WSJ – Why AT&T Killed Google Voice

Andy Kessler writes in the Journal today about how a commercial arrangement between companies producing complementary products (wireless service and wireless handsets) can shut out an innovative competitor which requires access to established infrastructure to provide a competing service.

One can’t really expect Goliath to feed David knowing full well what will happen in battle, but this reminds me of a paper I wrote while at NYU in 1996 about the impact packet switching technology would have on prices for long-distance telephone service. The paper looks sort of prescient after 12 years, since it predicted a sharp fall in prices and furious lobbying by wireline providers to restrict alternate voice providers access to call completion (i.e. the last mile).

WaPo – Palin’s Red Menace

Richard Cohen writes in the Washington Post today about the similarities between Sarah Palin and Joe McCarthy. Cohen touches on the frequent and casual lying, the demagoguery and the constant demeaning of knowledge. It’s a comparison that occurred to me while reading Robert Caro’s excellent third volume on LBJ, which has a couple of chapters on Joe McCarthy.

WSJ – The New American Dream: Renting

The WSJ has an article by Thomas Sugrue about America’s long fascination with home-ownership. It’s an illuminating piece and a good overview of the history of government supported home-ownership programs in the 20th century in the US, including some commentary on how certain populations were discriminated against. One aspect the article does not explore is how home-ownership reduces labor mobility and tends to increase commuting times, the Economist wrote on this subject not too long ago.

Glenn Beck gets the Daily Show Treatment.

Jon Stewart takes on Glenn Beck’s inconsistencies. It’s the funniest bit you’ll see this month about the hypocritical posturing that some commentators have engaged in over health-care reform.

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