Links, 8/11/10

  • Megan McArdle, “How Much House Can I Afford?” – from the article: It’s frightening to know that the above calculations, which don’t seem too stringent, are far, far tighter than those used by our relatively sober credit union.  We McSudermans may be a fiscally conservative people, but we Americans clearly still aren’t.
  • Kevin Carey, “What’s the Matter with Wayne State?” – from the article: It has the single biggest percentage-point gap between white and black students in America. The overall graduation rate for black students is in single digits. And unlike the rest of the institutions, where on average only about six percent of the student body is black,  almost a third of Wayne State students are black. This is a Research I university than enrolls close to 7,000 black students in a given year and their graduation rate is nine percent.
  • Betsy Jensen, “Reap what you Swap” (nytimes, h/t Josh) – from the article: I raise mostly wheat and soybeans in northwest Minnesota. Wheat, in particular, is bought and sold in a notoriously volatile market. In February 2008, I sold wheat for $18.69 per bushel. Last month, I was selling it for $3.49 per bushel. To protect myself from such swings, I use derivatives, or agricultural swaps.
  • Ryan Singel, “Why Google Became a Carrier-Humping, Net Neutrality Surrender Monkey” (h/t Josh) – from the article: Back then, Google figured it would need those rules to catch up to Apple’s iPhone dominance in the mobile world, and its interests and the American people’s were aligned. It created the “Open Handset Alliance” with handset makers — not carriers. The idea behind the alliance was that Google and the hardware companies could make phones that were open, elegant, powerful and not subject to the legendary whimsies of wireless carriers, who are prone to crippling devices, failing to innovate on new features, charging extra for whatever built-in features they do include, and controlling what can and can’t be done with the devices.

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