07 November 2003

Digital Deliverance has an interesting analysis of pay for access newspaper sites, showing how much advertising revenue they generally lose in order to gain relatively tiny subscription fees. Should be required reading for all publishing types.

(Link by way of TechDirt)

Posted 10:15 AM

06 November 2003

It shouldn't surprise regular readers to hear that I probably won't vote for George Bush next year. I haven't yet decided which Democrat to support. Still, I figure if Howard Dean is making the likes of Al Sharpton mad, he must be doing something right. (For those who've managed to avoid Mr. Sharpton until now, the Tawana Brawley case cost him any credibility on racial issues that he might have had.)

The thing is, Dean was absolutely right when he said that the Democratic party has to reach out to "people with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks." Those people aren't necessarily racist, and they aren't necessarily Southerners. They live in rural and manufacturing towns all over the country, including Pennsylvania (my home state) and Vermont (Dean's). They work hard, love their country, and often serve in its military. They don't trust government because it doesn't seem to help them deal with steadily worsening economic conditions. They are deeply suspicious of programs that tie opportunity to race rather than class, for example by defining a black lawyer's daughter as "disadvantaged" relative to a white factory worker's son, They should be a natural Democratic constituency, if the party still stands for fairness and opportunity.

It isn't surprising that Dean wants to reach out to that constituency. What is surprising is that so many other candidates are willing to dismiss them as ignorant redneck racists, unworthy of the party's attention.

Posted 02:45 PM

Protect the work. If you're doing work that you enjoy, make sure that you actually give yourself time and mental space to do it in. Don't let peripheral issues that don't really matter shove the ones that do to the back burner. Don't let other people live rent-free in your head.

That excellent bit of advice is from Jennifer Crusie, who I admit I'd never heard of before Holly Lisle (another font of excellent advice) linked to her.

Posted 11:22 AM

Even though the processes used to make MEMS devices resemble those used to make ICs, the two applications are entirely different and require radically different packaging. As Small Times points out, failure to consider packaging early in the design process can send MEMS designers back to the drawing board and can even threaten the viability of a product.

Posted 10:55 AM

05 November 2003

Could someone explain this to me, please?

Semiconductor industry researchers have been pursuing high dielectric constant gate dielectrics and metal gates for years. They've been making steady progress, mostly out of sight of the mainstream media.

But now, Intel has issued a press release talking about their high-k dielectric and metal gate work. They aren't naming any of the materials used. They're targeting the 45 nm technology node, which is pretty much the consensus insertion point for high-k dielectrics. In other words, there isn't anything here that should come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention. Yet suddenly it's big news, with everyone from ComputerWorld to the Wall Street Journal weighing in.


Posted 04:42 PM

03 November 2003

I don't get writer's block very often, and almost never for extended periods. It's a luxury that working writers with deadlines can't afford. One of the ways I avoid it is to take voluntary breaks when they seem appropriate, thereby avoiding outright rebellion by the Muse. So I've only written 1245 words since my last update, 15,970 since October 1. The good news is that I'm rested and refreshed and ready to get back to work.

214,090 for the year so far. That means I need 85,910 words in two months to get to my original goal of 300,000. That's an average of 1456 words per day. My goal stands at 1500 words per day, as it has for a couple months, but I'd like to boost that a little bit to cover the inevitable days off.

Posted 11:55 AM

The Australian Capital Territory has embraced the idea that e-voting should serve the citizens, not the companies that make e-voting systems, or the political candidates those companies support. If that sounds like a good idea to you, US H.R. 2239 incorporates the same principle.

Posted 10:40 AM


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