Saturday, March 31, 2001

Why is technology so badly designed? An important question. Here is part of the answer. Read Don Norman as he talks about trying to fix the poorly designed power switch Apple computers used to have.

On that note, why are PC power switches so badly designed? They're put on the back of the machine -- sometimes there are two of them! My radio's powerswitch is on the top. My TV's powerswitch is on the front. I do not own a single appliance where something as important as the powerswitch is tucked away around the back out of sight.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

I love the BBC World Service Really, I do. So it's nice to hear that it hit a record number of listeners this year. It seems that more listeners than ever before are tuning to the BBC World Service, the 61-year-old institution which broadcasts from London to all corners of the globe. A record 153m people listen to the radio station.

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Part of the Zeitgeist About 6 months ago, a researcher from AT&T Labs, Andrew Odlyzko, wrote a dazzling series of no-hype, common-sense papers about, among other things, how point-to-point communication (telephone) has always been more important than broadcast communication (radio).

This, of course, has important repercussions for Internet use. I wrote Andrew at the time, letting him now how insightful I found his work.

About two months later, he appeared in the Economist.

And today, four months after that, we fine two VC blowhards spouting all of Andrew's ideas without crediting him. Check out Tom Watson and Jason Chervokas saying obvious things about people's behavior, taken from Andrew, without so much as a by your leave. Nice to know things have changed in 2001.

Monday, March 26, 2001

Glenn Fleishman: Gilmore and Censorship. I'm posting this link despite my better judgement. It least to Glenn's blog, which will move on when he updates I fear. So you may or may not find the following story, which opens with "I'm sick and tired of people crying censorship when a business enforces contractual rights that happen to involve data flowing. Gilmore's desire to run an open relay is technically pointless and unsophisticated, and a ridiculous necessity in this day and age..."

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

WTO chief calls for trade round A world trade round should be launched this year to prevent the US economic downturn plunging the world into a "vicious spiral of protectionism and stagnation", Mike Moore, the director-general of the World Trade Organisation, has said. Read article

Monday, March 12, 2001

I have not read all of this article from about how globalization is effecting American culture. The writing is so poor, thinking so muddled, and voice so shrill and righteous that I honestly did not want to waste the minutes of my life going through it. So, I do not know if the writer reaches the same conclusion that sloppy, stupid, righteous people tend to reach about globalization, or if he gets to something sensible or, dare I say it, interesting. Anyway, this is a good example of the Enemy.

Thursday, March 08, 2001

Poor are getting richer From 1975 onwards, the income difference between the poorest people in the world and the richest actually started to shrink. This is a big deal because it has grown since the industrial revolution in Europe. The reason for this? China and India's success at modernizing their economy and opening up to globalization and free trade. Economist Brad De Long tells it like it is.