Apple

While he may have paled in comparison to Steve Jobs in a black turtleneck, Apple’s new CEO Tim Cook still impressed audiences today when he unveiled the new iPhone 4S. Apple fans and the technology media predictably freaked out. (The hot new iPhone feature, if you haven’t yet heard, is integrated voice command, which can pull up the weather, define a word, or play a song.) All in all, the debut seems to have been a solid one for Cook, whose predecessor, Jobs, was a master of PR. Jobs consistently garnered extensive (and fawning) media coverage for his product rollouts.

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This article is a contribution to 'Is There Anything That Can Be Done? A TNR Symposium On The Economy'. Click here to read other contributions to the series. One of the problems with the news cycle is that perennial issues—problems and solutions both—tend to get ignored in favor of things which have changed in the last few hours or days or weeks. As a result, when it comes to the global economic crisis now in its fourth year, one of the key potential solutions has been left all but ignored from the outset: making improvements to labor mobility.

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with Louis Liss When it comes to design, there’s no question that Apple knows how to impress. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently addressed the Cupertino, CA city council to pitch a new corporate campus to accommodate the company’s burgeoning workforce. The new facility will be a circular architectural wonder. It will triple green space, add needed office area, and produce its own energy. Critics have cited the new campus as a model for better architecture in Silicon Valley as well as a green marvel. But just as important as how the building is built is where it is built.

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This morning, Microsoft announced it is purchasing Internet phone company Skype for $8.5 billion. Market analysts interpreted the technology giant's latest acquisition as an attempt to compete in the communications market with Google, Apple, and other rivals who have made big strides into the internet telephony market. There's no disputing Skype's popularity: Over 660 million users have signed up, and, on average, upwards of 25 million of those users are online at any given moment.

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The revision downward in fourth quarter GDP from 3.2 percent to 2.8 percent last week and continuing high unemployment just reinforces the underlying reason for this lackluster recovery: the 35 percent of the economy’s assets comprised of the built environment (real estate and the infrastructure that supports real estate) is M.I.A. Exports are rising at a swift pace in line with the president’s call to double exports in five years, corporate profits and cash are near record levels, and American strength as a high tech leader is actually expanding with the launch of new hardware (e.g., Apple’s

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Silicon Implant

When Dmitri Medvedev became Russia’s president in 2008, he projected a very different image from that of his predecessor. Vladimir Putin is a buff former KGB agent who is fond of rugged pursuits, such as hunting and fishing, and is frequently photographed engaged in them without his shirt on. Medvedev is an elfin St. Petersburg-trained lawyer who enjoys chess and photography, practices yoga daily, and is the proud owner of the complete recordings of Deep Purple on vinyl.

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Consternation over the loss of manufacturing jobs to China was aroused again recently when Evergreen Solar announced that it would move 800 manufacturing jobs from a decommissioned Devens, Mass. military base to China. In an article by Keith Bradsher of The New York Times, Evergreen’s CEO claims that producing in China is more competitive because its local governments offer partnerships that bring very low-interest rate loans from state-owned banks compared to what U.S banks were offering. For U.S.

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Conventional wisdom holds that global warming is a losing issue for political candidates. But that's certainly not the case in California, where Republicans are actually getting into trouble for opposing the state's climate law: A November ballot measure that would rescind California's landmark global warming bill until unemployment drops significantly has become an albatross for the Republican candidates for governor and U.S.

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There's an old line, "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket." Why do I mention it right now? Oh, no reason: Conservative talk radio host Michael Reagan, eldest son of former president Ronald Reagan, is selling @Reagan.com e-mail addresses on his website with an appeal to conservatives to stop giving their money to companies he casts as tied to liberalism. Writes Reagan: "People who believe in true Reagan Conservative Values are unwittingly supporting the Obama, Pelosi and Reid liberal agenda! What do I mean?

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Washington's fashionable new argument is that President Obama and the Democrats have stalled the recovery by introducing so much uncertainty. As the argument goes, business leaders aren't investing and creating new jobs because they fear some combination of future government deficits, regulations, and taxes will harm them directly or indirectly. The obvious counter-explanation is that CEOs are holding back largely because demand remains so sluggish. My colleague Jonathan Chait beat me to the punch and cited Paul Krugman's argument for this theory.

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