7/10/2001; 4:13:38 AM

Salon: Selling Chandra:

“There’s really nothing new or striking about the Levys’ Washington media operation — only that it’s the sort of D.C. operation we expect to find working for a politician, not an aggrieved family searching for answers about their missing daughter…

“But is there really anything so bad about the Levy camp’s high-octane manipulation of the Chandra story? Frisby has no apologies. ‘The family is very frustrated by what they see as deception, deception that has probably hampered the investigation,’ he said Monday afternoon. ‘I think the media has done a fantastic job. They kept up the pressure to tell the truth. And they’ve made sure the issue stays in the public eye.'”

Keeping up the pressure to tell the truth is, of course, one of the primary goals of the responsible media. When the media does that job well, I can say that it’s one of the things for which I love my country.
10:46:04 PM  

AP: Police Search Condit’s Apartment. “Gainer said authorities would conduct an ‘open-ended search,’
and probably would employ a chemical, Luminol, that with the help of an ultraviolet light, allows blood to be seen even on surfaces that have been cleaned or painted.”
10:45:36 PM  

ZDNet: Antitrust: Is Microsoft ready to deal?. “One point Microsoft doesn’t seem willing to budge on is its plan to bundle new technologies within its monopoly-making operating system. Windows XP, due Oct. 25, will include a variety of new stand-alone applications that represent moneymaking markets for other developers, including instant messaging and digital audio and video playback.”
10:44:42 PM  

Washington Post: Charity Cites Bush Help in Fight Against Hiring Gays. “The White House has made a ‘firm commitment’ to the Salvation Army to issue a regulation protecting such charities from state and city efforts to prevent discrimination against gays in hiring and domestic-partner benefits, according to the Salvation Army report.” If this is true, one can only ask how much more idiotic the Bush administration will get.
4:11:00 PM  

CNET: Survey: Apple to regain top spot in education. “The forecast puts Apple back ahead of Dell–27 percent to 15 percent–in terms of expected unit sales. For the past two years, Denver-based QED said the survey tilted in Dell’s favor.”
4:07:58 PM  

I bet you’ve never seen Star Wars quite like this.
4:05:35 PM  

Ananova: Dog chases stick and returns with live grenade. Don’t pull that pin, Rover!
4:03:57 PM  

TheAge.com.au: Catholics reconsider condoms. “The Roman Catholic Church in southern Africa is to consider backing the use of condoms to combat the AIDS epidemic.”
4:02:06 PM  

BBC: Most distant objects observed. “A pair of quazars – highly luminous galaxies – enter the record books as the most distant objects yet seen in space.”
4:00:37 PM  

Inside Windows Product Activation. “In this paper we supply
the technical details of WPA – as implemented in Windows XP – that Microsoft should have published long ago.”
3:53:56 PM  

Wired: Why Webvan Drove Off a Cliff. “When Webvan began making incredibly aggressive investments, that’s exactly what investors were telling it to do,” said Ken Cassar, a Jupiter Media Metrix analyst. “Then Wall Street one day changed its mind, and Webvan suddenly found itself with an extraordinary amount of infrastructure and without the ability to get to profitability.”

What seems to have gone wrong here was that Webvan tried to sustain their operation under the assumption that money grows on trees, and that their investors live in the orchard. Really now, how many hundreds of millions of dollars did they think they could burn with impunity? Did they really trust Wall Street that much? I don’t. I learned long ago that money doesn’t grow on trees, even in other people’s orchards.

I’ve been hearing in various places, that Webvan’s user interface was pretty crappy. I can say for myself that this is why I stopped buying from them. I ordered from Webvan a few times before I realized that it took longer for me to find what I wanted through their UI, than it took to walk to my local Safeway, go up and down the aisles getting what I needed, check out, and walk home. It wasn’t about money. It was about convinience.

Peapod’s UI is marginally better, but not enough better to keep me from walking to Safeway. If I lived two miles from the nearest grocery and didn’t have a car, then I might have decided differently, but then I probably wouldn’t have had Webvan or Peapod available to me…

I wonder if Webvan’s investors smacked themselves in the side of the head on Friday, and said, “Gee, I shoulda had a V8!… Now, if only I could figure out how to find one on Webvan’s website.”
4:15:18 AM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: louche.
4:13:38 AM  

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