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Saturday, July 19, 2003

Suite Hotel!

Wow! The Woodfin Suite Hotel in Emeryville is convenient to Berkeley, Oakland and S.F., priced at from $130-$200/night for new, clean, spacious, attractive, suite-style rooms (ask for one facing the Bay), and the price includes:

  • In-room T1 Internet access! Plug in ethernet, launch browser. No login screens, no extra charges. Smokin' fast.
  • Massive buffet breakfast.
  • Business center.
  • Fitness center, pool, jacuzzi.

During the week (M-Th) the place also has happy hour 5-7 in its Big Sur room on the first floor, with complimentary drinks and hors d'oevres. My meeting earlier today was at the Claremont where I'm suddenly glad not to be staying; a Bay Area landmark to be sure, but dial-up only at well over twice the price.

Pizza Mind

Wish I could make pizza tonight in Santa Clara with Robert, Dave and hopefully you if you're in the area, but part of the reason I'm up here this weekend is to give an appropriate send-off this evening to an amazing colleague who is headed to the Eastern Front (Pittsburgh). Have fun, all!

Friday, July 18, 2003

It's Hot, Pass The Hose

(Reading copyright briefs in the afternoon swelter can do funny things to your head. —d.)

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El Valle

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Los Gatos

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Las Rosas del Pantyhose

Thursday, July 17, 2003

How To Tell You've Landed At The Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport

Is the fellow next to you on the American Eagle commuter Indian? Working on a laptop? Wearing a navy golf shirt emblazoned with a bioscience company logo? Khakis? Comfy brown loafers? Does he badly want your PowerBook? When you pick up your rental car are the radio buttons preprogrammed to three great stations? Does the stifling heat have you contemplating a few unwise liquid nitrogen experiments? Good! You're there.

Marketers Wrestling With Business Blogging: Take Note

A report from Scott at Life, Law, Libido, on a Legal Times event yesterday in Washington, D.C.:

Pop Quiz: There is a large room. Among others, the room contains a former Solicitor General, the most respected Supreme Court journalist, a 25-year veteran of the OSG, two lawyers that won the two most famous Supreme Court cases of the term, and the editor-in-chief of DC's most popular legal publication. Who draws the most attention?
That's right—a blogger.

Going To The Cats

I leave today for a mixed work/family trip to the Bay Area. The work part will involve some meetings in Berkeley and a dinner in Emeryville—at which it will take an iron will to remember I am "in a family way" and may not order a Fog Cutter. The family part will involve staying with my grandmother in Los Gatos. She was born in 1909, when wireless technology already was the buzz, Teddy Roosevelt was paying high-protein workers' compensation, the first ham radio broadcast was made, and Shackleton's Nimrod expedition found the magnetic south pole.

The camera and computer are never far out of reach, so I hope to check in again soon from a town made for bloggers.

(In unrelated/actual news, Justice Brown goes to Washington; wow! As the Recorder points out, among other things this would open up a spot on the California Supreme Court potentially to be filled by a nominee of Governor Davis.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Into The Mix's forthcoming digital music service wants "to become the iTunes for Windows." [Via c |net, via ILN] More from the Merc: "Like the iTunes Music Store, will sell individual music tracks without collecting an up-front monthly subscription fee; even though it has yet to secure licensed music from all five major record labels, knowledgeable sources say."

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Making Lemonade, Or Something Less Palatable?

I must say, Global Removal has me stumped. So much so that this sounds like a job for Politech, to figure out whether this is 1) an out and out scam, 2) not a scam but a bad idea nevertheless because creating incentives not to spam is not enough to stem the tide, and not as effective as a system of legislated penalties (which Global Removal says it's lobbying for*), or 3) a surprisingly good idea. Even if this is completely on the up and up, the idea of paying to verify valid email addresses for spammers strikes me as, oh, perhaps doubly unwise. Global Removal's press release of today's date sheds further light on how this is supposed to work. Neither Google nor Technorati shows any incoming links to the site (which may just have launched); Snopes has nothing. I'm emailing Declan, and will follow up should this shed any light. Your thoughts, of course, are most welcome.

*" is also lobbying Congress to create a national 'Do Not Email' list that will be similar to the 'Do Not Call' legislation recently passed."

What Has It Gots In Its Pocketses?

Have you seen the Web site for Gnomedex 3.0 yet? "The Fellowship of the Geeks." (Wipe tears of laughter from eyes; go about business.)

A Clued Cabal

Search Google for "conspire" and find ("Wear Your Paranoia Like A Sweaty Undergarment!"), while "conspiracy" will serve up The Volokh Conspiracy at or close to the top. Enjoy Chris Lydon's interview with phenom Eugene Volokh himself, as well as Lydon's burgeoning aud-blog series, to date featuring Dave Winer and Jim Behrle. I particularly like Eugene's comments about the eclecticism of the "Conspirators" and their writing:

I suppose you're right that it's something like a coffeehouse, or something like a conversation around a dining room table, that people talk about the things that interest them. In a sense, that's actually more natural for humans I think. Very few of us decide, "Ok, over dinner, we're only going to talk about law." And when we do decide that then most people don't want to have dinner with us anymore.

Thanks to John Palfrey for pointing the way.

Look Ma, The Hummer's On The Plasma Screen!

The new Fox series "The O.C." premieres Tuesday, August 5:

The O.C., otherwise known as Orange County, California, is an idyllic paradise—a wealthy, harbor-front community where everything and everyone appears to be perfect. But beneath the surface is a world of shifting loyalties and identities, of kids living secret lives, hidden from their parents, and of parents living secret lives, hidden from their children.

Early returns look promising. I've always thought my adopted home town was emminently fictionalizable. It's a place where working without a net often amounts to more than just a state of mind.

Light The Canons

If you are concerned about the viability of federal government employee blogs (and blawgs), and in particular those of federal judicial clerks, get on over to this lengthy, thoughtful and oft-updated post from The Curmudgeonly Clerk, and click all the links. I agree with Howard and TCC that preapproval appears to be needed to comply with Canon 4 of the Code of Conduct For Judicial Employees. I also have to say that some of the rigors of the Canons seem to me a little like losing those last five pounds—great if you can do it, perhaps regrettable yet understandable if you can't. (If I had to avoid the "appearance of impropriety" every day, I'd probably never leave the house. But never leaving the house has its own appearance issues I suppose...)

TCC makes the fine point that writing is writing, and there's no reason to treat it differently because it appears on a weblog. This too captures my sentiments: "[T]he curtailment of blogging by those affiliated with the government is more likely to assure that the views of those familiar with and sympathetic to the government are absent than to achieve any other aim." (By the way TCC, that's not cursoriness, it's pith.) ;-)

Monday, July 14, 2003

RYB* Auto-Discovery

Perfectly Sassy (A Sassy Lawyer in Philippine Suburbia), on learning she's a blawger: "I just checked my ranking in Google and my individual pages outrank the Philippine local dailies. Wow."

*Right On, You're Blawging

The Professor And The Dean

Howard Dean is up and writing—out of the gate, about media deregulation—at Professor Lessig's: "James Madison and Thomas Jefferson spoke of the fear that economic power would one day try to seize political power. No consolidated economic power has more opportunity to do this than the consolidated power of media."

Over at The Screen Savers, today's poll asks "Could a Web-only campaign win the Presidency?" Current results: 25% Yes, 75% No.

Functionality Karma

Fix a few, break a few. In theory, there is a fleeting, blissful state when all elements of one's life function harmoniously. In practice, that condition violates so many recognized and as yet undiscovered laws of physics that were it to occur, one's being would shrink to a tiny pulsing glow around the former navel area, and pop suddenly off into the ether. Anecdotal proof:

Working (by 7/14, 7:00 a.m.)

  • Blogger in Safari. Publishing interface on a browser tab, side by side with other Web pages. Very nice.
  • Maxtor external firewire drive, nonfunctional on the floor for four months, now happily gobbling iMovie projects.
  • Virtual PC 6. Why? To retain access to years of Windows-formatted Quicken data, and to my CD-ROM law library via Premise (which is OS X challenged; I'm OS 9 challenged). Don't yet know if it'll turn out to be practical for these purposes; it's riillly slow.

Broken (by 7/14, 7:30 a.m.)

  • Hot water heater.
  • Dishwasher.
  • Sprinklers. (Flooding.)
  • Cordless phone.
  • Terminix. (Ants. Everywhere.)

All is, in other words, perfectly normal and in relative balance, and any extraneous good karma has better things to do.

What He Said

John Palfrey has a fine follow-up to his recent RSS copyright post, including this observation: "I very often hear technical people rely on fair use as a reason for doing something, and those people are almost always overstating its reach." Yep. Go read.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Blogger And Safari, Sitting In A Tree

Hey! Blogger Pro now works in Safari. Finally! (Regular Blogger too? Has this been the case forever now and I've just been asleep at the switch?)

Share The Hope

Robert Scoble (lucid at 1:14 a.m.), on why it's a big deal that Microsoft has a hands-off approach to employee blogs: "Yeah, Microsoft trusts me not to do that. It's one of the reasons I love working here. But, make no mistake, that trust is a HUGE deal. I hope that other big companies follow along." (Another apparent example of divergent approaches by MSFT and the DOJ.)

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