- This week's issue of the economist has a brilliant primer on Angela Merkel and the upcoming German Election. But probably the most insightful part is this graphic showing the Bundestag results as of a September 11 poll:
Is Germany set for another “Grand coalition”?
- Financial analysts have been wringing their hands for months over the Australian housing market, which may or may not be entering bubble territory. This weekend has only added fuel to the fire, with the Australian Financial Review reporting an 84% auction clearance rate in Sydney, on a weekend featuring one of the highest number of auctions in a year.
- Jeremy Hsu has a fascinating story of an Indian company that has built solar powered “ATMs” that dispense water.
Sarvajal is still losing money in its efforts, but Shah figured the organization needs about 800 franchisees to break even. The organization has already seen steady growth from serving 60,000 people in 2011 to reaching 110,000 people in 2013—all for the price of less than $3 per month per family.
The water ATMs have already changed social behaviors in the villages. Whereas women and girls used to take on the water-carrying duties, men have increasingly proved eager to collect water from the ATMs to show their earning power. And everyone is proud of holding a smart card.
- The ABC's Four Corner's program recently ran a brilliant documentary on how much governments and companies monitor our businesses. Over the weekend the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story on Woolworth's using customer shopping data from rewards cards to inform their insurance business. It seems like now is a good time to revisit ProPublica's updated article on 'what Data Broker's know about us'.
- If you are in the mood for a longer read, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has written a long article in the Guardian on Labor's election loss. Self-aggrandizing yes, but Gillard offers an interesting critique of how Labor lost the plot, where the Coalition got it right, and how Labor should build itself anew as a “party of purpose”.