Friday, March 31, 2017

Amazon Alexa - super cool or super scary?

We all want the Star Trek experience in every way, and we want it ASAP.  We want starships and transporters and tricorders and replicators.  The creators of Star Trek thought the whole thing through and they figured out just what we want if we could have it.

Of course, the technology divide was huge back in the 60s when Kirk was doing even simple things like talking on his communicator or talking to the ship's computer interactively.  While we are still a long way from warp drive, transporters and replicators, the common smart phone of today actually looks like an upgrade to Kirk's communicator and an Android tablet is starting to take on more and more of the duties of the tricorder.

But today the big buzz is about getting that voice-interactive experience with a computer and the leader at present is Amazon with its Kindle Fire and Amazon Dot products.  Not only can they answer quite a few voice based questions (although still far from perfect), they can also be used for voice control of the home.

And that's where things get a bit scary IMO.  Today you can hook up your front door electronic lock as well as your garage door to Alexa and use voice control to open your front door or your garage door.  That is way cool but its like leaving either of these doors wide open because these systems have about zero percent security.  All someone has to do is yell at your Amazon dot from your front door to go ahead and open the front door and Alexa will do your bidding, even if you don't live there.  Same for the garage door.  I predict that in the not distant future we will see war driving take on a new face.  Instead of driving around looking for open wifi networks to hack into, hackers and thieves will come by your house when nobody is home and attempt to see if you've left Alexa enabled so that she will open up a door for him.

Besides this rather obvious security fail I just found that if you want to control wifi light bulbs like the TP-Link variety, you have to give your router's wifi password to TP-Link's cloud service.  But don't worry, they'll never get hacked, right?  And of course, if they do get hacked then they will be sure to tell everyone so that you can change your wifi password, yeah?  And certainly the Chinese government would never walk into TP Link's office and demand back door access to the whole shooting match.  I mean, governments aren't evil like that, are they?

Well, yes, they are.  Governments are run by a very few people at the top so the entire entity can quickly take on the qualities of the guy running the show, even if he's an asshole.  It's not much different than the large so called "Jaeger" robots depicted in the sci fi movie, "Pacific Rim".  When you are at the head of a Jaeger you are one powerful mofo because all the parts and pieces that make it up are under your direct command. They either follow orders or are labeled defective and replaced.  That's why our spy agencies hack Samsung TVs in order to get audio and video of their targets.

By installing this current generation of Trojan Horse devices we essentially open the door to government spying and government control.  Now, many people think that they aren't doing anything wrong and thus have nothing to hide.  But a lot of people who thought that the government was there for them have been seriously disappointed when they finally figure out that corrupt government can only be trusted to screw you when you can least afford to handle it.

Bottom line, if you use these devices then you should fully understand the security risks from governments and other criminals and figure out how you can play with these toys without being sorry about it later on.  I am not suggesting that people avoid these toys!  They are just too cool.  But know the risks and demand that the industry add some basic security to the process as these toys mature.

Elliott waves on Deutsche Bank [DB]

In this post I provided my first bottoming model ever on DB shares.  The post was meant to show how the news is often out of synch with share price movements but the wave count can provide a true view of what is going on when analyzed by someone with the proper Elliott wave experience.  Trust me when I tell you that this experience is not gained merely by reading the EW rules.  It requires years of intense practice for most people and intelligence does not seem to be the only factor involved with how good a person eventually becomes.  I believe that brain plasticity is just as important because what is really happening is that the brain is transformed into a pattern matching engine such that the nuances of a chart movement are resolved by the subconscious mind.  In other words, something akin to what Cypher described when looking at the complex screen of The Matrix.  OK, that's an oversimplification perhaps but when I look at my students struggling with the peaks and valleys of a chart I always feel some wonderment about why they can't see what seems so obvious to me.  Until, that is, I recall how many times I got it wrong for the first 2-3 years of my serious foray into the science of the Elliott wave principle.

In any case, that first DB post pulled the chart below from an article which was lamenting the state of Germany's largest bank.  I then added my EW analysis to it as shown below.  My succinct commentary at that time was, "I think the shares will bottom in the $10-$12 USD range and then see a massive and rapid move back up to $18.  Said again, that could be as much as an 80% gain for those who know how the Elliott wave principle works."


The red vertical line in the current snapshot chart below shows the exact date of my first post.  The exact bottom was $11.16, nicely centered in my target bottom price of $10-$12.  The subsequent bounce peaked earlier this year at around $21.  It was by any analysis, "a massive and rapid move back up to $18" and then some.  How could I possibly predict something like this with such precision?  Is it all really just dumb luck?  Again??  Really???

I invite you to carefully consider the data I have presented on multiple occasions.  To ignore the truth is to let herding instinct or pride hold us back from trading success.  Wall Street has been lying to us.  Their "fundamentals" are not really the fundamentals that move share prices because stocks, as I have explained for a very long time are inherently just another fiat currency with zero intrinsic value and therefore the instantaneous value of them is based on herd mood/emotions.  Elliott waves are the only known modeling technique for predicting human herding behavior.  How many times do I have to publicly call out the likes of Sam Collins or Jim Cramer in these pages to prove this point?  Even though the Elliott wave principle is based on probabilities and not on certainties, nothing else is anywhere near as granular or as accurate.

You will be quite unlikely to become an effective Elliottician on your own in anything less than a couple years of hard study.  And so while I think everyone should learn the Elliott wave principle I would advise against trading on the wave count of any novice.  The nuances are just too tricky and the risk management aspect of the system too easily discounted or overlooked.  But I have been doing this for a long time and If you want to receive my Elliott wave based market insights going forward you can do so month by month for $54.95 or you can set up a recurring monthly subscription payment for only $39.95.  In either case, payments are handled by Paypal which means I will never see your credit card and thus you have no risk of ever being overcharged by any means that some unscrupulous online vendors do when they have your card data.  Additionally, you can cancel at any time simply by disabling your subscription.  You are in full control.

I invite you to give my service a try.  Good luck in your trading.
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