Use It Up, Wear It Out – Consumers Hold On to Stuff Longer – NY Times

Throw away the cellphone after two years? Not so fast. Ditch the flat-panel TV for an even thinner model? Maybe next year. Replace the blouse with the hole? Darn it!

Consumer spending has picked up, but for some Americans the recession has left something behind: a greater interest in making stuff last.

US aid to Egypt in numbers – FT Tilt

The bottom line: since 1979, Egypt has been the second largest recipient of US foreign assistance, receiving an annual average of close to $2bn of economic and military aid, according to the US Congressional Research Service. But the bulk of this at $1.3bn is military aid.Egypt military aid - US State Department

ESF: Economic Support Fund
FMF: Foreign Military Financing
IMEF: International Military Education and Training
INCLE, NADR: for counter terrorism, border control, and technical cooperation.

BMC savings

Sorry, but the headline is not about how you can get cheaper services from the BMC (British Mountaineering Council), but about one little thing that might signal that they are trying to make savings.

I got today my insurance card for a climbing trip. It looks the same as the one I got some time ago –almost. This time, though, the card, that comes printed on an A4 is not precut. They've moved back to the times where the printing companies wouldn't precut a shape on a paper. And, also, the paper is not covered in a plastic layer any more, it's plane paper.

Everyone is trying to save in these tough times. I hope I can use my scissors with enough precision and not cut the poor card in half.

PS: Yes, I know, this is a short comment that you make in the pub that suddenly became a blog post. As I said at the beginning (I like starting and ending posts with the same word), sorry.

Toby Ord: Why I’m giving £1m to charity – BBC News

Toby Ord is a university researcher earning not much more than the average salary. So why is he giving away £1m over his lifetime to help address global poverty?

When Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg pledged to give away most of his wealth during his lifetime, some British commentators bemoaned the lack of philanthropy on this side of the Atlantic.

But an academic at Oxford University is living off little more than £300 a month in an act of charity-giving that is arguably more impressive than those of Zuckerberg, Gates, Buffett and co.

Toby Ord, 31, has in the past year given more than a third of his earnings, £10,000, to charities working in the poorest countries. He also gave away £15,000 of savings, as the start of his pledge to give away £1m over his lifetime.

Hybrids vs Trucks. Comparing sales over the last decade. – Mike Kruzeniski

In October, Toyota announced that it had sold over two million Prius hybrids globally since it introduced the vehicle in 1997. Remarking on the announcement, Jalopnik (an automotive blog owned by Gawker) compared the Prius sales to U.S. truck sales during the same period. Even though the comparison was between Prius global sales and truck sales only in the United States, as you might expect, the truck sales beat Prius sales by a considerable amount  – about 17x. 

However, a few things were odd about Jalopnik’s use of data: First, comparing a single vehicle against an entire vehicle category. Second, comparing global sales against U.S. sales. Third, comparing cumulative sales from 1997-2010, since the Prius was only introduced to the United States in 2000, while trucks were an already existing, well established and popular vehicle category with a long head start. While the data isn’t wrong, it tells a misleading and incomplete story. Since Trucks and Hybrids carry a certain cultural symbolism in the United States, I was curious about the full data behind these categories. I felt that there would be some better ways normalize and express the information for a fairer comparison of the categories, and to see if there were any emerging trends that would become visible. I spent some time digging in to the sources that Jalopnik linked to in their post, and found some others to piece together information that was missing (all sources are listed at the bottom of this post). 

Vale mucho mucho mucho la pena leer este blog completo. Sobre todo aquellos a los que les interesa cómo el periodismo usa e interpreta los datos con los que da una noticia.

Lo que esconde el clásico Barcelona vs. Real Madrid – BBC Mundo

Messi vs. Ronaldo, Guardiola vs. Mourinho, el toque contra la verticalidad, la moderación contra la extravagancia. Todos los ingredientes para ser el partido más apetecible del mundo, pero con el temor que el paladar deportivo sea opacado por el agrio sabor del condimento económico.

Qué pasa si un país abandona el euro ante la crisis – BBC Mundo

¿Estaría mejor Irlanda si dejara el euro y reviviera la libra irlandesa? ¿Se recuperaría la economía griega más rápido con un nuevo dracma?

Mucho se ha escrito sobre las teóricas atracciones para abandonar la eurozona que tienen los países en problemas financieros.

Pero la pregunta de cómo se haría se ha explorado menos.

Y cuando más se examina eso, queda más claro que las dificultades prácticas son enormes.

BBC offers to pay for World Service to avoid licence fee raid | Media | guardian.co.uk

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, is prepared to meet some or all of the £300m annual costs of running the World Service, in a last-ditch attempt to prevent a £556m raid on its finances to fund the cost of free TV licences for the over-75s, MediaGuardian.co.uk can reveal.

Brilliant: Charlie Brooker | How to save the economy without really trying: a guide for Gideon Osborne

Just a quote to tease you into reading the full article:

The coalition has repeatedly promised that those with the broadest shoulders will bear the greatest load; unfortunately, the majority of people develop broad shoulders by doing underpaid manual work, not trading stocks from the comfort of a Herman Miller Aeron chair. (Or writing for publication: I have the upper-body-strength of a nine-year-old girl.)

Google prepara un indicador de la inflación en la red – BBC Mundo

Los caminos de Google hace ya tiempo que son inescrutables. Pocos días después de desvelarse que preparan un auto que se maneja solo, ahora se sabe que también se ha lanzado a construir su índice de precios, su propia vara para medir la inflación en internet.

Basado en la vasta información sobre precios en la red, la compañía californiana trabaja en la construcción del Índice de Precios de Google (Google Price Index, en inglés), que en el futuro podría devenir en referencia alternativa a los balances oficiales.