CNN reports claim that Apple Computer and Motorola plan to unveil a cell phone with iTunes software sometime in the next week.
The new phone brings together two of the most popular digital services- the cell phone and Apple's iPod. The iTunes software on the new phone would allow users to transfer music files from their personal computers to their cell phone. The report from the New York Times is not clear whether or not users would be able to download music directly from the Internet to the new phone.
Apple, Motorola, and Cingular have neither confirmed or denied reports of the new phone hitting the market soon. According to the New York Times, Apple is going to make some sort of music-related news event in San Francisco on September 7.
My question is this: Will this marriage of digital technology set a new precedent for cell phones? Will this new phone create a new market for multi-use technology products?
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
As hurricane Katrina moves its’ way through
As the frequency of devastating hurricanes hitting the American coastline increases, I wonder if an economic reason to leave the coast will present itself. The more money that insurance companies have to pay out as a result of hurricane damage the higher insurance premiums will be for both businesses and residences, causing a shift in the demand curve. Eventually, some insurance companies may even refuse to insure those places all together, causing a shift in the supply curve. Either occurrence would prove beneficial for the environment.
Do you think that the day is coming where population density will actually decrease along the southern coastlines?
There is a lot of very interesting and alarming information about the current condition of our coastal zones at
Posted by Ben Boettcher at 8/29/2005 12:58:00 PM
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Due to the increasing gas prices, Cedar Point amusement park decided to lower admission costs so they did not lose business. Park visitors can save money on tickets even though they are spending more to get there. This is the first time that Cedar Point has ever reduced prices. Management thought they would lose too much business if they did not compensate the consumer.
The rise in gas prices has affected everyone. Travel is down, people are walking and riding bikes more, and business are losing money because of it. The reason gas prices are high is because of high demand but low supply. Cedar Point is a unique situation because it is the only one in the country. People have to travel to get there so gas prices affect Cedar Point's business. Business need to do what they can to stay competitive. Money is a very sensitive subject to people. They work hard to earn it and before they know it they spend it. Now they are spending all their money on travel to get to a place, thus not having the finances to spend it on leisure activities. Business hope to cut their losses and will offer certain things to its customers. Also, when people see they are saving money (lower entrance price to park) they think its a good deal and will do it. Sales always attract customers.
Posted by bakosw at 8/28/2005 09:22:00 PM
A elderly woman in Nevada recently won $2.99 million on penny slots. The previous record was $2.06 million. The lady plays three times a week and has been for a very long time.
Will publicity of record jackpots increase the number of people who gamble at slot machines? Casinos are trying to increase the quantity of people gambling by offering high rewards for low risk. For example, this lady won nearly $3 million on a $.01 gamble. With gas prices setting record highs and travel down the potential for a high rate of return may draw vacationers to Las Vegas instead of other places.
Posted by bakosw at 8/28/2005 09:01:00 PM
College campuses are concerned with the amount of beer that students are consuming. They believe a primary reason for the amount of beer consumption is because it is so cheap and available. The article proposes if alcohol prices were increased students would purchase less beer. Many students turn to beer because it is cheaper than other forms of entertainment.
Would increasing the price of beer or making it less available really reduce the amount of beer consumption? The article was an example how price can effect demand. College students are typically known as having a limited budget. Raising the price of beer may stop some students from buying as much beer, but won't eliminate drinking completely unless a equally fun source of entertainment is available at a cheap price. College students drink beer. An incoming freshman now has more access to it than he or she did in high school solely on the fact that they become friends with the people who are of legal age to purchase it. Something should be done to make stricter laws of supplying beer to minors. Recently in Massachusetts, when a person purchased a keg, they must register the house with the local police as to where the keg will be as well as the person who purchased the keg must sign the side of it and they are held legally responsible if under-age people are consuming that beer. I think something along those lines would probably work better on college campuses. Change the entrance to bar to all be 21 or above. Would the bars really lose that much money? How much income do they really make on the under-age kids?
Posted by bakosw at 8/28/2005 08:26:00 PM
It's interesting to me how they use the term "lure" in this article, because thats exactly what they are doing. The retailers are trying to get teens to buy more clothes by using technology. The part that is interesting to me is, How many of these teen's parents know how to access and understand the sites mentioned in the article.
Posted by joshmcl at 8/28/2005 08:26:00 PM
Friday, August 26, 2005
Ethanol, the fuel of the future? That's what some are calling the new form of fuel that is made primarily from corn, but also can be generated from other sources. Even though still in an infant stage, the production of ethanol will more than double from 2006-2020 thanks to a bill signed recently by President Bush.
Will this really help to ease gasoline prices though? Perhaps in the future it might, but two things need to happen to aid that. 1) There needs to be more information and accessibility to this alternate type of fuel. I know I haven't seen a gas station with a sign for "Ethanol" up around this area. 2) To use this ethanol based fuel, a a consumer must have what is called a 'flex fuel' automobile. Once those cars become more prevalent, stations might be more apt to market the ethanol fuel.
I pose this though, in the short term, will this new fuel truly help to lower gasoline price? As Dr. D has noted, adjusted for inflation, gas is now lower than it was in I believe the 70's. So surely, scarcity of resources alone can not explain the fluctuation of gasoline because if oil were becoming that scarce then simple economic theory would suggest the price of gasoline to be higher now because over time we have depleted more of the resource. So many other factors play into the cost of gasoline, i.e. transportation costs (it's nearly $9/gal in Sweden), terrorist threats and even impending weather threats along the costlines.
Posted by Rachel Ruth at 8/26/2005 10:24:00 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The late economist, Julian Simon, was an ardent crtic of doomsayers who said the world was running out of resources. If, indeed, the world is running out of a particular resource, then simple economics suggests that its price should rise. Thus, in 1980 Simon offered a $1,000 wager to any doomsayer who thought the price of a scarce resource would rise over the course of 10 years. The noted ecologist, Paul Erhlich, took the bet and chose five metals (copper, tin, chrome, tungsten, and nickel). By 1990, the price of all five metals was lower than in 1980 and Simon had won the wager.
Now, you can read about a new $5,000 bet over the price of oil between John Tierney and Matthew Simmons.
[Thanks to Frank Stephenson at Division of Labour for the link.]
Posted by Greg Delemeester at 8/24/2005 11:06:00 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I’m sure we’d all like to have one of those nice flat-screen TVs to hang on our wall, but the cost for one have ranged in the thousands of dollars. On the bright side, there may soon be a chance for the middle income families to have ambient light technology as well.
Originally, there were few competitors in the industry, with Sony capturing the bulk of the market. Now though, due to increasing demand, more companies have entered into the rat race. Over eight companies now compete against each other, forcing one another to lower their price in order to sell. Since its debut, the plasma TV has dropped in price by as much as 35%, according to USA Today. Another reason prices are continuing to drop is that the inputs for the production of the TVs have become cheaper as suppliers also find ways to trim costs.
As consumers, do you foresee an even larger drop in price? If so, by how much?
Posted by Rachel Ruth at 8/23/2005 07:18:00 AM