Archive for 2005

Failure is Success

Nov 20, 2005 in Internet

Wil Shipley

Failing is to be strived for! If you aren’t failing, you aren’t at the edge of the envelope of your abilities, and if you aren’t at the edge, you aren’t stretching yourself, so you aren’t learning, so you’re just wasting time. Failing is how nature succeeds. Evolution works through failure of the poorest (they get et) more than survival of the fittest. Muscles grow because you work them to failure, and they then respond by getting stronger. Your spinal cord learns not to touch fire by getting burnt. Failure is not just handled gracefully by nature, it is critical.

Sometimes, we (I) just need a reminder.

Feeling (Jet)Blue

Nov 18, 2005 in Business

Ask, and sometimes, you receive…

Tom Bridge:

JetBlue is expanding service at Dulles, adding 5-6 flights a day to Boston’s Logan airport. Introductory fares will be cheaper than all get-out, starting at $25 each way, if you book by November 30th on a 7 day advance ticket, for flights between 17 Jan 2006 and 15 Feb 2006. So, if you’re looking at heading up to Boston for a little midwinter fun, JetBlue’s going to be your cheap option for now.

I might have to head up to Boston near the end of January, so this is great news. Now, if I can only get a definitely yes/no by the end of November to lock in the $25 fare.

Independently Broke

Nov 08, 2005 in Business

Tom Bridge:

The best quote I ever heard about investing in airlines is that you should only do it with your mother in law’s money. Apparently the folks that spent their hard earned cash on Independence Air are about to learn that lesson the hard way as Independence has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in Delaware this morning.

Yeah. I was thrilled when I saw this in the Wall Street Journal this morning. I just hope they stay in business long enough to get me home and back for Thanksgiving.

Oh, and JetBlue — please start Dulles to Boston service.

Hello, Goodbye

Nov 01, 2005 in Sports

Last week, I thought about jotting down some comments on Tedy Bruschi‘s return to the Patriots following his stroke last February. Bruschi has long been one of my favorite Patriots (and I think that can be said about a lot of Pats fans, or at least those not swooning over Tom Brady :) and his offseason stroke had an emotional impact on a lot of people.

I didn’t get around to writing anything that day because I was swamped for time (three exams, two case studies, and a very-belated ATPM article). Of course, I also couldn’t think of words to explain exactly how if felt to see Bruschi healthy enough to play the game he loves. I’m glad the Pats won on Sunday night, but my concern for the outcome was a distant second to the sheer joy of seeing Bruschi careening all over the field.

Yesterday, I had the TV on in the background while I was finishing up one of my case studies. The football guys on ESPN were lauding Bruschi (which, by the way, is a complete 180 from what they were doing last week) and I was enjoying it. Then, something on the info ticker caught my eye.

“Theo Epstein resigns…”

WHAT?!? Just hours earlier, I’d read in the Boston Globe it was a done deal. WTF?!?

You’ll notice there’s no link to the Globe article. Even though I have nothing against Chris Snow and Gordon Edes, I’m not in the mood to send their bosses any eyeballs.

From what it sounds like, the dynamic duo of Larry Lucchino and Dan Shaughnessy succeeded in driving Boston’s most successful General Manager in the last 90 years out of his dream job.

From Michael Silverman at the Boston Herald (look, a link!):

A leading contributing factor, according to sources close to the situation, was a column in Sunday’s Boston Globe in which too much inside information about the relationship between Epstein and his mentor, team president and CEO Larry Lucchino, was revealed — in a manner slanted too much in Lucchino’s favor. Epstein, according to these sources, had several reasons to believe Lucchino was a primary source behind the column and came to the realization that if this information were leaked hours before Epstein was going to agree to a new long-term deal, it signaled excessive bad faith between him and Lucchino.

Who wrote the article that poisoned the well? Our very own Curly Haired Boyfriend, Dan Shaughnessy.

Sheriff Sully does a masterful job of assigning blame. Here’s one of many choice quotes:

Only one man on this planet could’ve given Shaughnessy the information he had. The way in which Shaughnessy presented it was nothing short of sickening. He defended the Sox and Lucchino no less than a dozen times. Bob Ryan would’ve resigned before writing that bogus crap and the Globe knows that. However, Lucchino more than likely didn’t even bother going through channels and just called Shaughnessy himself.

Oh, sorry, we haven’t mentioned this and everyone should be privy to this information. Last year, Shaughnessy asked the second-highest ranking Sox official, Tom Werner, to give his daughter an internship with his production company in Los Angeles. Werner complied.

So when Lucchino – the Sox President and CEO — calls for a favor, let’s just say Shaughnessy owes him.

I’ve never been comfortable with the fact the New York Times, the Globe’s parent company, owns a significant portion of the Red Sox. I didn’t like it when the then-new ownership group took over almost 4 years ago and I definitely don’t like it now. However, I accepted it. I can’t do that anymore.

This is easily the most disgusted I’ve been with the Red Sox since the disgraceful actions of seemingly everybody involved with the team in the aftermath of 9/11. Of course, I don’t think that feeling of disgust will ever be topped.

One of the brightest young men in baseball made the decision that his integrity was worth more than whatever money he was being offered to work for a backstabbing schmuck. Good for Theo. Of course, Red Sox fans are stuck with the two asshats who collaborated on this disaster.

Maybe this will be the thing that will finally get Shaughnessy run out of town. Maybe Lucchino with him. Since I’m not able to watch Theo rebuild the Red Sox and bring home another title, this’ll give me something to pull for during the winter months.

Good luck, Theo. Welcome back, Tedy — with the level of vitrol being aimed at the Sox front office, you could own the town by Thanksgiving.

Hm. I was wondering when Bill Simmons would chime in:

As for the Red Sox, they have shamed themselves beyond belief, with the Shaughnessy column being the final straw. The same guys who brought Boston a World Series also formed an Orwellian media conglomerate in which they control all the information in the city’s most important newspaper, as well as the TV and radio stations that carry the games. Just about every Red Sox-related scoop is directed to one of those three outlets, with Boston Herald writers repeatedly complaining about the unfairness of it all. In particular, the Epstein coverage was appallingly one-sided from the Globe’s side — culminating in Shaughnessy’s incredible column, to the point that Red Sox fans have to question the credibility of anything they read in what used to be a sports section that meant something. It was telling that, on the same day that Theo announced his resignation, Monday’s Globe contained a story reporting that he had signed for three years.

iTunes SAP

Oct 14, 2005 in Entertainment, Mac

TUAW:

Which shows are missing from the iTMS? Are you a Battlestar Galactica fan? Or perhaps you’d enjoy All My Children all the more if you could watch it on your iPod during a morning commute?

This got me thinking. Battlestar Gallactica has a podcast that’s designed to be played while watching the show. These podcasts will also be available on the upcoming Season 2.0 DVD set.

Many, if not all, TVs ship with an SAP button. The most common use I’ve seen of this function is simultaneous broadcasts of sporting events in both English and Spanish, but I know at least one network (TNT, maybe?) once broadcast the Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as the SAP.

Why couldn’t Apple add something similar to SAP support to iTunes? The primary track would obviously be the the normal sound track. The secondary track could be the podcast, similar to how commentary tracks work on DVDs.

Obviously, this isn’t something that would be beneficial for every show (do we really need commentary on shows like Joey?), but it could provide a nice incentive for people to purchase TV shows that they’d otherwise watch for “free.”

DRM and Me

Oct 13, 2005 in Digital Rights

Tom Bridge:

iTunes is good for the music business, good for us. The DRM is a something we have to put up with to sleep at night, and for now I’m willing to play by their rules because the content is good, and it has restrictions I can live with. Call me a dupe, or call me a rube, and I’ll ignore you. I’m looking at you, Cory Doctorow.

Nicely put, Tom. Other’s have written similar opinions in the past (I can pull up postings in NetNewsWire from Chuq Von Rospach and Bill Bumgarner without even trying), but Tom’s posting happened to catch my eye when I had the time and inclination to blog it.

I don’t know if Cory Doctorow wrote something to trigger Tom’s post — I stopped reading BoingBoing some time ago because I found myself getting really tired of Cory’s rants.

The majority of content creators aren’t going to allow legal digital distribution of their assets in an unprotected form. All the moaning in the world won’t change this simple fact. As a consumer, I’m content to accept a DRM system that balances the wants and desires of the average consumer with the requirements of the copyright holders.

The Video iPod

Oct 12, 2005 in iPod

John Gruber:

The new iPods do not support FireWire. Not just no FireWire cables in the box; no FireWire, period. Such is the price of smaller and thinner, I suppose.

Yeah, I noticed this as well. Kind of a bummer for those of us using computers which only offer FireWire or USB 1.1… not that I’ll be dropping $300-$400 on any new toys soon…

I wonder if it’s really a “smaller and thinner” thing or if Apple just decided it was a better financial decision to not build in FireWire support than to include it and make people buy the FireWire cable separately.

I’m sitting here looking at my year-old 40 GB iPod and the thing looks like a relic.

Welcome to the club :) Between the DC Metro and the walk to school, I see a bunch of iPods every day. Until yesterday, I hadn’t seen another person carrying around a 3G iPod — they were all 4Gs, Minis, or Nanos.

Actually, I saw the other 3G owner at an iPod focus group organized by a few guys in a buyer behavior class. The timing of the focus group was a bit humorous, being a day before a major Apple announcement that was rumored to be iPod-related. It mostly focussed on why we bought iPods and whether we thought the iPod experience would push us towards Macs.

The group was pretty small (9 people?). Three owned Macs and the other six said they didn’t think their iPod would necessarily push them towards Macs in the future. However, their iPods did nothing to dissuade them from buying a Mac.

It was pretty fun and we get bribed with iTunes gift cards. I wouldn’t be surprised if the one undergrad in the focus group felt a bit on the outside — the other 8 of us were all first year MBA students who already knew each other.

At some point, though, I volunteered to look at two iPods to see about problems their owners were having. Hmm. I thought I was trying to get out of that business. Whatever.

Getting Things Done?

Oct 11, 2005 in My World

One of the things I wanted to do when I headed back to grad school was get a better handle on task management, along with my organizational skills in general. In general, I’m horrible about making a plan and sticking to it. This is a bit of a problem when you’ve got numerous deadlines coming up in rapid succession, not to mention ATPM articles, and new episodes of Lost.

In an effort to better myself, I picked up a copy of Getting Things Done before I moved to Virginia, figuring I’d find the time to read it and pick up a few pointers along the way.

Today, I realized I hadn’t read the book yet. In fact, I haven’t even found the book yet during my unpacking period (and I’m down to like 3 boxes of random junk). For some reason, I was amused by this realization.

Update: Woohoo! Found it! Now, to read it.

Cocoalicious 1.0b37

Sep 17, 2005 in Mac, Programming

Buzz posted the newest version of Cocoalicious this morning, including the favicon support that I worked on earlier in the summer. I haven’t looked at the code, but from the release build posted, the favicon downloading routine seems much more efficient than my original code.

I really want to find some time to look at the changes — one of the downsides of my original technique was that it only found favicons named “favicon.ico” that were in the root level of the server. If that’s still the case, I’d be interested in trying out the WebKit-approved method for finding favicons, since that also checks the actual HTML code for a link tag pointing towards an alternate location for the favicon.

It sounds like there lots of other cool stuff in this release as well. Check out the release notes and grab the latest version.

Appointment Locations and iPods

Sep 12, 2005 in iPod

Anybody out there have a relatively new iPod (4G, Mini, or gasp nano) and have iCal appointments synced to said device? I’d like to know whether the iPod software for any of these devices displays the value of iCal’s Location field.

I was quite proud of myself when I entered my class schedule into iCal, posted it online, and synced it to my (3G) iPod. Of course, neither .mac nor my iPod display the contents of the Location field, so I know when i need to be there, just not where there is.