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Uncertain futures


Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Other good recent links

So much for the freelance economy
Wired muses pessimistically on the collapse of guru.com, an online marketplace where IT contractors and others were supposed to find people eager to outsource to them. Sees it as failure of 'e-lance' idea and restructuring of the firm rather than simply economic cycle.

State of content
This UK take on the same event puts it in the context of a current parliamentary enquiry into freelance conditions here, the IR35 tax changes etc.

IDC isn't too optimistic about the IT market, at least in the short term:
IT Spending Slowing Down in the Transport Sector, says IDC
Short-Term Contraction in IT Consulting Market, IDC Says

good Canadian site about neologisms

Meanwhile over in Utah...

Pepys reloaded

The Diary of Samuel Pepys, reposted day-by-day as if it were a weblog. It's currently at 2 June 1660, and 3 June should appear later today.

It's the 300 anniversary of Pepys' death this year.

In fact by my calculations the actual anniversary is tomorrow - he died on May 26th, but when we switched to the Gregorian calendar (in 1752) we dropped 11 days.

Water may stymie Arab-Israeli peace accord

Interesting background facts (and maps) from the independent US defence analyst Chuck Spinney. He thinks it's going to be very hard to have peace in the Middle East without dealing with the water issue, but at the moment the roadmap has little to say about it.

The problem is that Israel consumes more water than it can replenish within its pre-1967 borders. The West Bank and Golan are both crucial recharge areas, and Israel also uses water from Lebanon. Even if Israel had normal relations with its neighbours, water would still be a potential source of conflict.

Spinney suggests that Israel may ultimately have to rethink how it's using the water - over 50 percent goes on agriculture, but agriculture contributes no more than 3 percent of the country's GDP.

Most bloggers "are teenage girls"
The Register reports on a survey done in Poland. "Over 60 per cent of Polish blogs are written by women and a staggering three quarters are written by teenagers or younger."

A survey published by Pew Research back in April about how Americans used the Internet during the Iraq war supports the view that weblog readership is low, and that weblogs are mainly of interest to the under 30s.

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