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  1. kalenjin shared this story from TED Talks Daily (SD video).

    What's the harm in buying a knock-off purse or a fake designer watch? According to counterfeit investigator Alastair Gray, fakes like these fund terrorism and organized crime. Learn more about the trillion-dollar underground economy of counterfeiting -- from the criminal organizations that run it to the child labor they use to produce its goods -- as well as measures you can take to help stop it. "Let's shine a light on the dark forces of counterfeiting that are hiding in plain sight," Gray says.

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  2. kalenjin shared this story from Krebs on Security.

    Not long ago, phishing attacks were fairly easy for the average Internet user to spot: Full of grammatical and spelling errors, and linking to phony bank or email logins at unencrypted (http:// vs. https://) Web pages. Increasingly, however, phishers are upping their game, polishing their copy and hosting scam pages over https:// connections — complete with the green lock icon in the browser address bar to make the fake sites appear more legitimate.

    A brand new (and live) PayPal phishing page that uses SSL (https://) to appear more legitimate.

    According to stats released this week by anti-phishing firm PhishLabs, nearly 25 percent of all phishing sites in the third quarter of this year were hosted on HTTPS domains — almost double the percentage seen in the previous quarter.

    “A year ago, less than three percent of phish were hosted on websites using SSL certificates,” wrote Crane Hassold, the company’s threat intelligence manager. “Two years ago, this figure was less than one percent.”

  3. kalenjin shared this story from Alpha Architect.

    Momentum is the tendency for assets that have performed well (poorly) in the recent past to continue to perform well (poorly) in the future, at least for a short period of time. Initial research on momentum was published by Narasimhan Jegadeesh and Sheridan Titman, authors of the 1993 study, “Returns to Buying Winners and Selling Losers: Implications for Stock Market Efficiency.”

    The type of momentum studied by Jegadeesh and Titman is called cross-sectional momentum (applied example and explanation here). It is the type of momentum used in asset pricing models. Cross-sectional momentum measures relative performance, comparing the return of an asset relative to the returns of other assets within the same asset class. Thus, in a given asset class, a cross-sectional momentum strategy might buy the 30 percent of assets with the best relative performance and short sell the 30 percent of assets with the worst relative performance. Even if all the assets had risen in value, a cross-sectional momentum strategy would still short the assets with the lowest returns.

    The other type of momentum is called time-series momentum (covered recently here). Time-series momentum is also referred to as

  4. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    How Currency Fluctuations Impact Canadian Investors

    How Currency Fluctuations Impact Canadian Investors

    For many Canadians, currency movements are an everyday part of life.

    When the Canadian dollar is strong, it means that going south of the border is cheaper. Whether it’s a vacation in Hawaii or a shopping spree in New York City, a strong Canadian dollar can buy more in terms of U.S. dollars.

    Likewise, a weak Canadian dollar can buy fewer U.S. dollars – meaning that travel, shopping, and other expenses in U.S. dollars are more expensive.

    The Same Effect

    The impact of currency fluctuations isn’t limited only to foreign purchases.

    In fact, as today’s infographic from Fidelity Investments Canada shows, these same fluctuations can also affect the performance of your portfolio.

    Why is that the case?

    Many Canadian portfolios have exposure to American-listed companies such as Apple, Wells Fargo, Tesla, or Johnson & Johnson. As a result, fluctuations in the USD/CAD rate can have a profound impact on how these investments perform in Canadian dollars.

    How Does This Work?

    Here’s an example of the impact of currency in action:

    • A Canadian investor puts $100
  5. kalenjin shared this story from Macro Man.

    Here it is folks, the 1st annual Team Macro Man Top Trade Ideas for 2018.

    I love the diversity in the ideas here. Nobody jumped on the short 10y UST bandwagon with Goldman and Apollo….and nobody joined the quant folks at JP Morgan in suggesting trades that are a great conversation starters with the ladies at the Columbia University physics department holiday party.

    In fact, the ideas are so diverse it is tough to pick out any common themes, but that shouldn’t be too surprising when the most dominant theme of 2017 was probably “low vol”. Another dominant global theme this year has been “synchronized global growth,” which is now leading many strategists to predict widespread monetary tightening in 2018.

    The “morning in Europe” and, I’ll add myself, the potential “morning in Japan” themes could be big game changers in 2018. Wages and inflation haven’t picked up much, but if they do, there is more to go for asset markets, FX and rates in both regions. Lastly in the US, despite what I have written here about inflation and curve-flatness, I have a tough time envisioning a increased pace of tightening by the Fed that would cause a significant strengthening of USD, which points to more of the same next year--risk on, flattening, low vol. Equity markets may have gotten a bit ahead of themselves with the tax reform rally, but that will be a
  6. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    Animation: Visualizing the ICO Explosion

    In our chart highlighting Bitcoin’s epic journey to $10,000, we also noted that 2017 was a landmark year for the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), a method used to raise initial funds for development and marketing of new cryptocurrencies or tokens.

    ICOs have become so popular that well over 90% of total funds raised through this mechanism came from this year alone.

    While it’s hard to put this sudden ICO explosion in context, we think today’s animation does the phenomenon sufficient justice. Coming from Max Galka at, today’s animation shows a timeline of ICOs and funds raised since early 2014.

    In an added dimension, each ICO is also classified based on geographic region. The colorful fireworks that happen throughout 2017 help to make it clear that we are indeed living in the year of the ICO.

    Year of the ICO

    Despite bans in China and South Korea, there is no shortage of fervor for new cryptocurrencies or tokens.

    ICOs by month

  7. kalenjin shared this story from Visual Capitalist.

    View the full resolution version of this infographic.
    Visualizing the Race for Clean Energy

    The Race for Clean Energy

    To see the full resolution version of this infographic that has higher legibility, click here.

    Last year, on a global basis, more net power generating capacity was added through renewable sources than via all other power sources combined.

    Which countries are leading this charge, and what power sources are being adopted the fastest?

    Today’s infographic comes to us Raconteur, and it breaks down various metrics around energy investment. The graphic looks at absolute and per capita power consumption by countries, as well as dollars being invested into each particular type of green energy.

    Country Comparisons

    The two countries that lead the pack in absolute terms are China and the United States. In 2016, China consumed the equivalent of 349.2 million tonnes of oil in renewable energy, while

  8. kalenjin shared this story from naked capitalism.

    A new paper by Jeff Hooke and Ken Yook of John Hopkins argues that "smoothed," as in phony, private equity valuations are misleading.
  9. kalenjin shared this story from TED Talks Daily (SD video).

    Educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun wants us to use AI to free humanity of repetitive work and unleash our creativity. In an inspiring, informative conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Thrun discusses the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn't fear runaway AI and how society will be better off if dull, tedious work is done with the help of machines. "Only one percent of interesting things have been invented yet," Thrun says. "I believe all of us are insanely creative... [AI] will empower us to turn creativity into action."

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  10. kalenjin shared this story from Quartz.

    North Korea has one of the most closed economies in the world, but items from bibles to K-pop videos find a way across its borders anyway. These are some of the most commonly smuggled items in the isolated country.