Today's articles of interest include another Wired article on big media in the US, a fairly good...

posted 18 April 2001
Today's articles of interest include another Wired article on big media in the US, a fairly good summary of why monolithic media is a bad idea, and exactly how close the US already is to this being the case. Funny quote: "There are six or seven media conglomerates that rule the world... [b]ut how many companies do you need to provide programming to mass audiences? Six companies should be enough. At least it's not two." Scary in a completely different way is the robot with the mind of an eel, a probably-cool concept but I dunno, how big an animal will they do this kind of thing to? Am I comfortable using my smart TV if there was a cuddly-puppy brain powering it? Ick.

On the business front, a very interesting article (Wired again) which explains why the Dot-Com crash is as much hype as the Dot-Coms were themselves. Unemployment is 4.3% in the US, even lower in the UK, the US still has a shortfall of over 400,000 tech jobs (!), and even though announcements of layoffs have risen by 113%, actual layoffs rose only 9%. So, unsurprisingly, all that's happening is stupid people with ridiculous business plans are biting the dust (and their investors with them) while the industry itself continues to roar ahead. My current prediction: in six months time the Dotconomy will be just another industry sector, with most of the hype potential gone, growing steadily. So invest now, in a sensible business plan, while the stocks are still undervalued. This is all a side-effect of people confusing "slowdown in growth" with "recession". Just because it's slower doesn't mean it's not growth.

This is another newsy blog isn't it! You can tell I should be working. An interesting what-works story about why Minitel is making a profit in an age of Internet access. Websites need micropayments. Desperately. On their phone bill, if possible. Why aren't any phone companies doing this?

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I need to get into the habit of posting all the articles I find interesting here. Here's one from a...

posted 18 April 2001
I need to get into the habit of posting all the articles I find interesting here. Here's one from a few days ago that I didn't mention, it's Tim Berners-Lee talking about the Semantic Web. As the guy who invented HTML, he commands an awful lot of well-earned respect, and this is a brilliant concept. The Economist, brilliant as ever, reminded me of this article today with their own article talking about the future of software. The future they describe is essentially the future of the semantic web -- content that knows what it is, but more importantly says what it can do, which other software can then exploit. The Economist article is part of a larger survey of software in that issue which got good reviews from other quarters.
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Next generation fibre optics will be hollow tubes filled with air. And it only took them forty...

posted 18 April 2001
Next generation fibre optics will be hollow tubes filled with air. And it only took them forty years to work out that light travels faster in air than in glass.
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Fantastic news! (Thanks to Ed for pointing it out). Apparently, laziness is good for you. This may...

posted 18 April 2001
Fantastic news! (Thanks to Ed for pointing it out). Apparently, laziness is good for you. This may mean that after this vacation, I may be the healthiest person alive.
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