Marketplace Scratch Pad

Morning Reading

Scott Jagow Jul 8, 2009

Among the things I’ve read this morning — looking back on people looking forward to Google’s operating system, an editorial by two of the world’s most powerful leaders, our wishful thinking about health care and the story of a North Korean beer commercial. It’s good for you.

Here’s the link to Google’s blog post about Chrome OS. But more interesting, I think, are the blogs that have been predicting this development for years. There’s one called Google Operating System that’s been around since 2005. Their description:

Google Operating System is a blog about a company that started as a search engine and will become an online operating system, that stores and processes our documents, memories and desires.

There’s also this blog posting from April, 2004:

Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer… This computer is running the world’s top search engine, a social networking service, a shopping price comparison engine, a new email service, and a local search/yellow pages engine. What will they do next with the world’s biggest computer and most advanced operating system?

At the same time, blogger Jason Kottke was saying this:

Google isn’t worried about Yahoo! or Microsoft’s search efforts…although the media’s focus on that is probably to their advantage. Their real target is Windows. Who needs Windows when anyone can have free unlimited access to the world’s fastest computer running the smartest operating system?

Alright, enough about Google. Earlier this week, I wrote a blog entry about the volatility of oil prices, and why it’s bad for the economy. World leaders are certainly worried. In today’s Wall Street Journal, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy write a joint op-ed piece calling:

…upon the International Organization of Securities Regulators to consider improving transparency and supervision of the oil futures markets in order to reduce damaging speculation. This would serve the interests of orderly and adequate investment in future supplies, since volatility and opacity are the enemies of growth.

At Fortune, Geoff Colvin says those polls that show so much support for national health care are misleading. He says Americans are in the “wishful thinking” stage of making up their minds about health care:

Health-care reform is going to cost major dollars no matter what, and those dollars will have to be extracted mainly from those most able to pay, the top-earning 40% of the population. When these top earners figure out that they’re being asked in a recession to shell out more — through increased taxes, higher insurance premiums, or other mechanisms — for benefits that will go mostly to others, they won’t be happy. And that top 40% knows how to make itself heard in Washington.

Finally, this AP report is pretty fascinating. It’s about a beer commercial running on North Korean TV. If you don’t know why that’s off-the-charts strange, just watch:

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