Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Invitationals Need Better Awards


Really it could be many things. A phone? An iPod? A camera? A small computer? A new age sex toy? Well all of those would be correct, well except for the sex toy. All that really matters is the fact that this is the gadget to have. I think that many people will agree that getting one will be the best thing you have ever gotten for only $499. The only downside is that it is only currently available for Cingular users, but I am sure it will be made available for other providers soon enough (I hope). All I know is that if it doesn't work with T-Mobile by the time I graduate, Cingular will have one more customer. Well if you do not know what "it" is by now you should probably go and kill yourself. Well if you chose to read on I guess it won't hurt to tell you, this is Apple's iPhone. For more information visit the official site.

Last weekend I went to help with the Chiles Invitational. From what I saw I would have to say that the competition was a success if you consider all the behind the scenes issues. Kevin, Wanda, and I were in charge of scoring the Statistics and Calculus team test. Things did not start off on a good note since the answers for number one on the Statistics test were clearly wrong. It claimed that the mean of 99, 95, 45, 100 ,and other numbers under 150, was 613. WTF!?! This was the only real problem we had with the Statistics test. On the calculus test I found two mistakes in the solutions. One I fixed during team round, the other I decided to let the dispute center handle (sorry but at the time I didn't think you would be so busy). Things started to become very hectic during the scoring process. Some printers, computers, and copy machines just choose the worst possible time to up and die. This on top of the large piles of disputes contributed to the late start of the awards ceremony. I really wish I could have seen what went on in the auditorium during that one hour period. When we finally did start there were some more problems, but they were nothing major. To begin with the power point used to display the names of the individual and school trophy winners was not set up to fit on the screen so some letters were not visible. This led to some funny names and misspellings, such as Errfield Beach (Deerfield Beach) and Veepstak (Sweepstakes). However the best part was when Kavita had to identify one of the winners by their ID number. Haha "will inmate number 2748351 please claim their trophy". Now the worst part was the trophies. You think by now Steve would now that kids don't care how much the trophy cost or how nice it is, all that matter is how big it is. Yes SIZE MATTERS!!! I have noticed a sad trend in trophies at invitationals and I hope that it will end in Gainesville, or before. The glass sweepstakes trophies were a nice idea but really this is not Hawaii or any place nice so don't try to skimp out of getting HUGE sweepstakes trophies.

More iPhone.

Funny computer virus.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Nintendo Wii

It is official, I am not addicted to Nintendo Wii. Even though I have only actually played one once, all it takes is one try. Here is an article on the sale of the Xbox360 and the Nintendo Wii. The article is Wii Hits Xbox at the Tills, written by Asher Mosses. Here is the link to the original article.

"It took the Nintendo Wii just three weeks to surpass the Xbox 360's sales in Australia for the entire fourth quarter of 2006, figures from market watcher GfK show. The quarterly figures, released by games analyst Daniel Morse, show Nintendo sold 51,744 Wiis, whereas Microsoft sold 45,036 Xbox 360s. However, since the Wii only went on sale from December 8, its figures relate only to the three weeks to December 31, whereas the Xbox 360 numbers pertain to the entire three-month quarter. But the aging PlayStation 2, which has been on sale for seven years, remains the console king with 122,639 units sold. The figures are not surprising when one considers the differing price points. PS2, nearing the end of its life cycle, can be had for $199, while the Xbox 360 and Wii sell for about $600 and $399 respectively. Microsoft is quick to argue that, despite its lower sales figure, the higher price of the Xbox 360 means that it doesn't have to sell as many units to derive the same revenue. But most retailers interviewed said the Wii was selling as fast as Nintendo could supply them. Steve Wilson, managing director of EB Games, said: "Every retailer just sold what they had. "The Wii was constrained by inventory. We couldn't get all the stock we wanted," he said. But the Wii's results were not totally unexpected, he said. "The product only launched on [midnight] December 7, so it's not unusual for there to be quite large demand for a new console at launch, and you add to that that it was Christmas." A Nintendo spokesman, Vispi Bhopti, said the Wii shortage occurred because Nintendo insisted on a simultaneous global launch, and it produced as many consoles as possible before the launch date. "We made a commitment to our fans that we would release this within a short, global timeframe," he said. "Had there been more stock available to us we certainly would have been able to fulfil more of the demand. "But, regardless, we see this as a long-term product and we don't measure our success entirely on day one, week one, month one." Sony's next console, the PlayStation 3, has been available overseas for some time, but its Australian launch is scheduled for March. Recent reports suggest that it could be delayed even further, and its price of close to $1000 - largely the result of the included Blu-ray disc drive - is expected to initially limit its installation base."

I am not surprised that the Wii and the Xbox360 out sold the Playstation 3. However, I must say that I am shocked at how much the Wii out sold the Xbox360, about 5,000. However, the article does point out that the Wii's release date was closer to the holiday season than that of the Xbox360. Sure the $399 for a Wii is almost half that for the other systems but that is still a lot of money. Setting a global release date was a original idea on Nintendo's part, but they severely underestimated the demand for their product. Sure the graphics are not as life like as those of the PS3, but I personally find it more enjoyable to play. It seems that Ms.Cao has done her part and convinced everyone to purchase a Nintendo Wii. Well I am off to save my money so that I may join the party, I shall return $399 plus tax later.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess with music from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Monday, January 15, 2007

"Teaching Needs Priority"

What follows is part of the article, Teaching Needs Priority, written by Jonathan Richmond, Tech Senior Editor.

"...In the "research" university, the demands for "learning" in an integrated sense fall prey to the paper chase for money, prestige and tenure. A large proportion of MIT faculty must raise part of their salary from outside support. This need for funding leads to research which is likely to please sponsors, rather than to advance the general state of knowledge. Perhaps that is why there are many more professors who can help teach their students how to blow each other up rather than discuss how to live together in harmony and peace....Not only is teaching peripheral; in some cases the demands of money-seeking and administering leave too little time for actual academic research, which is delegated to graduate students who exist at the subservient end of a taskmaster-to-slave relationship. Undergraduate UROPs, meanwhile, too often become a cheap form of labor to perform the dirty work nobody else wants to touch. The artificial definition of a university in terms of "research," and, in particular, in terms of outside-sponsored research, is a prescription for a troubled education system...."

For obvious reasons I have left out a large portion of his article. If you wish to read it feel free to do so at this link. Feel free to leave any thoughts about his arguments.

I would have to say that I personally agree with my of the statements that were made [assuming that they were in fact true]. In my opinion the last two paragraphs, no included in what I have posted, are the best part of the entire article. It is at this point that he changes gears. He no longer talks about how the problem is affecting the faculty, students, and university; he instead mentions one individual's [a former dean of undergraduate education at MIT] ideas on how to solve the problem.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

...Winning Does Matter

"Winning isn't all that matters." Now not to sound like a jerk but I think the reason we play the game is to find a winner. I think the quote should be, "Winning isn't all that matters. How much you win by also counts." Well now that I have gotten that out of the way it is time to talk about the issues.
41-14. Some of you might look at that and think "That was the score of the BCS national championship game". However, what I see is a palindrome, I mean no matter how you look at it you get the same result, Florida kicking Ohio State's ass. Well that game was a great way to start the semester. The day after my History of Jazz class got canceled. I was actually looking forward to this class because I have only heard good things about the teacher. My other classes seem alright so far. Differential equations looks easy, I already know all the material up to solving linear equations and have some understanding of how to use the method of unknown coefficients. Numbers and Polynomials is going to be some what challenging, but I am going to enjoy every moment of this so called suffering. Introduction to Financial Accounting is without a doubt my hardest class. In lectures he flies through the material. If I don't read either the text pages or online power point I can see myself getting lost. However, there is a positive side to all of this. I have the class on Monday and Wednesday with Jon.
Now I feel that if I mention one more thing about school something horrendous will happen. Well I finally got my new phone. got a Razr. At first this wasn't what I wanted but I just could not wait for the store to restock. Would you believe that the Razr with the design and all the same functions as the one with no external design, cost twenty dollars more. I know crazy, luckily for me I have had the same mobile plan for over two years so I got a discount and in the end both phones cost the same amount. Sadly some of my stored numbers were not transfered because I had saved them to my old phone and not the SIM card (ask me and I will explain the SIM card concept if you do not know how it works). Also I have been reading the sequel to my most treasured book. For those of you that have not figured it out or would just not understand, the two books I am referring to are The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Life Can be Modeled by a Sine Graph


Past few days have been quite entertaining. I know that I should recap my entire winter break but these were just so hilarious that I would rather talk about them. The day started like many, I logged into Xanga and read Wendy's most recent post. It was about the war along with some other thoughts. Well some idiot, who doesn't seem like the kind of person Wendy would know, left some comment about how the US was fully justified to be in Iraq. What I did next is something that I would not normally do but for some reason I left a comment on his site about how he is wrong and needs to think for himself. Well as you figured this started a comment war that has been going on for a few days now. I don't plan to stop until the war in Iraq is "won" or "lost", I only hope that he is just as dedicated. If he's not in it for the long haul then he needs to shut the fuck up, sit in a corner, and evaluate his life.
This break was awesome. I got to spend time with Ann, Xixi, Milan, J.Katz, Roland, Kevin, and others. Think I saw a total of two movies and an unknown amount of football. Watched FSU beat UCLA with Ann and others. I must admit that I was really expecting FSU to lose that game. Christmas was alright, nothing extra special but it was nice to spend some time with my brothers and sister. I can't stand T-Mobile! They don't sell the phone that I want in stores and when I tried to order it online it was told that they were sold out. Well I guess that you can't always get what you want.

Now you must decide, do you want a PS3 or a Wii.