The Weekend Nerdiary

Episode 6: Stonks Edition

Well the Internet had quiiiiite the week. This week we'll get the skinny on the stonks, watch Rome (not) burn, drive an F1 car (or learn how to, sort of), and watch as our AI overlords take our jobs.

$$ Bits and Coins $$

Ok so many words have been written this past week about the insanity that took place in the stock market and the rise of "meme stocks". I'll add just a few more and give some highlights to get you up to speed.

The GameStop stock frenzy, explained - Start here.

So we've got a rowdy group of amateur trader/gamblers driving up the stock price of an ailing retail videogame store (and a few others, but mostly the ailing videogame store) over the past ~year. On Tuesday, things start to go absolutely ballistic.

The stock doubles overnight and on Wednesday morning opens at $350/share.

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, Discord and Reddit, the two main ways the amateur trader/gamblers have been chatting, banned them all. That popped at least part of the balloon - and the stock dropped $100 in a matter of minutes.

But then it turns out it was all a misunderstanding! And Reddit and Discord came back online and all was well. And GameStop stock went to $500 overnight.

Thursday morning, the Robinhood app, which has basically been enabling this whole thing (with their "gamificiation" of stock market investing aka gambling), banned trading in all the meme stocks and THEN the shit really hit the fan.

Note: Anytime AOC & Ted Cruz agree that you have screwed up, you have really, really, really screwed up.

Though it turns out, not as much as people thought. The explanation for why Robinhood restricted the stock apparantly is much more mundane and boring. From Bloomberg:

Robinhood’s trading restrictions made virtually nobody happy, except perhaps the hedge funds. In a surreal scene, political archenemies Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz found common ground in lashing the firm’s decisions. Conspiracy theories erupted online."

One key consideration for brokers, particularly around high-flying and volatile stocks like GameStop, is the money they must put up with the DTCC [Depository Trust & Clearing Corp] while waiting a few days for stock transactions to settle. Those outlays, which behave like margin in a brokerage account, can create a cash crunch on volatile days, say when GameStop falls from $483 to $112 like it did at one point during Thursday’s session.

“It’s not really Robinhood doing nefarious stuff,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Larry Tabb. “It’s the DTCC saying ‘This stuff is just too risky. We don’t trust that these guys have the cash to be able to withstand settling these things two days from now, because in two days, who knows what the price could be, it could be zero.’”

Here's a succint technical explanation for exactly why Robinhood disabled buying but not selling.

Anyway, amidst the frenzy, the nerds have been having fun with their newfound riches. Here's a dude who bought billboard in Times Square:

And someone bought an actual GameStop:

And someone made a donation to a local children's hospital :heart:

And then there's this guy, who's probably having the most fun of them all:

The ‘Roaring Kitty’ Rally: How a Reddit User and His Friends Roiled the Markets - "A Massachusetts man who goes by “Roaring Kitty” on social media helped fuel the frenzy around GameStop. His $53,000 investment in the company briefly reached $48 million in value."

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Lest you think I've only got stock market stuff to share with you this week, fear not!

Here's an acapella rendition of the various Microsoft Windows system sounds :)

Awesome Split Keyboards - An exceedingly thorough list of both commercial and DIY split keyboard options. I'm through-and-through mechanical keyboard convert, but I haven't taken the plunge into split/ergonomic boards yet. This list looks amazing. (I'm extremely tempted by the Moonlander Mk1:)

And while we're playing with keyboards, here's a keyboard that shocks you if your typing style stinks :)

Heard of GPT-3? It's a text-completion model (which is a type of artificial intelligence) developed by OpenAI to predict the next word in a sentence. GPT-3 is a machine learning algorithm that takes a sentence and predicts what the next word will be. It learns from the data it has been given, and the more data it has, the better it becomes. It is intended to provide assistance with word completion, but it is not designed to generate novel text.

(Yeah and the above paragraph, btw, was written by GPT-3 in response to a prompt which was, in essence "write a sentence describing yourself for a nerd-focused newsletter." Weird!)

Anyway this guy figured out how to get GPT-3 to do his job writing SQL queries, and it's ridiculously cool.

@@ Drive time @@

Last week we looked at the controls in an airplane cockpit. This week, let's explore what every button on a modern F1 race car steering wheel does.

|| Long(ish)reads ||

Who's making all those scam calls? A great deep-dive into the sketchy world of overseas call centers.

... /dev/urandom ...

Here's a short video compilation of the 2017 solar eclipse, as seen by satellite:

If you've never had the chance to see a solar eclipse in its totality, I highly highly endorse making the trek. I flew out to Nashville, TN for a day and drove an hour north to be in the totality zone, and it was mind-blowing. Twilight at noon and a glowing ring around the entire horizon:

Rome in 3D - "The Rome in 3D project ... is an attempt to give you an opportunity to take a look at Rome as it really was, by the eyes of humans who lived there in that time."

Gridstudio sells gorgeous, framed, exploded-view versions of classic mobile devices, including the iPhone 3GS & 4S, the Nokia E71, and the BlackBerry Bold.

79 hours of CNC time + a block of solid aluminum = ...

That's it for this week! Thanks again for playing along. If you enjoyed this, feel free to forward to someone else who might as well. If you got this from a friend, subscribe here.

Until the next one,

Copyright © 2021 NLH Heavy Industries, LLC. All rights reserved.

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