Critical Section


Tuesday,  05/13/03  10:32 PM

Precelebration dept: Beijing: SARS under control.  If only.  Somehow it would be much more reassuring if they were worried and taking the potential for new cases seriously.  The old communist "deny any bad news" meme is still active in China.30 Spaces for the 21st Century

Wired is running a great series: 30 spaces for the 21st century.  So far they've published Atlas Space, Voice Space, Office Space, Home Space, Bush Space, and Protest Space, with more to come.  Check it out!

Are you hungry?  How about some alphabet soup?  Digest XBL vs. XSLT, a post on Surfin' Safari that speaks eloquently to the complexity of these new ways to build web pages.  HTML I could explain to my 9-year old daughter.  This I can't even explain to myself.  Does that make it bad?  Yes.

Scott Hanselman ponders The Myth of .NET Purity.  Ironically I find this sort of article reassuring; it is a lot easier for me to deal with .NET as yet another API with potentially leaky abstractions than as a perfect solution to all the world's problems. [ via Scoble, who isn't pulling any punches now that he's in Redmond... ]

The color of money dept: $20 bill gets facelift.  The U.S. will *still* have the ugliest currency in the world, but it's a start.

Speaking of money, here's some interesting news in payment technology: Nokia turns phones into credit cards.  I've been expecting this, why should every store have a phone-based credit card authorization terminal when every credit card user has a cell phone?  I believe this could be the future.

And speaking of payment technology, PayPal's growth continues; Scott Loftesness reports they now have 28M members, and are growing at 45,000 new members EVERY DAY.  Wow.

{ When I think of numbers of people, I use a visual: 45,000 people is a sellout at Dodger Stadium.  That is a lot of people! }

And speaking of online payment processors, IPayment had the year's first successful IPO, up 31% on the first day despite last minute bogusness courtesy of their underwriter Bear Stearns.

Tim Oren has a fascinating post: No Exit: When Venture Capital Isn't Right.  This is a great survey of how VC funds work, and what types of investments fit their "model".  [ via Andrew Anker ]  My two takeaways:

  1. The company must have either a good IPO story in a field which has an IPO track record, or a good acquisition story in a field which has big buyers.
  2. The company must be able to consume a significant amount of capital and deliver a potential 10X return on this capital within about five years.

E-PaperWhen ads collide with content dept: Check out this screen shot (click thumbnail).  An interesting article about e-paper, juxtaposed with an ad for the tablet PC, another form of "e-paper"...

CalPundit has Fun with Statistics; the top ten mistakes that infest day-to-day reporting of statistical information.  #3 is my favorite because it is subtle: correlation vs. causality.

Did you catch the Lakers / Spurs game last night?  Not really a good game, but a great finish.  The Lakers dug their way out of a deep 25-point hole and nearly pulled it out.  I sure expected Robert Horry to bury that trey at the buzzer.  Now the Lakers have two must-win games in a row.  They're being tested for sure!

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