Congrats to UW VCIC Winners

I was fortunate enough to spend this weekend as an observer at the UW Intramural round of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC).  The team of Rahber Thariani,Thomas Moore, Lauren Witt, Bradley Roberts, and Stephen Hawdley ran away with it and now look to competing at the regional in California.

This is a great University event, and one the UW has done quite well in, winning Nationals twice in the last 3 years.  Good luck Rahber et all! 

I’m always glad to see Congress working hard

It’s not often you see news from the U.S. Capitol on without the words “steroids” and “baseball” somewhere in the lead. But while some hard decisions – like Iraq – were being tabled to later in the month, our reps did manage to agree – nearly unanimously – to commend the Florida Gators for winning the NCAA Championship. Now, according to the ESPN Story:

Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.)…who has represented District 1 in southeast Georgia since 1993, was the only member of Congress to oppose House Resolution 39, which commended “the University of Florida Gators for their victory in the 2006 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and for winning the national college football championship.”

The House bill passed by a vote of 414-1. Eight other congressmen from Georgia voted yes to the proposal, two voted present and two others didn’t vote at all. The bill was sponsored by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and 19 other representatives from Florida.

I don’t know which part I find the funniest. There’s a lot to choose from.

1) Congress takes time (granted probably about 5 minutes) to pass a resolution commending a college football team.

2) That one Congressman from Georgia chose to give the Gators the finger just for spite.

3) Or that 4 Congresspeople chose to neither support or oppose the resolution! How worried are you about public opinion that you can’t take a stance on whether or not to support a meaningless , non-binding resolution about college football? Can you imagine the staff meeting of those 4 Georgia reps:

“John, how should we vote on this Florida Gators thing?”

“Well, we don’t want to look like we are anti-Georgia.”

“But won’t a no vote look mean and spiteful? I thought we were trying to shed that image.”

“Maybe supporting another state would show true bi-partisanship and a willingness to work together.”

“Ted, that was Augusta National. They’re threatening to pull all of our golf privileges if we support the measure.”

“Mary just called with the polling data. 94% hate the Gators, but 54% of those are glad at least the SEC won. “

“Maybe we could tack on a rider that says we support the resolution, but think the school should be investigated.”

“Damn those Florida Gators. I just don’t know what we should do.”

Cool Web Site –

I’m not going to regurgitate stuff I see on TechCrunch every day.  But here’s a site the non-TechCrunch crowd can get behind.

At first seems like a neat Web 2.0 application, and that’s it.  Great, we make a family tree.  We’ve seen that before.

But this truly has some awe inspiring potential when you consider its viral nature.   I can start building a little mini-tree.  I may not know it, but my brother in law may be building one as well. As soon as I connect myself to him by entering his email, I suddenly get hooked up to his work in progress.  Take this out horizontally about 6 generations, and you suddenly have a global project for mapping an entire generation.

Sure, there are limitations because none of our grandparents are going to hop on and create the same type of network effect.  But the next generation, and so on and so on….

Now think of an overlay of MySpace, Friendster,  or Facebook.  Include Google Maps.  You start to see potential to link everything and everyone together.  I’d be surprised if this doesn’t turn into a Google property at some point.  We have all this info on everyone, we just never connected anyone with anything stronger than a MySpace friend list.  Using the familytree as a way to connect people and information will have powerful implications in the future.

Product Review – The Wii is that good

It really is the video game answer for parents to invest in. First
off, the games are simple enough that kids and grownups are equally as
awkward. There’s nothing worse than trying to compete witha 10 year old
in a skateboarding or snowboarding game and having the little munchkin
land a 1080 flux capacitor while you can’t figure out which button
turns you straight.

Second, it really is exercise. I’m no marathon runner, but I’m not a
couch ornament either. And about 6 minutes into my tennis match, I took
off my long sleeve shirt.

Next, the customization borders on the insane. If police units had
this kind of avatar creation for identification purposes, we wouldn’t’t
have any criminals running the streets. You really find out what others
think of how you look when you are arguing for a set of sophisticated
eyebrows and an 8 year old puts a rosebush across your avatar’s

The graphics are basic but fun, and the price point is low enough
that every household should have one. Don’t think of it as a video
game, think of it as the back yard you no longer can afford to own.

not a gamer, but I now own an Xbox 360. Granted, all I play is Soccer
and Basketball, so I’m hardly considered an expert. But I had the
chance to mess around with the Wii with 3 kids and 4 parents.

Mobile Games Taking Off

The mobile games space is really taking off.  As I start to fill this blog with content, I think you’ll see more stats like this. 

"Mobile gaming accounted for 14 percent of EA’s revenue in the fiscal year ended March 2006, or $393 million. Research firm IDC said that U.S. mobile game revenue hit $722 million in 2006."  Source:

There’s something odd about that stat, in that you can calculate that about 55% of mobile games revenue game from EA, which seems high.

Cheating at Roulette is Legal in the UK

Saw this on Slashdot:

"A hidden device that appears to give an advantage to roulette players may be legal in the UK when the gambling industry is deregulated next year. The device — which consists of a small digital time recorder, a concealed computer, and a hidden earpiece — uses predictive software to determine where the ball is likely to land. It has been tested by a government lab, which found that ‘the advantage can be considerable.’ It will be up to casinos to spot people using such devices."

The Guardian article reports the device costs 1,000 punds (~$1,800 – $1,900) but really, does it matter how much it costs if you are guaranteed to win?

Miss Hooters Pageant

Ha Ha Ha. I caught Fox Sports Northwest and it was featuring the Miss Hooters contest. At least here’s a beauty pageant that is being honest about its goals.

I only saw about 3 minutes, but what I loved was among the 10 finalists, you had Miss Nebraska, Miss Venezuela, Miss Tampa and Miss December.

I can’t make a joke here.

Life in the Sudan

So, heard from my friend Ryan Bostick today, who is living life down in the Sudan. I believe when he left he told his mom something like, "Don’t worry, where I’m going they already had the genocide, so it’ll be safe."

Anyway, here’s a piece from his latest dispatch: You decide whether you feel silly about wondering if the homeless guy on the corner is going to try to carjack you.

Andy: How safe is it there?
Ryan: Depends on the day. I’d say it’s safe 99% of the time but things change quickly. Usually the NGO’s have time to evacuate and even then we aren’t the targets. All they want is our stuff. I walk around at night with a computer and a radio no problem. People smile and say hi. Safe unless the tribes start fighting. You do see alot of guns though. So an arguement can lead the wrong direction quickly.

Here are some pics.

img_0266_2.JPG yubu-006_2.JPG img_0242_2.JPG

Banning MySpace

Saw this over at TechCrunch and I can’t believe this is legal:

US House: Schools must block MySpace, many other sites
US House Resolution 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), was passed by a 410 to 15 vote tonight. If the Resolution becomes law social networking sites and chat rooms must be blocked by schools and libraries or those institutions will lose their federal internet subsidies. According to the resolution’s top line summary it will “amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require recipients of universal service support for schools and libraries to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms.”Adults will be able to ask for the library’s permission to use such sites. The Resolution will now go to the US Senate for a vote before being offered to the President for signature into law.

The rhetoric from advocates was all about MySpace. For example, Texas Republican Ted Poe says, “social networking sites such as MySpace and chat rooms have allowed sexual predators to sneak into homes and solicit kids."

Maybe I’m naive, but this seems like banning the sale of tires to cut down on automobile accidents. Surely there has to be a better way for kids to be protected from online predators than banning the most visited Web site in the world from U.S. kids.

I can’t see how this would ever stand up in the Supreme Court. The good side of Social Networking allows people to make friends all over the world. Plus, since kids are dumb when they are young, it’s been an effective tool for catching kids before they do illegal stuff.

This bill is amazingly ironic since there have been nearly 50 cases in the last year of kids hooking up with their teachers. According to this logic, we need to shut down all schools to save kids from adults.

Anyway, the point is that it’s dangerous and silly for legislators to start deciding what people are allowed to read. It sounds an awful lot ike the country on the other side of the Pacific Ocean that we all love to chastize for its oppressive behavior.

The problem with protecting kids from sexual redators is that the predators themselves need to be dealt with more effectively.

Bill Simmons on the EPL

I’m just diverting traffic today to a week-old article I just found for some reason. Bill Simmons dumbs down the English Premier League so that any American can understand it. And he also does it for a valid reason – American sports are becoming more about the arena and the show, and less about the fans and the game. So Simmons is giving the EPL a try. Fun article, but takes about 10 minutes to get through.