Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, is best known for his sense of humor. He seems to be developing a sense of social responsibility, too.
Adams' blog is one of my favorite places on the Internet, one of only a handful of pages I try to check every day.
I like his blog because Adams is both funny and smart. He understands that he can exert a certain amount of public influence, but unlike most celebrities, he's smart enough to recognize his own limits. He's also smart enough to expand those limits by gathering data and studying the opinions of others.
Earlier this month, Adams spent his own money on what he calls the Dilbert Survey of Economists, gathering the opinions of over 500 professional economists to see if they could tell us anything useful about McCain's and Obama's economic plans.
They couldn't, really--ask 10 economists to count their own fingers and you're likely to get 11 different answers--but this in itself is good information, because it teaches us that economics is not yet a real science.
On Tuesday, Adams asked the readers of his blog (a valuable if unreliable resource) to help him find a good analysis of the potential consequences of allowing the free market to deal with the recent market meltdown. … Read more
I've been signing up with some of the major job sites. I started with NotchUp.com, mostly because I was curious about NotchUp's rather unusual strategy. Candidates are paid for interviews set up through NotchUp.com, while NotchUp itself gets fees from the participating companies.
NotchUp recommends that candidates ask for approximately a full day's pay for an interview. That seems like an extraordinarily high price. Companies are free to make a lower offer, though. I set my asking price well below that day's-pay level, and I'm still not surprised I've had no inquiries. I wonder if it's working for anyone else.
On the recommendation of a friend in the business (he actually works for a different jobs site), I also signed up for TheLadders.com, which specializes in jobs with salaries above $100K/year (which we in California refer to as a "subsistence wage").
There's something cool going on there for just the next few days. And if you've bought an Amazon Kindle or a Sony Reader--or just like to read e-books on your laptop, cell phone, or other system--you'll want to scoot right over to the "Freebies Bonanza" page. [Update-- this content is no longer available.]
Okay, this gets a little complicated. More complicated than it should, really.
I am an AT&T customer. My current two-year contract is up on July 30-- just 19 days from now.
Normally, AT&T allows customers to upgrade early by paying a moderate fee.
As CNET's Dawn Kawamoto put it in this blog post, "eligibility for an upgrade discount, the carrier said, is generally determined by amount of time remaining on a current contract and the payment history." One version of the upgrade rules is visible on Best Buy's website.
The worst-case situation, one might suppose, is that… Read more
Well, I'm here at the Apple store in the Westfield Oakridge mall in San Jose, waiting.
I got here at about 6:45am and the line was already up around 60 people, somewhat more than I expected. I'm here with a couple of friends who got iPhones last year and are looking to upgrade.
I opened up iChat's Bonjour networking window, but nobody else seems to be using it. Bonjour iChat is usually a great way for strangers to chat at public events, but there are very few people here with laptops.
Apple employees are circulating, but… Read more
In a way, this story is left over from CES 2008, where I attended a blogger party hosted by the Parnassus Group and sponsored by, among other companies, Virgin America, the US domestic airline counterpart to Virgin Atlantic.
The party was a lot of fun, and all the sponsors did extensive giveaways. I got a flight suit from Intel and Zero G, a private company that offers "weightless" (parabolic trajectory) flights. Alas, I didn't win a Zero G flight, but I did win a free flight on Virgin America. In fact, I think pretty much everyone at … Read more
The New York Times ran an article over the weekend (here) describing efforts by the Pentagon and the Bush Administration to influence the opinions of military analysts, primarily retired military officers, who contribute to coverage of the Iraq War and other topics by newspapers and TV news programs.
The Times article claimed that the Pentagon's influence turned these analysts into sock puppets, a claim supported by this quote from Robert S. Bevelacqua-- a military analyst himself:
"It was them saying, 'We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you.'"
Now, the … Read more