Comic Irony at The NY Times

Bob McFlurry With Sports

I just read an article by N.Y. Times writer WILLIAM C. RHODEN on why he thinks a Yankees Vs. Dodgers World Series would be great for baseball. No doubt that would be appealing in the sense of America’s two largest markets and an East/West Coast dynamic to it but Rhoden seems to give odd reasoning why the matchup would be good for baseball.

“what Major League Baseball needs is a great World Series, a Series for the ages. And with all due respect to those two other potential matchups, it’s a Yankees-Dodgers World Series that could take the game back to its roots at a time when baseball desperately needs to recover a portion of the trust, if not the innocence, that it has lost in the steroid era.”

Mr. Rhoden, if you want to recover a “portion of trust” for baseball then why would you match up teams with marquee players that have been anything but truthful in their dealings with performance enhancing drugs. While Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettie are hardly the only players in the last 20 years to have taken and gotten caught taking performance drugs how do you figure  that those guys being in and winning a World Series is going to recover some innocence it lost in the steroid era? How would a Dodgers/Yankees matchup, “reinforces its roots and, yes, its relative purity”?

Trust, innocence, relative purity? What are you smoking Rhoden? I’m not going to argue a Dodgers/Yankees matchup would be good for ratings, but good for the game?

I think the Phillies beating the Yankees would be poetic in a year when A-Rod had to come out of the closet with his use of PED’s. A Phillies Vs. Angels series (while not having one of the big 2 markets involved) could have the makings to be one of the greatest series of all time given the way the teams play and the absence of a tainted marquee player.

Overall, don’t give me your purity, innocence and trust logic while debating on which teams should be in the series because the two teams you suggested, Rhoden, debunk your whole theory. I don’t know how you run your household but when a dog pisses the carpet, you don’t give him a treat.

Internet Service Providers Raising Prices?

By: Billy Beerslugger

So I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a while now.  I believe this is the beginning of the end of “Unlimited Bandwidth” through Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) in the United States.

Like a lot of my generation, I get a good portion of my news online.  Actually, I get pretty much all my news online.  It’s much more convenient, I can read it when I want to and I can read what I want to as opposed to Network TV news who are at the mercy of Advertisers and their own networks shows (i really don’t need to know who got kicked off of American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, Survivor, Amazing Race or Big Brother).  I recently read an extremely interesting article from the NY Times.  It makes some really good points including the issue over Bandwidth Consumption, Internet Prices and Government regulation.

First, the article states that most ISP’s in the U.S. want to end the unlimited bandwidth option from their subscription services.  As long as I’ve been using Cable internet it has been browse as much as you want, download as much as you want.  Now they want to measure usage and bill accordingly just like the electric or water company.  On the surface this may seem fair to you, especially if you don’t watch movies and television online or don’t do a lot of downloading or youtube viewing.  If someone else is using the Internet more than you maybe they should pay more and you should pay less.

However, just because a person uses more bandwidth than someone else doesn’t effect the ISP’s profits or the availability/speed of the internet.  The ISP makes just as much money when no one uses the internet as when everyone is glued to the internet checking out the latest Brittany Spears upskirt shot.  Think of Internet use the same way you would think of Cable TV usage (Both use the same technology and have about the same costs).  Does the person who is at work all day and not watching TV pay the same as the person who is at home watching TV all day? Yes, they do.  Each pay for a service and can use as much or as little as they want for a flat fee.

The main costs in running the ISP are investment in network equipment and expanding the networks but just like everything else computer related, costs continue to fall as technology advances.  Most if not all of the Major ISP’s profit margins are stable.  So why change to a consumption based business model?  I’d say to make more money.  ISP’s like Comcast, Time Warner etc pretty much have a monopoly on providing Internet service.  Much like before the phone companies prices were regulated by the U.S. government, ISP’s can charge pretty much whatever they want because there’s not that much else out there.

As some ISP’s are beginning to offer higher Megabits per second than are currently offered, they are also raising prices disproportionately than countries like Japan who offer this higher MBit/s for about $5 more than their regular plan.  In the U.S. prices for this service would increase your bill sometimes twofold and more.  There is a lot more competition in Japan in terms of ISP’s.

There’s other theories out there that suggest Cable Company’s that also supply Internet want to increase prices to Internet Service because online video etc is eating a hole in their Cable TV revenue.  This could also be a reason.

Overall, I would say don’t let an ISP, government or whomever else limit your access to the Internet.  It is essential to free speech and will continue to play a more integral part in our daily lives as the years progress.  As computers, cell phones and Televisions seemingly stay on a path to converge continue to look for ways of how the Corporations that control access to these services may try to screw you and speak out and fight against it.