolutely right. I had one job that was a complete car crash.

There was one idiot in a senior position that wrote the most badly designed, rubbish, buggy code.

Despite having decades of experience and a list of successful, brilliant pieces of work launched, he just used me to debug his awful code - one bug at a time.

It was a complete waste of my time. The months rolled into years and I found myself achieving nothing. It was a slow motion car crash. You can't fix a stupid silly design by fixing one bug at a time.

So I wrote a lot of software from scratch in my own time and on my own equipment. The results were a big improvement.

I wrote high quality code in a fraction of time devoted to fixing his buggy mess.

For doing that work, I just got knifed and slagged off. No good deed goes unpunished.

For this project, the website 95% works, and only needs some bugfixes. A complete rewrite is beyond the scope of hiring me part-time. Based on my estimate, it would take me somewhat less time to just fix the bugs, than rewrite it cleanly. Due to the "single page app" style, a gradual refactoring is not possible. (A proper cleanup would make each screen in the website a separate URL.)

I know that I'm only there part-time on a short-term basis. It is good to get some Javascript/jQuery experience. It isn't hard. I don't see why people make a big deal out of requiring people to already have experience in Javascript, jQuery, and whatever stupid framework they're using.

Anonymous Coward commented on Partially Employed!.

It is great news that you are working again.

You have already tried to get full-time employment for a single employer. I am not fit to give advice as I gave up on this route several years ago. I do miss working with other people, but like you, I was disheartened by the long interview process, doing technically well, but not getting jobs for no good reason.

I you can hook up with more employers needing occasional work (maybe one month per year) and there ends up enough of them, you could eventually get full-time work spread across many different people. Think of it as an early start to running your own consultancy business.

9 Responses to Reader Mail – 06/30/2013 To 07/06/2013

  1. Due to getting stung with click fraud on the display network some years ago, I turned it off in Google Adwords. I got a series of emails, perhaps automated, from Google screaming on how I should turn the display network back on. The display network is a third party collection of websites that Google uses to display advertisers’ adverts on.

    So I turned the display network back on as the cost per click is lower than on Google search pages i.e. google.com, google.ca etc.

    Over the past year, my cost per click has risen to eye-watering rates and in the absence of direct competition. Unfortunately Google uses synonyms, where one word can substitute for another. If another advertiser uses broad matching (i.e. only 1 of the keywords in say a phrase of 4 keywords) then even if they are in an entirely different niche, Google will say they are competing with you and as such raise the cost of your clicks due to its auction process (ha!).

    I’ve seen absurd outcomes. Companies with nothing to do with my goods come up when one of my phrases of 3 – 5 words is searched for. This may be a factor pushing up my costs to silly levels.

    I contacted the Google clowns about their absurd pricing. I was told to turn off the display network as its typically low click rates was pushing up the price of my clicks. Worse than that the Google clowns said it will take a while for things to get back to normal i.e. I need to get a history of a better click rate. It seems if your keywords don’t make enough revenue fast enough for the Google clowns, Google – the greedy pig – will then raise your costs per click. I was told the typically lower click rates on the display network was raising my costs on Google’s front page. It is a pity all these bright people at ClownLand could not have separated these things out.

    Google have been adding code over the years to maximize revenue. Every little thing is used to punish advertisers with higher costs. Google is not your partner in business in the sense if you do well, they in turn will make more money out of you. Google wishes to screw you out of as much money as fast as they can.

    Beware of the Google clowns for they will make a desert of your business.

    • At my new part-time job, the owner is a Google ads addict. He says it’s a great lead for customers in his niche.

      • Anonymous Coward July 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

        How well can he trace a click on his advert to a sale?

        How many visitors does he get from natural search results compared to paid adverts?

        How much does he pay for one click?

        I found that I was paying 10 – 15% of my monthly revenue to Google Adwords, but that was for 5 – 8 clicks per day, when my natural search results were giving me 200 visitors a day.

        I’m a not saying Google Adwords doesn’t work for everyone, but my opinion of them is of a greedy company and they still owe me several hundreds dollars from click fraud. I can’t see how a decent company would keep money the owe to a long-term customer. It was just so obvious. I sell business software, but all my daily budget was getting used up in an instance at the start of every day and all the money was going to an Indian screensaver website. Strangely enough when I checked my webserver logs, no real visitors could be found.

      • Anonymous Coward July 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        Bing adverts cost $0.05 to $0.07 per click.

        The greedy Google clowns charge me $0.75 to $5, although obviously I turn off the multiple dollar clicks. All this stupidity comes from a large company with nothing to do with me, using broad match keywords and Google’s use of synonyms. For more of the time there is no competition on google.com for adverts in my niche, which isn’t surprising given the absurdly high cost compared to the cheap price of software in my niche.

        You need to man-up and use a proper search engine that doesn’t employ a bunch of baby clowns.

        Try the search engines below, which will respect your privacy and not pass on what you are searching on to nice Uncle ODumber.

        https://duckduckgo.com/

        https://www.ixquick.com/

      • Anonymous Coward July 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

        I saw one comment on the Daily Mail’s website which sums up what I think of Google as well.

        To paraphrase the commenter said that a number of businesses have been paying Google good money for years and yet Google screwed them all over with the “Panda” update to their search algorithm. A Google forum was full of posts from businesses screwed over by Google and yet the forum was also full of sycophantic posts. Eventually for some reason the forum developed bugs and nothing could be found there anymore easily.

  2. You need to change medication or get off of it or something. I remember back in the late 2000′s to 2010 your blog was awesome and you were on fire. I used to wait for 12 noon every day for your next post, back when you talked about economics and freedom. The quality has gone down. What happened my friend??

    • I don’t know. Maybe it is the medication? I’m taking a low dose now.

      I did start taking my current medication in November 2010, so that could be it.

      The problem is that, I can’t stop taking it, because my parents would freakout if I refused.

      Maybe I lost interest temporarily. I’ve been playing more computer games and I started working. Also, they took away the local train on the subway, so I don’t get a seat to work on posts there.

      Also, when I first discovered the freedom stuff, it was very exciting and interesting. Now, that’s an old topic and it feels like I’m rehashing the same stuff over and over again.

  3. Are you okay FSK? Back in the late 2000′s to 2010 you were on fire. I couldn’t wait until noon est to check your latest post. You talked about economics with an insight that everyone needs to see, current events from a pro-liberty point of view. I have followed your blog since 2007, back when Fritz and I were posting and interacting with you. Is it the medication? Has it numbed your senses? Your compound interest paradox theory send Keynesians running for the hills!! I hope you are doing alright. You had a strong voice in free market and anarcho-capitalism. Can we hear it again?

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