Archive for the Economy Category

The Tesla Effect!

Posted in Economy, Technology with tags , , , , , , on 2019/11/15 by rmolby

WOW, what a few eventful months it has been!

Even though I have known about Tesla for quite some time, it’s just been since late last year when the Model 3 was released that more and more people have become aware of The Tesla Effect.

What is The Tesla Effect?

To explain this, you have to first think about what it takes to operate a conventional Diesel or Gasoline car:

  • First we have to build the car (about 10,000 to 20,000 moving parts
  • Then we have to transport these cars via trucks to dealerships
  • Then the salesperson has to make the deal with you
  • Then when the tank is empty we have to fill the tank
  • To get the gasoline we need the following:
    • Expensive oil drilling equipment has to extract the oil (pollution from oil contaminated drilling mud, water, oilwell & tanker spills, etc.
    • The oil needs to be pipelined or shipped to refineries (pollution from spills and seeps, dirty bunker oil burning tankers)
    • The oil needs to be refined in old, expensive, polluting oil refineries
    • The refined gasoline needs to be pipelined or trucked to gasoline stations
    • People have to fuel their cars (pollution from spilled fuel)
  • People drive their cars (pollution from tail pipe and leaking engines)
  • We have to maintain the cars (lot’s of failures with 20000 moving parts!!!)

Now let’s look at the Tesla cars (but this holds true for many EVs):

  • We have to build the EV (less than 500 moving parts, mostly electric or servo motors, bearings, etc.)
  • Tesla sells the cars directly to customers and trucks the cars directly to them
  • People plug in the cars at home (50-75%) or plug into public recharge stations (only pollutions is from fossil fuel derived electricity, only additional electrical infrastructure required is a high Amperage electrical outlet in your garage or on the side of the house)
  • Maintenance is nominal with so few moving parts (most pollution is from making the tires, and the tire wear rubber dust)

Now, the above it very simplified, but you get the idea!

But why would we call it The Tesla Effect?

Because even though GM has been building EVs for some time, they were trying to maintain their industry dominance and built the cars inefficient to gasoline or diesel standards.

Tesla on the other hand started from scratch, never having built cars… they designed their production models from scratch to be an EV, and have been innovating the battery, motor, efficiency, and safety standards to a level that the conventional car manufacturers cannot compete.

Tesla just about obliterated sedan sales in 2018 and 2019, and I believe the other manufacturers will be shuttering all but the most budget sedan models for 2020… used sedans have dropped in value by up to 75% in some cases… you can pick up a luxury compact sedan like a BMW or Mercedes Benz for the same price as a mid range new sedan… many people not willing to pay for a Tesla will buy a used luxury car or the same priced brand new conventional car… but even this will change in 2020 – but that is just my humble opinion!

Economics – The value of bitcoin

Posted in Computer Software, Economy, Income with tags , , , on 2015/08/24 by rmolby

I have been involved in bitcoin mining from the early days, but with mining becoming more and more difficult, I have decided to not expend any more regular money on the endeavor, instead to concentrate on bitcoin faucets.

So I was looking at an app called BitMaker on my smartphone, an app that trades viewing ads for small amounts of bitcoin called Satoshi.

A Satoshi is one unit at the 8th decimal place, or 0.00000001 BTC. Since there will be a maximum of 21 million bitcoin ever mined, and there are roughly 7.5 billion people on the planet, and growing, we will need approximately 0.0028 BTC, or 280,000 Satoshi, per person at the current population levels.

To figure out what it take at a minimum to survive in the USA, including food, rent or mortgage, utilities, etc, I will be looking back to 1964. There is a reason for this I will get into shortly.

In 1964, you could live at the transition point from lower to middle class, pay all your bills, live in a decent house, drive one car, have one TV, and not be at the brink of poverty. It meant being frugal. The minimum wage in 1964 was $1.25 and it would provide that level of minimum living on ONE income. FIVE quarters (25 cent coins for those outside of the USA) per hour would pay that level of income!

Now, the reason why I chose 1964 is the fact that there still was silver in quarters, 90% to be exact. If we go to Coinflation.com, we see a single pre-1965 quarter is worth $2.6403 in 2015 dollars. So 5 quarters would be $13.20, that is more than today’s minimum wage in most areas of the USA. That is $27,459.12 per year in 2015 dollars. Back in 1964 you could live decent, today that makes you poor and in some cases eligible for welfare!

But let’s assume that today we COULD eek out a living on $28,000 per year. I rounded the number to make the math easy. As you saw above, there are about 280,000 Satoshi per person, per year, so, that would make each Satoshi worth $0.10 or 10 cents. If this is the case, then 10 Satoshi make $1, and one bitcoin would be worth 10 million US dollars.

Right now, BitMaker allow me to bring in around 16000 Satoshi a week, currently, at about $280 per BTC, that is about 4-5 cents, however, if bitcoin would be worth what it should be as described above, this would represent US$1600, a significant amount of income.

I wrote the above over the last two weeks in short bursts without posting it here. So then today I read an article on beta Kim Dotcom recommends investing into bitcoin due to the current stock market down turns in China, EU, and USA.

So, if bitcoin ever achieves it’s real value, I can totally see my currently meager income of a few Satoshi here and there add up to significant retirement savings. $1600 per day, could turn out to be $584,000 in the future.

Are you acquiring a few Satoshi today?

Technology – Google restructuring

Posted in Android, Blogging, Business, Economy, Technology with tags , , on 2015/08/11 by rmolby

I just saw an article on tom’s HARDWARE stating that a new umbrella company, Alphabet, will “own” Google, and that all the smaller projects they have running under the Google umbrella will become independent subsidiaries under the new Alphabet group.

According to Larry Page, this is to enable Google to re-focus on it’s core mission, and spin off any successful projects as separate business units with their own budgets and CEOs.

I personally think this is a good idea. Google is a behemoth that must be difficult to manage, and probably impossible to audit. Too many small projects cluttering up the business. By breaking things up each business unit should be able to run meaner, and maybe leaner once it is running profitably.

Financial – Micro-tipping with ChangeTip

Posted in Blogging, Business, Economy, Entertainment, Income, Internet, Liberty, Technology, Wordpress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2014/08/24 by rmolby

In my previous post about tipping with bitcoin on Twitter, I talked about using TipperCoin, but this only worked on Twitter. So here comes a different outfit, ChangeTip – A Love Button for the Internet.

Have you ever read something on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or any other social media site and wanted to send the author a small amount of funds to tell them you appreciate the information?

Well, sending very small tips, also called micro-payments or micro-tipping, isn’t really feasible with say PayPal, or most other conventional payment systems, because of all the transaction fees.

Well, all this changed when Bitcoin was created back in 2007/2008 (see history), and today we are are able to make financial transaction in microscopic small amounts. As a matter of fact, as of this posting, it would take 122,174 satoshi to make one (1) US dollar, or 1221.74 satoshi to make a US Penny, according to Satoshi Value.

This means that I can now tip or pay for just the piece of content that is important to me. For example, if I look at a DiY page and all I really needed is a picture of where a part goes on a gadget, I may tip the article or post writer a dollar, but if just needed one paragraph of text to clarify something, or I find a page visually pleasing, I may tip 1000 satoshi, or just under a penny. Hover, if I find something really valuable, say a gardening article, and I decide to print a hard copy of it for future reference, I may tip US$5 because I find it that valuable and I am keeping it for future reference, so it is worth that much. Or maybe 1/4 of the article is worth keeping it, so I will tip US$1.25.

So first there was TipperCoin, a novel way to send small amount of bitcoin to Twitter users. But since this is specific to Twitter users I never really got into it because I just don’t Twitter that much, much less read a lot of Tweets. This all changes with ChangeTip. It is cross-platform, currently supporting GitHub, Google+, Reddit, StoclTwits, Tumblr, Twitter and YouTube. They are working on Facebook.

When you sign up, they generously give US$0.50 to start your tipping account. I used my Google+ to do the signing up, and it automatically linked my YouTube channel. I then added all the other social media sites I have an account with.

Now I am ready to both tip and receive tips.

So, here we go, a way to tell authors how much you appreciate their work beyond giving them a “Like”, “Plus” or retweet.

If you found this article useful, you can go here to give me a tip and sign up if you are not a ChangeTip member.

Tip Me With ChangeTip

Health – Climate Comfort

Posted in Blogging, Economy, Family, Health with tags , , , , , , on 2014/04/28 by rmolby

Have you ever thought about your own comfort levels, physically, and if you are not comfortable with where you live, maybe moving to a part of your country or somewhere on this globe that might be more to your liking?

Well, the wife and I are extremely sensitive to extreme temperatures. The wife has a genetic condition that doesn’t allow her body to regulate heat very well because she cannot perspire sufficiently to stay cool, so when temperatures rise above 72ºF (22.2ºC) she starts struggling. Her comfort range realistically ends at 70ºF (21.1ºC). I personally feel fine until we get above 80ºF (26.7ºC), and start hating the heat above 85ºF (29.4ºC), but I can tolerate all the way to 92ºF (33.3ºC). However, I feel like I am getting less and less tolerant to heat, so I prefer to stay below 78ºF (25.6ºC).

Now, going in the other direction, the wife will wear shorts and sandals at temps below 50ºF (10ºC), and only wear a light coat and Capri-Style jeans at temps between 30ºF (-1.1ºC) and 50ºF (10ºC). She won’t start wearing sneakers or boots until temp reach below 30ºF (-1.1ºC)! However, this winter she has become less tolerant to colder temperatures, and anything below 40ºF (4.4ºC) seemed uncomfortable for her. My personal lower limit is 60ºF (15.6ºC), and I start putting on a light cotton knit sweater and jeans, anything below 50ºF (10ºC) I am wearing at least a light to medium weight jacket, along with the sweater, and if we dip below 40ºF (4.4ºC) I am wearing a decent medium to heavy coat, gloves, and something warmer than sneakers.

The consensus the wife and I have come to is that we need places to live where temperatures do not exceed 78ºF (25.6ºC) on the high side and don’t go below freezing very much in the cool season. This limits the choices we have, and I have been looking for places all around the planet that come close to our ideals.

The wife has been dreaming about moving to Anchorage, Alaska, and looking at the last 5 years of weather there, temperatures are between 6ºF (-14.4ºC) and 71ºF (21.7ºC), so the wife would feel fine there, but it would be too cold for me in the winter. The other issue is that you are pretty much cut off from civilization if modern air and ship travel get impacted by weather or natural disasters, and the other factor is that it is very expensive to live in Alaska, even in Anchorage.

Several years, before I married my current wife, I had read about a place in Ecuador named Vilcabamba, in the southern part of the country, that I read was a health nut’s paradise because the temperatures are between 68ºF (20ºC) and 89ºF (31.7ºC) all year long, and the land is so productive that you can grow anything all year long. I would be able to live there just fine, but the wife would struggle with the warm season.

About 3-4 years ago I came across an article about another place in Ecuador, Cotacachi, near Quito, that stays between 48ºF (8.9ºC) and 70ºF (21.1ºC), the perfect overlap range for both of use to be happy, and the cost of living is below that of the USA, and after the last currency default, the Ecuadorian government decided to adopt the US Dollar as their own currency, and being in a trade agreement with the USA, many American citizens decide to retire in Ecuador because of the lower cost of living.

There are warmer and colder areas than Cotacachi, and several of the larger cities in Ecuador offer high-tech jobs and many of the these same cities are progressive and modern and offer many conveniences like equivalent cities in North America and Europe, so there is employment opportunity for younger folks, too.

So, it seems to be the perfect place to move to, until today, when I read about a town in southern Chile, Punta Arenas. It is at the tip if South America, and was the port city of choice for any ship circumnavigating South America, to stop and resupply at, until the Panama Canal went into operation. Today the city is know for excellent tourism, wool, fish and beef production, and forestry products. Temperatures are between 29F and 60F, a little cool for me but I can live with it.

So, I think I would prefer to live in Cotacachi as my first choice, due to to the economic ties to the USA. And with so many American ExPats living there, I would imagine it would be the better choice. Also, since Ecuador is pushing hard to attract high-tech jobs, I think this is where we should go if we decide to become ExPats ourselves.

The other thought that had crossed our mind is to have several places we call home, and move with the seasons from Alaska, to Ecuador, to souther Chile, and maybe a place or two in between.

I will explore that idea in another post, later…

Financial – Micro-tipping with Bitcoin

Posted in Blogging, Business, Economy, Entertainment, Internet, Liberty, Technology, Wordpress with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2014/01/21 by rmolby

Have you ever read something on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or any other social media site and wanted to send the author a small amount of fund to tell them you appreciate the information?

Well, sending very small tips isn’t really feasible with say PayPal or most other conventional payment systems. Then here comes TipperCoin, a novel way to send small amount of Bitcoin to Twitter users. Once you have an account on TipperCoin by signing in with your Twitter account, you are automatically given a Bitcoin address that is used to both receive and send micro Bitcoin to other Twitter users by sending a Twitter message in the following format:

“@recipient, message text here, 0.001 BTC @tippercoin”

Even if the Twitter user does not have a TipperCoin account yet, TipperCoin will automatically generate a Bitcoin address for the user and store the coin up to 21 days.

So, here we go, a way to tell authors how much you appreciate their work beyond giving them a “Like”, “Plus” or retweet.

Health – lack of money equals unhappiness

Posted in Blogging, Economy, Health, LifeStyle, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 2014/01/19 by rmolby

So, I don’t think I have mentioned that back in early December that I was told one day to go home and wait for a call that never came when to come back in to work.

I can’t really get into why I was told to go home, however, I can say that as of yet, they have not called me back, and I have not received a paycheck in close to 4 weeks now.

I can tell you that the old adage that “money buys happiness” is not very true, just because you have money does not by extension make you happy, however, the reverse, the “lack of money causes unhappiness” is a fully true statement!

I am currently experiencing the unhappy feeling of not having the funds to pay the bills on time, so I am increasingly becoming more and more depressed, which in turn is making me more and more unhappy.

I MUST find a job, SOON!

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