Blogging and Sports

I was kind of struck by this article in the NY Times yesterday. Most of the controversy in international sport seems to stem from corruption at the highest levels of the organizations be it FIFA or the IOC. But, according to this article, athletes at the Pan Am Games in Brazil this summer will be banned from blogging. I find this kind of appalling as it entirely counters the history of sport as a form of entertainment. For no reason that I can deduce, this practice of banning blogging, which has spread to Rugby and the Olympics as well, only shortchanges the sports world (it’s few stars and billions of fans) in this digital age of increased interactivity and transparency.

Or, as a sports ethics researcher says in the article, “The danger is that no real discussion about events on and off the sports field can take place, reducing us to millions of passive sports-consuming robots.”

Some obvious examples point out the idiocy of this policy. Politicians now engage with their constituents online, as do musicians and other celebrities… Washington Post columnists are expected to participate in live online chat’s with readers.

In fact, today’s athletes and global icons should be encouraged to blog. They deserve the opportunity to add dimensions to their personalities why are already so public. Eventually this could influence society into thinking that American Idol isn’t the pinnacle, but in fact is about as irrelevant a form of expression as an assist in soccer or Donald Trump’s egotastical media contribution, The Apprentice.

Researchers like Jane McGonigal believe the future of games, particularly of games in education, government or industry, might well lie in players’ ability to work together to solve problems. This extends to both ubiquitous, online games and virtual worlds and in real-life gaming and sport.

Ah, but I ramble. Some interesting sport-celeb blogs include the NBA’s Gilbert Arenas’ Agent Zero Blog. Nate(dogg) Robinson’s The gr8 Life blog is excellent. The Bulls’ Ben Gordon blogs on his MySpace page, UFC fighter Evan Tanner is also on MySpace. There are NFL player blogs, (also a good read — the archived entries of former NFL player Ricky Williams.

The White House and Illegal E-mail

I just read a flurry of accounts describing the many ways the Bush Administration has repeatedly violated the Presidential Records Act.

There’s an excellent segment explaining why this act requires White House officials to communicate via their official e-mail addresses and how much of the activity behind the Gonzales / AG firings scandal took place on RNC servers, where the data transmitted could be encrypted, deleted, and stay out of the public eye. You can click here and listen to the segement on this from this weekend’s On the Media:

Additionally, we now know that the White House has added five years of delay into the process of releasing presidential records (since 2001) if for nothing else than to cover their asses.

Further investigation of this issue points to conspiratorial — but heavily documented — accusations that Karl Rove is the kingpin of covert (and illegal) e-mail communications in concert with a Republicans-trusted server farm based in Tennessee.

UPDATE: Coptix is now taking credit for manufacturing the digitally altered photo referred to below.

This post at CorrenteWire explains best how a recent photo of Rove with a Coptix folder unravels into a long paper trail of activity involving the nameserver gwb43.com and Rove (he privatized his e-mail there). This method helps him, and other White House staffers, like his ex-assistant Susan Ralston, feel confident that they will not be held liable as they can destroy any evidence that might lead to a subpoena. But, alas, might the circumvention of white house communication policies alone be enough to serve a subpoena. Furthermore, the same company, Coptix, also SmartTech, is said to have been involved with filtering election results through their servers.

OK, now — I know it’s April Fool’s Day and this sounds incredibly tin-foiled-hatty as I’ve tried to relay it, but listen to the short radio piece and read the Corrente piece (and comments)…. Of course, this isn’t the first (or last) time BushCo will be caught breaking laws, but…

Finally, in another careless and potentially fatal blow (the Department of Homeland Security seems to be able to do whatever it wants):

“At an ICANN meeting in Lisbon, the US Department of Homeland Security made it clear that it has requested the master key for the DNS root zone. The key will play an important role in the new DNSSec security extension, because it will make spoofing IP-addresses impossible. By forcing the IANA to hand out a copy of the master key, the US government will be the only institution that is able to spoof IP addresses and be able to break into computers connected to the Internet without much effort. There’s a further complication, of course, because even ‘if the IANA retains the key … the US government still reserves the right to oversee ICANN/IANA. If the keys are then handed over to ICANN/IANA, there would be even less of an incentive [for the U.S.] to give up this role as a monitor. As a result, the DHS’s demands will probably only heat up the debate about US dominance of the control of Internet resources.'”

read the article DHS Wants Master Key for DNS (via slashdot).