How Tech Changed Sport

Image Credit

Image Credit

Technology, as one might safely imagine, continually changes our cultures, societies and lives, thanks to the continual upgrading and innovating that go hand in hand with new ideas and ways of doing things. Everywhere we look we see the signs of new technologies' reach- smartphones, televisions, automobiles- although sports fans may often wonder where and in what ways technology impacts their favourite pastimes. Sports can be sometimes viewed as unchanging, rules having been passed down for centuries, often, although this opinion is far from true.

Live sports are a relatively old phenomenon, although true live is a relatively recent advancement. 'Live' sports ten or twenty years ago could be received often a few minutes later compared to when the actual events took place, compared to nowadays when enormous increases in internet bandwidth and satellite coverage mean that images are broadcast to television sets seconds after they take place!

Millions of people worldwide enjoy placing a little wager on the results of their favourite sports, and the internet has massively improved both the ease and availability of bets for punters. A fan sat in the stands during a game can now turn on their smartphone, head to, check out the odds and team news, then make their bet during the game. It's added a heck of a lot of fluidity to the betting world, and fans are ecstatic.

Kits and pieces of equipment went largely unchanged within many sports throughout the twentieth century, however with the advent of materials technology many sports and their players have undergone an enormous change. Today, kits are thinner, lighter and stronger, acting as less of an impediment to the players wearing them and boosting the performance of people using them. Footballs are now equipped with sensors hidden inside that notify referees if they pass past the goal-posts, eliminating messy arguments and fan anguish, and in sports such as hockey, strong, lightweight plastics are now used for sticks instead of traditional woods.

Social Media
Once, having a discussion about the prowess of sportspeople and teams was done mainly in bars and pubs across the world, but with Facebook and Twitter now incredibly popular, sports discussions are on every news feed and profile. Teams can now create their own pages, posting interesting info, behind the scenes footage and other titbits that massively increase the feeling among fans that they too are part of the team.

Author - Catherine Bush.

Facebook buys Oculus VR, Early Adopters Unhappy

Yesterday Facebook announced the latest in it’s acquisition spending spree with the purchase of Oculus VR the company behind Oculus Rift. Facebook announced that it bought the company for $2billion which compared to the amount they paid for SnapChat seems like small change. Oculus started out as a kickstarter project and was initially seeking $250,000 in funding but went on to rake in nearly $2.5 million in pledges.

Many of the early supporters have hit out at the acquisition with one former supporter, Michael Cooper taking to the Kickstarter page and writing:

"What in hell was the point of Kickstarter if you sell out to a giant company like Facebook, This is very disappointing. I will no longer be supporting the Oculus Rift in anyway."

This is just one of a wave of comments that flooded the Kickstarter page soon after the deal was announced yesterday and every comment at the time of writing this is negative. Oculus Rift was was one of the most successful Kickstarter projects to ever be funded but it seems Facebook and Oculus have a lot of work on their hands to convince people that this was a good move.

It will be hard for Oculus to convince people especially when big companies such as Mojang, the creators of Minecraft have severed all ties with Oculus VR over this deal citing that Facebook creeps them out, according to owner Markus Persson

Sadly for disgruntled Kickstarter backers there is no such thing as a refund or money back guarantee so I guess you’ll have to just deal with the fact that your hard earned dollars helped pave the way for multi billion dollar payday.


Facebook video ads coming soon

Facebook have again been playing with the ‘News Feed’ again, no it’s not another layout or tweak to the user interface this time it’s Video advertising. Facebook first announced they were testing video advertisements late last year and rolled out a beta version of their video ad platform to advertisers in December of last year.

Before anybody gets worried about noisy adverts playing in their news feeds there is a silver lining in that video adverts will auto-play however there will not be any sound unless the user actually clicks on the advertisement.

Advertisements will be sold much in the same way that television adverts are sold and will be based on Targeted Gross Rating Points aimed to target a specific audience over a short period of time. Similarly the adverts will also be priced much like a television advert would be with prices ranging from $1 million to $2.5 million initially on launch. Judging from that we can assume that these video ads will be targeted at large corporations rather than small to medium businesses.

Facebook will be using Nielson and Ace Metrix to track and measure the video ads and work with advertisers to review the quality and proposed engagement level of each ad before it becomes available on Facebook.

So when will these adverts start to appear in your news feed? Facebook announced in a blog post that we should be seeing these video advertisements in the next few months. If you feel you really don’t want these adverts or they are too obtrusive it’s likely that popular adblockers will be updated in order to hide these from your news feed.

How do you feel about video ads in your news feed? Do you think they will be obtrusive? or will we just learn to ignore them like we have with other adverts. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Access Blocked Websites from Anywhere

There are plenty of instances where you might find you cannot access that website. Maybe you are studying and the campus does not allow access to the likes of YouTube, or maybe you are travelling and in a country that blocks access to your favourite social network. There is a solution, check out the video below.

I am the 'Geek Ambassador' for Hotspot Shield ...
Get behind the Shield here.


Why is THAT in my News Feed? Facebook explains

Facebook offered a deep dive into its its News Feed ranking algorithm on Tuesday, expounding on why it moves up old stories and how it picks which stories it thinks you want to see.

Lars Backstrom, the engineering manager in charge of News Feed ranking, explained how Facebook sorts through the "tens of thousands" of potential posts users put on Facebook each day. While there is a median of 1,500 potential stories that a user can see daily, Facebook inserts about 300 based on an algorithm that guesses how interested you will be in a post by factoring users' reactions to previous posts and the users. Each post is given a score and placed depending on that score. The more likes and comments people make, the more data Facebook has to work with...

Read the full story here... Source: CNET

For Facebook, it still comes down to making money on mobile

When Facebook checks in with Wall Street for its quarterly review on Wednesday, it will hand in results for mobile advertising for just the fourth time and reveal its first full-year report card on revenue from mobile ads.

By most accounts, Facebook is expected to do well on the mobile front and make close to one-third of its advertising revenue from mobile placements, according to analysts' consensus. It would be a remarkable achievement, one that comes just in the nick of time to save Facebook from a decaying desktop business.

From zero to last-minute hero

RBC Capital Markets is particularly bullish on the subject and expects Facebook to pull in $487 million from mobile, which would be good enough for 34 percent of the firm's projected $1.43 billion second-quarter ad revenue estimate. Goldman Sachs holds a more conservative perspective and is predicting that Facebook will make $425 million in mobile ad revenue.

Whatever the number Facebook reports, it will be a marked improvement from the infinitesimal amount that Facebook made from mobile advertising at this time last year. Then, Facebook said it was bringing in $500,000 per day from mobile ads. Now, Facebook's mobile revenue may come in as high as $5.4 million a day, or up 980 percent from the year ago quarter...

Read the full story here. Source: CNET