Friday, November 23, 2007
A mysterious group of sports writers picked Jimmie Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies as the National League MVP. They obviously didn’t see the Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday play. They obviously didn’t read his statistics. They obviously blew the call. They obviously have an East Coast bias. This makes them oblivious and obtuse… obviously. I say, HOO-RAY for Holliday!
Baseball is going to need a very big asterisk
If for some, strange and incredibly bizarre reason Barry Bonds makes it into Cooperstown, there won’t be an asterisk big enough to put next to his name and “accomplishments.” It’s been both interesting and incredibly sad to see Bud Selig and company hide their heads in the sand.
Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Littwin recently wrote an article entitled “Special bat a reminder of a time before steroids,” in the article he writes that he heard about Barry Bond’s indictment the same day he bought a baseball bat autographed be his hero, Duke Snyder on eBay®. Baseball is “the one game where history matters” said Littwin. He also added that when you lie to the government, they will win 95 percent of the time. That’s .950 in baseball terms. Even A-Rod isn’t that good.
I would bet that Bond’s only visit to Cooperstown will be as a paying customer. You see, the Baseball Hall of Fame is for heroes.
There are many terrific professional athletes out there. They realize that fame and fortune comes with responsibility. One great example of this is Domonique Foxworth of the Denver Broncos. He’s a volunteer teacher at one of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver every Tuesday night, leading creative writing class. He’s one of the many pro athletes who volunteer when the cameras aren’t there. Good for him.
They call it Cyber Monday
You’re likely hearing about Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when people fight incredible crowds, jammed parking lots and long lines at stores. Growing in popularity is the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is becoming a big on-line shopping day. MediaPost.com writer Seana Mulcahy calls it “Cyber Monday”. She reports on 58 percent of on-line shopping is done from the office, which spikes up after the holiday weekend and search engine queries go up 20 percent. One can safely assume that worker productivity goes down about the same amount!
The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
"We all agree. Climate change is real, and we humans are its chief cause... we are on the verge of a catastrophe if we do not act,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The United Nations warns that unless we do something by 2012, it’s the beginning of the end for planet Earth. Ki-moon points out China and the United States as the two biggest polluters in the world. Actually, India deserves the 2nd spot on the list but facts do not matter much at the UN. It’s the UN that allows terrorist nations to serve on the Human Rights and Security Councils, and spends time at tea parties while people are slaughtered in places like Darfur every day.
Once again, would someone with credibility step up for a free and reasonable debate on the subject? The keyword being credibility.
Stupid HOA tricks
Mary Sims is a nice lady who lives in Aurora, Colorado. Her son died in Iraq two years ago fighting for our freedom. Her husband is a civilian contractor working in Iraq. She has an American flag hanging from the front porch of her home to honor her son, her husband and all those who serve. Her Home Owner’s Association says she has to take it down. The rule says her porch is a “common element,” whatever that means and flags aren’t allowed. She can hang it in her window, but not on the porch. Mary vows not to take the flag down. Good for her.
Tech news and notes
Amazon® is trying to revive its e-book business. They want to kindle your interest in curling up with a Kindle. Instead of a book, there is a screen about the size of a book. Reception has been lukewarm, at best, so expect the next generation to include pictures and snazzy graphics. Just like real books, except you can store hundreds of books on the one device.
DirecTV® is making an out-of-this-world offer to NASA. Really. The satellite TV provider wants to install a receiver and a High Definition flat screen in the International Space Station. Of course, they’ll have to orbit between noon and 5pm waiting for installation.
Big is bigger, at least for big screen TV manufacturers. Companies like Sony®, Toshiba® and Philips® are pushing 40-inch screens and larger this shopping season. Sony especially, promoting both size and brand, claiming they have the better screen. (Thanks to www.MediaPost.com)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone
It’s my wish that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We all have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is living in the United States of America. Let’s take a moment amidst the feasting and football to remember our troops standing guard here at home and around the world. Also, that at least in some places, we’re still allowed to fly our flag, that part needs work.
My inbox is open 24/7
E-mail me anytime with ideas, thoughts, comments and suggestions at CEO@videoprofessor.com.
Enjoy you enjoyed your holiday,
John W. Scherer
Friday, November 16, 2007
Bonds indictment makes for creative headlines
A grand jury has indicted Barry Bonds on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. It’s making for some very creative headlines around the country. My favorites:
“Lyin’ King”-Rocky Mountain News
Drew Litton, sports editorial cartoonist, has a cartoon showing Bonds going from “Inducted” to “Indicted.”
“A full count on Bonds”-The Denver Post
“Mighty Barry has struck out”-Woody Paige of ESPN and The Denver Post.
I’m a firm believer that everyone deserves their day in court and that holds true for Barry Bonds. But, he’s definitely spent his last day playing baseball.
This is a sad day for baseball. And shame on baseball for letting this happen. Sadly the courts are doing, what baseball should have done a long time ago. There are a lot of kids who idolize these players. And that's the saddest part of all this.
College football: parity and clarity?
Ohio State became the latest team to add a loss next to their win column. Just two teams remain undefeated as the regular season winds down, Kansas and Hawaii. Many sports pundits attribute it all to parity in college football. Yet the Jayhawks are ranked 3rd in the BCS poll behind LSU and Oregon, who both have lost one game. Hawaii is ranked 16th. It’s not about parity, it’s about politics and it will all change again. As I post this, Oregon lost to Arizona on Thursday night. But it does give the sports talk shows great fodder. And I’ll be talking about it more in next week’s blog.
Mark your calendars for this game
Army takes on Navy December 1 for one of the best college football traditions in the nation. The players on these two teams, along with the players at the bowl-bound Air Force Academy don’t have multi-million dollar contracts waiting for them when they graduate. Instead they’ll serve at least five years in service to our nation. The only “bling” they can look forward to is a shiny new set of Lieutenant’s bars on their shoulders or perhaps some aviator wings.
Then, when they return to class Monday after the game, they’ll be getting ready for finals in courses like engineering, physics and chemistry.
It’s always a fabulous game to watch, full of tradition and sportsmanship. But these players are truly something special. Enjoy the game and honor their commitment to America!
As far as bowls, Navy is heading to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego (there will be no shortage of Navy fans in that crowd) with Air Force likely playing in the Fort Worth Bowl.
Veteran’s Day Salute
Our own team here at Video Professor gets up bright and early each Veteran’s Day to place over 150 flags around our headquarters. Here’s a link to a video of our COO Bettye Harrison and the team honoring our vets.
What’s with Terrell and Randy?
Did you notice that the only attention Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are getting this season is for on-field accomplishment instead of off-field silliness? Maturity is a wonderful thing, however late in coming. Plus it makes a difference in the win-loss column.
Tu-lo two short
O.K., I’m a homer and I am very disappointed that Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzski lost out by two votes to the Milwaukee Brewer’s Ryan Braun for Rookie of the Year. The voters appreciated hitting more than fielding, apparently. No worries Troy. Keep playing the way you do and you’re going to end up in Cooperstown. Without the asterisk!
How about a debate Al?
Al Gore won an Oscar for his documentary (actually a video of a Microsoft Power Point® presentation) about global warming. He even won the Nobel Peace Prize. (But so did Yasser Arafat.) Curiously, he ducks every opportunity to actually debate his claim of an imminent global disaster. Gore may indeed be right. But, many distinguished scientists and even – John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel dispute what he says. I think hearing both sides would be very interesting.
Google®, Gas and Go
O.K. guys, one less reason for us not to ask for directions. Google is launching a program at 3,500 gas pumps around the country. While you gas up, the pump will have a screen where you can get directions using the Google Maps feature. You’ll still have to check your own oil however. Although I’m sure Google is working on that too.
I got this from a friend. It’s a joke, or is it? “The reason congress tries so hard to get re-elected is that they would hate to have to make a regular living under the laws they pass.”
Memo to Wall Street
I don’t have a degree in economics from an Ivy League school, but my suggestion to the folks on Wall Street; don’t buy stuff you can’t afford and don’t lend money to people who can’t pay it back. The headline in this week’s edition of Fortune Magazine says it best. “What were they smoking?”
Colorado State University has launched a very popular new course on brewing beer. Officially it’s called Brewing Science and Technology. Yes, science is involved including engineering, biochemistry and microbiology. The class has room for 20 students, but hundreds applied. They actually produce their own micro-brews with tasting parties. Imagine getting an e-mail from your college kid asking for money for beer class!
Tech news and notes
Intel® announced a new chip this week. It will have 820 million transistors. That’s up from 582 million. For a real comparison, Intel’s first chips released in the 1970’s had just 2,700 transistors. Look for these new and very powerful chips to show up in servers and high-end video games soon. All in something that fits on the tip of your finger. Wow.
I hear that Google is in talks with American Idol creator Simon Fuller that “…could change the way TV is watched over the Internet.” According to sources in the U.K.’s The Guardian, the partnership will do for video, what Apple’s iTunes® music store did for music.
It used to be for kids that saving up your pennies followed by a trip to the comic book store was the highlight of a Saturday afternoon. Then you could catch up on the adventures of your favorite superhero. Marvel Comics is now taking the experience online. You’ll be able to sign up for a year for $4.99 per month and have access to 2,500 titles. These will include original issues of Spiderman and other Marvel comic book heroes.
The Professor is in
My inbox is open 24/7. It’s always great to hear from you about the blog, comments about our product and suggestions to serve you better. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John W. Scherer
Friday, November 09, 2007
Ok, without a doubt, the New England Patriots will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Their win on Sunday against the Colts showed me a team very strong team on both sides of the ball. They beat a great team in a great game. I believe they will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLII. Brett Favre is playing like a 28-year-old, not someone 10 years older. It will be some game! What would really make it exciting is if the Packers play the Cowboys for the NFC championship. Remember when they played 40 years ago on the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field?
The Pats look simply unbeatable. For those of you who disagree with my choices, feel free to drop me an e-mail and tell me why I’m wrong!
I recently read a report on http://www.ESPN.com/ that Alex Rodriguez wanted at least a $350 million offer from the Yankees before he would even consider meeting with them. There was no meeting. Wow, one-third of a billion dollars for a baseball player.
Instant replay for baseball?
Baseball General Managers voted 25-5 in favor of limited use of instant replay by umpires. Instant replay would be limited to determine only if possible home run balls are fair or foul, go over the fence or bounce back and of course fan interference. Personally, I think replays would make long games longer and would take away the human factor of a game that is played with a stick and a ball. Baseball changes about as fast as molasses flows in January. We’ll see.
The folks at Google™ unveiled their long-awaited cell phone strategy. It’s called Android. Essentially, Google would like to make Internet services work on your cell phone the way they do on your computer. You can easily e-mail someone from your PC to their Apple. Although, the multitude of cell service providers and manufacturers make it difficult to do the same thing with your mobile devices. Google isn’t going to manufacture phones like Apple does with its iPhone™, nor do they plan to offer their own cell service. What they plan on offering is an operating system with a full feature Internet browser that will work across all cell phones. Some big names are already signing on including LG® Electronics, Sprint®, T-Mobile®, Qualcomm®, Texas Instruments Incorporated®, Samsung® and even eBay®. Apple® and AT&T® haven’t. Ultimately, consumers will benefit from all of this. As companies like Google offer more and more services, prices come down and we all prosper. Look for it to launch by the middle of next year.
TIME Magazine’s pick of top tech toys
The November 12th edition of TIME® Magazine TIME® Magazine is a must-read if you’re into tech toys. Their invention of the year is on the cover; the iPhone. TIME TIME describes the iPhone as “more than just a gadget. It’s a genuine handheld computer, the first device that really deserves the name.” It is also one of the reasons Video Professor came up with our popular “Digital Devices Made Easy” tutorial. When you invest in tech, it’s best to get the maximum benefit from that investment by knowing how to use it.
Dobbs dumps on candidates
CNN’s Lou Dobbs never hesitates to speak his mind. Speaking this week on Larry King Live, he predicted that none of the existing presidential candidates from either party will be elected. He thinks someone may actually step up with real solutions to the challenges our nation faces. Maybe even a third-party bid.
Hail and farewell to a hero
General Paul Tibbets, who commanded the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb on Japan during World War II, died last week at the age of 92. Tibbets was a hero in every sense of the word. His mission over Hiroshima directly helped bring an end to a terrible war. I hope that this nation finds an appropriate way to honor him. If we had invaded Japan, there would have been millions of casualties. Tibbets and his brave crew prevented that. Sadly, Tibbets requested no funeral or gravestone because he feared it would be disrupted, or worse, by protesters. People who still protest against the Hiroshima bombing should take note; it would never have happened if we weren’t attacked first at Pearl Harbor. Just like the attack on 9-11,someone else always starts it. Heroes like Paul Tibbets always step up to bring an end to it.
I salute General Tibbets and all those who continue to serve so bravely to keep us free.
Tech News and Notes
A new Harris Interactive poll shows 80 percent of us now use the Web on a regular basis. That is up from just 9percent 12 years ago when they started polling. Still, that 20percent who don’t use the Web translates into 60 million Americans. (I have a great tutorial for them.)
Research released this week by the Kelsey Group reveals 44.7percent of mobile phone users say Internet capability will be a key factor in buying their next cell phone. (I guess Google really is onto something!)
Next year’s Olympic Games in China are billed as the “high-tech games.” But an attempt to sell tickets online failed when an influx of ticket buyers crashed the site. They’ will try a lottery system instead. They should have called the Rockies first.
I read on http://www.CNNmoney.com/, that the perception of the United States is that we are shedding jobs overseas, but we apparently continue to develop new and better ones like no one else. What are the hot, new careers? Disease mapper, robot programmer, information engineer, radiosurgeon. My favorite?, Second life lawyer ,yep, practicing law on virtual sites like www.SecondLife.com.
Inbox open 24/7
As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts, ideas and comments. Especially ideas for new products and how all of us at Video Professor can serve you better. E-mail me at email@example.com.
John W. Scherer
Friday, November 02, 2007
The Boston Red Socks swept the Rockies. All it took was fabulous pitching, timely hitting and the fact that the Rockies left way too many runners stranded, instead of hitting them home. It’s the second series sweep for Boston in just four years and already there is talk of a dynasty. With A-Rod on the market, and Boston on the very short list of teams who can actually afford him, they could have a long run. The Yankees won’t be a factor next year, so I won’t be surprised at all to see Boston in the series next year. And the year after that.
Two key stats that tell the story:
Team series batting average: Boston- .333, Rockies- .218
Batting average with runners in scoring position: Boston- .419, Rockies- .167
That said …
Rockies fans are down but not out. It would have been nice to win at least one game, but the bar was set so low last April that it made September and October beyond memorable. The Rockies are a very young team, with just about everyone coming back next year. Boston played fabulously. They had to because the Rockies are a terrific team with very good pitching, fielding and hitting. Of course, after this season, the bar will be set a tad higher. Opening day at Coors Field will be awesome, especially when they raise the National League Championship Pennant.
Former Rockies star Joe Girardi is set to take the helm of the New York Yankees, by the way. He was hugely popular here in Denver and has made the transition from Blake Street Bomber to Bronx Bomber easily. Former Yankees manager Joe Torre looks to be headed for the top job with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That job has a great perk: You get October off! (Sorry Dodgers fans, I couldn’t resist that one.)
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in three and a half months. I can’t wait!
If you need to reach me Sunday….
I’ll be in front of the TV watching the Patriots play the Colts . Regardless of who you are cheering for , it will be a pleasure to watch two of the best teams in football play against each other. One of them will be playing in the next Super Bowl.
World Internet Day
Monday, October 29, 2007 was World Internet Day. There are many different stories about exactly who invented the Internet. Here is a link to a lot of interesting information about something that is such a large part of our lives, including all of us here at Video Professor. A number that really caught my attention was that, according to Internet World Statistics, 1.244 billion people have access to the Internet.
Our tax dollars at work. Really.
Once in a while the Government gets things right. This week Congress voted unanimously to extend the moratorium on state and local Internet taxes. Both Republicans and Democrats agreed that surfing the Net shouldn’t be a taxing experience. The moratorium continues through 2014.
$100 laptop! Just $200.
MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte had a good idea: Produce a laptop affordable to just about everyone. His $100 laptop was the talk of the town, and third world countries. But as they say, reality bites. The machines are now priced at $200, with only Uruguay, Peru and Mongolia placing orders. Negroponte predicted he’d sell 2.5 million laptops by May. His heart was in the right place, but as with anything going to market, start-up costs, manufacturing and marketing all add to the bottom line. Negroponte’s biggest mistake was setting too high an expectation with too low a price. If he can indeed market the machine to millions of people with a $200 price tag, good for him. But that won’t be the headline.
Tech News and Notes
It’s looking like the much anticipated cell phone by Google™ will become a reality next year. Look for an announcement in a couple of weeks.
The name is weird, but look for a new video site called Hulu.com. The NBC/News Corp.-owned site is being tested right now.
Nintendo® is saying “whoo-hoo” about Wii. Third quarter revenue indicators put Nintendo ahead of the Microsoft® Xbox® and Sony® PlayStation® lines.
Inbox Open 24/7
As always, it’s great to hear from you. I get so many great ideas for products from folks just like you. E-mail me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next week.