Archive for the 'English' Category

Oct 11 2008

Financial cracks and the lost memory

Published under English,Finance,General

In this days a huge earthquake is attacking the biggest banking corporations; the most important US banks and, as in a domino game, european banks are staggering. Quite everyone I chatted to about this bad news said me he is loosing a lot of money in stocks. I'm really concerned about the future of my friends involved in this crack but even about the future of the community, because this fact highlights how simple people watch to the misleading world of finance without weighing up the risk.
I dont argue about the facts that moved banks toward the bankruptcy in these days, but I thought a lot to the evidence that a lot of people is heavily involved in stock loss.

Anyone should know that stock investment is risky, events like 0911 demonstrate that over the natural volatility in stock prices, unpredictable facts make stock price moves even more random. Avoid taking this into account is a big mistake.

Remember the NASDAQ bubble blown up in 2000, in short the index decreased from 6000 down to 1200, losing quite 80% of its values. Just before that bad days analysts had said that IT market would have grown again and again... trusting in this announcements a lot savers lost much of its money.
Even if the trigger of the crisis in this days is quite different from the one involved in NASDAQ collapse, the environment is mainly the same: a lot of uninformed little investors put a lot money in risky investments, and then they lose everything.
I think that people forgot the lesson of NASDAQ and continue to put money into the market. This is due mainly to two factors:

  • trust in brokers
  • attracted by big profits.

in both the two cases people mainly act without the correct study in the matter.

The first class, the broker truster, should think to the fact that financial products are the only product on the earth sold without guarantee. The law is particularly strict towards defective products, builders are prosecuted by law if their products create damage to a person. The law is not so strict towards brokers selling "defective" investments, the broker always takes profit from transactions even if the investor is losing it money. Why? Why one should assign a broker in management of oneself money even if the broker cannot ensure any profit?

The second class of investors, the set of people really confident in profits, should know that the stock market is mainly a zero sum game.  Generally speaking, a zero sum game is a game in which the gains and losses in a situation net out to zero. This means that somebody wins, somebody loses; money is simply transferred from one to another.

These two points of view should make us argue about the real nature of the stock market and its operators: real investors should pay more attention to real economy than to virtual economy and little investor should choose products in first person or, if a broker is assigned, at least they should consider only the less risky investment.

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Sep 19 2008

Delphi is still alive!

Published under Delphi,Development,English

Anyone who knows me very well noticed I have not written any post about Delphi.
Yes, It's a little bit strange even to me, because Delphi is one of my best topic in my technical chats.

I planned to write some structured delphi topics in future, in this topic I would only write a short text about the new Delphi release.

Some days ago, Codegear (now Embarcadero Technologies) announced the new version of Delphi (http://www.codegear.com/products/Delphi/win32). This version represents a deep cut to the past company uncertainty . Since CodeGear spun off delphi rised again its head and appear more mature and more reliable product then tipsily previous two or three versions... let me cite Delphi 8 as the worst treason from Borland.

Even if Delphi 2007 was a very good product, in this 2009 version there are some nice new features like:
* Unicode support
* new DataSnap technology
* generics and anonymous methods
* some new VCL components
* some IDE enhancement

I attended some events in which codegear presented these new features, despite these feature are quite interesting, in MHO this is far from a "cannot miss" release. Unicode is really specific to cross-culture applications,DataSnap and the new VCL components are just extensions of functionality already covered by 3rd party components and IDE is mainly the same as 2007 with some new enhancements.

Anyway I'm really happy to see this new Delphi 2009, mainly because this is the first version of Delphi published by Embarcadero Technologies, a company really focused on development tools. I'm thinking to Inprise, than Borland, DevCo, CodeGear.... what a confusion! And, mainly, how difficult was to understand the medium term vision!

With this version of Delphi, I can smell the fragrance of the great Delphi age again, like the time in which delphi developers wrote tons of hi quality and freeware components, in which RAD was really RAD and one could write Database driven applications in minutes, in which Delphi was a leader and not a follower in the innovation of development tools.

I love native compiled languages, I have a lot of concerns about intermediate languages like java and .NET, so I'm happy that Delphi will follow the business of the native win 32 compiled language.

I'm also fascinated by Embarcadero. I appreciated very much the new company vision: Development tools+Database tools=CodeGear+DatabaseGear.

I'm sure that happy days are coming for delphi developers.

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Aug 22 2008

Little tales in the ocean of Freeware

There are a lot of free software, covering probably all needs. It is often difficult to find a really "good" utility due to many authors and solution proposed. "Good" means to me: stable, bug free, lightweight (minimal resources occupation), fast and specific in functionality.
In this short post I review three little utilities I selected and found really "good" and usefull in my everyday work.

Quick Find - http://www.snapfiles.com/get/QuickFind.html

This utililty helps me in finding programs links located in start menu. At this moment my start menu is made up of 3 columns (windows XP) and looking for a program is often a nightmare.
QuickFind caches all the entries and let the user to find the right one with a nice incremental search.

Iconize - http://www.snapfiles.com/get/iconize.html

This utility can close any application to the System Tray even if the application cannot natively close to the Tray. Useful when you open a lot of applications at the same time and want the program bar free or with the applications needed at the moment.

Startup Delayer - http://startup-delayer.softonic.it/

This utility can schedule the starting time of each application during start-up of the PC.
My PC was usual to start-up in 2/3 minutes...thanks to this utility now I can being active on my PC in 30/50 seconds because all the applications planned to start during the start-up are delayed after the log in. I sorted the scheduled starting time by importance, so the last entries are the less usefull applications or the applications I probably don't need at first.
During the startup a nice controller let the user manage the progress, even temporarily avoiding specific applications from start.

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