Online Video Features at the Heart of BBC’s Olympics Coverage

If they can live up to their promises, the folks at the BBC may be the heroes of this year’s Olympics in London, especially for the online audience. According to news released today the BBC plans to have live coverage of every event from every venue — and for its online content the BBC is promising some cool twists, like the ability to rewind to the start of an event as well as “chapter marks” to let you skip to whatever part of the coverage you desire.

I am not sure if and how the BBC will be sharing broadcast rights with NBC, which also plans to stream everything online. Either way, it sounds like this will finally be the year that we don’t have to miss that important archery semifinal or equestrian dressage. It will all be online.

The promise of 24 simultaneous live HD streams sounds great — but so far we have been unable to ascertain whether this will be available only in the U.K., or to audiences worldwide. We are hoping the latter, will pass along more info as we get confirmation. If it is for everyone, we can hardly wait until what will likely be the biggest online sports event ever gets underway.

London Olympics Creates Online Social Hub for Athletes and Fans to Mingle

If you are looking to follow your favorite athletes at this year’s Summer Olympics, the governing body has just set up a system that will enable you to do just that with both famous and those that hope to soon to be famous.

The International Olympics Committee has set up a site called the Olympics Athlete Hub, an effort that hopes to enable fans to make connections with the athletes that are participating in this year’s games as well as past performers.

What the hub does is simply aggregate the Twitter and Facebook feeds of the athletes and provide a single unified spot that brings them all together. A quick look over at the page shows that currently three of the five players are American NBA players.

Once you sign up you can search the athlete directory by athlete name, country, sport, discipline or event. There already 1,000 athletes in the hub and this will grow as qualifying for events is ongoing and as athletes qualify they will be added. There are also former Olympiads such as Mark Spitz, Nadia Comaneci, Edwin Moses, Yelena Isinbaeva, and Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, who pass along tips on training.

Users of the service can post photos and also win prizes for liking athletes on Facebook and following them on Twitter, and the site is expected to roll out a number of additional award programs leading up to the games, including one that can send the winner to the games.. During the games the site will feature a section that will feature real-time chats with athletes that will take place from within the Athletes’ Village.

It really seems that the Olympics as an organization truly understand the advantages of social media as well as the reach and power that a major on-line presence brings. With its broadcast partners making all events online and highlights that can be followed on YouTube it is certainly much easier to follow the contests easier than possibly any other sporting event in the world.

Friday Grab Bag: The Olympics are 98 Days Away!

Next week in pro football news, the ever popular draft is coming. One interesting thing about the NFL regular season schedule being released this week is that Las Vegas already has lines on the games! Not sure if it is time yet to lay a dime on Green Bay giving the points however.

Intel delivers high capacity solid state drives for consumers
Intel has delivered the Solid-State Drive 330 Series, a lineup that is directly targeted at the consumer market. Now being a consumer you might wonder why you would want one of these drives and the answer is easy. They have the capacity to store your growing digital music/video/images collection that might not fit on your smartphone or tablet, or even computer.

The drives will be available in the 60GB, 120GB and 180GB capacities and is a SATA 6Gb/s-based SSD. The difference between a SSD and what is probably in your computer is that a traditional hard disk drive has rotating material and so is much more prone to damage from dropping or other accidents. A SSD is what is in your smartphone, or at least the underlying technology is.

Exercise cycle delivers feedback wirelessly
Ever ridden an exercise bike and found that the data that it provided was worthless, or like at my gym, the data technology always seems to be broken? Well a company called Body Bike wants to fix all that with a wireless solution that can provide feedback using Ant + wireless technology developed by Ant Wireless.

The Body Bike Connect uses the wireless technology to send a wide range of information including VO2 max, calories, distance, and average, percentage and maximum values to an Ant enabled console. It also can be used to handle personalized settings.

Foursquare tops 20 million users
Now I have to admit I am not a Foursquare user. I don’t care that you are buying a cup of coffee or getting your haircut. Why do you think that is interesting to anybody but stalkers and home thieves? Well enough of the rant, as I see that the location-based check-in service startup has 20 million users, up from 15 million in December.

Google’s Motorola plans driving partners to rivals?
There is growing speculation that part of Google’s plans for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility is to emulate what Apple is currently doing, becoming a vertically integrated developer. What that means is that it would develop the hardware, the operating system and possibly even the chip, for future Android devices. Currently it helps partners design products that are sold as Nexus systems.

This would make it very tough for partners to compete with Google’s own products, and could be a major impetus for them to look for alternatives. While Apple’s iOS is out two alternatives remain that already have at least a bit of mainstream acceptance.

The two are Research in Motion, which reportedly is in talks to license its technology to Samsung. The second and possibly more viable alternative is Microsoft. Its Windows 8 is due soon and it has Intel helping to promote the technology.

Apple and Samsung to settle?
Among the many patent battles being fought across the globe, two of the bigger participants are Apple and Samsung with over 20 cases between the two pending, and now it looks the top bosses will be talking face to face about how to settle the issues.

The two companies have agreed to settlement talks that will be presided over by a San Francisco-based magistrate judge. At the meeting are expected to be Apple chief executive Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung, as well as the general counsel for both companies.

BBC will stream all Olympic games
The BBC is taking an aggressive broadcasting stance for the upcoming Summer Olympics. With the games in its own backyard the broadcasting giant said that it will be broadcasting up to 24 streams of live HD sports to cable and satellite broadcasters for television viewing.

This will enable viewers to watch every Olympic sport, if they were so inclined. The move is an expansion of its previous plan that had called for all of the games to only be broadcast online. In addition it will be broadcasting on BBC One and BBC 3 as well as radio coverage.

This move, coupled with NBC Sports promising to put a huge amount of the games online mean that viewers can now see events that they wish to rather than simply the ones that the broadcasters have determined that viewers want.

No Greek Warship for Olympics?
A Greek trireme powered by 170 rowers has been scratched from the opening ceremonies of the upcoming London Olympics- the reason is that they are afraid that it will be too popular, causing I guess people to actually want to come to the opening ceremony.

That is really too bad because it not every day you see a replica of the Olympias, an ancient warship that was used in one of history’s most important battles sailing by. I hope they are not planning on canceling the basketball portion of the Olympics because I hear that is very popular as well.