Saturday, February 05, 2011
A Very High-Tech Super Bowl | Tim Bajarin | PCMag.com
s I walked on the field of the Dallas Cowboy Stadium earlier this week, home of this years Super Bowl, I couldn't help but marvel at all of the technology built into this brand new $1+ billion dollar stadium. Most obvious is its famous Mitsubishi HD Screen that spans from 20 yard line to 20 yard line and gives anyone facing it a fabulous view of any replay or the special programming it displays.
Around the stadium there are 3,500 46-inch HD screens, all Internet connected, so that if you are in any of the 100+ skyboxes or walking around the stadium, you don't miss any of the action on the field. Since they are IP connected, depending on where these screens are located, the management can send special messages or even targeted advertising to any one of them at any time, as well.
According to Peter Walsh, the CIO of the Cowboys stadium, this facility was built to not only take advantage of high-tech advances, but to make them available to all who come to the stadium for any event. For example, they have 1,000 Wi-Fi access points that are designed to cover the wireless needs of over 100,000 people doing simultaneous transactions. Their goal is to deliver the ultimate consumer experience, and they believe mobile and wireless technology should be a key part of that experience.
At the upcoming Super Bowl, the Cowboys, along with the NFL, will make two apps available for the iPad and Android platform to deliver stats and other information related to the game. With these apps, you can even vote in real time for the games MVP. They're highly encouraging people to bring their iPads, Galaxy Tabs, and smartphones and use them to enhance the whole sports experience. All of the major wireless networks have special towers inside the stadium to achieve strong wireless signals.
But the real technology marvel at the new Cowboys Stadium is its IT center. It manages all of the Wi-Fi hot spots and can even tweak them in sections where more of a back end push is needed during any given time. For example, Walsh pointed out that at the beginning of the game, a lot of people take pictures or videos of pre-game festivities and send them to friends. At that point, any section where a lot of this is taking place gets more bandwidth for that short period. During half time, when the Black Eyed Peas are performing, thousands may be tweeting and possibly sending live video. Here again, they have the ability to fine tune hotspots to meet the "local needs" of the users at any given time.
This new IT center, which was put together for them by CDW, is the envy of all of the NFL stadium execs and the NFL showcases it as the ideal example of how to create an efficient and all encompassing IT infrastructure for a high-tech stadium. According to Lance Caserottti, a Solutions Architecture executive at CDW, the Cowboys management turned to them for help with the total technology integration to tie all of these technologies together to create a state-of-the-art sports complex.
- Texas-size tech behind Super Bowl stadium (news.cnet.com)
- The Essential Free Apps for the Super Bowl XLV [Apps] (gizmodo.com)
Image via CrunchBaseGoogle calls Microsoft a copycat (week in review) | Business Tech - CNET News
Google has a harsh word to describe Microsoft: plagiarist.
After noticing curious search results at Bing, then running a sting operation to investigate further, Google has concluded that Microsoft was copying Google search results into its own search engine. The story began with Google's team for correcting typographical errors in search terms, which monitors its own and rivals' performance closely.
Next came the sting, which featured a one-time code that manually ranked a page for a specific term. Google then had employees type in those terms from home using Internet Explorer with both Suggested Sites and the Bing Toolbar enabled, clicking the top results as they went. Two weeks later, Bing showed the Google results that had been hand-coded.
A Bing executive acknowledged monitoring what links users clicked but essentially described it as letting humans help gather data through crowdsourcing.
However, another executive was adamant that Microsoft was not using Google's search results.
"We do not copy results from any of our competitors. Period. Full stop," Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's senior VP of its Online Services Division, wrote in a post on Bing's community blog. "We have some of the best minds in the world at work on search quality and relevance, and for a competitor to accuse any one of these people of such activity is just insulting."
- Microsoft responds to Google's copycat claims, again (news.cnet.com)
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Image via WikipediaVodafone: Egypt forced us to send text messages
By RAPHAEL G. SATTER
Thursday, February 3, 2011; 9:26 AM
LONDON -- Egyptian authorities forced Vodafone to broadcast government-scripted text messages during the protests that have rocked the country, the U.K.-based mobile company said Thursday.
Micro-blogging site Twitter has been buzzing with screen grabs from Vodafone's Egyptian customers showing text messages sent over the course of the protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year-old regime.
A text message received Sunday by an Associated Press reporter in Egypt appealed to the country's "honest and loyal men to confront the traitors and criminals and protect our people and honor." The sender is identified only as "Vodafone."
Vodafone Group PLC said in a statement that the texts had been scripted by Egyptian authorities. The company said authorities had invoked emergency rules to draft the messages, whose content it said it had no ability to change.
"Vodafone Group has protested to the authorities that the current situation regarding these messages is unacceptable," the statement said. "We have made clear that all messages should be transparent and clearly attributable to the originator."
Vodafone said the texts had been sent "since the start of the protests," which kicked off more than a week ago. Vodafone did not immediately return an e-mail asking why the company waited nearly 10 days to complain publicly. Its statement was released only after repeated inquiries by the AP.
Vodafone has already come under fire for its role in the Internet blackout that cut Egypt off from the online world for several days. The company said the order to pull the plug on its Egyptian customers could not be ignored as it was legal under local law.
Vodafone claimed that its competitors - including Mobinil and the United Arab Emirates' Etisalat - had also sent similar messages to their customers.
- Egypt 'hijacked Vodafone network' (bbc.co.uk)
- Vodafone Egypt forced to send pro-Mubarak texts (cbc.ca)
- Vodafone: Egypt Forced Us To Send Pro-Government Messages (huffingtonpost.com)
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Image via WikipediaChrome breaks 10 percent browser market share for the first time | Browsers - InfoWorld
By InfoWorld Tech Watch
Created 2011-02-01 01:00PM
January was a record-setting month for Google Chrome and Apple Safari, as both set new highs for market share. January was also a landmark month for Internet Explorer, albeit in a negative fashion, as the browser hit a new low of 56 percent of the browser market.
Net Applications' market share numbers  show Internet Explorer has been in steady decline, losing 4 percent over the last 10 months. The drop has helped second-place Firefox close the gap  despite its own slight downward trend, which Firefox maker Mozilla hopes to reverse with the upcoming release of Firefox 4 .
Firefox's inability to capitalize on IE's lost market share has been a boon for Chrome and Safari. "We're seeing the trend [of IE's decline] continue, but where once the growth went to Firefox, now it goes to Chrome and Safari," said Vince Vizzaccaro, vice president of marketing at Net Applications.
In cracking the 10 percent barrier, Chrome appears to be winning converts directly from Internet Explorer. Market share lost by Microsoft's browser must be picked up by other browsers, and Chrome is gaining the most momentum while Internet Explorer sputters.
Meanwhile, Safari's gains -- the largest one-month jump that Net Applications has ever recorded -- can be attributed in part to the growth in Mac usage: Mac OS X market share jumped 0.23 percent in January, its largest pickup since September 2009.
- New Browser Data Holds Mixed Bag for Internet Explorer (pcworld.com)
- Chrome breaks 10 percent browser market share for the first time (infoworld.com)
- Chrome, Safari reach record browser share highs (macworld.com)
- Chrome, Safari Reach Record Browser Share Highs (pcworld.com)