In a piece ruminating on the question of product obsolescence and the economic challenges created by products built to last, J.B. MacKinnon of The New Yorker focuses on the LED lighting market’s upending of product life expectations dating back to the infamous Phoebus cartel of the 1920s in which lamp manufacturers agreed to limit the life span of new lamps to 1,000 hours. Along the way MacKinnon highlights the Guinness World Record-holding incandescent bulb at a Livermore, Calif., ...

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