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Archive for August, 2003

Fleeing to the hills…

by henrycopeland
Saturday, August 30th, 2003

I hear it is 10 degrees cooler in Black Mountain. Back Monday.

Boomer rollercoaster

by henrycopeland
Thursday, August 28th, 2003

“In 2002 the oldest baby boomers (born in 1946) were 56 and the youngest (born in 1964) were 38. Now, consider this: Consumers between 35 and 44 spend about 20 percent more than average consumers and those between 45 and 54 spend about 30 percent more. In 2001 these two age groups represented about 40 percent of U.S. households — and half of spending.”…

“In 1946, just after World War II, consumer debt amounted to 22 percent of household after-tax income, reports the Federal Reserve. (That is, for every $10,000 of income, there was $2,200 of debt.) Now debt is almost 110 percent of income.”

Robert J. Samuelson in the Washington Post.

‘Very good CPM and CPC rates…’

by henrycopeland
Thursday, August 28th, 2003

Eli Israel, who runs the fantastic spam filter Messagefire that’s been advertised on a number of blogs, writes, “Thanks for the blogads service. We’ve gotten very good CPM and CPC rates this way; it’s definitely been helpful to us.”

Report on MIT open source learning

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 26th, 2003

David Diamond reports in Wired on initial feedback on MIT’s open source online curriculum: “One of the most popular offerings turned out to be Laboratory in Software Engineering, aka 6.170, a tough requirement for electrical engineering and computer science majors. Lam Vi Quoc, a fourth-year student at Vietnam’s Natural Sciences University, relied on 6.170 lectures to supplement a software lab he was taking, and Evan Hoff, a software developer in Nashville, followed the course to improve his coding skills. In Karachi, Pakistan, a group of 100 students and professionals met weekly to study 6.170. In Kansas City, five members of the Greater Kansas City Java Professionals Association gathered monthly to take the course. In Mauritius, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, Priya Durshini Thaunoo used 6.170 to prepare for a master’s degree program at the University of Mauritius. Saman Zarandioon, an Iranian refugee living in Vienna, studied it to continue an education that was stalled by the Iranian government. And software developer Rahul Thadani in Birmingham, Alabama, took it to sharpen his skills.” Great to feel the spine tingle. (Via BoingBoing.)

The thing may work well, but when I search Google for “Management 15.810,” (Introduction to Marketing) which Wired lists as one of MIT’s most popular open source courses, I find this this page, which is a gateway to a bunch of pages that are blank except for the words, “This page is a stand-in for empty content.” Hmm.

Public notices on blogs!

by henrycopeland
Friday, August 22nd, 2003

Newspaper owners often depend on government advertising — notices for things like zoning changes, tax notices and land sales — for their profit margin.

“The St. Petersburg Times earns more than $750,000 per year from legal notices and employs the equivalent of nearly three full-time staff to handle the requests, according to advertising director Richard Reeves. The Pinellas Review, a 1,000-circulation weekly, gets 90 percent of its revenue from such ads,” reported the St. Petersburg Times.

So publishers are lobbying hard against legislation in Florida that would divert these notices online and cut the newspapers out of the taxpayer-funded ad moolah.
As more citizens read their news online than off, continued giant government expenditures on print advertising are going to be hard to justify. If local publishing looses its subsidy, someone is going to have to step in to fill the information vacuum.

Perhaps it is time for local bloggers to lobby for some of this advertising. The government could help underwrite blogging… publishing of the people, by the people, for the people.

Manhattan by starlight

by henrycopeland
Friday, August 22nd, 2003

Still catching up on blog reading. I enjoyed Rick Bruner’s blackout notes, which end with this wonderful image: “Stars over Manhattan.”

Praise for Messagfire

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, August 20th, 2003

As you folks get drowned by spam, consider Messagefire, which filters/kills this stuff on its server.

VoIP overview

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, August 20th, 2003

Good article on Voice over IP. Unfortunately, when your cable connection sucks — as mine does right now — the future doesn’t look that bright.

Rock… paper… SCISSORS!!!

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

Some magazines are getting shredded in newstand sales, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Did the pixel buzzsaw finally pulverize paper?

Sales up or down for the first six months of the year versus same period in 2002:
Better Homes and Gardens -15.5%
Cosmopolitan -9.0%
Entertainment Weekly -5.5%
Fast Company -55%
Fortune -12.5%
Martha Stewart Living -18.1%
Money -28.9%
O, The Oprah Magazine 37.5%
Reader’s Digest -19.7%
Real Simple 10.1%
Rolling Stone 4%
Sports Illustrated 3.5%
Weight Watchers 11.1%

Blogads in the Economist

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

Blogads gets a first (brief) mention in the Economist, one of my favorite publications. Look in the side-bar.

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