FOREX-Dollar licks wounds as tight U.S. election dims ...

A financial expert's very negative outlook on Bitcoin.

Hello there people of reddit!
I have translated this blog post which I would like to share with you all. The original blog post appeared in a rather famous hungarian financial blog and it posed some interesting questions. It would be really good if the intelligent people of reddit would start a debate on these topics. There is a big learning opportunity here. I personally disagree with many of the points made in the post while I agree with some of them.
I think that it is important to listen to the negative opinions because we can grow from them and we can either strengthen our opinions by disproving the counter-arguments of others or we can formulate and fine-tune our opinions by accepting partial truths from the opposing opinion. (Maybe we can even change our opinions alltogether in some cases) I post this in the hopes of having an intelligent conversation about the topic and it would be a bit sad if this would get downvoted because then the conversation wouldn’t be able to unfold.
I say let's examine the other side, let's look at their arguments, let's try to understand them and let’s try to learn from them so that we may become smarter, better, and more well informed.
Also this can be a very good test if you think about investing in Bitcoin. If this discourages you then your fundamental knowledge of cryptocurrencies or Bitcoin may not be satisfactory yet or you may be thinking about investing with money what you cannot afford to loose
So without further to do here is the actual blog post translated from kiszamolo.hu.
RTT314
I am writing about Bitcoin. I didn’t want to at all but since everybody is talking about it I had to.
Translator's note: There was a previous blog post about Bitcoin which got a massive amount of feedback in the hungarian community.
The general feedback I received about my previous post on Bitcoin wonderfully resembled the the feedback I got when I wrote about Kairos, Emgoldex, Quaestor and Sitetalk. (these were all scams in their times)
In case you don’t have time to read the comments on my previous post I’ll summarize them for you. Its quite simple because people basically write the same thing all over again (Bitcoin or Emgoldex it doesn’t matter.) The comment categories are as follows:
It’s a good idea to look at those people who wrote these comments a few years back. The people of Kairos who came here (to his blog) taunting and showing off their earnings with Kairos. And then all of a sudden it became apparent that it was just another scam and they lost all the money in a heartbeat.
What did I cover in the previous blog post on Bitcoin?
I wrote, that you don’t know anything about Bitcoin, that you don’t know who is behind it or whether there is someone behind it or not. What gives actually Bitcoin’s value? How do we know that its better than the other cryptocurrencies? How do we know if one BTC is expensive for 1000 dollars or cheap? For a long time people bought it for 1 dollar, then for a long time for 100, then 1000 and now 16 thousand. Which price is the realistic one? Or none of it is realistic and its still cheap? How can I find it out?
I have basically nothing at all to which I could compare its price. Just like in the dotcom bubble when it came to evaluating the .com companies. The normal method of evaluation didn’t work when it came to these companies because everybody wanted to think, that these companies can conquer the whole world. And because of that basically no price was too expensive for a share. And then it became apparent, that in fact even a single dollar was too much for 95% of them.
Just because something is revolutionary and new it doesn’t mean that it has value too. Especially when anybody can copy it freely. This happened with the .com companies too. Everybody learned fast, that just because they are innovative and revolutionary they can’t make a profit and most of them didn’t even worth a penny.
And the .com companies were 100 times easier to evaluate than Bitcoin. At least they had expenses, profits, employees, products and patents. You could at least calculate with something.
Why is Bitcoin considered money? Currently it has none of the properties of money - you can’t pay with it everywhere, it’s exchange rate is not stable at all and because of that it is not suitable for accumulating wealth in it (just in the past 12 hours the price of one BTC was between $16.123 and $17.023 and today is one of the calmer days.)
Anybody can invent a newer Bitcoin and people do so too. There’s almost ten times more cryptocurrencies today than normal currencies in the world and almost every day a new one gets listed. This is because anybody can make a cryptocurrency. You don’t have to have a whole country behind it with its total assets, government, and financial traffic. If you have good marketing you will be a millionaire from a new cryptocurrency. Currently there are 1324 cryptocurrencies and there is almost no day when no new ones are added. On the contrary there is only 180 types of traditional currencies in the world.
I also mentioned, that governments can limit the use of cryptocurrencies any time by illegalizing the exchange of cryptocurrencies to real money. And if that happens all cryptocurrencies will be worthless in a blink of an eye.
I don’t want to get into new ideological debates. I just want to place Bitcoin amongst all the hype into the world’s financial traffic. Where does Bitcoin stand compared to the current world’s financial traffic and does it look like a bubble? Will it really change the world’s financial system and will it really change the old technologies?
Bitcoin’s total market cap was 15,49 billion dollars on 2017 January the 1st and what’s at least as important is that the daily traffic volume was 92 million dollars.
https://imgur.com/a/kI0Ru
Bitcoin’s current market cap (17 thousand dollars) is 289 billion dollars and the daily traffic volume is 12.135 million dollars so the daily traffic grew 131-fold since January the 1st.
One of the world’s biggest bank - the Bank of America’s - market cap is also 300 billion dollars and that is accompanied by 2,228 billion dollars worth of assets which gives one of the basis of the actual evaluation. Bitcoin has zero assets. Bank of America every four months (!!!) profits 22,3 billion dollars and one fifth of this is net profit. The profit of Bitcoin is zero and the net profit of Bitcoin is also zero.
Europe’s 16th biggest economy, Finland has a yearly GDP of 236 billion dollars.
If Bitcoin’s market cap doubles again, it’s market cap will be equal to Hungary’s, Ukraine’s, Slovakia’s, Luxemburg’s, Croatia’s, Bulgaria’s and Latvia’s GDP all together. Or at least on paper. (Of course the actual BTC's market cap and the GDP is very different, but i guess you can still feel the nonsense in this)
People make 337 thousand daily transactions with Bitcoin.
Just Visa alone makes 468 million transactions per day and this is just a tiny slice from the total world’s transactions.
The SWIFT system which is used by banks to make international transfers even 12 years ago made 5 thousand billion dollars worth of traffic. Daily.(!) The similiar Fedwire payment system which works in the USA had a daily traffic of 2,1 thousand billion dollars, the CHIPS had 1,4 thousand billion dollars. And these numbers are 12 years old so you can easily double them to get to the present numbers. And this data is only of three clearing houses out of a dozen! All the national clearing houses in total can have multiple hundred times more traffic than these ones.
Even if we would like to use Bitcoin for just one tenth of the traffic of Visa we would soon have to store a few gigabytes then terabytes of data for each Bitcoin. The whole electricity generation and bandwidth of the world wouldn’t be enough if we would want to manage and transmit this much data constantly. (Even now the Bitcoin network uses more power than Bulgaria. The investors who mine Bitcoin spend money mostly on video cards and electricity. The biggest benefitors of Bitcoin are the chinese electricity providers and the video card companies. Even a whole bank system doesn’t use this much electricity and they execute multiple hundred thousand times more transactions than the Bitcoin’s network.)
The technology is unsuitable for microtransactions. There are cryptocurrencies which are suitable for this but what will happen with you investment in Bitcoin when everybody starts to use one of these currencies?
The future of the blockchain technology is completely different from the future price of Bitcoin which currently is just one out of 1324 cryptocurrencies and for which you paid a bunch of money. Somehow the people who kick back and leave their future on the price of Bitcoin don’t want to understand this.
Just so you understand: I don’t argue whether or not blockchain technology (which is used by Bitcoin too) will be used in the future financial system. I argue whether or not one Bitcoin values 17 thousand dollars or even one dollar as a matter of fact.
Do you think there will be a single bank which will choose exactly Bitcoin when it wants to switch to this new technology when Bitcoin is a completely unsuitable candidate? Or do you think that the bank will choose another cryptocurrency? Won’t the bank simply make its own one?
The total value of all the dollar bills in circulation is 1,59 trillion dollars or 1590 billion dollars. If we look at the M3 (unbounded money in bank accounts, bills etc.) instead of only the bills we get 11 trillion dollars. But even this is only a tiny bit compared to the total assets in the american economy which is 220 trillion dollars.
The daily size of the forex market is (!) 5.100.000.000.000 dollars.
So think again when you see numbers which suggest that Bitcoin is the future. I wrote these numbers just so you can get a sense of the big Bitcoin which is about to knock down the world’s banking system. Just so you can understand the big Bitcoin’s place in the financial food chain.
I’d also like to talk about a common misconception. Many people think that the value of Bitcoin comes from the fact that it’s very expensive to maintain. The mining is expensive. This is called an expense and it has no relation to value whatsoever. Things don’t represent value because they are costly to maintain. This is exactly the opposite of value. The more expensive is something to maintain the less valuable it is. Companies which have small costs value more than companies which have big costs with the same profits.
There’s an old trick in the stocks market called pooling. A few scammers organize into a pool, they choose a smaller stock and they start to trade amongst each other with higher and higher prices. They just have to be careful not to catch attention. They have to increase the price gradually and slowly and the pool has to be big enough in order to stay undetected.
When the whole world goes crazy because of the huge gains on the pooled stock and when everybody wants to be a part of the miracle the pool quietly sell the whole stack of stocks and disappear.
The “investors” which are driven by greed don’t even care about the fact that the evaluation of the stock flied far above the actual value of the stock. How much simpler is this whole move when the given thing doesn’t even have a quantifiable value to which you can compare it to? Bitcoin is exactly like this.
I wonder how are Bitcoins divided amongst the wallets? Could you drive up its value by getting into pools? You can’t drive up its value because it doesn’t even have any inherent value. The value of Bitcoin only comes from the people who are willing to pay for it. Bitcoin only has a price because people want to look at it as money even if it cannot function as money.
The american dollar will have value until the United States exists and its government collects taxes in dollars from the world’s biggest economy and it pays its payouts in dollars. And if someone doesn’t want to pay the requested taxes in dollars the government has the power to imprison the person.
The expression of total financial ignorance is when the believers of Bitcoin state that the real currencies are also based on nothing. The real currencies are just paper too without any value. Every real currency is backed by real value: the given country’s economy, assets, government, tax system give real value to the real currency. No cryptocurrency can present anything like this ever because cryptocurrencies are made out of thin air.
Real currencies can function exactly because of this: because they have value too not just a price. This is why they can be a store of value, this is why they can be accepted in trade. Because tomorrow they will be worth just as much as today. They’re not just empty ping pong balls which are moved based on the needs and wants of the buyer. Potentially 10-20% per day.
(Just for the sake of the smartpants: of course after world wars a real currency can lose value too just like how the syrian fiat lost value too when the value was essentially bombed out of it. The country’s economy collapsed and half of the taxpayers died or fled out of the country. But even this shows exactly the fact, that the price of the currency changes if the inherent value changes. And also the the price of the safety fiats (swiss franc) can be pumped up if investors are panicking. But we only know that their price is high compared to what their value is because it has a value.)
Just because I invent the Reddit coin and create a lot but finite real physical coins it won’t be a currency which has value. Not even if the coins are unfalsifiable. Not even if there will be people who are willing to pay real money for my coins. Not even if other people realize that they can make coins just like me any time (that’s why there are already 1324 types of cryptocurrencies on the market) It won’t be real money even if following the current trend I create this Reddit coin as a cryptocurrency. Money doesn’t become money because I say its money. Neither does it become money because other people believe its money.
But let's take a look at the bitcoin wallets amongst the investors:
https://imgur.com/a/WN163
So basically 97,2% of the wallets doesn’t even own a single bitcoin! And 55,5% of the wallets doesn’t even contain 0,001 bitcoin!
Of course a wallet is not necessarily a person but its apparent that there are many small fish in the sea of Bitcoin. It's good to know this when you read all the comments from the people who try to defend Bitcoin no matter what. Most of them don’t even own 700 bucks worth of bitcoin but they will become rich for life from this investment.
0,01% of the investors - 1.677 people own nearly 40% of the total bitcoins available. (Or it may be that these 1.677 wallets are owned by one person or twenty. We can’t even know that) but even 85% of the total bitcoins is in less than 1% of the wallets. In stocks lingo this is called a low free float.
These people are the ones who manipulate the prices however they want it to. But of course they don’t want it to because why would they want such a thing? The prices are rising just because Bitcoin is the future.
If Bitcoin wouldn’t be the Holy Bitcoin it would be simply called a Ponzi scheme. How does a Ponzi scheme look exactly? They build up a system which is new, which is alluring and about which people can believe that it’s the future. From this you’ll become rich. If you pay enough money now then you’ll be the part of the money rain too. Until more people are buying in than out the Ponzi scheme works great. Nobody realizes that there’s nothing behind it. Just the money of the depositors gives it value.
Bitcoin is genial because it never even stated that there is some sort of value behind it so you can’t even expect it in the first place. Until more people want to put money in than out the price of Bitcoin will rise. I’ll say this again Bitcoin is alive because people want to treat it as money. “This is the money of the future, you are lagging behind if you don’t understand this. Why do you try to find the inherent value of it and the evaluation of it? You are an old prick who has no clue. This is a new world. Deal with it. You have to just believe this and don’t ask any questions.” Do you know how many times have I heard this from the faithful “investors” of the kairos, sidetalk, emgoldex ponzi schemes?
A lot of people wait a lot from the december 18th stock appearance of Bitcoin but it can bring more bad than good. If the big speculators start to go hard on it they can double the price or drag it down to 0 within days. It's rather easy for them because there is no value behind it. Just a price tag. If the British Pound was attacked what do you think what will they do with Bitcoin? Here there is no national bank which will change the interest rates or pull other tricks from its sleeves to defend its own currency from falling or from a rising. Also here the investors won’t be able to say that a bitcoin is definitely worth more than this or not because the whole english economy is not behind it so they don’t have a guide for its inherent value. If Bitcoin was volatile so far you can prepare yourself for even bigger storms.
You think whatever you want and you pay money for whatever you want. You know what? Even I’m telling you that knowing the madness, dumbness, and greed of people it is not unimaginable that Bitcoin will rise to 150 thousand dollars within the next year. But not because its value is that much but because there are too many greedy people who feel like they were left out of a great opportunity but it's not too late to jump in.
But also don’t be amazed if its price will be 1 dollar again.
submitted by RTT314 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Weekly Roundup | Random Chat | Notifications

News roundup for the previous week.
In International news
  1. Feature: U.S. dignitaries say U.S., China must keep good relations to benefit world
  2. 'Serious' hack attacks from China targeting UK firms: The gang behind the attacks has compromised technology service firms and plans to use them as a proxy for attacks, security firms have said
  3. Americans' concerns about China: ranked
  4. China donated 12,173 tonnes of rice to Zimbabwe to assist vulnerable people that were affected by drought which wreaked havoc last year. In 2016, China already donated 19,000 tonnes of rice which had been distributed to the needy throughout the country
  5. China, South Korea discuss more sanctions on North Korea amid talk of Trump action
  6. Freight train to leave Britain on long haul for China
  7. Blackwater founder Erik Prince eyes opportunities with China
  8. China’s National Space Administration Secretary-General Yulong Tian says that China is contemplating developing cooperation with Russia with respect to space debris
  9. American-Chinese Lady's Dream of Attending Tsinghua: Those who were born in America should know their roots and identify themselves as Chinese because they will not get lost, feel ashamed or reject their motherland's culture in the crisis of identity of American society, Tan concluded
  10. Racist United Airline Overbooked Flight, Forcibly Removes Asian Doctor and His Wife For No Reason Other Than to Free up Seats (United - has acknowledged that the man's only apparent crime was that the flight was overbooked and he refused to leave voluntarily)
  11. Boy, two, and parents suffer burns after acid attack in north London
  12. Russia may abandon International Space Station to join forces with China
  13. A consortium of Chinese and Indonesian firms on Tuesday signed a contract with KCIC, a firm tasked with monitoring the high-speed train project linking Jakarta to Bandung, unveiling the construction phase of the project
  14. China warns against using military force in Syria
  15. United Passenger's Violent Removal Sparks Outrage In China: Images of a bloodied passenger being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago drew widespread condemnation in China following a witnesses' report that the man said he was targeted because he was Chinese
  16. Chinese Lives Matter Petition Becoming Viral in the Overseas Chinese Community
  17. China and Norway resume free trade negotiations after diplomatic freeze: The memorandum of understanding was one of six pacts covering cooperation on economic development, technology, health, science and sport
  18. Russia and China Finding Ways to Avoid the U.S. Dollar: The Central Bank of Russia opened its first overseas office in Beijing. ICBC established a clearing bank in Moscow to handle transactions in Chinese currency. Russia is preparing to issue its first federal loan bonds in Chinese currency
  19. Many in China think doctor was dragged off because he was Asian. 'United Airlines just randomly chose an Asian? It’s blatant racial discrimination' 'a perfect illustration' of human rights in the US. 'I am going to tell you a joke: America is the country with the best human rights'
  20. Chinese social media continues to rage at United, and the airline may face real fallout
  21. China tells US to resolve Korea tensions peacefully
  22. China commits US$60bn to Africa
  23. China warns India over Dalai's visit to disputed area
  24. China Might Bomb North Korea If It Crosses Beijing’s ‘Bottom Line’
  25. Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, appeared to acknowledge that China hasn’t been intervening to weaken its currency recently. “They’re not currency manipulators," he said. (finally we can move on from this made up/outdated fight)
  26. Trump says he told Xi how he bombed Syria over ‘most beautiful piece of cake’: says that he was faced with a dilemma – whether to inform Xi. “What does he do, finish his dessert and go home and then they say, you know, the guy you just had dinner with just attacked a country?” Trump mused
  27. Trump claims China has turned back N. Korean coal ships, lauds it as 'big step': "The vast amount of coal that comes out of North Korea going to China, they've turned back the boats. That's a big step, and they have many other steps that I know about."
  28. Chinese premier holds talks with Sao Tome and Principe counterpart on cooperation
  29. Lukashenko: Belarus is ready to increase food supplies to China's Hunan Province
  30. China publicly criticises US missile strike on Syria
  31. China, Sri Lanka vow to deepen cooperation to further develop strategic cooperative partnership
  32. Russian-Chinese Joint Ventures in Russia’s Far East, Arctic: An integral element in increasing bilateral trade will be the increased maritime transit of goods and hydrocarbon resources by developing Russia’s merchant marine infrastructure
  33. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed his plans to visit China in May to take part in the "One Belt, One Road" forum in Beijing
  34. White House: China Abstained From UN Vote on Syria Thanks to Trump-Xi
  35. The 10 minutes with Xi Jinping that changed Donald Trump’s mind on North Korea
  36. First rail freight service to China departs UK: British goods including soft drinks, vitamins and baby products are in the 30 containers carried by the train, which will be a regular service. The train will pass through 7 other countries before arriving on 27 April
  37. Chinese FM: Political settlement is only reliable and right way to solve crisis in Syria
  38. Belarus' cooperation with Hunan Province hailed as example to follow
  39. "There can be no winners in an armed conflict between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday [14 April 2017], while pledging China's support for any attempts at dialogue between the sides."
  40. In the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, China ranked 15 among 136 countries in 14 dimensions, up two spots
  41. China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' N. Korea situation
  42. China says deal reached at last with Myanmar on oil pipeline
  43. Foreign Minister statement on Korea situation. Check out the comments.
In Domestic news
  1. China anti-graft body investigating chief insurance regulator
  2. Beijing to reward informants on spying
  3. Luxembourg Consulate Staff tries to physically assault old Chinese man in Shanghai
  4. China emerges as digital rights champion with new info privacy law
  5. President Xi meets incoming HKSAR chief executive
  6. JD.com to build 150 airports in China for drone delivery: Drone delivery would help reduce the freight costs by 70 percent. It said its drones, which can carry 50 kilograms of parcels, have been put into use and drones that can carry 500 kilograms are in the pipeline
  7. Graph: Finding China's missing girls who show up in the census years -- sometimes decades -- after birth
  8. China raises pensions amid pressure from slowing economy, aging population
  9. China Focus: Xiongan's key role is to receive Beijing's non-capital functions: vice premier
In SciTech news
  1. The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Startups in China
  2. Self-charging robots sorting system helps Chinese delivery firm finish at least 200k packages a day in the warehouse
  3. Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor. Yang, currently at Qingdao University, worked with colleagues at Qingdao University and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. to make porous carbon nanofibers from seaweed extract
  4. Squishy robotic manta ray flaps its wings to spy in the ocean: The goal is to use the robot to explore underwater areas, says Tiefeng Li at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. “The soft body will make it easy for the robot to sneak through reefs without damaging them,”
  5. Geek Culture Could Teach Americans About Chinese Technology, Says Technopreneur: According to Zhang, being called a geek is a compliment in China as someone who is "super cool" and knowledgeable about technology, and doesn't mean being weird or socially awkward
  6. Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent advance China’s AI development goals, says Microsoft research head. The mainland may be closing in on the US in developing AI, led by its three main internet firms, says Harry Shum Heung-yeung, executive vice-president for the artificial intelligence and research group
  7. China Emerges as Powerhouse for Biotech Drugs
  8. China launches 1st high-throughput communications satellite
  9. Legion Y520 Review - Lenovo's Best Laptop For $850 (Dave Lee review)
  10. Researchers in China and US made a new viral tracking tool by encapsulating HIV-1 in fluorescent quantum dots to observe how the virus enters macrophages at the single particle level in live cells. Technique may help in development of inhibitors that stop HIV from entering macrophages altogether.
  11. Chuwi Hi13: First Look at the Windows 10 2-in-1 with Surface Book Display
  12. SpaceX doesn’t scare Asia’s space players
  13. Google AI's AlphaGo to face Chinese teen in May - Science & Tech
  14. China’s Desert Hamsters on Medicine’s Front Line: The humble Chinese hamster has played a vital role in medical advances for more than a century, thanks to its biological makeup
In Economic news
  1. The bulls are back after China kicks off 2017 with strength: "There's been this cyclical recovery — China's in an easing mode … It shows up in the economic numbers, and it shows up in many company earnings reports," said Brendan Ahern, chief investment officer at Krane Funds Advisors
  2. America owes China $1tn. That's a problem for Beijing, and Trump knows it
  3. U.S. and European regulators have cleared ChemChina's proposed $43 billion acquisition of Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta on condition it sells some businesses to satisfy anti-monopoly objections
  4. Ballpoint pens and the danger of China’s ‘one-dragon’ policy
  5. The Next Time Americans Want To Believe They Have Free Markets, Remind Them of United Airlines
  6. The surprising rise of China as IP powerhouse
  7. US firms cashing in on China's shift to consumer economy
  8. China is investing in Silicon Valley start-ups with military applications at such a rapid rate that the United States government needs tougher controls to stem the transfer of some of America’s most promising technologies, a Pentagon report says
  9. WhatsApp looks to copy China's Tencent-owned WeChat
  10. Why Trump won't be branding China a currency cheater
  11. China Focus: China's consumer inflation steady amid firming economy
  12. China Focus: Chinese companies come, hiring more locals in U.S.: Chinese investment in the U.S. outstripped U.S. investment in China for the first time in 2015, according to the Rhodium Group. Chinese investment has supported about 104,000 jobs in the United States
  13. China's forex reserves rise for second month in a row: concerns about capital outflows have receded lately, with the Chinese economy on a firmer footing, supported by a string of upbeat data including industrial profits, factory activity and fixed asset investment
  14. Trump won't label China a currency manipulator
  15. U.S. business leaders see benefits from strong trade ties with China
  16. China’s top maker of air conditioners breezes into Brazil’s economy and society
  17. Beijing thinking big on switch to a big data economy: Ministry pushes five-year plan to develop big data into a trillion-yuan industry. The target is for the big data industry, including related goods and services, to exceed 1 trillion yuan (US$144 billion) in revenue by 2020
  18. How Oppo, Vivo and xiaomi conquered India (OPPO、vivo和小米们如何夺取印度半壁江山?)
  19. Korea, China, Japan to hold new round of free trade talks
  20. U.S. Treasury says China does not manipulate its currency
  21. China’s Global Solar Business Shakes Foreign Competitors: China’s relentless pursuit to become self-dependent on sophisticated industries, such as solar panel systems, have left foreign competitors and even smaller-scale Chinese businesses in the dust
In Military news
  1. Thailand to buy more Chinese tanks, reportedly for $58M: According to Thai government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the cabinet has approved the acquisition of 10 more VT4 main battle tanks designed and built by China’s Norinco
  2. China and US agree to top military talks to head off close armed encounters: New mechanism between Chinese and US armed forces could ease Beijing’s suspicions about US moves, analyst says
  3. China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military: America’s enemies are rapidly catching up and in some cases exceeding the United States in terms of military technology, according to senior U.S. Navy official Rear Adm. Mark Darrah
  4. US racing China to develop hypersonic attack drones by 2040
  5. China is testing its new PL-15 long-range air-to-air missile (LRAAM) designed to shoot down defenseless U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aerial tankers and airborne early warning and control aircraft (AEW&C) from as far away as 300 kilometers
  6. China Takes Wraps Off National Hypersonic Plan
  7. Chinese armed police hold anti-terror drill in Xinjiang
  8. SOUTHCOM Tidd: Russia, Iran and China Expanding Influence in Central, South America. Russia, China and Iran are increasing interest in Central and South America, especially Moscow’s renewed focus on Nicaragua, the head of U.S. Southern Command told the Senate
  9. China Coast Guard vessels patrol Diaoyu Islands on Fri, the 10th time this year
Other Notables
  1. Demolishing Dalian: China's 'Russian' city is erasing its heritage – in pictures
  2. DJI - M200 – Search and Rescue in Extreme Environments
  3. Driving under the rainbow! Watch China's first and only rainbow tunnel
  4. Ancient Chinese tomb-sweeping festival goes hi-tech: If you can't get to the grave yourself, staff at the Yuhuatai Gongdeyuan cemetery will clean tombs and place bouquets for paying clients, who watch the ritual via a livestream on the Wechat app instead
  5. Shanghai past and present
  6. High Profile Korean-Chinese Movie coproduction is a scifi set to release June 30th in China - Starring Yang Mi, Wallace Huo, Produced by Jackie Chan
  7. Westerners oughtn’t to criticize China for its ‘fake cities’: hypocrisy in the way Western media approaches "duplitecture". Core neighborhoods within Manhattan Island owe their architecture to Mannheim, Germany. Try and tell apart the central districts of Buenos Aires, Argentina from Madrid, Spain
  8. The Chinese engineer who mined an American life in Hibbing: In 1914 Wen Ping Pan became the first Chinese student at UofM. Met his wife Mae Humm, who was half-Irish like his mother. She retained an Irish temper and a talent for gab. As a result, she did most of the talking in their 63 yr marriage
  9. 3-part online low-key documentary series looking at different lives in China. First part features Wuhan and punk band SMZB.
  10. Is Hong Kong less free now than under British colonial rule?
  11. Goddess Ivanka continues to win the hearts of Chinese people as she began teaching Mandarin Chinese to Theodore, her youngest son. The boy began his Mandarin lessons just a week following his first birthday
  12. The Mercury Rivers of Emperor Qin Shi Huang
  13. The Chinese engineer who mined an American life on Minnesota's Iron Range
  14. Parcel sorting facility in China
  15. China and The Troubling Idealization of Ivanka
  16. Xiongan New Area to be Shenzhen of the north
  17. China's New World Order - the new Silk Road
  18. Why The NY Time’s Title of ‘Goddess Ivanka’ Is Misleading
  19. The Lionsgate movie “Power Rangers” got the approval of China’s censor for theatrical release on May 12 even if it has a gay character
  20. A Chinese bank employee is being hailed as a hero after risking his life to save a female customer from a robber who put a knife to her neck
  21. Unfettered online hate speech fuels Islamophobia in China.
  22. 汉服音乐微电影 汉家衣裳 超清
  23. Xiongan construction expected to drive up China steel market
  24. China's Xiongan New Area: Protecting environments a major task
  25. White Mainstream Media Goes On The Offensive Against Critics of United Airlines
  26. Success of China behind the growing allure of authoritarianism: the economic successes of China and some other countries may have helped create an underlying crisis of confidence in liberal ideas and values
  27. What does the Hong Kong Sevens have to do with Hongkongers?
  28. Thoughts on article about British Colonialism holding India Back? How did China overcome the Century of Humiliation while the British Raj's legacy still looms over India?
  29. Taiwanese music festival
  30. Foreign girls and their Chinese Mr. Right: Confronted with failure in College Entrance Examination Mei Aisi went to Ukraine for study
  31. What Would Have Happened If China Didn't Develop Nuclear Weapons?
  32. Child prodigy from Sale scores highest possible IQ score, beating Einstein and Hawking (From Messenger Newspapers)
  33. Discussion: Do you think the current escalation in the Korean Peninsula could possibly end up becoming a big boon to China?
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[Table] IAmA: I used to work as IT support at the main office of one of the largest oil companies in the world. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-06-23
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
What's the dumbest question someone has ever asked you in your job as IT support? I can imagine that there'd be quite a few! There were many questions indeed. What amazed me the most is that people who worked with a program that costed a few hundred thousand dollars in licencing actually had no idea how a computer worked.. Also all these damn lawyers requesting a larger Outlook inbox, having no idea about what a megabyte was and that there could actually be limitations in a computer.
Anyway, the dumbest and most annoying thing was probably the time I got a servicecall from a user complaining that his mouse didnt work properly. I had to walk from my office across the entire building (about 10 min walk), just to find out that it he actually just thought his mouse cord was too short. Because he had twisted it about 3 times around his screen / other equipment. I untangled the cord and asked him if that solved the problem, the answer was yes, yes it did.
Haha wow! That'd really have ticked you off! I'm currently studying Year 11 and I want to go into IT somewhere in the future, somewhere in networking. How did you get into the position you are currently in? Do you have any advice? As disappointing as it may sound, alot of IT jobs is gotten through connections with people. I had a friend who managed to get me an job interview at this place and the boss really liked me, so I got the job.
My best advice is to get out there, even for free internships or whatever. You don't need alot of "school knowledge" as you will be given alot of training at the job.
When searching IT jobs (especially onsite/support), just ignore the requirements. I'm lacking alot of the certificates that would be required of me, but yet, here I am.
Also onsite support is a great way of starting out, as your job description will pretty much say that all you do is general support to users, but as you will be the only IT guy around, you will usually be trained in alot of other things aswell, and it's not required of you to know much beforehand. :)
In IT, do you ever have to make your own network cable? If so, how do you do it? Yea you do, you basically just put the cords in the socket, hehe. Link to www.wikihow.com
Howdy. What do they use the 3D projectors for? And did they really need them, or is there enough money floating around that it's easy to get approval for whatever they want? I believe the large, proper, 3D projectors were used for highend meetings and conferenses, also to somehow project oilpipe blueprints in 3D and things like that.
They probably did not need them, but I can certainly see the advantage in projecting something over a conference room instead of browsing around in a CAD program or such.
The smaller 3D projectors were used for random things, meetings and whatnot, also Game of Thrones and World of Warcraft :) They required 3D glasses though, the larger ones didn't.
EDIT: Yes, there was a huge amount of waste. Every piece of equipment had to be really high-end and as soon as something was used it was thrown away, as the companies management couldn't be expected to work with "used" equipment.. This was everything from expensive headsets and webcams to mouses, keyboards and even computers.
Were you able to keep any of these expensive things they just threw away? Where I work, people can recycle laptops and desktops, so we'll pull some RAM, wireless cards etc if we need a part. Nopes, like I previously wrote, it was all strictly sent for demolision/recycling, atleast the computer parts. We were free to take cables/mouses/cameras etc though.
Well to be fair, it's not like they are ever going to run out of money, so why not get the top shelf stuff? This is true. The company among the top 50 companies world wide, so I guess they had quite a bit of money to spend.
What were your day to day responsibilities? To make sure that everything was up and running. As onsite support you are pretty much responsible for everything there is, even if its not actually what you are hired to do.
Common tasks could be to exchange equipment, install and set up program configurations, assisting conferences (sitting in a corner making sure everything works as intended, and to fix any possible issue within seconds).
Also being comforting and telling everyone that everything is going to be alright.
What was the most complex problem you had to fix? Alternatively, where there special engineers who worked on the especially complex equipment? To be honest, there weren't alot of real complicated IT issues for me as I was onsite. Port configurations, tunneling and security issues etc were handled by our IT department located in another city (I suppose your question was only regarding IT).
I guess some of the more complicated things for me would be setting up the projectors and various conference rooms, being live support in major meetings, also various networking issues.
How much porn have you found? Actually, none (not at that company atleast). There were so many restrictions on the computers and the net, also we weren't really allowed to troubleshoot properly. Also everything was automatically synced to the company servers.
If there were an issue that we pretty much could not solve on the spot, the computer would be reinstalled and given back to the same user. If that did not solve the problem, the computer would be sent to demolition and a new one would be given out to the user.
Why not just take out the hard disk and donate the old hardware? Because traces of data can be stored in other places than the drive. The company had a contract with some "green" disposal firm that recycled as much as they could, though.
Link to images2.wikia.nocookie.net
Because traces of data can be stored in other places than the drive. What the hell are you talking about? There's no data anywhere other than the drive. See answer above. You really are clueless.
What's the standard issue equipment to their employees? It really depends on their assignment. Laptops were usually HP Elitebook 8570 series, stationary computers were in the HP Z800 series (Google the speccs, a computer could cost around $50 000-$80 000).
I would be very surprised if you were issuing Z800's to the average user. the HP8200/8300 series is much more common. Z800's are used for low to mid range servers. Not the average user, no, I reckon it was mostly for the people working with heavy CAD applications and whatnot. It was our most high-end workstation, but in a building with almost 2000 workers I guess that we had about a hundred atleast.
Sure you don't have a few too many zeroes in that price range? I just Googled Z800's and HP lists them as starting at $2200. For $50-80k I could have a Cray CX1 supercomputer on my desk. Starting at $2200, yes. I'm not completely sure about the price as I did not actually order them, but they came with over 200GB of RAM etc.
May I ask why you do no longer? I was working at an IT consultant so I was only there for a few months. I actually do still work for one of the largest oil companies in the world, just not the same as before. I asked a mod nicely to change the description a bit.
Do they pay their IT folks well? I believe I was very underpaid but then again I was only a consultant.
The $30MM 3D projectors used for displaying reservoir models? I believe so, amongst other things.
But he said he "used" to work there ? I do still work for another major oil company that fits the description just as well :)
What help desk ticket system do you use (custom, out of the box, none, etc.)? What do you like about it? What do you hate about it? How would you want it improved? We mainly used (and I still do at my current workplace) HP OpenView Service Desk.
Lots and lots of functions, don't have much complaints on it (atleast not the newer versions).
Not sure how I'd improve it, perhaps by adding a neat export functions to get pretty .pdf docs of my cases.
Are you hiring? Also, did you get a degree or certs before landing this position? I do not believe they are, atleast not in the IT department.
I didn't have much prior education at all to be honest, lacking all of the certs that would usually be required. I was quite lucky to get this job and I learned alot during the time I was there.
Never had any issues getting a job since then though due to good recommendations from this place, like I previously wrote I work at a similar company right now.
Reynholm industries? Nope!
Do you have any conflicting moral feelings because of the industry you work in? Not really, it might have been worse if I worked for BP ;o)
Every time the company struck oil we got cake!
Did you do any support for their energy/forex desks?? Not quite sure. We had around 2000 users in various departments (including CAD, drilling, legal, CEO's etc).
What is your daily personal hygeine routine? Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? After breakfast, ofcourse!
Have you broken any expensive equipment? Well, not really. A colleague of mine managed to tip over about 10x Elitebook 8570p that was stacked on a 2 meter high shelf.
As for me, I was carring around 5-6 laptops, dropped one and out of pure reflex I kick it with my food straight into the wall. It survived with a few bruises though!
Is the 3D projector used to help see how shale formations actually look so that they can be fracked/drilled? I have heard that. Yep, this was also the main thing that the Z800 computers was used for.
30 million dollar 3D projectors eh? Yep. I can provide a few pictures later if people are interested.
How much did you make? About $50.000 a year as 1st/2nd line.
Why did you stop and what are you doing now? See answer above.
Any renewals coming up that I might bid for? Hehe, not that I know of.
Hey there. What was your starting pay like? Around $50.000 a year.
I don't know the details of what he emailed you, but an email address alone should not count as proof. Changing email headers is really easy. Link to en.wikipedia.org. Yes, I agree with this but I wasn't really sure how else to prove it.
Hey, I've lost the self-destruct code from that deep-sea rig. Send it! Well ofcourse. I'll PM you the new one!
Last updated: 2013-06-28 11:34 UTC
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