May 2007Up one level
Here's a new idea: On the web, everything is miscellaneous. . .China's food safety bureaucracy may claim a human life. . .China needs time zones. . .Ethanol's effect on corn prices is starting to register--at New York's best steakhouse. . .The Financial Times favors a price floor for oil. . .
This Sunday is the hundredth anniversary of Rachel Carson's birth. Should we celebrate? Give Hans Rosling twenty minutes, and he will show you the developing world as you've never seen it before. . . Why is naïveté an advantage for entrepreneurs? Because big changes are bad for experts. . . First, European Organization for Nuclear Research incubated the world wide web. Now it's unlocking the most basic secrets of the universe. . .Corked bats? No, the most important technology in baseball is probably the airplane. . .
Too much café can leave you driven. . . Hasan Elahi, finding himself on a terror watch list, decided to blog everything. It's the perfect alibi. Or an audacious art project. Or both. . . Snail Mail gets very personal. . . France tries out the Free Market - on immigration policy. . .
An era of tax free internet may be coming to a close. The $10 flight to LA has arrived. A $300 million internet mogul you’ve never heard of got rich by playing the name game. The median bonus for first-year bankers now tops a hundred thousand dollars.
The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate. Is divestment the answer? Google's plan for expansion: getting to know you, getting to know all about you. At every level of wealth, there's always something to worry about. By 2012, New York's taxi fleet will be entirely hybrid. In today's Irish election, healthcare has taken center stage.
When it comes to copyright, computers are more than just copying machines. . . The largest contributors to job growth in America are relatively high paying fields: health care, education, professional services. . . The Supreme Court trims its sails on antitrust. . . In the long run, a weak yuan is nothing to worry about. . . How do you make formal sense of the fact that it sometimes makes sense to be unreasonable?
The Wii's success has a thousand fathers. . .How susceptible is online advertising to fraudulent clicks? Want to know what the People's Bank of China will do to interest rates? Might help to consult an abacus. . .
Fair trade makes first-world coffee fiends feel great. But what does it do to the producers who are left out? A bad methodology, when a survey's subjects have shared goals, can still yield accurate results. . . Making the internet safe for children requires education and prevention measures, not age verification laws. . .
SOX compliance costs fell by 23% this year, and they still exceed the benefits. . . Montgomery County, Maryland has banned trans fats. . . Sanctions against Iran may lead to a wealthier Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. . . According to Treasury Secretary Paulson, U.S. competitiveness is hampered by over-taxation and over-regulation. . .
Stuck in automated telephone hell? A new service makes the operators wait to talk to you. . . What should the treatment protocol be for America's healthcare system? Sending a letter just got more expensive. Do we really need a Postal Service? For each mass layoff that is due to offshoring, there are 24 for other reasons. . .
Will there one day be a Supralympics for enhanced athletes? Be prepared: don't go to Africa without your Life Straw. . . What is the key to publishing a best-seller? Amazingly, the top customer of both Boeing and Airbus isn't a company. It's a single person. . . Get ready for the next big thing in sports: Rock, Paper, Scissors. . .
Has the World Bank become an irrelevant institution? Visitors to a new site will pick the next Ira Glass. . . Some movies will soon be rated R for smoking. . . Biofuels may be good for the environment, but they're not helping farm prices. Watch out for "agflation". . . The SEC's recent Roundtable on the Proxy Process is now archived and ready for viewing. . .
The more you have, the less it seems to matter. . . College students are a lot like minor league ball players. . . There's still no such thing as a free lunch. . . Google is changing the way parents are naming their children. . . Are taxes on leftovers a way to cut down on waste?
Thanks to regulatory pressure, Ryanair no longer offers "free" flights. . . Rabbit ear chic? You can enhance your fancy new HDTV with an eighty-year-old technology. . . Adam Smith also understood bootleggers and baptists. . . A stronger Euro erodes the cost competitiveness of southern Europe. . . More fuzzy math? School choice advocates say it has saved the country $444 million. . .
How much can you charge for a dream? A new standard for publishing financial data could reduce the regulatory burden on business. . . Is evolution to blame for bad economics? It's later than you think: For $5,000, you can own a desktop "printer" that will turn digital blueprints into three-dimensional objects. . . Is Britain becoming the world's first onshore tax haven?
Gore to business leaders: You are "functionally insane". . . Gambling can be good for you: Top economists argue that we should "lower barriers to the creation and design of prediction markets". . . Does having a fancy degree help you do your job? Caveat voter: Florida, having invested in brand new touchscreen voting machines, will now spend $23 million to jettison them. . . One writer knows firsthand that FDA-imposed costs can kill new medicines. He's even done some of the killing personally. . .
"Free Markets" only make sense if we can agree which choices are the free ones. . . The worst thing about profitable publishing franchises, from Harry Potter to Sherlock Holmes, is that sooner or later they all end. . . Why don't people do their laundry for fun? Regulators are making it harder than ever for pharma firms to pick their battles. . .
Does giving laptops to each student enhance their education? No, not really. . . Have a Second Life account? Your Linden Dollars may soon be able to buy you real pizza. . . Take a walk down the road to prosperity. . . Singapore is trying to become the Switzerland of Asia. . . In discussing trade, how do we define the moral community?
The recent Digg debacle suggests that copyright will soon have to adapt to the realities of the internet. . . European parliamentarians don't want the public to know about their pension scheme. For good reason. . . If you're an active stock trader, try to ignore the newspapers. . . Will the internet kill TV?
Does race affect the fairness of calls by basketball referees? Ben Bernanke kicked off the month of May with a defense of free trade. . . Is NYC's congestion pricing plan fair to the poor? Legal battles aside, can Vonage win the battle of public opinion? Over the weekend, DC's Eastern Market caught fire. The city is pledging to rebuild, with taxpayer dollars. Why don't we privatize the market instead?
The middle east may be less important than it seems. . . No matter how much of our assets they own, the Chinese have their own reasons not to rock the boat. . . People at either end of their careers are particularly sensitive to tax changes. . . Law-breaking immigrants? Hardly. In 2000, immigrants were only twenty percent as likely as the rest of us are to go to jail. . . The U.S. remains one of the least-taxed industrial countries. . .
Is there hope for the modern book review? More smoking in China may mean fewer Bibles worldwide. . . Cable bundles make economic sense. . . Will the stronger pound promote inflation in the U.S.?