Most recent NCAA stupidity

At the sports economist — “A plan approved on Thursday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Board of Directors would pay colleges up to $100,000 each if their athletes do particularly well in the classroom and a high percentage of them graduate every year.” Great, let’s set a higher bar for these kids, and continue to funnel money not to the kids but to the adults and institutions riding on their back.

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Halloween Status

Minor meltdown over the last 6 days. My DMX512 system became inhabited by gremlins. Really teh gear is not supposed to be used outdoors so the fact that it survived 5-6 years is amazing. But I was using it to control every effect and so the s$%t hit the fan. Over the past 6 days I have ripped DMX control out of most of the system and gone to simpler, cheaper x10 and Zwave. Much more durable signalling (wireless and powerline) but much higher latency. I have kept DMX only for my lightning effects, as latency matters and I don’t have the time to build a bunch of color organs (tho next year).

Anyway nearly everything is working again. I have a major air leak in my pneumatics which I will fix tomorrow.

Oh and a rant — why so many fricking plug types for 220V service? The circular locking type, the regular 3 prong with a 90-degree twist on one of the prongs, and the bigger 3 prong? And this is all for 20A service. Getting things to plug together is a major PITA. Some electrician out there probably knows the answer and can probably tell me why converting from circular locking plugs to the 3 prong type is a major no-no.

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First post from Flock.

Kind of cool that it really integrates posting and tagging, but the posting tool is too weak to use. I can’t set categories or keywords on a post for instance.

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Great articles on college admissions in November Atlantic Monthly

One is online — from the President of Reed College — concerning Reed’s withdrawal from the US News ranking system.  Another only in print or paid sub — The Best Class Money Can Buy.  Great discussions about how the ranking systems corrupt behaviour, and how colleges are using sophisticated yield management thinking to buff up their rankings and their revenues.  Depressing in many ways but anyone who is working through the college decision process should read.

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Why I Blog

I blog for myself. The site is my annotated bookmarks and my longterm memory. I search it regularly to find that certain halloween prop idea, that book I read, that software I tried. I don’t care much about my readership, though I have gotten a lot of value from readers — software suggestions, reconnects from old friends, business proposals.

I originally intended to use my blog to communicate with family but the lack of simple privacy solutions killed that.

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Contacting Me

Email address is on the banner of the page. AIM works too, and SMS if you know my cell.

Comments on the blog are fine too.

Don’t bother calling tho (unless I’ve agreed to a. scheduled call). I won’t pick up unless you are a blood relative.

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Past Affiliations

While at Ignition, I’ve served on the board of Avogadro (since purchased by Openwave) and Wildseed (since purchased by AOL).

Prior to Ignition I worked at Microsoft, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Marion Power Shovel (no longer operating), and L&K Restaurants (no longer operating).  While at Microsoft, I worked at various times on MSN, Internet Explorer, Windows, Windows for Workgroups, and LAN Manager, along with a host of other things.

I’m an alum of Carnegie-Mellon University, The Ohio State University, and Marion Harding High School.

Also I am glad I’ve been on an Outward Bound trip.

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Software roundup 10/18

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