Monday, April 20, 2009

So what if the Yankees are blowing chunks at playing ball?

... you can at least eat healthfully at the new Yankees stadium.
When I entered the park I stopped at the produce stand—the produce stand!—and bought a couple of fresh pears. Later I went to the Noodle Bowl stand, where for $8.50 I got a bowl of noodles, veggies and tofu. Tofu at the ballpark...

All the food choices have calorie counts posted now, so you can avoid, or still indulge in, the almost 1,100 calorie Moe’s Homewrecker Burrito at La Esquina Latina...
Ummm Yummy!
Every few yards you find a trio of disposal cans. For regular trash, plastic and compost. Which you may actually have items for, with a produce stand on site.
Is this enough of a silver lining for the Yankees?

Wall Street Journal iPhone App Sets Content Free

"The Wall Street Journal, one of the few newspapers that charges for content online, released an app for the iPhone Wednesday which sets their content free, poking another hole in one of the internet's oldest pay walls."

Now for the fine print:
There is free, and then there is free, apparently. A Dow Jones spokeswoman wrote to Thursday to say that the company does intend to charge for some content consumed on smartphones "so we have a consistent experience across multiple platforms," though the company is "still exploring its options" and isn't saying when that might happen.

Thoughts on Pot vs. Alcohol from a Former Police Chief

"Over the past four years I've asked police officers throughout the U.S. (and in Canada) two questions. When's the last time you had to fight someone under the influence of marijuana? (I'm talking marijuana only, not pot plus a six-pack or a fifth of tequila.) My colleagues pause, they reflect. Their eyes widen as they realize that in their five or fifteen or thirty years on the job they have never had to fight a marijuana user. I then ask: When's the last time you had to fight a drunk? They look at their watches."

I don't fight with anyone when I am drunk; I just throw up. My friends can vouch for this just based on my behavior in Vegas this past weekend.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Roundup of Thoughts - 13 April 2009

In the "Real Life is imitating Reel Life" series, the planned demilitarization of America seems to draw inspiration from the current series of 24. If real life follows the script of the show, some disgruntled arms dealing "Patriot" is going to collude with one of America's opponents. Only bad things can come out of something like that.

I read Tony Greig's comments about the rising number of 6s in the limited overs game being a bad thing for cricket. He used the argument that a 6 is so entertaining because it is a rarity; the air of anticipation is what makes the outcome so viscerally pleasing. From where I sit, this is utter hockum - this is like saying home-runs are destroying the game of baseball; that the incessant slam dunking by NBA players has made the act of dunking passe and pedestrian. Too bad Tony's words aren't going to stop the players from "Taking it to the Maximum".

Senator John McCain was a guest on The Tonight Show, and he came across as genuine, entertaining, witty and humble. I hope he is re-elected to his seat as governor of Arizona.

Australia has officially been displaced by South Africa as the #1 team in the World One Day Cricket standings. Go Springboks! I hope my colleague Ben, who is currently vacationing in South Africa, gets a chance to see a game live.

I wanted to post about something else but it has totally escaped my mind. Another fallout of getting older. Oh now I remember - I signed my tax forms today. If you're looking to get your taxes done, you should contact Jana Banks at 206-270-0281. She has been doing taxes for years, is approachable, thorough, and very organized. Unorganized and disheveled tax accountants don't do too well, I suppose. There is a subconscious correlation we make between thorough and organized; there is no comfort in handing your earnings statements (and the like) to a seemingly unorganized person!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Should Colleges Continue to Host Email for Their Students?

Should Colleges Continue to Host Email for Their Students? - ReadWriteWeb

All webmail providers should be excited by this story published by the ReadWriteWeb for two reasons:

1. There is a never ending stream of new students going to college every year
2. Most students keep an email address they started using in college well after they have graduated

Email is like a gateway drug - the providers can peddle advertisements, related web properties, and new services to their new (and hopefully loyal) users. College students possess an uncanny knack to influence not only their friends but also their less-web-savvy family, and this halo effect can only bring more subscribers to the fold. All in all, this change sounds like a great opportunity for Yahoo! and Google, the 2 webmail services best equipped to provide colleges with specialized email services. I can't imagine them charging colleges more than a nominal fee for this service, an amount that colleges won't begrudge. As the article states, college students use external email providers already and college email services are way behind the curve:
Schools, for the most part, aren't able to keep up with the speed of innovation on the web anyway, and the fact that many college-run email systems have fallen far behind the innovation curve has driven a lot of students to just forward their school email to a commercial account anyway.
the days when colleges provided the most important on-ramp to email and the Internet for their students are long over.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Is this the future of tech journalism?

With the 4th Estate going the way of the dodo, we are faced with the prospect of reading blogs to get our daily dose of news. This might be a future event for most forms of journalism, but Tech journalism has already made the move to the web with mixed results. Take this story from the Daring Fireball today:

VirtualBox is: “a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).”

I need to use this for a certain project I’m working on. Admittedly, I’m not using it in any “enterprise” sense, whatever that means. I’m just using it as a desktop virtualization system. But from that perspective it strikes me as inferior to VMware Fusion in every way. An inferior product given away for free — is it any wonder that Sun is in trouble?
Without providing specifics about what was inferior (everything can't be), or any details about how the product was used, this post, in my opinion, is more slander than journalism. Turns out, Daring Fireball is a blog read by thousands, so this post will prevent its readers from even giving VirtualBox a fair chance. Maybe I am old school; when writing about a product, I try to accurately represent the pros and cons of using it. Unfortunately, I don't have the power to strike a product down with my keystrokes (a single flick of the pen doesn't seem apt any more). I believe that people whose fingers do wield that power should use it wisely.