01 October 2004

In case you missed it, the Des Moines Register has posted the transcript of last night's presidential debate.

Which provides an excuse for my annual reminder to register and vote. Filling out the form takes ten minutes. Actually voting takes another ten. The results last four years. Sounds like a good investment to me.

Posted 09:37 AM

30 September 2004

Mark Kleiman has a good analysis of the economics of drug reimportation. He fails to address the central problem, though. Pharmaceutical companies have tried to have their cake and eat it too: fund innovation by charging monopoly prices in the US, but accept price controls elsewhere as a cost of doing business in those markets.

It only works as long as US consumers are willing to put up with it. Yet with health insurance costs rising faster than wages, political pressure to do something is rising. It would behoove the pharmaceutical companies to be part of the solution. Being part of the problem, for instance by trying ever more restrictive measures to preserve their US monopoly prices, simply isn't going to work. When dying cancer patients know that the drugs they need cost half as much in Canada, no power on earth will prevent reimportation.

Posted 10:23 AM

Paul Graham observes that the Internet Bubble had important changes at its core. There was a lot of hot air, but the underlying trends were, and are, real.

Posted 10:04 AM

Score one for the good guys. A court ruled that secret searches of phone and web records are unconstitutional. Such searches violate the Fourth Amendment because they prevent judicial challenges, Judge Marrero said, and the First Amendment because they permanently ban disclosure of the search.The full text of the ruling is posted (large PDF file).

This one isn't over. The Justice Department will probably appeal. But it's a step in the right direction.

Posted 09:37 AM

IMEC, the Belgian research center, has announced a nanotechnology research program. Like programs at Albany Nanotech and elsewhere, it focuses on building blocks for post-CMOS circuits, not necessarily on individual devices. (Silicon Strategies article, free registration required.)

Posted 09:12 AM

29 September 2004

Deep in the heart of Texas, the Crawford, Texas, newspaper has endorsed a candidate for president. And it isn't George Bush.

Posted 09:20 AM

Hmmmm. ASML reports that some customers have rescheduled shipments. Combined with the declining book-to-bill ratio and worrisome chip sales forecasts, it's starting to look like the upturn is on shaky ground. I'd like to say it's just a pause to digest huge orders earlier this year, but other statistics suggest that the macroeconomy is stuck in neutral as well.

Posted 09:16 AM

27 September 2004

Panera Bread has been one of my favorite lunch places for a while. Excellent soups and sandwiches, nice variety of cookies and pastries. Fast, accurate service. What more could I want?

Wireless internet, that's what. Which my local store now has, for free.

Posted 03:30 PM


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