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Monthly Archives: December 2011


Federal accident investigators Tuesday called for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving.

The recommendation is the most far-reaching yet by the National Transportation Safety Board, which in the past 10 years has increasingly sought to limit the use of portable electronic devices. It has recommended such bans for novice drivers, school bus drivers and commercial truckers.

The new recommendation, if adopted by states, would outlaw non-emergency phone calls and texting by operators of every vehicle on the road.

It would not apply to hand-free devices or to passengers.


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Get Rich Being a Whiskey Investor

Fine whisky has been part of Scotland’s heritage for over 500 years, but it is only recently that the investment opportunities for its most famous export have become clear. With global demand for luxury whisky on the rise, putting your money in Scottish single malt could make you some pretty neat returns.

Glass of Whiskey
Jonnie Miles | Getty Images

“Over the last 10 to 15 years, the demand for whisky has just increased,” said director ofThe Whisky Exchange, Sukhinder Singh.

“My feeling is that the risk in whisky is quite low,” he said. “I can just feel the demand globally; even very recently I’m watching prices go wild over the past six months.”

While the US remains the top Scotch whisky importer, with more than $400 million sold there this year, Asia has seen the largest increase. Demand from Singapore rose 64 percent, making it the third largest importer, and in Taiwan demand was up 45 percent.

Whisky writer Jonny McCormick explained global interest to CNBC: “Just in the last couple of years we’ve seen new auctions open up by Bonhams in New York and in Hong Kong, and these sales are extremely popular. We’ve seen nearly 100 percent sales by lot and by value and the American collecting market is extremely lively. The Chinese and Japanese market is very popular.”

The Macallan distillery is one of Scotland’s most famous brands, and has become a strong name in whisky investment.

David Cox, director of fine & rare whiskies at the Macallan, told CNBC, “We were one of the early pioneers if you like, in the release and availability of very rare and old whiskies. As we released these onto the market, that, together with the reputation of the Macallan, attracted collectors and connoisseurs around the world.”

Cox also highlighted the increasing importance of less traditional markets.

“Russia has become a very, very important market for us,” he said. “There’s still many collectors in Europe and certainly North America as well, who are on the lookout for special Macallan bottlings. But as a proportion of the ones that we are releasing these days, certainly we are seeing a higher and higher percentage going to Asia-Pacific and to Russia.”

For the potential investor, names like the Macallan are a great bet; a 64-year-old Macallan auctioned last year for charity achieved a world-record price of $460,000. While of course not all bottles are fetching these kinds of prices, Singh says investors have a budget in mind—and enough space to house a collection—then getting into this market is easier than it used to be, and specialist shops and auctions are the places to be.

“It’s much easier now that it was a number of years ago,” he said. “As the demand for whisky has increased, more and more specialist whisky shops have cropped up.

“There are a number of auction houses.  I remember when I started there was only one, and there was only one auction a year. I think today there are three or four auction houses doing whisky and each of them are having maybe anywhere between three to four sales a year, which is quite a lot.”

“A collection of about 120-150 bottles … is a nice size collection. You’ll have a balance of some really standard stuff, you’ll have some very rare stuff which is quite expensive, but it’s a controllable size.”


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Ahmadinejad speaks about captured drone (I’ve included remarks for you)

Read here:

I will interpret for you:

(CNN) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that his country has “been able to control” the U.S. drone that Iran claims it recently brought down, Venezuelan state TV reported.

They have figured out how to turn it on.

“There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane,” Ahmadinejad told VTV. “Those who have been in control of this spy plane surely will analyze the plane’s system. Furthermore, the systems of Iran are so advanced also, like the system of this plane.”

This is the most complicated thing they have ever seen. It is blowing their collective mind.

Ahmadinejad did not elaborate or specify what precisely he meant when he referred to people “who have been able to control” the drone. He spoke in Farsi, which VTV translated into Spanish. The Farsi portion of the interview was not audible.

President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States has asked Iran to return the drone aircraft that Iran claims it recently brought down in Iranian territory.

“We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Obama said.

Our president is a huge pussy.

Will Iran share stealth tech with China? Ahmadinejad’s comments to VTV seemed to suggest that Iran did not plan to return the aircraft.

“The North Americans at best have decided to give us this spy plane,” Ahmadinejad said. “In the unpiloted planes, we have had many advances, much progress and now we have this spy plane.”

Good luck with that.

More importantly, the Iranians should be very cautious about trying to steal technology they aren’t experienced with. A friend of mine once told me a story about a certain Soviet country that stole a certain pipeline pressure regulator from the U.S. during a certain Cold War.

What this country didn’t know was that the U.S. was very much aware of Soviet thievery, and intentionally planted a flawed plan, which the Soviets, in copying, then applied to their entire system.


I would love nothing less than for Iran to mass produce drones which the U.S. has the ability to seize control of at will. Let the tech games begin.

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FLASH: The EURO is in Plunge Mode

The Euro is now down more than 1% on the day. The market is following it down the rabbit hole.

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