Archive for December, 2012

→ Season Review: Will Middlebrooks

In the Red Sox’ darkest hour, Will Middlebrooks gave us fans something to cheer for.

Ben Buchanan’s write-up recounts the emerge of Middlebrooks as a Red Sox star. It also lists some of the concerns related to Middlebrooks for the 2013 season, but I choose to look only at the positives.1

  1. At least until a few months into the season. 

→ The Tajh Boyd paradox: 1st-team All-American ranked No. 22 among draftable QBs

I have to imagine this means Boyd will come back to play for Clemson next year.

→ Rob Neyer on the Wil Myers Trade

But Wil Myers is the latest winner of Baseball America’s latest Minor League Player of the Year. Here are the last 10 non-pitchers who won that award: Mike Trout, Jason Heyward, Matt Wieters, Jay Bruce, Alex Gordon, Delmon Young, Joe Mauer, Rocco Baldelli, Eric Chavez, Paul Konerko. Oh, and the previous five awards? Andruw Jones twice, Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, and Tim Salmon.

That’s 15 awards, and just one non-star (Delmon Young) in the whole bunch. Based on this measure alone, it seems there’s an excellent chance the Royals just traded away a future star … and there’s roughly a 50/50 chance they just traded a future superstar. Oh, and one more thing about that list … I don’t believe a single one of those guys was traded before getting a single at-bat with the team that initially signed and developed him.

I hate the Rays.

→ Tampa Bay Rays Trade James Shields To Kansas City For Wil Myers

Dayton Moore has done it again, and while the Royals fans are, as per usual, the primary victims of his ineptitude, today the Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, and of course us Red Sox fans are feeling the sting too.

I already hated the Rays. I now hate the Royals. This whole trade just makes me angry.

→ Avatar Land Still On Track for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I am really interested to see how this comes together.

→ Before Watchmen To Double Up For Hardcover Collections

There’s Collection 1 which includes the two books that are worth read, and then there’s Collection 2 which I doubt many people are going to buy.

→ Jim Mroczkowski on Gail Simone’s Firing and the Comic’s Industy in General

A few years ago, when Robert Kirkman was beating the drum for creator-owned comics by urging creative and talented writers to abandon Marvel and DC, it bugged the smoldering hell out of me not because I have any loyalty to the corporate behemoths but because his revolution would have effectively wrecked half the books I was enjoying. “Back off, man,” I thought. “I want to see people get rewarded for their creativity, but I like Bendis on New Avengers right where he is. I like Fraction on Uncanny X-Men and Brubaker on Captain America. I don’t want to suddenly be buying the newbies’ practice books until they build up names for themselves.”

These days, though, who needs Kirkman? The indie world’s best recruiting tools this week appear to be DC and Marvel. There’s no need for the siren’s song of creative ownership to shoo them away from the mainstream when the mainstream is doing such a good job of it all by themselves.

I am going to miss Gail Simone on Batgirl1. More importantly, this move sours me on DC as a whole going forward. As it is, I probably will end up dropping Batgirl and Demon Knights due to creator switches. I wonder how many DC books will join that purge.

  1. Not as much as I still miss her work on Secret Six 

→ Random Thoughts on Gail Simone’s Firing

Graeme McMillan writing for Newsarama:

For another, there’s the simple idea of Who could replace Gail on the book? Anyone who follows Gail can tell that she adored working on Batgirl and Barbara Gordon as a character; there was an excitement and passion that was evident and, I think, it was reflected in the sales figures for the book; that Batgirl was such a consistently good performer for DC had less to do with fandom’s hunger for Batgirl, I believe, and far more to do with the readership’s response to the work Simone was putting in not just in writing the series, but promoting it (and the New 52 as a whole). I have no idea who new editor Brian Cunningham has in mind to replace her, but I’ll be very surprised if there’s not a drop in excitement around the book no matter what as a result of this move.

Exactly. Also, I am already biased against the new writer because of how things went down.

The Brooks Review and Instacast – Two Things To Become a Member Of

A recent episode of the B&B Podcast and the release of Instacast 31 made me think about the “memberships” that some sites offer. If you are looking to support people doing good work online and in various app stores, I suggest you become members of the following:

  • The Brooks Review – The quality of Ben Brooks’ recent work has vaulted him to the top of the link-blog / tech blog / mac blog mountain. His pieces are getting more in-depth and more insightful. It is well worth the $4 a month to support his site and encourage him to continue doing such quality work.

  • Instacast – The recent update to Instacast has solidified its position as the podcasting app for iOS. Recently, the developer also announced that there would be a Mac version of Instacast to complement the existing iOS versions. An iOS and Mac podcasting ecosystem, held together with Instacast’s new Cloud Sync, sounds amazing. By becoming an Instacast member, you can help support the development of the app and the further improvement of the syncing engine.2

  1. Affiliate Link 

  2. One additional member benefit is that members got early access to the 3.0 version, and got the 3.0 version for free when it was released. I am not sure that will happen with the Mac version, but I have heard rumblings that it is the case. 

→ How to Hack Chipotle

Information for life.

→ FCC chair criticizes rule against using tablets during takeoff

The head of the government agency in charge of wireless communications has urged the agency in charge of commercial air travel to revise its long-standing rule against the use of portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently considering relaxing the rule that prohibits the use of iPads, Kindles, or other devices when an airplane is below 10,000 feet.

The rule is silly and out of date. I have no problem with them banning cell phones1 but not being able to use a Kindle while plane is on the runway, waiting to take off2, actually taking off, or landing is ridiculous.

  1. Mostly because I do not want to listen to people talking on them. 

  2. Waiting on the runway is especially a pain, since these waits seem to be growing exponentially. 

→ Test Track, with new digital design vision, Re-Opens

I’m not sure when my next trip to Epcot will be, but I am looking forward to trying this out. Also, maybe it will help reduce the line at Soarin’ to under 3 hours.

→ Is Sean Payton still talking with the Saints? The Giants think it’s possible

I hate the Giants, mostly for their Super Bowl wins against the Patriots. This makes me hate them even more.

→ Discussion of Insurance and A-Rod’s Contract

However this plays out, the Yankees will still be on the hook for A-Rod’s salary, and all of it will be counted against the luxury tax.

That is my favorite part.

→ Braylon Edwards says Don’t blame Sanchez, blame the ‘idiots calling shots’

The Jets have made me so happy this year.

→ Tom Verducci says “Napoli among smart signings that have Red Sox on the way back”

Don’t look now, but the Red Sox are making their way back. With the signings of David Ross, Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli, and while staying away from deals longer than three years, Boston has made an aggressive, smart start toward addressing two fixes: a more dynamic offense and a more responsible clubhouse.

This is probably the most positive take I have heard on the Napoli signing. I hope it turns out to be the most correct.

→ The Macalope Daily Goes Free

[Editor’s Note: Starting this week, all Macworld readers can look forward to a new Macalope Daily every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as the Macalope Weekly on Saturdays.]

That is great news for people who love reading the Macalope crush some of the people who call themselves “pundits” these days.

→ 17 year old Makes it Through Q-School

Si Woo Kiim, a 17-year-old South Korean, played an incredible six days of golf in Palm Springs, Calif., this past week, finishing tied for 20th place in the final stage of Q-School to earn his PGA Tour card for next season.

But not really. That’s because the PGA Tour has an age restriction on players becoming full members on tour, denying anyone under the age of 18 a card. Kim, who got through arguably the most grueling challenge in all of golf, won’t be able to use his earned PGA Tour card until he turns 18 on June 28. That will be more than 75 percent of the way through the PGA Tour season, and that’s just ridiculous.

I agree with Shane Bacon. Let the kid play. He earned it.

→ Colorado goes to elaborate lengths to hide its interview with Butch Jones

College football, and its coaches, are ridiculous.

iTunes 11 Appears to Work Fine with First Generation AppleTV

One worry I had about upgrading to iTunes 11 was whether or not it would be compatible with my First Generation AppleTV1. I posted the question on the Apple Support Communites and The Apple Stackexchange Site but did not receive any answers that made me particularly comfortable. A recent posting by John Gruber at Daring Fireball, however, mentioned that “[c]learly, in its heart, under the hood, this is still the same iTunes.” Though I assume that Mr. Gruber meant this figuratively, it gave me enough hope to try testing it on my own.

I first used a computer that was not my primary AppleTV sync computer2. I upgraded that computer to iTunes 11 and then changed my AppleTV to sync to that computer3. I did some basic tests, including syncing over a recently purchased copy of Brave4, verifying that copy plays, and then experimenting with streaming various other movies and music from my computer to the AppleTV. I ran into no issues. With this testing under my belt, I decided to try and upgrade my primary syncing computer. I performed the iTunes 11 upgrade and then re-configured my AppleTV to talk to my primary syncing computer. Things seemed to work.

I have not had enough time to compare the syncing and/or the streaming performance of iTunes 11 with previous versions of iTunes, but early indications are that performance is a little bit better under this latest iTunes version5.

A couple of caveats with my setup: (1) my AppleTV is not jailbroken, hacked, unlocked, modified, etc…, and (2) I did do a complete factory restore of my AppleTV about 2 months. I am not sure how much either of these factors contributes to iTunes 11 working with my system.

Though I cannot promise that iTunes 11 will work with your first generation AppleTV, I can at least give you this single piece of anecdotal evidence that it is possible that a first generation AppleTV will work with iTunes 11. Now, I just have to cross my fingers that it continues to work with future updates6

  1. I know, I know…but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right? 

  2. For those of you who cannot remember, the first generation AppleTV had a hard drive that allowed you to sync a subset of your iTunes content to it. The newer AppleTV devices are 100% streaming. 

  3. ASIDE: iTunes 11 does work with OS X Lion. It does not require Mountain Lion. I am not sure, however, if it works with Snow Leopard. 

  4. Affiliate Link 

  5. I am not alone in that opinion 

  6. Or that I get a newer AppleTV for Christmas.