ESPN: Steelers sign WR Hines Ward to extension

Awesome news!

The Pittsburgh Steelers wanted to make sure Hines Ward would complete what he had started — one of the great receiving careers in Steelers history.

Ward agreed and signed a four-year, $22 million contract extension that will allow him to stay a Steeler the rest of his career, according to a source. Ward was scheduled to be a free agent after the season. He is now signed through 2013.

The deal also frees up valuable cap room for the team.

The 33-year-old Ward has 800 career catches for 9,780 yards and 72 touchdowns.

What a great day for the Steelers and Ward!

via Pittsburgh Steelers sign WR Hines Ward to four-year extension – ESPN.

Time Warner vs. Wilson, NC

It seems that Time Warner and Embarq never really paid much attention to the town of Wilson, NC. So when residents got fed up with paying too much for subpar service, they decided to do something about it.

They created Greenlight, an ISP that provides awesome packages for very good rates. How good are Greenlight’s deals? Well, for $99/month, you can get for 81 cable channels, unlimited phone service, and 10Mbps of synchronous bandwidth Internet; compare that to a similar “basic” plan from Time Warner, which offers fewer channels and less bandwidth for an “introductory rate” of only $137. For only $33 more per month than Time Warner’s “introductory rate”, Greenlight has a plan that provides every single channel (including premiums, like HBO and Showtime), unlimited phone service and 20Mbps of (let me mention this again) synchronous Internet.

Of course, Time Warner doesn’t like this one bit, so they’re teaming up with DSL provider Embarq to try and convince the North Carolina legislature to ban this type of “community-owned” ISP. And frankly, I can kind of see their point. Why is it fair for a community to use tax dollars to create a company that competes with Time Warner? Why not use tax money to create a chain of “community-owned” fast food restaurants or “community-owned” tire stores?

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My Stipe Story

Michael Stipe was freakin’ royalty in the Atlanta music scene. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get in to R.E.M. until just before Life’s Rich Pageant came out, so I don’t have any of those cool “I saw R.E.M. at the 40 Watt for $2″ stories like some folks I know (also, I was 12 when Murmur came out, a tad too young for club shows).

I did, however, have several “close calls” with Stipe. I drove by a record store in Athens one day as he was walking out. I was 30 feet away from him at a Pylon show. I once showed up at R. Thomas, a 24-hour diner in Atlanta, just a few minutes after he’d left and the waitstaff were still all aflutter. I was always so close to meeting the guy, but could never seem to close the deal.

I heard that Dramarama was coming to town in September 1990. My then-girlfriend and a close friend went with me to the show, which was at the original Cotton Club in Midtown.

The club was laid out like this: there was the main door. You entered and took an immediate right down a long, narrow hallway. At the end of the hall was the cashier’s desk\bouncer station. Once your cover was paid and your ID checked, you took a left and walked into the actual club, which, from your perspective, looked something like an uppercase “L”. To your right, there was a bar that nearly ran the length of, and was parallel to, the “base” of the L. The bar was in the middle of this section, not against the wall. In front of you were the “sides” of the L. The stage ran along the length of the “inside” side of the L. There was a large space for standing, and several booths lined the “outside” side of the L.

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Panthers = Stupid?

So… here’s the latest from the Carolina Panthers:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers signed Jake Delhomme to a five-year, $42.5 million extension on Thursday that keeps their quarterback under contract through the 2014 season.

The deal includes $20 million in guaranteed money and clears much needed salary-cap space for Carolina. Delhomme was to count for more than $10 million under the cap next season in the final year of his deal.

Seriously? Five more years of Jake Delhomme? Richardson and Fox are aware that Jake is 34, right? And that he was a good (but not great) quarterback on his best days, right? And that this is the same Jake Delhomme that threw five picks and lost a fumble in the playoffs, right?

Being a Steelers fan, I couldn’t care less what the hometown Panthers do… but this simply boggles the mind. Carolina, you need a quarterback, and Jake Delhomme ain’t it.

Read more here.

Bronx Bomb

Is this the most amusing sports story in years, or what?

It seems that the pricey seats in New Yankee Stadium are apparently a huge flop. The seats – which cost between $500-$2,500 per ticket, per game – are going largely unfilled in these tough economic times, and (here’s the best part) people can see it for themselves with every televised Yankees home game. In baseball parks, the most expensive seats are those right behind home plate, and these are the ones that aren’t being filled. And so, with every pitch, TV viewers are treated to the site of a nearly empty area behind home plate.

The Yankees call their elite seating section the “Legends Suite”, and the Associated Press noted that on a recent Tuesday, only 64 of the 146 highest-priced seats were filled, while the next day only 37 were filled. The AP also reports slumping prices at stubhub.com, where many Legends Suite tickets are going for a 50% (or more) discount over face value.

This is so funny! The only funnier headline I could imagine is “Nuclear Bomb Levels Yankee Stadium”!

Read more about it here.

TWC Picks Up Toys, Goes Home

Time Warner Cable, stung by criticism of its data capping plan, has apparently picked up all its DOCSIS 3.0 toys and stomped on home. DOCSIS, you see, stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, and it’s the standard that cable companies use to send Internet data over their systems.

Almost every cable Internet user in the United States is currently using DOCSIS 2.0, which allows for theoretical speeds of up to 50Mbps. DOCSIS 3.0, which is in early field testing, would allow for double that theoretical speed. Indeed, at least one US cable company is beta testing 100Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 setups, which is around 14 times faster than Time Warner’s standard Internet service.

Time Warner was set to test out new DOCSIS 3.0 equipment… but has apparently tied DOCSIS 3.0 adoption with capped Internet. So, like a petulant child, TWC is saying that you can stick with DOCSIS 2.0 and have unlimited bandwidth, or you can have DOCSIS 3.0 and be stuck with 40GB/month caps. Which makes no sense if you think about it: TWC wants to upgrade their systems so that the “basic” plan would have 50Mbps speed, but a 40GB cap. So instead of waiting a week to hit your limit, you could now hit that monthly limit in 8 hours??

What the hell, dude?

Read more here.

Ashes to Ashes: Season 2, Episode 1

The first episode of season 2 of Ashes to Ashes aired on BBC1 in the UK last night… and boy, does it look like this might be an awesome season for the show! So, enough messing about, let’s get right to the recap!

The episode begins with a shot of a television. On the TV, a newsreader is talking about the disappearance of DI Alex Drake. Because the TV is a widescreen model, we can safely assume that this is taking place in 2008. The camera pulls out, and we see that we are inside a hospital, and two nurses are attending to someone in a bed. Who is it? We don’t know (see the “Other Stuff” section, below).

One of the nurses wonders where Drake is, and we next see Alex walking around in a sewer with Gene Hunt, Ray Carling, and Chris Skelton. Hunt, less than happy to be walking around in a sewer, asks Drake if she’s sure the tunnel they’re in is unused. Drake says that she called the water board and they confirmed that “tunnel 96” hasn’t been used for decades. A nervous Chris looks at the tunnel number on the wall, and sees that it’s tunnel 69. The gang then hear a noise, like a heavy door opening or a large lock turning. They then hear the sound of running water. Chris, in a bit of foreshadowing, screams “Oh shittt!”

We next see Drake in her apartment, cleaning the sewer water off of Gene’s precious cowboy boots. Alex has the TV on, and the news is reporting about the HMS Invincible leaving port to head off to the Falkland Islands. Alex finds a thumbtack in the sole of Gene’s boots, removes it and for some reason zones out on it. When she does, the TV switches over to another program. In it, Alex’s daughter, Molly, is being scolded by the headmistress of her school. Apparently the other kids are harassing her, telling her that her mother has died. Towards the end of the conversation, Molly appears to cheer up slightly, and says that “there’s news” about Alex’s disappearance. Alex, of course, rushes to the TV, begging Molly to tell her what the news is. Before Molly can say anything else, the screen fades to black and the shows’ end credits start to roll. Alex bangs the TV set, hoping to learn more. The TV turns to static, and the opening credits for Ashes to Ashes roll.

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