01 April 2004

One of the Corante bloggers does regular features on reagents he refuses to work with. Very entertaining if you've ever been in a lab. This week, he considers the charming qualities of nickel carbonyl. As he puts it, "An exploding toxin with a high vapor pressure - I just don't know what else you could ask for in a laboratory reagent."

Posted 10:35 AM

31 March 2004

The word count is still moving. Not as quickly as I might like, but it's moving. 6100 words since my last update, 33,935 since January 1. Onward!

Posted 10:28 AM

Clay Shirky has posted another good one. This time, he examines small-scale software applications, what he calls situated software. Because they're designed for a specific group of users, these applications can ignore many details that are absolute necessities for general use software. For example, group purchasing software doesn't need escrow accounts if the members of the group face real world consequences if they don't pay up. Because the requirements are simple, these applications can be thrown together by amateurs in a few days or weeks, rather than requiring months of expensive developer time.

It's a completely new way of looking at software, akin to the way word processors redefined secretarial skills.

Posted 10:17 AM

30 March 2004

Every time someone tells you that hydrogen-powered cars are a panacea for everything from global warming to US dependence on imported oil, ask them where the hydrogen comes from. With current technology, it mostly comes from natural gas, extracted using electricity from coal (or natural gas) fired plants. Which puts us more or less right back where we started. Gas-electric hybrid cars, which have the additional advantage of actually existing in 2004, do at least as much to cut emissions and conserve fuel.

A cynic might say that the current emphasis on hydrogen is a great way to pretend to have an energy policy without having to actually do anything that would threaten either oil companies or automakers.

Posted 11:29 AM

Silicon Strategies is reporting details of Intel's initial 65 nm equipment buys. Very interesting. The investments signal interest in atomic layer deposition and laser junction processing for that node, neither of which will surprise regular readers.

(Free registration required.)

Posted 10:42 AM

Michael Lewis gave a very interesting interview on Moneyball, his book about baseball. I haven't read it yet, but Liar's Poker, Lewis' book about Wall Street, should be required reading for anyone with money to invest. If Moneyball is half as good, it's well worth your time.

Posted 10:20 AM


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