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: April 2010
His Gruberness writes:
Steve Jobs makes the case against Flash on iPhone OS. Cogent, detailed, straightforward, brutally honest. No prevarication. Read the whole thing
Only tangentally about Flash, but….
A long time ago, in a previous life, I was sitting in a conference room with a bunch of people — PR, marketing, legal, the usual suspects. We were hashing out ideas for creating new channels for marketing and how to get our message out into the public eye and seen.
At one point I spoke up and I said I knew how to create a marketing system that the entire universe would read. The room shut up, of course.
Let’s give Steve a blog
My argument was that if we created “Steve’s blog”, the entire universe would read it, and those that didn’t would get emails pointing them to whatever Steve said. The kind of visibility you can’t buy. Steve could post his laundry lists and people would fall over each other to be the first to analyze each word for hidden meaning. And when we had an important message we wanted to get out to the public unfiltered through journalists and the rest of the group that interprets what is said into what is read, we had a ready channel waiting and primed. it’d be a perfect place for product announcements and passing along added detail after keynotes — it had unbelievable opportunity. And heck, Steve could have also used it to promote charities (or pretty much anything) and made an impact in any number of ways.
They all stopped and thought about it for a bit; there was general consensus that it’d do all of that, that it could be a huge opinion mover — and unfiltered to boot. And nobody was willing to remotely consider taking it to Steve and pitching it to him, so it went nowhere. Myself included.
But I always felt it had massive potential. I think this not from Steve, if you look at it as an experiment in this direction (which I think it might be, and should be) is a massive proof of concept success. I am willing to bet the size of the audience that read Steve’s “blog post” (directly or indirectly) dwarfs the number that looked at Adobe’s response, which was ONLY in the Wall Street Journal.
It does raise one question to me. Does this indicate that Steve and Apple are figuring out how to use the online community to communicate instead of stonewall and fight with it? If so, that could get very interesting.
Steve with his own personal bully pulpit. Not something I’d want aimed at me, that’s for sure. But I know I’d read it.
Update: Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur)Â rightly points out that I’d talked about this before…
A quick look at officials who got dropped from the rotation between the first and second round.
Surprises? I’m evidently a bigger fan of McCauley as a ref than the league is, if they let Furlatt ref and sent McCauley home. Furlatt has seniority, so maybe that’s why. There are some moderately senior people here not reffing the second round, like Dennis Larue (who I won’t miss). Other referees I won’t miss: Mike Leggo and Chris Rooney (laurie: “he’s a train wreck”). Honestly, I’d rather have McCauley over Furlatt and Joannette, but otherwise, I can’t complain about the choices. And to be fair, Furlatt called a pretty good game tonight in game one of SJ/Detroit, and it was NOT an easy game to referee (and it won’t get easier as the series goes on).
Count me surprised that Cvik isn’t here; always been one of my favorite linesmen, and not just because he’s huge and can throw players around like rag dolls as needed. Shane Heyer’s a senior guy, I’m also somewhat surprised he’s not in the rotation. But there aren’t any names in the second round that make me go “please god, send this one to Pittsburgh”, so I think the league made good decisions overall.
But first a look back at round 1. How’d I do?
In the west, I picked San jose in 6, Vancouver in 6, Chicago in 6, Detroit in 6. I picked all four series, and three of them finished in six, and the one I missed went seven.
Not bad. not bad at all.
In the east, I didn’t pick series specifically, but I did pick Washington, Pittsburgh and Buffalo as the three teams I thought would come out of the east and said that New Jersey was in trouble. And in fact, Montreal took out the Capitals, Pittsburgh did in fact beat the sens, Boston beat Buffalo, and Philly took out the Devils, so I ended up 2-2 but didn’t guess # of games.
So I come out of the first round 6-2. To put that in perspective, I’ve had playoff years where I didn’t guess six rounds for the entire playoffs, so I’m happy. And since I watch primarily the west these days, guessing them all that well feels good.
That and $5 gets me a latte. Onward to the second round.
I didn’t get this in before the first Sharks/Wings game, but I did announce in front of witnesses at the game before game time that I was picking San Jose in six, and I stick with that. I mostly want Vancouver and Chicago to go seven games and for the two teams to beat the crap out of each other, but if I don’t pick Chicago I’ll be sleeping on the couch again, so I’ll pick Chicago in six. It would not suprise me greatly if Luongo and the Sedins carry Vancouver through this round, but I really like the Hawks as well. It really has proven out that all eight teams in the playoffs in the west were exceptionally talented and very evenly matched — if not purely in talent, teams like Colorado and Phoenix road great goaltending and amazing work ethics into serious battles.
In the east, it gets tougher; no easy series now. I’m amazed the Capitals are out, but the team had some fatal flaws that Montreal exposed: you simply can’t be a one-line scoring team, and your goaltending can’t falter at all, or you die. The Caps need to figure out secondary scoring depth, and it shows.
But I can’t see Montreal doing it a second time against the Penguins. The Penguins should get through this fairly easily (well, easy as playoff hockey is defined), but watch out for Halak. He’s capable of a “mission from god” run that could make things crazy. But: Pittsburg in 5, and they’re now my pick to come out of the east.
Boston/Philly: six games, I’ll choose Philly, but I’m not sure whoever wins this series will be in much shape to compete the rest of the playoffs. Should be physical and intense, but the Bruins just don’t do much for me…
San Jose in 6
Chicago in 6
Philly in 6
Pittsburgh in 5
and onward to the next round.
The so-called “second season” starts tomorrow, so it’s time for the annual playoff predictions.
But first, a digression.
It was nice not writing about hockey this year. It was nice just going to games as a fan, watching them as a fan, reconnecting to hockey as a fan and not a critique or commentator. I think one of the issues of the so-called talking heads is that since they have deadlines whether or not they have material, little things end up getting blown out of proportion because you have to talk about something, and after a while, the little things take on a life of their own and it can all become a bit obsessive. Everyone loses perspective, including the writer and the fans who read them.
The reality? At the end of the season, the Sharks ended up right where they were supposed to: first in the West, Pacific Division champs, and geared for the playoffs. Did the universe become less interesting because nobody obsessed about a soft goal (or was it?) that Nabokov let in sometime in January in a game the Sharks lost in Overtime. I watch the pundits on NHL network and they are still harping on Nabokov as a potential weak link (well, they’re saying that about Luongo, too, in Vancouver) and I sit back and think “man, that’s the best you can come up with?”
And the answer is — well, yeah. Â That’s all they got. The “weak link” of the Sharks was 2nd in wins, 10th in GAA, 6th in save percentage, with ONLY four shutouts. The piker. Yeah, Russia sucked in the Olympics, but that was a group project and it seemed to me the Russian skaters were doing everything but holding Nabokov down and helping the other teams score. So whatever. It’s an axiom of being a talking head that you have to find things to criticize because good news is boring, adn you can never be boring.
That, in a microcosm, is why I was happy to shut up and not prove I had nothing to say this season. The Sharks just went and did what they needed to do. There were no controversies, nobody died, no season ending injuries, no extended slumps, no real MINOR slumps, the team just kind of motored, but at the same time, it never looked too easy and they never seemed to get bored or take it for granted like they did last year. That, of course, makes for boring journalism, which is why you see the pundits running around looking for something to point at as a weak spot. And you can’t blame the ice girls, I guess. Oh, wait. San Jose doesn’t have ice girls (thank you, Greg Jamison!)
Of course, they still have to do it in the playoffs, that much is true. Will they?
Damn good question. We’ll see. I think, however, that if they don’t, it won’t be because of things the Sharks didn’t do, but because of something some other team did better. And there are legitimate worries that as well as this team is put together and as good as it’s been playing — it still might not be good enough. Because ultimately, only one team can win it all, and 29 teams, no matter how good they are, lose.
In the west, to me it’s one of three teams: San Jose, Chicago and Detroit (sorry, vancouver fans. I await your letters…) — and honestly, I can’t choose one as a favorite over the other two. Each has strong points, each has weak spots that can be exploited. It’s going to come down to who stays healthy and who plays their best hockey when they need to. I expect some pretty damn good hockey out here in the west, and nobody’s going to get out of this conference without a fight.
That’s because I think any of the other five teams can take on their opponent and beat them. ANY of the eight could easily take the first round, and yes, while I think San Jose should take Colorado, I don’t think it’s a walk by any means. it might be the match I find easiest to call in the first round, but there are no teams in the west that don’t deserve to be there and won’t put up a fight.
So my western predictions: San Jose (in 6), Chicago (in 6), Vancouver (in 6) and Detroit (in 6).
San Jose’s weak spot: secondary scoring, Joe thornton’s tendency to falter in the playoffs, and Nabokov so far not proving himself in the playoffs. Their strengths: That first line looks killer (on paper), Nabokov looks like he’s in a good groove right now, Patrick Marleau, and Malhotra and Nicholl on the third line bolstering what was always the flawed part of the roster in previous years.
Chicago’s weak spot: unproven goaltending and youth. Their strength? Some really nice key veterans bolstering the kids. These guys scare me.
Detroit’s weak spot: age and jimmy howard being unproven. Their strength? It’s the freaking red wings. This team has a tradition of finding a groove in the playoffs, and their last 20 games? talk about hiding in the weeds and showing up for prime time. They REALLY scare me.
It would not surprise me a bit for Vancouver to go deep, and if they get on a run, they could take everyone else out and exit the west. If the Sharks, Wings and Hawks are my first tier in the west, Vancouver is a 1A. The difference is very narrow here, Canucks fans, but to me, there’s still a difference. But I’ll buy the first round if they prove me wrong and celebrate with yo.
Phoenix and LA? Beware the “mission from god” teams. They get on a run, watch out. they could easily take teams out in the first round, but I’m not convinced they’re ready to get out of the West with the talent in this conference. But they won’t be easy opponents.
Neither will Colorado or Nashville — but I think they’re a bit below the other six teams here.
Coming out of the west? Okay, hold my feet to the fire. I’ll pick — San Jose. Because I must. But any of the top three won’t surprise me and won’t be an upset. I’ll root for any of these teams (except against the Sharks), and if any of these eight make it out to the cup final, I’ll be satisfied.
In the east? Quality isn’t that deep.
I’m picking Washington out of the East, with Pittsburgh as a distant second choice. Buffalo is my dark horse, and ottawa is my choice as most likely to upset the higher seed in the first round. New Jersey has to prove it’s not going to have another playoff fade — sorry, Devils fans, but Brodeur simply hasn’t had it in the gas tank, and that team simply isn’t convincing me it can go deep. First round for New Jersey? yes. But that’s probably it.Me?
So my pick for the cup final? San Jose and Washington, which would be some amazing hockey. But honestly, there’s a good chance that the Sharks will get beat along the way, and a good chance it won’t be any failure by the Sharks, although you can bet the pundits will play it up. It’s what they do. (then again, it’s also possible the sharks DO blow up in the playoffs. if they do, we’ll be sure to talk about it… but I see it as unlikely with this team…)
So to all of the teams in the playoffs, good luck and drop the puck. And we’ll see you at the arena!