Sony 1, Microsoft 0

The collapse of HD-DVD (and victory for Bluray disk) in the past week also scrambles the Microsoft XBOX 360 v. Sony PS3 race for second in the console wars. Microsoft has been benefiting from the next-gen video wars because, not only did XBOX 360 support HD-DVD through an add-on while the PS3 had integrated BluRay, XBOX 360 also supported on-demand video downloaded. Thus Microsoft benefit from a win or a draw, while Sony needed a knock-out. (Sony created the Bluray technology, int the same way that company created Betamax.)

Sony got its’ knock-out.

Up until now, PS3 sales have been depressed because of the BluRay add-on (who wants to gamble on the next-gen video tech when buying a game machine?), but now its benefits. The XBOX 360’s HD-DVD player is now worthless going forward, while the PS3 both will play next-gen movies. You’re now longer gambling when you buy a PS3. You’re buying a next-gen player that will play filsm that come out a decade or two from now.

Hard to believe this won’t increase PS3 sales, which will in turn lead to more game development, which would lead to more sales.

Sony gambled big by including a BluRay player on the PS3. Sony won.

Petrodollars Recycled to America’s Underclass?

Wolf, M. (2008). Challenges for the world’s divided economy. Financial Times. January 9, 2008. Available online:


As Carmen Reinhart of the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard note in a brilliant new paper, this had similarities to the recycling of petrodollars to developing countries that preceded the debt crisis of the 1980s. This time, surplus savings were, in their words, “recycled to a developing country that exists within the US”: the subprime borrowers. The consequences for banks also look disturbingly similar.

One is tempted to say “People who were harmed will learn from this experience,” but many might not. While there’s plenty of in-group variation, between-income-group variation in general intelligence is stark. Many of the people who were directly bitten by the subprime mess are precisely the people least likely to learn from their experience.