Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, March 01, 2021

Just how much studying a bigtime college football or basketball player is supposed to do is debatable. The NCAA is an acknowledged minor league feeder system for the NFL and NBA (and, to a lesser extent, for baseball and hockey as well). Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, no one expects these big-league hopefuls to wear out their textbooks.

Still, that won’t stop the NCAA from devoting plenty of time and structure to the ideal of educating their sports stars. The Academic Progress Rate, or APR, will measure players’ classroom performance, with below-par results potentially costing schools up to 10 percent of their athletic scholarships per sport.

Data on how the APR works, and current school-by-school standings in this standard, can be found here.

What strikes me most about this is that there doesn’t seem to be any real teeth in this scheme. As I understand it, programs that fall below the all-important 925 index score will then be subject to scholarship penalties. But it’s not automatic. I assume the actual hammer-down will be at the discretion of NCAA president Myles Brand, meaning it’s open to a wide swath of subjectivity.

So, basically, I can see this developing into a selective punishment tool: Excuses and allowances will be made for high-powered schools and programs, and sacrificial lambs will be offered up every so often as demonstrations that the system is “working”. In other words, not much different than what’s currently doled out.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/01/2021 11:10:05 PM
Category: Sports | Permalink | Feedback (2)

While leaving the office today, a coworker came out all excited and declared, “I got tickets for Chicago, and I’m going tonight!”

I thought: Tickets, Chicago… She’s taking a plane trip to the Windy City. Cool.

But no, in fact, she meant that she had just scored tickets for Chicago the Musical, which is playing tonight at Ruth Eckerd Hall. (Incidentally, the show features ex-Duke boy Tom Wopat.)

Glad I got that cleared up.

We got into the elevator. At the next stop, one of our higher-up bosses stepped aboard. He asked how we were, etc. This same coworker shared her news about having “tickets for Chicago”.

The higher-up said, “Oh, you mean the old rock band?”

We had a good laugh when everything was explained, including my earlier confusion. Obviously, Chicago means many things to many people.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/01/2021 10:19:49 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Creative | Permalink | Feedback (3)

Logically, airports should be front and center in wi-fi deployment. Business road warriors love to be tethered to the Web (whether they truly need to be or not), so they’d be logging on at every spare moment — and there’s nothing but spare moments in airports.

And yet, airports are among the slowest public spaces to roll out wireless networks.

Actually, I think it’s obvious why the airports aren’t hotfooting it to provide free Web access: They don’t want to step on the toes of their tenants, many of whom are selling wi-fi linkage. The business customers who have the most critical need for those in-transit hookups are precisely the high-yield customers that Starbucks wants. If airports started giving it away, they’d be taking money away from those coffeeshops and lounges.

So it’s no surprise as to why airports aren’t rushing to set up transmitters. Rather, I think the bigger surprise is why any airports are doing wi-fi at all.

Incidentally, this airport wi-fi hotspot chart by JiWire.com is a bit iffy. It says that Tampa International Airport has no free wi-fi, which I know is false: Paul Sullivan of Sullivan Media, with whom I spent several hours meeting yesterday, took advantage of the airport’s free wireless connection to email me just before he flew back to Vancouver.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/01/2021 09:48:33 PM
Category: Wi-Fi | Permalink | Feedback

It’s never too early to start making some noise over this summer’s Batman Begins.

So let’s do it through dance. A Bat-Dance, baby!

The Batusi is the dance that Adam West could do, but John Travolta couldn’t. (I’m crossing fingers that Christian Bale doesn’t dare attempt it.)

Just make sure you do it right.

(Inspired by this post, and that goat guy)

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/01/2021 09:14:25 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Movies | Permalink | Feedback

That’s right: I now officially hate email, in all its forms and clients: Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, and all the other permutations out there.

It all sucks. If it’s not the spam, it’s the 12 million bugs that ensure no one version of it will play well with the rest.

I say it’s high time we chucked it. Replace it with IM or person-to-person RSS, or whatever. But let’s ditch it, already. It broken beyond salvation.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/01/2021 12:18:17 PM
Category: Internet, Tech | Permalink | Feedback (4)