The Automaton, a simulacron of a great golfer

I have changed my mind about Tiger because I thought the man and the player (of golf) could be separated. I have decided that Tiger is no longer the greatest to have played the game. Through his actions, he has shown himself unworthy of the game which values moral and ethical behavior. The Rules of Golf are not just a list of crimes and punishment, but assume an internal moral compass that guides player. Players who abide by these Rules elevate themselves in the process. This includes players who call penalties on themselves on trangressions witnessed only by them. This valuing of honesty and ethical behavior is unique to golf where players have famously penalized themselves out of championships or, tragically, tour cards.

If Tiger behaved this way off the course, who knows what guided his behavior on the course in relation to golf. You can obey the law out of fear of punishment or out of internal ethics and morality. Tiger is no golfist, but revealed to be the golfing equivalent of Deep Blue, the chess playing supercomputer, a soul-less automaton. The events of the past several weeks shows that Tiger has no moral compass, and excels at this great game for entirely banal reasons of conditioning and training from childhood. By this measure, the average golfer who takes stroke and distance for going out of bounds even when playing by himself is a greater custodion of the sport than Tiger.

Top 12 features not yet found on any one netbook


1. Instant on/off

2. 8-12 hours battery life

3. Touch typable keyboard yet pocketable (in coat pocket of doctor’s labcoat)

4. Wifi 802.11n and 3G, GPS, bluetooth

5. SSD storage 64-128GB

6. Touchscreen, high resolution

7. Stable, multitasking, multithreading OS -some Linux flavor with OpenOffice and Mozilla with Flash

8. Convertible from tablet to clamshell

9. Multimedia capability

10. 1.3mP videoconferencing camera, runs various chat programs, Skype

11. Can boot into alternative OS’s (including Windows, MAC OS)

12. Memory expansion through SD, CF (for cameras)

As I have been saying in prior posts, when you load Windows XP onto a netbook, it is just a small, cheaply outfitted laptop. When you load Vista on a device like the Fujitsu 810 pictured above, you take a beautiful design concept and turn it into a paperweight. The beauty of the Psion series of proto-netbooks (the Series 5, 5mx, 7, the netbook, and the Revo (pictured right), psionrevois that they were rock stable and had instant on/off capabilities. By rock stable, I mean you could open as many programs as the RAM would allow, and they would all run without crashing the whole thing. Psion is currently in a lawsuit defending the netbook trademark.

The convertibility to tablet is a useful concept for people who walk and compute at the same time -like doctors. The Sony Clie UX50 was a palm based PDA with wireless capabilities and showed the bleeding edge of useful design, but was again hampered by the OS, this time Palm.

Clie UX50

Clie UX50

The gadget designers are limited by the OS they can offer on their kit. Psion was the last hardware maker aside from Apple to completely write an operating system from scratch, creating the inimitable EPOC OS which has since morphed into Symbian. Apple understands that a device’s soul is its OS and its user interface, and has created the near perfect iPhone/iPod Touch, but it won’t go beyond the multimedia player/game/phone space because of SJ’s distate for buttons and desire not to split the OS (but it has) and not draw market share from the crown jewels, the Macbooks.

Nokia, who still is part of the Symbian alliance, and makes Symbian smartphones and the direct descendant of the Series 5mx, the Nokia communicator line (below). nokiacommunicator2

It is pocketable, and typable, but limited in that Symbian evolved into a phone centric OS and not necessarily a work centric one. The keyboard is for thumbs, not actual touch typing, though people report doing so. I used to be able to touch type on the Revo without a problem. nokia8101The same goes for their internet appliance the Nokia 810, which I came close to buying, but held off because of the lack of built in touch typability. Make it a clamshell, and I’ll take it.

There are those who would recommend I get an NEC Mobilepro 790 or 800, which I used to own. These are completely handicapped by having Windows CE. The same with the netbook pro, made by Psion. It is wonderfully up to date, and quite a nice piece of hardware, but again having Windows handicaps it to the point it is undesirable to use. Believe me, you can hold your nose only so long before the thing crashes and you lose your file! The netbook Pro initially sold for over 1500 -now you can get one for cheaper than the older netbook which runs EPOC. Windows CE killed the clamshell portable notebook.

Why not EPOC running netbook -I used to own this, but running 802.11b with no multimedia addons to the browser, inability to run net 2.0, is a huge drag.

No, we’re all waiting for the next great thing, and unfortunately, even running Windows 7, the so-called netbooks are just small laptops, and not an internet appliance that facilitates your work.

addendum: A thought came to me as I ranted over on CNET. Psion is busy suing people for using netbook, but fact is,psion-netbook-pro-i1 if they merely updated their netbook pro (which they completely ruined after the successful first EPOC OS based netbook by using Windows CE), with a built in wireless card, and had it boot Linux, use a more modern but affordable processor, and use standard memory -and if they priced this 500-700 bucks, they would sell these hand over fist. The netbook form factor was beautiful, very nice to carry, the keyboard was the best I have ever typed on, and it was all covered in leather! The netbook Pro to the right can still be found used on the internet, and it always sells for about a hundred bucks less than the older but far more capable original netbook that ran EPOC

addenum #2: Like all things in this age, you think about it, and someone has already got there. Gizmodo reports on the Touchbook, a convertible netbook/tablet which uses Linux and runs 10-15 hours. Looks fabulous, and all for 300 bucks see link.


Addendum 12-14-2009

It looks like someone is thinking the same way I am: link

Snow Day! also flashback to Snowblowing Song

Snowday The rare winter storm hits tropical Iowa, and caught unprepared, the state shuts down. I am granted a rare treat -the Snow Day. 24 hours in the middle of the work week all to myself! Of course, I have to dust off the Snowblowing Song which asks the question, “I love to blow the snow, but when will the snow blow me?”

The Lover

The Lover

Stress tests are used to determine the quality of things. In medicine, we have a stress test that gives us an idea how strong a heart is. In auto manufacturing, there is the crash test. In professional golf, we now have the sex scandal.

The sex scandal is a stress test most often seen in the realm of politics. But the peccadilloes of a politician became passe after ten solid years going with the tapping of shoes in airport bathrooms sandwiched between Clinton and Berlusconi. This is a stress test that reveals dimensions to Tiger that we’ve never seen before.

Tiger married Elin, a beautiful woman, but his aloofness and occasional public displays -hugging wife/children after win, revealed little. The more cynical among us could only wonder -was this all scripted? There are plenty of wealthy men with exquisite trophy wives who are revealed to have predilections across the sexual spectrum -at least in movies and novels.

So what did the past week reveal. If we are to believe the rumors, Tiger likes women with a certain body type -athletic, muscular legs, size B cups, and serious lips. We also find that Tiger has a misunderstanding about the call history function and contacts program on his cell phone. The US Magazine’s voice mail audio reveals that the purported Tiger is worried that his wife is checking his phone call history and requests the woman that he is calling remove her name from her phone number. The problem is that names are not tagged with phone numbers, but do show up in call histories with names when said names are in the contacts directory. Meaning Tiger kept only one cell phone.

What does this reveal? It confirms Tiger’s legendary miserliness or naivete. Billionaires with mistresses usually keep separate cell phones for booty calls and keep it in the golf bag or with a trusted assistant like Stevie. They keep contacts for Ginger, Misty, and Nicki, under Frank, Otto, and Rocco.

If the rumors that he was assaulted with a golf club are true, that means that he took his punishment like a golfer who hits the ball out of bounds. I frankly think he was running for his life after being hit on the head with Elin slamming the club into the back window as he drove out of the garage. Passing out, he hits tree and hydrant.

But what does all of this say about us? Why all the schadenfreude? Why all the venom? First, there is the issue that if there was an assault, there was a felony, and to hide behind gates and walls of privilege stinks to a public that is economically stressed. Refusing the request of the FHP for an interview and all the second hand communication through blogs and lawyers is a poor substitute for a visit to our society’s confessor, Larry King. The second is our need to destroy heroes, crucify them, worship them when they’re dead but kick them when alive. And finally, the third is the need for men to vocally disown this and for women to narrow their eyes and purse their lips. I for one completely do not condone any of this. The cell phone stuff was given for informational purposes only.

As I have written previously on this blog, the half life of human desire is about 6 months. That romantic love, that dopamine rush of courtship which is pretty much the same reaction people get on crack, dissipates and we bond, replacing dopamine with oxytocin. Children help this bond. Ultimately, the strength of the bond is related to the strength of character of the parties involved. We should not be rubbernecking this terrible crash site, but rather focus on our own game. Keep your head still and your feet on the ground.

It goes without saying, I love my wife very, very much. Bad Tiger, Baaaad Tiger.