June 2006

What I’m Reading.

Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, held in London on June 22, 1897, was one of the grandest fetes the world has ever seen: 46,000 troops and 11 colonial prime ministers arrived from the four corners of the earth to pay homage to their sovereign. The event was as much a celebration of Victoria’s 60 years on the throne as it was of Britain’s superpower status. In 1897, Queen Victoria ruled over a quarter of the world’s population and a fifth of its territory, all connected by the latest marvel of British technology, the telegraph, and patrolled by the Royal Navy, which was larger than the next two navies put together. “The world took note,” says the historian Karl Meyer. The New York Times gushed: “We are a part … of the Greater Britain which seems so plainly destined to dominate this planet’.”

Click here to continue reading this Newsweek article, entitled “How Long Will America Lead the World?”… Read the full article

Noncompete Agreements. Plaintiffs trying to obtain preliminary injunctions to enforce noncompete contracts in the Massachusetts states courts are off to a bad start this year.

In February Superior Court Judge Richard Connon refused to enforce a noncompete clause against a former employee for a reason we see all to often: the employee signed the noncompete with one company, and then worked for another (presumably related) company with which he had not signed a noncompete. Sorry, this may be only a technical detail, but it’s always enough prevent the noncompete from being enforced. The case is Merchant Business Solutions v. Arst.

In mid-March Judge Jonathan Brant refused to enforce a preliminary injunction when the plaintiff’s former employee went to work for a competitor with the former employer’s blessing. A year later the former employer changed its mind and filed suit, seeking a preliminary injunction. A year is far too long, the judge ruled – motion denied.… Read the full article

What I’m Reading. A fascinating, in depth article about my favorite music download site, eMusic.com:

The Holy Grail of online music sales is the ability to offer iPod-compatible tracks. Like the quest for the mythical cup itself, the search for iPod compatibility has been largely fruitless for Apple’s competitors, whose DRM schemes are incompatible with the iconic music player. For a music store that wants to succeed, reaching the iPod audience is all but a necessity in the US market, where Apple products account for 78 percent of the total players sold. Perhaps that’s why eMusic CEO David Pakman sounds downright gleeful when he points out that “there’s only two companies in the world that can sell to them-Apple and eMusic.”

Read on ……Read the full article

Are We Losing the War for Innovation? (Part I)

by Lee Gesmer on June 2, 2006

What I’m Reading. Some interesting thoughts on American education (or the decline and fall of same) by blogger Bob Kronish [link]

This opening anecdote/joke on the evolution of teaching math since 1950 will give you a sense of his point of view:

Here is how it progresses: Teaching math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5th of the price. What is his profit? Teaching math in 1960: a logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. What is his profit? Teaching math in 1970: a logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? Teaching math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment-underline the number 20. Teaching math in 1990: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation or our woodlands.

Read the full article