28 August 2003

Silk is very cool stuff. It's the strongest known natural fiber, and stronger by weight than steel. Now researchers at Tufts have figured out how spiders and silkworms control the stuff, while a group at Nexia Biotechnologies (with help from the US Army) has managed to make fibers similar to silk in the lab.

Posted 05:06 PM

Interesting list from Book Magazine. The top selling classic books. Includes books that are at least five years old, excluding those with movie releases in 2002 (The Lord of The Rings, for example), and excluding educational sales.

Posted 04:51 PM

26 August 2003

6300 words since my last update, 181,620 since January 1.

Posted 02:04 PM

The Columbia Accident Investigation Board has published its report. NASA won't be happy:

"The report also concludes that NASA's management system is unsafe to manage the shuttle system beyond the short term and that the agency does not have a strong safety culture. "

Posted 01:55 PM

For software, the open source business model is based on the assumption that a company can add value beyond the code itself. That is, even if you can download a program for free, the supplier can still build a business around support services like customization and consulting. Now MIT's Open Courseware project is applying the same idea to education. They're putting course materials online, for free. I went to MIT, and learned far more outside the classroom than in it, so I don't think they have to worry about putting themselves out of business anytime soon.

Posted 01:31 PM

25 August 2003

You know that obsolete gadget you're planning to put up on e-bay? Be sure to wipe the memory first. A former Morgan Stanley executive didn't. OOPS!

Posted 03:28 PM

RosettaNet, which creates XML standards for business-to-business information exchange, named Bill White as its new chairman. White is currently chief information officer at Amkor Technology.

Posted 03:09 PM

This goes under the heading of useful but simple innovations. California Micro Devices has a new backside coating to protect their chip-scale packaged products from chips and cracks during handling.

Posted 02:19 PM


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