Friday, March 22, 2002

Oxford Student: Fun Stuff

Websites English college students find amusing - Oxford Student: Fun Stuff.

From the site:

Regional accents - ever wondered how to say hello in Newcastle without getting laughed back across the Tyne? Or wanted to talk like Jamie Oliver auditioning for the latest Guy Ritchie film? Or fancied finding out the (quite important) difference between a bloke from Dudley with a bostin' wench (nice girl) and one from West Bromwich with a bustin' wrench (big spanner)? This collection of regional dictionaries contains accented and dialect words and phrases from the parts that received pronunciation did not reach... Brummie; Black Country; Cockney; Geordie; Glaswegian; Lancashire; Scouse - send us more!

Thursday, March 21, 2002

The Social Life Of Paper - Looking for Method In the Mess

An excellent New Yorker book review of Malcom Gladwell's "The Myth of the Paperless Office" on the role of paper in the modern office. It challenges the conventional assumptions that a messy desk is bad, and a well organized paper management system is good. I normally don't like to recycle mefi and Arts and Letters Daily posts, but with my background in document management as well as my propensity for a messy desk, I thought this article was particularly apt.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Jobless High-Tech Workers Sing for More Than Supper

After reading about two laid off high tech workers who play Irish folk music on University Avenue in Palo Alto, my wife and I decided to pay them a visit at lunch today. We had a nice chat with the one that was there when we came by. Another confirmation on how bleak the tech job market is. Jobless high-tech workers sing for more than supper

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Yahoo! News - NetTrends: Bubble Bursts for San Francisco Eateries

Yahoo! News - NetTrends: Bubble Bursts for San Francisco Eateries

"Television Allows Thousands of People to Laugh at the Same Joke and Still Remain Alone"

"[Television] allows thousands of people to laugh at the same joke and still remain alone" - Bertrand Russel as quoted by John Perry Barlow in the "Pursuit of Emptiness", Forbes ASAP, Winter 2002. Picture is from Massurrealism, "a form of art that is rooted in the combination of mass media related art [such as pop art] and surrealist imagery."

Is Silicon Valley Comming Back from the Dead?

According to the cover story in this weeks Newsweek, Silicon Valley is on the way back. Silicon Valley Reboots

Monday, March 18, 2002

Kendall Cumming

Kendall Cumming died on March 10, 2002, at the Margaret T. Morris Center in Prescott. He was born on a cattle ranch in Santa Cruz County, Ariz., on Aug. 14, 1924. He was the third generation of ranchers in that area, a pioneer Arizona family.

Mr. Cumming served with the 101st Airborne as a paratrooper in WWII and was badly wounded at Bastogne. He received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

After the war, he enrolled at the University of Arizona and graduated with a master’s degree in range ecology in 1950. It was at the university that he met his wife of 54 years, Dorothy. They have two sons, Bruce and Earl, and three grandchildren.

In October of 1950, Mr. Cumming went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Chinle, Ariz., as a range ecologist. He continued in this role working in three Navajo agencies and one Hopi agency until 1962, when he was appointed superintendent of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation at Dulce, N.M. In 1965 he was appointed superintendent of the Gila Reservation at Sacaton, Ariz., where he remained for 15 years.

He was awarded a Citation of Meritorious Service by Robert Morton, secretary of the Interior upon retirement in 1980.

The Cummings moved to Prescott in 1980. Kendall taught courses in ranching at Yavapai College and was sheriff of the Westerners Corral in 1981.
He worked as a range consultant here in Prescott and for the Navajo-Hopi Relocation Commission in Flagstaff.

He will be fondly remembered by the many ranchers, cowboys and the Indian people who knew him throughout the Southwest, as well as his loving family.

Memorial contributions can be made to either the Margaret T. Morris Center, 878 Sunset Ave., Prescott, AZ 86305 or the Nature Conservancy, Kendall Cumming Memorial Account, 4245 No. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, VA. 22203.

Originally published in the Prescott Courier.

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Business 2.0 - Magazine Article - The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Business 2.0 - Magazine Article - The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business - including "Steve Ballmer dances at a Microsoft employee event".

Cool Phone Number to Words Web Site

Just got a new phone number and I was curious to see what word it would spell. This web site was the best by far of the ones I found - DialABC. It also has a cool links page.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Computer Friendly Food Comming to a Computer Near You

"Snacks that can be easily consumed while using the computer—they only require one hand and don't drip, spill or stick to the fingers—are likely to thrive in years to come" accoding to "What Cooking" in the March 2002 edition of American Demographics. (Note- link is to magizine website, you must must be a subscriber or pay to access the actual article.)

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Archiving of Old Posts Now Works

Now I can remove posts from my main page, and still get to them!.

Davis Demands All State Web Sites Display His Picture

Image of Gray Davis and link to his Home PageAccording to this San Francisco Chronicle article, Davis sent an email to all state agencies reminding them to use his photograph on their Web sites. Some of Davis' critics are claiming this is a campaign related move, but the head of Gray Davis' e-government initiative explains "the photograph provides an easy-to-identify link to the governor's page for site visitors who want to send their opinion to Davis". Not sure which side I agree with, but Davis is a very experienced politician.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Pentagon May Limit Tech Jobs to U.S. Citizens

Pentagon may limit tech jobs to U.S. citizens / Plan restricts access to sensitive projects. "The planned policy...could also create new job opportunities for U.S. citizens who lost technology jobs in last year's industrywide layoffs.

60,000 Prudential Employee Identities Stolen

A database Manager at Prudential Insurance was charged with attempting to sell the name and personal information of 60,000 Prudential employees over the internet.

The scary thing here, is that the potential victim's identity was at risk not because they used the Internet, but because they were employees of a company with an unscrupulous I.T. worker.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

AIIM Conference 2002 San Francisco - Disaster Recovery

I attended the AIIM 2002 convention today in San Francisco. AIIM was originally a document imaging association but now calls itself an "Enterprise Content Management" association. The highlight of the conference for me today was the keynote address on Disaster Recovery. It was a panel presentation that included managers from three companies, each of these companies lost significant operations on 9/11.

The most poignant advice was from Richard Dominelli—Vice President, Image Development, Guy Carpenter & Company: "Don't assume that your staff will be available to recover after a disaster - we lost 292 employees [in the attack on the World Trade Center]". You can download the PowerPoint presentation of this keynote here (3.34MB).

InformationWeek Study Says IT Workforce Shrunk Almost 10% Last Year

According to this article in the February 15, 2002 issue of InformationWeek, "[a]bout 270,000 workers—9.1% of the IT workforce—vanished in the last year, and no one is sure where they all went, or why".

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

Online NewsHour: Cable News Wars -- March 2002

The Newshour on PBS today had a segment on the cable new channels, CNN, FOX and MSNBC. The Newshour commissioned a study to analyze "the primetime content of the three 24-hour cable news channels".


"CNN was primarily a newsgathering network. It:
Relied on its corps of correspondents in the field
Concentrated more on the top stories of the day
Adhered to an objective and restrained interviewing style"

"FNC was primarily an opinion network. It:
Staged most interviews in a confrontational format
Asked questions in an opinionated and combative style
Selected interview guests with partisan, forensic and military backgrounds"

The study also concluded that Fox occupied a position to the right of CNN on the ideological spectrum.

Wal-Mart Trumps Moore's Law or "Everyday Low Prices" Don't Come Cheap

From the article Wal-Mart Trumps Moore's Law in

A recent McKinsey Global Institute report analyzing the spurt in U.S. productivity growth from 1995 to 2000 proffers provocative statistics that should give champions of “supply-side” innovation pause. “By far the most important factor in that is Wal-Mart,” reports Robert Solow, the MIT Nobel Prize-winning economics professor emeritus who chaired the report’s advisory committee. “That was not expected. The technology that went into what Wal-Mart did was not brand new and not especially at the technological frontiers, but when it was combined with the firm’s managerial and organizational innovations, the impact was huge.”

'O Brother' CD Puts Lost Highway Records on Map

Lost Highway Records (flash with music on homepage) has been getting a lot of press lately - since "O Brother" won the Grammy for best record of the year. They are more than an "old-time" country music label, they are also an alternative country label, with artists like Lucinda Williams (one of my favorite singer/songwriters) and Ryan Adams. This article "'O Brother' CD Puts Lost Highway Records on Map", in the L.A. Times explains how with little airplay, they have been successful.

This BusinessWeek article (only available if you have a BusinessWeek subscription), argues that Lost Highway Records could be a model for saving the recording industry from its current downturn, by eschewing bloated marketing budgets in favor of the music.

Quoting from the article:

... let's face it, many of the [recording] industry's ills are self-inflicted. Costs, from outsize superstar contracts to grandiose promotions, are seriously bloated and tend to reward mediocrity. Lost Highway, by contrast, expects to break even in its first year, with $109 million in sales. Its modest goals and surprising success send a message that bigger and pricier ain't necessarily better.


So let's hope Lost Highway walks away with some prizes [which they did], if only to drive home the message to those big-spending moguls that it's the music that counts, not the marketing.

"Commentary: A Little Niche Music", March 4th, 2002, Business Week

Monday, March 04, 2002

Career Trends 2002

Some interesting predictions in the article "Career Trends 2002" from CareerBuilder, about trends in the job market, such as:
"Thirtysomethings will finally get their shot at the brass ring" and "Older workers will also make a comeback".

Quote of the Day

Great quote from Dave Pell in today's NextDraft, an award winning daily email newsletter of current events.

Newsweek on Enron:
"Enron's Dirty Laundry: How a vicious, 10-year
rivalry between two top executives helped create
the sex-drenched, out-of-control corporate culture
that ultimately wrecked the company." {We recently
implemented a sex-drenched corporate culture here
at NextDraft but have been able to avoid some of
the pitfalls because there's only one of us...}

Friday, March 01, 2002

More Praise for Google

Mike's List: ISSUE 33 * MARCH 1, 2002, has added five additional things to Google's own list of 10 things (which I mentioned in an earlier post) that makes it a great company.

"Mike's List is a free e-mail newsletter that's based entirely on a single proposition: technology is funny", although he also has serious articles about technology, as well as popular culture. It is ad and spam free.