An off-topic rant about newspapers and how they really seem to be giving up the fight:
My morning commute from Silicon Valley to San Francisco today involved a carpool with my wife to her office at Stanford University, where I would pick up an express train into the city. I arrived at the station early and decided to do my part to help the newspaper industry. I dug some change from my backpack and walked over to the line of newspaper racks situated on the curb outside the station. This is what I saw:
Empty. There wasn't one newspaper to buy - not a USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle. The San Jose Mercury News didn't even have a rack there - even though Palo Alto was once the battleground for newspapers in the Bay Area.
Maybe they were all sold out, I thought. But it was only 7:30 a.m. If these newspapers are so popular that they're sold out by 7:30 in the morning, then maybe the industry isn't nearly in as much trouble as we all think. But, I think what's really happened here is that newspapers have given up and stopped filling the racks.
Determined, I walked across the street to a gas station with a little mini-mart store to grab a paper. When I asked the cashier where they were, she gave me a weird look (as if no one ever asks for that) and told me they didn't sell newspapers. Then, she pointed across the street and said to check the racks at the Caltrain station.
So, when the train rolled up, I plugged my wireless aircard into my laptop and read the day's news on the Internet.
Later in the day, I came across this photo post on Silicon Alley Insider and realized why those empty racks were still on the Palo Alto sidewalk. There may be no more room at this San Francisco newspaper rack graveyard. (Photo Credit: AP)