Strange digital city rankings

Seoul tops, New York 4th, Toronto 10 in digital city ranking

The e-governance Institute at Rutgers University and a Korean university surveyed the online presence for 100 of the world’s biggest cities and determined that Seoul, Korea is the model cities should emulate when it comes to providing services and information to its citizens. New York was 4th, and Toronto was 10th. But New York was the only U.S. city evaluated and Toronto was the only Canadian city evaluated. Strange.

Why is the bond market so happy?

The Economist’s Buttonwood columnist, sounding more and more like Michael Lewis by the day, muses aloud the current ahistorical disconnect between the bond market and the economy — things are getting better in the economy, yet the bond market hasn’t fallen (as would ordinarily be the case). He/she/it concludes bearishly, even for him/her/it, reciting the bear’s mantra: “Oh save us from protectionism, private debt, and public deficit, so help me market.”

Kicking Google before it’s down

With Google’s IPO impending, Fortune magazine makes a pre-emptive strike. It credibly calls Sergey and Larry’s search company chaotic, caste-oriented (educationally speaking), and lacking a credible chain of command — it’s all command, no chain. I’m largely convinced, but then again, I’m not surprised either.

Slate Hires Henry Blodget

Slate magazine hiring discredited equity analyst Henry Blodget to report on the impending Martha Stewart trial is a stroke of genius. Having abandoned any pretense integrity the doors are wide open to all sorts of wonderful ideas. What about Mike Tyson writing on Michael Jackson’s trial? Or Ken Lay and Dennis Kozlowski writing about each other’s trial at the same time?
I can hardly wait.

The Cost of Starting Up

The Cost of Starting Up

Entrepreneurs are dreaming. According to an SBA study, they expect start-up costs to be $6,000, or as much as $20,000 if there are a few people involved. As the study points out, the expectation is far too low considering working capital needs.

Absent presence and “surfer voice”

Fascinating article in this morning’s WSJ about absent presence and surfer voice. The idea? There is a rise in that half-engaged, less-than-attentive tone of voice we use when we are talking to someone on the phone, while also instant messaging, emailing, surfing the web, and checking a spreadsheet: “OK … uh-hum … right … OK.” I’m certainly guilty.
[From WSJ via Fast Company]

CRTC protects Canadians from Reagan biopic

The CRTC just said “No” to expanding the list of satellite channels offered in Canada. Proposed stations would have included Showtime, HBO, and ESPN, among others. Sayeth the CRTC, the Canadian Cable Television Association didn’t make its case strongly enough. Canadians can breath a huge sigh of relief: the CRTC is protecting them from that Reagan biopic on Showtime. What madness.
CRTC says no to U.S. channels

Apocalypse Now

Truly apocalyptic here in San Diego Couty right now. Fires. Orange sky. Ochre sun. Otherworldly.

Mischief in the WSJ

Two delightfully mischievous columns in the WSJ today. First, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney implicitly rebukes current Canadian prime minister (sort of) Chretien. Mulroney chides countries that don’t support current U.S. pre-emptive policies i.e., Canada.
Second bit of mischief-making from Gregg Easterbrook, who has been in the news for his recent comments about Michael Eiser, Miramax, and the violence in the movie Kill Bill. In his WSJ column Easterbrook eulogizes Garett “Tragedy of the Commons” Hardin, who recently took his own life. But Easterbrook argues along the way that Hardin was badly wrong about his basic contention, that humanity was about to overrun the earth.

Disposable email

So, Yahoo has announced disposable email addresses — addresses that you can use for a single purpose, but aren’t really linked to your main email account. It is a decent solution to one part of the spam problem, that of email addresses being sold. That said, it is going to make finding an unused Yahoo email addresses even more difficult: I tried to obtain four different obscure letter/number addresses this morning to use as the “root” of my new disposable email address at Yahoo. All four were taken.