Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weird germy things

Click HERE for this week's column, which takes a look at one of many creepy-crawlies that can dwell in water.

(Math note: I wrote that a micron is a thousandth of a meter, which is correct, but a more formal definition would be a millionth of a meter. Same thing.)

The photo of the Leptosira bacteria is from

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Partitions: Not just for geeks

Click HERE for this week's column, in which we relish the joys of hard drive partitioning. Hey, it's not just for geeks. Really.

Incidentally, various computer manufacturers call their system recovery features various names. That's why my article says "whatever they call it" to refer to this stuff. If there is a universally accepted generic term for the concept, I don't know what that term is.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Shopkeeper's wisdom

Click HERE to read today's column, which relates a young economist's secret weapon in market research: a smart shopkeeper.

Other notes:

An alert reader in the mainland requested that I post this link to a map of U.S. unemployment rates. Put your cursor over a state to see its data. Note that the "official" unemployment rate (which notoriously understates actual unemployment) is sometimes about half of the actual rate of unemployment. For example, in South Carolina, the "official" unemployment rate is 11 percent, but the actual rate is (according to the link) 20 percent.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fantastic plastic

Click HERE to read today's column, where we look at the weirdness in credit card markets, namely, lines of credit getting chopped.

This weirdness started last year, but the year before that, on October 26, 2007, I gave a heads up; here's the piece. So, yeah, uh, "told you so."

About a year later, the headlines started noticing a credit card crunch. Here's a November 14, 2008 piece in the Wall Street Journal's Smart Money. And here's a March 3, 2009 piece from

I know that credit cards aren't as common in Saipan as in the mainland, and there are a lot of folks who are just learning about this realm. For them, a handy link is Clark Howard sometimes lists the best credit cards (you can do a search for that on his site), which is a useful starting point.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Of tourists and wings

Click HERE for today's column, in which we do some hangar flying and note that China is now producing Airbus airliners. This is an impressive milestone in China's economic development, and the implications for the west Pacific tourism industry are positive indeed.

If today's column interests you, then you can see this link (about the launch of the first Chinese-built A320) and this link (about Boeing's 787 struggles) and this link (about Airbus' latest struggle).