Archive for September, 2013

→ Bret Terpstra launches Marked 2

A major upgrade to the stellar Markdown previewer and toolkit. I use Marked every day, and have been eagerly awaiting this release.1

  1. If you want more information on what Marked 2 can do, check out Cody Fink's review over at MacStories

→ Pat Forde on the NCAA’s reduction of Penn State’s Penalties

But it's also significant news that the NCAA has rapidly amended its biggest ruling since giving SMU football the death penalty in the 1980s. Call it what you will, but I will call it this: tacit admission that what it did to Penn State was too much, too far outside the association's protocol and too damaging to a school that has rid itself of everyone associated with the Sandusky scandal.

This is Forde at his best: crushing the NCAA for its stupidity.

→ Robinson Cano would like all the money in New York, please.

First, Cano's request for $300-million over 10 years is completely ridiculous.1 Second, I agree Ben Buchanan on this point:

It's a situation which just makes me appreciate the contract Dustin Pedroia signed with the Red Sox earlier this year that much more. Yes, it's been a little harder to make the favorable Pedroia – Cano comparisons these last two years with Pedey dealing with injuries on a regular basis. But given the deal he's on and how he went about signing it, there's really no competition: I'll take Pedroia every time.

  1. Of course, since the Dodgers exist, maybe he will get soething close to that number. 

→ Charles Soule And Javier Pulido Launch She-Hulk Comic For All-New Marvel Now

USA Today has been handed the scoop. In February, a new She-Hulk title by Charles Soule and Javier Pulido will launch in February, as part of the All-New Marvel Now mini-relaunch.

Since Soule is actually a lawyer himself, I am interested to see how he handles the legal aspects common in She-Hulk comics.1

  1. It also means that I will hold him to a higher standard when it comes to getting the legal things he mentions right

→ First Story-based “Frozen” Trailer Released

Finally, a good look at what this movie is going to be about. Judging from what I see in the trailer, I think I am really going to like it.

→ Prince Fielder chases a foul ball and rewards himself by swiping a fan’s nacho

I still cannot get over how awesome this is. I am pretty sure this was enough to make Prince Fielder into Elyssa's favorite non-Red Sox baseball player.

→ Alex Speier explains how the Red Sox went from Worst-to-First

I finally got around to reading Alex Speier's excellent piece on how the Red Sox engineered their turn around. The whole piece is worth reading, but I especially like his takes on John Farrell:

Farrell returned the focus squarely to the field. Players could focus on maximizing their performance on the field. There were no distractions to pull them away from the focused preparation for an opponent. To the contrary, through the efforts of Farrell and his carefully selected coaching staff, the Sox were able to formulate plans to attack opposing teams, and an information-hungry roster embraced every piece of information that was shared. 

the Sox's commitment to depth:

Yet perhaps the best embodiment of the Sox' commitment to build depth happened not in the offseason but instead in the early days of spring training. The Sox had signed Mike Napoli, but given the uncertainty about the health of his hips and David Ortiz' Achilles, the team needed a talented bat as protection for both players.

Enter Mike Carp.

The Sox were believers in his offensive potential based on his minor league track record and what he'd done in 2011, hitting .276/.326/.466 with 12 homers in 79 games with the Mariners. (He struggled in 2012 due to a shoulder injury incurred on Opening Day.) When he was designated for assignment by the Mariners, the Sox zoomed into the picture in an effort to land him in a deal that required them to part only with a low six-figures sum.

The result? Carp hit .302 with a .368 OBP, .537 slugging mark, nine homers and 28 extra-base hits in 81 games. On Friday, he had two of the critical at-bats of the game, accepting a bases-loaded walk to push across the second run of the game and later lining a two-run single to left-center (improving his line with runners in scoring position to .352/.397/.611) to help give the Sox separation from the Jays.

and team chemistry:

“I think it's [a team] full of a lot of guys that, for whom baseball is really important. For whom baseball is important and winning is important and they take it personally and they understand that when you come together prepare and win as a team. It's a feeling like nothing else and it's more than any personal accomplishment or any individual accomplishment,” said [Red Sox GM Ben] Cherington. “It happens organically over time. When you're close to it, maybe you don't see the change as much because it happened slowly, day by day. But it felt like in spring training, there was a core there that just loved to play baseball and prepare and do things the right way, and were motivated. The guys who were here before were motivated to put last year behind them, and the guys that came in new were motivated to do something special. They set out to do that. And this is an important step.”

As I said, this piece is really well done and is a must read for any Red Sox fan.

→ Macro Arment announces his new podcasting app Overcast

Here are some notes that Marco included with the announcement:

Overcast 1.0 will be an iPhone app. I plan to get iPad support done relatively soon, but probably not for 1.0. I may never do a Mac app — that’s still up in the air, but definitely not for 1.0. And I have no plans to support Android — if you want an Android app, I hear Pocket Casts blows away everything else available, and they’re nice guys.

I have no plans to support video podcasts. That’s an entirely different medium with very different consumption habits, priorities, and needs. I can make a better app for audio podcasts by not supporting video at all.

I don’t plan to support streaming in 1.0, and may never add it. Overcast 1.0 will only play downloaded files. iOS 7’s background downloads, faster cellular networks, and larger-capacity phones have greatly reduced the need for streaming, and by not supporting it, I’m able to add some cool features and simplify a lot of the code and interface.

I give credit to Marco for determining what he thinks is the best solution for a podcasting app. Personally, I need a lot more from my podcasting applications than Marco is going to give initially,1 but Overcast might be a good fit for some people.

Relatedly, David Smith of Feed Wrangler just released a new podcatcher called Pod Wrangler which seems to have a similar approach to Overcast.2 If you are looking for a new podcatcher while Overcast is developed, it might be worth it to give Pod Wrangler a shot.3

  1. As I have stated many times, I am firmly entrenched in the Instacast ecosystem.  

  2. i.e. Fast syncing, no frills, reliable background dowloading, first version iPhone only, etc… 

  3. Federico Viticci wrote a review of PodWrangler over at MacStories if you want more information. 

→ Touring Plans Shows Running Routes at Walt Disney World

Useful if you want to run, instead of just do a metric buttload of walking, when you are at Disney.

→ PJ Hairston Practicing with the Team

Glad to hear it. I hope PJ can put the off-season behind him, and just play basketball.

→ Quick Tips for Instacast 4 – Vemedio

Some cool tips for the new version of Instacast 41. My personal favorite:

With Instacast 4 you can now import individual episodes from the directory without subscribing the whole podcast. To do that, load the directory preview of the podcast, scroll down and tap on a particular episode. Next, choose “Import” from the action menu. Individual episodes get imported into a list called “Imported Episodes”.

Also, background downloading of podcast episodes is amazing. I am not sure how I lived without this feature before.

  1. Affiliate Link 

→ Oakland Raiders set to introduce completely embarrassing-looking new mascot

This is a joke, right? This cannot be real.

→ Web Design

So good.

→ Red Sox Win AL East, Go Champagne (and Bud Light) Supernova

No one celebrates like the Red Sox. That was fun to watch.

→ Your 2013 A.L. East Champion Boston Red Sox

Now that is a headline I enjoy having on my site.

→ Pixar delays release of two films

2014 will be the first year since 2005 that Pixar has not released a film.

Major bummer.

→ Disney Announces Events for Spring 2014

The two that I am most excited about:

Disney gardeners will paint the landscape with rainbows of blooms while Epcot chefs tempt guests with marketplace tastes during the 21st Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 5 – May 18, 2014, at Walt Disney World Resort.


Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Resort in May and June 2014, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios becomes Star Wars central for guests of all ages. Specific dates for the annual sci-fi fan-fest will be announced at a later date.1

  1. Of course, I really hope that Star Wars weekend overlaps with the Flower and Garden festival at least one weekend. 

→ Tom Brady denies NFL Network report on WRs

“Yeah, I don’t know where those, some of those reports come from,” Brady said. “Obviously I have relationships with every guy that I’ve ever played with, certainly guys at the receiver position are some of my best friends and people that I spent the most time and I’m the closest with. But I don’t make any personnel decisions, I don’t — I can’t talk to coach Belichick about bringing players back. I’ve never been able to control personnel decisions, so that’s — I’m a player like everybody else.

I feel like NFL “insider” reporting has been pretty bad this year. That seems especially true when it comes to the Patriots.

→ Manny Machado carted off the field on a stretcher after apparent knee injury

This is just awful. What a terrible thing to happen to one of the game's great young stars.

→ Report: Broncos linebacker Von Miller allegedly tried to cheat drug test

What a cheat. It's ridiculous how baseball players get crushed in the media for this stuff, but a football player just slides on by with a 6 game suspension.