Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Problem is that he may be right

by Ken Houghton

Late to the party (only in part because my copies of Information Week tend to be 400 miles away), I find this gift from Steve Ballmer:
"We're not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been."

Paul McDougall posted more back on October 20th. The money quote, which immediately follows the Ballmer quote above:
Say what? Hang on a sec, would you please, Dear Reader.

Thanks -- I'm back. I just had to go dump a few thousand Microsoft shares. [Disclosure: I don't really own Microsoft shares, but if I did ...]

Personal full disclosure: I sold my shares the day after the crooks running the Second Circuit decided to overturn Judge Jackson's ruling on grounds that he was being mean to MSFT, since anyone who looked at the company then could see that breaking it up would have helped.

For more on how MSFT's monopolistic competition has hurt itself and its suppliers, see my post yesterday at AB. Or just, in Tom's words, "Get a Mac!"

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Land of the Midnight Stun

by B. Strong

As I write this, Stevens leads Begich in the race for Alaska senator. The race still hasn't been called, and in a small state in which half the population lives in one extremely red city, it may still flip. I couldn't find data about which precincts have already been counted.

BUT, the fact that Stevens is close at all made me wonder about the endogeneity of elections. Alaska represents something of an extreme case (as it does in most things): because of the time difference, national elections are often called by mid-afternoon local time. I wonder the extent to which Stevens' strong showing is a result of a significant number of Democrats staying home once they knew he [clarification: Obama!] had won and a significant number of Republicans turning out to prevent a Democrat sweep of both the white house and Congress.

Of course, it's another question altogether why so many Alaskan republicans, ostenstibly the party of "law-and-order" and "family values," would vote for a convicted felon. As a born-and-bred Alaskan, I have relatively little trouble telling plausible stories about this one. Alaskans fervently believe in their "frontier" image, and being skeptical of laws and judgments imposed on them by outsiders from the "lower 48" is part and parcel of this. After all, "lower 48" is both an observation about geography and an assessment of relative worth.

The other hypothesis is that Alaskans have grown giddy from being on the political map for a change, and it's completely clouded their judgment.

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