June, 2004

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

You Might Be An Anti-Spam Kook If...

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Groundhog Day: "The software developers -- particular the user interface geeks -- among you may have noticed a systemic problem in what I'm describing. It relies on the game developer doing the right thing. As game developers are apparently intent on proving, over and over again, that they don't know or care about proper user interface design, I will suggest a different idea."

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Who Lost Iraq?: "In March, Michael Fleischer, a New Jersey businessman, took over. Yes, he's Ari Fleischer's brother. Mr. Fleischer told The Chicago Tribune that part of his job was educating Iraqi businessmen: 'The only paradigm they know is cronyism. We are teaching them that there is an alternative system with built-in checks and built-in review.'"

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Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Ever More Graspable, and Risky, American Dream: "House prices have climbed so rapidly in the last few months that banks are refusing to appraise some properties as high as their selling prices."

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The Effects of Dual-class Ownership on Ordinary Shareholders: "Growth in insiders' voting power had the opposite effect as growth in economic stakes."

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Distributional Effects of the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts and Their Financing: "Once the financing is included, the 2001 and 2003 'tax cuts' are best seen as net tax cuts for about 20-25 percent of households, financed by net tax increases or benefit reductions for the remaining 75-80 percent of the population."

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Silicon Valley (Version 2.0) Has Hopes Up: "Looking strictly at job losses, he said, the San Jose metropolitan area, which includes much of Silicon Valley, suffered the worst collapse of any metropolitan area in the United States since the Great Depression, surpassing Detroit, which lost 13 percent of its jobs in the early 1980's."

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Paradise Glossed: "As a friend of mine once put it, there's no Canadian Dream. But there is an American Dream, and everyone in the world knows what it is." -- mostly an analysis of David Brooks' writing, but has some interesting bits.

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Monday, June 21, 2004

Private craft soars into space, history: "'If God wanted us to fly into space, he would have given us more money'. Hopefully, the technology demonstrated here today will lead to designs that are cheaper and easier."

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Michael Moore Is Ready for His Close-Up: "He also hired outside fact-checkers, led by a former general counsel of The New Yorker and a veteran member of that magazine's legendary fact-checking team, to vet the film."

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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Straight Dope Staff Report: When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

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A war against terror that went very wrong Fabricating terrorism to win U.S. approval / 7 innocents killed in Macedonian plot to show nation's zeal: "By meeting's end officials had contrived a meticulous plan Hollywood scriptwriters would be hard pressed to better. They believed it would establish little-known Macedonia as a world player in the fight against terrorism."

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Sudan's Final Solution: "The Sudanese authorities, much like the Turks in 1915 and the Nazis in the 1930's, apparently calculated that genocide offered considerable domestic benefits -- like the long-term stability to be achieved by a 'final solution' of conflicts between Arabs and non-Arabs -- and that the world would not really care very much. It looks as if the Sudanese bet correctly."

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Mel Karmazin leaves Viacom - Changing Viacom's business model - Viacom's recovery: "Viacom was and is run by moguls, people who want to make deals and who aspire to be machers. Machers aren't geeks; they laugh at geeks. They even make movies and TV shows poking fun at them. Machers like to be seen, preferably with other machers, usually with a martini in hand at a big conference or in the Grill Room at The Four Seasons, not home studying the next big thing or checking out new stuff on the PC. Yet in the end, every one of the challenges that have sprung up for Viacom since its merger with CBS was the product of pure geekdom, and unless you were a geek, you couldn't see the tech two-by-four that hit you until you went to the videotape."

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

Life Found Inside a Glacier

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Official Shotgun Rules

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Monday, June 14, 2004

Rat DNA clues to sea migration: "Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) changes at a steady rate over time, so the scientists were also able to use it to track changes in the rat population through history."

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Friends, Friends With Benefits and the Benefits of the Local Mall: "''Straight teens have abandoned the rituals of dating, while gay teens have taken them on,'' says Peter Ian Cummings, the editor of XY, a national magazine for young gay men. The Internet, Cummings says, has made it possible for heterosexual teenagers to act the way ''most of straight society assumes gay men act.''"

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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Structured Procrastination: "Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list. With this sort of appropriate task structure, the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen. Indeed, the procrastinator can even acquire, as I have, a reputation for getting a lot done."

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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Maps in a Mirror is back in print.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Enron Traders Caught On Tape: "Both the Justice Department and Enron tried to prevent the release of these tapes. Enron's lawyers argued they merely prove 'that people at Enron sometimes talked like Barnacle Bill the Sailor.'"

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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Smarter Than the CEO: "One intriguing method of doing this is to set up internal decision markets, which firms can use to produce forecasts of the future and evaluations of potential corporate strategies."

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The Transition: A Leading Candidate Emerges for the Presidency of Iraq: "'What Bremer and Brahimi are doing is very bad,' said Mahmood Othman, a Governing Council member who was excluded from the negotiations on Monday. 'They don't believe in democracy.'"

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