lemeb + #$#monopoly   15

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Congrats, Bloomberg, you won. Best title ever.
#us#dems  #techpol  #t#selfdriving  #us#elections  #$#monopoly  #alphabet 
11 days ago by lemeb
Decentralisation: the next big step for the world wide web | Technology | The Guardian
The decentralised web, or DWeb, could be a chance to take control of our data back from the big tech firms. So how does it work and when will it be here?
#t#next  #techpol  #$#monopoly  !write!technologist 
13 days ago by lemeb
Britain’s political centre of gravity is moving left - Bagehot
The question at the heart of British politics is not whether it moves to the left, but what sort of left it moves to. Will it be a one nation Conservatism, committed to fixing capitalism from within, or the Venezuela-loving leftism long promoted by Mr Corbyn? To secure the first option, the Conservative Party needs to do more than take failing prisons into public control or increase spending on strained social services. It needs to demonstrate that it can reform capitalism even in the teeth of opposition from big business and Tory donors. Fluff that test and no amount of revelations about palling around with terrorists will keep Mr Corbyn out of Downing Street.
#$#monopoly  #brexit  #conservatives 
29 days ago by lemeb
Brexit’s Big Short: How Pollsters Helped Hedge Funds Beat the Crash - Bloomberg
Behind the scenes, a small group of people had a secret—and billions of dollars were at stake. Hedge funds aiming to win big from trades that day had hired YouGov and at least five other polling companies, including Farage's favorite pollster. Their services, on the day and in the days leading up to the vote, varied, but pollsters sold hedge funds critical, advance information, including data that would have been illegal for them to give the public. Some hedge funds gained confidence, through private exit polls, that most Britons had voted to leave the EU, or that the vote was far closer than the public believed—knowledge pollsters provided while voting was still underway and hours ahead of official tallies. These hedge funds were in the perfect position to earn fortunes by short selling the British pound. Others learned the likely outcome of public, potentially market-moving polls before they were published, offering surefire trades.
The phones in YouGov’s offices rang like mad in the days between the Scottish polls and the referendum. Hedge fund executives were among those on the line. If YouGov was conducting another poll before the vote, traders said, they’d be willing to pay vast sums for a heads-up just 30 minutes to an hour before publication, according to two knowledgeable sources. Since news of the poll alone likely would move markets, the survey’s accuracy was meaningless; traders simply needed to know the results before they became public. They offered YouGov several multiples more than the newspapers had paid to commission the polls in the first place, the two insiders recalled. YouGov rejected these offers, the insiders said. Survation, along with at least one other pollster, saw other opportunities.
#$#monopoly  #conservatives  %longform  #$#cashstash  #brexit  !write!readthenews  #$#cons  %journalism 
june 2018 by lemeb
Amazon: By Prioritizing its Own Fashion Label Brands in Product Placement on its Increasingly Dominant Platform, Amazon Risks Antitrust Enforcement by a Trump Administration
Through an analysis of hundreds of Amazon and non-Amazon products sold on the platform, we found the company prioritizes its own clothing brands on the promotional carousel labeled “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.” Amazon appears to relatively restrict competitors’ access to this prominent placement on product pages for its private label, directing consumers toward its own products rather than competing products. On pages for products that are not Amazon brands, however, Amazon opens the space up much more for competing products.
#$#logistics  #$#monopoly 
june 2018 by lemeb
Amazon, the Brand Buster - The New York Times
In just a few years, AmazonBasics had grabbed nearly a third of the online market for batteries, outselling both Energizer and Duracell on its site.

Inside Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, that success raised a tantalizing possibility. If, with very little effort, Amazon could become a huge player in the battery market, what else might be possible for the company?

Anyone who spends much time on the Amazon site can see the answer to that question. The company now has roughly 100 private label brands for sale on its huge online marketplace, of which more than five dozen have been introduced in the past year alone. But few of those are sold under the Amazon brand. Instead, they have been given a variety of anodyne, disposable names like Spotted Zebra (kids clothes), Good Brief (men’s underwear), Wag (dog food) and Rivet (home furnishings). Want to buy a stylish but affordable cap-sleeve dress? A flared version from Lark & Ro ($39), maybe in millennial pink, might be just what you’re looking for.
#$#monopoly  #$#logistics 
june 2018 by lemeb
E-Commerce Might Help Solve the Mystery of Low Inflation - The New York Times
Unemployment is sinking and businesses are churning out more goods and services. Yet even with the economy standing on tippy toes, prices and wages are climbing a lot more slowly than anyone has expected.

Now a growing body of research is putting the blame more pointedly on e-commerce. The spectacular growth in online shopping, it turns out, is not only tamping down inflation more than previously thought, but also distorting the way it is measured.
%econ  %policystats  #$#innov  #$#monopoly  #$#logistics  #xxi#tech 
june 2018 by lemeb
The Entire Economy Is MoviePass Now. Enjoy It While You Can. - The New York Times
If you’re still skeptical, I don’t blame you. It used to be that in order to survive, businesses had to sell goods or services above cost. But that model is so 20th century. The new way to make it in business is to spend big, grow fast and use Kilimanjaro-size piles of investor cash to subsidize your losses, with a plan to become profitable somewhere down the road.

Over all, 76 percent of the companies that went public last year were unprofitable on a per-share basis in the year leading up to their initial offerings, according to data compiled by Jay Ritter, a professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. That was the largest number since the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000, when 81 percent of newly public companies were unprofitable. Of the 15 technology companies that have gone public so far in 2018, only three had positive earnings per share in the preceding year, according to Mr. Ritter.
#$#nextcrash  #$#monopoly  #$#innov 
may 2018 by lemeb
(paywall) The Tech Company Comcast Should Buy Instead of Sky — The Information
Instead of pursuing European pay TV firm Sky, Comcast should go after Spotify, whose subscription business fits with the cable business and which could help Comcast compete better with Amazon


i... am not sure anything will help comcast get sustainable. it’s hard to disentangle yourself from a predatory biz model.
!write!technologist  #$#innov  #t#cable  #$#monopoly 
april 2018 by lemeb
Why America’s post office should be privatised
One reason such a reform would benefit the public is that Congress is incapable of managing the changes the post office badly needs. In recent years politicians have blocked plans to close obsolete facilities and to end costly Saturday deliveries. Democrats side with unions who say reform is unnecessary. Republicans worry about triggering a public bail-out of pension and health-care liabilities. Politicians have struggled with the most basic tasks, such as filling seats on USPS’s board. European countries have shown that market forces improve postal markets (see article). Every member of the EU allows at least some competition for postal delivery. Competition has spurred innovation and efficiency. Since Germany privatised Deutsche Post in 1995, the firm has expanded massively. Along the way, it has pioneered delivery lockers, at which consumers can pick up packages, and experimented with deliveries to parked cars. Britain privatised Royal Mail in 2013, allowing it to raise capital and evolve free from political meddling. Compare that with America, where private couriers are not even allowed access to the public’s letterboxes. Privatisation would force the government to think rigorously about the regulation of postal markets. There is no contradiction between privatisation and the universal-service obligation, the requirement to deliver to every address in the country for a fixed price. In Europe the two are often combined. German regulators can subsidise deliveries to remote rural areas by any operator, should the market fail to provide a universal service on its own. Whether this actually makes sense is a different matter. Subsidising some deliveries was more defensible when postmen carried armfuls of essential letters. It is harder to justify now that they lug advertising and consumer goods. Broadband, rather than post, seems like the appropriate subject for a debate about universal service. Privatisation would make that conversation unavoidable.


i am... not convinced, because i tend to think parcel delivery is fundamentally a natural monopoly (although the rise of ups, fedex and eventually amazon are a counter-example...). but to break usps’s monopoly on letter delivery is an absolute no-brainer
#$#monopoly  #$#logistics 
april 2018 by lemeb
The Libertarian Who Accidentally Helped Make the Case for Regulation
For his first paper using the database, Tabarrok decided to analyze the effect of federal regulation on “economic dynamism”—a catch-all term referring to the rate at which new businesses launch and grow, and at which people switch jobs, lose jobs, or migrate for work. There has been a notable and somewhat mysterious decline in dynamism over the last few decades. The rate at which start-ups form is half of what it was forty years ago, the fraction of workers who bounce from one job to another—a sign of competitive labor markets—has plunged, productivity has slowed, and adult employment remains well below its early-2000 peak.

Armed with RegData, Tabarrok and Goldschlag set out to show that regulations were at least partly to blame. But they couldn’t. There was simply no correlation, they found, between the degree of federal regulation and the decline of business dynamism. The decline was seen across many different industries, including those that are heavily regulated and those that are not. They tried two other independent tests that didn’t rely on RegData, and came to the same conclusion: an increase in federal regulation just could not explain what was going on.


props to him for releasing a paper counter to his beliefs! also, suggested in the article as the real culprit is corporate concentration... but Tabarrok doesn’t think antitrust can fix that. go figure.
#$#monopoly  #conservatives  *stats  %policystats  %contrarian  %bigdata  %econ 
april 2018 by lemeb
Britain’s White-Collar Cops Are Getting Too Good at Their Job - Bloomberg
modern Britain. The integrity of the U.K.’s institutions—courts, universities, the stock exchange—is at the heart of its appeal to global capital. Yet those same institutions frequently look the other way. The examples are legion, from the London School of Economics granting Muammar Qaddafi’s son a doctorate for an allegedly plagiarized thesis to the recent IPO of Russia’s EN+ Group Ltd., a commodities company controlled by an oligarch with close Kremlin ties. EN+ plans to use the funds raised from British markets to pay loans from Russian banks that are under U.S. sanctions.
#swamp  %journalism  %longform  %greatstory  ~paradisepapers  #brexit  #$#monopoly  #$#nextcrash 
march 2018 by lemeb
The Upside of Being Ruled by the Five Tech Giants - The New York Times
Yet ever since I started writing about what I call the Frightful Five, some have said my very premise is off base. I have argued that the companies’ size and influence pose a danger. But another argument suggests the opposite — that it’s better to be ruled by a handful of responsive companies capable of bowing to political and legal pressure. In other words, wouldn’t you rather deal with five horse-size Zucks than 100 duck-size technoforces?

The insatiable appetite of digital technology to alter everything in its path is among the most powerful forces shaping the world today. Given all the ways that tech can go wrong — as we are seeing in the Russia influence scandal — isn’t it better that we can blame, and demand fixes from, a handful of American executives when things do go haywire?

That’s not ridiculous. Over the last few weeks, several scholars said there are good reasons to be sanguine about our new tech overlords. Below, I compiled their best arguments about the bright side of the Five.


He forgets another thing... From a user experience perspective, having just one service that handles everything is super practical
%contrarian  !write!dystopia  #techpol  #xxi#tech  *whatatime  #$#monopoly 
november 2017 by lemeb
E.U. competition chief asks Apple for details on tax arrangements - The Washington Post
The remarks from Europe's competition chief come as new reports reveal details of Apple's alleged tax arrangements.


And we had to wait for the Paradise Papers... ? hmm
~paradisepapers  #$#monopoly 
november 2017 by lemeb

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