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Showing posts from January, 2014

Investment (Equity) Crowdfunding

Update on Mar 27th, 2015

Thankfully, finally, after years of waiting, the rest of this article will become nearly obsolete. Title IV rules are finally approved and released by the SEC:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-small-business/wp/2015/03/25/sec-finalizes-key-jobs-act-rules-for-small-businesses/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2015/03/26/infographic-sec-democratizes-equity-crowdfunding-with-jobs-act-title-iv/ http://crowdfundinglegalhub.com/2015/03/26/enter-the-mini-ipo-sec-approves-final-rules-for-title-iv-of-the-jobs-act-regulation-a/
********* Investment crowdfunding(a.k.a. equity crowdfunding or, crowdinvesting) is an exciting opportunity in tomorrow's today's brave new economy, esp. as Title III of the JOBS Act is fully implemented. While many equity crowdfunding companies have running web-based platforms (the aggregator and search-engine crowdability is a great place to start looking into many of them); they are currently waiting for clarity from the SEC …

philanthropy -- doing it right!

I thought it useful to share some tools I use to research & evaluate giving opportunities: charities, nonprofits, ministries and other philanthropic organizations. First and foremost, I obtain scores, reviews and analyses from the following watchdog/accountability sites: http://www.charitynavigator.org/http://www.charitywatch.org/http://www.guidestar.org/http://greatnonprofits.org/Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org)http://www.intelligentphilanthropy.com/http://www.ministrywatch.com/http://www.ecfa.org/HomePage.aspx The last two in the list above focus on some Christian philanthropic organizations.
The second *important* step is to obtain the following information (usually from the target organization's website): About UsHistoryMissionVisionBios of ExecutivesBios of Boards of Directors, Trustees and AdvisorsAffiliationsIndependent financial audit information (if not available from sources listed in '1' above)
Owing to the technological advanc…

Microequity (as opposed to microcredit/microfinance) for sustainable development in the third world

I believe that microequity (a.k.a. venture philanthropy), a sub-class of investment crowdfunding, is sustainable and positively moral and ethical, in contrast to microfinance (i.e. microloans). Also, while donation-based crowdfunding may be seen as morally superior to even microequity, due to its 'altruistic' nature, it may well be that the long-run benefits of an involved and educated micro-investor are greater still! Overall, I heartily recommend a balanced portfolio approach, consisting of micro-equity and donations, to those interested in creating growth & doing good in the world in a morally-sound way.
References http://www.ryanallis.com/microequity/http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/20/in-developing-economies-equity-beats-microfinancehttp://villageenterprise.org/wp-content/themes/village/pdf/microequity-and-microfinance.pdfhttp://www.nextbillion.net/blogpost.aspx?blogid=2823http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bhagwan-chowdry/microequity-a-new-model-f_b_596329.htmlhttp://…

decentralized, secure, anonymous, universally accessible, censor-proof, surveillance-proof, open & free -- the remaking of the Internet

A progressive-conservative tax policy

A sizable majority (about 35%) the American public has recently consistently demanded progressive economic policies, in spite of its consistent failures witnessed in recent modern history. The growth of this impetus may be attributed to willful misrepresentation, revisionist campaigns and propaganda by the mainstream media and through public K-12 education, both of which are heavily influenced, if not controlled, by the progressive cultural elites.

Simultaneously, America has also witnessed the growth of a vibrant, ideologically-driven libertarian and populist movement that seeks to contain federal government overreach as a Constitutional imperative and as sound fiscal policy.

While conservatives and libertarians are passionate about the project to change culture at large, and, rightly so, pragmatism demands that we express the nuanced and conflicting will of the people in workable policy.

A simple suggestion that combines ideas from both ends of the political spectrum goes like this…

Importing MATLAB projects into SAGE (via OMPC)

Recently, I imported a large MATLAB project into SAGE. Here are the steps I followed. 
The first step was the conversion of .m files to python (.pym). ompc (An Open-Source MATLAB-to-Python Compiler) by Peter Jurica may be used as a standalone application, or online here. The online application is not a full-fledged cloud application where files may be imported and stored for future access -- instead, it allows the importing and conversion of a single file or piece of code, at a time. The standalone application requires the following packages -- scipy, numpy and matlibplot. These may found in any scipy-stack distribution based on Python 2.5 or 2.4 (for e.g. I used v1.1 of Portable Python). Then, ompc documentation describes how a file may be converted. There is a small bugfix that needs to be made in the code (if it hasn't already happened, ref. bitbucket pull request) -- change the line "if not os.path.exists(sys.path[1])" to "if not os.path.exists(sys.argv[1])&quo…