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

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

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
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
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
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

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 …
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
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

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
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 …

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 …

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 …
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, …

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
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
Mobile phone no service

UK.gov binds mobe operators to £5bn not-spot deal

Blighty’s government has announced a new deal with the top four mobe operators in the country to improve the state of so-called mobile roaming "not-spots". Culture secretary Sajid Javid announced a binding agreement with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, meaning they will tackle poor signal issues in certain areas by investing £5bn, …

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
iPhone forensics beaten image

YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS

Worstall on Wednesday There's a nice little feuilleton in the New York Times looking at why everyone whines about their iPhone slowing down when Apple releases a new variant. Starting from a personal complaint by a professor, one of his students looks at the incidence for “iPhone slow” in Google Trends and notes that there's a leap every time a new …
Tim Worstall, 30 Jul 2014

This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO

Worstall @ the Weekend Given that I'm from the rational, classical end of liberalism, I'm obviously not going to be greatly taken by the spoutings of someone like Naomi Klein. But if an ideological difference were all it was, then I'd have left her new book, This Changes Everything alone after I'd read it. Sadly, it's not actually as simple as that, …
Tim Worstall, 25 Oct 2014

Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'

Worstall @ Weekend You can't have failed to notice those massed ranks of people stamping their feet and going blue in the face as they shout about how inequality is rising and something, anything, really must be done to stop it. However, you may not have noticed those arguing the opposite, that inequality is falling, which is why we should carry …
Tim Worstall, 28 Sep 2014
Picard Facepalm

Deloitte's dumb rules stop us from telling you about everyone else's dumb rules

Deloitte Access Economics in Australia is pitching the idea – quite possibly correct – that corporate bureaucracy is more costly than government regulation. It's an attractive enough idea, especially in a country where the government has trumpeted as “red tape reduction” the repeal of legislation covering the phase-out of the …
A cow

US dairy biz in a churn over TPP

Farmers, rather than economics or 'net freedom activists, are once again putting pressure on Trans Pacific Partnership negotiators, with the US dairy sector uniting against the proposed treaty. US negotiators have already found themselves stonewalled by the agricultural sector in Japan, which wants to protect local farmers ( …
Tegile_all_flash_array

Array with you: Hybrid upstart Tegile kicks out new flashers

Tegile has continued encroaching into all-flash array territory with two new products, and is attacking Pure Storage's FA-450 product directly in its market positioning. The T3600 and T3700 models fit above and below the existing T3400, with all three below the T3800. Overall the T3000s function as performance-focused …
Chris Mellor, 07 Nov 2014
School of six finger threadfin fish

BLAM! IBM drags its NetApp OEM deal horse outside, gunshot heard

IBM has formally sundered its OEM relationship with NetApp, as we earlier suggested it would. Spokesperson Michael Zimmerman provided a statement, saying: Cloud and the explosion of data associated with social and mobile are increasing the demand for flexible storage solutions. This is driving a shift towards software delivery …
Chris Mellor, 29 May 2014
Rebecca & Fiona - Bullets

Spotify boasts 10 million paying subscribers ... Um, is that all?

Spotify says it now has 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million active users. The last official user numbers were released in March last year, when it said it had five million active users. Spotify now operates in 56 countries around the world, up from 20 a year ago, CEO Daniel Ek said. The privately held company, whose …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 May 2014
Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiedangerous/ licensed under creative commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ please attribute

Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Musicians and composers have launched a High Court legal challenge to a change the government has made to UK copyright law. British bureaucrats insisted on introducing a long-overdue private copying exception without compensation - the only European state to do so. The exception "legalises" the making of a copy of legitimately …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Nov 2014
Candle in the dark

Britain'll look like rural Albania without fracking – House of Lords report

The UK needs to get a move on and exploit its rich shale gas resources to avoid losing its energy intensive industries, the House of Lords' economics committee has reported. So far only tentative exploratory work to research the quality of the shale formations has taken place in the UK – and commercial exploitation appears to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 May 2014

Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

Worstall @ the Weekend We talked last week about how macroeconomics is still pretty terrible at telling us what we ought to do about the world around us, which is why I always rather scratch me head at people who insist that rent control is going to be a good way of solving our current housing crisis. For amongst economists, there's a pretty good …
Tim Worstall, 30 Aug 2014

White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

Worstall @ the Weekend This year's Nobel Prize in Physics went to the three Japanese guys who worked on, and got right, the blue LED. It's an excellent piece of work, enabling a whole new ensemble of energy efficient lamps and colour LED screens, and fully deserving of the prize. And yes, it might well change society in wondrous and wonderful ways. …
Tim Worstall, 11 Oct 2014
Stradivarius violin reproduction

Violin Memory FINALLY writes dedupe and compression into its latest Concerto

Violin Memory has fixed a gaping hole in its data management feature set by adding deduplication and compression to its Concerto memory array controller product. This will cut its effective cost/GB figures to new lows, and strengthens its competitive hand against other all-flash array vendors – such as EMX XtremIO, IBM …
Chris Mellor, 19 Aug 2014
boris_001

Boris: Look on 'London's digital tentacles', ye mighty, and despair!

London mayor Boris Johnson and ex-New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg have today opened the inaugural London Technology Week. It's estimated 30,000 people will attend 200 talks and workshops over the next five days, covering everything from big data to "digital ladies". The confabs and demos will be held in locations sprinkled …
Jasper Hamill, 16 Jun 2014
Satya Nadella speaking at a Microsoft cloud event

Facebook OCP crowd to ogle MICROSOFT'S server-room SECRETS

Microsoft has released a second clutch of secret blueprints from its server bunkers to Facebook’s Open Compute Project. The giant on Thursday published specs for servers and open-sourced code for the in-house tools its techies use to set up and run Azure, Office 365, Bing and Xbox Live. The idea is for anyone to take Microsoft’ …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Oct 2014

Pop starlet Taylor Swift DUMPS Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you

Taylor Swift's record company has removed her entire catalogue from Spotify, becoming by far the most popular artist to snub the streaming service. Spotify rarely responds to artist snubs, but snapped back with a cringeworthy blog post begging her to return. It's acutely painful timing for Spotify: the company's IPO is likely to …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Nov 2014

Amazon is the leering monolith in the cloudy room – OpenStack boss

The COO of the OpenStack Foundation took aim at Amazon as “the monolith in the room” today, before claiming its power to dominate the future of the cloud was already on the wane. However Mark Collier delivered little reassurance to other public cloud vendors in his speech, with Azure and Google not even meriting a mention, …
Joe Fay, 04 Nov 2014
Abacus. Credit: Newsum Antiques

The IT kit revolution's OVER, say beancounters - but how do they know?

Worstall on Wednesday One of the great problems within economics is in trying to work out what's a structural change, what's a cyclical change and what's being buggered up just because you're not measuring it properly. For example, we can look at how much companies (or more accurately, non-household entities) are spending on the computing …
Tim Worstall, 03 Sep 2014
A storm is brewing (Mali, Sahel). Foto: F. Guichard & L. Kergoat, AMMA project, CNRS copyright.

Met Office: 2014 was FIFTEENTH WARMEST UK SUMMER on record

The UK experienced its fifteenth hottest summer since 1910 this year, according to the latest Met Office figures, with the raging heat unsurpassed except in the years 1911, 1947, 1955 and eleven other years over the past century. "People are not adapting their homes, particularly in cities, to make them cooler. For vulnerable …
Lewis Page, 05 Nov 2014

How's the great dot-thing gold rush going? Well, coffee.club just sold for $100,000

The domain name coffee.club has been sold for $100,000 (£62,600), marking a growing acceptance – and value – in the market for new top-level domains. In a novel move, the coffee.club owner will also pay the domain's registry operator through an installment plan: 10 percent each year for the next decade, with no interest. "It is …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Nov 2014

Meet Mr Gamification: He's got a NUDGE or two for you

Battle of Ideas Do you ever get invited to talk and wish that Steve Bong was there instead of you? That’s what happened to me last weekend. The subject was "gamification" at the Battle of Ideas. Things got really strange, really quickly – I think you’ll find what is coming up to be quite eye-opening - but I’m sure Steve would have taken it all …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2014

Which country has 2nd largest social welfare system in the world?

Worstall @ the Weekend The general impression we've all got is that the US is a place where the poor are simply left to starve in the gutter, unlike in soft and cuddly Europe, where we do our best to help our fellow man. That the political mantras shouted at us to keep us coughing up to pay for these welfare states might not be wholly and entirely …
Tim Worstall, 07 Dec 2014

Windows 8 leaker gets three months, booted back to Russia

Alex Kibkalo, the former Microsoft worker who pleaded guilty in April to leaking company secrets, is likely headed back to his native Russia in a week or so, having been sentenced to serve a brief stint in prison. According to court documents, Kibkalo was formally sentenced on Tuesday to a three-month prison term, per his plea …
Neil McAllister, 11 Jun 2014
Artist's impression of a manned mission to Mars

MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less

Women, not men, should form the crew of the first personned mission to Mars, according to boffin and pretend NASA-naut Kate Greene. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) Greene, the crew writer for one of NASA’s HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) pretendy Martian mission, said in an article for Slate that female …

Piketty-Poketty-Poo: Some people are JUST ITCHING to up tax to capital ...

Worstall @ the Weekend I'll cop to being a bear of little brain, for it can take me a long time to spot what should be obvious. And so it is with my taking so long to work out what's really going on with Capital in the Twenty-First Century author Thomas Piketty and all that wealth inequality stuff. I believe his book is essentially a political project …
Tim Worstall, 02 Nov 2014