Felix Salmon

Making money off free content, Boomerang edition

October 3, 2011

Michael Lewis’s new book, Boomerang, is listed at $25.95, although you can get it for $15.04 at Amazon, or just $10.39 for the Kindle version. (It’s $12.99 on iBooks.)

Index excerpt of the day

October 3, 2011

index.jpgDavid Harvey’s Marxian take on the global financial crisis, The Enigma of Capital, just came out in paperback. It’s timely, coinciding as it does with the Occupy Wall Street movement. And it also has the best index of any crisis book I’ve read.

Is Twitter dominated by 0.05% of users?

October 3, 2011

Joe Hagan’s NYMag cover story on Twitter dredges up one of the most misunderstood factoids about the service:

Business Insider and over-aggregation

September 29, 2011

Henry Blodget has a long and detailed response to Marco Arment, which is fascinating to anybody interested in the nuts and bolts behind a modern for-profit blog.

Is Alessio Rastani a Yes Man?

September 27, 2011

If you look at his blog, his Twitter account, and his interview with Forbes, not to mention his notorious BBC interview, it’s pretty clear that Alessio Rastani is, at least in part, who he says he is. The Yes Men do set up elaborate hoaxes, but they do so with respect to large institutions: they wouldn’t put this much effort into inventing “Alessio Rastani” out of whole cloth. Mostly because there are lots of genuine traders like Alessio Rastani floating around the internet already. They trade their own money, they sometimes win and they sometimes lose, and they aspire to getting famous on the internet and selling their own trading advice.

There’s no reason why stocks are down today

September 22, 2011

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the global economy, and that’s the kind of thing which makes stocks volatile. This morning, we’re seeing that volatility express itself, with global stocks all falling and US stocks down about 2.5% from where they closed yesterday.

Felix Salmon smackdown watch, Netflix edition

September 20, 2011

Christopher Mims makes a really good point:

It makes no sense that writers like Felix Salmon, who is generally excellent on just about everything, describe Netfilx, even pre-split Netflix, as an inexpensive alternative to cable. It’s not. It’s only inexpensive if you take fast broadband at home for granted — you know, like every tech pundit and journalist on the planet.

WSJ branding datapoint of the day

September 19, 2011

Last year, I kicked off quite a big fight with Henry Blodget after posting this to Twitter.

Can Netflix still win when cable TV loses?

September 15, 2011

Ryan Lawler makes a very important point: even as the number of people living in poverty continues to rise, and median incomes have gone nowhere since 1996, the price of cable TV just goes inevitably and inexorably upwards. Which is a nasty dynamic, since cable companies make a huge proportion of their money by selling their service to the poor. A whopping 40% of US households spend all of their income on food, shelter, transportation and healthcare, leaving nothing for the modern necessities of cable TV and phone service.