NCAA Hoops: Where and What 2 Watch

Here’s a roundup of where and what to watch for the first day of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament.


Just follow the directions for cable subscriber confirmation. If you aren’t a cable subscriber remember you get four hours’ grace time watching free online. The main page (scroll down) has a handy “channel finder” feature that will shorten your scramble to find TruTV.

First, a great breakdown of Thursday’s games from CBS senior blogger Matt Norlander. Viewing times and channels included. (We’ll update Matt’s links every day since we are guessing he’ll have similar posts for Friday and the weekend)

Here’s the main CBS College Hoops page. Lots of links.

How’s your bracket doing? Here is the ESPN Tournament Challenge page. I’ve got Gonzaga winning it all.

Mobile Sports Report Friday Grab Bag: 3D at MLB Playoffs — New Galaxy Note Coming

Is Google adding ads to Maps?
WebProNews is reporting that Google appears to be preparing to monetize its Maps app. The company has applied for a patent for Online Map Advertising. It looks as if this will allow the company to insert ads directly into the maps that you are viewing.

However on the plus side it looks like it might just be targeted at third party sites that use the maps as part of an effort to show people where their place of business is and they might include an ad in the space.

Also Google has said that contrary to rumors it has not submitted a new maps app to Apple for approval in its App Store. However the company is not ruling out doing so in the future.

Did the Lingerie Football League help settle NFL Ref strike?
Seattle fans are pointing to the team’s last second, replacement referee assisted, win over Green Bay as the straw that broke the camel’s back and forced the NFL to settle with the regular referees, who will be manning the field this weekend.

However a funny piece in Deadspin about the officials from the Lingerie Football League notes that it has a tougher standard for its referees that the NFL did for its replacements. The logic behind this was that apparently the LFL fired some refs for incompetence and they ended up doing NFL games as replacements. True or not it is pretty funny.

Are HTC and Nokia the next patent litigants’?
DigiTimes is reporting that Nokia and HTC may be about to meet each other in a court over potential patent issues. The problem appears to be that the Windows Phone 8 that each company has released bears a great deal of similarity to the one its rival introduced.

The article states that Nokia has already lodged a complaint with HTC over the belief that HTC has copied the design of Nokia’s Lumina 820 for HTC’s Windows Phone 8x offering.

Toys “R” Us sued over tablet

The battle for tablet supremacy has apparently spilled over into the toy aisle as Fuhu is suing Toys “R” Us for coping Fuhu’s Nabi tablet and using the technology in the recently released Tabeo. The suit claims that the two companies also had a deal signed in October 2011 under which Toys “R” Us had agreed to distribute the Nabi and to promote the product.

Fuhu is claiming that the product was not adequately advertised or promoted and that Toys “R” Us deliberately tanked the product in favor of its own Mateo that was then under development.

MySpace trying for resurgence
An interesting piece in Gizmag reports that MySpace, once the power in social media but a backwater since the emergence of Facebook a few years back, is currently undergoing a major redesign and I seeking to reestablish itself.

The site will have a much more visual look from the previews shown and it will have a new interface, in part influenced by the emergence of tablets. One interesting feature will be your ability to import all of your Facebook contacts.

Samsung’s next generation Galaxy Note out next month?
There is going to be a major Samsung event in New York on Oct. 24th, according to a press release that Samsung Mobile has sent out to the press. While the company has been mum on what it will be unveiling at the event, the rumor mill seems to think that it knows.

The answer is the next generation Samsung Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Note 2. The hybrid smartphone tablet has already been unveiled in South Korea and has been expected to be released in the States soon.

TBS to add 3D imagery to baseball playoffs
TBS has said that it will be adding “3D hologram imagery’ to its playoff broadcasts this fall. It will use the technology to illustrate different pitch grips and to show how the pitch will work. It will also be used to show pressure points, release points and ball rotation.

I guess using real live pitchers to show the same thing would be too complicated. While I think that this could be interesting I also am afraid that it will cause the station to miss a number of live pitches. The channel will also be tripling the number of super slo motion cameras that it uses compared to a regular season game.

Friday Grab Bag: Dolphins with iPads, New NFL Game Times

The Miami Dolphins are the latest NFL team to jump on the iPad train as the team has adopted the tablets as an alternative to the huge binders that had been the traditional form of NFL playbooks. The team joins a growing number of NFL teams that have taken this approach including the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Bucs and the Green Bay Packers.

However the Dolphins are also apparently taking a hard line on players’ usage of the tablets. While they can surf the Internet to some degree, they will be fined as much as $10,000 for access unauthorized sites such as YouTube and Twitter, according to ProFootballTalk.

Microsoft buys Yammer for $1.2 billion
Microsoft has added corporate social networking developer Yammer Inc. into its corporate embrace with its $1.2 billion purchase of the startup. The company said that it intends to incorporate the tools, which have a Facebook quality, into its Microsoft Office group.

Yammer has seen strong acceptance to its technology and has 200,000 companies using its tools including major players such as Ford Motor Co.

Mobile users increasingly access Internet

The Pew Internet & American Life project has published an interesting study on the use of mobile phone use for Internet browsing and purchases. It found that 17% of cell phone owners use the phone as their primary device for cruising the Internet, and often their only tool used for accessing it.

The study found that 88% of US adults have a cell phone and that of these 55% of them use the phone to go online, a notable increase from the 31% Pew found when it last did a similar study in 2009.

NFL moves late kickoffs back 10 minutes
The NFL has moved the opening kickoffs for the late afternoon games from 4:15 ET start to 4:25. The move will help eliminate the overlap that occasionally occurs when the early game runs long, something that often seems to happen if the second game is the one that you have been waiting all day to watch.

This should also help now that the new overtime rules are in effect that could also lead to more overtime games as it will now make more sense for a coach to go for a tie in the waning moments of the game knowing that he has a shot at getting the ball and scoring in OT.

RIM delays smartphone after bad quarter
Beleaguered smartphone developer Research in Motion has reported that it had a worse than expected quarter with revenue at $2.8 billion with a loss of $518 million, its shipment of its flagship BlackBerry phones was only 7.8 million, down 41% from the same period a year ago.

The company plans to slash 5,000 jobs but still expects to have another bad quarter, predicting a loss for the current one as well. It has delayed the delivery of its next generation phone, the BlackBerry 10, until the first quarter of next year.

Judge halts Samsung Galaxy Sales in US
Apple won its latest round against rival Samsung when US District Judge Lucy Koh reversed her previous position and granted Apple’s request to prohibit Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States.

She said in the ruling that Samsung does not have the right to flood the market with products that infringe (presumably on Apple patents). Apple needs to post a $2.6 million bond in case the injunction is later to be found to be incorrect and so pay for damages inflicted on Samsung.

Samsung has not taken the ruling lying down and has already appealed. It has asked that the US District Court of Northern California suspend the order pending an appeal.

iPhone hits 5th anniversary
In June 2007 Apple launched its iPhone and has not had a need to look back as it has helped propel Apple to the powerful position it holds today as a company. In the five years of its life the phone has generated an estimated $150 billion in revenue, just from hardware sales, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

Then of course there is the sale of peripherals, apps, software and services. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple has shipped 250 million iPhones globally in that time.

Tablets usage as second TV continues to grow
NPD DisplaySearch’s latest Global TV Replacement Study has found that the use of tablets as a platform for viewing television and video has doubled over the last year, in part the usage has been driven by the overall growth of tablet sales, according to the survey.

While tablet usage as a second screen has edged to over 10% of consumers using one for viewing, it still has a ways to go to reach the level of laptops or desktop computers, which over 40% of consumers say they use for viewing purposes.

The All-Star Selection show is this weekend
For baseball fans the results of their ballet box stuffing will be found this Sunday when TBS hosts the section show at 1 pm ET. Still the show will not have the final rosters as MLB will then have five players from each league that fans can vote for to put one last person on the each team. The winner of the Final Ballot will be announced on next Thursday, July 5.

MLB’s Latest Playoff Move a Head Scratcher

Major League Baseball has announced its playoff broadcast partners for the year 2012 and 2013, and normally that would seem to be a rather innocuous announcement, until you notice that it will be broadcasting two of the games itself.

Rather the MLB Network, which is a property of MLB, will get two of the games, and not the Wild Card games that have been added to the schedule but two of the more desirable division series games. It has also awarded the Wild Card games to TBS.

I had taken a glance at the release on the playoffs but did give it much thought until it was mentioned by Michael Hiestand over at USA Today. He points out that while the NFL broadcasts some of its own games, they are regular season games and they are shown locally on broadcast TV so that the home town fans can watch.

This strikes me as a very short sighted and backwards move. They risk alienating home town fans by a refusal to follow the NFL’s example of at least throwing a bone to the locals.

But more so is that with the still limited reach of the MLB Network they miss out nationally on appealing to fans. There is really no real incentive for a fan of baseball that is not a fan of the teams involved in the selected games to offer to pay for the privilege of watching two teams that they are uninterested in. I suspect that if the fans had the option of just tuning in on regular broadcasting of the game they likely would.

A last tidbit is that according to the USA Today piece baseball’s national television rights will be up for bid again in 2013, and networks might not want to increase their fees if premier portions of the sport are going to be broadcast by MLB. This will be interesting to see if MLB backs down or alters the plan by the time the playoffs reach us.