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Tuesday,  01/31/06  11:14 PM

Three days in a row - woo hoo.  I know, so what.  Okay, let's make a pass, shall we?

This is kind of interesting:  The Economist reports, "Iran is finally beginning to feel a noose tighten around it.  For several years, western countries have suspected that the Islamic Republic has been developing nuclear weapons, and for just as long Iran’s falsehoods, evasions and hard-nosed negotiating have fed those suspicions.  Yet Iran has been adept at dividing those who would make it suffer any consequences.  On Monday January 30th, however, America, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, joined by the European Union's representative, agreed that Iran's case should be reported to the United Nations Security Council."  As I'm sure you'll remember, this was the first step with Iraq, too... 

Not a good idea:  Taking on Cory Doctorow.  A company called Star-Force makes some sort of copy protection scheme.  Cory posted about it, and so a PR flack at Star-Force sent Cory a bullying email.  Ooh, bet that scared him :)  "Thank you for your response.  I have appended it to my original post and have forwarded it to the Chilling Effects project to be part of the permanent record of abusive attempts by companies to silence their critics."  I look forward to episode II, Star-Force strikes back... 

Ouch!  Google Earnings Disappoint, Shares Plunge.  That sound you hear is air  leaking from the balloon... 

Not real world: Dave Winer, a glass half empty kind of guy (when it comes to politics, anyway), reports: "Basically the state of the union is so bad that I'd rather crawl into my TV set and live in a fictional presidency."  I've never even watched The West Wing, and so I can't get too upset about its cancellation.  But those are real terrorists out there, Dave... 

In other news, Samuel Alito was confirmed 58-42 as our newest Supreme Court judge.  So be it, yawn.  Back to your regularly scheduled programming! 

Frank Petrie opines: It's Not Easy Being Steve Jobs.  "This conundrum is starting to come to a head.  Since we always expect Mr. Jobs to WOW us with 'One More Thing …,' people seem to get more and more ho-hum every Macworld about the announcements.  They’re ready and geared to whine."  There's an element of truth in this, but he still manages to do it; take Disney buying Pixar, that was a WOW. 

And putting on those Stevenotes isn't easy, either; here's a peek Behind the Magic Curtain.  "To a casual observer it is just a guy in a black shirt and jeans talking about some new technology products.  But it is in fact an incredibly complex and sophisticated blend of sales pitch, product demonstration and corporate cheerleading, with a dash of religious revival thrown in for good measure."  There are zero other CEOs who's speeches I look forward to and watch via webcast.  [ via Liron Shapira ]

I've been looking into new TVs, along with possibly a new receiver.  There is some pretty cool new stuff out there!  And some pretty amazing weirdness, too...  such as a $485 wooden volume knob.  I am not making this up, but I hope they are.  [ via Mark Frauenfelder

This is pretty cool - a sculpture which is the 3D shadow of a 4D object!  "The subject of the projection is a regular 4-dimensional solid of intermediate complexity, an 'octacube.'  It has 24 vertices, 96 edges and 96 triangular faces, which enclose 24 three-dimensional 'rooms.'  Physically, the sculpture is a giant puzzle of 96 triangular pieces cut from stainless steel and bent into spherical shape."  Do I have to say - I want one! 

Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Recruiting.  Great stuff.  I particularly liked the shopping center test: "Suppose you're at a shopping center, and you see the candidate.  He is fifty feet away and has not seen you.  You have three choices: (1) beeline it over to him and say hello; (2) say to yourself, 'This shopping center isn't that big; if I bump into him, then I'll say hello, if not, that's okay too;' (3) get in your car and go to another shopping center. My contention is that unless the candidate elicits the first response, you shouldn't hire him."  I conducted three interviews today, and I heartily agree with this (two "yes", one "no"). 

Apropos: Malcom Gladwell on The Talent Myth.  "Are smart people overrated?"  Although the principle can be carried too far, I say, "no, they aren't"; intelligence is the primary metric I use for choosing employees.  There are all sorts of other factors like experience, skills, track record, personality, you name it, but that's #1.

Doc Searles tookthis beautiful shot of a So Cal sunset.  "It's amazing how little Winter we've had this year.  Meaning how little rain: almost none.  All of it has hit North of here.  The forecast is for a high of at least 70 degrees (21 Celsius) all week.  With no rain...   Meanwhile, we're out on bikes and rollerblades, dining outside at the beach, living in a SoCal brochure.  What hell.