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  • And you thought the Yo app was goofy

    The stunning rise of the Yo app – which does nothing but make a friend’s phone utter the vacuous phrase – has cast a spotlight on one of the sillier niches in the multi-billion dollar app industry. There are more goofy, silly and downright absurd apps and services than ever, as every Tom, Dick and Harry with a bad idea can turn to fundraising sites including Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to pump themselves up.

    With thanks to Techcrunch, Valleywag and a subreddit with an unprintable name, here are 10 of the most ridiculous apps and services vying for your dollars recently. Not all have been funded, of course; technology projects don’t have a great track record of winning financial backing. On Kickstarter, for example, only 33% of projects in the tech category successfully reached their fundraising goals, 13th out of the site’s 15 funding categories (dance and theater projects have the highest success rate).

    1. One crazy service that opened its doors in June, only to shutter a week later,

    Read More »from And you thought the Yo app was goofy
  • If Washington is doing anything right, that’s news to ordinary Americans.

    Government approval ratings have hit new all-time lows, according to Gallup, which has been measuring the standing of big institutions since the 1970s. The percentage of Americans saying they have confidence in Congress has dropped to the earthworm level of 7%, the lowest in the history of the poll. The Supreme Court registered its own all-time low of 30%. The presidency, with a confidence rating of 29%, is at the lowest level since Barack Obama took office in 2009, though it was lower in 2007 and 2008, the last two years of George W. Bush’s second term.

    Government approval ratings typically drop during recessions, since more people feel worse off and some of them blame the government. Approval ratings usually bounce back during recoveries, as people have less to complain about. That makes the current levels of dissatisfaction unusual, as Lauren Lyster and I discuss in the video above.

    The last recession

    Read More »from The real reason Americans are disgusted with government
  • Facebook continues to give users reasons to dislike the tech giant. Over the weekend news broke that the social media site had manipulated the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users without their knowledge.

    It undertook an experiment in 2012 to test the notion that users feel bad when they see lots of positive news from their "friends." The experiment involved reducing the number of positive news feeds for some and reducing the number of negative news feed for others. The study found that the more positive the news feeds a user received, the more positive their postings became, and vice versa.

    Related: Facebook: What’s not to like?

    The results were published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Then on Sunday the experiment's lead researcher Adam Kramer posted an apology for the experiment on his Facebook page, publicizing the news:

    "Having written and designed this experiment myself, I can tell you that our goal was

    Read More »from What Facebook did to outrage users
  • An astounding 70% of college seniors had student loan debt in 2012. According to a study by the Institute for College Access and Success, the average student loan debt for a 2012 graduate was about $30,000. And it's about to go up.

    Every year for the past 30 years college tuition and fees have been rising anywhere from 2 to 5%. Four-year public college and universities now cost an average $9,000 a year, including room and board, for in-state residents and private nonprofit colleges cost an average $41,000, according to The College Board.

    This September students will not only be paying more for school than they paid last year, but they will also be charged higher rates for new loans.

    As of July 1, Stafford loans will carry a 4.66% rate for undergraduates and 6.21% for graduate students. PLUS loans, used by parents and graduate students, will charge 7.21%. All these rates are set as a differential above the 10-year Treasury note.

    For perspective, consider that 30-year fixed rate

    Read More »from Think college is out of reach now? Just wait.

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FOLLOW 'THE DAILY TICKER'

"The Daily Ticker" covers the most important business stories of the day -- the economy, investing, corporate leadership and politics. "The Daily Ticker" picks up where Tech Ticker left off and is hosted by Aaron Task, Lauren Lyster and Henry Blodget. Often serious, sometimes irreverent and always interesting, "The Daily Ticker" gives viewers a unique take on the business world's most crucial stories.

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