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October 28, 2005

White Sox and Fox

The very first baseball game I ever attended was a White Sox game in Comiskey Park. I think I was 6 or 7 years old at the time, and I remember begging the parents for a Sox baseball cap at the souvenir shop. Later in life, I gravitated more towards the Cubs because hey they were bigger losers than even the Sox, and for some reason I liked cheering for losers as far as baseball went. Perhaps this is why I dislike the Yankees so much.

So it was with great satisfaction that I watched the White Sox romp through the postseason this year. And once again, like last year, I lamented when the Division Series were over because it meant that all the games were now on Fox instead of Fox and ESPN. I have to say that just a little less gratifying than the Sox sweeping the Series was the knowledge, which I discovered today, that Fox "suffered" the worst rated World Series in history.

Now the article went on to blame a bunch of factors outside of Fox's control, but I would like to shed some light on how bad the broadcasts were. If I wasn't a fan of one of the teams (or at least had an outside interest because of my hometown allegiance) I would have turned that shit off too. Here is why Fox is the worst network for baseball:

  1. They cut off the first couple of pitches of some innings!!!!! WTF is that? I'll tell you what it is: greed over integrity. Instead of showing the fans the game, Fox decided to override the peon fans and capitulate to the corporate dollar by showing commercials right on after an inning had already started. I didn't really notice this until J pointed out that we'd just come back from commercial and the count was already 2-0 or 1-1 in some innings. And it was made even more obvious when they cut off a commercial to show a home run already in progress. That is just ridiculous. Fox, you suck.
  2. Look, I'm all for women commentators. I think it'll be awesome if a woman makes it into the actual broadcast booth as a play-by-play or even a color commentary announcer. For now, they're relegated to "sideline duty" or "dugout duty" or what have you, but at least the networks are trying. However. Please do not put fur or faux fur on my TV screen when baseball or football is on. Jeannie Zelasko could not have been more inappropriately dressed for the occasion. Sheesh.
  3. Just talk about the game man. Let's drop all this extraneous nonsense about curses and superstition. Just play the game.
  4. FoxTrax? Gimme a break. That thing was such a horribly lame imitation of a real pitch tracker. Now, ESPN K-Zone is clearly where its at. You wanna show that you aren't just a bunch of lame wanna-be's, Fox? Go and license K-Zone from ESPN next year. Hahahha.
  5. I shouldn't even mention this since it is so pointless to complain about this, but what the hell: Does every fucking thing on the screen have to be sponsored? I mean sheesh. "Okay baseball fans, crack open an ice cold Budweiser, because it's Game Time!" Arrrrghhh! Just show me the friggin' game already! I am never, ever drinking a Budweiser ever again just for that. Look, I understand the need for commercials okay. I know that it costs money to put on the broadcast, blah blah blah. But I swear if I had some magical took that blacked out every corporate logo or advertisement shown during the game (and I'm not talking about commercials, I'm talking about *during the game broadcast*) it would probably reduce my visible viewing area by 20%. Corporations are just obnoxious, and Fox is the worst offender for pandering to them.
  6. And of course, the worst part about watching the games on Fox: Having to watch the commercials for shitty Fox shows.

I mean really, it used to be that baseball games were played and people wanted to watch them, so corporations thought it would be a good idea to get their name out there during the commercials and in providing some sponsorships. Now, it's more like corporations need outlets for advertisement and sponsorships, so let's organize a baseball game. It's becoming so that the game is secondary to the advertisement and sponsorships. And really, that's what American life is all about right? Our National Pastime is Corporate Advertising and Sponsorships these days, not "Baseball."

I'm just glad that Fox benefitted minimally from a White Sox victory. It would be a real shame if the forces of Evil were able to take more advantage of this momentous occasion. So you see, this White Sox victory was truly sweet for me.

October 27, 2005

RFID Passports

So the United States government is going to start issuing passports with RFID chips embedded by October of 2006.

The choice of RFID over a "smart card" type of chip is indicative of only one thing: this government wants to use this technology to invade your privacy.

Fundamentally, I am in favor of a "smart card" style chip, because I agree with the government that you can have a great deal more information on a chip than can possibly be provided on the paper. Biometrics, for instance. I am not against the use of biometrics to verify someone's identity. The way passports are set up now is just far too easy to foil. I mean all you really need to do is get that picture on there and you're halfway there... so I think it's a good thing when technology makes it harder for criminals to fake their identity.

However, you can get all of that information onto a chip that doesn't transmit that information wirelessly. I don't care what kind of encryption they put on something like that: Encryption CAN AND WILL BE BROKEN. I don't want to be walking around with my passport transmitting my biometrics to anybody that has a receiver and some hacked decryption key. That is just plain stupid.

You can get all the benefit of biometrics and whatever else you want to put on there with a smart card that doesn't transmit the information over RF. RFID is just plain stupid for passports. My government continues to demonstrate its stupidy.

October 23, 2005


I've decided to require authentication for comments on my blog.

So you're going to have to get a TypeKey registration in order to make comments.

In short, I've decided that the loss of a few comments from people who don't want to register for whatever reason is worth not having to clutter my inbox with the 100+ spam messages per legit comment.

Oh well. Too bad the spammers are too stupid to know that their comments weren't even making it to the site. I'm just tired of being reminded of their existence every time I open my inbox. So to hell with them, and to hell with it.

Besides it's not like there's been anything worth commenting about on the ol' blog lately anyway.