Friday, November 17, 2006

John W. Scherer Video Professor Blog Nov. 17, 2006

Let’s talk technology!

Do you Zune?

Should Apple be worried? Is Zune going to be hotter than Elmo TMX this Holiday Season? Who knows? It’s been a long time coming, but Microsoft finally stepped up to the plate and is trying to challenge their rival. Microsoft launched its own MP3 player this week in hopes of taking a significant chunk out of the iPod’s market penetration. Unless Microsoft comes up with a way to market Zune as the hottest product on the market, like Apple did a few years back, they won’t even make a dent. I guess Video Professor needs to offer a learning lesson on managing your music files and give suggestions on what MP3 players will give you the best value.
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A tough road ahead
I’m all for competition in the business world, but I really think Zune is going to have a tough go of it. The iPod has such a head start that it is going to be nearly impossible for Microsoft to catch up — especially if Apple keeps making deals so that the iPod can penetrate every aspect of our lives. This week, company officials announced a deal with six airlines that will allow travelers to connect their video iPods to monitors and watch their videos and movies in the comfort (or lack thereof) of their seats. What’s next, hook ups in our showers?
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New Windows Updates
Here is another public service announcement from your friends at Video Professor. Our computer tutorials have been teaching people how to protect their computers for years. We can teach you all the tricks, but if you don’t keep your software up-to-date, you’ll still be in trouble. Microsoft released some security patches this week, so if you haven’t done so already, you’d better download them.
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And, if you are ever looking for more information about computer safety, or any computer-related topic really, our web site,, has a robust resource library with hundreds of great articles containing plenty of info. Click here to check out the library.

Off topic:

The new Evil Empire

I remember the days long ago when it was fun to bash the New York Yankees for overspending to build their roster. My, how the past two years have flown by. Steinbrenner would spend millions of dollars more than other owners to build his championship team. The only problem is that the boys in pinstripes haven’t won a World Series title since 2000. It used to be so much fun to laugh at the Yankees; it was fun until last week when the boys from “Chowder Nation” did the same thing. There is a young pitcher in Japan, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has the potential to become the next Cy Young. He has nasty stuff, great control, more than 1,300 strikeouts, a career ERA of less than three and he’s only 26. Don’t get me wrong, Matsuzaka is a phenomenal talent, but nobody can accurately predict how he will pitch in the Majors. Red Sox management is so enamored with this young stud that they paid $51 million to the Seibu Lions simply for the rights to negotiate a contract with Matsuzaka. The Sox could conceivably come to a deal with the pitcher for say $15 million a year over the next three years. That is a pretty common salary for a top pitcher. If that happens, they will have close to $100 million invested in a guy that has yet to prove himself against top AL hitters like Derek Jeter, Jermaine Dye, Alex Rodriguez and Joe Mauer. I’m not completely ready to stop laughing at the boys in pinstripes, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to respect other teams that do the same thing. That is, unless this whole stunt was just a ploy to prevent the Yankees from buying another top talent. Hmmmmmm.
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Picks o’ the week!
I bounced back! After a couple of 1-2 weeks, I’m back to my winning ways. Granted, I wasn’t perfect last week, but I’ll take 2-1. Thanks, Kansas City. The NFL is wonderful. I should have lost two games last week, but thanks to a second half meltdown by the Bengals, I was able to pull out a win. San Diego scored 42 points in the second half to win a thriller in “the Nati.” What is this bizarre NFL world we are living in? A Marty Schottenheimer-coached team is capable of posting 49 points on the road while Mike Shanahan, an offensive genius, can only get his team to score 17 against the pathetic Raiders? Funny I mention the “Bolts” and Broncos. They play under the lights Sunday night, and I think this game should be the game of the week. I’ll give you my prediction later.

A quick note on New England: I gave you a reprieve after losing at home to Indianapolis. That can be forgiven. I still thought you were a legitimate contender. But after that stunt you pulled Sunday at home against the Jets, I’m getting ready to write you off. Three home losses in your first nine games is unacceptable.

Now that I have that out of my system, let’s move onto my picks. I’m 17-13 heading into Week 11.

Denver over San Diego: Did I mention that this has the makings of a great game? I know Denver’s offense struggled last week against Oakland, while San Diego posted 49 on the road. Denver is at home, however, and they are a different beast. Plus, here are a couple of compelling stats I saw this week that prove the Chargers struggle in the Mile High City: 1) LaDainian Tomlinson, arguably the best running back in the NFL, averages only 52.8 yards a game in Denver. 2) The Chargers have lost six straight in Denver and since 1987 are a measly 2-17 against the Broncos in Denver. Ouch!

Baltimore over Atlanta: The Ravens scare me. They are quietly becoming a force in the AFC. Their defense is playing very well, conjuring up images of 2000. But what surprises me is that the offense is starting to click. They have pretty much flown under the radar recently, with all the publicity going to Indy, Denver and New England. But, this team is 7-2, and if they take care of business Sunday, they’ll have a share of the second-best record in the AFC.

Dallas over Indianapolis: Yes, you read that correctly. The Cowboys, despite being the most dysfunctional family in the entire NFL, will beat the Colts at home. I have no rational thoughts to back up this prediction. Call it a gut feeling. The way the NFL has played out this season, a Cowboys win certainly wouldn’t shock me.

John W. Scherer
CEO and Founder