When
· Naughties
· · 2005
· · · August
· · · · 30 (4 entries)

Two Iraq Ideas · Back in the first heat of the Iraq con­flic­t, I wrote quite a bit about it, but I’ve fall­en silent be­cause, like many oth­er­s, I don’t see a good way for­ward. Re­cent­ly, I’ve come across two in­ter­est­ing pro­pos­als for how we might get a rea­son­ably good out­come. Here is a de­tailed ten-point plan from Juan Cole which sounds plau­si­ble if not cheery, more than you can say for the cur­ren­t, uh, I guess they call it a “strategy”. Se­cond, the Van­cou­ver Sun’s ex­cel­lent In­ter­na­tion­al Af­fairs colum­nist Jonathan Man­thor­pe sug­gests bit­ing the bul­let and giv­ing up on hold­ing Iraq to­geth­er. I don’t have a de­cent point­er to his piece, but you can read it here any­how ...
 
Nawlins Then · Oh, this is aw­ful. I’ve noth­ing to of­fer but hap­py mem­o­ries: Item: Peter and I, both grey­ing, scruffy, and geeky, walk­ing down some ran­dom street, and the hook­er, young and with movie-star make-up, mur­mured “Oh, pret­ty men”—we snick­ered for the next two block­s. Item: Round mid­night, some club way off Bour­bon street, warm in mid­win­ter, Char­maine Neville and Maria Mul­daur trad­ed off vers­es of San­ta Ba­by, out­ra­geous­ly lewd and in­tense­ly mu­si­cal. Item: At some con­fer­ence par­ty I danced and danced with a wom­an I’d nev­er met, we had fun, she lit up the dance­floor with a fast shake dur­ing the sax­o­phone break, then we talked about stylesheet­s. Item: Some­where in the quar­ter, two cops had this guy backed in­to a cor­ner and were giv­ing him a hard time, I was think­ing “That’s got­ta be a crap­py job, a cop in the number-one place in the U.S.A. where peo­ple go to get drunk and stupid” but then they walked away laugh­ing, side by side. Item: Some­where else in the quar­ter, un­der twinkly lights in a love­ly old court­yard, espres­sos and cognac af­ter a lot of re­al­ly good food, a block-away elec­tric back­beat drift­ing faint­ly over the wall­s. Hey New Or­lean­s: when you get your­self back to­geth­er, I’ll come down and spend a bunch of mon­ey on booze and mu­sic, that’s a promise.
 
See You in Slovenia · I’m go­ing to be do­ing a keynote at the next OpenOf­fice.org con­fer­ence on Septem­ber 29th, in Koper-Capodistria. I love what OpenOf­fice is try­ing to do, and re­al­ly look­ing for­ward to my first vis­it to Slove­ni­a. Al­so, it’ll be a chance to do a speech that’s (most­ly) not about blog­ging or syn­di­ca­tion. Hope to see you there.
 
USPTO, v-Fluence, Lameness · I got this email from the USPTO five days ago (t­wo of them, ac­tu­al­ly, to my two main ad­dress­es) and I thought I’d wait till I was less ir­ri­tat­ed be­fore I wrote about it, but you know what, that’s not work­ing. The ti­tle was “Yes, the USPTO reads blogs! USPTO Small Busi­ness Pro­tec­tion Web Site” Read­ing the first phrase, for a mi­crosec­ond I thought “Hey, they’re get­ting a clue?” but no, it’s a just a va­pid PR pitch for two of their “Stop Fakes” web­sites, which are full of mar­ket­ing bumph with two mes­sages: “Get Pa­tents Now!” and “The Ad­min­is­tra­tion is Great!” And the email it­self? Here’s a sam­ple: “Can blog­gers help? Yes! The USPTO is well aware of the im­pact blog­gers have and the im­por­tant role they play. As an on­line opin­ion lead­er you can help small busi­ness­es pro­tect the in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty of small busi­ness­es in one of sev­er­al ways: Write about the site in your blog...” (I’ll spare you the rest). Oh yes, and across the bot­tom: ***This e-mail was sent on be­half of the Unit­ed States Pa­tent and Trade­mark Of­fice (USPTO) by v-Fluence In­ter­ac­tive Public Re­la­tion­s, Inc.*** So, let’s put this sim­ply. Dear USPTO, you’re ly­ing. If you ac­tu­al­ly read blog­gers you’d know that the few who write about you think you’re part of the prob­lem, not part of the so­lu­tion (most re­cent­ly, no less than Irv­ing Wladawsky-Berger). Dear v-Fluence: You’re spam­mer­s, which means you’re filth. And, Dear World, please don’t give any more busi­ness to v-Fluence, they’re abu­sive in­com­pe­tents.
 
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