The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

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The original Apple Watch – @dgwbirch

@dgwbirch – The original Apple Watch from 1930’s – scrolling map on wrist #TTTU2015 moving through the hub of innovation – Guildford

Written by Colin Henderson

September 8, 2015 at 14:46

Posted in Uncategorized

Tomorrows Transactions – Toronto Sept 8th #TTTU2015

Dave is telling us to complete the post it notes. He points out that the post it notes are in fact not a blockchain.

Let the humour begin.

Written by Colin Henderson

September 8, 2015 at 09:24

Posted in Uncategorized

“Hacking is a business model”; some simple advice from an expert

I was reading the comments on this exploit story on AppleInsider. I loved lkrupp’s comment (below). The first paragraph might just be the best and simplest explanation for how to avoid virus and malware problems. (if you use Windows then you’ll need to substitute Microsoft approved or the likes for App Store).

Several of the other comments are laced with common sense. “So the danger is not that someone outside can get into your machine: the danger is that anyone who has physical access to your machine can take it over.”

The second paragraph is just a nice description of the evolution of hacking and how its evolved from “glory” into a “business model”.

New privilege escalation exploit discovered in OS X Yosemite, also affects just-released 10.10.5

Don’t worry about it. Just keep using common sense when downloading software. Download only from trusted sources and companies like the App Store. Don’t click on anything that promises magical things. If it sounds too good to be true it IS. Like all the other chicken little reports about these things they rarely actually materialize to become a major problem.

Above all don’t listen to the paranoid crowd’s predictions of the Apocalypse. They show up here every time one of these reports gets out, wringing their hands and running around with their hair on fire. Truth is hackers these days are in it for the money. They like attacking corporations where the ROI is highest. Individual’s machines not so much because the data is of limited value. It’s not like the old days where hackers did their thing for the glory of their reputations. Today hacking is a business model.

Written by Colin Henderson

August 17, 2015 at 21:32

Posted in Uncategorized

Greece is important and so is Alabama

This quote from Rana Foroohar on CNN this weekend makes one stop and think. A similar comment related to Connecticut (similar GDP to Greece) effectively bailing out any of the smaller southern US states every year.

Why Greece Matters for Everyone

It’s not that the economy of Greece itself matters so much–China creates a new Greece every six weeks–it’s that a Greek exit from the Eurozone calls into question the entire European experiment.

Its easy to understate the importance of small economic areas, but they matter immensely within their geographic and economic context within which they belong no matter what the bean counters think.

Written by Colin Henderson

July 13, 2015 at 00:01

Posted in Uncategorized

Garakei: Galapagos cell phone

My wife just came across this term on a recent trip back to Japan. Garakei or another version, Gara-phone.

It literally means “Galapagos Cell Phone”. The backdrop actually goes back to Charles Darwin and how he made the Galapagos Islands famous for uniquely eveolving animal forms and this formed the basis of his “Origin of Species”.

Garakei: Galapagos cell phone

Recently I’ve been hearing about a Japanese electronic device called a “garakei ガラケイ”. Mystified by this katakana word, which I assumed to be at least partially the transcription of some foreign term, I set about trying to find out more about it.

It wasn’t hard to discover (here and here) that the word basically means “Galapagos cell phone”. What a strange name for a kind of cell phone!

If we recall back to before 2007 Japan had their own industry leading and very efficient phones which had apps and characteristics that were unique to Japan. iPhone entered in 2007 and smart phones are mainstream around the world now including Japan.

However there remain a diehard group including my wifes dad who continue to use the unique Japanese phones bearing the pre-2007 style. These are the Gara-phones and hence the reference to Galapagos.

More from language log.

The idea is that, like the animals and birds of the Galapagos Islands, which developed unique traits in isolation from mainland species so as to fit their special environment, the garakei ガラケイhas features that were developed solely in and for people of the Japanese islands without regard to global IT trends. Thus, garakei are not known or used in places outside Japan. Naturally, they have some features that are shared with cell phones elsewhere (e.g., built-in camera), but they also have functions that do not exist outside of Japan.

Written by Colin Henderson

July 10, 2015 at 08:15

Posted in Uncategorized

China stock market is unplugged

Maybe there are just some things that cannot be controlled.

Despite massive government intervention, the Chinese stock market is collapsing in light of an overbought bubble.

Fresh turmoil hits China’s stock market

China’s central bank stepped up state support for sinking stocks on Wednesday, as investors rushed to sell what they still could after a fresh wave of share suspensions that have now halted trading in half the market.


The renewed selling followed another round of share suspensions overnight, which have now halted trading in 1,476 stocks — or more than 50 per cent all listed companies on China’s two main exchanges. The suspensions have frozen $2.6tn worth of equity, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Written by Colin Henderson

July 7, 2015 at 23:06

Posted in Uncategorized

Piketty brings academic pragmatism to Greece debate

This interview with Thomas Piketty by Die Ziet is a landmark. As the interview rightly points out this 700+ page best seller has not been read beyond probably Page 26 by most of the purchasers. This is obvious to me by the book reviews.

However this interview has two main aspects of interest:

  1. it highlights some economic history, history meaning anything previous to the last quarter, and that in which most folks have no interest. This stuff is not in the history books. Economic history is boring and unless you read Niall Ferguson, Thomas Piketty, or Kenneth Rogoff will not mean much. His central point in this interview is that Germany has never re-paid their country debts. They have either inflated themselves out of debt or just plain not paid. In other words they have, in his view, no moral right to the position they take against Greece.
  2. there is a symbience between the European countries that require a symbiotic agreement to move forward. To take the Grexit approach would simply alert the Spains, Portugals, and Italys to the potential to save money by reneging.

This subject is important. Consider California or Michigan seceding because of their debts. A domino game would be set off that would result in chaos within currency markets. To bring it closer to home, going on vacation would become a currency guessing game.

I actually don’t like the Eurozone but I think its important for the future becuase it brings the world closer to economic similarity if not equivalence.

In closing the orginal Die Ziet interview on Medium has been closed due to

I am currently in touch with DIE ZEIT to ensure my compliance with German copyright law. Updates will follow very soon. The original German interview with Thomas Piketty can be found here

Clearly since this morning (July 6th, 2015) someone ‘big’ got to Piketty and/or Die Ziet. Piketty is not exactly on my side of the political fence but I admire him for his tenacious focus on research and facts.

Here is the English translation that has since been taken down.

Go Thomas Piketty.

Written by Colin Henderson

July 6, 2015 at 22:19

Posted in Uncategorized


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