A sad day for cycling and a good man

As a former long distance cyclist and lover of the sport, the news today from the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) has me disgusted. They are recommending to the UCI to strip Lance Armstrong of all his titles, awards and winnings. Travis Tygart, USADA’s chief executive, has been “hunting” Lance like sport animal. Lance finally has had enough.

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said Thursday night, hours before the deadline to enter arbitration. He called the USADA investigation an “unconstitutional witch hunt.”[1]

Apparently you can be tested hundreds of times and pass and be guilty. I imagine this is how a criminal who is truly innocent and gets the death penalty must feel. Circumstantial evidence appears to win out in some cases. Its WRONG ! Before DNA testing I bet this happened more than we would like to believe.

Lance has a truly unique life store beating cancer after the doctors gave him a 50/50 chance to then go on and win 7 Tour de France titles. A feat no one let alone an unknown American have ever done.

The UCI, the International Cycling Union, has the final say. Regardless they have several problems to address.

  • If Lance is stripped of his titles four of those wins would go to Jan Ulrich, an athlete thatHAS tested positive for doping and been banned for life from the sport.
  • the UCI has backed Armstrong and asked the USADA to explain why he should be stripped of his titles when none of the USADA’s own test have EVER come back positive. [2]
  • The sport has been tarnished more and more over the last 10 years form allegations of doping. While they want to send a message to the athletes they certainly do not want the image of the sport to decrease more by backing a sports hero.

Lance could have stopped racing sooner, taken his winnings and fame and partied like a rock start all over the world. I am sure he enjoyed himself but what he really did was start a foundation for cancer research that has raised over $500 million dollars. His family and the foundation are his priorities. Even if he wins this battle in another year there will be a new version of these allegations that he will have to deal with (come on its been 17 years and we are still talking about this).

Its a sad day for cycling. When a man so strong who has done so much good reached his limit and said enough. When you choose to continue working to help others over proving your innocence you will be branded as guilty.

Today a sports hero did not die, he became a larger one.

  1. Fox Latino News Article  ↩
  2. Fox Latino News Article  ↩

Making the move

I have been using SquareSpace for some time now. I was part of the beta to test V6. The changes are very nice in terms of functionality with more coming. I think the full support of Markdown and the Link post options are welcome editions. As a result I took this opportunity to clean up and stream line my site a little more. I will be tweaking it over the next week or so. Let me know what you think.?

iGoogle to be discontinued

Google has some nice tools.  They just don’t always work for me.  I think it boils down to a trust issue.  I am not crazy about being the product.  One of the few Google services I do like and enjoy is iGoogle.  It is my web browser home page and allows me a snapshot of news services, stock information (things I track not necessarily own) and some headlines from a few blogs.  I know there is the bug push for all things Google+ but I suspect that the reason it is being deprecated is that there is no ad revenue being generated.  One of the few services that has not gone this way.  Returning from vacation Monday I opened up my home page to see this notice on the top of the screen.

I know there are others out services that will provide a similar “dashboard” functionality so I will begin to investigate those now.  If you know of a service that you like I would love to hear about it.

Annoucing my own SmartPhone

MG Seigler must have missed my announcement about the smartphone I am creating (since everyone is nowadays).  Thats ok for now I guess – he covers this thoughts on an Amazon phone below. I have to agree with him though why would Amazon try and do it alone.

The Kindle Phone:

The Kindle Phone:

So it looks like Amazon is entering the smartphone space as well — or at least thinking about it, if Tim Culpan, Olga Kharif and Ashlee Vance’s sources are correct.

And they likely are. This is the obvious next step after the Android-powered Kindle Fire. The one glaring problem would be patents — as in, Amazon likely has little or no mobile patents — but the article suggests that Amazon is already hard at work on resolving that potential roadblock.

The entire time I’m reading this news, I’m thinking: if they’re both being honest, doesn’t it seem obvious that Google and Amazon should team up in this endeavor? Think about it: Amazon’s strength is content and distribution — two of Google’s glaring weaknesses. Google strength is in mobile software/services and post-Motorola deal, mobile patents. Both have some hardware experience now, but neither yet holds a candle to Apple in that regard. But perhaps with their combined expertise…

And yet, it will never happen. While the two companies may not outright hate each other, post-Kindle Fire, they’re clearly at odds with one another. Google also just moved more forcefully into the developer cloud space that Amazon owns. And there are about a dozen other rivalry overlaps.

A joint effort by Amazon and Google to make a truly killer phone makes a lot of sense to me on paper. Sadly, that’s where it will stay. 

(Via parislemon.)

Mr. Mobile

This morning I walk into Starbucks for my quad Americano. Another man walks in behind me. He is in his mid thirties, very fit and dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. He looks like he is perhaps in town for a sailing event. He walks in with a large computer bag and a canvas tote. I grab my coffee and sit down to check my email. This gentleman who I will refer to as Mr. Mobile, grabs a nearby seat and opens his computer bag and pulls out what looks to be a large fairly new Toshiba 17″ laptop. Next he grabs the transmitter for his mouse and attaches it to the side before placing that on his lap. He grabs the power supply and plugs that into the wall and into the back of this machine. Lastly an external USB number keypad. When everything appears to be ready he pushes the power button and goes to order his coffee. He orders his drink – something somewhat complicated – and comes back to the seat 5 minute later to check in on things. His laptop is still booting up. He goes to the coffee bar and fixes his drink and returns. Still in process. He watches for a few seconds and decides to use the restroom. At first I was thinking “hey buddy someone needs to watch this stuff” but then I figured who could carry this all. After some time the man returns and sits down. I figure now he is ready to work – important things to get done. Mr. reaches into his large canvas tote and pull’s out a large flat board like device with a built in mousepad and places it on his lap. He relocates all of his computer accouterments to this plank and opens his email.

I a look at my watch – it has been 17 minutes since he walked in and started this process.

No new email apparently for him. So I am assuming he is going to get to the real work. Perhaps a novel, some programming maybe? Nope. Facebook.

I go back to my reading on my iPhone, enjoying the coffee (sorry Marco). I hear a rustling. Mr Mobile is packing up. Ceremoniously recreating his startup procedure in reverse. Mr Mobile was at the coffee shop less than 28 minutes and perhaps had 4-5 min of computing time.

This is exactly the opposite of my preference.

  1. I like to travel light. The more I travel the more this is becoming crucial to me. Carrying all that weight associated with all of that gear would make me crazy. I prefer to bring my 11″ MacBook Air or iPad with me for short work sessions outside of the office.
  2. If I am running into a public space to work or even read, I want to do it. I can not wait forever for a machine to boot up.
  3. Why bring the extra pieces with you – the portable table the mouse and the external keypad. Bring what you need and not the kitchen sink.

As I rework my computing strategy it is more about what can I get done and where. There will be sometimes I am sure that I will not be able to do everything. But I am no longer willing to bring it all with me for that off chance I need to do something odd.