Thursday, January 31, 2008

What every blogger hopes for

Despite becoming busier in the past couple of months, I still am trying to put out a new post four times each week. It has sort of become a hobby since it costs a grand total of $4.95 each year for a domain name.

I am a journalism major and therefore enjoy what I am doing. But, the one thing I do miss is the knowledge that people are actually viewing my work. With a newspaper, someone is bound to read it, but the internet is not the same. Sure, I have Google Analytics and can roughly estimate the amount of visits to the site (which have increased in the past weeks), but what is disheartening to me is the lack of comments.

Of course, I have my constant readers who occasionally post comments about stuff they find interesting. I just wish more people would post.

What every blogger wants is a reader base. We want to be heard. Obviously, not everything I say will interest people. But if it does, I want to hear your opinion on it.

Would I like to become a famous blogger and make money doing it? Yes, I would. But what would make me even happier is some response from readers. After all, it is what every blogger hopes for.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Want a capable OS? Try Ubuntu 7.10

As of a short while ago (say 2 months), I would have recommended Ubuntu Linux to anyone who wanted to play around with a second operating system. Would I have recommended it to anyone as their main OS? No, not a chance.

Would I recommend it now? Why yes I would.

Shortly after removing Vista installing Windows XP less than a month ago, it too began running very slowly, and one night I finally found out what the problem was. A nasty scratching and screechy sound from my hard drive signaled the end of a less than 6 month old drive. A trip to Best Buy and a free 250GB hard drive later I'm back up and running.

Only this time I'm not running XP.

I decided to install Ubuntu 7.10 in conjunction with Windows XP. Since installing over almost a week ago, I've used XP two or three times at the most. Ubuntu is simply awesome.

Sure, there were some problems to overcome. My wireless internet needed a little tweaking before it would work and of course there is always the shock from moving from Windows to Linux. However, since I use a lot of open source free software for Windows, it wasn't hard to find their Linux counterparts. The biggest difference is switching from MS Office to or AbiWord (I like AbiWord the best).

Pidgin replaces AIM and Windows Live (If you have Windows I recommend you download this as well, it's light and quick). Rhythmbox replaces iTunes. GIMP replaces, well, GIMP (I use this on Windows as well). In addition, a nifty little program called Wine allows some Windows programs to work. If you must use MS Office, CrossOver is a pretty good program for that, though it is not free.

Once you get your bearings, feel free to play around with my favorite part of Ubuntu, the graphics. I've enabled Compiz-Fusion to give me cool window effects, effects that rival those of Windows Vista. My personal favorite addition is the Avant Window Manager (AWN). AWN creates a OSX style dock on your screen, complete with animations and reflections. And to my Mac readers, can your dock curve? I didn't think so.

If you're looking for a capable and cheap (read free) operating system, look no further than Ubuntu 7.10. Come April, Ubuntu 8.04 will be released, and this operating system should be even better.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Keep the wireless spectrum open, please

If you keep tabs on technology, you've probably noticed the FCC has put up several “blocks” of the wireless spectrum up for sale. The most valuable of these, the “C” block, has reached almost $3 billion in an open auction.

The important thing about the “C” block is that currently the rules stipulate that whoever purchases the block must make it open to whoever wants to use it. However, if the selling price does not hit $4.6 billion, the government will re-auction the spectrum and remove the stipulation about open access.

That simply cannot happen. The opening of the wireless spectrum is a huge step towards open networks and open networks mean more people can jump in and force evolution in the current technology. Look at the computer industry. Since the time of the introduction of the IBM-compatible PC, competition has driven costs down and quality and computing power up. Just think what an open spectrum might do for cell phones.

Hopefully Google or some other wireless giant steps up and buys the open spectrum. It would be a great loss if it were to be closed.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The ESRB rating system is NOT broken

My RSS Technology feed turned up this article about video games tonight. As I expected when I read the news outlet it was coming from (the oh so prestigious ABC News), it pretty much bashes violent games, and their newest scapegoat is Grand Theft Auto IV.

I don't know if it's the mainstream media's job to create bad press for games rated M for mature or what. It seems every semi-violent game that is released nowadays receives some sort of criticism from groups that claim to be protecting children from these games. Another ABC News article questions the effectiveness of the current Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). No offense to author Ned Potter, but has he ever played any one of these games? He may have reported on topics like space and the human genome but they do not qualify him to bash violent games.

The ESRB does it's job and it does it well. They rate games. They are rated fairly. I don't know what else people like Senator Joe Lieberman want them to do. Mature games are meant for and marketed to people 17 and older. In otherwords: Parents, DON'T BUY YOUR CHILDREN MATURE RATED GAMES AND THEN BLAME THE GAMES! The system is there for a reason.

These are not isolated incidents either: EA asks Fox to Clear Up Mass Effect Mess

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mayo may be in trouble with NCAA

USC freshman star O.J. Mayo may be in some trouble with the NCAA after he accepted free tickets to an NBA game from Carmelo Anthony.

The problem arises on whether or not Anthony was acting as an representative of the Denver Nuggets. If the NCAA does decide that Anthony was indeed acting as one, Mayo could face some penalties for accepting the tickets.

This whole situation is similar to the Reggie Bush scandal, only on a smaller scale.

I'm not a fan of the NCAA. They take the whole student-athlete thing too far sometimes. Yes, they value the education of their participants, but honestly, how many high profile players graduate? And, if they do, how many graduate with what I would call "slacker" degrees?

Yes, it is wrong for a college athlete to receive compensation. However, in no way would Anthony give Mayo tickets as a piece of "Hey, come join the Nuggets next year" propaganda. For one, I would hope 'Melo is smarter than that. Second, he is Mayo's friend. Friends may not let friends do drugs, but they can give them free tickets to sporting events at their own discretion.

Hopefully the NCAA makes the right decision and does nothing. Perhaps it will give underclassmen a reason to stick around for four years.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Knoblauch subpoenaed, witchhunt continues

Former Yankee Chuck Knoblauch was subpoened today to testify before Congress about this whole steroids "issue" that Major League Baseball has going on.

I say that sarcastically because this whole steroid thing is getting pretty ridiculous.

Unfortunately, the winter break downtime of SpeakGood did not allow me to discuss the Mitchell Report and the corresponding fallout. To sum up all of my aggression, I am not a huge fan of the report, and I have not heard many that are. A lot of the report is based off singular testimony from a questionable source (read down in the article) and it almost seems to be a witchhunt.

And, what is most frustrating is that Congress is continuing to investigate all of this. Though they do need to have some hand in this, they are biting off more than they SHOULD chew. It is the MLB's responsibility to govern itself. Many of these supposed steroid infractions hardly warrant prosecution.

Moreover, besides some side testimony about Roger Clemens and Andy Petitte, ESPN commenter Stoney2183 summed Knoblauch's role in the investigation the best:

why do they have to use the pic of chucky while he was with the royals? if the royals condoned steroids, they wouldn't have been in the cellar for so many years.

That is all.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rare foray into hockey: Crosby on injured-reserve

Yes, I do hockey too.

Pittsburgh Penguins' superstar Sidney Crosby was placed on injured reserve today with a high ankle sprain. It is unknown how long he will be out, but early indication is that Sid-The-Kid will miss a month or more according to the Associated Press report. Obviously, he will miss this weekend's NHL All-Star Game.

I really hate to see this happen. Crosby is the new face of the NHL and not having him on the ice is certainly a buzz kill to this weekend's game. People will still watch, but they will miss seeing the sport's top young star. Much like how the San Diego Chargers were shortchanged yesterday with LaDainian Tomlinson on the bench injured for most of their game against the New England Patriots.

I'll take a guess and say Crosby misses much more than a month. Though I do not follow hockey injuries much, high ankle sprains are devastating to NFL players. It seems to take over half a season for football players, which translates to about eight weeks. Two to three months seems to be more likely. And unfortunately for the Penguins, he will be sorely missed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

News media just pisses me off

Listen up Katie Couric, I am sick and tired of you. Not only is the whole presidential race thing already so endlessly boring, I have to listen to you drone on and on about it. The news is the same as it was yesterday, and will still be the same tomorrow. Please for my sake come up with something new.

Also, in regards to referring to our Commander in Chief, it is President Bush, not Mr. Bush. Calling our president Mr. Bush is totally disrespectful in my opinion. If we can still refer to President Clinton as such, surely you could be respectful and refer to our current president in the same manner. Put your own political agenda behind you and do your job.

Oh and Katie, just because the stock market dropped 70 or so points today doesn’t mean that the world is going to end soon. You make it sound like 12,000 is a terrible number to be at. Hmm… wasn’t it just a short while ago that we were sub 10,000? Yeah, I thought so. Be a little optimistic would you? The media has a huge effect on investors’ minds.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Don’t give up on traditional newspapers

Last night in my News Reporting class we were discussing how budget cuts have forced the Grand Rapids Press (the biggest newspaper in Western Michigan) to size down certain areas of their paper. According to my professor, who works at the Press on a part time basis, the sports section is expected to be sized down by an average of two pages.

That, my friends, is a travesty.

Yes, I’m a sports fanatic so the loss of two pages of sports angers me. The bigger issue, however, is that downsizing like this will eventually reach the rest of the paper. Traditional print news just doesn’t sell like it used to, and that’s too bad.

I personally do not like reading my news online. Blogs are okay, but I cannot bring myself to read The Holland Sentinel (my hometown paper) online. It’s just has no character. As a journalism major I’ve come to respect well put together papers. Though a web presence is undeniably important, I personally believe that tradition should be respected as well.

So I urge you guys to not give up on tradition. Continue reading all the real newspapers you can get your hands on and help pull the struggling newspaper business out of the hole.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Scary Facebook security warning

As of an hour ago I had a story almost ready to go for today, and then I got this strange e-mail that changed the topic of what I was going to cover today. The contents of the e-mail are posted below:

Facebook Password Security Alert
Facebook (
Sent: Tue 1/15/08 1:58 PM
Facebook (
Cody Eding (e-mail omitted)


Hey Cody,

We have reset your Facebook account password for security reasons. You will need to use the link provided in this email to create a new, secure password for your account. In the future, please make sure that when you log in to Facebook, you always log in from a legitimate Facebook page with the domain. To reset your password, follow the link below: (link omitted for security reasons)

(If clicking on the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting it into your browser.)

Please contact with any questions.

The Facebook Team


At first I figured it was a hoax. So I went to Facebook and tried to log in. No dice, my password was incorrect. So I looked at the e-mail closer and saw that the link does indeed point to a secure site. However, I still thought the domain was fishy.

Instead of resetting the password through the e-mail I received, I went to Facebook’s home page and reset it from there. Low and behold the reset message came from as well. I reset my password and now I can log back in. Weird.

First of all, I never realized that all Facebook e-mails came from So if you do get this e-mail it appears to be legit. Why they sent it to me is unknown. I will be sending them an e-mail to find out.

My guess is that they think somebody hacked my account and is spamming the system. Why? Because today is my birthday (#19… whoo) and I’ve gotten 40 wall posts in the last 15 hours, which is much more than my usual rate. In addition, I bet I’ve written 40 or so posts back. So I guess the system has a reason to think that a spammer might have taken hold of my account. Oh well, it’s fixed now, but it definitely scared the hell out of me (i.e. virus lockdown mode with all anti-virus and anti-spyware on deck).

I will post the results of my e-mail to Facebook when I receive an answer.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Patriots have clear path to Super Bowl victory (and perfect season)

This weekend’s playoff games couldn’t have gone better for the New England Patriots.

Though the Pats took a while to warm up against the Jaguars, they did end up winning in fairly convincing fashion. But it was the outcomes of the other games that should make the Patriots fan extremely happy.

First in the NFC, the championship game will feature the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers. Though both teams are good neither team can hang with the Patriots. And you can hold me to it. In fact, if either team does defeat the Patriots (of course, assuming the Pats make the big game) you can publicly humiliate me in the comments of one of my posts. Brett Favre may be good, but Tom Brady is better (along with the rest of his team).

The Pats will face the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship game. Normally I would call this a good matchup for the Chargers. However, they are too nicked up to offer much resistance to the Patriot war machine. Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, and LaDainian Tomlinson are not 100% healthy and to have a chance the Bolts would need these three guys to be spectacular. Plus, the Pats blew out the Chargers 38-14 in week two.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the Patriots are going to do it. I like them, but I personally would rather see the Chargers win it all. LT is a great player and is a joy to watch. However, as long as the Lions’ division rivals (Packers) lose, I will be happy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Yesterday was a sad day for my laptop. Poor Vista fought a good fight, but in the end it was not enough. Finally, I put the nail in the coffin and formatted my pains away forever.

Vista was really nice, but now it is even nicer to be writing this on a fresh install of XP Professional. Sadly, a driver conflict and small program errors were enough to sink the entire Vista boat.

Thankfully, after spending a day with XP as opposed to Vista I have come to see just how amazing Vista was. Don’t despair, don’t give up, sometime in the near future Vista will be the operating system to have.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Baseball’s Hall of Fame: Room for supposed steroid users?

My favorite part of baseball does not take place within the actual season, but during the process of voting for new inductees to Cooperstown.

For those who missed it, Rich “Goose” Gossage was the only inductee this year. In his ninth year on the ballot, Gossage received 85.8% percent of possible votes (75% is needed for induction). Longtime nominee Jim Rice missed the cut once again in his 14th year on the ballot. Mark McGwire managed to only garner about 25% of the total vote in his second year of eligibility.

Frankly, I’m kind of surprised. Though McGwire undoubtedly took steroids, his numbers probably deserve a place in Cooperstown. 583 career home runs merit some sort of spot in my opinion. Let’s not forget that the androstenedione found in McGwire’s locker in 1998 was legal at the time.

The release of the Mitchell Report in December begs the question of how the voters will handle an influx of players that may or may not have taken steroids. Roger Clemens, for instance, would have been a guaranteed first ballot inductee if his name had not been named in the report. Now, Clemens is scrambling to save face and his hall of fame status is in limbo.

If McGwire is any indication, Clemens may just have to wait for a while.

Monday, January 7, 2008

We’re Back: Call of Duty 4 PS3 Review

Sadly for us (and good for our beloved six or so full time readers) GVSU is back in session. Our writing will pick up accordingly.

Our return also marks our first video game review. Though I rarely obtain games on their respective release dates, I hope that our slightly belated reviews will still help those interested in purchasing the game.

I have never been a fan of shooting games. Period. And then I played Halo 3 and Gears of War. Slowly I began to change my opinion of this type of genre.

Call of Duty 4 cemented it.

Playing as the British Special Forces and US Marines the player is deeply immersed into a modern day terrorist-laden storyline that will keep most everyone engaged from beginning to end. Take back control of Russia before the terrorists have their way with the nukes that they have stolen.

As a first time Call of Duty player I was impressed with the entire package, but for sake of the review I will break it down into a couple different sections.

Gameplay: The gameplay is great. Very few games that I have ever played top the amazing realism offered by COD4. The controls are well thought out, and the AI is also very developed. Only on harder difficulty levels does the enemy become insanely difficult to deal with. Though the storyline is rather short (I played through it in less than probably 15 hours on normal) it is very realistic. The replay value is pretty good as well, as the game offers four levels of difficultly.

Visuals: This could go under gameplay, but the visuals on COD4 deserve their own section. The game is easily the most visually stunning one that I’ve ever played. From shadows, to rain, to heat off gun barrels the game recreates everything as if you were actually there. Early on I found myself ducking and twisting like I was actually there.

Multiplayer: This is where the game makes up for its short storyline. The multiplayer is very deep and extremely challenging. Unlike most shooting games, players only appear on radar when they fire weapons. Players are rewarded for doing certain things, and teamwork is very important (which I learned within the first game or so).

Overall, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare would deserve a 9.5 or so out of 10. A longer storyline would have been nice, but the multiplayer more than makes up for it.