Posts Posts by: "Kwanghui Lim"

Last week, IPRIA organized a public seminar on the banning of tobacco logos. I have just posted videos at Drop by for an interesting debate on private versus social costs, Government policy and WIPO/TRIPS. Details of the seminar and Powerpoint slides from each presenter are on the IPRIA website…(Read More)

Another weekend, another friend anxious about buying a house, another group of people stopping me in the elevator for the “inside scoop” about whether it’s good to live in our building. Maybe it’s a bubble but at least for now property prices are continuing to rise causing concerns about affordability. Yet I predict…(Read More)

After teaching a class last night during which we discussed substitutes, I realized that the recent eruption by Eyjafjallajökull, while sad for all involved, presents a good teaching example. The exogenous elimination of air travel led predictably to a scramble for substitutes. Eurostar ran out of capacity and quadrupled their ticket prices; a black…(Read More)

Our computational server was just hit by a worm that has also affected several other machines at our university. What’s remarkable is the rate and sophistication of innovation in this field (not that it’s a good thing). The worm that hit us is called, a recent member of a family known…(Read More)

A new innovation is all the rage in Japan… and yes, it’s even better than the iPad ;-). LED lighting is starting to reach the mainstream, and it is both efficient and good. For example we saw this one being advertised on a train as a drop-in replacement for any 60 Watt household lightbulb…(Read More)

My colleagues at the Law School have just written an interesting analysis of the Lara Bingle nude photo case. They think she doesn’t have a strong legal case based on either privacy law or defamation law. Lara appears to be earning a tidy sum from the publicity generated, so I suppose its not an…(Read More)

Rachel Goh has put together a news and research update on gene patenting, covering the second half of 2009. Rachel is a medical student at Melbourne University and works at the Centre for Eye Research Australia. She helps us regularly on MBS & IPRIA research projects. Due to the large number of links in the…(Read More)

My Week with H1N1


I suppose it would have been wise to have taken the H1N1 vaccine. But from many accounts, the pig flu was supposed to have only a mild effect on adults. I had observed this to be the case when my wife and various friends had it earlier this year. A few sniffles, a sore throat…(Read More)

If you attempted to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 recently, you probably went through Upgrade Hell along with me and many others.  In the process I learnt a couple of things about Microsoft. Firstly, Microsoft doesn’t understand how to sell software as downloads. If like me, you tried to buy a downloadable version…(Read More)

Ariel Kalil is a Professor of Public Policy at the Harris School, University of Chicago. She is a developmental psychologist by training, and her work links developmental psychology with economics, e.g., the effect of parental job loss on child development. I had a conversation with Ariel about her work and thought it would be…(Read More)

This week, Australia Radio National ran a Background Briefing on internet piracy. Going beyond just arguing whether “downloading” is good or bad, this podcast discusses changes in copyright law over the centuries, why these tensions came about, and puts copyright infringement in a broader context. I like it that they present a balanced view with…(Read More)

Last night my computer suffered a bad crash while attempting a software upgrade. Fortunately everything was backed up, so things are back to normal again. I thought I’d write a short note to answer a question I’m often asked: “how do you back up your files?”. My approach is based on two rules…(Read More)

Club Troppo reports on a paper published by Mixon and Upadhyaya, who measured the citation impact of various Economics blogs. Core Economics does fairly well, with Joshua ranked 15, Steven 23rd, Andrew 33rd, etc. Read the article at I’m happy that our work is…(Read More)

IPRIA & CMCL ran a seminar on the parallel importation of books yesterday. I’ve uploaded the videos to We thank the presenters for permission to podcast their views (Q&A with the audience is omitted). Joshua had earlier commented on the topic of parallel imports on this blog…(Read More)

I recently prepared these comments for a legal audience as a simple introduction to alternative approaches towards Intellectual Property online. I’d like to share them with you. Do post your comments below. Major battles are being fought on the internet over intellectual property. The founders of the Pirate Bay now face a jail sentence…(Read More)

I just flew United Airlines from Melbourne to Chicago. Full flight. My 13″ MacBook wouldn’t completely open, without hitting the seat in front. Did they just shrink the Economy class seats? The in-flight entertainment system crashed both during SYD-LAX and LAX-ORD and refused to reboot (oh, I hope they maintain the…(Read More)

Last week, the BBC broadcast an interview with palaeontologist Jorn Hurum, who led the research into the fossil called Ida. A podcast is available from Ida is 47 million years old and an almost complete specimen. It is believed to be an early primate, making it an important…(Read More)

Our students at MBS have organized a photo competition. Really nice shots have been submitted by the MBS community. Pop by to take a look: Compared to when I helped organize such competitions during high school, things are much better now. The web provides a great mechanism for  sharing the…(Read More)

Joshua Gans and Richard Hayes have recently completed the 2008 update in their series “Assessing Australia’s Innovative Capacity”. The latest update paints a picture of Australia moving into uncertain times despite some gains mid-decade, particularly due to the weakening of the global economic environment. In a partial reversal of recent gains, Australia’s…(Read More)

Ajay Agrawal from the University of Toronto presents a video (with some great music!) discussing how sellaband might provide a viable model for financing musicians. Instead of selling music, they give it away  and make money off advertising revenues. The interesting thing is how they identify bands to “commercialize”. The decision is based on whether…(Read More)

Tim Lohman recently wrote an article for CIO Magazine (and ComputerWorld) on the impact of the  Australian budget on IT spending and innovation. It includes comments from an interview he did with me. See Feel free to share your thoughts about this issue here…(Read More)

I’ve created a website for people to discuss gene patenting. It’s at On that site, you will find video podcasts from last week’s public discussion on gene patenting. If you have comments or thoughts to share on this very important issue, please add them to “comments” section at genepatents…(Read More)

Roger Cicala, president of, has written an interesting analysis of the current camera market. They have the benefit of direct experience with multiple players in the industry, and so observe some of the patterns an individual buyer may not observe. He explains why lens prices have gone up dramatically over the past months…(Read More)



Lots of companies are becoming eco-friendly. We’re starting to see innovations like green computers, green cars, and green beer appear on the market. Perhaps the temptation to pass off goods as eco-friendly ones is also increasing, a practice known as ‘greenwashing’. Well, surely government regulation and companies’ concern over their reputations would…(Read More)

Just a quick reminder that our public event on gene patenting is this Friday. It’s on an issue that affects all of us, and promises to be interesting. To find out more and to register, visit and the MBS Center for Ideas and…(Read More)

I popped by South Melbourne Market for groceries. At a deli counter, the woman in front of me decided to engage in a lengthy cellphone conversation midway through her transaction. Surprisingly, the counter staff apologized to me, saying she had to first complete the current transaction before serving me. This has happened to me several…(Read More)

Last month, CMCL and IPRIA organized an event to discuss whether internet service providers should be responsible when their customers upload/download illegal material. I wasn’t able to attend, but Sarah Berriman, one of my young and energetic students, did. She wrote to me expressing how a ‘generation gap’ exists in the way the…(Read More)