Monthly Archives: October 2007

Two thoughtful posts about the Buckeyes

From last week. Over at SMQ: Sunday Morning Quarterback :: MEET YOUR FRONTRUNNER: OHIO STATE — a nice analysis of the Buckeyes. Warms the heart.

And at Buckeye Commentary, an analysis I hadn’t seen of OSU’s historical failures against SEC teams. The record is not good. A hypothesis is that OSU has generally been playing against higher rated opponents in bowls as OSU fans travel well. Some reasonable data. Doesn’t explain the debacle in the desert last year tho.

Troubleshooting your network

How to Troubleshoot your Network ~ Chris Pirillo recommends Axence Nettools. He’s also a fan of OpenDNS which I admit seems cool, but the neat shortcutting thing won’t work obviously when I am on some other network.

Then there is Lanroamer if you need to operate at a lower level.

Of course there is Network Magic which in my not unbiased view, just gets more and more robust and more and more useful. Now on version 4.5. Mac support now available which is one of the best things I find, since Mac/PC networking is still way too hard (though I haven’t tried Leopard yet and it seems to have a lot of new features in this area).

Vortex Tunnel

Too late for this year but maybe next — Eric recommends this — Laser Widow laser light show is battery powered and lights up the room with a cool home laser light show. – Disco Dj Party Lights Lasers — his notes: “These projectors usually come with preset or sound-triggered patterns (stars / circles / lissajous, etc.) which they generate by bouncing the beam off of two tiny, rapidly spinning mirrors. I turn the sound activation off, then fiddle with the controls until I get a fixed- or pulsating-diameter oval. I mount the projector about five feet above the ground and aim it down our long driveway. With even a moderate bit of fog I get a great looking oval tunnel that’s at least 50 feet long — as victims approach via the driveway, their heads are right in the middle of the tunnel for quite a distance. (Getting the beam in someone’s eyes is not really a concern since it’s moving so rapidly.) The effect of the fog being “cross-sectioned” by the beam is quite something.”

The Buckeyes are dominant

Latest BCS standings — 7385660_37_1.pdf (application/pdf Object) — the voters are pretty much behind the Buckeyes. The computer polls are a little squirrelly — I’ll accept LSU ahead of OSU in computer polls, they have played some quality teams.

And maybe I can take BC, though this is debatable. Nonconf foes were Army, Mass, BGSU, and ND? Inconference was Wake, NC State, GT, VT. Is this really materially better than OSU’s record?

But Kansas? Who played Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, Florida Intl nonconference? and K State, Baylor, Colorado and Texas A&M in conference, with narrow wins over most of those? Does Sagarin factor in the coach’s weight?

Halloween Status

Dry run last night:

* Foggers in good shape. Large fogger ran fine on about a 12.5% duty cycle, will crank up by Halloween night. 3 point foggers (Cujo’s doghouse, mausoleum, tree) all worked fine. Will need to check fog fluid levels.
* Sound systems all operational. Thunder and lightning sounds good, Mausoleum sounds good, Courtyard good, Tree good. Main entrance good. Doghouse levels seem a little off.
* lighting all good. Lightning, spots, uv spots all operational. Added LED eyes to skeletons today
* major props all functional. active props all working — tree, crate, FCG. Static props all holding together.

Good to go!

Apple, Starbucks, AT&T, and T-Mobile Suck

OK so I am in the grocery store this AM trying to check college football scores on my iPhone and what do I get? The stupid T-Mobile homepage because there is a Starbucks next door. And to support the iTunes store Apple slams you on to the stupid T-Mobile network, but no other web connectivity is allowed. This sucks. Here in the land of Starbucks, there is a Starbucks T-Mobile Wifi net about every 100 yards, so basically I have to turn off Wifi service continually. Sucks.

Apple — how is this a freaking benefit? You should let all my non-iTunes traffic default to a different wifi provider or edge. Starbucks — this is driving me out of your stores and pissing me off at you even when I am next door! You need to provide free Wifi. AT&T — this is completely screwing with customer perception of the network performance of the device. You need to help Apple get non-iTunes traffic onto your net. T-Mobile — I am never ever going to pay for your stupid service. You had better figure out fast how to shift to a free service business model or you will become completely irrelevant.

Apple's Big Mo

I certainly would not have predicted 15 years ago that Apple would have returned to such glory. Apple’s iPhone Builds Huge Lead in Customer Satisfaction – Seeking Alpha — they are building a huge lead in the cellphone space (thanks for the article Cam). Rich points out their financials are awesome, paced by mac sales, and they have a huge opportunity still ahead of them.

I had an Apple ][ a million years ago, I bought a Mac the first day they were on the market, it is great to see them do so well.

Meanwhile I am sorry as hell that I got sucked into Vista and particularly Vista 64 — here is a typical tale of woe — installing most software just doesn’t work.

Latest Reads

* “Shibumi”:amazon by Trevanian. The first Trevanian I’ve read, a lot of fun. OK the characters are a caricatures but still a fun romp.
* “A flag for sunrise”:amazon by Robert Stone. A bunch of Americans stumble around like bulls in a china shop in a fictional central American country during the cold war. They demonstrate just how ineffectual an intrusive foreign policy can be. It is difficult to navigate in and have impact on a culture in which you have no basis.
* “The lessons of history”:amazon by Will and Ariel Durant. This is a slim tome, hard to find. Recommended to me by my historian partner Jon Roberts, it is an excellent set of essays on the broad sweep of history and what it all means. A key observation made is this: while we have made all kinds of gaudy technological progress, human nature has not changed, and our societies and governments and current events look a lot like they have looked for the past 4000 years. Of course the particular mixture is always new but the broad sweep of events hasn’t changed much. Nationalism, religious fervor, rich and poor, class strife — none of this is new or surprising.
* “Promise Me”:amazon and “The Final Detail”:amazon and “Backspin”:amazon by Harlan coben. Three good bolitar tales. Backspin by Harlan coben. I’ve read a lot of coben’s tales but these are the first in the myron bolitar series I’ve read. Quite fun! Bolitar is a sports agent cum detective with a collection of quirky associates.
* “Pandora’s Star”:amazon by Peter F Hamilton. Galaxy spanning epic. A host of unique ideas about human society and alien life, not quite enough character development. A bit wordy in explaining some of the concepts, would have been better served to just let characters make the point, but this is typical for the science fiction genre. Entertaining enough for me to get the concluding book.

Informing consumers re power usage

Smart meters could help you save power ? Coolest Gadgets — ok here is a story about some fancy new smart meter that will help consumers make good decisions. Seems dumb to me — how many of us ever actually look at our meter? OK if I had a webpage for my meter and could see that, maybe.

But what i want is direct feedback on the device I am using. When I crank my thermostat, I want it to tell me right there what my decisions will cost me this month. When I turn on the lights, I want feedback right at the switch. I want a channel on my tv that tells me the energy usage of my tv/video setup. Feedback needs to be embedded right in the device if you really want to make consumers more aware.