Friday, April 29, 2005

Moneyballin' Man

I know, I know...Don't be upset...I've been finishing off the final stretch of assignments for my Grad Degree, and that's why I've been soft on the posts this week...So, my apologies are due...

I hope that you accept them because I had a great time reading another masterpiece article from Michael Lewis this past week from last Sunday's New York Times Magazine. Check out "Absolutely, Power Corrupts." here...But hit it up soon because it's on the fifth day of the NYTimes free article life span...(Isn't that time-frame deadline one of the dumbest rules of online periodicals today?)

In my mind, Lewis is one the top sportswriters...Yes, I said it...in the game today.

He sold me when I read "Moneyball" two years ago, and he pushed me over the edge after I read his portrayal of New York Giants GM Ernie Accorsi and his education process of quarterback, Eli Manning...Never mind the fact that Lewis had the inside track on Manning info because of his New Orleans Newman High connections...;)

Well, after his money article on Sunday, Lewis also handled some hot Q's from NYTimes readers, who continue to pester him with his thoughts on 'Moneyball'. Check them out here, but again catch while you can...And for you naysayers that say it doesn't work...People get off it...These theories have been working for a couple of decades now...Get over it.

And for you stat-heads, economists, business statistcians, and financial analysts that are sticking this in old-school baseballheads' faces...It's not the whole story either. So, get off of it.

Whichever way you fall, I do like Lewis's response to this Q because it addresses the fact of why small teams won't continue to their comparative advantages over big-market teams for long.

Q. 6. What, if anything, will ever drive baseball toward realistic income parity between the dominant teams and other markets?
- Jo G. Prichard, Jackson, Miss.

A. The death of George Steinbrenner. Seriously, the only way that baseball owners and players agree to the sort of salary caps and revenue sharing that have created such a level financial playing field in the N.F.L. is if they experience a real crisis on the business end of the game. And if you step back from it a bit you see that the game is in pretty good shape. But I think that the theoretical problem envisioned by M.L.B. more than a decade ago — that when you have rich and poor teams, the rich teams would always beat the poor ones — will become more of a real problem the more efficient the market becomes. The Oakland A's — and other poor teams — can compete with a small payroll because they can find ways to make that money go further. But once they lose their intellectual advantage, they are doomed. The Los Angeles Angels spending twice as much on baseball players as Oakland matters more in 2005 than the Texas Rangers spending nearly three times as them in 2002.

Now to tell you where I fall with all of this. I do believe that there still should be some creedence given to intangibles, and there is room for old-school 'feels' as to how a player interacts in a team environment...Why?

Because I do believe in team-chemistry, hot-streaks, and locker-room politicians in sports, and I believe they still play a major role with winning teams.

I also believe that "Moneyball" practices don't answer for dumb oddities such as failures as poor base-running mistakes that killed the A's twice in the ALCS...Ask Eric Byrnes and Jeremy Giambi about the art of sliding...Unfortunately, that's where those little "old-school" things make or break you.

With that said, I'm not banging the 'old-school' drum. Believe me, I'm a full buyer of the new school "Moneyball" theories. It's just that I believe in the blended approach...You can't slough off intangibles...For you stat heads, how about 25/75...that's not unreasonable.



Enjoy the reads. Lewis's theories are right on.

I'm off to Charlotte...I'll be back in full-force on Sunday.

Peace,
IronDog

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Hoops Story Continues...

With the mass departure of the 'Big 4' imminent in Chapel Hill, here's some good news on 'for the love of the hoops' front, and I had to promote it...

In particular, this is for the Tar Heel fans, who are crying for their lost ones at the elite level...Believe me, don't boo-hoo, they'll be back at an even higher level in two years...Just please take a look at the other half, and do not forget the ones that continue to slip through the cracks chasing the dream of getting to the elite University of North Carolina level.

Check out the update on the sequel to "Hoops Dreams" from the original documentary team of director, Steve James; cinematographer-producer, Peter Gilbert; and producer, Frederick Marx.

With that said, I thought you would like to see this update on this upcoming sequel because this story is not just a basketball story, it portrays a number of problems in cities across the country.



I know a lot of you are like myself and loved the original "Hoops Dreams", which may be one of the greatest American documentary films ever...Seriously. I hope that the sequel can play along with the first one at basketball camp lectures and career counseling sessions at inner-city high schools across the country.

Peace,
IronDog

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Left one on the Table

Sometimes I go through "the Feeder" and I miss a few nuggets....Well, here' s a good one on the fall of mass culture....

***Yes, how did I miss this one from a week ago?..."The Long Tail" has a good one for you. Click here about the fall of mass culture...After reading it, I asked myself, who would have ever thought the 'water cooler' discussion would have ever curtailed?

Yet, when you think about your workplace and how much the discussions have changed. Games are the only one 'cooler' discussions left really, and with DVRs, that's changing as well. I mean think about it...How many times do you hear "I have it taped, and I'm going to watch it tonight"...A lot.

What I like is that "The Long Tail" is taking into consideration that people are consuming the same content a la "watching the same shows but on different nights". From the post, it seems as if people's viewing patterns are so way off that the mass "cooler" discussion reallly has faded away. It seems that we know about the content surrounding a subject but yet we relate to the content so differently that we're not sharing the same experiences...It's wild.

I liked this post a lot...It's all about the 'tribes', and the facts are there. This a good quote for you. "We are turning from a mass market into a niche nation." My question for everyone now is, what happens when you have a mass amount of niches?

Culture Driven,
IronDog

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Berkeley Laptop Video

I just clicked on the link from my post today, and I've realized that the link that I posted earlier from the Cal Berkeley biology professor doesn't work...

So, here's the link to 'Boing Boing'. Hit it up because they also have a few variations of the rant on Boing Boing's post...Damn, somebody had to be sweatin' in that lecture hall.

"WE are going to get this person",
IronDog

Notes from The Lab - 4/20/05

I posted these tidbits on ibiblio's ibiblog, "Notes From the Lab" today...Check out the tids...Especially, that Berkeley prof..."Awwwwwww, you in trou-ble!"...

***But before we get to tough stuff...Google just released a 'Search History' option, which has everyone in a tizzy.

Thank you Google for our searches...Especially, for saving those far-out searches from a couple years back. Yet...And I know that not many people would care about this blogga's mad searching capabilites, but I have a feeling the ads are going to be pouring down my pipelines in the near future with this tool.

John Battelle is promising a heavy essay from'Battelle's SearchBlog' on this one...Check it out here...I'll be on the lookout for you when his theory comes down the line.

The search brew is getting thicker...A9...A9...A9...

***Joi Ito hit me in the mouth with his news that "echo123", the intro voice on Skype, has been replaced...Check it out here...Damn, I thought 'Kerli' was kind of fly, but in a very weird way....Get her back on!



***Now for the tough stuff...
Did you catch this one?...Pulled this one from 'Boing Boing', and the blogpost warning wasn't kidding...This bio professor from Berkeley is not playin' around.

Be sure to fast-forward to about 48:50 on your media player for full effect unless you want to sit through a Cal Berkeley lab lecture.

Gawd damn! You better get that computer back, son...The reaper is coming for ya'!

***By the way, how tight is San Francisco...I don't smoke the funky stuff any more, but The Red Vic ran 'The Big Lebowski' at 4:20PM on 4/20. That's still ill in my book...

Doin' it in the Dark,
IronDog

Monday, April 18, 2005

Whooo Looky Here...

Look who's back...And there's nothing in the world that I'll never ever lack...;)

***Well, with ESPN landing Monday Night Football, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Al Michaels is dumped....How about 'Chris Berman' paired up with Madden...How's that one for a "sleeper" call?

I've been a fan of listening to "The Boomer" on Tuesday Night Baseball games on ESPN over the past few years, especially, his West Coast broadcasts with Rick Sutcliffe of late. "The Boomer" is getting better and better each year with his play-by-play. From this viewer's standpoint, I think he's ready and would be honored to work with Madden.

So, here's a note to Mark Shapiro, who is the SVP of Programming at ESPN. How about moving the "Boomer" from the studio to the big game on Monday Night?...Bring a top-flight broadcast back, and maybe I'll bring my view-time on Monday Nights in the Fall back! But please...Get rid of Al Michaels...He brings nothing to our Monday Nights.

***To my fellow WXYC DJs, where are you at in "Tuba City"? Check this bad boy out!

Double Whammy

Thank you Josh Spear at "UrbanSpy" for the link to this wonderful contraption reported by Peter Kirn at "CreateDigitalMusic.com"

Supposedly, Kirn got the lead from engadget.com and from the cigar smoke that Numark leaked from showing off an early prototype at the Musikmesse show in Frankfurt.

Apparently, Numark is a long way from bringing this to a reality...Pitch control is there, but supposedly it's "limited." Yet, I'm bouncing on this one. This is my goal-prize for 2007.

By the way, when the hell are we getting an iPod Playlist show together....West End, Fred...West End...

***Alright, sports-fans and journalism junkies, I don't know what to think with this one...Check out this call-to-action from the Chicago Tribune.

Considering Mitch Albom is perhaps one of the greatest sportswriters of all-time and the fact that he's done an incredible job of penning a couple of books outside of sports that have sold "just a few copies", I'm keeping my eye on what's going to happen at the Detroit Free Press with this one. If you're the chief editor, what do you do?...

I better ask Paul Jones 'What do you do with this one?' Should you excuse it as a rookie mistake, or do you can him for passing the buck on journalisitc integrity. Considering Albom's stature, this is really "touchy."

My personal wish is that we give Albom the benefit of the doubt, and hand him a severe suspension...Call it a draw...But first, they better find out how deep this goes.

*** Across the pond...

Check this one out...Jim Downing from "Smart Mobs" gives us the lead on Wi-Fi in London. According, to ZDNet, London is going to get the "Technology Mile", a mile stretch within the capital of wireless access.

Supposedly, the service is going to connect eight wireless nodes to form a interconnected zone for free wireless, and it should support up to 50 users at a time...Forget the strawberries and cream...Just think you can look up that Stax info with your next Sunday Brunch Soul listening session...This is what I'm talking about.

Rumblin', Bumblin', Stumblin'....
IronDog

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Look who's in the Hill

Bob McAdoo hit town?...Nah, c'mon son...The Al Franken Show hit the Graham Porter Student Union today. So, all of the true gamers came out for this one...

Hell, even my man, Frank Heath was there...


I love Rush

Al Franken is a very witty cat in this blogga's book, and that's not just because he plays Dead tunes between segments....He knows his stuff, and he's jumped a couple of a pegs in my respect book because he cares about local politics.

I'm most impressed with how his topics featured local guests discussing local issues. Like a true pro, he was able to blend them in with his national viewpoints...I still can't believe that he had my man, Thad Williamson, on the show...Chapel Hill High at it's finest! Get off Thad!

I'm also impressed that he gave well-deserved air-time to Lawerence Grossburg, who made some great points about youth today...Hint: Kids aren't as bad as you think...Get them involved, and they will respond...Great job, Larry, and way to rep UNC again...By the way, nice back-pack...;)

Franken stresses how necessary it is for the Democrats to reach out to their local areas. I'm paraphrasing here, but he made a great point saying 'just because your wife is from Michigan doesn't mean you know Michigan". If you're going to do anything in the next election, you have to reach out to the people that know the areas. The man practices what he preaches, and it's great to see him on a statewide tour...

On to Sac-Town for Big Al...

What?!

With that said, I could recap a ton here on this post, but I'm going to pass the ball to the infamous long-haired one,Paul Jones, who had a great front row seat with his lovely partner Sally Greene....Check out Paul's play-by-play at the 'The Real Paul Jones' here....Check out Sally's play-by-play at 'GreeneSpace' here...

Blogga's Note: Sally types better....Damn, that's a helluva talented couple.

"Why do you always get to drive the cart?"
IronDog

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Search Rocket

What's up with you today...Are you the Rocket Man?...

*** Dave Winer of Scripting News found a good link on CBS Marketwatch today that reports Blogger tallying 8M blogs now. With that find, I thought you would like this blog search tool via Mark Cuban's Blog Maverick called IceRocket. It's a new blog search tool that supposedly allows you to search 10M blogs across the world on a wide range of subjects...Check it out...It actually is a very good tool...Me gives thumbs up.

Now, if Cuban can stop Jerry Stackhouse from getting into beefs in arena hallways...Check this one out from the Indianapolis Star... Cuban would get three stuffed parrots for the day from this blogga...;)

Keep searchin',
IronDog

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Nice N&O Quote

It's always great to have one of my main fellas in the news...Especially, when it's one of my fellow ibiblio lab rats...

The Graham Porter Student Union at UNC Chapel Hill is going to get a lot of action with Al Franken coming in town to air his radio show for Air America on Wednesday. Air America has been running on WCHL regularly. So, look what ibiblio's own, Fred Stutzman, has to say about WCHL and his listening behaviors in Sunday's Raleigh News & Observer...Check out the full article here...

And here's the section on Fred...'Young and well-educated, and he makes pretty good money'...The description fits the bearded wonder well...

"Fred Stutzman, who helps run UNC-Chapel Hill's digital library Ibiblio.org, fits the profile of the progressive radio listener. He's young and well-educated, and he makes pretty good money.

Stutzman, 26, says he normally listens to public radio station WUNC and Woody Durham's sportscasts on WCHL. But he sometimes tunes in to WCHL's progressive talk.

'I like to listen to the radio because it's entertaining,' he says. "[Air America follows] what's going on in the blogs. They seem pretty in tune to what's going on at that exact moment.'


Only a true blogga can nail a statement like that....Way to go Fred...See you in the Union for the show on Wednesday at high noon.

Lockin' up Code

Knockin' 'em Down,
Irondog

Compared to What...

Doing the Sunday reads, and hopefully, I'll have a few more for you during my breaks from writing my thesis today...

With that said, here's a great posting from Seth Godin from 'Seth's Blog'...Check it out here...

His posting has forced me to ask myself how low has quality gone to replicate the real thing. With all of the digital quality supposedly added to products, will we truly get the authentic sound, sights, and information from the original source? Good Q, Seth...

Spanish Omlette,
IronDog

Friday, April 08, 2005

Sooo Close...

They almost got it, but I'll take it if that's the way it has to be....


**Check it out here from Reuters. Philadelphia announced that the city will go ahead with it's plans to provide wireless access for a 135 square mile area, which is absolutely phenomeonal when you consider how far the idea of public wireless access has come from it's roots of a tennis ball can hanging out of a window.

Yet, I'm not so down with the $16-$20 monthly charge that people will have to pay to utilize the service. Yeah, it may be cool for the people that live within that area. Yet, how many people can still not only afford that monthly bill, but also how many people outside of the area are going to pay $16-$20/month?

This wireless user will take it...But don't call it free wireless access. It's not even in the same category...It's great that the broadband bills will be cut in half, but 'm waiting to see how many people actually subscribe to this now.

***My man, "Uncle Grambo" from Whatevs.org, does not play around...He gets raw on celebs and that's why I love this guy's blog. Check him out here.

He goes off on the human 'air balloon' Cameron Diaz in a ripping review of her new MTV reality travel show 'Trippin'"...Here's a snippet of his review.

"Namely, that (Cameron Diaz) she's even more shallow than a kiddie pool. Despite being flown across the world on someone else's dime and having the opportunity to take in culture and scenery that 99 percent of Americans could never even DREAM of being able to afford, the only words that seemingly come out of her gaping piehole are "This is bad ass!" Reverance for history and foreign culture be damned, bring on the "Eva Mendes farts in her sleep" jokes!

Even that friggin' crazy cokehead Steve-O is a virtual Marlon Perkins when compared to Cammy Diaz! I don't think I'm being in the slightest bit on fair when I deem "Trippin" to be the Worst. Show. Ever."

'Uncle Grambo' strikes again...

I caught the final five minutes of this show the other day, and I have to admit that it was pretty much of a 'sell-out' show...The fact that these guys were treated as royalty among buddhist monks and Nepalese was just plain disgusting....Yet, I'm more disgusted with the fact that I gave it five minutes of view time.

**Also, "The Big Fella" Ted Martin Duke's decision to continue their iPod program. Man, I like what they're doing with it...I like what they're doing with it!

Yes, the majority of these students are going to use it for music, but a lot of them are learning to utilize podcasting, audio files, and other storage methods that will put them a few steps ahead of everyone else in terms of how to work with new tools...Good move.

Junglin',
IronDog

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Back to the Action...

With our trophies in tow, what else is grabbin' the feeds...

***'Smart Mobs' guides a you to a great article from Peggy Anne Salz of 'The Feature'. Check it out here...

Salz interviews MIT expert, Eric Von Hippel, about Von Hippel's new book 'Democratizing Innovation'. 'Smart Mobs' is hot on this topic because it was addressed in the last chapter of the "Smart Mobs" book, which questions whether we will be active users who shape media in the future, or whether DRM and other restrictions will confine us to the role of passive consumers.

In 'Democratizing Innovation',Von Hippel has developed a non-systematic model for companies to use a user-centered innovation process in order to tap into the innovation model of their lead user communities.

Von Hippel talks about empowering users by providing toolkit methods to allow users to tinker with products and services for innovating the uses to make contributions for future products...Not a bad idea...Will product developers listen?...

***I've seen the reports about Al Gore's new CurrentTV project...Check out more details here from CNNMoney...This blogga here loves the tie-in with Google, and perhaps we will have a TV news show that will truly be tying 'convergence' with online content.

However, do you think it will work? With support from Google, financial backing from Rob Glaser of RealNetworks and Bob Pittman, who has probably cleaned his wounds from his time at AOL Time Warner, it could definitely happen.

With user-generated type content that could be crossed-over from Von Hippel's description above, creating video based mini-documentaries based upon the most popular Google searches is a very cool thing. More importantly, it could be another cool way of changing the way media is reported...'We the Media' by Dan Gilmour, right? How's that for innovation?

P.S. If you're still looking for great pics of Franklin Street, be sure to hit Fred Stutzman's collection...Good stuff, but where's that girl who hugged me the other night...She's fine!

Generatin',
IronDog

Champs

Ahh, National Champs 2005...You know how we do it here at Carolina...

Be sure to check out Fred Stutzman's collection of photos from Monday night on Franklin Street...Great shots...

Blue Haze is everywhere around here, and perhaps that's why I couldn't really respond so quick to the world yesterday after an event like Monday night. Well, not everyone is hazed to the point of relaxation. Take a look at this cover shot....Put it with your James Worthy and EMontross covers...Isn't it great when you can post an SI Cover without the 'back-of-the-mind' thought of a jinx involved?




2005 National Champs,
IronDog

Monday, April 04, 2005

Franklin Street 5-6PM

Chapel Hill is ready to go 'Donkey Kong'....

Top O'The Hill - Line wrapped past 'The Library' and Subway.
Spanky's - Wrapped to the driveway before Sakahura Express.
Ham's - Wrapped to the back of Ham's building.
Dead Mule - Porch filled.
He's Not Here - 75% filled
Woody's - No Line, but could be filled, lawn chairs have been moved as of 5PM.

Blowin' Up,
IronDog

On the Table

Sorry, but no other talk is going on here in Chapel Hill. Here's my preview for tonight...Look for it here on TarheelDaily.com...

However, I do want to make a couple of plea to you the chuckleheads out there coming to the Hill tonight to raise hell...It should be a blast, and we know that you want your own reality show. But if we win tonight, stay off of the trees on Franklin Street…Seriously, they didn’t do any thing to you. So, if you’re tearing the trees out of the planterns, the curse of Tommy LaGarde’s broken leg shall be bestowed upon you…Be easy.

And annuta’ thang about Franklin Street, doofis…Grabbing girls’ @$$($ on Franklin Street in the 21st century is mad tacky. Some day some girl is going to ‘Kill Bill Vol.1’ your @$$. Take that moshing and groping home for your self-reenactments of American Gladiators.



In the meantime...."Let's Do This!"

Spit in the Mississippi,
BD

Sunday, April 03, 2005

WXYC SportsRap Tonight 4/3/05

Look where we landed!...

Yes, we made the "One Shining Moment", but what is the UNC Chapel Hill's Men's Basketball team going to do with it. With that said, tonight's show on WXYC FM 89.3FM in Chapel Hill should have a ton of hoops action to talk about.

On tonight's show, we'll have a re-cap of Saturday's game, a conversation with Art Chansky, game give away from Labat Yancey from EA Sports, tons of calls, and a couple of guest journalists calling into tonight's show...So, be on the lookout. This will be a good one...



Be sure to tune into WXYC at www.wxyc.org, or you may be able to stream WXYC SportsRap through iTunes. Just click on the radio station guide on the left hand side of your iTunes control panel, and choose "Eclectic". We're listed under WXYC, the world's first online radio station. Yes...WXYC has game, and it can not be categorized.

D-Up,
IronDog

Friday, April 01, 2005

Introducing 'Bloggy'

Look whoever would have thought that I would have become a blogging expert. Well, look at this new blogging tool....



Talk about Blogging made easy!

The 'Lab Ratz' at ibiblio have created a product that will change the way you interact with your self-publishing tool...Introducing 'Bloggy'. A automonous blogging robot that will allow you to post every hour and every day.

Consider Bloggy to be the tool that will allow you show the world how you live 24/7/365.

Get Bloggy today on this wonderful day of April 1, 2005 by visiting ibiblio and emailing your order today at bloggy@ibiblio.org. The staff at ibiblio are waiting to help you self-publish your thoughts to the digital world.

Happy Blogging,
IronDog