jm + money   34

terrible review for Solidity as a programming environment in HN
"Solidity/EVM is by far the worst programming environment I have ever encountered. It would be impossible to write even toy programs correctly in this language, yet it is literally called "Solidity" and used to program a financial system that manages hundreds of millions of dollars."


Via Tony Finch
blockchain  ethereum  programming  coding  via:fanf  funny  fail  floating-point  money  json  languages  bugs  reliability 
23 days ago by jm
Can The Best Financial Tips Fit On An Index Card? : All Tech Considered : NPR
'A couple of years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack did an online video chat with personal finance writer Helaine Olen. The topic was how regular people get steered into bad investments by financial advisers. Pollack said that the best personal finance advice "can fit on a 3-by-5 index card, and is available for free in the library — so if you're paying someone for advice, almost by definition, you're probably getting the wrong advice, because the correct advice is so straightforward." After they posted the video, the emails started pouring in — people wanted to know, where could they get this index card? What was this fantastic yet simple advice for managing their money?'

These seem like pretty solid tips, and relatively portable to the Irish markets too. I need to take a look at this stuff...
finance  money  advice  npr  401k  pensions  financial-advisors 
6 weeks ago by jm
Spotting a million dollars in your AWS account · Segment Blog
You can easily split your spend by AWS service per month and call it a day. Ten thousand dollars of EC2, one thousand to S3, five hundred dollars to network traffic, etc. But what’s still missing is a synthesis of which products and engineering teams are dominating your costs. 

Then, add in the fact that you may have hundreds of instances and millions of containers that come and go. Soon, what started as simple analysis problem has quickly become unimaginably complex. 

In this follow-up post, we’d like to share details on the toolkit we used. Our hope is to offer up a few ideas to help you analyze your AWS spend, no matter whether you’re running only a handful of instances, or tens of thousands.

segment  money  costs  billing  aws  ec2  ecs  ops 
may 2017 by jm
Global ‘Wana’ Ransomware Outbreak Earned Perpetrators [just] $26,000 So Far
As thousands of organizations work to contain and clean up the mess from this week’s devastating Wana ransomware attack, the fraudsters responsible for releasing the digital contagion are no doubt counting their earnings and congratulating themselves on a job well done. But according to a review of the Bitcoin addresses hard-coded into Wana, it appears the perpetrators of what’s being called the worst ransomware outbreak ever have made little more than USD $26,000 so far from the scam.
money  fraud  ransomware  wana  brian-krebs  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  viruses 
may 2017 by jm
AWS re:Invent 2016: Lessons Learned from a Year of Using Spot Fleet (CMP205) - YouTube
Yelp talk about their Spot Fleet price optimization autoscaler app, FleetMiser
yelp  scaling  aws  spot-fleet  ops  spot-instances  money 
december 2016 by jm
Tahoe LAFS accidentally lose Bitcoin wallet with loads of donations in it, get it back
But ECDSA private keys don't trigger the same protective instincts that
we'd apply to, say, a bar of gold. One sequence of 256 random bits looks
just as worthless as any other. And the cold hard unforgeability of
these keys means we can't rely upon other humans to get our money back
when we lose them. Plus, we have no experience at all with things that grow in value by
four orders of magnitude, without any attention, in just three years.

So we have a cryptocurrency-tool UX task in front of us: to avoid
mistakes like the one we made, we must to either move these digital
assets into solid-feeling physical containers, or retrain our
perceptions to attach value to the key strings themselves.
backups  cryptography  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  ecdsa  private-keys  ux  money 
march 2016 by jm
The Open Guide To Equity Compensation
A very US-oriented, but still useful, reference for all the aspects of stock options, RSUs, and other forms of equity compensation
equity  startups  money  pay  salary  rsus  stock-options  stock 
january 2016 by jm
Kevin Lyda's mega pension post
Cutting and pasting from Facebook for posterity... there are some really solid tips in here.

'Some people plan their lives out and then there are people like me who randomly do things and suddenly, in retrospect, it looks like a grand plan has come together. In reality it's more like my subconscious pulls in useful info and pokes me to go learn things as required. If you live/work in Ireland, the following "grand plan" might be useful.

This year has apparently been "figure out how to retire" year. It started late last year with finally organising all my private Irish pensions (2 from employers, 1 personal). In the process I learned the following:

* Many Irish pension plans allow you to start drawing down from them at age 50. There are downsides to this, but if you have several of them it allows you more room to avoid stock market downturns when you purchase annuities.

* You can get 25% of each pension as a tax-free lump sum.

I also learned a few property things. The key thing is that if you have a buy-to-let property you should *not* pay off its mortgage early. You can deduct 75% of the interest you pay against the taxes you'd owe for rental income. That means the interest you pay will essentially be close to or even under the rate of inflation. A residential mortgage might have a lower interest rate nominally, but the effective interest rate is higher.

The Irish state pension is changing. If you are 68 after 2020 the rules have changed - and they're now much simpler. Work for 10 years and you get the minimum state pension (1/3 of a full pension). Work for 20, you get 2/3 of of a state pension. Work for 30, you get a full pension. But you can't collect it till you're 68 and remember that Irish employers can apparently force you to "retire" at 65 (ageism is legal). So you need to bridge those 3 years (or hope they change the law to stop employers from doing that).

When I "retired" I kept a part time job for a number of reasons, but one was because I suspected I needed more PRSI credits for a pension. And it turns out this was correct. Part-time work counts as long as you make more than €38/week. And self-employment counts as long as you make more than €5,000/year. You can also make voluntary PRSI contributions (around €500/year but very situation dependent).

If you've worked in Europe or the US or Canada or a few other countries, you can get credits for social welfare payments in those countries. But if you have enough here and you have enough for some pension in the other country, you can draw a pension from both.

Lastly most people I've talked to about retirement this year have used the analogy of legs on a stool. Every source of post-retirement income is a leg on the stool - the more legs, the more secure your retirement. There are lots of options for legs:

* Rental income. This is a little wobbly as legs go at least for me. But if you have more than one rental property - and better yet some commercial rental property - this leg firms up a bit. Still, it's a bit more work than most.

* Savings. This isn't very tax-efficient, but it can help fill in blank spots some legs have (like rental income or age restrictions) or maximise another legs value (weathering downturns for stock-based legs). And in retirement you can even build savings up. Sell a house, the private pension lump sum, etc. But remember you're retired, go have fun. Savings won't do you much good when you're dead.

* Stocks. I've cashed all mine in, but some friends have been more restrained in cashing in stocks they might have gotten from employers. This is a volatile leg, but it can pay off rather well if you know what you're doing. But be honest with yourself. I know I absolutely don't know what I'm doing on this so stayed away.

* Government pension. This is generally a reliable source of income in retirement. It's usually not a lot, but it does tend to last from retirement to death and it shows up every month. You apply once and then it just shows up each month. If you've worked in multiple countries, you can hedge some bets by taking a pension in each country you qualify from. You did pay into them after all.

* Private pension. This can also give you a solid source of income but you need to pay into it. And paying in during your 20s and 30s really pays off later. But you need to make your investments less risky as you get into your late 50s - so make sure to start looking at them then. And you need to provide yourself some flexibility for starting to draw it down in order to survive market drops. The crash in 2007 didn't fully recover until 2012 - that's 5 years.

* Your home. Pay off your mortgage and your home can be a leg. Not having to pay rent/mortgage is a large expense removed and makes the other legs more effective. You can also "sell down" or look into things like reverse mortgages, but the former can take time and has costs while the latter usually seems to have a lot of fine print you should read up on.

* Part-time work. I know a number of people who took part-time jobs when they retired. If you can find something that doesn't take a huge amount of time that you'd enjoy doing and that people will pay you for, fantastic! Do that. And it gets you out of the house and keeping active. For friends who are geeks and in my age cohort, I note that it will be 2037 around the time we hit 65. If you know why that matters, ka-ching!'

Another particularly useful page about the state pension: "Six things every woman needs to know about the State pension", Irish Times, Dec 1 2015, https://www.irishtimes.com/business/personal-finance/six-things-every-woman-needs-to-know-about-the-state-pension-1.2448981 , which links to this page to get your state pension contribution record: http://www.welfare.ie/en/pages/secure/ RequestSIContributionRecord.aspx
pensions  money  life  via:klyda  stocks  savings  shares  property  ireland  old-age  retirement 
december 2015 by jm
Eircode cost the Irish government EUR38m
The C&AG has said it is not clear that the €38m scheme will achieve the data-matching benefits the Government had hoped. 


Well, that's putting it mildly.
eircode  fail  ireland  costs  money  geo  mapping  geocoding 
september 2015 by jm
WereBank | Were Bank Energy for the People
The Freeman-On-The-Land movement is starting a bank. lols guaranteed
freemen  funny  werebank  banking  money  on-my-oath  maritime-law 
july 2015 by jm
CurrencyFair Online P2P International Money Transfers
p2p currency conversion; used and recommended by quite a few people I know, it turns out. bookmarking for the next time I need to convert currencies
currency-conversion  currencies  money  transfer  international  expats  p2p  via:mice 
may 2015 by jm
waxpancake on Ello
The Ello founders are positioning it as an alternative to other social networks — they won't sell your data or show you ads. "You are not the product."

If they were independently-funded and run as some sort of co-op, bootstrapped until profitable, maybe that's plausible. Hard, but possible. But VCs don't give money out of goodwill, and taking VC funding — even seed funding — creates outside pressures that shape the inevitable direction of a company.
advertising  money  vc  ello  waxy  funding  series-a 
september 2014 by jm
Proof of burn - Bitcoin
method for bootstrapping one cryptocurrency off of another. The idea is that miners should show proof that they burned some coins - that is, sent them to a verifiably unspendable address. This is expensive from their individual point of view, just like proof of work; but it consumes no resources other than the burned underlying asset. To date, all proof of burn cryptocurrencies work by burning proof-of-work-mined cryptocurrencies, so the ultimate source of scarcity remains the proof-of-work-mined "fuel".
bitcoin  proof  money  mining  cryptocurrency 
may 2014 by jm
Of Money, Responsibility, and Pride
Steve Marquess of the OpenSSL Foundation on their funding, and lack thereof:
I stand in awe of their talent and dedication, that of Stephen Henson in particular. It takes nerves of steel to work for many years on hundreds of thousands of lines of very complex code, with every line of code you touch visible to the world, knowing that code is used by banks, firewalls, weapons systems, web sites, smart phones, industry, government, everywhere. Knowing that you’ll be ignored and unappreciated until something goes wrong. The combination of the personality to handle that kind of pressure with the relevant technical skills and experience to effectively work on such software is a rare commodity, and those who have it are likely to already be a valued, well-rewarded, and jealously guarded resource of some company or worthy cause. For those reasons OpenSSL will always be undermanned, but the present situation can and should be improved. There should be at least a half dozen full time OpenSSL team members, not just one, able to concentrate on the care and feeding of OpenSSL without having to hustle commercial work. If you’re a corporate or government decision maker in a position to do something about it, give it some thought. Please. I’m getting old and weary and I’d like to retire someday.
funding  open-source  openssl  heartbleed  internet  security  money 
april 2014 by jm
Only 0.15 percent of mobile gamers account for 50 percent of all in-game revenue
Nice bit of marketing from the day job:
The group of gamers responsible for half of all in-game revenue in mobile titles is frightening because it is so narrow, according to a survey by Swrve, an established analytics and app marketing firm. About 0.15 percent of mobile gamers contribute 50 percent of all of the in-app purchases generated in free-to-play games.

This means it may even more important than game companies realized in the past to find and retain the users that fall into the category of big spenders, or “whales.” The vast majority of users never spend any money, despite the clever tactics that game publishers have developed to incentivize people to spend money in their favorite games.
swrve  whales  gaming  games  iap  money  mobile  analytics 
february 2014 by jm
java - Why not use Double or Float to represent currency?
A good canonical URL for this piece of coding guidance.
For example, suppose you have $1.03 and you spend 42c. How much money do you have left?

System.out.println(1.03 - .42); => prints out 0.6100000000000001.
coding  tips  floating-point  float  java  money  currency  bugs 
february 2014 by jm
Software Detection of Currency
Steven J. Murdoch presents some interesting results indicating that the EURion constellation may have been obsoleted:
Recent printers, scanners and image manipulation software identify images of currency, will not process the image and display an error message linking to www.rulesforuse.org. The detection algorithm is not disclosed, however it is possible to test sample images as to whether they are identified as currency. This webpage shows an initial analysis of the algorithm's properties, based on results from the automated generation and testing of images. [...]

Initially it was thought that the "Eurion constellation" was used to identify banknotes in the newly deployed software based system, since this has been confirmed to be the technique used by colour photocopiers, and was both necessary and sufficient to prevent an item being duplicated using the photocopier tested. However further investigation showed that the detection performed by software is different from the system used in colour photocopiers, and the Eurion constellation is neither necessary nor sufficent, and in fact it probably is not even a factor.
eurion  algorithms  photoshop  security  currency  money  euro  copying  obscurity  reversing 
november 2013 by jm
IPSO representative trivialising impact of the Loyaltybuild data breach
A very worrying quote from Una Dillon of the Irish Payment Services Organisation in regard to the Loyaltybuild incident:
“I wouldn’t be overly concerned if one of my cards was caught up in this,” Dillon says. “Even in the worst-case scenario – one in which my card was used fraudulently – my card provider will refund me everything that is taken”.


This reflects a deep lack of understanding of (a) how identity fraud works, and (b) how card-fraud refunds in Ireland appear to work.

(a): Direct misuse of credit card data is not always the result. Fraudsters may prefer to instead obtain separate credit through identity theft, ie. using other personal identifying data.

(b): Visa debit cards have no credit limit -- your bank account can be cleared out in its entirety, and refunds can take a long time. For instance, http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=174482 describes several cases, including one customer who waited 21 days for a refund.

All in all it's trivialising a major risk for consumers. As I understand it, a separate statement from IPSO recommended that all customers of Loyaltybuild schemes need to monitor their bank accounts daily to keep an eye out for fraud, which is pretty absurd. Not impressive at all.
loyaltybuild  ipso  money  cards  credit-cards  visa  debit-cards  payment  fraud  identity-theft  ireland 
november 2013 by jm
Just how bad are RTE’s finances?
A sobering examination by NAMAwinelake into the quagmire of Ireland's publicly-funded national broadcaster:
It seems that RTE has become a disaster zone, with libels and incompetence overseen by incapable management, and this is reflected in that organisation’s financial results. RTE still employs nearly 2,000 people and supports jobs and industry across independent producers and suppliers; it is a major business. But the time has come to call a halt to delusional management that is sinking the organization deeper into a quagmire which will ultimately need to be bailed out by the State. And Noel Curran is fobbing us off with flying a kite about a reduction in 65-year old Pat Kenny’s salary from €630,000 to €570,000?!
rte  namawinelake  public  funding  finances  money  mismanagement  ireland  incompetence  tv  news 
april 2013 by jm
Hotels to pay royalties on music - The Irish Times - Fri, Dec 14, 2012
'The operators of hotels, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts will have to pay royalties for any copyright music played in guest bedrooms [in Ireland]. [...] Under the agreement, the music charges will be set by Phonographic Performance Ireland Ltd (PPI). [...] When it initiated its case in 2010, the PPI said it was seeking payment of about €1 per bedroom per week or about 14 cent a night.'

I don't understand this. Most hotels do not play music in the rooms themselves. Does this apply if there is no music playing in the bedroom? Does it apply if the customer brings their own music? Are Dublin Bus to be next?
hotels  ppi  ireland  music  money  royalties 
december 2012 by jm
French illegal downloads agency Hadopi may be abolished
According to recent statistics, Hadopi has sent 1 million warning emails, 99,000 "strike two" letters and identified 314 people for referral to the courts for possible disconnection. No one has actually been disconnected.

According to Aurelie Filipetti, culture minister in the new French Government, Hadopi has been nothing but a waste of money.

"€12 million per year and 60 officials; that's an expensive way to send 1 million emails," Filipetti said. "Hadopi has not fulfilled its mission of developing legal downloads. I prefer to reduce the funding of things that have not been proven to be useful."


0 disconnections. Not one.
hadopi  privacy  law  three-strikes  france  money 
august 2012 by jm
Wrapping parties around a tight budget - The Irish Times - Tue, Jun 12, 2012
"On the birthday present front, Crowley was shocked when she totted up her family’s spending for six months and realised she was spending more on gifts than on clothes for her entire family. A few 40th birthdays aside, she says the majority of the outlay is on gifts for her children’s friends." A lot of familiar names in this story ;)
gifts  money  prices  dublin  friends  irish-times 
june 2012 by jm
How would my finances change if euro collapsed? - RTÉ News
RTE's sketch of the repercussions of a Euro collapse for Irish consumers. basically: you won't have any finances, particularly if you have a mortgage
ireland  euro  disaster  rte  finance  money  mortgages 
december 2011 by jm
Permanent TSB's tracker-mortgage paydown option isn't such a good deal after all
'it might be in your interest if you have a tracker mortgage and are unable to get a better rate of interest on the €5,000 that you are being tempted to repay PTSB. You can get up to 4.2% from PTSB deposit accounts, 9.7% from 10-year Irish sovereign bonds, 9% from residential property. Yet PTSB is prepared to give you less than a measly 2% over a five year period on your €5,000 repayment.'
ptsb  permanent-tsb  finance  money  mortgages  tracker-mortgage  investment  from delicious
april 2011 by jm
Zero stroke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
'With the price of bread running into billions a loaf the German people [...] had to get used to counting in thousands of billions. This, according to some German physicians, brought on a new nervous disease known as "zero stroke," or "cipher stroke" [...] The persons afflicted with the malady are perfectly normal, except "for a desire to write endless rows of ciphers and engage in computations more involved than the most difficult problems in logarithms."' (via Joe Drumgoole)
germany  zero  hyperinflation  inflation  via:jdrumgoole  money  brain  mental-illness  from delicious
february 2011 by jm
Wired: how a Toronto statistician cracked the state lottery
'The tic-tac-toe lottery was seriously flawed. It took a few hours of studying his tickets and some statistical sleuthing, but he discovered a defect in the game: The visible numbers turned out to reveal essential information about the digits hidden under the latex coating. Nothing needed to be scratched off—the ticket could be cracked if you knew the secret code.'
toronto  hacks  money  statistics  probability  wired  tic-tac-toe  singleton  from delicious
february 2011 by jm
100 ways to spend the Anglo €25,000,000,000
'just how much is €25 billion that [Ireland's taxpayers] have to borrow for [failed bank] Anglo?' some great answers, including: start our own space program with 20 space shuttles; build 6 LHCs or 2 ITER fusion reactors; scrap fares on all public transport for 33 years; buy 2 of Asia's largest banks; buy Steve Jobs himself; detach the People's Republic of Cork by building a ten-metre-wide moat; buy every house and apartment listed on Daft.ie
money  omgwtfbbq  insane  argh  funny  nama  anglo  sean-fitzpatrick  ireland  from delicious
august 2010 by jm
Chip and PIN is broken
Ross Anderson's lab demo an attack on TV whereby any Chip-and-PIN debit card can be used in conjunction with a MITM device, with a PIN of "0000", verified online, and producing a receipt saying "PIN Verified". thoroughly hosed
security  banking  money  chipandpin  crypto  ross-anderson  from delicious
february 2010 by jm
Ross Anderson and Steven J Murdoch rip into Verified By VISA
'this is yet another case where security economics trumps security engineering, but in a predatory way that leaves cardholders less secure.'
verified-by-visa  security  phishing  web  banks  banking  money  authentication  finance  visa  3dsecure  papers  from delicious
february 2010 by jm

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