SkeptiSys

April 20, 2014

OOTP 15 Released April 2014 : A Step Into The Future

Filed under: News, Sports, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — skeptisys @ 1:20 pm

Out of the Ballpark 15 is being released tomorrow for the 2014 Baseball season.
Available April 2014 for the Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOOTP15 for the iPhone OS.

Order from the Official OOTP 15 website here : OOTP Store

Cost : $39.99

Review tl;dr – OOTP 15 is a must-buy baseball simulation

 

Last week I was in my Heaven, freezing at Yankee Stadium on Opening Week 2014.  Parking was $34.  Two beers and 2 hotdogs, also $34.  Tickets were over $200 per person. About $300 per fan for 3 hours of pure entertainment and 2 hours stuck in stadium traffic.  Was it worth it?  To me and 45,000 other fans, ‘Hell Yes!’

Baseball doesn’t have to be expensive. For $39.99 you can immerse yourself into baseball with the new OOTP 15.  The software comes with full 2014 MLB and Minor league rosters.  Sitting in Yankee Stadium, I didn’t know enough to tell you who was in their minor leagues.  Heck, I didn’t know who Dean Anna was, and he was subbing for Derek Jeter!  Now, after one day with OOTP 15, I can tell you the strengths and weaknesses of the AA Trenton team.  For I am in complete control of the entire Yankee organization.

OOTP 15 is much smoother than its predecessor, OOTP 14.  Once I was able to get used to the updates in customization and design, I was speeding around the entire league looking for anything like a released player or a 17 year old Dominican prospect that could give me even a slight advantage in winning a championship.  Which superfluous prospects can I trade for bullpen help?  I know.  Anyone want to take Ben Gamel off my hands?

Cam Derek Jeter stay healthy all season?  Will I retire Jeter’s #2 at the end of the season or convince him to not retire?

derek jeter a respected leader

derek jeter a respected leader

 

am I the only Gosuke Katoh fan in the world?

am I the only Gosuke Katoh fan in the world?

 

As usual for the OOTP releases, the updates are both significant and subtle.

This OOTP 15 edition will bring new 3D visuals to the game playing arena.  The 3D aspect was unavailable in the pre-release version I am using.

The improved visuals for differing screen resolutions are extremely useful for me, as I can more fully enjoy OOTP 15 at home and on the road.

The excellent new ratings system is superb, as is the entire updated AI system.  The improvements to online leagues and historical leagues are significant.

More details on the improvements to this edition of OOTP, see this newsletter.

If you don’t use OOTP 15 you aren’t a serious baseball fan.  As magnificent as OOTP was, OOTP 15 is an imperative upgrade.

opening day at Yankee Stadium.

opening day at Yankee Stadium.

I’ll see you at the online OOTP 15 league ballpark.*

 

*you are responsible for your own beer and hotdogs

May 7, 2012

Dallas Mavericks players vote ‘no playoff share’ for Lamar Odom

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 11:22 am

The Dallas Mavericks players, who were swept out of the NBA first round playoffs, decided not to give any of the money they received to Lamar Odom.  But exactly how much credit should Lamar receive for the Mavs barely making the playoffs?

Dallas Mavs’ record this season:

with Lamar Odom 31-19

without Odom 5-15

 

The players are being petty by not voting a share of the money to Lamar Odom.

 

no, I’m not really sure which Kardashian I married

 

November 23, 2011

OOTP 12 review : the Evolution of the Baseball Simulation

Filed under: Buying stuff, News, Sports — Tags: , , , , — skeptisys @ 1:28 pm

The attentive people at Out Of the Park Development have already released the 5th major update for OOTP12, so maybe I should take a pause from simulating seasons with OOTP12 to let you in on all the fun.  Yes, it is super addictive.   Buy it now, before it gets scheduled like heroin or cocaine.

OOTP12 buy it here.  My quick recommendations, for those who want to avoid the ramblings of a baseball addict:

1. if you never used OOTP before but you like baseball, get it now.  The fictional simulations are amazing!  Your players will age, disappoint and surprise in a vaguely predictable way, just like the major leagues.  You can create every aspect of your league, even team colors and player mustaches.  I use the historical simulation with actual teams and players, so I can make up for the faults of whichever monkeys were running the Mets when I was growing up.

2. if you have played an earlier version of OOTP:  The changes and updates from the prior version make for a worthy upgrade.  The quality of play and accuracy has improved significantly.  Their update system functions by allowing their fanatical users to communicate with each other on the OOTP forum and recommend changes to the OOTP creators, who are very sensitive to the users’ needs.  IOW, if you get OOTP12, you will have input into the changes put into OOTP13.

(End of quick recommendation)

My first baseball high came at a young age.

By the age of 7, I realized I would be a dedicated baseball fan for the rest of my life.  At that age, studying box scores was a morning ritual, except I prayed for a Kingman homerun and not eternal health.  I was obsessed.  What kept me from being put in a home for the mentally ill was the simple fact that millions of other people were just like me.   I was normal!  Soon I found friends who shared this disease.  Together we started slow,  trading baseball cards.  I traded Johnny Bench for Ron Hodges, and was proud of it (don’t you mock me! My friend was a Reds fan, so I could take advantage).  Eventually we found simple game simulations, and we bloodied our fingers flicking at metal spinners while recreating a season.

The evolution of the baseball simulation is not a myth, from board games like strat-o-matic, statis pro,  and pursue the pennant, to computer games like Earl Weaver baseball.  Those were wonderful times, but increased computer power and memory meant improved simulations, up to Diamond Mind Baseball and then OOTP.

The perfect or best baseball simulation is still yet to come.  The way we will reach is through the constant changing and upgrading the product.  DMB used to do this.  They would drastically improve the AI and simulation accuracy with every new version.  Then, in 2006, the company was sold and they appear to have stopped the progress.  So, OOTP took the baton…

OOTP is the best baseball simulation because they realize their audience all have unique ideas about what makes the perfect simulation.   My recent historical simulation starts with the 1968 season and I use the DH in both leagues.  Four teams make the playoffs, I prefer 16 teams but the software does limit the number of postseason teams to 4.  My schedule includes teams from both leagues, and I can take advantage of the upgraded storylines and manage pitch by pitch, or I can regulate myself to GM and only deal with roster moves.

The key to OOTP’s future success is to continue to add user options, and update accuracy of the computer AI.

Here are some other reviews of OOTP12: (reviews)

April 15, 2011

Reasons why a faulty argument is no substitution for an objective one

Filed under: blogging, books, News, pictures and videos — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 9:25 am

As usual, I was perusing over at BoingBoing, one of the top online sites for years, when I found this poster of desperation:

The photo is from a University Library poster created by the author of “Fool’s Gold: Why the Internet is no Substitute for a Library” by Mark Y. Herring.  The book is available from Amazon for $45 which, based on this poster, is a bigger waste of paper than a stack of Paris Hilton posters.  Strangely they also have a ebook version available for only $16.49,  partially invalidating the book’s message.

I do have a giant bias: I love Libraries, particularly University Libraries.  Most of my research was done in libraries, and I still visit as many as I can.  I do not understand why anyone would spend $200 to go to a sporting event, as opposed to zero to go to a library.  I agree with the author’s premise fully, but the arguments are hogwash and comical in their presentation.  Looking at all 10 arguments in order:

1. Not everything is on the internet: Yes, excellent point to start.  Then again, not everything is available in a library.  This argument is convincing to those who have already finished reading the internet.  Completely ran out of things to read online, please find me more.  Kthxbye.  Geez, I found this poster online, is it really available in every library?

2. Drown online, difficult to find answer within the many answers returned in search engine:   Oh no, scary computer doesn’t give me what I want, better go to the library so I can use the card catalog.  Hmmm, not here.  Better ask the librarian who has a search engine on her computer.  Oh, whoops.  First point was that not enough is online, second is that too much is online.  Off to a good start.

3. Quality control doesn’t exist, conspiracy theory, pornography, ghosts, Hitler, demons, boo:  The last few libraries I went into had books available by Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck.  Everything I read online is at least as accurate as those books. and far less pornographic.  I don’t want a library to QC the books, especially not someone like Mr. Herring.  It’s called censorship.

4. Online articles are not full text, like a race car without the keys:   Starts ok.  The only thing I know online that leaves out important notes, graphs, citations, etc, is the poster shown above.   Then? Race car?  Your audience are  book readers, not NASCAR fans.   If you drew a Venn diagram of race car fans and people who visit University libraries, it would look like Ellen Page’s tits, slightly touching but hardly overlapping.  (just assume I didn’t spend the last hour trying to but together a simple Venn diagram before giving up and using a tasteless Pop culture analogy instead)

5. States can buy a book to give to libraries online, NOT: Stupid 80′s phrases aside, why is receiving a book online bad?  Sure it isn’t nearly enough and unfair copyright laws hurt libraries, but the sign looks offended by the offer.  Sad sign  :O(

6. Reading ebooks is a chore: I can read the complete works of Shakespeare on my iPhone – you want to try that with full text books on the subway?  Also, ‘a generation away’ is only a few years in this new eVerse.

7. No library-less universities: At this point, I peed myself laughing.  Princeton University hasn’t demolished their libraries yet, so they are better than the internet?  Almost 100% of Universities were created before the last few years, yet they are almost all online in some capacity, or planning to do so.  Another example of faulty logic.

8. Billion dollars to digitize a library of books: How many competing quotes did Mark get?  No, seriously, why would anyone need to scan every page from a library?  Many have already been done and are already available online.  I would send my copy of the complete works of Shakespeare to Mr. Herring if it wasn’t so full of conspiracy theory and pornography.

9. Most of what’s on the internet is less than 15 years old:  …and much is older than that. If you read my blog, you saw that I have referenced all decisions of the US Supreme Court ever, available online.  So much more is available through a simple search.  Mark Y. Herring is being deceptive or ignorant.  I can’t tell which.   BTW how many Millions of dollars does Herring think it cost to put the Supreme Court Decisions online?

10. Internet is ubiquitous but books are portable: More crap.  I can go hiking and stop to read either Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, or the friggin Iliad on my iPhone.  You can’t put all those books in your backpack.  EBooks are much more portable than traditional books.  I too love taking my paperback Rex Stout book with me on trips, but I am not deceived into thinking it’s more than an emotional connection.  Young’ins are getting that same connection with eBooks now.

Please don’t listen to Mark Why Herring.  Libraries are helpful, important, and need resources.  Visit your local public library and university library and ask how you can help.  Many have online websites that facilitate donations.  Here is an excellent site for Princeton Public Library.  Most library representatives are doing all they can to educate us – don’t punish them because of one idiot.

Photo of Mark Y. Herring courtesy of demotivationals4U.

March 20, 2011

Brooklyn man beat without mercy for being Gay

Filed under: News, politics — Tags: , , — skeptisys @ 9:18 pm

Six men beat  Barie Shortell senseless in Brooklyn NY 1 month ago, leaving him in need of 9.5 hour facial reconstruction surgery – because he is homosexual.

News report here.

Mr. Shortell has no medical insurance, so he will be liable for $100,000 in medical bills.  If you would like to donate to help with his bills, please visit this website.

To donate for LGBT rights, see ACLU.

If you want to protest, I recommend doing so at a catholic church or other organization that speaks against homosexuality.  We need to tell them to stop hating and start helping.

BarieShortellx390 (Screengrab) | Advocate.com

 

Update: April 2, 2011

I received an angry message from a Catholic supporter, John.  Usually I do not respond to these messages, but this one actually contains semi-coherent thoughts that may be universal enough to warrant response.  The parts I left out of John’s message were for coherency and do not change the meaning.

 

John: “right, so 6 men beat this guy up and you’d rather punish the catholic church then the people who did it?   why are you blaming churches for this again, considering there’s zero evidence that the guys that did it are even religious?  for all we know he was beaten senseless by 6 skeptic atheist fag-haters.”

A: No, I did not speak about punishment at all, purposefully.  I think this country punishes too much and does too little to help.  If the police catch these guys, they will punish them strongly (unless they are on the board of directors of Verizon), so protesting the police to catch them would do absolutely no good.  So, why do I think it would do well to protest at a catholic church or other organization that speaks against homosexuality?

The Catholic Church does not just preach against homosexuality to the deeply religious.  They also preach to the rest of us and go as far as to push for anti-homosexuality laws, which is quite unconstitutional.  When their hatred reaches federal and state law, it has long since ceased to reach only the religious, and affects all people who may be persuaded to hate gays, including non-Christians.  The religion of the attackers is irrelevant to me.  But protesting the Catholic Church may just convince them and their followers to see that their divisive speech causes violence, and just maybe they will care about humanity and preach against violence instead of hatred of homosexuality.  If we can do that, we will prevent more violence like this in the future.  That should be everyone’s goal.

 

 

 

March 18, 2011

Glenn Greenwald presentation on journalism today

Filed under: law, News, politics — Tags: , , , , — skeptisys @ 1:05 pm

Glenn Greenwald, well respected journalist, constitutional attorney, and best selling author gave an informative speech in New Mexico on March 8 2011.  I highly recommend listing to the speech and follow-up Q&A period despite the length (combined approx 90 minutes).

Presentation here, through Lannan Podcasts.  Q&A here with long time journalist, David Barsamian is here.

You can pre-order Glenn Greenwald’s next book through Amazon here.

 

20091118we-banksy-laugh-now-but-one-day-we-will-be-in-charge-monkey-chimpanzee

Art by great street artist Banksy.  Check out some of his art at ResourcesforLife or his web page.

March 8, 2011

Michael Moore’s Speech to the Wisconsin People

Filed under: law, News, politics — Tags: , , — skeptisys @ 5:36 pm

For almost 20 years, Wisconsin had one of the best representatives in the Senate, Russ Feingold.  After 3 months of his replacement, Scott Walker, the people of Wisconsin have had enough.  Here is the video of Michael Moore addressing the courageous Wisconsin elite.

Order your Walker sucks Kock tshirts hereScott Walker Sucks Koch T-Shirt

February 22, 2011

Masai Ujiri, up and coming NBA star you never heard of

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , — skeptisys @ 3:39 pm
Masai Ujiri

Masai Ujiri

Masai Ujiri has only been General Manager of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets for half a year, but he has already pulled off one of the biggest basketball steals in years.  Denver’s best player, Carmelo Anthony, had indicated he would sign with the Knicks as a free agent and the end of the year, leaving Denver with nothing.  With this inevitable loss looming, Masai Ujiri convinced the Knicks that giving up nothing was not their best option, instead they should give up 3 of their top young starters plus draft picks and other good players.  Surely Knicks GM Donnie Walsh and Coach Mike D’Antoni were not fooled, but at the end of negotiations, Knicks Owner and village idiot took control and insisted on overpaying.  New rumors are that Masai Ujiri will turn 1 or 2 of the players they receive over to the Nets for future draft picks, taking advantage of the Nets obsession with a ‘marketable’ player for their Brooklyn beginnings.

I believe the Knicks will win in the short term, only because they have one of the best coaches in the NBA, Mike D’Antoni, but I strongly advise Dolan to leave the decision making to the smarter people in the room.

James Dolan thinking about candy

Dolan pic from the mighty mjd.  Masai pic from Denver Westword.

November 22, 2010

Is sexuality a choice?

Filed under: News, pictures and videos — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 1:20 pm

Many people think homosexuality is a choice – until they are confronted with simple logic.  Watch this fascinating little video:

November 17, 2010

TSA wants some TNA

Filed under: law, life & death, News, politics — Tags: , , , , — skeptisys @ 1:14 pm

The 4th amendment to the United States Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If you have set foot in an American airport, you will notice these rights being violated.  To a more and more extreme degree, these rights are being crushed by Government officials who use fear as their weapon.   Bags and persons have been searched with neither warrant nor cause in actions that could not violate the Constitution in any clearer terms.  Most recently, people, regardless of age, are required to either have their naked body revealed, their entire body  molested (including genitalia and breasts) or be arrested and/or fined a large amount.

Folks, we have finally reached the tipping point.   The citizens will not allow their Constitution violated like this anymore.

John Tyner, an ordinary American, brought these tactics to light by videotaping security at an airport.  He posted the video on his website here.  There are many scary and creepy parts to the video, such as the security peon who describes how he plans to touch Tyner’s legs and crotch, but one phrase stated by security keeps getting repeated in my mind -

you gave up most of your rights when you bought a ticket.

He said what? Yes, the position of these scumbags is that all Constitutional rights are waived once they decided on Air travel.  I guess there is no good argument to why they have to see your kids naked and grope your grandma, so they will come up with anything.

More info on this here at FDL.  Please do sign the petition here to stop this illegal harassment.  Although the petition inaccurately refers to the scanners as ‘porno scanners’ (nudity does not equal pornography), the more signatures we have, the better.

cat torure

enuf! it was de goggie!

 

John Tyner

This is what a hero looks like... any one of us.

pics from I can haz cheezburger and signsonsandiego.    I don’t recall which pic came from which site.

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