May 25, 2007

Tonight's lead story (no doubt)

Let's see; it's about noon here on Friday, Memorial Day weekend. Here's a prediction on what you'll see as the lead story on at least one of our crackerjack local broadcast news stations tonight:

A live remote from Exit 24, with a breathless "wow-- look at all the cars!" spin.

Followed, of course, by a "gee, gas prices really high; let's interview this guy over here about how it effects his vacation plans this year."

Those crews not there alongside the Thruway will instead be up on the main drag of Lake George village, interviewing a shop owner about the coming tourist season.

We've never seen this stuff before, have we? Just the latest example of 'lowest common denominator' lifestyle-journalism at its worse.

Any wagers?


May 17, 2007

On AMD, Luther Forest, SEMATECH - and readers like YOU!

A big THANKS to all the folks that were nice enough to send us the kind words on our recent round of e-newsletters and editorial columns, specifically the AMD at Luther Forest and International SEMATECH at Albany Eye on Tech Valley features of the past couple of weeks.

Heck; here's another round of THANKS to the two of you that wrote in with the not so kind words! We actually DO appreciate them just as much -- we're all about supporting an Open Source dialogue; so keep it flying.

A third THANKS to all of you that made financial contributions to Tech Valley Times through our new Tip Jar. The comments attached to each one were just as valuable as the funds themselves. Alan Chartock and the WMHT people have it right after all!

Yes; we WILL dedicate a good chunk of that incoming wave of support to finding an editor that has a little more use for a good old fashioned spell-checker!


May 16, 2007

Hello, neighbor

Ok, it's QUIZ TIME, kids!

Today's question: what famous rock & roll star has just taken up residence in the Spa City (that's slang for Saratoga Springs, for all you recent transplants to the region)?

Thirty-first correct answer wins a two dollar voucher for opening day at the track.

May 15, 2007

What's a half-billion among friends?

We didn't hear it ourselves, but the Times Union's Eric Anderson reports this statement from the lips of a featured speaker at yesterday's Summit in Tech Valley:

Doug Grose, formerly of IBM Corp. and now with Advanced Micro Devices Inc., said this morning that AMD’s most recent quarter, when it lost $600 million, comes after 14 quarters of consecutive gains, adding that “one quarter doesn’t make a year.”
Someone alert Mr Grose to take a look at his portfolio; he might be in for a surprise. In fact, AMD lost $574 million in the preceding quarter (4Q '06). Granted, most (but not all) of that figure represents the acquisition costs of the ATI deal, but a loss is still a loss as far as the financial fig's are concerned.

May 14, 2007

One plus, one minus for the local biz media

I'm the first to beat up on the local 'mainstream' media (both print and broadcast) for failing to ask the tough questions on business and economic development issues locally. The term "Chamber Cheerleaders" is a popular phrase used to describe their usual softball approach. After all, there's no need to be ticking off your advertising base, right?

That's why I have to give a thumbs up to CBS 6's Jack Aernecke for his surprise questioning of Mr Silver, Mr Kaloyeros and Mr Spitzer at today's news conference designed to advise everyone that the SEMATECH funding is making good progress in its rush thru the legislature. Jack's question asked the trio to justify a $300 million public investment for "just 500 jobs."

Although he needn't feel like he has to cover his butt by prefacing it with a "many people think this / so I have to ask it" type of intro, he's right in asking it. Maybe there's hope yet for an open source community around here that is willing to have an honest and healthy discussion with itself.

Some observers might think that Jack is pulling an Imus by daring to say what's on his (and others') mind. But heck, Jack is retiring -- he can say whatever he wants and doesn't need to worry about this nonsense anymore!

Also in the 'local media' department:

Why is everyone claiming that the company tours this year are a first for the Summit in Tech Valley? In fact, this was done at 2003's edition.

How do I know? Because I distinctly recall that as being my first visit to the UAlbany-East campus and getting a great tour of the Center for Functional Genomics from Dr Paulette McCormick and Gene Schuler; that's how!

Health living = healthy memory!


May 13, 2007

Not so Alive at Five

The summertime Alive at Five series on the Albany riverfront has long been known among local music hipsters as the "Fair Employment Act for Washed Up Nostalgia Acts and Cover Bands." Sad to say; but this year's edition looks like further proof of just that.

We have Felix Cavaliere's Rascals (but not the Rascals Rascals, mind you), the latest variation of Jefferson Starship; Charles Thomas' Drifters (who may or may not include any original Drifters, as if anyone knows or cares), a Chicago tribute band (why don't they just hire a karaoke DJ?), a local cover/bar band and a couple others. Oh yeah, I almost forgot: and the ORIGINAL Asia. I know, you're all asking the same question: But why?

The sole highlight will be Los Lobos with Los Straitjackets on August 9th. Catch this one if you can.

But Alive at Five is free of charge; and like any local free event, it will be filled to the rim with people anxious for something-- well, free. And that makes it all OK, I guess.

But the City of Albany's events people, in their role of trying to brand downtown as the happening place to be, should re-consider its booking choices on this long running series.

Unless it's all just part of a grand plan to steal the Elvis Weekend away from Lake George. If that's the case, well: never mind