Designed in California; Assembled in China

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So now I know why I haven’t heard anything definite about the iPhone 5.  Joking aside, it is sad to see Steve Jobs leave the innovation sector.  My last post about innovation and patent reform should have just been about Steve Jobs.  He has been the leading innovator in our country over the past thirty years and his loss to the industry will be significant.  That being said, I am sure we all wish him health and happiness in his retirement.

The New York Times has an interactive review of Steve Jobs’ patents.  I found this great picture from a 1980s patent and could not stop thinking about playing Oregon Trail on this computer in fifth grade (when floppy disks were actually floppy… and existed).  Nevermind the elegant simplicity of the first generation ipods or the intuitiveness of our iPhones.

Earlier this week I was using our family’s new iPad, and noticed the text “designed in California, and assembled in China.”  I thought this was a great way to overcome the standard argument to buy USA only products.  Many advocates of USA only manufactured goods forget that the products being made overseas were invented in the United States and free markets pushed the assembly labor to China; we are not just buying the stuff China is sending us.

In any case, Steve Jobs has been on the cusp of innovation in America and although he is stepping down, I’m sure Apple with continue to provide the United States with the cutting edge technology we crave.  While Steve Jobs will no longer be the face of Apple, he will go down in history as the face of innovation in the United States.

First Post!

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While I expect to write about economics, sports, and teaching mathematics, my first post has to do with neither…

I spent much of my afternoon attempting to fix my iPhone 3GS.  The toggle switch for volume/silent was not working, so, with the help of http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-iPhone-3G-Vibrate-Ring-Switch/581/1 I took the phone apart.  That was the easy part.  Once I realized that I have a defective part (unfortunately nothing was simply disconnected), I began the two hour process of trying to use my wife’s tweezers to replace infinitesimally small screws.  Classic 10 minutes to take apart, 2 hours to put back together.  I heard that the iPhone 4 and the like are put together with “screws” that need a custom screwdriver; so no do it yourselfers.  BushLeague

But in the end, my phone works and I’m happy waiting for the iPhone5…