RossCode Weekly #020

posted on 2005-10-01 at 08:32:04 by Joel Ross

Download this episode | Subscribe to RossCode Weekly?| (206) 424-4RCW

Welcome to RossCode Weekly. Nothing major this week, but there was enough to keep me busy.

Remember last week when I said that Apple's CEO said that Intel-based Macs will be out by June next year? That may not be the case. Apple wants two particular chips, and Intel says they won't be ready until the third quarter of 2006. It sounds like Apple is trying to apply pressure on Intel to speed up the process?- which shows Apple's arrogance in my mind. How do you plan to pressure Intel when a company like Dell sells more units than Apple by far? Of course, Apple could be planning to launch with a different chip initially, but then you have to question buying one when they first come out - if you know they've been planning the whole migration for a certain chip, and that chip will be out in a few months, are you going to buy one with a less than optimal chip? Apple probably will be ok though - most end users don't pay attention to those types of things!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I talked about an Apple phone??I mentioned that one?of the killer features would be being able to download directly to the phone. Well, we're not quite there yet, but someone in Germany is saying he has a copy of?iTunes for Windows Mobile 5.0. Now, it's definitely an unconfirmed rumor, and some are questioning if this even sounds valid - remember, they limited Motorola severely with the ROKR phone - no direct download and a song limit.

Speaking of Motorola and Apple, they're having a little lovers quarrel. First, the Motorola CEO was upset because the Nano got more fan fare than his phone. It sounds like he's mouthing off because Apple's a little high maintenance. Imagine that! Didn't that seem pretty obvious before Motorola got involved with Apple? So what does a high maintenance company do when fired upon? Fire back. But not just at Motorola - no, they take on the whole convergence market place. And I quote, "Is there a toaster that also knows how to brew coffee?" Speaking of the Nano, there have been many reports of the screen being too easy to scratch or crack. Apple says it's a production error, and it only affects .1% of customers. Well, they must be selling a lot, because the reports are all over the place!

By the way, I looked for a toaster that could make coffee, and I couldn't find one. But if there was one, I would buy it. If I drank coffee.

Once again, Google is the big news maker. We'll save that for last again, but we'll tease you with a highly suspect rumor first. Could?Google be planning to buy Slashdot? If Google wants an anti-propaganda wing, then Slashdot would be the perfect fit - just about every post's comments turns into an opportunity to bash?Microsoft. Now, there's two sides to this rumor. First, wouldn't Google have to buy the whole OSTG network? Would they sell Slashdot off as a separate entity? Maybe. With the "new media" of blogs, Slashdot's traffic generation isn't quite what it used to be. Most big stories show up on Digg before they make it to Slashdot, and you'll find them in the blogosphere even faster. So maybe they are for sale. As for Google wanting to buy them, well, that's still unlikely.

Let's revisit VoIP. We talk about what's going on there just about every week, don't we? That's because there's a lot going on there right now. This week, despite speculation that selling would be a better move, Vonage is moving forward with their IPO. This sounds like one of two things to me. Either they need money now, and don't want to wait for the smart move (which may not be the smart move. Who knows!), or they have?a buyer who's interested but stalling, and this is a move to motivate them. Oh yeah - two more things related to Vonage. First, the FCC has (again) extended the deadline for 911 support. If you're using VoIP as your sole form of phone, and you don't have 911 service, you're playing with fire (potentially literally!). Second,?Vonage is estimated to be worth about $1,500,000,000. Not quite the $4,100,000,000 that Skype demanded.

Speaking of $4,000,000,000, that's apparently how much Microsoft has lost on XBox hardware. That's a lot of money, and at least some of it was supposed to be made up on software sales. Of course, you have to know that there was planned losses in order to gain market share from the Playstation, but did they expect to lose this much? Microsoft has (reportedly) $40,000,000,000 in cash reserves, so they can afford it, but if you have $10,000 in savings, would you want to throw away $1,000 of it?

More Microsoft. Did you feel the earth chill on Monday? That's because hell froze over, and Palm released a new version of the Treo that runs Windows Mobile 5.0. Palm just recently got out of the operating system business, but did Access, who bought it,?expect that Palm would do their part to help kill the operating system? I guess this makes sense for Palm though?- they need to protect their devices from changes. If Access changes the operating system, or drops it altogether, Palm needs to have options. I'd say Windows Mobile 5.0 is a pretty safe bet that it'll be around for a while.

This week is Microsoft's MVP summit in Redmond. They're getting to see some cool stuff - I need to become an MVP! - and the report is that one of the things they'll get is Office 12 - pre beta. What about the rest of us? No, we won't get to play with the new bits, but we can look at the pretty pictures from PDC, or we can just get the next service pack for Office 2003. It's not quite as exciting, but there's a?new Outlook spam filter, and support for Visual Studio 2005. WSS service pack 2 was released at the same time, which is starting to show that the Office System model is already in full swing. As for getting our hands on the Office 12 beta, it's possible that it could still be coming this year.

But what if you don't want to use Outlook. There's always Thunderbird. I can hear you now though. What about calendaring? Well, the Mozilla foundation has released a roadmap for Lightning. What's Lightning? It's a calendaring application, and will be part of the whole Mozilla suite. It's scheduled to be released in November, although not version 1.0. It'll be?0.1. Speaking of the Mozilla suite, Firefox turned three. And they've undergone three name changes in that time. Phoenix. Firebird. Firefox.

Who else had a birthday? Google. They turned 7, and to celebrate, they talked about how their index is three times as big as Yahoo's, and at the same time, said index size doesn't matter. And they're right - it's relevancy, but that's not the point they made - they say they count different, so it's apples and oranges. Lost in the shuffle is that Eric Schmidt talked about the birthday and the whole index thing with C|Net. Yup, that's right. Google's boycott of C|Net is over. I guess seven is the age you mature...

I mentioned earlier that Mozilla was launching a calendar. Then I talked about Google. Doesn't a calendaring application?seem like a good fit for them? Apparently?Google may think so too. While the calendaring side is interesting, what's really interesting is what happens when you go to Yes, the domain is live, which is the way Google typically does things - was available before Google Talk went live - but it usually redirects to google's home page. But this time, it redirects to Google's personalizeable homepage. I'm sure that means something.

Anyway, Yahoo didn't just sit back this week either. Not only do they applaud Google for stopping the whole index size thing, but Yahoo's Desktop Search left beta this week.?It has something the others don't have: LiveWords. Or, in terms most would understand: search relevancy. Highlight a term, do a search, and you get relevant results.

Back to Microsoft for a quick hit. They've put their name behind HD-DVD?along with Intel. In case you're not up on your Hi-Def DVD format wars, there's two. Blu-Ray, a Sony format, and HD-DVD, a Toshiba format. Background: Toshiba won the format wars for the original DVD, and Sony wasn't happy. And I'm sure Sony wasn't real happy about the whole betamax thing either. Maybe they feel they're due for a win? Do a little research, and you'll see a sizeable following behind each. This weeks' Engadget podcast even talked about it (22 minute mark), and it's an interesting listen because it was before the Microsoft/Intel support was announced, and they made it sound like Blu-Ray was winning the war. Now that two big players have weighed in, this changes things. What's interesting is that a few major?PC makers are on the Blu-Ray side (Dell and HP), but what happens if Microsoft doesn't support Blu-Ray in Vista? Will that change their position, given that they'll either have to change operating systems or support HD-DVD as well? I wasn't interested in this fight until I heard it on the Engadget show, but this is pretty interesting to watch this unfold!

This, by the way, is another example of Microsoft taking direct aim at a competitor. Sony is pushing Blu-Ray big time - it's?going to be in the PlayStation 3, and Microsoft is, once again, in direct opposition to their position. The new Microsoft is looking more and more aggressive!

Did you see that Microsoft launched their own ad network this week? It's not what I first thought - I thought it was going to be like Google's Adsense or Yahoo's Publisher Network. I'm?sure that's coming (maybe later this month), but this is?more like AdWords, or what Overture offered before Yahoo snatched them up - priority ads on search results based on keywords. Except Microsoft takes it a step further - ads are supposed to be based on age, sex and location. That's coming with Google, I'm sure. They could do that now using their VPN service.

Speaking of the VPN service - a quick little point about it. You don't necessarily need Google's client installed. You can connect to their servers using a standard PPTP VPN connection. That means you can use a Mac to connect to GoogleNet. Speaking of GoogleNet, could it be in New York now too? That would be the obvious places to start - big cities. So far, that's San Francisco, New York and London. But nothing's been confirmed though, right? Well, not exactly. Google has come forward and said they plan to offer all of San Francisco 300 Kbps wireless service.

But some fear GoogleNet. Not because of the security though. Some fear Google because they could become too fierce a competitor for other search players. By Google tracking everything you do and where you spend your time, they can start to tune the search engine to be better. More relevant. And that's a good thing, unless you're building a search engine and your name isn't Google.?And as expected, Google will use this as a nice test of how location based services can work.

While we're on GoogleNet, they seem to be on the verge of providing 100% connectedness. So what's missing? Before, it was "how do you get online?" Now that we have that answered (we're assuming of course), the next question is how do we get a computer in everyone's hands. Well, MIT is looking at providing $100 laptops. And guess who's a sponsor? That's right. Google.

Remember last week when I mentioned Google TV? Well, this isn't quite it, but Google Video made a deal with UPN to show Chris Rock's new show for a week. I've long maintained that the future of TV is not what we see today. I see a future where shows will be released at a certain time. If you're impatient, you watch them as they're broadcast. If you want to wait, you watch it on demand. There's already something like this out there: Rent My DVR. It's not quite the same, but you request a show and if someone else has it recorded, you can get it. It's not network-supported, which this kind of thing will be some day. Then,?you'll probably?subscribe to a show and download it as it's released. Sounds a lot like RSS enclosures, doesn't it? A bit heavy on bandwidth though.

How do you solve bandwidth problems? BitTorrent. And they recently got $8,750,000 in investments. What will the money go to? Remember, BitTorrent isn't exactly known for it's legit uses. Maybe they plan to change that, and they could team with Google to offer quick downloads for Google Video.

Back to the DVR stuff. Could TiVo rebound? Well, maybe not. They've taken (and are still taking) quite a bit of flack over the service contract, but maybe what they need is a fresh start in another country. How about Canada? That's right, now?you can?record Hockey Night?in Canada! Maybe the hockey lockout is what prevented this from happening sooner!

One more quick DVR-type hit, and then we'll move on. The Dish Network is offering portable media devices that can download TV shows from satellites. It's not streaming, but the more and more I get used to my DVR (especially now that I have a dual tuner one), the less I care about streaming. And think about what I said above - you subscribe to a show and you get it when it's released. With this, you could subscribe to a show and when it's ready, your portable media device downloads it and you can watch it once it's there. Yes, it's not built for sporting events, but for most TV shows (or movies), this would work. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to download four or five shows ahead of time for a long car trip?

Back to?Google, the rumors are heating up about Google's PayPal killer. This time, it's coming from a CEO who says Google has approached his company to use the service. There's still no confirmation that this is real, and there are reasons that this may not make sense. eBay is one of Google's largest advertisers - you better hope you're successful if you plan to compete with your number one advertiser. On the other hand, eBay relies heavily on Google too, so they need each other. The question is who needs who more? If Google were to lose AOL, would that change the relationship?

How about another player in the online payment game? Enter PayGoose. They're set to launch November 1st, and they say they'll do the one thing that PayPal has caught flack for - freezing accounts for allegedly suspicious activity - even when the activity is very public and not suspicious. PayGoose:?We're just like PayPal, but without the standards.

One more Google rumor. They're searching for partners to supply Google with Classifieds. Remember, first and foremost, Google is in the advertisement business. This is just one more avenue for them to generate revenue.

As if there wasn't enough going on in Mountain View, Google signed a deal to share technology and R & D with NASA. Remember how gmail was launched around April Fool's Day and everyone thought it was fake, but it wasn't? Well, they also posted about hiring for their lunar facility. That was supposed to be the prank, but maybe it actually was real!

Ok. This is the last Google item this week. I missed the lawsuit against them last week by the Authors Guild. Remember, back in August, Google said they're going to hold off Google Print until November so authors could opt out. Well, the Authors Guild thinks authors should opt-in, and to tell Google that, they're suing them. The problem is Google seems protected under fair use. And some are questioning the Guild's tactics - they're suing on behalf of all authors, even though authors weren't given the change to opt-in or opt-out of the suit.

Let's finish up the Microsoft news for the week. First, the MSN Search blog has news about using MSN search with Firefox. And I missed this tidbit?- it's MSN Search with Greasemonkey enhancements for advanced options. Lastly, Microsoft will release Windows XP Service Pack 3 after Vista goes gold. This makes sense - not everyone will move to Vista right away, and this'll probably be a good way to get some of the features released with Vista into XP - like the final release of WinFx for example. Maybe even .NET Framework 2.0. That's long been an issue with Microsoft development - how do you guarantee that the framework is installed?

Have I mentioned that I love acquisition rumors? Well, the Web 2.0 conference is next week, and the rumor is that Newsgator will be announcing that they've swallowed up another company. And, Moreover is said to be on the verge of being acquired. These probably aren't related, but then again, who knows. Isn't Newsgator making a move into the enterprise market? Could Moreover be a fit?

Speaking of Newsgator, one of their competitors, Blogbot, has gone open source and is now free. It's an RSS/Atom reader for Outlook. Here's an idea. Someone should take the code for this, change it to synch with Newsgator Online, and enter it in the Newsgator API challenge.?

Lastly, let's talk about PubSub. They've been busy lately. First, they have a daily 1000 list.?Not everyone agrees that it's very good, and I tend to agree with the observations - I've been watching PubSub, and it's not very accurate about when it finds inbound links or registers new posts for my site.?But that's not all they're doing. They're going to measure blog's influence by category. And they're syndicating content from Forbes.

That's it for this week. I'm still looking for feedback about what you want out of RCW. I've made it easier for you - I've got more options for you. You can still email me any feedback at weekly at rosscode dot com - that'll still work. And I want to point out that all of my IM addresses are on my homepage, so you can interact that way too. But now, you can even leave me a voicemail message. That's right - just call (206)-424-4RCW (4729) and leave me a message.

Anyway, next week we'll talk about the Newsgator acquisition, and what that means for the aggregation market. The Web 2.0 conference is next week, so I'm sure we'll have more than just an acquisition to talk about it coming out of that. And let's not forget that AOL's VoIP solution is supposed to be coming on the 4th. Until then, thanks for reading (or listening) and in the great podcast tradition: Stay Subscribed!

Categories: RossCode Weekly


What A Weekend For Sports!

posted on 2005-09-30 at 22:22:49 by Joel Ross

I'm not a huge baseball fan, but when the playoffs come, I get intrigued by the competition. Well, it's not the playoffs yet, but it's close enough. Boston is one game behind the Yankees for the Division title, and, as I write this, it's 5-3 - Red Sox leading. If they win, the two teams will be tied with two games left. Cleveland, if they lose (they're down 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th), will be one game behind whoever loses the AL East for the wild card spot. Cleveland plays the White Sox, who have nothing to play for - therefore, the Indians should have an advantage over the weekend - they could easily win both of the games.

Assuming the Sox and Yankees split the weekend games, that gives a three way tie for two playoff spots, which means the fun continues through next week.

Now, that's not the only reason this weekend is a big sports weekend. Yes, there's the fall standby of Saturday college football and Sunday NFL football, but there's one game that stands out - U of M vs. MSU. It's in East Lansing, and, for the first time in a very long time, the Spartans are favored. And hot - Drew Stanton has their offense on a roll. The Wolverines, on the other hand, have lost two straight, and are looking to rebound.

You can analyze each team and look at it many ways: Michigan rarely loses three games in a row. MSU has a top offense. Michigan doesn't know how to defend against a running quarterback. Etc., Etc., Etc.

But when it's U of M versus MSU, you throw all that out. It comes down to heart. Last year, MSU had no business being in overtime with U of M, but they were. You can't explain it, but you have to watch. It's going to be good!

And, as my three year old daughter would say: Go State! Boo Blue!

Categories: Sports


PC World Top 100 Software Products Of 2005

posted on 2005-09-30 at 21:46:17 by Joel Ross

PC World has a list of the top 100 products of 2005. Since everyone else seems to be listing it out, here's what I use on the list.

1. Mozilla Firefox (although not as my primary browser)
2. Google Gmail
8. Skype
9. Canon EOS Digital Rebel (well, not exactly - I have the model before this one, but close enough!)
12. Maxthon (this is my primary browser)
16. Google
28. Mozilla Thunderbird
47. Microsoft Windows Media Player

That's not many, is it? How many do you use?

Categories: Software


Engadget Labs

posted on 2005-09-30 at 21:44:36 by Joel Ross

I read this post by Jason Calacanis, who runs the WebLogs, Inc. company and off-handedly wondered why he was putting himself through the travel he was, just to make it to an Engadget meet up. Yes, he's the CEO, but he doesn't contribute to Engadget. Why the priority to be there?

But it all made sense when I saw this. Engadget is setting up a lab starting October 15th, and will now be able to conduct tests of their own and give more information about some of the equipment they post about. And they'll have a professional podcasting studio. Nice!

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Categories: General


RossCode Picks - NFL Week IV

posted on 2005-09-29 at 22:47:04 by Joel Ross

I'm starting to feel more and more confident about my picks. Maybe I'm getting back into the swing of things, or maybe things are settling down a little bit. Who knows. Either way, here's this week's picks.

  • Buffalo vs. New Orleans (0) (39.5 O/U): Buffalo's running game is good, and the passing game isn't quite so good. Remember how they got rid of Drew Bledsoe in favor of J.P. Losman? Who made that decision? Even without a?passing game, they can beat New Orleans. What do you want to bet that if they get the opening kickoff, the return man will use two hands on the ball?
  • Denver vs. Jacksonville (-3.5) (37 O/U): Denver beat up on an improved K.C. defense, but that defense isn't quite where Jacksonville's defense is at. And it's not in Denver, where they have a distinct advantage.
  • Detroit vs. Tampa Bay (-6.5) (34 O/U): Tampa Bay is having fun racking up wins against the lower echelon of the NFL, and this week won't be any different. That, or Joey Harrington needs to step up. He needs to mature and start playing like he can. Maybe he should be referred to as Joseph Harrington. That'll make him feel more mature.
  • Houston vs. Cincinnati (-9.5) (42.5 O/U): Cincy's another team benefiting from an easy early season schedule. Houston's coach is just trying to keep his job, and playing a hot team like the Bengals (do you know how weird that felt to write that?) isn't going to help. Could Cincinnati get five interceptions for three weeks in a row? It's possible.
  • Indianapolis (-7) vs. Tennessee (45 O/U): The Indy offense can't stay down for long can they? The good news is that Tennessee isn't that good, and the Colts defense is much, much improved. Since the Titans defense isn't great, it could be a good chance for Manning, although, last week against the Browns was a good chance too.
  • Philadelphia vs. Kansas City (-2) (45.5 O/U): Will McNabb play? He needs surgery, but it sounds like he will. Remember two weeks ago when everyone thought he was out and questioned how effective he would be? Five touchdowns later, critics shut up. K. C. just got a beat down from a Denver defense on Monday night, and they'll remember that, so look for a high scoring affair. I just hope it doesn't come down to a field goal for Philly - Akers is out, so that may be tricky.
  • San Diego vs. New England (-5) (47 O/U): New England is still one of the premiere teams in the AFC, and I think some forgot that before they went into Pittsburgh and walked away with a win, despite the whole clock issue. San Diego has finally figured out their offense: Give the ball to L.T. Pass it to him. Hand it off. Let him pass it. It doesn't matter - just make sure he touches it. Why don't they just go into the shotgun and hike it directly to him?
  • Seattle vs. Washington (-2) (36.5 O/U): I'm not sold on Washington yet. They're good, but they haven't played great teams yet - Chicago and Dallas. This'll be a good test of the Redskins run defense - Shaun Alexander is a great running back, and they'll have a tough time containing him.
  • St. Louis vs. New York Giants (-3) (47 O/U): Eli Manning's back in his familiar sorroundings, and St. Louis is, well, coached by a mad man. He can be brilliant or insane. Which Mike Martz will show up? It's outdoors, so I'll give this one to the Giants.
  • New York Jets vs. Baltimore (-7) (31 O/U): Pennington is out - and you're either giving the ball to a 41 year old washed up quarterback, or to an unproven youngster. Curtis Martin better be ready for a huge load this weekend! Baltimore's defense has underperformed, and what do you want to bet that teeing up on either of the Jets choices for quarterback would feel pretty good? Don't look for a huge day from Jamal Lewis either - it's the Jets offense that's hurting, not the defense.
  • Dallas vs. Oakland (-3) (47 O/U): Bledsoe has been pretty good, and put up huge numbers last week. Oakland's defense isn't great, but it'll be good enough to hold Dallas to less than the Oakland offense can put up. Remember how Santana Moss got behind the Dallas secondary twice on fourth downs? Think Randy Moss isn't watching those tapes? Collins has the arm. I'm just sayin'!
  • Minnesota vs. Atlanta (-5.5) (44.5 O/U): The question of the week: Is Culpepper back or was last week a fluke? I'm guessing the former, and Atlanta's defense will pay the price. Not that Minnesota's defense is much better, so look for a high scoring affair.
  • San Francisco vs. Arizona (-3) (43 O/U): These teams are so bad they had to send them all the way to Mexico to find anyone interested in watching them! Seriously, though. If you want to showcase the NFL outside of the U.S., why are you sending these two teams? And, when Arizona loses, will they complain about the game being in a neutral place like the Saints complained (and still are) about playing in New Jersey?
  • Green Bay* vs. Carolina (-7.5) (43 O/U): Already, MNF is suffering from setting the schedule before the season started. I'm sure that this match up looked good before the season started, but it sure doesn't now. Green Bay is 0-3, lost their number one receiver, and Favre is starting to look washed up. Carolina looks strong, and for a team like Carolina who's a fairly low scoring team to be giving?7+ points, that says something about how most people think the game will go.

That's that. Time to get back to some real work! We'll see how I do next week!

Categories: Football


Zondervan Bible Search Video

posted on 2005-09-29 at 08:58:45 by Joel Ross

A while ago, I posted about the launch of Well, what I didn't mention was that Brian and the team made a video about it and submitted it to the PDC show-off.

It was accepted, shown at the PDC, and it's now up on Channel 9. Nice job, guys.

Categories: General


Longhord Thrown Out?

posted on 2005-09-28 at 23:44:31 by Joel Ross

This is interesting. According to Scoble (and numerous others), last summer Microsoft made what can only be seen as a very tough decision. They threw out Longhorn. Then they started fresh from Windows 2003 server. I wouldn't have wanted to be Jim Allchin when he told BillG.

This definitely explains why Vista's taken so long to get in our hands. To be honest, the fact that it's in beta after a year of development is pretty impressive. My last project took almost a year from start to finish, and it was just a website!

Categories: General


GotDotNet vNext?

posted on 2005-09-28 at 23:36:22 by Joel Ross

I know it's coming, but the question is when. And what, for that matter. When I talked to the GDN team at Tech Ed, they alluded to new features, but no real details. But, it sounds like MVPs at the MVP summit got a sneak peak.

Now, what does a normal guy have to do to get a look at this?

Categories: Software


RossCode Picks - Week III Review

posted on 2005-09-27 at 22:17:22 by Joel Ross

I still came out on the losing end this week, but it was a much better week, as we'll see as we go through the week. Remember early in the season when I mentioned that I'd heard a theory that betting on games in weeks one and two was a good idea because the oddsmakers didn't know how teams would perform? Well, I'm starting to think it's not true. Yes, you may be able to gain an advantage if you are intimately familiar with the teams involved, but in most cases, it's just not the case. Now that things are a little more steady and we have an idea of how teams are going to perform, things start to settle down a little bit. That was definitely the case for me this week.

  • Atlanta 24, Buffalo 16 (-2.5) (37 O/U) [P: $9.35, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $9.35]: The combination of D & D (Warrick Dunn and Tico Duckett) has got to be hard on defenses. They are different styles of backs, and switching them up constantly is probably hard to adjust to. Throw in Vick taking off from the backfield, and defenses are going to be confused. Then, add in Vick starting to look a little better as a passer, and it's chaos! McGahee finally had a solid game, but Losman is going through rookie growing pains. 75 yards passing. Ouch.
  • Carolina 24 (-3), Miami 27 (36.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($30.00)]: Who would have guessed that Miami would be 2-1 at this point in the season? Maybe Saban really is NFL coaching material, and one of those few coaches who can make the transition from college to pro seemlessly. This is a team that shouldn't be that good, but they are performing very well. Ronnie Brown finally got the ball regularly and made good use of it, running for 130+ yards and getting his first touchdown. Maybe Ricky Williams isn't needed. Carolina is still a good team, but their passing game is a little lopsided - without Steve Smith, who would you throw to? Teams are going to start ganging up on him, and someone else will have to step up.
  • Cincinnati 24 (-3), Chicago 7 (40 O/U) [P: $6.90, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $6.90]: Cincinnati appears to be a team on the rise, and that'll probably continue. While I'm not saying they aren't good, let's remember who they played: Cleveland, Minnesota and Chicago. Combined record: 3-6. And next week, they play Houston, meaning they'll get even more attention when they move to 4-0. Chicago looks like they'll be relying on defense and running for the rest of the year, as Orton was obviously thrust into the starting role long before he was ready. I've long thought that for a quarterback to be good in the NFL, he needs to be brought up slowly. You can't adjust to the game without being to learn from someone who's been there. And it should be from the sideline for at least part of the season. There aren't many rookies who can step in and be a good player right away. And no, Jeff Blake doesn't count!
  • Cleveland 6, Indianapolis 13 (-13.5) (46.5 O/U) [P: $1.18, S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($18.82)]: Once again, the difference in this game for Indy came from two sources: their defense and their running game. Who would have thought Indy would be 3-0 if I told you Manning wouldn't have a TD pass in two of those three games? Last year, the Colts won games because they were shootouts, and Manning shot better. This year, their grinding out wins using the tried and true tactics - tough defense and a solid running game. This is a team to watch out for, because we know you can't keep Manning and Harrison down all year. Cleveland's a tough team to figure out. On paper, they are bad. In practice, they hung with the Colts. Dilfer at QB would scare me though. Just so we're clear on the pick - I thought Indy would win, but the red is because they didn't cover. I knew 13 was too much! I should have stuck with my 10 point spread rule.
  • Jacksonville 26, New York Jets 20 (-2.5) (33.5 O/U) [P: $12.80, S: $10.00, O/U: $9.52, T: $32.32]: Let's start with the easy team. Jacksonville is playing pretty good. They definitely stuck with their running game - Fred Taylor, who, when healthy, is a top ten back, had 37 rushes and a touchdown. Now, let's look at the Jets. They're in a world of hurt right now. First, they go into the week with a running back who's hurting, but can play. Then, Pennington goes down. But that's not all - he comes back into the game because his backup gets hurt. Here's where I'm confused. Both of your starting quarterbacks are hurting, yet your star back only gets 18 carries? Was Martin hurting that much? If so, should he have played? If Pennington really did tear his rotator cuff again, what happens to him? Will he be able to play again? Could New York be looking for a new quarterback and a runningback in the next year or so? I'm not saying Martin is done, but he's getting up there in age. He won't be around forever. UPDATE: In a crazy turn, the Jets have signed Vinny Testeverde. Isn't he injury prone too?
  • New Orleans 16, Minnesota 33 (-4) (44.5 O/U) [P: $5.88, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $5.88]: Finally! Culpepper answers his critics and comes through with three touchdown passes, including one in the opening minute. Who would have guessed that it took Minnesota deciding on a running back and using him regularly to finally get their passing game going? Oh yeah. Me. I've been harping on establishing the run for a while now! If you're New Orleans, I say you take a knee in the endzone any time you can. They've fumbled the ball on the opening kick off two weeks in a row, both resulting in easy touchdowns for their opponent, and putting them in a hole early in the game. There seem to be a lot of questions about Brooks lately. He's big and strong, but he only completed 14 passes - 2 to the other team - on 32 attempts.
  • Oakland 20, Philadelphia 23 (-7.5) (46.5 O/U) [P: $3.21, S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.26, T: $2.46]: Philly's another team I picked to win and cover, but only completed one of those tasks. This was apparently the week for kickers in the NFL. I've always had a soft spot for kickers - I played soccer in highschool, and kicker was the most logical position for me if I was to play football, so I can relate. But most feel they aren't "true" football players. Well, after watching Akers, who could have justifiably stayed out of the rest of the game, come on and kick the game winner on a torn hammy, how can you say kickers aren't tough. Or important. Akers, Viniateri, and Mare all won their respective games in the closing moments via a field goal.
  • Tampa Bay 17 (-3.5), Green Bay 16 (37.5 O/U) [P: $5.46, S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.01, T: $4.47]: Tampa Bay's defense is staunch. Of course, they're a lot like Cincy - who have they played? Minnesota, Buffalo, and Green Bay. Same 3-6 record. Not exactly a stellar reference, but they're still playing very well, Their offense is well distributed as well. Green Bay is a mess. I think I've said that before. In the past, Favre could will the ball to his receivers. Recently, he hasn't been able to do that, throwing more and more picks every year. I think Favre is a great quarterback, but the transition better be under way in Green Bay to a younger quarterback.
  • Tennessee 27, St. Louis 31 (-6.5) (45.5 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: ($10.00)]: This one's reverse. I thought Tennessee would win outright. Instead they covered, but lost. Neither of these teams excite me, but there's rumors about each that are interesting. First, could the Jets be looking at the Titans backup quarterback? Volik hasn't played much, but is supposed to be pretty good. And for St. Louis, it sounds like they need to not only be in the playoffs, but win?a game or two for Mike Martz to save his job.
  • Arizona 12, Seattle 37 (-6) (41.5 O/U) [P: $3.95, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $3.95]: Well, Warner's out, and that gives Josh McCown a chance to prove himself. They're bad, so there's no chance this will hurt their playoff chances - they never had any! Maybe this will get Denny Green to run a little more. Or maybe not. Even with McCown playing quite a bit of the game, Shipp still only had 10 carries. Maybe they should watch Seatte, who gave Alexander the ball 22 times, and he turned that into 140 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Dallas 34 (-6.5), San Francisco 31 (41 O/U) [P: $3.77, S: ($10.00), O/U: ($10.00), T: ($16.23)]: Dallas must still have been reeling from their late fourth quarter loss to Washington. Yes, they pulled this one out, but they needed a fourth quarter comeback of their own to do it.
  • New England 23, Pittsburgh 20 (-3) (42 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.71, T: ($10.29)]: This was probably the premiere game this week. Could New England, coming off a loss, go into Pittsburgh and beat Roethlisberger and Co.? As it turns out, yes, they could. Barely. A literal last second field goal, combined with a mysterious addition to the game clock gave them the victory. Willie Parker came down to earth, and I'm sure we'll see speculation that he won't be starting when Staley comes back now, after last week all the reports that it wouldn't matter. The NFL is a fickle place!
  • New York Giants 23, San Diego 45 (-6) (42 O/U) [P: $4.07, S: $10.00, O/U: ($10.00), T: $4.07]: So what would make the NFL pick San Diego against New York for a Sunday night game? Surely (even before the season started) it wasn't going to be as good of a game as New England vs. Pittsburgh, was it? No, it was picked for one reason: Eli Manning. Not because he's the future poster boy of the NFL, but because he refused to play for the Chargers. As it turns out, he was right - he'd be sitting on the bench where Phillip Rivers is rather than throwing for 350+ yards. Still, his move seemed childish to me, even if it did work out - that certainly wasn't his reasoning for refusing to play there - Brees was looking like a minor bust at the time, and not the sure star that Manning was. So how can San Diego turn this season around? Despite winning, they are 1-2. How about giving the ball to L.T.? It worked last week, and it worked last year.
  • Kansas City 10, Denver 30 (-3) (48 O/U) [P: ($10.00), S: ($10.00), O/U: $9.26, T: ($10.74)]: K.C. got thrashed here. a late touchdown made it somewhat respectable, but respectable losses don't get you in the playoffs. They didn't use their strength - the combo of Holmes and Johnson enough. Granted, they were down by 20 only 20?minutes into the game, which would cause most teams to start passing. Not a smart move when your gameplan is to run with the occasional pass - or at least that's what it should be. Denver sure stuck to a ground game - they ran 32 times, and only threw the ball up 18 times. Of course, that could just be coincidental - maybe the Chiefs lost because they had 13 penalties for almost 120 yards.

Results Summary

  • Picks (this week): 10 - 4 (71.43%) - Winnings: $16.56. This is more the kind of numbers I put up last year picking winners. You can tell I picked favorites, because even thought I had 6 more correct than wrong, that only translated into $16 in winnings. Now, that's almost a 12% return in a week, which isn't horrible
  • Picks (season): 24 - 22 (52.17%) - Winnings: ($95.77). I'm still down overall, despite being above .500?picking games. ?That's a 20% loss!
  • Spread (this week): 7 - 7 (50.00%) - Winnings: $0.00. Even for the week. That's the nice thing about picking ATS. You know what you're getting when you get one right. I can be even picking and break even in money, unlike picking winners.
  • Spread (season): 17 - 28 (37.78%) - Winnings: ($110.00): I'm still down big on the season. 24%, but I should get better here.
  • Over/Under (this week): 5 - 9 (35.71%) - Winnings: ($43.24): For the first time all year, picking the over/under hurt me. I would have been for the week, but picking the over/under killed me.
  • Over/Under (season): 21 - 24 (46.67%) - Winnings: ($42.72): This week's over/under fiasco also cost me my one bright spot. I'm now down overall for over/under too.
  • Total Weekly Winnings: ($26.68): All of the loss resulted from the over/under. Too bad too, because I could have been positive overall, where as most weeks I'm up?on over/under and down everywhere else.
  • Total Overall Winnings: ($248.49). It just keeps getting bigger. Overall, I would have lost 18%. That's like tech stocks in 2002!

Ok. That's it. I'm out. I'll be back Thursday with my picks for Week IV.

Categories: Football


Binding To An Enumeration - A Followup

posted on 2005-09-26 at 00:41:10 by Joel Ross

Late last week, I posted about being able to bind to an enumeration, and expressed my doubt of it's usefulness in most situations.

Well, I was Haacked! Phil posted a followup of how it could be done. Remember, my doubts were because of situations where your enumerations are often times multiple words, and not having spaces would create a problem. Phil, using the ever useful UglinessFactor enumeration, introduces the SplitUpperCaseToString function, which, as long as your enmerations follow Pascal casing (which they should), will split your enumerations into nice, readable drop down values. Nice trick! You can then call this function on binding of each item, and be good to go.

Now, as pointed out in the comments, this is (obviously) not a localizable solution. If you're in need of that, then binding to an enumeration probably wouldn't work for you anyway - even if you do only use single word enumeration values.

Categories: Development


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