Blackjack, eBook Readers, and K-Cup Coffee

by JT McGee

So I found a new addiction – blackjack.

Nope, I’m not a gambler…yet. But I found this super-cool app called Real Blackjack

It’s free, and you can alter the game however you’d like – pick the number of decks, the dealer strategy, insurance and surrender settings, etc.

But best of all, the app also keeps a running hi-lo count of the cards as they appear. So far, in several days and far too many hands, I’ve turned $5,000 in fake money into $20,000 by card counting. Pretty fun. Of course, I used a strategy that would have me promptly kicked out of any casino (betting $1 per hand until the count turns favorable, then betting $100-250 per hand.)

In other (mostly negative) news this week…

  1. On the subject of Kindles, Target announced it would no longer carry the device. Suffice it to say that selling a Kindle for a profit of maybe $5-10 is not worth the long run cost of losing customers to Amazon. I’ve previously written about the advantages of online retail, how the internet will decimate offline retailers, and why retail sucks. I love this industry for purposes of entertainment, though.
  2. Microsoft announced that it would give the Nook a $605 million investment. Barnes and Noble was up big on the news. I’m glad to see MSFT will not give up on the strategy of throwing money around to see what sticks.
  3. RIMM, maker of the Blackberry, showed off its new phone. It doesn’t have a keyboard – one of the few reasons why people even buy a Blackberry. Wall Street rightfully put the company in its place.
  4. We have a Kuerig coffee maker, and we’re stoked that Green Mountain will lose its patent on K-Cups. Prices will ultimately fall. Oh – ha, what’s that? So did the share price! The company lost 50% of its value in a single trading day.
  5. Groupon continues to march to its eventual death. The firm has already shed half its market value, and the loss of more and more board members is only proof that things aren’t going so well. Ugly.

Outside of Earnings’ Season Shenanigans…

  • American Debt Project lists some reasons why she wants to buy real estate, and then reasons she does not. (Also, ADP is a she! So hard to keep up with gender with you anonymous bloggers.)
  • PK writes about how Efficient Market Hypothesis is flawed. I could not agree more.
  • Darwin wants to know if Shark Tank is a scam? Probably – but I’ll still watch it anyway.
  • 101 has a great post about a Redneck Stock Portfolio. I lol’d.
  • I wrote a post at Investor Junkie on investing in rental property, and included my own macroeconomic rationale for single family homes.
  • FinancialUproar and I have an on-going bet about Research In Motion. He’s a shareholder, having bought in low for a potential recovery. See his bull case for RIM. I actually want to be wrong about this, as he has real money in it and I do not. I’m a wuss when it comes to technology stocks.

Special Thanks

Special thanks goes out to Boomer And Echo (actually, just Echo!) who sent me an army of angry, used-car buying Canadians from his most recent “what’s new around the blogosphere?” Let me allow you a way to go back to B&E to complain about their new car purchase! Silly personal finance bloggers buying new cars and partying like it’s 1999!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Echo May 4, 2012 at 12:51

Haha, thanks for the mention, JT! Who knew telling people not to buy used would get them so fired up?


Financial Uproar May 5, 2012 at 01:17

The linked article on RIM does indicate they’ll have phones with the actual keyboard, but I agree that it was pretty dumb to show off the one phone that looks like a clone of everything else out there.

At this point, I think I’m almost more bullish on NOK. The new Lumina is getting rave reviews, and apparently AT&T is pushing it hard. They’ve also got plans for a Windows based tablet for the fall. This is exciting stuff. RIM needs to start releasing stuff people actually get excited about.


101 Centavos May 6, 2012 at 20:13

Card counting for fun… sounds like something entirely up your alley.

Thanks for the link, JT.


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