Monday, June 28, 2010

World Cup June 27 Observations...American inferiority complex in soccer

Watched the World Cup for a while on Sunday June 27 2010.

First there was the England vs Germany game.

Rooney had an opportunity to cut to his left, instead he passed into the right corner. This may have looked good statistically and not excited the coach's ire, however burying the ball in the right corner makes things difficult for the team as a whole.

Then one of the England forwards, had the ball about ten yards from the Germany goal line. All that was between him and the goal was one German defender and the goalie. The German rushed at the Englander from the Englander's left. The Englander would have had a tremendous position if he had cut the ball to his left, contradicting the rush of the German. Instead he shot the ball into the body of the German defender who had rushed at him from his left.

I concluded that the English have not been practicing cuts to the left followed by: shot with left foot; or, pass with left foot; or, dribble with left foot; or, shot with right foot; or, pass with right foot; or, dribble with right foot.

As a player I spend almost all my time in the air, meaning the ball is off the ground. Thus I am different from your typical player. For me shooting with the right foot after slanting left is often a reasonable and effective alternative. Not sure to what extent a player who plays with the ball on the ground can shoot with the right after slanting with the left. But I thought I'd list the shoot with right after slanting left alternative anyway.

Next there was the Argentina vs Mexico game.

The Argentinians and the Mexicans impressed me with their skill when it come to trapping aerial passes that have been sent to them and that have traveled approx 50 meters, sometimes more, sometimes less.

I have lived in the U.S. since I was 5 years old, hence I am similar to Americans who were born in the U.S.A. I possess the American characteristic which is an inferiority complex when it comes to soccer. Watching the Argentinians and the Mexicans deftly trap the long aerial passes sent to them made me feel depressed and inferior.

Problem with this is that the feelings of inferiority are often delusional.

One of my high points since I began taking a serious interest in the sport of soccer, was the days during which I would do things like throw the ball at the wall, then intercept the rebound before it bounced, take control of the ball, and then commence an air-dribble in a predetermined direction, all without the ball touching the ground.

Note: air dribble for me, means moving horizontally 5 or more meters while keeping the ball close to the body but off the ground ( for me this has meant avoiding use of the head because such is easy, and avoiding use of the thighs because such is easy and slow).

Let's face it, what I did with the rebound off the wall, is harder than what the Americans impressed me with, which is their one touch passing that I earlier concluded they were too preoccupied with.

(Note: In the World Cup action Sunday there was a notable lack of one touch passing, I had said in my blog-post Saturday that the Americans had hurt themselves by overemphasizing one touch passing).

Today at practice a ball came at me, rebounding off the wall after I had shot it at the wall. I trapped it with ease, bringing it to a complete halt under my right foot (I am left footed), with one touch. It had flown at me at a high rate of speed without bouncing after rebounding off the wall about 15 meters away, after I had shot it at the wall. Then I realized that the sense of inferiority that ensued from watching the Argentinians and Mexicans display skill in trapping long aerial passes, was a delusion.

Earlier a few weeks ago I (May 30 entry soccer log) had had a dream in which these Spanish and Black players were air-dribbling the ball with their thighs at a high rate of speed. They would run at a fast speed, with the ball touching their thighs every two or three paces; they seemed to be angels; the ball never touched the ground; I felt as if I would never be able to do what they did.

Then in real waking life I attempted to do what 'the angels' had done in the dream, in the gym at the Waltham Y. I found I was able to do the same thing that they had done at the same speed. But when I had the dream I felt like they were better than me and that I was unable to do what they had done.

Such is the American inferiority complex in soccer.

As for Perez' tremendous goal that his fellow Catholic TV announcer Ambrosino crowed about as being in the upper 90s in mph speed, given how the Jabulani World Cup 2010 ball is (June 25 entry soccer log) faster than the Replique of the 2006 World Cup, Perez' excellent shot would have been at just around 80 mph with the Replique of 2006 that I have been practicing with up till Friday. Yet Perez and Argentina showed intelligence in that they seem to have realized that the Jabulani travels faster and taken advantage of the fact.

@2010 David Virgil Hobbs

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

World Cup Soccer Defeat for US vs Ghana; what went wrong?

It is 524 PM EST and Ghana just eliminated the US in the World Cup, and I start writing my blog-post re the event. I now offer some constructive criticism re the US performance. I estimate such to be more valuable compared to praising the US for what they did well.

The US showed itself to still be the good old USA, same as the USA has been for dozens of years, in that its players showed themselves to be too shy and too cautious, when it comes to dribbling the ball past a defender with the ball on the ground. They never attempted to beat the defenders on the air-dribble, dribbling the ball with the ball not touching the ground.

Dribbling the ball past a defender with the ball on the ground, is an art I have already explained in internet pages, even though it would have been to my advantage to keep such things secret. The art of beating a defender on the dribble, is mental. To succeed you have to plan your practices in a thoughtful intelligent way, and to succeed you have to make the right chess-like moves against the defender during the game.

The US weakness in terms of dribbling past a defender, resulted in the US making poor quality passes and taking poor quality shots, because the alternative of attempting to dribble past the defender for all practical purposes did not exist for the US.

The US repeatedly on shots kicked the ball straight at the goalie. What is even harder to understand is that the US taking shots, repeatedly shot the ball right into the bodies and feet of the Ghana defenders. It was as if the coaches fans and administrators wink their eye at blocked shots because nobody knows if the blocked shot would have been a good shot if it had not been blocked, result being players feel safe being scored for having had a shot blocked.

On passes the US was excellent in terms of one touch passing. The US showed itself to be world class when it comes to making a difficult one touch pass with balls coming at the passer in a difficult way and the recipient of the pass in a difficult position. At the same time, inexplicably, the US was repeatedly inaccurate in aerial passing when the US player had established control of the ball before passing it. US aerial passes tended to be too short and too low.

I estimate that the US had been spending too much time practicing one-touch passes while ignoring and taking for granted passes and shots made after the passing/shooting player has established control of the ball. With one-touch passing, the momentum the ball has before it reaches the passing player is used to propel the ball to the pass recipient. Not so (to anywhere near the same extent) when the player has established control of the ball before passing it.

Reminds me of how after I had been emphasizing difficult right-footed moves (I'm left-footed) practicing the air-dribble, and emphasizing sideways shots as opposed to straight ahead shots, to my surprise all of a sudden my right footed shots shooting sideways had become better than my left footed shots shooting straight ahead (I am left-footed).

The US repeatedly showed themselves defective in terms of the anticipation of movements by players on the opposing team. As a result of such lack of anticipation, shots were blocked, passes were intercepted, the ball was lost on the dribble. The movements that went unanticipated were movements that were quite predictable.

The American players who were on the receiving end of the chip type aerial passes in the penalty box, appeared to be weak in terms of the ability to gain control of such passes or shoot or pass on one touch off such passes. Seemed the players in positions that receive such passes are too light or too short and the US needs some height and weight in those positions.

Repeatedly A US player who had the ball out in the open with nobody near him and plenty of time, would simply without delay, pass or shoot the ball. Seemed that they would have been wiser to get closer to the pass recipient or the opposing goal before passing/shooting.

Generally the US gave the impression of being strong in the things that a coach can teach to a team and weak in terms of the things that a coach cannot teach to a team. Seemed as if a plethora of self-important American coaches (this is not to condemn the current coach of the team) had overemphasized those maneuvers that a coach can teach while de-emphasizing maneuvers that are at best difficult for a coach to teach to a player. Seemed as if the US had become almost stereotypical, intolerant of atypical (not typical) persons and athletes, due to a quota mentality running amock amongst a diverse population. Seemed the egalitarian traditions of the US had suppressed individual enterprise when it comes to beating defenders and scoring.

Blog-post finished at 6:01 PM 6/26.

@2010 David Virgil Hobbs

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup Soccer Stats compared to my stats

Interpreting the World Cup soccer stats as of 6/23/2010 is complicated because: it is either difficult or impossible to find the definitions explaining exactly what the various stats mean; it is either difficult or impossible to find the totals for all the teams and players combined; and, the free-kick and non-free-kick totals are lumped together. Furthermore, it appears that in the team total statistics the blocked shots are counted as part of the total shots whereas in the individual statistics they are not, and that there is now no way to tell if this is really the way they are counting the stats.

My best estimate re non-penalty shots at the World Cup up to 6/23/2010, not counting blocked shots: average distance between shot point and shot crossing goal line or being caught by goalie, 17 meters; 43% of shots have been on target; 57% have been wide or high; 10% have been goals; and, 3% have hit the goalpost or the crossbar (with the individual stats the shots hitting the goalpost/crossbar and the shots that score goals seem to be counted as shots on target, leading one to guess that they are counted as shots on target in the team stats also, but at this level of confusion who knows for sure).

Looking at my stats personally ( ) of late firing a volley shot after a twisting turning 4-touch air dribble covering 10 meters in distance, the ball never touching the ground between the first touch and the shot on the fifth touch:

June 14 avg dist 17.2 m, right footed shots: 45 shots; 30 on target (67%); 15 wide (33%); 3 goals (7%) 1 hit post/bar (2%);
June 16 avg dist 15.8 m, left footed shots: 37 shots; 15 on target (41%); 22 wide (59%); 10 goals (27%); 2 hit post/bar (5%);
June 17 avg dist 15.3 m, right (at first mistakenly listed as left footed) footed shots: 16 shots; 10 on target (63%); 6 wide (38%); 5 goals (31%); 0 hit post/bar (0%)
June 18 avg dist 15.7 meters, left footed shots: 48 shots; 24 on target (50%); 24 wide (50%); 5 goals (10%); 3 hit post/bar (7%)

TOTAL June 14-18, 16.1 meter distance shot; 146 shots; 79 on target (54%); 67 wide (46%); 23 goals (16%); 6 hit post/crossbar (4%).

The curving air-dribble, during which I run about 10 meters while keeping the ball off the ground and close to the body before shooting the shot, has followed different directions on the different days, such seems to have impacted the shot quality for me.

June 14 and 17, the shots were taken right footed even though I am left-footed, and have practiced such right footed shots probably less than ten hours my entire life. The air-dribble I have been practicing involves slanting to the right with the right foot twice and appears to have built up power and accuracy in shooting with the right as I had expected.

Seems that being left footed, the days on which I was shooting straight ahead with the left foot I was overcome with a lust for power, whereas I was more careful and thus more accurate shooting sideways with the right foot. Seems all the emphasis on the right foot during the air-dribble has built up the right foot shot skill at the expense of the left foot shot skill. Seems all the sideways shooting has built up the sideways shooting skill at the expense of the straight ahead shooting skill. More details can be found at the soccer log entries for June and at the pages links in these entries link to.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Adidas Absolodo X IN my choice for soccer shoes

After several hours of tiring time consuming research, I made my choice for a new pair of soccer shoes. I decided to buy the Adidas Absolodo P X IN, or the Adidas Absalodo X IN (as of now I can discern no difference between the two shoes except for the outer coloring). I now explain the reasoning behind this choice.

I have been practicing soccer on a basketball court using Adidas Bracara shoes, which have served me well. But with the passage of time, the Bracaras have become smoother and smoother on the sole area of the foot, and I have been slipping more and more. It got to the point where I felt sort of as if I was ice skating. I decided that my next pair of shoes should as much as possible, on the sole area that contacts the ground, resemble a basketball shoe. Basketball shoes are made for basketball courts so such is simple common sense.

Secondly, I decided that the shoe laces on the shoe should be "asymmetric", "offset", "off center" lacing type shoes, meaning that the shoelace holes should not go straight down the middle of the shoe, but off to the side of the shoe; and I decided that the shoelace holes should angle to the outside of the foot not the inside of the foot (Nike is now making best I can tell--the photos at their website are confusing--at least one indoor soccer shoe featuring laces that angle off towards the inside of the foot).

My Adidas Bracara shoes feature a row of shoelace holes that angle off towards the outside of the foot; when I bought them it had become no longer possible to buy shoes with laces going down the middle. The shoes I used before the Bracaras, Pumas, had the shoelace holes right down the middle of the foot. At first I was worried that such shoelace angling might mess up my game, which involves alot of keeping the ball off the ground and backspinning the ball. I thought that since the shoelace holes angle off to the outside of the foot the result would be that I would not be able to use the shoelaces and the shoelace holes to aid in the backspin of the ball. But as it turned out, while using the Bracaras I was able to competently backspin the ball keeping it off the ground and close to the body while running around, despite the shoelaces angling off to the outside of the foot.

As I progressed in skill I entered into a long struggle involving an attempt to master the difficult skill of keeping the ball close to the body but off the ground while running, by way of chipping the ball to my right with my right foot despite being left-footed. I found this skill to be the most difficult skill I had ever attempted to master. Finally after several weeks of practice, in the past couple of days I've gotten to the point where I consider myself on the verge of mastering it. As I finally succeeded, I realized that the success was associated with putting plenty of backspin on the ball. I decided that the shoelaces and shoelace holes angling off to the outside of the foot, help me to succeed in accurately chipping the ball to my right with my right foot because they help me to backspin the ball. Thus I decided that I want shoes with shoelaces and shoelace holes angling off to the right of the foot.

The Adidas Absolado P X IN, and its twin the Adidas Absolado X IN, both feature soles that are like basketball shoe soles and that have a relatively large number of grooves in the sole per square inch, with the grooves being relatively deep. Also they both have the shoelaces angling towards the outside of the foot. Therefore these are the shoes I favor.

The shoes that I decided not to buy fell short of the Adidas Absolado X In shoes for several reasons: the groove patterns on the soles of the shoes did not resemble the groove patterns in basketball shoes; the grooves were too shallow; there were not enough grooves per square inch; the shoelace holes did not angle off towards the outside of the foot.

I spent some time studying tennis and I read about how the loosely strung tennis rackets allow the player to put more spin on the ball, which supports the idea that shoelaces help to put backspin on the ball.

I don't really need the help the shoelaces provide when it comes to backspinning the ball for air-dribbling tricks such as: cutting to the left with my left foot; cutting to my right with my left foot (I am left footed); cutting to my left with my right foot (more natural than cutting to my right with my right foot). I need the help the shoelaces provide for backspinning, for cutting to my right with my right foot.

I've read plenty of text re the supposed impact of shoelaces in terms of the power and precision of shots and passes. My personal experience with the Adidas Bracaras has been that I've been able to get off (my estimates using stopwatch) accurate 100 mph shots with the outside of the foot despite the shoelaces angling off to the outside of the foot. My opinion is that power and accuracy are produced not by extreme effort or by the position of the shoelaces, but rather by the ball and the body in the optimal positions.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Switching flash-drive access between computers at the push of a button

I estimate that through a purchase and installation made today at Microcenter in Cambridge MA, I will be able to each year, save approx 5 hours of time that would otherwise be spent twisting and turning and squinting plugging and unplugging USB devices.

For $40, I bought an Iogear Automatic Printer Switch, and for $10 I bought a Goldx USB 5-in -1 Quick-Connect package containing 5 adapters and a wire. I installed the Automatic Printer switch software on both my HP and Dell computers. I plugged a 2.0 GB USB flash drive into the 'printer switch' instead of a printer. I connected the 'printer switch' to both my computers. Presto! Now I can just by pushing the printer switch button, change from accessing reading and writing to files on the flash drive using the Dell computer, to accessing reading and writing to the same files on the same flash drive but using the HP computer, and vice versa.

As of now, I am a light year ahead of where I was yesterday, because I can do things like: change a file on the flash drive on my Dell computer, save the page, push a button, then change it on my HP computer, save the page, push a button, and then be back working on it on my Dell computer, all without plugging anything in or unplugging anything.

I did a stopwatch test of how long it takes me to type Dell into a text file on the flash drive on my Dell computer, save, push the USB switch button, type HP into the text file on the flash drive in my HP computer, save, and then return to my Dell and type Dell, using the 'printer switch' method and the old manual method.

Using the Iogear 'printer switch', this took me 61 seconds. Using the manual method of removing and inserting the flash drive, it took me 112 seconds (in part because I was reluctant to avoid the time-consuming processes Windows prescribes if one is to 'safely' remove a device).

Aside from the slow speed of action, with the manual method, there is the human physical and mental wear and tear in terms of twisting and turning and carefully putting things in and pulling them out. The manual way, the physical connections become more and more stressed every time a thing is pulled out or put in.

Aside from the speed of action, there are many occasions when I have simply not done something that I would have done had the push-button switch been available for me.

The test maneuver was 51 seconds faster using the USB switch.

If I had to perform the kind of maneuver tested once a day, the USB switch would save me 52 hours over ten years. If one were to value my time at $20 per hour, the average wage of the American worker, the USB switch will save me $1040 over 10 years even though it only cost me $50.

Now if 100 million persons were to follow my USB switch gospel, and each save $1000 in time over ten years, that would be 100 billion dollars. Such saving could put me into serious contention for a Nobel Prize.

Problem is, I could end up spending more than 5 hours this year, trying to figure out how to get my Samsung 300 GB external hard drive, to work with the 'Printer Switch'. So far this maneuver has been beyond my powers.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Two Bad Computer Viruses: How I got rid of them With Free Simple Solutions

Google Redirect Virus Defeated

The solution for the Google Redirect Virus, was first found at:
which was listed on page 6 of the search results from .

For a while I flailed around on the net, not getting any answers. I found when I went to the public library to search Google for answers, where the room temp was cooler, where it was brighter and more spacious, where I could look at the search results without resorting to copying the URL of the search result and pasting into the address bar so as to avoid the browser redirect, my mind starting thinking more clearly.

Instead of using search terms that attempted to narrow down the search results to exactly the problem I had, by including terms such as asklots (a page I was frequently redirected to), I switched over to trying to use the kind of search terms that are most commonly used for the virus, leaving details out. I did a search for "google virus". This search led to a page that said the virus was commonly known as the "google redirect" or "google redirection" virus. The "google redirect" virus was more common a term according to the search results than "google redirection".

Looking at the search results for "google redirect", I resolved to start with the simplest possible solutions and work upwards to more complex solutions. The solution was approx the fourth simplest one I found and the fourth one I tried.

I found the content that I found at deletemalware.blogspot in several pages. This content featured easy to understand graphics showing screen shots of various checks that should be made on the computer. The fifth of seven steps recommended was to download , size 944 KB, ( ). I downloaded it and ran it; it was finished (command line window) in just a couple of seconds; it told me that it had it found the C windows system32 drivers cdrom.sys file infected by the tdss rootkit; it said it would be cured on the next reboot. It did not find any registry objects infected (some pages giving advice had advised toiling with softwares that backup and check the registry); it found only the one cdrom.sys file infected. It said on reboot, I would be free of the virus.

And on reboot, indeed I was free of the virus.

Defeat of the Mebroot Virus

Previously Feb 25, I had been infected by the Mebroot virus. In that case, finally, by doing a Google groups search for "Mebroot removal tool", ( ), I found an entry ( ) that said Eset had a tool that successfully removed the virus. To my surprise, ESET's small command line program ( ), 0.1 MB, ran for just a couple of seconds, told me to restart, and the virus was gone.

Generalizations RE the Two Victories over the Viruses

Both when I succesfully removed the Mebroot virus Feb 25, and when I successfully removed the Google redirect virus June 1, the solutions were small, free command line standalone malware removal tools produced by established reputable professional computer security companies. Both times the programs provided by these companies ran for only a couple of seconds, and had the virus cleared out with just a restart. Both times the tiny utilities were extremely easy and simple to use.

With both viruses, there were plenty of false leads in the content of verbose, expert sounding web pages (found through Google searches) giving advice re the viruses, pointing to expensive, time and energy consuming, complicated, dangerous (in terms of causing computer problems) alleged solutions. With both viruses there were lots of pages talking about how difficult it is to remove the virus, how dangerous it is to try to remove it.

With both viruses there were plenty of stories that would be laughable were they not so tragic, about unfortunates who in attempting to remove the virus had gotten to the point where they could no longer do anything at all with their computers.

When I encountered the more recent "Google redirect" virus, I by mistake bought a paid copy of Prevx, because mistakenly in my memory I thought that Prevx was the one that had removed the virus. Actually, Prevx had found the virus but would only remove it with the paid version--ESET was the company whose free product had actually removed the virus. But mistakenly, my memory told me that Prevx had removed the virus, because I had downloaded a colorful trial version of Prevx that captured my attention, that I had to pay attention to to work with. The real hero, the ESET standalone command line program, was drab, colorless, and did not require much attention to run so mistakenly I did not remember it as the hero it was. I estimate that both myself and others fail to give the proper level of attention to solutions that are superior but less memorable.

Generally, seems that a key to virus removal, is to use the right terms in the Google searches re the virus. You could have two slightly different searches using slightly different words, and one search could result in hours of useless research whereas another search immediately results in the problem being quickly and easily solved.

Apparently when using search engines to research a virus, one should use the same words that lots of people are using to describe the virus, not words and phrases that a small minority are using to describe the virus. Apparently it is advantageous to leave out little details that one would think would help to narrow down the search results to what is needed, because most people working on the subject leave such little details out of the pages relevant to the subject.

Seems it's wise to: not to get bogged down in the results produced by one search, before experimenting with a few different searches using a few different terms; be sceptical with regards to persons who exaggerate re how difficult and complex a task it is to remove the virus; start with the simplest solutions available and work your way upwards to more and more complex solutions; and, not be panicked and stampeded into prematurely spending lots of money on an expensive solution, or prematurely getting involved in complex difficult solutions.

Fact of the matter is that for any given computer infection, apparently, there are an unbelievably large number of pages pointing to sub-optimal solutions.

ESET called their solution to Mebroot, a "Mebroot removal tool", and a "Mebroot remover", and a "standalone malware removal tool" ( ). Kaspersky called their solution to "Google Redirect", a "disinfection of an infected system", a "malware remover", and a "malware family utility". I estimate the use of such phrases will lead to quick and easy successes when fighting off viruses.

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