Archives for February 2012

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: New Android Bug Found?

Proview now sues Apple in US
A week after being dealt a setback in court in Shanghai, Proview International has taken its trademark battle with Apple to US courts. The company is seeking to block Apple from shipping iPads into or out of China.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple purchased the trademark rights to IPAD from the company in 2009 and Proview is now seeking to have that sale canceled and has filed its case in California Superior Court, Santa Clara County.

Smartphone sales determined by age and income report says
Market researcher Nielsen has published a survey it conducted with 20,000 mobile consumers that gives some interesting insight into how the US smartphone market has grown broken down by age and income.

The report shows that overall smartphone penetration has reached 48% in January, but that the age group of 25-34 far outpaced the nation as a whole with 66% penetration. However when income is added into the equation the results start to change. Head over to take a look at the results.

AT&T loses data throttling suit
AT&T’s efforts to throttle, or slow down, data use by the top 5% of its customers has hit a minor bump as a California man has won a small court claim against the company. He was awarded $850 for his effort.

While he has an unlimited account AT&T the telecommunications company has started slowing down data downloads to heavy users, often despite the fact that they are using less that people with capped programs.
The judge ruled that it wasn’t fair for the company to purposely slow down his iPhone, when it had sold him an “unlimited data” plan. AT&T said it will appeal the ruling.

Motorola forces Apple to disable iPhone Push Email in Germany
As a result of one of the various rulings between Apple and Motorola Mobility, this one pertaining to a Motorola victory Apple will disable the push email function in its iOS devices in Germany. Apple is continuing to appeal the ruling.

The decision will affect users of Apple’s iCloud and MobileMe email. The programs have the ability to automatically send emails to the devices automatically when they are received at the mail servers rather than wait for the user to manually check for new mail.

LG in talks with Google on next generation Nexus device
Seeking to get a leap on its competitors and a prestigious title LG is in preliminary talks with Google that would enable LG to be the next device manufacturer to create a Nexus device. Rivals Samsung with its Galaxy Nexus and HTC with the Nexus One have already partnered with Google.

LG could use the partnership to burnish its faded image in the mobile phone market, whch has seen its once more prominent position fade a bit. According to Cnet which broke the story, the deal would also help assure other handset manufacturers that they would have a level playing field with Google’s Motorola holdings.

Panasonic developing virtual safe house for Android
With the growing concerns that app developers are intentionally stealing user data off of smartphones and other devices it was only a matter of time before someone developed an app to stop other apps. OK, there have been security programs in the past but the latest to join the herd is Panasonic which announced new technology to secure your mobile devices.

The company has teamed with Red Bend Software to develop a technology that prevents loss of data from smartphones both from apps seeking to exploit the phones and from outside users that might find a lost phone.

The core of the technology features a fold that is separate from the Android operating system and in which data, photos, emails and contact information can be stored securely. Panasonic claims that the technology, which utilizes Red Bend’s mobile virtualization software, will still allow Android apps to run normally.

New Android bug found?
It looks like there is a flaw in the Android operating system that could enable a hacker to take control of devices, according to a report from Reuters. The flaw was discovered by startup security firm CrowdStrike and they say that using the flaw they have found a way to take control of users Android devices

CrowdStrike said that it will be displaying its finding at RSA Conference in San Francisco later this week but said that the gist of matter is that by sending an email or text message that appears to be from a trusted source that urges the recipient to click on a link, which if done infects the device. I get emails like that from Nigerian princes all of the time- are they fake?

Gannett Increasing Digital Sports Focus: Teams with MLB

Gannett is seeking to leverage the digital media explosion by translating it into solid revenue via a diversified approach that will cover everything from customized content to an enhanced position in sports.

The publisher, possibly best known for its flagship paper USA Today, said that it expects to reach between $75 million and 100 million in revenue from digital services division and that it expects to see strong revenue growth going forward, reaching an estimated $275 million to $350 million by 2015.

Company executives speaking at its annual Analyst Day have bullish vision for revenue growth and one of the components of that growth will be its sports USA Today Sports Media Group, which it will try and drive into becoming a top five sports media companies in the country with over $300 million in annual revenue by 2015.

Acquisitions and partnerships part of sports push

It has already taken a solid step in this direction with the announcement of a co-development deal with MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet branch of Major League Baseball today announced a joint venture to develop and produce new content and products for sports fans across all digital and mobile platforms.

It has already worked to enhance its digital sports position with the purchase of Fantasy Sports Ventures (FSV), an umbrella organization that features a number of on-line sports sites including, and and The Big Lead. The deal, which was announced, last month was for an undisclosed sum.

It gives Gannett instant relevance in the on-line advertising space, an area that it has straggled in, according to the Wall Street Journal. USA Today has been battling players such as Yahoo Sports and, which have significantly larger audiences.

FSV is the 5th largest online sports property with an average of 18.4 million unique visitors monthly, USA Today is ninth with 10 million unique visitors. Executives said that they will continue to look at additional acquisitions but has no plans currently for any large purchases.

Additionally it plans to do a major re-launch of its entire desktop, mobile and tablet products across the company within the next two years, starting with USA Today.

Daytona 500 Delayed — Could Pressure Next NASCAR Race

Sunday's 200,000 fans not this dry

Sunday’s heavy rains forced a delay for the Daytona 500 race, the first time in the iconic race’s 54-year history that it has been delayed. Track officials waited over four hours before deciding that was not going to be a window of clear weather that was long enough to allow the track to dry off sufficiently to allow for racing.

The race has been tentatively moved to Monday but weather reports are not promising as the forecast currently calls for rain. It is likely that the track will wait much longer since any additional delays will make it difficult to reach Phoenix in a timely manner for next week’s NASCAR race.

For the office bound-look online for info

For racing fans there is still news to be had online. We listed a number of services that are being provided by the Daytona International Speedway last week but there are other online and social media sources for fans that might be trapped in an office during the race.

With the race being broadcast on Fox there is of course web site that focuses specifically on NASCAR. With a lot at stake they will very likely have their finger on the pulse to see if the race does start at noon EST, or what time it is likely to start. ESPN of course also has a strong NASCAR presence at can be viewed at its site as well.

If you are looking to have a bit of input and possibly chat with other fans while at work, you can head over to and join in the Twitter conversations that are ongoing or follow any one of a number of drivers Twitter feeds as they talk about the race and the rain issue.

The PGA’s Strange Baby Steps Toward Social Media

Since golf in general has a reputation for being stuck up, it’s perhaps no surprise that when it comes to social media the PGA is still taking baby steps when compared to other sports. I mean — in an era where the NBA has fans selecting the dunk contest winners via text message and Twitter, the PGA has a place where fans can leave messages online… for the PGA to somehow bring them to golfers.

Don’t understand what I am talking about? Look at this page, which I found by following the PGA on Twitter… and see if you think it’s about three years behind the interactivity of the times. As far as I can tell, the PGA thinks that fans may want to “congratulate” Hunter Mahan by leaving a message on some random web page — or as the PGA site says, “Leave a note below and we’ll deliver it to him.”

Umm… OK? As far as I can tell this is about as non-social as social media gets. I mean — why not have the winner do a quick Twitter chat, where he can respond to fans in real time? And they can get recognition for themselves via their Twitter handles, which after all is part of the social media game — to be recognized?

This sort of idea — you put a message here, somewhere safe, and we’ll carry it past the ropes to our winner — pretty much reflects golf’s baby steps toward real fan interaction. The online video for the World Golf match play was a perfect example of that tenor — it was a straight network-broadcast type feed, no place for fan tweets or any outside commentary. You get the feeling sometimes that golf wants to keep its game bottled up as much as it can. But I don’t think that method is going to win in the long run. Golf will need to either open up, or it will become less appealing to a fan base that is rapidly growing accustomed to having closer, more intimate access to its heroes.

Can Twitter Save the NBA Slam Dunk Contest?

For a long time now, I thought that the NBA’s All-Star Slam Dunk contest was something that just needed to die. Way back in the day, before every single dunk was posted to YouTube and every game was on cable, it was kind of fun to put a spotlight on guys who you hadn’t seen that much of (Dominique Wilkins) and more from the guys you couldn’t get enough of (Michael Jordan).

In its early days it was a lot of fun, with surprise winners like Spud Webb. But then it stagnated, the stars left for a while and in recent years it became a bit of a clown show, with guys jumping over each other, and then last year when Blake Griffin posterized an automobile. I mean, the guy can dunk but I thought the sideshow was stupid.

In perhaps a nod to the event’s tediousness, it is now just one round — three dunks — for four players. And to make it even more trendy, the NBA and sponsor Sprite have turned to Twitter. In addition to voting for the best dunkers via text message and on the site, fans will be able to tweet with the hashtag #SpriteSlam and a letter corresponding to one of the four players involved, the Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger, the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Derrick Williams and the Utah Jazz’s Jeremy Evans. I am guessing the final instructions will be spelled out during the broadcast on TNT, which you will have to watch anyway to see the dunks.

Are you excited? Here is the official word on how it works:

A new format will be implemented for the 2012 competition. The contest will consist of only one round and each competitor will execute three dunks. Fan voting will open after all four players have completed their first dunk. Previously, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest consisted of two rounds, with the first round scored by a panel of judges which determined two finalists.

The competition starts Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, live on TNT. And just in case you can’t get enough of guys dunking over cars, here’s last year’s finals recap.
UPDATE: If you need more Twitter, Chase Budinger will be holding a tweet-chat today:

#SpriteSlam contestant @ is doing a Twitter Q&A at 1pm EST, tweet your questions with #AskChase


Twitter Sports



Friday Grab Bag: Apple pays $50 million for Chomp

Apple buys app search engine company
Apple has purchased Chomp, a startup that has developed technology that enables users to search the iOS App Store in unique ways including searching for features that are not listed in any other search category.

The app has a very wide range of features including checking on what apps your Facebook and Twitter friends have reviewed. It also lists a free app of the day and shows which apps are currently trending

Apple paid $50 million for the company but has given no clear direction as to what it intends to do with the technology that it has acquired. The company recently noted that it has already had 25 billion apps downloaded from the store.

Nike takes a second step with Nike +
Mike has made another move into digital sports with a pair of products, the Nike+ Basketball and the Nike+Training, both of which are shoes. The Nike+Basketball is designed to provide digital feedback about a players game including how high a player jumped, how fast they are and how hard they play. The first shows will be the Nike Hyperdunk+.

The second is the Nike+Training will be a line of shows that also feature a training program that has a series of workouts designed to improve performance. The first shows in this lineup will be the Lunar Hyper Workout+ for Women and the Lunar TR 1+ for men.

The shoes use a new sensor technology from the company called Nike+ Pressure Sensor built into each shoe. The sensor collects data and then wirelessly transmits data to their phone. Additionally Nike has started shipping its NikeFuel Band.

Microsoft files antitrust claim against Motorola with the EU
Microsoft has filed a complaint with the antitrust regulators in the European Union claiming that Motorola and Google are seeking to block sales of Microsoft products by seeking unfair terms for licensing their technology.

The complaint is very similar to the one that Apple filed last week and comes at a time when the EU has already said that it is quite willing to look at not only present but past patent licensing efforts by Motorola.

Microsoft said that Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our Xbox game console and other products by refusing patents. I imagine this is a good time to be a patent lawyer.

The Ryan Braun story keeps getting better
Braun, the MLB MVP winner from last season was found to have huge amounts of testosterone in his body according to two tests, and he has not disputed this. The issue was with the chain of custody and that his sample was not handled properly. Of course it also does not mean that he is guilty since he was acquitted by MLB.

The flame wars have been a lot of fun, here is one with a good deal of common sense as well- more so that the author of the piece had. And just for fun here is a second, in case you did not get enough the first time.

Apple wins on a different front
Apple’s dispute with a Chinese company over the name iPad looked to prevent the company from selling the devices in the world’s largest market but a court in Shanghai has ruled in Apple’s favor. Proview Technology had been arguing that Apple infringed on its trademark rights.

The Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court ruled against Proview saying that there was a lack of evidence that iPad sales would be a trademark violation. It said there was no law or regulation that would prohibit Apple from selling iPads and terminated the litigation of the case.

Fun with Amazon
I recently received a survey request from Amazon saying it was part of the company’s ongoing effort to provide better services and support. It was supposed to take between 10-15 minutes. Looking for any excuse not to work I decided to give it a stab.

I only managed to get to about question 6. When I said that I was unlikely to buy an e-reader in the next six months or whatever the question was exactly, it terminated the survey and said that I did not fit the customer profile they were looking for. Now that is good customer service, saving me 9-14 minutes!

Teddy bear gone bad
A truly frightening gift for a baseball fan- or any fan for that matter. But pretty funny if real.