Steve Pilgrim's Radio Weblog : Out of the rat race and onto the web!
Updated: 7/21/2002; 12:02:37 AM.

 

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Saturday, July 20, 2002


RELOCATION NOTICE - WE'RE MOVING!

This may not work, but assuming it does, you need to change your bookmarks, favorites and blogrolls. It is 11:50pm CDT on Saturday, July 20, 2002. If all goes well, this site will be relocated within the next few hours.

This weblog is leaving http://radio.weblogs.com/0100740/.

Look for it at:   http://www.rodentregatta.com/

Thanks, Steve Pilgrim

11:51:31 PM     Comments[]


WHEN THINGS OF INTEREST COME TO ME VIA DAYPOP

I always wonder where they originated. As I understand it, Daypop ranks the top 40 posts to weblogs based upon how often the posts are read or linked to or something. This implied that if something begins to run up the charts at Daypop, a bunch of weblogs are covering or repeating the item. Yet, I can't find where I missed this one in the weblogs I read today. It's no big deal. I continue to try to figure out how all these weblogs align with (and against) each other.

This was worth reading, though, and none of the weblogs I read today picked it up.

Poynter.org - The ABCs and XYZs of Weblogs [Daypop Top 40]

9:36:48 PM     Comments[]


A NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK

The Memphis Redbirds play the Tacoma Raniers in AAA baseball tonight at Autozone Park. We're taking the night to regroup with friends, family and the hot dogs.

9:30pm Update - A muggy night for baseball in Memphis. Redbirds won in 8th with a single by the DH with one man on, two outs and a full count.

4:10:22 PM     Comments[]


LINKING TO THOSE WHO LINK

Is this similar to Mark Pilgrim's "Further Reading on Today's Posts" where he indicates who has linked to his site? How is that accomplished?

Referrer List Locally -- More Ways to Weave the Blog. Linkback Referrers. [Blunt Force Trauma]

3:23:47 PM     Comments[]


KEEP THEM COMING
It's great that the web lets you learn from the pro's in so many fields

Is it sharp or not? I've started posting images from my Nikon Coolpix 5700. I've now shot about 500 images. When everything goes well, the camera is awesome. It does take some getting used to the focus and manual settings, though. I'm still learning about the camera and probably will be for years. But, right out of the box you can see that it makes pretty darn nice and clear images. All of the images posted so far are unretouched images straight off of the camera. I think in the few hundred images I've posted so far you'll see a good range of different types of subjects. You'll also see that I used flash a lot (I bought a new Nikon SB-50DX flash that is pretty nice). [Scobleizer Radio Weblog]

10:05:22 AM     Comments[]


A REAL ESTATE OR HOUSING BUBBLE?

John Robb: "The gain in homes over the next decade will make your head spin." [Scripting News]

Andrew is liberal in some ways that I cannot begin to fathom, but in personal finance and money management, he's been rock solid for an awfully long time. Take a look at Andrew Tobias's notions. Here's an excerpt.

Andrew Tobias: I get The Van Eck-Tillman Real Estate And Bank Letter, billed as “Adrian Van Eck’s Confidential Letter On The One-Half of U.S. Wealth in Real Estate” ($90 a year, call 800-219-1333). From its June 6 letter:

From coast to coast, the American real estate bubble has been puffing up ever more dangerously in the past 30 days.  My gosh, when I think about the several boom-and-bust cycles I have observed and reported on in the past 40 years, I wonder just how high this one can go and how much longer it can last before it begins to come apart.  When it will end is still hidden from us mortals.  But the fact that it will end and end badly cannot be in doubt or dispute.

8:58:25 AM     Comments[]


Will Rogers. "Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?" [Quotes of the Day]

8:36:59 AM     Comments[]


WERE THEY IRATE BEFORE THE CALL?

Can this be right, "it took the computer company more than two years to track down and fix the problem?"

Wrong Phone Number Costs Gateway. PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) -- Computer giant Gateway Inc. has been hit with a $3.6 million jury verdict for a wrong number that flooded another company's toll-free telephone line with calls from thousands of angry Gateway customers. By The Associated Press. [New York Times: Technology]

8:31:27 AM     Comments[]


Unknown. "In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

8:25:47 AM     Comments[]


REFLECTION

My military ambition. Not so long ago -- in response to my throwaway remark that the German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn looks like a Panzer commander -- someone commented: [Jonathon Delacour]

8:22:59 AM     Comments[]


Aldous Huxley. "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

8:10:54 AM     Comments[]


Friday, July 19, 2002


WE'VE SPENT THE LAST COUPLE OF DECADES
Where have all the leaders gone?

tearing down the command-and-control thinking that won two world wars and built a prosperous nation. In our zeal to rid ourselves of tyrants in leadership positions, we also ridded ourselves of many benevolent dictators who could build strong businesses.

We replaced them with pop-psychology management thinking that, while often sound in theory, is difficult to put into practice. Poorly practiced these fads or leadership-by-bestseller concepts lead to some horrible failures. Drucker, Deming, Juran and others had it right. In far too many places, we simply missed it or we allowed endless government intrusion to sap the optimism of our business leaders! Lately, we value style over substance.

The talent myth. I couldn't help being reminded of the steady deterioration in corporate and political leadership over the last twenty years while reading The Talent Myth, Malcolm [Jonathon Delacour]

10:45:02 PM     Comments[]


THERE'S BUSINESS BLOGGING TO BE DONE

Building Business Relationships via the Blog. If you read only one post today, make it this one. [Blunt Force Trauma]

10:32:55 PM     Comments[]


DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE A SURVIVAL STRATEGY?
Does your management team know how to develop one?

"There is nothing in sight that will provide an impetus for a spike in growth,'' writes economist William Dunkelberg in his midyear scan of the small business horizon. Call this the desert island economy. As you do all you can to survive, each day brings renewed hope of recovery. Are you going to let the media's mood determine your business success?  # [John Henry on Business]

10:29:33 PM     Comments[]


HE WAS MISERABLE
Shallow, phony and uninformed

WARNING STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD: Maybe He Should Have Stayed In Retirement. I didn't see the show, and I'm not Ann Coulter's most rabid fan, but jeebus, Donahue comes off like the... [Dailypundit]

10:26:41 PM     Comments[]


SPECIALIZATION

Niche market sparks an unlikely franchise - charged up with unusual power. Call it the mother of all narrow-retailing concepts. It's one-stop battery shopping, with batteries for everything from automobiles, RVs and lawnmowers to electric razors, remote controls, camping lanterns, smoke detectors and backup power systems for hospitals and other institutions. That's a unique a gimmick. What's yours?  # [John Henry on Business]

10:21:28 PM     Comments[]


There are 10 types of people in the world: those that understand binary, and those that don't. [From the Desktop of Dane Carlson]

10:17:29 PM     Comments[]


AN OPEN LETTER TO INVESTORS

BROOMFIELD, Colo., July 19, 2002 - The following statement can be attributed to James Q. Crowe, chief executive officer of Level 3 Communications, Inc.(Nasdaq:LVLT):

Read the statement. It clarifies this.

4:50:13 PM     Comments[]


SMALL BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
Note the this post and the next

Traction and Radio. Roland Tanglao liked my review of Traction, but reconsidered when Jim McGee pointed out that Traction is a whole lot more expensive: ... [Jon's Radio]

3:29:40 PM     Comments[]


THIS SEEMS LIKE A VERY SENSIBLE APPROACH

for evaluating knowledge management tools as they might be applied in small organizations. We also do some small business consulting and advisory work and our clients want a tool, but often lack the disciplines to use them well. Terry says this, "But Radio is still a lot closer to reaching the mythical Zero Contribution Barrier that I believe is critical to any long-term KM success."

Radio vs. Traction -- A Personal View. Jim McGee asked, so I thought I'd try to find an answer. [Blunt Force Trauma]

3:21:49 PM     Comments[]


A DECENT SUMMARY OF AN EARNINGS CONFERENCE CALL
Although "backed by Warren Buffett" seems a bit of overstatement

Level 3 Posts Smaller Second - Quarter Loss. PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT.O), the high-speed communications company backed by investor Warren Buffett, on Thursday posted a smaller-than-expected second-quarter loss but warned it saw mixed signals for a rebound in sales. By Reuters. [New York Times: Technology]

9:34:23 AM     Comments[]


WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE WHEN IT EMERGES?

WorldCom plans to file for bankruptcy court protection as early as this weekend. The move likely won't have any immediate effect on customers, but ... [Wall Street Journal]

9:20:05 AM     Comments[]


IT LIVED A YEAR
An amazing photo for 1862

First naval gun turret to rise from the deep [New Scientist]

8:48:29 AM     Comments[]


Abraham Lincoln. "Quarrel not at all. No man resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

8:44:46 AM     Comments[]


A GOOD BIBLIOGRAPHY

Conclusion. Due to a long-standing bug in Radio, I am unable to include the full text of this post here, for fear of damaging your News page. Please click the item title to read this post safely. [dive into mark]

8:41:54 AM     Comments[]


Benjamin Franklin. "If you wouldst live long, live well, for folly and wickedness shorten life." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

8:31:54 AM     Comments[]


HAVE A NICE WEEKEND?

Retirement crisis looms [USA Today : Front Page]

8:29:27 AM     Comments[]


John Ruskin. "In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it: They must not do too much of it: And they must have a sense of success in it." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

8:23:46 AM     Comments[]


Thursday, July 18, 2002


I SUPPOSE THIS IS ALL VERY IMPORTANT

I just don't recall covering this in any of our 29 lessons.

No tables for Lycos. Lycos Europe will be moving to a new design that validates as XHTML 1.0 Transitional and uses CSS for layout.... [Buzz]

4:45:15 PM     Comments[]


IF DESIGN DID NOT MATTER...

airlines wouldn't spend so much painting airplanes. Politicians wouldn't spend so much on banners, handbills and signs. Companies wouldn't spend so much on corporate identity packages. Imagine the cost of changing a logo or color at a place like Federal Express.

I'm confident that part of what draws me into a weblog or web site is the design. I know good design when I see it, but I surely do wish I could create it!

Why to build your own template. During a spell of blogsurfing yesterday, I repeatedly ran across links to Paul Andrews’s blog. The other end of one such link spurred me to do what Jonathon Delacour calls “fossicking around” in the blog archives. Only then did I... [Caveat Lector]

4:39:18 PM     Comments[]


GOIN' FOR FOUR

Armstrong wins stage and yellow jersey [USA Today : Front Page]

4:26:54 PM     Comments[]


PILING ON?

Salomon Misused IPOs, Suit Says [Wall Street Journal]

4:09:09 PM     Comments[]


MORE RESOURCES FROM MERYL

Free XHTML and CSS Courses. Yes, Virginia, there are still good stuf available for *free* on the 'net. Latest is the Westciv Self-paced Course on HTML 4.0 and XHTML for CSS. Sounds like they'll be [meryl's notes]

3:57:09 PM     Comments[]


A COUPLE OF OLDER COMPANIES PRESENT GOOD NEWS

Union Pacific's net surged 25% for the second quarter, led by higher volume in a sign that the economy is slowly improving. [Wall Street Journal]

Sears also posted some decent numbers.

3:50:30 PM     Comments[]


MARK SUGGESTS; JONATHON OBLIGES & COMMENTS

Day 29: Making everything searchable. Due to a long-standing bug in Radio, I am unable to include the full text of this post here, for fear of damaging your News page. Please click the item title to read this post safely. [dive into mark]

3:43:11 PM     Comments[]


APPLE NEWS IS EVERYWHERE

Take a look at The Macintosh News Network for photo galleries of Day 2 of the SoHo store opening & Day 3 of Macworld. Over at 80211b News there's coverage of file transfers over Bluetooth using Jaguar (OS X 10.2). MacCentral covers the Macworld show awards. The SoHo store is covered by Wired and The New York Times. Finally, Scripting News links to Aaron Swartz.

3:37:39 PM     Comments[]


A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO BLOGROLLING

Linkless. I just dropped the [Links] section on the navigation bar for this site. I went in to drop BurningBird and looked over the list and realized how out of date it was. Too much work to keep it up to date so now I am just gonna let Google do the work, with the addition of the "related sites" link under [misc]. [BitWorking]

6:19:29 AM     Comments[]


Sir Winston Churchill. "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." [Quotes of the Day]

6:14:07 AM     Comments[]


A SPAM STRATEGY

Kevin Werbach has his email running through five layers of filtering which results in only about 10 spam a day. [lawrence's notebook]

6:12:30 AM     Comments[]


CANON APPEARS TO HAVE FARED WELL HERE

TIPA awards 2002-2003. TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) has announced the results for 'Best Photo Products in Europe' from the European Photo & Imaging Awards 2002-2003. Best Digital Prosumer camera went to the Olympus... [Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)]

6:06:30 AM     Comments[]


Christopher Morley. "There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

6:01:38 AM     Comments[]


CLEVER ADS ALONE WON'T 'SWITCH' THE CRITICAL MASSES
Apple needs the Unix switchers and a software switching incentive for Windows users

In Midst of a PC Slump, Apple Still Aims for Growth. A prosperous future for Apple depends on persuading legions of personal computer users to switch from Microsoft Windows to Apple's Macintosh technology. By Steve Lohr. [New York Times: Technology]

5:58:57 AM     Comments[]


Wednesday, July 17, 2002


STORIES LIKE THIS ONE

strike some kind of vigilante justice nerve somewhere within me. Prosecution seems too good for one who would do this sort of stuff. Anyone with children must know the sickening feeling Rob mentions.

Sick individual. Furious. That's how I feel right now. A man kidnaps a five year old girl and kills her. The police had better find him before the general public does, otherwise there may not be much of him left to prosecute. Sickening, just sickening. [Rob Fahrni, at the core.]

9:48:50 PM     Comments[]


IN THE EARLY 1980'S

I worked with some AT&T products that were thought of as the 'first' convergence of the phone and personal computer. They were, of course, built on Unix. I was impressed at the serious power that was obvious in Unix as contrasted to whatever version of DOS we had at the time.

Now, I see Apple. They have found Unix and Unix has found them. I really want them to be successful. I'm a Windows user. I will probably remain a Windows user for the next 24-36 months. Sometimes, when I see stuff like this, I wonder if we've really advanced much at all beyond DOS.

Diamond Icons, Leopard-Skin Frames: Dressing Up Windows XP. SkinStudio XP, a Windows XP version of the WindowBlinds program made by the Stardock Corporation, can change the look of dialog boxes, windows and other visual features of the operating system. By J.d. Biersdorfer. [New York Times: Technology]

9:41:12 PM     Comments[]


WE MAY NOT BE WOWED BY THE DELIVERY, BUT THE WORDS RESONATE
He's done it again only better!

Greenspan Coins a New Phrase. The man who gave us "irrational exuberance" is back, with a phrase that sums up the late 1990's even better than that one did. "Infectious greed." By Floyd Norris. [New York Times: Business]

9:32:18 PM     Comments[]


ABOUT AS EXPECTED

I.B.M. Posts Sharp Drop in Quarterly Profits. I.B.M. said it eked out a second-quarter profit of just a few pennies a share as it took a $1.4 billion charge to cover job cuts and write-offs. By Reuters. [New York Times: Technology]

9:24:28 PM     Comments[]


WHILE THERE IS EXCELLENT POLITICAL PUNDITRY
Keep an eye on the comments to this post; things might get interesting
as someone attempts to gain notoriety!

in these links, I have to admit that part of my fascination with some of the high-traffic bloggers has to do with their site designs. You see, I'm trying to inch closer to the renaming of this weblog and its move to a new domain. Ideas seem to flood in when reading all of these non-techie weblogs.

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR LIBERALISM TO BE RIGHT EVEN IF KATIE COURIC ISN'T? Mickey Kaus dares to ask the question, as he notes that Ann Coulter was right about the "airhead" issue. Plus, Jack Shafer zeroes in on hypocritical crony capitalism by The New York Times.

I have to say, I find the "airhead" controversy even less enlightening than the "trifecta" controversy. But hey, I'm on vacation, so this stuff seems less important to me than usual.

The Times story is likely to have legs, though, and illustrates why it's going to be harder than many pundits think for the left to pillory Bush and the Republicans for financial chicanery -- the left sold its financial soul long ago. They're down to trading puts and calls on it now.

UPDATE: If you're less bored with the "trifecta" story than I am (like, you know, if you're not on vacation) Brendan Nyhan has an update over at SpinSanity.Com. I have to say, I find the Al Gore trifecta story the funniest part of this whole long-running affair. [InstaPundit]

9:21:48 PM     Comments[]


COMPUTING BY ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION

Can't get to the Macworld keynote stream? Read Rob's report. [Steven's Weblog]

9:37:42 AM     Comments[]


COULD A STORY BE MORE WRONG?

This story is so wrong. First, the headline makes one think Level 3 is either considering the adoption of or re-evaluating its existing stock option plan. The second sentence is correct. Level 3 has had (from its beginnings) an "outperform" stock option plan in which options have been expensed at the time of the award.

The latest press release simply clarifies the proxy. The bottom line involves connecting a few dots. Level 3 recently sold $500 million worth of convertible bonds to three institutions. The cash was earmarked for general corporate purposes including the acquisitions of assets while the telecom industry is going through consolidation. What better time to make sure you are able to retain the talent and know-how that is needed to ramp up the network with new customers and increased traffic!

The best way to use the mainstream press is with the Internet. Let a story headline direct you to a company's press release or announcement. Facts from the horses mouth are better than Associated Press news feeds.

Level 3 Looks at Stock - Option Plan. BROOMFIELD, Colo. (AP) -- Level 3 Communications Inc. wants to amend its stock-option plan to provide incentives for employees and owners. By The Associated Press. [New York Times: Technology]

8:48:15 AM     Comments[]


ENCOURAGING NEWS

Coca-Cola reported a 15% profit increase and said that despite a weak economy it is sticking by its outlook for full-year volume. [Wall Street Journal]

Citigroup also posted a 15% earnings increase.

8:26:27 AM     Comments[]


Alvin Toffler. "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." [Quotes of the Day]
(me thinks he never saw Radio templates, macros and HTML)

8:20:37 AM     Comments[]


AN UNIDENTIFIED INVESTOR
Hmm...

Williams Cos. is near an accord to end its relationship with its former telecom unit, which recently filed for bankruptcy-law protection. [Wall Street Journal]

8:17:19 AM     Comments[]


John Kenneth Galbraith. "It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought." [Quotes of the Day]

7:31:49 AM     Comments[]


A LOT OF DRY POWDER
Keep an eye on these guys when the shooting starts

Blackstone Amasses a Record Equity Fund. The Blackstone Group announced yesterday that it had raised $6.45 billion for its latest private investment fund the largest private equity fund ever raised. [New York Times: Business]

7:29:29 AM     Comments[]


William James. "The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

7:25:09 AM     Comments[]


IT'S A BETTER MOUSETRAP, BUT...

Apple Reports Profit Slide; No Rebound Is Seen Soon. Despite an impressive introduction of its new flat-panel display iMac in January, the total number of Macintosh computers shipped in the quarter fell 2 percent. By John Markoff. [New York Times: Technology]

7:22:15 AM     Comments[]


Tuesday, July 16, 2002


MORE ON HTML

Fixing Your(tm) Web Site with Dr. HTML. fix your site with Dr HTMLFixing Yourtm Web Site with Dr. HTML

One of the goals of this site is to provide you with tools to help you fix your Web site.

It's not easy to take a Web site that's underperforming and make it better. There are aesthetic issues, marketing issues and, most importantly, technical issues. That's where Doctor HTML can come in to help. You can't fix the technical issues if you don't know what they are.

[Web Pages That Suck -- Examples of Bad Web Design]
10:46:15 PM     Comments[]


FIGHTING OFF THE SALES SLUMP

For many small businesses, the summer months mean a sales slowdown. New prospects become hard to locate, and current deals become: "I'll have to think it over" or "I'll get back to you in a week or two." How do you handle that? Here are a few pointers, which can help. [John Henry on Business]

10:42:27 PM     Comments[]


START DECORATING THE CAKE

at Fireland. You can get world reaction here. I don't know either of these people, but I've often wondered if Joshua Allen is related in any way to Dean Allen. (This is probably another of those all over the board posts, but both Joshua and Dean are terrific designers.) Anyhow, I wish Joshua and Alexis all the best.

3:38:55 PM     Comments[]


ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS

gets added to the shopping list. Terry Frazier weighed in with a comment and an educational post about my question earlier today. I also got a comment from Dave Rogers. Thanks to both of you! Oh, and Rob made a couple of great suggestions without coming right out and calling me a dummy. If you haven't already, check out the apple cores for permalinks.

3:05:40 PM     Comments[]


ALAN'S COMMENTS ARE BETTER THAN THE ARTICLE

Alan Reiter weighs in on Project Rainbow: Alan comments on today's New York Times story about a coalition of a number of hardware and cell companies to build a national Wi-Fi/data network. [80211b News]

2:40:13 PM     Comments[]


ONLY THREE DAYS ARE LEFT
I hope there's a sequel

Day 27: Using real headers. Due to a long-standing bug in Radio, I am unable to include the full text of this post here, for fear of damaging your News page. Please click the item title to read this post safely. [dive into mark]

2:24:43 PM     Comments[]


ANOTHER LOSS

So Long, and thanks for all the posts. What a marvelous party this has been, and what wonderful people I've met, but it's time, and past, for me to move on. This posting will be Burningbird's last. I wasn't sure how to close the weblog down. [Burningbird]

2:08:12 PM     Comments[]


IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME
Human nature often says, "make up some facts!"

It's funny how the subconscious fills in detail, even when no information is present. [Scripting News]

10:53:56 AM     Comments[]


WHICH APP TO USE?

Sticking my toe in the digital photography pool, I hear about three applications for photo editing:

Does anyone have advice on how to determine the right tool for the job? Is it logical to think that someone just starting in digital photography will find all they need in Photoshop Elements, and because it's from Adobe, the upgrade to Photoshop would be an easy transition?

Adobe Elements 2.0. Adobe has announced an new version of Elements. Version 2.0 adds a variety of new features and improvements including a Glossary of digital photography terms, Quick Fix dialog which can add immediate fixes in... [Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)]

8:26:18 AM     Comments[]


STRETCHING THE DEFINITION OF INDEPENDENT ANALYST
Grubman also has some odd notions about "the full service" firm

New York's attorney general has gathered Salomon Smith Barney e-mails that could form the basis of a case against analyst Jack Grubman. [Wall Street Journal]

8:14:08 AM     Comments[]


THERE'S AN ENTIRE SCIENCE DEVOTED TO WHAT LINKS LOOK LIKE?
Design details are numerous

Hyperlinks should be seen but not heard. With all the underlines disrupting the flow of the prose, reading link-rich hypertext can be difficult, akin to reading some [kottke.org]

8:03:17 AM     Comments[]


Monday, July 15, 2002


SUMMER IS CLEAN UP, PAINT UP, FIX UP SEASON
Another great-looking design by Stacy Tabb

SAMIZDATA HAS MOVED and has a new site designed by the lovely and talented Stacy Tabb of Sekimori. Visit it, admire it, and set your bookmark accordingly. [InstaPundit]

9:30:48 PM     Comments[]


ANOTHER BLOW TO THE TELECOM MONOPOLY
Take a look at Yipes!

InfoWorld: Broadband horizon. Ethernet in the first mile. [Hack the Planet]

9:24:43 PM     Comments[]


THE RAT RACE

can be defined in a variety of ways. We define it as:

  • keeping up with the Jones's
  • materialism as a path to happiness
  • everyone knows we've got to get more
  • climbing the corporate ladder to say you did it
  • working all day and going home too tired to pursue your dreams
  • letting the liberal media tell you how things really are

There's more, but that gives you the essence. One of the corporate myths has to do with measurement, compensation and 'getting results.' Nine out of ten organizations don't have metrics that really cause the results they seek. In fact, those metrics cause results that have to then be 'fixed.' Steven and Joel capture those notions with these posts!

Measurement Dysfunction. "As a result, workers began doing just about anything to get customers off the phone" Boy, does that sound familiar. "If you're in a helpdesk or call center, for example, and you're measuring your people on the number of calls they're taking, that's what they're going to do - take calls. [16-Jan]

Today, Joel writes about the oft-seen but (mostly) un-planned-for effect that measurements can have upon individuals' and organizations' performance. We call it "getting just what you measure," and too often the measurements are the only thing looked at by mid-level management. This "metric of the month" leaves employees feeling powerless to really do what's best for the customer; when they do they get 'dinged' by their manager for making the weekly stats look bad. Beat that horse too often and he'll just give up on the customer entirely.

What? You don't want your customers given up on? The trick is to find the measurements that really encourage the behaviour you want... not just the ones that are easiest for "the system" to give you (like number of calls taken, or time per call). [Steven's Weblog]

9:18:16 PM     Comments[]


WHAT A PLACE FOR A PHOTO SAFARI

Where the Bears and the Wolverines Prey: The Wildest Valley. Grizzlies, wolves, wolverines, pine martens, cougars, lynx and 11 other species of predator roam and prey to their hearts' content in a forgotten corner near Glacier National Park. By Jim Robbins. [New York Times: Science]

9:02:26 PM     Comments[]


HERE'S ANOTHER REASON THAT TELECOM COLLAPSE AND REBIRTH IS INEVITABLE

Few people debate the fact that all of us use the phone at home, in business and on-the-go more than we did even ten years ago. Few people argue with the notion that we will be using one or more of these to an even greater degree in the future. We probably won't stop at Blockbuster, but we may 'order' a movie feed from Blockbuster. Those same phone calls may become video calls. Demand for bandwidth is a given!

The industry is facing the death throws of a 100-year old legacy, copper-based network. This centrally-planned, government subsidized relic is currently operated by a relative handful of monopolists or executives from the monopolists' ranks. Their rule is coming to an end. Some of them don't even know it.

Replacing that old network and its kings and lords will be a modern, continuously upgradable fiber optic network that passes IP packets end-to-end. Running that network will be a group of people who understand Moore's Law, rapid time-to-market and the concept of price-elasticity-of-demand. They're anything but monopolists!

I had an experience similar to the one mentioned below when one of our daughters phoned home from Boston while dancing with the Boston Ballet for a month or two. Little did we know we were facing a $700+ bill until after it arrived. We had done our homework in advance, fortunately, had documentation for the rates we had been quoted and got adjustments made to the bill. The relief was not easy to get nor was it immediate, but in an age of $0.045 per minute long distance rates, $700+ was not going to be paid!

Other than the airline industry, where you can be arrested for inquiring about the sobriety of the pilots, no industry treats its customers the way the telecom industry has. Better times are on their way, though!

SprintPCS Nightmare. I'm broke. I barely have enough money to get by through the next month. And my "royalty" check I received this weekend was only 36.00 - I was expecting 1000.00. Still, I can manage. I can manage...until today. Don't worry... [Burningbird]

5:36:49 PM     Comments[]


Seneca. "I shall never be ashamed of citing a bad author if the line is good." [Quotes of the Day]

8:16:50 AM     Comments[]


WHAT WILL THEY TALK ABOUT ON TELECOM ROW?
Save a seat for your cohorts at Worldcom & Andersen

Adelphia indictment [USA Today : Front Page]

8:15:15 AM     Comments[]


OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVING INVESTOR CONFIDENCE
No surprises, please

The week ahead: Big-name earnings. Investors will turn their eye to corporate earnings this week, after a string of financial scandals that rocked Wall Street and individual investors. [CNET News.com]

8:11:22 AM     Comments[]


Henri Matisse. "Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

8:01:16 AM     Comments[]


John Andrew Holmes. "Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both." [Quotes of the Day]

7:44:50 AM     Comments[]


HER FRIENDS AREN'T THAT INTERESTING?

I've got some friends who aren't that interesting as well! (After editing, the sentence became: When she looks at blogs she sees the weblogs she knows; and misses the enormity of the medium.)

I'm beginning to get the impression that there is some kind of history that colors Dave's view of the book or Rebecca or something said in the past. What I can tell you is that this comment about "her friends" doesn't flow naturally from a reading of Rebecca's book.

Morning coffee notes. [Scripting News]

7:41:41 AM     Comments[]


IN SPITE OF ITS SIZE

much of the end-game for Worldcom could be visible by the end of the week. We may not precisely know who the participants in a takeover will be, but we should get a clearer picture of what will happen to the business.

FCC chief Michael Powell , declaring the telecommunications sector in "utter crisis," suggested his agency could let a Baby Bell take over WorldCom. [Wall Street Journal]

7:19:36 AM     Comments[]


Sunday, July 14, 2002


SYMPATHY IS HARD TO MUSTER
But, desperation can be an ugly thing

Silicon Valley Without Trimmings. Having already gone from boom to bust, many dot-commers are coming to something worse. Now, in Silicon Valley, a part of the dot-com class is being defined by what it needs to return. By John Markoff and Matt Richtel. [New York Times: Business]

9:33:21 PM     Comments[]


"LUCY, YOU GOT SOME 'SPLAININ' TO DO"

Auditing Woes at WorldCom Were Noted Two Years Ago. Two years ago, WorldCom notified Arthur Andersen of improper shifts of expenses that were appearing in the international department, but the transactions remained on the company's books until as recently as last month. By Kurt Eichenwald. [New York Times: Business]

9:29:45 PM     Comments[]


LEADERS WHO KNOW WHAT TO DO AND LEADERS IN TITLE ONLY
Guiliani is the gold standard from now on

MATT WELCH WRITES that the FBI and Los Angeles' Mayor Hahn failed the truth test after the LAX shooting: Well, at least now we know how Mayor James Hahn and the local FBI leadership will treat the public during a time of violent crisis: Like children, who need to be lied to. . . .

It is one thing to be reluctant about jumping to conclusions -- a perfectly normal and admirable tactic in high-profile law enforcement. But it is quite another to cross the line into actively encouraging a rattled public to conclude that it wasn't an act of terrorism. . . Residents of L.A. need to trust that their leaders, when under fire, will shoot straight. Hahn and company have failed their first major test. [InstaPundit]

5:57:54 PM     Comments[]


FOUR STARS OR FOUR THUMBS UP * * * *

On Being a Sensualist. The world that lieth in wickedness, the sensualist, has no taste nor relish for that bread which cometh down from God out of heaven, and nourisheth the soul up unto eternal life. Thomas Lechtworth, They that wait upon the... [Burningbird]

5:52:44 PM     Comments[]


THE BANKS DIDN'T FREEZE THE CASH

on Friday, but they meet again on Tuesday with the court. This company's stockholders won't see a dime. Worldcom will be faced with deciding what business(es) it wants to emerge from bankruptcy with. Otherwise, the creditors and the court are likely to break the business into pieces and sell them in an attempt to recover some of the money. The company's sales in 2001 totaled $21.3 billion. That's a fair amount of telecom market share to throw up for grabs.

Court Won't Freeze WorldCom Assets [Wall Street Journal]

5:45:26 PM     Comments[]


OUTSTANDING NEWS
Thank you, Mr. Buffett

To date, Florida-based grocery chain Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. and aerospace giant Boeing Co. are the only other major companies to make the change so far, Coke officials said.

Coca-Cola will begin treating future stock option grants as employee compensation, a key accounting change that could offer a fairer assessment of ... [Wall Street Journal]

5:34:51 PM     Comments[]


AN INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE
Dave is back - I mean really back; it's great!

As with any product or service, the novice simply has to dig around, experiment, ask questions and watch others to learn why one product or service is good or bad or better or worse for the need or want. Take digital cameras as an example. A novice user of a digital camera would probably be overwhelmed (or would seriously undervalue) the features of a truly high end digital camera.

The same is true with weblogging. Radio Userland may be the right software for hackers or programmers or whatever they want to be called. Movable Type may be the right choice for some other skill level or interest level or whatever. How can the novice determine that? Just this morning I heard of another tool for weblogging that I've not even seen mentioned in six months of fairly intensive weblogging. Somebody ought to take a minute or two and elaborate on the lines of dileniation between all these products. We novices could then stay out of the hair of those who have contempt for us!!!

I found Rebecca Blood's book worthwhile. I am a novice. I admit that. However, novices need resources such as Rebecca's particularly if they are coming from some field other than software development, website development and whatever other spins people want to put on the names for those people and industries involved in computer work.

I owe every bit of my weblog to Dave Winer and the people who are users of the Radio Userland product. There are things about the tool and the "community(?)" I don't like. Those things don't prevent me from learning more, using the tool more and wishing for the stuff that I don't like to change. It is easy for me to see how a pioneer in the weblogging area we're talking about might not need the same resource that I need. Does that then make that resource bad? I don't think so. You really need to read all of what Dave had to say this morning. Some of it has been edited since I first saw the beginnings of the post in the news aggregator. Here's an excerpt:

It's the software. In 2002, we're beginning to get to a category of software, with lines of delineation -- Movable Type is different from Manila, and Radio is different from Blogger, if one wanted to study a category, the products are lining up to accomodate. Other than that there's little that each blog has in common with other blogs. It's like trying to figure out what word processing documents have in common. People did try to do that in the late 70s and early 80s, but then the market exploded, and that ended all speculation.

Of all the books in process, I hold the most hope for the BlogRoots folks: Meg, Matt, and PB. They put enough time into it (the O'Reilly book was a rush job) and they (appear to) have the right premise. It would have been possible for a philosophical book to have lasting value, but to do so, they should have gotten a social butterfly to edit it, one who crosses all the lines with ease, someone who likes everyone and who everyone likes, but somehow doesn't have to kiss ass to do it. (Note: I am not that person, as you can see I don't suffer fools without complaining, I don't write to make friends, and I know it.) [Scripting News]

10:25:39 AM     Comments[]


ROBERT'S EXCITEMENT IS CONTAGIOUS
When was the last time you were this enthusiastic about a purchase?

More great Nikon Coolpix 5700 images. Think digital cameras aren't there yet? Look at these shots, taken and posted yesterday. The Nikon 5700 is looking like a very awesome $1200 camera. In particular, look at this image. Along the bottom, you can see the full image as it came off of the camera. These are unretouched images. Awesome. I have this one on my desktop right now (I applied a little sharpening in Photoshop, and also increased the contrast slightly to accentuate the color -- I cut off some of the darker pixels by using Photoshop's adjust levels tool). If this is the kind of thing we can expect to see, we're going to see a whole new age of photography. Ansel Adams would be thrilled. Oh, by the way, http://www.pbase.com is awesome for sharing photography with others. I'm going to send them some money to help them stay in business. [Scobleizer Radio Weblog]

9:44:20 AM     Comments[]


HOW MANY BLOGGING TOOLS ARE THERE?
And to think, some people still handcode their entire weblog

Sunlog and uni.tb. The new Sunlog 2.2 is now ready for download. It's blogging software based on PHP and MySQL, and (as far as I know) is the first blogging package to support... [PapaScott]

9:30:54 AM     Comments[]


Harrison Ford. "We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

9:27:12 AM     Comments[]


AT A TIME WHEN

the Soviet Union was considered our most worrisome enemy, they spent over 10 years in the mountains of Afghanistan. When Bush says the War on Terror won't be quick, he knows what he's talking about.

German intelligence chief: Bin Laden alive [USA Today : Front Page]

9:22:01 AM     Comments[]


I THINK HE'S RIGHT

New L.A. Daily News Column From Me: It’s on the LAX fiasco. I argue that we should be very worried whenever the FBI bends over backward to avoid using the word “terrorism” in connection with cases involving Egyptian or Saudi nationals. [Matt Welch's Warblog]

9:17:32 AM     Comments[]


NO SUPERSONIC MASS TRANSIT ANY TIME SOON

Model Jetliner Crashes in Australia [AP World News]

9:15:38 AM     Comments[]


SUMMER READING

Reading list. I'm not quite sure why, but I haven't been documenting what I've been reading for the past few months. Laziness [kottke.org]

9:13:08 AM     Comments[]


Confucius. "It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop." [Motivational Quotes of the Day]

9:00:13 AM     Comments[]


© Copyright 2002 Steve Pilgrim.



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