NBA Finals Referees Officiating Dissected

NBA Game 5 Official Bennett SalvatoreNBA Finals Game 5 Ref Joe CrawfordNBA Finals Official Joe DeRosa

82games.com has layed out a full analysis of the officiating 2006 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.  While they admit it to be somewhat subjective, since it requires the use of human interpretation of a call, they claim to be as objective and well informed as possible to make the grading of each referee call in the 6 games.  Bottom line?

+5.4 MIA - Salvatore

+1.9 MIA - DeRosa

+1.1 DAL - Crawford

+0.6 DAL - Joint Calls

Which basically translates to around a 5 point swing towards the Heat based on Refereee calls, mostly due to Salvatore, who called the most questionable fouls on Dwyane Wade.

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Full, free, movies on Google Video

 Full movies found on Google Video (via InsideGoogle)
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FON: Free Open Global Wireless Network

LOGOfree wifi

FON is a startup trying to put together a global community of shared WiFi.  All you have to do is open your wireless network to the FON network, and you in turn get access to everyone else who is doing the same.  And if you do this, they'll even throw in a wireless router for 5 bucks.

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Free TV Shows on YouTube

This guy has a long list of the hundreds of free tv shows found on YouTube, though any one of them is subject to removal quickly since its illegal to host them.

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Launch a Startup Company With 500 Dollars and 1 Week

The second great experiment in internet startup is 2 CEP's of web 2.0 companies setting out on a 1 week expidition to built a money-making company with only 500 dollars.  The two founders are blogging their way through the trial:

"So Brian asked me, is it possible to build a profitable startup with
500 dollars and only one week of development? I said absolutely, but
with the right idea. Not a purely consumer play that was based on
advertising and sharing a bunch of photos or something. I said, when I
first started putting together the press plan for uGather,
I wanted to build a system that would be a newswire for bloggers and
online media outlets. I had bought the domain in October, but had no
time to get it built out. In short, a company or PR firm submits a
release and it goes directly to bloggers and online news outlets only.
It would be an easier way for bloggers to manage the news they get, and
a much easier way for companies, startups, and firms to get blogging
coverage. So that was it, early Saturday, we decided this was the idea
to go with. In one week we hope to have a prototype up and running.
We’ll need bloggers first, so the full out launch might be a
couple of weeks afterwards so far in 36 hours we have:

  • completely spec’d the development of the site out in about 3 pages
  • Set up the web server
  • Transferred the domain over
  • finished the concept design
  • Pricing points and business models
  • Initial launch ideas
  • Started coding the design
  • Set up the company blog"
[via blog.theweblogwire]

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Online business start-up so easy an 8 year old can do it

Some great articles today on designing your own business via the web.  Here's one on how a venture capitalist helped his 8 year old son start his own company:

"First, since my son already had a typepad
account, he was able to create a new blog and make it the home page for
his Ollie King website. I then showed him how to look for domain names
on GoDaddy. We tried to buy OllieKing.com but to no avail. It was already taken. So he had to settle for SkateOllieKing.com.
Through the wonders of modern domain hosting, I was able to nearly
instantly redirect SkateOllieKing.com to my son's new Ollie King home
page on typepad. Unfortunately for my budding entrepreneur, at that
point I had to go take his brother to theater practice, so I left my
eight year old tweaking his web site. But when I got home I found him
on Cafepress making
t-shirts and hats with the various designs he was able to rescue from
the trash. Apparently he had been on Cafepress before looking at his
uncle's crazy t-shirt designs. Once he had created a bunch of products for his Cafepress store, he then linked his home page to CafePress and voila, my eight year old had his own skate brand."

[via ventureblog]

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Summer Storm

Summer Storm
Originally uploaded by askobac.
My brother has some rediculous lighting shots; nothing like patience and a few hundred clicks of a button-




This is a real thing?

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MetaWeather aggregates sources for more accuracy

MetaWeather is a new weather service that aggregates weather reports from a myriad of sources to gain a higher level of confidence in predicting the weather. A great concept, since weather reports aren't very reliable, but there are some problems with the site. First, it lacks the right design to easily digest the information. Second, it doesn't have an option to change to farenheight for the American audience. Third, I wonder (and this might be done in actuality) if the service rates a source's accuracy and weights the averages accordingly.

UPDATE: After my innitial posting on MetaWeather, a technical director from the team wrote me a friendly letter about my comments. He implemented a farenheight option immediately, sent more information on the product, and requested more feedback. This type of interaction with the site's audience is commendable by the team leading MetaWeather. I look forward to seeing more development on this intriguing tool.

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Google Research working with audio contextual content

One of the Google Research teams has been working on a system that uses a computer microphone to scan the audio in a room, determine which TV shows are being watched, and offer additional information on the the computer that is pertinent to the show.  Supplemental information includes contextual search, services, and shopping related to what's on TV.  Four categories discussed for the application of this tool are:
  • Personalized information layers Here’s what
    Tom Cruise is wearing in the show you are watching and here’s
    where you can buy the same clothes in your zip code.
  • Ad hoc social peer communities If you would like to chat about this show, ten of your college friends are watching it right now as well.
  • Real-time popularity ratings Nielsen requires
    hardware and the results aren’t available in real-time. You might
    want to know if there is a spike in viewers watching the show on
    channel 9 right now. Advertisers might want to know that too.
  • TV- based bookmarks Click to save a show or clip into your video library and there will be more than just a few shows available for watching later.
This is the kind of application that could change the way we consume media, with real time information being provided at our fingertips before we even know we need it.

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Free Google Videos via Advertising Sponsorship

Google is doing a test of ad-sponsored video, offering up normally pay-content for free in return for seeing a banner above the video and a post roll.  The idea is great, but the free content is less than desirable, which makes me question the effectiveness of this test.  Since you can watch Lost for free with commercials directly on ABC.com, advertisers need to step it up a bit if this is going to fly.

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35 Ways to use RSS

1. Track drunk athletes (RSS)

2. Identify key blog phrases and themes (RSS)

3. Real-time severe weather alerts (RSS)

4. Subscribe to personal reminders

5. See what sports is on HDTV tonight (RSS)

6. Get notified when that must-have item pops up on eBay (RSS)

7. Watch for new music on iTunes (RSS)

8. Monitor for airport delays (RSS)

9. Track new software releases (RSS)

10. Subscribe to movie reviews (RSS)

11. Watch for cheap Travelocity airfares or on Expedia

12. Get the latest currency exchange rates (RSS)

13. Subscribe to traffic updates (RSS)

14. Read the Bible one verse at a time (RSS)

15. Check out new recipes that come to you (RSS)

16. Track your favorite baseball team

17. Track your favorite football team

18. Track your favorite basketball team

19. Track your favorite hockey team

20. Get your horoscope (RSS)

21. Monitor the latest on bird flu (RSS)

22. Assess the latest computer threats (RSS)

23. Track the latest video games for Xbox (RSS) or Playstation (RSS)

24. Get the tides for virtually any coast in the world

25. Read the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci one day at a time (RSS)

26. Subscribe to TV listings

27. Track the latest questions on Yahoo Answers (RSS)

28. Subscribe to tee times (RSS)

29. Peruse the latest photos on Flickr (RSS)

30. Scan the latest videos on YouTube (RSS)

31. Get hotel deals from Marriott (RSS)

32. Learn a new word every day using RSS (RSS)

33. Track the latest sales with Dealcatcher (RSS)

34. Subscribe to the Target circular (RSS)

35. Track the latest uses for RSS

This article from MicroPersuasion
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MLB Players use iPods to study aponents

Jason Jennings
First it was senators, now baseball players - the Colorado Rockies are giving their pitchers clips on a video ipod of every batter they might face, hitters clips of the pitchers they'll face, and everyone clips of how they're doing when they perform.  Gets everyone out of the film room, and lets everyone have easily all they want at their finger tips - pretty good practical business use of an iPod.

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AT&T "See How They Live" Campaign brings Cribs to Sports

AT&T's new campaign "See How They Live"
is a broadband "Cribs" series (a la MTV), where they take you through
athletes' homes, all the while making sure to focus on the great
technology that the athletes are using from AT&T and partners. 
Clicking within the video innitiates a side panel with more information
about each product.  Commercial, but still a shot at peeking into the
houses of today's big athletes, if thats yr thing.

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Diet Coke and Mentos

Apparently this is the new craise ammusing kids these days - drop a bunch of mentos in diet coke and the whole thing exploded.  Check out YouTube and Google Video for hundreds of videos of this phenomenom.  And think about the guy who figured this out - had a mentos in his mouth, went to take a nice relaxing sip of diet coke, and his mouth exploded.

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Yahoo customizes their own Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)

Yahoo is rolling out their own version of the IE7 beta, completely "optimized" for use with your Yahoo account. What does this mean?

# Yahoo! Search built into the browser
# Yahoo.com set as the default home page on the primary Tab
# Yahoo! Mail loads in your secondary Tab when you start IE7 Beta 2
# New, sleek design
# Safer web browsing
# View multiple web pages simultaneously
# Reduce clutter with Tabbed browsing
# Collect your favorite content from around the Web with RSS feeds

Download Internet Explorer (BETA 2) Optimized by Yahoo!

Basically it just means Yahoo took over all of the settings and adjusted the style of the site so it looks feels and acts like you're on yahoo all the time. While this might be compelling to people who want easily to have a browser that gives them all yahoo has to offer, a personally customized Firefox, Flock, or even IE will be more suitable to most people who hop from tool to tool across brands.

More significant, though, is the continued manouvering back and forth of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to form different alliegences. Google has the default to Firefox, which is the second largest browser in the US share of use wise. MSN Live will be the default for Microsoft, but they've also given Yahoo this in through a partnership. In addition, Microsoft and Yahoo are soon to announce that their chat applications are inter-operable (you can chat across carriers). Between Yahoo's customized IE and Yahoo's default on Flock, they are revving up their fight against Google for ownership of valuable search real estate. I wonder how much they had to pay Microsoft to grab priority from a company that has their own struggling search product to promote. Read below Microsoft's discussion of the release:

IEBlog : Yahoo! ships customized IE7 beta 2

Also, what will this mean long term when the final versions of IE7 roll out?

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Blogged with Flock


More thoughts on Flock


Why might the Flock homepage going to help Yahoo keep market share over Google? Just take a look at the homepage, which is designed as a clean search only interface that has brought Google success. Yahoo's default homepage instead uses a cluttered interface that people shy away from, and their main search page http://search.yahoo.com isn't very well known. Meanwhile this type of clean search page as the default for Flock might be enough to draw people in without causing them to change their opening start page.

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Flock launches full beta

Flock: The web browser for you and your friends.

After months and months of refining their developer previews, Flock finally released a beta of their social browser built on the Mozilla (Firefox) engine.  What's it give you?  Full integration with social tools like del.icio.us and flickr, so what you do in your browser is actually interacting with those services.  Save a link in flock and it gets tagged and stored in your del.icio.us account.  Upload images to Flickr simply by dragging them into your browser.  More importantly, search all of those items for simple viewing within the browser as well as drag and drop compatibility with blog posting.  Now you don't have to be on the Flickr page to search for your photos.  Also built in is a full service blog editor that lets you store clippings for use in blogging later, as well as drag and drop your other (flickr) resources.  So far in playing around with it everything works great, accept that I can't get it to recognize blogger, so I can only use it to post to wordpress accounts for now.

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Google Browser Sync for Firefox

Google Browser Sync for Firefox lets you keep track of the tabs you are using on any of your computers. Install the extension on all copies of Firefox that you use, and each time you start up a browser anywhere you will see your history and have the ability to select which tabs you want to view from any of your other locations.
Google Browser Sync
Other recommended Firefox extensions

UPDATE: My experience with this extension has been poor. Opening the tabs from one browser closes tabs from the other, and it doesn't protect against crashes as well as other Firefox extensions do. For the time being, I've turned off the Browser Sync.

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Text Message Your Google Calendar

If you're using Google Calendar you can now interact with it via text message, a feature that I've been waiting for since remembering something I want to add to my calendar hours after it comes up just wasn't working for me.
  • To create an event via SMS, text the event details to "GVENT"
  • To get a notification of your next scheduled event, text "next" to "GVENT"
  • To get a notification of your current day's events, text "day" to "GVENT"
  • To get a notification of your next day's events, text "nday" to GVENT"
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Kerlon Souza and the Seal Dribble

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JetBlue will offer internet access in the air

JetBlue bid $7 million for an air-ground wireless license, which will give them the ability to offer internet access on flights across the country.  Another company, AirCell (an airborn telco), bid $31.7 billion to win a higher megahertz license.  Verizon, currently the owner of the only air-ground license, has to limit opperations and pull out fully by May 2010.  Not knowing enough about this, doesn't it seem like a long time to relinquish use of a system you lost your bid for?

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Google Spreadsheets (excel online)

Creating spreadsheets
Starting today, Google is accepting sign-ups for their soon to be released beta of Google Spreadsheets, their office competitor.  This, ontop of their purchase of Writely, an online word processor, begins to round out their attack on Microsoft Office.  Google Spreadsheets will offer collaborative editing of spreadsheets in real-time, with built in chat and autosave on their hosted network.  You can also important and export to excel.

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The Original Mario Bros in 3-D

Feel like playing the original Mario Bros from Nintendo in 3-D?  Doesn't work exactly right or follow the original rules of the game exactly, but may amuse you all the same.

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Basketball player look-alikes

I think one of my first postings was about how Manu Ginobili and Balki from perfect strangers look alike. Last night I came across this posted on another site, taking the basketball player look-alike discussion to another level: