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.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]