Sire, the Technology Is Revolting
Last week, technological snafus conspired to delay both our daily "prop" of new material on several days and our weekly e-mail delivery. We apologize to readers of both versions of Slate. These computer thingamabobs--gosh, they really are confusing and complicated! Just so you know how it's supposed to work (and usually does): Each day's edition is supposed to be available on the Web the previous evening at around 5 p.m. Pacific time (8 p.m. Eastern time). The one exception is the weekend edition. This is the edition with the most new and updated material. It is usually available on the Web by 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, Eastern time. The weekly e-mail delivery should arrive Friday afternoon as well. (You can also download this same file, which is formatted for easy print-out, directly from the Web.)
Our No. 1 concern last week was trying to keep Bill Gates from finding out about these problems we were having, since Microsoft is a company where nothing ever goes wrong. (Our No. 2 concern, of course, was you, the customer.) At an emergency staff meeting, we considered our options. Young Plotz had a three-word suggestion that doesn't bear repeating. Foer and Gore offered to distract Gates with their vaudeville act while Sobel and Hohlt snuck the pages into his browser cache. Finally, though, we decided to tell him the truth. He took it pretty well. "That's OK," he said. "I'm still busy looking at Investor."
Satan or Sunshine?
In her dispatches last week from the inauguration, Karenna Gore invited Slate readers to help her choose a Secret Service code name superior to the one she regrets having chosen four years ago: Smurfette. It must have two syllables and begin with S, for some reason. Among reader suggestions (in "The Fray"), Gore reports, "Sultry, Sexy, and Sassy seem superior to Schoolmarm, Shapeless, and Schnauzer." Other nominees: Sandstorm, Seraph, Scylla ("Fends off sailors," a reader points out). Scrounger, Shameless, Snorer, Slimfast, and Spoiler did not appeal, and Stripper and Stoner were positively alarming. Bottom line: She is still looking.
Top Draft Choice
We're pleased to announce that Michael Lewis will be joining Slate as a regular contributor. Michael is the author of Liar's Poker, the best-selling memoir of life as an investment banker in the 1980s. Losers, an expanded version of his coverage of the 1996 presidential campaign, will be published this spring by Knopf. He also writes a monthly column for the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Look for Michael's regular contributions starting in April, with occasional appetizers before then.