Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Round 3 Results

Okay, round 3 is now over, time to summarize. If the point scheme doesn't make sense, see this blog entry:

Since my wife and I had identical round 3 predictions my lead is unchanged. I'm still ahead by one point going into the final round. And if you see our final predictions here, you'll note that there is the possibility we could be tied after the playoffs are over. Of course as anyone who is married knows, you cannot have any bet, game, or competition ever end in a tie with your significant other. Thus in the event we are tied, the tie-breaker will be whoever predicted the winning team in the final round.

IOW, if Anaheim wins, I get to brag over my wife. If the Sens win, she'll hold this over me until next year's playoffs. :)

At any rate, click the link below for the breakdown of the results from round 3:

Round 3 results

Round 3 - Comparison with TSN

So the so-called "experts" are bowing before my greatness, as they are all doing worse than I am so far in the playoffs (and if not for those losers from San Jose I'd be perfect on my predictions this year....). Click the link below for the breakdown:

Round 3 comparision with TSN

Final Predictions

Y'know it's so very hard to be humble when you're as good as I am at predicting how series are going to go. ;) 2 for 2 in round 3, and so far I'm 13/14 overall. So it's time for the final predictions of the year.

Stanley Cup Final

Anaheim vs Ottawa
This is actually a really tough one to call, as these teams are very evenly matched. I think goaltending is a tossup (I don't think Emery gets enough credit), scoring is pretty close (although slight edge to Ottawa), and both are defensively strong (although of course with the twin towers of Niedermeyer and Pronger the Ducks get the slight edge here). I really want the Sens to pull this one off so that we can finally have a Canadian champ, but I think the extra experience that the Ducks have combined with the extra long layoff the Sens have had will tip things in favour of hockey's favourite fowls. I hate to say it, but Anaheim in 6. Wife's prediction: Ottawa in 6.

Friday, May 11, 2007

My 360 is dead.......

Well, it would appear that the Xbox gods are not smiling upon me as I am now getting the dreaded 3 rings indicating that my 360 has failed about 3 days after the spring dashboard update. I know it's a bit of a logical fallacy to assume that because the failure occurred after the update that the update was the cause, but it really is hard to not assume that this is the case.

So this morning I called MS's customer service, and I gotta say I was actually pleasantly surprised. It was one of the most positive experiences I've ever had with a customer service department. I was on hold for at most 5 minutes, and the person I dealt with (Auriel?) was very helpful (even if she was a bit hard to understand at times). I've heard some nasty horror stories, but mine (at least so far) has been great.

When my first 360 died I had to deal with the replacement via the store's extended warranty policy and *THAT* was a nightmare (took about a month from the time I took it in to the time I got it back, it voided the extended warranty, etc). For the record that was Future Shop (which is essentially the Canadian version of Best Buy since they are now owned by the same ownership group).

I am wondering though how alone I am, how many people out there have also had their consoles "brick" after the spring update?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Round 3 Predictions

Well round 2 is now over, my boys (the Canucks) are gone, and we're down to the final four. Next round of predictions:

Western Conference

Anaheim vs Detroit
The Sharks broke my heart when they collapsed against the Wings (even more so than when the Canucks did the same vs the Ducks). They must go down for this. ;) Anaheim in 6. Wife's prediction: Anaheim in 6.

Eastern Conference

Buffalo vs Ottawa
This is it. THE series of the '07 playoffs. The two most exciting teams in the NHL squaring off for the Eastern Conference title. Should be an awesome series, and close, but the Sens looked very impressive vs the Devils whereas Buffalo squeaked past New York. Besides Ottawa is the only Canadian team left, so I gotta pull for them. Ottawa in 6. Wife's prediction: Ottawa in 6.

So there you go, I'm predicting an Anaheim/Ottawa final. When I was still thinking the Sharks would make it past the Wings I was predicting them to take the Cup, but now I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe this might be Canada's year, and Ottawa will be the first Cup champs north of the border since Montreal so many years ago (wasn't it '93 that they last won?)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Round 2 - Comparison With TSN

So I'm still doing pretty well, only one wrong prediction so far so I'm doing as well as the best TSN guys (Darren Dreger and Darren Pang).

Click the link below for the breakdown:

Round 3 comparision with TSN

Round 2 Results

Okay, round 2 is now over, time to summarize. If the point scheme doesn't make sense, see this blog entry:

So my wife and I broke even on this round which means I'm still ahead by 1 overall. Click the link below for the breakdown:

Round 2 results

Friday, May 4, 2007

Marvel Ultimate Alliance Downloadable Content Achievement Guide

As some of you know a set of new characters was released for Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the Xbox 360. This DLC also added 12 new achievements so I wrote up a short little guide to getting them. Click here for the guide....

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Digg DRM Controversy

If you read many of the posts on here you'll know that I am a farily avid reader. There was quite the fiasco at Digg this weekend as the site's maintainers tried to censor content, and in doing so created a huge controversy and caused the "digital Boston Tea Party". I thought I'd weigh in with some thoughts.

Just to be clear for those unfamiliar: is a user-generated content news site. What this means is that users (like you and me) post links to articles on the site, and then other users rate them (ie "digg" them up, or "bury" them down). The idea is then the really cool stuff ends up at the top of the most popular links list so you only get the good stuff, and the crap is filtered out by the users themselves.

What happened: A user posted a link to a site which revealed one of the secret decryption keys for the HD-DVD format of movie discs. What this meant is that anyone with this key could (in theory) decrypt the contents of a HD-DVD disc, and freely make copies of the disc. Fearing legal reprisal from groups like the MPAA due to violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the executives at Digg took down the article and posted a message explaining their reasons. What then happened was that Digg users flooded the site with links to stories containing the key essentially disabling the site. Digg executives conceded and a message from founder Kevin Cloud was posted stating:
"We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code .... But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you've made it clear. You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won't delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be. If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying."
So essentially they caved under the pressure of their users. Now the interesting question remains: was this a triumph of democracy, or another disaster for user-generated content sites (another event that many feel falls into this category is the legal battle between Viacom and Google/Youtube).

I wonder if this is a problem inherent in user-generated content sites. So long as there is no "peer-review" or committee that filters out content, sooner or later somebody will post something that will be in the interests of the worldwide community, but not in the interests of litigation-happy corporations interested in protecting their secrets. Digg might try the "but we have no control over it" defense, but that certainly didn't work for Napster, so one wonders if it would work for them.

It will be interesting to see the fallout from this event. Will Digg start censoring stories more often, or have they learned their lesson? Will users flock to other sites due to a lack of trust, or will Digg weather the storm? Will the MPAA and other groups with very deep pockets seek legal action against (the rather small) Digg?

Some interesting links to summaries:

Unhappy Digg users bury site in protest (CNET)

Digg's DRM Revolt (Forbes)