July, 2004

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Study Lends Support to Mad Cow Theory: get your prion.

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Triumph of the Trivial: "Somewhere along the line, TV news stopped reporting on candidates' policies, and turned instead to trivia that supposedly reveal their personalities. We hear about Mr. Kerry's haircuts, not his health care proposals. We hear about George Bush's brush-cutting, not his environmental policies. Even on its own terms, such reporting often gets it wrong, because journalists aren't especially good at judging character."

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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

James Cramer: How Google Has Ruined Its IPO Deal: "In six months, Google's gone from a company everyone wants a share of to perhaps the single-most scorned entity I can recall. Right out of the chute! Amazing."

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Why Venture Funds Don't Want Your Cash: "The optimal fund size, Professor Kedrosky and others say, is a $250 million fund managed by four partners. 'There's 25 years of data that shows that funds roughly this size give the best returns, but it's like everyone went temporarily nuts for a while,' he said."

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Lost Record '02 Florida Vote Raises '04 Concern: "After the 2002 primary, between Democratic candidates Janet Reno and Bill McBride, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida conducted a study that found that 8 percent of votes, or 1,544, were lost on touch-screen machines in 31 precincts in Miami-Dade County."

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The Apple Product Cycle - humor, but disturbingly accurate

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Loony Over Labels: "the party that gets the most votes is not 'out of the mainstream,' whether getting the most votes is enough to win the election or not"

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Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy: "And the idea was inherently neither centrist nor leftist. Here was something he could take to donors and say: This is why you're losing. Forget this election. Plan for the future."

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That's No Space Station

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How the Democrats Lost Kansas: "Liberalism may not be the monstrous, all-powerful conspiracy that conservatives make it out to be, but its failings are clear nonetheless. Somewhere in the last four decades liberalism ceased to be relevant to huge portions of its traditional constituency, and we can say that liberalism lost places like Wichita and Shawnee, Kansas with as much accuracy as we can point out that conservatism won them over."

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Friday, July 23, 2004

"My Beef With Big Media" by Ted Turner: "The economy will suffer, and so will the quality of our public life. Let me be clear: As a business proposition, consolidation makes sense. The moguls behind the mergers are acting in their corporate interests and playing by the rules. We just shouldn't have those rules."

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Driving? Maybe You Shouldn't Be Reading This: "Yet most states managed to kill such legislation, defending multitasking as an almost inalienable right."

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Traffic jams: "As Craig Davis of the University of Michigan reports in Physical Review E, only 20% of cars need to employ ACC in order to prevent completely those jams that are caused by a slow lead car on a high-speed, single-lane road. According to Dr Davis's computer model, even a rate of use of ACC as low as 13% can improve the flow of traffic significantly."

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Permalinks appear to be fixed now. Let me know if you see any problems.

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Thursday, July 22, 2004

CCIA: Seriously, BSA report BS: "The report is silent as to the effect that law has on piracy rates. For instance, authors make no attempt to distinguish between estimates made for countries with strong intellectual property regimes such as the United States, and those with lax enforcement, such as Mexico."

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Minding the baby: "Human babies, like all mammals, are born wired for survival, but uniquely, we are wired to do so through other people."

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Fox News slogan challenged: "Alleging consumer fraud, the complaint calls for the FTC to order Fox News, consistently the highest-rated cable news network, to cease and desist from using the slogan."

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I'm contemplating switching to ATOM for the site feed. Mail me if you have an opinion on the matter.

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Our friend Lex is back, after an amusing round of domain name chicanery.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hawking Says He Was Wrong About Black Holes: "Hawking's not stupid, so we're going to take what he says seriously"

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The hysterical skies: "Does it not occur to people that Muslim radicals come in all complexions and from many nations -- from the heart of black Africa to the archipelagoes of Southeast Asia? (Many Syrians, no less, are fair-haired and light-skinned.) Does it not occur to people that terrorists are clever, resourceful and, in the end, bound to outwit such obvious snares?"

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Anti-Americanism in Korea; Bush and the NAACP: "What we see in South Korea is not 'anti-Americanism,' really. It's Korean patriotism. And it's a gross mistake if we try to suppress it."

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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Baptists have highest divorce rate: "The levels vary among non-Christian groups, Barna reported. Jews have a divorce rate of 30 percent, while atheists and agnostics have a relatively low rate of 21 percent, according to the survey. The survey found that Mormons, who emphasize strong families, are near the national average at 24 percent."

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Mars rover finds that water persisted: "The new discovery, reported by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Friday, pushes the boundaries significantly further back, into geological timescales."

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Software Group Enters Fray Over Proposed Piracy Law: "John Gantz, director of research for IDC, which conducted the study for the Business Software Alliance, said that perhaps one of 10 unauthorized copies might be a lost sale. In developing nations, he explained, many users cannot afford software imported from the West. Instead of describing the $29 billion number as sales lost to piracy, he said, 'I would have preferred to call it the retail value of pirated software.' But, Mr. Gantz said, when the trade group released the study, it termed the $29 billion as losses."

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Monday, July 19, 2004

Money Buys Happiness, But Not Sex: "A lasting marriage offers about $100,000 worth of happiness a year, which means a single person would need to receive $100,000 annually to be as happy as a married person with the same education, job status, and other characteristics, notes The Times."

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

Wrath and Mercy: The Return of the Warrior Jesus: "But Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, called the warrior Jesus of the 'Left Behind' novels a healthy corrective, reminding people that Jesus is judgmental as well as merciful. 'The fear of God is a worthy emotion,' he said. He argued that the wrathful Jesus in the book series was an antidote to what he called 'the effeminate Jesus' that has sometimes prevailed in the culture. 'In our stained-glass windows and our popular culture, Jesus is a kind of marshmallowy, Santa Claus Jesus, which is not at all in keeping with the gospels,' he said."

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Jesus and Jihad: "this portrayal of a bloody Second Coming reflects a shift in American portrayals of Jesus, from a gentle Mister Rogers figure to a martial messiah presiding over a sea of blood"

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Friday, July 16, 2004

The children have to hide by night: "The 18-year conflict in northern Uganda has obliterated the idea of childhood as a protected time of healthy growth. It has left parents so desperate to shield their children from abduction and murder that sending them trekking miles into town by themselves at night is their only hope, a contrarian act of love."

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Overstocking in Afghanistan: "In Afghanistan, Kaniskha's network of suppliers consists largely of women who were prevented from working outside their homes under the Taliban regime. These days, many of these women make substantially more money than men."

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Thursday, July 15, 2004

A great story of racial harmony in the DC subway.

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Investment Viewpoint: Brad Silverberg, Managing Partner, Ignition Partners: "What really propelled Microsoft Windows success was an ecosystem that they created that allowed other people to benefit from your success. Actually your success was really a side effect or byproduct of their own success. If they saw a way that they could develop your platform, make money for themselves and build big businesses. Now that Microsoft has expanded into so many different areas there is reluctance from some developers to continue to invest in a Microsoft platform because they wonder how do they build a business? How does it become their business and not Microsoft's business?"

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

McCain: Same-sex marriage ban is un-Republican: "But he said the decision in Massachusetts to legalize same-sex marriages does 'not represent a death knell to marriage.'"

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Politics, Iraqi Style: "Iraqis remember too well that their capital city was surrendered virtually intact, and only destroyed in the days after the Americans rolled into town. The troops stood back while liberated looters stripped the infrastructure of the city to the bone. Since then, Baghdadis have watched with sheer incredulity the Americans' inability to restore regular electrical service."

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Alien Abduction Tales Offer Clues on Memory: "The study showed that people who said they had been abducted by aliens had strong distressful reactions to the stressful and alien abduction narratives and weaker reactions to the others. The comparison group had little reaction to any of the stories. The study also showed that people who said they were abducted by aliens also scored higher on measures of psychological traits that make them more likely to experience alterations in consciousness, to have a rich fantasy life, and to endorse unconventional beliefs."

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Monday, July 12, 2004

Broken Windows: "My answer to question posed earlier -- why are Windows users besieged with security exploits, while Mac users suffer none? -- is that Windows is like a bad neighborhood, strewn with litter, mysterious odors, panhandlers, and untold dozens of petty annoyances. Many Windows users are simply resigned to the fact that their computers contain software that is not under their control."

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Sunday, July 11, 2004

Arab bomb victim backs West Bank barrier

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Saturday, July 10, 2004

d2r: why we dropped java web start: "Now let's skip over the problem of java.com being utterly confusing (you'll note we're going to be doing a lot of 'skipping over' in this discussion)"

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Friday, July 09, 2004

The Price of Arrogance: "As far as I can tell, taking responsibility these days means nothing more than saying the magic words 'I take responsibility.'"

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FREE: 195 double big gulp cups - FRIDAY ONLY (sunnyvale)

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Iraq Insurgency Larger Than Thought: "The official and others told The Associated Press the guerrillas have enough popular support among nationalist Iraqis angered by the presence of U.S. troops that they cannot be militarily defeated. The military official, who has logged thousands of miles driving around Iraq to meet with insurgents or their representatives, said a skillful Iraqi government could co-opt some of the guerrillas and reconcile with the leaders instead of fighting them."

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Junk Science of George W. Bush: "On September 13, just two days after the terror attack, the EPA announced that asbestos dust in the area was 'very low' or entirely absent. On September 18 the agency said the air was 'safe to breathe.' In fact, more than 25 percent of the samples collected by the EPA before September 18 showed presence of asbestos above the 1 percent safety benchmark. Among outside studies, one performed by scientists at the University of California, Davis, found particulates at levels never before seen in more than 7,000 similar tests worldwide."

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Tuesday, July 06, 2004

I rarely tip at Cold Stone Creamery. The threat of the singing hangs over me, an effective disincentive.

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The Manipulator: "Chalabi himself has attacked the Administration's plan to transfer sovereignty to an interim government on June 30th as a sham, crafted for Bush's re-lection campaign and not for the Iraqi people. Considering the nature of the campaign that he and his aides waged to prompt an invasion, however, it's a bit late for Chalabi to express such qualms."

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Monday, July 05, 2004

About Independence: "When law enforcement officials make mistakes, there is an all-too-human temptation to press on rather than admit an error."

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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Unlikely activist brashly discredits paperless voting machines: "Alarmingly, '1111' was Diebold's default password identification number for microchip-embedded 'smartcards' that voting administrators used."

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Happy 4th of July to all.

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VCs see tighter federal rules as threat - "It's upped the cost of being a public company by over $2 million a year, some estimate."

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Saturday, July 03, 2004

New Halliburton waste alleged: "The company declined an interview but suggests in an e-mail to NBC News that critics are politically motivated: 'When Halliburton succeeds, Iraq progresses. Sadly, a few people don't want either of those results.'"

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I moved. Mail me if you need my new address. Phone number and such stay the same.

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Friday, July 02, 2004

Access Denied: "The Pill may cut the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 80% and is used by women at high genetic risk for this hard-to-detect and usually fatal cancer. 'There are easily more than 20 noncontraceptive uses for the Pill in common practice,' says Giovannina Anthony, MD, an attending physician of obstetrics and gynecology at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. 'This drug saves women from surgery for gynecological conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, and severe bleeding and pain.'"

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The Capitalism of Soccer - Why Europe's favorite sport is more American than baseball.: "In 1986, Foer writes, then-Congressman Jack Kemp opposed an anodyne congressional resolution to support U.S. efforts to play host to the 1994 World Cup: 'a distinction should be made that football is democratic, capitalism, whereas soccer is a European socialist [sport],' the former quarterback said."

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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Too many cars, too few digits: "Unlike telephone companies, which simply created new area codes to cope with a surge in households, cell phones and fax machines, the committee is not recommending longer VINs -- even though 18- or 19-character codes would not repeat for 100 years. Longer codes would require a major overhaul of computer systems that would dwarf the challenges and expenses spawned by the Y2K computer dilemma, said Dave Proefke, chairman of the committee."

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