Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Bittersweet Economic Thought (Heavy on the Bitter)

More Bittersweet Economic Thought (Heavy on the Bitter)

Stephen Moore discusses a Christina Romer observation about student appreciation of economics. Why Americans Hate Economics
"Economic bimboism is rampant in Washington. The Center for American Progress held a forum earlier this summer arguing that raising the minimum wage would create more jobs. For this to be true, you have to believe that the more it costs a business to hire a worker, the more workers companies will want to hire."
I'm not sure about which definition of "bimboism" is being invoked by Stephen Moore. The Urban Dictionary provides three very unflattering definitions -- sorry, this is a PG site, follow the link above, but don't blame me for the adult/R-rated content.

My review of Krugman's "Pop Internationalism" was of the same flavor - bitter. 

In addition to a lack of common sense, grace or humility, it appears that the Elites are beginning to get ruffled feathers as the unwashed (and uneducated) masses question the fabric of the Emperor's Clothes.

I also recommend Donald Boudreaux, author of the blog Cafe Hayek, but wonder if anyone can survive the Washington whirl-pool (PG, remember). 

Bottom Line

I'm going to consider a lawsuit against Romer and Moore for stealing my idea (posted here, and here). Clearly the best way to make money in America is through legal protection of IP. 

Now, if we just had a little less "I", and a little more common sense in DC. 

"Your honor, I will not use 2001, A Space Odyssey as my proof, I will use Amazon.com!" 

(Click for larger graphic).
P.S. I'd settle for a re-tweet or comment at the bottom of my blog.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paul Krugman - Proven Absolutely Correct (50% of the Time)

Krugman: Absolutely Correct (50% of the Time)

Another smoking hot day in Texas... so I dimmed the lights, closed the door and spent a few hours drinking in Paul Krugman’s “Pop Internationalism” (aka, economic porn).

Much like Sour Punch candy, the collection of essays had me winching against the sour, then settling into a disturbed, sweet appreciation. Clearly Krugman was not a Reagan fan. Clearly he was not a fan of the Clinton Economic Team. Clearly he was not a fan of most of the popular economic thinkers of the 80's or 90's - he freely disses Thurow and Reich and only gives a “C” to Laura Tyson.

The winching sour personal attacks, attacking both the theory and the theorist, will continue the popular impression of the “two-handed” economist - unable to construct reliable models, unable to construct reliable predictions, and unable to learn and adjust because of their religious devotion to academic dogma. Krugman paints his opposition with a broad brush, managing to spill plenty on himself.


We Need More One-handed Economists

The best essay is Technology’s Revenge which was published in 1994. A key idea is income inequality as “fractal” (p. 199) with wide ranges inside of a profession. Sherwin Rosen proposed this “superstar” hypothesis, a likely precursor to the “personal branding” that is all the rage in 2011. Competency gains little reward, superstars will reap the lion’s share. Krugman uses this point to lever higher education above luxury and into necessity. (p 201) Then he states that technology will allow the less skilled to be more productive. The lawyer, the accountant and the skilled professional will be replaced by technology, while the average service provider (janitors, plumbers, etc.) will persist.

Dear Lord, there is plenty of demand, but no supply,
for a one-handed economist and for a Fed Chairman
that can speak plain English.

Is That a Bazooka in Your Pocket?

Economists seem to have a hard time with adjectives. Small, large, slow, fast, consequential, inconsequential, all littered through-out this work, undefined and unqualified, the same criticism the Krugman levels at others. 

Time is also a tough concept - action and reaction are not instantaneous, leaving opponents open for criticism in the short run, but leaving your own argument open for just a little longer...

Miracles like Russian and Asia (soon: China and India) are reverse-transubstantiated back to water. Massive injections of human resources are one time gains that can raise and economy out of poverty. However, once that gain is captured it is unclear what the next steps are to continue development.
In a similar vein, Perry and the Texas miracle will be vivisected.
The current push for more “education” as a solution for US economic ills would seen to be undermined by Eastern economic history and by the theoretical arguments from Technology’s Revenge.

Why should any government be interventionist if the outcome will be theorized away or be criticized for not being interventionist enough?

Bottom Line

The sweetness of Pop Internationalism is not very satisfying. I can resell the book on Amazon and recapture some of my capital “investment”. Usually a book of this sweep would garner a place on my bookshelf as a reference. 

Krugman so expertly dissects everyone in the room, including himself, so that there is no further reading required. 

[Edit: SOLD! 8/22/2011 07:20pm $0.95 + Shipping. I love Amazon!] 
[Edit: 7/20/2015 - Flip-flop, you have to guess whether old or new Krugman is right]

The Elusive Big Idea - NYTimes.com

The Elusive Big Idea

The Elusive Big Idea - NYTimes.com
"We live in the much vaunted Age of Information. Courtesy of the Internet, we seem to have immediate access to anything that anyone could ever want to know. We are certainly the most informed generation in history, at least quantitatively. There are trillions upon trillions of bytes out there in the ether — so much to gather and to think about. And that’s just the point. In the past, we collected information not simply to know things. That was only the beginning. We also collected information to convert it into something larger than facts and ultimately more useful — into ideas that made sense of the information. We sought not just to apprehend the world but to truly comprehend it, which is the primary function of ideas. Great ideas explain the world and one another to us."

Bottom Line: 

Amen. Twitter will fail for just this reason. 140 characters cannot explain the world as clearly as this small snip of 135 words from the NY Times Opinion page. The full article is a terrific read.


Personal Brand - Thanks, But No Thanks

Personal Brand - Thanks, but No Thanks

YouTern enjoins the conversation about personal brands in their article:  YouTern’s Weekly “You Can’t Miss This!…” From Around the Blogosphere | The Savvy Intern by YouTern:

"To many, “personal branding” has become a catch-all phrase interpreted to mean “your brand will get you hired”. But as Mark Babbitt points out, a brand is just the packaging. “The purpose of branding is not to get a job”, he says. Personal branding is not a “golden ticket to getting a job.” Unless the branding has a purpose… a product behind the brand, if you will… building your brand is pointless."

We (YouTern) Believe

"Product Quality will always be the most important attribute. Packaging can always be adjusted, but the product needs to speak for itself."

We look at some widely recognized personal brands: Terrell Owens, Dennis Rodman, Paris Hilton (who was born into a personal brand, and has done much to tarnish it), the Jersey Shore persona and Abercrombie (willing to marry their brand to the poser class), the Real-Personally-Branded Housewives of Atlanta, Chicago, New York, la-la land, Tiger Woods, Jimmy Swagart, the Kardasians..."

I believe:

  • Brand belongs to products.
  • Behavior, character, and reputation belong to people.

The Bottom Line

"The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions." Confucius, from the Confucian Analects, 14:29 (Free Kindle Version).


Monday, August 15, 2011

The Missing Link! Best Practice: Cite Early and Cite Often

The Missing Link! 

Best Practice: Cite Early and Cite Often

Mish Shedlock calls out the LA Times and Bloomberg for being a bit lazy on their citation.

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: "Made-in-China" Only 2.7% of U.S. Spending; Really? What Does It Mean? Inflationists Take Note

"No Excuse for Missing Link
"Given that the article is readily available, there is no excuse for the LA Times' failure to link to it. 

"Generally, in cases like this, I ignore the superfluous article and instead go straight to the source. However, I have had enough of link suppression and am calling the LA Times on it. Bloomberg authors take note. I nearly wrote the same about you a few days ago but was too busy. Fellow bloggers, watch what you are doing. I despise snips like 'Reuters Says' with no link. Worse yet are instances where I cannot even find the quote when I search for it."

Why cite sources?
UC Berkeley Library: 

"Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas. Citations provide evidence for your arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources. In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution."

Bottom Line: 

The web is about linking resources to users. Providing links to the reader allows for further exploration of an idea, allows for comparison of other opinions, and allows the writer to provide supporting evidence for their position. Providing proper citation allows content CREATORS to be recognized for their thoughts -- and not some news aggregation bot or private label opportunist. 


Why Yelp? I Buy Austin and Round Rock and Georgetown

"In the capitalist system of society’s economic organization the entrepreneurs determine the course of production. In the performance of this function they are unconditionally and totally subject to the sovereignty of the buying public, the consumers. If they fail to produce in the cheapest and best possible way those commodities which the consumers are asking for most urgently, they suffer losses and are finally eliminated from their entrepreneurial position. Other men who know better how to serve the consumers replace them." (1)

Why Yelp? I Buy Austin and Round Rock and Georgetown

Posting a review on Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media outlet helps to preserve entrepreneurial opportunity. 

Good businesses are rewarded, poor businesses are not. 

This is not ruthless economic Darwinism. After all, poor reviews can also guide companies to improve their product, improve their service and survive. 

Tips for posting an online:
  • Be accurate, not dramatic, write the truth (from your point of view)
  • Provide comparisons, alternatives, suggestions, or solutions
  • Play nice, a little humor and sensitivity, goes a long way
  • Put your name next to the review, stand by your comments
See: I Buy Austin - the Austin Independent Business Alliance

(1) Ludwig von Mises Institute. (2008). Profit and Loss. Retrieved 08 15, 2011, from http://www.mises.org: http://mises.org/books/profitloss.pdf


Friday, August 12, 2011

Does the Media Believe in Social Media Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)

Does the Media Believe in Social Media Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)

The Dot.com bubble burst in early 2000. A decade later analysts are raising the same questions about valuations for internet technology companies. It is possible to identify and study many companies in the Social Media arena to validate the bubble argument. Battles like Blockbuster vs. Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video may not be pure "social" media, but do have some of the elements of user ratings and rankings. Pandora allows a customer to create their own music channel and share it with friends – which might make it “social” as well. Sirius/XM and HD Radio do not have any similar social features - which beg study into their capability to persevere. 

The Dot.com bust was about product delivery in “bricks and mortar” or a digital channel. Some new companies do not even deliver tangible products. They deliver “eyeballs” and the connectivity, relationships, and networks between people. How will the different stakeholders, the insiders and employees, the investors, the users or consumers, fare with this model?

This post will review current analyst points of view on the ability of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to deliver value to their stakeholders. Links are included in the bibliography (below).

Sharon Machlis of Computer World provides a good introductory SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) in her article “Facebook vs. Twitter vs. LinkedIn vs. Google+” (Machlis, 2011). LinkedIn has gone public (NYSE: LNKD). Twitter and Facebook are still pending their initial public offerings (IPO). Google+ is a late entry, and demonstrates the threat to all other social networks. Machlis provides the best one-page comparison, but other analysts fill in some of the missing perspective.


Facebook is expected to have the largest IPO of these three companies. While several analysts see great potential, many others line up on the other side of the discussion. The Business Insider identifies advertising as the critical revenue driver for Facebook (Carlson, 2010). Mashable comments that Facebook needs to come to terms with its advertising core, then expand into product referrals and sales, and then into a premium subscription model (Lawrence, 2010). PC World compliments Facebook on its huge database of relations, and encourages more advertising and the delivery of applications (Sullivan, 2010).

Those that argue against the grand success of Facebook point to the exact set of advantages and claim them as weaknesses. PBT Consulting makes three salient points: the number of users is finite, advertising revenues will eventually peak, and social networks are at a critical inflection point where additional users are not adding additional revenue (PBT Consulting, 2011). All Things D claims that Facebook missed a critical opportunity in 2008 when they failed to merge with Twitter (Swisher, 2008). The Big Picture asks if Facebook missed their IPO window as the competition has caught up, with the new Google+ likely to shave billions off the IPO price (Ritholz, 2011).


Twitter has analysts split as well. The New York Times applauds the growth in Twitter users and describes advertising and Promoted Tweets as revenue generators (Miller, 2010). TNW Social Media interviews Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to uncover the future revenue from “Promoted Accounts” (Wilhelm, 2010). CNNMoney describes the slow roll-out of Twitter ad revenue programs to avoid the backlash experienced by Facebook (Mangalindan, 2010).

GigaOM points to a clear problem with “stickiness” or the amount of time a user is engaged on a web site, article, message, etc. (Taylor, 2011). The idea that Twitter will employ email messaging seems to contradict a key Twitter benefit. Twitteratti gives a nod to a fast growing user base, but then asks how quickly the Twitter eco-system will need to evolve to collect more advertising revenue (Evans, 2010). Mashable provides an interesting infographic that covers the evolution of Twitter’s advertising (Wasserman, 2011). This evolution is the center of most criticism. Analysts question Twitter’s lack of speed to adoption advertising revenue model.


LinkedIn is a very different social animal. TechCrunch makes this explicit when it compares LinkedIn to the now reeling – MySpace, “It is becoming increasingly obvious that the social networking game is not just about who has the largest audience, but also about who has the most valuable audience. The dominant social networks like MySpace try to maximize advertising dollars by focusing on the most lucrative geographic markets” (Schonfeld, 2008). The San Francisco Chronicle reports that revenue for LinkedIn is tied to the economy and that revenue recovers as tech hiring recovers (Evangelista, 2011), which would also seem to imply the inverse.

News Factor covers the diverse revenue models including member subscriptions, premium subscriptions, advertising sales and hiring solutions (LeClaire, 2011). This balance of individual and corporate revenues allows LinkedIn to escape the “freemium” model where basic services are free and advanced services or functions have cost. Leslie Walker divines from the LinkedIn prospectus that the narrow focus on career development is a limitation to revenue opportunities (Walker, 2011).

Seeking Alpha, Forbes and The New York Times provide arguments against LinkedIn. Seeking Alpha highlights the lack of stickiness and the lack of user growth (Babayev, 2011) Forbes point to a limit on business user (recruiters) growth, rising competition and corporate governance issues (Savitz, 2011). Corporate governance applies to LinkedIn, post-IPO where Facebook and Twitter can still escape the scrutiny. The New York Times expresses concern about technology bubbles, and compares the price-to-sales ratio for LinkedIn to Monster and Dice and declares LinkedIn shares too expensive (Stewart, 2011). PCMag re-emphasizes the point by describing competition from a new Monster Worldwide collaboration with Facebook (Hachman, 2011).

The Problem of Revenue

These three large social media companies are wrestling with many of the same problems. The most critical problem is generating revenue without upsetting their user community and the second most is the fierce competition from known and unknown adversaries. The analysts provide interesting clues, comparisons and criticisms, all of which seem to become outdated as soon as the digital bits are stored. Facebook adds Chat and build a new relationship with Monster, while oldsters and youngsters bail out. Twitter can reach a global audience as a News resource but wrestles with a falling signal-to-noise ratio as unedited content creation and advertising overwhelms the 140-character message size. When do photo sharing and external linking make Twitter too much like Facebook? Amazon, a survivor from pre-Dotcom bubble, adds video streaming to steal eyeballs – there are only so many hours a day to consume social media. Google + launches and launches big – trying to find the sweet spot between Twitter and Facebook.

All stakeholders, users, employees and investors need to be aware of the collective SWOT analysis. Clearly, stakeholders, users, employees and investors interests do not align. Users need to understand that revenue supports these platforms. The Netflix price change will provide clues and important lessons. Netflix users hate the price change and Netflix investors love the change. Employees need to know that the IPO will change their company from altruistic, bounty hunters into corporate cube dwellers with plenty of government compliance and regulation. Investors need to understand the exiting offerings and the potential for competition from likely and unlikely places. Insiders and investment bankers look to do well as these IPOs launch, but regular investors need to be aware that the sands of social media shift quickly. It is clear that these Social Media platforms can deliver value to their stakeholders, but it is equally clear that success and failure can be both go viral.

CNDannheim, 08/01/2011


Angelova, K., & Yarrow, J. (2011, May 18). Chart of the Day: Where LinkedIn's Revenue Comes From. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-where-linkedins-revenue-comes-from-2011-5
Babayev, A. (2011, February 1). LinkedIn: Maybe the First Social Media IPO, But Not the Best. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Seeking Alpha: http://seekingalpha.com/article/249880-linkedin-maybe-the-first-social-media-ipo-but-not-the-best
Blakely, L. (2007, October 2). New Facebook Feature Challenges LinkedIn. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/02/magazines/fortune/facelinkedin.fortune/index.htm
Calnan, C. (2011, July 15). The Perks of Going Public. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Austin Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/abje_news/2011/07/the-perks-of-going-public.html
Carlson, N. (2010, 05 18). How Does Facebook Make Money. Retrieved 07 15, 2011, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-does-facebook-make-money-2010-5
eMarketer.com. (2011, Jsnuary 24). Twitter Ad Revenues to Soar This Year. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from EMarketer Digital Intelligence: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008192
Evangelista, B. (2011, may 5). LinkedIn Gets Revenue Boost from Tech Hiring. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from SF Gate, San Francisco Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/05/04/BU0F1JBUEA.DTL
Evans, M. (2010, November 3). Twitter's Ecosystem Review Conundrum. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Twitterrati: http://www.twitterrati.com/2010/11/03/twitters-ecosystem-revenue-conundrum/
Hachman, M. (2011, June 27). Monster Challenges Linedin; Builds New Jobs Netowrk within Facebook. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from PC Magazine: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387659,00.asp
Kafka, P. (2008, June 18). LinkedIn Gets Its $1 Billion Valuation - And $53 Million in Cash. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/2008/6/linkedin-gets-its-1-billion-valuation-and-53-million-in-cash
Lawrence, D. (2010, 01 29). How Facebook Can Become a Money Making machine. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2010/01/29/monetizing-facebook/
LeClaire, J. (2011, May 19). Deversified Revenue Model Sends LinkedIn IPO Soaring. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Newsfactor.com: http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=11100CLKKJD3
Machlis, S. (2011, 07 11). Facebook vs. Twitter vs. LinkedIn vs. Google+. Retrieved 07 15, 2011, from Computerworld: http://blogs.computerworld.com/18603/facebook_vs_twitter_vs_linkedin_vs_google_plus
Mangalindan, J. (2010, July 9). Fortune. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Twitter's Business Model: A Visionary Experiment: http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/09/magazines/fortune/Twitter_business_model.fortune/index.htm
Miller, C. C. (2010, April 12). Twitter Unveils Plan to Draw Money from Ads. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/technology/internet/13twitter.html
Mui, C. (2011, July 07). LinkedIn's Capstone Launches with Sell Rating, $45 Target. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Forbes: http://blogs.forbes.com/ericsavitz/2011/07/07/linkedin-capstone-launches-with-sell-rating-45-target/
PBT Consulting. (2011, March 20). Facebook's Ad-Supported Revenue Model Reaches a Critical Inflection Point. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from PBT Consulting: http://tommytoy.typepad.com/tommy-toy-pbt-consultin/2011/03/why-the-ad-supported-revenue-model-for-social-networks-could-result-in-another-dotcom-bubble-.html
Ritholz, B. (2011, July 15). Has Facebook Missed the IPO Window? Retrieved July 15, 2011, from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/07/has-facebook-missed-its-ipo-window/
Sass, E. (2011, May 17). As IPO Nears, How Does LinkedIn Make Money. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from MediaPost.com: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=150710
Savitz, E. (2011, July 7). LinkedIn: Capstone Launches with Sell Rating, $45 Target. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Forbes: http://blogs.forbes.com/ericsavitz/2011/07/07/linkedin-capstone-launches-with-sell-rating-45-target/
Schonfeld, E. (2008, September 14). LinkedIn to Launch It's Own Ad network. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from TechCrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2008/09/14/linkedin-to-launch-its-own-ad-network/
Stewart, J. B. (2011, July 08). Waiting for Gravity to Hit LinkedIn. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/09/business/gauging-if-linkedin-signals-a-social-networking-bubble.html?_r=2
Sullivan, M. (2010, June 20). How Will Facebook Make Money. Retrieved 07 15, 2011, from PC World: http://www.pcworld.com/article/198815/how_will_facebook_make_money.html
Swisher, K. (2008, November 24). When Twitter Met Facebook: The Acquisition that Fail-Whaled. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from All Things D: http://allthingsd.com/20081124/when-twitter-met-facebook-the-acquisition-deal-that-fail-whaled/
Taylor, C. (2011, May 24). Psst, Twitter: Your Stickiness Problem is Showing. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from GIGAOM: http://gigaom.com/2011/05/24/twitter-email-notifications-stickiness/
Thompson, D. (2011, May 20). LinkedIn Has the Highest Price-Revenue Ration of Any Stock Anywhere. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/linkedin-has-the-highest-price-revenue-ratio-of-any-stock-anywhere/239176/
Walker, L. (2011, January 31). LinkedIn's IPO Filing Reveals Challenges. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from About.com: Social Media: http://personalweb.about.com/b/2011/01/31/linkedins-ipo-filing-reveals-challenges.htm
Wasserman, T. (2011, May 26). The History of Advertising on Twitter (InfoGraphic). Retrieved July 15, 2011, from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2011/05/26/twitter-advertising-infographic/
Wilhelm, A. (2010, August 10). Twitter is about to unleash the revenue dragon. Retrieved July 15, 2011, from TheNextWeb (TNW): http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2010/10/08/twitter-is-about-to-unleash-the-revenue-dragon/

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who's Counting? Well, not Google Badges

Who's Counting? Well, not Google Badges

Earlier I questioned how our behavior would change while using Google News Badges. Would the Badge game channel our reading into Badge specific categories? Would content show up in the proper category -- I was only reading about the Budget Negotiations, not about Rs, Ds, or Reid (I swear). 

Early observations were posted here and here

A New Behavior: 

I am no longer clicking deeper into a website, opting to return to Google News for the next link. As an Example, I might read a NY Times article, see links that might look interesting, but ignore them and return to Google News for badge points.

So, what happens when Google News Badges stops adding articles read to a badge? 

Well, I'm just not sure, I haven't seen any of my Badges increment in a couple of days. But I do think that serendipity takes a hit.

Word Origin and History   
Serendipity - 1754 (but rare before 20c.), coined by Horace Walpole (1717-92) in a letter to Mann (dated Jan. 28); he said he formed it from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip, "whose heroes" were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of." 
The name is from Serendip, an old name for Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), from Arabic Sarandib, from Skt. Simhaladvipa "Dwelling-Place-of-Lions Island." Serendipitous formed c.1950.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Toshiba Thrive - Android - The Missing Apps - (Ouch)

The Toshiba Thrive is fantastic... 

But Android Apps are not quite up to speed (as of 8/2011): 

  • No Facebook App
  • No Netflix App
  • No Amazon Instant Video App
  • No Auto-off timer for Google Music (Beta)
  • Error Messages when transferring WMA/MP3 files (they do transfer properly, but cannot be played)
  • Lots of "please enter password" messages - over and over and over... as if the apps don't track the device. (The iPhone is flawless at this task).

On the positive side: 

Bluetooth connected flawlessly, USB cable transferred music quickly, and I was able to surf, play music and import music at the same time. (Yeah). 


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twitter FAIL 2

Twitter FAIL - Widget not Populating with Topics

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Quantitative Easing Begins in Switzerland to Counteract Soaring Swiss Franc, Central Bank "Aims to Bring 3-Month LIBOR to 0%"; Gold Soars:

"It's official, quantitative easing has begun, just not where you might have expected, in Switzerland, by the Swiss National Bank, not the US by the Fed."

So, I'm surfing through Global Economic Trend Analysis which is written by Mike "Mish" Shedlock, and what do I see? 

Twitter Fail! -------------------------->

I have the same problem on my site, and finally deleted the widget.  

The article about the Swiss Franc... where are you going to run once the Euro is worth less (or worthless)?

Update: 8/22 - Twitter is still exhibiting this poor performance during the normal business day. After hours the widget tends to load just fine. Clearly they need to revisit the performance of the Servers, or the SLA to the end user. 


The "Amazon" Tax, Part Deux

The "Amazon" Tax, Part Deux

The "Amazon" Tax, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty:
"Let's put that in perspective. A 2010 study by economists Jeffrey A. Eisenach and Robert E. Litan that was funded by Netchoice, the voice of the e-commerce industry, found that by 2012, the amount of revenue that California governments would be missing out on by not taxing interstate sales will be only $621 million, well below 0.5 percent of California governments' total tax take.
We also covered this topic under: Amazon Avoids the Tax Man, You Do Too.

Once again the politicians spin up a false criticism in order to deflect their inablity to: 
  1. Show leadership by saying "no more"... 
  2. Show leadership by cutting irrelevant programs...
  3. Show any leadership skills at all... 
Instead they try to divide and conquer (and tax some more).

The 4th Estate (now in bankruptcy) gets no free pass on this issue. This is the best that the LA Times can muster on the subject:
"State lawmakers Wednesday approved billions of dollars in cuts to welfare, medical programs for the poor and in-home care for the elderly and frail, among other services, moving forward key pieces of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget reduction package."
Oh, if only we had another ~$621,000,000 we could solve all of our problems. Spin... spinning... spun. All in a days' work for politician and reporter.

The Wall Street Journal shows the effort to manage NEXUS (which is a French term for "you must pay the man to do business here") in their article: Amazon Battles the States Over Sales Tax

Can somebody help me: Why are US banks incorporate in just a handful states?


It’s the PSST, Stupid! Apples and Houses

It’s the PSST, Stupid! Apples and Houses

It’s the PSST, Stupid!, by Don Boudreaux, on July 14, 2011 In Monetary Policy, Myths and Fallacies, State Of Macro, Stimulus, The Crisis, The Economy
"Without venturing here an opinion on the underlying source of each and every recession throughout American history, I will express an opinion about the current recession: it is clearly the result of distorting government policies, regulatory and monetary, leading up to 2008 as well as of the symptom-treating policies since then that only worsen matters. (And not to mention yet other actual and threatened policies – e.g., Obamacare - that distort microeconomic patterns of sustainable specialization and trade.)"
Bravo! I can quote someone else that writes with much more eloquence.

My version: The government is screwing it all up!

Second good idea from the article:

"As my great teacher, Leland Yeager, explained – for he is an able advocate of this “monetary disequilibrium” theory – because money “has no market of its own,” attempts by people to satisfy their demands to hold larger money balances have economy-wide repercussions in ways that people’s attempts to satisfy their demands to hold, say, larger inventories of apples do not."
So, as companies and individuals hoard cash, does the government (OK, Fannie, Freddie, and the other GSEs) holdings of Real Estate resemble "apples" ? I am less sure because of the metaphor: are apples consumables with limited shelf life? Would a home with 10 to 30 years of utility be the same comparison? 

I guess if the practice of "Banks bulldozing foreclosed homes" catches on... then the comparison works. Only the Government would consider destroying assets as a means to prosperity.