19 July 2003

SeedWiki updated their software and broke something. Rather than deal with figuring out what it was, I've moved ThinFilmWiki onto this site.

In other news, my final Semicon West report was delayed somewhat by a truly nightmarish trip back from San Francisco. What should have been a routine transfer through O'Hare devolved into chaos. Mechanical problems, an expired flight crew, severe thunderstorms, two different cancelled flights, and an unscheduled overnight stay. Lesson learned: direct flights are the way to go.

Posted 10:36 PM

16 July 2003

Interesting discussion at Joi Ito's blog about privacy, identity, and the impact of digital technologies. It got me thinking about just how much of my identity people actually need to know. For example, my bank routinely asks me to swipe my ATM card, even if I'm doing a purely cash transaction like buying foreign currency. I can say no and still accomplish the transaction, but how many people do? And what legitimate interest does the bank have in my travel plans?

Posted 01:04 PM

The Asheville, NC Citizen-Times writes:
"The image here is an administration that was determined to go to war and had no intention of allowing a few uncomfortable facts to get in its way."

The Nashville City Paper writes:
"Whether or not to go to war is the most serious decision any president makes. There is no more serious violation of public trust than to make that decision based on a pack of lies."

Neither paper is exactly a bastion of the East Coast liberal media. These were just the first two of more than a thousand Google News links on the subject of Iraq's apparently non-existent nuclear weapons program. This story is clearly spiralling out of the administration's control. We'll see if they can handle the hungry sharks as well as they handled the fawning lapdogs of the last few years.

Posted 01:51 AM

15 July 2003

Yes, it really is easier to update a wiki than a blog, mostly because of the lack of password. See ThinFilmWiki:SemiconWest for my fastest show updates. As I have time, I'll work on consolidating everything in one more or less coherent discussion.

Updated to reflect new wiki location.

Posted 04:33 PM

First impressions of Semicon West. Not definitive, since I haven't looked at all the announcements in my email, nor have I fully parsed the information I have.

No one really anticipates a strong upturn in the second half. It would be nice, but no one expects it. At the same time, people seem reasonably sure that a bottom has been reached. There seem to be rumblings of big fab projects in the works, but nothing anyone is willing to attach names or dates to.

People seem to be beginning to confront the idea that this isn't just another downturn and may represent a qualitative change in the way the industry works. The gloomiest think that we may be seeing the demise of semiconductor equipment manufacturing, as no applications could possibly drive the kind of growth the industry needs. A more optimistic view is that the world is only starting to see what ubiquitous computing and ubiquitous connectivity can do, and once software catches up to the hardware we'll see another great boom, comparable to the adoption of PCs. Basically what the 2000 boom was supposed to be, but based on reality rather than hype.

No major announcements so far, but as I said, I haven't read my email. There's a lot there, and the subject lines alone aren't enlightening. (And if you're a person who sends me press releases, please consider just how likely I am to read an email with the subject line "Company X Press Release" when it arrives with thirty others just like it. Descriptive subjects, please!)

In the middle of writing this I realized that this is the sort of thing that probably should be wiki-based instead of blog-based. Hmmm... Possibly, but at this point sleep is a higher priority than cross-posting.

Posted 02:44 AM


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