Sunday, March 14, 2004


Posts from all 3 UofC TNTMers on the same day? It must mean finals are over!

In this post, Brian questions whether Trey Parker & Matt Stone are really Republicans. I don't really have any greater insight on this than anyone else, but it does give good cause to mention one of the funniest TV commercials no one's ever seen. It was for the NFL Network and featured Parker and Stone saying something along the lines of "While growing up in Colorado, in between shooting elk and harassing liberals, we watched the Broncos make it to the Super Bowl four times, and lose all four times. Then, South Park came on the air, and the Broncos immediately won back-to-back Super Bowls." Quite true, and something I didn't realize before seeing this commercial.

Ben links to this interview with R. Hewitt Pate. One thing I found interest was his negative response to the first question about Oracle (plus PeopleSoft) becoming the American champion to battle German champion. His answer dovetails nicely with his claimed (in the last question) focus on the law rather than other factors, but the externalization of antitrust harms is a common topic in looking an antitrust from an international perspective. See, e.g., Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. California, 506 U.S. 764 (1993). Also the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6a, creates an exception to the antitrust laws to allow American companies to better compete. Granted, this isn't quite the same issue, but I at least found it an interest side note.

I've avoided linking to the WSJ in the past because of the paid subscription requirement, but I'm violating that for a few stories.
First, Lee Gomes had a column, reader response here, last Monday asking whether the innovation from Microsoft was sufficient given its resources. Second and relatedly, highly-respected Personal Technology columnist Walt Mossberg had a column arguing M$, or if not them, anybody else, should add a comprehensive update security service that doesn't require user intervention. Both columns have at their gist interesting ideas, but I don't think either one is on balance particularly wise.

Third, this Page One story from Thursday discusses how the (very real) threat of Eastern Europe has caused European unions to agree to contract renegotiation, including wage cuts, to avoid layoffs. Given the traditional story of union intransigence, this strikes me as a prime example of a realistic appreciation of market forces.

Fourth, this article from last Monday was perhaps the highlight of my week. James Minder was chairman of Smith & Wesson Holding Co., the gunmaker. Unfortunately, he had a secret buried in his past: he spent time in prison for armed robbery, including a $53,000 bank heist in the 60's.

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