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November 2020

"Possible Problems in the Google Case"

Short piece by Gregory Werden and Luke Froeb. This is, I think, key:

The foundational allegation of the complaint is that “For both mobile and computer search access points, being preset as the default is the most effective way for general search engines to reach users, develop scale or remain competitive.” And the complaint acknowledges that Microsoft takes advantage of its monopoly in PC operating systems to promote its Edge browser and Bing search engine. Yet statcounter reports that Google has an 81.5 percent share in U.S. desktop search engines, while Bing has just a 12.1 percent share. Being preset as a default either does confer a big advantage on Bing, or Google overcomes that advantage through competition on the merits. [I think "does" should be "does not"--ed.]

"The sinking fortunes of the shipping box"

Review of a new book by Marc Levinson, author of The Box (a fascinating history of the shipping container). The new book is Outside the Box: How Globalization Changed from Moving Stuff to Spreading Ideas

The review claims the book is "most useful as a chronicle of how the pre-2008 model of complex, globe-spanning, just-in-time manufacturing has been exposed as fragile, inefficient, and opaque." If true, I don't want to read the book. Just-in-time manufacturing is neither inefficient nor fragile. What it is is a procedure with a cost. What it is is yet another example of economics maxim, "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

Link courtesy of Michael Greenspan.