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» Scramble for the Ball: Goatee No-tee

Mike and Tom wonder why certain NFL teams are run by '50s Dad and commemorate the Falcons' epic meltdown.

08 Feb 2012

Scramble for the Ball: Super Bowl XLVI Recap

by Tom Gower and Mike Kurtz

Who is the Greatest Fake Gambler?

Tom: Well, congratulations to you, Mike.

Mike: Before we even get to that ... There was a safety. There was a two-point conversion attempt. Madonna wore a hat. I don't even care what the final total was. I won.

Tom: And Victor Cruz score the first touchdown. That won you two wagers.

Mike: Indeed.

Tom: The Giants winning by 4-6 points was your other big win. Overall, I have you winning $11,878 on a wager of $9,435. That's a pretty nice rate of return on your fake money.

Mike: Indeed! I should quit my day job! Which, if most people are to be believed, is stomping on kittens and hurling bricks at orphans.

Tom: Sure, if you actually did wager that money, and can live on $2400. And that can't really be your day job. If you ignore the whole "harming living creatures" aspect of it, which I'm sure you could, that would be a lot more fun than whatever you do on a daily basis.

Mike: Sad but true.

Tom: I also actually came out ahead, winning $11,548 on a wager of $10,490.

Mike: Well done!

Tom: My biggest win was that Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning would not thank anyone.

Mike: The cad.

Tom: According to Twitter, though, he did let his daughter use the keys to the car he won for being named MVP as a teething object. Unfortunately, no picture was attached to the tweet, so we can't coo over his adorable offspring teething.

Mike: He is strangely private considering who he is and where he plays. I didn't even know he had a daughter, for one.

Tom: I think considering who he is makes him not strangely private at all. Anyway, if you would like to gawk at his adorable offspring, here she is.

FO Playoff Fantasy Update

There was not much suspense heading into the Super Bowl. Rivers had a small but non-zero chance of winning, but Danny was virtually assured of the victory barring a massive meltdown by Eli Manning and Aaron Hernandez not doing anything at all. The real question was more if Danny could set a record for most points in the history of FO Playoff Fantasy Football. He did, beating my 263 from two years ago by a dozen points. Eli did not, however, surpass Aaron Rodgers' total of 100 points from last season.


FO Playoff Divisional Round Results
Sean Rivers Tom Danny Aaron Mike
QB Aaron Rodgers Drew Brees Ben Roethlisberger Eli Manning Tom Brady Matt Ryan
23 70 17 94 72 9
RB Ahmad Bradshaw Darren Sproles Ryan Grant Arian Foster Michael Turner Ray Rice
42 37 2 50 4 15
RB Willis McGahee Stevan Ridley Pierre Thomas Frank Gore Isaac Redman Cedric Benson
17 0 15 22 14 7
WR Jordy Nelson Victor Cruz Antonio Brown Greg Jennings Mike Wallace Marques Colston
3 31 7 4 8 29
WR Hakeem Nicks Anquan Boldin Wes Welker Calvin Johnson Julio Jones A.J. Green
66 23 22 33 7 4
WR Torrey Smith Roddy White Andre Johnson Michael Crabtree Donald Driver Lance Moore
14 5 26 8 10 0
TE Jimmy Graham Rob Gronkowski Heath Miller Aaron Hernandez Jermichael Finley Jermaine Gresham
33 42 6 35 3 4
K Mike Nugent Billy Cundiff Shaun Suisham David Akers Mason Crosby Matt Bryant
4 18 12 18 9 0
D Bengals Texans 49ers Ravens Packers Steelers
-1 18 13 11 -2 -2
Total 201 244 120 275 125 66

Best of the Rest

Even more than Danny, former Scrambler Al Bogdan was essentially locked into a championship in the Best of the Rest division, as odd things would have been required to let Podge pass him. Such things did not happen, and Al won with a total of 235 points, which would have placed him third behind Danny and Rivers. The K, who could not have passed Al without the Patriots scoring at least 238 points, finished in second place at 193, while Podge finished in third with 189.

A perfectly picked Best of the Rest team would have consisted of Alex Smith, Brandon Jacobs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Deion Branch, Mario Manningham, Robert Meachem, Vernon Davis, Stephen Gostkowski, and the Patriots defense. Said perfect Best of the Rest team would have finished with 290 points. After Shonn Greene and James Starks the last two seasons, Demaryius Thomas becomes the latest player to make a perfectly-picked Best of the Rest team without actually being picked for a single Best of the Rest team.

Bonus Fun Fact: The top scoring tight ends in the postseason were Vernon Davis, 53 points; Rob Gronkowski, 42 points; Aaron Hernandez, 35 points; Jimmy Graham, 33 points; and Dennis Pitta, 12 points. Behind Pitta were Heath Miller and Kris Wilson, he of zero regular season receptions, with six points.

FO Playoff Challenge!

Congratulations to our dear reader Jonathan Riggs, as Captain Guinness hung on for a two-point win over Gregos Eggos to win the Playoff Challenge. Here was the Captain Guinness roster:

QB: Aaron Rodgers, GB
QB: Drew Brees, NO
RB: Michael Turner, ATL
RB: Ray Rice, BAL
RB: Cedric Benson, CIN
RB: Arian Foster, HOU
WR: Demaryius Thomas, DEN
WR: Calvin Johnson, DET
WR: Hakeem Nicks, NYG
WR: Antonio Brown, PIT
K: Rob Gronkowski, NE
K: Vernon Davis, SF

For those interested, the full results can be found here.

It's Like Christmas in February

Tom: Ah, the Super Bowl, the time of year the Scramble writers actually pick the commercials they enjoyed instead of the ones they find mock-worthy. Well, the commercials at least one Scramble writer enjoyed.

Mike: I really didn't understand the VW Star Wars commercial. Maybe I missed something?

Tom: Personally, my favorite commercial was the Volkswagen exercising dog, even without the Star Wars bit at the end. Remember last year's VW commercial, with the kid wearing the Vader mask?

Mike: No? Sorry, vaguely.

Tom: No? Seriously? Watch again.

Mike: Oh yeah! That was great.

Tom: Yes, it was.

Mike: I'm still a bit confused by the current incarnation.

Tom: And here they're referencing it, as opposed to ignoring their past gimmick like companies normally do.

Mike: Right, but it just seemed so disjointed.

Tom: Sure, it's kind of random and weird to be dumped into the cantina bar after what seemed like the end of the commercial, but I like that kind of thing.

Mike: I think the real lesson is that I will continue to be overweight until I remove all the Satie from my mp3 player.

Tom: Shockingly, my favorite commercial before Volkswagen aired actually came from Best Buy. It may just be me feeling that the primary methods of acquiring smartphones are segmented by carrier, or maybe that I'm just a sucker for people who came up with neat things but are rarely shown on television. We've featured Best Buy in this space several times before, I believe, and not in a complimentary way.

Mike: See, I agree that showing people who invent neat things and are rarely seen on television is a good thing. That said, despite the very funny scene, the Words With Friends guys didn't actually invent anything.

Tom: I freely admit to never having played Words With Friends and knowing approximately nothing about it.

Mike: It's Scrabble. With networking.

Tom: Ooh, shiny.

Mike: It is quite popular, but there is not anything remotely novel about it. In fact, people have been playing Scrabble over the internet on unix systems for well over a decade, now.

I'm sorry, Scrabble but without the Scrabble trade dress. They are very particular about that.

Tom: I suspected it was something along those lines, but never bothered to find out. I still liked the commercial anyway.

Mike: I will say, I quite liked the Chevy Silverado commercial. While it was more fanciful than I would have liked (which makes sense, considering Chevrolet trucks aren't particularly lauded by the press), the idea that Silverados would survive every single doomsday combined is highly amusing. That a couple of them would meet up for Twinkies and wonder where everyone else is was just perfect in a "Well, the world just ended. What now?" kind of sense. Of course Twinkies survive. Not even a zombie apocalypse could destroy the Twinkies.

Tom: And here I thought the not-so-hidden subtext was "We kill everybody who buys another kind of vehicle, so buy ours." I also don't think a zombiepocalypse would be too bad on non-brain food supplies, at least compared to, say, nuclear winter.

Mike: There is a very good reason you aren't running the world. That was a Zombieland reference.

Tom: Oh, well. And if not nuclear winter, some sort of punctuation-related post-apocalyptic future like The Road. That would explain the world of that book much more than anything actually in the book itself.

Mike: I also really, really want to give credit to Toyota, but they had such a brilliant premise and did so little with it. Instead, I think I will give a nod (for the first time, I believe) to Kia. Lumberjacks cutting a gigantic sub with a saw is just so delightfully insane, and then the Romance Novel Cover Guy turning away in shame is a delicious bit of schadenfreude. I mean, it's a Kia, so the actual car is crap, but the commercial is quite entertaining.

Tom: It starts off promisingly, as "Mr. Sandman" brings up the pleasant memory of Back to the Future, but a real Mr. Sandman would have plenty of experience dodging slippers by the bed and never be this careless. Also, this reminds me of the song "Escape," which shamefully was the last number one song of the 1970's and a good reminder that nothing good came out of that decade.

Mike: You are the only person I know that prefers the 80s to the 70s.

Tom: In the wife/female partner's dream, she's running away with Romance Novel Cover Guy. In his dream, he magically transports his car away from the racetrack with the rock band and attractive women wearing skimpy clothing and goes after his woman.

Mike: See? It's heartwarming, in a way. He could have hung out with Motley Crue and Giant Sandwich Lumberjacks. Instead, he smashes through dreams and carries his partner away in the new car that we are supposed to pretend makes him awesome (but doesn't, because again, it's a Kia). It's a far sight more romantic than Teleflora's ridiculous spot, which is one of the most offensive commercials I have seen in a long, long time –- going beyond even GoDaddy's tawdry stupidity into the realm of actual offensiveness.

Tom: Okay, it's not quite the same as "Escape," which is more a mutual communication breakdown and a sort of prisoner's dilemma. This is more her running away and him stealing her back because Romance Novel Cover Guy isn't a good enough horseman to keep her from falling off and he's there to catch her.

Mike: Indeed. Who doesn't want to be pursued?

Tom: Well, to clarify, it's not clear that he was actually pursuing her in the first place. He may have just accidentally transported from the race track to her dream world that didn't actually include him. And she apparently only has to be pursued when it's him, as her dream begins with her already on the horse with Romance Novel Cover Guy.

Mike: Nah, otherwise his car would be full of scantily-clad women. Instead, they are just watching him and admiring how powerful and manly (again, suspension of disbelief!) his car is.

Tom: In Dave Barry's novel Big Trouble, the protagonist is deeply ashamed because his car is a Kia. When they turned it into a movie, they changed his car to a Yugo, because the producers simply didn't want to deal with Kia's response to the shameful reality that their cars were, well, Kias.

Mike: All I know is, thank god I wasn't born in the back of a Kia.

Awards!

KEEP CHOPPING WOOD: Wes Welker mostly had a good game, and his only incompletion was a difficult catch. Tom Brady had the intentional grounding for a safety, the deep interception to Chase Blackburn, and struggled in the fourth quarter, but was outstanding when the Patriots went from trailing 9-0 to lead 17-9. Your Scramble writers instead will "honor" Logan Mankins. As was the case four years ago, the Giants' pressure disrupted Tom Brady and the normal efficiency of the Patriots offense, and Mankins' great struggles with Justin Tuck were a big part of that.

MIKE MARTZ AWARD: None, really. Both coaches eschewed boldness in most of their decision-making, but neither had any Jim Caldwell-esque head-scratchers. The Giants' timeout usage was sub-optimal but not disastrously so, and it ended up not mattering much. At the end of the game, Bill Belichick probably wished he hadn't used a challenge and risked a timeout on Mario Manningham's sideline catch, but at the time it looked like a very reasonable risk.

COLBERT AWARD: Let Them Score, we said, and Bill Belichick listened. Perhaps he should have done so sooner, but he still did so, and by doing so, improved his team's chances of winning.

That concludes another year of The Scramble! We'll be back next preseason with all the fantasy advice and biting satire you've come to expect from writers of our quality. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions about, questions regarding or ideas for the column going forward, please feel free to email them to scramble-at-footballoutsiders.com. Always bet on the safety!

Posted by: Mike Kurtz and Tom Gower on 08 Feb 2012

46 comments, Last at 14 Feb 2012, 11:44am by tuluse

Comments

1
by Adam B. :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 3:27pm

So what was the optimal Playoff Challenge lineup?

(Don't ask me. My Jukt Micronics team came much closer to DFL.)

6
by Travis :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 4:43pm

A team that scores 431:

QB: Tom Brady, 72
QB: Drew Brees, 68
RB: Arian Foster, 50
RB: Isaac Redman, 14 (highest for a Steeler non-QB)
RB: Cedric Benson, 7 (highest for a Bengal)
RB: James Starks, 6
WR: Hakeem Nicks, 66
WR: Demaryius Thomas, 35
WR: Calvin Johnson, 33
WR: Anquan Boldin, 23 (the only better WR not picked are Colston, A. Johnson, and Welker, and the next WR scored 10)
TE: Vernon Davis, 53
TE: Tony Gonzalez, 4 (no one on the Falcons scored over 9)

Not sure if this is optimal, but it must be close.

8
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 4:54pm

Which is a perfect example for why very large pools for the NCAA tournament, or fantasy football are stupid. Because to win (or even place) you almost certainly need a tam that is actively sub optimal.

With smaller groups a selection that is an actual attempt to win can still win, but in very large groups it will pretty much always lose out to some random crazy selection.

The large groups would be fine if you averaged results over many trials, but these are not really things where many trials are feasible.

9
by Eddo :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 5:02pm

In general, you're right. But to me, that 431-point sure looks like a pretty reasonable "non-crazy" selection.

11
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 5:10pm

Meh I don't think it actually is that plausible.

Starks as a RB and Boldin at WR instead of say Jennings (or Nelson) and Ray Rice?

Redman at RB? It is not a team anyone would take if they were simply trying to maximize their points expectation.

12
by Eddo :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 6:44pm

The Ravens/Packers switch is certainly odd, I'll give you that.

But Redman? He was the #1 back on the Steelers (Mendenhall was injured), and many people expected them to be running out the clock in Denver.

It's not so far off from a fairly standard collection. This isn't a Butler alumnus winning a bracket pool by being a homer.

14
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 6:52pm

I also think you might have seen a Gresham or Green instead of Gonzalez, and especially D Thomas, I think the only sensible thing (if you are trying to maximize pts expectation instead of maximize you chance of being #1) to do with Denver way to throw away your TE spot on it (just MO).

18
by Eddo :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 7:51pm

Why don't we look at who was actually picked?

QB: Drew Brees (picked by 419 entries, 1st overall at the position)
QB: Tom Brady (231, 3rd)
RB: Arian Foster (527, 2nd)
RB: Cedric Benson (121, 6th)
RB: Isaac Redman (89, 7th)
RB: James Starks, (5, 14th)
WR: Calvin Johnson (559, 1st)
WR: Demaryius Thomas (68, 9th)
WR: Hakeem Nicks (45, 11th)
WR: Anquan Boldin (9, t-17th)
TE: Vernon Davis (145, 3rd)
TE: Tony Gonzalez (123, 5th)

Thomas was actually a fairly common pick. I'm shocked Nicks was so rare; 422 people picked Cruz (including me, though I was about 50/50 on the two of them).

Starks and Boldin were definitely the weird picks. Gonzalez was actually picked by more people than Gresham.

33
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:11pm

Bwahahaha, this actually happened to me. He picks Butler to win every year they are in it!

2
by AnonymousA (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 3:40pm

Am I the only one who thought the Teleflora ad was for a whorehouse? Was the message not "pay me, and I will have sex with you?" I guess the theory was that it should be "edgy," but it came out creepy and gross.

20
by ChrisFromNJ :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 9:07pm

I thought the Teleflora ad was referring to reciprocity vis-a-vis oral sex, actually. Maybe I'm being generous.

3
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 3:57pm

I wish Rhino-busting was a real event.

4
by Travis :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 4:19pm

It makes no real difference, but the fantasy scores for Eli Manning (19, should be 18 thanks to a kneeldown for -1) and Hakeem Nicks (11, should be 10 due to the lost yardage on the fumble) are off by 1 for last week.

5
by Will Allen :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 4:34pm

Yeah, there were no good KCW candidates is this year's game surrounding a halftime show.

7
by José (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 4:52pm

I might have liked the Best Buy commercial had it not started with “I’m Philippe Kahn, and I created the camera phone”. No you you didn’t you goddamn liar! And because of you I’m left doubting the rest of the claims. Did Ray Kurzweil really give my words a voice? I don’t know. Maybe he just had Stephen Hawking on the line. Did those two guys turned my smart phone into a musical genius? What does that even mean? Is this even a commercial for Best Buy? Did we land on the moon?

10
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 5:06pm

Indeed not. But really the more important point is that our constant deification of inventors and pioneers is more than a little misplaced. Everything someone like Kahn, or Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates, or even Einstein did would have been done within a few months or at worst years if they had decided to pursue basket weaving instead.

Almost all of these problems are complex things many people are working on simultaneously and someone ends up finishing first, or filing the right patents, or publishing a paper slightly before others, and then they get forever labelled as a pioneer and singular genius when they are frequently just the right person in the right place.

The idea that someone "invented" the camera phone is absurd. Thousands or tens of thousands of people probably invented it in their minds in the early 90s if they had both a camera and a phone on them. Numerous companies screwed around with various prototypes.

That not to say that these inventors are not talented people, they definitely are, but it is not as like the world would be very different if their had been no Bill Gates. We would be using a slightly different OS bought from some company that might be based in say Austin instead of Seattle, and that would pretty much be the long and short of it.

Just as with football people prefer simple highly narrative stories to true ones.

13
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 6:45pm

That's true, and then it's not true.

The basics of moveable type were invented (and then ignored) some 300 years before Gutenberg independently rediscovered it.

The Romans had the parts for the steam engine in the 1st century AD, then forgot about it. It would take another 1400 years before even useless forms of it reappeared, and until 1698 before anyone made practical use of it.

Newton and Leibniz hit on calculus almost simultaneously, but that was only after slow fits and spurts of development by geniuses of the era on approximately 200 year cycles starting in 500 BC.

Einstein's General Theorum was sufficiently advanced that a quarter-century after its publication, it was estimated that at best still only a handful of people actually understood it.

Velcro was only invented in 1948, even though all the parts for that invention had existed since 1451.

At the time of the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, they still hadn't discovered the wheel, 5000 years after its invention.

15
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 6:54pm

Certainly in the past when there were fewer people it was different. But the scientific and technical world has become so large since 1950 that there just isn't much room for that kind of thing anymore. Even with Einstein from the physics I used to read (a decade ago) it seemed pretty clear to me one of those dozen other people would have hit on it, a few had even grazed the idea in their writings.

16
by nuk :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 7:04pm

Even if your main point is conceded, I'd still rather we have some deification of technical pioneers than giving all our attention to politicians and entertainers.

17
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 7:16pm

Near-instantaneous global communication has existed for almost that entire period. Thus, the presentation of an invention can be transmitted and copied world-wide almost immediately. However would you determine the likelihood of a given invention being rediscovered independently in the last 60 years? No one has had a chance to independently rediscover much of anything in that period.

Many things are easy once you know how. Imagine how successful the NFL would have been by 1935 had they been aware of the modern version of the game and how popular this rule set and presentation format is.

19
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 8:10pm

I think you are missing my point.

You really think say "PCs" develop differently (in a meaningful way for society) if a meteor falls on Bill Gates garage? Or that mp3 players and cell phones develop that differently if Apple goes bankrupt in the early 90s? Cause I don't I think it is nearly exactly the same.

Einstein is a little difference because it might have pushed the discovery of nukes until after the end of WWII, but I even wonder about that.

I am NOT talking about how things are easy "after you know it" I am talking about how frequent it is that the person we glorify for "inventing" something isn't even the first person to come up with that thing, just the one who happened to be successful. This stretches back to calculus for pete's sake, which different people developed elements of simultaneously all over Europe (Newton and Leibniz being the most prominent examples).

If you follow the scientific literature at all the frequency with which someone is pirating off an idea someone else hasn't bothered to follow up yet, or two different teams are researching at exactly the same time would not be shocking.

Of course I agree that putting innovators in commercials is preferable to entertainers, but I think it is important that we shouldn't make the same "narrativization" in what are much more important realms.

22
by John (not verified) :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 11:53pm

As an admitted Apple fan, it does get tiresome to hear that Apple is irrelevant because someone else would inevitably have done it. Never mind that Xerox failed miserably to commercialize a far less useful GUI, or Microsoft took 10 years(!) to successfully copy the Mac, or every smartphone after the iPhone started looking like the iPhone, or every tablet after the iPad started looking like the iPad, or every manufacturer started adopting wifi and USB after Apple did, or that no one successfully turned digital music into a real business until Apple did, or...

As a computer professional, I absolutely dread thinking how miserable my career would be if IBM and Microsoft were responsible for driving consumer innovation.

27
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 9:35am

Commercialization is different than invention. Apple is rarely the first to market with a given idea. They are often the first to market with a given idea backed by effective PR.

Apple basically invented using really good commercials to sell computers.

37
by RickD :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:55pm

Apple invented an operating system that people liked using.

They developed point-and-click computing and created a GUI far better than what anybody else was even thinking about at the time.

39
by Mike Kurtz :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 1:10pm

Apple has a host of accomplishments, and I am not going to say they are not innovative in certain areas, but far too many of the innovations that are credited to Apple really belong to Xerox PARC.

42
by greybeard :: Mon, 02/13/2012 - 1:57am

I found this article about the role of PARC very interesting: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/16/110516fa_fact_gladwell

24
by Intropy :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:50am

Newton and Leibniz did a lot of important work on calculus independently. And you're right that similar ideas were being developed all over Europe. But a mathematical framework for the integral calculus had already been developed no later than about 300 BC by Archimedes in a technique he referred to as "The Method." References to it survived, but it was mostly lost until a copy was found and retrieved a few years ago in a palimpsest.

28
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:01am

I'm not even saying it isn't frequent. I'm saying it's not given.

In many cases, an invention only comes together long after all the constituent parts are available, waiting centuries for the right person to put it together.

In another reality, a given invention occurred in 300 AD instead of 1800 AD, was immediately copied, and the Romans are still dominating the world (because they are now independent of the need for slaves and able to hold off the barbarian invasions), the plague never happened, Europe looks like Asia, Miami is called New Rome, and London is a tiny output in West Denmark.

In that reality, everyone would think the steam engine was an obvious invention, and Hero of Alexandria gets thought of as just another Graham Bell who got there shortly before the next guy, when in our world, that invention got neglected for another 1600 years. So who's to say that had without Tesla, we even get capacitors and inductors, or wi-fi within even this century?

31
by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:31am

Yes I think Bill Gates changed the development of the PC a lot, together with IBM.

Not in terms of invention, but in terms of business. Gates and IBM muscled everything but DOS (and later windows) into irrelevancy on the desktop for 20 years. Without Microsoft, things could have been very different.

23
by TomC :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 12:38am

Einstein is an exception because, while someone might have come up with one of his results sooner or later, nobody would have got them all. The sheer number of groundbreaking ideas and results he's responsible for is mind-boggling. A quick example is that Newton's 300-year-old model of the universe still adequately explains everything except for three regimes: when things get really tiny (goverened by quantum mechanics), when things get really fast (governed by special relativity), and when spacetime gets curved (governed by general relativity). Einstein contributed heavily to the first and invented the other two.

40
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 7:12pm

I find it offensive to lump Einstein in with those other people. I would say that coming up with relativity, explaining the photoelectric effect, and explaining Brownian motion are in a much different class than inventing a camera phone, Windows, or the Apple OS, when cameras, phones, and operating systems were already in existence.

41
by greybeard :: Mon, 02/13/2012 - 1:34am

" Everything someone like Kahn, or Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates, or even Einstein did would have been done within a few months or at worst years if they had decided to pursue basket weaving instead."

I think you are conflating significantly different things. Science (Einstein) is quite different than product making. In product making ideas are cheap execution is very very expensive and hard. There were smartphones for 5 years before iPhone, and everybody was speculating about Apple making a phone. Yet it was Apple who made iPhone and created fundamental new aspects about smartphones. Had Apple not come up with iPhone would there be somebody else making something like it in 2 years? I doubt there would be anything like iPhone even today. Obviously it was not Jobs who invented iPhone. But he represents the people who invented it.

I do not agree for a second that of it were not Gates it would be somebody else and would be just slightly different. If anything, if it was so obvious and so unavoidable it would not have been Gates/Allen but IBM itself that would have been our OS overlords.

That you wrote " Thousands or tens of thousands of people probably invented it in their minds in the early 90s if they had both a camera and a phone on them. Numerous companies screwed around with various prototypes." means to me that you have very little appreciation of how hard to take an idea and make it a product. Ideas are probably the first .1% of the way to making a successful product.

43
by Jerry :: Mon, 02/13/2012 - 3:20am

The only reason IBM went outside for a PC operating system in the first place was fear of anti-trust action. So Microsoft was able to buy a DOS and then cut their non-exclusive deal with IBM that enabled MS to sell to other manufacturers as well.

44
by NYMike :: Tue, 02/14/2012 - 12:19am

Actually, IBM went outside for the OS because they believed the money was in the hardware. They made their money in the big iron world selling computers, not software. It turned out that hardware became a commodity, and the money was in the software. The old business model did not work with PCs.

45
by Jerry :: Tue, 02/14/2012 - 5:33am

In 1982, the Justice Department dropped an anti-trust suit that was filed in 1969, so IBM was understandably skittish about being seen as trying to dominate a market. Even if they hadn't been interested in developing their own software, they could have made their deal with Microsoft exclusive if they didn't have legal concerns. Once people realized that MS-DOS and the programs that ran on it would run just as well on cheaper "clones", most were unwilling to pay a premium for the IBM name. (For those who don't remember, before IBM entered the PC market, most vendors had their own OS, and software that ran on more than one platform was difficult to find. IBM's entry was going to make microcomputers safe for businesses and provide a standard.)

46
by tuluse :: Tue, 02/14/2012 - 11:44am

I thought IBM also wanted strong competitors because they wanted the market to grow.

21
by dbt :: Wed, 02/08/2012 - 9:26pm

am I the only person who watched this and remembered this commercial from a decade ago?

http://youtu.be/WhF7dQl4Ico

25
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 7:35am

That exercising dog ad just made me feel sorry for the morbidly obese dog in the commercial at the start, you know full well that that dog didn't lose the weight and was just replaced like an unattractive child at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It's just a sad, fat dog with shitty owners.

26
by MCS :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 9:01am

"I mean, it's a Kia, so the actual car is crap, but the commercial is quite entertaining."

Why the Kia hate Mike?

Kia and Hyundai are business partners, sharing technology and processes. In the early 90's, Hyundai came to Toyota and wanted to do a joint venture with them. Probably with the intent of learning Toyota quality controls, etc. Toyota told them that they were not interested. Ten years later, Toyota came to Hyundai and wanted to work with them.

Hyundai said no thanks.

When the most efficient car company on the planet wants to work with you, you're not making crap.

Kia and Hyundai have the most extensive warranty in the business.

I would put the fit and finish of my Kia up against any car maker on the planet. (within reasonable price comparison)

I just don't get the hate,

Side Note: I am an automotive engineer who has worked extensively with the American and the Japanese OEMs.

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by tuluse :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:37am

Kias are soulless machines that exude cheapness. No one will ever love a Kia.

Also, they're all either ugly or look like cheap imitations of other more respected companies.

"When the most efficient car company on the planet wants to work with you, you're not making crap."

Plenty of companies make money selling crap. It just has to be cheap enough.

34
by Intropy :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 2:21pm

All cars are soulless unless the animist turn out to be right. I drive an Optima. I don't love it. But I do quite like it. It's nice enough looking, performs well (not sporty like the ad wants you tho think), and it actually is pretty well put together, or at least it seems to be so far. Where it really excels is the car for the dollar. There's nothing exciting about it, and for emotional appeal it pales in comparison to the Z28 I gave up when buying it, but it's tremendous for practicality.

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by MCS :: Fri, 02/10/2012 - 11:36am

I also drive an Optima. I have found the fit and finish to be on par with anything else I've seen and better than the Subaru I used to own.

The throttle response from the v-6 is nice while still remaining economical and I have found the handling to be rather sporty considering it is a family sedan.

I would certainly buy another Kia and recommend the higher end models to everyone.

Story about Kia fit and finish. A friend of mine moved from a Kia Sportage into a Toyota Sienna mini-van. He loved his Sportage (which I thought was kind of cheap looking) and puts the fit and finish right up there with the Sienna. This is a $35000 van. I did find that hard to belive, but he is quite insistent.

The Kia certainly does excel when you consider value.

Another note about Kia being cheap knock-offs. That is the same thing said about Toyota and Honda 30 years ago.

35
by Tom Gower :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 4:05pm

Not speaking for Mike or anybody else, I think Kia's problem is the common one of lameness associated with any enterprise that seems to enter primarily at the economy end of the business. I remember going to the Chicago Auto Show close to a decade ago and noting that of all the floor models I sat in, Kia's were the least luxurious.

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by Dave :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 10:28am

I think it was Geo, not Yugo, that replaced Kia in Big Trouble.

30
by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 11:20am

I was a little disappointed - when they mentioned two lumberjacks sawing a submarine, I thought they meant a submarine, not a sandwich. Would have liked to see Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane escaping in the flying sub!

36
by Hank (not verified) :: Thu, 02/09/2012 - 5:26pm

all messed up? Was there a second apocalypse localized entirely within his car?