WUSTL Dining Services: There’s an app for that

An Apple mobile application called WUSTL Dining — which allows potential diners to check out menu items at each WUSTL Dining Services location — now is available at the Apple App Store. The new app is free and also allows users to find WUSTL Dining Services locations and view nutritional information on menu items on their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

Supreme Court ruling on patents is step in right direction, economists contend

The Supreme Court’s decision April 30 to raise the bar for patents on products combining elements of pre-existing inventions is a landmark in the battle against so-called “nuisance patents” and just one more sign that the tide is turning against overly restrictive and costly intellectual property right protections, suggests a pair of economists from Washington University in St. Louis.

Apple’s bid to end music piracy protection may signal end to copyright system

Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computers, has issued a challenge to the music industry, saying Apple would support an open online music marketplace if the four-largest music companies would drop the use of digital-rights management software — the technology that prevents the copying of music sold online. Jobs’ challenge, which some consider shocking, is just the latest brick to fall in the inevitable collapse of a legal wall that since 1999 has been obstructing technological progress and preventing people from enjoying more and better music at a lower price, suggests Michele Boldrin, Ph.D., an economist at Washington University in St. Louis who studies the hidden costs of intellectual property rights protections.