Daily Links for February 3rd through February 5th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • FORTUNE MAGAZINE – informational images
  • Born Poor? | Santa Fe Reporter – Bowles’ most recent paper, published in the October 2009 issue of Science, was a huge project with 25 collaborators. It examines how wealth is transferred from parents to children in hunter-gatherer societies versus agricultural societies.
    That might seem distant from the busy unemployment offices on Guadalupe Street. But everyone can relate to his chosen subject: inequality. He studies the economic differences between people with the same discipline that Jane Goodall studies chimpanzees or Stephen Hawking studies the cosmos.
  • McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The Real Timothy McSweeney. – So many years later, when I was conceiving a name for this literary journal, the name Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern occurred to me. It made sense on many levels. I was able to honor my Irish side of the family and also allude to this mysterious man and the sense of possibility and even wonder he'd brought to our suburban home.
  • Has Toyota’s brand perception eroded below that of Hummer? At least one survey thinks so — Autoblog – According to YouGov BrandIndex – which we were admittedly not familiar with until running across this interesting little nugget – Toyota's -17.1 rating on February 3rd put the automaker below more traditional bottom-feeders like Hummer, which scored a -10.7 on the very same day. Just two weeks ago, the very same poll had Toyota up near the top with a positive perception rating of 28. It may not be the most meaningful statistic you'll run across today, but it's an interesting sidebar nonetheless.
  • Free FLV Converter | YouTube Converter | BENDER CONVERTER – Bender Converter is an easy-to-use online application for downloading and converting videos from such services as YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo, Wat.tv, Veoh, Vids.MySpace.com, Google Video and many others. You can download video and audio in MP3, AVI, FLV Flash, iPod / iPhone and other popular formats. The service is fast and doesn't require you to register. All that you need is a link to a page with a video and our software.
  • The Dynamite Prize in Economics | MetaFilter – As a reaction towards the financial crisis the Real-World Economics Review will award the Dynamite Prize in Economics to the three economists who contributed most to blowing up the global economy. The Real-World Economic Review is the central organ of the movement for Post-Autistic Economics which is critical about the current mainstream in economics — in particular microeconomics and neoclassical theorists.

    Voting is now open and the nominees are:

  • Mule Design Studio’s Blog: The Failure of Empathy – The people don’t want “tablet computers” with Ubuntu and OpenID (worst name ever for a product attempting broad acceptance). They could honestly give a shit whether it’s a closed or open system. And, let’s be really honest, they probably care as much about DRM as they do about baseball players juicing; by which I mean not very much at all. They want things to work most of the time, and be easy to fix when they don’t. And if the process by which it happens is “magic” they are totally cool with that.
  • The Scoop on Semen – Best. Infographic. Ever.
  • The History of Tipping – Although the addition of a gratuity or tip to a bill is now largely perceived as a gift for good service, the origin of the practice may be traced back to 18th Century English pubs when tipping was considered an essential incentive for better service. These days, many workers rely on tips as a substantial and necessary part of their income. In 2003, tips from U.S. restaurants alone were estimated at a whopping $26 billion. There are many emotional reasons people tip, such as to avoid embarrassment or to feel better about themselves because they know a tip is expected. Employees who provide services may also use tricks of the trade to manipulate these emotions to receive a larger gratuity. Have a look at the history of tipping below.
  • A special report on social networking A world of connections – Online social networks are changing the way people communicate, work and play, and mostly for the better, says Martin Giles[.]
  • How cars can trap consumers in a mortgage mess – Ironically, Americans are becoming financially trapped by the very suburbs they thought would free them. It's not just the social norms — the keeping up with the Joneses, the club memberships and mall-as-entertainment — it's the transport in and out of the suburbs that destroys a family's flexibility. My family can live very lean if we need to, reducing our expenses to as little as $2,000 for a month or two while we wait out a difficult period, even paying our mortgage on time. That suburban family with the safe cul-de-sac and the big back yard for the kids can't do that without a visit from the big flatbed tow truck of repossession — and no way for the children to get to school, no way for mom and dad to buy groceries and go to work. Instead, the mortgage is left unpaid while the payments on everything that can be taken back are made.
  • Looking back, ahead at federal taxing, spending – USATODAY.com – This tax calculator will give you a rough idea of your federal tax bill — and where your tax money went — from 1940 through 2010. Caveats: The calculator is for a taxpayer who files individually, uses the standard deduction instead of itemizing, and has one exemption. The calculator also figures your Social Security and Medicare taxes.

    We've adjusted all figures for inflation, using the consumer price index. Results may be skewed for the very wealthy and the very poor. Upper-income filers are more likely to have income subject to alternative minimum tax, but they are also more likely to have income from capital gains and dividends, which are taxed at lower rates than ordinary income. Lower-income filers can take advantage of the earned income tax credit, which can reduce the tax bill of a single filer.

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