The Casio CA-95 Musical Watch

Some time ago I wrote about early calculator watches and mentioned some of the favorite geek watches I’ve owned over time. My all-time favorite is the CA-95, which I bought in Hannover in 1983 as I arrived at the airport for CEBIT. I needed a new watch, and this one just called out to me.

By dint of a little work, I was able to resurrect it, almost – the “=” button doesn’t work, and I think it’s because I didn’t get it properly aligned. But everything else functions, more or less, which enabled me to record the sounds which I so dearly loved.

Back in that day, a watch would go “beep.” With this model, Casio upped the game substantially – sort of the same effect that Macintosh had on the computer world with its integrated sounds.

Enjoy.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

An Insider’s View of Martin Shkreli

The media has gone nuts about Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharma who “obtained the manufacturing licence for Daraprim, an out-of-patent medicine, and raised its price by 5,455 percent (from $13.50 to $750 per tablet).” (Wikipedia)

2HQAKhw

While the company has stated that there will be a price reversal (as of this writing, we don’t know how much yet), Shkreli has now “receded from the public” according to USA Today, and who can blame him with the furious media storm raging out there?

Most analyses focus on rampant greed within the pharma industry, and use Shkreli as the poster boy for the zenith thereof. One redditor (/u/BlueGold), however, offers a different viewpoint which sheds some additional light on the subject. I’ve bowdlerized it a bit for family consumption – the original thread is here if you don’t mind colorful language.

Legal securities transaction experience and a little SEC regulation fluency checking in:

I’ve actually been doing some more research on the guy at work today, and am pretty blown away at how this all went down, should this theory be on point.

I’d like to state first that he’s a total jerk, and that this is a theory, but it’s becoming more and more convincing that he intended for all of this to happen, and it’s been a fun idea to play with – help educate me in what else this would require and each other:

So he knew the 4,700% cost-floor revaluation was an embellishment with a purpose:

He has, from what I can find, $4 – $15 million in shares of borrowed stock in various pharma corp. entities.

So, the moment reddit started raging about the injustice to the AIDS victims, and someone on Hilary’s digital media team said “Mrs. Clinton – appeal to all these voters by coming down on this dude!” he cracked a beer and watched his whole plan unfold.

In realistic share terms, taking taxes, interest rates in the ST contract with his lenders, and estimated holding into account, is probably several million dollars in profit for a day of acting. Someone above said “he’ll make billions short-selling!” Not only could he not make that much on a 20% drop short sale with his highest estimated borrowed holding, but the profit from a short sale like this doesn’t come to light for the market player until days, weeks, even months later when the price is back up to optimal value for cashing out.

So, its safe to say that he made millions with his little PR stunt, and vocationally, in a vacuum, he’s totally brilliant. Again, universally – he’s a jerk, but has an undeniable vocational aptitude for what he does.

If this probable play theory is on point, he knew he’d announce this cost reduction and caving on the 5k% value inflation shortly after reddit, twitter, mainstream media, and Hilary all started airing out their grievances – and he knew that there would be a subsequent revitalization in the pharma. share market base.

Bada bing bada boom. Say what you want about this guy, but he just acted like a jerk in order to troll the outrage bandwagon into actually influencing share values, and it totally worked. He didn’t deprive any dying children, he didn’t put anyone on the street, he probably didn’t even leave his office.

Alas, the predictable freakout hit the exact water mark he wanted it to, maybe even higher, and he bought all he could at the low price the bandwagon created, flipped back his $4-$15 million in borrowed shares to his creditors with presumably a “lets do business againreal soon” interest rate, and will soon profit generously when the market settles back to its regular CFS.

It would be really impressive, entirely because of the ignorance that is the foundation of everyone’s outrage.

I see a lot of people griping and moaning about the “system,” and the “extortion,” and the “broken justice” of SEC regs, and no suggestions other than “Old_Wolf_Censored this psychopath.”

Ya know what the ironic thing about this situation is though? His play will encourage the SEC revision committee to act. Not PI groups, not activists, not media attention. But this guy, who took advantage of the volatility of the market in response to uninformed social justice outcry. The only thing that really gets the attention of the SEC revision committee is economic circumstances, and the potential to not have firm control over happenings in private trading.

From 1934 – 2012, the SEC Regulatory Revision Committee has instituted 7 major acts, all in response to participant profiting, no one went to prison, and ALL THE ACTS were in the interest of non-corporate market participants.

Like it or not, he’s the only one who’ll make a difference for the better, whether it’s his intention or not – and he’s getting rich while he’s doing it, and not actually acting any differently than 80% of the other AIDS med manufacturers in the industry. In fact, he’s lowered his price below many others.

EDIT: Hopefully this adds some umph to anything I’ve said or answers any questions:

This guy is a master at short selling tactics.

He would get in a run of the mill short sale position, but then encourage the FDA via filing of “citizen petitions” to stall the release of certain products from corporations whose stock he was short selling. In doing this, is where his real mastery lies:

Dr. Hayflick, of OHSU (an outstanding medical research facility), “got a call from him in 2012, suggesting she try a different molecular modification to remedy pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, or PKAN. ‘Damned if it doesn’t do what he thought it would do…It’s impressive. It’s humbling.'”

This isn’t a new thing, at all. I think this outrage is situational discontent with the pharma industry at large, and the for-profit nature of its governance. This, unfortunately, is a product of our privatized medical production realm that happens constantly. He just happened to make a noisy jerk out of himself, but really is one of many players, and still a small one at that.

Gylbera costs 1$ million buckaroos for annual treatment.

Acthar gel was marked 7000% for years.

Cinryze runs 3 times as much as his proposed value.

Short selling, multi-thousand percent mark ups from production-to-sale on drugs, constitutionally-protected systematic deflation of competition, reverse mergers… These are all well established market practices, just usually employed by undeniably smart, exploitive market players and CFOs who keep their mouths shut. This kind of noisy behavior has potential to create a PR nightmare that influences shareholder’s reactionary tendencies. Alas, it’s going back up!!! like our little jerk here has done.

This dude is a jerk. And if this hypothetical situation is on; a really smart jerk.

Once more, it serves to emphasize that this is one person’s theory. But it’s based on substantial experience in the industry, and makes for fascinating reading. There are some possibly good outcomes from this entire debacle:

  1. It has shined the light of reason on some of these scummy financial practices that seem commonplace, and
  2. It has energized the debate over the outrageous costs of drugs in the USA during a bitter election cycle.

Let us hope that some good comes out of this, whether or not Shkreli ever intended such an outcome.

The Old Wolf has spoken, with thanks to /u/BlueGold.

Send now, $115 through Western Union or Money Gram!

nigerians

As soon as you see the words “Nigeria,” “Western Union,” “MoneyGram,” or anything else that has to do with sending your hard-earned money to Africa, run the other way and don’t look back.

While these letters may seem repetitive, I post them here in case anyone who is considering acting on these scams does a Google search. If I can keep a single person from losing their funds to these scumbags, it will have been worth it.

From: Info Desk <ndlea1@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: We have completed the Automated Access code number program.

To: edcsservices@hotmail.com

From the desk of: Dr (Mrs) Sarah Alade,

Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way CBD, Cadastral Zone, Abuja, FCT
Attn: Beneficiary
We have completed the Automated Access code number program.
All we need now is for an attorney from our legal department to sign and we shall give you the access code and the program which your bank or our accredited paying bank near you will use to access the escrow using the password and your will get your funds.
Truly, everything is ready to go. It would cost you US$115.
The US$115 is to obtain the authorization and legal signing fee of the accredited attorney from our legal department, who will sign to enable us give the release codes to either JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America or BB&T Corporation to enable them access the escrow and pay the first $500,000 installments to you through check, draft or cash.
Due to nefarious activities of our corresponding banks and agents, we went into processing, management and online portal services pact with some banks in US.
We presently have three claimants in Georgia (U.S. state) and New York, one is from White Plains and 1 is from Ellijay.
We set up a secured escrow which can be accessed by and domiciled in JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America or BB&T Corporation for the purpose of these transactions.
Once the claimant satisfies the rule, the authorization and legal signing by the Central Bank of Nigeria accredited attorney done, we will give remittance order/authorization to either JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America or BB&T Corporation depending on proximity to the client. Then either JP Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America or BB&T Corporation will access the escrow using the PIN and password, then update the programmed funds from the escrow and pay it to the client in $500,000 installments through check, draft or cash even through local wire transfer depending on the choice of the beneficiary.
The US$500,000 is to bypass bureaucratic bottlenecks and unending money laundering quagmire and brouhaha.
Send now, $115 through Western Union or Money Gram to:-
Receiver: Adamu Ahmed
Address: Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way Central Business District, Cadastral Zone, Abuja, FCT
Question: Place
Answer: FCT
Thanks, and we regret any inconveniences you might have passed through.
Yours sincerely
DR. (MRS) SARAH ALADE,

DEPUTY GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN)

Enough is as good as a feast

The following cartoon appeared on my Facebook newsfeed today.

gvtfOjV

I am reminded of a couple of old stories. The first:

The Mexican Fisherman

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs…I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!

“You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.

“Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?”

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends!”

The Second:

A farmer’s son had worked his father’s farm all his life, but when he became of age he realized he wanted more out of life than farm labor could bring him, so he went off and got multiple degrees in agricultural engineering.

Years later he returned to the farm and began proudly showing his father all the ways that he could improve his output. “For example, Dad, just look at that tree over there. I bet you wouldn’t get more than 10 pounds of cherries off that tree.”

“I daresay you’re right, Son,” replied the farmer. “That there is a pear tree.”

More is definitely not always better. The accumulation of wealth beyond one’s needs, save for “the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted” is generally an exercise in misery. Happiness is not found in the end of the journey, for once the journey ends there’s always something else to tempt us.

I WISH YOU ENOUGH.

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:

“I love you and I wish you enough.”

The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?”

“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”

She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.

“When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,

“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

– Author Unknown

May we all have enough.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Marketing by Deception (Once Again)

Edit: A recent comment indicates that these bottom-feeders have changed their name to “PVS LLC,” but are still sending out basically the same letter. Also operating as “TCU 100” in New Mexico and elsewhere. Beware.

“You are a Finalist in our 2016 Toyota Prius Giveaway!” trumpets the letter.

Image0002

Notice: They’ve never tried contacting me before, but along with the Washington DC return address, the “Final Attempt” makes the letter seem more urgent.

Image0004

Cute electronic gizmo and a scratch-off number. Any bets as to whether the numbers match? Pull the tab, scratch the number:

Image0006

What a surprise!

So I’m guaranteed to win one of those four fabulous prizes. Let’s look at the odds of winning on the fine print:

  1. Prius: 1:180,000
  2. Plasma TV: 1:180,000
  3. Apple iPad Air: 1:180,000
  4. Cruse: 179,997:180,000

If you’ve taken 9th-grade math, you know that it’s a sure thing you’ll be walking away from this experience with a cruise (valued up to $1,900.00).

This promotion is run by “Book and Sea,” a travel club that is using this promotion to “introduce their services.”

When I called the number, the young lady launched into her pitch and told me I’d be winning one of these great prizes, plus up to a $100.00 WalMart gift card. I asked her which prize I had won, and she said that I would only find out about that at the presentation. At this point I hung up.

Based on comments found on the web, it’s just another tired clone of Global Travel Network, about which I have already written:

“It is a 90 minute presentation you must listen to about a travel club and the discount they can give you (after you pay the fee for the membership). The idea is very interesting and the price was about $11,000 for a life time membership and an additional $300 per year fee. If you are interested I would suggest you play the game and say no to them first because they will come down drastically with the dollar amount that you would end up paying . At the end we got our salesman to give us the same deal for $3,775 and he was going to throw in two additional tickets for the cruise. We did not make the purchase however several people did at full price. We walked out with a gift card to walmart, which when I call to et the balance was only $5.00.”

According to the letter, the odds for the $100.00 gift card are 4:180,000, meaning everyone else gets a measly five bucks.

Image0005

These drones are targeting married couples with a combined income of over $60,000. As I wrote about in my previous post, even the cruise is no “prize” – by the time you pay taxes and other activation fees, you could probably find a flight and cruise as cheaply by yourself on the internet. So if they can sucker three or four couples per presentation to drop $11,000 plus a $300 per year maintenance fee, handing out these worthless cruises and gift cards makes the whole operation a pretty sweet racket.

Stay away from such scummy operators. Anyone who advertises their services with such reckless deception has the morals of a honey badger.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Just another Nigerian scam letter

As long as these keep coming, you know that someone out there is falling for them. Education is the best defense. Protect your loved ones.

38_021022_nigerianemailmain.jpg.CROP.original-original


Subject: UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. UBA/QUICKLY GET BACK TO ME.
From: “DR.WILLIAM ANNO” <drgrahamhonnse@gmail.com>

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

SPTEMBER, 07/09/ 2015

UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. (UBA)
ADDRESS: HEAD OFFICE: 57, MARINA STREET, LAGOS NIGERIA

URGENT ATTENTION,

I AM DR. WILLIAM ANNO, FROM OFFICE OF ATM SWIFT CARD DEPARTMENT (UNITED BANK OF AFRICA) WE KNEW IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN LONG TIME WAITING FOR YOUR ATM CARD ALL THE TIME YET THINGS DIDN’T WORK OUT TO YOUR EXPECTATION BUT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR FILE HAS NOT GOTTEN TO THIS OFFICE, THEN BESIDE MOST CARDS ARE BEING SENT THROUGH AFRICAN AND AFTER MUCH INVESTIGATION IT WAS RESULTED THAT 95% OF THE ATM CARD WAS NOT GOOD WHICH IS THE REASON THE CARD COULD NOT BEING USE. TO THIS EFFECT, THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES (ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES OF AFRICAN AND AMERICAN GOVERNMENT) HAS DECIDED NOT TO DELIVER CARD TO
FOREIGN CLIENTS THROUGH AFRICAN ANYMORE DUE TO A LOT OF COMPLAINS THAT BENEFICIARIES ARE NOT RECEIVING THEIR PAYMENT AFTER FEES HAS BEEN PAID.

THIS OFFICE WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVERYTHING IS IN ORDER, ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES AND AMERICAN GOVERNMENT HAVE AGREED FOR YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR FUND (ATM MASTER CARD) THROUGH OUR (UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA) AND YOU ARE TO CONTACT THIS OFFICE IMMEDIATELY FOR THE RELEASE OF YOUR ATM MASTER CARD WITH YOUR FULL INFORMATION TO ENABLE US COVERS THE INSURANCE COVERAGE AND PLEASE INCLUDE COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY FOR PROPER REPROGRAMMING AND ACTIVATION OF YOUR CARD PIN NUMBER TO ENABLE YOU HAVE ACCESS OF WITHDRAWAL IMMEDIATELY YOU RECEIVE YOUR CARD.

(1). YOUR FULL NAME,…………
(2). YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBERS…….
(3). YOUR DIRECT OFFICE PHONE NUMBERS…..
(4). YOUR COUNTRY………..
(5). YOUR CORRECT HOME ANDRES……
(6). YOUR OFFICE ADDRESS……
(7). YOUR CITY ……
(8). YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT………..

THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE DONE AND CONCLUDED ALL THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENT FOR YOUR PAYMENT WORTH OF $10.8 MILLION USD (TEN MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) WHICH HAVE TO BE PAY TO YOU THROUGH (UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA) ATM MASTER CARD.

FINALLY, YOU ARE BEING LEGALLY CONTACTED REGARDING THE RELEASE OF YOUR LONG AWAITED FUND. AFTER A DETAILED REVIEW OF YOUR FILE, THE UNITED NATION MONETARY UNIT, WORLD BANK AND THE US HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED TO RELEASE YOUR ATM MASTER CARD IMMEDIATELY. THE SUM OF $10.8 MILLION USD HAS BEEN APPROVED IN YOUR FAVOR VIA (UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA) DESK.

YOUR $10.8M ATM CARD WILL ONLY COST YOU THE COST OF DELIVERING YOUR ATM CARD WHICH INVOLVES ONLY $78 (24HRS DELIVERY). UBA HAS PAID FOR ACTIVATION AND INSURANCE TO ENSURE THAT YOU GET THIS ATM CARD AND START MAKING USE OF IT THAT SAME DAY WITHOUT FAIL.

URGENTLY SEND THE ABOVE PAYMENT VIA WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM AS DIRECTED BELOW, ALSO FORWARD YOUR CORRECT DELIVERY ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT THE ATM CARD TO BE DELIVERED AS THE UBA WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISTAKE IN DELIVERING YOUR $10.8M ATM CARD PAYMENT TO YOU.

WE HAVE A VERY LIMITED TIME TO HANDLE THIS PROJECT SO I WOULD LIKE YOU TO URGENTLY SEND THE $78 COURIER FEE TODAY AND GET YOUR CARD TOMORROW. IF YOUR DELIVERY FEE IS RECEIVED TODAY, YOUR $10.8M ATM CARD WILL ARRIVE TO YOUR DESTINATION FIRST THING TOMORROW MORNING; THIS MEANS THAT IF YOU SEND THE $78 DELIVERY FEE TODAY, YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR $10.8M ATM CARD TOMORROW SINCE IT IS AN OVERNIGHT / 24HRS DELIVERY.

HERE IS THE WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM PAYMENT INFORMATION TO SEND THE $78USD:

RECEIVER NAME: SAMUEL MIKE
CITY: LAGOS
COUNTRY: NIGERIA
TEST QUESTION: TRUST
TEST ANSWER: IN GOD
AMOUNT: $78USD

AFTER PAYING THE FEE, SEND THE FOLLOWING PAYMENT INFORMATION’S TO ME.

1. SENDER’S NAME AND ADDRESS
2. MTCN NUMBER
3. TEXT QUESTION & ANSWER

I WAIT FOR THE MTCN REFERENCE PAYMENT CONFIRMATION OF THE DELIVERING FEE AND YOUR DELIVERY INFORMATION TO ENABLE YOUR ATM CARD DELIVERY PROCEED IMMEDIATELY.

QUICKLY GET BACK TO ME.

THANKS FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION.
DR.WILLIAM ANNO
ATM MASTER CARD DELIVERING DEPARTMENT.
(UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA) NIGERIA PLC.

There is no money in Africa waiting for you. Never send money to a stranger via Western Union or Money Gram or Money Card or any other way. Never give financial information to a stranger who contacts you on the phone.
The Old Wolf has spoken.

Holding back the grim reaper

Two relief sculptures on the side of the Fulton County Public Health Department in Atlanta, Georgia.

0WC97d1

The first is straightforward: the physician warding off death. It’s what they do, to the best of their ability.

WL3y1Yf

The second image is a bit more arcane, not shared as often but equally symbolic.

With thanks to redditor /u/queenbrewer:

“This counterpart bas relief clearly depicts a woman, presumably a nurse, holding a sword. The sword depicts Hygeia , Asclepius’ daughter and the goddess of hygiene, who holds a snake drinking from a bowl, typically symbolizing pharmacy. She fights against a man (perhaps Father Time) holding the mask of tragedy representing suffering in one hand and an hourglass representing aging in the other.”

The TL;DR here seems to be a variant of what I’ve heard around the medical community: “Doctors diagnose, nurses heal.”

Beautiful tributes to all dedicated healthcare workers.

The Old Wolf has spoken.