This is long overdue. Too bad it only affects Atlantic League games, but it’s a start.

These are the five measures the Atlantic League is implementing to speed up the game:

• Teams will be limited to three defensive timeouts a game for visits to the mound or conferences on the field. The timeouts are to last 45 seconds, and a ball will be called against a team that delays the resumption of play.

• The number of warm-up pitches at the start of an inning, or when a reliever enters the game, will be reduced to six from eight, and will last no longer than 60 seconds. Limiting time between half-innings to 90 seconds could trim 10 minutes off an average game.

• A manager will signal to an umpire if he wants a batter intentionally walked, and the umpire will award the batter first base without four pitches being thrown.

• Umpires will restrict batters stepping out of the box between pitches and give pitchers 12 seconds between deliveries, if the bases are empty.

• Umpires are being reminded this week that they should adhere to the entire strike zone, which is defined as "that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The strike zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball."

via To Keep Fans, Atlantic League Will Speed Things Up – WSJ.

 

Dear Mr. Obama: If you’d like to help fix the economy, then please stop impeding those who can actually do this. Get out of the way.

Government is stuck in paper-based organization. Federal employees’ pensions are processed by hand in a cave in Pennsylvania. Seriously. Permits for new businesses require trudging to a dozen or more different agencies. Matt Yglesias chronicled the mindless procedures required to rent out an apartment in DC. Because of all this clunky bureaucracy, the US now ranks 20th in the world in ease of starting a business.  

via The Dawn of a New Political Narrative? | Philip K. Howard.

 

The school is also terrible academically. The Oregon Department of Education indentified Harvey Scott K-8 as among the lowest 15 percent in the state in academic performance.

via Now peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are racist | The Daily Caller.

Glad they have their priorities straight.

 

Looks like I’m about to say good-bye to Foursquare.

This is the beginning of the ‘personalized local search’ future we’ve been talking about since we started Foursquare. It’s been built with the help of our amazing 50,000,000-strong community, with all your tips, check-ins, photos, and the smarts we layered on top of that.

via The Foursquare Blog — A brand new Foursquare, with a brand new logo and look, is almost ready for you.

 

I read this article, and I’m scratching my head wondering why this is any different from any other political effort.

Raising money. Corralling resources. Discussing tactics.

What’s the problem? Oh, that’s right. The wealthy Koch brothers have this issue with the political status quo which has driven this country deep into a ditch, and they’d like to devote their wealth towards doing something about it rather than buy a new corporate jet. Frankly, I call that noble.

The gathering was the first inaugural conference put on by Lincoln Labs, a year-old club of politically minded technologists that has relied upon financial backing and support from the orbit of activist groups that are part of Charles and David Koch’s donor network.

People want something different. Get used to it.

Yahoo News Digest — The Koch empire is building network of libertarian hackers.

 

In the 1990s, the city of Newton, Massachusetts tried to ban the curing of salamis in the window despite centuries of tradition. About the same time, the state of New Jersey tried to ban runny yolks despite the fact that millions of runny yolks get eaten every day. And now the FDA tries to curb another culinary practice that dates back probably to Roman times. Still don’t think there’s too much meddling?

Metz said the use of the shelves did not conform to good manufacturing practices that require that "all plant equipment and utensils shall be so designed and of such material and workmanship as to be adequately cleanable, and shall be properly maintained."

 

Her comments caused a furor in the artisanal cheese-making community, where rumors flew that the FDA was poised to ban the practice.

via FDA clarifies that it won't ban cheese aged on wood.

 

I used to use and love the Moves app. Soon after the developers announced their sale to Facebook, I removed the app from my iPhone and then deleted my account at their website. I’ve had enough.

Moves performed a valuable service for me by tracking all my steps and bicycling while I kept my iPhone in my pocket. It also calculated the amount of calories burned. On the other hand, it also tracked my location and could later report to me the path of my travels. Unfortunately, it sent all that data to its own servers and saved it in its own databases.

Originally, the Moves terms of service assured its users that it wouldn’t share the information, but then along came their sale to Facebook. I understand that Facebook already knows a great deal about my preferences, but that’s because I actively use their services and understand the trade-off. After the sale, Moves changed their TOS saying that they “may” share it with their corporate partners, i.e. Facebook.

I thought to myself, why can’t Moves just sell me an app to install on my Mac where only I get to monitor that data? I would pay for that. In fact, I did pay for the Moves app, but I would have paid more to install a desktop application that churned all that data for me and only me. There’s no reason for it even go to the Moves database except to build up their value for a sale to FB or Google.

Thinking about it, I probably have quite a few iOS apps that don’t need to send data to someone else’s database. We need personal clouds. Are you listening Silicon Valley? There’s really no need for us to share so much data in a centralized cloud.

If there’s one thing that Apple is definitely doing right, it’s not passively aggregating its customers’ data to build its brand. It’s selling actual products that we have to buy to do that.

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The reason they support it is because it is more likely to put more smaller independents out of business. It consolidates their market position and gives consumers far fewer choices, entrepreneurs higher barriers to enter the business, and workers fewer opportunities to find a job. Say good-bye to your local diners. Pyrrhic victory at best.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson recently suggested his company would support a bill, proposed by President Barack Obama, raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. Such a wage hike likely wouldn’t satisfy his workers, some of whom recently stormed the company’s Oak Brook, Ill., headquarters demanding $15 an hour. But it would be a noticeable shift in attitude for the world’s biggest restaurant chain, which has so far been neutral as the debate about higher wages has roiled around it.

via McDonald's CEO: 'We Will Support' A Minimum Wage Hike.

 

Stossel drives me nuts even when I agree with him. Like too many libertarians, he doesn’t always see the forest for the trees when it comes to some key issues, especially those related to transportation, but with this whole Piketty circus, he’s on the mark.

Economists at Harvard and Berkeley crunched the numbers on 40 million tax returns from 1971-2012 and discovered that mobility is pretty much what The Pew Charitable Trusts reported it was 30 years ago. 

Today, 64 percent of the people born to the poorest fifth of society rise out of that quintile—11 percent rise all the way into the top quintile. Meanwhile, 8 percent of people born to the richest fifth fall all the way to the bottom fifth. Sometimes great wealth makes kids lazy and self-indulgent, and wrecks their lives

Also, the rich don’t get rich at the expense of the poor unless they steal or collude with government. The poor got richer, too.

via Debunking Popular Nonsense About Income Mobility in America – Reason.com.

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Students protesting controversial commencement speakers have made for a regrettable trend of late. Usually, these incidents are sparked by a small, but vocal minority taking advantage of social media and link-baiting media to induce invitees to beg off. Now, it seems that the backlash has taken hold.

Sometimes, it is best to get those you disagree with to go on record with their remarks. You need to have an argument to win one.

In a surprising move, a commencement speaker at Haverford College on Sunday used the celebratory occasion to deliver a sharp rebuke to students who had mounted a campaign against another speaker who had been scheduled to appear but withdrew amid the controversy.William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton and a nationally respected higher education leader, called the student protestors’ approach both "immature" and "arrogant" and the subsequent withdrawal of Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California Berkeley, a "defeat" for the Quaker college and its ideals.Bowen’s remarks to an audience of about 2,800 that gave him a standing ovation added a new twist to commencement speaker controversies playing out increasingly on college campuses across the nation. Bowen faced no opposition, but chose to defend a fellow speaker who was targeted, calling the situation "sad" and "troubling."

via Haverford College commencement speaker lambastes students – Philly.com.

 
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