Roubini: more bad news

  • Global, synchronized, recession.
  • Recession continues through 2009 with weak, 1%, growth in 2010.
  • Unemployment at 9% in 2010. Job losses easily at 500k/month through 2009 and may be worse. Stimulus may lower that to 200k/month.
  • $1.8 trillion loss for banks; need another $1.4 trillion for banks to recover.
  • Top 3 banks in US are technically insolvent. Nationalization only reasonable approach. Re-privatize them in 2-3 years. Otherwise, end up with zombie banks like Japan: a decade of stagnation.

  • Deficits this year: 2 trillion; next year 1.5 trillion.

Warren Buffett and Obama

Here is Warren Buffett interview by Tom Brokaw on Dateline NBC. Buffett is very positive on Obama’s leadership. (7 min):

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Fixing libxml2, php, WordPress, and the missing angle brackets

Someone posted a temporary fix for WordPress that takes the raw xml and replaces the offending entities with characters. He found three places. The fix looks like:

//xmllib 2.7.0 -2.7.2 stripping leading angle brackets bug patch
if(LIBXML_DOTTED_VERSION == '2.7.0' ||
  LIBXML_DOTTED_VERSION == '2.7.1' ||
  LIBXML_DOTTED_VERSION == '2.7.2') {
  $xml =str_replace("&lt;","<",$xml );
  $xml =str_replace("&gt;",">",$xml );
  $xml =str_replace("&amp;","&",$xml );
}
//end Fix
xml_parse($parser, $xml);

Seeing a Virus in Three Dimensions

Sometimes my jaw just drops when I read about scientific advances. If the reporter understood this and I understood the reporter they are using a magnetic field causing protons to vibrate which is then measured with a tiny scale.
What makes me astounded is how quickly we are reaching into the molecular level. 15 years ago this was just some wild eyed, theoretical paper.
From A Breakthrough in Imaging – Seeing a Virus in Three Dimensions:
Virus in 3d

Magnetic resonance force microscopy employs an ultrasmall cantilever arm as a platform for specimens that are then moved in and out of proximity to a tiny magnet. At extremely low temperatures the researchers are able to measure the effect of a magnetic field on the protons in the hydrogen atoms found in the virus.
By repeatedly flipping the magnetic field, the researchers are able to cause a minute vibration in the cantilever arm which can then be measured by a laser beam. By moving the virus through the magnetic field it is possible to build up a 3-D image from many two-dimensional samples.

Fixing libxml2, php, WordPress, and the missing angle brackets

I was having problems with MarsEdit after updating to OpenSuse 11.1 because of a bug in php aggravated by a recent release of libxml2 (details here).
I was waiting for a real fix but lost my patience today. The advice was to “fall back to libxml2-2.6.32” so here’s what I did:

  1. Grabbed the RPM from the OpenSuse 11.0 cd. Or, if you trust me you can download it from here: libxml2-2.6.32-11.1.i586.rpm
  2. Install the RPM overriding any recent release which is what the “–force” flag does. Do the following as “root” from a terminal window:
    rpm -i --force libxml2-2.6.32-11.1.i586.rpm
    
  3. Now fix the symlinks in /usr/lib so everyone uses the new (but old) library:

    cd /usr/lib
    rm libxml2.so libxml2.so.2
    ln -s libxml2.so.2.6.32 libxml2.so
    ln -s libxml2.so.2.6.32 libxml2.so.2
    
  4. Actually, I didn’t do the above but instead replaced the actual 2.7.2 library:

    mv libxml2.so.2.7.2 libxml2.so.2.7.2.orig
    ln -s libxml2.so.2.6.32 libxml2.so.2.7.2
    
  5. Restart apache so that PHP uses the new libraries:

    /etc/init.d/apache2 restart