Can ABC Compete With Tivo By Making a Worse Product?

Feb 29, 2008 in Elsewhere

Bloggers like Marc Andreessen, John Gruber, and TechDirt have heaped scorn upon ABCs decidedly feature-retro on-demand service. With ads you can’t skip, ABCs offering gets rid of what everybody seems to agree is the most wonderful feature of the DVR. Is ABC stupid or brilliant? I’m almost tempted to argue the former — this could be a clever business move.

Read on…

Meal of the Month: Fricassee

Feb 25, 2008 in Food

This Meal of the Month is quickly becoming a method-of-cooking of the month; but what’s more appealing than a general approach that works well? And, in the winter, what could be better than a delicious stew? The fricassee is a traditional French dish, the more haute cuisine version featuring chicken in a white sauce, but the farmhouse version can include vegetables and a roux-based dark or light sauce. I’m a fan of the dark sauce, with delicious flavor, although I’ll admit I like to steal the fine dining use of vermouth to flavor the sauce. Read on…

Making Room in the Fridge

Feb 22, 2008 in Photos

In the very back of my house, above the closet in my office, I have a rather deep shelf with a narrow sliding door. Over the years, I’ve managed to fill this shelf with one forgotten thing after another; naturally, the stuff that I wanted to keep all ended up sitting on the floor or in other temporary locations. But, with a 3-day weekend under my belt, I actually cleaned out the shelf. Oh, the crap that I threw away. But some of it: not so bad. Like, for instance, this: Read on…

In Which I Suggest That the Death of Hundreds of Thousands Might Not Be So Bad After All

Feb 12, 2008 in Ye Olde Politicks

Election season is nigh; candidates are dropping right and left. Central to this year’s campaign is Iraq. How soon do we get out? Obama and Clinton say “real soon now”,1 while McCain suggests we’re in it for the long haul and Huckabee punts, saying he’ll stay in there as long as the military wants but not a second longer. The two parties offer an interesting and inadvertent dichotomy, because no party puts the needs of the Iraqis first.2 This results in a campaign in which the Republicans want to sacrifice American lives to save Iraqis, and Democrats want to let Iraqis die to save Americans. To say this is an unexpected reversal of roles is an understatement. And, although I’m deeply uncomfortable with the concept, I do support a policy that has Iraqis dying so Americans don’t. In fact, I think we should get on with the Iraqis dying as soon as possible.
Read on…

Scene 2

Feb 11, 2008 in Writing Practice

The grid of white Quonset huts and geodetic domes receded into a brown that matched Elon’s coveralls as the Lieutenant piloted his shuttle up - straight up - from the settlement; the lakes were last to go, slipping away as the planet turned and the shuttle lined up in front of the dark blue Corvette orbiting above. He sat in a reclined seat in a half-clear bubble suspended above the empty cylindrical hold, pushed a series of buttons, watched one after the next turn amber, then green; matched velocity, matched altitude, backed slowly into a short protruding cylinder on the front of the boxy orbiting ship. The green light that came from below showed a tight seal, and he climbed down, ducked his head through the hatch, and, three doors later, was in his ship. Read on…

Official Primary Election 2008 Endorsements

Feb 4, 2008 in Ye Olde Politicks

Despite the fact that, through some bureaucratic snafu, I appear to be unregistered to vote, I’m going to make my usual elections endorsements here. So, if you vote like I say you should, then you’ll make up for the fact that I can’t vote! Especially if you don’t usually vote. So, go out, vote early, and vote often! Read on…

Yahoosoft — Where does that $45B Number Come From?

Feb 2, 2008 in Elsewhere

Microsoft’s proposal to acquire Yahoo for $45 billion is both unexpected and widely-foreseen. Pundits have, for some time now, suggested that might be a reasonable course of action. But the purchase price is clearly aggressive, at $31/share for a stock that had closed at under $19 the day before. In fact, as Jupiter’s Michael Gartenberg puts it, this proposal looks more like Microsoft is saying “Dear Yahoo Shareholder: How would you like to get Yahoo’s share price from six months ago back, tomorrow?” Where’s the logic behind this price?

Read on…