Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary “reading list” which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for “reading list” items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.
- Germany cancels major defense deal with Russia (DW) Continuing the deal worth $234 million had been in question for months. Yesterday (04 August) it was formally cancelled. Meanwhile France is trying to find a way to avoid eating $3.2 billion if they cancel delivery of two French-made helicopter carrier-assault ships scheduled for the end of the year. One possibility is that they could be sold to either South Korea or Japan instead.
- World War One: Tragedy of Tragedies (Eric Margolies, The Unz Review) hat tips to Chuck Spinney and Roger Erickson. From Chuck Spinney:
This is an excellent bookend to Putin’s recent speech on the subject of why it is important to remember World War I.
- NASA says puzzling new space drive can generate thrust without propellant (Dario Borghino, Gizmag) A device called the “Cannae Drive” can generate small amounts of thrust without the use of propellant (rocket fuel). The validity of the device has been confirmed by NASA. On the surface this seems to violate Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Cannae Drive operates without consuming fuel which would “fly” in one direction propelling the vehicle in the opposite. There is no fuel in the conventional sense; the device operates by using microwave energy which permeates space. The redirection of the microwaves by a cavity creates a reaction resulting in the cavity being moved (thrust). If this sounds unreal to those who are firmly grounded in a Newtonian reference (where mass is needed to create a force, as in F = ma), all you need to resolve your dilemma is to think relativistically. That’s not complicated if you consider Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2, which specifies the quantum equivalency of mass and energy.
- Part of surge across U.S. border, girl travels from Guatemala to Maryland (John Fritze, MSN News) There is a face for one of 57,000 refugees thus far in 2014, but she can’t show it for fear of danger to herself and her family. See also The Costly Burden of Illegal Immigration (Shelley Kais, GEI News)
- Corruption Responsible for 80% of Your Cell Phone (Bill Matt Stoller, Republic Report) Do you know why the U.S. is among the worst developed countries in the world for cell service, wideband and internet services, as well as one of the most expensive? And some developing countries beat out the U.S. also. It is because there is no competition to force improvement in networks and services and to force competitive pricing. These technologies are being used as cash cows by entrenched corporations that retain their power through political corruption. The U.S. ranks 31st in the world in internet download speed and 42nd for upload speed. See Why is American internet so slow? (John Aziz, This Week). Average connection speeds fare better, 9th globally for average connection speed. See Is the U.S. Losing the Broadband Race? As It Turns Out, We Look a Lot Like Danica Patrick (Hal Singer, Forbes) Singer says that more regulation has produced cheaper internet services in Europe but has “destroy[ed] investment incentives as a nasty byproduct“. Stoller provides a graphic which should cause you to wonder what Singer is talking about. The U.S. system encourages investment? Quite the opposite:
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