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Showing posts from June, 2007

Internet Inequality

BBC News has a very interesting article about the differeneces between Myspace and Facebook users. I know a lot of people have high hopes that the internet will bring economic, social and racial equality to the world; after all, the barriers to entry are so small that everyone should be able to interact with each other, right? Unfortunately, the results speak for themselves.

Fans of MySpace and Facebook are divided by much more than which music they like, suggests a study. A six-month research project has revealed a sharp division along class lines among the American teenagers flocking to the social network sites. The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college. By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education...

The conclusions are based on interviews with many teenage users of the social networking sites by PhD student Danah Boyd from the School of Information Scienc…

Million Dollar Question

There was an interesting blurb in today's Investors Business Daily that really caught my attention. According to a study by the London School of Economics, 33% of people aged 16-24 in the UK wouldn't give up the ability to use a cell phone if offered one million pounds (two million dollars). Are these people crazy!? I admit, cell phones are useful and it's hard to imagine a life without them, but for one million pounds I'd give up my cell phone in a second.

Even though the study is specific to Europe, I can't imagine the results being any different if Harvard ran the same experiment here. The part that amazes me most is that people aged 16-24 are the least likely to have ever seen one million pounds and most likely to be influenced by the lure of free money. Even though the London School of Economics doesn't say it explicitly, the conclusion of their study is that cell phone addition is becoming a serious problem. I think it would be extremely interesting to do …

Journalistic Jokers

MSNBC ran a story a few days ago about journalists who donated to political campaigns. According to their findings, of the candidates studied, 125 gave to Democrats, 16 to Republicans and 2 to both. Unsurprisingly, the conservative media is having a field day with this story, confirming their theory that the media is heavily biased to the left.

I have two major problems with this silly theory. The first is that the average annual salary of journalists is just about the lowest for college educated adults. According to the Wall Street Journal, newspaper journalists make $28,000 per year and cable TV journalists make $30,000; donating any amount of money to make a difference in a campaign is logistically impossible. Of course the conservative media argues that it isn't about the amount they give but by the fact that they openly endorse liberal candidates. While I will not deny that these journalists are probably liberal, the fact is that they have little to no say as to what goes int…

Airline Imposion

I've been hearing a lot about the new low coast carrier, Skybus, a lot lately because of the absurdly low prices. If Wal-Mart started an airline, you could say that this would be it.


Skybus advertises flights for only $10 to anywhere in the country. Sound too good to be true? It's because it is. Ever since Southwest Airlines proved that selling cheap airline tickets could make you the most popular and most profitable airline in the industry, everyone has tried to rip off the business model. I'll be honest, I love Southwest and would not want to fly on any other airline unless I absolutely had to. Its not just the cheap tickets - Southwest has built a culture and a very loyal following that no other airline can match. The problem is that all of the rip-off airlines try to emulate only some parts of the Southwest model and that alone isn't enough to succeed.

Back to Skybus. The company flies a fleet of 8 Airbus A319s; these planes can accommodate 156 passengers. Remember t…

Freedom, No Questions Asked

After seven years of nonsense, this doesn't even surprise me anymore. The Associated Press recently ran a story about George W. Bush's trip to the Czech Republic to give a speech about freedom in the region. I'll let the Associated Press tell the rest...
On a day when he trumpeted democracy, President Bush noted the vital nature of a free press. Then he got a laugh when the press got stiffed. Bush joined Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and President Vaclav Klaus on Tuesday for a joint statement at Prague Castle. They stood at podiums, in a grand hall, before the media. A Czech moderator quickly kept reporters' expectations in check.
"This press conference is going to be without questions," he said. "Thank you for your understanding." That brought a hearty chuckle from Bush, who gave a mock apologetic shrug toward the U.S. press corps. At the microphone, Bush ticked through a host of international topics. Then he thanked his hosts for "a chan…