Patent Pools: Consumer Friendly Cartels?

Patent/intellectual property pools represent a key form of strategic cooperation, also known as cartel behavior. Before getting to far into it, what is a patent pool exactly? There is some variation within the concept of a patent/intellectual property pool, but generally, patent pools are organizations that are jointly owned by anywhere from a couple to a couple hundred companies that control intellectual property such as patents. These joint ventures allow companies to share patents, such as new technological equipment, thereby creating standardization across industries. While this may not seem beneficial, if we look to the specific example of the HDMI Continue reading Patent Pools: Consumer Friendly Cartels?

The Economics of Protesting

All around the world, countries are experiencing large popular unrest. Responses from government have varied: in Algeria, large-scale arrests are a new norm; in Lebanon, law enforcement counter demonstrators with rubber bullets and teargas; and in Haiti, clashes with police have left at least 18 dead. In order to better discern what forces are motivating citizens and their movements to incur such risks, an examination of the rational individual’s decision making, the free-rider, and spoiling as a deterrent of public support is necessary. The protest decision and the rational individual A rational behaving individual evaluates the benefits and costs of Continue reading The Economics of Protesting

Disney+ Just Can’t Wait to be King

Earlier this month, Disney launched their video streaming service, Disney+. This streaming service will provide all of Disney’s works and respective companies under their company (Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and more!). So what will this mean for the future of the streaming media market? First, let’s get this out of the way and say that Disney did not need enter the streaming video market to continue being successful! Disney has been one of the biggest house hold names around the world for generations, creating value in their brand and time after time making lovable family movies. This is a sugar Continue reading Disney+ Just Can’t Wait to be King

Free or Fast: WiFi on the Plane

Internet access has become so ubiquitous to many of us that we barely notice it until we don’t have it. At home, cable broadband or DSL quietly connects our phones, computers, TVs, and even—for some of us—our light switches to the world-wide-web and the vast wealth of information it holds. While out and about, our phones are connected through the cellular network to that very same informational hub. Even when all else fails, Starbucks and its ilk will happily keep you connected. However, one of the few remaining places where we seem to surrender our entitlement to the net is… Continue reading Free or Fast: WiFi on the Plane

Common Hour Gone Wrong

In an attempt to unite the campus, University of Puget Sound established one hour every week from noon-1:00pm, locally known on campus as “Common Hour”. This time of the day is supposed to be an hour in which no classes happen in order to allow faculty, staff, and students alike to bond and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest and perhaps mingle over a hot cup of joe in Diversions Cafe. Burnt tongues aside, there are other consequences of the joyous hour. Firstly, since there are no scheduled classes during Common Hour, it seems nearly every club or department decides to Continue reading Common Hour Gone Wrong