21 March 2003

Obsessively reading news is not conducive to getting writing done. Only 1050 words since my last update, 65,135 since January 1.

Posted 12:33 PM

Two war-related links and then I'll stop, I promise.

The BBC is publishing a combined weblog of updates from its reporters. Very informal and a bit confusing at first, but it's the best source I've found for current information without the endless repetition of the wire services.

The Wall Street Journal has a good interactive map pulling all the reports from the region together and placing them in chronological order. The best source for the big picture that I've found, but may only be accessible to paid subscribers.

Posted 12:30 PM

18 March 2003

My reservations about the impending war in Iraq boil down to two questions: why Iraq, and why now? Why is Iraq such a serious threat to US security that it requires immediate pre-emptive action in the face of massive international skepticism? Here's the unclassified version of the CIA's analysis.

I'm not sure I'm convinced. The pressure on the CIA to produce the "right" conclusion is well documented. Still, the report is scary stuff.

Posted 01:35 PM

Though I'm seeing some signs that the semiconductor industry is starting to recover, you certainly couldn't tell from the latest news. Applied Materials announced a 14% layoff, on top of cuts already made in the last year. FSI International, meanwhile, decided to exit the resist processing business and focus exclusively on surface conditioning.

Posted 12:54 PM

It's only 2003, but it's already likely that the sequencing of the human genome will be the most important scientific discovery of this century. The revolutionary impact of molecular genetics on biology is at least comparable to the impact of quantum mechanics on physics. The social implications of molecular genetics may be greater than those of the atomic bomb.

Yet most people, even people with technical backgrounds, know little or nothing about how the genome works or why it's important. When I decided I needed to know more, I picked up Matt Ridley's book, Genome. It's been an eye opener. An excellent, accessible introduction to both the technical issues and their implications for society.

Posted 12:31 PM

1330 words yesterday, 64,085 since January 1.

Posted 12:17 PM

The battle for privacy is over, Technology Review argues, and we've lost. So what are we going to do about it?

(Link by way of TechDirt)

In my opinion, the first step to a solution is realizing that even honest people with nothing to hide--which means most of us--have something at stake. We're heading toward a world where everyone could be subject to the same scrutiny that only presidential candidates now face. It's time to remember all the stupid things you did when you were 18 and decide if that's the world you want to live in. If it isn't, the Electronic Privacy Information Center is a good place to start.

Posted 11:51 AM

17 March 2003

2550 words over the weekend, 62,755 since January 1.

Posted 11:39 AM

There have been lots of articles about why Google is successful. I like this one because it extracts useful ideas that any business can learn from.

"Build great products, and see if people use them. If they do, then you have created value. And if you've truly done that, then you have a business."

Posted 11:15 AM


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