Monthly Archives: April 2004

Will the suits destroy it?

It seems that Google is facing an unavoidable decision this week regarding an IPO. Either they will stay private and be faced with a much larger headache than they have been used to, having to file public records as if a traded company, or will go public and actually be beholden to shareholders looking for quarterly investment returns. With an exodus of wealthy employees a lot of core intellectual capital and perhaps the loss of further benefits such as the four days of work and one of pet project pursuit, I’m afraid the environment that has been part of the creation of their world-class technology will come to an end. They don’t conform, after all, and Wall Street-types are not known for tolerating unorthodox approaches to business management.

And if management changes, whaddaya bet that the home page becomes as littered as all the others?

I apologize for being the pessimist today.

Oh, that it were true

I was a big fan of the cold fusion idea when it first surfaced, because there’s nothing quite as cool as a little bubbling generator providing gobs of energy. Of course, everyone knows it didn’t work out, right? As it turns out, there may have been something to cold fusion after all. Now it looks like there’s an effect there, but the combination of finicky equipment and incomplete theory is making it difficult to figure out exactly what’s happening and how to make it happen reliably.

I’m glad that someone had the guts to continue with the research even after it became taboo; it really would be nice to know that *something* really happened there.

Technology can be beautiful…

…and adding function to art can make it more compelling. For example, Swarovski brought a group of designers to Milan to show off artistic uses of their crystal in high-tech chandeliers.

Some of the results are pretty impressive, even if a few of them look like K-Mart X-mas light train wrecks. One design uses an addressible array of lights within the chandelier to display text messages from party-goers’ phones.

Be sure to check out the high-res versions of the chandelier images on the Swarovski site; the real artistry is in the details.