Views on news from the web

*Michael Crabtree, the possible San Francisco 49er, wants to be valued based not on his draft spot, but on his true talent. He is threatening to hold out. His measuring stick is fantasy drafts that had him higher rated than the receiver Al Davis took one spot before him, and paid too much for (Heyward-Bey). So instead of getting the number two receiver's salary he should be paid like the first receiver drafted.

Basically, Crabtrees argument is Davis is in his dotage and everybody else knew Crabtree was the best pick. Interesting negotiating tactic. Imagine if that were applied to poker. Phil Hellmuth would argue every tournament should be awarded to him because of all the donkey plays he had to endure.

Would we use consensus to determine winners then? Is groupthink really the metric we'd want to use to determine value? True, in evaluating yourself, it's important not to be results orientated, but this is taking it a step too far. The worst player can win a poker tournament, and the best player can be first one out. Still, you take the beat and you play the next one. Crabtree took a bad beat. Now, he should "settle" for his multi-million dollar contract and move on. Maybe Davis didn't take him because of just this kind of mindset.

*Read about the Urban Mole today. Essentially, the mole is one of many systems being looked at for transporting packages around big systems. Utilizing existing infrastructures devices like this would ship packages around underground at a blistering pace throughout a metropolis. I think I remember this types of tubes on the Jetsons. You see the less sophisticated version at a drive thru at a bank. At one point Eisenhower was going to use that kind of pneumatic technology for the same purpose. Now, we could use robots at 100 or maybe even 1000 times the speed.

It's kind of cool and kind of not. If there was easy access to the system terrorists could "ship" a bomb in moments into whatever building they wanted. If the packaging has to be screened it loses some of its convience. The advantages of a system like the mole or this one, cuts down on all the delivery traffic that swamp a cities streets. However, moving robots through closed off corridors in a way the internet traffics parcels of light underground has to have size limitations or failsafes that aren't easily constructed from the get go.

It's a cool idea, but like many of improvements that would instantly make life better, the hurdles for implementation may be too tall to overcome.

Futurists, perhaps in another boom economy, should rethink about how we build cities. In ancient Egypt one Pharoah, just decided to travel down the Nile to a naturally well fortifided corner and build a shining city. Every new technology was applied building from scratch. That's urban planning at it's easiest. Much of America was at one time, built with a blank canvas, and our ability to grow in that space is a huge factor in our country rising to a superpower.

If a Katrina times 5 were to hit New Orleans, and basically wipe out the city and all the vital resources it supplies to the country, imagine the innovation and thought that could be utilized to build a new city a little further inland. Instead of having to adapt old faulty infrastructure we'd be building everything state of the art. Most people I know that gutted their house installed basically a new electric system and rewired everything and upgraded. Imagine being able to do that to a city. For most of the ideas, like the Urban Mole that look good on paper, it's too hard to reverse engineer to bring to fruition in an existing city.

*Poker on a mac? Why is it so hard to play poker on a mac? I'm a pc, I'm a mac. If PCs are uncool and macs can't run many poker sites, does that make poker uncool? I get that we've jumped the shark, that the mystique of cowboy hatted tough guys is now getting replaced by internet geeks that used to play chess and Magic the Gathering at their comic book shop, but really Apple hipsters can't play poker online? What nonsense is that. At least you can somewhere.

*Ravens, crows and rooks are smart. I've read that crows can utilize up to three tools to accomplish a task. And rooks prove Aesop's fable is true in this video. What's the difference between a rook, a raven, and a crow? I don't know. However, there is a poker moral here, even dumb birds can learn, so stop educating your opponents. You are far better off letting them think your good play was a bad play.

*Hallidron Collider is having as many problems as NASA of late. The smartest people in the world are working on this and can't even get the thing online. Course, the sooner they do it the sooner we get sucked into a black hole.

Sorry for going off on a scientific tangent or two but I do that from time to time.

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