Friday Grab Bag: MLB + MTV, Braves on the move

The Braves are leaving Atlanta, in all but name, to move to nearby Cobb County and a brand new stadium, one that the bill will primarily be paid for by taxpayers in a county that has budget problems.

The Atlantic does a nice job pointing out how Atlanta may get even more and that most of the jobs that are created by the new park will be low-paying jobs that cost a lot to create. I think the citizens should take a look at how a sweetheart deal paid off for Miami residents and their new ball yard.

Android market share growing
While it seems that Apple’s iPhone is always in the news, smartphones that run on the Android operating system actually rule the smartphone world, with an 81% market share according to market research firm IDC.

Its most recent study on that market space has one very interesting fact, that Windows phones are making strong headway, but still are only 5% of the market. The leader in the Android space is no surprise, as Samsung started strong and has maintained a constant stream of upgrades.

Sports highlights in Canada
If you live in Canada, or for that matter simply read Canadian newspapers a bit more sports is coming your way. SendToNews, a digital sports video company has signed a deal with Postmedia Networks to deliver sports highlights.

The highlights can be seen on Postmedia Network’s newspaper web sites that are available for different papers in different regions of the country.

If you miss the days when MTV played all music videos and have disliked the network ever since it stopped doing so this may not be for you but the it has signed a multiyear partnership with MLB that will focus on the intersection of pop culture and baseball.

The effort will be a cross-platform one and will have MLB players as well as outside of the sport celebrities looking at the sport and modern culture. The first program expected will run on MTV2 and will be a 30-episode show that will be produced by Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Pittsburgh Pirates Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen.

New Apple iPhone
Now that Apple has delivered two new lines of iPhones the rumors have started for the next generation — boy that did not take long. Leading off is that it will have a bigger screen, something that many had predicted for the latest release.

More interesting is that they may have curved screens and that Apple will continue to pack them with new sensors, with the latest able to detect levels of pressure. They are reportedly due in about 1 year, so don’t start holding your breath too soon.

Mozilla says no Firefox phones in U.S.
If you are one of the people waiting for open source software to arrive on your phone, and you live in the United States, you will have a wait ahead of you. While the software is expected to be out by mid-2014 for Sprint network devices, that does not include the USA.

An executive recently told C/net that there are currently no plans to launch in the U.S., but that the organization is in talks with carriers and handset manufacturers so that could change in the future.

Mozilla to Build Firefox Driven Tablet?


The latest and greatest rumor going around is that Mozilla, the non-profit behind the popular Firefox operating system, may be looking to create a tablet that will use the Firefox operating system.

The rumor has a kernel of truth, something that many often do not, in at least Mozilla is announcing a new hardware product next Monday, it just has declined to say what it is and what the target market for the product will be.

The move is not that surprising if it is a tablet since it would fit in with its Open Web initiative that includes the first commercial build of the Firefox OS and efforts to build a global ecosystem for that OS that has already gained 18 operators including Alcatel, Deutsch Telecom, Telefonica, Sprint, Qtel and others. However this move was for smartphones so it seems logical that the next step would be for tablets.

The question seems to be why would the company enter the tablet space rather than license it out to the market as it is doing in the smartphone space? At the time of the Open Web push, back in February at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona the company said that hardware was in its future and I believe that many expected it to be a smartphone, considering the circumstances of the announcement.

It said that it is working with manufacturers Alcatel (TCL), LG and ZTE, with Huawei to follow later on to build the first Firefox OS devices. They will all be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processor family. But it was not ignoring the content side and said that it has signed strategic relationships with key content and service partners. It should be noted that at the time it specifically said that all of this was for smartphones.

So will we see a series of smartphones from Mozilla and partners Monday or will we see a tablet? It will be interesting to see which it is. One thing for sure is that Mozilla has said that Foxconn, the company that does a great deal of work with Apple in building its iOS products, will be the manufacturing partner.

Friday Grab Bag: Firefox Smartphones and No Nook Future?

NFL has Concussion iPad app

The NFL is providing team doctors with an iPad application that is designed to help the doctors more accurately judge weather a player has a concussion or not. It was demonstrated last week at the annual NFL scouting combine.

It has creating a scoring system that can be used to quickly check if there is a large difference between the players’ baseline score and his gameday score. It will be used as one of the tools that a doctor will use to make gametime decisions.

Firefox for Phones
Mozilla has started showing its first commercial build of the Firefox operating system and has unveiled partners as part of its effort to move into the smartphone space, a move that has already garnered support from both phone makers and carriers.

The initial phones are expected to be from Alcatel One Touch, LG Electronics and ZTE, with Huawei Technologies also planning a late in the year release, according to Computerworld UK. 8 operators are also lining up behind Firefox OS, including América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Japan’s KDDI, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor, with the operators planning to first launch phones in Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Venezuela.

Nook on the chopping block?
There has been talk that the founder of major bookseller Barnes & Nobles, Leonard Riggio, who just happens to be its chairman and largest shareholder, is looking at buying back the retail portion of the business.

He filed a plan with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the plan has no mention of its Nook and e-reader business. That portion of the business lost $262 million last year and reported a huge decline in sales over the recent holiday season, with revenue falling 25.9% in its Nook business.

2013 World Baseball Classic Starts Today
Or rather it starts broadcasting on the MLB Network, as teams have been fighting for position over the past several months in qualifying rounds. The first game pops up on the air at 11:30 p.m. ET and the network continues with all 39 games of the tournament including the Championship game that is scheduled to be played on Tuesday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

There are four pools of teams playing, each with four nations represented in each pool. The United States is matched up with Canada, Italy and Mexico and the games will be played in Phoenix between March 7-10.

Hewlett-Packard unloads webOS
Lost amid Hewlett-Packard’s announcement of a low cost Android tablet was the fact that the company has sold its webOS mobile operating system to LG Electronics which plans to use it in forthcoming Internet connected televisions.

HP’s current tablet, the Slate 7, is powered by the Android operating system but its first shot at the market was with its TouchPad, a tablet that was powered by the webOS operating system and was met with a very poor reception.

No Chrome Browser for Mac Users Watching NBC Online

We are as excited as anyone about the launch today of NBC’s new all-sports network but if you want to watch the NHL Classic outdoor game on your Mac computer, you won’t be able to use Google’s Chrome browser according to an error message generated by the NBC site.

Since you probably already have either Firefox or Safari loaded somewhere on your machine it’s probably not a big deal but if you are experiencing difficulties, Mac fans, this is why. We will be watching some online to see how the multiple camera-angle things and DVR functionality work out. Let us know your impressions of NBC’s online efforts in the comments below during and after the game.

UPDATE: Watched a little bit of the game — the different camera angle thing was fun but wow, NBC, couldn’t you wait with the pop up ads? Two in just two minutes of watching. Plus, I thought the Twitter challenge and social-media window on the right wasn’t prominent enough to stand out. Think the whole thing needs a full-screen revisit before the Super Bowl.