Blogotariat

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Popular Science Monday, May 26, 2014 - 07:59 Source

In February, Facebook purchased the WhatsApp messaging service for the mind-boggling sum of $19 billion. It was the largest acquisition of a venture-backed company ever, but it also proved a clear, albeit subtle, point: Our relationship to personal data is shifting. WhatsApp charges users $0.99 a year, a fee it justifies in a straightforward way—no ads, no data mining, no kidding. Now that one of the world’s most prolific data miners owns WhatsApp, we’ll see if the service can continue to guard privacy in the same way. Regardless, the lesson stands. People  are realizing just how much their data is worth.

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Popular Science Monday, May 26, 2014 - 07:59 Source

In the U.S., summer is the stretch of sun-dappled days between Memorial Day and Labor Day—never mind what the calendar says about solstices and equinoxes. I’ve come to think of that May-to-September period as “cultural summer.” Here are three reasons why cultural summer is an unassailably better definition of the season than the astronomical summer:

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Popular Science Monday, May 26, 2014 - 07:59 Source

There's one issue that's more politically divisive than gun control or abortion. That's the question of whether human activity is the primary driver of climate change. In a new poll, there was only one question pollsters asked that Democrats and Republicans were more likely to disagree about than the climate one: whether President Barack Obama is doing a good job.

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Popular Science Monday, May 26, 2014 - 07:59 Source

It's World Turtle Day today—an annual celebration created by the group American Tortoise Rescue to generate admiration and conservation mojo for these shell-toting reptiles.

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Popular Science Monday, May 26, 2014 - 07:59 Source

Another week, another set of scientific numbers representing that week. Represent!

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 07:43 Source

Over the weekend, AFRTV gave us a forecast of a return to parity for the Australian dollar from Wespac’s Robert Rennie: Regular readers will know I don’t expect any such thing. There are many reasons for why but I’ll confine my comments largely to Rennie’s arguments. The first is that although LNG will raise our [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 07:17 Source

By Leith van Onselen Over the weekend, the Financial Times (FT) made the stunning accusation that French economist, Thomas Picketty’s, best selling book, Capitalism in the Twentieth Century, has made fundamental errors which undermine its findings. According to the FT, some of the data points that Piketty has used to support his arguments about massive [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:18 Source

By Ross Elliott, author of The Pulse Discussions about housing affordability focus almost exclusively on the price of the real estate, movements in which are monitored by multiple organisations on a seemingly daily basis. There is comparatively little discussion about people’s incomes, which are equally as important as prices in determining what can and can’t be [...]

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North Coast Voices Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:18 Source

Photograph of Hockey from The Sydney Morning HeraldHoni Soit 19 September 2012:Hockey’s policy statement in the 1

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:16 Source

Westpac’s Red Book for May is out. It is the bible of Australian consumer attitudes and this month is filled with red ink. Here is the executive summary: ― The Westpac–Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell 6.8% in May from 99.7 to 92.9 driven by a sharply negative response to the Federal Budget. ― [...]

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North Coast Voices Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:16 Source

Like many other people across the NSW Northern Rivers region, one The Northern Star letters correspondent, Linda Woodrow, thinks that coal seam and tight gas miner Metgasco Limited has lost the plot:Metgasco owes usRE Metgasco seeking compensation (NS17/5): I would suggest that Metgasco owes me compensation.For years we have been doing our level best to save them from themselves.We have surveyed neighbourhoods door to door. We have held rallies and public meetings. We have written letters to them and to politicians. We have collected signatures on petitions.

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:15 Source

By Leith van Onselen Residex has released its home price results for the month of April, which registered a 0.73% (houses) and 0.63% (units) rise in values nationally, but a strong 3.29% (houses) and 2.02% (units) increase in Sydney: According to Residex, the median house price in Sydney is now a whopping $821,500, with gross [...]

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North Coast Voices Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:15 Source

Japan Daily Press: Tony AbbottTHE LIE"I think the last government which brought down a very tough budget – the Howard government in 1996 - took a big hit in the polls too.” [ Prime Minister Tony Abbott quoted in

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:12 Source

Click to view RP Data’s latest weekly housing market update, which provides a useful snapshot of the housing market as at 25 May 2014. This week’s report includes: Latest weekly dwelling value results; Auction results & clearance rates; Latest median house & unit prices; Average time on market & vendor discounts; Mortgage market activity; and New [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:11 Source

By Leith van Onselen The national auction clearance rate essentially held steady over the weekend, with a rebound in Sydney clearances more or less offset by a fall in Melbourne. According to RP Data, the weighted average preliminary auction clearance rate rose marginally to 66.1% from 65.4% the week before, driven by a 5.3% increase [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:10 Source

Andy Xie offered another of his gloomy takes on Chinese growth over the weekend, though he is clearly trying to sound more positive about it: The quality of China’s GDP growth is rising with falling property prices. The economy is diverting resources away from wasteful bubble activities to productive ones. While growth is slowing, it [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:09 Source

The iron ore price fell on Friday May 23, 2014 by 1.3% to an equal low for this long down move at $97.50: More of the same. Paper markets were weak as the 12 month swap and rebar futures fell to recent lows. Dalian is a little better but hardly reassuring. Physical markets were mixed. [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:08 Source

From Goldman Sachs: Although it’s already come a long way, there is good reason to argue for materially lower levels. The wave count above suggests that a new 5-wave sequence started at the Feb. ‘13 high, within which the market is presently in its 3rd impulsive down leg. From a pure techs perspective, the next [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:08 Source

It appears the Odisha Indian supply threat is easing much faster this time. From the Economic Times: Top iron ore producing state Odisha will renew in about two months licences of 10 of the 26 mines that were shut by the Supreme Court last week, a government official said, allaying fears of steelmakers the shutdown [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:06 Source

The S&P500 managed its first ever close above 1900 on Friday night: As a quick aside, I don’t know how anyone can look at this chart and not marvel at the recurrent bubbles that have defined our era in finance!  But that aside, the new highs hit again on the S&P Friday night had little to [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:05 Source

Via FTAlphaville comes a reminder from Lombard Street Research about what will happen when global interest rates do begin to rise: Volatility should rise because policymakers will find it harder to signal their intentions once they start raising rates. At the zero bound, when the economy needed extra stimulus, it was easy for central bankers to [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:04 Source

By Leith van Onselen In another potential blow to Australia’s magnificently expensive seven LNG projects, Citigroup has released an interesting research report forecasting a “slump” in Japanese LNG demand from 2015:  Japan is a key player in world energy markets, accounting for 35% of LNG (seaborne trade)…  Since the March 2011 disaster, consumption has increased [...]

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MacroBusiness Monday, May 26, 2014 - 00:02 Source

Global Macro / Markets: When moderation is no virtue – The Economist Bitcoin shocker! – FT Alphaville U.S. Interest Rates: The Potential Shock Heard Around the World – IMF North America: Wall Street Finds New Subprime With 125% Business Loans – Bloomberg Is It Better to Buy or Rent? – New York Times Cutting Off [...]

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The Australian Independent Media Network Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 23:24 Source

Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au

Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au

Is this country being run by right-wing Christian fundamentalists? And if so, are they representative of the wider society? These are some of the issues examined by Sean Stinson.

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Political Owl Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 22:23 Source

//phys.org/news/2014-05-climate-unshaken-scandal-unstirred-science.html#jCpPrinceton University and University of Oxford researchers found that negative media reports seem to have only a passing effect on public opinion, but that positive stories don’t appear to possess much staying power, either.

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An Onymous Lefty Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 22:20 Source

Conservatives like to make a big deal about sovereign risk – the idea that if a new government is willing to change the rules after people have entered into deals with it, then people will not trust it in future, and its costs of doing business will increase.

Apparently that doesn’t matter if the people with whom it’s doing business are ordinary Australians.

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An Onymous Lefty Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 22:20 Source

Conservatives like to make a big deal about sovereign risk – the idea that if a new government is willing to change the rules after people have entered into deals with it, then people will not trust it in future, and its costs of doing business will increase.

Apparently that doesn’t matter if the people with whom it’s doing business are ordinary Australians.

Read more Views: 36
The Failed Estate Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 22:02 Source

Journalists traditionally pride themselves on being outsiders. They’re not corporate types, they’re not joiners, they’re square pegs. So why are they suddenly dictating the terms in which everyone else can express their displeasure with the government? The most divisive, contentious … Continue reading →

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En Passant Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 21:07 Source

Meryl Antica talked recently  to an asylum seeker about his life. This is his story. His name has been changed to protect him and his family. 

He left his mum when he was seven.  Rejected by his stepfather, and much to the distress of his mother, he went to live with his aunty.

A young Tamil living in Sri Lanka, every morning he was up at 4am to help Aunty bake goods for the market.  School began at 8am, and at the end of the school day he returned home to again work with his Aunty.

“How many days a week did you do this?” I asked him. “Every day,” he told me.  His beautiful smile rarely wavered.

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Your Democracy Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 20:59 Source

 

US constitution....

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