Monday, June 22, 2020

Dividing Money

I have found a few situations that require taking an amount of money and dividing it up as evenly as possible, to the nearest cent or whole dollar, such that the individual parts exactly add up to the original amount.

Here are a few examples of when I've needed to do this:

Example 1:

Apportioning an Operating Expense to Multiple Real Estate Properties

As a real estate investor that owns multiple properties, I sometimes have operating expenses that are not associated with any individual property.  Since the Schedule E tax form requires all expenses to be listed on a per-property basis, it is necessary to take the expense and divide it up across the properties.  As an example, let's say I spent $1025.95 on tax preparation and I have 7 properties.  I would split that expense as follows:

 Property Amount
 A $146.56
 B $146.56
 C $146.56
 D $146.56
 E $146.57
 F $146.57
 G $146.57
 Total: $1025.95

Notice that in this case I use a precision of cents.

Example 2:

Distributing Cash Tips at a Gig

As a band leader, at the end of a gig, I often need to collect the cash tips we received, total them up, and split them with the rest of my band.  For example, if my jazz trio earns a total of $113 in tips, I would pay each musician as follows:

 Musician Amount
 myself $37
 bass player $38
 drummer $38
 Total: $113

In this case, I use a precision of whole dollars since we typically don't receive any coins.

These are just 2 examples, but similar division logic can be used when friends need to split the bill at a group dinner and other similar situations and the amount of money cannot be split evenly.  It's not rocket science to make these calculations, but I do it often enough that I decided to make a simple web-based tool to do it for me.  The tool can be found at:


In this tool, simply enter an amount of money, how many parts you want to divide it into, and the precision (cents or whole dollars), and then click Divide to get the resulting amounts. Feel free to use it for all your money splitting needs!  And let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Digital Advertising Cryptoscape

Many companies are working on leveraging the blockchain to solve digital advertising industry problems.  I've been trying to keep track of who's doing what and how it all fits together. Inspired by the famous Display LUMAscape from LUMA Partners, I've come up with the following Digital Advertising Cryptoscape!

Digital Advertising Cryptoscape

Here's a quick summary of each entity shown above:

Transparancy

adChain

Open protocol on the public Ethereum blockchain that allows for the building of decentralized applications for the $175 billion digital advertising ecosystem. By MetaX. adToken (ADT) is a multi-purpose token with usage properties for voting, depositing and challenging entry into the adChain Registry.

Rebel AI

Blockchain-enabled ad security solution that protects publisher identity and advertiser spend, and prevents ads from ever appearing on an unauthorized site.

DSP's

HubDSP

Accepts BTSR (10% off) and other cryptocurrencies.

DMP's

Zohem

Decentralized user data exchange protocol to replace DMPs like BlueKai. Zohem’s Core comprises of a common data layer to which all publishers will be able to contribute data and get rewarded for the same with Zohem Data Tokens (ZDTs)

MadHive

Audience-Driven Data Solutions for OTT and AdvancedTV. Founding member of adledger.

Attribution

MediaChain

Mediachain is a blockchain data solution for connecting applications to media and information about it. Attribution Engine. The best image search engine for creators. Find free, high quality images that you can share and re-use.

Exchanges

AdEx

A decentralized ad exchange built on top of Ethereum smart contracts.

Exchain

Blockchain and programmatic advertising platform by EnvisionX. Formerly Bitcasts.

Kind Ads

A Decentralized Trust Protocol (the “Kind Ads Protocol”) will create an ecosystem for users, publishers, advertisers, and app partners. Currently focused on push notifications and developing a quality and reputation score for domains.  No fees will be charged on dollars spent.

NYIAX

The world's first exchange to trade advertising contracts. Developed in partnership with Nasdaq, NYIAX combines financial trading and advertising technology in one platform to enable publishers and advertisers to buy, sell, and re-trade premium advertising inventory. As the first and only trusted, transparent, future inventory marketplace, NYIAX allows both publishers and advertisers to increase ROI and reduce costs.

XCHNG

By Kochava. Through a smart contract IO, enables the related targeting and activation of audiences, and bolsters ad-spend efficiency and security. It will usher in a next-generation advertising system of record for all participants.

qChain

Facilitating branded content, sponsorship, and influencer marketing transactions between advertisers and digital publishers or content creators

Payments

Amino

Transparency-focused ad tech payment tech.

BitTeaser

Use coin BTSR as a form of payment when the bill needs to be paid for programmatic advertising worldwide.

Identity

Faktor

A blockchain based Identity Management platform for publishers, safely connecting people to brands and content.

Monetization

Brave Browser

A Chrome-based browser that blocks ads and uses Basic Attention Token (BAT) to pay users and publishers.

CoinHive

Allows publishers to mine Monero (XMR) in users' browsers.

JSECoin

A brand new coin specifically for publishers to mine in their users' browsers.

Consortiums

adLedger

Nonprofit research and development consortium charged with implementing global technical standards and solutions for the digital media and blockchain industries.

IAB Tech Lab Blockchain Working Group

Investigates the application of blockchain technology to address challenges in the digital advertising space and to develop standards and best practices for the utilization of blockchain technology.

Additions

If you are aware of any additional organizations using the blockchain for digital advertising that belong on this cryptoscape, please leave a comment, and I will update it.

Edits

2018-04-26 Added Kind Ads.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Los Angeles Roof TV Antenna for VHF/UHF

Cutting The Cord

This year I finally cut the cord and got rid of my DISH satellite TV service which saves me about $50 per month! I've had the service for many years just to get the basic local channels like CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX.  My plan was to replace DISH with a digital antenna so I could get all of those channels for free.  In this post, I'll share the model of the antenna that worked for me here on the west side of Los Angeles.

Antennas

Finding the right antenna proved to be more difficult that I thought it would be.  I first started with an indoor VHF/UHF antenna, the NorthVu NV20 Pro AMPd, that I got from Tablo's website.  Tablo is an Over the Air (OTA) DVR company.  Long term, I was contemplating buying one of their DVR's so I figured it would be good to get an antenna they were familiar with.  With this antenna, I was able to get some UHF channels like CBS, but none of the VHF channels like FOX.  I thought that maybe an indoor antenna was not powerful enough for my neighborhood in Los Angeles which is Del Rey 90066.

I shopped on Amazon for a highly-rated outdoor roof antenna and purchased this 1byone 85 Miles VHF/UHF antenna. I borrowed a friend's ladder, got on my roof, mounted this antenna and connected it to the coax cable that was previously connected to my DISH satellite which DISH never came to retrieve. I also plugged in and connected the included power booster behind my TV.  Unfortunately, I got the same result: UHF channels came in perfectly and VHF channels did not work at all.  I have no idea why since the specs for this antenna clearly claim that both VHF and UHF should work.  I ended up returning this antenna to Amazon for a refund.

Next I started Googling for with terms like "missing VHF channels in Los Angeles" and found this web page called Best TV Antenna for Los Angeles, CA Digital TV Stations from an antenna vendor in NY called Denny's Antenna.  The middle of this page described my exact problem:
Note: Some Los Angeles area residents have reported problems receiving KABC 7.1 ABC, KTTV 11.1 FOX, KCOP 13.1 MYTV and KCAL 9.1 IND when using antennas other than the EZ HD or the HD Stacker. This is due to the VHF broadcast signal frequencies in use by these stations and the use of the improper antenna to receive VHF signal frequency. Many of today's antennas (do to smaller antenna size) will not receive VHF signals. The EZ HD and the HD Stacker are designed to provide excellent performance across the entire VHF/UHF frequency spectrum in use in the Los Angeles free to air broadcasting market.
So I immediately ordered their EZ HD antenna.  It arrived at my house in just a few days.  I mounted it on my roof, connected the coax cable, connected a ground wire that was also left over from the previous DISH satellite, and scanned for channels on my TV.  Amazingly, it worked!  I was able to receive all the local channels, both UHF and VHF.  I have no idea why this antenna worked so well.  To be honest, this one felt flimsy and cheaply made compared to the one I bought on Amazon.
Denny's EZ-HD - works in LA
Denny's EZ-HD - works in LA

Channel Guide

A list of local channels is easily available online, but I wanted one for my phone so I downloaded the app TV Listings by TV24.  I was amazed how many channels you can get for free over the air.  The TV Listings listings were pretty accurate.

DVR

I look forward to being able to watch local news once in a while or a live event like the Grammy's that is hard to find online.  The next thing I am going to look into is whether I want to purchase a DVR such as Tablo.  A lot of the shows I've been watching are on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon to which I already subscribe.  It isn't clear yet whether the DVR is necessary.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Chad Lefkowitz-Brown Solo Transcriptions

I am a huge fan of saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown.  I came across one of his videos on Instagram about a year ago and I've been following him ever since.

I recently purchased his book of 15 solo transcriptions by saxophonist and educator Ron Fix.  It's available in physical and digital form. It is fun to play through them and get some insight into how Chad thinks when he improvises.

Interestingly, this is the first transcription book I've ever seen that covers music solely from social media!  Every single one is freely available online on either Chad's YouTube or Instagram feed.

The digital version of the book comes with audio files you can play along to, but it doesn't include links to find each video online.  I combed through Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook to find each one.  That's what I want to share with you in this post so you can both watch and play along.  Happy practicing!

Here they are, listed in the order they appear in the book:


All The Things You Are

Instagram - November 9, 2016



Body And Soul

YouTube - December 8, 2015



Caravan

Instagram - September 27, 2016



Confirmation

Instagram - July 26, 2016



Driftin’

YouTube - February 26, 2014



For All We Know

YouTube - May 17, 2013


Get Lucky

YouTube - October 9, 2013



High High The Moon

Instagram - April 22, 2017



Melodic Cell Lines

Instagram - April 6, 2017

A post shared by Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (@chadlbsax) on


Nature Boy

YouTube - July 28, 2014



On The Sunny Side Of The Street

YouTube - February 16, 2015



Recorda Me

Instagram - August 24, 2016



Sandu

YouTube - July 15, 2013



Struttin’ With Some Barbecue

Facebook - August 4, 2016
Instagram - August 6, 2016



Take The A Train

YouTube - November 18, 2014



There Is No Greater Love

Instagram - November 16, 2016

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

JavaScript Crypto-Mining with CoinHive and JSECoin

In the past, it has been difficult to mine BitCoin (BTC) with JavaScript in a web browser due to massive amount of processing power necessary.  Lately, JavaScript mining solutions for other types of cryptocurrencies have come on the scene. 2 examples are CoinHive and JSECoin.

CoinHive


CoinHive
CoinHive awards miners in Monero (XMR), a crypto currency known for its privacy as compared to BitCoin (BTC). It current trades for about $94 USD per 1 XMR. Once your account reaches the minimum payout of 0.5 XMR (~$47), they will transfer the Monero to a wallet that you have to setup outside of a normal coin exchange.  From there, you can transfer it into an exchange wallet and then ultimately trade it for USD or BTC.  CoinHive can be used as an alternative monetization source to ads.  It can also be used as a CAPTCHA or gate where your user must mine some Monero before being allowed to enter a website. Note that CoinHive currently takes a 30% rev share from the Monero you mine.

Recently some websites have been in the news for deploying CoinHive without making their users aware of it. They have since pulled it down.  Here are some articles about it:

JSECoin

JSECoin
JSECoin describes itself as "cryptocurrency mined by webmasters built for everyone".  JSECoins are supposed to be worth approximately $1 USD right now each, but no one knows the real value until they do an ICO after which point they will be listed on an exchange. Their ICO is planned for Q2 of 2018.  Those who begin to mine JSECoin have no assurances that their rewards will be worth anything.


What the Heck


Since this is all so new and interesting, I have decided to learn more about JavaScript coin mining, and the best way to do that is to jump in and try it.  Therefore, I have installed CoinHive and JSECoin miner code on this blog!  Consider this a warning - visiting this blog may use some of your computer's CPU until you close the page.  I am curious to see what kind of a "CPM" I make to compare with the ad units I'm running.  If you have any experience with JavaScript miners, please comment below.