July 22, 2012

Daily Photo: Osborne House


July 19, 2012

Daily Photo: Escalators


July 11, 2012

Google Futuristic Maps

Google predicts a day when its mapping service is tailored to users’ behaviour, possibly even predicting where they want to go.


European Exports collapse


The chart below, courtesy of Stone McCarthy, shows monthly exports to Europe.Pretty self-explanatory of the mess Europe is in. Recent austerity is certainly going to send the chart to new lows in coming months.

From SMRA:
Following consecutive monthly gains, Exports to Europe dropped a massive $4.0 billion in April, the largest monthly decline dating back to January 2005, including a $2.8 billion drop to the EU alone. In particular, Exports to Germany declined $0.4 billion in April and are now only up about 0.2% over the past year. Overall, Exports to Europe are now down 2.7% from April 2011, the first yearly decline since February 2010. The recent slowdown of Exports to Europe supports the FOMC assessment that sluggish economic growth in Europe is likely to affect trade with the US. 

Why Robbing Banks does not pay!



In an article for Significance Magazine, economists Barry Reilly, Neil Rickman and Robert Witt explain why robbing banks stinks as a profession.
The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish. It is not unimaginable wealth. It is a very modest £12 706.60 per person per raid. Indeed, it is so low that it is not worth the banks’ while to spend as little as £4500 per cashier position at every branch on rising screens to deter them.
A single bank raid, even a successful one, is not going to keep our would-be robber in a life of luxury. It is not going to keep him long in a life of any kind. Given that the average UK wage for those in full-time employment is around £26 000, it will give him a modest lifestyle for no more than 6 months. If he decides to make a career of it, and robs two banks a year to make a sub-average income, his chances of eventually getting caught will increase: at 0.8 probability per raid, after three raids or a year and a half his odds of remaining at large are 0.8×0.8×0.8=0.512; after four raids he is more likely than not to be inside. As a profitable occupation, bank robbery leaves a lot to be desired.
Be sure to read the full article for more details on the varying gains and losses when the team is bigger and whether or not a gun is used. Spoiler: an additional member to the robbing team raises the expected haul by about £9,000, and the use of a firearm raises the expected output by about £10,000. Just don't get arrested.

Daily Photo: The Dome