Author Archives: NC

Literature: fantasy vs. realism

…judged by the standards of fantasy, modernist realist fiction, with its narrow focus on daily details of contemporary human affairs, is suffocating and unimaginative, almost unavoidably trivial, and ominously anthropocentric. (Ursula K. Le Guin, The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists)

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Getting Yahoo! Finance data into Excel

Here’s a little VBA snippet that allows to retrieve Yahoo! Finance data into an Excel spreadsheet. Usage: =yfQuote(ticker, date, field), where ticker (required) is ticker symbol used by Yahoo! Finance. Examples: MSFT, ^GSPC, VXX. date (optional) is the date for which quotes … Continue reading

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Size doesn’t matter; age does

John Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, and Javier Miranda, “Who Creates Jobs? Small versus Large versus Young”, The Review of Economics and Statistics, May 2013, Vol. 95, No. 2, Pages 347-361. Abstract The view that small businesses create the most jobs remains appealing … Continue reading

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The top 15 cities for tech startups

From Infoworld: The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) list measures overall venture capital investment in each respective market to compile its data.

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NoSQL Taxonomy

Examples in parentheses: Key-value store (Amazon DynamoDB) Column-family store (Cassandra) Document database (MongoDB) Graph database (Neo4j)

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Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa

Dr. Michael Duffy of Iowa State University publishes them online.  Next time I attempt working out the economics of alternative fuels, I should start there…

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Digital FX solo

German animator Kaleb Lechowski recently released a short, but very well made, computer-generated sci-fi film.  According to the author, the six-and-a-half-minute film took seven months to make, including two months spent on writing the script.  The entire film crew consisted of … Continue reading

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Disabling Java

From Infoworld: Step 1: Find out which version of Java you’re running. The easy way to do this is through the Java Control Panel — if you can find it. Start by bringing up the Windows Control Panel (in Windows … Continue reading

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Technology vs. economy in a nutshell

Paul Krugman continues to ponder the impact of technology on income distribution.  The takeaway, in my opinion, is here: Smart machines may make higher GDP possible, but also reduce the demand for people — including smart people. So we could … Continue reading

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I was wondering about this for a long time…

…and, apparently, so did Paul Krugman: Robots mean that labor costs don’t matter much, so you might as well locate in advanced countries with large markets and good infrastructure (which may soon not include us, but that’s another issue). On … Continue reading

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