Recent quotes:

"Exploration personality type" for beers, breads, coffees, toilet papers, washing detergents and yogurts

"If people show a particular shopping pattern for one product type, they tended to show it for the others as well," says lead author Dr Peter Riefer, who conducted the study for his PhD at UCL and now works at dunnhumby. "This suggests that people have individual 'exploration personalities' when they shop, which is really remarkable given how different the six products were. Over a timescale of many years, the rate at which people explore is remarkably stable -- people are always exploring at about the same rate. What we find is that within that stability there are these trends in exploration and exploitation."

Alt takes on unemployment

Yes, true: there are approximately seven million more Americans in poverty now than when Obama was elected. On the other hand, the economy under Obama has gained about seven times as many jobs as it did under Bush; even given the financial meltdown, the unemployment rate has dropped to just below the historical average. But, yes: the poverty rate is up by 1.6 percentage points since 2008. Then again the number of Americans in poverty fell by nearly 1.2 million between 2012 and 2013. However, true: the proportion of people who depend on welfare for the majority of their income has increased (although it was also increasing under Bush). And under Obama unemployment has dropped, G.D.P. growth has been “robust,” and there have been close to seventy straight months of job growth. But, O.K.: there has indeed been a “skyrocketing” in the number of Americans needing some form of means-tested federal aid, although Obama’s initiatives kept some six million people out of poverty in 2009, including more than two million children.

A very bad sign for all but America's biggest cities - Chicago Tribune

In the economic recovery of the early 1990s, 125 counties combined to generate half the total new business establishments in the country. In this recovery, half the growth has been generated by just 20 counties.

Twitter stops buying ping pong tables

Asked why Twitter stopped buying tables, spokesman Jim Prosser says: “I guess we bought really sturdy ones.” Twitter spokeswoman Natalie Miyake says: “Honestly, we’re more of a Pop-A-Shot company now,” referring to an indoor basketball game. Is the tech bubble popping? Ping pong offers an answer, and the tables are turning. “Last year, the first quarter was hot” for tables, says Mr. Ng, who thinks sales track the tech economy. Now “there’s a general slowdown.”

Putting for par is easier than putting for birdie

A study of over 1.6 million putts shows that professional golfers are significantly more likely to succeed in sinking a par putt than a birdie putt of equal distance and difficulty. Remarkable but true: If the average top golfer putted as well for birdie as he puts for par, he would make an additional $1.2 million a year.

Economists of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences speak out against the central bank’s “foundations” – Hungarian Spectrum

These purchases are nothing compared to the €700 million earmarked by the Hungarian National Bank from its profits for foundations to support the teaching of economics, outside of the regular channels of higher education. The Bank set up five such foundations named after Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. A perfect description of Hungary today! The amount the National Bank allocated to teach economics is one and a half times more than the Hungarian government spends a year on higher education.

Even when not threatened, some bacteria specialize as antibiotic resistance

"It's costly from a metabolic standpoint for a cell to express the proteins that enable it to be resistant," said Mary Dunlop, assistant professor in the university's College of Engineering and Mathematics Sciences, and the paper's corresponding author. "This strategy allows a colony to hedge its bets by enabling individual cells within a population to assume high levels of resistance while others avoid this extra work." Previous research has demonstrated that, when exposed to some antibiotics, all the cells within a bacterial population will use the protein cascade strategy, activated by a mechanism called MarA, to become resistant. But the new study is among the first to show that colonies use the protein cascade strategy even when they are not under threat. "This transient resistance, distributed in varying degrees among individual cells in a population, may be the norm for many bacterial populations," Dunlop said.

The sad economics of being famous on the internet | Fusion

We’re a two-person video creation machine. When we’re not producing and starring in a comedy sketch and advice show, we’re writing the episodes, dealing with business contracts and deals, and running our company Gallison, LLC, which we registered officially about a month ago. And yet, despite this success, we’re just barely scraping by. Allison and I make money from ads that play before our videos, freelance writing and acting gigs, and brand deals on YouTube and Instagram. But it’s not enough to live, and its influx is unpredictable. Our channel exists in that YouTube no-man’s-land: Brands think we’re too small to sponsor, but fans think we’re too big for donations.

U.S. Payrolls Rise as Jobless Rate Drops to Six-Year Low

The last time payrolls increased at least 200,000 for as many months was a stretch that ended in March 1995.
The money put into these trusts is ostensibly for charity. If the assets appreciate substantially over the years, though, the trusts have another desirable feature: they can pass money tax free to heirs. A donor locks up assets in these trusts, formally known as charitable lead annuity trusts, or CLATs, for a period of time, say 20 or 30 years. An amount set by the donor is given away each year to charity. Whatever is left at the end goes to a beneficiary, usually the donor’s heirs, without any tax bill.
Two studies, one by the Women's Sports Foundation and the other by the Oppenheimer Foundation, found that 82 percent of executive businesswomen played organized sports in middle school and high school and that 80 percent of female executives in Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as competitive tomboys during childhood. The Oppenheimer study also found that while 16 percent of women describe themselves as athletic, when you look at the responses of women who earn over $75,000 annually, the number rises to about 50 percent. These findings are consistent with the work of economist Betsy Stevenson on Title IX, which finds that participation in high school sports increases the likelihood that a girl will attend college, enter the labor market, and enter previously male-dominated occupations.
Indeed, if people write columns not because they are driven to inform and educate their readers but rather because it is a way to make money to leave to their children--well, then those columns will be written not to inform but to entertain, and so they will be worthless as sources of information and education (rather than as sheer entertainment) to their readers. I do not think society can survive if the voices writing on political-economic issues in our public sphere are doing so not to inform but merely to entertain. I think that society can only survive if those who write columns are driven by a geas to make Americans better-educated citizens but rather to leave more wealth to your children. We ought to write columns not because we think our children will need extra money in thirty years, but because we think our fellow-citizens need better information now.
The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments declined by 15,000 to 320,000 in the week ended Aug. 10, the fewest since October 2007, from a revised 335,000, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 335,000. There was nothing unusual in the data and no states were estimated, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data was released to the press.
Whether Bezos decides to make any of these changes to the Post remains to be seen — but I for one hope that he tries to implement at least one or two of them, because it would make for a fascinating experiment in building a truly next-generation digital newspaper.
Most of the women, Hewlett found, stayed home longer than they had hoped. Eighty-nine percent of those who “off-ramped,” as she puts it, said they wanted to resume work; but only 73 percent of these succeeded in getting back in, and only 40 percent got full-time jobs. “It was distressingly difficult to get back on track,” Hewlett told me. In addition, the women Hewlett surveyed came back to jobs that paid, on average, 16 percent less than those they had before. And about a quarter took jobs with lesser management responsibilities or had to accept a lower job title than the one they had when they left. The impact of those sacrifices, Hewlett noted, was in many cases amplified after the financial meltdown, when 28 percent more of the women she surveyed reported that they had a nonworking spouse at home.
7. Startups are just one industry. Startups are still probably just the sixth or seventh best way to make money in New York. Accordingly, if you're a founder, don't expect a lot of media attention unless you're (1) exceptionally interesting, (2) making tons of money or (3) you have just sold your company for a billion dollars.
The goals of patrons and amateurs are more varied than providing a platform for department store ads. Some will want to preserve 20th-century ideals of objectivity and investigative reporting. Some will want to explore new forms of story-telling or data analysis. Some will want to pursue social crusades, and those crusades will themselves vary. Some will want to demonstrate their high-mindedness or support for the arts. Some will want to support political candidates, foster downtown development or root for local sports teams. Some will, like magazines, want to serve niche audiences, defined by lifestyle, ethnicity, religion, ideology, education or enthusiasms.
There is just so much weird talk these days about financial engineering and weird business models by investment banker types that it pervades and distorts even normal peoples' expectations of how a business might be run - at reddit we are just trying to run a business in the old fashioned way: we make a thing, we try to make it as good we can for YOU, and you pay us money for it. My background is that of an engineer - I like to keep things simple. A note about short-term vs long-term money. It turns out that you have to plan for BOTH the short-term and the long-term. If you don't eat in the short-term, you die and never make it to the long-term. If you do everything short-term, you have no long-term future. So we need to make enough money this year to pay the bills and fund next year's growth, and we also need to put into place the cornerstones of future growth at the same time. It's a balancing act.
Young adult drinkers' alcoholic beverage preferences have changed dramatically over the past two decades. In the early 1990s, 71% of adults under age 30 said they drank beer most often; now it is 41% among that age group. There has been a much smaller decline in the percentage of 30- to 49-year-olds who say they drink beer the most, from 48% to 43%, with essentially no change in older drinkers' beer preference. Younger adults' preferences have shifted toward both liquor and wine, but more so toward liquor, over the past two decades. Those between the ages of 30 and 49 have moved exclusively toward liquor. Older Americans now increasingly say they drink wine most and are less likely to say they drink liquor most.
You can think of unions in the 1950s as the only truck stop in the middle of an Arizona desert: they had quite a bit of bargaining power, because companies had little choice about doing business with them. Truck stops like that could make quite a bit of money, even serving very bad food. But post-Bretton Woods…well, it’s like picking up that truck stop and moving it to the corner of 42nd & 5th Avenue. You can insist on your rights all you want, but it doesn’t do you much good if all your customers desert for the guy down the street who will offer faster service at half the price.
This is basically the same graph as the income mobility one above, except it breaks down income mobility both by a kid’s economic starting point and education. So the red bars all go together and show where kids born into each income quintile who do not graduate college wind up as adults. The blue bars show the same thing, but for kids who do graduate college. Look at the red bar furthest to the right. That is the bar describing where kids born into the richest fifth who do not get a college degree wind up. Notice that 25% of those kids still wind up in the richest fifth. Now look at the blue bar furthest to the left. That is the bar describing where kids born into the poorest fifth who do get a college degree wind up. Notice that only 10% of those kids wind up in the richest fifth.