Mobile Sports Report Grab Bag: MLB Man Cave, Red Bull Crash

Last fall ESPN rolled out a new stat that it claimed would be the be-all and end-all in quarterback ratings called the Total Quarterback Ratings or (QBR). The company said that it went much further than other rating systems by adding in such important features as how clutch the performance was.

Now fast forward a year and use of the number has fallen off a cliff at ESPN. A good look at this is provided by The Classical which provides a good overview of the inner workings of how QBR is figured. I guess they can put this next to the last attempt at creating its own stats – Productive Outs in baseball.

Samsung wins another round vs Apple
A Dutch court has ruled that Apple’s multitouch patent was not infringed on by Samsung last week. The Court of The Hague ruled that the patent that describes technology that prevents smartphone users from pushing two on-screen buttons at the same time is not the same as the technology that Samsung does use in its Galaxy products.

As part of the ruling the court has ordered Apple to pay Samsung court costs, which are in excess of $422,000, according to Where this leaves the overall case, with each player winning and losing versions of it around the globe is anybody’s guess.

MLB taking applications for 2013 Fan Cave
If you think that the Fan Cave contest is a waste of time consider the case of Ashley Chavez, Ricardo Marquez and Kyle Thompson who are all at the current World Series and one will be declared Fan Cave Champion.

Sound interesting? Well it is too late for this year obviously but MLB is accepting applications for 2013 to be part of the “Fan Cave.” After the application process is closed there are elimination rounds and then a final lineup of nine fans. Did I mention they also went to the All Star Game this year?

Miscellaneous earnings reports
Earnings reports were in and it was a very mixed bag. HTC reported sales down 23% from previous quarter to $2.4 billion and said that it expects a weaker Q4 at approximately $2bn. Samsung however saw a huge spike in sales of its Galaxy that helped it set a new all time highs in sales and profits, driven by an estimated sale of 56 million smartphones in the quarter. It had net profit of$ 5.9 billion.

Apple reports 24% increase in earnings at $8.2bn and a 27% increase in revenue at $36bn, and disappointed Wall Street. The company said that it shipped 26.9 million iPhones in the quarter and was still heavily backlogged. Amazon when back into the red for the first time in four years when it reported a $274 million loss on sales of $13.81bn. The company took a $169 million write down on its stake in Living Social, a daily deal site.

Cost of Instagram deal drops
When Facebook purchased Instagram for an estimated $1 billion in April quite a few in the market were astounded at the price tag. Now that the dust has settled, and the deal paid for, the price tag has dropped quite a bit.

According to a filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission Facebook’s final cost for the deal was $715 million that consisted of $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock. The original price was based on Facebook’s estimated $30 per share stock price, pre-IPO.

Looking for a great crash video? Red Bull has the answer
Here is a video taken from the helmet cam of extreme mountain biker Cam Zink taken during an attempt to cross a 68-foot canyon. Guess how he fared.

Is RIM, among others, doomed?
Digi Times is reporting that due to mounting losses Research in Motion may be broken up and sold to other high tech companies. This is not that really surprising if it happens, its management has said in the past that all options are on the board and the company’s losses continue to mount.

What is surprising is that the article goes on to say that both Nokia and Motorola may also be on the chopping block for exactly the same reasons, even though Motorola is now owned by Google. I suspect that Google will want to keep the patents at the very least.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Cheap Google Tablet? Apple Map ills

The latest rumor on new tablets comes from the partnership of Google and Asus, which just recently introduced the popular Nexus 7 tablet. Now it is being reported by Digitimes that the t

wo may be looking to break new price point barriers with a $100 offering.

With new Nooks from Barnes & Noble, Kindles from Amazon and systems pending from a host of other OEMs over the next few weeks the competition is getting much stiffer as customers are now being presented with more viable options to Apple’s iPad. It will be interesting to see if this pans out. Others are already claiming that the rumor is false.

Fallout from Apple Maps continues
Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly apologized to customers about the poor shape that Apple’s maps is in. The app, which replaced the popular Google Maps, has some glaring flaws like eliminating landmarks and moving roads.

Cook said that the company was very sorry for the frustration that it caused its customers and he even went so far as to recommend 5 apps that might do as a replacement to Apple’s offering. Speaking of Apple the iPad 3 (not iPad Mini) rumors have started- stay tuned for a growing wave of them as others launch their latest tablets.

Google loses appeal on patent enforcement
Google has been barred from enforcing a German court ruling against Microsoft that would have led to the banning of select Microsoft products on Germany. The ruling came from the US Court of Appeals and it upheld a lower court decision that prevented Motorola from enforcing the ban.

Foss Patents appears to see this as a positive move in getting Google to start licensing its patents on a FRAND basis.

FCC OKs wireless auction
There may soon be more bandwidth available for wireless use as the Federal Communications Commission has given approval to the auction by television broadcasters of bandwidth that they no longer need.

The expected bidders will use the bandwidth to meet expanding cellular and wireless Internet usage. The FCC is still working out the details of the auctions, according to the New York Times.

Nokia signs mapping deal with Oracle
Nokia will now be providing mapping software to Oracle, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The deal is expected to be announced today at OracleWorld and will allow Oracle’s application users to integrate mapping capabilities.

Android and iOS market shares grow
Android and iOS grew market share during the summer according to a report from market analytics firm comScore. The study, which tracked the operating systems from May to July show that Android represents 52.2% of the US market while Apple’s iOS is now 33.4% of the market. It looks like the Apple win over Samsung might have had an impact as Samsung had stagnant growth, losing 0.3% of its hardware sales.

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: New Kickstarter Rules, Wal-Mart Kicks out Kindle

Kickstarter has imposed a set of rules that will limit the type of products that can be promoted for funding on the crowdfunding site. Gone now will be renderings of projects that are being promoted and instead the site will require an actual working prototype of the project.

It will now also require that the project creators provide a “Risks and Challenges” section that will enable potential investors to have the needed information to make an informed decision about the obstacles that the development might face. In other words, you need to let potential “kickstarters” know that your cool idea may, in fact, not ever happen.

Wal-Mart dumps Amazon’s Kindle
Many smartphone users have probably “showroomed’ — used their phone to check out a price of an item that they are looking at in a store against what Amazon offers it for, and retailers have been seeking ways to slow this trend.

One way is to make Amazon less welcome and now Wal-Mart has said that when its current supply of Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets is sold it will not renew the product offering. The fact that there is almost no profit on the product may have helped with the decision. Target ceased selling them several months ago.

Apple asks judge for more
Apple has requested an additional $707 million in damages from Samsung, on top of the $1 billion that it was awarded by the jury. Among the parts of the request was for an enhanced award of $535 million for willful violation of Apple’s designs and patents, approximately $172 million in supplemental damages using an enlarged period of time for the violations and it is asking that the court to review damages that the jury awarded that were less than Samsung’s expert calculate that the damages actually were.

Apple loses two in Germany
Apple’s cases against both Motorola Mobility and Samsung were tossed out in a Mannheim court after it ruled that the two companies did not infringe on patents that Apple owns relating to touch screen functions.

Other bad news for Apple
One of the bigger pieces of news prior to the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 introductions was that Apple was jettisoning Google Maps, a preinstalled app since the beginning of time, or the first iPhone hit the market at any rate.

Instead Apple was including its own map technology, which with its elimination of some towns and the moving of other landmarks it is apparently the company’s most advanced software ever as it can see into the future. Or it is terrible. It is unusual for Apple to release something this raw and unfinished and the company it is now saying it is still a work in progress.

To make matters worse Google is mocking Apple’s failure with an ad that shows an Android phone using Google Maps showing an accurate vision of a street while Apple’s app shows a basically barren road.

Google sued for patent infringement
Of course it is not all smooth sailing for Google either as, for the second time in as many years it finds itself being sued by Skyhook Wireless, this time over patent infringement. The issue revolves around geolocation technology and WLAN-based positioning systems.

There are a total of 9 patents involved in the case, which was filed in US courts in the District of Delaware by Mass.-based Skyhook, according to Foss Patents.

Friday Grab Bag: Samsung News, New World Cup Mascot, Windows 8 Tablet Tidbits

World Cup 2014

Oddly I never think of an armadillo when I think of Brazil, yet in just a few years fans will be flocking to the country to watch the 2014 World Cup and no doubt will be inundated with images of the new World Cup mascot, an armadillo.

FIFA unveiled the mascot, which it has not yet completely ruined by giving it some cute name, Monday with the assistance of Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo. Don’t worry, they are unveiling its official name in November.

Twitch gets a $15 million investment for eSports broadcasting has received a $15 million investment that is intended to help the company expand its eSports live streaming capabilities. The money, which came from venture capital investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners, will be used to expand its engineering team.

This is the company’s third round of funding, bringing its total to $23 million, with the last being a $8 million round in 2007 when the company was known as It received a small seed funding in 2007.

Samsung strikes back at the iPhone
Samsung has said that it plans to add Apple’s just released iPhone 5 to its existing patent lawsuit that it has with its rival. The move has been expected as the company said that if Apple included LTE Samsung believed that the technology would likely violate its extensive patent holdings in that area.

Hopefully this will go better than Samsung’s Facebook campaign, where it asked which smartphone a user would like to have if stranded on a desert island. The Apple faithful flooded the site and voted for the iPhone.

However on a brighter note the company has landed a major deal with American Airlines that calls for the airline to equip 17,000 flight attendants with the Samsung Galaxy Note, according to CIO.

StubHub out Ticketmaster in for MLB?
A report from the New York Post is claiming that Ticketmaster is seeking to replace StubHub as the office site to resell your MLB tickets. According to the piece the deal between MLB and StubHub has expired and there is pressure from several teams to switch.

The reason for the switch is pretty obvious; you can get discounted tickets for top teams at StubHub, while Ticketmaster has a reputation of piling on charges and raising the price. Teams like the Yankees want their seats sold at a higher price.

Intel gets first marquee Atom smartphone user in Motorola
Motorola Mobility has unveiled its Razr I smartphone, its first that is powered by Intel’s 2GHz Atom Z2460 processor. The phone features a 4.3 inch display that can use its entire area, displaying images from border to border.

Among its other features are an 8 MP camera, the ability to start up in one second, NFC and the screen has a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. No pricing was announced at the rollout.

Anti-Japan protests lead to Intel Extreme Masters tournament cancellation in China
The latest round of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament was scheduled to take place in a few days in Guangzhou, China at the Anime Comics and Game Show has been canceled due to anti-Japanese protests, organizers have said.

The protests, sparked over a fight between Japan and China over a set of islands has led to the cancelation of a large number of Japanese vendors at the show.

More details on Surface Tablet from Microsoft
Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer told the Seattle Times that company would be pricing the device in the same price range as Apple’s iPad rather than in the area that Amazon and Google are seeking to carve out at the low end.

This is not really a surprise since Amazon and Google are positioning their tablets as front end devices that will be used to purchase additional goods and services from the company, and are selling the tablets at cost. The range that Microsoft is looking at is from $300 to between $700-$800.

Leaked pricing on the pending Asus tablet, according to a report from ZDNet, is that it will be even pricier, coming in at $599, $799 and $1,299 depending on model and features. The most expensive is expected to have an 11.6 HD display.

Google asks ITC to ban wide array of Apple products

The International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate alleged patent violations by Apple based on charges brought by Google. Google is claiming that Apple is violated a number of patents that came to the company via its Motorola Mobility purchase. It is also asking the ITC to ban all Mac OS X computers, all iPads and most iPhones.

Microsoft wins a round in patent battles
Microsoft has earned a victory in its patent battle with Motorola in a lower regional German court that ruled that Motorola has infringed on a Microsoft patent that relates to text input. Motorola is expected to appeal in the case.

The ruling could result in both the banning of select Motorola smartphones as well as unspecified damages if the appeal is unsuccessful.

Friday Grab Bag: Lots of NFL News and New iPhone 5 Next Week?

iPhone 5?

If you are a betting person it looks like a safe bet would be that Apple will be taking the wraps off of its next generation iPhone, the so-called iPhone 5. The company has started sending out press invites for an event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on that date.

Originally it was believed that Apple would also introduce its next generation iPad at the same event but it now appears that the company will host a different event within the next month to launch that product.

Intel takes another shot at ARM
Intel has long coveted the handheld processor market but has been pretty well shut out of it by market leader ARM and its allies. Next week at its annual Intel Developer Forum the company is expected to fire its latest salvo in its battle.

It is expected to unveil a chip code-named Haswell that has been designed as a solution for developers that are seeking an ultra power-efficient chip, according to C/net. The company is seeking to make inroads in both the tablet and smartphone space with the processor, which is not expected until the second half of 2013.

Earn Rewards for Activity on
Are you always reading articles and commenting on them at the web site? Well now you can earn rewards for doing just that as the NFL Digital Media has launched a program entitled NFL Fans Reward.

Reading and commenting are not the only ways to earn rewards as a number of other activities are included including watching video or participating in what it calls Drives. The rewards are in the form of virtual coins that can be redeemed at the Rewards store.

Does Fantasy Football really cost employers $5.6 B?
That at least is the result of a study by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas which made its estimation based on how much time employees spend on managing their fantasy rosters and general goofing off related to the fantasy team.

The report estimates that there are 22.3 million employees engaged in fantasy football and you can go to their site to see the overall math. I know reports like this come out each spring during March Madness and they tend to get rebutted by other studies that show that employees simply switch topics that they goof off on as the year progresses. So take the report with a grain of salt.

New smartphone rollouts from Nokia, Motorola beat Apple to the market
It used to be that hardware developers looked at the calendar and set their next product rollout based on the age of their current offerings as well as where the year is in relation to top selling season. Now it seems that the goal is to beat a rival to making waves with an announcement.

This week Nokia debuted a few new Windows 8 phones while Motorola Mobility unleashed 3 new phones, it’s first under Google. Why this week you ask? Apple is expected to release the new iPhone next week and they wanted to beat it to the punch. Of course Samsung seems to release products when it wants to and its Galaxy IIIS has already sold 20 million units.

Newbie to Twitter and want to follow the NFL? No problem!
Twitter has kindly provided a guide at its Blog for users that want to follow the NFL on Twitter. You would really have t be new to Twitter to not already know how to use the features but still it is a good idea because I know several people that have signed up for the service and then seem paralyzed when called on to use it.

Sports Illustrated takes the guessing out of NFL football broadcasting
The nice people at Sports Illustrated have taken the time to pour over all of the broadcasting teams, including personnel additions and subtractions, and made all of that information available in a nice little piece that can be found here.

I am not sure if the broadcasting teams are listed in order of how big a game that they will be broadcasting but I suspect that the top teams head each list. Also does ESPN really believe that we need two hosts, six analysts, seven reporters and a features person for its pregame show? Sometimes more is not better. And am I the only person that thinks with each passing season Jon Gruden looks more and more like Roger Goodell?

Speaking of Football, How cheap is your NFL team?
Profootballtalk ran a nice little piece showing how much each team in the NFL is under the salary cap. I was surprised at some of the results but expected a few teams that were in the top ten. Take a look and see why your team does not have a shut down corner.

Then hop over to ESPN and see how your teams’ ticket rices compare to the rest of the league. I was surprised that the NY Jets have not taken over the top spot in this area. Average cost is $78.38 and the average cost of a beer is $7.28.

Big 12 to sign $2.6 billion TV deal
The Big 12 is about to finalize broadcasting deals with ESPN and Fox Sports that will result in a $2.6 billion over the next 13 years, or approximately $200 million a year. Even for college that is real money!

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: HP, Lenovo tablet plans, Apple/Samsung go to Jury?

Apple and Samsung met to try and narrow their dispute in the ongoing patent case that is now being heard in a federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif. At the judge's request the two met but could not come to any resolution in narrowing the scope of the case.

With this failure the case is likely to be handed over to the jury for deliberation this week. Apple wants the ban on Samsung tablets to be continued and that the ban also expend to Samsung’s smartphones, both of which it claims infringe on its patents.

Kodak patent sale gets complicated
Kodak, faced with an industry that does not hold its patents in quite the esteem, or at least the dollar value that it does, is said to be considering keeping the over 1,000 patents that it had put up for auction. Once believed to be worth several billion, bids came in significantly lower than it has expected, in the $150-$250 million range, according to reports.

Another rumor making the rounds is that Apple will team with Google to buy the patents from Kodak. Considering the animosity between the two this seems hard to believe. Both have huge cash reserves and at the current expected cost of the patents it would be no hardship for either to purchase them by themselves.

Google/Motorola seek US iPhone ban
The long running battle between Apple and Google/Motorola has witnessed a new front open as Google is seeking to get a ban on iPhone and iPad devices claiming that they violate select patents that Google owns.

The complaint, filed with the US International Trade Commission, claims that Apple violates seven patents including e-mail notification and location reminders. The two have been fighting in court since licensing talks ended two years ago.

HP to focus on consumer tablets, report said
The Verge has been touting an internal memo it has received that shows that Hewlett-Packard’s future tablet plans will inc

lude a big focus on consumer tablets and the group will be led by former Nokia exec Alberto Torres.

As many remember HP delivered its first tablet last year, the Touch Pad, and then quickly killed it off and the division, only to reignite the effort some months later. The previous tablet was based on technology it gained it its Palm acquisition, the new generation is expected to be based on Microsoft’s Windows 8.

Lenovo believes RT tablets will be a hot item
Lenovo said that the pricing on operating systems will allow hardware OEMs that build tablets using the Windows RT version of Windows 8 to offer significantly less expensive tablets that the OEMs that use the Windows 8 models.

According to Bloomberg the tablets will be $200-$300 less, resulting in RT tablets in the $300-$400 range while the Windows 8 tablets will be in the $600-$700 range. Lenovo has already talked about its Windows 8 tablet here.

LG Optimus Vu headed to stores globally next month
The hybrid tablet/smartphone that LG first showed back in February is expected to reach the market sometime in September. The Optimus Vu will sport a 5-inch display with an Nvidia processor, 32GB of storage and a 5MP camera. Pricing and exact availability are not yet known.

Will verdict in Apple’s favor change market?
The New York Times has a piece that speculates that a victory by Apple in its lawsuit could have one interesting consequence; it could force rival tablet and smartphone makers to truly differentiate their products.

The opposite could also be true if Samsung emerges victorious, with a lot of manufacturers doing Apple knockoffs with no real fear of legal action by Apple. One would hope that developers would try to differentiate on their own, but after looking at vanilla PCs for a decade you know it is not true.