Mr Medved

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Everything posted by Mr Medved

  1. It's the third wave of colonisation in Australia (after British and American). Not sure people get that yet. It's more than just Chinese buying up Australian property.
  2. Not sure which thread to put this so will mention it here, Someone I know visited a prison yesterday as part of work duties. Apparently there are 3-4 four new prisons being built in Victoria (there are 11 at the moment). When asked about it, a guy working at the prison said that whenever there is an increase in the cost of living there is an increase in crime. So judging by what the government is doing they are predicting a lot more crime in the next few years.
  3. He quoted an article that is over a year old (re Australian real estate). From what I see nothing has changed from the boom times.
  4. Blocked again at work today, flagged as malware again.
  5. My father was notified of redundancy today. You guessed it - replaced by outsourced Indian IT company! Not sure how many people are impacted in his company but sounds like their IT division is closing down. Doesn't sound like he'll be back doing consulting/contracting for them as that particular vendor is highly protective of their turf. Given he is in his 60s he would have preferred to work another year or two, as it's hard to find work at that age and he's used to working from home... he has done so for at least 20 years I think. So early retirement it is for him. Apparently he pays bugger all tax on the redundancy payment so it's not all bad news.
  6. I started watching Hypernormalisation on the weekend (I highly recommend the director, he's made quite a few nice docos - he normally makes them for the BBC so I don't know how objective they are): It was interesting to see how New York was almost a third world city in the 1970s and the city couldn't sell their bonds. Curtis claims that the banks took over by stealth. Reading Armstrong I think we're going to hit a similar scenario but wonder what the health of banks will be like.
  7. I don't think so. If they can obtain info on water and/or energy as cobran mentioned then it wouldn't be too difficult. It may require some upfront capital but then it would be almost as easy as collecting rates.
  8. Not blocked at work today! I can enjoy reading over lunch for a change. Not sure if RumpledElf has done anything (I assume not).
  9. I wonder what Armstrong would make of the line chart below. I wonder if the trend is going to reverse. As a footnote, a guest speaker I listened to a couple of weeks ago said that freedoms are reducing (in Australia and around the world) and that the trend is going to continue.
  10. I'm still not interested. To buy a modest 3BR unit in the suburb I live would probably cost a million dollars, so 15k saving on stamp duty isn't getting me excited.
  11. Does it do much more than a port scan?
  12. I am definitely leaning towards contracting, just there aren't that many opportunities at the moment and the market seems to be cool. That's why I'm thinking about perm roles.
  13. I have my own indicator for gold. Yesterday a former colleague (originally from India) asked me about bullion dealers. I think either his family in India or his Indian friends have been in his ear. The last time he asked about bullion dealers was about five years ago, around the same time as the last low. So it may be a good time to buy an ounce or two.
  14. I have a dilemma. I am currently contracting independently, money is good. But it's only a three month contract and the program may be in trouble so I'm considering other options. In the last three months I hit four hiring freezes which tells me the market isn't all that hot at the moment. Two were for jobs I probably would have got, and one I eventually did get - only three months later. So I need to decided whether to commit to looking at more contracting work (more money) or a perm role (more predictability). My preference is probably more for contracting but the market is cool. If I stick around in my current gig then money is unlikely to be higher elsewhere... but it could come to a grinding halt and I'm burning savings looking for a gig. So do I jump early or take my chances and stick around? Or do something else? What would you do?
  15. It turns out our new friend from Crimea seems to be a public figure/famous in Russia. Go figure. When he joined us for dinner we invited a fellow Russian friend to join us, but he already had other plans. When our local friend found out who it was he was absolutely kicking himself he didn't join us.
  16. Like some others on this site I've been watching events between Russia and the USA/EU over the last several months. I thought I'd start a thread on the topic as if things spiral out of control then events would have a material impact here. What surprises me the most is how completely and utterly useless the USA (and EU) have been and out-positioned by Russian moves on practically every occasion. Whether it be intervention in Syria, 'liberation' of Crimea, bugging and leaks of US/EU officials and Timoshenko, Turkish military officials being bugged when talking about false flags (most likely the Russians), it seems like the west is a child playing an adult's game - some of the decisions seem absolutely retarded. And that's with the backdrop of Snowden gaining asylum post-NSA leaks (which are continuing) and a potential gas deal between Russia-China sidestepping the USD. Interesting times.
  17. That's one of the reasons why I like Japan. I'm a cash guy and don't particularly like cards. I take it that direct trade between China and Japan will use CIPS, but for most or all other trade they will continue to use SWIFT.
  18. I met a very interesting guy last night at a public meeting. He's worked in the legal profession for over 30 years (no longer does) and was a pastor for 30 years. He's a bit of a maverick or black sheep and knows a lot that most people don't. Apparently 15 people he knew have been sent to the grave for knowing too much. He was involved in putting together the Freedom of Information act in Victoria and talked about shenanigans the government got up to that actually makes it harder to get information. But that's another story. He had an interesting theory about global warming - he called it the fish bowl theory. If you put water in a fish bowl and put it out in the sun, the water will heat up. If you add effluence to the water it warms up faster. 70% of the world's population, which has grown at an almost exponential rate over the last 50 years, live near oceans so all their effluence is going into the ocean. That in turn is warming up the ocean. And that is a contributing factor to global warming. So it may be related to humans but not to carbon dioxide as the paid-for scientists may claim. I may have forgotten one or two points but that is the basic theory put forward.
  19. Yeah - I couldn't do my lunch time reading. What a drag! Luckily I'm the IT department at home so no worries here.
  20. Funny how things pan out sometimes... Mrs Medved was returning from Russia and met an interesting guy from Crimea in transit. We ended up inviting him over for dinner on the weekend. After dinner he said he felt tired, so took a nap on our sofa. That actually enamoured me for two reasons; firstly that he feels no social remorse for taking a nap after a meal in a stranger's house in their living room, and secondly because it allowed me to take a rest too. When he awoke he had a long conversation with my mother-in-law on skype, then we started having a chat. Turns out some of his research dabbles in "conspiracy" research so we had plenty to talk about. By about midnight I had to drive him back to his hostel so we finally talked about Crimea and some of his viewpoints. - Russia is in imperialistic mode (like Armstrong says) - Life was better as part of Ukraine as Crimea is now a war zone - It's a bit like Soviet days where you can't openly talk about certain issues in public ("kitchen talk") - Regardless of the referendum, the people have no say as to what happens, they are merely pawns - I asked about the Donbass region but didn't fully understand his response He definitely views that the people are powerless and their destiny is controlled by elites. He mentioned that the Romanovs were sympathetic or aligned to the Vatican, and that alignment has returned under Putin. He also talked about how the UK have always had a desire of independence from continential Europe and the Vatican, and this is part of the reason why they left the EU. He also talked about dire straits in regional Russia, though not sure if specific to Crimea. People can't even afford to buy whole cucumbers (they buy half or quarter), apparently there is some very serious suffering for basic necessities (and alcoholism is a major problem). So it will be interesting to see if parts of Russia suffer from famine, particularly with cyclical climate change. The media is essentially gagged from reporting on this and act as government propaganda. I've got his contact details so I might keep in touch with him to get an insider's account of life there.
  21. I don't think he does much checking if something fits his narrative.
  22. Apartment buildings are generally what people live in. It is normally a centralised hot water system for the entire building heating water pipes next to external walls, so often no way to regulate temperature except for opening windows. For standalone houses it is common to have a smaller version with coal/wood heating. The stove heats up water which passes through pipes to keep the walls warm. As long as the system functions properly it's a comfortable temperature. When I lived in Canada the house was sufficiently heated that I could walk around in a t-shirt and shorts. The same in Central Asia except for close to the wall, but I think that's because the heater wasn't working properly and I was sleeping on the floor. Heating costs around 1000AUD/year (I think) for apartment buildings but depends on cubic metre size of the apartment. Summers can get hot. Nothing like Australia but can get above 30. I've never spent a summer in the northern hemisphere so can't speak from experience.
  23. Most are brick or concrete, older ones are wood (on the outside) but not that common. It's not unusual for older buildings to have exterior walls with a thickness of over half a metre.
  24. A relative lives in a rural area outside of Melbourne. She gets better ROI from investing in tank water and wood heating rather than investing in solar panels. But I guess technology is advancing and it depends where you live. As a renter it doesn't make much difference to me, I just need to turn off the lights!
  25. Mrs Medved spent a night in Moscow but forgot to take any photos, so this travelogue kicks off in Akadem. More formally it is known as Akademgorodok. When the Soviets freaked out over Hitler and his crew they moved most of their best scientists there, so it has a rich history in science and academia. It's officially part of Novosibirsk but don't tell the locals (apparently some will be offended). It's also nicknamed the Silicon Taiga because of the number of IT companies based there, not the number of breast implants. I think to get to the centre of Novosibirsk by public transport takes about an hour or so, if you're in a car it depends on the amount of traffic and weather conditions. If I had to bunker out somewhere this would be high on the list (though I've never been there). I figure it's a good idea to live around people who are a lot smarter than me. The forests are nice too. The friend Mrs Medved stayed with has a husband who is a physicist or something, so he gets an apartment for free. It seems like apartments are a similar price in Akadem as in the city centre so that also says it's a nice place to live.