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Remarkable!

March 1st, 2014 · No Comments

Remarkable stories from the web in a new, easier format.

Processors and performance just don’t matter (much) anymore
Samsung didn’t spend much time, if any, talking about performance, or the processor or anything like that. On one level this is because it didn’t have an easy message like Apple did with 64-bit support on the A7, but more importantly it’s a tacit admission of what we’ve known for a while: performance doesn’t matter. Or, rather, it doesn’t on phones this powerful. The top-end phones already have more power than they know what to do with, it’s only the cheap ones where performance becomes an issue.

7 Conclusions From Samsung Unpacked 5 – News – Trusted Reviews

In my forthcoming book, I suggest that Schumpeter is the key figure here. Through his emphasis on entrepreneurship, Schumpeter implicitly offers an anthropology of difference, that is, his economic theory rests on the assumption that there are certain individuals who do not or will not operate according to the same rules as everyone else. They are exceptional and amoral, transcending the norms and standards which the rest of us allow to constrain us. They produce the institutions of capitalism, while the rest of us inhabit those institutions. It stands to reason that only a very small minority can be classified in this exotic way.

potlatch: the philosophical anthropology of the 1%

“The houses of these people are themselves a form of propaganda,” says York. “Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said that architecture is ‘frozen music’; this is frozen rhetoric. They’re bigging up their owners, making them look very powerful, grand and rich. But the main thing is to turn an ordinary person into a god, with godlike characteristics.”

BBC – Culture – Viktor Yanukovych’s house: the taste of despots

When traders want to know which way stocks are headed, they look to the Japanese yen.

The most important indicator in the world right now: The yen

“Mrs. Watanabe needs to see a bit more inflation for her to really loosen that pocketbook. But I do think that will happen,” he said, but added that financial markets tend to offer a leading indicator.

Why you should be patient with Abenomics

Two things explain why the biggest gains in the U.S. stock market this year are coming from companies without profits, according to Jeff Mortimer of BNY Mellon Wealth Management: Greed, and fear of missing out.

Why Unprofitable Companies Are Leading U.S. Stocks Higher – Yahoo Finance

In which countries do high earners pay the most tax? And where do average earners pay the most?

BBC News – Which country has the highest tax rate?

Out of its sixteen eurozone indices, Greece has returned the most so far this year, up 9.4pc. In second and third place is Portugal and Italy, up 8.5pc and 8.3pc respectively. Spain has, however, lagged behind, but has matched the average country return of 2.3pc.

Year of the PIIGS? Greece leads 2014 stock market league table – Telegraph

For more than a century, air cars have remained a quixotic quest of engineers — an idealistic exercise with little long-term likelihood of entering mass production. As fuels go, air has obvious upsides: It’s ubiquitous, clean, and, best of all, free. But air requires energy to store energy because it must be compressed, limiting the utility of an all-air car.

This Car Runs On Air – Business Insider

Due to political and economic uncertainty in countries like Ukraine, Turkey, and Venezuela, investors have been fleeing emerging markets in 2014. However, one noted emerging markets portfolio manager believes there are still plenty of buying opportunities.

Mark Mobius is getting bullish on these countries | Talking Numbers – Yahoo Finance

The federal government’s revenues will increase by 9 percent in 2014 and by another 9 percent in 2015, CBO projects in The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024, reaching $3.3 trillion in 2015—about $530 billion more than receipts in 2013. As a share of gross domestic product (GDP), revenues are projected to rise from 16.7 percent in 2013 to 17.5 percent (about the average for the past 40 years) in 2014 and to 18.2 percent in 2015. They are projected to remain between 18.0 percent and 18.4 percent of GDP from 2016 through 2024. Because of the recent recession, revenues had fallen to 14.6 percent of GDP in both 2009 and 2010 (see the figure below).

Federal Revenues Are Projected to Increase Significantly Over the Next Two Years and Remain Steady as a Share of GDP Thereafter – CBO

In 2013 China installed a record 12GW of solar power capacity, considerably more than Germany ever has in one year. I read stories about it all over the place. It was big news for renewable energy watchers. What I didn’t read in any of those stories was that in the same year China installed about 40 GW of solar water heating capacity. You see solar hot water may be quite boring, but it still owns solar power in terms of installed capacity.

China and Solar Industry Expansion | The Energy Collective

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had dinner in Barcelona with several wireless carrier executives, many of whom are clearly terrified of his $19 billion acquisition of the WhatsApp messaging service. The event was “private” and many of its guests declined to identify themselves, according to Bloomberg.

Mark Zuckerberg Dinner With Wireless Carrier Executives In Barcelona – Business Insider

The top news on today’s Q4 earnings call was First Solar crushing the previous conversion efficiency mark for cadmium telluride with a world record 20.4 percent, as announced by CEO Jim Hughes. That breaks the previous record of 19.6 percent, also held by First Solar, along with GE’s acquired IP. Hughes said that the company would be revising its efficiency roadmaps upward at next month’s analyst day.

First Solar Hits Record 20.4% Conversion Efficiency but Guidance Disappoints, Share Price Down : Greentech Media

there is remarkably little evidence in the historical data used in our paper of adverse effects of fiscal redistribution on growth. The average redistribution, and the associated reduction in inequality, seem to be robustly associated with higher and more durable growth.

Treating Inequality with Redistribution: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease? | iMFdirect – The IMF Blog

This bull market is five years old, we agree there. With more new all-time highs on the horizon, I still hear talk how this is a secular bear market. I don’t know how anyone can say that with a straight face, but they do. Not to mention bulls are still crushed on the social web for being bullish. That is very longer-term bullish to me.

This Bull Market Could Last Another 15 Years | The Exchange – Yahoo Finance

Budget airline Ryanair will offer flights to the U.S. for as little as 10 euros ($13) when it acquires the long-haul aircraft to fly the routes, the airline’s chief executive has said.

Coming soon: Transatlantic flights for $13?

The Windows Phone operating system will soon be capable of being run on existing Android hardware, Microsoft has confirmed.

Windows Phone 8 will soon run on existing Android hardware – News – Trusted Reviews

A new kind of battery invented by Jay Whitacre, a professor of materials science at Carnegie Mellon University and founder of the startup Aquion Energy, could make renewable electricity more practical and economical around the world. Aquion is about to start full-scale production of the batteries at a new factory in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

How to Make a Cheap Battery for Storing Solar Power | MIT Technology Review

Fortunately, Bremmer says there is a “near-zero” chance of a direct U.S. military conflict with Russia.

‘Are We Going To War With Russia Over Ukraine?’ – Business Insider

Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn might have spent years honing their skills, but new research argues that your genes play a significant part in determining the type of investor you become.

DNA key to determining investment style: Study

The London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say.

Gold Fix Study Points to Decade of Bank Manipulation – Yahoo Finance

The euro rose to the highest level this year against the dollar as inflation in the currency bloc exceeded analyst estimates, damping speculation the European Central Bank will add to stimulus next week.

Euro Rises to 2014 High as Inflation Damps ECB Bets; Yuan Drops – Bloomberg

This morning, Q4 GDP growth was revised down to 2.4% at an annualized pace from the BEA’s initial 3.2% call. This chart from Bloomberg LP chief economist Michael McDonough shows what is adding and subtracting to changes in GDP.
Anything above the x-axis is adding to GDP and anything below is taking away. As you can see, government spending is still a large drag.

Contributions To GDP – Business Insider

A small startup based in Emeryville, California, will build a pilot-scale energy storage system that could provide a cheaper, more practical way of storing large amounts of electricity and help enable the power grid accommodate large amounts of renewable energy.

Molten Salts May Be An Alternative to Batteries for Electricity Storage | MIT Technology Review

In other words, if it needs to raise rates, it can do so not by lending at a certain rate, but by borrowing from the market at the rate it needs to absorb liquidity instead. As noted before, the only possible risk for the Fed is that it ends up paying out more than it receives from its balance sheet instead.

Do we even need a Fed balance-sheet reduction? | FT Alphaville

Is the solar-storage combination a deadly one for traditional power companies?

Report: Solar Paired With Storage Is a ‘Real, Near and Present’ Threat to Utilities : Greentech Media

It is only in the case of polysilicon, where excess supply is just 13 percent, that we appear to be headed for a real supply shortage: this is the driving factor behind GTM’s previously expressed view that polysilicon pricing will climb back to levels of $25 per kilogram by the end of the year.

Are We Headed for a Solar Supply Crunch in 2014? : Greentech Media

The rule of thumb that the fewer ingredients a product has, the better it is for us is “not a bad approach” for consumers, Shelke says. And simplicity is increasingly sought by consumers when shopping for food, a trend not lost on marketers.

How ADA, a Chemical Used in Rubber, Got Into 500 Food Products – Businessweek

Thirty-six medals were on offer to long track speed skaters at Sochi 2014. The Netherlands won 23 of them, including four podium sweeps... Who then, if not the US, can muscle in on the wall of orange that is speed skating? Step forward, Great Britain.

BBC Sport – Speed skating: GB team launches with long-term bid to catch Dutch

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