Amazonian eWarfare

By Mira Korber, guest blogger. The Amazon rainforest may be shrinking, but Amazon.com certainly isn’t. The superpower “e-tailer” has all but taken over, and it’s selling just a…

Sounds Like Bell Labs

Google has a “secret” lab. Called Google X by the NY Times, it sounds like the old Bell Labs. Before 1984, when AT&T was a monopoly, their research subsidiary Bell Labs employed a batt…

Can the USPS Deliver?

You’ve got mail? Maybe not on Saturday. As explained in a Teaching Company lecture (#28), the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) faces competition from UPS and FedEx, from email, faxes, and texts. Their…

Coupon Economics

When Starbucks raised its prices during the beginning of 2010, it lowered the price of a tall regular to $1.70. But, if you wanted a splash of foam, a shot of espresso, or a touch of flavor, the addit…

Popcorn Margins

Higher quality film? Better projectors? Online ticketing? No. The “most important technological innovation since sound” was the armrest cup holder (according to a movie theater owner). Ple…

Pricing Airline Tickets

During the 1970s, a ticket to fly between New York and Washington, D.C. cost $50 whereas one between Los Angeles and San Francisco-almost twice the distance-cost only $40.  Why? Before deregulati…

Can the Post Office Deliver?

Having just read a Washington Post article about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), I started thinking about its future. But first, its past: While we have had postal services since the 1600s, Ben Frankl…

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