The episode in which I sell out to the promise of paid content

Last week I put my stuff on the market. If you're a Kindle user, you can pay $1.99 a month to get my blog wirelessly delivered to your device. Setting myself up as a Kindle content vendor took about five minutes. Digging myself out of the crater that the stock market made of my 401K? That could take forever.

Your co-workers are all Star Trek aliens

It's Star Trek weekend, so here's a Trek-centric look at The Mess We're In.

The strength of Star Trek has always been its ability to make us look at ourselves -- our own human traits, good and bad, projected onto "alien" species.

Obsolete jobs: Wire editor, features editor

Charles Apple has highlighted some structural changes at the Tribune Company newspapers that many find troubling. The comments on his blog post are especially interesting.

Some of the reaction struck me as reflecting a big disconnect between working journalists and economic reality.

Daily journalism and monkey screech

Macaque photographed at Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaI have a theory. Maybe some grad student will test this. My theory is that you can take a random story from a newspaper, and a random person from the community, put them together, and have about a 50 percent chance that the person won't understand it.

Turns out it's Google's fault, after all

Once upon a time, you couldn't find much of anything on the Internet.

Oh, there were a couple of ways to do it. Gopher tried to hook everything into a big menu tree that you could follow to the point of exhaustion. Mosaic's homepage was set to automatically open the National Center for Supercomputing Applications "what's new" document, which announced three, four, even five new websites a day. If you were smart, you bookmarked the good ones.

Should this be illegal?

My first job as an editor was at a weekly newspaper. My parents and I had pooled our funds (read: my college savings) and bought a couple of failing small-town newspapers. One of the things I did every week was scan other weeklies and dailies in the region and write a summary of their high-school sports coverage, citing and crediting each source, of course.

It was a different time. Back then (when I had long hair and a motorcycle), most of the publications I cited weren't generally available in my community. There were no computers. There was no Internet.

Starving for a newspaper fix? Let them eat Kindles

Dan Kennedy asks a reasonable question: Would it be possible to drop the print model entirely and shift the struggling Boston Globe to a reader-paid model delivered on a Kindle?

At the risk of seeming like a chronic naysayer, I have to point to some problems with the idea:

Warnings about the online-only path

Neil Thurman and Merja Myllylahti of City University in London have published a study "Taking the paper out of news" in the academic journal Journalism Studies, examining the case of Taloussanomat, a Finnish financial publication that responded to the economic failure of its print product by shifting to a Web-only, advertising-supported strategy.

So now you know, and via radio

All the recent grunting and saber-rattling about stopping those evil Internet sites from stealing content strikes me as bizarre. Who are these bad actors?