This is the archive for January 2007

Grounds for a good sniping!

Commerce bank partyWanted to have a lie in this morning, have had a somewhat rough week with bad news from home.
My puppy is great because he now likes sleep ins too! So I was more than miffed when at 9am in the morning
there was this burst of music from outside. Initially I thought it was some duschbag with a car stereo outside,
but after a few mins it was still going. Took a look outside to see the car park of commerce bank had been
infiltrated by a large foam letter "C", a mime, and a DJ.

The DJ was playing everything from YMCA to Gloria Estefan. If that isn't grounds for a good sniping then I don't
know what is!

Maybe I've been playing too much Ghost Recon.

GWT Ant Task and the art of digital Karma

I was recently playing with GWT the google web tookkit, it provides the ability to create javascript using a strict compiling language such as Java.

Which is pretty neat, it generally means the code is cleaner, easier to trace through, you can have multiple engineers work on it, as it has defined entry points in it's design. To top it off, it's not too difficult to create unit tests for it, and as it's compiled, you have the ability to ensure syntax is correct before testing begins.

All of that rocks, however I was a little surprised to find it was awkward to use, and compile, you had to
run a shell script to create a project, then use more shell scripts to create even more shell scripts or ant files
to be able to build it. All in all, awkward.

So being a bit of an Apache Ant person, I wrote an extension to GWT to provide it with an Ant task, called gwtcompile. I've made the code available CVS: GWTAntTasks
and have provided details to google, and will begin the process of contributing it to their repository if they want it. In the mean time it's available to anyone out there who wants it.

My little contribution to digital karma for the week.

Making money from SPAM

Today, first day of 2007, I thought to myself, all those spam emails I get, wonder if any of them are
of any use. What about those "buy this stock, it's just about to explode"...

The NYSE and SEC have been trying to figure out how to combate this spam practice as it's effecting trading.
So, with that in mind and a little grep and perl foo in hand, I extracted stock symbols from my junk mail

There are 10,000+ emails in my junk folder, out of those 1404 had references to stock symbols. From there, I widdeled it down to 87 unique symbols, a lot of them looked bogus, so using some perl, and Finance::YahooQuote I pulled out which ones were still valid, that turned out to be 3. I'm tracking down what happened to the rest
if they ever existed, full list is here

  • IIJI Internet Initiative Japan, Inc

  • MNTA Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

  • SPAN Span-America Medical Systems, Inc.

For the past 6 months, if you had invested in these guys, you could have made yourself a fortune
Spam Stock Symbols

The thing to notice from these is common patterns, corresponding to these spam campaigns, while this form of marketing is totally a scam, it has potential to make people money. I think I'll keep an eye on this for a little longer.

So I decided to do a little more investigation, the IIJI stock was spammed from Jan 12 - 28 2006, the price $12.10 to $11.17, and steadily declined, essentially if you followed the spammers advice you would have lost a heck of a lot of money, the highest it's reached since then is $10.21

MNTA, was spammed again between Jan 12-29th of 06, with a starting price of $22.85 to $22.77, but this one however dipped in price immediatly afterwards in Feb to $20.23 but then to rise to an all time high for the year of $25.05 on Feb 17th. So investing in this one for 3-4 weeks would have given you anything up to 25% back on your investment.

SPAN, another interesting one, spammed beteen July 25th and Auguest 4th of 06 $11.37 to $12.79 and tempestiously creaping up to $14.59 so again a possible win, but required longer investment.

Basically out of 3 spams, 2 would have made you money.