Pretty bits of glass

Gem-quality artificial diamonds are long due. It is a pity that DeBeers, much like the RIAA, haven’t seen the writing on the wall in their respective industries.

I can see one of two things happening, if Gemesis and Apollo succeed and aren’t sued or bullied out of business:

1. Demand shift from flawless/internally flawless diamonds to diamonds with minor imperfections in them. A similar thing is already with emeralds – the most prized emeralds have some inclusions in them, because you can guarantee they’re real, not “sims”.

2. Diamonds shifting to a service-oriented industry. In other words, the money will be made with how well a jeweller can cut the stone, rather than the actual stone’s attributes (carat, clarity, colour) itself.

P.S. The article’s title may be a nod toward a cyberpunk novel by Neal Stephenson called The Diamond Age. In that book, diamonds have become so easy to make that they become cheaper than glass, and are used in everyday items like knives, window panes, windshields, etc.
On the bookshelf: Dan Simmon’s Hyperion.

LookOut Express bows out

Last month, MS announced they would stop support standalone IE. Now, Microsoft kills off Outlook Express. They have decided to push Hotmail and Outlook 2003 instead.

If you just want an email client that filters spam, does not have 50-100MB of extra stuff, and that just *works* and not, you may want to look into Mozilla Mail, or the experimental Mozilla Thunderbird mail client.