Friday, January 12, 2018

5 Things on a Friday: The Case of the Roll-Up Television

Happy Friday, everyone.
The good news is that the ludicrously frigid cold that has enveloped the Northeast for the past month of so seems finally to have passed.  The bad news is that it is supposed to rain all damn day today, potentially ruining what otherwise would have been a truly excellent ski weekend in the Berkshires.
Will we, or won't we?

Although some concept big-screen TVs shown at past CES shows have been bendy, this is the first one that's flexible enough to spin up into tube form. LG's images depict it descending into a little box the size of a sound bar, but the company also talks about making the display portable. The secret, as usual, is its paper-thin organic light emitting diode display (OLED).
These guys are just showing off, right?  I mean, really, what’s the use case for a roll-up television?
I suppose having this thing in a slightly smaller, more portable size might work for tailgates or something like that.  But even then, this surely implies having some kind of diesel generator and enough 4G signal connectivity to stream hi-def sports or something like that.  
Are there tailgate sites with power outlets and stable, high-bandwidth wifi?
The idea for Ripple, according to Ogle, came from a realization during his time at Tinder that he and his other co-workers never actually met the people working at a startup that was in the neighboring office in their building, even though they’d been stationed next to each other for about a year and a half. Ogle said he lamented the fact that their neighbors ended up moving out and he never got to wish them well or say goodbye. Ripple, Ogle says, is supposed to remedy this by surfacing people in the app with whom you share professional interests and are also nearby. It can also purportedly help at professional networking events, since it will show you others who are there who share your interests. In other words, no more relying on happenstance introductions or ruing potentially missed connections. If you’re in the same room as your perfect future co-founder, the thinking goes, now you’ll find them.
I tried this.  It was creepy as all get-out.  Like, I’m gonna swipe on some dude’s picture, so we can meet up at a bar, hang out, and talk shop? 
That’s just weird.  Are there really people out there with so few friends that this seems like a good idea?
Judge James A. Wynn Jr., in a biting 191-page opinion, said that Republicans in North Carolina’s Legislature had been “motivated by invidious partisan intent” as they carried out their obligation in 2016 to divide the state into 13 congressional districts, 10 of which are held by Republicans. The result, Judge Wynn wrote, violated the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

The ruling and its chief demand — that the Republican-dominated Legislature create a new landscape of congressional districts by Jan. 24 — infused new turmoil into the political chaos that has in recent years enveloped North Carolina. President Trump carried North Carolina in 2016, but the state elected a Democrat as its governor on the same day and in 2008 supported President Barack Obama.
They note a bit later in the article that various state and federal courts have been wrestling with a more effective means of blocking gerrymandering for decades.  This specific decision is definitely important, but the issue itself is complex enough to defy easy solution.  
I'm not sure how much faith I have in America's current ability to conceive and implement complex solutions in the modern world.  As a nation, we seem to be past the point of dealing with tough facts and/or making hard decisions.
Margot Robbie as Harding in
I, Tonya
You can’t run from being Tonya Harding, is the point. Even if you wanted to, even if you tried, and yes, she’s tried. “I moved from Oregon to Washington because Oregon was buttheads,” she said. Then, with mock apology, “I disappointed them. It’s like, how can I disappoint a whole state? Wait a second, how can I disappoint a whole country?” Oregon had been so proud when their own Tonya Harding was the first American female figure skater to land a triple axel jump in competition. Then what happened happened, and people turned on her. So she confronts it head on, the way she always has. As if she ever had a choice. She knew from the moment it all went down in 1994 that the Nancy Kerrigan attack wasn’t going to fade into the annals of history. “I knew that this would be with me for the rest of my life.” Absent anonymity — her face has softened over the years, but she is still clearly Tonya Harding — she is left to explain herself endlessly and hope that someone is listening.
I haven’t seen I, Tonya yet.  It is supposed to be quite an amazing movie.  I will add that I feel bad for Harding generally because there seems little doubt that a lot of really terrible stuff happened to her quite apart from her personal infamy.  However, she only got three years probation and some fines for whatever her part in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, and I feel good about saying that this could have worked out a lot worse.
Whatever her crimes and victimhood, it is inarguable that she made some spectacularly bad life choices.  Do we owe her an apology for that?
5. We’re Already Jonesing for College Football, Am I Right?
Army WR Jeff Ejekam posted highlights from his cow season (i.e. 2016, not last year) on Twitter Wednesday.

Definitely the first receiver highlights I’ve seen that focus mostly on downfield blocking.  It’s fascinating, really.  This stuff is hard to see, even from just 12 rows up in the stands, even if you know to look for it.
The best part starts at about the 1:57 mark with highlights from the 2016 Navy game.  We see Ejekam crash inside repeatedly, springing Bradshaw and others on the edge for big gains.  I’m sure I’ve seen this before, but this is definitely the first time I’ve ever seen it highlighted after-the-fact.  It’s excellent.

Finally, Army just missed the AP Top 25.
The Black Knights wound up with 33 votes, finishing something like 31st overall.  That’s not a bad showing, but there were five 9-win teams that finished ahead of them, including Stanford, who finished 9-5 with a loss to San Diego State.
What can you do?
Alas, next year’s quest is liable to be even tougher, with key games at Duke to open the season and at Oklahoma in Week 4.  The good news is that Georgia gashed Oklahoma pretty consistently on the ground on New Year’s Day.  The bad news is that both of those games are so early in the season that Army will need to come out of summer camp playing its very best football.  That’s a tough ask.
That’s all I’ve got, folks.  Enjoy the weekend.

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