Archive for May 2005

So long Cinergy

Looks like Cinergy is being sold to Duke Energy in a $9 billion deal. Yet another company at which I’ve worked gets swallowed and it looks like IT and the Energy Merchant unit which I was a part of will take some of the heaviest hits.
Can we agree to call Riverfront Stadium by its pre-naming rights name again?

This post won’t make Danny Graves happy

BOOOOOO!!!!! You want respect? Try to achieve the level of a goddamn rookie level pitching staff!!

A victory in the Fair Use war

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that the FCC can’t require hardware manufacturers to include copy protection (the Broadcast Flag) limiting how broadcast media could be redistributed. This is quite a blow to the MPAA in their fight to limit our fair use rights.

In a stunning victory for hardware makers and television buffs, a federal appeals court has tossed out government rules that would have outlawed many digital TV receivers and tuner cards starting July 1.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that the Federal Communications Commission did not have the authority to prohibit the manufacture of computer and video hardware that doesn’t have copy protection technology known as the “broadcast flag.” The regulations, which the FCC created in November 2003, had been intended to limit unauthorized Internet redistribution of TV broadcasts.
“The broadcast flag regulations exceed the agency’s delegated authority under the statute,” a three-judge panel unanimously concluded. “The FCC has no authority to regulate consumer electronic devices that can be used for receipt of wire or radio communication when those devices are not engaged in the process of radio or wire transmission.”

Are scientific journals censoring dissenting opinions on global warming?

A report in the Telegraph says yes.

Two of the world’s leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming.
A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds.
Radcliffe on Sour power station with Dr Benny Peiser (inset)
Radcliffe on Sour power station with Dr Benny Peiser (inset). He disagrees with the pro-global warming line
A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue.
The controversy follows the publication by Science in December of a paper which claimed to have demonstrated complete agreement among climate experts, not only that global warming is a genuine phenomenon, but also that mankind is to blame.
The author of the research, Dr Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, analysed almost 1,000 papers on the subject published since the early 1990s, and concluded that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it.
Dr Oreskes’s study is now routinely cited by those demanding action on climate change, including the Royal Society and Prof Sir David King, the Government’s chief scientific adviser.
However, her unequivocal conclusions immediately raised suspicions among other academics, who knew of many papers that dissented from the pro-global warming line.
They included Dr Benny Peiser, a senior lecturer in the science faculty at Liverpool John Moores University, who decided to conduct his own analysis of the same set of 1,000 documents – and concluded that only one third backed the consensus view, while only one per cent did so explicitly.

From the stupid criminal department…

Gregory Alston called police Tuesday morning to say his white Nissan Maxima had been stolen from in front of his apartment building.
Trouble is, the car wasn’t his. Police say he had stolen it at gunpoint two weeks earlier. The only reason he couldn’t find it was because the victim had spotted it and called police, who towed it away.
Not only did Alston not get the car back, police arrested him and jailed him on charges of armed robbery, possession of a stolen car and a handgun violation.
Why did Alston call police?
He had left his wallet in the car and wanted it back.
Even hardened Baltimore police officers were astonished. Detective Gregory Jenkins signed off his report with, “Again, this really happened.”
Baltimore Sun

And now from the schadenfreude department…

It seems Barry Bonds has had a third operation on his right knee.

What the bleeping bleep?!

This is un-bleeping-acceptable! When you have a 6 run lead going in to the 9th inning you don’t give up 7 bleeping runs!

New baseball steroid policy proposed

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig asked players to agree to a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders and a lifetime ban for a third violation under what he called a “three strikes and you are out approach” to doping.
In a letter sent this week to union head Donald Fehr, Selig proposed a 100-game ban for a second offense. He also asked the union to ban amphetamines, to have more frequent random tests and to appoint an independent person to administer the major-league drug-testing program.
“Third offenders should be banned permanently. I recognize the need for progressive discipline, but a third-time offender has no place in the game,” Selig wrote to Fehr. “Steroid users cheat the game. After three offenses, they have no place in it.”
Under the rules that began this season, a first offense gets a 10-day suspension, with the penalty increasing to 30 days for a second positive test, 60 days for a third and one year for a fourth. For a fifth positive, the penalty is at the commissioner’s discretion.

Selig said he will make alterations for 2006 to the drug-testing program for players with minor-league contracts, who are not covered by the collective bargaining agreement. Currently, the minor-league penalty starts at 15 games for a first offense and then escalates to 30 games, 60 games and one year, with a fifth offense bringing a lifetime ban.
“These changes will include tougher discipline, including a permanent ban for a third offense, stricter regulation of amphetamines and greater reliance on independent experts,” Selig said.

To say that I have no great love of Bud Selig falls into the category of mindblowing understatement but this is something I can wholeheartedly support and I have to give him credit for it. There’s no reason that somebody should be able to be caught taking steroids 5 times and still be in the game. Let’s hope the union steps up and protects the majority of its members who obey the rules.