Wednesday, December 21

How I feel about America, for Yellow Dog...

Blog award-winner Yellow Dog is asking for a little love from his new Australian audience, hoping to get some response from Australians on how they feel about America these days.

I don't like to think of the US as one country anymore. Like the Roman empire before it fell, the US is now really at least two separate nations, geographically adjacent but culturally, economically and politically light years apart.

I'm speaking of course of the Red States and the Blue States, which couldn't be more different if there were an Atlantic Ocean in between them. I'm headed to California on business this coming January, and I know while I'm there that I see eye-to-eye with most university-educated Californians on almost any issue you can name from birth control to Kyoto Protocol or foreign policy. We eat the same, look the same, consume the same media and entertainment, want the same things for our kids, and increasingly speak the same language.

Sooner or later us enlightened citizens in the US, Australia, NZ, Canada and elsewhere should use the internet to cobble-together some kind of virtual city state that we can all belong to. We'll pay taxes into a common fund so that the virtual state can pay our various geographical states for the public infrastructure we use (even negotiating on our behalf for a better deal), we'll get ourselves a UN seat and an OPEC seat, and those geographical nations that really piss us off will find we can buy them out for more than it will cost them to go to war with us.

Friday, December 2

The xmas wish list continued: Oregon Scientific weather station

Not the wussy one on the right, either, I'd like the larger one on the left with the five day forecast, phases of the moon, and one unidentified set of numbers that I'm guessing is the latest cricket scores...

I'd like this for xmas please

I'd like this for xmas please
Originally uploaded by bigyahu.
If there's any such thing as Santa Claus, and any justice at all in the world, this will be mine come xmas morning.

I've got a two-storey void above the living and dining area of the new house, and I'm designating it an official zeppelin fly-over zone.

I don't care that helium is the modern chemical industry's most rapidly diminishing natural resource, I don't care that I look like a child playing with a remote control 6' zeppelin, I don't care that it costs $35, and I don't care that Alec will want to take it off me as soon as I show him how it works... I've been good, for goodness sakes!

Thursday, December 1

Reading the state of the industry from the job ads: here comes the boom

The ad for the position of Web Producer for Voce on goes like this:

Voce is a start-up wireless phone company, well capitalised by our industry-leading parent company...

...I've read enough already. This is the second time I've seen Voce leading with a statement along the lines of "we've raised loads of cash and we're going to spend it as fast as we can."

The first time was actually on the About Us page of their website, though thankfully that's been amended since I was there last.

Call me old-timer if you like, but back in the last web boom, none of the companies with a mission statement that led with, "we raised this much money from the following really impressive people" made it through the lean times. None of the companies that lured new employees with stories of how much money was floating around the cubicles was able to retain good staff when the going got tough. And no investor likes to see an investment boasting about how generous they've been. An investor wants to feel like they've raised just a little less than they actually need.

Anyway, call me old-timer, but when was the last time anybody got up for a lady on the bus?...(mutter, mutter...)

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