Discussion Post: Week 9

We’re almost done with Presentation II! How has the challenge been compared with Presentation I? Did it seem a little easier since you had more time with which to work, or was it harder to juggle your visual aid along with the more complicated content you strove to deliver? What did you learn from watching others’ presentations, and what lessons will you take from Presentation II as you move forward?

After the second presidential debate, only one thing was clear: it was not a repeat of round one. President Barack Obama took the affair seriously, fighting back against Governor Mitt Romney in a stark contrast with the passiveness he displayed in the first debate. Many analysts and polls suggested that Obama a stole the advantage in round two thanks to a few Romney missteps, of which the most egregious was a mistaken claim about Obama's response to the Benghazi embassy attack. However, the reported win was, at the very least, less clear than Romney’s round one triumph, with Romney making several compelling points and imploring voters not “to settle” for the current economy.

With the narrower win in mind, the Obama camp has to be nervous about Romney’s momentum across the nation. While early vote totals have been quite high, suggesting an advantage for Obama in the November election — in recent years, more Democrats than Republicans have filed absentee ballots — the margin by which he leads those early votes is much smaller than the lead he held in 2008. With even major media outlets that supported Obama four years ago openly shifting toward Romney, the presidency may be within reach for the challenger.

Yet the polls at large remain perplexing. Most national surveys have the race at a virtual dead heat, with neither candidate leading by more than a few points. But the big outlier is the Gallup daily tracking poll, which has Romney winning by a massive 6% of the vote as of Friday. This would be easier to brush aside as a statistical fluke or errant methodology if not for the respect that Gallup commands in political polling. Gallup has correctly predicted the winner of all but three of the last 19 presidential elections, and as Republican strategists noted, no presidential candidate has ever lost the election after earning more than 50% of the nationwide vote at this stage of the campaign — as of Friday, Romney drew 51% of voters. Democratic analysts argued that some of the disparity may have been because Gallup tracks poll results in a seven-day rolling average, meaning that the Oct. 19 poll actually spanned Oct. 13-19 and may have retained the surge Romney experienced after the first debate even as he fell in other, more current surveys. All told, analysts are split between giving Obama a slight lead and saying that he is “spinning toward a loss.”

Focusing on tossup states instead of the nationwide trend hardly clarifies the tenor of this race. Major pollsters are listing as many as 11 states too close to call, with the majority naming at least eight clearly in play: Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Even states like Pennsylvania, which has clearly been in Obama’s column for months (and where Romney virtually stopped campaigning because the lead looked insurmountable), are now in serious doubt.

A few weeks back, Obama’s strategy was to hold Florida, Ohio, and Virginia as a three-state firewall, presuming that Romney would have almost no path to victory as long as the firewall stood. That firewall strategy looks to be abandoned now that Obama’s lead has all but evaporated and he is forced to contest myriad battleground states. After all, as of Thursday, poll aggregator RealClearPolitics gave Romney the lead in its electoral college map for the first time in the entire campaign, demonstrating that Obama cannot afford to rest of his laurels if he hopes to win re-election.

So it’s little wonder that electoral math is driving the final phase of the campaign and the rival candidates’ tactics in the home stretch. The final debate may be crucial, a surprising reality in this election given the comparatively small difference that the debates typically make. So with Monday’s showdown on the horizon, both candidates are stepping off the debate trail to prepare for their final head-to-head clash, leaving their running mates and spouses to fill the void across the nation.

In the meantime, if you were hoping that the campaign might get a little nicer in the final few weeks, too bad. Obama and Romney have done nothing to cease their crossfire of attacks — Obama is working to label Romney “not one of us” and saying that his rival is suffering from “Romnesia,” while Romney is chastising Obama for playing “silly word games” and saying that the incumbent is running on petty attacks without any plan to fix the U.S. economy in a potential second term, calling it “the incredible shrinking campaign.” With both candidates pushing harder and harder to spin every topic in their favor, is it any wonder to see some voters fleeing to third-party candidates?

Let’s move, just for a bit, to our sports headlines. In baseball, the New York Yankees are done for the year after Detroit routed them in a four-game sweep. Perhaps the biggest story for New York was Alex Rodriguez’s abysmal performance throughout the postseason which led to him being benched for several key games. A-Rod’s failure to produce in the playoffs incited even Donald Trump to say that he would fire the man who commands the biggest contract in major league history. (Yes, the $275 million he is set to make through 2017 is even more than the $240 million to which the Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols holds claim.) When asked whether or not A-Rod, who still has five years on his contract, would return to the Yankees next year, general manager Hank Steinbrenner responded, “We’ll see.

While the American League Championship Series quickly produced its representatives, the Detroit Tigers, as its representatives in the World Series, the National League Championship Series has been a back-and-forth affair. As of this post, the St. Louis Cardinals lead three games to two, forcing the San Francisco Giants to win the last two games in order to stay alive. But those games will be played in San Francisco, giving them a potential edge at the close of the series. St. Louis bungled its chance to close out the series at home, as starter Lance Lynn was pulled in the fourth inning of Game 5 after giving up four runs. The Giants went on to win 5-0 on a dominating performance from starter Barry Zito. Lynn’s failure to make it through the fourth inning has some analysts questioning whether he will start in the World Series at all, should the Cardinals survive. After all, the fourth inning has been unkind to him throughout the NLCS — in Game 1, he entered with a 6-0 lead and left with only a 6-4 margin, but St. Louis held on to win that game in his absence. If he can’t make it through four innings without giving up a flood of runs, the Cardinals have to seriously question whether they want him throwing on baseball’s biggest stage.

Hockey news has, depressingly, remained much the same over the past week. The NHL cancelled another week of games yesterday, pushing a potential opening day to Nov. 2. The stalemate between players and owners over their collective bargaining agreement may only grow worse in the coming weeks, especially if both parties continue hoping that the other side concedes instead of seriously negotiating.

Many had hoped that the NHL’s surprise announcement on Tuesday of its 50/50 proposal, which would have evenly split revenues between players and owners over the next six years, would serve as a starting point for real negotiations. Among those hopeful were executives and rank-and-file members of the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA). Yet after only one hour of further discussion, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman abandoned the negotiations, telling the media that the players union’s subsequent counterproposals a step backward. However, all three counterproposals maintained the 50/50 split as a centerpiece but were quickly rejected, leading some analysts to speculate that the NHL’s proposal was really nothing more than a public relations ploy to distract fans and combat growing frustration with the league. Either way, this Thursday looms large as the final deadline for an agreement in order to maintain a full, 82-game season, especially with Bettman insisting that the league has made “our best offer.”

Well, maybe hockey fans can at least look forward to “Project Lockout” this winter.

In the tech world, this week Microsoft offered an early look at its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, which will be released on Friday. Those who have tried the new OS are, well, confused. That’s no real surprise, as Windows 8 represents the biggest shift in a Windows OS in almost 20 years, harkening back to the revolutionary changes within Windows 95. But the new Windows 8 was designed as a one-size-fits-all OS, intended to be its PC, smartphone, and tablet software in one package. That’s why the system features rows of iPhone-like tiles for users to select instead of the familiar Start menu. While the rationale sounds reasonable, though, dismantling the standard computer navigation scheme and hiding other key elements like volume controls has some users perplexed. As one trial user put it, “I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old, and they never got used to it. They were like, ‘We’re just going to use Mom’s computer.'” User experience specialist Ralucu Budiu added, “There are many things that are hidden. Once users discover them, they have to remember where they are. People will have to work hard and use this system on a regular basis.”

Perhaps the most damning attack on Windows 8’s new look came back in March, when technology blogger Chris Pirillo posted a YouTube video of his father trying Windows 8 for the first time. In the four-minute video, Pirillo’s father — unassisted by his technophile son — managed to find his way into the old desktop interface and struggled to return to the tiled view that Windows 8 promotes. (Swiping the mouse or touch screen diagonally from the top right corner of the screen to the Start button switches the layout back to the tiles, a trick that the software did not explain and of which the user was unaware.) The four-minute video, which you can view below, has been viewed over 1.2 million times since it was first uploaded. The video was a live webcast, incidentally, so check out viewers’ sympathetic comments on the monitor in the background. And definitely don’t miss the last five seconds.

As if that wasn’t confusing enough, Friday also marks the release of the Microsoft Surface, the technology giant’s new tablet which eschews Windows 8 in favor of its Windows RT operating system. Windows 8 and Windows RT appear almost identical, aside from the fact that RT lacks the backwards compatibility necessary to run any existing Windows programs. That puts Microsoft’s sales staff in a bind, struggling to explain the differences to consumers in a way that highlights Windows 8’s backwards compatibility without making Windows RT look like a mess and still maintaining some enthusiasm for both new systems.

It should be no surprise that with multiple huge releases around the corner, this is a make-or-break week for Microsoft. Yet this odd attempt to crack the smartphone and tablet market has inspired very mixed expectations for the company’s earnings this quarter. With over 1,000 PC models already being produced with Windows 8, this move could either revitalize the company or further stymie its efforts to revive its slumping PC sales.

The Mars rover, Curiosity, has been busy this week with mineral sampling. Scientists have been anxious for this part of the mission, as the minerals on the Martian surface should provide clues about how the red planet developed and whether it was ever capable of supporting microbial life. But the sampling process was stalled for a bit while scientists analyzed bright flecks of an unknown substance littering the surface around the rover. It is already apparent that tiny pieces of Curiosity broke off during its journey, with most of the flecks likely falling from the rover during its descent from space. So after some initial sampling that researchers deemed suspect, the team navigated Curiosity to a location where the surface was free of the shiny material. If any bright flecks appear in the new sample, the team has judged that they must be part of the planet’s own sediment, since anything beneath the clean surface would have been undisturbed prior to the moment of sampling. They plan to fire a mineral-identifying laser at some of the particles within the next few days.

Hey, maybe we’ll learn that Mars was once part of our own planet, just as Harvard University scientists now think the moon was a chunk that broke off the earth. Who knows?

While Curiosity has been carefully scavenging for clues to Mars’ history, others approach the final frontier in a slightly different manner. Consider the case of Jossie Sockertopp and Sonnie Gustavsson, two native Swedes who traveled to Great Britain for their wedding this weekend. The couple made headlines on Friday for having the first authentic Klingon wedding in Great Britain’s history. Sockertopp and Gustavsson, both avid Star Trek fans, were inspired to hold the unique ceremony at the Destination Star Trek London convention after watching an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in which the Klingon Worf marries Jadzia Dax in a traditional Klingon ceremony.

Best of luck, you two. And remember, “DaHjaj mobHa’ tlhIH. DaHjaj tagh wo’.

A North Dakotan man made almost $10,000 earlier this week by selling a 20-year-old jug of barbecue sauce. No, there are no typos in that sentence. Mort Bank owned a few McDonald’s franchises in the early 1990s, and during that period, the burger giant held a Michael Jordan-themed promotion. “To jog your memory, the 1992 McJordan burger was comprised of a quarter-pound beef patty, cheese, mustard, onions, bacon and, of course, barbecue sauce.” When Bank sold his restaurants in 1996, he kept the unopened jug as well as a slew of other McDonald’s memorabilia, much of which he has sold over the years. But the barbecue sauce, clearly, was the prize in his collection. Bank’s eBay advertisement touted his jug as possibly the last in the world, and one rabid fan thought that “the rarest of rare Michael Jordan and McDonald’s collectible” was worth $9,995. While Bank says he hopes that the unidentified buyer won’t put the 20-year-old sauce on his burgers or ribs, it’s hard to say what someone willing to spend ten grand on that sort of item might do with it.

Worth $10,000?

Here’s a more heartwarming story for you. Kenya was the site of a life-or-death struggle recently when elephant conservationists at Amboseli National Park received a call about a baby elephant that was stuck in a five-foot hole dug by Masai tribesman. The baby was uninjured, but unable to climb out of the deep hole. Without help, the infant would have died in the well, which would have caused further problems in the region by ruining the well and angering the Masai.

The issue was further complicated by the baby’s mother, who deemed the team of conservationists a threat to her child and tried to sit on their Land Rover. Thankfully, the team’s resident scientist recognized the mother as Zombe from a mark on her ear, and a high-pitched yell was enough to scare her away. The rescuers then maneuvered their SUV around the mother and managed to tie a rope around the baby and the vehicle. 30 minutes later, the calf had been pulled from the trap, and it frantically sprinted back to its mother.

On Saturday, Israeli writer Edgar Keret unveiled an artistic installation in Poland which will also serve as his home when he visits Warsaw twice a year. The building is several stories high, but it more notable for being no more than five feet wide at any part of the structure. (Its narrowest point is only three feet wide.)

Dubbed Keret House, the structure, which was built in an alley, is the narrowest building in Poland and possibly all of Europe. It was designed by Polish artist Jakub Szczesny, and contains “a micro-kitchen, mini-bathroom, sleeping cubicle and tiny work area, all accessible via ladders,” according to Szczesny. So it’s probably still more spacious than some New York City apartments.

A few people have had some rather high-profile fun with fire in the last week. Anatoliy Baranovich, a 46-year-old Ukrainian immigrant, was napping on a Delta Airlines flight from Boston to Salt Lake City on Monday. When he awoke during the plane’s descent, he thought he saw the aircraft’s wing engulfed in flames. Baranovich started yelling in Russian, then jumped from his seat and ran to the rear of the plane, where he tried to open the emergency doors. The panicked man ignored flight attendants’ commands to calm down and fought off at least five passengers before he was subdued.

Evidently, Baranovich had been drinking prior to the incident, which might explain some of his irrational behavior. He was placed in police custody for interrogation, and at first appeared calm when officers interviewed them. Then they found $6,500 in cash and passports for 19 women in his luggage, and he again became agitated, eventually offering them the cash as a bribe to let him go free. They declined.

Baranovich is currently being held without bail, despite his lawyer’s pleas that this was a one-time mistake incited by his intoxication. As District Magistrate Judge Dustin Pead noted, Baranovich’s surprising access to both money and passports made him a substantial flight risk, so it would be foolhardy to release him before a trial. If convicted of damaging and disabling an aircraft and interference with a flight crew, he could face up to 40 years in federal prison.

Debra Johnson’s flaming folly was a little less dangerous, if a little more laughable. The 43-year-old North Carolina woman got mad at a 7-Up machine outside a Piggly Wiggly store after it took her money without dispensing a drink. So she kicked it, then lit a newspaper on fire and stuffed it into the machine. The vandalism melted parts of the vending machine as well as the $35 in change that it contained; the other contents, naturally, were also destroyed.

Johnson has several misdemeanors on her record dating back to 1989. She now faces two felony charges of burning personal property and burning buildings. As Johnson said in her first court appearance, she didn’t need a lawyer “’cause I’m guilty. I don’t need a lawyer to lie for me, cause I’mma tell you I done it.”

Finally, we have the case of 61-year-old Colin Farmer, a blind stroke victim who on Friday was walking through Chorley, a northern town in Great Britain, to meet his friends at the local pub. Someone called to him from behind, commanding him to stop. Poor Farmer heard the angry shouting and thought he was about to be attacked by some local thugs, so he kept walking. And that’s when the police officer unloaded a 50,000-volt shock from his Taser into the slow-moving grandfather.

So why did the police confront Farmer? And why was he Tasered? Because the officers thought his cane was a samurai sword.

Seriously.

Run for it! GRANDPA'S GOT A SWORD!

It seems that the local police had received calls that a drunken man in the area was dangerously wielding a samurai sword, so they went looking for him, and thought that Farmer was their man. He wasn’t. And even as he pleaded with the officers, explaining that he was blind, Farmer found himself in handcuffs before they realized he wasn’t the sword-bearer they were seeking. They later arrested a 27-year-old who was indeed carrying a samurai sword and was suspected of being drunk and disorderly, but the man was released without any charges.

In the meantime, the officers who mistakenly attacked Farmer stayed with him in the hospital until he recovered, then escorted him to meet with his friends. Nonetheless, Lancashire police officer Stuart Williams apologized, admitting that “We have clearly put this man through a traumatic experience, and we are extremely sorry for that.” The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into the matter. I just hope that someone will remind the officers that the 1989 film Blind Fury did not take place in the streets of Chorley.

Other articles of interest:
France 24 TV: Cairo reporter ‘savagely attacked’
Okla. Girl, 12, Shoots Intruder During Home Burglary
Meningitis toll rises; pharmacy owners sued
Pharmacy will stay closed for Fed probe
Researchers discover secret of more precise carbon dating
Skeleton of French man found in bed after 15 years
Tenn. family used meteorite as doorstop for years
Shares Fall Sharply as Google Earnings Are Released Early
Ozzie Smith memorabilia up for sale
Namesake, mugshot mix-up lands Mexico cop in murder line-up
Florida man killed on boar hunt likely mistaken for boar, police say

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39 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 9”

  1. Tim Gleeson says :

    I don’t use Windows on my personal computer, but have to be familiar with it since it dominates many corporate and educational computing arenas. I thought the video of the old man trying to use Windows 8 was interesting. It puzzles me that a company would be in the final stages of making something that is clearly not very user friendly, it seems as if they do not do trial runs etc. I see the logic behind the design, but it seems that it might not fly well with users. The man on the Delta flight indeed sounds like a flight risk and someone up to no good, many people do not realize the severity of the charge of interfering with a flight crew. But, it appears that the man had plenty of other offenses anyway.

  2. MeganEvilsizor says :

    I think the Windows 8 thing is really funny, that old guy reminds me of my dad who still has to call me once in a while to ask how to turn the computer back on when the power goes out and we have a windows 98. I have been wanting to upgrade their system for a while but with this new windows coming out I wouldn’t dare get it for them. I would be getting calls everyday having them hark at me that the computer won’t do what they want it to. I think Microsoft should stick to their own path with computers it has gotten them so far and there are so many loyal consumers with them that if they try to make a big change to the way their OS work they will eventually lose customer interest and then with MAC being the next computer sales Goliath they could see their sales start to come down.

  3. Garrett Rood says :

    I’m a PC guy flat out. Generally anytime I get on a Mac I tend to get pretty confused and when I use products that I am used to on a PC, like Adobe InDesign, I do fine but when I use that on a Mac I am baffled. After saying that I am disappointed in Microsoft. I know that they need to put out products that are similar to Apple because Apple is obviously making huge profits but I think that Windows 8 will be a big gaffe for Microsoft. So far, from the time they announced the release to now, I have not heard one good thing about this OS and I think the idea of making users work harder is dumb. All the luck in the world to Microsoft but I have a feeling things will not turn out great for them. It will not cause me to leave them but I may not switch to 8 and just keep my 7.

  4. jones326 says :

    All of the points being made about Windows 8 are correct. I am friends with the Microsoft representative at Purdue and he got an early release of Windows 8 for his computer to promote on campus. I messed around with it one night at his house and was not very impressed. For people that are very computer savvy I think it will go over well with, but for people who are not good with new technology (most of the world) it will be a struggle. Having the Start menu removed will be the death of people. I don’t see after so long how people will get used to it. While I do agree that changes always need to be made to products to keep up with the competition, I do not see this change going over well for Microsoft. As a PC guy I still will remain hopeful though.

  5. tbeach21 says :

    I’ve been on a Windows phone for over a year now, and while it was definitely something different to get used to at first, I really like the way it operates aside from the limited Windows app market. I think that for someone like myself the transition to Windows 8 will be pretty seamless, but I will also definitely understand all of the complaints that we are sure to hear in the future. Getting used to something new like that messes with people’s minds when they’ve gotten so used to how they think it should operate. I don’t know if I can lean one way or the other yet as to whether Windows 8 will flop or not. I could still see it taking off and doing well if people can embrace it.

  6. Zack Palazzo says :

    Im excited for the election to be over. Every time I watch TV, commercials are dominated by political commercials. Most of the time they dont even discuss the politicians policies, but rather attack the opposing candidate. I’ll be happy when this is all over and I can watch TV again.

  7. tbanas says :

    Crazy people on an airplane is something most people like to avoid, but what most people don’t realize is that when the door closes on the airplane, they are subjected to the laws in the Federal Aviation Regulations. A plane is actually a dictatorship in a way. You legally cannot ignore a flight crew member. The punishment for doing so is revealed by what the Ukrainian guy faces. An airline ticket has more fine print than you know…..

  8. Alex Johnson says :

    They tasered an old blind man!! That’s just awful. I was happy to read that they stayed with him and showed how much they regretted what happened, but obviously they shouldn’t have been so trigger happy in the first place. It seems like cops really enjoy their tasers, if you recall the kid that got tased at a Cardinals game a while ago. He had surrendered to an extent, but still caught several thousand volts. Oh well. I’m extremely happy that presentation II is over, but I guess what see what Brian has for us in Presentation III.

  9. Brock Wolfe says :

    Yay for the 12 year old that was able to stand up to the intruder. Too many times people are not able to defend themselves. I support 2nd amendment rights. After all, the 2nd ensures the all others but that is for another discussion.
    Wow, blind mans cane thought to be a samurai sword. And who thought Great Britain had some of the finest police officers. Sometimes adrenaline and the thrill of getting your man were he is obviously innocent or not overcomes common sense.
    So, Windows 8 is coming out… wonder how close it will resemble OSX….

  10. Edward Dang says :

    Operating systems are funny. A video game engine is more complex than an OS yet there are many more game engines more frequently than OS’ that are widely used. Windows, and perhaps microsoft in general, is just not very consistent in how well things work. I mean, makes a new OS is no crime if it is what people want. The ease of use thing is the most important right? Am I now in the small crowd of people who still prefer using XP? Why make an OS designed for tablets when almost all windows currently are not on tablets? I don’t get this company like… at all.

  11. annadell57 says :

    The windows 8 video shows an obvious flaw of the new OS. His suggestion of highlighting a hidden window to get back to the original interface would have been smart. Windows users are used to clicking the bottom left corner where the usual start button for guidance. But that video was discouraging for windows users, I hope Microsoft fixes some of the issues before the release!

  12. kcorcimi says :

    What a great selection of stories this week! There are a lot of little stories so I want to briefly touch on a few that I found funny or interesting in some way. First off, I hope that Curiosity finds something that no one could imagine. What if it found a dinosaur bone or something? Just think how crazy that would be. Or even if it doesn’t find something as cool as that, it’s still awesome that we were able to put a machine on Mars that is able to sample it’s surroundings to help us learn more. Second story.. the barbeque. Really? $10,000? That is the BIGGEST waste of money. I hope the guy that bought that is really well off, otherwise he has a really unhealthy obsession with either BBQ sauce or Michael Jordan. Third and final story I wanted to make a short comment about, the baby elephant. I think that elephants are adorable, and I’m glad they were able to save a baby! That’s all.

  13. Daniel Spivey says :

    I like what you had to say about the presidential debate. I am not one to follow that stuff too closely so its nice to have a pretty unbiased fact based article from you on here. So thank you for that. I also wanted to comment on the Yankees getting beat and going home. It was a pretty pathetic effort and their part. It was unbelievable how their hitting just went out of the window. If these guys are making that much money they should certainly be able to figure out how to get out of a slump. I was very sad to see Jeter leave I think he is one of the all time greats. I am very interested to see what exactly their next moves will be and what changes are coming.

  14. Garey Bogo says :

    To the article about the McJordan burger sauce, I can understand being a big fan and wanting everything associated with him. However, paying $10,000 for a 20 year old jug seems kinda odd. For $10,000 you can probably someway find the recipe and make it yourself. It wasn’t even signed or anything, and probably could easily be faked.
    As for the article about the police tazering the blind man, I don’t understand how they could get someone wielding a sword with a blind man who is using was probably walking with his caan pointed towards the ground. At least they stayed with him in the hospital and apologized.

  15. Cameron says :

    It seems everyone has something to say this week about Windows 8. Personally, I have not read much about it, I’ve never even owned a PC with anything better than Windows XP. So naturally, this is some of the first stuff I have heard. I think it’s pretty cool that they are trying to make a standard OS that operates all of their devices; it’s a step in the right direction. But it’s unnecessary if it alienates the user. It might be a nightmare to learn, but just like past versions of Facebook, we will move on and forget about it in a week or two.
    And about the old man who got tazed; how does that even happen? The cop must have given him maybe one second of a look before attacking. Does a walking stick really look that much like a katana? Anyway, I’m glad that he was okay and that the cop was extremely sorry.

  16. lukeshall says :

    I worked last night in the main office of my Dorm. My job is good because I can just sit there and do homework, and help anyone who comes up needing aything. So usually I do homework, but this time I was unable to concentrate so I watch/listened to the debate. It was the first debate I watched this year. I found it quite interesting and I feel like the debates are having a big impact on the election this year than in the past. I think this is due largely to social media. I think through social media a lot more people are getting involved in polictics even if it just involved making a facebook post about Obama or something. I thinks its good that people are more involved. It helps the whole country be apart of the country and care about their country.

  17. APhelps says :

    I know I’m not the only one frustrated with the ups and downs (but mostly downs) associated with the NHL lockout. From the outside, it is almost impossible to really understand what is going on. Much like a debate (which is so appropriate for this time of the year) each side will publicize why they believe themselves to be correct. However, with the players working from the 50/50 revenue split, I find it very hard to believe what the commissioner claims is their possible possible offers, when none of the offers are referenced. Hockey is a unique sport to me in that it is one of the few sports that I can not enjoy watching live here at Purdue. I love going to football, basketball, baseball games here, you name it, but I can only get my hockey fix by taking the drive down to Indianapolis and watch the Ice play. Without the NHL, looks like I’ll be spending a lot more money on as this year.

    Also, just a thought for Microsoft, if they want to build the hype up for their new OS and tablets, I would suggest they spend more of their money on advertising that instead of IE9. We all know how popular that product is…

  18. Tyler Durham says :

    As I expected I feel like the polls got even tighter after that last and final debate. I know for one I am still up in the air between the two candidates. It seems like this is the biggest number of states available for grabs in sometime which is surely to make the election keep us on the edge of our seats until the bitter end.
    To comment on Windows 8 I feel as if they are making a huge mistake with the massive redesign they have done to the OS. I think people will pick it up eventually, but in the beginning I can see users being very frustrated. I mean I can only see an upgrade being the best thing to do but it will be interesting to see when the first consumer reports of Windows 8 come back. Hopefully it isn’t as bad as Apple’s iOS 6 was.

  19. nlosande says :

    Windows 8 is very dissapointing to me. All the reasons I claimed that PCs were better than Macs have now been eliminated. It is borderline embarassing… That’s not to say that this wasn’t expected. Everyone knows that Windows comes out with a good operating system every other time. Windows 98 — good. Windows 2000/ME — crap. Windows XP — good. Windows Vista — crap. Windows 7 is pretty good… well… you know the rest.

  20. mmccune91 says :

    This getting frustrating. I want to watch some hockey. I really hope the players and owners can resolve their disputes quicker because there are a ton of people that are ready for hockey season to start. I remember the lock out a few years ago, and I find it hard to believe that the NHL did not learn its lesson. Lets just hope this sorts itself out quickly so we can watch some hockey.

  21. blakeneata says :

    First I read the article about the Micheal Jordan barbaque sause. It just amazes me how much money people will spend on random items that somehow related to someone famous. I heard that somebody also bought Micheal Jordans old credit card for thousands of dollars.
    I also read the article about the Russian man on the airplane. Events like this should not be taken lightly, which it seems like it’s not. This man put the entire airplane at risk and it surprises me how long it look to subdue the man. If this man would have been a terrorist, it seems that he could have easily completed his objective, whatever that may have been. I also found it extremely odd that he had such a large amount of womans passports. This man needs to be investigated with a fine toothed comb.

  22. meyer44 says :

    I generally try to stay out of the politics of election years. I have my own opinions and I research candidates, but I usually ignore things like debates and political ads. Part of that stems from the fact that I don’t really believe the things politicians say. I don’t look at the way they vote much either, since many times they are swayed by earmarks in the bills.

    On a side note, I felt a little better about my Presentation II. I felt it went a little more smoothly than my first.

    It pains me to see that someone spent $10,000 on a condiment. However, it’s his money, he can do whatever he wants with it and it is none of my business.

    I have a great deal of respect for the 6th grader who had to shoot the intruder. While I know that it is terrible that a kid that young had to use a gun and it will effect her for the rest of her life, I know that the family’s possessions and more importantly the girl’s life are now safe because of her actions. This is why I support 2nd Amendment rights.

  23. jteagard says :

    I always find it really funny what people are willing to spend money on. I don’t really find it all that surprising that someone spent almost ten grand on an old jug of barbeque sauce. I found out earlier today that some of my old Super Nintendo games were worth up to fifty dollars (for Megaman X2). It is a great game, but I don’t quite think its worth that much, and I even saw the game with manual and box trying to be sold for $200!

    I had heard the story about the blind man being tazed by police earlier and it simply saddens me. Apparently he yelled out multiple times that he was blind and his cane in no way shape or form looks like a sword. Even if it was dark or far away, they would have to think, “why is this man walking so slowly even as we approach him?” or even “why is this man repetitively hitting his sword against the ground?” It just seems like people would have more common sense than that.

  24. Garret Howard says :

    Presentation two went pretty well, I feel like everyone was more confident and enthusiastic than they were for presentation one. Incorporating a visual aid into the presenttation didnt seem to be a problem for most people I think this is because most of the presentations that we have given in the past have used visual aids. For my next speech I plan on rehearsing a little more to make sure that I stay within the time restraints.

    I think that it is pretty funny that the Yankees lost the series against Detroit. The Yankees are supposed to be a super team and they probably have the largest fan base of any team in the national baseball league. As far as A-Rods performance, it was pathetic. The money is getting to his head. I would fire him.

  25. junter says :

    In complete agreeance with mmccune91, they need to sort this hockey situation out soon. With that being said i think its kinda riduclous that this guy spent 10,000 dollars on a jug of old bbq sauce. What is the final result of that purchase? Get it mounted on the wall with a gold plaque underneath it? I just dont see how that is a true peice of memorabilia, i feel for the same price he could have gotten something that was actually related to basketball. But i guess in the end its his money and god bless him for having the expendable income to purchase something like that.

  26. Daniel Hudspeth says :

    I understand that Microsoft would love to have some of the Mac users come over to their side, but at what expense? I, for one, am not a Mac user, and I don’t do well with their system. For some reason windows had always been easier for me. However, with the new Windows system looking like a Mac design, I might get confused easily too.
    But on a different topic, I loved the British police story. I feel bad for the old man, but I feel even worse for the police officer. How could he have mistaken the cane for a sword? I think that you would at least see if it was a sword first before you tase someone. It was good that the police department took care of the man, and was with him in the hospital.

  27. kearstenolson says :

    I’m super excited that the Giants are in the World Series. Being a Nationals fan, I was disappointed when they lost to the Cardinals. Luckily, the Giants are my second favorite team and so I placed all my hope in them. It was looking like they were going to lose however they managed to win three straight games putting them in the World Series. I watched game one last night and they won with help from Pablo Sandoval’s three home runs.

    I think it’s crazy that the McDonald’s Barbeque Sauce sold for $10,000. However, this isn’t the first time something fairly ordinary has been sold for an insane price on eBay or the like. But if it means that much to someone let them but it for that much I guess

  28. Jhellman says :

    I liked presentation II a lot. I felt a lot more comfortable working with something and explaining it. Sorry I hogged the microphone for longer than I should’ve 🙂

    This campaign is starting to make me sick. I watch Romney speak and he was going on an on about how he was going to flat out undo everything Obama has done and making it sound like he was saving the country by doing so. And I couldn’t even find any solace in watching Obama speak with all his backlashing.

    I’m actually duel booting windows 8 and 7 on my computer. Windows 8 was so much faster at booting up, loading programs, and transferring files. Really wanna see how fast it is with USB 3. But Windows 8 was so confusing at first. Even staying in the “desktop app” was still uncomfortable. And finally, after a few weeks I knew I didn’t have to deal with it and reverted back to Windows 7. It’s a shame. Microsoft is striking out left and right and they really shouldn’t be.

  29. colinbyram says :

    I’m definitely ready for the political mud slinging to end and the election be over. The election is now to the point where no major changes are likely to happen. The giants are carrying their momentum from the playoffs to the world series and i think they have a good chance of taking the title. I personally don’t have much of a preference over san fran or detroit but an exciting series would be nice. Lastly, the story of the blind man being arrested is ridiculous. The cops responsible for this need to face sort of disciplinary actions and obviously some more training on identifying a suspect.

  30. Craig (@ctlocker) says :

    As someone who usually stays a version behind on operating systems, I was kind of excited about Windows 8 that is until everyone I know told me how confusing it was. I can’t really say much more about it then what everyone else has. It really does make you wonder who approved the idea to design a product for something most people still don’t have. I do agree with what Cameron said, it’s a step in the right direction, with having a universal OS. My only real suggestion to Microsoft is quit trying to copy Apple and come up with something of your own. You will never make a great product by just doing what someone else is. This just makes me wish more and more that Macs weren’t so expensive, but I guess you get what you pay for. On that note, I do own a PC and have been quite happy with it and it was under $400, but I do clearly see the advantages of Mac, just not the price.

  31. Brandon Vath says :

    I never knew that a bottle of BBQ sauce could be worth so much money. I understand this is not your “ordinary bottle of BBQ sauce”, but it isn’t even signed by Michael Jordan. I figured for ten thousand dollars the bottle would have Jordan’s signature on the bottle or something…

    On another note, I am counting down the days until the election. I will be very happy when I can watch TV without being bombarded with political advertisements. I believe the bantering back and forth between candidates has become quite old.

  32. Zach Gerbner says :

    I personally have been enjoying this election cycle very much. Never before have I been so involved in donating money, following closely and volunteering as I have been in this election. The debates truly motivated me towards becoming involved, because personally, I am scared to see what would happen if my candidate lost. Election day is going to be incredibly exciting, and we may not even know who the winner is for weeks, depending on how close Ohio is.

    At the same time, never before have I seen an electorate so polarized. I have talked to very few people who have a neutral stance on either Gov. Romney or Pres. Obama. Everyone seems to have very strong opinions, and doesn’t like where the other candidate wants to lead the country. With an election so close, there are going to be a lot of people who are very upset come the day after the election. I just hope I won’t be one of them!

  33. Jae Hyeon Joo says :

    Finally I have done with my presentation 2 this week. I felt more comfortable than presentation 1. During the first presentation, I was so shy and this was why I didn’t good job on it. Actually second presentation was not good either but it was improved that I guess. Well, third one will be better than presentation 2.

    I am not so sure about window8. Think about window7. It was kind of sensation when it was introduced. But the problem was compatibility with other programs. It is already improved. One thing I can tell is window8 should be better than window7. That is why they made it.

  34. Rachel Dockter says :

    Poor Colin Farmer. That is a rather unfortunate occurrence…the police should have looked a little harder before they leaped. I find it a little hard to believe that a cane was mistaken for a sword, but then again a friend of mine almost got kicked off a bus once because the bus driver thought his umbrella was a katana.

    I’m pretty much all glossed over in regards to politics, and I haven’t really been paying attention to the election for awhile. Probably not a good thing, but…well.

    Not really looking forward to Windows 8. I’m a PC person, but I usually stay a version behind on OS anyway and I’m quite happy with 7. Maybe it’s because I’m not really a huge fan of the new tablet/mobile OS paradigm…I don’t have a smart phone or a tablet, and I have no intention on getting one anytime soon, and I like my desktop the way it is. Of course I’m probably just being stubborn.

  35. Rachel Moore says :

    I think I’ll wait a bit before buying windows 8, although I am interested in their tablets. Those could be cool to work with. Having a desktop with a tablet OS seems a little weird though, and confusing. It’s good that they’re expanding their market. Apple almost seems to have a monopoly in that market.

    Politically, I don’t have much to say, other than I don’t want Obama to be re-elected. I don’t recall him doing much, and I hate his health care reform.

    I can’t believe a police officer tasered a blind old man. What did the officer think, he was using a sword as a cane? That makes no sense. I’m glad the officer stayed with him and helped him to meet his friends. It was the least he could do.

  36. liv4creativity says :

    I have tried Windows 8 on one of my friend’s computer and was not impressed. If I want a tablet, I will get a tablet. If I want something that operates like an Apple, I will upgrade my current Apple product. It is great that Windows is trying new approaches to their technologies, but they should not copy Apple just because of Apple’s success.

    Anatoliy Baranovich should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law. Having that much money in cash and NINETEEN passports is a clear indication that he could be a part of a trafficking ring. I am glad they did not release this man and I hope that they do not. Next step, find the 19 women who are missing passports. This is going to be very hard to do if they are in a trafficking ring.

  37. bwulf24 says :

    I am not too excited about windows 8, I literally have not heard anything good about it and judging from that video it is probably garbage. I dont want my PC to be a tablet and that appears to be what microsoft is going for here. In the video it just looks very hard to use and really it just doesnt look good aesthetically. The tile screen was just black with a few colored tiles, maybe thats just in the trial version though. All I know is I wont be upgrading for a good while. If I get it at all it will be right before I leave here in almost 2 years and only because we get such a good discount as students. That ought to give them plenty of time to pull it together… I hope.

  38. Shalini Kannan says :

    I am extremely happy with the way Presentation II went. I think everyone did a wonderful with extremely interesting topics and demonstrations. I am definitely looking forward to Presentation III and IV as well. Presentation III should be really good for me as it emphasizes on the career development aspect. Its definitely going to get me thinking about my career path and interests.
    As for the Ukranian man ,Anatoliy Baranovich, he should definitely be punished for his actions. His irrational behavior and not listening to the crew could have not only hurt him but also possibly some other passengers on the flight. His trip also seems a bit shady considering he was carrying a huge sum of money as well as 19 passports of other women. This case should definitely be properly investigated.

  39. Paul Laurinaitis says :

    I would like to comment regarding presentation 2. I think this presentation was very useful by using the visual aid. This will be a very helpful skill to use in the real world. It will allow us to present in front of others and be good at it. The extra time for the presentation also helped because having longer time to speak makes it easier. The next few presentations should make us even better speakers.