End of 2014

Well here we are, the end of 2014 CE. It has been an interesting year, all things considered. Nothing of any great important happened to me on the personal front. On a scale stretching between happiness and unhappiness, I was somewhere marked “contented.” I learned a great many things of value and forgot a good deal of what needed to be let go.
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The Unbearable Stupidity of Controlling Prices

amazonlogoAn astonishing fact about Amazon, the giant retailer which aims to sell everything to everybody, is that it adjusts its prices over 2.5 million times daily. Let that sink in: two thousand five hundred thousand times a day. Around 100,000 price changes an hour. Granted Amazon has over 250 million SKUs (stock keeping units) on its catalog in the US. (See the data on US and other countries here, as of Aug 2014.) Still, that fact bears witness to what technology can do and what market competition can achieve in terms of economic efficiency.
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Winter Solstice Greetings

The (northern) Winter Solstice was on Sunday. On that day, the sun appears to stand still for a moment in the sky as it reverses it direction across the sky. This happens on the shortest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere.) For details, check out the wiki.