Articles about Economics

Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Worstall on Wednesday Ignoring the central insight and purpose of economics seems odd in an economics paper. You peeps here at El Reg are most unlikely to be regular readers of papers published by US body NBER, the National Bureau for Economic Research. So I've brought you one we can all puzzle over together (PDF here), "A Comparison of Programming …
Tim Worstall, 16 Jul 2014
Costumed pirate

Economics prof denies digital pirates plundered €20bn from EU coffers

A European academic has rubbished claims by the Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) group that digital piracy cost the EU more than €20bn between 2008 and 2011. Making the assumption that the creative and service sectors performed at the same level, a grand total of around one million jobs and €47bn of …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Oct 2014

Trickle-down economics WORKS: SpaceShipTwo is a PRIME EXAMPLE

Worstall on Wednesday For the sake of my expenditure on blood pressure pills I really ought to stop reading those attempts The Guardian sometimes makes at making sense of matters economic. The latest cause of choler is Zoe Williams telling us all how Brit billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism (triggered, obviously, by the story of the very sad …
Tim Worstall, 05 Nov 2014

'Theoretical' Nobel economics explain WHY the tech industry's such a damned mess

Worstall on Wednesday Jean Tirole was this year's Nobel Laureate in Economics* and what the prize was awarded (in part) for should interest people around here. Tirole's work has often been about how this tech industry of ours works and what the hell anyone should be doing to try and regulate it – if, indeed, it should be regulated at all. This is …
Tim Worstall, 15 Oct 2014
David Cameron, UK prime minister

Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...

Worstall @ the Weekend As is ever the case, by the time squares have caught on to the value of whatever hipsters have been doing this week, the latter are off doing something else entirely. Much the same happens with economic fashions: it takes time for those not actually involved in the subject to grok to what the cool kids are saying and by the time …
Tim Worstall, 19 Oct 2014

THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

Crawling from the Wreckage John Watkinson continues his series of essays for El Reg in which he examines failures in society from banking and education to transport and IT. Here, with a critical eye on our economic plight, he looks at the methods employed by those doing the sums and their consequences. Here we are, several years into the aftermath of the …
John Watkinson, 21 Sep 2014

Bring back big gov, right? If only the economics, STUPID, could tell us more

Worstall @ the Weekend The economy's not growing as fast as it used to when we had big government and big unions, so we'd better bring them back, right? Or maybe we just don't have enough economic data to tell? You don't have to go all that far leftward these days to find someone brandishing economic growth statistics at you. Proving that growth was …
Tim Worstall, 21 Dec 2014

Want a promotion? Study economics, says HDS economist

Want to get noticed by the higher-ups in your workplace? Forget about a new certification or home lab, an appreciation of economics and its application as a tool to define precise metrics about just what it costs to operate your employer's IT kit will see you get ahead. That's the opinion of Hitachi Data Systems' (HDS') chief …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Mar 2013

My big reveal as macro-economics analyst: It's a load of COBBLERS

Worstall @ the Weekend Welcome to the first Worstall at the Weekend, where I get to spout off on whatever I jolly well please: where the aim is to leave something at least potentially gravid with further thought and discussion rather than that sterile deposit one ends up with inside the barber's weekend supplies. Which brings us to the discussion of …
Tim Worstall, 24 Aug 2014
2001: A Space Odyssey

TOP500 Supers make boffins more prolific

A comparative analysis of supercomputer ownership by US universities seems to suggest that TOP500-class iron gives institutions a quantifiable edge in physics, chemistry, civil engineering and evolutionary biology. In the kind of rational decision-making that will upset HPC sales teams, the Clemson University research is …
Gordo: EPIC FAIL

Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

As I become ever more viciously right wing with age, I become ever more disappointed with Oxfam. It's not just because I have left behind the views of Genghis and am galloping up close behind Attila. It's rather that the organisation itself has changed from being that well-meaning, thoroughly humanitarian organisation that doled …
Tim Worstall, 20 Mar 2014

Must-have sports tech: No, not an Apple Watch, a TOMATO GOB-STUFF BOT

Vid Many inspirations and desires cross a runner's mind while pounding the pavement, but few could honestly say a robot sat on their shoulders force-feeding them tomatoes has ever been one. Thankfully Japanese tomato condiment company Kagome has identified a need consumers never realised they had. Kagome unveiled its 18lb …
Kat Hall, 23 Feb 2015
Glorious future of China

Facebook, IBM, court future Chinese elite

Beijing's Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management has signed up two tech titans to its advisory board: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty. Tsinghua University is among China's most prestigious, is ranked the world's 47th-best tertiary education institution and its School of …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Oct 2014

Superfish: Lenovo ditches adware, but that doesn't fix SSL megavuln – researcher

Lenovo is attempting to defuse controversy over its pre-installed Superfish crapware – which appears to have run man-in-the-middle attacks against consumers in order to sling ads – by saying it has discontinued use of the visual-recognition technology on new laptops and promising to review outstanding concerns. Superfish …
John Leyden, 19 Feb 2015
Android icon desktop toys

$30 Landfill Android mobes are proof that capitalism ROCKS

Worstall on Wednesday I've mentioned around here before that the shipping container has been one of the most revolutionary technologies of our times. Similarly, I've said that the mobile phone has had a vast effect on human wealth. The TL;DR version of mobes is that 10 per cent of the population with a mobile increases GDP by 0.5 per cent each and …
Tim Worstall, 18 Mar 2015
Guardian 2.0

Guardian: 'Oil reserves will soon be worth NOTHING!' (A bit like their stock tips, really)

Worstall @ the Weekend It's not going to come as all that much of a surprise that those who worry excessively about climate change aren't really all that up to speed with economics as a subject in general. But it should produce a little amazement (or a chortle or two perhaps) when said usual suspects launch a new campaign that deliberately ignores a …
Tim Worstall, 22 Mar 2015
Sharon White, new head of Ofcom, former Second Perm Sec at the Treasury

Ofcom's new broom Sharon White sweeps into office

Communications watchdog Ofcom confirmed this morning that it has found a replacement for outgoing chief Ed Richards. Sharon White will head up the regulator from late March, on an annual salary of £275,000, after she ends her senior role at the Treasury. White currently serves as Second Permanent Secretary of the Finance …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Dec 2014
LP stylus

Music-mad Brits drive up hardware sales too – claims BPI

Amazingly, 12 per cent of British people watching TV are listening to music from another source as they watch. Or maybe that isn’t so amazing. Maybe you need to play Napalm Death while watching The X Factor - and who could blame you? Tech-mad Brits also spend more on music per head than the G7 average - but which drives which? …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Oct 2014
Clapping children

'It's NOT FAIR!' yell RICH KIDS ... and that's a GOOD THING

Worstall @ the Weekend Having the Daily Mail as a starting point to the edges of human knowledge doesn't sound all that likely, I know, not unless we're talking about approaching human knowledge from the outside of a story about "foreign" pomegranates causing cancers and damaging house prices. But that is how this little journey started, with this …
Tim Worstall, 18 Jan 2015
Triumph's solar power brassiere

Solar-powered bra maker suffers 20,000 TITSUPs all at once

Solar-powered bra manufacturer Triumph International has been forced to recall 20,000 solar-powered brassieres. The Swiss-based lingerie maker is best known for its bra that allows the wearer to become her own source of renewable energy via a detachable solar panel - providing much-needed support while simultaneously supporting …
Kat Hall, 23 Dec 2014

Investment climate hostile to optical sector: Alca-Lu

Alcatel-Lucent is warning that the telco sector is skewing its investment cycles – and that could have disastrous affects down the track. At issue is that investments in the boring business of science into products don't rate as highly as the more sexy flavour-of-the-month sectors like software defined networks (SDN) and network …
BT Openreach van

Vodafone: So what exactly is 'ludicrous' about the Frontier report?

Vodafone has struck back at BT’s claim that the Frontier Economics report on Openreach’s apparent profiteering is “ludicrous”, with Matthew Braovac, Vodafone's head of competition and regulatory affairs, writing to his BT opposite number asking for a justification of the claims. “Far from being ludicrous, the report is based …
Simon Rockman, 27 Mar 2015
Ancient cave frieze. Pic: Leon Yaakov

No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Worstall on Wednesday There was a certain amount of consumer resistance to my assertion that the Apple Christometer's $17,000 worth of bling was all about sex. But I'm afraid that this really is so. Bling is about getting sex: and it's the women who decide that it is as well. We have a less than reputable source for this: …conspicuous consumption …
Tim Worstall, 25 Mar 2015
Dark Side of the Moon album cover

CityFibre FEEDS hungry EE and Three customers with DARK FIBRE

EE and Three signed an agreement with CityFibre this morning to deploy dark fibre backhaul links to mobile masts for the UK networks. Financial details of the national framework deal, which was also struck with the operators' Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL) joint venture, were kept secret. CityFibre said that lighting up …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2014
Derisive laugh

BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

BT has labelled a report into its apparently inflated return on broadband investment as "ludicrous", as Vodafone calls on the government to tighten the regulations surrounding Openreach. A confidential November 2014 report from Frontier Economics (seen by El Reg) has claimed that while the historic return on investment, which …
Simon Rockman, 26 Mar 2015
ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) is one of six detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – image by Maximilien Brice CERN/Science photo library

What is HPC actually good for? Just you wait and see

High Performance Computing (HPC) is all terribly exciting. We get announcements about this supercluster or that beating the number of teraflops of that other one (or, more likely these days, petaflops). Or maybe it's data throughput or storage size or even transfer rates. And, perhaps the most interesting way of thinking about …
Tim Worstall, 27 Mar 2015
Australian Government 2.0 taskforce logo

Boffins deflate digital economy bubble with hard economic data

Australians are getting their regular consultant-driven exhortation to ride the “digital economy” horse to wealth and prosperity, even though it turns out that for every digitally disruptive dollar that flows from the fingers of keyboard warriors, two dollars escapes the science lab into the economy. We're working with a few …
Zhang Xinzhu

Chinese regulator fires antitrust advisor over alleged kickbacks from Qualcomm

A Chinese academic has been booted from a government antitrust advisory committee amid allegations he accepted payouts from Qualcomm in exchange for giving testimony favorable to the company in an ongoing monopoly probe. State-run media outlet China News Service reported on Wednesday that Zhang Xinzhu, director of the Research …
Neil McAllister, 13 Aug 2014
Worstall Merkur 5 650p

Building a better society from the Czechs' version of Meccano

Worstall @ the Weekend To move a little off the normal sort of subject around here, something from an exhibition just around the corner here in Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic. The lads I hang out with here are 40ish professionals and they were terribly excited about an exhibition being put on of “Merkur”. They had to explain it to me a couple of …
Tim Worstall, 29 Mar 2015
francis_maude_flames_evil

UK.gov prompt payment promise is POPPYCOCK - NAO

Government is falling short in its commitment to settle debts with SME suppliers inside 30 days, putting some cash-strapped firms at risk of making redundancies. A report by the National Audit Office revealed central government spends £40bn a year on goods and services, of which about £4.5bn is spent directly with SMEs. An …
Kat Hall, 08 Jan 2015

Really, govt tech profit cash grab is a PRIZE-WINNING idea?

Worstall on Wednesday So, that favourite of mine and of Andrew Orlowski, Mariana Mazzucato, has been awarded a prize by the New Statesman in the field of political economy. Given that her message is that government should be getting more of the pie, that's the sort of political economy you would expect the magazine to like. However, I find there's a …
Tim Worstall, 31 Dec 2014

Google-gate: 'Toothless' watchdog FTC nibbles furiously on journalists

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has responded to critics in the media who claim the regulator dropped an investigation into Google after buckling under pressure from the White House and the powerful advertising giant. Back in 2012, staff at the US watchdog accused Google of unfairly burying rivals in its search results, among …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2015

Virtually yours: Citrix swallows Sanbolic

Server/desktop virtualisation supplier Citrix has acquired storage virtualisation software startup Sanbolic. No price was revealed. Sanbolic’s Melio software turns a set of servers’ direct-attached and network-attached storage into a virtual storage resource pool. Citrix will combine it with XenDesktop, XenApp and XenMobile …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2015

Blighty: Welcome your new, faceless MI6 chief – Alex Younger

Career spook Alex Younger has been named as the new head of MI6, replacing Sir John Sawers. Before taking up his position as boss of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), which is more widely known as MI6, Younger oversaw its global operations. After joining in 1991, he was posted to Europe and the Middle East, before becoming …
Jasper Hamill, 03 Oct 2014
B2 stealth bomber

Springpath springs out of stealth with HALO-based platform

Springpath has emerged from stealth with a silo-melding storage data platform, offering a remedy which includes an annual subscription pricing scheme. Is it perhaps seemingly hoping to move in on a market that has too many (and too costly) separate storage silos? Following a $34m funding round, Springpath was founded in May 2012 …
Chris Mellor, 24 Feb 2015

Cricket's nervous nineties are a THING, say econo-boffins

Cricket's “nervous nineties”, in which batsmen hit the brakes as they approach milestones like a century, aren't just an invention of television and radio commentators. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) statisticians say it's a measurable thing. According to research from QUT's Business School, the numbers from 3,500 one …
HAF

Storage BLOG-OFF: HP's Johnson squares up to EMC's Chad Sakac

Comment An HP exec has taken exception to an EMC president’s blog about all-flash arrays. EMC’s Chad Sakac blogged that: AFAs are not right (at least not yet) for workloads that require "classic enterprise array" data services like huge at scale replication (think tens of thousands of objects replicated, extreme replication topologies …
Chris Mellor, 06 Feb 2015

Australia's digital technologies curriculum parked AGAIN

Australia's proposed digital technologies curriculum, which would see kids taught computational thinking for the first ten years of their schooling, has been parked again. The curriculum's development was spurred by industry concerns that Australia's not producing enough skilled technologists to meet employer demand or foster …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Mar 2015
cloud

Pluribus ships network OS update and switch

US bare-metal startup Pluribus Networks is starting to close the kimono somewhat. Not that it's flipping the switch to proprietary hardware, but it is expanding the capabilities for formerly bare-metal switches to make them more enterprise-friendly, by shipping them with its own OS installed. According to the company's CMO Dave …
HP

HP flicks white box switch: NOT a Facebook wannabe? Stuff our open kit in your cloud

Less than a week after Cisco's John Chambers dismissed the “white box” switch category, HP has entered that market with its own open architecture switches. The company wants to start with “web scale” cloud operators who don't want to imitate Facebook or Google and run up their own systems from scratch. However, according to CTO …

Dell draws Midokura into Open Networking project

Dell has expanded its Open Networking initiative with the addition of network virtualisation (NV) specialist Midokura. Under the partnership, Midokura's MidoNet software will become part of Dell's Open Networking reference architecture, and the two vendors will cooperate on marketing under a global reseller agreement. Vijay …
Neil Cardy's massive bacon sarnie from a cafe on the A90

Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize

Is there nothing that can’t be solved with the judicious application of bacon? Apparently not, as this year’s Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine winners can attest. The boffins from the US and India took home the gong for their paper on treating “uncontrollable" nosebleeds by packing the nose with strips of cured pork. The Ig Nobels, …

Gigabit-over-copper VDSL successor G.fast signed off at last

The long-awaited G.fast physical layer standard has been signed off by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), improving the chance that the world will see standards-compliant, interoperable kit start to ship in 2015. The ITU almost manages to work up some excitement about the announcement, reminding a grateful world …
Making conversation Google Glass style

Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

Worstall on Wednesday When munching that third slice of toast and marmalade I allow myself on a Sunday morning (diet is so important to us middle-aged types) I find that John Naughton's piece on personal data leads me to spluttering Seville's finest all over the kittens as they angle for the remains of the fry-up. He opens with this phrase: “ …
Tim Worstall, 04 Feb 2015

IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'

Canalys Channels Forum 2014 The big public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) players may be on the brink of a crisis as cataclysmic as the 2008 banking crash, as they slash prices while spending billions on building out and staffing their operations. Or so claimed Steve Brazier, CEO at channel beanie Canalys, who warned resellers steering their customers …
Paul Kunert, 25 Sep 2014
Source: Simply Smile Photography by Georgia Stephenson

FalconStor blows clouds into FreeStor software rewrite

Storage software supplier FalconStor has completely re-written its core product, hoping its new FreeStor product will revitalise its business. FalconStor's virtualising IPStor technology became widely used but began falling behind when the firm lost its guiding light CEO ReiJane Huawai in 2011. A subsequent Fed law case related …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2015
chalk outline of  human body at crime scene

Climate change will 'CAUSE huge increase in MURDER, ROBBERY and RAPE'

An "environmental economist" has produced a study in which he claims that climate change this century will "cause" millions of violent crimes in the United States, over and above those that would have happened anyway. Matthew Ranson holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy and Economics and a PhD in Public Policy …
Lewis Page, 24 Feb 2014

Be the next tech hotshot – by staying the hell away from regulators

Column Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things – that's Adam Smith, by the way. I'm often left rather scratching my head as I read the latest …
Tim Worstall, 15 May 2014

Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

Worstall @ the Weekend A loyal reader of these 'ere pages, Rich Bryant, writes in with an interesting question. There's a proposal for an entirely new taxation system out there, The Reset, and is it something that mainstream economists are ignoring because the paradigms of mainstream economics just cannot deal with it - or is it because the plan is …
Tim Worstall, 11 Jan 2015
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

Worstall on Wednesday Economics, of course, is simply a bunch of mumbo-jumbo – as evidenced by its failure to answer the Queen's question regarding the crash: "Why did nobody see it coming?" Theory of Finance scribe and Nobel laureate Eugene Fama's answer – that economic theory insists it is impossible to predict such things – tends not to convince …
Tim Worstall, 14 Jan 2015