The Linux 2.4 kernel is even further delayed. Originally set for a release last October, it now looks like it won’t go final until this October. Funny enough, though, this article attributes the reasons to the same things for which people typically rail against Microsoft — the addition of new features not originally scheduled for this release, and the testing of all these features.

It turns out that the consumer marketing stats that have come back from the dotcom Super Bowl ad spending spree are horrendous. Out of the 17 dotcoms that ran ads, not a single surveyed person remembered seeing ads from 11 of them without prompting; the highest unprompted remembrance rate was 6%, for E-Trade. Media Metrix website visit counts show steeply declining numbers for most of the companies — they got one-day bumps due to the ads, and then died off to almost nothing.

What would happen if an astronaut had a major medical emergency while in space? A New Scientist article thinks it would be disastrous; even if the astronaut could be rushed back to Earth, it turns out that space screws up one’s homeostatic abilities enough that, for at least a day after returning, surgery or anesthesia would be incredibly risky. In addition, controlling an airway in zero gravity would be very difficult, and the Shuttle probably doesn’t have sufficient equipment for it.

Wow, I’m sort of shocked — it turns out that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson does have the ability (at least in some cases) to determine when he has overwhelming biases that prevent him from being able to preside over a case fairly. (I wonder what it would take for him to be able to see this in U.S. v. Microsoft…)

John Taschek has a ZDNet editorial on why open source is “a road to nowhere.” I don’t know that it’s fair to hold Mozilla up as representative of open source’s faults, but nonetheless, I think I agree with his conclusions — Linux does have a future, but not necessarily because it’s open source. Meanwhile, Bob Young, CEO of RedHat, has responded to Taschek’s editorial.

The FCC has ruled against Time Warner in the dispute over ABC that took the station off of cable networks for the past few days. Apparently, there’s a specific clause in the rules that applies to sweeps periods; the fact that we’re in the middle of May sweeps means that Time Warner has to use kid gloves no matter what ABC does. This is interesting, since apparently there was no signed agreement or contract that would have legally allowed Time Warner to carry ABC past April 30th; if they had chosen to, could ABC have sued Time Warner if they kept ABC on the air past that date, even though now the FCC says that another rule should have prevented them from taking ABC off the air? I wonder which set of laws trumps which — Federal contract law or Federal communications law.

George W. Bush, on the Elian raid:

“I hope we get to the bottom of the answer. It’s what I’m interested to know.”

I have really gotten to like Slate’s Chatterbox. In the past week, it’s lambasted Tom DeLay for his ridiculous statements about the ostensible lack of a warrant to retrieve Elian, engaged in a similar conversation with Lawrence Tribe regarding his false assertion in the New York Times as the one he and I had, and then solicited the opinion of Akhil Reed Amar, another noted Fourth Amendment scholar, on Tribe’s point.

Last night, I had dinner with a friend who lived in Germany before the Wall came down, and she said that there was an almost-absolute policy in West Germany for what to do when a parent tried to bring his or her kids across the Wall and were killed in the process — if the children had a surviving parent in East Germany, they were returned to that parent. In the reasoning of the West German government, the differences in freedom between East and West did not justify separating children from their parents.


Interestingly, the New Yorker examined this same question about health emergencies in space several months ago, particularly in relation to the idea of an extended mission to Mars (i.e. up to three years). It was a much more detailed article, too. Not only emergencies, but what about cancer or worse? (This one was simply responding to some new research.)

• Posted by: Dan Hartung on May 3, 2000, 9:57 PM
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