Friday, December 18, 2015

Bitcoin Founder Identified?

Police raided the home of a man believed to be the founder of Bitcoin, the crypto-currency.

The linked article is a great summary of the issues surrounding this innovative form of money.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How To Search Using Parentheses

What if there are two are more common or related words and you want to include both of them in your search?  You’ll use parentheses – it works like an algebraic equation.

You enter your search into the database like so:

Example (blue or harvest) moon. You’ll get results that include blue and moon and harvest and moon.

(Soviet or Russia) “Cold War”
You’ll get results that include Soviet and “Cold War” AND Russia and “Cold War.”

If you have been doing searches like blue or harvest moon, you’ll get results back that feature only the word blue together with results that mix harvest and moon. No blue moon exactly, just blue….skies, bells, tooth, etc…

The parentheses make sure (those words go together.)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Online Resource Grants For Faculty

Online Resource Grants

The purpose of the online  resource grants is to enable the purchasing of larger one-time online resources no one department can easily afford with its library allocation. In academic year 2015-2016, $160,000 is budgeted for such online collections.
One-time purchases typically include but are not limited to primary source databases, journal backfile collections, e-book collections, audio or streaming media collections. Some possibilities are listed on our one-time resource page. Please contact Scott Pope (pope@txstate.edu) to get pricing for any products outside this list. Acquisitions will verify eligibility and pricing, and can set up trials as needed.

Guidelines

  • The resource should be online, accessible by the entire campus, and come with persistent access rights. The review committee can make an exception for an extraordinary print/microform collection not available online.
  • The resource must  be a one-time purchase. Grant funds cannot be used to support ongoing subscriptions or temporary access to a subscription resource. If the resource requires an annual access fee, the requestor’s department or other department will need to approve the ongoing cost from their library allocation.
  • The resource should enhance the library collection and strengthen research initiatives.
  • All things being equal, priority is given to higher ticket items over inexpensive ones. The library may be able to purchase less expensive items with end-of-year funds.

Review Criteria

  • Value/Anticipated Use of the Resource: Priority is given to resources that benefit many departments or programs or greatly benefit one area. More than one source of personal/departmental support may be important. The resource does not necessarily need to be multi-disciplinary. The intent is that all subject areas be represented over the years.
  • Uniqueness: Priority is given to resources that enhance the library’s collection rather than duplicate or overlap with existing collections.

Submit a proposal here

Submission deadline: Thursday, February 18, 2016, 5pm.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
The review committee consists of two members of the Library Committee, two previous recipients, and two librarians.

Timeline

Dec 8 – Feb 19: Applications are accepted
Feb 19 – March 13: Application review
End of March: Grants are announced
April – May: Resources are ordered

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dun & Bradstreet Is Inside Mergent

The Dun & Bradstreet Private Company database is lurking inside the Mergent database. 

Once you get inside Mergent, you'll clearly see the correct tab. Most people use this to look up a private company's estimated annual sales.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Searching For SEC Documents

Update: the Morningstar 10-K database is going away.  No big deal it searched publicly accessible SEC documents anyway.

So here are your two best options.

You can search the official EDGAR database.

You can use our database Mergent and select government filings as the search option.  I prefer the search interface on Mergent.





Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Treaties


Here are some ways to find out which countries have signed what kind of treaties. Also, bear in mind that membership in international organizations de facto carries some kinds of agreements and cooperation (i.e. European Union).

on the internet:

Organization of American States Free Trade Agreements

U.S. Free Trade Agreements

GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). Avoid www.gatt.org, one of the most famous protest sites on the internet.

UN Database of Treaties - All treaties entered into by any member state.

CIA World Factbook - see which international organizations a country belongs to. Choose your country and click on government to the bottom of the screen.

Treaties in Force - Treaties America has signed.

our databases:

Search Lexis Nexis for the full text of lapsed and current U.S. Treaties.  They also have the European Union treaties.
 
In Lexis Nexis, go to 1) International Legal Tab then 2) European Union, Commonwealth and Foreign Nations Tab (even for US treaties) 3) choose your selection from the box.

see below:


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Wall Street Journal

Here's how you find the Wall Street Journal. You could get a paper copy on the third floor in periodicals. The most recent edition is kept at the periodicals desk.

Or, you can read the Journal online in ABI Inform. You can browse a daily edition by setting the date to one day only.

Older editions (1889-1995) are available fulltext online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

Here's a complete list of our Wall Street Journal links.

Monday, October 19, 2015

University Reporter Video

Here's the video for University Reporter, formally known as MRI+ plus. This is a great database for getting consumer profiles for various brands, products, and economic activities.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Book Review: And The Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)



In the early 2000s, middle class Argentinians regularly awoke to find scavengers going through dumpsters looking for plastic bottles. In many cases, these scavengers had once lived in the same neighborhood or one like it. Looting, fires and civil disturbance were regular features on the evening news.

The culprit? Argentina's currency had collapsed and set loose a disastrous inflation rate that decimated the savings of normal people. Read the book for the gory details of a too large government, national debt, and an ill-thought basis for currency exchange.

The situation is not completely analogous to the issues the United States faces now. Argentina's problems were caused by pegging its weakening national currency to the dollar. Nevertheless, the episode does show what lurks under the delicate threads of currency valuation, debt and ultimately savings and societal trust.

And the Money Kept Rolling In is recommended as a lesson in national finance policy. For any student of Latin American economic history, it's a must read.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Word of the Day: Rentier

Rentier (REN-TEE-AY from the French) is an important concept. It refers to wealth created by control of the economy, not capitalist competition and innovation. By definition, competition would produce lower prices and promote innovation, but the rentier faction captures government and passes regulations to quash such things.

In short, their wealth is an artificial construct protected by law. They may act like capitalists, but they are not. They derive their income from rents, not real achievements.


Michael Hudson has a fascinating article detailing the need to take such things into account in economic models.  Because economists are lousy at predicting human corruption and irrationality!

Here's the introduction:

"By promoting a misleading view of how the economy works, the above omissions lead to a policy that fails to prevent debt bubbles or deal effectively with the ensuing depression. To avoid a replay of the recent financial crisis – and indeed, to extricate economies from their present debt strait-jacket that subordinates recovery to the overhang of creditor claims (that is, saving the banks from taking a loss on their bad loans and gambles) – it is necessary to explain how credit creation inflates housing and other asset prices, while interest and other financial charges deflate the “real” economy, holding down commodity prices, shrinking markets and employment, and holding down wages in a downward economic spiral. We are dealing with two price trends that go in opposite directions: asset prices and commodity prices. It therefore is necessary to explain how credit expansion pushes asset prices up while simultaneously causing debt deflation."

Friday, August 28, 2015

Vemma Temporary Halted Due to Pyramid Scheme Allegation

I wrote earlier about the Vemma energy drink business model controversy. A court has agreed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and temporary halted Vemma operations due to concerns about the company being a pyramid scheme.

Read more about this issue here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Effective Business Communication


Here's some more subject headings to help out the management majors and salespeople. Heck, any one could benefit from this material.

Also: business communication is a good place to look. You will find information about streamlining your writing, communicating core ideas, and persuading an audience.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Stock Reports

Many people read investment reports before investing in a stock or mutual fund.

We have two of the best in Valueline and Standard and Poor's. They cover stocks and mutual funds as well as other investments. If you are using Standard and Poor's to search for stocks, enter the stock and then choose stock reports on the left side of the screen. An investment report should appear:


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Business in Movies: The Network Capitalism Speech


Here's the scene in Network where Ned Beatty explains the reality of capitalism and the illusion of democracy and the nation-state to a bewildered Peter Finch.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Data Planet and dataZoa Make Big Data Easy

It's the age of big data.  And learning to make attractive graphs and charts for presentations as an important job skill.

But data planet and dataZoa make it easy for you.  These databases allow you to easily import data from several different sources and easily make charts and graphs.  True, there's a way to do this in Microsoft Excel but it is much easier in these two databases.

dataZoa

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

MRI + Migration - Save Your Data



MRI/ University Reporter will change platforms on June 30 with no information carrying over from the old platform, and no redirects for the URL.  There’s a message on the database page to alert anyone who uses this regularly.   You need to export any saved data before June 30th


MRI+ University Reporter from Mediamark Research Inc.  About This Resource

Subjects:
Consumer demographics, psychographics/lifestyles, product & brand usage, and media preferences based on a national probability sample of 27,000 households. Although MRI provides marketing research for a wide variety of products, it does not analyze all consumer items. Please see the MRI Internet User Guide for help or watch our YouTube video.
Formats:
Full text.
Coverage:
2001 to last year.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Koch Support of Florida State University Economics Department


Presented for your information.  The Economics Department at Florida State University will apparently be largely funded by the Koch family.  This support will include strict oversight of publications and hires by the department by the Koch foundation. 

Please read the article for more information. 

John Nash and Game Theory

John Nash, a principal originator of game theory, and the subject of the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind was recently killed in an automobile accident.

John Nash titles here. Our copy of a Beautiful Mind here.

Among many contributions, Nash was famous for the Nash equilibrium in game theory. From the obituary in the Guardian:

“In his discipline, he gave his name to the Nash equilibrium – a position in a situation of competition or conflict in which both sides have selected a strategy, but where neither side can then independently change their strategy without ending up in a less desirable position.”

Friday, April 24, 2015

Search Patents In Lexis-Nexis

You can look up patents and trademarks in the LexisNexis database.

To look up all patents and trademarks held BY COMPANY in LexisNexis:

1) Click the SEARCH BY CONTENT TYPE then the COMPANIES tab, 2) look up your company in COMPANY DOSSIER and then 3) patents is on the left side of screen


You can also search patents in general in LexisNexis. Again, select By Content Type then Patents.


Or, you can use the US Patent Office website, but you can't search by company so well. They also have trademarks, BTW.

Here's what the advanced patent search in LexisNexis looks like.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Advertising RedBooks Online


What is Advertising RedBooks Online?

You'll use this database to:

1) Enter a company and find out how much they spend and which agencies they use.
2) Find an agency by specialty (magazine, tv, etc...) and see who their clients are
3) Find companies by industry type (SIC and NAICS) or geography.