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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Capitalism and the Environment

I take a lot of grief from Republicans (who apparently really want me on their side) who imply that I can't like free market economics and the environment at the same time. They say my love of an open-market goes against my liberal beliefs. I always disagree with them, but I've never been able to officially formalize an opinion to put online. Thankfully Matt Luce has come to the rescue with a blog post about the book Natural Capitalism

Matt summarizes the book...
The thesis of Natural Capitalism is that free-market capitalism does not have to destroy our environment, and deplete all of our natural resources. The book gives many examples of companies that have found ways to be environmentally friendly, and be very profitable doing so. Application of advanced technologies that are environmentally sound is one of the ways to accomplish this. This book really renewed my faith that technology can save the planet.

I'm sold on the book, I'll be reading it soon. Read the rest of Matt's post.

Hopefully this book will help me more clearly define my love of both the environment and the free market.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Microsoft iPod Packaging Parody

What would happen if Microsoft was to release the iPod? A video released on YouTube this morning (with a 132,824 views at the moment) explores that very idea. Definitely worth your time to watch, pretty amusing and very well done.



Honestly though, there has to be a happy medium somewhere? Truth be told, I actually like most of Microsoft's packaging. I struggle with Apple to get the information I want, that never is a problem with Microsoft. Someone is going to find that medium and capitalize on it.

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Etan Thomas' Voice Is One Worth Listening To

Scoop Jackson, basketball writer extratrodinare, has an absolutey excellent piece up on ESPN.com about Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas. The article is deep and insightful as they almost always are from Scoop.

His life is bigger than the NBA. It's bigger than the war he hates so much. When it's all said and done, when the clap meets the chrome on his coffin, the dash that will be between the dates on his headstone will stand for something. Too many of us -- professionals, professional athletes, those who feel we have something to lose -- allow that hyphen to be meaningless, to mean nothing.


I have loved Scoop's writing since his days at Slam magazine when I was in middle school, I couldn't wait to read his articles. He always has a fresh angle on things, one that I hadn't always considered. This article definitely doesn't fail at that.

It takes a strong person to take a stand against America. Not its people, but its policy.
His name -- Etan Thomas -- has been placed among those who have spoken loud while saying something. The Alis, the Jim Browns, the Jackie Robinsons, the Ashes, Russells, Carlos and Smiths, the Jack Johnsons. The "it takes a village to raise a child" children. The village voices. He is among them in voice.

In principle. In theory.

But not in reality.

Because in a world of virtual reality, Etan Thomas is virtually unheard. Much like the MCs whose words lace this column, he is outcast because he's not Outkast.

For the record, I like it when professional athletes speak out and take a stand.

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Chase to 50: Bucks Trounce Nuggets

The Milwaukee Bucks demolished the Denver Nuggets in beautiful fashion tonight with a 110-89 victory on the road over the Denver Nuggets. It was a huge victory for the Bucks, who are now a game over .500 again and have put together back-to-back wins for the first time since the end of January. Another win against Phoenix tomorrow would surely instill some confidence into the team and put them in a strong position to make a real strong run.

Bucks 100, Nuggets 89 - Recap
Chase to 50 - 29-28 with 25 to go

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Chase to 50: Bucks Break Skid

The Bucks broke out of a four-game losing streak (longest of the season) tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. It was rough to watch them lose last Friday to the Sixers, I'm glad the skid is over.

Joe Smith has been hot lately, at the expense of Andrew Bogut's playing time.

Bucks 99, Hawks 89 - Recap

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Facebook + Valentine's Day

I conducted a grand social experiment on Valentine's Day (National Singles Awareness Day) just ten days ago utilizing the Facebook. Early on Valentine's day my cousin left the following flower on my Facebook wall.
Happy Valentine's Day
........@............@
......@.@.@.@..@..
....@........@..........@
...@............@....@@
...@..............@@..@
....@..............@...@
......@...........@..@
.........@......@..@
..............@..@
.From...........@
......Me..........@
............TO.....@
................You.@........@@@
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...@.............@@@......@@
.......@@@.......@..@@
.........................@
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.......................@

The wall serves as a message board for the owner's friends to leave your messages that are visible to the rest of the owner of the wall's school and the people marked as their friends.

I ended up leaving this flower on the wall of 252 people, all who were marked as my friends on the Facebook. I did not take a preference to whether I really wanted them to have a great Valentine's Day or whether they were male or female. This was all designed to measure a collective reaction of my friends that makeup my Facebook world.

After copying and pasting the flower 252 times, which took approximately an hour of my time, I waited for the respones to flow in. They came fast. Within minutes emails filled my inbox, notifiying me of replies that were being posted on my wall. The girls overwhelming outnumbered the guys in terms of responses. I had 40+ responses from girls, while my male friends, who were often much more funny in their responses, only gave me 11 responses.

What happened as a result of the flowers posting on the wall was even more impressive. A series of discussions broke out on many of my friends walls (all girls of the discussions I noticed) with their old friends from their hometowns (who presumably have no iea who I am) asking who the flower was from and what it meant. It was amusing to watch a few of them try to defend why the flower was there. One of my friends even had to pull the flower off of her wall because her boyfriend thought it one-upped what he did for her for Valentine's Day (which had to be a sad effort).

Keep in mind that this all happened within a span of hours between a group of people spread across univerisites all across the country. It was interesting to watch everything shake out and laugh as the respones came in. Many of the responses told me thanks, they wish they had a cool flower to send back, and that this was the only flower they had received all day. It was hard to measure how many of them continued to pass on the flower to other people via their walls, but I noticed a few for sure that did. It was an interesting way to say hello to a large amount of people who I rarely get the chance to talk to on a daily basis anymore, unlike high school where I would see them every day.

Summary - The Facebook is a great tool for opening the doors of communication between people who you have fallen out of touch with. The site also serves as a great tool to entertain your friends when you have an hour to kill. If I were to send this flower out any other day of the year, I'm sure it would get a better response than it did on Valentine's Day. I'm not sure what college would be like without the Facebook. Your thoughts?

P.S. - I didn't proofread this and I'm sorry for that, drop me a line in the comments and I'll fix any errors.

Elevators

Jeremy Zawodny has spotted some bad elevator button design.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Gamers Are Better At Multitasking

According to Oregon State University, the amount of time I spend playing computer games (Pharoah and NHL 2005 are my latest addictions) may actually improve my ability to multitask.

Flickr vs WebShots

Flickr is giving Webshots a booty kicking. You of course find this as no surprise because Flickr has better features, better sharing, and an insanely better way of displaying your photos. In case you don't believe me, check out the some data.

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The New York Knicks

I don't talk about the rest of the NBA enough. The New York Knicks brought in Steve Francis today to join Stephon Marbury in the backcourt, BAD IDEA. Two small guards that pride themselves on shooting more than anyone else on the team. They will of course be joined by other "awesome" players such as Jalen Rose, Maurice Taylor, Jamal Crawford, Malik Rose, Jerome James, Qytnel Woods, and Quentin Richardson. That's a pretty bad lineup.

It should be noted that Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis will earn the same amount this year as the entire Detroit Pistons starting lineup. That's right, the best team's starting lineup. Unbelievable.

I'm learning to expect decisions like this from Isiah Thomas. SOMEONE STOP THE INSANITY!

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Chase to 50: Bucks vs Bulls

The Bucks fall to .500% on the season tonight with a loss to the Chicago Bulls. The game was close in the final stages and the Bulls were able to steal the fourth quarter from the Bucks, which is very scary. The Bucks seemed incapable of getting big stops and scoring the big baskets down the stretch run. They seem to have no desire to use a post offense in the late stages of the game, especially when they have a lead. They need to get better at slowing the game way down and drawing fouls, they can't always rely on the jump shot.

The Bucks need to make stops in the clutch and they need to able to draw fouls and get baskets. Hey Terry Stotts, develop some kind of game plan to do this with Andrew Bogut. Once you can draw double teams down-low in the crucial minutes of the game, jump shots become a lot easier with players laying wide open on the perimeter.

The Bucks are now 27-27 and well off the pace to win 50 games. I'm writing this right after the game so there is no recap available yet.

Bucks 91, Bulls 97 - Box Score

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Windows Vista Editions

Microsoft accidentally released a peak at what the branding will be for the different versions of the upcoming Windows Vista. Windows IT Pro has the story.

Not much to say until you see the prices, what the Dell/HP/Gateway's of the wold will ship, and what the exact features are.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Drugs

I don't like the drugs, but the drugs like me, particularly Dayquil.

Health

After a strong start to the weekend my body decided it hated me and I am now sick with a nose like the Mississippi River. In all fairness it's more like the Nile, it goes strong for a small portion of the day (flood season) and otherwise just slowly flows out. If you're not grossed out yet, I will post pictures (just kidding).

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Reject Intel Logos

Attemtping to catch up in my RSS aggregator so this post is a little behind in terms of "freshness". It's a collection of rejected Intel logos. It only became blogworthy when I noticed the Harley-Davidson look-alike logo. Harley as you know is headquartered on Juneau Avenue, which runs a three-point shot away from my dorm.

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Chase to 50: Post Break Picture

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has an article up about the outlook for the Buck's as they race towards the NBA playoffs.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

America Gone Wrong

In a case of "America Gone Wrong" the firefighters of Monett, Missouri stood by and watched as a garage burned to the ground.
From the Associated Press
Missouri Firefighters Refuse to Help Non-Member

MONETT, Mo. - Rural firefighters stood by and watched a fire destroy a garage and a vehicle because the property owner had not paid membership dues.

Bibaldo Rueda - who was injured battling the flames Monday - offered to pay the dues as the fire blazed away, but the Monett Rural Fire Department does not have a policy for on-the-spot billing, Sheriff's Detective Robert Evenson said.

Fire Chief Ronnie Myers defended the no-pay, no-aid policy, saying the membership-based organization could not survive if people thought the department would respond for free. The department said it will fight a fire without question if a life is believed to be in danger.

Rueda used a garden hose and buckets to fight the flames while firefighters stood by on the road, watching in case the blaze spread to neighboring properties owned by members. The fire eventually burned itself out.

Rueda said no one told him about the dues policy when he moved in 1 1/2 years ago.

Why didn't logic prevail, with the firefighters taking the money on-the-spot, even though they didn't have a policy? I absolutely disagree with practices like this that charge you extra outside of your taxes for fire safety. Imagine a world where fire departments were privatized and only those with the money could afford fire protection. Practices like this I fear could lead to the denial of what many take for-granted as a basic government service.

Thanks to Craig for pointing this out to me. Google News is starting to gather a whole group of stories together on this.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Chase to 50: Bucks fall to Pacers

My beloved Bucks fell to the Indiana Pacers on the road. I didn't get a chance to watch the game as I was busy with other things, but it appears the Bucks were just gassed from playing four games in five days with multiple players fighting injuries. We now enter All Star Weekend, which is a great chance for the Bucks to catch up on some needed rest and relaxation before the stretch run.

Mo Williams, Joe Smith, TJ Ford, and Bobby Simmons could really use the few extra days to aid in their recoveries. I'm excited to see the team after the break. After the break when they finally have their full lineup again they should return to early season form, winning lots of games.

Bucks 77, Pacers 88 - Recap

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MSOE Classroom Online

You can watch what is going on in the Brady Room (R101) in the Rosenburg Business Building (home of the MSOE Rader School of Business). You're even allowed to control the camera, zoom, tilt, pan, do whatever you please. Check it out.

Milwaukee 2.0 - Episode 011

Episode 011 of your favorite internet audio show is now available.

As always all the information is available in the show notes, which you can add to. Feel free to email or call me if you have questions. All that information is available on the right side of BobtheKing Dot Com.

Download Now - Shownotes

You can subscribe with your podcast client using the RSS feed.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Teenager, Golf, and a Hard Drive

You know I was sitting around the other thinking I wonder what it looks like when a 13 year-old British kid plays golf using a hard drive. Thankfully today my questions were answered.



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Chase to 50: Bucks vs Sonics

The Bucks blew out the Seattle Supersonics last night at home, it was great to watch them pick up their sixth straight home win. Ray Allen receieved quite the applause as he was introduced, as expected. Ray was nothing but a class act during his time in Milwaukee.

Here's the view from my seats.


There isn't much to say about the game. Bobby Simmons was hot earlier, which really set the tone. Dan Gadzuric came off the bench and showed his typical high energy performance, but what set it apart was how "on" he was. Gadzuric demonstrated a great intelligence for the game that he doesn't always show. This allowed him to throw down two alley-oops and a couple turn-around jumpers with ease. Michael Redd had his average strong performance and played well when matched-up against Ray Allen. Lots of garbage minutes at the end for the bench players.

Bucks 106, Sonics 91 - Recap

Absolutely huge road game tonight against the Indiana Pacers. It's essential to beat divisional foes that names don't end in "istons".

Chase to 50: 27-24 with 31 to go!

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Layout Change

Don't be surprised if you see a layout change before the end of February. I'm having all kinds of problems getting this layout to comply to standards and still be functional. I'm also looking to incorporate some photo and video thumbnail action into the layout itself. Any ideas out there?

Uncle Dick

Of course you're all aware of the incident regarding Vice President turned Attempted Murderer Dick Cheney, but have you heard all the humor surrounding it? CNN has a summary of some of the things that have aired on TV. My favorites....
"Apparently the reason they didn't release the information right away is they said we had to get the facts right. That's never stopped them in the past." - Craig Ferguson

"Now, this story certainly has its humorous aspects. ... But it also raises a serious issue, one which I feel very strongly about. ... Moms, dads, if you're watching right now, I can't emphasize this enough: Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice president. I don't care what kind of lucrative contracts they're trying to land, or energy regulations they're trying to get lifted -- it's just not worth it." - Jon Stewart


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Drivers and Intel

It took way too long to get to the page that I could start downloading the actual driver (WLAN 2200BG) from on the Intel web site. That was frustrating.

Valpraiso and Taxes

It appears they really screwed up in Valparaiso, Indiana by valuing a $100,000 house at $400 million. Oops.

$8 million in extra revenue and no one noticed? The city isn't big enough for an error like that to go unnoticed.

Rockstar Energy Drink

The side of my can of Rockstar says "this product is not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease". No kidding.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bucks Rap Song

They play a rap song about the Milwaukee Bucks at all of their home games. Finally, I was smart enough to capture it with my camera and share it with you. Enjoy the video.

The song is a neat novelty, but it's kind of weird to hear the cookie-cutter song (you could change the names with ease) at every game I'm at.



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Chase to 50: Still On

It shall be noted that even though the Bucks slumped recently, the Chase to 50 is still on and should race to an exciting finish. I have been rather lazy in updating the blog to reflect each Bucks game, but I'll work on it.

The Seattle Supersonics are in town tonight, should be a great game to go watch. The Bucks have currently won five in a row at home.

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Windows Vista

I chose to uninstall Windows Vista today. While it was a complete and functional operating system for my day-to-day use, it was a tad on the slow side. There was also a few permissions annoyances that seem to be not fully code-complete yet. By the looks of it Windows Vista should be released solid as a rock. I fully expect the speed issues I was experiencing to go away. I would encourage you to check out Vista if you're in a position where you could reformat a computer and use it exclusively for a few days.

We have a student laptop program here at MSOE that allows me to drop my computer off at our IT desk and pick it up in a half hour with a brand new image installed on the machine, so it's like the first day of school all over again. It's nice.

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Busy Day

Friends were in town this weekend, busy day today. Sunday was filled with paper writing after the friends left. Life is fun.

Next few days may be hectic due to exams being in another few days. We'll see. Happy Valentines Day (in a minute or two)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cuban vs Jackson

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban owns Los Angeles Laker Phil Jackson. In light of Jackson's comments...
"consider a place like Dallas, where the owner runs around, pumps up the volume, intimidates the referees and … has announcers as hired cheerleaders, which is an intimidating force.”
Shoot, I wish Herb Kohl would do that for the Bucks. Cuban has a blog post about it in which he goes into detail. This is why I think the NBA needs more pepole like Mark Cuban.

"Man at Work" Gets New Home

The Eckhart Grohmann "Man at Work" collection, which is proudly stored here at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, has been featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The article details the collections future move into the Federal Reserve building on the corner of Broadway and State right here in downtown Milwaukee. More details are covered in the story.

It's exciting as a student to see the building become part of the school. It's only going to help establish MSOE's position in Wisconsin (and the World) and make the campus a better place.

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Data/Blog Management

Jeremy Zawodny chimes in with a great listing of services you can use to manage your feed, advertising, pings, tags, photos, audio, video, spam, and blog posts. It's worth your time.

I would add another one though, manage your instant messages.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Milwaukee 2.0 - Episode 010

Episode 010 of your favorite internet audio show is now available.

As always all the information is available in the show notes, which you can add to. Feel free to email or call me if you have questions. All that information is available on the right side of BobtheKing Dot Com.

Download Now - Shownotes

You can subscribe with your podcast client using the RSS feed.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

GM Giving Away Free Shirts

In an effort that I'm sure is helping their bottomline General Motors is giving away free t-shirts. The shirts are part of GM's "Live green, go yellow" campaign that is all about the use of ethanol fuels.

Free shipping, doesn't appear to be any strings attached, plus ethanol fuel is pretty awesome, so sign-up to get your t-shirt today.

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Powers of Deduction (with an NW8240)

It appears that there isn't a custom HP-ATI FireGL 5000 driver for Windows Vista yet that allows you to control the brightness setting from the keyboard and monitor censor. It appears, after testing numerous different drivers, that HP needs to release an updated driver that will work with Windows Vista. I'm testing all of this on an HP nw8240 Mobile Workstation.

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Windows Vista

I went ahead and blanked my laptop, installing Windows Vista Beta 2 as a little experiment. It's been fun so far, I'm impressed.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

10/20/30 Rule

Guy Kawasaki has a 10/20/30 rule for PowerPoint and it's a good one. No more than 10 slides, no more than 20 minutes, and no font smaller than 30-point.

I'll have to apply it to my upcoming Technical Communication presentation and test the results.

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Brewers To Open New Fan Zone

The Brewers are going to open a new picnic area in the rightfield area come opening day, which is only a few months away! The Journal Sentinel has more.

I'm having a hard time visualizing what this is going to look like right now, but I think it will be a welcome change. It should be fun to watch the people be in this cage diving out of the way of homerun balls.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Blogging Delivered

I keep forgetting to post about AT (SBC) new billboards. I have now seen two or three of them in the Milwaukee area that say "blogging delivered" on a bright green background. What does it mean? No idea. It just seems to be a big ad to get people's attention by using a buzzword. I'm not actually going to visit the AT website, I would rather they try and explain to me what the heck they mean with "blogging delivered". Cori has a few ideas though, check out his post.


Thanks go to Cori for pulling this out of the back of my brain and reminding me to post about it.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Winer and the State of the Union

Dave Winer shares his thoughts on the State of the Union and the West Wing (my latest obsession). Quick, easy read that is worth your time, especially if you're a fan of the West Wing.

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Dinosaur Attack

It appears BobtheKing is under attack.

New Orleans - NFL Update

As an update to my previous post about how the NFL could help rebulid New Orleans, it appears they have chipped in a measly $20 million to the reconstruction of the Superdome.


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February

Happy February, may it continue to be warm in Milwaukee like it was in January.