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Articles: 2013 October

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Page 1

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


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