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Old 04-23-2011, 10:03 AM   #1
Pablo Escobar
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Default MIT's Billion Price Project is offline

If you never went to the billion price project, and marvelled at the engenuity of those crazy MIT guys, then too bad, you are too late.

http://bpp.mit.edu/

It's off line.

Basically, MIT researchers created software to troll the web, worldwide, and downloaded every price it found. And then, assuming that web vendors are rational economic players, they tracked the changes to those products.

In other words, a real time price inflation tracker that has near zero bias created.

IN the past few months, the rate of inflation started to go vertical, and those crazy folks over at zero hedge decided that the powers that be shut them down.

Couldn't have the truth get out know, could we?


http://www.zerohedge.com/article/mit...prices-project
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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Went to the store this a.m, 1 small jar of my usual strawberry jam = $6.95. Holy smokes.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablo Escobar View Post
In other words, a real time price inflation tracker that has near zero bias created.
I bet to differ but it does have a bias.

I am reminded of the "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper.

Why did the poll research get it wrong?

The poll researchers did a telephone poll. Since more wealthy persons had phone that poor persons and the poor supported Truman they were under counted.

While a web based search would gather a lot of pricing data and would be interesting, it is not all the pricing information.

Sometimes wish it to be so, but the Internet is not the total sum of all information.

But directly to your post, it is a little early for tin foil. It only says it is undergoing maintenance, not that it is taken off line.

It could just as easily been a victim to the Google issue like a lot of web sites this week.
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:09 PM   #4
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The site had a good explanation of the "value" of their data, and there are some serious gaps, especially in the real world, essential basics, data of food, shelter, and energy.

That being said, the BLS seems to ignore that data too, so go figure.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Update from Zerohedge on the implications and feedback directly from MIT.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/why...tems-or-true-r
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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MIT not publicizing this info is pure market economics. They have come up with an information product that is marketable. Of course they are not going to just give it away for free. However, now that it has been done, others will do it, too. Eventually, someone will provide it for free on a webpage with ads, or something similar.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:02 AM   #7
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The email correspondence attached to #5 is interesting. I wonder which country is suing.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:34 AM   #8
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Don't get me wrong, I think it is a cool use of data, but I wonder how accutate it is?

There are companies like New Momentum (http://www.newmo.com/), Envisional (http://www.envisional.com/) and others which monitor websites for counterfeiting, grey marketing, and other intellectual property violations.

They monitor price, among other things, and use it as part of analysis trying to spot counterfeit and grey market.

The problem is that they can either monitor a lot of websites (like Google) every 45 days or so or a smaller set every day or so.

Either case they lose speed and data. Google itself can only "scan the internet" about every 45-60 days and they have 10s of thousands of severs.

I both the cases, some of the websites are inaccessible or can't reach the 'back portions" where the real prices lay.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:44 AM   #9
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The email correspondence attached to #5 is interesting. I wonder which country is suing.
My guess is China, as one Zero Hedge poster alluded to.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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My guess is China, as one Zero Hedge poster alluded to.
I think so, too. The Chinese government subsidizes practically everything in the economy, and the last thing they want is the WTO and others being able to figure out how badly they are violating the trade treaties.
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