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Links 1 through 10 of 38 by Amy Gahran tagged economy

"the Atlantic published this article, which made myself, and no doubt others think; maybe the monster homes, the McMansions of the past decades have become realistic again, not to show ones wealth and ability to carry debt, but as a means to have multiple adults and children under one roof."

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"According to Pew spokesman Aaron W. Smith, increased mobile web usage is driven by two key factors: age and economics. A younger demo with an annual income of $30,000 or less a year has jumped in usage, and African-Americans and Hispanics are younger and have less money than the general white population.

"Mobile is thus bridging the digital gap between the traditional distinction of haves and have-nots, and while it’s a positive trend, it’s still a gap between those with cellphone-only access and those with computers as well.

"About 18% of African-Americans use a cellphone as their sole device for Internet access compared to about 10% of whites. That said, laptop ownership has risen from 34% in 2009 to a current 51% among African-Americans.

"Overall, 59% of Americans now access the Internet through mobile devices as opposed to 51% a year ago. So mobile may prove to be the ultimate equalizer, at least on the digital playing field.

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Amazing photography of nature reclaiming abandoned houses in Detroit.

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Audio podcast

"Vice President Joe Biden is in Midland, Michigan today. He’s there for the groundbreaking of a new plant that will make advanced batteries for electric and hybrid cars. Michigan’s governor, Jennifer Granholm, says she wants Michigan to be the battery capital of the nation and guide a revival of the state’s economy and the automotive industry. It’s a nice idea, Michigan getting back on its feet finding a growth industry, but what needs to happen for it to work?"

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"Another unexpected boon is that spending on paper—the second-biggest expense at many firms, after staff pay—has plummeted by as much as 40%. A global commodities slump depressed prices. Newspaper companies are using less of the stuff, printing fewer words on smaller, thinner pages. Particularly on Mondays, papers are often so light that they are hard to fling from a car or bicycle to a doorstep.

"The possibility that paper prices will roar back as the world economy accelerates is only one danger facing newspaper firms. They could be crippled by their pension liabilities. Readers may suddenly balk at paying higher prices for thinner products. Yet it is also possible that advertising will begin to recover from severely depressed levels. If that happens, profit margins will inflate quickly.

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Hmmmm... this podcast makes me wonder if a mobile phone-based transaction system in US could help subvert usurious check-cashing outlets...

"The idea of a bustling mobile phone based economy is nothing new if you’ve paid attention to how day to day transactions are handled in Africa. In several developing nations there, people who don’t have access to checks or credit cards have evolved a robust and versatile economy built around simple cell phones."

Interview with Ethan Zuckerman of Berkman Center

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"Utilities across the country are announcing plans to develop tens or hundreds of megawatts of solar generating capacity in partnership with building owners. It has the markings of a national trend that could be very good for the solar industry -- and for companies with certain kinds of commercial real estate."

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"In a November 2007 e-mail, Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein wrote that the firm "lost money" on the housing market, "then made more than we lost because of shorts."

"The release of the documents comes as Goldman Sachs is preparing its most detailed defense yet to allegations that it misled clients in its mortgage securities business, arguing that the firm was unsure whether housing prices would rise or fall and did not take any action at odds with the interests of its clients."

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"Elites are much better at being afraid of job losses in their world, but that hasn't contributed to a broader sympathy or -- dare I say it? -- sense of solidarity. Meanwhile, the game in Washington proved itself rigged in favor of powerful interests when Wall Street cracked and the banks got bailed out. So the economy can batter the working class and it's all part of the natural order of things, but the rich seem to get saved when things don't go their way. Why shouldn't people be angry?"

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"Only 25 percent of online-only news organizations responded to a request by the American Society of News Editors to disclose their diversity figures, the ASNE said on Sunday. The association announced that the loss of newspaper newsroom jobs had slowed but that African American and Native journalists were hardest hit by the cutbacks."

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