Baseball Time is Here Again

It’s been a long offseason and, as a die-hard Cubs fan, it’s taking longer than normal to get psyched up for this season. I was more optimistic than normal last year and vested much energy into the Cubs playoff run only to see my Cubs swept out immediately. No consolation that the Dodgers knocked them out — I like the Dodgers but that doesn’t matter when they’re playing the Cubs.

Today is the first spring training game for many teams. Coincidentally the Dodgers are playing the Cubs. This year MLB is touting their new MLB network as the place to see all games — even the blacked out Saturday Fox games. BUT, the MLB Network is only available to DirecTV and Time Warner Cable subscribers, leaving Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse subscribers in the dark. Worse yet, MLB.TV — the online stream, will continue to black out these games in addition to the World Baseball Classic. What’s a fan to do?

How will you follow your favorite team this year? Who will the Cubs beat in the 2009 World Series? Will MLB continue their restricting online media outlets and photographers from media access and privileges?

Photo by Seth William Page, 2/21/09, via CC-license.

U.S. Broadband Speed Still Lagging – recently concluded a survey exemplifying the embarrassing brick wall (likely agreed upon by telco and cable monopolists and duopolists) keeping out broadband Internet speeds at low levels relative to the rest of the world. At 2.3Mbps average download speeds, last mile connectivity has only inched up in the past year, according to the report (PDF), and it would be decades before we experienced the speeds and functionality experienced by internet users in Japan, who connect at over 60Mbps.

Evident in the unscientific studies is the sharp increase in business districts in which connectivity is often an expensive T1 connection, as opposed to publicly available high speed broadband (which here in LA, is mainly limited to AT&T and Comcast, although competitors such as Speakeasy are able to offer better service at slightly higher rates). California ranks 25th in SpeedMatters’ survey of median download speeds. how does your state rank?

I’ve documented the U.S.’s position on broadband ubiquity and connectivity many times, as well as it’s position in relation to other OECD countries throughout here and here. I first profiled (a project of the Communications Workers of America union) here and encourage everyone to participate in their call to action:

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Why I Deleted My Plaxo Account

I only began using Plaxo about a year ago when it began accepting OpenID and I knew I wouldn’t have to “register” with a service that I found quite useless and duplicative of LinkedIn.

Today it was announced that Comcast will acquire Plaxo for something north of $150 million. Plaxo’s database of contacts and user info will presumably be an integral part of Comcast Interactive Media’s integrated Web/TV/Spying platform which is coined SmartZone. SmartZone was announced last year as a collaboration between Comcast, HP, Zimbra, and others.

Sorry, but I don’t trust Comcast at all what with their sketchy terms of service implementations and withdrawals, it’s quite clear that customer service is not anywhere near the top of their concerns or priorities.

I never really used you Plaxo — and it looks like I never will.

Click here if you wish to delete your Plaxo account too. In the meantime, you can always connect with me on LinkedIn and track my lifestream at a variety of places including Yahoo’s MyBlogLog.

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