Artificial Intelligence Swarm Algorithm Correctly Predicts Top Four Derby Superfecta, and Why all Degenerate Gamblers Should Care


UNU–  …That’s why the holy grail at the racetrack is the Superfecta, where bettors are asked not only to pick the winner, but the second, third and fourth horses to finish the Derby. This is fiendishly difficult task that, not surprisingly, defeated every expert at Churchill Downs, where no one predicted the top four horses correctly, much less in the correct order. In the world of AI, even Bing Predicts blew it, picking only heavily favored Nyquist to win the race, but missing the other 3 picks entirely.

So, when Hope Reese, a reporter for Tech Republic and the Atlantic, challenged Unanimous A.I. to use UNU to predict the winners of the Kentucky Derby, “we were reluctant to take on this challenge,” says David Baltaxe, Chief Information Officer at Unanimous. “Nobody here knows anything about horse racing, and it’s notorious for being highly unpredictable.  Still, UNU surprises us again and again, so we recruited a swarm of volunteers through an online ad. The whole thing took 20 minutes.”

During an initial 10-minute session, the group used UNU to answer questions as a unified Swarm Intelligence, narrowing the field of 20 horses down to four winners. The swarm was then asked to order the four winners into Win, Place, Show, and Fourth. Then, a week later the Kentucky Derby announced the post positions of the horses, which impacts the potential outcome. So, the Swarm Intelligence was convened again, and asked if any changes should be made. One of the four picks was replaced by an alternate. This process took another 10 minutes.

Over the weekend, the “UNU” team successfully predicted the top four finishers in the Kentucky Derby, leading the team to cash in on almost $13,000 dollars on a $20 bet. UNU, or Unanimous Artificial Intelligence, develops technologies for Swarm intelligence. This software allows users to put together their intelligence in a swarm-like fashion to combine emotions, thoughts, and feelings in real time. This process can be used to make decisions, answer questions, or to help answer debates. For those of you familiar with the Swarm concept in drone technology (..crickets), this technology works in a similar fashion.

Swarm is not just a simple aggregate of opinions as a survey is. The technology actually works to avoid biases by creating a real-time dynamic system, constantly changing with each additional person’s input. The participants in this case of the Kentucky Derby were not horse racing experts, just regular fans working with the same goal in mind. The easiest way to understand the swarm is that it is a collection of everyone’s brain making a decision all in the same time frame.

Having said that, I know your local degenerate gambler does not give a shit about swarm technology. However, what I think they should pay attention to is how this system correctly predicted the Superfecta this weekend, and what this means for the future of sports betting. Based on my calculations, the odds of correctly picking the top four correct in the Derby are 1 in 116280 (20*19*18*17, avoiding handicaps). The fact that the algorithm correctly picked not just the favorite to win, but Exaggerator, Gun Runner, and Mohaymen to follow in that order is something else.

Although sports have a certain degree of randomness to them, what you need to understand is that over time, results are not random. The reason why sharps make lines that are almost always spot on is that they use the resources of statistics and probability to make accurate predictions over the long-run in sports. Algorithms like this one will allow bettors who do not necessarily have the means to make these determinations to pool their collective resources together. As sports become more and more predictable as our computational abilities become more and more advanced, sports betting will forever change as we know it. Although odds do change to reflect accuracy over time, the winning margins will become smaller and smaller. Listen, I’m not saying that this bot will be correct forever. In fact, the race broke as many had predicted, resulting in the top four finish. But over time, no one can argue that these technologies will help bolster the abilities of bettors around the world. The only thing that won’t be affected will be March Madness, because I don’t think any computer predicted Middle Tennessee State to knock off the Spartans this past March (had the Spartans winning the whole thing…).



Uber/Lyft Strong Arm Austin by Straight-Up Leaving after Passing of Proposition 1


The Guardian– Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft are suspending operations in Austin, Texas, after the city’s voters rejected a proposal that would have allowed the companies to self-regulate their drivers.

Instead, the voters upheld stricter regulations that the city council passed in December: ride-sharing drivers are required to pass fingerprint-based background checks, clearly mark their cars with the ride-sharing company’s logo, and not pick up or drop off their passengers in certain lanes of the city’s streets.

Uber and Lyft wanted those regulations to be repealed, and if Proposition 1, which went to the polls on Saturday, had passed, they would have had their way. Instead, despite combined spending of nearly $9m against opposition of just over $100,000, voters rejected the proposition 56–44.

Huge news out of Austin, Texas this morning as Uber and Lyft have declared they are suspending all of their operations in the popular city. This measure comes after local voter’s rejected a Proposition that would have let the companies better regulate their own drivers. By now, almost everyone understands how popular and useful these companies are, providing safe rides to millions of riders across the country and world. Recently, as Uber and Lyft have moved to expanding their positions throughout the US, they have been moving to gain more regulatory power over their own operations. To the dismay of taxi corporations throughout these cities, the ride-sharing companies have successfully been able to negotiate many rights in these areas. This has taken away business from many of these taxi services that have profited from slow service, unsafe conditions, and high charges along with questionably racist practices in pickup selection.

Local pollsters (lets face it, probably an average age of 55 here) went out to the voting booths this weekend and upheld the council regulations passed in December, which call ed for fingerprint-based background checks, better designations of Uber and Lyft cars, and the limitations on pickup within city lanes. Without question, this would take away some of the power that these companies have shown to have over the big cities. If these companies say they are going to leave if government officials begin to regulate them, they need to follow through or they will lose out on their main bargaining chip. It seemed to work out last year in New York City at least, where Uber was able to fend off Mayor de Blasio’s attempts on capping the amount of Uber’s in the city limits.

At the end of the day, Uber and Lyft have proven that they will follow through on their pledges to stay under their own regulations. Of course, we all love the services the companies provide, but all of these drivers are still “taxi” drivers. Who is to say that these drivers should not be held to the same standards that every other driver in the city and in the US is subject to. We seem to put a ton of faith into Uber and Lyft to background check and screen their employees, yet we seem to not trust taxi services where the drivers are even more strictly screened. The City of Austin offered to even pay for the fingerprint testing for the drivers, which seemed to be the most contentious point for the companies. Regardless, there probably needs to be some sort of compromise between the cities and Uber/Lyft before we see a mass exit from cities across the US. For now, the companies are most likely paving the way for the complete removal of all drivers in favor of autonomous vehicles, which will keep profits in the hands of the companies and truly revolutionize the industry.


Miami lawmaker blasts Kardashians’ visit to Havana: ‘Cubans are suffering enough’

Cuba funny

Fox News Latino– Their faces are amply made up and their nails long and polished. They’re puffing on Cuban stogies. It was all in a photograph posted on Instagram showing the Kardashians on the long-forbidden island-nation of Cuba, the new de-rigueur vacation stop for Hollywood celebs.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a South Florida Republican of Cuban descent, assailed the sisters’ visit to Cuba. “I know it’s cool for celebrities to go to Cuba, but the Cuban people don’t experience the glamorous Havana that is featured on social media,” Ros-Lehtinen told People Magazine. “Far from photo shoots and fruity drinks, everyday Cubans experience a different, sad reality.” “Now, the Kardashians are parachuting into the island to tape their vapid TV show,” she said. “Haven’t the Cuban people suffered enough?”

Now, I know a lot of people aren’t fans of the United States moving towards opening up relations with Cuba. But if they’re going to take the Kardashian clan off of our hands, I think it is an overall fair trade. Its only fair that the Cubans get a sense of true American life by having Kim K’s ass shoved into your face throughout all media outlets at all time. I almost feel bad for the Cuban’s, having to go from dictator Castro to an ever more despicable Kardashian Krew. I also love how Representative Ros-Lehtinen just shoves the Kardashains right in a locker with “far from photo shoots and fruity drinks, everyday Cubans experience a different, sad reality”. Like how do you bounce back from that if your Kim K and Kanye. Actually, I don’t think they really care at all. What could possibly be next for Cuba, sending over the US President or something? Sad!


10 Sports Facts that People Often Forget: 3-1


Sports have an extremely rich and diverse history in the United States. Throughout time, sports have had the unique ability to instill distinctive memories in people that last a lifetime. With the sports calendar as it is today, it is almost impossible to keep track of all of the various occasions and moments that happen throughout the major sports on a daily basis. Some facts and events often become lost to the mind, fading away with time or blocked by more recent eccentricities. There have been many recent and interesting sport facts that people seem to forget, which may one day prove useful in future sports trivia games or arguments amongst friends at a bar.

3. Bo Jackson was an All-Star in Both the NFL and the MLB


Much like Michael Jordan and his quest for success in multiple sports, Bo Jackson was a successful NFL player who wished to transition to a new sport. Bo was known for his insane speed and quickness as well as his likable personality. His ability to dominant on the field and in the ballpark led multiple teams to express interest in acquiring him throughout the two sports. At the end of his career, Bo Jackson played for the Oakland Raiders as well as the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels before calling it a career in 1994. However, most people don’t know that Bo Jackson was in fact not just a two-sport athlete, but an All-Star in both sports to boot.

Although Bo Jackson was known for his football abilities both in college football and in the pros, it is on the baseball diamond where Bo Jackson had the longer and more successful career. In fact, many sportswriters call Bo not being in the MLB Hall of Fame one of the biggest snubs in the league. Of course, Bo Jackson’s chances were most likely hurt by the fact that he decided to split his career among two different sports, but nonetheless his achievements are noteworthy in both the NFL and MLB. Specifically, his football achievements include a Heisman Trophy in 1985, a Pro Bowl appearance in 1990, a 1993 Comeback player of the year, and a 1999 College Football Hall of Fame induction. Bo’s baseball achievements include a 32 HR and 105 RBI season in 1989, and an all-star nomination in the same year. Without question, “Bo Knows” how to dominate the two sports.

2. Pittsburg is the Only US City that has Every Major Sports Team Wear the Same Color Scheme


Cities throughout America have a multitude of different sporting teams. Each team often defines the culture of the city and the people that support them. This sentiment rings absolutely true in Pittsburg, the city of steel complete with hard-nose and hard-working people. The major teams of Pittsburg are the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Each has historically been known for its tremendous fan support and universal love throughout the city. Everywhere you go throughout Pittsburg, you will without a doubt see a logo of one of the three teams.

However, what people seem to forget or perhaps not even realize is that Pittsburg is the only US city that has each team and subsequent logo don the same Black and Gold colors. The colors come from the city’s flag, which in turn comes from the coat of arms of William Pitt, the prime minister of England in the 18th century for which the city is named after. Although the Penguins and Pirates have worn blue and white colors in the past, they eventually joined with the Steelers united in Black and Gold. Throughout the city, black and gold are prevalent almost everywhere you look, signaling the strength of the ties the teams have with the community. I guess it must be pretty difficult to differentiate yourself in a Pittsburg sports bar!

1. There is technically no 2004-2005 NCAA Football National BCS Champion


Everyone seems to remember the 2004-2005 USC Trojans as one of the most dominant teams in college football history. The team went 12-0 under quarterback Matt Leinart and NFL-caliber running back Reggie Bush. The team went on to face Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship game, which was played that year in the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Florida. USC took a 38-10 lead into halftime, and never looked back on their way to a 55-19 routing. The team was so dominant that they set Orange Bowl Records for most points scored (55), most passing touchdowns (5, Matt Leinart), and most receiving touchdowns (3, Steve Smith) (REF)).

However, people forget that this team in fact had to vacate all of their wins this season, including the Orange Bowl National Championship win, because of ineligible player Reggie Bush. The NCAA ruled that Bush and his family had received improper benefits from outside parties, and ruled that the team did little to monitor and fix the situation. Not only did Bush lose out on his Heisman trophy and his team’s championship in 2005, but the entire USC program also faced sanctions of 30 lost scholarship players over 3 years. Without question, this was one of the harshest penalties the NCAA has ever handed down besides the infamous “Death Penalty” for SMU. Although the 2004 USC team was one of the most impressive teams to ever play the game, the record books will forever indicate otherwise.


Click here  for Numbers 10-7 and here for Numbers 6-4



Amherst Police Drug Testing Agent is Surprisingly an Extremely Hardcore Drug Addict, Who Would have Thought?


Sky News A former chemist who tested drugs for Massachusetts police departments in thousands of court cases was high almost every day she went to work for eight years, investigators have said.

Sonja Farak, who worked for an Amherst laboratory which tested drug samples for police, was on methamphetamines, ketamine, cocaine, LSD and other drugs during most of her time there, even when she testified in court, according to a report. Cyndi Roy Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Maura Healey, said the information on Farak “will no doubt have implications for many cases”.

She said: “We are deeply concerned whenever the integrity of the justice system is called into question or compromised.” Defense lawyer Luke Ryan told the Boston Herald that Farak handled around 30,000 cases while working at the lab between 2005 and 2013. He said: “This is a statewide scandal, and I think it’s going to take an enormous toll on the system.”

Uh yea, no shit this is going to take an enormous toll on the legal system. Whenever you have a hardcore drug addict who fancies methamphetamine, LSD, ketamine, and  cocaine as their drugs of choice, it might be a problem for a drug testing agency testing over 30,000 cases in two years. I admire Sonja’s thought here, talk about job percs (..). This girl was probably testing a sample here, throwing down a sample over there, high as a kite and making up whatever drug testing results she chooses. I wouldn’t be surprised if literally every finding out of this lab was incorrect. I actually admire the balls it takes to be pounding these kind of drugs while literally helping the police put away citizens for use of said drugs. All in all, this girl is okay in my book, but does this look like the face of someone who would ace any sort of testing procedures  (Besides this one)?


10 Sports Facts that People Often Forget: 6-4


Sports have an extremely rich and diverse history in the United States. Throughout time, sports have had the unique ability to instill distinctive memories in people that last a lifetime. With the sports calendar as it is today, it is almost impossible to keep track of all of the various occasions and moments that happen throughout the major sports on a daily basis. Some facts and events often become lost to the mind, fading away with time or blocked by more recent eccentricities. There have been many recent and interesting sport facts that people seem to forget, which may one day prove useful in future sports trivia games or arguments amongst like-minded friends.

(Click here for Numbers 10-7)

6. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard University


Most people know one of the most famous athletes to come out of Harvard in the recent past, Jeremy Lin. Lin took New York and the Knicks by storm with his fiery play in the winter of 2012. However, people often forget that another Harvard athlete had perhaps much more success in an even bigger role. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the current NY Jets Quarterback, has had his share of relative success in the NFL. Bursting on the scene in 2005 with his almost perfect Wonderlic score at the NFL combine, the mathematics major was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round and started 11 games into the next season.

Although his first couple of years in the league didn’t stand out too much, his last year with the NY Jets was one of the best of his career. There are rumors of Fitzpatrick sitting out the season if the Jets do not renegotiate his contract, but for the most part it looks like Fitz will be leading the team once again next season. Fitzpatrick may go down as one of the best-ever football players to come out of the Ivy League, besides Ed Marinaro of course.

5. Big Ten Basketball has had Only One National Title since 1990


Each March, 64+ teams across the nation compete for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Scores of people fill out brackets in an attempt to win money or pride in their abilities. Without question, the Big Ten has been one of the more dominant basketball conferences in the nation, with multiple teams competing each year for the ‘ship. Some of the most dominant teams in recent memory include the 2004-2005 Illinois team, the 2010-2011 Ohio State team, the 1992-1993 Michigan Fab Five team, and the 1998-1999 Michigan State team.. However, people seem to forget that the only Big Ten team to win in the last 26 years was the 1999-2000 Michigan State team.

The 1999-2000 Michigan State was led by a young (..younger) Tom Izzo. The team’s leading scorer and Finals MVP Mateen Cleaves combined with the sharp-shooting Morris Peterson to dominate the Big Ten, winning 13 games and losing 3 over the regular season. The team went on to sweep the Big Ten Playoffs as well as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, winning almost every single game by double digits. Although other dominant teams have sprouted up in the league since the 90’s, not one has finished the job in route to the championship.

4. Ben Wallace went Undrafted in the NBA


Even more surprising than Tyler Johnson going undrafted in the NHL is that Ben Wallace went undrafted into the NBA Draft. Wallace went mostly unnoticed coming out of a small town in Alabama, winding up at Virginia Union University. For two seasons, he put decent numbers and showed a bit of athleticism but nothing too eye-catching. However, the Washington Bullets ended up offering him a spot on the roster after the draft and the rest was history.

Ben Wallace recently set the record for most games ever played by an undrafted player, making him perhaps one of the greatest undrafted players of all time. The Detroit Pistons 2004 team featured a steady amount of Ben Wallace’s defense down low, a key to their championship run along with Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Rip Hamilton. Ben Wallace never let his failures in the draft, or his huge patented afro for that matter, weigh him down on his road to a nice and successful career.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Numbers 3 through 1










10 Sports Facts that People Often Forget: 10-7


Sports have an extremely rich and diverse history in the United States. Throughout time, sports have had the unique ability to instill distinctive memories in people that last a lifetime. With the sports calendar as it is today, it is almost impossible to keep track of all of the various occasions and moments that happen throughout the major sports on a daily basis. Some facts and events often become lost to the mind, fading away with time or blocked by more recent eccentricities. There have been many recent and interesting sport facts that people seem to forget, which may one day prove useful in future sports trivia games or arguments over a couple of beers.

10. Stephen Curry was also born in Akron, Ohio


Many people know of Akron, Ohio because of LeBron James and his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. What many people seem to often forget is that an additional big NBA superstar has made his claim to fame on the streets of Akron. The Golden State Warriors dynamic playmaker Stephen Curry is another player who is seeking to bring a title to his hometown.

For Steph, family and faith come before almost everything in life. The reason he was born in Cleveland was because of his mother’s request to live closer to her husband. Stephen Curry was born in a Cleveland hospital because, at the time, his father Dell Curry was playing for the Cavaliers. In sheer coincidence, Curry was in fact born in the same exact hospital and on the same exact floor as LeBron James, only 39 months apart. Time will tell who can bring a championship to Akron first. For now, I would be thinking about patrolling the floors of that Akron hospital searching for the NBA’s next top talent.

9. Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning went Undrafted


You may know Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning as a hard-working, gritty scorer who burst onto the scene in 2014 and made his first all-star appearance a year later. Many do not know however that Tyler Johnson went completely undrafted in the NHL Draft. Going undrafted in the NHL is a lot harder than it is for top talent of the NBA, where there are only 60 players selected. The NHL doesn’t miss many all-star caliber players in their draft as players are picked before and during their playing careers oversees, professionally, or in the college game. His journey from the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL to the AHL and then finally NHL was long and winding, but it looks like Tyler is gliding to success.

Tyler Johnson may turn out to be one of the greatest undrafted players in the NHL. He amassed 50 points in his first full season with the Lightning in 2013-2014, and last year put up 72 points on the way to his first All-Star Game. This year, Tyler put up 38 points in an injury-plagued year, but make no mistake that his contribution is what helped lead his team to the playoffs. Johnson may very well have played himself into the international game as well with some key points in the 2014 IIHF World Championship, opening a chance for Tyler to lead the Team USA roster at the World Cup this September. The only groups of people who do not wish to see Tyler Johnson succeed are probably the General Managers and Coaches who passed on him in the NHL Draft.

8. Toronto Blue Jays traded Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey in 2012


In what may go down as one of the worst trades in Blue Jays history, the Toronto Blue Jays in December of 2012 traded Noah Syndergaard along with John Buck, Travis D’Arnaud, and Wuilmer Becerra to the New York Mets for R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas, and Josh Thole. At the time, Toronto thought they won the deal because it helped booster their rotation to go along with a great lineup of hitters. The only problem was the almost historic demise of R.A. Dickey along with the meteoric rise of Noah Syndergaard into a potential Cy Young Winner. Noah has pitched lights out over much of the last two seasons, bolstering a Mets starting rotation that many say is the best in the major leagues these days. Along with the fact that Travis D’Arnaud has turned into a respectable catcher behind the plate, fans of the Jays were left wondering what could have been. Many publications consistently rank the trade as one of the worst moves of Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos’ career.

7. Shaq Played for 4 Different Teams after Leaving the Lakers in 2004


Everyone remembers the glory days of Shaquille O’Neil’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaquille and Kobe Bryant teamed up for eight tremendous years, capped off with three NBA Championships. However, turmoil between Bryant and Shaq came to a tipping point in his final 2004 season with the team. Shaquille eventually parted ways with Kobe as the two decided that separating would be easier than overcoming their differences. Most people remember Shaquille taking his talents to Miami to team up with Dwayne Wade, where Shaq showed Kobe that he could indeed win a championship without him in 2006.

However, most people forget that Shaquille O’Neil had an extended career even beyond Miami. Shaq went on to play for three more teams, the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers (who had a young LeBron James at the time), and finally the Boston Celtics. He hoped to bring a ring to LeBron in Cleveland, and after significantly hurting his thumb, he shipped up to Boston to ride into the sunset. Make no mistake about it, Shaq was a relic of his former self with these teams and ended up playing limited minutes. However, for a sure fire first-ballot hall of fame player, it is interesting to note the way in which Shaq finished up his career. Who know what could have happened in Cleveland had Shaq stayed healthy and could help out LeBron down low in the paint.

Click here for numbers 6-4


New Apple Campus 2 Footage


FortuneIt’s that time again: a look at how Apple Campus 2 is coming along.

Matthew Roberts, one of a few drone owners who has uploaded videos to YouTube each month showing the progress Apple AAPL 1.64% is making on its new headquarters, has published his latest May update. The drone flyover depicts a campus that is still far from complete, but it appears to be making progress quite rapidly.

In the flyover, the reel pictures construction workers hard at work, putting in the frames and solar panels that will ultimately power the facility. In addition, the last curve of the round Apple Campus 2 is being constructed to complete the circle. Glass and canopies are being mounted on both sides of the main building, and a “mountain of dirt” is now standing alongside the campus that’s about as tall as the new headquarters itself.

Each month, Roberts, along with another videographer, Duncan Sinfeld, have been flying their drones over Apple’s “spaceship” headquarters to showcase what’s been done to this point. Both videographers use unmanned aerial vehicles with high-quality lenses to snap videos and stills of the construction’s progress.

This guy Matthew Roberts has been flying his drone over the new Apple Campus 2 construction and so far has been providing some cool sights. Without question, this new campus will be one of the slickest buildings in Silicon Valley, and the entire tech industry for that manner. I worked with the original general contractor for this job, and I can say without a doubt that the building will be tremendous when complete.

My big question is, how do they let this drone just fly freely around the site? Apple has been know throughout its time as one of the most secretive organizations, yet this dude is allowed to openly fly his drone around the site and spy on all of the construction? I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if we no longer hear from Mr. Roberts in the coming months. Apple doesn’t fuck around with these kinds of things, and I don’t think they will enjoy having their campus spoiled for the entire world to see. What I can see them enjoying is the 100% renewable energy production, 1000+ bikes on site, 70 million dollar wellness center, and 60,000 square foot cafeteria. Meanwhile, I’m over here worrying about what if I have enough money to buy pizza for dinner (Shocking, I know).



Carl Icahn Sells his Entire Stake in $APPL, Is it the Next Nokia?


The Guardian– Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor who has long been one of the most prominent voices declaring the company to be undervalued, says he has sold his entire stake in the technology firm, citing the risk of China’s influence on the stock.

After years of high growth, reaching triple-digit percentage points in 2015, Apple now sells more in China than it does in the whole of Europe. But sales in the country are now shrinking, with revenue dropping 26% year-on-year in the company’s latest quarterly earnings. Icahn’s concerns aren’t related to the China slowdown, however. Instead, the investor is concerned with the barriers to trade that China’s authoritarian regime might put in place.

“You can’t go into that business unless you’re like Samsung which is really like a country backing it,” Icahn told US cable television network CNBC. “A lot of people tried, a lot of people failed … In China, for instance, they will come in and make it very difficult for Apple to sell there. They could theoretically, you know … They’re basically in some senses I would say, perhaps benevolent but a benevolent dictatorship. I don’t know if benevolent is the right word.”

For those that do not know, Apple released their Q1 earnings report this past week. Analysts had been warning that this quarter would be the one where Apple finally falls from its insane climb, and the earnings seemed to match this sentiment. This is the first quarter in 13 years that Apple has recorded a YOY negative growth, in part because of declining sales for their iPhone line and troubling outlooks for their new Apple Watch line. The Guardian reported today that Carl Icahn, a mega-investor worth over $23B, has pulled out his entire $APPL position over scares of Chinese influence over the stock.

This is big news for APPL investors because when Carl Icahn pulls out of an investment, you pull out of an investment. It will become increasingly difficult for Apple to gain more traction in China, one of their biggest potential market growth areas. Fear of government regulations combined with declining interest of Apple products in favor of cheaper and more “fashion-friendly” phones have begun to gain market share. All technology shares seem to follow the Nokia bell curve of dominance, where they slowly rise to an insane market growth and maintain for a few years, only to then quickly fall out of grace. Although Apple has become synonymous with the cell phone and computer industry, do not think for a second that they can maintain this growth forever. Sales dropping over 26% on the quarter is a big signal that $APPL can no longer just put out another marginally-changed product and rake in billions. Without another huge innovation on Apple’s part, perhaps into the VR world, Apple may fall from its spot as world’s top tech stock. All I know is that I don’t think I have ever pulled out of something as fast as I have $APPL (Cromartie could learn a thing or two here).



In the Least Surprising News of the Day, Handless Russian Piano Prodigy Becomes Sensation


The Guardian– Teenager Alexey Romanov has become a promising piano player despite a debilitating illness that has deprived him of his fingers since birth.Sixteen-year-old prodigy Romanov from Zelenodolsk, a village in the Republic of Tatarstan, first took up music two years ago after being inspired by the works of Mozart and Vivaldi.

In the short time since he has performed for the republic’s orchestra and has found fame on national TV. Romanov’s music teacher at a specialist school for children with disabilities helped him get started, beginning with the melodies from films including vampire series Twilight and 1990s Hollywood blockbuster Titanic, both popular in RussiaHe credits two friends for teaching him the basics of music and how to read notes. “They still help me. They send me sheet music, which I study and if I like something, I let it settle inside me,” he said.

Classic Russian move here having a classical piano sensation with no hands. When I first read this headline my initial reaction was “Of course Russia has a piano prodigy with no hands”. I mean after the story last month where the entire Russian U-18 hockey team was suspended for doping and they had to send out there U-17 team to replace them, I didn’t even think twice about this headline.

The only question is why does this kid have no hands? I know this isn’t Soviet Russia, and I know it clearly states in the article that he was born with a disability, but don’t sleep on the fact that Putin and his cronies may have had a hand in this matter. This kid may have wanted to go outside one day instead of practicing piano and his parents may not have approved. Who knows these days. All I know is that the kid has a great musical touch.