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Happy new year?

I was all set to wish you a happy new year and tell you how I was anticipating good things to come for 2005. Then we fell victim to what the people that get paid for running and maintaining computer systems call a "glitch." Noah Webster's descendants says there are three definitions for a glitch. Number one says it's an unwanted brief surge of electric power; the second says it's a malfunction in a spacecraft's fuel cell; and the third says it's a malfunction, a minor technical problem.

We almost hit the trifecta here. There were definitely surges of electric power, some briefer than others, and most definitely malfunctions. There's still some debate if the fuel cell is operational. The words minor technical problem are not how I would define the loss of computer accessibility, computer files and the ability to communicate electronically. If this would have happened at the end of 1999, we would have been scared.

The inability to electronically communicate was most worrisome, because we have become dependent on e-mail and the ability to move information and files through this medium. I lost around 500 e-mail correspondences, the result of two different glitches. All the problems this caused are not fully known right now, but I would like to apologize to anyone who may have e-mailed me recently and thinks that I am ignoring them. If you think this is the case, please resend, unless you are a Canadian pharmacy, dating service or mortgage broker.

So as I was about to wish all well in the new year, the tsunami struck in southeast Asia, and suddenly a glitch was a minor technical problem. It's amazing how events like this can even affect semantics.

It is no doubt that the aftermath of this tragedy will play a major part in what happens this year. This is transnational and will affect many industries.

Even though 2004 ended on such a sour note, I'm somewhat anxious to see how a number of things play out this year. The tire industry is making noise with new products, specifically the urethane tire and Michelin's unveiling of a non-pneumatic tire. Goodyear seems to have turned the corner, and it will be interesting to see how this affects the tire industry, which had one of its big three not entirely focused on its markets.
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Author:Smith, Don R.
Publication:Rubber World
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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