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I just finished a long overdue update of my book-to-bill chart, and I noticed something very interesting. Before 2002, there are huge differences between bookings and shipments. Bookings go up, and come down, well in advance of shipments. After 2002, that gap pretty much goes away, with the numbers moving pretty much in lockstep.
This is pretty clear evidence of a change that people have been talking about for a while. Fabs have gotten much smarter about their equipment ordering, turning the flow of orders on and off much more quickly. At the same time, equipment suppliers have gotten much more responsive, shrinking lead times so that fabs don't have to anticipate their needs nearly as far in advance.
This new state of things isn't nearly as exciting, but it's probably healthier overall. The wilder the swings, the more difficult they are too manage, and the more people are likely to get chased out of the industry by layoffs and other uncertainty.
Here's one of the most sensible posts about weblogs that I've seen in a long time. Blogs are not a mass medium, so audience measures that apply to mass media are not relevant. They are a personal medium, an extension of phone, email, and face-to-face conversations. The appropriate question is not "how many readers?" but "which readers?"
Remember all the European opinion leaders who were so eloquent in defense of the right to publish cartoons insulting Muhammed? It's too bad that they aren't being equally eloquent in support of David Irving's right to deny the Holocaust.
Before everyone sends me hate mail, understand that I find Irving's ideas repulsive. That's exactly the point. Popular ideas don't need protection.
If someone who insults the Prophet is praised as a heroic defender of civil liberties, while someone who questions the Holocaust goes to jail, it's hard to say that claims of a double standard are wrong.
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