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Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
Results 21-30 of 86

Meet the $4.25 Billion Asset Manager That Took a Bath on Bitcoin

February 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Fortress Financial Group, a publicly-traded asset manager with a market value of $4.26 billion, reported its 2013 results yesterday—and its biggest investment loss was bitcoin. In an SEC filing, the company reported purchasing $20 million worth of bitcoin during the fourth quarter of 2013, making it the first public company ...

More People Around the World Have Cellphones Than Ever Had Landlines

February 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There are almost as many cell-phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people on this earth (seven billion)—and it took a little more than 20 years for that to happen. In 2013, there were some 96 cell-phone service subscriptions for every 100 people in the world. Shouting is the likely ...

Drones Are Finally Driving the U-2 Spy Plane Out of Business

February 25, 2014 When US president Obama unveils his 2015 spending proposal in March, it is expected to be the first in more than a decade to shift defense spending off its post-9/11 war footing. That means cutting the number of active-duty soldiers to 440,000, slightly fewer than in the late nineties, limiting ...

Drones Are Finally Driving the U-2 Spy Plane out of Business

February 24, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When President Obama unveils his 2015 spending proposal in March, it is expected to be the first in more than a decade to shift defense spending off its post-9/11 war footing. That means cutting the number of active-duty soldiers to 440,000, slightly fewer than in the late nineties, limiting new ...

Here’s the Enormous Hangar Google Bought to Fill With Robots

February 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Planetary Ventures, a Google shell company, will lease an airport—and an enormous hangar—from the United States space agency NASA. Just miles from Google’s headquarters, Hangar One in Moffett Field has a floor plan of about eight acres (3.2 hectares), and when it was built in 1933 it was one the ...

Google's Robot Army Will Live in This Military Hangar

February 13, 2014 Planetary Ventures, a Google shell company, will lease an airport—and an enormous hangar—from the United States space agency NASA. Just miles from Google’s headquarters, Hangar One in Moffett Field has a floor plan of about eight acres (3.2 hectares), and when it was built in 1933 it was one the ...

Was the Creation of the 401(k) a Mistake?

February 4, 2014 What if the government accidentally invented a new industry? That’s about what happened in 1978, when a US tax bill focused on cutting middle-class taxes also created a new provision of the US tax code, section 401(k), that would become one the most widely-used retirement plans for Americans and create ...

Obama Came Up With a New Retirement Plan Inspired by Behavioral Economics

January 29, 2014 One unexpected idea on US President Barack Obama’s to-do list is a new public pension powered by behavioral economics. Obama touted the MyRA, a “new savings bond” for private-sector workers who don’t have pensions (which is most of them) or tax-advantaged retirement investments like 401ks and IRAs (about 40%). More ...

Your Internet Connection Is Slower Than Advertised

January 15, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Netflix has updated its public data on how fast it streams movies to customers around the world. Viewers in the Netherlands see their movies with the best quality, at an average rate of 3.25 megabits per second, while Mexico comes in the slowest with an average of 1.76 Mbps. But ...

Google’s Nest Acquisition Will Speed Along the Smart Grid

January 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google is buying Nest, the maker of a smart thermostat for homes, for $3.2 billion in cash. With it comes a relatively untapped source for a company that aspires to organize all the world’s information: detailed data about power consumption. The search giant’s financial power and ambition could help accelerate ...