balsillie's predators bid has no teeth

Jim Balsillie won’t be the owner of an NHL team any time soon, according to the CBC. Apparently the Predators’ current owner, Craig Leipold, freaked out when he learned that Balsillie had the lease at Copps secured and everything was in place to move the team to Hamilton. So instead of accepting Balsillie’s $238-million bid, Leipold is mulling over a bid from some deep-pocketed Californian, William DelBiaggio, for a mere $190 million. DelBiaggio has expressed interest in relocating the Predators to Kansas City if he becomes the owner.

So to summarize:

  • The Predators are a good team, but Nashville, Tennessee is not a hockey market and as such, have been hemorrhaging cash for their entire 10-year existence.
  • Canadian rich guy bids $238 million to buy the team and plans to relocate them to Hamilton, Ontario – a hockey-mad Canadian market.
  • Predators’ owner rejects Canadian rich guy’s $238-million bid for his team. Instead, he’d rather sell the team to an American rich guy for only $190 million.
  • American rich guy would like to see the Predators move to Kansas City, Missouri – a city and state not known for their love of hockey.

Does anybody else see the flakiness in this, or am I popping crazy pills?

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strange. i think abercrombie and fitch sucks.

June 25, 2007 under Uncategorized

A Berkley PhD. student has written an essay regarding class divisions among Facebook and MySpace users. Let me distill it…

Facebook = preppy white people from middle to upper-middle class backgrounds having earned or planning to earn a post-secondary degree

MySpace = lower class, uneducated, non-white or “outcasts” (emo’s, goths, trenchcoat kids, etc).

I don’t use MySpace – I use Facebook. But in high school I was at ease with the jocks and preps along with the burnouts and nerds. Call me a bit of a free agent, if you will. I prefer Facebook to MySpace because I know more people that use Facebook and MySpace hurts my eyes more often than not. I was totally unaware of any socio-economic segregation. Maybe I can parlay my “left-wing tree-hugging communist” leanings into a social networking site for all, regardless of social status. Mark and Rupert, watch out! 😉

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so now i can't saw through an inmate's neck with my wiimote?

As an update to my last post about the banning of Manhunt 2 in the U.K., it appears that the AO rating that the ESRB recently gave to the game effectively prevents it from being played on Nintendo and Sony’s console. Nintendo and Sony both have a policy in which no AO-rated games can be sold for their hardware.

I’ve never played the original Manhunt game, which received an M rating, but I’ve read reviews and it is apparently pretty violent. So how much worse can Manhunt 2 be to be slapped with the dreaded AO rating?

Only 23 games have ever received an AO rating. 21 of those games are PC games, where anything goes; although you won’t be able to buy an AO game at EB or Wal-Mart. Of the two console games, GTA: San Andres was a originally an M rated game, but the “hot coffee” mod that was discovered after its release prompted the change to AO, and Thrill Kill never saw the light of day.

The head of the ESRB was really vague in detailing why Manhunt 2 got the AO rating. So does Rockstar have an M-rated version of the game ready to go and this AO version was just part of the hype machine?

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a manhunt for manhunt 2 in the u.k.

June 20, 2007 under ESRB, Gaming, Manhunt 2, U.K., violence, Wii

Manhunt 2
Manhunt 2 for Wii and PS2 is banned from being sold in the U.K.. That’s a shame and I feel sorry for the responsible gamers across the pond.

Manhunt 2 from Rockstar, a follow-up to the original Manhunt title from 2003, will be released this summer for the Wii, PS2 and PSP. It will (likely) receive either an “M” or “AO” rating from the ESRB, so that responsible retailers sell the game to those aged 17 or 18 years or older. Except in United Kingdom, as the British Board of Film Classification has deemed Manhunt 2 too violent for its own existence.

In their own parlance, I believe the BBFC are acting like a bunch of wankers and tossers. I’ll never understand why people like Jack Thompson and his ilk get up-in-arms over violent video games. Have they gone to see a movie or watched any prime time TV (network or cable) lately? How about horror novels or even the Holy Bible? Those types of media have their fair share of violence. How is a video game any different? Well for starters, video games are interactive. But you know what? So was playing Cowboys and Indians when we were little kids. Nowadays you’d play paint ball, I guess. Either way, you wouldn’t censor paint ball, would you? Cowboys and Indians is no longer politically correct, so I don’t know what games kids play now; Pimps and Ho’s, or perhaps Christian Fundamentalists and Radical Islamics, or maybe even Oil Tycoons and Everybody Else? Meh.

I’m not in favour of censoring any type of media. Even back in high school, Pat and I did a class presentation back in high school on the effects of media violence and parental involvement – we showed a lot of violent movie scenes and even taped some Mortal Kombat fatalities. The violent video game uproar irked me then, and it still does now. The ESRB puts ratings out to inform parents of the age-appropriateness of games. If a parent purchases Manhunt 2 for their 12 year-old, that’s pretty dumb of that parent to do so. The ratings are there for a reason, and sadly too many parents want to push the responsibility onto the shoulders of the video game companies. Parents should be parents. Sure, there are mentally disturbed people over the age of 18 – who’s to stop them from buying “M” rated games? Nobody – that same deranged person can go see Hostel 2 in the theatre without hastle, as well. If that nutjob individual kills someone, I doubt that a game or movie will have been the motivating factor. An influence over style? Perhaps. Providing the capability and reason for doing it? Probably not.

I probably won’t buy Manhunt 2 for the Wii, since there are plenty of good titles in the pipeline that I’m waiting on. Although I may rent it, as a sane adult over the age of 18, to see what all the fuss is about. If my blog then degenerates into incoherent murderous babble, then I guess the British Board of Film Classification, Jack Thompson and delusional parent groups were right.

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african lyin' safari

June 11, 2007 under Apple, iPhone, Safari

Safari is available for both Mac OS X, and now Windows too! Yay? Meh.

According to Apple, Safari is “the world’s best browser”. Really? It’s pretty. It looks good with the rest of Mac OS X. However, compared to Firefox and Opera, Safari isn’t in the same league. Try using all of Gmail‘s features in Safari and you’ll see what I mean. It could be a good browser, but it needs much more work to get to that point.

So why are Windows users getting another browser to choose from? It appears that the iPhone might be driving this reasoning. Developers can create applications using nothing more than HTML and JavaScript, which will run on Safari on the iPhone. For Windows developers, they won’t need to purchase Mac hardware to create iPhone apps. That makes sense, albeit the apps that can be created via HTML+JavaScript won’t be as robust as those created with a native iPhone API.

Is there another reason Safari has been ported to Windows? I sure hope it’s not to sway Windows users to the world of Mac, by raising awareness of Apple to PC users. If that’s the case, they’d be going about it all wrong. For the past several years I’ve been saying that if you need a computer and aren’t a tech savy person, buy a Mac. Having a Windows version of Safari available won’t do much to raise awareness, even if they bundle it with iTunes+Quicktime, because:

  • Average PC users generally don’t actively look for new and better browsers to download and install. To them, the big blue “e” on their desktop that’s been there since they first booted up their computer after buying it is the Internet.
  • The upfront cost of Mac hardware scares most people away. A comparable system from Dell or HP that sells for $300 less will make the average computer user’s purchasing decision easy, as they rarely are able to determine the total cost of ownership and are unable to realize that it’s potentially less expensive to own a Mac in the long-run.
  • Average PC users are afraid to switch because they’re not certain if they can still run application X or if their files can be opened on a Mac.

For Apple to succeed in swaying PC users to the Mac side, they’ll have to put people’s concerns to rest regarding the higher initial cost of Mac hardware against the TCO of PC vs Mac hardware. Apple will also have to reassure users, through a closer relationship with VMware (Fusion) and SWsoft (Parallels Desktop) to alleviate PC users compatibility fears with their existing apps and files. And a sexy, but second-rate, web browser isn’t the way to go about it.

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comments: 1 »