August 31, 2011
Apple Tussles with Financial Times
The Financial Times has pulled its iPad and iPhone apps from Apple's App Store after losing a battle to keep control of customer data obtained through subscriptions.
Apple has recently begun to insist that subscriptions to apps that it hosts must go through its own store, giving Apple ownership of valuable data about customers from those transactions, as well as a 30 percent cut of revenues.
... The iPad tablet computer, launched a year and a half ago, created a new market popular with affluent professionals and has been a major driver of new subscriptions to FT.com, which now accounts for about a quarter of the FT's total sales.
The FT's digital subscriptions rose 34 percent to 230,000 in the first half of this year, with mobile devices accounting for 22 percent of FT.com traffic and more than 15 percent of new subscriptions.
In a move to reduce its dependence on Apple and develop apps more quickly for rival tablet computers, the FT in June launched a Web-based version of its mobile app, the first of its kind by a major publisher.
August 22, 2011
Top Ten Reasons for a Third Year in Law School
Over at the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Shea usefully seeks to turn the blawgosphere's attention from "Is Law School a Scam?" issue to other important questions--like "Is the Third Year of Law School a Scam?" That's not actually the way he characterizes his question, of course. He frames it in a less hyperbolic way.
I thought I might offer a few reasons why the third year of law school is useful--in the form of a Letterman Top Ten list. Of course, these ten reasons could be counterweighed by even more numerous or stronger arguments on the other side.
10. Given the lack of resources (or incentive) of private law firms to engage in training, a third year allows one to take advanced courses in a variety of subjects. I, for example, took Advanced Civil Procedure in my last term (with the great Geoff Hazard, now a part of the incomparable UC family).
9. A third year allows one to experiment by taking courses in new areas, perhaps opening one's eyes to areas of the law that might not have seemed initially appealing.
8. Having finished taking most bar classes, a student can now finally take courses related to his or her passions.
7. Third year students run a variety of programs essential to the law school curriculum, like Moot Court or Barrister's Union.
6. Having a third year allows one two summers while enrolled as a student, thus giving one the opportunity to experiment with two different firms, two different cities, or two different kinds of legal practice.
5. A third year allows one to write and publish notes in the Law Journal, thus improving one's research and writing skills dramatically.
4. In many schools still, the first year is almost entirely spoken for with mandatory courses. A third year gives one longer opportunity to actually study the areas one is keen to study.
3. A third year allows one to serve as a research assistant to law professors, thus building an important relationship with someone who might be a good mentor.
2. Without third year law students, the legal academy would lose those who run student-edited law reviews, the principal means for distributing legal scholarship.
1. By the time of third year, you finally know where the best bars are. (Okay, most folks probably figured this out during their first week of law school. It just took me longer.)
What would you miss most if you never had a third year in law school? Alternatively, why do you think a third year was unnecessary?
(cross-posted at Law School Innovation)
Libyan Rebels Express Thanks to World Leaders
As described by the HuffingtonPost:
Libyans supportive of rebel forces held up a large sign with portraits of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Above their images was written: "FANTASTIC 4."
"GOD BLESS YOU ALL. THANKS FOR ALL" was written below their portraits.
August 18, 2011
Diaspora Bonds: The Economist Reports
HOW can emigrants help the countries they have left? The usual answer is: by sending money home to support their parents, put cousins through college, and so on. Such remittances are important, says Dilip Ratha of the World Bank, but it is not enough to tap the income of migrants abroad. Poor countries should also tap their savings. One way is to sell diaspora bonds.
The idea is simple. Poor-country governments can issue bonds and market them to emigrants in rich countries. There are several advantages to milking members of a diaspora. They are often patriotic: they like the idea that their savings will pay for bridges and clinics at home. They are patient, since they have a long-term tie to the issuer. They are less jittery than other investors, too, since they have friends who can tell them whether political unrest is really as bloody as it looks on television. And they are sanguine about currency risk. If the Zambian kwacha crashes, an expat Zambian can buy his mother a cheap house.
August 11, 2011
Foxconn makes $14 from assembling $560 iPhone, Apple $368
Component manufacturers receive $178, the assembly company Foxconn makes $14, and Apple receives $368 to compensate for design, software, and marketing of each iPhone. An iPhone may be made in China, but the profits go to California. The Economist breaks down how the money flows.
August 09, 2011
Sovereign Ratings, Mapped
August 08, 2011
Download This: The Asian Century?
With sovereign debt crises afflicting both the United States and Europe, it is more important than ever to understand what the rise of Asia means for the world. In this article, I compare two visions of internationalism--Henry Luce's framework of an American Century with Rabindranath Tagore's vision of an international order. The paper marks in my own way an homage to Tagore, whose 150th birth anniversary was marked this year.
The abstract for the paper:
August 07, 2011
New Blog: International Law with a Sub-Continental Flavor
Shashank Kumar, a young lawyer from India educated at the National Law School, Jodhpur, and Yale Law School, has announced a new international law blog--International Law Curry. The early posts are quite promising, as one would expect of a founder of the Trade, Law, and Development journal. (Kumar is already a prolific scholar--see his works available on SSRN.)
International law discussions in the United States often fail to try to understand issues from the perspective of those in the developing world. Kumar's blog offers a useful corrective.
Check it out here.
August 03, 2011
WSJ Does Helpful Roundup of Amazon Tax States
The power of tax law is visible in full force as we see how Amazon structures its everyday operations in this excellent report by Stu Woo for the WSJ.
August 01, 2011
Man-made famine in Somalia
The New York Times reports on horrifying actions in Somalia.
The Shahab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory.
The group is widely blamed for causing a famine in Somalia by forcing out many Western aid organizations, depriving drought victims of desperately needed food. The situation is growing bleaker by the day, with tens of thousands of Somalis already dead and more than 500,000 children on the brink of starvation.
Every morning, emaciated parents with emaciated children stagger into Banadir Hospital, a shell of a building with floors that stink of diesel fuel because that is all the nurses have to fight off the flies. Babies are dying because of the lack of equipment and medicine. Some get hooked up to adult-size intravenous drips — pediatric versions are hard to find — and their compromised bodies cannot handle the volume of fluid.
Most parents do not have money for medicine, so entire families sit on old-fashioned cholera beds, with basketball-size holes cut out of the middle, taking turns going to the bathroom as diarrhea streams out of them.