Short takes: Ed Felten, Sparky Anderson

Sparky Anderson died today. When I was a kid, Anderson was the manager of the Detroit Tigers and already a legend from having managed the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati in the 1970s. He was always a true gentleman in every possible regard.

He actually managed longer and won more games in Detroit, but his Tigers teams never matched the mystique of that great Reds dynasty.

A poignant quote from the article linked above: “The biggest thing that young people can learn is, do the best you can at what you do, and then when you’re through with it, don’t try to live it again. I don’t live baseball anymore.”

And in much happier news, Ed Felten got a job at the FTC. Felten is a rather outspoken computer science professor at Stanford. He famously demonstrated that Internet Explorer could be separated from Windows 98 in various ways during the Microsoft anti-trust trial in the late 1990s. He has a long history of being an advocate of allowing people to fix and modify the hardware devices they paid for, as opposed to the all-too-common-today idea that if you take something apart, you’ve violated some license agreement.

His insightful, sometimes snarky Freedom to Tinker blog is always a good read.  His series Fritz’s hit list is an Internet classic. 

Felten’s statement says his role will be an advisory role. They would do well to do whatever he says, because he understands technology much better than anyone else in Washington.

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