Tuesday, 23 March 2004

Invisible Departure

As James Joyner notes, the Invisible Adjunct is leaving the building: both the halls of academe and the world of blogging. As someone who’s seriously considered departing the academy himself (although for financial rather than career-related reasons—though, if I don’t have a job lined up for the fall by the end of next month, it could very well be for both), I wish IA all the best in whatever she finds to do post-academe.

The economics of "bundled" anti-virus software

Michael Jennings ponders who pays who to include the trial versions of Norton AntiVirus on laptops. My guess is Norton supplies the software either gratis or at a low, lump-sum price.

I’m most unlikely to pay for an anti-virus subscription on my new laptop, as I have a virus scanner that processes all my mail anyway, and I really don’t download much software for Windows (except essential stuff like Adobe Reader and the like); I do most of my real work in Linux, and have done for going on a decade. If I see a Norton Utilities 2004 bundle (which includes an annual Norton Anti-Virus subscription) especially cheap at Costco, however, I might reconsider.

Smart move

I was sort-of thinking in the back of my mind that if incoming Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero wanted to prove he was serious about terrorism, he’d reassign those troops he’s talking about removing from Iraq to Afghanistan. As Edward of Obsidian Wings notes, that’s pretty much what he plans to do. Good for him.

Now, if he’d actually been smart enough to announce this proposal at the time he was talking about withdrawing troops from Iraq, he might have been spared the blistering treatment he got from this side of the pond.

More Clarke

David Adesnik writes:

But when it comes down to getting votes, I think there are only two questions that really matter: Did Bush ignore (and then withhold) compelling evidence that Al Qaeda was preparing a major attack? And did Bush knowingly lie about Iraq’s possession of chemical and biological (not nuclear) weapons? Unless Clarke can answer one or both of those questions in the affirmative, his revelations won’t amount to much more than a very loud footnote.

I think that’s just about right.

Update: Dan Drezner has a roundup and a more expert reaction.

One thing I will say: the sum total of my international relations training is four graduate courses, and my scholarship focuses on mass political behavior (public opinion, voting behavior, political parties, things like that) and legislative behavior, not IR theory or practice. I’ll defer to Dan and James Joyner on the substance of IR policy—though, to the extent the discussion has an impact on electoral politics or public opinion, I’m probably a decent judge.