Time Magazine names Albert Einstein as Person of the Century. Great choice, honestly; if you want to read up on the man and his genius, there’s a great online repository of info about Einstein. (I also think that it’s so cool that this man was so smart that his name is used as an instantly-recognized synonym for brilliant, like “He’s such an Einstein!”)

My favorite Einstein quote: “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Close second, a two-way tie: “As far as I’m concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue” and “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

I saw The Talented Mr. Ripley yesterday, and liked it a lot. Very dark and disturbing at times, but it’s meant to be; I thought that the acting was supurb, and the cinematography was awe-inspiring.

I think I really like a new magazine that my brother-in-law turned me on to, Business 2.0. Despite the fact that Jeff Bezos was pretty instrumental to setting it up (and that he’s on the Board of Directors), it has some good content, like this article on the troubled state of e-customer satisfaction.

From Slate, the Bushism of the Week (is this a weekly feature that I didn’t know about?):

“There needs to be debates, like we’re going through. There needs to be town-hall meetings. There needs to be travel. This is a huge country.”

In a move that demonstrates the difference between a hacker and a cracker, hackers are calling for moratorium on hacking over the New Year so that Y2K problems can be identified and fixed.

A little smattering of Y2K-related news: the Federal Reserve has decided to double the amount of on-hand reserves in the banking system this year’s end; the US Patent Office has agreed to a rare review of the Dickens2000 patent (which claims exclusivity on any windowing-based Y2K software fixes); the U.S. organ transplant network is ready for Y2K; and the IRS is accepting Y2K-related excuses for not filing on time (but make sure they’re legit!).

REMEMBER: if you’re worried about Y2K-related viruses on your Windows machine, Microsoft is offering free 90-day trials of most major antivirus applications. (Norton, McAfee, and all the other majors are there.)

Salon’s year-end retrospective on sports, The Hall of Shame, provides pretty good proof that being paid a lot doesn’t turn these guys into automatic paragons of virtue.

The Hubble Space Telescope has been returned to orbit. Exciting stuff!