This American Life's hour-long show on "credit-default swaps" is the best explanation I've heard so far for what the hell these things are and how they ended up causing so much havoc. I keep asking economists, bankers, and finance people what this is all about and while I understood that somehow an exotic, unregulated, non-standardised financial instrument had created trillions in semi-illusory wealth, I just couldn't really understand exactly what that meant. This hour-long audio show does a great job of explaining the technicalities of CDSes, and then delves into their history, regulatory context, and problems, ranging from Congress to bankers to people on the street. Great stuff -- an hour well spent.
Another Frightening Show About the Economy
Every year, Bruce Sterling closes the SXSW Interactive Festival with a wide-ranging, hour-long speech about the state of the nation: the format is 20 minutes’ worth of riffing on current affairs, and then 40 minutes of main thesis, scorchingly delivered, with insights, rage, inspiration and calls to action.
Mad props to whoever at the elf ear earbuds factory figured out exactly which western gadget blogger to send them to. First spotted on the Chinese-language Taobao shopping portal last year, the Spirit E666 earbuds are now easily found in the US, sold under various names but most conveniently at Amazon for $20. The ones […]
Bang & Olufsen’s H5 Bluetooth, water resistant, in-ear buds are pretty damn great. For $220 they had better be.
“Gets stuff done,” is a good way to be described by anybody. Especially by coworkers or bosses. Because whether you’re in finance or a children’s librarian, stuff needs to get done. But how do you make sure stuff gets done? You definitely can’t do all the stuff yourself, unless your company/organization/government office consists entirely of you. And […]
Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That’s why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but […]
They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you’re at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a […]