Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


What the bagel man saw (and started)

Filed under: — adam @ 11:50 am

This is a great story about a guy who retired to sell bagels on the honor system. It’s also an interesting glimpse into the sociology of white collar crime.

Update: My friend Mark points out:

“As noted at the very very end of your link, this is actually from the NYTimes Magazine 6/6/2004 (where I first read it). Of course, you can no longer read it at for free (too long ago), and it’s your choice to circumvent (c) by pointing to the blog entry. But you should at least give the proper credit in your lead-in, methinks.”

While credit is certainly due, I’m not sure I agree that it’s a copyright violation. It certainly is a sticky situation.

I think this may qualify as “copying for personal use” even though it happens to be accessible to the public. It looks like this may have come from the email list. The original ad is included, it links back to the source, and there’s no financial gain involved in distributing it. There’s ostensibly financial loss on the part of the NYT, because people who might have paid to view the full article now don’t have to. I will note that the NYT general terms of service includes no mention of articles sent via email. I will also note that this article does NOT appear in the Google cache, or even appear to be indexed at all by Google (although that may just have fallen into the hole where Google was unable to index new pages because they’d hit the 32-bit limit on their indexes, and not be directly copyright related).

But, let’s try to be fair about this. The NYT is charging $2.95 for back articles. That seems like a lot, although you get a bulk discount, which has never made sense to me for electronic content. Still, let’s call it a market rate of $3. Since they have a monopoly, they can set the price. So, I propose this. If you read this article and liked it, let’s be fair to the NYT, and try to convince them that they’ll do better by asking for money than by demanding it. Clearly, they can’t stop this article from being copied. I’m mostly of the opinion that they shouldn’t try.

So I’ve set up a dropcash donation page to make voluntary donations to the NYTimes for enjoying this fine piece of writing (and others).

“The New York Times charges for back articles. We think this is unfair and expensive. This is a voluntary fund to donate money to the New York Times as compensatory payment for viewing articles that have been copied. This is an exercise to convince the New York Times (and the content generation industry in general) that they can get more money by asking for it than by demanding it, and that we acknowledge that copying can’t be controlled.

For more background on how this came about, please see:

This is a voluntary donation, I’m guessing it’s not tax deductible, and I hope it’s not an admission of guilt.

The New York Times, as far as I can tell, has no official channel for receiving paypal donations. I figure that Daniel Okrent, “the readers’ representative” is the right person to deal with this sort of thing, so I have used his address as the paypal recipient.

I have chosen the current market cap of the NYT corporation (5.9B) as the goal for this campaign.”

Another update: It appears that the dropcash page doesn’t update the donated totals until the money has been approved by the recipient. Since the NY Times doesn’t officially accept paypal, they may never approve them, and so the donation page may never rise above zero. Please donate anyway.

(Also, don’t let this stop you from donating money to the Tsunami relief fund. Do both.)

The vice guide to everything

Filed under: — adam @ 11:35 am


She’s a flight risk

Filed under: — adam @ 11:22 am

“On March 2, 2003 at 4:12 pm, I disappeared.
My name is isabella v.
I’m twentysomething and I am an international fugitive.
My name is isabella v. But it isn’t.”

As jwz says: “Short version: heiress runs to escape arranged marriage; launders money, flees private security forces, hangs out with smugglers, blogs.”

Lenovo outsources management… to NY

Filed under: — adam @ 10:59 am

This is very interesting. As part of the Lenovo/IBM deal, Lenovo management will give up control of the company to IBM top management, and move the company headquarters to Armonk. This sounds a lot like a reverse takeover.

Bush to renominate 20 rejected judges

Filed under: — adam @ 10:56 am

Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.

Yushchenko loses

Filed under: — adam @ 10:56 am

Or, at least, the exit polls said he won.

Earthquake and Tsunami relief fund

Filed under: — adam @ 10:54 am

The Red Cross has set up an online form for making donations to the Earthquake and Tsunami relief fund.

I’m sure even $20 helps – give now, before you find an excuse to put it off!

Ten things about Thomas and Scalia

Filed under: — adam @ 10:46 am

First novel advances through the ages

Filed under: — adam @ 10:36 am

Interesting piece on an informal survey of “how much did you get as the advance from your first novel?”.

Overclock remix

Filed under: — adam @ 10:36 am

Overclock Remix is a site dedicated to taking music from old video games and “reimagining” them with current hardware.

Mobile foodie survival kit

Filed under: — adam @ 10:07 am


It’s a 5×6 little packet with spices and some little sauce bottles for $30. Sadly, they included Tabasco instead of some small batch habanero sauce. But if you care about that, you probably carry your own bottle of that around too.

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