28 January 2002

Apple Mac OS X

I really want a new PowerMac - Mac OS X with a nice GUI on top and a terminal shell underneath, complete with a compiler and all of the nifty open source development tools. Never again will I buy a machine that doesn't come with a compiler and/or accompaning development tools.

Yes, Steve Jobs is an a-hole, and once I get some hands-on experience with Mac OS X, I'll probaly be waning nostailgic for my Linux box. Though I suppose I can partition off enough hard disk space for a Linux PPC distribution.

After running Linux as my almost sole desktop (at home) for the last two years, I just can't go back to using a Windows box. Even at work, with Windows 2000 installed on my issued laptop, I feel filthy and soiled for messing with Windows ...

27 January 2002

Steelers Lose Another AFC Championship

My Pittsburgh Steelers lose another AFC championship game. The 4th in 8 years - and all in Pittsburgh, three at Three Rivers Stadium (no longer standing) and this year's contest occurs in the inaugral season of Heinz Field. The transition to a new venue didn't bring a reversal of fortune. It leaves a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach to see your team get within one game of the big game, and end up losing - especially when they're the favorites.

Kordell Stewart threw 3 interceptions, though one of them was a meaningless hail mary toss at the end of the first half. The last two, however, happened in the game's final four minutes and put to rest a valiant comeback effort by the black and gold. Down 21-3, the Steelers rallied for two touchdowns in the second half, and it appeared they had shifted momentum to their side. And they knocked the Patriots starting quarterback, Tom Brady, out of the game in the first half.

Yet, special teams play is what killed them. New England scored two touchdowns on returns - one a punt return by Troy Brown and the other on a blocked Kris Brown field goal attempt that was picked up and run into the Steeler end zone. The field goal fiasco was crippling - it put the score at 21-3 and in essence, enacted a 10 point shift (assuming the field goal was made). But special teams are a critical piece of gameplay, and the Patriots outshined the Steelers in that aspect. Neither team could run the ball at all, though both teams displayed bouts of passing efficiency.

The game was also marked by replays galore. Both coaches exercised their two challenges - and it seems that every catch by a reciever was questioned.

It's difficult to lay blame at the coach for a loss like this - Bill Cowher didn't throw the interceptions for Kordell Stewart, miss the tackle on the punt return touchdown, or the fail to neutralize the onrushing Patriot who blocked the field goal. But Cowher seems to be following in the footsteps of his mentor, Marty Schottenheimer, in trying to affix the label of being the biggest "choke coach in the history of professional football". One win and three losses in AFC championship games, and zero for one in super bowl appearances. Of course, it's quite an accomplishment to host four conference championships in ten years. Maybe I need to consult Buffalo Bills fans, who endured four straight super bowl defeats.

10 January 2002

Enron executives who dumped stock were heavy donors to Bush

Courtesy of the Center for Public Integrity:
Twenty-four top executives and board members at Enron Corp. contributed nearly $800,000 to national political parties, President Bush, members of Congress, and others overseeing investigations of the company for possible securities fraud, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation. In addition, Enron made $1.9 million in soft money contributions during the same 1999-2001 period.

The Center examined contributions from 29 top Enron executives and directors named in a shareholders' lawsuit filed against the company last month. Only five of those named in the suit did not make a contribution. The suit alleges that the 29 executives and directors sold $1.1 billion worth of stock while knowing the company was in danger of collapse.