What Ever Happened to Half.com, Oregon?
Photograph courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2000.
I love buying books, especially
online, especially through Amazon
. (And yes, on eBay
.) But the site I really
love is Half.com
. In it's early days, Half.com was an innovator and a Wall Street darling, a narrow service (no groceries, just books and music) that used a simple driver (ISBN), and, through its simple interface, promised a commitment to speedy delivery. Sadly, it was bought in June 2000 for $312.8 million by eBay, who wanted its customers (but not its fundamentally different business model)...
Threat Advisory Pandemic Alert System (TAPAS)
Last week, the London airline liquid-bomb threat elevated the Homeland Security Advisory System to red, the Severe Risk of Terrorist Attacks
zone. This week we're back down two stages to Elevated Risk
or yellow. We have Tom Ridge to thank for this graphic innovation (he copyrighted the color-coded alert system
back in 2001).
For now at least, the risk of a worldwide pandemic from the Avian Influenza A (H5N1) virus
has been momentarily retired from active duty: it is, at least temporarily, off the front pages of our newspapers. Only this week, wild swans in Michigan
(one is reminded of Yeats
' "I have looked upon those brilliant creatures/And now my heart is sore") were infected with a strain of the bird flu virus...