On The LiveJournal Thing

LiveJournal annoyed many of its users recently by suspending a bunch of accounts for specious reasons; my major thought on this is is: See, this is why I keep my own space on teh intarweebs. However, my pal Deven Desai, who is a law professor and who follows technology and IP, has blogged about it at length, first here, when the LJ hit the fan, and then here, when LiveJournal backed up and apologized for screwing up. If you want a view of the action from the legal side of things, this is a good place to get it.

A Good Use of Funds

As an alum of the University of Chicago, and one who depended on a scholarship for much of his tuition, this makes me happy:

A graduate of the University of Chicago gave an anonymous donation of $100 million to his alma mater, marking the largest single donation given to an Illinois university. The money will be used to give full scholarships to about 800 lower-income students each academic year. The grants, called Odyssey Scholarships, will also pay partial tuition for another 400 of the 4,400 undergraduate students at the institution and fund a summer enrichment program for about 50 lower-income students before their first year of college.

I would have qualified. Oh, yes.

And more to the point, I credit my time at the U of C as being of critical importance to shaping my success out in the real world. I wouldn’t be the same person — and I doubt I would have the same success — if I hadn’t gone through its halls. It’s a hell of a school, but it’s definitely not cheap, and I think it would be a bad thing if kids like me, who would be right for the U of C (and for whom the U of C would be right for) had to cross it off their list because they simply couldn’t afford it. So it’s nice that the decision to attend is becoming easier for them.

Reminder: I’m in Cincinnati Tonight

Hey, if you like science fiction, and you live in or near Cincinnati, and you’re not doing anything around 7pm this evening, and you don’t want to stab me to death or otherwise assault me for some real or imagined slight, why not come down to the Joseph-Beth bookstore and see me do my thing tonight? I’ll be doing my usual reading/Q&A/signing shtick, which is always good for a chuckle or two. Oh, come on. You’ll have fun. No, really. Also, I consider it my last official “tour stop” — I have a 6/30 appearance in Kokomo with Toby Buckell, but that was planned separately — so I want to go out on a high note. Hope to see you there.

Campbell Award Nominees That I Know

No, not the Campbell Award I’ve got, the other Campbell Award. The list of this year’s nominees is out, and includes a number of folks I like quite a bit, including David Louis Edelman (I believe this is his first major award nomination — rock on, David), Karl Schroeder, Charlie Stross, Vernor Vinge, Jo Walton and Peter Watts (there are 13 nominees in total). Congrats to them all. I’d make squee sounds for them all, but that’s not very manly, is it.

A Handy Tip on the Blogging Tip

This one goes out to all the MDs out there, and the occasional DO as well: When in doubt, don’t blog your own medical malpractice trial. Especially don’t mock the opposing counsel, who in this particular case found the blog in question and dropped it like a bomb into the courtroom, forcing the MD in question to settle the case for a reportedly very large sum.

Seriously: there’s got to be something about blogging, and particularly blogging anonymously, that makes people’s IQs drop. And if not their IQs, at the very least their common sense. On the other hand, this will be a new instruction for lawyers to give their clients: Don’t blog your own trial, you moron. That’s got to be worth an hour’s of billing right there.