Thursday, December 29, 2011

Law & Order: Ranking the Cops

Occasionally at SpotLoss we have to tackle important issues.  So after much discussion, arguing, and pulling an all-nighter, here's the official SpotLoss rankings of the cops on Law & Order.

The Top Cops
1) Lenny Brisco - Jerry Orbach (L&O) - Orbach was born to play this aging cop.
2) Elliot Stabler - Chris Meloni (SVU) - It takes a while to warm up to him, but you realize he's a true to life character.
3) Joe Fontana - Dennis Ferina (L&O) - It's disappointing that he only lasted one season.
4) Rey Curtis - Benjamin Bratt (L&O) - The three seasons with Brisco and Curtis were when Law & Order was at its peak.
5) Olivia Benson - Mariska Hargitay (SVU) - She's the face of the SVU franchise.

Solid Second Tier
6) Ed Green - Jesse L. Martin (L&O) - There's a reason he lasted for as long as he did.
7) Logan - Chris Noth (L&O, CI) - Plays the prototypical angry Irish cop almost as well as Meloni.
8) Anita Van Buren - S. Epatha Merkerson (L&O) - Spent more seasons as a Law & Order cop than anyone else.
9) Brian Cassidy - Dean Winter (SVU) - It doesn't hurt that his "Mayhem" commercials are completely awesome.
10) Carolyn Barek - Anabella Scioria (CI) - starred opposite Noth on the first season of Criminal Intent ... the one bright spot of that series.
11) Monique Jeffries - Michelle Hurd (SVU) - Hurd was on the first two seasons of SVU before it became the Benson and Stabler show.
12) Amanda Rollins - Kelly Giddish (SVU) - New character added in the twelfth season as an eventual replacement to Mariska Hargitay.
13) Nick Amaro - Danny Pino (SVU) - Stabler's replacement, who along with Giddish has brought some new life to SVU.

14) Rex Winters - Skeet Ulrich (LA) - He was killed halfway through the first and only season of Law & Order: Los Angeles
15) Nina Cassady - Milena Govivh (L&O) - She was on one season of Law & Order and hasn't been seen since.
16) John Munch - Richard Belzer (SVU) - Munch is in awe of himself, which gets old.
17) Kevin Bernard - Anthony Anderson (L&O) - Not bad, but not good either.
18) Cyrus Lupo - Jeremy Sisto (L&O) - Anderson and Sisto have the black mark of being the two main cops when the show was canceled.
19) Fin Tutuola - Ice T (SVU) - His acting style alternates between talking loudly, yelling, and yelling louder.
20) Riccardo Morales - Alfred Molina (LA) - He went from being a prosecutor to a cop.  How often has this really happened?

21) Max Greevey - George Dzundza (L&O) - Killed after season 1 ... probably a good choice.
22) Phil Cerreta - Paul Sorvino (L&O) - Sorvino was great as Pauly in Goodfellas, not as interesting on Law & Order season 2.
23) Arleen Gonzalez - Rachel Ticotin (LA) - You might remember her as Arnold's love interest in Total Recall.
24) Megan Wheeler - Julianne Nicholson (CI) - You probably have no idea who this is.
25) Serena Stevens - Saffron Burrows (CI) - We probably have no idea who this is.
26) T.J. Jaruszalski - Corey Stoll (LA) - He was the star of the show and still nobody knows who he is.  No wonder this version was canceled.
27) James Deakins - Jamey Sheridan (CI) - Once played Ozzie Nelson in a TV biopic of Ricky Nelson.

Make us want to pull our hair out:
28) Robert Goren - Vincent Denofrio (CI) - We wish one episode of Criminal Intent would end without a 8 minute diatribe from Goren.
29) Chester Lake - Adam Beach (SVU) - Beach was brought in to show that Ice T's acting could be worse.
30) Danny Ross - Eric Bogosian (CI) - Separated at birth from Adam Arkin.
31) Don Cragen - Dann Florek (L&O, SVU) - It was good news when they took him off regular Law & Order, but then they brought this character back on SVU.
32) Alexandra Eames - Katheryn Erbe (CI) - A totally useless character.
33) Zach Nichols - Jeff Goldblum (CI) - Goldblum's got to find a new gig where he plays someone besides the smartest guy in the room.  He's not that good an actor.

This blog has been edited to include the Law & Order: Los Angeles cast and the new additions to SVU.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Technology Accelerator Rankings

Since I've done some research on tech startup accelerators, I thought I'd put it down on paper.  There are no statistics behind these rankings.  It is just my subjective list based on reputation, hearsay, successful graduates, mentors, offerings, and other rankings.  I've excluded accelerators that have a more focused approach (for example they're only interested in companies that deal with music or the cloud), as well as those that were outside the U.S., and those that require companies to be at a more advanced stage.

For the most part these programs provide $10,000 - $25,000 in exchange for their guidance, expertise, office space, and 5-10% stake in the companies they accept.

Here they are in order and separated by tiers:
Tier 1
1) Y-Combinator - Silicon Valley
2) TechStars Boulder - Boulder, CO
3) TechStars NY - New York
4) 500 Startups - Silicon Valley
5) AngelPad - San Francisco
6) TechStars Boston - Boston
7) TechStars Seattle - Seattle
8) Excelerate Labs - Chicago

Tier 2
9) DreamIt Philadelphia - Philadelphia
10) DreamIt NY - New York
11) LaunchPad LA - Los Angeles
12) LaunchPad New Orleans - New Orleans
13) Founders Co-op - Seattle
14) Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator - New York

Tier 3
15) i/o Ventures - San Francisco
16) LaunchBox Digital - Durham, NC
17) The Brandery - Cincinnati
18) MuckerLab - Los Angeles
19) Capital Factory - Austin

Tier 4
20) AlphaLab - Pittsburgh
21) Tech Wildcatters - Dallas
22) BetaSpring - Providence, RI
23) NYC SeedStart - New York
24) Gazelle Lab - Orlando
25) The Next Big Thing - Greenville, SC

Tier 5
Hub Ventures - San Francisco
10xelerator - Columbus, OH
Boom Startup - Salt Lake City
StartFast - Syracuse, NY

Friday, December 2, 2011

Motorola Droid Razr

You might have read about Motorola's newest addition to the Droid series: the Droid Razr.  You may have also heard it has off the charts performance specs, a brilliant display, 4G LTE service, yadda yadda yadda.  The aspect of the Razr we're most excited about is Bluetooth 4.0, but then again, our company designs Bluetooth software.  

However instead of covering all the bells and whistles, I want to focus on what's wrong with the Razr (like a proper pessimist should).

First off it's just too big.  The screen size is great for navigating the web, but I feel like I'm holding a etch-a-sketch up to my head when I'm talking.  My last phone was the original Motorola Droid, and maybe it's just because I'm familiar with it, but I like the size of that.  I also like the size of the iPhone.  It fits neatly into your jeans without having corners clearly jutting out.

(To avoid feeling like I'm talking into a tablet, I would get one of those Bluetooth headsets, but I hate those people that natter away on those things while walking down the street.  I hate even more the people who just wear those things around even when they're not yammering into it.)

Another problem I have is on the home page.  Thing are getting too convoluted.  I want an interface with icons for a few of the apps I use most.  The Droid Razr has a large screen and instead of making the old Android interface larger and icons more manageable, the Motorola and Google people have just tried to cram more stuff in there.  My advice to Motorola: larger icons, simpler views, and less crap. My advice to Google: keep your tablet and phone platforms separate.  Make the development process basically the same, but force devices to choose whether they want to be one or the other.

Problem #3: it's fricken expensive.  I believe the iPhone 4S should still be the gold standard, but the Razr costs 50% more PLUS you don't have a choice of carriers.

Considering these problems my recommendation is not to buy the Razr.  Either wait a few days (two new A-list Android phones are reputed to be coming out on December 8th) or buy an iPhone 4S.  Unfortunately for me, I'm stuck with this thing for two years.


Friday, November 4, 2011

BlueSmart and the Droid Razr

Motorola's newest Android phone is the second phone (behind the iPhone 4s) to be enabled with a Bluetooth 4.0 chip.  We're very excited about the product and particularly the Bluetooth ability, but disappointed that it comes with such a hefty price tag  -- $300 with a 2 year contract with Verizon.  By comparison, a 16-GB iPhone 4s is $200.  While the Razr boasts 4G LTE, it may price itself out of a lot of sales.  Plus, in smaller cities (like mine) 4G isn't even available yet.  It's available for pre-order now, and will ship by the November 10th.  (I'll provide a review when I receive mine.)

In other Bluetooth news, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group is re-branding Bluetooth 4.0 as Blue Smart.  I love the move of distinguishing Bluetooth 4.0 from older versions, as I believe the low energy aspect of 4.0 will make this technology revolutionary.  But really, Blue Smart?  I think they could have done a little better with the name.