Academic publishing in economics – a breath of fresh air from Preston McAfee

OK, this one is strictly for people who care about the academic world of economists. A nice, long post on the Freakonomics blog details an important change in the procedures for the journal Economic Inquiry, now that Preston McAfee is the editor. In short: authors can now submit a paper and specify: just accept it or reject it. None of that year-wasting multiple rounds of revisions, as demanded by referees, which also makes refereeing such a chore. I have never submitted to this journal before, but I will keep it in mind now.

Opera boom in America…

…according to this article from The American. Thanks to Cafe Hayek (!) for bringing it to my attention. Here is a quote from the article (the comparison with NFL is a amazing to me):

The U.S. now has 125 professional opera companies, 60 percent of them launched since 1970, according to the trade group OPERA America. The U.S. has more opera companies than Germany and nearly twice as many as Italy. In the most comprehensive recent study, the National Endowment for the Arts found that between 1982 and 2002, total attendance at live opera performances grew 46 percent.

Annual admissions are now estimated at 20 million, roughly the same attendance as NFL football games (22 million, including playoffs, in 2006–07). In part, this reflects a shift toward seeing opera domestically. “Foreign opera destinations like Salzburg and Glyndebourne are more expensive, and more Americans are staying home—and probably feeling safer for it,” says Richard Gaddes, general director of the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico.

Yet another report of a very cheap Linux laptop

This one is coming from Asus, and does not seem to consider it a scam, as they did the “medison” I blogged about earlier. They are debating whether it’s worth the money though, because it has limited storage and a small screen, but read the review from Hot Hardware that slashdot pointed me to and see what they say.

Laptop for $150!

Via, this Swedish company’s site sells a Linux laptop very, very cheap. They say they will have more models, with more memory and so on, soon.

Addendum: Erm, comments speculate on whether this offer is a fraud. I wouldn’t buy until I learn more about them and in particular that they have fulfilled orders. People who want Linux preinstalled should probably head for Dell, until this company is verified as bone fide.

Mac fixed

The Apple store had it fixed within hours of my dropping it off, and I picked it up tonight. It seems to be working fine now. I am happy that I asked to also have the RAM upgraded to 2 GB, as it is noticeably faster now. However, the Backup refuses to restore, still, so my iTunes library is history. I will try Apple support by phone on this tomorrow. On other things I had plain old backups I made with straight copying to external drives, so I think I have most of what I need back into my Documents folder.

Even worse Mac trouble

So the iMac died again, this time really. Even the installation DVD can’t see the hard drive now, so I can’t reinstall the system. Appointment at the Apple store is for tonight. Let’s hope I’m coming home with a working machine. Then I’ll have to spend yet another day reinstalling stuff. Those with Macs, especially Intel-based, apparently should avoid the update to system 10.4.10 like the plague—and this is from Apple support (but it’s probably too late for most people).