March Madness a Huge Hit with Online and Mobile Users


To the surprise of probably no one the first round of the annual NCAA Division 1 Basketball tournament has see resounding television viewership numbers (best in 18 years), but what might pass unnoticed is how strong its mobile and online viewership is as well.

Strong actually may be understating it, in the first week viewership via PCs, smartphones and tablets accounted for 10 million hours of video stream consumed by fans accessing all of the different online digital properties showing the tournament.

The results coupled with the strong online viewership the recent London Summer Olympics enjoyed should put to rest the arguments that making live sports action available for mobile and online users will hurt television viewership that some sports leagues still adhere to.

There were 4.2 million unique visitors watching games, and what is telling about how fast this has become an alternative method to watch the event, that number represents a 161% increase from just a year ago.

Broadband users were the top consumers of video averaging 105 minutes of viewing time while the mobile segment, the smartphone and tablet users, consumed 61 minutes per user.

The mobile aspect of this is increasingly important. Mobile viewers represented for 43% of live video streams on Thursday, 48% on Friday, 59% on Saturday and 60% on Sunday. These numbers both show how important reaching mobile users and that by addressing them how an event can expand its viewership by reaching fans that might be at work and prohibited from using work PCs to view or people that are out and about but still want to catch a game. Hopefully others, such as the NFL, will take this to heart and make more games available online.

Intel Will Have Major Smartphone Push in Barcelona


Intel will continue its aggressive efforts to penetrate the smartphone processor space and will be highlighting its latest processor family that is designed for that market at the upcoming Mobile World Congress.

It has already started to see some traction in recent months as it gained a major partner for the Asia Pacific market with its relationship with Acer as well as smaller deals in Africa. The deal with Acer has that company now offering the Acer Liquid C1 smartphone that is powered by Intel’s Atom Z2420 processor.

Looking forward to the show in Barcelona on February 25 to 28 Intel will be looking to show off its range of smartphone technologies highlighted by the Atom Z2420 processor, a chip that it has designed specifically for emerging markets.

That processor is just the start of a range of new chips expected from the company this year for the smartphone space. It showed an update to its current Atom Medfield family at the recent CES show with the Bay Trail-T processor and is expected to launch its Merrifield line later this year. It has so far seen some solid benchmarks that have been posted online.

Intel still faces a tough battle in this space, one that it has been trying to gain a substantial market share for the last decade. Qualcomm and others have had a big lead in providing chips to the mobile market. Qualcomm has even surpassed Intel recently in market cap, making it the most valuable semiconductor company.

While Intel is still a much bigger company what has been driving Qualcomm is its success in the mobile space, one that Intel is still fighting for. It should get a bit of a boost when the second half of Microsoft’s Surface family of tablets, the Surface Pro arrive, since they are powered by Intel chips.Still it is increasingly important to Intel to establish itself as a major player in the mobile space as the PC market has matured and is no longer seeing robust growth.

Fanzooloo Debuts Full College Schedule Sept. 1 With Alabama Versus Michigan Game

Self-described as a sports fan's combination of ESPN, Trip Advisor and Yelp, the mobile application Fanzooloo and its corresponding website has launched its check-in system and will debut into college sports Sept. with the Alabama vs. Michigan game in Arlington, Texas.

Fanzooloo touts it streamlines the fan experience with parking, last-minute ticket, merchandise and restaurant deals and is using the moniker:  “Fanzooloo, It's About More Than Just The Game.”

The Fanzooloo website ( offers the same information as the mobile application plus additional content while designed like a sports and leisure magazine.

Entertainment, sports, entertainment, food, and social activities nea

r each sports venue will be offered.

According to Fanzooloo, content is both fan-generated and aggregated and will target the overall live game experience – leisure, food, drink and social interaction.

Although the check-in system will premier at the Cowboys Classic, Fanzooloo will encompass all SEC football teams this season, as well as roll out the check-in system for NFL teams and stadiums.

Fanzooloo already includes more than 1,500 merchants and information for every NFL, MLB and NBA team stadium. Fans can find what local bars offer a free shuttle to the game; locate and purchase parking and game tickets within the app; read, write and share fan experiences; find pre-game happy hours; and conveniently locate fan recommended food and beverages inside every stadium.

For additional information, visit: The mobile download is available, at


Reuters’ Photographer Captures Iconic Olympic Image After Three Days’ Wait

Luke MacGregor, a photographer for Reuters, the international news service, didn’t capture an athlete in flight or a dramatic race finish. But after three days of trying, MacGregor captured among the most stunning images of the London Olympics.

Posting the details of his three-night mission near the Tower Bridge in London on his blog, the photographer perfectly captured the moon as the sixth Olympic ring.

Tower Bridge. Image © Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Using a smartphone application to properly gauge the rising of the moon, MacGregor details his quest to get the shot in a three-day diary, accompanied by three images.

In one first-day passage of his blog post, the photographer writes:

“Having planned to be in the ‘perfect’ spot on London Bridge with a good view of the Olympic Rings further up river and using the app information, I waited for the moon to rise.

“However the horizon itself was a little cloudy. When the moon eventually showed itself about 10 minutes after the app’s moonrise time it was off to the right hand side of the bridge. I hadn’t taken into account that the moon wouldn’t rise in a vertical line but would travel across the sky.”

Two days later, after calculating the changing exposure, the brightness of the moon and dealing with curious tourists in the line of his pending image, MacGregor got what he wanted. It’s an iconic image, a remembrance of the London Olympics far away from competition but as poignant as an event.

To read MacGregor’s blog in full and to view the three images, visit: Shooting The Moon
James Raia is a California-based journalist who writes about sports, business, travel and leisure. Visit his cycling site at

Mobile Sports Report TechWatch: Does Your Computer Have Malware?

FBI helping to block malware
An international hacker has apparently infected and taken control of a host of computers around the globe using an advertising scam to lure people into going to a site that downloaded the malware. When the hackers were arrested the infected systems still operated thanks to the use of government servers that replaced the crooks systems.

That program will be shut down in July and when it does and your system is infected you will find a ‘page not found’ alert when you try to access the internet. You can go here to have your system tested.

Amazon’s Kindle touch 3G is here
Apparently a week earlier than expected the Amazon touch 3G has started shipping out to customers around the world. The $149 e-reader stands apart from other offerings from Amazon and others in that it provides free 3G connectivity on a global basis. Users do not need to sign up for a plan with a carrier or add service on an existing plan to get the wireless capability.

Verizon to introduce multi-device plan this summer
Verizon dropped some good news to owners of multiple devices that can access the Internet wirelessly- it is developing a plan that will allow customers to bundle all of the devices under one roof rather than be forced to have a plan for each device.

This will appeal to people that own both a tablets and a smartphones and can now have all of the data on a single plan. Verizon now joins T-Mobile and Sprint in offering this capability. I suspect that this will be a boon for tablet makers as it removes a barrier to acceptance of these devices.

Smartphone compatible watch draws big interest from investors
The Pebble, a watch that can wirelessly connect to an iPhone has been getting tremendous play from backers via Kickstarter. If you are not familiar with Kickstarter it is a place to raise funding by setting a level that you need and then hoping that enough individuals or larger investment groups promise funding. If you do not reach your goal you get nothing.

Anyway Pebble was seeking $100,000 and so far has raised $1.5 million and growing. Early investors, for a set sum, get a slight discount on one of the watches. The Pebble can support multiple apps and operating systems and communicates with the smartphone via Bluetooth. A similar technology is used in rival products such as the Garmin S3 Golf Watch, among others.

A Crab Computer?

Author Sir. Terry Pratchett has developed computer that runs on ants in several of his Discworld novels, and now it appears that Japanese scientists have taken it one better and developed one that runs on crabs.

Maybe runs on crabs is a bit too inexact, let’s say that live crabs are used as logic gates in the system developed by scientists at Kobe University. I wonder how you go to get a project like this funded? Hey I think crabs are better then microcircuits and they have less gate leakage? Anyway drop over to Gizmag and see if you can figure out what they did.

Research-in-Motion hires firm for restructuring help
RIM, the company that makes the BlackBerry has hired the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy LLP to develop a restructuring plan for the company according to Yahoo! News. RIM is looking at a variety of options including the possibility that it might sell off some of its assets, developing joint ventures or engage in the very popular patent sell off.

Gemini Devices delivers inexpensive tablets-in UK market

While there is a growing wave of high end tablets, and two more are expected this week, there are alternatives for users that have simpler needs or a constrained pocketbook, and Gemini Devices is looking to meet your needs.

The company offers a series of JoyTAB tablets that include two 10-inch models, a 7-inch and an 8-inch JoyTAB. They have last generation technology for the most part, with single core CPUs and lower resolution screens than what are coming out now. The do have the latest version of the Android operating system, v 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich.

With a starting price of around $200 for the 7-inch color model they might make a good solution for users that have simpler needs than the users that want/need all the bells and whistles associated with the iPads and others of that ilk.

Xtex has an even less expensive Tablet-and lackluster reviews
The $200 JoyTAB too rich for your blood? Well there is the $150 Xtex My Tablet 7, a 7-inch color tablet that also uses older technology to hit a low price point. The tablet includes a single core processor and has an 800 x 480 pixel resolution. Chris Burns at Slashgear has taken one for a test ride and warns that you will get what you pay for.

Forget Apps: ScoreTRAX Scores with SMS

In a world where everyone seems to be developing or using mobile-phone apps, a company called ScoreTRAX is betting that there is a big business providing sports fans with scores and updates via the simplest of technologies: text messages.

Instead of streaming video or interactive 3D, the Raleigh, N.C.-based ScoreTRAX gives schools and teams a simple way to send scores, messages and other information to fans via text messages, otherwise known as SMS (for Short Message Service), which is available on just about every cell phone, including cheaper feature phones. According to founder Mark Janas, SMS is a perfect way to provide exposure to “a whole group of sports teams that are underserved,” including high school teams, youth leagues, small colleges and even minor-league operations.

Entering its second full year of operation, ScoreTRAX is looking to push past its initial-season base of 50,000 subscriptions with the goal of having an audience of 1 million ScoreTRAX subscribers. To get there, Janas and his company need to find schools or teams who are looking for a way to simply keep fans abreast of what’s going on in bursts of 160 characters or less — with plans that call for little or in some cases no up-front spending by the teams.

The business model for ScoreTRAX is as simple as a text: Teams or schools sign up for the ScoreTRAX service, which provides templates for inputting scores and for sending messages. ScoreTRAX can also be used to set up an online portal, and to send the scores and messages to Facebook and Twitter. Fans then sign up for the teams they want to follow, a process that can all be done with text messages.

ScoreTRAX makes money by inserting national advertisements into the message stream, and teams can become revenue partners by opting to sell ads themselves. The service is free if a team doesn’t want to sell ads itself; there is also a $50 a month option for a mix of national ads and team-sold ads, and a $100 per month option for no national ads and unlimited ads sold by the team.

And though it’s not sexy or 3D, SMS does work when it comes to engaging fans, Janas said. “People read their text messages,” he said.

Next: The power of SMS

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