I just spent some quality time poring over the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) tables, which are reported each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and determine the U.S. inflation rate. According to the release, prices for urban residents have risen 4.0% over the past year, and it's fun to look at the different numbers and see how they contribute to the overall result.
For example, in the Transportation category (up 8.2%), a dramatic increase in Gasoline prices (26%) is balanced in part by a more heavily-weighted decline in the cost of New vehicles (-1.1%). In the Food and beverages category (up 4.4%), relatively modest increases in Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (3.8%) and in Fruits and vegetables (1.7%) are counteracted by sharper increases in Cereals and baking products (8.1%) and in Dairy and related products (11%).
Meanwhile, the entire index is pulled lower by something called "Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence," in the Housing category, which accounts for 23.942% of all expenditures and rose 2.6%. I'm a layperson in economics and statistics, but I'm hooked-- I'm looking forward to seeing April's numbers, which come out May 14.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]
How do Google and YouTube really work? It turns out, Python kind of runs things around those parts. And with this bootcamp, you’ll get whipped into shape and ready to start programming yourself. Whether you’re a Python pro and just want to sharpen your skills, or a total tech newbie with little or no coding […]