Wednesday, March 02, 2005

iFlicks: iTunes for Movies

Helixent Technologies has re-released iFlicks, which wants to do for your movies what iTunes does for your music. Seems like an interesting program, but Matinee appears more useful to me for now, because it will respect DVD structure and play ripped DVDs. On the other hand, these two developers may want to join forces....

A New Digital Out Option

Rogue Amoeba software has released Airfoil, which allows you to stream any audio from your Mac to your stereo through your AirPort Extreme. This is great for me, as I often like to listen to Illinois basketball or football games on the radio, especially if they're not on TV. Now I can. I can also listen to podcasts or streaming radio stations on my stereo. Sweet.

Taking Bowlsby to Task

Ken Pomeroy takes Bob Bowlsby to task about his exaltation of the RPI because Pomeroy knows that the NCAA selection committee has backed itself in a corner with regards to its at large selections. Bizarre results could arise this Selection Sunday -- more bizarre than usual. Don't be surprised if the "big story" going in to the Big Dance is which teams got left out of the picture.

Bonus Pomeroy Tidbit: Interestingly enough, both Ohio State and Iowa find themselves in the top 30 nationally in Ken Pomeroy's highly respected rankings, but Ken doesn't mention the Hawkeyes as a potential tournament team. (Ohio State is ineligible.)

Double Bonus Pomeroy Tidbit: Playing Wake Forest, Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Arkansas, Oregon and Missouri doesn't get you much these days. Illinois' non-conference ranking, per Pomeroy, is 101. I guess the Chicago States, Northwestern States, Longwoods and Oaklands kinda hurt you....

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Presidential iPod

When asked what he carried on the Presidential iPod, President Bush responded Alan Jackson, Aaron Neville, Van Morrison and Creedence Clearwater Revival. I wonder if he gets the irony of that last one. CCR's Fortunate Son seems to have been just for him.

Is Boston College on the same plane as Illinois and Carolina?

Over at NCAA Madness, they provide a fairly cogent argument as to why Boston College is out of it's league when compared to Illinois and UNC. I don't necessarily agree with the argument, but the point is moot: Al Skinner's overacheivers have fallen back to earth with three Big East losses in the past couple of weeks. With three losses, it'll take some convincing to get the Eagles a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. On the other hand, a Big East Tournament championship might compel the selection committee.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Izzo Leaving East Lansing?

Mark Tupper blogs that Tom Izzo is so frustrated by his current band of green men that he is ready to bolt to the NBA. The irritation, Tupper says, stems from the alleged softness of the current team, in contrast to the nail-eating Flintstones led by Mateen Cleaves. This explanation is almost as worn as the other one: Sparty hasn't had a true point guard since Marcus Taylor left. So which cliché is it? I'm going with the latter.

NPR on I-L-L-I-N-I

Brett Dawson blogs about an NPR report about the 2004-05 Fighting Illini basketball team. Wow, NPR. When the wine and cheese crowd reports about your hoops team, you've made it. Asia

Bloomberg is reporting that India is reducing its corporate tax rates to lure foreign investment. This is good news for the average Indian. India has only begun to catch up to China in the minds of western investors, in terms of desirability of investment. But India holds distinct advantages over its neighbor: First, and foremost, India is a democracy and its legal system has roots in the same British common law as the American legal system. Second, english is almost universally taught in the schools. Even though Indians have that funny accent, they do not require translation, and can do work that, like call centers, medical transcription and auditing, that Chinese simply can't. Third, the Indian diaspora is far-flung. From Western Europe to the South Pacific, people of Indian descent are everywhere. Do not discount the advantage that personal familiarity can give. If you live or work next to an Indian guy, you're (hopefully) less hesitant to put some money into a factory in Pune. These factors, along with a better regulatory and tax climate, should make India very attractive foreign investors in the foreseeable future.

Shocker: record industry seeks higher prices

In a move that only Lars Ulrich will find shocking, labels are trying to raise prices for downloads. So first they resist any type of online music distribution. Then, Steve Jobs drags them, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century. Now, drunk from what they consider to be their success, they want to gouge consumers. No wonder Steve Jobs is ticked off.