Monday, May 23, 2011

Bitcoin mining rig is up!

Picture of my liquid-cooled box of 4 Radeon HD5870 cards, before closing up the case and actually getting it to work. It computes about 1.3 Gigahashes per second. (Click to enlarge.)

The side panel that closes it off (not shown) adds another large fan, which I inverted so it's sucking the hot radiator exhaust air out.

UPDATE 5/24/11: I've switched to the Phoenix miner, which somehow gets more hashes out of your card, so I'm now computing about 1.5 Ghash/sec.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Setting Inflation Straight, Part III (at least)

You ever noticed how inflation seems a lot worse than the official numbers indicate?

Via Yahoo, Fox Business reports on the change in prices for a sample of everyday grocery items. It shows quite a shocking increase over the past year, far more than you might suspect from the "tame" inflation numbers you hear about.

I've reproduced the prices from that article in the table below, showing the current, March 2010, and March 2006 values. (I couldn't find the numbers in the source cited, but will operate on the assumption they all refer to March of that year, even though it suggests they average over 12 months in the previous year; this would mean the results I calculate actually understate inflation.)

Yikes! The average 1-year price increase for this sample is over 8%!

So what is the offical food price increase? The BLS CPI report on page 2 gives their aggregate 1-year food price incease as only 2.9%!!! And if you think 1 year is too short because of volatility, then look at the five-year food inflation numbers, a time period that covers the "massive" price collapse and "deflation" following the 2008 crisis onset: 4.7% per year.

And this is still:

- ignoring all quality debasements, and
- in an environment where banks are holding on to their massive reserves, suppressing price increases!

I've listed the corresponding prices for gold (though they're all relative to the present instead of March of any year), using an ETF (ticker symbol GLD) that tracks it. Looks like it works well (if a bit too well) as a barometer of dollar debasement. Hope you stocked up back then! (By a great coincidence, a financial advisor in April 2006 looked at me like I was insane for suggesting putting any money in gold.)

But don't worry, your iPad holding more memory will make up for this, I'm sure...