Daily Archives: February 13, 2010

Killer track: on the Vancouver Olympics luge track where the Georgian luger died and other thoughts

The Toronto Star has a great article on the Olympic luge track where the Georgian luger fatally crashed. It has lots of background and commentary from other athletes. Highly recommended: Athletes had feared luge track’s killer potential – Vancouver 2010 Olympics – thestar.com

One thing it didn’t mention is some of the other details written about here: Canada’s Medal Quest – Gold, and Lots of It – NYTimes.com. Canada’s ambitions may have some overlap here with the death of the luger (e.g. limiting foreign teams access to the track). That’s not “blame Canada”: luge is an inheritently dangerous sport, and anyone who competes at the Olympic level knows the dangers and tries to balance them with the need to go the fastest. I believe, though, that more focus needs to be given to the safety of the venues, not just how fast can they be made.

As athletes strain against the limits of what can be done with the human body in the 21st century, they are coming across the limits of going stronger, faster, higher. And their lives will suffer as a result, unless more can be done to make sports safer. That doesn’t mean sports have to become boring: if anything, athletes can use better equipment and terrain to push themselves even further. But no one should die or suffer for the rest of their lives in the quest to be the best.

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Still think privacy is dead? Read about Google Buzz and see why you should think different

Google has a hornet’s nest on their hands with their new Buzz offering. What should have been a big push for them into area of social computing and social networking has turned out to be, at the very least, a public relations problem for them, according to this:
Critics Say Google Invades Privacy With New Service – NYTimes.com.

If privacy was dead, then this would be a non-issue. But if you read the article with an open mind, you can see lots more examples (other than the ones I provide here: How to think about privacy) of why privacy is important and is and should be alive and well.

I think Google is a great company. This could be a great opportunity for them to show the world how privacy should be implemented in services such as Buzz.

Barbie Grrl! Barbie’s latest role is Computer Engineer

Barbie once said, “Math class is tough.” (Geez.) Flash forward almost 20 years, and now she has taken on a new role of computer engineer, according to the NYTimes.com. W00t! The choices Mattel asked people to vote on were computer engineer, architect, environmentalist, news anchor and surgeon. Those are all great choices, but given the social Web, I am not surprised that computer engineer was voted first. (I received alot of prompts from peers to vote on this!)

There are great and famous women in IT, though not nearly enough. If this helps get more girls interested in IT and they go on to have great careers and make great contributions to IT, then I am all for it.

The NYTimes.com article is good. I recommend you read it for more details.