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Articles

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | ... | Page 39

Apple Watch: SmartHome Rumors Brewing
Tuesday, 2014 May 27 - 12:36 pm
A large number of Apple-related sites are buzzing about the possibility of a "smart home" (or "connected home") system to be announced at the upcoming WWDC in June. I had speculated about this back in 2011... it does seem to fit with Apple's philosophy of taking an existing technology with a terrible user experience and making it better.

Let's consider what an Apple-based system might look like.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Apple Watch: 2014 Predictions
Wednesday, 2014 January 1 - 3:57 pm
The annual ritual continues... here are my Apple predictions for the year.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

College Football 2013: Week 13 Recap and Week 14 Preview
Saturday, 2013 November 30 - 12:48 pm
This will probably be the last football post of the season. Go Blue.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 12 Recap
Friday, 2013 November 22 - 4:59 pm
Michigan wins in bizarre fashion; N.C. State loses again.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 12 Preview
Saturday, 2013 November 16 - 12:09 pm
I am having trouble getting enthused for these games.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 11 Recap
Sunday, 2013 November 10 - 12:23 pm
It's looking like a lost season for both Michigan and N.C. State at this point. Michigan loses to Nebraska; N.C. State loses to Duke.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 11 Preview
Thursday, 2013 November 7 - 7:29 pm
Michigan plays Nebraska; N.C. State plays Duke.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 10 Recap
Thursday, 2013 November 7 - 6:26 pm
Ugh. And Ugh.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 10 Preview
Saturday, 2013 November 2 - 9:33 am
It's rivalry week... Michigan plays at Michigan State, North Carolina plays at North Carolina State.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

Apple News
Monday, 2013 October 28 - 10:05 pm
I'm a bit behind on Apple news, so let's catch up.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

College Football 2013: Week 9 Recap
Monday, 2013 October 28 - 9:19 pm
Michigan was idle; N.C. State gets demolished.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 9 Preview
Saturday, 2013 October 26 - 9:16 am
Michigan is idle; N.C. State travels to Florida State.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

Apple Announcements Coming Tomorrow
Monday, 2013 October 21 - 11:26 pm
Some last minute predictions for Apple's media event tomorrow.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

College Football 2013: Week 8 Recap
Monday, 2013 October 21 - 10:53 pm
Michigan wins a wild shootout; N.C. State was idle. Also, four top ten teams lose.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 8 Preview
Saturday, 2013 October 19 - 8:49 am
Michigan plays Indiana; N.C. State has a bye.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 7 Recap
Thursday, 2013 October 17 - 8:39 pm
Ugh. And ugh.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

The Evolution of Blogging
Sunday, 2013 October 13 - 11:21 am
Well, I've finally had enough. As of today, there'll be no more comments on this blog.

There was a time when blogging was a community conversation. We found people with common beliefs and interests, we shared information and personal stories with each other, and we had a constructive dialog via our comment sections. I made several real-life friends through this blog, and I learned to open up about myself; I don't regret any of it.

But blogging has changed as a medium. Now, really, there are basically two types of blog commenters: rabid Obama-bashing trolls, and spammers. I didn't get so much of the former category on this blog, but I did get buckets and buckets of spam. Despite all my attempts to rein it in (CAPTCHA, keyword blocking, IP address blocking, country blocking), I still got a thousand spam comments for every useful one. I'm tired of trying to ban every possible spelling and usage of "Oakley", "Gucci", and "Nike". Handling email spam is easy compared to handling comment spam.

I'm really not sure where I want to go with this blog in general. I don't write as much overall, as I'm sure you can tell. For short-form stuff, I've pretty much switched to Facebook and Twitter. I still like having this blog for longer-form writing every now and then, because I like having it under my control, and I like that my posts won't get lost in all the noise of social media sites.

I predict that someday we'll come up with something new: some kind of decentralized social media organization, one where we can connect with real people and real friends, but cut out spammers, trolls, and advertisers. Ideally it'd be a place where each person has some control over their own layout and content. The technology exists; someone just has to put it together and find a way for it to gain widespread adoption.

Maybe we'll call it "Geocities".
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Posted by Ken in: bloggerscommentarysite-business

College Football 2013: Week 7 Preview
Saturday, 2013 October 12 - 10:50 am
Michigan plays at Penn State; N.C. State plays Syracuse.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 6 Recap
Friday, 2013 October 11 - 9:30 am
Michigan wins the Little Brown Jug; N.C. State gets an ugly loss.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 6 Preview
Wednesday, 2013 October 2 - 9:05 am
Michigan starts Big Ten play against Minnesota; N.C. State plays Wake Forest.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

Thoughts on Breaking Bad
Tuesday, 2013 October 1 - 9:32 am
I don't think it's hyperbole to say that "Breaking Bad" was the best TV show I've ever seen.

SPOILER ALERT:
If you haven't watched the show and don't want spoilers, stop reading now.

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Posted by Ken in: television

College Football 2013: Week 5 Recap
Tuesday, 2013 October 1 - 8:46 am
Michigan was on a bye; N.C. State easily defeats Central Michigan.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

U.S. Government Shuts Down
Tuesday, 2013 October 1 - 8:13 am
Here we go again.

Much like in 1995, Congress has shut down the federal government by refusing to pass a continuing resolution to fund its operations. In 1995 the conflict was largely over the Republicans' desire to cut Medicare. This time, it's all about a minority faction of the House, the Tea Party, and their continuing obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare").

Some facts about the shutdown:
  • Among the affected will be active duty military personnel, who will see delays in getting paychecks.
  • This will do nothing to reduce the deficit; in fact, the act of shutting down and restarting government operations will cost billions of dollars.
  • This will do nothing to halt Obamacare.
So a shutdown accomplishes no Republican political priorities, it hurts Republican as well as Democratic constituents, and a large number of Republicans are against the idea. It is fifty or so Tea Party Republicans in the house that are holding the other 485 members of the House and Senate hostage until we appease their tantrums over Obamacare. (I don't think "tantrum" is an overstatement.) This is an outrageous upending of the democratic political process.

Why do John Boehner and mainstream Republicans go along with this? Because in the gerrymandered House districts in their states, they are terrified of Tea Party opposition in their re-election primaries, and they can't beat Democratic opponents without Tea Party support.

I predict that the mainstream GOP will cave on the issue and pass a funding bill without ties to Obamacare. If Boehner is smart, he will try to negotiate on some other point, like tax and spending reductions, but he will leave Obamacare off the table. He will infuriate some Tea Party Republicans and may in fact lose his chair as Speaker of the House, but at some point Republicans will surely come to understand that their job is to provide a functioning government for the people.

My sincere hope is that this event will end up fracturing the Tea Party from the Republican party as a whole; and that either the Tea Party will wither away and die, or that the Tea Party will be the new conservative opposition party and that mainstream Republicans en masse will defect to the Democratic party instead.

Please write to your Congressional representatives to tell them to stop acting like children.
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Posted by Ken in: politics

College Football 2013: Week 5 Preview
Saturday, 2013 September 28 - 8:43 am
Michigan has a bye; N.C. State plays Central Michigan.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 4 Recap
Friday, 2013 September 27 - 10:38 pm
Michigan squeaks by UConn; N.C. State loses to Clemson.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 4 Preview
Wednesday, 2013 September 18 - 10:32 pm
Michigan plays at UConn Saturday night; N.C. State plays at home against Clemson Thursday night on national TV.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 3 Recap
Sunday, 2013 September 15 - 3:15 pm
Michigan narrowly avoids an embarrassing defeat.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 3 Preview
Thursday, 2013 September 12 - 8:15 pm
Michigan plays Akron; N.C. State has a bye before a Thursday game in Week 4.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 2 Recap
Thursday, 2013 September 12 - 8:02 pm
Michigan scores a big win against Notre Dame; N.C. State struggles to put away I-AA Richmond.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 2 Preview
Saturday, 2013 September 7 - 11:40 am
Sorry, I don't have time for a proper preview today. Here's a mini version.

Predictions:
Michigan 29, Notre Dame 21.
N.C. State 54, Richmond 6.

Games to Watch on TV
Florida at Miami, noon on ESPN.
South Carolina at Georgia, 4:30 on ESPN.
Notre Dame at Michigan, 8:00 on ESPN.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

Samsung Galaxy Gear
Thursday, 2013 September 5 - 7:14 am
Samsung announced several new and updated products; the one that's garnering the most attention is the Galaxy Gear wrist device.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Microsoft Buys Nokia's Phone Unit
Tuesday, 2013 September 3 - 10:56 am
Microsoft announced today that it is purchasing Nokia's devices and services unit, which most notably includes the mobile phone business, Nokia's Lumia series that runs the Windows Phone 8 operating system. Nokia was really the only successful Windows Phone vendor; HTC, Huawei, and Samsung were far behind.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

College Football 2013: Week 1 Recap
Monday, 2013 September 2 - 10:59 am
Michigan and N.C. State both win their openers handily.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2013: Week 1 Preview
Wednesday, 2013 August 28 - 10:51 pm
FOOTBAWWWWW. Michigan hosts Central Michigan and NCSU plays Louisiana Tech in the season openers this weekend.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

This Week in SCOTUS
Saturday, 2013 June 29 - 7:53 pm
It's been a big week at the Supreme Court this week. Here's a round-up for those of you who aren't SCOTUS-watchers.

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Posted by Ken in: politics

Viacom Signs Deal with Amazon Prime
Tuesday, 2013 June 4 - 12:38 pm
I've always told my friends that if Comedy Central and ESPN were available over the Internet instead of exclusively on cable, that would be enough for me to ditch my cable subscription and "cut the cord".

I think we're getting there.

Viacom and Amazon today announced that a number of shows from Comedy Central (and Nickelodeon) will now be available on Amazon Prime. It strikes me that Amazon and Netflix have become the pioneer "networks" on a new broadcast medium: the Internet. Existing content providers will have to evolve to compete, just as the broadcast networks had to become cable networks in order to survive thirty years ago.

My prediction is that some time in the next couple of years, the ABC/Disney/ESPN empire will either partner with one of these outlets or create their own paid streaming service. CBS will follow next; NBC (owned by Comcast) and all the Time Warner-owned stations will come around last. Then we'll finally have an open television market where the cable companies don't have a stranglehold on the terms of distribution, and content providers can negotiate subscription prices directly with consumers. This is how a free market is supposed to work; what we have now is effectively a monopoly.

The rub, of course, is that cable companies are also Internet service providers, and may respond to this threat by jacking up Internet rates or metering the bandwidth available for competing video services. So the other part of the equation is that we need a more competitive Internet market, or municipal Internet providers.

Of course, stupid states like my own (North Carolina) have legislation to prohibit municipal Internet providers... in order to protect the anti-competitive market that exists today. Sigh. Can you imagine if Time Warner were your electricity provider? If they could, they'd charge you extra for electricity being used for your computer, if they knew you were using it to watch YouTube.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatchtelevision

Site Updates
Saturday, 2013 May 4 - 2:29 pm
Hey, yeah, this blog is still alive... barely.

Lately I've been fending off comment spam like crazy. I have a giant list of banned keywords, URLs, and IP addresses, but it always seems like I'm a step behind the spammers. My latest step is to ban all comments from certain countries, especially China... I think 90% of my comment spam comes from China.

Frankly I'm not sure what's going to become of this blog in the long term. Every now and then I feel like I have a long-form essay to post, but that seems like it happens less and less often. Meanwhile all my short-form stuff goes onto Facebook, or less frequently, Twitter. Is blogging dead? Very few of my friends do it any more.

I have a sentimental attachment to this site so I doubt it'll go away any time in the near future. Maybe what I need is a new project, like the frozen lunches thing I did a while back. Hmm.
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

Newtown
Tuesday, 2013 January 22 - 2:09 am
It's been a month since the Newtown shooting and I've stayed quiet about the issue of gun control until now. But I think I need to say something.

Being a civil libertarian, there's a part of me that believes that responsible gun ownership is part of living in a free society. But that doesn't mean it can't be regulated and controlled in a sane manner.

I would hope that we would all agree on a couple of things. First, we should not tolerate living in a society where it is relatively easy for a teenager with mental health issues to walk into a school and murder first graders, using a weapon that has no practical use in either self-defense or hunting. So doing nothing is not the answer. The status quo is unacceptable.

Second, not everyone should be allowed to own nuclear weapons, nerve gas, or fighter jets... so regardless of where you stand on handguns and assault rifles, surely you agree that there's a line that should be drawn somewhere, and the right to bear "arms" is not an absolute license to own any kind of weapon imaginable. We should be able to have a discussion on where that line should be drawn, without accusing each other of being anti-American or part of a socialist conspiracy.

As for me, I will probably never own a gun. Not to be critical of my gun-owning friends, but if I ever reach a point where I think it's necessary to have a gun to keep me or my family safe, then it means that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong with my life. I'll change my tune when the zombie apocalypse comes, but as of today I'm much more likely to die from alcohol poisoning than an armed assailant, and I'd like to keep it that way, thank you very much.
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Posted by Ken in: commentarypolitics

Apple Watch: 2013 Predictions
Tuesday, 2013 January 1 - 7:22 pm
Time for my annual Apple predictions.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Election 2012
Saturday, 2012 November 17 - 11:56 am
With Obama's re-election two weeks in the rear-view mirror, there's been a lot of soul-searching and hand-wringing in the Republican party lately. Obviously most of the pundits have already weighed in on this topic, but I wanted to add my take on what happened in the election, what's in store for the Republican party, and what we might see in 2016.

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Posted by Ken in: politics

College Football Week Something Something
Saturday, 2012 November 17 - 10:53 am
Okay... I fully realize that I failed to post my usual college football recaps and previews for the past couple of weeks, and for my two readers that look for those things, I apologize. Let's sum up a bit.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2012: Week 9 Preview
Friday, 2012 October 26 - 10:08 pm
Michigan plays a key divisional game at Nebraska; N.C. State takes on its biggest rival, UNC.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2012: Week 8 Recap
Sunday, 2012 October 21 - 12:11 pm
Well, that was quite a heart-attack inducing day. Michigan and N.C. State both pull off last-minute field goals to win their respective games 12-10 and 20-18.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2012: Week 8 Preview
Wednesday, 2012 October 17 - 1:36 pm
Michigan plays Moo U (er, Michigan State); N.C. State plays Maryland.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

Apple Watch: Media Event for October 23rd
Tuesday, 2012 October 16 - 12:53 pm


Apple has sent out a media invitation for October 23rd. This is 99% sure to be an iPad mini announcement, but we may get a new Retina MacBook Pro 13" announcement too... that would fit with the "a little more" theme.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

College Football 2012: Week 7 Recap
Sunday, 2012 October 14 - 12:49 pm
Hey look! A Sunday update for a change! Michigan wins easily; N.C. State rests.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2012: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Preview
Saturday, 2012 October 13 - 11:40 am
Michigan and N.C. State are both building off important wins from last week.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2012: Week 5 Recap and Week 6 Preview
Saturday, 2012 October 6 - 10:58 am
Yeah, I'm late again... combining this week's articles into one. Michigan is coming off a bye and will play Purdue; N.C. State loses a tough one to Miami FL and now has to face #3 Florida State.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2012: Week 5 Preview
Saturday, 2012 September 29 - 10:52 am
Michigan is on a bye; N.C. State plays Miami (FL).

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Posted by Ken in: sports

College Football 2012: Week 4 Recap
Saturday, 2012 September 29 - 10:44 am
Michigan loses in ugly fashion to Notre Dame; N.C. State rolls. This is way late, I know, but I've been depressed about last week's result.

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Posted by Ken in: sports


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