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

Hey, folks. Meet the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn

Worstall @ the Weekend I recently read this piece in The Times. It tells the world a bit about Richard Murphy, the, uh, “economist” behind many of the ideas which make up Jeremy Corbyn's platform about money 'n' stuff. It piqued my interest as I've been waging a near decade-long battle against the ideas (and at times, the person) of Richard Murphy. …
Tim Worstall, 16 Aug 2015
The Queen and Prince Philip visit Bletchley Park

Why OH WHY is economics so bleedin' awful, then?

Worstall @ the Weekend As Her Majesty the Queen remarked a few years back, why was it that no economist actually saw the crash coming? There's actually two answers to that. First, the cute one: that sort of violent change cannot be predicted. If it could be predicted then prices would move before it happened, meaning that it would have already …
Tim Worstall, 03 May 2015

MIT bods' digital economy babblings are tosh. C'mon guys, Economics 101

Worstall on Wednesday We've one of those lovely open letters floating around. Where the Great and the Good, the Wise Thinkers, tell us all how we've got to organise the world to accord with their prejudices about how it should be ordered. This particular one, an “Open Letter on the Digital Economy” (versions here and here) is about what we've got …
Tim Worstall, 10 Jun 2015
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 …
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, 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

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

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

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 …

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 …
Tim Worstall, 20 Mar 2014
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

R&D money for science – from your taxes?

Worstall on Wednesday The Observer treats us to another one of those give us more money pieces. This time it's a call from Athene Donald, a professor of experimental physics at Cambridge, telling us all how neither the government nor private companies spend enough money on research and development. Therefore, of course, we must all be taxed so that …
Tim Worstall, 21 Oct 2015

Blighty wants to ‘strengthen links’ with Huawei via the begging bowl

John Whittingdale, the UK's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has indicated Blighty would like more cash from Chinese kit maker Huawei after its current £1.3bn investment pot runs dry in 2017. Speaking at Huawei's annual summer bash at Whitehall's Banqueting Hall, he suggested the UK would be keen to have its …
Kat Hall, 16 Jun 2015
Tesla powerwall

Tesla's battery put in the shade by current and cheaper kit

A couple more interesting details have emerged about Tesla's “game-changing” home battery, and it remains a moderately limp competitor that's done wonders for market awareness. Courtesy of Bloomberg, the world gets an idea of what the retail from-the-installer price of the battery might look like (rather than the wholesale price …
Hammer, spanner and screw

Orange juices internet of things

French cellular operator Orange has settled on LoRa (Long Range) technology to build a dedicated machine-to-machine network covering all of metropolitan France. It says the network will supplement the company's existing cellular network and will roll out progressively starting early in 2016. According the company's …
Bill Bennett, 22 Sep 2015

Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

Worstall on Wednesday I get the point of driverless cars: once they actually work they're going to be great for everyone except the recreational driver, and it wouldn't be a surprise to find the technology being made mandatory for use on some of the public road network some decades down the line. But what I've not been able to grasp is why are all …
Tim Worstall, 19 Aug 2015

It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

Worstall on Wednesday It's more normally Mr Orlowski around here shouting that Mariana Mazzucato is a poopyhead, but given that she's just been appointed to Corbyn's economic advisory team, perhaps it's time to add to the chorus? For Mazzucato is, as we all know, the economics professor who insists that actually government really invented the …
Tim Worstall, 30 Sep 2015
Vladimir Putin

Russian Tor network-wrecking effort takes bizarre turn

The Russian government's plan to unmask citizens who use the anonymizing network Tor has hit a snag: the company hired to do the job is trying to wriggle out of its contract. In July 2014, the Russian Interior Ministry advertised for a firm to "study the possibility of obtaining technical information about users (user …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2015

Layabout, sun-blushed techies have pick of IT job market, says survey

UK techies can pick and choose where they want their next job to be – so much so that many of them took the summer off completely to sip on pina coladas and top up their tans. That's the finding of a new survey, which revealed that according to a seasonally adjusted index measuring permanent vacancies in the IT sector, demand …
Team Register, 07 Sep 2015
CIE Oz Data Set

Australia's comms regs broken says Vodafone (as it would)

Telstra's continuing incumbency is an expensive luxury, according to the carrier's competitors, that sucks more than AU$3 billion into the carrier's maw each year. That's the conclusion of a study which reckons a fixed-line customer buying from Telstra is paying AU$20 too much each month, or $9 per month for mobile services. …

Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

Worstall on Wednesday El Reg tells us that we journos are some of the least likely to have to worry about our jobs being eaten by the robots. Phew, gosh and that's lucky, eh? Although I'm not really all that certain about this: a Worstall Article Generator, along the lines of the PoMo one, should be easy enough to generate. Retell story, snark, …
Tim Worstall, 16 Sep 2015

Flying drug mule crashes in Manchester prison

A quadcopter carrying drugs and mobile phones crashed in a yard of Manchester's Strangeways prison last Friday, and while residents were deprived of that particular cargo, a former inmate claims cases of airborne contraband delivery are "rife". According to the Manchester Evening News, a Prison Service spokesperson said: "A …
Lester Haines, 09 Nov 2015
The road running through the PRATCHETT landing area

Dell-EMC deal difficulties: VMware and daddy postpone roadtrip

The Dell-EMC acquisition was announced on 12 October this year, with Dell buying EMC along with its 80 per cent holding in VMWare. Since the deal was announced, VMWare shares (VMW) have lost considerable value compared to EMC’s shares. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi thinks the EMC share price fall “can be attributed to the …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2015
Tim Worstall victory dance at his Reg lecture

Tim Worstall dances to victory over resources scaremongerers

Reg lecture Tim Worstall brought together rare minerals, bacon and eggs, and his own interpretive victory dance in his battle to stop us all worrying about running out of resources, at our most recent Reg lecture. In just under 50 minutes, Tim covered the economics of resources, why you won’t find a Ferrari in a scrap yard, and just what …
Joe Fay, 22 Jun 2015
Noah's Ark

Tegile's new faster fatter flash box flings self at big data analytics

Tegile is, or rather was, a hybrid flash/disk array startup alongside Nimble Storage and Tintri. All three have been growing furiously, offering near-flash array speed with disk economics for bulk data. There are four products in Tegile's hybrid array line-up: T3100 with 96GB of controller memory and 26TB–170TB of raw …
Chris Mellor, 27 Aug 2015
Bitcoin is the future of money CC 2.0 by Jonathan Waller

Oz Bitcoin traders cry 'conspiracy' over bank bans

Bitcoin traders in Australia reckon the country's banks are blanket-banning them in an effort to stave off possible competition from the crypto-currency. A couple of individuals who operated Bitcoin trading operations have told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Westpac, the Commonwealth Bank, the National Australia …

El Reg Summer Lectures Span Dark Net, Rare Earths, and Vintage Tech

Reg Events If you’re the sort of Reg reader who likes to expand their mind as well as their tech arsenal, you’ll want to snap up tickets for our Summer series of Lectures. We’ve assembled a cracking trio of speakers, who between them will take you on a tour of sometimes obscure but incredibly interesting corners of the world of tech – all …
Joe Fay, 16 Apr 2015
Pray for Mojo

NetApp decreasing in mass as top exec exits for Catholic Uni role

NetApp’s SVP for Americas Sales and its president of US public sector sales, Mark Weber, has left the company, taking up a position at the Washington-based Catholic University of America, a higher education institution founded by the US bishops. Thomas Stanley, currently SVP for Global Partner Sales and Alliances has stepped …
Chris Mellor, 12 Aug 2015

The BIG stretch: Software and flexing your firm's size

A mathematician (a Fields Medal winner, so a real one) once asked an economist whether there was anything in economics that was non-obvious and non-trivial. Well, the answer that came back was: "It's all obvious or trivial except Ricardo on comparative advantage." So, once explained, this analogy is both obvious and trivial, …
Tim Worstall, 11 May 2015
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

Worstall @ the Weekend So, to set the scene: a couple of weeks ago, when writing in another place, I commented upon a piece in the New York Times. It seems that researchers have shown that we use a certain part of our brain when thinking about valuations of things which we normally think about the valuations of; things that we value and purchase in …
Tim Worstall, 13 Sep 2015

Reg Lectures serve up Net Terrors, Rare Earths, and Ancient Tech

Reg Events If you want to get ahead of the on-beach reading lists this year, you need to get down to our next series of Register Lectures. We’ve lined up three lecture evenings that will leave you streets ahead of your colleagues. And as always, it’s you, the readers, who will be asking the questions of our top notch speaker lineup. All …
Joe Fay, 24 Apr 2015

Big, ugly, heavy laptops are surprise PC sales sweet spot

Things are so bad in the PC market that students of economics and physics are both probably keen to figure out just what's going on. But there's a singularity of sunshine in the market, says box-counter IDC, in the form of a surge in sales for big, ugly, heavy laptops, aka certified workstations. The “certified” is important …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Aug 2015

LG won't fix malware slinging bloatware update hole

The the Budapest University of Technology and Economics' Security Evaluation and Research Laboratory (SEARCH-LAB) says "malicious attackers controlling the network are able to install arbitrary applications" on LG's Android phones, thanks to a flaw in their software update mechanism. The Lab says the flaw impacts "all Android …
Darren Pauli, 02 Jul 2015
Trading Places

What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes

Worstall @ the Weekend Several of you have asked for the skinny on what money actually is. So, here's the full fat Worstall take on cold, hard cash. Answer: It's a way of keeping score. Who has the right to call upon the resources of others in that same society? And that, other than a couple of footnotes which we'll deal with overleaf, is pretty …
Tim Worstall, 04 Oct 2015
Landfill. Pic: Bill McChesney

Free markets aren't rubbish – in fact, they solve our rubbish woes

Worstall on Wednesday The UN noted last week that there's rather a lot of computing and other electrical and electronic waste around. Meeellions upon millions of tonnes, in fact. As they say, it might be a good idea to think about recycling some of this crud. However, if we're going to do that then we need to get the economics of this right: and I've …
Tim Worstall, 29 Apr 2015
Broken record

Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

Analysis The “digital music economy” now resembles three bald men fighting over the same hairbrush. It’s hard to think of a better emblem for where the current “plantation era” of internet exploitation has led us than digital music. And it’s hard to imagine a more perfectly shitty outcome for creators, and ultimately for consumers who …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Nov 2015
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Adam Smith was right about that invisible hand, you know

Worstall @ the Weekend We have a nice little empirical proof that Adam Smith really was right about us all being guided by that invisible hand. Yeah, I know, you're sooo tired of the free market maniac telling you that governments are all wet and laissez faire is where it should be. Except that's not something Smith ever said nor is it what he meant …
Tim Worstall, 05 Jul 2015
Broken piggy bank with coins surrounding it. Image via Shutterstock

Cheap money underpins the new wave of cloud software companies

Canalys Channels Forum The long-expected inevitable rise in interest rates will create upheaval in the cloud, with traditional IT companies able to play to their strengths of deep relationships with serious customers. Kicking off the Canalys Channels Conference in Barcelona, channel guru Steve Brazier said the explosion of infrastructure as a …
Joe Fay, 07 Oct 2015

So what the BLINKING BONKERS has gone wrong in the eurozone?

Worstall @ the Weekend A while ago, one of The Register's anonymous cowards posted a question about inflation. Can anyone explain why printing truckloads of money was the correct thing to do for UK and USA while restricting the money supply and austerity was the necessary [thing] for every other advanced country in Europe? Was it simply that all …
Tim Worstall, 26 Jul 2015
Selection of Australian banknotes

Australian Bureau of Statistics to get AU$250m tech boost

If the pre-budget briefings-to-journalists are correct, Big IT is going to be refreshing its tender boilerplates for a lot of work in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the troubled bureau – which was reportedly considering skipping the next census to save cash – is going to get AU …

New study into lack of women in Tech: It's NOT the men's fault

A new study into causes of the scarcity of women in technical and scientific fields says that it is not discrimination by men in the field keeping the ladies away. Nor is it a repugnance felt by women for possibly dishevelled or unhygienic male nerds. No, the reason that young women don't train in Science, Technology, …
Lewis Page, 27 Jul 2015
Oracle OpenWorld cloud

Oracle's Hurd mentality: We (and one other) will own all of cloud by 2025

Two companies will own 80 per cent of the software-as-a-service market by 2025 and one of them will be Oracle, the firm's co-CEO Mark Hurd has predicted. Speaking at his keynote on the second day of Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, Hurd said that Oracle has spent the last five years rewriting its code base with the cloud in …
Iain Thomson, 26 Oct 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

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

Typewriters suck. Yet we're infinitely richer for those irritating machines

Worstall on Wednesday One of the things we greybeards have a seriously difficult time getting over to the youngsters is quite how much life sucked back in the old days. It's easy enough to look at the bald economic statistics and see that incomes haven't moved up much (for the UK) or even at all (for the US) in recent decades. Yet when anyone who …
Tim Worstall, 12 Aug 2015
Oliver Twist

Dear do-gooders, you can't get rid of child labour just by banning it

Worstall @ the Weekend I think we'd all agree that we'd like the world to be a better place. And I think most of us would, if it didn't take too much effort, support attempts to make it such a better place. There's even some more energetic than I who go out there and do in fact make it a better place: and well done them. However, we do need to, …
Tim Worstall, 27 Sep 2015

How Twitter can see the financial future – and change it

Scottish financial trader James Alan Craig has been charged in the US with allegedly using Twitter to manipulate share prices. That charge raises a fascinating question: can Twitter be used to fiddle the stock markets? According to the US Department of Justice, the 62 year old, from Dunragit in Dumfries and Galloway, caused …
Costas Milas, 10 Nov 2015