The Most Hilarious Thing I Read This Morning

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A 6-year-old report about how he enjoyed being invited at Robin Hanson&#8217-s party &#8212-boring like hell.

Makes me think that the field of prediction markets should research more on data visualization. Kids like great visuals. Boisterous blogging adults haven&#8217-t computed that, yet. When&#8217-s the last time you saw great visuals at Marginal Revolution or Overcoming Bias?

Think data visualization, folks.

Bo Cowgill reads some blogs on that topic, I believe. He could give us some good links, one day.

UPDATE: Mike Linksvayer&#8217-s take on the Robin Hanson incident the Marginal Revolution post. (See also Mike&#8217-s comment, below.)

APRIL FOOLS DAY: This year, again, CNET makes fun of the wisdom of crowds.

No GravatarCNET: Edit wars come to spy agencies&#8217- Intellipedia.


The full listing of all the April Fool&#8217-s Day jokes&#8230-

Previously: The 2007 CNET joke&#8230-

Previously: The 2008 Midas Oracle joke&#8230-

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Thanks to enterprise prediction markets, senior management can move faster to deal with problems or exploit opportunities.
  • NOTE TO SELF: Set up customized e-mail alerts for brand-new, hot Midas Oracle stuff.
  • DAYS OF RECKONING, PART TWO: Matt Drudge features the prediction markets. + Reuters has the right terminology (“traders”, “prediction exchanges”) but ignores BetFair.
  • DAYS OF RECKONING: The New York Times is telling the business world that enterprise prediction markets are an essential management tool.
  • HubDub will soon distribute a continuously-updating chart widget displaying the state of their prediction markets.

Last years best April Fools Day joke had something to do with the wisdom of crowds.

No Gravatar2007’s April Fool’s Day


Wikipedia founder&#8217-s bold experiment

Diagnosed with cataracts, Jimmy Wales invites first 100 people who show up at his home to perform surgery. &#8220-There may be some trial and error, but I&#8217-m confident the community will make the right decisions,&#8221- Wales said.

MIDAS ORACLE&#8217-S 2008 APRIL FOOL&#8217-S DAY JOKE: BetFair-TradeFair hire Bo Cowgill in an attempt to improve their ranking in Google web search results.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Play-money prediction exchange HubDub is a phenomenal success.
  • BetFair Australia’s spin doctor tells all about their payments to the horse race industry.
  • Meet Jeffrey Ma (at right on the photo), the ProTrade co-founder, and whose gambling life is the basis of the upcoming movie, 21.
  • Independent production company seeks deep throats to spill beans on online poker industry and BetFair Poker.
  • BetFair-TradeFair hire Bo Cowgill in an attempt to improve their ranking in Google web search results.

Robin Hanson wants to rule the world -just as CEOs and heads of states do for a living.

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Our Master Of All Universes moans that the Free World&#8217-s private and public decision makers rarely or never ask him for advice &#8212-even though he sits on many &#8220-Boards Of Advisors&#8221- (like NewsFutures&#8216- one), which are, by definition, set up to provide advice &#8212-or so he thought, at inception. How come CEOs and heads of states are not imploring him for advice to help them run the word, he asks. He blogs that advisers are probably paid primarily for the prestige value that they lend to the company.

Which leads me to realize that I pay zero French franc for having economist Michael Giberson on our Scientific Advisory Board, which is quite about what his prestige is worth in the field of prediction markets, as of today. :-D That might change in the future, though &#8212-especially if I continue to flatter him publicly in posts like this present one. He might suffer from ego inflation and charge me for using his so-called &#8220-prestige value&#8221-. All economists, be damned. They are as greedy as the people they study.

Dick Cheney, the new Churchill?

No GravatarUS Vice-President Dick Cheney this morning on ABC&#8217-s Good Morning America:

CHENEY: On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.

RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.


RADDATZ: So? You don’t care what the American people think?

CHENEY: No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.

Watch it.

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Robin Hanson wants to rule the world —just as CEOs and heads of states do for a living.
  • Predictify got funded… Great for those who will be hired… But is it a good thing, overall?
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb likens modern-day financial markets to medicine in the 1800s, when going to a hospital in London or Paris multiplied your risk of death by four times, he says. Similarly, quants increase risk by deploying flawed financial tools designed to reduce it, he argues.
  • TradeSports-InTrade — Check Deposits
  • BetFair Australia fought for free trade across Australian state boundaries… and won.

Robin Hanson is breaking the Internet.

No GravatarVia Gawker (which I&#8217-m paraphrasing), the New York Times warns us that there might not be enough Internet left for the rest of us!

In a widely cited report published last November, a research firm projected that user demand for the Internet could outpace network capacity by 2011.

It&#8217-s true: there is only so much Internet, and Robin Hanson and his folks at (a boring philosophy blog, where the prof blablates on angels&#8217- gender with his students) are using like all of it. Look at the damming evidence, the trend shows clearly that the implosion of the known Universe is next:


Maybe the gullible and intrepid Robin Hanson fanboys will take comfort in the fact, reminded to us by Gawker, that engineer Robert Metcalfe predicted in 1995 that the Internet would suffer from a &#8220-catastrophic collapse&#8221- in 1996. :-D

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Business Risks & Prediction Markets
  • Brand-new BetFair bet-matching logic proves to be very controversial with some event derivative traders.
  • Jimmy Wales accused of editing Wikipedia for donations.
  • What the prediction market experts said on Predictify
  • Are you a MSR addict like Mike Giberson? Have nothing to do this week-end? Wanna trade on a play-money prediction exchange instead of watching cable TV? Wanna win an i-Phone?
  • The secret Google document that Bo Cowgill doesn’t want you to see
  • BetFair’s brand-new matching-bet logic is endorsed by the Chairman of the Midas Oracle Advisory Board.


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Our testosteroned Grandizer [JOKE] is trapped in communist China:

Sadly, I&#8217-m not able to read the announcement on the Google Analytics blog thanks to the Great Firewall. I&#8217-m in Shanghai until the end of the month with Google.

Great Wall


Google Analytics blog post:

Benchmarking now available plus additional opt-in settings
Wednesday, March 05, 2008

We&#8217-re happy to announce the launch of two related new Google Analytics features: a beta version of industry benchmarking and a data-sharing settings page. Both are designed to give our customers more choice and better control over their data. We are also launching an integration with Audio Ads today, which we&#8217-ll discuss in more detail in tomorrow&#8217-s post. All of these features will begin appearing in customer accounts today, though benchmarking reports may take up to a couple weeks to show data.

Industry benchmarking is a commonly requested new service that enables customers to see how their site data compares to sites in any available industry vertical. We believe this data will provide actionable insights by providing context for users to understand how their site is doing. For example, if you have a travel website and you get a spike in traffic on Mondays, you may want to know whether other travel sites get that same spike on Mondays.

You can also compare your site against an industry vertical different than your own. For example, you might see that your industry&#8217-s traffic dips at certain times of the year while another industry&#8217-s traffic increases. Based on that information, you may wish to explore cross promotional opportunities to drive traffic back and forth.

[Link to their screen shot.]

For more information, take a look at the benchmarking FAQs in the Google Analytics help center.

Of course, benchmarking only works if people can opt to share their data into the system, so we&#8217-re also introducing a new data-sharing settings page. On this page, customers can choose whether to opt in or opt out of sharing their Analytics data. To be clear, we are not sharing individual data with competitors- we bucket data into industry verticals and then anonymize and aggregate the data. Once you opt in, it may take a couple weeks for the reports to populate.

You can also elect to share your data with other Google services. This setting will allow us to provide you with additional advanced new features. For example, many of you have asked us to integrate Conversion Optimizer (which is currently only available to AdWords Conversion Tracking users) into Google Analytics. By opting to share your data with Google, you&#8217-ll be able to take advantage of these related new features as they become available. For more information, take a look at the data-sharing options FAQs in the help center.

Look for tomorrow&#8217-s post on the Audio Ads integration.

Posted by Brett Crosby, Group Manager, Google Analytics

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Is Justin Wolfers a libertarian? Probably not.
  • The information technology that caught Eliot Spitzer
  • Eric Zitzewitz’s 10 minutes of fame
  • Fun with conditional probabilities
  • Wrongly Crafted Headlines Of The Day
  • an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds
  • Mississippi: Is it a primary or a caucus?

The blue screen we all wish David Pennock will never see


Author Profile&nbsp-Editor and Publisher of Midas Oracle .ORG .NET .COM &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s mugshot &#8212- Contact Chris Masse &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s LinkedIn profile &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s FaceBook profile &#8212- Chris Masse&#8217-s Google profile &#8212- Sophia-Antipolis, France, E.U. Read more from this author&#8230-

Read the previous blog posts by Chris. F. Masse:

  • A case of advertisement mistaken for content
  • Michael Shermer’s The Mind of The Market
  • A prediction market panel… where only 2 out of 5 are truly prediction market experts. What a nuclear joke. This poor line-up is the reflection of the poor state of the prediction market industry in the US… and the inherent mediocrity of the conference business.
  • VentureBeat makes it like established veterans NewsFutures, Consensus Point and Inkling Markets are contemporary of just-out-of-the-egg Xpree.
  • 13 lines for Justin Wolfers, but only 2 lines and one word for Eric Zitzewitz — Mat Fogarty, what were you thinking of?
  • Ducted Wind Turbines (DFWT)
  • The Betting King — The ATP Tour was his NASDAQ.


No GravatarATTN: those who have asked me privately.

Grandizer – YouTube

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • If I had to guess, I would say about 50 percent of the “name pros” you see on television on a regular basis have a negative net worth. Frightening, I know.
  • You can’t measure the usefulness of a system by how many resources it consumes.
  • STRAIGHT FROM THE DOUBLESPEAK DEPARTMENT: NewsFutures CEO Emile Servan-Schreiber, well known to chase tirelessly the Infidels who dare calling “prediction markets” their damn polling system, is eager to sell the confusion to his clients and whomever would listen.
  • John Delaney is such a poor marketer that he is willing to outsource the making of InTrade’s next logo (a company’s most important visual message) to the first moron met over the Internet who is stupid enough to work for a bunch of figs.
  • ProKons strongly believe that (play-money) prediction markets are bozo immune.
  • REBUTTAL: SalesForce, StarBucks and Dell demonstrate that enterprise prediction markets as intra-corporation communication tools (as opposed to forecasting tools) are overhyped by the prediction market software vendors and a little clique of uncritical courtisans.
  • Comments are often more interesting than the post that ignited them.

The Economist rebuts Paul Krugman.

No GravatarSee the title of that post: &#8220-The market sees all, knows all&#8221-. :-D

The Economist

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Is Justin Wolfers a libertarian? Probably not.
  • The information technology that caught Eliot Spitzer
  • Eric Zitzewitz’s 10 minutes of fame
  • Fun with conditional probabilities
  • Wrongly Crafted Headlines Of The Day
  • an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds
  • Mississippi: Is it a primary or a caucus?