A Long List of Links

Thu 04 March 2010 | tags: antitrust, bundling, cabletelevision, churchandstate, crime, dailylinks, education, eminentdomain, federalism, ideaguy, losangeles, meritpay, murder, omaha, paranoia, religion, sexting, shopclass, startups, teaching, utah, -- (permalink)

What I've been reading lately:

  • Building a Better Teacher - NYTimes.com
    • "Teachers working in the same building, teaching the same grade, produced very different outcomes. And the gaps were huge. Eric Hanushek, a Stanford economist, found that while the top 5 percent of teachers were able to impart a year and a half’s worth of learning to students in one school year, as judged by standardized tests, the weakest 5 percent advanced their students only half a year of material each year."

      Via Seth Roberts.

  • Latest MacHeist bundle brings even more software on the cheap
    • How can a company make money by bundling 5 applications together and selling the package for \$19.95, when each app individually would cost more than that? They "make it up through volume", as the saying goes. Of course it only works if the price is higher than your marginal cost, which is easy for downloadable software where your marginal cost is essentially zero.
      Bottom line: there are occasions where a bundle will be better for consumers than only having a la carte options. On the other hand, consumers in this case have the option of choosing whether to buy a bundle or an individual app. That's not generally true of cable television, for example, which regulators regularly threaten to unbundle.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy » Utah May Try to Use Eminent Domain to Take Federal Government Land
    • Good luck with that.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy » Blog Archive » “Separation of Church and State”
    • At my high school, the most common shop class projects were cutting boards and various kinds of weapons (grappling hooks, shuriken ... ours wasn't the most attentive shop teacher really). I doubt that someone making a Wiccan altar would have even raised an eyebrow.
  • Marginal Revolution: Los Angeles fact of the day
    • Los Angeles'; murder rate is now lower than those of Columbus, Ohio, Tulsa, Oklahama, and Omaha, Nebraska.
  • When should sexting be illegal? - By Emily Bazelon - Slate Magazine - Attention parents, legislators and the local news: the sky is not falling. The most important sentence in this story is saved for the last paragraph. "We've been keeping consistent records in the U.S. since the 1960s, and they show that teens now are less violent, use drugs less, smoke less, and drink less. They stay in school more and take more AP classes. Their suicide rate is lower, and so is the teen pregnancy rate."
  • There's no room for The Idea Guy - (37signals)
    • Amen.