Didn't have enough reasons to bemoan the ESPNization of the world? (Note to women: The sports world IS the real world. Deal with it.)
Well, ESPN wants to localize
you now. According to Macworld, ESPN is rolling out a series of localized sports apps, targeting specific cities, currently New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and Boston. And guess what -- those are the five cities with their own dedicated subsites at ESPN.com.
The five apps are "all available as free downloads," Macworld says, offering "localized news, information about hometown teams, and a customizable SportsCenter feature." It also offers writers and bloggers on the local sports scene, because as we all know, if a sporting event or feat isn't blogged within ten minutes then it never really occurred.
Oh, what else is there... pretty much what you'd expect: "stadium guides for nearby sports teams, weather updates tied to your location, and the ability to send text messages to ESPN's radio stations in the corresponding city."
Leave it to Scots to come up with a way to actually improve upon one of the best inventions in the history of mankind.
Scotland produces approximately 150 miliion liters (about 50 million gallons, give or take) of their wonderful whiskey every year, raking in about $6.24 billion.
DailyTech, "that production leads to a lot of byproducts -- which largely are discarded." Until now, that is: "Researchers at the Edinburgh Napier University have cooked up a method to end that waste, instead turning two of the main byproducts -- 'pot ale,' the liquid from the copper stills, and 'daff,' the spent grains - into biofuels."
Tonic.com reports that
"The team believes that their new whiskey-fuel will not only be able to power cars in the near future, but aircrafts as well, and act as the base for solvents such as acetone."
And no, this isn't an ethanol redux. Death to ethanol, one of the worst-conceived products of your lifetime, which continues to exist only -- only -- because corn-drenched Iowa holds the first presidential primary. Butanol is generally considered a more useful biofuel in no small part because it can be blended into gasoline "at any ratio without special engine considerations," and "delivers 30 percent more power by volume than ethanol," according to DailyTech.
According to a recent report
from the Associated Press, the near-archaic FM radio could be given a new lease on life if a proposed settlement to the (almost as long-lived, it seems) dispute over music royalties includes a federal mandate that "all new cell phones and other wireless devices contain an FM radio tuner."
As industry observer Daniel Dilger notes
, "Adding a mandate on FM radio chips would greatly expand the potential audience of broadcasters in an era where only one of Apple's iPod models (the latest Nano) supports FM radio playback, and none of its iPhone, iPod touch or iPad devices do. Apple sells around 70 percent of MP3 players, and has a prime position in mobile phones and tablet devices."
The proposal is now under discussion by radio broadcasters, recording labels and recording artists, the AP says, adding that "although it is far from final -- and would still need Congressional approval -- the prospect that the government could dictate a key design decision for such a ubiquitous consumer device has alarmed electronics manufacturers and wireless providers."
This is really one of the more interesting uses of IVR we've seen recently, thanks to a good, long study
on the PBS website. The whole article is well worth reading, but to quickly summarize, two years ago Bev Clark, the co-founder of Kubatana.net, "was awarded a large grant in the Knight News Challenge for Freedom Fone, an open-source software platform for distributing news and information through interactive voice response technology," the article says.
Freedom Fone was officially launched in late February of this year and has since been downloaded about 200 times, according Amy Saunderson-Meyer of Freedom Fone,
Since launch, Freedom Fone officials tell PBS, it has provided support to specific organizations, including Equal Access in Cambodia, Small World News TV, TechnoServe, One Economy Corporation, and Africa Youth Trust.
Saunderson-Meyer said "they have also received about 100 inquiries from individuals and organizations interested in a broad spectrum of potential uses of Freedom Fone outside of news and information distribution" as well.