Katherine's Blog

Obsessions: Thin films, writing, small business, and random web flotsam

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January 18, 2002

Countries like China want to have it both ways. They want the advantages of free information exchange, but without the risk of embarrassment or criticism. The latest Internet regulations in China try to stuff the genie of open debate back into its bottle. I don't think it will work. If it does, expect foreign investment and economic development to be among the casualties.
posted 11:30 |
A whole bunch of people over at the Forward Motion writer's community started weblogs at the same time last fall. It's been interesting to watch them evolve from self-conscious "I've got a blog now, so what do I say" into something more thoughtful and more personal. Probably something similar has happened here. Just as email has helped resurrect the lost art of letter writing, I wonder if weblogs will reinvent the art of the journal.
posted 11:13 |

January 17, 2002

From the mailbag:
Process materials supplier ATMI has started what I hope will be a trend. They've put their entire media kit on CD-ROM: annual reports, product information, photos, everything. No enormous piles of paper for me to store (or more likely throw away), and electronic format is usually what I need anyway. Everyone wins, too, because they get to reduce their printing and mailing costs, save a few trees, and get a special mention here besides.
posted 12:26 |
Wallace and Gromit are back. Aardman announced that the prolific inventor and his long-suffering canine companion will be starring in twelve new short films to be released via Internet this fall.

(If you don't know what I'm talking about, go ask your local video store. They may not have Wallace and Gromit, but probably do have Chicken Run, created by the same team.)
posted 11:48 |

January 16, 2002

Most American businesspeople sing the virtues of minimal government regulation. "Government shouldn't pick winners" and "all we want is a level playing field" are common sentiments. Seen in that light, the Enron scandal is especially worrisome. Not because Enron's campaign contributions saved it from bankruptcy--they didn't--but because those contributions gave the energy playing field a noticeable tilt. Though Vice President Cheney refuses to release information about his energy task force's deliberations, the policy that emerged clearly favors traditional energy companies at the expense of alternative energy startups. Strangely enough, traditional energy companies also shower politicians with campaign contributions.

Now, reasonable people can certainly disagree about whether alternative energy sources will ever earn a significant share of the market. (Technology Review's recent energy issue talks about some of the options and obstacles.) But as long as traditional energy companies are able to buy seats at the policy-setting table, we'll never know what might happen on a level field.

(New York Times articles require free registration.)
posted 10:57 |

January 15, 2002

From the mailbag:
Novellus Systems is reorganizing the executive suite. Among other things, the company is expanding the office of the CEO, and re-establishing the position of chief technology officer. The new CTO, Wilbert van den Hoek, will retain his current role as executive vice president of integration and advanced development. I've interviewed Dr. van den Hoek several times over the years. He's a sharp guy. I'm sure he'll do well in his new position.
posted 12:34 |
From the mailbag:
Numerical Technologies announced it will license scattering bar technology from ASML MaskTools. One of the interesting things about the agreement is that it makes the technology available to companies who do not use ASML exposure equipment.
posted 12:24 |

January 14, 2002

Hey, it worked! I think.... If you find any broken links, leave a comment or send me mail so I can fix them.

If you link to this site, double check to make sure your links still work. Essentially all of the articles and weblog entries have moved. If you can't find the item's new location, and the search engine at the top of the page doesn't help, then leave a comment or send mail. The good news is that this won't happen again next year. The new directory structure is designed with year-end maintenance in mind.
posted 10:33 |

Hang onto your sneakers. I'm reorganizing the weblog archives, so things are likely to be a little unstable here for a bit.
posted 10:09 |
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