VMG Blog Pages

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If McGuire or Bonds Get Into HOF, shouldn't Pete Rose?

I was having a conversation with my friend "Buzzy" earlier and he was talking about baseball. As it always does, the conversation came around to steroid use, the hall of fame and previously long standing records. I grew up as a Cincinnati Reds fan. When I was a kid, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and the gang were kings. I can't really condone gambling while participating, but then I think about the people who have already forgiven Bill Belichek and the Patriots. The steroid users and the New England staff were cheating and Rose was gambling. They may get a pass while Rose is tarnished.

I may be biased, but I doubt the MLB will run Bonds and others out of town, never to return, as they did to Rose. I think the numbers should speak for themselves, but unfortunately there is a "yet to be determined" MLB era that will forever be a black eye to the league. I don't think you can do anything but put an asterisk on a whole era of baseball. It's too difficult to compare the numbers.

If I were one of the players who did pretty good, but didn't juice, I would be outraged. I'm not sure who I would be angrier with, the players who brought a cloud over the game, or the league who looked the other way. Just like back in the playground days, the cheaters ruin the game for everyone else.

I don't believe that Rose's gambling has ever effected the out come of a game in which he was participating. That said, his actions did far less damage to baseball than the current parade of players who keep popping up in steroid probes. Is it fair that Pete Rose gets banned for life and these other players walk away with an asterisk? Where's the parity in that?

It's time for professional sports to clean it's own house and restore the integrity of their respective leagues. There is far too much money involved to not have strict enforcement of cheaters. I thought that Commisioner Goodell took a step in the right direction in handling the Patriots videotaping. I just don't think he went far enough. He could have hit them a lot tougher in the wallet. The fines he levied could be recouped by raising t-shirt prices 50 cents. Why wouldn't he park Belichek at home for a season and make an example out of him? I mean come on, Pac Man shoots up a strip club and he's out for just a season. It's not exactly exemplary behavior but again, it's not cheating. In the old west you would get shot under the table for cheating (shhh...don't tell Pac Man). Kidding aside, it does go to show how serious the integrity of the game should be taken.

So, I'll ask again and again and again....Why is Pete Rose forced to watch from the sidelines? I just don't get it...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Chinese Cars In America?

China's auto makers have set their sights on becoming the next exporting powerhouse on the world's roads and they have made emerging markets, from Latin America to Russia, their proving ground. They have reason to be satisfied so far: China sold 612,700 cars abroad last year, up nearly 80 percent, mostly in the developing world, according to the commerce ministry.

Safety concerns have dogged Chinese cars in their attempts to break into the United States and Europe. The latest in a string of crash test failures came last year with the Brilliance BS6, billed as a premium sedan at a budget price.
"An ice cube stands a better chance of survival in the Sahara than the driver of a BS6 does in a severe front or side impact", Car and Driver magazine said on reviewing the test results.

Chinese cars out to conquer world

I'm no big anti-everybody protectionist or anything, but don't we still have a huge trade deficit with these jokers? I'm pretty sure we don't need them trying to cut in on our already sagging auto market and flodding us with crappy, cheap and unsafe vehicles. Even if they built the nicest cars on the road, I don't think they should be allowed to sell cars in this country until China seriously addresses the trade imbalance they have benefitted from for years now. They could also use this issue to highlight China's poor human rights record. I hope some politician has the balls to step up and finaly tell the Chinese, No!

Russian MIG 29 Shoots Down Unmanned Drone

The Russians have shot down a Georgian unmanned recon drone that was flying in Georgian airspace. The Georgians, who are understandably mad, have offered this video as proof. This isn't the first time a MIG has shot down a drone aircraft. In 2002, an Iraqi MIG shot down one of our Predators.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

RIAA Suing Homeless man!

Our friends at the RIAA have been tossed out of court in case where the presiding judge described their lawyers as sloppy, but not intentionally misleading.

The dispute arose when they tried to serve a homeless man by attaching service in "a conspicuous place" at known bogus addresses. The freakin' guy was homeless! Of course this whole scenario shouldn't shock anyone who is familiar with the over the top behavior of the RIAA goon squad.

Recording Industry vs. The People

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cool...Mac OSX on a Whitebox Machine!

DWF15-1102519 A MAC vendor's website appears to have had their servers swamped and crashed shortly after their arrival was introduced to the blogosphere. As the news spread around the Internet that they were offering rock bottom deals on an off the shelf machine that would run the Leopard OS from Apple they suddenly disappeared. As of this writing, they seem to be back up and running. The machine they are offering more than doubles the specs of a Mac Mini at $100 less. The systems are also upgradeable. The Open Computer sports a faster processor (2.2GHz vs. 1.83GHz), double the memory (2GB vs. 1GB), three times more hard drive space (250GB vs. 80GB). The "Open Computer", as it is called, even comes with a power cable so you can start working with it out of the box.

Mac enthusiasts have been experimenting on running the new Apple operating systems on commodity PC hardware ever since the Intel-based Apple computers were introduced in early 2006. This effort came to be known as OSx86 Project. The "Open Computer" has evolved from the original OSx86 Project into a working commercial product.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that it is only a matter of time before the lawyers from Apple will have them shut down. Apple, who is notorious for heavy-handedly enforcing their intellectual property rights, is likely filing the necessary paperwork as you read this post. This may be a short lived glory for the folks at Psystar, but they have effectively uncorked the genie bottle and probably cemented themselves into Internet lore. One can assume that somewhere, Steve Jobs is having a meltdown.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Media Sentry Investigations Questioned


mediasentry1 Has Media Sentry (The RIAA investigating unit) been conducting illegal investigations in dozens of states? We may soon find out as several lawsuits in several states have been filed that allege they have. The suits claim that Media Sentry has been operating private investigations without first getting proper state investigators licenses. The Massachusetts State Police have issued them a cease and desist order prohibiting them from operating in the state until licensed.


It will be interesting to see how these cases play out over the months to come. The RIAA folks claim that any evidence they've obtained, even if it was done illegally, is still admissible in a civil court case. They are also claiming that getting licenses in all 50 states would be too expensive for someone to simply enforce their copyrights. But apparently 20,000 lawsuits does seem to be a cost-effective move....

Read More at ARS Technica

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Should Vermont Schools be Teaching Internet Safety?

Virginia is the first state to put Internet safety classes into action as being mandatory, but Texas and Illinois have also passed legislation to have some form of classes in the near future. Judi Westberg Warren of Web Wise Kids, a non-profit organization providing free lessons to schools to teach 11 to 16-year-olds about Web safety, said that other states are also considering similar legislation. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimated that in 2006, 13% of children between the ages of 10 an 17 that were online had received unwanted sexual advances, and 4% of those children had been asked for sexually explicit or naked photos of themselves.

The Virginia program is attempting to safeguard the children by educating the students as well as the parents. To the children, they are trying to explain never to meet anyone you meet solely online, as well as trying to remember that anything you post today could come back to haunt you years from now when applying to a university or a job. For the parents, they are trying to explain that they should install filtering software as well keeping computers in common areas of the home so they can monitor their child’s activities while online.

Virginia Schools Start To Teach Internet Safety


I think it would be a wise choice to enact a program like this in Vermont. Kids and parents should be alarmed at the amount of sleaze on the internet. Many kids are exposed to crap and never tell an adult. This makes it difficult to get accurate data. I would bet that the numbers are probably higher. I've seen most everything on the web there is to see, but every once in a while a teenager will out do me with a ..."check this out!". I'm always amazed at the maturity of some of the subject matter, but honestly, it's usually pretty funny...

If courses in school do nothing more than raise awareness of internet safety and security, they have done a great deal. It's amazing how many people are oblivious to any level of protection beyond what came on their computer out of the box. By keeping trends and issues at the front of an educational program, it would help insulate our real world lives from the net world by adding a layer of education to protect us all.