Monthly Parking Rates Worldwide: From Mumbai to London

Great graphic of urban monthly parking rates worldwide. [-]

Parking Rates Worldwide pg

[via Urban Demographics]

Patent Peddlers, on This American Life

New This American Life segment on the patent mess in the U.S., featuring, coincidentally enough, a certain Seattle billionaire that I mentioned a few posts ago.

Originally aired 07.22.2011

Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries.

Twitter Digest: 2011-07-21

The Industrial Revolution as Energy Revolution

From voxEU, with permission:

Opening Pandora’s box: A new look at the industrial revolution

Tony Wrigley
22 July 2011

Before the industrial revolution, economists considered output to be fundamentally constrained by the limited supply of land. This column explores how the industrial revolution managed to break free from these shackles. It describes the important innovations that made the industrial revolution an energy revolution.

The most fundamental defining feature of the industrial revolution was that it made possible exponential economic growth – growth at a speed that implied the doubling of output every half-century or less. This in turn radically transformed living standards. Each generation came to have a confident expectation that they would be substantially better off than their parents or grandparents. Yet, remarkably, the best informed and most perspicacious of contemporaries were not merely unconscious of the implications of the changes which were taking place about them but firmly dismissed the possibility of such a transformation. The classical economists Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo advanced an excellent reason for dismissing the possibility of prolonged growth.

[Read more…]

Bubble + Leverage = Double Bubble

Just what we needed: A leveraged bubble.

UBS, the Swiss bank famous for private-client wealth management, launched a pair of exchange-traded notes today focused on Internet-related initial public offerings—one with single exposure and the other serving up double exposure—that could give investors a way to play the latest Internet IPO craze.

The ETRACS Internet IPO ETN (NYSEArca: EIPO) and the Monthly 2xLeveraged ETRACS Internet IPO ETN (NYSEArca: EIPL) are both based on an index that provides exposure to Internet companies that have been listed on either the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq for less than three years.

via UBS Rolls Out 1X, 2X Internet IPO ETNs.

Slavin: How Algorithms Shape Our World

Great TED talk:

Myth-making at the Tour de France

Great stories in a TLS roundup of two new books about the Tour de France. A sample:

In 1956, [Fiorenzo Magni] fell and, like [this year with Bradley] Wiggins, broke his collarbone, but decided to carry on after putting “some rubber sponge on the handlebars”. Later, on an uphill time trial, as Magni explained, “the pain was too much”, so he had a piece of inner tube tied to his handlebars and bit down on it as he rode. Falling again, he broke his upper arm. But he finished the race, second only to Charly Gaul, a Luxembourgeois who had won a mountain stage in the snow, delirious with cold and fatigue.

via The myths and realities of the Tour de France – David Horspool – TLS.

Policy Analysis with Incredible Certitude

Mostly for the typology of errant certitude, but still useful in a new paper:


Analyses of public policy regularly express certitude about the consequences of alternative policy choices.Yet policy predictions often are fragile, with conclusions resting on critical unsupported assumptions or leapsof logic.  Then the certitude of policy analysis is not credible.  I develop a typology of incredible analytical practices and give illustrative cases.  I call these  practices  conventional certitude,  dueling certitudes, conflating science and advocacy, wishful extrapolation, illogical certitude, and media overreach.

Barbed Wire and Property

Intriguing property paper:


This paper examines the impact on agricultural development of the introduction of barbed wire fencing to the American Plains in the late nineteenth century.Without a fence, farmers risked uncompensated damage by others’ livestock. From 1880 to 1900, the introduction and near-universal adoption of barbed wire greatly reduced the cost of fences, relative to the predominant wooden fences, especially in counties with the least woodland. Over that period, counties with the least woodland experienced substantial relative increases in settlement, land improvement, land values, and the productivity and production share of crops most in need of protection. This increase in agricultural development appears partly to reflect farmers’ increased ability to protect their land from encroachment. States’ inability to protect this full bundle of property rights on the frontier, beyond providing formal land titles, might have otherwise restricted agricultural development.

Twitter Digest: 2011-07-20

  • What U.S. consumera spend on pay TV alone is more than Europe's entire media entertainment spending – ->
  • Old school big air, some classic TGR from fifteen years ago – ->
  • EETimes: Car battery in a bottle coming – ->
  • Interview with Sy "Hair Club for Men" Sperling – ->
  • One more OSX Lion comment: The whole natural scrolling feels wildly unnatural. Makes me want to stand on my head while in documents. ->