Chriss W. Street

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Tesla's Bait and Switch to Nevada for Gigafactory

After all the hokey-pokey about how committed Tesla is to California, the company chose Sparks, Nevada to manufacture batteries at its new 26 acre “Gigafactory” where it is already laying a foundation, according to a CNBC report citing the Nevada Governor’s office. In locating in Nevada, Tesla will continue to get rich California subsidies, but avoid paying tax to support those subsidies. Sep 5, 2014 6:21 AM PT

iCloud Hack Threatens Launch of iPhone 6 and Apple Wallet

Apple Inc. was mildly embarrassed on September 2nd that private celebrity nude photographs and videos, including those with Jennifer Lawrance and Kate Upton, were allegedly hacked from iCloud accounts and then went viral after being posted online. But Apple, Inc. stock plunged 4.2% on September 3 when concerns started to grow that Apple’s new mobile payment system that will operate on the iCloud might be undermined by security risks, just as it is about to be introduced at the September 9 launch of Apple’s iPhone 6. Sep 5, 2014 3:20 AM PT

Russia, China Begin Joint Construction of Massive Energy Pipeline

China faces an existential threat to their export-based economy due to high energy costs, and Russia faces an existential threat to their energy-based economy due to crippling Western financial sanctions. By agreeing to jointly build the “Power of Siberia” as the world’s largest energy pipeline, Russia and China are reviving their economic and military relationship that imploded with the fall of the Soviet Union. Sep 1, 2014 3:42 PM PT

America's Oil Boom Overwhelms Global Production Decline

The United States, sometime in the first quarter of 2014, passed Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of petroleum liquids, with daily output exceeding eleven million barrels per day (bpd), according to the International Energy Agency. Growth from January 2011 to July 2014 included three million bpd of crude oil and another one million bpd of hydrocarbon gas liquids and biofuels. U.S. crude oil production growth more than offset the 2.8 million bpd of global “unplanned supply disruptions” associated with the “Arab Spring.” Aug 31, 2014 12:03 PM PT

United States Second Quarter Profits Up 8%, GDP Up 4.2%

The United States second quarter corporate profits zoomed up 8%, and the national gross domestic product gained 4.2%, according to a revised release by the Commerce Department. Despite Europe's perpetual recession, Asia's stumbling, and South America's defaults, the United States economy is partying like it's 1999 again. Aug 28, 2014 12:43 PM PT

Amazon's $1 Billion Acquisition of Video Game Streaming Twitch.tv Is a Bargain

Amazon.com’s stock (NASDAQ:AMZN) has tallied a consistent 33% annual compounded price return over the last 5 years. The secret sauce of the company’s success is being able to engage with an increasingly younger demographic. The company’s latest deal to buy Twitch for more than $1 billion is being lambasted by most analysts, but I believe it is brilliant. Aug 28, 2014 11:42 AM PT

Californians Getting Better at Conserving Water

It has been no secret that for almost four centuries Californians have needed to manage droughts on a regular cycle. Some people describe the current situation as an exceptional drought, but water use statewide has actually increased over the last year, despite short-term water restrictions. However, looking at water use in two relatively normal water years of 2000 and 2010, California urban water use declined by 12% even though population grew by 9%, according to a study by the Public Policy Institute. Aug 27, 2014 5:13 PM PT

Gov. Jerry Brown's Cell Phone Kill Switch Would Aid Criminals

In reaction to occasional violence involving robberies, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 962 on Monday, August 26, to launch the first-in-the-nation requirement that all smartphones sold in California be equipped with “kill switches.” These switches allow owners to remotely render the phone useless if stolen, according to the Los Angeles Times. But the measure will create opportunities for criminal gangs to use the kill switch protocol to commit other crimes and conduct mass shakedowns. Aug 27, 2014 12:51 PM PT

Oil Prices Melt as Fed's QE Shrinks

Time magazine awarded Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke Man of the Year for his efforts that led the Fed to buy $3 trillion in bonds and mortgages to push up prices on the securities markets in order to create a “wealth effect”. Bernanke’s “quantitative easing” (QE) was supposed to put more money in circulation to encourage people to consume. This may have worked for “people” who are hedge fund billionaires that benefited from this flood of cash's pushing up the price of oil, but to “regular people,” QE acted like a new tax on gasoline and hammered down their disposable incomes by about 5-10%. As the Fed continues to “taper” off of this welfare for fat cats, gasoline prices will fall and most American’s disposable incomes will rise. Aug 26, 2014 4:03 PM PT

Chinese Military Claims to Design First Supersonic Submarine

China’s Harbin Institute of Technology's Complex Flow and Heat Transfer Lab announced it has the ability to apply supercavitation technology, which already allows some torpedoes to travel at up to 370 mph, to submarines that could theoretically travel up to 3,600 mph while underwater, according to the South China Morning Post. Aug 25, 2014 8:03 PM PT

Earthquake Storm Warns Big Quake May Soon Hit

Northern California suffered an “Earthquake Storm” on Sunday, as 60 smaller aftershocks rolled through Northern California following the magnitude 6.0 on the Richter Scale earthquake that struck Sunday at 3:20 a.m. Aug 25, 2014 12:20 PM PT

Janet Yellen: Labor Market Index to Drive Interest Rates

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen mentioned “labor market” 47 times in her speech, entitled “Labor Market Dynamics and Monetary Policy,” which she delivered at the annual Jackson Hole Conference. Ms. Yellen and the Fed’s Open Market Committee that controls the U.S. money supply are now relying on changes in the demand for productive labor to set interest rates. Aug 25, 2014 6:20 AM PT

LA Schools, Apple and Common Core Publisher Duck Conflicts Report

Despite opposition by parents and teachers to the Pearson Education Corporation’s Common Core curriculum, conflicts of interest may explain why the Los Angeles School District administrators have been so adamant to implement the standards. Aug 24, 2014 3:07 PM PT

SpaceX Rocket Self-Destructs All Over Texas

SpaceX suffered its first missile failure when one of their F9R rockets aborted its mission and auto-destructed over Texas shortly after takeoff on August 22. One observer video shows debris falling from the sky just after the explosion. No one was hurt in the blast, but the loss comes as the latest in a string of disastrous events facing the company and its iconic leader Elon Musk, including mass lay-offs in California and worker lawsuits. Aug 24, 2014 6:45 AM PT

California Utility Customers Must Pay $331.8 Million for CO2 Auction

California environmentalists were giddy after the market for pollution credits traded up in price to a new high on record volume. But rather than a sign of greater enthusiasm to fight CO2, the California legislature quietly passed in 2012 a law that allows private utilities to pay the state for credits at any price, slap on a very nice profit, and then make their public customers foot the bill. Aug 23, 2014 9:35 AM PT

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