Kai Forbath… and a remarkable performance in 2012

January 24, 2013

If you’re a UCLA football fan, you should remember Kai Forbath, arguably the best kicker in UCLA history, up there with the likes of John Lee.

According to Wikipedia, take a look at his career in the NFL to date:

imageProfessional career

Dallas Cowboys

After being projected as the second-best kicker in the 2011 NFL Draft, Forbath was not selected. However, on August 2, 2011, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie free agent, and was subsequently placed on the reserve/non-football injury list.[3][4] He was waived on April 16, 2012.[5]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed Forbath off waivers on April 17, 2012. During preseason, Forbath made five out of five field goal attempts, including a successful 55-yard kick.[6]

Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins signed Forbath on October 9, 2012, replacing Billy Cundiff.[7][8][9] Forbath made his NFL and Redskins debut in an impressive fashion, knocking through a 50-yarder as his first career NFL field goal in the home game against the Minnesota Vikings on October 14, 2012.[10] He was also a perfect five of five on extra points, as the Redskins defeated the Vikings 38–26. His performance was essential in the Redskins’ victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14, where he recorded 48 and 49-yard field goals and then a game-winning 34-yard field goal in overtime.[11]

On December 23, 2012, Forbath set the NFL record for consecutive field goals to begin a career with 17 in a row, beating Garrett Hartley, who previously held the record at 16.[12][13] The ball was sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[14]

Question:  How stupid do you think Dallas must feel?

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The Booster Bag Scam

January 24, 2013

As a relatively frequent traveler with a computer bag, I laughed at this until I realized how often I put my PC down.  Bitlocker-encrypted or not, if I were to lose my laptop… whoaaaanelly.  My only saving grace would be that I use the cloud for the frequent backup of my data but damn is this easy.

The Booster Bag Scam

Documentaries I’ve watched this holiday

January 7, 2013

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a good part of the holiday catching up on the movies & TV that… well… you wish you had the time & energy for during the rest of the year.  This season, I got the chance to hunker down on my DVD collection, Netflix, and Xbox Live Video and start viewing away.  Yay! 

Here’s what I’ve hit up so far:

  • imageIndie Game: The Movie
    ‘Indie Game: The Movie’ is the Sundance Award Winning Feature documentary about Video Game Designers. Indie Game: The Movie is the first feature documentary film about making video games. It looks specifically at the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realize their lifelong dreams of sharing their visions with the world. After two years of painstaking work, designer Edmund McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes await the release of their first major game for Xbox, Super Meat Boy-the adventures of a skinless boy in search of his girlfriend, who is made of bandages. At PAX, a major video-game expo, developer Phil Fish unveils his highly anticipated, four-years-in-the-making FEZ. Jonathan Blow considers beginning a new game after creating Braid, one of the highest-rated games of all time. Four developers, three games, and one ultimate goal- to express oneself through a video game. Indie Game: The Movie is about the creative process and putting yourself out there through your work. It’s a journey many filmmakers, creators, artists, entrepreneurs – many people, can relate to in the digital era.

 

  • imageJiro Dreams of Sushi
    Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection, chronicling Jiro’s life as both an unparalleled success in the culinary world and as a loving yet complicated father.

 

  • imageTrek Nation
    The documentary “Trek Nation” explores “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision and its impact on viewers’ lives through the eyes of his son Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, Jr., who is on a quest to know his father whom he lost at age 17.

 

  • imageThe Captains
    Since first soaring onto television screens in the 1960s, Star Trek has become one of the most beloved franchises of all time. Now, the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, travels around the globe to interview the elite group of actors (Chris Pine, Patrick Stewart, Avery Brooks, Kate Mulgrew and Scott Bakula) who have portrayed the role of Starship Captain, giving fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the pop culture phenomenon as well as the men and women who made it so.

 

  • imageHoly Rollers: The True Story Of Card Counting Christians
    Holy Rollers follows the rise of arguably the largest and most well-funded blackjack team in America-made up entirely of churchgoing Christians. While they succeed in taking millions from casinos, how will they manage to find a place for faith and God in the arena of high stakes gambling?

 

  • imageBreaking Vegas
    Do you dream about beating the odds? Then check out this fascinating documentary focusing on a group of six M.I.T. students who used their impressive math skills to win millions from Las Vegas’ gambling palaces. Through interviews with the card-counting collegians, security experts, and casino executives, you’ll learn how the young men pulled off the daring feat–and how they were eventually caught. Based on the best-selling book “Bringing Down the House.” 75 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; bonus programs.

 

  • imageDogs Decoded
    Dogs have been domesticated for longer than any other animal on the planet and humans have developed a unique relationship with these furry friends. We treat our pets like a part of the family and feel that they can understand us in a way other animals can’t. Now new research is revealing what dog lovers have suspected all along: Dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions. Humans in turn respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies. How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be? And how can dogs so closely related to fearsome wild wolves behave so differently? It’s all in the genes. DOGS DECODED investigates new discoveries in genetics that are illuminating the origin of dogs-with big implications for the evolution of human culture as well. In Siberia the mystery of dogs’ domestication is being repeated-in foxes. A fifty-year-old breeding program is creating an entirely new kind of creature a tame fox with some surprising similarities to Man’s Best Friend. THE DOGS DECODED reveals the science behind the remarkable bond between humans and their dogs.

 

  • image2016: Obama’s America
    Immersed in exotic locales across four continents, best selling author Dinesh D’Souza races against time to find answers to Obama’s past and reveal where America will be in 2016. During this journey he discovers how Hope and Change became radically misunderstood, and identifies new flashpoints for hot wars in mankind’s greatest struggle. The journey moves quickly over the arc of the old colonial empires, into America’s empire of liberty, and we see the unfolding realignment of nations and the shape of the global future.

 

  • imageWe Are Legion: The Story of the Hackitivists
    We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical “hacktivist” collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age. The film explores the historical roots of early hacktivist groups like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater, then moves to Anonymous’ raucous and unruly beginnings in the online forum 4Chan. Through interviews with current members, members recently returned from prison, others currently facing trial, writers, activists and major players in various “raids,” WE ARE LEGION: The Story of the Hacktivists traces the collective’s evolution from merry pranksters to a full-blown movement with a global reach, the most transformative civil disobedience of our time.

 

  • imageBeyond the Myth
    ”Unfairly known as violent killers, Pit Bulls have suffered from the stigma of negative media coverage that has lead to city-wide bans across the country. This breed-specific legislation has torn pets away from families, and killed thousands of innocent dogs across the country. Stripping away the preconceptions to show the loving companions they can be, Beyond the Myth is an important, must see film for all dog lovers.”

 

  • imageShelter Dogs
    Each year, almost 5 million dogs end up in animal shelters – but not every dog is safe to place with a family. What if a shelter dog shows aggression, or is a known biter – should he be adopted out? For two years filmmaker Cynthia Wade was given unprecedented access to Rondout Valley Kennels and its controversial owner Sue Sternberg, and the result is an award-winning film about ethics in a morally ambiguous world.

 

  • imageGet A Life!
    Based on William Shatner’s hugely popular book (in response to his infamous “Saturday Night Live” skit), this hourlong documentary looks at the mystery, longevity and cultural phenomena of “Star Trek” and its obsessed fans known as “Trekkers.”

 

  • imageDealing Dogs
    Each year, 42,000 dogs are sold to veterinary schools and research labs by Class B dealers, who are required by federal law to buy the animals from pounds, shelters and small breeders and to treat them humanely. However, many Class B dealers violate the law. DEALING DOGS exposes the abuses that took place at one of America’s most notorious Class B dealers – Martin Creek Kennel in Arkansas.

 

  • imagePatriocracy
    Patriocracy, a voice of reason in the age of polarization. Patriocracy is a non-partisan examination of Washington dysfunction. Alan Simpson, Bob Schieffer, Eleanor Clift, Pat Buchanan, Senator Mark Warner and Senator Kent Conrad are just a few of the notable Washington personalities who offer their valuable perspectives. Patriocracy drills down and illustrates the forces that drive a wedge into the middle ground of America and the solutions required to move forward.

  • imageHomecoming
    The word orphan is troubling to most of us. It’s one of those words that instantly evokes visions of dastardly headmasters and wicked headmistresses. We imagine scenes of defenseless children grappling indelible scars of loneliness and abandonment, molding them into unfortunate victims of fate and neglect. These are fair preconceptions that are not without basis in the American experience. But there is another side to the story… Homecoming unfolds as a conversation between 15 men and women who grew up in four American orphanages. Their stories echo the experience of thousands of men and women, throughout the country, and around the world. In these intimate, moving and sometimes hilarious stories, the incredible resilience of humankind shines through in vivid relief. Ultimately what remains is a picture of the remarkable strength of those who found a family in the most unlikely of places.

My CES 2013 checklist “upon arrival”

January 6, 2013

imageHere’s a checklist of things to do upon arriving into McCarron International:

  1. TAXI 
    Don’t get longhauled.  Clearly utter the words, “SHORTEST DISTANCE – TAKE PARADISE” to your cabbie.  Unless you’re going downtown, there’s no scenario in which you should be “taking the freeway”.  If you find yourself going through a tunnel – you are being what is called “longhauled” or intentionally taken for a longer ride that you should.  This will make the ride cost $10 more than it should.  This is ILLEGAL.  If this happens, get the cab number, the driver name, the cabbie’s permit #, the cab company, license plate if possible, and the general look of the cab… then report it here:
    http://taxi.nv.gov/Complaints/Complaints/
  2. HOTEL:  REGISTRATION
    Before you get to the registration desk, be sure to have your driver’s license, your credit card, and a $20 bill to tip the front desk clerk.  Fold the $20 into 4ths and place it in between your driver’s license & credit card and hand it to the clerk and ask to check in.  If you don’t know why you’re doing this, visit http://frontdesktip.com.
  3. HOTEL:  ROOM SETUP
    If you have a Purell wipe, take one & wipe down the TV remote – this is the #1 most germ/bacteria ridden item in the room.  Next, wipe down the phone handset, the clock radio, the thermostat, & RJ-45 cabling for the wired Internet connection if you’ve got one.  You don’t want to know what’s been discovered on these items in hotel rooms & remember:  Across the thousands of guests that pass through your room, these items are NEVER cleaned or wiped down.  It’s up to you to stay healthy for the next 5 days.
  4. HOTEL:  REQUEST HUMIDIFIER
    I hope you arrived early.  If you did, you may have a shot of requesting a humidifier for your room.  Do it immediately:  Vegas during CES is DRY AS A BONE.  This will not only make your stay much more comfortable, it will keep your skin from getting itchy & will keep the static electricity in your room to a minimum.
  5. HOTEL:  BEDSPREAD & CHAIRS
    This is going to sound paranoid but if you think about it for just a moment, it’ll start to sink in:  Ask the front desk for a new bedspread.  Spill some water on it or some soda if you have to.  Then lay a towel over the desk seat.  Why?  The bedspread is RARELY CLEANED.  You are using the same bedspread that was used by over 2 months worth of occupants.  And you can bet most weren’t wearing clothing.  Now think about all those same guys sitting in the desk chair… with no pants on.  Yes.  Let that sink in.  Now go get a damned towel & cover the seat with it.
  6. HOTEL:  LEAVE HOUSEKEEPING A TIP
    Leave a tip with a note stating that the money’s for the housekeeping staff.  They appreciate this & if you ever need something – extra towels, sheets, pillows – that tip will go along way to making sure it gets delivered within this lifetime.  If you have the same housekeeper coming through every morning, it can’t hurt.
  7. FIND THE HOTEL CES SHUTTLE PICKUP/DROPOFF
    Determine the location of the CES shuttle for you to use in the morning.  Find out when they start & end – because they don’t run all day.  Also find out if they’re running on Monday so you can pick up your badge if necessary.  Badge pickup is WAY in the back of South Hall I’m afraid and is more than a quarter mile walk so.

The New Evil

January 3, 2013

UPDATE 1/5/12:
Interesting.  Asking Quora about Google’s evilness produces are number of good points.

  1. https://www.quora.com/What-are-examples-of-Googles-evil-behavior
  2. https://www.quora.com/Google/Is-Google-being-Anti-Competitive

———————
ORIGINAL POST:

This is a great summary of how much of a ridiculous pass Google gets in the public & the media.  Remember that all of these quotes were said publicly:

image“The Top Ten Things We Can’t Believe Eric Schmidt Ever Said”
Sam Biddle, Gizmodo – Jan. 21, 2011, 8:38 AM

Eric—it’s been great. We’re going to miss you as CEO of one of history’s most important and influential companies. But we’ll also miss you for the strange, creepy, absurd, and downright dumb things you’ve uttered. Below, our favorites:

  1. “One person’s definition of evil is another person’s different definition.”
  2. “One day we had a conversation where we figured we could just try and predict the stock market… and then we decided it was illegal. So we stopped doing that.”
  3. “More and more searches are done on your behalf without you needing to type. I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions…They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”

(Read the other 7 quotes at:  http://read.bi/hlVkCA)

… and the crazy part is that my favorite jawdropper didn’t even make the list:

(This one did in fact catch fire requiring Google to effectively issue a retraction.)

For your reference, apparently, I’m not the only one that thinks so:

  1. GIZMODO:  Google’s Broken Promise: The End of “Don’t Be Evil
    http://gizmodo.com/5878987/its-official-google-is-evil-now
  2. WIRED:  Google is Evil
    http://www.wired.com/business/2012/06/opinion-google-is-evil/
  3. MAIN STREET:  Is Google Evil? 12 Incriminating Facts
    http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/smart-spending/technology/google-evil-12-incriminating-facts
  4. GAWKER: Google Under Investigation for Being Evil
    http://gawker.com/5814891/google-under-investigation-for-being-evil
  5. HUFFINGTON POST: Google Goes “Evil”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-green/breaking-google-goes-evil_b_676021.html
  6. BUSINESS INSIDER: Google Is Now Officially Evil
    http://www.businessinsider.com/google-is-now-officially-evil-2010-9
  7. AD WORDS, EVIL, AND GOOGLE HUBRIS:  The Evil Google Does
    http://www.googlehubris.com/
  8. SEARCH AND DESTROY:  Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc.
    http://searchanddestroybook.com/

HOWTO: Soft/Hard reset your Kindle 3G w/ keyboard

January 2, 2013

KindleReset (2)I have a Kindle 3G.  Y’know – the one with the keyboard?  Been using it for a few years now & it’s treated me well, despite reading it in the hot blazing sun of Las Vegas… bringing it with me into the pool (in a waterproof Kindle holder, mind you)… and travelling all around the globe with it.  But recently, I haven’t had time for it.  I’ve spent most of my reading time on my Microsoft Surface or my HTC Windows Phone 8X, both of which have the Kindle app on them so using the Kindle 3G really isn’t necessary for 90% of what I need to do.

So of course I lost track of it.  I really didn’t know where it was… it’d been THAT long since I used it.  Just yesterday, I started looking for it and lo-and-behold, it was behind my nightstand here it’d fallen after having been used for bedtime reading for quite a while.  Completely drained of battery, I plugged it into my MicroUSB charging clock radio (it has a slot at the top with cables for charging USB peripherals) and of course it came up.  10 minutes later it’d downloaded all the books that I’d had queued up for delivery and away we go.

Then it suddenly froze.  The GREEN/YELLOW charging light wouldn’t turn off.  I have a suspicion this had something to do with the pending remote Software Update that Amazon pushed (which after this ordeal occurred without me knowing) but I can’t be certain.  The Software Update that I’m referring to provided New Reading Font, Parental Controls, Kindle Format 8, Comic Book/Children’s Picture Book Support, Enhanced Table/Image Viewing, Whispersync for Voice support,

Anyway, to get it out of this frozen state, I had to do the following:

  1. Hold the power switch to the right for 20 seconds.  Release.
  2. Press the Home button for 60 seconds.  A “Reset” screen will appear.
  3. Hit the DEL key on the keyboard.  This brought my unit back to a stable state, as if I’d done a reboot or a soft reset of the device.
  4. I’m told that if this doesn’t work, you have to do a hard reset of the device, which is the equivalent of wiping & resetting your Kindle.  This procedure will wipe out all your books and require you to re-download them to your Kindle which, while not disastrous, will take time.  It will also lose your bookmarks & settings.
    To do a hard reset, type the word “reset” in the above screen after following step 1.  Warning:  There’s no turning back from this once you type the entire word in and there’s no “Are you sure?”

I’d point to the place where I found this information but I can’t for the life of me find it again.  Kudos to whomever it was that documented this originally & I apologize for not cross-posting to you.  Your article was indeed helpful.