Friday Clearin’ o’ the Desk: Deaths in the News

Due to some lunchtime meetings, I’m taking a late lunch break. Time to clear out the links:

  • Death of Free Access. It looks like two things that previously could have been obtained for free are going away:

    [LA Times] First, the LA Times is putting up a paywall on March 5. Given I’m an LA Times subscriber, this won’t affect me, but it will affect a lot of others. I know after the NY Times put up its paywall and my free access expired, I didn’t pay for access. This was not because I object to the paywall, but the pricing was far too high. For digital content, I’m willing to pay what I used to pay for a paper — between 15c and 25c a day — best would be about $1-$1.50 per week. They wanted $3.75/week after the first four weeks. That adds up, and I’d rather support the local paper and get my limited NY Times articles.

    [LA Metro] The other thing going away, at least at some stations, are unlocked gates on the LA Metro. Now, you were always supposed to buy a ticket (I always did), but lots of people didn’t. This will force them to do so.

  • Death of a Market. Another thing going away — and this one took me by surprise. The Gelsons Market near us in Northridge is closing today. Gelsons was an upscale market, and evidently the Northridge neighborhood wasn’t upscale enough to support it. Tarzana and Valley Village remain open. I’ll miss Gelsons — they always had high quality products, a great in-store salad bar and deli, and often carried pippin apples when no one else did. It will probably be the deathnell for their little center: they’ve already lots a big-box linen store and their Hallmark store, so their only draws will be a few small fast-food restaurants (Western Bagel, Togos, Rubios), a discount shoe store, and not much else.
  • Death of a Shipping Company. Last year, Atlantic Mutual Insurance died. You probably haven’t heard of them. What’s interesting is what they left behind, as they were a major insurer of shipping and seafaring companies, including being the insurer of the Titanic. They left behind a fascinating of records of ship wreaks and ship disasters, which will be a literal treasure trove for salvage operations. The article is a fascinating read.
  • Death of Cyber-Innocence. CNN has an interesting article on the risks in cyberspace. The article goes into details into the “wars” that occur in that battlespace. Interesting reading, and it demonstrates why “Cyber” is growing in importance these days.

Music: Dance Band on the Titanic (Harry Chapin): Paint a Picture of Yourself (Michael’s Song)