Laura Sydell and Alex Blumberg:
Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries.
The largest patent auction in history: $4.5 billion on patents that these companies almost certainly don't want for their technical secrets. $4.5 billion that won't build anything new, won't bring new products to the shelves, won't open up new factories that can hire people who need jobs. $4.5 billion dollars that adds to the price of every product these companies sell you. $4.5 billion dollars buying arms for an ongoing patent war.
The big companies -- Google, Apple, Microsoft -- will probably survive. The likely casualties are the companies out there now that no one's ever heard of that could one day take their place.
The meritocracy wasn't supposed to work this way.
Money for me, databases for you.
That's really what it's about, money ... Because they want the money.
Having refused the poor what is necessary, they give the rich what is superfluous.
As we have surveyed the Murdoch scandal of the past fortnight, few could deny that it has revealed how an international company has bullied and bought its way to control of party leaderships, police forces and regulatory processes. David Cameron, escaping skilfully from the tight corner into which he had got himself, admitted as much.
If you think "Russia" when you hear "oligarchy", think again.
They just want theirs. That is the culture they have created.
The American middle class has been thrown under the bus.
The view is so much better from inside the bus than under it.