16 January 2014

On home ownership

A friend posted a link to a posting on Forbes titled 11 Reasons Why I Never Want To Own A House Again. I found the points made quite ridiculous. I started writing a brief comment, but before long it turned into a point-by-point rebuttal. Before continuing, some disclaimers: I am not an expert and I am not offering professional financial advice. I’m only going to be considering the situation in the USA. ... Read more

10 January 2014

Food labeling news

I’ve noticed some recent discussion and news coverage of the idea of labeling foods with red, amber or green labels, based on how healthy they are. It’s known as the ‘traffic light’ system. This isn’t actually a new idea. It was proposed in 2006 in the UK, but didn’t happen then because of objections from the processed food industry. Studies had examined the effect of the traffic light labels on people’s eating, compared to US-style ‘recommended daily intake‘ labels. ... Read more

10 January 2014

Another Google freakout

People are freaking out about a ‘new’ feature that lets people e-mail you from your Google+ profile, even if they don’t know your e-mail address. Well, guess what? That feature has been in there for years. You can still read an article I wrote about the feature back in 2011. I’ve had it set to “Anyone can e-mail me” since before then, and I’ve received zero spam as a result. The only new feature is that Google+ contacts show up in Gmail’s autocomplete, and the preference is visible in Gmail as well as Google+. ... Read more

30 December 2013

2013: Year in review.

It seemed to me like 2013 was a particularly strange year. As evidence, here is a condensed summary of the news stories I posted about on Google+ this year. If you like this sort of thing, I plan to post the links on my own web site in 2014, so feel free to subscribe. ⁂ Oxfam International reported that the combined income of the 100 richest people in the world could end global poverty four times over. ... Read more

22 December 2013

Bitcoin: Other dissenting voices

I haven’t even begun to cover all the reasons why Bitcoin fails as a currency, so instead here are some links. Bitcoin, Magical Thinking, and Political Ideology by Alex Payne. Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire by Charles Stross. The Bitcoin bubble and the future of currency by Felix Salmon. Recovering stolen bitcoin: a digital wild goose chase. Bitcoin: Whatever It Is, It’s Not Money! by Steve Forbes. ... Read more

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