Bill Clinton's Legacy

Bill Clinton was the first president I had a chance to vote for, and I was proud to do it.

But whatever you personally think of his legacy, perhaps the last two months can put and end to the idea that clearly Al Gore was a fool for not asking Clinton to stump for him more in 2000?

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Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo?

Another generation of FreeBSD users scarred….

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Board of Trade fire

There’s some sort of fire-related emergency on the 5th floor of the Chicago Board of Trade building. People working above that floor are being asked to take the stairs.

Update: Chicago Tribune story.

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I wasn't born into money … or privilege….

I was given some love, some education, and some hope.


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Happy holidays, everybody

Had a wonderful time, though it’s going to take me a couple weeks to fix all the pictures from lack of (bounce) flash. Maybe I need a camera bag. :)

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Felix Salmon on liquidity puts

A great detailed analysis of how the financial markets got so screwed up:

An LSS, by contrast, made much the same trade, but didn’t have any prime brokers breathing down its neck. That’s because it borrowed the money to create its leverage by issuing asset-backed commercial paper, or ABCP. Investors would lend money at very short maturities – less than 90 days – against the assets of the LSS. And those investors had two reasons to be sure that they would get repaid in full. The first was that the assets of the LSS, being super-senior, were therefore super-safe. (That one didn’t work out so well.) The second was that the banks which created these structures, like Citigroup, promised that they would step up and buy the ABCP if no one else would. That is the famous liquidity put…

Read the whole thing.

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My Outlaw Nephew

Once upon a time (ok, about 6 months ago), a very very cute little boy was born.

He’s my sister’s boyfriend [aka my brother outlaw]‘s nephew (in case you’re wondering about the title).

Now, little Bo is a cute little rapscallion (as are most kids at that age), and having two little ones of my own, I know how stressful that time can be for a new parent. But I have no idea what kind of stress his parents are going through, because Bo got dealt a rare (and fairly tough) hand: His small intestine doesn’t work.

There’s a technical name for it (Microvilli Inclusion Disease, or MVID for short), but it’s incredibly rare. There are less than 10 cases a year in the US, as far as I know, and none of them have been born to a hollywood celebrity, or a senator, or some such, so there’s no foundation around to help these people out, just the best medicine modern insurance can buy.

The treatment for this, and this is the part where the hand gets even tougher, is something called TPN. It’s something originally designed for short term use in patients that can’t use a feeding tube, and chronic usage can eventually cause liver failure. There are very very few adult survivors of MVID, but very few die from lack of nutrition.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative that’s starting to gain traction in the US thanks to an experimental program at Boston Children’s Hospital, called Omegaven. In just a few months in Boston, little Bo has lost all his jaundice and is a normal healthy baby boy. (other than that feeding line). This treatment, while still experimental, can hopefully help kids with Short Gut Syndrome (SGS) and MVID to live normal, happy… well, let’s just say: live. And that’s something pretty amazing.

Update: The Omegaven wikipedia article has a link to this WSJ story from 2006, A Doctor’s Push For Drug Pits Him Against Its Maker,
which details some of the regulatory hurdles the Boston researchers have faced.

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WGA: Solidarity

The Writer’s Guild of America is striking, demanding that their employers don’t cut them out of agreed-upon compensation because you’re watching something on “the internet” instead of “your TV”.

I support the WGA. The medium is not the message, and this childish contract evasion serves no-one well in the long run.

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Android! aka gphone

Congrats to Andy Rubin and the gang. It’s very very cool, and a shot across the bow at an entire industry.

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Congratulations to Dave and Nancy

Dave Dribin: I’m Married!

Just over a week ago, on the afternoon of September 29th, I got married to my bride, Nancy Ross. The wedding ceremony was the happiest moment of my life, bar none. It still makes me cry to see photos of her walking down the aisle.

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