Monday, July 27, 2009

Interesting Links And QRX De W5HLH

I've found some interesting links I hope you'll check out:

• If you ever get the feeling the current economic crisis is different, that it is unprecedented in history, you're not alone. David Smick says the key problem is export-oriented economies who are relying on the United States as the consumer of last resort. I don't agree with everything in Smick's analysis, but I do agree with his identification of the key problem. I hope some people in Washington read and consider Smick's argument.

• Of course, much of the current economic situation is due to inept corporate management. As a disgruntled former Microsoft shareholder, I think you can make a strong case that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer might be the most incompetent CEO this side of former General Motors CEO Rick Waggoner. John Dvorak agrees and lays out a blistering indictment of Steve's blunders. It is astonishing to think that a company that 15 years ago-----on the brink of the release of Windows 95-----seemed poised to own the computing world now seems ready for a swoon as deep and severe as IBM's in the early 1990s. IBM managed to recover, and Apple was struggling 15 years ago. Maybe Microsoft can stage a similar comeback. . . . . . . . but it never will as long Ballmer is running the show. (A new board of directors would also help.)

• And it's not just for-profit companies that are reeling from the effects of greed, hubris, and wishful thinking. Harvard is facing a huge financial crisis and no one seems to have an idea of the extent of the crisis and how to deal with it. Is a federal bailout for Harvard in the works?

• Outsiders are often puzzled by the fierce loyalty University of North Carolina alumni feel for their alma mater. I can't explain it; like Zen, you either get it or you don't. But Emily Banks, who just finished her freshman year at Carolina, comes very close to articulating the ineffable in this New York Times essay.

• "QRX De W5HLH" is radiotelegraph code; "QRX" means "wait," "de" means "from," and W5HLH is my ham radio license call letters. This is a roundabout way of saying I won't be making any posts for at least a couple of weeks as Di and I prepare to move. I'll still have access to e-mail when i find a WiFi hotspot, but I doubt I'll have the time or energy to blog until we're settled into our new home. I'll be back around mid-August if everything goes right.