21 January 2005

Stanley Wolf is the author of Silicon Processing for the VLSI Era, the definitive series of textbooks on semiconductor manufacturing. He tells me that he'll be teaching a seminar on advanced manufacturing in Santa Clara this spring. Definitely worth a look, especially if you're in the area.

Posted 04:47 PM

I try to avoid Theresa Nielsen Hayden's Making Light blog as much as possible. It's a frighteningly effective way to make entire afternoons disappear. Still, this post is worth the risk. It (like most of her posts) is an excellent blend of good advice, helpful links, and witty repartee.

Posted 03:15 PM

Interesting list. The top 25 innovations of the last 25 years. List compiled by the Lemelson-MIT Program, which helps encourage inventors.

Together, the list shows just how dramatically the world has changed within the lives of today's college students.

Posted 11:20 AM

20 January 2005

Evelyn Rodriguez made the mistake of scheduling her vacation in Thailand for the week of the tsunami. She has some important comments on empathy, journalism, and weblogs.

Posted 11:31 AM

No less an authority than the Wall Street Journal is perpetuating a fallacy that I've seen in several places lately: prepared foods are cheaper than fresh-cooked foods. (Paid subscriber link.)

The claim is ridiculous on its face: prepared foods incorporate more energy and human effort than fresh ingredients. It's economically impossible for them to be cheaper.

Don't believe me? Try it. Go to the store and price out a week's worth of prepared meals. Then price out the ingredients for the same number of fresh-cooked meals. (It's cheating to upgrade at the same time, for instance by buying a steak to grill instead of the ground beef you'd use with Hamburger Helper.) Then subtract out the cost of any leftover ingredients, since those can be used the following week. For example, if you only plan to use one cup out of a five-pound bag of rice, most of the cost of the bag doesn't count toward this week's bill.

The last step is important, and skipping it is probably the source of the fallacy. Prepared foods are generally sold in much smaller quantities than fresh ingredients. The package cost can be lower, even though the cost per serving is much higher.

Posted 10:49 AM

18 January 2005

3,600 words since my last update. 9,900 for the year. Another deadline slain. Go me.

Posted 11:15 AM

The Seattle Times remembers that Martin Luther King Jr. did a lot more than just give a famous speech on the Mall in Washington, DC. They offer a selection of King's speeches and writings.

Posted 09:58 AM

Intel announced a major reorganization, organizing itself by platform ("digital home," "digital enterprise," etc.) rather than by product line. It's not yet clear how cross-platform projects like chip manufacturing will be managed.

Posted 09:37 AM

"The Rapture Index has two functions: one is to factor together a number of related end time components into a cohesive indicator, and the other is to standardize those components to eliminate the wide variance that currently exists with prophecy reporting."

Thanks to Holly for the link.

Posted 09:17 AM


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