Good old days, revisited

May 4, 2004
By tom

Cynthia Cott enthuses over three of the towering news people of the 20th century: Ed Murrow, A.J. Liebling and Mary McGrory. A nice read, but just once I’d love one of these homages to times past to concede that the qualities of a few superstars do not symbolize their era. The stars are the...

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WiFi on the Mall

May 4, 2004
By tom

I’m talking about the National Mall, in Washington, D.C. It now has a wireless access point. So, next time you’re there you’ll know why all those geeky-looking people with laptops are gathered behind the Capitol — most likely a violation of the Patriot Act.

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Gotta love those lawsuits

May 4, 2004
By tom

Joe Adams, Florida’s numero uno open-records guru, shares the oft-told advice that there’s no telling what you can unearth by poking around in the local courthouse’s civil lawsuit files. For instance: Documents obtained by Ray Parker of the Naples Daily News reveal the Collier County School District once hired a private investigator to spy...

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The annoyance that amuses

May 4, 2004
By tom

I’m speaking, of course, of the beloved Banned for Life list, where new nominees arrived this morning. A fave: “Friends and family are searching for answers tonight after Wile E. Coyote was crushed by a falling anvil.” Thanks to Charley Stough of BONG Bull fame for sending fresh hellishness our way.

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Leave them to their grief, please

May 3, 2004
By tom

A second-day story in the St. Pete Times opens with a description of a man breaking down because he’s arrived at the place where his 16-year-old daughter died the day before when her SUV swerved out of control, flipped and hit a tree. TAMPA – Kyle Tidwell wanted to see the exact spot where...

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Went to a Giants game

May 2, 2004
By tom

Results, with pictures, here. First thing I noticed was that even if you wanted to use the wireless network at SBC park, you’d never want to take your laptop along to the ballgame. Well, if you expected to enjoy the game, that is. Fans are always coming and going, it’s really crowded in the...

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Google IPO skepticism

May 2, 2004
By tom

Whole bunch of it at this blog. Naturally, I’m skeptical about the the company and its founders, who stand to make oodles of extra free money if the IPO price is suitably high. Yet I’m also skeptical of the skeptics: If I were hoping to buy a block of Google shares in the IPO,...

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Iraq declared irony-free zone

April 30, 2004
By tom

U.S. general, quoted in the New York Times. “Clearly we will not tolerate the presence of foreign fighters,” Abizaid said.

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Why things must be great…

April 30, 2004
By tom

… on the desk at the Dallas Morning News: A memo about the “Revolution” in the newsroom there mentions the copy desk only once, in regards to the boss of the copy desks now ruling the design/visual realm as well. Voluminous verbiage is expended in explaining all the other changes happening there. My first...

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An item for your spring Brides section

April 30, 2004
By tom

This guy got more than 3 grand for his ex-wife’s wedding dress. All he had to do was pose in it. (Link via Mme. Paquin) Update: More on the seller, thanks to Sheila Lennon’s blog.

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Google to auction shares in IPO

April 29, 2004
By tom

Appropriately enough, check out the Google News roundup of stories about Google’s plan to auction its shares rather than hire investment bankers to allocate them to their fatcat buddies. My understanding of how the auction works is that a pair of large brokerage houses, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston, will create online...

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On getting closer to the action

April 29, 2004
By tom

This morning I read an article about wireless access at the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark. It interviews the Giants’ chief technology officer, who explains that the team got religion on WiFi when it learned that SBC (the park’s namesake these days) would pay to install it at the stadium. The interview is fine but...

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For all you stock hounds

April 28, 2004
By tom

If you’re hoping to make a killing on the Google IPO, consider these thoughts from a trader pal of mine: My concern with this IPO is that it’s over-hyped and the little guy will be left holding the bag. No doubt those who get in at the offer price (the price set by the...

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Mixing tenses makes me tense

April 28, 2004
By tom

I stopped by Side Salad‘s employer’s Web site to see if his co-workers provided any blogworthy offenses. Found something on the first try, just like the last time I tried this. Maybe I’m just too picky, but this annoys me: TAMPA – A 59-year-old man threatens his mother and a health-care worker with kitchen...

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Finding our WMD

April 28, 2004
By tom

Fred Kaplan in Slate says the Cold War never ended for U.S. nuclear weapons spending, which is as high as it’s ever been, in constant dollars. The report raises anew a question that always springs to mind after a close look at the U.S. military budget: What the hell is going on here? Specifically:...

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