Nov 09

Daily Links for November 27th through November 28th

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

  • Visual Literacy: An E-Learning Tutorial on Visualization for Communication, Engineering and Business – The Visual-Literacy.org e-learning course will be used as an online leveling course as well as a blended skill-building course for students of fourteen different university courses in four universities (for more than 500 students). These courses require advanced analytical and conceptual visualization skills in order to transform abstract thought efficiently into graphic, tangible forms and to manage the topic complexity and the problems addressed in each class.
  • Think Progress » REPORT: At Least 40 GOP Lawmakers Fail A Principle Of The ‘Purity Test’ – [The] resolution, if adopted, would boot key Republican candidates running for the Senate next year. National Republicans recruited Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) to run for the Senate, even though they have bucked conservative orthodoxy in the past.

    ThinkProgress has conducted an analysis that finds at least 40 current Republican members of Congress have violated at least one principle of the purity test[.]

  • Baltimore City Paper: Crash Course: The Maryland Millionaire Count, Tax Scams, and Train Wrecks – In a capitalist system, investors make money not despite hiring workers, but because they hire workers who, if they are adequately managed, create value in excess of the wages and benefits they are paid. This value is called "profit," and the business' owner gets to keep that, after paying taxes.

    In a properly functioning capitalist economy, rich people don't "create jobs" for workers; workers, upon having jobs, create rich people.

    That's how the system works, in theory.

  • Report Says Police and Catholic Church Hid Abuse in Dublin – NYTimes.com – But rather than helping the victims, the church was concerned only with “the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church, and the preservation of its assets,” said the 700-page report, prepared by a group appointed by the Irish government and called the Commission of Investigation Into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.
  • The Origin of Big | The Loom | Discover Magazine – If the scientists are right, they may have discovered one of the big ironies in evolution. Lunge-feeding may have allowed whales to become the biggest animals ever to roam the planet. But this was not an open-ended invitation.r. Once whales got large enough, lunge feeding itself became so costly it prevented them from getting any bigger. Perhaps some day another animal will evolve a new strategy that will let it get even bigger than a blue whale. But for the animal kingdom as we know it, we may be sharing the planet with the biggest species it can offer.

May 09

Daily Links for May 26th

Jan 09

Daily Links for January 30th

  • Dismal Science: What Is A Depression And Are We In One?
  • "State of the States" Series – Gallup.com's "State of the States" series reveals state-by-state differences in political party affiliation, religiosity, consumer confidence, and job-market conditions, based on Gallup Poll Daily tracking data collected throughout 2008.
  • RNC chairman vote enters fourth round – USATODAY.com – What an apt metaphor for the GOP! I say elect Rush!
  • Seed: 2009 Will Be a Year of Panic – As 2009 opens, our financial institutions are deep in massive, irrational panic. That's bad, but it gets worse: Many other respected institutions have rational underpinnings at least as frail as derivatives or bundled real-estate loans. Like finance, these institutions are social constructions. They are games of confidence, underpinned by people's solemn willingness to believe, to conform, to contribute. So why not panic over them, too?

    Let's consider seven other massive reservoirs of potential popular dread. Any one of these could erupt, shattering the fragile social compact we maintain with one another in order to believe things contrary to fact.

  • The Economy According To Mint – Is it Great Depression bad? That’s a qualitative question I can’t answer. But what the data, the hard facts, mean for you – if you run a consumer business – is that your customers are spending $400 less each month than they were a year ago, have burned through half of their savings, and on average have taken on an additional $5k in debt. Good decisions are based on good data. And data – in itself – may be one of the most valuable by-products of any startup.
  • How to Friend Mom, Dad, and the Boss on Facebook…Safely – ReadWriteWeb – I prefer to not let worlds collide.
  • Mapping and Animating Growth of Target Across United States | FlowingData – Well, fortune was smiling on me last week, and I got a hold of data for Target opening dates and locations (thnx, Cole). So here it is – a map that shows the growth of Target from 1962 through 2008.
  • Play-Doh!!! | MetaFilter – A collection of links to various Old Skool Play-Doh commercials on YouTube.
  • Black Swan author’s rules for living – Boing Boing – Avi sez, "Nassim Nicholas Taleb, gadfly author of The Black Swan, gives his 10 rules for surviving an unpredictable world with dignity."
  • The FT’s Online Business Model – Finance Blog – Felix Salmon – Market Movers – Portfolio.com – We've known for a while that the market for web display ads is slowing down or even getting smaller, even as the amount of inventory continues to rise dramatically. That makes a standard advertising-driven web strategy a recipe for shrinking revenues and disappearing profits. Grimshaw has a two-pronged approach to this problem, and half of it is very clever.

Dec 08

Daily Links for December 1st

  • Map: Show Me the TARP Money – ProPublica – Each marker represents the headquarters of a financial institution that expects or has already received money from the Treasury Department under the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program). The size of each marker represents the amount of bailout money given to each institution. Click on the markers to see the institution’s name and amount it’s receiving.
  • I’m Still Tortured by What I Saw in Iraq – washingtonpost.com – We turned several hard cases, including some foreign fighters, by using our new techniques. A few of them never abandoned the jihadist cause but still gave up critical information. One actually told me, “I thought you would torture me, and when you didn’t, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That’s why I decided to cooperate.”
  • Schneier on Security: Communications During Terrorist Attacks are <i>Not</i> Bad – This fear is exactly backwards. During a terrorist attack — during any crisis situation, actually — the one thing people can do is exchange information. It helps people, calms people, and actually reduces the thing the terrorists are trying to achieve: terror. Yes, there are specific movie-plot scenarios where certain public pronouncements might help the terrorists, but those are rare. I would much rather err on the side of more information, more openness, and more communication.
  • All Spin Zone » White Supremacist Republicans Unite! – This is sweet. A man in a very strongly Jewish part of Florida was elected, even though he is vehemently anti-Jewish. The Republicans are moving to get rid of the guy, but they seem not to have the power to do so. Hey, if they really were against such virulent racism, they’d be able to kick this guy out of their party easily. That’s the problem. They simply have no stance against racism, and thus they are stuck with him.
  • Editorial Cartoons by John Sherffius News : Boulder Daily Camera – Barry Ritholtz points to cartoonist John Sheriffus' work.
  • How to Design a Bailout That Works | The Big Picture – The answer is that the crisis is not about the amount of losses yet realised or yet to be realised, and it is not about capital adequacy of the banks and it is not about their level of leverage. It is simply about the question “do we trust them to repay their debts”. You might think is about capital or losses or leverage – but even if the bank has adequate capital and losses come are relatively small if we believe collectively that they can’t repay then they can’t repay. Sure more capital would produce more trust – but the level of distrust at the moment is so high that nobody can tell you how much capital is needed. All estimates are a shot in the dark. In reality all that is needed is more trust.
  • Spinning Black Friday Retail Sales | The Big Picture – A few things you can count on every year around this time:

    1. Sales data for Black Friday will be touted by biased interest groups. They are invariably have an upside bias;
    2. Headline writers will get it wrong
    3. Survey data will be taken as the equivalent of actual sales; 4. Strong forecasts will be subsequently proven wrong; .

    Such is the current situation with the Black Friday sales data, with reports still trickling in from around the country.

  • Top 100 Philadelphia Moments: #10 to #1 – Philadelphia Magazine – phillymag.com – A cheesesteak? Really? That's the best we can do?
  • ‘Liar’s Poker’ Author Sees Upside To Market Crash : NPR – The collapse of the subprime-mortgage bond market is different from the general run of modern financial panics in this respect: It involves millions of blissfully oblivious people
    It wasn't only big Wall Street firms but a lot of small real estate speculators—otherwise known as homeowners—who, in effect, sold put options too cheaply against the risk of extreme, rare events. That many of these people literally live inside the investment that they've speculated on sharpens the pain but fails to drive home the point. Financial panics have become almost commonplace; events that are meant to occur once in a millennium now seem to occur every few years. Could this be because the financial system was built on an idea that badly underestimates the risk of catastrophes—and so conspires with human nature to create them?
  • How to Save the World: What You Can Do, Now, to Help Obama, and All-Life-On-Earth – What you need to do in order for change to occur…
  • 20 Free Corporate WordPress Themes | Blogging Tips from Blogsessive