Today’s Links: July 18, 2012


THE ECONOMIST: “Gas works: Shale Gas is Giving a Big Boost to America’s Economy
“[S]hale contributes a third of America’s gas supplies. By 2035 the country’s share of total supplies (which may by then have risen to 820 billion cubic metres a year) could be nearly half. The rise has been helped along by a variety of factors, such as the liberalisation of access to existing pipelines by third parties that started in the 1970s, a deep and liquid gas market that allowed the risks of drilling to be hedged, ready access to capital, America’s home-grown oil industry and the entrepreneurial zip that provided the men and equipment. ”

DAN WALTERS: “Unfunded Pension Liabilities Threaten California
“As pension funds’ unfunded liabilities grow, state and local governments are being told to cough up more in contributions, and they must either swallow the increases or persuade their employees to pay more. It’s not a coincidence that sharply increasing pension fund demands play large roles in the recent financial struggles of Stockton and San Bernardino.”

JOHN LECHLEITER: “An Internal Failure to Innovate Is America’s Greatest Global Threat
“The United States is the undisputed leader in global medical innovation.  Each year, we test more potential new medicines than the rest of the world combined, and we lead the world in biotechnology patents.  But continued U.S. leadership in innovation is by no means guaranteed.”


NET NEUTRALITY – AT&T Charging for FaceTime Would Breach Net Neutrality, Groups Say
“AT&T would almost certainly violate net neutrality rules if it begins charging for using FaceTime over its cellular network when Apple’s newest mobile operating system debuts in September. At least, that’s what digital rights groups said Tuesday of the leaked plan to charge yet another special fee to customers to use the full capability of devices on AT&T’s network.”

FINANCE – Consumer Watchdog Fines Capital One For Deceptive Credit Card Practices
“The nation’s consumer watchdog on Wednesday delivered its first enforcement action against the financial industry, fining Capital One for pressuring and misleading more than two million credit card customers. Capital One, one of the nation’s biggest banks and credit card lenders, agreed to pay $210 million to resolve the case, the latest legal setback for the financial industry.”

SPACE – NASA builds menu for planned Mars mission in 2030s
“Through a labyrinth of hallways deep inside a 1960s-era building that has housed research that dates back to the early years of U.S. space travel, a group of scientists in white coats is stirring, mixing, measuring, brushing and, most important, tasting the end result of their cooking.”