17 April 2003

"I know people trust in this thing. They believe it will have the answer. And I don't want it to fail them." --Google log analyst Greg Rae.

Wired spends 24 hours watching the Web through Google's eyes.

Posted 11:39 AM

16 April 2003

1200 words Monday, but none yesterday. Not the way to do it. 85,185 since January 1.

Posted 12:37 PM

A Russian mathematician may have proved the Poincaré Conjecture, one of the most important unsolved problems in mathematics.

(New York Times link, free registration required.)

Posted 10:40 AM

There's an interesting interview with Andy Grove and Clayton Christensen talking about the transformation of technology strategy as we move from the PC era to the Internet era. Worth a look.

(Link by way of TechDirt.)

Posted 09:50 AM

15 April 2003

Some of the most interesting structural materials are made by living organisms. Bone, shell, spider silk and similar materials are ideally suited for their particular purposes, superior to the best man-made equivalents. Many such materials are based on calcium, but recent research at UCSB found that the bloodworm jaw uses copper, at concentrations that are toxic to most organisms.

Posted 04:36 PM

Unrestricted capitalism tends to concentrate economic power in the hands of a wealthy elite. Pure democracy puts political power in the hands of often impoverished majorities. Implementing both at once can lead to disastrous conflicts between rich minorities and poor majorities, a consequence that Western institutions often ignore in their advice to developing nations. (Long, but worthwhile.)

Posted 12:31 PM

Shuji Nakamura developed the first blue LED while he was at Nichia. Now he's at UC Santa Barbara, and working on white LEDs to replace lightbulbs. The idea has a lot of potential: LED-driven traffic lights use one-tenth the power of incandescent bulbs and saved California about $10 million last year. LED room lighting is harder, though, because LEDs emit at a single wavelength while "white" light is a combination of many wavelengths.

(Link by way of TechDirt.)

Posted 11:52 AM

Interesting anecdote about the US occupation of Japan after World War II, told from the Japanese side. A timely reminder that in the end, the actions of individual US soldiers will mean more to the Iraqi people and the watching world than the pronouncements of politicians.

(Link by way of Joi Ito's Web.)

Posted 10:29 AM

14 April 2003

3000 words over the weekend, 83,985 since January 1.

Posted 10:57 AM

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression announced its 2003 Jefferson Muzzles, "awarded as a means to draw national attention to abridgments of free speech and press and, at the same time, foster an appreciation for those tenets of the First Amendment."

Not surprisingly, US Attorney General John Ashcroft headed the list of recipients. As the Center noted, "Attorney General Ashcroft's statements and policies run counter to the First Amendment principle that open and rational debate is the cornerstone to a democratic state."

Posted 10:50 AM


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