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3 January, 2003

The Museum of Accidents

Here you'll find lots of accident photos, categorized and described. Natural accidents, industrial accidents, environmental and pollution, air accidents, wrecks and derailments. And even deliberate accidents.

Posted on 3 January, 2003

The Future of Google

Google is one of the best Internet success stories ever. The company has resisted the temptation to to display flashy ads, and has come up with a much better (and more user-friendly) approach to generate revenue. Despite its success, Google remains a widely respected and trustworthy company.

A few months ago, Business Week Online published an article about the possibility of a Google IPO in 2003. Currently, there's an interesting thread about this topic at Webmaster World. The conversation eventually led to the inevitable speculation that Microsoft might purchase Google. It certainly makes sense. Microsoft's search technology is, in a word, horrible, and the billion dollar or so price tag for Google is mere pocket change. The only downside, of course, is that Microsoft would completely destroy everything that's good about Google.

If such a nightmare actually comes to pass, I will seriously consider abandoning computers and looking for a new career.

Posted on 3 January, 2003

Coming Soon: A New Nicholson Baker Novel

A new novel from Nicholson Baker is due next week. It's called A Box of Matches.

Baker's last novel, The Everlasting Story of Nory, was a disappointment. But it seems that the new one will be in the same vein has his two classics: The Mezzanine and Room Temperature.

I started re-reading The Mezzanine last night (I think it's my fourth time for that novel). If you haven't read this novel, I highly recommend it. It's an excellent introduction to my favorite contemporary writer. The subject matter is completely mundane, but I guarantee that you'll be amazed by his insights and writing style.

Posted on 3 January, 2003

The Right to Lie

There are no laws against lying. If you tell the phone company that you never received their bill (and you did), you haven't broken any laws.

But, apparently, there is a California law that forbids corporations from lying in their commercial statements. Nike was recently caught in such a lie. Rather than attempt to prove that they didn't lie...

Nike instead chose to argue that corporations should enjoy the same "free speech" right to deceive that individual human citizens have in their personal lives. If people have the constitutionally protected right to say, "The check is in the mail," or, "That looks great on you," then, Nike's reasoning goes, a corporation should have the same right to say whatever they want in their corporate PR campaigns.

Full story here.

Posted on 3 January, 2003

Found Art

Jack Szwergold has a web site called Found Art, which contains photos of things that people have found on the street -- notes, photos, drawings, and so. Oddly compelling.

Posted on 3 January, 2003

Why the RIAA Keeps Getting Hacked

According to this Wired article, the RIAA's web site has been hacked six times in the past six months. According to Robert Ferrell, as system security specialist:

"My opinion is that the people at the RIAA (who are) making the statements about P2P hacking and the (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), the executives and legal staff, are completely disconnected from the technical folks who actually run the website."

Posted on 3 January, 2003

Dave Coursey Takes a Nap

David Coursey is the Executive Editor of ZDNet's Anchor Desk. He write a daily technology column, which I usually read. I don't always agree with his ideas, but reading his column is usually worth the time. Today's column is an exception.

Today David talks about The low-tech wonder tool that helps find things -- a silly little label maker. I can only conclude that Dave has decided to start the new year off slowly, and he will gradually work up to more important tech topics. On Monday, I expect to see a column about the pros and cons of electric can openers. And by the end of the month, he may be ready to tackle topics such as Windows desktop wallpaper.

Posted on 3 January, 2003