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Is Facebook Using Bots To Gernerate Ad Revenue And Scamming Its Clients?

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Has Facebook been caught with its pants down? I’m sure this story won’t help its share price.

Is Facebook’s Ad Model a Scam?

I’ve watched the Facebook phenomenon with considerable skepticism, and have refrained from commenting on it, save linking to stories such as GM canceling all of its Facebook ads because they didn’t see the benefit.

But this item via reader Chuck L was a real eye-opener. It suggests that Facebook may be a large-scale fraud. If not Facebook, who would be running the bots in question? Their second complaint, about the cost of a name change, is merely tacky customer-gouging, but the first suggests that the Facebook business model is a complete fail, whether the clicks are from Facebook bots or other bots.

I’ve snapshotted this page in case it disappears, but this is on Facebook now, from Limited Run:

Hey everyone, we’re going to be deleting our Facebook page in the next couple of weeks, but we wanted to explain why before we do. A couple months ago, when we were preparing to launch the new Limited Run, we started to experiment with Facebook ads. Unfortunately, while testing their ad system, we noticed some very strange things. Facebook was charging us for clicks, yet we could only verify about 20% of them actually showing up on our site. At first, we thought it was our analytics service. We tried signing up for a handful of other big name companies, and still, we couldn’t verify more than 15-20% of clicks. So we did what any good developers would do. We built our own analytic software. Here’s what we found: on about 80% of the clicks Facebook was charging us for, JavaScript wasn’t on. And if the person clicking the ad doesn’t have JavaScript, it’s very difficult for an analytics service to verify the click. What’s important here is that in all of our years of experience, only about 1-2% of people coming to us have JavaScript disabled, not 80% like these clicks coming from Facebook. So we did what any good developers would do. We built a page logger. Any time a page was loaded, we’d keep track of it. You know what we found? The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots. That’s correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t reply. Do we know who the bots belong too? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes. But let’s move on, because who the bots belong to isn’t provable.

While we were testing Facebook ads, we were also trying to get Facebook to let us change our name, because we’re not Limited Pressing anymore. We contacted them on many occasions about this. Finally, we got a call from someone at Facebook. They said they would allow us to change our name. NICE! But only if we agreed to spend $2000 or more in advertising a month. That’s correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage. So we did what any good hardcore kids would do. We cursed that piece of shit out! Damn we were so pissed. We still are. This is why we need to delete this page and move away from Facebook. They’re scumbags and we just don’t have the patience for scumbags.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this page and liked our posts. We really appreciate it. If you’d like to follow us on Twitter, where we don’t get shaken down, you can do so here: http://twitter.com/limitedrun

Needless to say, this finding should prompt similar investigations by bigger players.

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Poll: Most Germans Want To Leave Euro

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It’s a story that will put further pressure on Merkel and may eventually provide a clue to what may happen. PressTV is reporting that over 50% of Germans now want to leave the euro but that should come as no surprise.

Most Germans think their country’s economic conditions would improve if Europe’s top economy leaves the 17-member debt-stricken eurozone, a poll suggests.

The Emnid poll for the Bild am Sonntag weekly showed 51 percent of Germans believed their country would be better off without Europe’s single currency, AFP reported on Sunday.As recently as last month, German finance ministry said it feared the country could face a significant economic slump in the event of a eurozone breakup.

The June 24 report in Spiegel news weekly suggested that German economy could contract up to 10 percent in the first year after the currency bloc break up, while unemployment could jump to more than five million people.

Various eurozone’s member states have been struggling with deep economic stagnancy since the bloc’s financial crisis began roughly five years ago.
Rising unemployment in Germany signals that even Europe’s biggest economy is not immune to the economic crisis in the eurozone and cannot be depended on to prop up growth.

Source: PressTV

UK: Fancy Working 6 Months For Nothing?

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Some might agree with making people on the dole work for their money but where do you draw the line? The story in the UK is getting worse on this subject and here is the latest. Where does it led to, modern-day slavery? More importantly who benefits?

A thinktank has warned that the British government’s project to tackle long-term unemployment may prove to be a great failure as it involves six months of unpaid work.

The thinktank refers to a new government work scheme being issued across Britain, where up to a million people will be forced to do unpaid work for six months otherwise their benefits will be stopped.

Under the Department for Work and Pensions community action programme, people who have been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for over three years will be forced to work for six months unpaid, or face the consequences of having their benefits completely cut.

The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) predicted that 1.78 million people will be unable to find work through the British government’s current two-year-long employment scheme even they meet the necessary targets.

There is hope depending on a court case taken by a jobseeker.

Meanwhile, a 41-year-old jobseeker who refused to attend the community action programme is waiting to hear from the high court if he had won a judicial review, as he accuses the programme of promoting “slave labour”.

The British economy is being affected by the Euro crisis and if it continues to decline with the current employment schemes, the number of jobseekers are said to reach 1.06 million.

Source: PressTv

John Williams, ShadowStats: Hyperinflation is Coming

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Interview with John Williams from ShadowStats giving his opinion that Hyperinflation is coming by 2014. His gives a good sumation of where the US is right now and where he sees it going.

ESM/EFSF In A Picture

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One picture says it all really.

What lies ahead courtesy of ZeroHedge

July

  • 30 July: Italy auction. Bonds.

August:

  • 1 August: Monti meets Finnish PM. Italian PM Monti is due to meet his Finnish counterpart in Helsinki.
  • 2 August: Spain auction. Bonds
  • 2 August: ECB Governing Council meeting. Our expectation is that 2 August is likely to be an occasion for non-standard (“quantity”) monetary policies. Standard (“price”) monetary policy, or the level of policy rates, we suspect will take a backseat this month. A monetary policy “price” response would in any case be more effective after a “quantity” response given the current impairments of the monetary transmission mechanism. We expect a further 25bp refi rate cut at the September meeting. We suspect the deposit rate will remain at zero for now. See “Eurostress” in this issue of Focus Europe.
  • 7 August: Italian Q2 GDP flash estimate. A weak figure would reignite the ‘austerity versus growth’ debate (DB forecast –1.0% qoq).
  • 13 August: Italy auction. Bills
  • 14 August: Italy auction. Bonds
  • 14 August: Euro area Q2 GDP flash estimate, from Eurostat.
  • Mid-August: French Constitutional Court/Fiscal Compact. In Mid-August the French Constitutional Court is due to rule whether  the Fiscal Compact, which euro area countries are due to endorse by the start of 2013, needs to be ratified into the French Constitution. If so, a joint vote by the French Assembly would be required. Signals are that this would happen in September if required. See accompanying article on France in this issue of Focus Europe.
  • 16 August: Spain auction. Bonds
  • 20 August: Greek bond redemption. Greece is due to repay EUR3.1bn of GGBs. Following the PSI, these would be GGBs owned  by the ECB and EIB. While agreement on how to reconfigure the second loan programme is unlikely before September, it is unlikely the EU will hold-out from paying funds to Greece to repay the ECB/EIB. In a consolidated sense, the official sector’s exposure to Greece remains the same, but the creditor changes (to the EFSF). Alternatively, Greece could issue T-bills and the  Greek banks could absorb them with the assistance of ELA from the Greek central bank.
  • 21 August: Spain auction. Bills
  • 28 August: Spain auction. Bills
  • 28 August: Italy auction. Bonds
  • 29 August: Italy auction. Bills
  • 30 August: Italy auction. Bonds
  • End-August: DBRS rating on Spain/Ireland. By the end of August, the DBRS ratings agency is due to have concluded its review  of Spanish and Irish sovereign ratings.

September:

  • September: Moody’s due to conclude review of Spanish sovereign rating. Logically Moody’s should wait until there is clarity on  direct recap before making a decision on Spain’s rating. Since governments have not made progress fleshing out a direct recapitalisation facility — indeed, have created some ambiguity as to whether it will be non-recourse — there is a distinct risk that Moody’s, in another move to be “ahead of the curve”, decides to downgrade Spain within the next 3 months. Moody’s currently rates Spain Baa3, the lowest investment grade rating.
  • September: Detailed bottom-up Spanish bank stress tests due for publication.
  • 6 September: Spain auction. Bonds
  • 6 September: ECB Governing Council meeting. If we are right about the outcome of the 2 August ECB meeting (dominated by “quantity” measures), we suspect that revisions to staff forecasts for growth and inflation are likely to be a basis for a 25bp rate  cut.
  • 11 September: Greece auction. Bills
  • 12 September: German Constitutional Court ESM ruling. The German Constitutional Court is to rule on the complaints lodged  against the ESM and fiscal compact. The chances of the ESM being vetoed are low. However, the Court might again strengthen the German Parliament’s prerogatives as regards future European integration (see Focus Germany, 20 July). Germany is the last approval needed for the ESM to come into effect. Then the first instalment of the capital has to be paid by the ESM members  within 15 days of the ESM treaty entering into force. There are three other countries where Constitutional Court queries are outstanding — France, Austria and Ireland. France’s Constitutional Court will be deciding by mid-August. Neither Austria (which  may take another 3-6 months) nor Ireland are large enough to hold back the ESM — the ESM will come into force when countries representing 90% of the subscribed capital have approved it. Both Germany and France have an effective veto power in that case.
  • 12 September: Dutch Election. In April, the VVD/CDA minority government failed when Geert Wilders’ PVV party withdrew its  support amid negotiations for the 2013 austerity budget. A crisis was averted when three smaller parties came forward to give support to a budget, but an early election was unavoidable. Domestic austerity and European crisis issues will likely play  important roles in the election. Compared to the configuration of parliament at the October 2010 election, the latest opinion polls (Maurice de Hond) show PM Rutte’s VVD liberal party vying with the Socialist Party for the dominant party position. Both would  gain 31 seats in the 150 seat parliament on the latest polls. This is an unchanged position for VVD, but a doubling of SP seats. SP are gaining at the expense of all other parties except VVD and neo-liberal D66. This may reflect a backlash against the  austerity for 2013 which has broad party political support. SP have also taken a stance against euro rescue initiatives, voting against the ESM alongside the PVV and extracting a pledge from Dutch FinMin De Jager that parliament will vote on any future  direct bank recapitalisation disbursements. Given the typical distribution of the vote among several parties, the questions are  what coalition emerges from this election, how long it takes to form a government and what policies will it support? Markets in particular will be watching the ramifications for domestic fiscal policy (the 2013 Budget is a week after the election) and euro  rescue initiatives.
  • 12 September: Italy auction. Bills
  • 13-14 September: G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bankers meeting. In Mexico.
  • 13 September: Italy auction. Bonds
  • 14 September: ECOFIN meeting. This is very likely the finance ministers meeting when adjustments to Greece’s second loan programme will be considered. The remaining EUR23bn recapitalisation of the Greek banks is due to complete by the end of September, assuming a positive review of the loan programme. This is also when finance ministers should have their first discussion on the proposals for a common bank supervisory regime under the ECB. Any delays, with knock-on delays for a direct bank recapitalisation mechanism, will disappoint the market. Options for a reconsideration of Ireland’s legacy bank bailout policies may also be discussed (decision not due until October ECOFIN meeting).
  • 15 September: Eurogroup meeting. Coinciding
  • 18 September: Greece auction. Bills
  • 18 September: Spain auction. Bills
  • 20 September: Spain auction. Bonds
  • 25 September: Spain auction. Bills
  • 25 September: Italy auction. Bonds
  • 26 September: Italy auction. Bills
  • 27 September: Italy auction. Bonds

Source: ZeroHedge

George Carlin: Owners Of The USA

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Funny, no matter what generation you are, this never gets old 😉

German FinMin Denies Rumors Of ECB Bond Buying

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Its the same old technique used over and over again. Say you are going to do something, get the markets hyped up and then do nothing or as little as possible. Why stop when it works every time. During the week Draghi took his opportunity when Merkel was on vacation to hint at bond buying. The markets rallied as usual but watch for the sell off on monday because Schaeuble has denied any such action.

 For days, it is speculated that the European Central Bank (ECB) is planning, together with the bailout fund EFSF Spanish government bond buy – so come back to Spain to cheaper capital. The “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” According to the euro countries willing to support this approach . Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) has now dismissed the reports in an interview with the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”.

 “No, at this speculation is not true,” Schäuble said the newspaper. The Finance Minister said it was already a sufficiently large aid package for Spain have been laced.

…….

Why will Germany, which Schauble says himself is in a very difficult position, and has already been very helpful to Spain, not provide more funding? Simple – unlike all other broke globalist neo-socialists, he believes that the market is actually right in punishing profligate spenders, and having bonds trade above 7% is not the end of the world. Of course, he is absolutely right.

Source: ZeroHedge

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