Monday, July 12, 2010

Did you know...?

Post 522 - Another week, another set of data, some national, some international.

The U.S. government is spending 2.6 million of our tax dollars to study the drinking habits of Chinese prostitutes and another $400,000 to study gay sexual behavior in bars in Argentina.

Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy examined computer use among a half-million 5th through 8th graders in North Carolina. They found that the spread of home computers and high-speed Internet access was associated with significant declines in math and reading scores.

U.S. studies indicate that 20 percent of recently married couples originally met online.

Today, manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is about 166,000 - lower than it was before the first personal computer, the MITS Altair 2800, was assembled in 1975. Meanwhile, a very effective computer-manufacturing industry has emerged in Asia, employing about 1.5 million workers - factory employees, engineers and managers.

For every Apple worker in the U.S. there are 10 people in China working on iMacs, iPods and iPhones. The same roughly 10-to-1 relationship holds for Dell, disk-drive maker Seagate Technology, and other U.S. tech companies.

A Silicon Valley company that sells equipment used to manufacture photo-active films ships close to 10 times more machines to China than to manufacturers in the U.S., and this gap is growing.

Figures provided by FICO Inc., show that 25.5 percent of consumers - 43.4 million - now have a credit score of 599 or below, marking them as poor risks for lenders. On the positive side, the number of consumers who have a top score of 800 or above has increased in recent years and now stands at 17.9 percent, above the historical average of 13 percent. People with moderate credit scores, those between 650 and 699, now represent less than 12 percent of consumers, down from a historical average of 15 percent.

Stretched to the limit by budget cuts and a rising caseload (traffic filings alone rose nearly 10 percent to 1.83 million last year) the Los Angeles County justice system has been struggling to contend with what appears to be a growing number of celebrities gone bad, done wrong, or otherwise in need of adjudication. New filings aren’t scanned into the court’s electronic system for days, sometimes leaving judges without access to the latest paperwork in one or another of the roughly three million cases that come in each year. And callers get lost in an automated telephone system that because of the layoffs no longer has a human being at its end. In March, the court laid off 329 of its more than 5,000 employees, while using furloughs and weekday closings to help trim a budget shortfall that was estimated at $79 million.

Last week, Lady Gaga became the first living person to hit 10 million followers on Facebook.

No comments: