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daily 04/01/2014

    • “Everyone already knows that.” Well, that’s the point, isn’t it?
    • Sure, fine, none of this is “new.”


      But you motherfuckers were never going to anything about it!

    • The EW article is full of quotes from financial analysts and consultants, discussing the newest buzzword: “megafranchise.” Every studio has to have a megafranchise, or die. (There’s literally a quote from one Sony executive, saying that they have to create a megafranchise in order to live.)
    • A regular franchise is like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies: it lasts three or four films (or eight, in the case of Harry Potter) and then ends. After a regular franchise ends, a studio’s box office usually takes a hit and its stock price softens. But a megafranchise can go on and on for years and years, producing a film a year (or two or three per year) because it’s not just one franchise — it’s a franchise of franchises.
    • (Sidenote: There’s an argument to be made that Marvel actually saved superhero movies in general, since audiences might have been getting burned out on cookie-cutter origin stories right about now otherwise.)
    • It all depends on: How well this summer’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 does, since it’s being sold as setting the cohesive Spider-Man universe into motion.
    • Plus, of course, that’s been the real strength of the Marvel films — the ability to nail a lot of different tones and styles, with light comedies and intense political thrillers taking place in the same world. Until one of these other studios manages to create that range of tones, then it’s going to be an uphill battle.
    • Universal doesn’t have any superheroes (except for Namor), but as MuseZack points out, they’re trying to create a shared universe with all their monster properties.
    • I’m not sure if this is quite the same sort of thing as the other studios are trying to do — this is basically a series of films with spinoffs.
    • Is there any chance it’s a true story? Not unless there was a sailor in the class to tell the Marine how to tally up the 15 minutes after he ran out of fingers to count on.
    • An FBI spokesperson said the bureau launched its investigation — known as the High-Speed Trading Initiative — a year ago. The investigation is looking for violations of insider trading laws in a variety of trading activities, including whether high-speed traders have access to unfair advantages such as ultra-fast data-feeds, and if they are manipulating the market with floods of purchase and sales orders.
    • They should have done this back in the middle 2000’s when traders on Wall Street started to apply supercomputers to make trades at incredibly high speeds. They have to do something about this because such high-speed trading can exacerbate stock market crash conditions—and any Black Swan moment could have disastrous effects on the economy as a whole.
    • Maybe it’s time to reimpose the Glass-Steagall Act and at least protect bank assets from these financial shenanigans.
    • There are rich people in government who are very focused on this and who are concerned about it and who think it loses them money.
    • That’s why you tax every sub-second transaction at 1 cent.
    • HFTs are not adding any value or clarity on pricing or even (dare I say it) liquidity.
    • They are undermining the markets – so to say the market will solve it is to say the market will internalise this inbuilt advantage, leaving anyone who can’t compete to give up a cut to those who can pull together the backing or the technology.
    • So the idea is that institutions/average investors that do not have these systems are at the mercy/taken advantage of by the HFTs. Daily traders are mostly the ones affected by this.
    • Far too long, humans can trade a lot faster than that. Even a few hundred milliseconds would be enough to cripple HFT.
    • Financial Transaction tax. Needs to happen.
    • Insider trading? How about front running a banks own clients.
    • It’s no wonder that the latest bull market, one of the longest and biggest rising bull markets in history, has had absolutely 0 impact on the economy.
    • Front running is insider trading in most jurisdictions.
    • And this will result in a …wait for it… SETTLEMENT! With no one going to prison either. “Justice” has been served, and then they can pat themselves on the back.
    • However, the arrest and strip-search of Ms Khobragade, who was accused of underpaying a maid who accompanied her on her posting, sent a faltering relationship into a deep crisis.
    • US attorney for the southern district of New York who prosecuted the case, inflamed the situation by saying the family had been “evacuated” to the US.
    • However, Marie Harf, a US state department spokeswoman, denied Ms Powell’s departure was related to the Khobragade incident. “It is in no way related to any tension, any recent situations . . . This is the end of a distinguished 37-year career. I think after 37 years, she deserves to retire.”
    • The court further instructed that a different judge should be assigned to Byrom’s new trial.


      Circuit Judge Thomas J. Gardner, who imposed the death sentence on Byrom after her conviction, declined to comment to CNN, saying, “The matter is ongoing.”

    • Following her attorney’s advice, Michelle Byrom waived her right to a jury sentencing, allowing the judge to decide her fate. He sentenced her to death.
    • The defense attorneys also want to depose the prosecutor from her trial, Arch Bullard, regarding his knowledge of Byrom Jr.’s alleged confession to the psychologist.
    • It’s very similar to a cow,” said Schumacher. “If you have a bull that’s in a field and no one goes out to take care of him or brush him or anything, he becomes a very dangerous animal, but if you put him in a smaller pen and brush him and look after him, he becomes less dangerous, we do that with bees.”
    • Beehives will also soon be placed on top of the Omni hotel near Memorial Park. Experts say it’s vital they are protected.
    • Depending on what government agency you look at, between 42 and 85 percent of our food crops are polliunated by bees, so without honey bees, we wont have a whole lot of food,” said Schumacher.
    • We’ve been training for this event for several months now,” Tucson police Sgt. Pete Dugan said Sunday in praise of his department’s handling of the large, unruly crowd that gathered downtown the previous night following the University of Arizona men’s basketball team’s overtime loss in the NCAA tournament. “It got a little rowdy and it got a little violent, but no businesses suffered any damage.”
    • 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
    • Williams wasn’t around Islamorada, a small town on the road to Key West, when Cramer arrived, which was fine by Cramer. He wasn’t on a newspaper deadline and was in no great rush. In the tradition of Gay Talese, he practiced the art of hanging out. His approach to a celebrity profile wasn’t any different from how he reported events Beirut or Pakistan, really: You see the flash and you go towards it when everyone else is getting out of there. You know it’s risky, but you want to see it—you want the truth.
    • Once Cramer got his hooks into Williams, he didn’t let go for three months. It didn’t matter if Esquire was paying him enough to justify that kind of investment of his time. (Cramer later claimed to have lost money on every magazine article he ever wrote.) What mattered was to get something that no one else could get, that no one else could write.
    • “Cramer, I’ve got two things to say to you. First, get a haircut. Second, I never want to see you or speak to you again.”
    • Cramer himself appeared in the piece but only as a foil for Williams; unlike other new journalists the writer didn’t become the story.
    • and showed off Cramer at something like his full power. The coda charts the reinvention of Williams’s reputation in his later years, during which he became beloved, a living incarnation of the American century, and ties this to the man Cramer knew. Evaluating what made Williams great, Cramer wrote:
    • This, perhaps, is why Cramer wrote so well about Williams. He loved the old guy, and when Cramer loved a subject—whether it was Williams or Bob Dole or Joe Biden—he could do them justice on the page. (When Cramer’s charm failed to win the confidence of a subject, when the love wasn’t reciprocated, as was the case with DiMaggio, Cramer could be unforgiving, even sour.)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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