Friday, January 30, 2009

Book review: The Oil Card

Here's an interesting book: "The Oil Card."

My review is here.

The author's web site is here.

The publisher's web site is here.

The Amazon page is here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Change in the Commonwealth

"Remember when June 1, 2009, seemed so far away? That’s when CNMI immigration matters will grow some real teeth. Well, it ain’t far. It’s just 129 days down the road." Catch this week's column here.

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At the end of my column I noted three tech items of interest. Here are some links:

1. Conficker worm: Here's a CNN piece. It sure looks like the security software companies are hyping this to promote their products.

2. Seagate hard drive failures: This came to my attention thanks to John C. Dvorak's Jan. 21 podcast. Here's more information.

3. Heartland credit card hack: Here's a WSJ article.

Friday, January 16, 2009

G_tting th_ngs d_ne

If you're looking for some good news, you can consider that on a business-to-business basis, what remains of Saipan's private sector is a pretty cozy proposition. So cozy, in fact, that it can spoil us. As more folks use the Internet to venture into international commerce, there are frustrations...some of which I address is a bilious screed for this week's column.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The crab pot economy

"Saipan has experienced this lesson in economics, though it has never learned it: Destruction follows delusion. Personally, I'd like to see construction follow coherence, but it's not up to me to determine such things for the Commonwealth..." Thus starts today's article.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A powerful thirst

Every columnist picks their opening theme of a new year with great deliberation. I'm not part of the huffing-and-puffing crowd about the economic situation, since I forecast it for years in my column and it's pretty much old news by dint of long inevitability.

So my first piece of 2009 is about....water.

Yes, water.

Saipan's water situation is sometimes ticklish, but seldom dire. Still, typhoon preparation does require some thought in the water realm, and for those who enjoy adventuring, or even living, in the more remote tropics, finding clean water is more than a matter of taste, it's a matter of health.

The photo, incidentally, is the Katadyn Pocket Filter, one of many such devices on the market to help clean up water for hikers, travelers, or for emergency preparation. Actually, to get a bit pedantic here, water "filtering" and water "purification" are two different things; purification is the higher standard of cleanliness. But that's a more detailed topic for a different day. For now, I just thought the basic topic is a useful thing to consider for the new year.

(Note: Because of the New Year's publishing schedule, this column ran Saturday, January 3, instead of Friday.)