Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Notes on Sport

With Mountain Bike season over, Team Ober returns to the gym and the ice. We sent our bikes to our master mechanic, Mark, for suspension overhauls and other various assorted maintenance operations. It looks like I'm going to have to overhaul my front fork as well as replace my bottom bracket; 'tis the cost of doing business I suppose.

We started our team spinning classes this morning at 6am. Some of the younger guys on the team did a lot of bitching but excellence is touch to come by. As we prepare for the Fat Tire Classic in Colorado next year, we'll need all the leg power we can get.

The sport of Boxing takes an exciting turn on Saturday night as Bernard Hopkins tries to take back his title from Jermain Taylor. The fight may be the most important middle-weight context in 20+ years. Unfortunately, nobody cares about boxing but me and 8 other people and 6 of us probably won't bother to pay for the pay-per view. Way to go boxing!

The NHL is back and Ober couldn't be happier. It took a while to accept the league back after braking my heart last year. With rule changes and parity, the league is as exciting as ever. A new poll suggests that the shoot-out rule for overtime is even popular with the players as well as the fans. Meanwhile, the banishment of the two-line pass penalty has proved to be an exciting change.

Sidney Crosby has revived my hopes for the hapless Penguins and started making is less necessary for me to be a filthy traitor by supporting the Wings. But the Ottawa Senators may be the biggest surprise with their offensive prowess. Danny Heatley has now scored a point in 22 straight games; that's pretty impressive.

And yes, I still hate fencers.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Greatest Actor Who's Name You Don't Know

Odds are you've seen a movie with Chris Cooper. I've made it a point to remember his name and wouldn't you know, have forgotten it time and time again; it's quite frustrating.

Here's my point: After seeing Capote this weekend (and liking it a bunch), I was reminded of William H. Macy's quote about making good choices. Macy once said, in an interview, that all actors at a certain level are roughly equal. What distinguishes them in the end are the choices they make. Naturally, you're wondering how a man that made Jurassic Park III could say this with a straight face...perhaps he was being ironical. But back to Mr. Cooper... Chris Cooper is one of those actors that seems to have made all those right choices.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Consumer Reviews: GameRush vs. Gamefly

I recently cancelled my GameRush account at Blockbuster. In lieu of my GameRush account, I've subscribed to Gamefly.

What was the problem with GameRush? First, availability. Games were in short supply when they were first released - which is when you want them. Waiting 30 days to get a new game is not acceptable.

Second, there is no waiting list or way to reserve a game. In short, you show up and hope to catch your game. Bad idea.

Next, is the cost. For $14.95 I can get 1 game at Gamefly or 2 games for $21.95. I usually only focus on 1 game at a time so I went with the $14.95 / 1 game option. GameRush costs $23.31 for 1 game at a time.

On the downside is Gamefly's 2-4 day turn-around. But given how I've waited 23 days for Galactic Battlefront 2 at Blockbuster, is it really an issue?

Monday, November 21, 2005

US Torture and Habeas Corpus

Julian Sanches at Reason puts forth a nice piece on the US' torture woes.

An interesting article on its own but notice Mr. Sanches links to this interesting article at the Post. From the Post article titled "Detainees Deserve Court Trials:"
Adel is innocent. I don't mean he claims to be. I mean the military says so. It held a secret tribunal and ruled that he is not al Qaeda, not Taliban, not a terrorist. The whole thing was a mistake: The Pentagon paid $5,000 to a bounty hunter, and it got taken.

The military people reached this conclusion, and they wrote it down on a memo, and then they classified the memo and Adel went from the hearing room back to his prison cell. He is a prisoner today, eight months later. And these facts would still be a secret but for one thing: habeas corpus.


Notes on American Poverty

Yahoo's Finance
quizes are usually fairly interesting. This weeks quiz asked what percentage of Americans live below the poverty line. The answer, noted here at QC is 12.7% or 37 million people.

From the notes:
Surprisingly, this increase in poverty occurred during a year when the economy added 2.2M new jobs. Some experts attribute this paradox to the fact that most of the economic growth in 2004 went towards capital gains, dividends, interest and rent instead of towards income growth for lower-wage employees.

Friday, November 11, 2005

[The Long Overdue] Time to Reconsider Your Password Policy

This article at Security Focus discusses the new venture at RainbowCrack Online. In short, you send them a hash, cash, and they crack your password for you using the faster time-memory trade-off technique (or RainbowCrack). Of course, this is only for legitimate business purposes right?

The article, and the on-going discussion in the security community, details the fatal flows in our traditional one-factor authentication systems.

Update: Here is a link to a description of types of authentication from Wikipedia.

A Fine Tradition

The tradition of poor government in the Americas had a fine advocate in Alberto Fujimori. Not that there weren't some issue he resolved effectively, it just seems he went the route others of his ilk did; authoritarian government with a sprinkle of corruption.

Now, Fujimoro has caused a stinky-poo featuring, you guessed it, his dual-citizenship in Peru and Japan. So yes, the president of a sovereign nation kept his citizenship in another country. Sweet. Way to plan ahead!

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