Mark Yost will be talking with Roy Green this afternoon on the Roy Green Show about the economics of the Super Bowl (the macroeconomics of the Super Bowl to be exact). Here's a link to Mark's blog with more information if you are interested on listening in.
Here is a link to the Playmobil Security Check Point. Via David Strom. Make sure you read the reviews. Also, if you buy anything at Amazon after clicking the link, you will be helping to support this blog at no cost to your self. It will be very appreciated by the staff here at MP.
Craig Newmark linked to this PC Mag article last week. I read it and installed a couple of the suggested programs to help me clear my computer of various nasties. If you are having problems with your computer, give it a read and make sure to click on the links which will take you to more indepth reviews of the products discussed. For example:
Don't assume that your friend with the problem has been visiting shady Internet sites. Perfectly clean sites have been hacked in such a way that simply opening the page downloads malicious software to the victim's system. Worse, many modern threats include countermeasures to fight back when you try to install antivirus software. Some tweak the Registry to disable launching of known antivirus executables. Others monitor Internet access and specifically prevent access to security company websites, so you can't update or register the product. They're ingenious, in a bad way.
When you can't install the full power of an antivirus solution, you may be able to wipe the system clean with a free cleanup-only tool. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Free may be the best known tool in this category. Tech support agents in some security companies routinely use it to help users who run into trouble at installation. A few years ago I even encountered a Symantec tech support agent using it (strictly against Symantec policy).
The link to Malwarebyte takes you to a more indpeth review of that particular piece of software. I downloaded the Malware piece and the AVG Anti-virus Free 2013 and those seem to be decent programs. Since I am not a experienced computer tech guy, I did not download Norton Power Eraser because using it may direct me to delete programs that my computer will not work without.
Give a trio of metal robots instruments to smash away at and what do you get? A shockingly good cover of Motörhead's classic anthem, "Ace of Spades."
Source. The word "shocking" is overused and this video didn't shock me. But the video is surprisingly good. Note how many "fingers" the guitarist has and note that the drummer has 4 arms. That would make Fast Eddie Clark and Phil Taylor proud. And note the lack of vocals. Not even a robot could imitate Lemmy.
Back in 2009, President Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program was supposed to be a boon for the environment and the economy. During a limited time, consumers could trade in an old gas-guzzling used car for up to $4,500 cash back towards the purchase of a fuel-efficient new car. It seemed like a win for everyone: the environment, the gasping auto industry and cash-strapped consumers.
Though almost a million people poured into car dealerships eager to exchange their old jalopies for something shiny and new, recent reports indicate the entire program may have actually hurt theenvironment far more than it helped.
Story here. Well it was probably more about giving back to the UAW than it was about the environment anyways, so it had that going for it. Which is nice.
Remember the Waldo Canyon fire? Remember the pictures of the homes lost, the dreams shattered? That was a good thing. Really.
The Waldo Canyon fire, as bad as it was, could give the Colorado Springs economy a significant boost over the next five years as homes are restored, rebuilt and refurnished.
Initial insurance claims for the contents and homes damaged, including 346 structures that were a total loss, are at about $353 million, said economist Tom Zwirlein, director of the Southern Colorado Economic Forum.
Of that amount, about $151 million could work its way into additional dollars spent in the El Paso County economy over the next five years, creating 760 net new jobs, said Zwirlein, who is also a professor of finance at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Yes, I was being sarcastic. To be fair to the writer of the article, he does go on to mention the toll that the fire took.
The calculations don't account for the lost productivity from the more than 32,000 people displaced in June, not to mention the dollars lost when businesses shuttered and tourists stayed away.
And they can't begin to put a value on the emotional trauma suffered or the two lives lost.
So I don't think he was saying that the the fire was, on net, a good thing. But still...
But they do highlight how even disasters can generate unexpected opportunities as communities rebuild.
So other than that, how'd you like the play Mrs. Lincoln? (HT to E Frank Stephenson for the link above and for the Mrs. Lincoln line).
The scarcity problem: resources, and by extension the goods and services made with them, are more scarce at any point in time than the amount humans want. Therefore, stuff must be rationed. When the price system, for whatever reason, fails to work as a rationing system, something else must take its place.
With long gas lines persisting more than a week after Superstorm Sandy, New York imposed a gasoline rationing plan Thursday that lets motorists fill up every other day.
Police will be at gas stations Friday morning to enforce the new system in New York City and on Long Island. Gas will be available to drivers with license-plate numbers ending in an odd number or a letter on Friday. On Saturday, drivers with license plates that end in even numbers or zero can fuel up.
The historical record on the economic impact of mega events never, ever (and I mean ever) lives up up to the before-the-fact claims of consultants and the events' cheerleading squads. Why wouldn't, say, a Super Bowl have a massive effect on, say, San Francisco? Because San Francisco is already a vacation and convention destination. Having a Super Bowl in San Francisco will attract visitors, but it will also drive others to vacation elsewhere. The economic impact, however you want to measure it, is the net impact, not the gross impact.
But how can legions of football fans descend upon a region and not make a dent, economically? One reason is that measuring the number of people who head to a Super Bowl city for the game is a straightforward endeavor. Measuring the number of people who stay away from an overpriced, tourist-infested zoo is not. Especially in a year-round tourist destination like the Bay Area, Super Bowl visitors aren't flocking to hotels that would otherwise be empty; they're displacing would-be visitors. What's more, hotels in many Super Bowl cities triple their rates and insist on multiday packages. This drives away non-Super Bowl visitors and also leads to fans booking rooms for more days than they'll actually use — meaning those rooms aren't being occupied by actual people who could be spending actual money.
To claim an economic windfall based on visitor numbers without factoring in those who avoid the area or are pushed out "is like going to the hen-house, counting all the foxes, and saying 'Look at the economic impact of all these foxes here eating!'" Porter says. "You're not counting all the hens who are gone."
Belleville officials have passed an ordinance rationing gas — the kind of law not seen in these parts since the national gas crisis in the late 1970s.
The ordinance, approved Thursday night, will take effect Monday.
The last digit on the license plate number of Belleville residents will determine what day they can purchase gas. Odd numbers will correspond to odd days and even numbers to even days, according to the ordinance.
Monday, when the new rules take effect, is an odd day.
Those looking to fill canisters will need to bring identification that has their address. The last digit on their address will be used to determine which day they can purchase gas.
Story here. As mentioned earlier on this blog, New Jersey has an anti-price gouging law that governor Christie has been waving around in the wake of Sandy. The result has been predicable.