03 April 2003

The IEEE International Reliabilitiy Physics Symposium is going on this week in Dallas. Keynotes by Intel Senior Fellow Mark Bohr and TSMC Sr. VP for R&D Shang-yi Chiang (PDF file, Adobe Acrobat Reader required.) are on the conference site.

Posted 12:04 PM

02 April 2003

This is for all the people who spout drivel about how the current administration is turning the US into a police state. I'm no fan of George Bush, and I've expressed my concerns about the Patriot Act and its cousins before. Those who suggest that Bush and Hussein are comparable, however, might want to visit liberated Iraq and see what a police state is really like.

Posted 02:25 PM

Editing is slow. 750 words yesterday, 74,285 since January 1.

Posted 11:27 AM

E-mail newsletters are a great way to reach people, but they only work if they are consistently interesting. Everyone's inbox is overloaded, and no one has time to read yet another generic marketing pitch. MarketingProfs has some good tips on the content side of online newsletter publishing.

Posted 11:02 AM

Bartender, I'll have a shot of Everclear, straight up. And don't look at me like that, it's for my laptop.

Cool idea. Would definitely beat having to lug a power cord, transformer, and battery everywhere.

Posted 10:41 AM

01 April 2003

March wasn't a great writing month, but not bad. 1500 words yesterday, for a total of 73,535 since January 1. That's a bit short of my goal of 81,000 by this point. It extrapolates to 294,140 for the year, also a bit short of my 300,000 annual goal. Need to kick things up a notch for April.

Posted 01:25 PM

Habitat loss is a serious problem for many species around the world. Amphibians face an especially severe threat, as both their aquatic breeding grounds and land-based environments may be threatened. The fate of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus is especially sad, but unfortunately not unique.

(Link by way of Metafilter.)

Posted 09:38 AM

31 March 2003

Free speech is a strange thing. It is only valuable if it extends to the people you hate, the people you disagree with so completely that you can't walk past them without wanting to yell and scream and smash things. The First Amendment was written to protect the despised minority; majority views can always be heard.

That's why KKK rallies get as much police protection as they need to keep participants from being torn to pieces by counter-demonstrators. That's why a Jewish lawyer defended the American Nazi Party's right to march through a Jewish neighborhood. The freedom to express your views, however repellent they might be, is absolutely fundamental to American society.

Which is why the suggestion that anti-war protesters are creating a public safety hazard by consuming police resources makes me so angry I can barely type. It's easy to point out the logical flaws in such a claim. A jurisdiction that routinely manages crowds of hundreds of thousands for concerts and other outdoor events ought to be able to deal with a few thousand or even tens of thousands of protesters pretty easily. Nor is a protest that clogs a few square blocks likely to have much impact on the city outside that radius.

For me, though, the underlying issue is much more important. If the police in any given city can't guarantee fundamental civil liberties, how can they be expected to handle such subtle tasks as catching criminals? If our society is so weak and vulnerable that it will crumble before an onslaught of people carrying signs and chanting, how can it hope to defeat enemies armed with more deadly weapons? If protests are "too expensive," how will we ever manage to pay the much greater costs of such guarantors of liberty as a strong military, a robust legal system, and an independent judiciary?

Free speech is expensive, I agree. It can be upsetting to know that my tax dollars are spent to protect people I disagree with so completely that I want to yell and scream and smash things. I don't see any alternative, though. If my enemies are not free to speak, neither am I.

Posted 03:06 PM

3300 words in the last three days, 72,035 since January 1.

Posted 11:18 AM

30 March 2003

Baseball. Finally. It's been a long winter.

Posted 10:59 PM

With so many choices, it must have been tough to narrow the list down. Business 2.0 presents the 101 dumbest business moments of 2002.

Posted 10:34 PM

The Big Dig is open. Part of it anyway. The new I-93N, the main highway through downtown Boston, opened yesterday. After ten years of construction delays, downtown traffic is starting to get better.

Posted 03:02 PM


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