RIP Steve Jobs

1955-2011

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc., who introduced simple, well-designed computers for people who were more interested in what technology could do rather than how it was done, died Wednesday at age 56.

In a brief statement, Apple announced the death but did not say where he died. Mr. Jobs suffered from a rare form of pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant in 2009, and he stepped down as Apple’s chief executive on Aug. 24.

Full obituary from Washington Post.

Like a lot of people, I’m at a loss for words. Steve Jobs was a true innovator and someone who changed the way the world uses and appreciates technology. In a lot of ways, he completely changed the way we think about personal technology and what it should do for the person using it.

Fittingly, I learned about his passing on my iPhone. As I continued to refresh Twitter and see how everyone in my Raleigh-based network responded, Jobs’ influence became even more apparent.

A couple of quotes from Jobs.

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Also, if you want a quick look into how Jobs thought about business and life, take a few minutes and watch his commencement address at Stanford in 2005. Really good stuff.

RIP, Steve.

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Slow starts setting NC State up for failure

Never thought I'd argue for Sonic to get more touches. Wonders never cease.

NC State is a weird team to cover. I’m not sure there is a group in the country that can leave you with so many different emotions/thoughts/feelings after a game, win or lose.

Take Saturday’s 45-35 magical cover loss against Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack dug a 21-0 hole, pulled to within a touchdown a quarter and a half later before inexplicably allowing 21 points in a 2 1/2 minute stretch to seal their fate. Seriously?

The wild swings in momentum and the level of play can make it hard to even judge how the Wolfpack performed. Again, take Saturday’s game. NC State held a Georgia Tech offense averaging more than 600 yards a game to just over 400 and stopped the Yellow Jackets on 8 of 12 third downs, yet somehow I left the stadium thinking the game was never close. I just don’t get it.

One thing I do get, however, is that NC State starts games horribly. That’s putting it nicely. State has been dumpster fire bad in the first quarter of every game this season, and that includes two games against FCS opponents. The Wolfpack have been outscored 41-10 in the first quarter of games in 2011 and have put themselves in position to fail time and again. In its three losses NC State has been down by double digits after the first 15 minutes (10-0 vs. WF, 14-0 vs. Cincy, 14-0 vs. GT). In its two wins, things weren’t much better for State. The Wolfpack led South Alabama 7-3 and Liberty 3-0. Not exactly inspiring.

The more alarming part of all of the early game struggles, at least to me, is the fact that no one seems to have any idea as to what’s going on. Tom O’Brien hasn’t talked much about it and none of his players seem to have a firm grasp on why the starts have been so slow. Following the game Saturday Mike Glennon basically said “yeah, it’s something we have to work on moving forward.” You think? Continue reading

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ACC Predictions: Week 5 Rewind

Couldn't just take a knee, could you Paul?

How ’bout them Blue Devils?!

Duke rallied from a 10-point deficit on the road and won its third straight game Saturday against FIU. Don’t give me the “yeah, well it’s FIU argument.” That crap is impressive, especially for the Devils.

Clemson won on the road against a less-than-impressive Virginia Tech team, further proving that the Tigers are the team to beat in the league and the squad that the ACC should latch onto for national attention. Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and my main man Dabo Swinney are rolling and won’t really be tested again until UNC visits Death Valley in a couple of weeks. But based on how things usually work in this conference, Boston College will beat the Tigers Saturday and ruin everyone’s year. Thanks a lot, Spaz.

Georgia Tech did what everyone thought they would by winning in Carter-Finley, but inexplicably the Yellow Jackets ran a play up 17 with less than a minute to go and gave NC State the most back door cover in history. My roommate was not pleased. Seeing as how I picked the Wolfpack +10, I just chuckled.

As for the rest of the league, yawn. I’ll never pick Virginia to cover again. Ever.

Correct Picks

Wake Forest (+1)
Miami
Maryland
Clemson (+7)
Duke (+3.5)
UNC (-6.5)

Incorrect Picks

Syracuse (-1.5)
Virginia (-16)

Picks that made me laugh

NC State (+10)

Season record is now 36-13. As for NC State, I’ll be attempting to break down what I saw yesterday later this afternoon. Pray for me.

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ACC Predictions: Week 5

"Come on guys, the road to three straight wins is this way."

I’m writing this post in one of the two 30-minute breathers I’ve had today, so forgive me for the brevity. If I get some time before games get going tomorrow I’ll come back and add some actual predictions for what you should expect to see Saturday in the ACC.

For now, I’ll just put up my picks, for proof that I made them before, you know, tomorrow night sometime. I regret not picking the Pitt game last night, because I definitely would have taken the Panthers at home +3 (no, really, I promise).

Wake Forest @ Boston College
Line: Boston College by 1
Pick: Wake Forest

Bethune-Cookman @ Miami
Line: None
Pick: Miami

Georgia Tech @ NC State
Line: Georgia Tech by 10
Pick: NC State

Idaho @ Virginia
Line: Virginia by 16
Pick: Virginia

Towson @ Maryland
Line: None
Pick: Maryland (cringes)

Clemson @ Virginia Tech
Line: Virginia Tech by 7
Pick: Clemson

Duke @ FIU
Line: FIU by 3.5
Pick: Duke

North Carolina @ East Carolina
Line: North Carolina by 6.5
Pick: North Carolina

Rutgers @ Syracuse
Line: Syracuse by 1.5
Pick: Syracuse

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Jeff Demps runs fast, Kentucky’s defense runs not so fast

I couldn’t resist posting this.

When I saw this highlight Saturday night I actually yelled and got up off the couch. This should be the SEC’s video proof its “speed.”

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ACC Predictions: Week 4 Rewind

Can't wait to have this guy on my NFL fantasy team in a couple years.

The ACC may have had another rough week nationally (thanks to Maryland, Miami and Virginia), but overall I did quite well in the my week four picks. Ironically, the games I missed were a result of two of the three teams I just mentioned.

I’m not sure what happened to Maryland against Temple, and honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever know. The Terps allowed Temple’s running back to score five times and were down 31-0 at the half. Completely unacceptable performance for Maryland and Randy Edsall. One silver lining: nobody was at Byrd Stadium to witness that massacre. Oh yeah, one more positive: the hideous yellow pants will never be seen again.

Similar story in Miami, where Kansas State built a 21-10 lead against the Hurricanes in the third quarter and held on late to pick up the win. Miami allowed a whopping 265 yards (6.0 YPC) against the Wildcats, even allowing Wildcats tough guy quarterback to total 93 yards on the ground. Jacory Harris was, well, Jacory Harris. He made several great throws but also made some pretty awful ones too.

I’m most disappointed by Virginia. I just knew the ‘Hoos would man up and beat a Southern Miss team they should have beat at home. Sigh.

The other incorrect pick came by way of including Pittsburgh and Syracuse this week. Notre Dame played just bad enough. Yell more, Brian Kelly.

My ‘pat myself on the back’ pick of the week was the Marshall/Virginia Tech game. Spread was 20.5. I took Marshall. Virginia Tech won 30-10. That pick also serves as more proof of why I would never actually wager money on games. Would drive me crazy.

Correct Picks

Cincinnati (-7.5)
Georgia Tech (-6.5)
Duke (-10)
Temple (+9)
Boston College
Clemson (-2)
Marshall (+20.5)
Syracuse (-2.5)

Incorrect

Miami (-12.5)
Virginia (-3)
Pitt (+6.5)

Season Record: 30-11

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ACC Predictions: Week 4

"ACC! ACC! ACC!"

Another week, another post where I try to be smarter than Las Vegas.

While last week was the one circled on calendars because of the important non-conference match-ups (the ACC cames out OK, by the way), week four has plenty of interesting games to look at. There are a couple non-conference games worth watching (NCSU/Cincy Thursday night, Miami vs. KSU Saturday) and two conference showdowns which will be huge in determining how both the Atlantic and Coastal divisons shake out.

Georgia Tech welcomes North Carolina to Atlanta Saturday for a conference edition of the NCAA Investigations Bowl and Florida State hobbles up to Death Valley to take on Clemson. Both games are on ESPN and both games will give the country a chance to watch four of the better league teams through the first three weeks of the season.

Something tells me this week could get ridiculous.

NC State @ Cincinatti (8 p.m., ESPN)

Line: Cincinatti by 7.5

Pick: Cincinnati Continue reading

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