Katherine's Blog

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

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March 15, 2002

Hmmmm.... archives doing weird things. Very strange. Apparently the current week's archive file never appeared.
posted 14:01 |
Have a Shelf-Stable Children's Lactic Drink and a smile. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry at this look at Coke's new total beverage strategy. It's surreal, it's frightening, and they seem to be absolutely serious about it.

(New York Times article. Free registration required.)
posted 12:12 |

The domain that hosts my personal email address bounced 568 junk email messages yesterday. That's a lot, given that the entire domain only has about ten people. So I was delighted to see that another big organization with lots of resources has decided that spam is a menace. First the FTC and now the largest law firm in California.
posted 11:30 |
OOPS! One of the big guys must have linked to the same Business 2.0 article I did. Their servers are now swamped. If the link in the previous post doesn't work, try back later.
posted 10:55 |
The cover article in Business 2.0 this month lists the "101 Dumbest Moments in Business". In one of my favorite moments, Burger King marketing executives try to put a positive spin on second-degree burns suffered while walking on hot coals at a team-building retreat.

Very funny, but also an important reminder to anyone who might have forgotten that business people are human, too. Like everyone else, we sometimes do astoundingly stupid things, especially when we let hubris get in the way of common sense.
posted 10:41 |

March 14, 2002

The American Left has pretty much fallen on its face since September 11. By refusing to concede that the World Trade Center hijackings were evil acts committed by evil people, the Left lost any influence and moral authority that it might have had. Michael Walzer, writing in Dissent Magazine, examines why the Left has become so morally bankrupt, and suggests an agenda for a value-based leftist politics.

"The encounter with Islamic radicalism, and with other versions of politicized religion, should help us understand that high among our interests are our values: secular enlightenment, human rights, and democratic government. Left politics starts with the defense of these three."
posted 11:32 |

March 13, 2002

The Taiwanese government is wrestling with a plan to allow chip manufacturers to build facilities in mainland China. Opponents argue that such investments will cost the island jobs and worry that a stronger industrial base on the mainland would threaten Taiwan's national security.
posted 11:26 |
Yet another survey has found that teenagers aren't interested in high-tech jobs. This one, however, took place in Silicon Valley among kids who are surrounded by the industry. In part, the survey found that technology careers are perceived as boring, intimidating, and stressful.

The more I think about it, the more difficult it is for me to say those kids are wrong. Plenty of technology professionals view themselves as an elite. They revel in the difficulty of their work and view long hours as a badge of honor. Then, having created a hostile, exclusionary culture, they wonder why labor shortages keep getting worse.
posted 11:04 |

March 11, 2002

My March Semiconductor Magazine article, on optoelectronics manufacturing, is now up at the magazine's site.
posted 11:42 |
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