Bandwagoner or not, Meg Whitman was right on the money when she picked the Giants in five.
So let’s see how the ESPN experts did.
Bandwagoner or not, Meg Whitman was right on the money when she picked the Giants in five.
So let’s see how the ESPN experts did.
Sure, the rules of golf require a strong tolerance for masochism, but this is ridiculous.
Japan’s Ryuji Imada was docked a whopping 26 strokes for failing to read the rules sheet during a weekend pro-am event in Haikou, China.
According to The Golf Channel, the course was soft, so golfers were permitted to lift, clean and place balls. Imada figured that meant he could move the ball one club length from the original position, the PGA rule. But on the Asian tour, the ball may only be moved the length of a scorecard.
After the round, Imada told tournament director David Parkin he’d moved the ball too far on a maximum of 13 occasions, for a two-stroke penalty each time.
Parkin accepted that figure and instructed Imada to add 26 strokes and sign for a 24-over 97.
“I’m an idiot,” said Imada, who admitted he had not read the local rules sheet.
Without the penalty, Imada would have been tied for the lead. Still, he’s not golf’s first “idiot” this year. Dustin Johnson lost a chance at a PGA championship by failing to read the local rules and grounding his club in what he thought was a wasteland, but turned out to be a bunker.
Here’s a list–the authors were tempted to call it a cheat sheet–of some of the bad things that require a penalty. Sometimes you get docked for things that aren’t even your fault, as when a ball on a hilly lie moves by itself after you’ve addressed it.
And then there’s this list of rules from wartime England. If a bomb explodes at the same time as your stroke, you can play another one–but you still get penalized one stroke. That’s harsh.
There are certain rules that govern the holiday season.
Don’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. You could, but a friend/roommate/significant other will be along shortly to tell you to shut it off.
In the same vein, decorations shouldn’t go up till after Thanksgiving, and for years, holiday deals didn’t start till the infamous Black Friday- the Holy Grail of the retail industry.
CBS reports that this year, with a sour economy, retailers are thwarting the time-honored tradition of November’s Black Friday in an attempt to reach consumers.
The first of such will begin this weekend with Sears’ “Black Friday Now” promotion, the New York Times reports, with Amazon following suit Friday and Toys “R” Us on Sunday.
Sears will be offering its specials every Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon until Nov. 20, according to the Baltimore Sun, on items like Craftsman Power Land and Garden tools, Frigidaire washers and dryers, and televisions.
Target, the everything-you-need-plus-several-things-you-don’t superstore, will be doling out deals a little late in the game this year, compared with retailers like Sears and Amazon. Target fans will have to wait till Nov. 21 to capitalize on sales, the Los Angeles Times reports.
While Black Friday has been creeping up earlier in the calendar for years now, the retail deals and steals have now pushed in front of Halloween.
According to the New York Times, analysts are claiming that this year’s sales are breaking new ground: “the range of stores offering early discounts is wider, the discounts are steeper and sale periods longer.”
Consumers can now find that $6 toaster starting in October, instead of waiting till after they’ve gorged themselves on turkey and stuffing.
Bargain hunters rejoice, Christmas really has come early.
Just don’t start singing “Jingle Bells” quite yet.
Think this election is nasty? The libertarian magazine Reason has put out this video with mock attack ads from the John Adams-Thomas Jefferson election of 1800, using language uttered in that campaign. Would you vote for the blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who was importing mistresses from Europe and wanted a war with France or the son of a half-breed Indian squaw who wanted to openly teach and practice murder, robbery, rape, incest and adultery? Tough call.
The pair of founding fathers and former friends wound up writing each other frendly letters in retirement. But for another leading figure of the day, Alexander Hamilton, the “Creole bastard brat of a Scotch pedlar,” the aftermath of the disputed 1800 election proved fatal.
According to “Mudslinger,” political science professor Kerwin C. Swint’s book about negative campaigns, 1800 was only the fifth worst in American history. Three of the four that outrank it are from the 19th century, but he says the period from 1988 to the present is pretty darn bad too.
In case you needed more proof that hipsters and low-grade explosives don’t mix:
Steve Jobs recently announced the release of two new MacBook Air models, thus rendering older generation Airs completely useless to early adopters around the globe, a couple of dudes decided to blow up their ultra-light Apple laptop.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS:
One of the joys of living in the Internet age is the increasing ubiquity of Wi-Fi hotspots. More and more businesses – particularly those where consumers congregate – are offering Wi-Fi access. It’s often free, as well as being free of any password requirements or encryption.
While that’s convenient, it’s also dangerous. Security experts have long warned that connecting to a non-encrypted hotspot leaves you vulnerable to attack. It’s a warning that most Wi-Fi users gleefully ignore, as they sign in to check their Facebook walls, scan e-mail messages or browse their Twitter streams.
It’s even more dangerous if you’re not making secured connections to the websites themselves. Sites that use a secure, encrypted connection have https in their Web address – rather than just http – and show a lock icon in most browsers.
In the past, you could take some comfort in the fact that it requires some skill to launch one of these attacks. Most people are honest, and even more people are clueless as to the hackery needed to access someone else’s online accounts.
Firesheep changes all that. It’s a Firefox extension that makes it ridiculously easy to log into certain sites as another user. It’s as simple as this:
1. Launch the Firesheep extension in a Firefox sidebar.
2. Click the Start Capture button.
3. See who’s connected to which sites.
4. Double click on one of those connections.
5. You’re logged in as someone else on that site.
Ian Paul at PCWorld has a good explanation of how Firesheep works.
Firesheep is basically a packet sniffer that can analyze all the unencrypted Web traffic on an open Wi-Fi connection between a Wi-Fi router and the personal computers on the same network. The extension waits for someone to log in to any of the 26 sites listed in Firesheep’s database. When you log in to Amazon, for example, your browser’s Amazon-specific cookie communicates with the site and contains personally identifying information such as your user name and an Amazon session number ID.
As your browser swaps cookie information back and forth with the Website a third party can hijack that communication and capture info including your user name and session ID. Typically, the cookie will not contain your password. But even without your password, the fact that Firesheep has snagged your session cookie means that a hacker can, at least in theory, access your account and gain virtually unrestricted access. If the hacker got your Yahoo Mail cookie they could send an e-mail; if it was Facebook they may be able to post a message; and so on. Any operations that require your password, however — such as accessing your credit card information on Amazon — should not be possible using Firesheep.
On Wednesday, I downloaded Firesheep and started testing it to see if it was as dangerous as some have said. During last night’s episode (MP3) of Technology Bytes, a Houston-based radio show I co-host, I was able to see some of my compadres’ connections using the extension. At one point, I logged into a co-host’s Facebook page as him.
It freaked me out so much, I immediately logged out.
I mentioned this on the air, and co-host Jay Lee grabbed the extension, installed it, and then used it to log into the Twitter account of J.R. Cohen, who was our guest in the studio. Jay wasn’t as timid as I – he tweeted through Cohen’s account that he’d hijacked it.
Although security experts note that Firesheep doesn’t give you access to a user’s password, it may give you access to settings that let you change it. If the site doesn’t require you enter an existing password to change it to a new one, an account owner could be locked out.
Why would someone create a tool like this? Seattle developer Eric Butler said he wrote Firesheep to point out that too many websites don’t provide an encrypted, https connection, leaving their users vulnerable.
And even when an encrypted version of a site is available, it’s often not the default. For example, most people get to Twitter by way of http://twitter.com. But Twitter also has https://twitter.com, which is secure. You should use the latter URL when connecting.
Facebook, on the other hand, has https://facebook.com, which takes you to your Wall when you log in. But as soon as you click on a link to go to another part of the site, you revert to http://facebook.com. A Facebook rep told TechCrunch the company is working on a fully encrypted version of the site, but it will take months to finish.
So what can you do to protect yourself? NetworkWorld suggests subscribing to a low-cost VPN service that provides a secure connection anywhere on the Net. However, that may be a layer of complexity that’s daunting to some users.
Another solution is to fight the Firesheep extension with another Firefox extension. HTTPS Everywhere lets you sign in to many mainstream sites using an https connection. While it doesn’t cover every site, and it’s only available for Firefox, it’s a start.
You could, of course, avoid public Wi-Fi altogether, which is inconvenient but secure. Or, you could opt for a cellular provider’s 3G or 4G data plan, which is expensive.
There’s no easy answer, at least not until all Web operators wise up and offer fully encrypted access to all their sites.
When an event as momentous as the Giants reaching the World Series occurs, mere accolades won’t do. No, one needs something truly epic to commemorate the occasion.
And by epic, I mean class poetry assignments.
Commodore Sloat Elementary School in San Francisco had its third- and fourth-graders write baseball poems to honor their Giants. Here are a few of them.
It’s smooth green grass
short as 1,000,000,000 little
ants on the wet ground.
A smooth white ball gets hit.
It’s flying through the air
higher than the stars in the
black nighttime sky.
-Jode Samiere, 4th grade
Hopefully the ground crew will take care of the ant problem before the singing of the National Anthem.
It’s a Splash Hit
It’s Barry Zito hitting
home runs to the crowd.
Next up—Freddy Sanchez!
Crowd goes wild. Freddy hits the ball high flying
up, up, up—it’s out of the park.
It’s a splash hit!
Home Team’s the winner.
-Alden Cheang, 4th grade
Bochy really needs to pinch-hit Zito more often.
Orange Baseball Caps
It’s a hard baseball of
calm robins dancing.
It’s sweet sugary lemonade.
It’s an excited catcher,
Buster Posey, throwing
apples, stars, and
orange baseball caps.
-Jun Chan, 3rd grade
Where would we be without Buster Posey, excitable apple thrower, the very core of the Giants?
I Am the Father of Huff’s Splash Hits
I am the father of Aubrey Huff’s splash hits.
I am the grandpa of Cody Ross’ RBI’s in game 5 of the NLCS.
I am the great grandpa of Andres Torres’ steals and doubles.
I am the great great grandpa of the Freak’s changeup.
I am the black, gold, and white home runs
of Buster Posey, Will Clark, Barry Bonds,
Willie Mays, and Juan Uribe.
All I know is I have
the best team in the world
because of Brian Wilson
getting to work at twilight
at Pacific Bell Park.
goes crazy when
he saves the game.)
-Sameer Mustafa, 4th grade
A lot of us go crazy while he’s saving the game.
There They Go!
There they go up into
the sky—the orange and black
balls shoot up all over
And there they go! Home
run! Crowd bursts into action.
I wish I were the steel bat
as it hits a home run.
There he goes—fast as lightning
and it’s a miracle he catches the ball.
There they go—howling, yelling,
roaring, too. That’s the crowd for you.
-Madison Chang, 4th grade
Ump, check those bats!
Flying Balls and Fans’ Calls
Flying balls and fans’ calls
and lots and lots of gulls
flying all over town
forming a giant crown
around San Francisco
creating a giant disco.
People dancing and
fans prancing’ trying
to get the ball—just
can’t get their fingers on it
because it’s too small
1st, 2nd, 3rd, home run!
The Giants beat them all,
nothing in the way,
the World Series just
two days away!
First Rays, then Braves,
Yippee! We beat them all!
There’s nothing better than
-Sawyer Dobson, 4th grade
Do the “Kung Fu Panda Hustle” at Disco AT&T!
It’s a silver bat hitting a blue baseball
in the night sky while wolves awake
in hidden caves near the calm
Pacific Ocean filled with creatures
looking at the night sky
and the icy Milky Way
seek new planets.
-Daniel Doan, 3rd grade
Daniel obviously has bigger things on his mind than baseball.
Could banning a piece of clothing restore morality to a tiny Italian town? That’s what the mayor of Castellammare di Stabia is claiming. Mayor Luigi Bobbio says a miniskirt ban would help “restore urban decorum and facilitate better civil co-existence,” according to the BBC.
With an attitude like that, it’s probably no surprise he also wants to abolish blasphemy (does anyone even use that word anymore?), sunbathing (all kinds, not just topless) and playing soccer on public grounds. Seriously.
He’s also not a fan of daisy dukes, cleavage or belly-barring tops, low-rise jeans and just about anything women — and men — would consider even remotely sexy.
And violating his so-called bans would result in much more than a slap on your exposed thigh. Offenders would be fined, and ordered to pay anywhere from $35 up to $700.
Cash like that could buy a whole lot of miniskirts.