Saturday, April 30, 2005
Here’s a puzzle or problem that I ran into recently. Since I’m a moron, I requested the help of a friend, The Marquis, to help me fully understand why it works out the way it does. Lucky for me, I'm excellent at feigning intelligence and managed to avoid looking like a complete moron. Alright, here it is.
On eBay, if you fail to sell an item, you are provided with a Second Chance to do so. Now, say you have the following sales record (S = Sold, N = Not Sold, S2 = Sold on Second Chance, N2 = Not Sold on Second Chance).
S N N2 S N S2 S S N S2
Your sales failure rate is 4 for 10. Now, what if you considered any second chance as part of the same sales attempt? If you did so, you’d have the following sales record:
S (N N2) S (N S2) S S (N S2)
This would mean that your sales failure rate is now 1 for 7.
Now, in general, take any sequence of eBay sales results. Using counting method 1, say your sales failure rate is A for B. And, say that for the same sequence of eBay sales results, your sales failure rate is X for Y using counting method 2.
Why is it that, in general, (A – X) is always equal to (B – Y)?
Something to think about, I suppose. Anyway, off to attack that Party Poker bonus!
Thursday, April 28, 2005
This is clearly disappointing... and the market's reaction is gloomy. The majors are all sporting approximately half-percent declines as I report this around 7:05AM PST.
For all of us who are currently long the market... today's not so pretty a sight.
That said, what's positive today?
EBAY is advancing quite strongly for such a down day. It has really shown some serious strength recently. In the sub-31 range, I've been seeing serious buying. Also, when bad news can't push a stock lower, it's probably nearing a bottom if it hasn't already seen one. EBAY has ignored bad news recently, ranging from Amazon's poor quarter the other day to today's economic reports.
Altria Group (MO) -- Phillip Morris, for those who don't keep up -- is on the move as well. The CEO is once again talking about a break-up of the company into two, or maybe three parts. As a shareholder, I'm all for this move. Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole... this is especially true when it becomes difficult for the world at large to provide a valuation for the whole due to major uncertainty (legal issues, for example) in one of its parts. This isn't the first time the break-up idea has come up. Months ago the company mentioned the possibility at an investors' conference.
And let me finish with a brief update on AskJeeves. Today, Deutsche cut its rating on the shares. Basically, the firm concludes that a rival bidder is unlikely. Well, Diller, I guess the butler is all yours.
Until next time...
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
It should be obvious by now that I'm on some kind of blogging binge. I wonder when the novelty will wear off.
Monday, April 25, 2005
It's about 11:15PM. I got home not too long ago. I should have been home a good two hours earlier. Now, why would that be? Sometimes when a 1/2 hour job evolves into a 2 1/2 hour job, strange and weird time shifts occur. So, I end up at work around 2:15PM.
It is now 12:10AM, Monday April 25, 2005. This post is my first foray into blogdom. I am currently unsure where this initial post will lead me or anyone reading, but we'll find out soon enough... together.