Wednesday, February 18, 2009

easy come, almost easy go

The web-viewable WELL conference to which I referred two posts back, is already history, for lack of participation, although its existence, combined with my initial choice of topics, stirred up something of a hornets nest.

The existence of the conference was problematic because it was the first of its type, a web-viewable conference not linked from the WELL's homepage and, within very broad limits, entirely the responsibility of the host (me), and more importantly because it was opened without prior notice to the WELL's membership, and appeared to be a special privilege that management had extended to me and me alone.

The topic list was problematic because I chose to address a subject that isn't normally discussed in polite company, and generally only discussed derisively in impolite company - autoeroticism (masturbation) - intending to treat it as a respectable, altogether normal aspect of private human behavior. Not only was that topic (#4) quickly derailed by a very creative lampoon, but I discovered to my chagrin that many of my fellow WELL members weren't comfortable with any such discussion happening in full view of the world at large, on track or not, never mind that there might be far racier material tucked away in other conferences and on members' web pages.

The conference's URL now redirects to the "Lost on The WELL?" page, which seems appropriate, and I find myself hardly caring that it didn't work out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Intel invests in America

Understand that I'm not particularly a fan of Intel, so it's quite an occasion when I'm moved to congratulate them for anything. True, I pay attention to what's coming from them, and anticipate using faster machines in the future, made possible by their advances, but I'm a Mac guy, and I don't run Windows on my own machine, so I'd be just as happy if the processor within it came from someone else, so long as the performance/price was comparable.

What's moving me to take off my hat to them is their decision to invest $7 billion to upgrade facilities located in the United States. Sure, there are probably sound business reasons for doing so, but they might just as easily have chosen to move remaining domestic production outside the country, for a different set of sound business reasons. They didn't, and for this they deserve our thanks and a hearty slap on the back.

Actually, I have to say that Intel's been doing a lot of things right lately, although it rankles just a bit to admit it.