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The NBA draft is minutes away. While I’m anxious to see who my favorite teams pick up, all I really care about is who drafts Ronnie Brewer. I’ve followed Ronnie’s highlights since his grade school years when he played for the local all-star team coached by his dad… then I followed Ronnie through his years at Woodland Junior High School, then Fayetteville High School, and then as a Razorback. Now I’m ready to see what he can do against guys like Lebron.
The experts are predicting he’ll get picked up somewhere between 6th and 17th (probably around 12). I really think he’ll be gone by the 12th pick because he has had tons of workouts with teams and the word on the street is that his play has been superb. I wish the Hawks would pick him up at 5, but I won’t complain if the Hornets (Paul and Brewer!) or Magic snag him.
He’s the tallest guard in the draft at 6′ 7.” He’s althetic: He had the highest stand-still vertical (35″) out of the 81 players who made it to the NBA combine in Orlando. He also had the 2nd highest running vertical (41″) and finished 2nd overall after weighing in all the speed, strenth, and jumping tests. He’s got all the skills on offense and deffense (although his shooting isn’t the best, it’s good enough and improving). But here’s the real kicker: he will be one of the very few people in the league that can slow down Lebron, D-Wade, and Carmleo, which is something that will be more and more valuable each year and is already extremely important for teams wanting to win in the playoffs.
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I’m sorry Ben — I never signed the net neutrality petition you sent out a month or so back. I meant to. But I’m a lazy bastard. And I almost never sign petitions unless they’re for legalizing marijuana. I read the following Reason editorials (here then here) hoping they would convince me that I was right not to have signed it. I like Reason. It is the Slate of the right. It is conservative, but for different reasons than most conservatives — ultimately it is contrarian.
I came away not wholly convinced by the articles by any means. But now I’m more neutral on net neutrality than anything else. The point of the articles can be summed up by the following quotes:
The sort of preemptive regulation at the heart of proposed legislation rarely works out well, especially in fields where technological change is the rule and not the exception.
Even in areas currently served by a DSL/cable broadband duopoly, consumers accustomed to a smorgasbord of online options will check to some extent the ability of ISPs to restrict user access to innovative content and applications.
As professor Lawrence Lessig observes in his Congressional testimony, nobody objects to “consumer tiering,” wherein someone who only needs to send a few e-mails and occasionally read Reason Online buys a cheap dialup package, while those who want their Net full of bells and whistles spring for high-speed cable. And, for that matter, nobody seems to see a problem with an equally common kind of content tiering, where the consumer pays one price for Internet access, and another for high-quality video programming, perhaps even coming in over the same pipes. Mandatory net-neutrality removes from the basket of options another way of mixing funding, where the user pays for most of his Internet access at one speed, but content providers subsidize a faster pipe for their own bandwidth-intensive content. That kind of funding mix could help make existing broadband cheaper for those who remain on the wrong side of the “digital divide,” or it could help make the business models of alternative wireless providers viable faster. But we won’t know if we forbid experimentation now.
…in some cases, “discrimination” may allow ISPs to add faster lanes than they currently offer, at least for content companies willing to subsidize them.
Hasty regulation that responds to hypothetical abuses may also prevent us from discovering benefits we haven’t yet hypothesized.
I wonder what you lawyers and internet professionals think of these arguments (essentially that preemptive regulation is wrong in principle and may end up stifling innovation in practice). These anti-”Net Neutrality” arguments seem to be getting more popular as we approach the Senate vote. See CNet (which thinks Ted Stevens is a Senator from Arkansas), Washington Post, and the Tribune.
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Yeah, that’s right: apes. The Spanish parliament is set to vote on (and may even pass) a resolution proposed by the Socialist Party, which would grant apes human rights. The resolution would dramatically expand the panoply of ape rights recognized under international which Spanish apes already enjoy. The resolution would also extend human rights to apes despite the world’s apparent inability to secure human rights for their primary intended beneficiaries, humans.
Finally, and perhaps most amusing, the resolution has revealed the tastes of newspaper editors for witless puns: “Planet of the Apes“, “Going Ape for Animal Rights“, “Monkeying around with their rights“, and it goes on.
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6 weeks ago today I posted about a bit of Good News for People Who Love Bad News for Patent Trolls. In that post I said there were “two main problems [with our patent system]: 1. patent holders can prevent…the production of technology which they have no intention of ever producing themselves, and 2. the things they’ve patented are often vague ideas…nobody (the patent holders included) has any idea how to build.” I did not discuss a third problem: Sometimes patent firms are able to enforce patents on ideas that anybody with a basic training in the field would see as obvious (e.g. the now famous - or infamous - Amazon.com One Click Shopping case).
Now The Supreme Court is set to hear a case that could provide those of us who like bad news for patent trolls a little more good news. The article explains the case more fully, but the gist of it is that if the court rules in favor of some guys that make gas pedals, and against some guys that hold patents on, but don’t actually make, gas pedals, then it will be harder to get and hold patents for ‘inventions’ that are obvious.
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Thom Yorke’s first solo album is due in July, but it has leaked. I haven only listened to it twice. It might be really good, but I can’t say so yet. All I can say is that I wish it was an acoustic album. None of the songs stand out as singles, yet.
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1. The Stackhouse suspension: Are you kidding me? Sure, it was a hard foul, but a suspension?!? Isn’t this ridiculous? No, seriously, I’m asking: is this ridiculous? I don’t watch a lot of NBA basketball, cuz I don’t have cable. So it normal for a player to get suspended for a hard foul like this? Even (or especially?) during the finals?
2. The World Cup referees, all of them: I’m convinced these fucks are on the take. Are you guys following this World Cup? I am, and it’s quite vexing. Not just that the U.S. played like crap v. the Czech Republic, but that the refs seem to be attempting to ruin the beautiful game by showing yellows and reds on plays that barely deserve to be called fouls. Today’s France-Korea game was marred by a yellow card given to Zinedine Zidane (his second) for what was an obvious flop by the Korean player after a minor bump. He will have to miss what may be France’s last match in a World Cup that Zidane has said he will retire after. Worse yet was a goal scored by France which was unnoticed by the refs and therefore not scored; the score at that point should have been 2-0, it ended up a 1-1 tie.
U.S. fans should be livid. A late tackle by U.S. defender Pablo Mastroeni got him a red card, in what was seen as an evening-up call because of an earlier red on an Italian player. However, the Italian red was merited due to an obviously intentional elbow to the face. Perhaps an even worse call was a 2nd yellow for Carl Pope’s late slide which got him ejected. The U.S. ended up playing 9 to Italy’s 10 players and finished with a tie. It comes as some relief that the World Cup announcers (including Alexi Lalas) are not as hamstrung as their NBA counterparts in criticizing the refs. Half the soundtrack of yesterday’s U.S.-Italy game was taken up by the announcers lambasting the referees, saying that one in particular had surely refereed the last World Cup game of his career. FIFA issued a statement saying the Reds and Yellows were warranted, but this is largely because a) they are a bunch of pussies and (b) feel like they must defend the decisions of the refs to uphold the validity of the tournament.
3. Why are the NBA Finals games so late, dagnabbit?!? I think this may be a turning point in my life: I can no longer stay up late enough to watch the NBA finals games. It is sad. I liken this to the first time I had to call the cops cuz my neighbors’ party was too loud. Of course, this is mostly due to waking up every morning at 5am. But, I blame it on the NBA (or ABC?) scheduling these games so late. For those of you on the West Coast or in the Mountain states, this is no big deal, but those of us in the Central (which included Dallas) or Eastern (which includes Miami) time zones have to stay up ’til after 11 or 12 to finish. Now, some of you hippies are probably thinking: eleven’s not that late, I don’t have a job, etc. So if you can’t feel sorry for me, then at least think of the children. Shouldn’t the NBA (and ABC?) be trying to get young children to watch these games, so that they will grow up to buy NBA merchandise? Kids in half the country can’t be staying up til 11:30 or 12:30 (all on school, or work, nights I might add) to watch Heat/Mavericks. I really think starting the games one hour earlier would make all the difference (again, for the children).
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Rep. Westmoreland of Georgia, who co-sponsored a bill that would require the display of the 10 Commandments in the chambers of the House and Senate, feels that without the 10 Commandments “we may lose [our] sense of direction.”
Unfortunately for Rep. Westmoreland, he must be rather directionless because in an interview he was able to name only 3 of the 10 commandments! See the video from the Colbert Report here.
You (like I) could try to email Rep. Westmoreland to let him know what you think about his hypocrisy. You could, but if you tried you’d see that Westmoreland’s office has set up his website so that contact through email requires the filling out of at least two online forms. Instead, if you have some time, call his office. His number is 202-225-5901 (DC) or 770-683-2033 (Georgia). Let him know what you think about his insincerity.
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From Wiki: The lyrebird’s syrinx is the most complexly-muscled of the Passerines (songbirds), giving the lyrebird extraordinary ability, unmatched in vocal repertoire and mimicry. Lyrebirds render with great fidelity the individual songs of other birds and the chatter of flocks of birds, and also mimic other animals, human noises, machinery of all kinds, explosions and musical instruments. The lyrebird is capable of imitating almost any sound — from a mill whistle to a cross-cut saw, and, not uncommonly, sounds as diverse as chainsaws, car engines, rifle-shots, camera shutters, dogs barking and crying babies. A lyrebird is able to carry two tunes at the same time. A video of an amazing lyrebird.
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I plan on posting a full, song-by-song, album review as soon as I’ve listened to it with enough focus, which should be soon given my metro rides and workouts. But until then, DL or come borrow this disk from me and give it a spin.
You’ll like this if you need a break from indie-pop and sugary sweet voices. Don’t get me wrong, I like a solid 56 minutes of intelligent whining about suburbia backdropped by simple catchy guitar licks as much as the next guy. But sometimes it’s nice to feel like you are listening to rock-n-roll. This thing is dripping with 60’s and 70’s influences–very Beatles-esque. You can tell these guys grew up on their parents’ music.
So far, I’d say this album has a little for everybody. The opening track is definitely more pop-oriented (and probably the first single?), but the tracks get a thicker and more textured as they go along.
Oh, and if you’re put off by Jack White’s voice, don’t be. He actually sings melody on this CD.
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I don’t have any major big news like some of you guys — I don’t have a financial advisor or a jiggy new job — but I thought I’d update you anyway on the latest from the Zach Johnson Experience. I already updated you on returning to Madison and school this fall, which I’m psyched about. I finally got a job, working as an Education Assistant at Westwood College downtown. I like it because I work in the loop with lots of smart people. I don’t like it because it takes a lot of time away from sleeping and not working.
I spent three months training for the half marathon of the Mad City Marathon, which was held two weeks ago. My 3-day-a-week training plan worked great and I was set to run it at 7:40 pace which would have been great for me. Three days before the race I came down with a ridiculous cold and since I didn’t want to die or get cardiomyopathy, I decided not to run it. It was probably for the best since 7 people were taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion and organizers shut the race down after 5 hours (it was 90F outside at that point). Now I’m training for my first 10K, the Proud to Run 10K later this month.
Read the rest of this entry »
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Tonight I had a notion that I would check out the blog to which I don’t think I’ve originally posted in a calendar year, and when I started typing, the autotype didn’t pick up, so I knew it had been too long.
As only Mohsen knows at this point, I am working in DC for the summer again. This time, I’m slaving for the man (well, mostly men and the requisite number of women) at a communications law firm. I am really fortunate to have the job because it came about through a strange chain of events that started with me sharing my experience at the US Atty’s office in Muskogee, OK. The firm represents a wide range of communications-related companies. Chances are good that we represent some part of the wireless phone providers you use and, depending on where you live, your ISP. It’s a large firm for a boutique firm (one that focuses on one industry rather than several–that’s more like Mohs’s firm). What’s interesting is that since it’s so large, we attract interesting clients and have a vary diverse practice (wireless, wireline, broadcast, cable, Internet/emerging technology) there are often opportunities for potential conflicts of interest. We have several clients that are in competition with each other. Maybe this is more interesting to me, but watching the ethical line being tip-toed on ever so carefully is peculiar.
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Microsoft and Google have been competitors in internet search for a while, but with google’s purchase of Writely and their rollout of Google Spreadsheets, there is a lot of speculation about Google’s goals for competing with Microsoft Office. I just read a pretty well written article at arstechnica that says Google is not going after Microsoft’s software, but it’s file formats.
A lot of Microsoft Office’s success has been the ubiquity of it’s closed file formats. Google’s success has been due to the fact that everyone can read, edit, and view the, as it were, standard file format for the web: HTML. Now Google wants to tap into, and make searchable, the huge amount of data and information that is currently locked up offline and in closed, proprietary formats like DOC and XLS. With the recent aproval of ODF (an open document format for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations based, like HTML, on XML) by the ISO, and with ODF support already in place in Writely and just around the corner in Google Spreadseets, Google is hoping that ODF can eventually replace DOC and XLS.
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The NBA contacted be today and offered me an exclusive interview with Dwayne Wad and in return I just have to give them fantasy basketball advice next season. I took the offer, and here is the interview.
Marsh: Dwayne, honestly, are you surprised you upset the Pistons?
Wad: No, because you see, I’m really good.
Marsh: The word on the street is that you are a humble player, is that true?
Wad: Yes, I am the best in the world at being humble.
Marsh: Who were you wanting to play, Lebron or the Pistons?
Wad: I really didn’t have a preference because I like dunking on everybody, even little girls.
Marsh: How will you guys stop Nowitizki in the final?
Wad: Did you see me block Amare Stoudamire, nail a 55-footer, and then do a little dance last year?
Marsh: What will be your general strategy against the Heat?
Wad: You see, I’m really good [Wad makes tiny-fiddle motions].
Marsh: Thanks for your time Dwayne Wad.
Wad: Anything for you.
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There are basic standards of performance for any employee. I’m talking about bare minimums here, not the qualifications of the ideal employee. A pilot should be able to find the cockpit in a plane. A Spanish-English translator should know some English. Up until this week I assummed employers employ only people that meet the basic standards. My experiences this week are challenging the foundation of this assumption.
Experience 1: I met with a financial advisor about how to invest the millions of dollars I’m bound to make this year as a high school math teacher. He requests my age. I say, “twenty-five.” He asks, “how old will you be in thirty years?” I don’t respond, since this question doesn’t merit a response. There’s an awkward pause between the two of us, and then he pulls out a calculator, pushes some buttons, and says ……. (drum roll please) … “fifty-five.” He double-checks and confirms the answer with another financial advisor (perhaps one that went to grade school) sitting next to us.
Experience 2: Colordado requires a vehicle VIN inspection for out-of-state vehicles wanting Colorado plates. The manager of the emmissions and VIN inspection office inspects my car. He looks at my British Columbia plates and asks me about living in our nation’s capitol.
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Kelly The Great From Vancouver recommended Martha Wainwright’s self-titled 2005 album to me, and now I’m here to recommend it to other indie folk-pop lovers. She’s one part Mazzy Star, one part PJ Harvey, one part Beth Orton, and as good as any of them. Every song is a keeper. And she’s from Montreal.
Bloody Mother F*****g A*****e
Has anyone heard The Still’s new album, Without Feathers? I hear it’s not as good as Logic Will Break Your Heart, but I’ve been waiting for this one for too long to not give it a chance. Plus, they’re from Montreal.
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Guys, and girls, if you’re like me you can’t wait for the future. In the future, robots will do a ton of boring stuff for us, freeing us up to do things like play ping-pong, work on our vertical leap (most of you, whether you dare to admit it or not, still harbor a dream of dunking), play paddie-cake with our kids, or blog about how great the future is and/or how the robots making the future so great will mostly likely one day develop AI and revolt. But that part is sooooo far off (at least 45 years), and for the near future, it’s just gonna be one thing after another that we’ll erase from our domestic checklist thanks to our nary-a-breaking-of-sweat robo-buddies.
People, enough of this European/indie film preface stuff. Let me cut to the core – I AM LIVING IN THE 21st CENTURY. Well, so am I, Doof-Master 3000, you may say, with a hint of annoyance written across your features. Well, if you’re so sure you’re living in the 21st century, then why don’t you check your closet? Go ahead, do it. When you do, do you find a red Roomba vacuum robot waiting there waiting to do your every bidding? Just waiting there, all futuristic and power light pulsating as it charges up to do your each and every single last bidding? No? You don’t? I thought so…
As you can probably imagine, this almighty creation, seemingly given to us mortals from Hephaestus himself, vacuums rooms (I can’t imagine any other possible biddings). It does so AUTOMATICALLY. It’s very cool. You can see how cool here. It’s pretty intelligent, so it’s always reading the walls, obstacles, etc. and going around them. It’s kind of like Marshall Faulk back in 2001 in the Rams’ glory days, except a lot slower and without the ability to talk. You just turn this puppy on, run out of your house, and leave it barking (don’t worry – the Animal Abuse guys won’t get you for this). Its battery lasts a couple of hours and I hear dogs love the thing. It fascinates them – it just keeps on moving in interesting, new ways. Never the same, so it seems organic. I’m thinking of buying a dog just to watch it watch this robot.
I estimate that I will save approximately 22 hours a year using this blessed contrivance. I’m not sure how I’m going to use those hours yet (yes I do – sleeping – but stick with me here), yet I don’t think it really matters… because it is nice to have options, isn’t it?
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I imagine it’s time to post what I’m doing next year. To be honest, my semi-captive audience, I totally lucked out. As some to most of you know, I was in my college days a Classical Studies major. Naturally, the first thing I did when getting back from Europe last September with my shiny sweet diploma, was become a bartender. After all, I had a long Engish/History majors to service industry pipeline/tradition to follow. I was doing that and clerking behind the front desk of a hotel before kickball changed my life. Kickball, you may say inquisitively, with a smirk and dark undercurrent of superiority streaming ‘neath your haughty features. Isn’t that what teens strung out on Ecstasy play in elementary school playgrounds early in the morning after the “big rave”, with a ton of mountain blast Gatorade by their side? Yes, that’s right – Kickball! I’m not sure about the other part. But before I get into a fight with you, let me explain myself here…
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For anyone who’s looked at hundreds of law firm websites, and even for anyone who hasn’t, this satirical site for the prestigious Anonymous Law Firm LLP is hilarious. (H.T. WSJ Law Blog). My favorite include the attorney profile for Jennifer Kim and the page on the Summer Associate Program.
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I saw this on google’s blog:
I love how when I reply to a message in Gmail, the message I compose gets grouped into the same conversation. Seriously — of all the ways Gmail works, this tops the list for me…. Wouldn’t it be nice if chat replies get grouped with the conversation just like email? Now they do: At the bottom of any message sent by someone on your buddy list, right next to where you’d click to “Reply” or “Forward,” there’s a link to “Reply by chat” if the sender is online. This will open a chat window, and the chat history will be saved to the same conversation.
Just thought you might want to know.