17 January 2003

I've done some end-of-year reorganizing on the weblog files. I've moved the 2002 entries into monthly, rather than weekly, archives. I've also moved the 2002 files out of Movable Type's control and into a separate directory. As an unfortunate side effect, the comment and trackback links for 2002 entries are broken. Permalinks to files in the 2002 archives may also be broken. If you're looking for something specific, use the site search engine from the box in the upper right corner of this and every page.

Posted 01:02 PM

16 January 2003

The ACLU has a tendency to be alarmist, but they also have a tendency to be right. You don't have to be all that radical to be concerned by the present administration's attempts to expand surveillance of citizens, while refusing to discuss its use of new surveillance powers.

Posted 10:41 AM

The US Supreme Court held that the most recent copyright extension is constitutional. As previously discussed, the law mostly benefits corporate owners of older works, some of whom got their start thanks to the public domain.

Lawrence Lessig, who argued the plantiff's case, has posted links to the Court's opinions, as well as his own musings about the decision.

Posted 10:23 AM

15 January 2003

Wrote 1125 words yesterday, 875 on Monday. That gives me an even 2000 this week, 4850 since the beginning of the month. My goal is a thousand words a day, so I have some catching up to do. Back to work!

Posted 11:24 AM

Lots of people have suggested that the web will allow authors and other content creators to reach a waiting public directly. This view holds that publishers and other intermediaries are parasites, adding costs without adding value. But as Arnold Kling explains, lack of content isn't the problem, lack of filtering is. When I pay for a book, a newspaper, or a CD, I'm paying someone else to find good stuff and package it in a convenient form. As the Internet makes everyone a publisher, good filters become more necessary, and more economically valuable.

Now, that doesn't mean that existing publishers are above criticism. They seek to enforce a monopoly on distribution, while largely failing to offer effective filters. That's backwards. A better business model would use cheap distribution to support a value-added filtering service. For example, a service that collects music that I might be interested in would be valuable (filtering), but only if it let me listen to the music from my car, my stereo, my computer, or wherever else I might take a traditional CD (distribution).

Posted 11:19 AM

14 January 2003

The British Health Services Executive recently inspected all 23 of Great Britain's fabs (PDF file, Adobe Acrobat reader required). The goal was to ensure that all fabs were complying with requirements for hazardous materials handling, and also to understand cancer rates within the industry. Overall, the study found that 19 of the 23 fabs at least approached minimum legal requirements in all areas, but only five complied with minimum requirements in all areas, and only one followed best practices in all areas. One plant reported higher than expected rates of lung and stomach cancer among employees, but there was no definitive proof that working conditions were responsible.

Posted 10:11 AM

13 January 2003

I didn't take these photos, but I wish I had. Very nice photoblog.

Posted 04:23 PM

I wouldn't say I've ever really wondered what bloggers are reading, but All Consuming lets me find out and is pretty interesting. Worth a look.

(Link by way of Metafilter.)

Posted 03:16 PM


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