Jul 232011

I just read this NYTimes article on overhauling the US Postal Service, which lost $8.5 billion in 2010 (-12.5% margin), with that rate poised to increase annually. The recommendations seemed to address several parts of what the Postal Service calls its Ten-Year Plan, especially in eliminating Saturday deliveries, and tapping into its retirement fund to plug the budget gap. However, in the Form 10K from the most recent year, it’s clear that the decrease in revenue is a structural problem, and taking stopgap measure that reduce delivery costs by a mere 10% or so will not scale with the decrease in mail traffic. I took a deeper look, especially at the USPS’s Cost Segments and Components Report, their Form 10K, and [more . . .]

Nov 042010

The Department of Justice has just filed an amicus brief supporting the upholding of the US Federal District Court’s opinion that genes by themselves are not patentable. This is huge. The patenting of sequences of DNA has always been controversial. Opponents fall mainly in two camps. The first argues that there are those that say DNA, as a defining element of life, should be held by a private company as a patent. I don’t agree with this viewpoint. There is nothing extrinsically different about DNA from other materials that should differentiate it by this argument. The second camp makes a much stronger argument, and is the reason cited by the DOJ’s amicus brief, and is also the reason I am [more . . .]

Sep 282010

Or, excuse me. They’ve rebranded as “Aol.” Casing matters. This is confusing. I know that Aol is trying to reposition itself as a content provider for the new social web, but this seems like a major integration problem with the culture clash between TechCrunch which exudes Silicon Valley, and Aol, which is, well, Aol. However, if the purchase price really is only $25 million, that’s a bargain for the brand. Maybe this is why Aol leased out the new building by my house. Taking bets on how long Arrington stays on.