High tax rates and economic growth

From Paul Krugman is this interesting chart about the upper tax rate. I don’t think (and I doubt anyone else does) that high taxes/high regulation cause growth but it is clear that low taxes/low regulation are not the be-all/end-all of economic policies.

The blue line, left scale, shows median family income in 2008 dollars; the red line, right scale, shows the top marginal tax rate, a rough indicator of the overall stance of policy. Basically, US postwar economic history falls into two parts: an era of high taxes on the rich and extensive regulation, during which living standards experienced extraordinary growth; and an era of low taxes on the rich and deregulation, during which living standards for most Americans rose fitfully at best.

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The Krugman post was inspired by Richard Green who got the data from US Dept of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis
And I still like the earlier comic I posted from The Politics in Deficits & Taxes
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Art theft in Paris

Someone stole 5 paintings from Paris Museum of Modern Art:

The stolen works, part of the museum’s permanent collection, were “Dove With Green Peas” by Picasso, “La Pastorale” by Matisse, “Olive Tree Near l’Estaque” by Georges Braque, “Woman With a Fan” by Amedeo Modigliani and “Still Life With Chandeliers” by Fernand Léger.

It doesn’t sound very high-tech:

According to the authorities, surveillance images show a hooded man, dressed in black, who smashed through a window and then used bolt cutters to remove a grid.

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Being a Consumer vs Investor

There’s some lesson to be learned here about investing vs consuming but I can’t quite figure it out! Hmm, I wonder if I’m a consumer or an investor.
If instead of spending $5700 on an Apple Powerbook in 1997 you’d bought Apple stock, it’d be worth $330K! If I hadn’t bought a MacBook Pro in 2008 for ~$2,499 but bought Apple Stock it’d now be worth $5,680. I’d have nearly $8,000 more.

NY Times Review of Darwin from 1860 now online

From [The NY Times](http://www.nytimes.com/1860/03/28/news/origin-species-origin-species-means-natural-selection-preservation-favored-races.html?pagewanted=1) review in 1860 of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”:

It is clear that here is one of the most important contributions ever made to philosophic science; and it is at least behooving on scientists, in the light of the accumulation of evidence which the author has summoned in support of his theory, to reconsider the grounds en which their present doctrine of the origin of species is based.

How much do tech companies spend on advertising?

Here’s how much various tech companies spend on advertising. I’ve always thought the quality of a product is an inverse of how much is spent advertising it — if it was great you hardly need to spend much to get someone to buy it.
So, it’s clear Google and Amazon are doing well. Yahoo is slated to increase to $80 million. It’s the “Ad Spending As a Percent of Revenue” that is important. This is from Business Insider:

Adium (or iChat) and Facebook

I just read that Facebook chat is now based on Jabber/XMPP. What does this mean? Basically, any of the instant messaging clients that can talk to sites such as Google Talk such as iChat, Adium, or pidgin can be used to connect to Facebook.
First, you need to make sure you have an account setup on Facebook — not just able to login to Facebook but an actual, short name. Go to “Account” menu:


And then you can set your “Username”:

Then you can setup your IM client to connect using the “Jabber” (or XMPP) protocol with your Jabber ID as the above username@chat.facebook.com. This example is for Adium but other clients are similar:

You probably don’t need to change the port to 5222 but you may need to make sure SSL/TLS is disabled.

After that, it should connect to Facebook. You don’t have to have Facebook open in a browser.

Pixel Editor on Mac OS X

I grabbed a simple, free pixel editor for Mac OS X called Paintbrush.  It seems adequate for my simple needs which are usually just adding  a note to a screen grab.
You can make it the default for opening an image by an existing image with Command-I and changing the “Open with” to the application and clicking the “Change All…” button: