Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:December:11 Sunday <Saturday, Monday>
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2005/12/11-14 [Politics/Domestic/911, Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:40959 Activity:nil
12/11   Welcome to 12/11 (fuel depot explosions)
        http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1538156/posts
        \_ BBC, which as you may recall is a real news site, so far
           mentions that it's an accident.  -John
           \_ news.bbc.co.uk says "Police believe it was an accident", but
              earlier I was reading other news.bbc.co.uk links that said
              they weren't talking about it.  I'm not sure what to make of
              that.  They were scared it might be terrorist related, and now
              they've found evidence that suggests it was an accident?
              The BP oil refinery accident of Mar 23 2005 in Texas City, TX,
              occurred when workers were starting a machine used to increase
              gasoline octane ... at 1:23pm on a Wednesday.
              This fuel depot accident occurred 6:03am local time on a Sunday
              morning ... could have been an automatic process I guess.
              \_ Anytime something major goes kaboom in a non-neutral Western
                 country the initial reaction is always to consider
                 terrorism as a likely possibility.  -John
                 \_ These bastards don't seem to hold back for neutral
                    countries.
                 \_ Yeah, I will give that the longer an incident like this
                    goes without a credible (video evidence) claim of
                    responsibility or a repeat incident, it becomes more
                    reasonable to say it was an accident ...
        \_ fyi, for posterity, I compared the BBC diagram of the accident
           area (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4517962.stm and found
           the location on <DEAD>maps.google.com<DEAD> (http://csua.org/u/e99
2005/12/11-14 [Computer/HW/Memory, Computer/HW/Laptop, Computer/HW/IO] UID:40960 Activity:nil
12/11   NEC: products of the future
        http://www.nec-design.co.jp/showcase
2005/12/11-14 [Reference/RealEstate, Consumer/TV] UID:40961 Activity:nil
12/11   When life imitates TV:
        http://csua.org/u/e9b
        \_ What a crappy article.  Despite what the headline says, the
           cop died, not either of the suspects.
           \_ Misleading intentionally?
2005/12/11-14 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:40962 Activity:moderate
12/11   Housing Bubble pops in Northern Virginia:
        http://csua.org/u/e9a
        \_ Watch foreclosure rates over the next few years as all those ARMs
           are pushed up by the fed's prime rate increases...
           \_ Ah, finally, someone posts something that makes sense re:
              real estate bubbles.  Certainly, whatever is going on in another
              state has little if anything to do with pricing here.  Location,
              location, location!
              \_ Yes, I think Chicago's housing market will hold up much better
                 than Bay Area's.
              \_ Interest rates will affect everywhere and will affect the
                 places where people borrow a lot of money relative to
                 income the most.
                 \_ Of course as interest rates rise, there will be fewer
                    buyers, price rises will slow, housing will take longer
                    to sell, etc.  No one disputes that.  That is a natural
                    part of the housing cycle.  However, rates slowly rising
                    is not going to magically burst the bubble and bring
                    prices down to where a 24 y/o new college grad can afford
                    one on their first job like a few people here are praying
                    to happen.  Those people are just screwed if they want a
                    house before 30 without getting lucky or having two good
                    incomes.
                    \_ I worry that the exotic financing schemes (interest
                       only, reverse amort., and even simple ARMs) being
                       peddled to people who can't financially handle the
                       repercussions of rising rates and stagnant prices,
                       especially combined with stricter bankruptcy laws,
                       are ingredients of a dangerous economic storm.  Can
                       you set my mind at ease?  Also, as the feasability of
                       ownership is pushed further and further into retirement
                       years (buying at 35, mortgage done at 65), what will
                       that do to the overall economic state of "frothy" areas?
                       Not to mention the burden of financing retirement when
                       you've worked so hard to build that equity, but had
                       little or nothing left to save.
        \_ This is very similar to what's going on in Livermore, CA.
        \_ And in Boston:
           http://csua.org/u/e9c
        \_ Ooh, the median price dropped 5%.
        \_ Their super hot market sold houses in 20 days?  Houses here now
           sell in a week instead of a weekend.  My God!  At this rate, we'll
           be at their 20 day super hot mark in 6 months!  The sky is
           falling!
           \_ I did notice this. Houses took 20 days to sell? That's about
              the norm for California (well, maybe 30 days) in an average
              market. Houses here were selling in, like you said, a
              weekend. However, I have noticed a lot of houses on the
              market in my area and they are selling much more slowly.
              It's probably because the prices are so damn high. The woman
              across the street is selling for $100K more than she paid
              for the same house last year. Also, someone is trying to
              sell a house for $1M in VA an hour from DC and they wonder why
              it won't sell very fast? Heck, prices aren't that high in CA
              once you get 50-60 miles from the urban centers. I think the
              frenzy in places like CA has people in other areas losing
              their minds. After all, real estate doesn't appreciate like
              that in other parts of the country very often, if ever. A
              house in Northern Virginia could be bought for $160K just 10
              years ago, when houses in CA were already $300K+. I don't
              think houses in many of the hottest markets (e.g. Miami and
              Las Vegas) will hold their value when this runup stops -
              certainly not as well as CA will. CA is a bit of a unique
              situation. However, it certainly is not immune and I think
              prices will fall here, too. They will just rebound faster.
              In some other places the market may never rebound.
              \_ Prices may pull back a bit and some speculators are going to
                 get burned but the sky is not going to fall.  Normal single
                 income people still won't be able to get into a first house
                 without a miracle, a lot of saving, or getting a second good
                 income into the equation.
              \_  How about Modesto and Gilroy?
                  \_ What about them?
           \_ yea, sun and cisco stayed hot for a little bit longer than the
              rest too during the internet bubble pop.
              \_ You give two divergent examples which undermine your point.
                 Sun is a company which fundamentally lost its way, not to
                 mention lost a lot of money; its stock would have tanked no
                 matter what happened with the rest of the market.  Cisco is
                 a fundamentally sound company that still has profits.  CSCO
                 is still as high as it was at the end of 1998, and double
                 what it was at the beginning of 1998.  If you bought in
                 February 2000, and had a < 5 year time horizon, you got
                 screwed, but even then you probably still will be OK in
                 the long run.  -tom
                 \_ yes, cisco is in a much better position than sun, but
                    growth and margins have both fallen, and I am not sure
                    if these will improve anytime soon.  what do you think?
                    are you still holding your ge stocks?
                    \_ I still own CSCO and have no intention of selling.
                       In fact, at current levels I am probably going to
                       add to my holdings.  I haven't owned GE in 10+ years.
                         -tom
              \_ what does the stock market have to do with anything?
                 everyone needs a place to live.  few people need a router
                 and even fewer need a solaris box.
                 \_ what do you mean?  how many of the products you use
                    daily were made by companies in the stock market?
                    \_ dotcoms?  almost none.  sun?  nothing not easily
                       replaced if they vanished.  cisco?  same story.
                       my house?  brrrr sure is cold outside!
                       \_ yea, I am sure your land line, cell phone
                          service, internet connection just magically
                          works.
                          \_ I had a land line before the dotcoms.  I also
                             had net.
                       \_ Yes because if you lost your house you would
                          live on the street. There are no available
                          domiciles left. And the ones we have were made
                          by the high men of old; their art has been lost.
                 \_ yea, everyone needs toilet paper, that's why they
                    should sell for $10 a roll.
                          \_ You mean I could live with you?  Gosh, thanks!
                 \_ yea, but the japanese are weird, that's why their housing
                    price slipped for 14 straight years and is now 40% below
                    the peak in 1991.
                    \_ I think that housing prices will fall, but what
                       people seem to miss is that if they fall 40% over
                       the next 14 years most of us are still ahead. The
                       same is true of the stock market. If you always buy
                       at the tops then you are very unlucky indeed.
                       \_ If they fall 40% I'm going to buy 4 or 5 of them.
                          I don't care what the paper value of my house is.
                          It isn't important since I'm not selling.  Too bad
                          for me I didn't buy a few houses 5-6 years ago.
                          \_ If they fall 40% they probably won't be any
                             more affordable than they are now unless you
                             are planning to buy them cash. Rising rates
                             will make the mortgage payments about the same
                             for most people. I don't understand the
                             advantage to buying a house for 50% off if
                             you have to pay 50% more interest for it.
                             Yes, eventually you can refinance. Why not
                             just buy now then? You are either going to
                             wait out a fall in rates or wait out a rise
                             in prices. Funny how the two are linked like
                             that. I think it's better to get the low
                             rate, because prices will take care of
                             themselves over the long term.
                             \_ A lower price and higher rate means that I
                                have some upside if the prices rise so I can
                                sell and take some profit or buy more.  A lower
                                rate at a higher price means I'm a landlord for
                                life.
                                \_ I guess it depends on if you plan to
                                   keep the property or sell it. Most
                                   people I know who made millions in real
                                   estate kept it a decently long amount of
                                   time (i.e. were landlords) and only sold
                                   if they saw a better (income-generating)
                                   opportunity or found themselves needing
                                   cash for another reason (e.g. medical).
                                   \_ Of course.  I didn't say I was flipping.
                                      Over time, real estate and everything
                                      else goes up (mostly).  Since the idea
                                      is to grow a real estate empire and
                                      destroy Trump, buying low and selling
                                      high is better than buying high and
                                      renting the same properties forever. I
                                      see no reason for buying high at any
                                      realistic interest rate.
                                      \_ The people I know who own millions
                                         in real estate are still buying
                                         quality. It's the same as with
                                         stocks. Low or high, the key is
                                         to buy quality and keep buying.
                                         The cycles of the market become
                                         irrelevant over time. A woman I
                                         know casually lost more in a quarter
                                         of investing than I make in 2
                                         years. She keeps buying, though.
                                         Why? She's been buying for the
                                         last 40 years is why. Same with
                                         her real estate. Sure, some times
                                         are more ideal than others, but
                                         in general you play the game or
                                         you don't. It doesn't pay to sit
                                         out (time the market). You might
                                         lose some battles, but you will
                                         win the war. Your ideal situation
                                         (falling prices) may never
                                         materialize. What if prices fall
                                         10%? Is that the bottom? 50%?
                                         What if you buy at 50% off and
                                         they fall to 75%? You're still
                                         hurt. --dim
                                         \_ In stocks, the woman is doing
                            dollar cost averaging (investing at fixed
                            intervals).  In buying a house, most people
                            only have one or two houses, so the point
                            of entry is important.
                            \_ If you only have one house you aren't an
                               investor, so don't worry about it. The
                               person above is talking about starting a
                               real estate empire. Real estate investors
                               buy low and buy high. The typical homeowner
                               shouldn't care. He's buying a place to live.
                               \_ If he is talking about big investors,
                                  his generalization to stocks is even
                                  less true.  Warren Buffet buys low and
                                  hold and hold.  He doesn't buy high.
                                  Dollar cost averaging applies to small
                                  investors who aren't confident in what
                                  they are doing.  As for real estate,
                                  I know people who own millions worth,
                                  and I also know they will laugh at you
                                  if you think buying high is good.
                                  \_ The motd is the only place you'll get
                                     financial "advice" telling you that
                                     buying high is good.
                                     \_ Buying high is good as long as you
                                        can sell higher.
                                  \_ Buffett is buying all the time. He
                                     didn't stop when the market got high. He
                                     just had to work harder to find value. In
                                     any market there is something worth
                                     buying. That's why I say 'buy
                                     quality'. Buying low is better than
                                     high. No one is disputing that.
                                     Investors don't time the market. They
                                     look for the right stocks/properties
                                     to buy. Many would've told you the
                                     real estate market was at a top a few
                                     years ago and yet it wasn't. When you
                                     buy a quality stock/property you come
                                     out ahead no matter the prevailing
                                     market at the time you bought it. If
                                     your friend the investor is out of
                                     the market now then when will he
                                     reenter? It's easy to miss entry/exit
                                     points. It's better to just keep
                                     buying - high or low. Your implication
                                     that DCA is for people who don't know any
                                     better is ridiculous. People DCA
                                     because the alternative it to put
                                     your money in a CD. It's better to
                                     buy equities with it whatever the
                                     market conditions.
                                     \_ CD is the alternative?  huh?
                                        There are so many things you can
                                        do like long term bonds, short
                                        term bonds, municipal bonds,
                                        foreign bonds, REIT, option
                                        hedges, shorting, utilities,
                                        TIPS, commodities, infrastructure,
                                        foreign stocks, emerging market
                                        stocks, etc.  No, it is not
                                        "better to buy equities whatever
                                        the market conditions".
                                        \_ foreign stocks are equities,
                                           you know.
                                        \_ Lots of research (and experience)
                                           proves you wrong. You might
                                           shuffle your mix, but if you
                                           stop buying equities altogether
                                           at some point then you are an
                                           idiot.
2005/12/11-14 [Consumer/Audio] UID:40963 Activity:nil
12/11   CSUA Survey:  What percentage of music do you listen to on MP3,
        CD(wav or lossless), SACD, vinyl, other formats?
        \_ 100% mp3. I buy CD's, but I just rip them all to mp3 and play them
           that way.  Most of the music I listen to was recorded on shitty
           equipment anyway probably.
           \_ Seconded. I generally buy CDs and rip to 192kbps mp3s. I have
              a few aacs d/l'ed for free from the itms.
        \_ 70% lossless, 30% compressed. Can't stand compressed after listening
           to lossless.
           \_ What is an example of a lossless format other than CDs or WAV?
              \_ FLAC
                 \_ Is .au lossless?
              \_ iTunes rips lossless, I think to aac. 50% compression over WAV
           \_ you wouldn't get along with Bob Cringely:
              "I don't generally get along well with the kind of people who
               can hear the difference [between 192kpbs and higher]"
              http://tinyurl.com/c3be5 [pbs.org]
              \_ I would never use a service like that.  If their
                 security is broken, people will be able to get my
                 files!  I, as with the other 100% compressed
                 listeners, rip all my CDs, but not to MP3.  I use -q6
                 ogg and keep the files in three different encrypted
                 drives.  One is at work, one is for backup, and one
                 is for serving it within my intranet.  Playing is
                 done by moving-part-less (as in silent) music
                 computer -> ASIO interface -> external DAC -> preamp
                 -> crossovers -> amps -> speakers -> ears.
              \_ My high school physics teacher used to give a little speech
                 about how the ability to hear very high frequencies was tied
                 to intelligence, then tell people he was playing a high
                 frequency tone and keep calling out frequencies until some
                 arrogant prick started to claim they heard the noise, then
                 he'd mention that he never had the speaker on.
                 \_ The Emperor's New Clothes.
                 \_ sounds like a dick. funny though
        \_ 30% streaming, 60% AAC (ripped through iTunes), 10% mp3
        \_ 40% high bitrate mp3, 50% mid quality mp3, 10% CD.
        \_ 90% CD, 10% MP3 of various bitrates.  Have a few [hybrid] SACDs but
           not a SACD player (yet).
        \_ 50% CD, 50% live radio
2005/12/11-14 [Computer/SW/Editors/Emacs, Computer/SW/WWW/Browsers] UID:40964 Activity:kinda low
12/11   Since the SSH change, I've been getting the following error
        message in Outlook Express:  "The certificate's CN name does not
        match the passed value".  How can I get rid of this message?  I'm
        guessing it has to do with the certificate I'm using.  I got it from:
        <DEAD>soda.csua.berkeley.edu:995<DEAD>  It's called "localhost".  Do I
        need to use a new POP server?  Right now I'm using
        http://soda.csua.berkeley.edu port 995.  Or get a certificate from elsewhere?
        \_ ever since the new soda, emacs has been acting up on me.
           Anyone have a good default .emacs that allows me to do standard
           text editing, like editing motd?  Tab doesn't even work anymore;
           it's checking for programming(lisp?) statements, I think, and
           overriding all standard editing.
           \- i find the new emacs a little strange too. the issue isnt so
              much as a "good emacs" but solving specific problems.
           \_ Looks like an issue with the name of the temp file assigned
              by /csua/bin/me:   my $motdcurrent = "/tmp/motd.public.c.$>.$$";
           \_ That's strange.  Ever since the new soda, my emacs works better
              than before even though it's the same emacs version.  Now the
              prompt in my shell buffer is displayed in color, and my commands
              in bold.  When I do Ctrl-S to search, all the nearby matches are
              highlighted.  global-font-lock-mode now does color highlighting.
              BTW my .emacs file hasn't changed for 12 years.  If anyone can
              shed light on what's behind these improvements, that'll be great.
              --- yuen
              \_ New soda is now running emacs 21, that's why.
                 \_ I thought it was also 21 before the upgrade.  No?
              \_ A fixed termcap maybe?
        \_ The self-signed SSL certs are now fixed. Thanks. You might want
           to look into using Mozilla Thunderbird instead of Outlook Express.
           \_ Thanks, the error is gone! -op
              \- i have noticed some interoperability issues between
                 older SSL programs and recent SSL applications.
                 doing a little digging, it looks like there are
                 some different padding strategies.
        \_ I've fixed the self-signed SSL certs, but that might not fix the
           message in Outlook Express. Try Mozilla Thunderbird. -brett
        \_ The self-signed SSL certs have been fixed. Try Mozilla Thunderbird.
        \_ telnetd is broken, can we get telnet turned back on?  thanks!
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:December:11 Sunday <Saturday, Monday>