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Tagged with “economics” (45)

  1. Google—50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

    The words ‘clever’ and ‘death’ crop up less often than ‘Google’ in conversation. That’s according to researchers at the University of Lancaster in the UK. It took just two decades for Google to reach this cultural ubiquity. Larry Page and Sergey Brin – Google’s founders – were not, initially, interested in designing a better way to search. Their Stanford University project had a more academic motivation. Tim Harford tells the extraordinary story of a technology which might shape our access to knowledge for generations to come.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04rv3v3

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  2. The Compiler—50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

    Installing Windows might take 5,000 years without the compiler, a remarkable innovation which made modern computing possible. Tim Harford tells a compelling story which has at its heart a pioneering woman called Grace Hopper who – along the way – single-handedly invented the idea of open source software too.

    The compiler evolved into COBOL – one of the first computer languages – and led to the distinction between hardware and software.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04n04cm

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  3. M-Pesa—50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

    Transferring money by text message is far safer and more convenient than cash. M-Pesa, as it is known, first took off in Kenya. The idea was to make it easier for small businesses to repay micro-finance loans. But, almost immediately, M-Pesa exploded into something far bigger - there are now 100 times more M-Pesa kiosks than ATMs in Kenya – and with far-reaching consequences, in many developing economies. Tim Harford describes how money transferred this way is easy to trace, which is bad news for the corrupt. And good news for tax authorities.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04kxddv

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  4. The Barcode—50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

    How vast mega-stores emerged with the help of a design originally drawn in the sand in 1948 by Joseph Woodland as he sat on a Florida beach, observing the furrows left behind, an idea came to him which would – eventually – become the barcode. This now ubiquitous stamp, found on virtually every product, was designed to make it easier for retailers to automate the process of recording sales. But, as Tim Harford explains, its impact would prove to be far greater than that. The barcode changed the balance of power between large and small retailers.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04k0066

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  5. Episode 753: Blockchain Gang : Planet Money : NPR

    Charlie Shrem went to prison. While he was there, he thought up a better way to move money behind bars. Now, he’s out and trying to sell his idea to international investors.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/10/514577243/episode-753-blockchain-gang

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  6. Chapter 8 – How the Dotcom Bubble Happened | Internet History Podcast

    The background, root causes and rough outline of the dotcom bubble. How it happened, why it happened and why it’s unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

    http://www.internethistorypodcast.com/2017/01/chapter-8-how-the-dotcom-bubble-happened/

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  7. The iPhone

    Surprisingly, Uncle Sam played an essential role in the creation and development of the iPhone - of course, much has been written about the late Steve Jobs and other leading figures at Apple and their role in making the modern icon, and its subsequent impact on our lives. And rightfully so. But who are other key players without whom the iPhone might have been little more than an expensive toy? Tim Harford tells the story of how the iPhone became a truly revolutionary technology.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04hyzm5

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  8. The Shipping Container

    The boom in global trade was caused by a simple steel box. Shipping goods around the world was – for many centuries – expensive, risky and time-consuming. But 60 years ago the trucking entrepreneur Malcolm McLean changed all that by selling the idea of container shipping to the US military. Against huge odds he managed to turn ‘containerisation’ from a seemingly impractical idea into a massive industry – one that slashed the cost of transporting goods internationally and provoked a boom in global trade.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04g1ddh

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  9. The Haber-Bosch Process

    Saving lives with thin air - by taking nitrogen from the air to make fertiliser, the Haber-Bosch Process has been called the greatest invention of the 20th Century – and without it almost half the world’s population would not be alive today. A 100 years ago two German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, figured out a way to use nitrogen from the air to make ammonia, which makes fertiliser. It was like alchemy; ‘Brot aus Luft’, as Germans put it, ‘Bread from air’.

    Haber and Bosch both received a Nobel prize for their invention. But Haber’s place in history is controversial – he is also considered the ‘father of chemical warfare’ for his years of work developing and weaponising chlorine and other poisonous gases during World War One.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04f77rg

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  10. Max Roser: Good Data will Make You an Economic Optimist | WIRED 2015 | WIRED

    In order to understand global economics, you need perspective — that’s according to Max Roser, a ‘data visualisation historian’ at the Oxford Martin School. A lot of perspective. The good news is that all this perspective gives a surprisingly optimistic picture about the state of the world.

    Max Roser: Good data will make you an economic optimist | WIRED 2015 | WIRED https://www.youtube.com/wireduk

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    Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=519RSd65yFw
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Wed, 16 Nov 2016 17:32:04 GMT Available for 30 days after download

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