Market Commentary From Monty Guild

THE GLOBAL BANKING CRISIS CONTINUES…

STAGE 2: EUROPEAN SOVEREIGN DEBT UNDER ATTACK

Taken together, the Icelandic and Greek financial crises can be seen as the second stage of the larger global banking crisis.  The first stage of the global banking crisis, which began in late 2007, was centered in the European and U.S. mortgage and mortgage derivative market.  The second stage began with Iceland’s monetary and fiscal crisis in 2009 and continues with the current Greek crisis, and is centered in European sovereign debt.

The global crisis banking crisis is a multi-phase global economic crisis caused by years of over-borrowing followed by the current deleveraging.  This deleveraging was, of course, set in place by all those who gambled with their own and other people’s money.  As time passes, more and more of these gamblers will be unmasked and there will be more countries, companies, industries, and individuals who will lose face and capital in coming months and years.  We anticipate that these problems will continue as various sectors delever over the next six to eight years.

Many believe that the other European nations will act to bail out Greece, and then perhaps Spain or other over-levered nations in Europe who experience debt problems.  We disagree.  In our opinion, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the lender who will bail out the damaged European nations.  In our opinion, it is too hard for European nations to go to their taxpayers and tell them that they are directly or indirectly guaranteeing the debt of a foreign country. Continue reading Market Commentary From Monty Guild

Independent Egyptologist John Anthony West Discusses Ancient Egypt on Red Ice Radio

One of the most fascinating and brilliant researchers and alternative historians, on the ancient Egyptian world, simply must be John Anthony West. His work has truly revitalized many people’s understanding of ancient Egypt, a subject which is often clouded by the uninspired and often dim witted theories of the modern-day quackademics in the field of Egyptology.

West is well known for his work with actor Charleton Heston and geologist Robert Schoch on Mystery of the Sphinx; a documentary which details his theory that, due to evidence of water erosion on the Sphinx, this monument must be thousands of years older than is currently believed by the academic Egyptologists. He also made a fantastic documentary called Magical Egypt, which is a Symbolist view of the ancient Egyptian world.

This alternative perspective, espoused by J.A. West, operates under the premise that the ancient Egyptians can do a far better job of telling their own history, in their own words, than the contemporary researchers. These academics largely ignore the Egyptian writings as fanciful myths and fail to grasp the true meaning of many of the temples and artifacts they study. Continue reading Independent Egyptologist John Anthony West Discusses Ancient Egypt on Red Ice Radio

You Should Have a Robust Backup System For Your Computer

I’ve had several friends with drives going out recently and it occurred to me that I should really look into getting a decent backup system. At first I thought of just burning DVD’s periodically or getting one of those 1-2 TB drives which attach to your USB port; but it all seemed to be a bit labor intensive. I just know that I would forget to backup at just the wrong time and lose critical files.

If you do anything business related on your computer, I think you will find that a good backup solution, even if it is only used ONCE, will pay for itself many times over.  Just think about all of the work that goes into creating and organizing the files on your computer and if your time and effort is worth anything, a few hundred dollars will seem like a pittance; especially when you consider the fact that, with a good backup solution, you can simply replace your drive and be back up and running with a few hours as if nothing happened.

Network Attached Storage

The solution which I feel is finally coming of age, for the home user on a budget, is Network Attached Storage (NAS); particularly NAS systems which support at least RAID 1 mirroring or similar setups which allow for redundancy.

While most of us can get away with having an external drive that we periodically copy our data to; there is still a good possibility that this drive will crash. If you are using this drive to archive files, then you will have lost data. So it is imperative to have a mirrored system to hold your data.

I waded through the various systems out there and the reviews. I found many which are “adequate” but inflexible; because they do not allow for future expansion. For example, I saw many which allow you to swap out drives; but cap the number of Terabytes you can have in the array.

Well, after a night of searching, I ran into a combination which gives you a total of 2TB (redundant, actually 4TB total) on a nicely featured NAS box.

Mirrored Hot Swappable 4TB Network Attached Storage System for Under $600

I recently ordered one of these diskless NAS boxes for under $200 after rebate:

It runs a tiny version of Linux and supports a variety of backup and file system protocols including Apple’s “Time Machine”. One nice aspect of it, is the fact that you can plug in any SATA or SATA II hard drive and have it do RAID 1. So you can always buy a larger drive in the future.

I saw this interesting bit of info in one of the reviews:

“It does Netgear’s own proprietary XRAID mirroring (but not RAID 0). XRAID apparently allows the automatic upgrade to more then two drives, if you would use it in a Netgear box, which supports more then two drives. Unlike with other home office NAS, the firmware is saved in a flash and not on the drives itself. The drives are hot swappable and rebuild themselves automatically unlike with many other personal NAS products. The NAS can share directories via CIFS, NFS, AFP, and HTTP. It also can do FTP and TFTP, which comes in handy in the lab.”

So if a 3TB drive came on the market and you wanted to incorporate it into your box, you would just pull one of the 2TB drives out and pop it in; then it will copy the data over. Then you would pop the other 2TB array out and the data on the newly copied drive would be copied back; so you can expand the array easily.

When you toss in 2 x 2TB Western Digital Hard Drives, the whole system with 2TB of redundant network accessable storage came out to under $600.

Tired of Being Bound to Social Networking Sites

I would love to see social networks de-centralized. Something like a blog (with openID authentication or something similar), feed reader and email; this would likely accomplish much of what is done with networking sites like FB.

Unfortunately, most people do not have the desire or the know-how to have such a set-up. So until this propagates to a larger sub-set of the population; most of this kind of communication will be stuck on places like FB & MySpace.

I can sense a growing dis-content among many, with this kind of centralized set-up. I think they really are tired of giving control of their content, feed management and social network to a large company.

If someone can implement a very simple, easy to install, open source, app, which accomplishes much of what these network sites do; then there may be a big change in store for this kind of communication.

It will have to be something that people can equate to their existing social network sites (at first). Most likely, it will also have to integrate with sites like FB, in order to remain connected to the legacy network.

That would be a good project for an enterprising programmer. Something to finally put an end to these large networking sites controlling our experience and profiting from our everyday activities.