Friday, October 26, 2012

Joseph E. Stiglitz and the Price of American Inequality as a Heavy Burden on the US Economy

For years, we have been posting at LawPundit about the inequality of wealth and income in America, and we see that Joseph E. Stiglitz has a New York Times article titled Some Are More Unequal Than Others, relating to his recent book, The Price of Inequality (2012), which made The New York Times best seller list.

As written at the Wikipedia, Stiglitz, currently a Professor at Columbia University, won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001, has served as senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, and is "one of the most frequently cited economists in the world".

Via Yahoo Finance, in an interview by Matthew Craft of the Associated Press in Nobel economist: Inequality weighs on US economy, Stiglitz is quoted as follows:
"[Question]: ... you make the case that income inequality is more important than ever. How so?

[Answer]: Because it's getting worse.... For two decades, all the increase in the country's wealth, which was enormous, went to the people at the very top.... Inequality has always been justified on the grounds that those at the top contributed more to the economy — "the job creators."

Then came 2008 and 2009, and you saw these guys who brought the economy to the brink of ruin walking off with hundreds of millions of dollars. And you couldn't justify that in terms of contribution to society.

The myth had been sold to people, and all of a sudden it was apparent to everybody that it was a lie.

Mitt Romney has called concerns about inequality the "politics of envy." Well, that's wrong. Envy would be saying, "He's doing so much better than me. I'm jealous." This is: "Why is he getting so much money, and he brought us to the brink of ruin?" And those who worked hard are the ones ruined....

The story we were told was that inequality was good for our economy. I'm telling a different story, that this level of inequality is bad for our economy."

The $2 Million Smartphone: 250,000 Patents in a Smartphone, but Apple Wanted $48 for 6 Patent Licenses from Samsung

The Apple v. Samsung patent battle in the last analysis is about money, and it shows how far from monetary reality the Cupertino Koh court has thus far been in assessing the monetary patent situation with respect to smartphones.

Kim Yoo-chul and Cho Mu-hyun at the Korea Times quote Santa Clara Law Professor Brian J. Love in By Apple's logic, Galaxy should cost $2 mil.
"Some have estimated that smartphones are covered by about 250,000 U.S. patents."

He said, without providing data, that Apple wanted Samsung to pay $48 per phone for six patents. "If all 250,000 patents were valued at the same amount, Samsung would have to charge the ridiculous price of $2 million per phone just to break even."
Indeed, the $1 billion jury verdict in Cupertino is estimated to amount to a ludicrous ca. $8 per smartphone, vastly out of proportion to the importance of any of these minor patents to the total "patent" value of the smartphone.

The appellate courts must start to come down hard on lower courts such as the Cupertino Koh court for permitting these kinds of absurd judgments.

USPTO Issues Non-Final Rejection of Apple's Bounce-Back Rubber-Banding Patent in Ex Parte Reexamination

We return to the patent scene, the Cupertino Koh court and the infamous billion-dollar bounce-back rubber-banding Apple v. Samsung jury trial case, and it appears -- at least for the time being -- that we were right here again in challenging the validity of the bounce-back patent at issue.

The USPTO in a non-final Ex Parte Reexamination action has rejected ALL 20 claims of the patent, including claim 19, which is the essential bounce-back part of the patent.

Tim Worstall has the basic story at The Register
US patent office prepares to kill off Apple's bounce-back patent

with a nice link, thank you,
to our previous allegation at LawPundit
that the Apple patent was invalid on its face
(see PONG ! About that Ridiculously Granted Bounce-Back Scrolling Patent US 7469381 Which Is Anticipated by the Prior Art and Obviousness of the Old Atari Game of PONG).

For a more detailed presentation see Florian Mueller at Foss Patents in

Patent office tentatively invalidates Apple's rubber-banding patent used in Samsung trial 


Matt Macari at The Verge in

Apple's bounce-back patent rejected by the Patent Office, but Samsung hasn't won yet

This patent rejection by the USPTO is NOT FINAL,
so it will be of interest to see what the USPTO does in its final finding.

WELLness at the New York Times: Sitting Is Definitely Out -- If You Want to Improve Health and Prolong Life

For wellness, see Well! at the New York Times.

I think that what Gretchen Reynolds writes at Get Up. Get Out. Don't Sit. may be an indicator that we are going to have to start cutting down our "sitting" computer time.

It appears that a lot of sitting may not be good for your health.

Monopolists and Market Control: Windows 8 and Windows RT : New Microsoft Operating Systems for PCs and Touchscreen Devices: Will the Mesh Work? Or Will Linux and Android Prevail Down the Road?

Two new operating systems (OS) from Microsoft:
Windows 8 for desktop PCs with mouse and keyboard
and Windows RT for touch devices.

("RT" here may or may not stand for "Risc Technology", "RunTime", or nothing specific, this is not clear even from Microsoft sources, but the similarity to Twitter RT is very unfortunate and the name is ill chosen).

David Pogue at the New York Times
has the story about Microsoft's two new OS's
in Windows, Revamped and Split in 2.

The reason for two operating systems
is that the Windows 8 operating system for PCs
runs just as previous Windows versions
on Intel’s X86 platform
while the new Windows RT
uses the X86-incompatible ARM microprocessor RISC architecture,
which is found in 98% of all mobile phones
and more and more in tablets and laptops
because ARM requires less power
and thus helps to extend battery life,
which is essential for modern gadgets.

Apple has two operating systems for similar reasons --
their Mac OS for PCs and their iOS for touch devices.

Both Microsoft and Apple have proprietary operating systems
and are monopolists in their markets.

Such closed systems survive short-term because they live from business customers or individuals who are willing to pay excessive monopoly prices only because they are often spending other people's money (e.g. company funds and finances in the case of PCs, or cash provided to adolescents by old Mac brand allegiant parents in the case of handhelds).

The average person who has to spend his or her OWN hard-earned money,
is tending to buy Android products more and more,
because he or she is getting a better deal for his or her dollar.

In our opinion closed systems have little chance long-term
in competing against the virtually open Android system,
which we ourselves consciously use for the very reason
that we refuse to be exploited by monopolists.

Not only are we buying Android handheld devices for their open nature,
but we are also in the process of shifting all our PCs to Linux.

Open systems win in the long term: they always have and always will.
Monopolies always lead to exploitation, corruption and tyranny.

One can view Apple's recent activities as a patent troll on the world scene and Microsoft's two new OS systems as attempts to maintain control of markets where the competition is becoming stronger and stronger and where newer, more dynamic and more innovative market entrants will become increasingly adept at toppling the old mainstream guard. That is the way of the world.

Windows 8 Test Performance via Ars Technica

Andrew Cunningham has the performance test results of Windows 8 at Ars Technica in Gentlemen, start your benches: Measuring Windows 8's performance.

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