Watching R-rated movies, early alcohol use linked – Paging Dr. Gupta – CNN.com Blogs

Watching R-rated movies, early alcohol use linked – Paging Dr. Gupta – CNN.com Blogs

This kind of crap science just annoys the hell out of me – what they have identified is a correlation. This says absolutely nothing about any kind of causal relationship between R-rated movies  and early alcohol use.

The article quotes one researcher as saying "No one is suggesting that R-rated movies alone are the cause of early onset drinking but it’s certainly a factor". I would like to know what proof implies that “it’s certainly a factor”.

Again, statistical correlation does not imply a causal relationship!

Ben Roethlisberger deserves at least two-game suspension – Peter King – SI.com

Ben Roethlisberger deserves at least two-game suspension – Peter King – SI.com

More of the same crap I complained about with respect to Michael Vick, only worse in this case because Ben not only was not convicted of anything, he was not even charged with anything. Without getting into whether Ben is acting like an idiot, lets think about it this way…

Say you were accused of a crime. The police investigated, and let you go on your way. After further investigation, prosecutors decided that there was not enough evidence to charge you with any crime. Would you feel your employer would be justified in suspending you without pay for two weeks? Or would you be on your way to a lawyer if your employer tried this?

Everyone keeps saying that star athletes need to stop feeling that they deserve special treatment when they act out. Well, I agree – they should not be treated differently, either in terms of leniency or punishment.

Joe Posnanski – what a moron

Brett Favre faltered in Vikings’ NFC title game loss to Saints – Joe Posnanski – SI.com

Ok – I was tempted to blog about the Vikings-Saints game on Sunday night, but really did not have anything to say that was not obvious.  This column, however, brought out the need to say something.

First off, is this writer the biggest freaking moron in the world?

To say that Favre threw the ball that was intercepted because he was afraid to get hit is just silly. This is a guy who stood in the pocket and got pounded into the (fake) dirt almost every time he dropped back to pass on Sunday night.

And he got back up, every time.

He got drilled by New Orleans’ #93 after handing the ball off in the first half. And jumped right back up.

He got driven into the ground in the fourth, drawing a personal fowl. And got back up.

He got hit high and low a couple of plays later, in what should clearly have been a penalty under the “Brady Rule”. He had to be helped off the field, but was right back out there the next play.

I lost count of the number of times Favre was hit and hit hard. And then add to that the number of hits he dodged (which he still does damn well for a 40 year old guy).

And yet he continued to play, continued to fight.

I would say that Favre’s performance on Sunday was one of the toughest I have ever seen, in any sport.

As for the “He should have run it” argument, are we forgetting the fact that a few minutes earlier it looked like Favre would not be able to walk, let alone run?

Let’s look not at the whole “Favre lost the game” delusion.

This highlights, in part, the folly of Favre’s return this season. It was clear from the start that if the Vikings were to go all the way, then it would be credited to “the team”, but if they failed to it would be “Favre’s fault”.

But let’s look at how they got to the point of needing last minute heroics. Lets look at the ball carriers of the Vikings putting it on the ground 6 times. Lets look at Percy Harvin fumble putting the Saints 7 yards from a touchdown that gave them a 7 point lead, when the Vikings defence had shut them down through the entire second half. Lets talk about an offensive line that left Favre dangling in the breeze almost every play. Lets talk about the complete mental lapse that led to 12 men in the huddle (after a time out to get things organized, yet).

Like their season, this was a team effort. No one player should be singled out. But of course, Favre gets the blame.

Was the decision to throw, and throw where he did, a bad one? Sure. But if he had managed to force it where he wanted it (as he has so many times before) he would have been a hero, not a bum.

But the fact is, he would not have been in the position to have to make this play if not for all the other errors the Vikings committed throughout the game.

I really get sick of wannabe, sideline athletes (even long term, successful ones like Posnanski) sitting back and questioning the toughness and commitment of someone like Favre. 

As for Posnanski’s final question “So: What makes Brett Favre NOT run?” – well, leaving aside the fact that he could barely walk, let a lone run, maybe it was the fact that he has been playing QB for almost 20 years, and may actually see things that morons like you don’t.

The Wonder Of Apple’s Tablet – washingtonpost.com

The Wonder Of Apple’s Tablet – washingtonpost.com

Well, well, well….yet another “hype” article for the rumoured (though probably real in some form) Apple Tablet. I must admit, that I am of two minds on the the Apple Tablet (what ever it is will be called). On the one hand, I am very interested in seeing what Apple does with the idea. Will it be a real tablet, or will it just be a big iPhone? Will it run the iPhone OS or a real operating system?

I am mostly concerned simply because it comes from Apple. I personally find Apple to be one of the most troubling companies on the planet. Their closed systems and closed attitude towards the rest of the computing world bother me. Even worse are Apple fans. I dread to see the Apple Tablet merely on the grounds that 6 months later all of Apple fandom will be declaring loudly “how brilliant Steve Jobs is – he invented the Tablet!”.

Back to the article in the Washington Post. The author rightfully asks the question “Why would anyone want a tablet computer?” I personally love them. I have been using them for years (remember this for next Christmas kids – APPLE DID/WILL NOT INVENT THE TABLET PC). I have written several other posts about why I like them, and where I would like them to go in the future. Right now I have two Tablets – one is a slate model which I love. The other is the convertible Tablet given out to attendees at Microsoft PDC . This one has a great multi-touch interface running Windows 7. Its only weakness is pour handwriting support due to interference between touch capabilities and handwriting. In the house we also have two HP Touchsmart convertible tablets. These both support multi-touch and handwriting extremely well, and are well priced at just under $1000 (in Canada).

(Note here that MS already has a multitouch interface that supports gestures, handwriting, and runs a real OS, so is useful beyond just being another gadget.)

Now for the stupidest statement in the Washington Post article (possibly the stupidest tech statement made this year):

“The truth is that most of us don’t understand the allure of a tablet computer because they’ve all sucked up until now.”

Ok, the author just revealed himself to either be a moron, woefully uninformed, or just completely lacking in objectivity (perhaps stemming from the Crunchpad association). There are a number of very good tablets out there (and have been for a number of years). Any of the tablets from Motion Computing are great, though they are not consumer oriented (I have been using an LE1600 personally for 4+ years). The HP tablets have been consistently good. I have also heard great things about Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Dell tablets. The one complaint I have about all of them (except maybe the HP Touchsmart) is that the prices are way too high, but that is improving.

I will say I really want more out of a Tablet, as I said in a previous post. But that does not mean that all of the existing devices suck. Such a broad generalization, is well, just stupid.

Here is another statement from the article:

We’ll be living in a future with Minority Report, Star Trek, and Avatar interactive technology

it is interesting to note that the user interface in Minority Report was actually inspired by another non-Apple device – the Microsoft Surface.

The last quote I will take from this article is

Part of it is that Apple has a sterling record with consumer-oriented products.

Well, seems to me that Apple has failed a few more times than the author mentions. Seems the Mac Book Air didn’t do so well. Going back much further, anyone remember Steve Job’s Newton? Going back even further, Apple could be the dominant desktop OS right now if not for Job’s immeasurable ego back in the 80s (has that changed at all?).

My big concern here is how much of the consumer community reads and believes unsubstantiated drivel like this, and so dismisses anything non-Apple without even looking at it.   

A big part of the blame for this has to go to Microsoft, as well, and their atrocious marketing department. Tablet PCs have been around since 2002, and yet I still get stopped everywhere I travel by folks asking what my tablet is. How is that for getting the word out on one of your coolest technologies? It does not help that the press does not like to write about anything Microsoft because it is not “cool” to support MS.

So please folks, remember this – multi-touch, gesture-based computing is real and available today, and it is not from Apple. In addition, it runs an OS that lets you use everything you have been used to using, and does not lock you in to buying everything you ever want through Apple. And, you can even replace your own battery, unlike most Apple devices 🙂

PS – More hype for the “Apple saves the tablet” community is here. Also there is an older article Why Have Tablets Flopped? Here Are Five Reasons referenced. Of the five reasons quoted, only one is valid – price. Note also that the only pictures they use are of the Newton – the only real failure of the bunch. It is really sad that all of the media writing about tablets seems to have drunk the Apple Koolaid.

Free Upgrade to Windows 7!

I really have to laugh at the anti-Microsoft crowd, Mac fans, and open source crowd who argue that MS should argue that everyone who has Windows Vista should be given a free upgrade to Windows 7. They argue that because Vista was supposedly crap that they should be given the next version free.

Leaving aside the fact that most of the people who have complained so loudly about Vista are either uninformed users, journalists and others who make their living bashing anything MS (or the people who read them), or get all of thier information from Mac commercials, there is simply no argument for being given the next version free.

Say you went out and bought a car. A couple of years later, the manufacturer relases a new version of your car. How would your dealer react if you went in and asked for a free upgrade to the newer version of the car? Think you would have much luck with that?

How about your laptop – think you should get free upgrades to that every couple of years? How about your TV? Or cell phone? Or anything else in your life?

Unfortunately, no one sees software the same way that they see more tangible, physical items like cars and computers, even though the software frequently costs significantly more in R&D that the hardware does.

So go ahead – ask MS for a free upgrade. Just make sure you do the same to your car dealer, computer dealer, and be prepared to have all of your customers expect the same from you!

Man fined $305 for smoking in workplace – his truck

 Man fined $305 for smoking in workplace – his truck – Canada – Canoe.ca

Ok, this is going to be another rant.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Another example of our government sticking their noses into things that are none of their damn business. Whether smoking is bad for me or not, it is none of the government’s business if I do it in an environment which is not harming anyone else (I do not smoke, by the way).

If they can give a ticket to a truck driver for smoking in his own truck with no one else around, what is next? Will they come into my house and give me a ticket because I work from home?

It is long past time to stand up to our governments and stop them from invading our privacy. It is none of the government’s business if I smoke when I am by myself. It is none of government’s business if I wear a helmet on my motorcycle, or a seatbelt in my car. I wear both helmets and seatbelts because I am a compulsive “rule follower”, but I should not have to. It is none of the governments business if I want to watch TV purchased from south of the border, without the CRTC’s interference. I should even be able to smoke a little marijuana if I so choose (I do not do that either).

Just think of all of the money our various levels of government could save if they would just stay the hell out of things which are none of their concern!

Kindle 2 not coming to Canada? Who Cares?

 

Kindle 2 not coming to Canada | Quill & Quire

So, Kindle 2 is coming to 100 countries worldwide, and Canada is not one of them. Certainly not surprising. From the quote in the above post, it would seem that most of the issues preventing Kindle form coming to Canada involve digital publishing rights and negotiations with wireless carriers (isn’t that what held up the iPhone from coming to Canada for a long time?).

For me, it is really a non-issue. I cannot imagine spending that much money (it will probably be $500 in Canada, even with the favourable exchange rate) on yet another single-purpose tool.

I read eBooks on my slate Tablet PC. Google Reader and other tools in full screen mode provide a great reading experience. I can also use tools like PDF Annotator to mark up, red line and highlight  to my heart’s content. I can take pieces of text and print them to OneNote to consolidate research on a subject. Then on top of that, I have an actual PC so I can do all of the PC things I want to do.

Why on earth would I want to downgrade to a Kindle?

UPDATE:

Also reading this article on CNN. I notice the statement:

Apple is working on a tablet computer that is expected to launch in the coming months and which includes all the functionality of an e-reader.

Either the author did not do any homework, or is purposely biased (as most of the tech media is) towards the uber-coolness that is Apple (note extreme sarcasm here). Microsoft has had Tablet PCs for 7 years which also includes all of the functionality of an e-reader (I know, since I have been using it for that purpose for most of those 7 years).

It must be nice to be like Apple and Google, and have the so-called press do much of your marketing for you.

Guardian: “Microsoft beats Apple to the Tablet”. Really?

I hate to point this out, but contrary to what the Apple fanboys would have you believe, Microsoft beat Apple to the Tablet 7 years ago lol – they just f***ed up the marketing (as always).

As always, Apple loses the time-to-market battle, but will no doubt win the fanboy opinion battle. A few months a from now, the notoriously anti-Microsoft media will be proclaiming how brilliant Apple is for “inventing” the Tablet. 

Guardian: “Microsoft beats Apple to the Tablet”. Really? « Sharing the truth one thread at a time

Making it hard to buy stuff

I have been looking around at computers for my daughter who is starting university in a month. I am leaning towards the HP TouchSmart TX2 tablets. Now, if you follow that link there is some slick content about this Tablet, and a button which says “Shop for it”.

Well, clicking that button takes me to the following page (and has for several weeks):

image

Talk about not making for a good shopping experience!