"economics" entries

iPhone economics and lower barriers to entry

The power of the App Store is defined by more than direct revenue.

The App Store has exposed incumbents in the mobile industry to the same sort of asymmetric competition that has reshaped the media industry over the past decade. Developers are responding in droves to the economic incentives that lower barriers to entry create, as well as the fact that the App Store has generated $1 billion in royalty payments in just a few years.

Sifting Through All These Books

We have a massive and growing supply and demand imbalance in the book business. And, as the technologies for creating and distributing books becomes trivial, the supply of books is just going to keep growing exponentially…. How are people going to sift through all these books to find what they want?

European Union starts project about economic effects of open government data

Open source advocate Marco Fioretti has just announced the start of a
study on open data for the European Union, with a focus on economic
benefits for local businesses. Related surveys are also mentioned.

Four short links: 25 May 2010

Four short links: 25 May 2010

European Economic Crisis, Scaling Guardian API, Cheerful Pessimism, and Science Mapping

  1. Lending Merry-Go-Round — these guys have been Australia’s sharpest satire for years, filling the role of the Daily Show. Here they ask some strong questions about the state of Europe’s economies … (via jdub on Twitter)
  2. What’s Powering the Guardian’s Content API — Scala and Solr/Lucene on EC2 is the short answer. The long answer reveals the details of their setup, including some of their indexing tricks that means Solr can index all their content in just an hour. (via Simon Willison)
  3. What I Learned About Engineering from the Panama Canal (Pete Warden) — I consider myself a cheerful pessimist. I’ve been through enough that I know how steep the odds of success are, but I’ve made a choice that even a hopeless fight in a good cause is worthwhile. What a lovely attitude!
  4. Mapping the Evolution of Scientific Fields (PLoSone) — clever use of data. We build an idea network consisting of American Physical Society Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS) numbers as nodes representing scientific concepts. Two PACS numbers are linked if there exist publications that reference them simultaneously. We locate scientific fields using a community finding algorithm, and describe the time evolution of these fields over the course of 1985-2006. The communities we identify map to known scientific fields, and their age depends on their size and activity. We expect our approach to quantifying the evolution of ideas to be relevant for making predictions about the future of science and thus help to guide its development.
Four short links: 28 April 2010

Four short links: 28 April 2010

Fair Use Economy, Deconstituted Appliances, 3D Vision, Redis for Fun and Profit

  1. Fair Use in the US Economy (PDF) — prepared by IT lobby in the US, it’s the counterpart to Big ©’s fictitious billions of dollars of losses due to file sharing. Take each with a grain of salt, but this is interesting because it talks about the industries and businesses that the fair use laws make possible.
  2. Disassembled Household Appliances — neat photos of the pieces in common equipment like waffle irons, sandwich makers, can openers, etc. (via evilmadscientist)
  3. GelSight — gel block on a sheet of glass, lit from below with lights and then scanned with cameras, lets you easily capture 3D qualities of the objects pressed into it. Very cool demo–you can see finger prints, pulse, and even make out designs on a $100 bill.
  4. Redis Tutorial (Simon Willison) — Redis is a very fast collection of useful behaviours wrapped around a distributed key-value store. You get locks, IDs, counters, sets, lists, queues, replication, and more.
Four short links: 1 April 2010

Four short links: 1 April 2010

Copyright Economics, RDF, Linked Data Faith, and Douglas Adams

  1. Extending Copyright Duration in Australia (PDF) — economics of copyright extension. This proposal in the “let’s dream” section at the end caught my eye: The potential trade-off between production and distribution of intellectual property can be addressed in a number of ways. Australia could offer a system of graduated copyright protection with differing durations and differing fees. If an individual truly believed that their intellectual property would be valuable seventy years after their deaths, they should pay for that privilege. This is a Coasian solution to the copyright monopoly problem — with property rights being allocated to the public domain. In essence, creators are renting a portion of the public domain. It need not constitute a barrier to invention and creative activity because, in any event, there are few copyright materials that are valuable after such a long period of time and further, if the individual’s beliefs are correct they could either raise the necessary funds by means of a loan or by selling the idea on the secondary market. If, however, they thought their intellectual property were only valuable for ten years then they would pay far less, and so on. (via wiselark on Twitter)
  2. Heart Proposal (Apache) — a planet-scale RDF data store and a distributed processing engine based on Hadoop & Hbase. (via Hacker News)
  3. Collections Trust: 10 Principles for Linked Data — they read to me more as articles of faith than as proven statements of fact. 4. Linked Data can help us achieve more efficient practice. 5. Linked Data can help us deliver on our commitment to Public Access. 6. Linked Data is the next phase in our adaptation to the Web. 7. Linked Data should become an embedded function of the software we use (via PeoplePoints)
  4. Parrots, The Universe, and Everything — 1981 University of California talk by Douglas Adams. (via BoingBoing)
Four short links: 24 March 2010

Four short links: 24 March 2010

Goat Economics, Android Tablets, In-Browser Annotation, Rational Security Rejection

  1. The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble — hilarious economics parable.
  2. The ZenPad — look for more Android-powered tablets. (via azaaza on Twitter)
  3. Diigo — browser plugin to archive, highlight, and annotate web pages, then share and collaborate on those augmentations. (via an annotation of Zittrain’s Future of the Internet and How to Stop It)
  4. So Long, And No Thanks for the Externalities: The Rational Rejection of Security Advice by Users (Microsoft, PDF) — To make this concrete, consider an exploit that affects 1% of users annually, and they waste 10 hours clearing up when they become victims. Any security advice should place a daily burden of no more than 10/(365 * 100) hours or 0.98 seconds per user in order to reduce rather than increase the amount of user time consumed. This generated the profound irony that much security advice … does more harm than good. (via Greg Linden)

Innovation Lessons in "Start-Up Nation"

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle
investigates the social, historical, and psychological traits that
produce extraordinarily creative people–and significantly, creative
people who can translate their cranial light-bulbs into technologies
with the potential to change the world.

The fate of WIPO, ACTA, and other intellectual property pushes in the international economy

Intellectual property wars are fiercer than ever, although the institutions most affected (including the media) prefer not to talk about them. But we may be in for a pendulum shift. I recently put out a tweet on this topic and was asked to expand on it. The issues are too big and complex for me to give them a proper…

Four short links: 12 November 2009

Four short links: 12 November 2009

CRM on Rails, Data Mining on Hadoop, Disappointing Keynotes, The Teapot Effect

  1. Fat Free CRM — open source (Affero GPL) Ruby on Rails CRM system.
  2. Bixo — open source data mining toolkit that runs as a series of pipes on top of Hadoop. Built on Cascading workflow system for Hadoop that hides MapReduce. (via kdnuggets)
  3. Andy Kessler’s Keynote at Defrag Stank (Pete Warden) — I’m sorry to hear it, because I loved Andy’s book How We Got Here about the intersecting histories of economics, finance, and technology. Read the book instead of reading about the disappointing keynote.
  4. The Teapot Effect — the thing I love about geeks is how their passion causes them to explore, ruthlessly and quantitatively, the everyday phenomena that the rest of us take for granted. Such as dribbling teapots: “Previous studies have shown that dribbling is the result of flow separation where the layer of fluid closest to the boundary becomes detached from it. When that happens, the fluid flows smoothly over the lip. But as the flow rate decreases, the boundary layer re-attaches to the surface causing dribbling.” Read the post and the research it talks about to learn how to prevent Dribbling Teapot Syndrome ….