Statistics and sports go hand-in-hand. But the bond is strongest in baseball – and best explained during a scene from the 1999 film For Love of the Game: Kevin Costner’s character, aging star pitcher Billy Chapel, is asked during a dinner date, “Do you lose very much?”
“I lose,” he says. “I’ve lost 134 times.”
“You count them?” Jane Aubrey, the film’s other central character, says with astonishment.
“We count everything in baseball.”
Technology continues taking that concept to new heights. The latest example, brought to you by Zepp Labs: Bats embedded with a small sensor that “determines accurate swing metrics such as bat swing and hand speed, attack angle and time to impact,” Mashable reported.
These data-collecting devices were on display – right here, in Durham, N.C. – during Monday’s Home Run Derby featuring sluggers from the minor leagues’ top tier (Triple-A).
“Everyone is starving for more data,” Matt Brown, Zepp Labs’ director of global marketing, told Mashable, “and it will offer an entirely new way to measure and analyze what leads to successful results on the field.”
Talk about performance-enhancing technology.
Here are four more stories found on the beat:
Flooded with feedback
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in May to proceed with Chairman Tom Wheeler’s controversial plan for prioritizing lanes of Internet traffic. The deadline for public feedback, Tuesday, was extended to today.
A last-minute barrage of electronic comments crashed the FCC’s site. Total comments as of Tuesday were 780,000.
Per Politico, “net neutrality activists contend the number is actually much higher, if you count petitions filed that contain thousands of individual names. Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl ‘wardrobe malfunction’ holds the record for FCC comments at 1.4 million.”
The New York Times reported:
“A sampling of the many thousands of individual comments posted on the commission’s website is heavily weighted toward urging the FCC to take strong action to preserve net neutrality and criticizing Mr. Wheeler’s proposal as not doing that.”
If you’re a certain age, the mere mention of Apple and IBM in the same sentence makes you think of the iconic “1984” Super Bowl TV ad introducing the Macintosh computer.
“It made a statement, a very aggressive statement, against IBM,” Fred Goldberg, then the account manager for Apple’s ad agency, told Yahoo earlier this year.
Thirty years later? Apple and IBM – widely considered consumer and business brands, respectively – announced a partnership Tuesday. According to CNBC:
“IBM said it would create a class of more than 100 business applications exclusively for iPhones and iPads to run on Apple’s iOS platform. In return, IBM will sell Apple’s products with 100 industry-specific apps to its clients worldwide.”
Complying with COPPA
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) amended its children’s privacy rules and revised its frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
According to the Washington Post:
“The FAQ, posted on the agency’s Web site, covers topics such as multimedia content, geolocation data, methods of obtaining parental consent for data collection and rules about disclosing information to third parties.”
Parents: Bookmark the page.
World Cup recap
Online interest in the 2014 World Cup was among the event’s most compelling storylines.
Facebook released this detailed infographic, which says: “The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the largest conversation on Facebook for any event in history.”
The social network reported three billion World Cup-related interactions, which accounts for posts, comments and “likes.”
Twitter reported in this blog post that, from start to finish (June 12 to July 13), there were 672 million tweets related to the World Cup.
As the post says, “The World Cup lived up to its name.”