Chuq Von Rospach is a Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management and amateur photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and landscapes. My goal is to explore the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found. You can find out more on the About Page.
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Monthly Archives: October 2008
Yesterday, Macsimumnews.com published a piece in which editor David Sellers claims to be â€œpretty sureâ€ that the iMac and Mac mini will see updates on or before Tuesday, Nov. 10 (itâ€™s actually the 11th). He makes no mention of sources, and the article is categorized as an opinion piece.
Which didnâ€™t stop 9to5mac from posting about the piece under the banner â€œiMac, Mac Pro upgrades loom?â€ Loom? It hardly seems valid to suggest updates are â€œloomingâ€ based on the guesswork of a single Apple journalist, even if he does have experience in the industry.
All of you. stop. Just stop it. Get out of your parent’s basement and go outside. Do something. Get a life. cut it out.
I swear to god, I’m going to start a rumor blog, make up some false identity and start posting really weird fantasy crap, just to see who picks it up and treats it as real news. And then I’ll out you for the idiots you are.
or maybe I’ve already started. who knows? well, I do.
But please: if you have a brain and don’t need a keeper to remind you to breathe, do the universe a favor and DO NOT READ OR SUPPORT sites that pull this kind of stuff. And no, I’m not suggesting you do it to theAppleBlog, but to those poor disasters they’re yelling at…
If my projections are accurate, so long as the league can increase revenues (not including currency factors) then the salary cap isnâ€™t likely to be impacted negatively in any significant way and could increase by a couple million dollars if the Canadian dollar rebounds measurably (it has jumped a couple of cents today). But in a worst case scenario where the league cannot grow at the same pace as it has and the Canadian dollar remains where it is today the salary cap is likely to fall by up to a couple million dollars.
some interesting numbers looking at the impact of canadian dollar value on the cap. No idea how accurate they are, but at first reading, I think he’s done a good job on putting this together.
the one thing that I’d raise as an issue is that I think the phrase “as long as the league can increase revenues” is an issue. there’s softness in a number of markets (Columbus, Atlanta) and I’ve seen some comments by Bettman about softness in sponsorship, which I expect will likely accelerate somewhat. A flat revenue growth is more likely than continued growth, if you ask me (and honestly, there was a lot of growth to grab coming out of the lockout, and I was expecting growth to flatten, if not completely go flat, before the economic crisis hit. Now that it has, ratchet the numbers down further, folks).
I was betting the cap would only go up minimally next year; now, I’m not only betting flat, maybe down a bit, but I’m also wondering if the players are going to see money lost to the escrow.
So far, Bettman’s said that the economy hasn’t really impacted revenues. I believe him. What he isn’t saying is that something like 80% of the league revenues are locked in before the puck drops to open the season, so there’s not a lot of wiggle room (good OR bad), barring some major catastrophe like a team owner going broke.
But next year? We’ll have to wait and see — when sponsorships and other deals are renegtiated next year? We’re seeing companies walk to the sidelines in other areas of sponsorships. Will teams find the economic weakness leads to reduced ticket sales, or price reductions to manage reduced demand?
None of this is (a) bad, or (b) the CBA’s “fault”, or (c) bettman’s fault. It’s part of the economic reality of life. Are some teams in deep trouble if the cap flattens or goes down? Definitely. But that’s because some teams are lousy at planning and budgeting, not because the system is flawed. ANY system you put in place, some teams (hello, Toronto) will find ways to screw it up, while other teams never seem to run into those problems and find ways to prosper (hello, Detroit and San Jose). And then there are teams like Anaheim, which sometimes guess wrong and sometimes run into surprises, but figure out a way to make it happen.
Hey, if you ask me, any team that insists on spending to the cap, committing too much salary for too many years and is depending on the cap continuing to go up gets exactly what it deserves. Don’t “fix” the system, get better management.
The good teams seem to be able to navigate this pretty well, even though we’re still in the learning curve for the CPA and the cap.
f the bread slicer was a recent invention, I imagine a conversation like this would take place somewhere in the world:
Guy #1: “Dude, you have to try sliced bread.”
Guy #2: “Why would I need that? I can slice my own bread, thanks.”
Guy #1: “Dude, you just have to try it. It’s so much easier and gets you to sandwich status so much quicker.”
Guy #2: “Man, how long does it really take to slice bread? You can’t be serious.”
Guy #1: “Forget that I ever brought this up.”
And so goes RSS evangelism in 2008
Has anyone stopped to think that “sliced bread” also implies the commoditization of bread? When you start buying your bread sliced, you’re also to some degree committing to buying “manufactured” bread. Or perhaps “generic” bread is a better way of putting it.
That’s not a negative, per se. When I’m making lunch, that’s fine. And maybe that’s all you want out of your bread. If so, fine.
But… there’s still something to be said for a good loaf of fresh, carefully baked bread. Even more, fresh-baked and still warm.
Do you really want to cook that special meal for that special someone, and serve Wonder Bread with it?
Just imagine how that’d reflect on you.
Now, this isn’t really a discussion of sliced vs. artisanal bread. It is, in fact, a discussion of RSS; “sliced bread” is a wonderful thing, but only in its place. Sliced bread is more generic, harder to differentiate from other sliced bread. It’s going to go stale faster, too. In some ways, you lose the special aspects of bread in favor of convenience and speed.
Sort of a metaphor of today’s society in general, and especially the online world.
Really want to understand what bread CAN be about? Read James Beard on Bread.
Grab yourself a nice piece of warm, fresh pumpernickel, slather it with a nice salted butter, and go sit down in front of your monitor and ask yourself how this is relevant to RSS feeds.
(hint: do you really want your online presence to be thought of as sliced bread? Or do you aspire to something someone will slather butter on?)
This is something I’ve actually been thinking about a lot lately. Not just the online aspects, but hauling out the bread machine and getting to it again.
Honestly, while RSS is a key technology, and I am one of those “if you have no RSS, you might as well not exist” people, the thought of life eating only Wonder Bread? Or baking it?
There’s something seriously missing in that life, folks.
I was just talking to a co-worker about the early days of our careers (it turns out we both entered the industry within a few months of each other), and I went and looked at my really-old-historical resume to make sure of the dates…
I got my first non-computer-lab job, my first “paid to do computers for real” job, in October of 1979. that means I’ve started my 30th year in the industry. Add a year and a half or so as a school lab geek if you want, but for almost three decades, this stuff has paid the rent. In that 29 years, I was unemployed for six weeks twice, once last year before I started my current gig.
Just thinking about how far things have come, from PDP-11′s and Data General computers, and from fortran and cobol and RSTS/E basic to today’s world of ruby and python and django and rails. What a trip (and it’s far from over). As I like to say, my keyboard has more processing power than my first computer…
I also hit another milestone back when I wasn’t paying attention. I moved from Southern California in 1982, back when Silcon Valley was fresh and new. Today (Silicon Valley is still pretty fresh and new, actually!) I realize I’ve actually lived here in Northern California longer than I lived in Southern Cal. does that make me a native or something?
When Duncan was down here the other weekend, we wandered around the valley looking at random things. One thing I showed him was the building I worked in when I worked for Sun.
It’s a Google building now. Of course, the buildings I worked for at Apple are, well, Apple buildings. Except for the one in Campbell, that is. Last I looked, that one was empty. Oh well. My building at National Semiconductor later turned into world headquarters for (I kid you not) Ujena swimwear, home to really skimpy bikinis worldwide, but it (and, I think, the building) both Went Away.
Anyone seen my walker? I think I need to totter off for my nap…
Mike Chen does a good job of looking at the problem of hits to the head.
To some degree, I agree with him: hits to the head need to be penalized. But the devil is in the details…
I donâ€™t think anyone wants to see what happened to Brandon Sutter, and Iâ€™m constantly surprised at the fact that every time this happens, the NHLPA does nothingâ€”youâ€™d think the safety of their players would truly be their primary concern.
Under Kelly, the PA’s attitude has been changing; note, for instance, that Kelly is now in favor of mandating visors with a grandfather law for veterans. Of course, increasingly, this is a moot point. Stop and count the number of current Sharks that do NOT wear visors. I was thinking about that the other night, and it’s a surprisingly small number.
I think the fact that the league and PA aren’t moving faster on this is simple: it’s a difficult issue that is tightly wound to the core of the game. How do you take it out of the game without screwing up the game in other ways?
Iâ€™ve often been in favor of penalizing hits to the headâ€”itâ€™s not exactly a new concept in hockey, after all, and the stuff that can happen later in life due to concussions is downright frightening. However, the execution of such a rule in the NHL is the subject of endless debate.
Thereâ€™s a valid argument about the position Sutter was in when Doug Weight ran him over. With that in mind, hereâ€™s an attempt at a compromise rule:
-Any shoulder impact on a playerâ€™s head is a two-minute penalty
-Any elbow impact on a playerâ€™s head is a four-minute penalty (two minutes for elbowing, two minutes for hit to the head)
-Similar to the â€œWas it a distinct kicking motion?â€ rule, a judgment-call exception can be made by the referee when a player is in such a position that his head is lower than the top of his shoulders. Basically, donâ€™t hunch over with your head downâ€”got it?
Itâ€™s not exactly black-and-white but itâ€™s pretty darn close. It also requires a little bit of split-second judgment by the refs, which is never an easy thing. However, if this is executed properly, I think itâ€™s a reasonable way to try and integrate a preventative into the game while not catering to stupidity. In other words, if youâ€™re hunched over admiring your nifty stickhandling work, youâ€™re still fair game.
The precedent here is the high stick. It’s a “no tolerance no excuse” rule, and players have (mostly) adapted.
The sticking point for me is the boarding or hitting from behind penalty. Players have figured out they can draw penalties by turning away from a hit — once a player commits to the check, they can find themselves with no options. It’s really a form of a dive, if you ask me, but it’s that same kind of split-second-judgement we’d now be asking referees to make.
And it’s got some of the same implications. A player that misjudges the hit into the boards can find himself seriously injured or spitting teeth onto the ice (hmm. did I just imply that’s not a serious injury? guess so; in hockey). Players are willing to put themselves at risk to draw the penalty here — to me, that says some will do the same with hits to the head, just to get the penalty. And that’s bad on a number of levels.
On balance, though, I like this approach. I’m a lot LESS worried about shoulder hits; we need to encourage that in the game, it’s the elbows, forearms and fists I want to see dropped from the game.
So how about this? Basically, extend high sticking to the elbow. Any touch to the body above the shoulder from the elbow to the blade of the stick is at least 2 minutes. 2 for incidental contact, four for significant contact, five for intent to injure.
I’d leave the shoulder out of it for now. Clamp down on elbows and forearms, and see how it goes. If shoulder hits continue to be problems, we can look at revising the rules. To me, though, I worry about heading too close to “hockey is a physical game, as long as nobody gets hurt”. you can’t do both; injuries WILL occur, and we have to be willing to accept that. Trying to stop every possible injury removes the physical aspect from the game. What we need to do is find that balancing point that allows for the great phyiscal play while discouraging the play that leads to dangerous situations and avoidable injuries. And I’d rather take two smaller steps and evaluate the change than one big step and realize we’ve gone too far, because it’s hard to take it back out of the rules once it’s there.
“The league should at least stop saying it’s concerned with hits to the head, because it’s not,” Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford told TSN.ca. “I’ve had four players â€” Erik Cole, Trevor Letowski, Matt Cullen and now Brandon Sutter â€” get badly injured on hits to the head and only one of the guys who hit them was suspended. So don’t tell me the league is concerned about hits to the head because it’s not.”
It’s good to see this issue getting some much-needed publicity, especially from one of the league’s GMs. Of course, outcries like this would be much more effective if they didn’t come immediately after one of the team’s own players was hurt.
So what do we do? Outlaw ANY hit to the head?
I’m sorry to see Sutter hurt (he’s now out of the hospital), but… Who’s responsibility is it to avoid a hit? If you watch the reply (embedded above), Doug Weight is skating with one foot on the center line. Sutter comes into the camera view with his skates about 2 feet from the blue line. Weight doesn’t change his line.
Neither does Sutter. Weight hits him straight on. Clean hit, if you ignore the head part.
Sutter had 20+ feet of ice, with a clear view, to see Weight, recognize the hit coming, and either avoid the hit or get ready for it. He did neither.
So who’s responsible here? Should Weight be responsible for making sure he doesn’t hit Sutter? One could argue that Sutter shifted his position after Weight committed to the hit, moving his head into the hitting zone, but that’s all really subjective.
What isn’t subjective is that Sutter had multiple seconds and 20′ of ice to see Weight coming and do something — and he didn’t. Weight, I think, has a responsibility to try to avoid hitting him in the head, but did he really have the opportunity?
Quotes I read from Colin Campbell and the war room all indicate everyone in league office agreed it was a clean hit, and I agree as well. I don’t see that Weight did anything wrong here; in fact, I’ll go so far as to say that Weight probably has an expectation that Sutter is going to try to evade him at some point, and was as surprised as anyone when Sutter didn’t see him and didn’t try to move off the hit.
Sutter had his head down. Neither player was in traffic, neither player’s view was obstructed, and frankly, I think ultimately it’s the player BEING HIT that has the responsibility to avoid the hit, not the hitting player’s responsibility to pull the hit. If you don’t keep your head on a swivel, someone is going to line you up and hit you into next week.
Sutter’s somewhere in next week right now.
Sorry, that’s hockey.
We can argue whether or not any hit to a head under any circumstance should be a penalty at any time — and honestly, I could buy into that — but I think this one’s Sutter’s fault, the same way the classic hit on Lindros by Scott Steven’s was Lindros’ fault. And honestly, if you change the rule so that any hit to the head causes a penalty, well, heads will be safer, but we’ll shortly be complaining about how many penalties the referees are calling (again).
Hockey’s a physical game. Players have to be aware of what’s going on around them. Sutter wasn’t. That is, to me, the base problem here: If Sutter had been watching what was going on, Weight never would have gotten a hit on him. It was completely avoidable.
â€¢ The first is the Larry Pleau idea that I first detailed this past weekend, which essentially would change the delayed-penalty rule so that the penalized team would have to fully clear the puck from its defensive zone to get a stoppage in play rather than simply needing to possess the puck. The St. Louis Blues GM believes it would create more offensive chances with the sixth attacker on the ice for a bit longer before a whistle blows. He’s probably right. I like this one.
â€¢ The second has to do with hand passes and making them more consistent all over the ice. Right now, players are allowed hand passes in the defensive zone but nowhere else. The idea being discussed is not to allow it anymore in the defensive zone, just like the rest of the ice. I highly doubt this will happen. Blowing the whistle every time there’s a hand pass in the defensive zone would simply create more stoppages in play. It’s not what we’re looking for in the game right now.
â€¢ The third idea, and perhaps most interesting of all, is an idea from Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey. He proposes that players in the defensive zone must have at least one skate on the ice when blocking shots. So, instead of having players collapsing all over the ice and sliding all over the place, Gainey believes this would allow for more pucks to get through from the point and, hence, create more scoring chances. Great idea by Gainey, although it really puts the onus on the referees.
Three possible rule changes talked about at the NHL GM meetings. I really like the changes made this year with where penalty face offs are dropped and the icing rule where they don’t allow the TV timeouts. Not entirely sure why they didn’t do the latter in the first place, but it really puts the onus teams to play defense well; fewer places to “get a lazy out”, and that leads to scoring and scoring chances.
And they’re minor things — but minor things that can have notable impacts.
For all fans have focussed on things like bigger nets or goalie gear changes (myself included), it’s interesting to note the league is spending most of its time on less dramatic (obvious) changes. All to the good. And that continues this year with these three possible changes.
I really like the first two; in fact, I was planning on writing something on the second one recommending it. If what you want is to increase scoring chances, don’t make it easier for the defense. Force them to use their sticks, not just toss the puck around. I’m tempted, actually, to extend that further, and outlaw batting the puck down with a hand at all (like soccer), even preventing a player from knocking it down to himself in the offensive zone. If they do, treat it like icing, faceoff in their defensive zone, no player change.
Both of these ideas I’d love to see implemented.
The third? At first glance, I really like it — but the devil is in the details. Enforcement is a bear; will players learn how to accidentally fall on demand, and how do referees handle it? what’s the penalty? treated like icing? Is that something that turns into a “good penalty to take?” category? This one gets really complicated really fast, so I’ll be curious to see how the league moves it forward.
But when about 50% of shots attempted are now not getting through to the goalie, this is an area that really can impact the game in positive ways; doesn’t matter about goal size or goalie gear size if the puck never gets there, right?
Hmm. Maybe the answer is to make shin pads somewhat less protective… Not enough that players aren’t save, but maybe enough that players think twice…
With even more media attention on Apple and the rumors surrounding the latest release, more sites have gone out of their way to call out those who got things wrong. While this has given an opportunity for some to say that you shouldn’t listen rumors at all, I think it just goes to show that sources matter and not all rumors are created equal.
Amused to see referrers into my blog from MacRumor.com. turns out, they took a shot at me (not surprising).
The link to my posting was in this phrase: While this has given an opportunity for some to say that you shouldn’t listen rumors at all, which, while I was fairly critical of the rumor sites (with justification, since THEY WERE WRONG ABOUT KEY DETAILS AGAIN), that’s not at all what I said. What I said was this:
Chuqui 3.0: Thoughts on the new Macbooks — and the circus that preceded them…:
It’s not that you shouldn’t read the sites; they have their purpose. Just don’t take them so damn seriously.
So yes, Macrumors, sources matter and not all rumors are created equal, but accuracy matters even more, and if Macrumors can mis-interpret (or mis-spin, or simply misrepresent blatantly, choose your poison) such a clear and straightforward statement, well, doesn’t that call into question the accuracy of anything else they say?
Which is, in long form, the answer to the question “gee, Chuq, why do you read AppleInsider and not MacRumors?” — and why, if you feel the need to follow a rumor site, you ought to follow AppleInsider.
While I have my issues with AppleInsider as well (honestly, I get really tired of them writing in that “I am speaking in my adult journalist voice, so you must take me seriously”), they pretty much get what they exist for. And that authorial voice I really blame on a bunch of fan geeks growing up reading Mac the Knife in MacWeek. Gah.