Friday, August 30, 2013

Opting in on the blogging

It is a course requirement to write weekly blog posts, with the first post due next Friday.  It is your choice, however, whether to do that on a public Web site or not.  I hope the approach taken, with the assigned alias used as a screen name, offers you sufficient privacy protection that you choose to make your blog public, because doing that is easier.  But you can choose the alternative of keeping your blog private and making posts in Moodle.  The outside world then won't see the posts at all.  But that means your classmates probably won't see them either, because they'd have to make some extra effort to find them.

If you would like a private blog in Moodle, please let me know because I have to set it up.  If you are okay with a public blog, after you have set it up please send me the address of the site.

Blogger Demo Part 2

This is the rest of the tutorial on using Blogger.

Blogger Demo

This demo will show you how to set up a Blogger account for use in our class.  As with the other videos, it is best to watch this one at full screen.

Tutorial for Doing Excel Homework

I encourage you to watch this video before attempting Excel homework.  It will give you some ideas for how to proceed and not get hung up on the technology (getting hung up on the economics is a different matter, but this homework is pretty straightforward so it shouldn't happen yet).  The video plays reasonably well in full screen mode after the first few seconds where it is a little blurry.  It's probably best to watch i that way.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Class Website Tour

I apologize for the technology foul up in class today.  Since I wasn't able to project my laptop I made the little video below instead.  I suggest you view it full screen.  It will help get you started using the online materials for the class.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dividing apartment rents when bedrooms are unequal

Nice piece on algorithms for coming up with rent divisions that are "envy free."  It is not a trivial problem.  If you've had to manage the issue in your own living situation, you'll find the piece especially interesting.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Blame Balmer? Or was this inevitable?

Microsoft is yet another large, highly successful tech company whose better days seem to be in the rear view mirror.  Like managers in major league baseball who get fired when the team under performs, we tend to think it is the CEO's fault when a company does likewise.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More on Creative Destruction

Legacy in the tech sector can be disadvantage.  Mobile computing is now the rage.  If your old business model doesn't match the new hot use, your business will falter.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A note about email subscriptions

If you email subscribe to the class site, you will get a confirmation email back.  You must click on the link for the subscription to work.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Creative Destruction

Hindsight is 20-20, but foresight is....pretty horrible.   We'll see some other examples of this in class, but this one is so well written, you can get a good preview of the idea.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Peter Principle in practice

The Peter Principle says that everyone rises to their own level of incompetence.  It's ironic but with more than a touch of reality.  For example, most of the really good teachers I knew on Campus in the 1990s are now high level administrators, as if the reward for good teaching is to teach no longer.  How they do as administrators, I'm not sure.  But I am sure it pays better.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Moral Hazard in Finance

The piece argues that five years after the financial crisis banks are still under capitalized.  Further the financial sector deliberately traffics in hard to understand/value assets, not because it is good for the economy overall, but because there are big profits to be made from doing so. It makes the big banks seem like Frankenstein's monster.

By the way, Calomiris used to be in the Finance Department here.

NIPA Changes How R&D Is Measured

The piece is mainly about a revision in how the National Income and Product accounts are measured. R&D has moved from an expense item to an investment item and that change has moved national income upwards.   But at the end of the piece there is a bit about wages and profits - bad news if you are a wage earner.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Measuring Performance Is Not Easy

This is an interesting piece for us.  Later in the course we'll ask why there isn't more work with explicit pay for performance.  One answer for service sector work - it's hard if not impossible to measure output.