Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, April 08, 2021

hear the action
Y’know, I really ought to turn up the sound when I watch NBC’s NHL coverage next Saturday. Because today, at some point during the Rangers 4-3 OT win over Boston, game-winning-goaler Michael Nylander managed to drop a curse word when the on-ice reporter stuck a mic under his nose.

I didn’t catch what he said. I had the sound turned down real low, and my attention was divided so that I didn’t read whatever it was on the closed-captioning (which sometimes lets such offending words slip through). I suppose I could cruise the online news and blogs later today and tomorrow if it nags at me enough.

I did hear network commentator Bill Clement apologize at least twice over it, though, which is the only reason why I’m even aware of it now. Always funny when quickie damage control is applied like that.

So, would salty language from the star players endear NBC to future seasons of hockey broadcasts, or scotch the deal? The network’s already paying nothing for the rights, so it’s not like their investment is taking a hit (unless it somehow repels all those damned poker website advertisers that were rampant in today’s broadcast). But it might rile up the friends-of-family video commandos, assuming they think hockey is a sport that children should be encouraged to watch.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/08/2021 07:31:31 PM
Category: Hockey, TV
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One of my regular peeves about computer and electronic hardware is the power issue. All the extras that wireless companies and other providers keep pushing for their gadgets seem to rely upon a fundamental disregard for the severly limited battery life found in cellphones and portable media devices. When a phone can stay live for only an hour or two of actual talking time, it doesn’t make much sense to promote Web browsing and music downloads that are essentially power vampires.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem like research and development in dramatically extending battery capability is progressing quickly enough. So instead, devicemakers are stripping down their toys, and using other design tricks, in an effort to stretch out the juice.

The Nokia 1100 cellphone ($50 at www.nokiausa.com) may not offer Bluetooth networking, a camera or even a color display, but it can go up to 16 days without being recharged. Colin Bullock, a senior engineer at Nokia in Dallas, says that stripping away the extras and using a black-and-white display sharply reduced the slow drain on the battery, something the engineers call the “quiescent current.”

On the one hand, it’s neat to see engineers using creative methods to work their way around this impediment. If power was not an issue, we’d probably see a lot more overdone/unnecessary functionality added to our electronics, similar to the rampant bloatware that overtook the software industry once memory and hard drive capacities no longer became an issue. But that the power issue continues to be a limitation can’t help but retard the industry’s overall progress.

Eventually, a solution will be found. And I’m sure we’ll all have fun having our phonePods glued to our skulls for all our talking/shopping/thinking needs.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/08/2021 07:15:44 PM
Category: Tech
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Now that I’m living in the Empire State, I haven’t had to drive an awful lot. Most days, I walk from spot to spot, and take buses/trains mainly to save time or avoid inclement weather.

Feeling sorry for me, drivers? You shouldn’t, because that $3-per-gallon pricemark is fast approaching, and it’s going to take a bite out of the average American lifestyle.

It’s funny, because it was just yesterday that I actually noticed a couple of gas station signs, and was taken aback by the figures. In the City and upstate, I’m seeing prices edging around $2.90 for regular unleaded; it doesn’t seem that long ago that it was “only” in the $2.50 neighborhood. And of course, that would have been ridiculously high in pre-Dubya times (just sayin’).

I guess it’s times like these when GasBuddy comes in handy. Although, if the prices are high all over, what’s the point?

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/08/2021 06:58:41 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society
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Shame on me, I missed the previously-referenced gear-up of Elizabeth Spier’s Dealbreaker.com. The site’s been humming along for a bit over a week now.

It looks pretty slick, and Spiers is delivering on her promise to deliver snark-tinged spins on business news (with this item on funding opportunities in the porn business as a prime example). No question, it fills a sorely-needed niche in the financial humor ouvre (sorry, Motley Fool).

Still, I wish the site had retained its original, pre-launch look:

And the placeholder site for Dealbreaker.com certainly holds promise (be sure to right-click and “Select All”, like it suggests at the top of the page). It directly mimics a cover page from a standard SEC financial filing, which I’ve seen plenty of over the past several years. Which perhaps explains why I can find such rich material in them.

Sure, it would have been hell to work around such a layout, and advertising space would have been tricky. But I liked it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/08/2021 06:37:09 PM
Category: Bloggin', Business
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