Katherine's Blog

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

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April 13, 2002

Today's words: 1800. Since April 1: 8600. All of it non-fiction today, including the beginnings of an essay that could be really interesting.
posted 00:24 |

April 12, 2002

Hmmm.... Blogger's archiving seems to be sick. The archive is temporarily fixed by a hack at my end. I'll wait until Blogger is better before I decide what to do long term.
posted 13:29 |
Okay. Time to tackle the archive problem. Again. Sigh...
posted 09:37 |
1000 words today. 6800 since April 1. Lots of editing and rumination today cut down the total. I'm still badly lagging the daily word count I need, but both consistency and word count are improving. I'll get there.
posted 00:34 |

April 11, 2002

For much of the Internet boom period, it was a more or less open secret that Wall Street analysts were compensated based on their ability to generate investment banking fees, not their accurate analysis of a company's prospects. Now that the bubble has burst, the New York State Attorney General's office is investigating Merrill Lynch and others for possible violations of state securities regulations.

The state alleges that, "Since late 1999, the internet research analysts (the “internet group”) at Merrill Lynch have published on a regular basis ratings for internet stocks that were misleading because: (1) the ratings in many cases did not reflect the analysts’ true opinions of the companies; (2) as a matter of undisclosed, internal policy, no “reduce” or “sell” recommendations were issued, thereby converting a published five-point rating scale into a de facto three-point system; and (3) Merrill Lynch failed to disclose to the public that Merrill Lynch’s ratings were tarnished by an undisclosed conflict of interest: the research analysts were acting as quasi-investment bankers for the companies at issue, often initiating, continuing, and/or manipulating research coverage for the purpose of attracting and keeping investment banking clients, thereby producing misleading ratings that were neither objective nor independent, as they purported to be."

(Link points to a PDF file. Adobe Acrobat reader required.)
posted 11:37 |

Later. 900 more words. Total 1750 today, 5800 since April 1. I'm happy with what I got, even though it will need extensive rewrite.

I'm not so happy with my archives, which have gone from missing pages to duplicate pages. Not something I'm going to tackle tonight, though.
posted 00:40 |

April 10, 2002

New article up, about MEMS manufacturing, also known as where I was last week.

Words today: 850. Words since April 1: 4900. Hoping to get more tonight, but I'm not counting on it.
posted 16:45 |

Axcelis Technologies has announced two new ion implant systems. The GSD Ultra and HC3 Ultra target low energy, high current implants on 200-mm and 300-mm wafers, respectively. The big difference in these systems is an improved, and field-upgradable, beamline that increases beam current by reducing ion spread.

Axcelis unfortunately also seems to be one of those misguided companies that discourages deep links into their site. They use frames so that the link at the top of the browser window always points to the home page, and then they use scripting to make it unreasonably difficult to figure out how to bypass the frame. All of which makes it difficult for me to reference a particular page within their site at all, much less in a way that will still make sense three or four months from now.

Some even more misguided companies have threatened lawsuits against deep linkers, complaining that the practice dilutes the site owner's intellectual property, presumably by allowing users to bypass the advertising-heavy, bandwidth-hogging home page. But as Jakob Nielsen succinctly puts it, "Deep linking is your friend: It gets users to their preferred destination as quickly as possible." It seems to me that users with a preferred destination in mind should be welcomed with open arms, not forced to work their way through navigation pages that they don't even need.
posted 12:23 |

Asyst Technologies announced it will acquire domainLogix, a tool connectivity software supplier. The acquisition, combined with last year's purchase of GW Associates, creates a new Connectivity Solutions Group within Asyst.

As fabs make greater use of yield analysis and automated process control software, tool connectivity is becoming a critical issue. Arcane debates about software standards can have real consequences for day-to-day operations.
posted 11:37 |

April 9, 2002

Today's words: 1150. Since April 1: 4050.

Still lagging where I need to be, but starting to pick up a little bit.
posted 00:02 |

April 8, 2002

The Pulitzer Prizes for 2002 have been announced. Not surprisingly, tons of awards went to Sept. 11 coverage. Perhaps the most deserving winner is the staff of the Wall Street Journal, "For its comprehensive and insightful coverage, executed under the most difficult circumstances, of the terrorist attacks on New York City, which recounted the day's events and their implications for the future." The "most difficult circumstances" included being forced to evacuate their editorial offices.
posted 21:48 |
Tegal announced a a high etch rate process for GaAs via holes. According to the company, the new process achieves etch rates in excess of 10 microns per minute on vias 100 or more microns deep, with 20:1 selectivity to photoresist.
posted 11:20 |
Archive problem fixed. (For now.) Error message fixed. (For certain.) Hair torn out. Harrumph.
posted 10:10 |
Gaak! Blogger has once again decided that the last week of archives is irrelevant and unnecessary. Naturally, it chose to do this right after I linked to a post in the missing archive file. I'm working on the problem.

And, just to make things even more entertaining, I blew the link in my carefully constructed custom error page. Thereby sending readers off to never-never land instead of back to somewhere useful. Sorry about that, folks.
posted 09:49 |

April 7, 2002

The FDA has decided that implantable microchips used for ID purposes are not medical devices, and therefore are not under its jurisdiction. This clears the way for Applied Digital Solutions to sell their chips in the US.

The bit that caught my eye was a bit further down, though. Apparently in parts of South America, "potential kidnap victims" is a large enough segment that companies market to it. The Digital Angel package includes an ID chip and a personal GPS system.
posted 00:01 |

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