The Remaining Eight US Open Ranking Scenarios [Poll]

12 09 2009

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro, Rafael Nadal

Crunching post-tournament tennis rankings (well, the top 5, at least) once the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament have been determined is somewhat of a ritual for me. It’s been ages since I’ve posted, so I thought sharing the projection results on the ole’ blog would make a for an easy Saturday afternoon time-killer.

After Rafa Nadal speed-dialed Fernando Gonzalez off the court in today’s rain-delayed (don’t even get me started on the combination of horrible scheduling and tough luck Nadal was dealt in this year’s Open) quarterfinal, we’ve got our final four: Roger Federer v. Novak Djokovic and Nadal v. Juan Martin del Potro.

There are a few guaranteed outcomes once the US Open men’s champion is crowned on Monday, regardless of who hoists the trophy:

There is one ranking outcome that depends on how the semis play out, and the pressure to bring it about lands on Novak Djokovic’s lap. Nole can get his career-high No. 3 ranking back from Andy Murray, but he MUST win the tournament.

Projections and poll after the jump!
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Inauguration-Flavored Transitiony Goodness

16 01 2009

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It’s almost here, people! Come Tuesday, Hopey McChangerson will take the Oath of Office and we’ll have ourselves a brand-spankin’ new Presidente.

A lot is going on in the lead-up to the big day, including one long-overdue event this very night:

At 9:00 p.m. Friday, the highest-level staffers will turn in their gear; and the West Wing will become a ghost town. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, Counselor Ed Gillespie, and Press Secretary Dana Perino are the senior staffers who will remain here, on standby. Monday is a federal holiday so the White House would be closed anyway. On Tuesday, Special Agent Donald White of the U.S. Secret Service will shadow President Bush, sit in the customary front ‘shotgun’ seat of the limousine, and guard the President until noon. At 12:01, Agent White steps over to a position behind Barack Obama.

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Hack Your Apple Genius Bar Visits

6 01 2009

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If you own Apple hardware, chances are you’ve paid a visit to an Apple Genius Bar at least once for service, repairs, or support. As slick and reliable as Apple gear is, they’re still complex electronic devices, bound to bug out, die, or fail on occasion. Credit Apple for developing a generally well-structured and friendly in-person support system in the form of the Genius Bar. They typically try to make your visits as painless as possible, and, when compared to the competition, are still the standard bearer in terms of convenience and quality of service (don’t worry, there’s a ‘but’ coming).

BUT…

As Apple, Inc. continues to grow, gaining market share and converting new customers, Genius Bar visits have steadily grown to be—at times—complicated and troublesome affairs. Add to the fact that Mac Geniuses now deal with all manners of iGadgets in addition to servicing computers, and Apple’s got the ingredients for a potentially fine mess on their hands. It’s the nature of the beast: as your organization and portfolio expands, you’ve got more clients to manage and speed bumps to smooth over. I haven’t always been so so sanguine on the subject:

I don’t know if you’ve been to an Apple Store lately, but one of the drawbacks of the company’s newfound hipness is all the blazing idiots you have to deal with to get anything done in one.

A couple days before Christmas Eve—in a bizarre parallel to an episode almost two years prior—my MacBook Pro’s logic board failed. Luckily, my data was safe since I had JUST backed it up. Bases were also covered financially, as the MBP was still covered under AppleCare. The only real headache would involve competing with the rest of the crushing Holiday masses ON TOP OF the usual, perpetually-busy Apple Store traffic—all scrambling simultaneously for time and attention. My two less-than-ideal options were A) wait it out or B) face the crowds. Since the prospect of being unable to work on projects outweighed my white-hot distaste for being anywhere near malls and shopping centers on big Holidays, I decided to suck it up and go with option B.

Rather than bemoan Apple’s overtures to the mass market (growth is good, right?), I have—from time spent learning the hard way—worked out some tricks that help make my visits to the Genius Bar less ‘God-awful-shoot-me-now-who-the-hell-are-these-people-anyway’ nightmares to more ‘well-that-could-have-been-worse-who’s-up-for-Jamba-Juice?’ affairs.

Hints and hacks after the jump.
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Check Out the Sexy New Digs!

5 01 2009

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WiS is 100% jazzercized to welcome you to its new home on WordPress!

I’ve been meaning to migrate the blog for a while at the recommendation of friends who are better at this than I am. There are a lot of new projects and ideas in the pipeline and this sexier, more robust web presence is just the tip of the iceberg.

Since I decided against hauling posts older than December 2006 over to the new site, the old Blogger version of WiS will remain online for posterity while serving as an archive for those posts.
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