Tuesday is News Day

All the news that's fit to rant aboutDay 11. Thanks for all your support - all those thousands of messages and petition signatures have definitely helped me have the courage of my convictions. I never had any idea how many lives we touched on Call for Help and The Screen Savers. I know the staff is blown away, as well. Please share your love with them, too. I couldn't have done it without them and the uncertainty they're going through at TechTV right now is very tough. They're probably just as miserable as I am, so keep those cards and letters coming in!

At least I'll have time now to finish Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver - good thing too, since part two, The Confusion, comes out today!

Thomas Jefferson was born on this day in 1743. Butch Cassidy in 1866. JC Penney opened its first store in 1902 in Kemmerer, Wyoming. The RAF was formed in 1912.

  1. In for a penny in for a pound, Google, already the subject of criticism over perceived privacy problems with its new GMail service, is planning to allow advertisers to buy keywords. That means that the next time you search for "waffle" you could get an ad against John Kerry purchased by the Bush campaign. You'll also be able to buy trademarked words, so a search for "Lexus" may well turn up Mercedes ads. Trademark owners have gone to court in the past to prevent such linkages. The search results will be unaffected by this policy change, by the way, it only impacts the Google ads that appear on the search results pages.

  2. Static in the iPod Kingdom. Apple is investigating complaints that the Mini is suffering from poor sound quality including static and sound distortion. That's ok, they're now putting G4s and SuperDrives in the low priced eMacs while dropping the price at the low-end.
  3. Survey says, one in six US Internet users has gone wireless at least once. The survey, part of the continuing and consistently interesting Pew Internet and American Life Project also found that people under 27 were twice as likely to have used Wi-Fi. Guess that's thanks to wired schools and Starbucks.
  4. McDonald's too. Wayport just scored the deal to de-wire 3,000 McDonald's restaurants by the end of the year. All 10,000 stores are expected to offer Wi-Fi service within the next few years. Wireless Internet will cost $2.95 for two-hours, or $29.95 per month for access to all Wayport's sites. Jim Sappington, a VP at Mickey D's said, "We want the Golden Arches to be the first choice for a great meal and wireless Internet access." I'm not kidding.
  5. I've told you before to stay away from Intel's new Prescott chip - it's too expensive and a disappointing performer. Good news, you might not be able to buy one even if you wanted it. Both the Prescott and P4 Extreme Edition are in short supply. Lead times are up to six weeks, causing retailers like Dell to drop down to lesser chips. I say, get an Athlon instead.
  6. I work for ClearChannel at KFI, so there might be a conflict of interest here, but I'm delighted to report that that excellent company and their amazingly astute upper management including the fine CEO Lowry Mays, are rolling out digital billboards that can change their message depending on location and time of day. We're not talking scrolling LEDs either, these are full color screens worthy of Blade Runner. Smart idea, LM! And have I told you lately how realistic that hairpiece looks?
  7. Whichever PR drone convinced the LA Times to publish an article titled Microsoft's Ballmer Known as People Guy really deserves a raise. Unlike the bean counter at the Times who convinced the online folks to make registration necessary before you can read their deathless prose on the web.


  8. Gopher is back - actually it never left. The pre-WWW Internet browsing technology is still in development, according to Wired News, and the Gopher Manifesto is creating ASCII converts in 12-point Courier by the dozens.

  9. Break out the foosball and Friday beer busts! According to the San Jose Mercury- News, Silicon Valley is back in the black. For the first time since 2000 the top 150 public companies headquartered in SV collectively showed a profit. Now let's get that Google IPO going!