Wednesday, December 24, 2003
From Scripting News:
MyWireService "delivers the headlines and summaries to you in an easy to scan page."
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From Scripting News:
Went to a Broadway matinee, it was great, a musical, lots of fun!
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From Scripting News:
The RSS-User mail list is off to a great start with 79 members. It works because it's moderated. All the posts have been about feeds and howtos, no politics, no personal attacks.
6:49:13 PM  #    leave your own ramblings []  trackback []
From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Small Company Hiring Picking Up.

After a long dry spell, hosts of small firms across the country are starting to take on workers again -- a significant step in an economic recovery that hasn't seen much job creation. The nation's 23 million small businesses employ an estimated 57.1 million workers -- more than half of all private-sector employees -- and create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product, according to the Small Business Administration.

A wave of small-business hiring could help sustain consumer confidence and tide the economy over until larger companies regain the will to significantly boost payrolls -- and begin restoring the 2.4 million jobs lost nationwide since the recession began in March 2001.

The hiring has been spurred by Bush administration tax incentives and a new eagerness by banks to court small firms. But the biggest factor is improving sales. Low interest rates have kept home sales high, meaning lots of work for the small construction companies that make up the bulk of the industry. Baby boomers are retiring and laying out lots of money for specialized health-care services, which are mainly the province of small clinics. And as big companies shed jobs, they outsource more work. Even with productivity gains, small companies are finding they simply can't meet escalating demand with the workers on hand.

"Smaller companies have less of a cushion, so when demand picks up, they have so little fat there, they have to hire. So they will be the ones to generate jobs," says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Economy.com, a West Chester, Pa., research firm. 

WSJ    December 4, 2003


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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
AP Poll Finds Majority Back War in Iraq.

No war should be pursued merely because it is popular, but in light of the current political debate in America it is important to note that Americans support President Bush's policies in Iraq by a 2 to 1 margin

Democrats can continue to insist that the American people are wrong, but there does not seem to be much of a political future in arguing that position.  We may not be as enlightened as are they, but we do get to pick our own leaders.


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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Washington Post on Radio: "The program, its templates and other elements work smoothly, and you can go from downloading the program to publishing your thoughts on the Web during a coffee break." Thanks!
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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
New feature: Mail-From-Aggregator. "Some people like to read the news that the aggregator gathers in email. This can be useful if you travel a lot, or want to share news with a group of people who may not use Radio."
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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
The Scobleizer political predictions.

ASIDE: I usually stay away from politics. If you don't like the topic, ignore this post.

The presidential politicians this year have caught onto the Internet and have whipped up evangelists by using it (every politician has RSS feeds and weblogs, for instance). There are many many lessons that business and political students will be learning from this campaign for years to come.

My take? Howard Dean won't be elected. He's too liberal. He's an old-school liberal tax and spender who wants to reduce our military offensiveness. That simply won't get someone elected in today's America.

BUT, what is Dean doing? By staying to the left, he's energizing the traditionally liberal democratic base. Getting them involved in politics again. Getting them to build new social structures and new channels to deliver information.

Who's the real winner here? Hillary Clinton.

Why?

Because in 2008, she'll take advantage of Dean's efforts to reenergize the democratic base. She'll move toward the center while keeping those folks energized, but that'll get centrist Republicans to switch over. Last time we had an election we had a virtual tie. The only way to win is to get a few percent of "the other side" to switch over, while also keeping your base energized enough to go out and vote. Dean is reenergizing democrats in a way I haven't seen since Bill Clinton kicked George Bush Sr. out of office. While I think he's fighting a hopeless fight, I'm sensing a smarter and more practical Hillary Clinton is rebuilding her image as a straight shooter going for the center. The question is, who'll challenge her in 2008? Another question: if Dean gets the democratic nomination, will Hillary join as a Vice Presidential candidate?

One thing that'd ruin my predictions is if the economy took a big hit. I don't see that coming at this point.

OK, back to tech stuff. I am watching the campaigns closely, though. The lessons I'm learning for Longhorn evangelism are interesting.


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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Apple's Wide Angle (Ziff Davis). Ziff Davis - Apple Computer Corp. finished 2003 with a bang, innovating on both the notebook and desktop fronts.
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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Researchers Outline Microsoft's Top 10 Challenges For 2004 (TechWeb). TechWeb - Even giants have problems--and gigantic software maker Microsoft has at least 10 of them.
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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Susan Estrich - Is Dean the Liberal Reagan?. For many Dean supporters, as important as the war was and is as an issue, it has always been equally significant as a measure of Dean's character. His willingness to take what seemed, at least at the outset, to be a risky position politically, and stick to it because he believed in it, was such a relief after years of Gore/Kerry-like political calculation that it almost doesn't matter if the issue disappears. "I'm sick of namby-pamby politicians who are afraid to take a stand," one of my friends, a careful and judicious lawyer and former Gore supporter, said, in explaining why he had signed on with Dean.
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From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
NYT Op-ed by William Saffire.

There are now three de facto political parties in the U.S. In order of present strength, these are:

(1) The Republican Party, in control of all three branches of government and most of the statehouses, fat and sassy because the economy is rising and the war is being won.

(2) The Dean-Internet Party, its Bush-despising base so energized as to be frenetic, its leader happy to be the apostle of anger, its bandwidth bandwagon gaining momentum with each pulse of its cursing cursor.

(3) The Old Democratic Party, its base off base, its leadership fractured, its third-way ideology ÷ vainly espoused by the Clintonian Democratic Leadership Council ÷ a lost cause without a rebel voice.


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From Scripting News:
Bush officials tell holiday stories, including Karl Rove reading Santa's New Reindeer. Requres Real (video).
7:49:14 AM  #    leave your own ramblings []  trackback []
From Scripting News:
NY Times: "Gephardt's aides say he has to win Iowa to have any hope of gaining the Democratic nomination."
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From Scripting News:
Editorial.

Wired: "If we're still in the race in a few months, I think you'll see a tremendous amount of development."

Wouldn't it be great if Dean and Clark went after Viacom, ClearChannel and Time-Warner, instead of the tiny companies that make blogging and social networking tools.

I find myself hoping they get their asses kicked, hard. I don't expect much of Bush, but I doubt seriously that he would undermine the mostly American software industry by competing with it with free software. Makes the Dems' pitch about exporting American high-tech jobs to India fairly hollow (NH is a high-tech state, so it has been an issue).

One of the reasons American programmers aren't competing here (in America) is that users expect to get software for free, and in that environment little new stuff gets created, and we have to keep creating to justify the greater amount of money we make (over Indians). But if all we make are commodities, then Indians working for low pay beat Americans working for free. (People who work for free have no incentive to please users, or even create usable software.)

How sad to see two leading Democrats fall for, even feed the lie that they can create user-oriented software for free. Shame on both Dean and Clark. They went after the little guy. Who wants a president who does that. Not me. Still looking for someone worth supporting.


7:49:13 AM  #    leave your own ramblings []  trackback []
From Scott Shuda's Radio Weblog:
Latest Theory on Iraqi WMDs. British officials are circulating a story that Saddam Hussein may have been hoodwinked into believing that Iraq really did possess weapons of mass destruction.

The theory, which is doing the rounds in the upper reaches of Whitehall, is the result of an attempt to find what one official source called a "logical reason" why no chemical and biological weapons had been found in Iraq.

According to the theory, Saddam and his senior advisers and commanders were told by lower-ranking Iraqi officers that his forces were equipped with usable chemical and biological weapons.

The officers did not want to tell their superiors that the weapons were either destroyed or no longer usable.


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Last updated: 12/31/03; 7:52:14 AM
Copyright 2003 Steve Kirks
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