Cats

7 October 2013

Somehow September has passed by without a single post. During that time, the Mule has travelled to the other side of the world and back (primarily for a one day workshop in Switzerland). Also, James Glover (regular contributor to the blog) and I have been exploring the statistical significance of global temperatures. That will, eventually, […]

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The price of protectionism

24 August 2013

An  article in Friday’s Australian began Ford has blamed Kevin Rudd’s $1.8 billion fringe benefits tax overhaul for halting production, forcing at least 750 workers to be stood down in rolling stoppages that will further imperil Labor’s chances of retaining the nation’s most marginal seat. and goes on to report that the Federal Chamber of Automotive […]

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ngramr – an R package for Google Ngrams

16 July 2013

The recent post How common are common words? made use of unusually explicit language for the Stubborn Mule. As expected, a number of email subscribers reported that the post fell foul of their email filters. Here I will return to the topic of n-grams, while keeping the language cleaner, and describe the R package I […]

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Poll Dancing

15 July 2013

With elections looming, and Kevin Rudd’s return to power, it is time for our regular guest blogger, James, to pull out his beer coaster calculator and take a closer look at the polls.  It is really that time again. Australian election fever has risen. Though in this case it feels like we have been here […]

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How common are common words?

11 July 2013

One of my favourite podcasts is Slate’s Lexicon Valley. All about language, it is rigorous and detailed in its approach to the subject, which appeals to the closet academic in me, but also extremely entertaining. It is a sign of a good podcast to find yourself bursting out laughing while walking down a busy city […]

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Feedburner on the fritz

30 June 2013

Those of you who have subscribed to email updates from the Stubborn Mule will have noticed some strange behaviour lately, as old blog posts have appeared in your inboxes. Why this is happening remains a mystery to me. The email subscriptions are powered by Google’s Feedburner service and, with the recent announcement that Google is […]

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Can I trust MtGox with my passport?

12 June 2013

In March 2013, the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCen”) published a statement saying that companies which facilitate buying and selling of “virtual” currencies like Bitcoin constitute “money service businesses” and are subject to reporting obligations designed to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. A couple of months later, the seizure by US authorities of Liberty Reserve has shaken money service […]

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BitTorrent Sync

8 June 2013

I have been a long-time user of Dropbox. It synchronises important files across computers, provides offsite backup and remote access to these files. But it does have its limitations. A free Dropbox accounts gets you 2 gigabytes of storage (although persuading friends to sign up can earn you an an increase in this limit). If […]

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Unfounded liability

20 May 2013

Today a tweet from “Australia’s most idiosyncratic economist” Christopher Joye caught my eye. I followed the link and found a scaremongering article trying to whip up concerns about Australia’s levels of government debt. A key part of Joye’s argument is to accuse the government of creative accounting by including Future Fund assets in the calculation […]

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Bitcoin: what is it good for?

4 May 2013

Bitcoin has been a hot topic in the news over the last few weeks. The digital currency has its adherents. The Winklevoss twins, made famous by the movie Social Network after suing Mark Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the concept of Facebook, now purportedly own millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins. It also has its detractors. […]

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