ISM Manufacturing 56.6 vs. 58 est./59 prior

October 1st, 2014 No comments


Categories: News

A Roundup of Destiny Message Board Post Complaints

September 30th, 2014 No comments

NeoGaf Posts

leng jai – “I’m not even exaggerating when I say that Destiny’s utter garbage excuse for a story is one of my biggest disappointments in a long time. It completely soured me on the game before I even got into the multiplayer”

jurgen – “It honestly feels as if I’ve spent $60 on a tutorial/demo”

ryanmac – ” it’s pretty obvious that someone took a big knife and started cutting stuff out of this game. Whether it was because content was bad or they needed to make deadlines you can’t deny that an experienced developer like Bungie wouldn’t release a product with such a thin layer of story”

Jobbs – “I think it’s just an abortion overall. They ended up with a mess and no story and not sure what to do with time running out”

Sage Shinigami – “The story isn’t just bad, its almost nonexistent”

NervousXtian – “Well, honestly, it’s not just that story is incoherent, but the actual structure of the story missions is broken. There’s NOTHING compelling about the missions structure at all. Most of them are run to point A, hold down SQUARE, wait… maybe defend a bit, then go to point B.. .hold down SQUARE.. defend and/or boss fight.”

qa_engineer – “This is why I’ve yet to plop down any more cash on the season pass. You disappoint me, Bungie. You had a chance to tell a great story and introduce gamers to a whole new world and you botched it. There is no turning back now, the story is lost and all you have left is this vague, cryptic half-assed story that no one cares about. All we’re doing is running around the same areas killing bullet sponges for shiny new things. So much potential wasted. Oh well you have my 60 dollars so I guess there’s that right”

Bungie Forum Posts

sleepyswis – “I love you guys. But this hurts. I’ll hang on for pre paid dlc, but this might be the last you see of me bungie. Feel like I’m breaking up with a great girl that lost her mind 10 years down the road”

Deltron3040 – “The story is terrible, the out of game grimoire makes no sense, and everything else is rinse and repeat”

JDubsH – “You crushed my dreams for this game”

GoodCull – “fact is, there’s no where near enough content in the game as it is, compared to how long they’ve been making it. The fact that a lot was cut is pretty much just that, a fact by this point. Especially with the painful embarrassment that they call a “story”. Too many things are just, “there” in Destiny, with no rhyme or reason as to why or how they are”

profilewon – “Where is all the content? Why am I forced to replay every mission 10 times? Why do you mask old missions by calling them “new events.” Why do I feel so bored?”

Categories: News

Gamers Moving on from Destiny to Shadow of Mordor

September 26th, 2014 No comments

After the excellent reviews for Shadow of Mordor came out last night there was much rejoicing from gamers online to move on from disappointing Destiny. Who would have thought that Monolith would develop a much better quality 2014 game than Bungie?

Message Board Posts

Laekon – “Will hop on the hype train for this game. Destiny didn’t do it for me and nothing else is coming out till November”

Eggbok – “PS4 Physical, will lay Destiny to rest”

sjay1994 – “I am buying this game. I can’t grind in destiny anymore”

Jinaar – “Destiny is wearing thin and after watching the 101 Trailer above, holy hell, this is Day One PC Purchase material”

rhfb – “those reviews are good. So glad I returned Destiny, just bought this instead”

rev09 – “After being disappointed by Destiny I may pick this up as a positive surprise”

Valar – “these scores are incredible. Looks like Destiny is getting shelved this Tuesday”

Chesterton – “Was cautiously excited, but after all these solid reviews, I’ve pre-ordered for my PS4. It’s been dusty after the Destiny disappointment. Can’t wait until Tuesday!”

Gator86 – “thrilled by these reviews. I’ve been waiting for this game to cheer me up from the disappointment of Destiny” 2nd post – “I think we’re in for a great fall/winter slate of games. Our Destiny sadness will be a distant memory soon”

Apathy – “Gonna drop Destiny like a hot sack of crap and go for this”

markedbravado – “I am concerned about the story but I need a game to wash Destiny off my skin”

oti xeor – “I’m so happy right now. Will definitely get this (after selling off Destiny)”

Steph – “player count is destiny is about to drop heavily…”

jellies – “this will substitute for Destiny very nicely, thank you”

B-Dubs – “it seems like all that Destiny hype should have been applied to this game”

EventHorizon – “If you are going to trade Destiny, I suggest you do it soon. My guess is that the asking price for Destiny will drop quit a bit now that Shadow of Mordor is turning out to be a good game. I’ve been trolling EBay waiting for the price to drop to somewhere where I feel the game would be worth it, but now my interest in Destiny has gone to near zero. I now think a lot of people will try to trade in Destiny, and a lot of other people like myself who wanted to buy the game will realize that we were only interested because it was something new”

Fracas – “reviews + Destiny being an utter disappointment means I’ll probably pick this up day one”



Categories: News

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Review Roundup. Spoiler: It’s Great

September 26th, 2014 No comments

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor received 9+ out of 10 scores from many of the leading game review sites. Joystiq even gave it a perfect score. Looks like we finally have a legitimate AAA killer app game for next generation consoles.


Joystiq – 5/5

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is a well-paced sandbox game with a revolutionary new game mechanic in the Nemesis System, which I imagine we’ll see iterated on in the years to come. The Nemesis System creates the opportunity for two players to have wildly different experiences fighting the Uruk-hai, while Talion collects trinkets and upgrades

Polygon – 9.5/10

Shadow of Mordor is that ultimate rarity. It tells a fun little story that would be enough to hold up most games on their own. But it also provides all of the tools to ensure that the most interesting tales to come out of the game will be the ones that were not scripted.

IGN – 9.3/10

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor stands out from other open-world action games by putting a great new layer on top of the trail that Batman blazed. I was surprised at how well it integrates its excellent combat with rewarding feedback and progression not just for me, but also for my enemies.


The execution of all the game’s “little elements” is almost completely perfect..Shadow of Mordor might be the first third-person sandbox game to truly let players tackle a challenge the way that THEY want. I can’t emphasize to you how different/fresh and important this feels..Imagine GTA 5’s heists or Batman’s detective work, but without the on-rails, scripted choices. Instead you just plan the heist within the rules of the sandbox – tailing the owner, casing the place, etc.

Categories: News

Have Multiple Xbox One Console Noise Issues? Keep Sending Them In

September 19th, 2014 No comments

After many messages of people sending in their Xbox One consoles to get the coil whine issue fixed and then receiving back machines with the exact same noise issue, a Microsoft support representative wrote to those afflicted: “please keep setting up repairs” as their solution. The actual post below:msftSending in multiple consoles is a big hassle. Maybe Microsoft should make sure their consoles are all fixed first before sending them out to consumers over and over again.

From the message above, as Microsoft is still collecting serial numbers of consoles, it is clear they still don’t have a good handle on the scope of the problem.

Categories: News

September 2014 Philadelphia Fed Survey 22.5 vs. 23.0 est./Prior 28.0

September 18th, 2014 No comments


Categories: News

Apple iPhone 6 Review Roundup

September 17th, 2014 No comments

The following is a note-worthy selection of iPhone 6 reviews with excerpts. Spoiler alert: reviewers love it.

Yahoo Tech (David Pogue)

“The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are absolutely terrific phones. They’re fast and powerful and well designed. There’s not a single component that hasn’t been improved. These phones are a delight to behold and to be held”

The Verge – 9.0/10

“There’s one feature that stands out, though, the one that most strongly makes the iPhone 6’s case as the best smartphone on the planet: the camera”

Recode (Walt Mossberg)

“The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily. It’s my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy”

Engadget – 90/100

“With fast performance, a great display, an elegant new design and a much-needed software update, it’s one of the best smartphones you can buy right now. We wish it had the same long battery life as the iPhone 6 Plus (not to mention its optical image stabilization) but even then, the iPhone 6 is still the better choice for most people”

Bloomberg (Joshua Topolsky)

“They’re also awesome. They are beautifully engineered machines, more useful than ever. These aren’t just the best iPhones ever made—they might be the best phones ever made. Period”

Wall Street Journal

“So what makes the iPhone 6 the best? Performance, usability and camera refinements, coupled with a safe, powerful operating system that now lets the iPhone’s big collection of apps do more”

New York Times

“The slim new iPhones aren’t a big-screen slam-dunk, but they work well, as we have come to expect from Apple. Ultimately, it’s what’s on the inside that keeps them just in front of their competitors”

The Loop

“For me, I think the iPhone 6 will be the perfect upgrade for people in the U.S. that haven’t embraced larger screen devices yet. It’s the perfect size for almost any hand”


“Apple iPhone 6 is a worthy successor to all the iPhones that have come before it. It’s attractive, solid, well-crafted, powerful and exciting..Apple’s iPhone 6 is, for my $200, the most elegant and effective smartphone on the market”


“The iPhone 6 is the best smartphone available. It offers improvements in almost every way that matters, and it delivers those in a striking new design that balances consumer demand for larger screens with a thin, light and durable case”

USA Today

“These are the phones Apple devotees have been waiting for: iPhones that measure up to what’s fast becoming the new normal — the large, modern smartphone display”


“For current owners of Apple phones who aren’t tied up with a carrier contract, the iPhone 6 is among the most irresistible upgrade the company has ever offered”

Categories: News

Don’t Forget the “Hedge” in Hedge-fund

September 16th, 2014 No comments

Recently a large pension fund decided to give up on investing in hedge-funds citing complexity, high fees, and lack of scale. This news sparked a slew of articles saying this was a watershed moment on how hedge-funds as an asset class underperform and weren’t worth their fees.

Yes the vast majority of hedge-fund managers do not perform well enough to justify their fee structure, similar to active fund managers. However I do think one must grade hedge-funds in a bit more nuanced fashion.

Hedge-funds are hedge-funds because they often “hedge” and have market net exposure lower than a 100% long portfolio. If a typical hedge-fund has net exposure of 50% vs. the market, it is bound to underperform the market during big up cycles, but if it can provide a net return above the net exposure it is worth the fees.

Any capital allocator can easily find cost-effective methods to get long exposure to the market through passive index or futures strategies. Finding true alpha generating investment managers is much more difficult.

Hedge-funds are attractive to their clients because they should provide uncorrelated returns, true “alpha” relative to their net exposure to the market, and strong returns through a full up/down market cycle. They should be graded on those measures.

Categories: Articles

Amazon Cites Xbox One Console Inventory Issue

September 15th, 2014 No comments

A few days ago on September 11th I wrote a blog post with evidence showing it was likely a large percentage of the current shipment of Xbox Ones in the retail channel had “coil whine” noise hardware defects. Tonight members on NeoGaf noticed Amazon put the Kinect-less Xbox One on “Item Under Review..something wrong with our inventory” notice.


A few hours later the notice disappeared, but this is again more evidence some thing is amiss.

I also noticed Microsoft’s support forum is filled with more posts from consumers receiving replacement consoles with the same exact noise issue.  Obviously they are furious receiving consoles with the same defect they wanted to get replaced in the first place. The Microsoft support representative is now asking for “console serial numbers” probably trying to get a handle on the size of this issue across various shipments:


As I wrote in my previous post last week all the signs point to a major wide-spread issue. It looks like things are getting worse not better.

Categories: News

Xbox One We Have a “Coil Whine Noise” Problem

September 11th, 2014 No comments

After reading hundreds of messages across various internet sites and Twitter it is becoming increasingly evident that a large chunk (if not all) of Xbox One consoles sold in the past few days have a “coil whine” noise problem. You can hear it in this YouTube video:

Microsoft already has told Kotaku and Gamespot it has acknowledged the issue, but the company down-played it by saying it only affects “a small number” of systems.  The evidence however clearly shows it is a much larger problem. I read numerous reports of consumers exchanging their Xbox One console 3-4 times (see below) at their local retailer to no avail. All of the exchanged consoles have the same “coil whine” noise problem.

It is more likely a large percentage of current shipments are impacted with these bad coils. Let’s hope Microsoft can get this coil parts supply chain fixed into the holiday because if it doesn’t it would spell disaster for sales reminiscent of the red-ring-of-death from the Xbox 360 days. In the mean-time I would not buy an Xbox One console until we get confirmation this issue is resolved.

Examples of “coil whine” noise reports:

1) “I went through 4 from Amazon. After the 4th, they told me I needed to take a refund because they couldnt continue to replace the units. I then took my business to Target. After the 3rd one at Target, I got another refund and essentially just gave up.” Link

2) “This is the FIRST of THREE Xbox Ones I’ve had in the past 24hrs … I’m now returning the 3rd one and NEVER buying and Xbox One again” Link

3) “I went back to Best Buy today to get my replacement X-box one and the lady behind the register said this is the 4th one being replaced today” Link

4) “Just gave my xbox one to the transport guys to ship it back and get a refund. This was my 4th one alreadyLink 

5) “I got my replacement Xbox Form Microsoft directly today. The noise is still there” Link

6) “he returned to the store, they open and tested 5 consoles just to find all of them had the same problemsLink

7) “bought a kinectless xbox 2 days ago and had this issue. Replaced it today, it’s updating now and the noise is there again. It’s incredibly annoying” Link

8) “I’ve had 3 brand new european xbox ones with that same irritating noise” Link

9) “I am now on my 4th noisy 1540-1425X.” Link

10) “The same problem here. 4 infected consoles.” Link

11) “I have around 6-8 friends that bought Xbox Ones when it came out here in Sweden. About half report this noise problem.” Link

Categories: News