Archive for March 29th, 2007

Ban PAO(K), AEK and OLY

For how long can this go on before someone does something to stop the hooligans? I keep hearing about such battles between fans of the major soccer teams since forever. Yes, there is something to be done. If fans can’t behave themselves, they should simply ban completely and utterly these soccer teams. And if the fans don’t stop, next year ban their equivalent basketball teams. And if they still don’t stop, they should ban their equivalent volleyball, handball, water-polo etc teams until there is nothing left from these mafia-like corporations that are operating in Greece since the ’50s and negatively influencing under the table their fans as well as playing political games. I wish there was a judge with guts to completely dismantle these companies. Because we are talking about pop cults here, not just soccer teams.

And for those Greek readers who will reply below “why the teams should pay for the stupidity of their fans” I answer you this: don’t be so naive. If the owners of the teams wanted peace, they would have found a way to make sure that everyone who stays in the “club” is a fan and not a fanatic. But you see, running a cult is more powerful experience and more profitable than just running a sports team.

Update: If it’s one thing that USA does right that’s sportsmanship. There are extremely few issues every year (usually in american football games) while in some popular sports like baseball, there are almost never any issues — not even bad-mouthing during a game. You can go watch baseball with your 4 year old son and you will know that you will be safe. In South America and in some parts of Europe that’s unheard of for big soccer matches.

I still remember when my cousin was first enlisted in the Greek Police Force in 1980 (and I was just 7, but it made an impression on me). Until you gain some leverage and experience in the force and be assigned “better jobs” within the Police Station, you are usually sent to serve with the MAT for a few weeks (MAT is the authority that makes sure nothing bad happens during a protest or a sport’s match). Needless to say that after just a single Sunday with serving with the MAT in a soccer match he ended up with bruises all over his body and he had to take 3 days off. What a wonderful way to start a career.

Ashamed of Mpeg-4

I tried to encode some videos to MP4-SP with the intention that they would work with the iPod, mp4-capable cellphones (e.g. the latest Symbian ones) and the PSP. No cake. Each one of these use their own version (or part) of mpeg4 and so they are not really compatible with eachother. I tried a gazillion front-ends and backends and encoders and muxers, but none creates a universally accepted MP4-SP format. Even the highly acclaimed ‘PSP Video 9′ utility produced an SP-CBR MP4 video that won’t even play on PSP’s latest firmware. I am ok with the differences between the XviD and MP4-SP formats, but when you have incompatibilities between the supposedly same kind of MP4-SP format, that really pisses me off. And it’s all the MPEG Groups’ fault for allowing their licensees to take apart the standard and only implement bits and pieces as they see fit, resulting in this shameful incompatibility. Who wants to have a different copy of the same video for their iPod, their PSP and their cellphone? Transcoding a movie takes about 1.5 hours! Imaging having to do that 3 times.