Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Same stock but 200% of price difference on two stock markets

When a company here sell its stocks on multiple markets, the prices on different markets are typically very close.

Not for the Chinese stocks! The difference can be 200% and more!
Take Air China stock for example, its price is 15 CNY on Shanghai Stock Exchange and is 7 CNY on Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the exact same stock (see graphs below). That’s 200% premium!

A-Share = Chinese stock sold on Shanghai or Shenzhen stock markets

H-Share = Chinese stock sold in Hong Kong stock exchange (some also listed in US markets as ADR).

Because of currency exchange restriction, it is more difficult to arbitrage between the two markets. The gap started to grow substantially as the Chinese stock market roared in the past year.

Here are the premiums of A-Share over H-Share for stocks also listed in US ADR (based on Aug 20 prices):

Aluminum Corp. of China (ACH): 300%

China South Airline (ZNH): 260%

China Life (LFC):165%

The gap may start to close up now. Last week, the Chinese government announced that it would allow mainland Chinese citizens to invest in the Hong Kong stock market. The Chinese stocks on Hong Kong and US ADR markets have been on a roll. The China market ETF FXI (which holds most Chinese companies on Hong Kong market) was also lifted 16% the past week despite sub-prime loan crisis.

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Installing Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (7.04) on a ThinkPad T60

After much trial-and-error and googling, I finally got Ubuntu 7.04 working on my Thinkpad T60 in a way that I wanted:

  • Dual boot with Windows XP
  • Preserve the ThinkVantage button functioning which makes system recovery and updating a lot easier
  • Keep the partition of the hard disk that contains system backup (for repair and recovery)

Pre-Installation Steps:

  • Make Thinkpad rescue and recovery discs (Start->All Programs->ThinkVantage->Rescue and Recovery)
  • Backup MBR (in case you install GRUB into the MBR by accident) . Follow instructions here.
  • Make Ubuntu 7.04 LiveCD for temporary booting into Ubuntu only
  • Make Ubuntu 7.04 Alternative CD for actual installation (Note that checkbox under the “Start Download” button). This is used instead of LiveCD because I want to preserve ThinkVantage functions.
  • USB memory stick for transferring boot file

Installation Steps:

Follow step-by-step instruction here except the following steps (very important, things can become very messy if you dont)

  • In “fig 29 ntfs” step, set the Ubuntu partition”bootable” flag ON. Otherwise, the GRUB will not install onto the Ubuntu partition.
  • In “fig 65 ntfs” step, choose NOT to install GRUB onto MBR (select NO to the question in that step)
  • In the next screen after you select NO to install GRUB on MBR, you are asked to enter the partition to install GRUB. You should type (hd0,1) to indicate first hard drive and second partition (the Ubuntu partition). If you have multiple hard drives, you need to figure this out by yourself. DO NOT use the /dev/sda3 option as indicated on the screen. That does not work. If you do that, GRUB will be install onto the MBR.
  • Boot the laptop with LiveCD and run gparted. Set the Window partition as bootable.
  • Follow instruction here to make boot file for Ubuntu. Run “dd if=/dev/sda3 of=ubuntu.bin bs=512 count=1”
  • Copy ubuntu.bin to USB stick or use the shared partition as discussed here.
  • Boot up in Window XP and copy ubuntu.bin from USB or shared partition to C:
  • Update window bootloader as discussed here.
  • You re done!

Post-Installation

  • ATI graphic card. It is a bit tricky to get it work. Follow the instructions here.
  • WLAN connection. My T60 uses an Atheros chip and it works out of box with network manager. Other T60 uses Intel chip and it also works out of box. The wireless connection is not as reliably as in Windwos. The network manager disconnects often and I cannot connect to some WLAN APs (such as the one in our library).

Final thoughts: after this experience of installing Ubuntu on T60, I start to appreciate what Windows has to offer that I never realized …

FuckedCompany and Alexa chart

Techcrunch has announced that it has acquired FuckedCompany website (April Fool 🙂 ). The Alexa chart of fuckedcompany.com is almost a reflection of the size of startup dead pool. Techcrunch is betting that the we are hitting the bottom of the curve.

graph1.png

Interesting HitWise data points about Google

If you read the press, listen to the friends in the tech industry, you would have an impression that Google is taking over the web in every area. However, the data below from Hitwise shows a different picture.

Look at Gmail. It is an excellent product that has received raving reviews almost everywhere. But it has only 2% of market share in Email services. Yahoo Mail and Hotmail have 42% and 22% respectively.

The same with online maps. Mapquest and Yahoo Map have 56% and 20% market share whereas Google map and Google Earth have 7.5% and 2%.

Outside the echo chamber of the techies, people may not appreciate things like AJAX as much as we do. I tried to get my wife to move from Y!Mail to Gmail but she just would not do it (even I opened a Gmail account for her).

What Google is clearly doing well is search. It has close to half of the market and is good at making money out of eyeballs with their PPC ads.

Hitwise Data

Interesting user search stats from AOL search lab

AOL research lab had a lot of interesting stats on user search behaviors that I have not seen anywhere else. But their website has been down since the AOL data debacle two weeks ago. Here is a peek at some of the interesting bits and pieces:

  • Top 20% of “heavy users” perform 70% of all searches.
  • 5,000 web domains (among 50M) get almost 50% of all clicks in search results.
  • Winner takes all: the top entry get 45% of all clicks. The second and third get 13% and 9% respectively.
  • 25% of users go to next pages in search results.

Query breakdown based on category (click to enlarge):

aol

Moving from TypePad to WordPress

After trying both TypePad and WordPress, I decided to go with WordPress – it has a much better user interface. I am republishing some of the blogs from my TypePad site.