Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, November 12, 2021

Despite being in the media capital of the world, New York’s professional sporting venues have been largely exempt from the stadium naming-rights merry-go-round. Only Continental Airlines Arena has been corporately-marked thus far, and it almost doesn’t count as it houses two New Jersey-tagged teams (and not for long, with both the Devils and Nets departing over the next few years).

All that’s about to change, with Queens as ground zero. The New York Mets and Citigroup have struck a 20-year deal (optionable to 35 years) to name the team’s new ballpark CitiField, to the tune of $20 million per year.

Note that this deal applies to the future home of the Mets, breaking ground tomorrow and due to open in 2009 — not to their current haunt Shea Stadium. The local news stations here in New York have been teasing the news all night as a renaming of Shea, probably due to the misinterpretation of the AP wire story that begins with the line, “Goodbye Shea, hello CitiField”. Read the whole damn article before going on the air, you hacks…

Can any other naming-rights deal trump that $20-per pricetag? Well, the crosstown Yankees also will have a brand-spanking new ballpark going up soon; and in this town, the Bronx Bombers can just about always top their NL brethren. That said, and given that few areas in sports are off-limits to revenue-generating opportunity, I’d guess that the new Yankees Stadium will retain the name of just “Yankees Stadium”. The perceptional fallout would negate any gain for either team or sponsor.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/12/2021 10:47:19 PM
Category: Baseball, SportsBiz | Permalink | Feedback

So why, in this kinder and gentler post-antitrust era for Microsoft, is it still near-impossible to buy a decently-powered out-of-the-box Linux computer? Business 2.0’s Owen Thomas breaks down the industry economics:

To settle the government’s massive antitrust lawsuit, Microsoft agreed to charge all PC makers a uniform royalty, based on the number of Window licenses they buy. The more Windows licenses a PC maker buys, the cheaper the cost per unit.

While Microsoft can’t punish companies for selling rival operating systems, machines with anything but Windows installed don’t help PC makers meet the quotas necessary to pay Microsoft lower rates…

In a nutshell, switching to a rival OS system will hurt more than help the bottom lines of PC makers. The straightforward economic scheme that regulators set up to keep Microsoft in check is essentially keeping the PC industry in the Windows fold - just as Redmond’s brass-knuckle tactics once did.

This explains why Walmart.com sells a Linux PC made by Microtel Computer Systems, an obscure PC maker few people have heard of. The companies that are brave enough to sell Linux PCs are the ones that aren’t unloading large volumes of Windows PCs to begin with. And because they’re small, they can’t negotiate volume-based price discounts with component suppliers like Intel. That’s why Microtel’s Linux PC is less powerful than a Windows machine at the same price.

Mass-volume production has made that $70 per-unit Windows license a negligible concern. In this ironic development, Microsoft has locked up the low-cost end of the computing market, effectively making the use of no-cost Linux the pricier option.

That being the case, the solution for Linux proponents is to switch gears, promotionally:

There’s clearly an opportunity here for Linux suppliers. Seizing it, however, is going to require a whole new marketing mindset. They should forget touting Linux as a cheaper alternative to Windows. Instead, pitch Linux as a luxury product whose stability, versatility, and virus-resistant technology deserve a premium price.

That is the approach Apple’s used, to modest niche success. It will require having the most rabid penguin-pushers abandon the idea that people should buy their machines and then download their own do-it-yourself Linux installation, because that simply won’t work for the consumer market.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/12/2021 07:15:55 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback

special order
Sticking to the weekly odd-man scoping. NHL Special Teams Index through yesterday’s games. Click through to last week’s post to see how your favorite team fared over seven days.

This week’s results include two STI Number ties: The ‘Canes and Oilers with 101.7, and the Preds and Kings with 96.8. Insofar as these things matter, I’m going to break such ties by going with the higher-ranked power-play unit; and in the even that that’s a tie, the higher-ranked penalty-kill. I’m crossing my fingers that this doesn’t crop up too much most weeks, or — horrors of horrors — we end up with three- or four-way ties.

STI Rank Team PP % (Rank) PK % (Rank) STI Number
1 Minnesota Wild 20.7 (5) 93.1 (1) 113.8
2 San Jose Sharks 24.0 (1) 88.2 (6) 112.2
3 Anaheim Ducks 19.8 (7) 89.4 (4) 109.2
4 Montreal Canadiens 18.7 (9) 89.5 (3) 108.2
5 Dallas Stars 14.4 (21) 91.1 (2) 105.5
6 New York Rangers 21.0 (3) 83.5 (14) 104.5
7 Atlanta Thrashers 20.9 (4) 83.1 (18) 104.0
8 Toronto Maple Leafs 17.1 (14) 86.6 (9) 103.7
9 Pittsburgh Penguins 19.8 (8) 83.0 (19) 102.8
10 Buffalo Sabres 18.7 (10) 83.8 (12) 102.5
11 Columbus Blue Jackets 18.2 (11) 83.7 (13) 101.9
12 Carolina Hurricanes 15.7 (18) 86.0 (10) 101.7
13 Edmonton Oilers 13.2 (24) 88.5 (5) 101.7
14 Florida Panthers 21.3 (2) 79.8 (25) 101.1
15 Chicago Blackhawks 16.9 (15) 83.2 (17) 100.1
16 Vancouver Canucks 12.6 (25) 86.9 (8) 99.5
17 Washington Capitals 15.5 (19) 83.3 (16) 98.8
18 Colorado Avalanche 16.8 (16) 81.3 (22) 98.1
19 New Jersey Devils 15.1 (20) 82.8 (20) 97.9
20 Philadelphia Flyers 9.8 (29) 87.8 (7) 97.6
21 Nashville Predators 16.0 (17) 80.8 (24) 96.8
22 Los Angeles Kings 13.3 (23) 83.5 (15) 96.8
23 New York Islanders 17.7 (12) 78.0 (27) 95.7
24 Boston Bruins 20.3 (6) 75.3 (30) 95.6
25 St. Louis Blues 13.6 (22) 81.7 (21) 95.3
26 Ottawa Senators 9.8 (30) 85.4 (11) 95.2
27 Tampa Bay Lightning 17.6 (13) 76.5 (28) 94.1
28 Detroit Red Wings 10.2 (28) 81.3 (23) 91.5
29 Calgary Flames 11.4 (26) 79.6 (26) 91.0
30 Phoenix Coyotes 10.3 (27) 76.4 (29) 86.7
- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/12/2021 02:11:55 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink | Feedback

flying low
With their season going nowhere fast, the Philadelphia Flyers promoted Paul Holmgren from interim to permanent General Manager.

I guess team chairman Ed Snider was dazzled by that high-octane Darren Reid for Daniel Corso trade with the Lightning, which is the only discernable thing Holmgren has done so far in his brief tenure.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/12/2021 12:54:19 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink | Feedback

Cross Ambrose Bierce with Tim “Tool Time” Taylor, and you’ve got “A Robot Builder’s Tool Dictionary”. My favorite entry:

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the really expensive parts nearest the object we are trying to hit.

The acidic eloquence of “The Devil’s Dictionary” isn’t quite there, but what can you expect from a bunch of combat-robot geeks?

(Via dustbury)

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/12/2021 12:26:21 PM
Category: Comedy, Creative | Permalink | Feedback