Month: December 2005
For those interested, even more photos have gone online. I’m now about halfway to having restored the photo collection.
One item to note – within a collection, the photos are coming back in a seemingly random order. Unfortunately there’s no quick way for me to fix this for the photos I have today, but I’ll be better about tagging them for the future.
So, as I mentioned earlier, my sister and I were in Phoenix to see the Insight bowl, which which Rutgers unfortunately lost.
All in all we had a great time. The game was Tuesday at 6:30 pm, so we headed over around 5 pm to get there in time to park and wander around a bit. Scarlet fans were everywhere; the sea of red bodies as amazing to see. We picked up our T-Shirts and headed up to our seats in row 2 of section 322. From our vantage point we could watch the whole game without difficulty, despite being up high. We watched the marching bands perform their pre-game shows, followed by the paratroopers landing through the temporarily open dome.
Then the game was on, which Rutgers controlled in the first half. Unfortunately the offense stalled in the second half, which the defense was unable to control the incredible passing game that Arizona State brought to the table. While they did win, the fans were relatively good-natured about the whole thing. And while there were 43,000 attendees in total, the amazing aspect was to see nearly 10,000 Rutgers fans attend.
At the same time, they were everywhere the entire three days. From the time we entered Newark Airport until the time we walked out of the airport returning home yesterday, Rutgers fans were everywhere. In the airports, on the planes, around Scottsdale and Phoenix. It was an experience I have never seen before to see so much Rutgers pride, and one I won’t forget anytime soon. My sister wore her T-shirt home, and even in Detroit we had strangers come up to us to talk about the game.
All in all, a great time. And I already posted my photos from the trip.
RU Loses Insight Bowl
Rutgers lost in to Arizona State in the Insight bowl tonight. While the 45-40 loss was disappointing, especially given our early lead, the ASU passing game was phenomenal to watch. Had we been better able to adjust and respond to stop it, we would have won the game.
The game itself was a fun time and the atmosphere was almost like a large carnival. I can’t wait for next year’s bowl game, so long as we play someplace warm again!
RU in Phoenix
My sister and I caught the 5:30 pm flight from Newark on Christmas Day, heading to Phoenix via Houston. Our goal (or mine, anyway) – to see Rutgers win the Insight Bowl on December 27. And from what we saw on our flights, we weren’t alone. Rutgers fans had filled the planes, including college acquaintance Dave Shaw and Randal of Apprentice fame.
Yesterday we headed out to Sedona, a trendy tourist town about 100 miles north of Phoenix. The red rock formations were beautiful as we drove and hiked through the area. We also spent some time wandering through the town, a western down with some parallels to New Hope (i.e. a high New Age spiritual content).
And today should remain a low key day as we gear up for a huge Rutgers win over Arizona State tonight!
One Year Later
It’s amazing how fast a year goes by.
Thoughts on Telecom
I’ve given some thought lately to the changing telecommunications and media landscape. Largely due to several BusinessWeek articles, Susan Crawford’s blog, and a stake in the stock of Verizon due in large part to Briefing.com analysis, I’ve tried to come up with a rational way for how companies in the telecom/media space can compete effectively.
This led me to think back to my college course on networks and the OSI model, which breaks networking down to seven layers. These are, in order from most fundamental to most diverse, the physical layer, the data link layer, the network layer, the transport layer, the session layer, the presentation layer, and the application layer.
Currently traditional cable and phone service have unique implementations in all seven layers of the network and complete accordingly. However, the upcoming conversion to fiber, combined with technologies such as IPTV and VOIP, to enabled all existing telecommunications services, from cable to telephone service to the Internet, to function over the same physical, data link, and network layers. This revolution leads to a fundamentally different operating and regulatory model than currently exists today.
Consider for a moment the cost of connecting fiber lines to every home in the country (trust me, very expensive). Then think about how every company today that comes in to your home (cable, telephone service) has to connect each house serviced to their own network. Given the cost and the infrastructure required to connect each house and business, does it make sense for every competitor to try to physically reach each house?
Then think about the ease of competition at the application layer of the network, where we have such time consumers as e-mail, web browsing, streaming video, television, and phone conversations. The potential for competition at this higher level is far greather, as is the opportunity for new applications and services to be developed that don’t even exist yet. Why should money be siphoned off to support expensive, redundant infrastructure investments that lock consumers in to monopoly services when the competition is at the higher network levels?
Instead of viewing the telecommunications landscape through traditional eyes, regulators, investors, industry, and consumers should instead take a page from recent energy deregulation initiatives, such as New Jersey’s. Under this model, the physical layers responsible for transportation are separated out from the application layers. A de facto, regulated monopoly or franchise would have ownership only over the physical layers. There would be agreements with appropriate regulators that would ensure a steady investment in the underlying infrastructure while rates would be set that ensure a stable return on investment. A sexy business it would not be, but like any utility it would prove steady and regular.
This move would free up all the remaining companies interested in competing in video, telephony, and other services to compete on their own merits. Consumers anywhere could select the TV, telephone, and Internet options that best meet their needs and demands. Consumers could choose whatever options they want at whatever price points exist in the marketplace. No one would be tied to using Verizon or SBC, or Cablevision or Comcast. If another company offers a lower price or better selection, you’re free to switch. Consumers would have the choice that has so often been promised yet not realized.
While I’m on the subject of odd questions, there’s a Christmas song that has always been bothering me. Maybe it’s because I’m naughty, not nice, but I can’t help it.
In the song “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus”, was she supposed to be kissing the real Santa Claus, or was “Santa Claus” really Daddy, dressed up either to make the little kid who’s supposed to be singing believe, or to live out some fantasy that Mommy always had (or both)? Yes, this has been a burning holiday question of mine for at least 10 years now.
You know how they reuse pope names, i.e. Clement X, Clement XI? Do they ever retire a pope name after a really good pope, similar to retiring a jersey in sports?