Changes Coming

Some changes are coming to ChrisGiddings.net.

You’ll see more technology articles, opinion pieces and video game reviews.

For any/all tea related information and articles, please see www.tea-guy.com

MLB 14 The Show for PS4 is going to be AWESOME!!!

I am really looking forward to the next installment of MLB The Show. There are a lot of innovations in MLB 14 The Show which I've been not so secretly hoping for for years. From more diverse crowd models, to even more realistic stadium architectures and more detailed player models with realistic movement. MLB 14 The Show looks to be freaking AWESOME!!! C'mon March! Aren't you hear yet! Only 144 days until Opening Day baby!

Cincinnati’s Fortune Presence

Cincinnati is a city on the rise again. There’s been much talk recently about our economic progress and how well we’ve withstood the economic downturn which continues as of this post.

While the Cincinnati startup scene is exciting and growing, it’s the large organizations which have seen phenomenal growth in both revenues and headcount over the past few years.

Often cited as a great city to live and raise a family, there’s been talk in the past of our over-abundant Fortune 500 presence. I’d like now to expand that list to the Fortune 1000 and give a list of great large employers in the greater Cincinnati area, some are north of town, some are in Northern Kentucky, but all are within a 45 minute drive of downtown Cincinnati.

These numbers are pulled from the SalesForce Fortune 1000 List.

#22 Proctor & Gamble

#23 The Kroger Company

#103 Macy’s

#248 Fifth Third Bancorp

#280 Ashland

#510 AK Steel

#347 OmniCare

#469 General Cable

#478 American Financial Group

#482 Western & Southern Financial

#522 Cincinnati Financial

#536 Cintas Corp.

#625 NewPage Holding (45min from Cincinnati, in Miamisburg)

#666 Convergys

#932 Teradata (45min from Cincinnati, in Miamisburg)

#992 E.W. Scripps

 

In case you didn’t count, that’s 16 of the top 1000 companies in the United States (by revenue) which are headquartered in or near this “Small Market” city. According to Wikipedia this ranks Cincinnati in the top 10 for Fortune 500 companies per capita, higher than New York, Boston, Chicago or LA.

Healthcare.gov (ACA / Obamacare) and Why I’m not Concerned

Healthcare.gov launched a couple weeks ago. I’ve yet to be able to sign up for the service, though I admit I’ve been a mix of nervous and eager to do so. Self-employed as I am, I tend to earn more than the ACA would like to provide a discount on a care package at any “medal” level.

Nonetheless, the wankers in Congress and the technically uninitiated have been griping and complaining that it’s broken, and are pushing for either sweeping changes, or the abolition of the program altogether.

I remain unconcerned, un-phazed and disinterested in their complaints. I am much more ticky tacky about the fact that the contractors on the program, suckered into appearing before Congress today are passing blame to higher powers in the hierarchy.

While it’s true Kathleen Sibelius is head of HHS, it’s hardly realistic to expect her to understand the inner-workings of the technical components of the program. It’s likely she was assured by those under her it looked good, and on-track for launch, and she would have been satisfied by simple demonstrations of being able to signup and login.

It’s also unlikely the contractors are completely to blame. They probably built exactly what was designed and spec’d for them to build.

So who then do you blame?

 

I blame the planners. The requirements masters who were supposed to completely map the system out and deliver to the contractors actionable blueprints with which to construct the system we were to depend on.

But it’s not the end of the world. The system will be fixed.

 

Democratic  Rep. Anna Eshoo of California said “Amazon and EBay don’t’ crash the week before Christmas,ProFlowers doesn’t crash on Valentine’s Day.”

I think this comparison is deliriously blind of the fact that those sites have “grown” over time to be able to handle that traffic. Fifteen years ago, those sites barely existed and certainly didn’t handle the volume of traffic or commerce they do today. Nobody knew how much traffic to expect on day 1, and I can tell Congress from my experience that systems do some pretty wonky things when overloaded.

I blame no-one for the “debacle” that is Healthcare.gov. It sucks it broke from day 1, but the interest and traffic is something any brand new service would kill for.

Position by Position Off-season Goals for the Reds

Something unexpected happened at the end of the regular season for the Cincinnati Reds. They stalled. Right in the middle of the intersection of fate and the postseason. Some will say their inconsistent play during the regular season was enough for early diagnosis of this result.

Others will say it just wasn’t their year, that the Cardinals and Pirates just made them work too hard for it. Or they’ll say the Reds team lacks a clear leader willing to hold his teammates’ balls to the fire when he doesn’t hold himself to the higher standard.

Rubbish I say. Complete rubbish. The Reds easily could have had a better year than the Pirates or Cardinals in 2013, even counting in the injuries and other factors. Sloppy play, failure to adhere to little league basics and a lack of inner vitriol over losses is why the Reds couldn’t take it all the way this year.

So, let’s go position by position on why a given player failed this year and what they need to work on to make this team successful in 2014 so they can get to The Series.

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Games, Games, Games

So I picked up a PS3 kinda late in the game about a month ago and have played through a few games on it. You’d think it would be largely the same experience as on an Xbox or a PC/Mac, but oddly it’s not. It’s largely better, and I honestly cannot pinpoint why yet. I’ll add a post in the future if I figure it out.

 

But the real reason for this post is that I was inspired today during a conversation with a co-worker I started dreaming up an ambitious MMO project. I won’t go into depth of detail yet because I hope to chat with some people in the game development world first to decide if it’s viable or not, but… I’d freaking play this game if it was available today. Done deal.

A Case Against the Designated Hitter in the National League

I hear this crap about Major League Baseball changing to a Designated Hitter style system in the National League. It always makes me sad.

For those not in the know, there are certain strategic anomalies in baseball’s primary leagues which serve to differentiate them from each other. This is a distinct peculiarity unique to baseball which doesn’t exist in any form in any of the other major sports. Not football. Not hockey. Not soccer. Not basketball. Only baseball has an instantly discernible difference between their two major brackets.

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3 Reasons LinkedIn Skill Endorsements are Stupid

I’m an open-networker. I pretty literally will connect with anyone, anywhere for any reason. I’ve met new friends through LinkedIn and business contacts through Twitter. The Internet is an amazing place, and LinkedIn, good and bad, is the hub of professional networking online.

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements

Last year LinkedIn introduced a new feature called “Skills,” whereby your connections can crowdsource-verify your expertise. Simple in theory and exciting at first. But then the inevitable happened… The internet found it. There are a bevy of reasons why I think the Skill Endorsements on LinkedIn are rubbish, but for brevity, I’ll list just three here.

1. People Make Assumptions

We all do it, we meet someone new and we find out what they do. But we only really know on a very basic level about their expertise. If we connect and you tell me you work in the financial industry, I could connect any number of dots to decide you work in derivatives. But perhaps you don’t. Perhaps you work in insurance, or bond investments, or non-profit financial planning services.

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This is why I believe Teaity will do well…

Vertically focused startups are pulling some of the best performances around. Why? Because they're not so broad as to try too much and be great at nothing. Instead, they're focused enough to treat their target user-base like VIPs. This is why I think my startup, Teaity, will ultimately do well.