Everybody loves links, so here are my links of the last few weeks. As usual, newer links are on top.
Money Quote: Athletes from the nation’s three biggest and most profitable leagues—the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball—are suffering from a financial pandemic. Although salaries have risen steadily during the last three decades, reports from a host of sources (athletes, players’ associations, agents and financial advisers) indicate that:
- By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.
- Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.
- Numerous retired MLB players have been similarly ruined, and the current economic crisis is taking a toll on some active players as well. Last month 10 current and former big leaguers—including outfielders Johnny Damon of the Yankees and Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox and pitchers Mike Pelfrey of the Mets and Scott Eyre of the Phillies—discovered that at least some of their money is tied up in the $8 billion fraud allegedly perpetrated by Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford. Pelfrey told the New York Post that 99% of his fortune is frozen; Eyre admitted last month that he was broke, and the team quickly agreed to advance a portion of his $2 million salary.
Me: Would you have laughed at me if I told you at the beginning of the year that Microsoft Silverlight would be deployed in any part of YouTube? I sense the winds of change blowing…
Me: If you need further proof that Twitter is indeed mainstream close to the level of Facebook and MySpace, look no further than the NBA. Imagine that – NBA players using Twitter during halftime to broadcast to the world how crappy or awesome they played during the game!
Money Quote: I know a lot of people like to see the 800 pound gorilla fail, and many are betting against you, but there is SO MUCH ROOM for our shopping experiences to improve, I’m excited to see a company with Microsoft’s innovation, talent, and resources move the ball forward.
Their first hire, David Potter, is an executive with leadership experience at the most successful retailer in the world (Walmart), and one of the greatest story tellers there is (Pixar); that seems like a great start to me.
Me: Geotagging + Photosynth + Live Maps = Sightseeing from your bedroom!
Me: Here is yet another attempt at breaking down the cloud computing landscape into three distinct segments. At the end of the day, it still aligns nicely to Tim O’Reilly’s three-tier model – Utility Computing (a.k.a. Infrastructure as a Service), Application Development Engines (Platform as a Service), and Cloud-based Applications (Software as a Service).
Money Quote: Microsoft is so often the behemoth everyone loves to hate that people overlook the stuff it does right. We tried its newer Web services and found five gems.
Money Quote: Ironically, it’s Microsoft’s Hailstorm which first modeled today’s landscape almost 10 years ago, with the on-demand atomization of the InBox, the social graph (contacts), and the realtime inference engine now known as search. Identity, the very thing that brought down Hailstorm, is now being traded like a virtual stock market by the social media clouds as a new form of wealth.
Money Quote: Several weeks ago, some pundits were quick to dismiss Windows Mobile 6.5’s honeycomb menu as a “glorified grid”, an Engadget editorial put it – “a sign that Microsoft has gone out of its way to avoid a grid”, but that’s what happens when misinformed “journalists” try to appear smart. The truth is, the honeycomb from a usability perspective is superior than traditional square grids for a touch interface.
Money Quote: Why are we seeing more football managers getting fired these days in the Barclays Premiere League? A research paper has predicted this some years back using a combined set of ideas from physics and economics.
Me: Color schemes aside, I have to say that Kumo is a pretty big improvement over Live Search. Some of the screenshots really don’t do justice to just how much better Kumo is over the current Live Search. A couple cool features – native IE8 web slice support and hover previews.
Me: Anyone who wants to pass quick judgement on the whole Microsoft vs. TomTom case don’t be too hasty to think it’s Microsoft who is the big bully. TomTom isn’t exactly an angel when it comes to using litigation and leveraging the judicial system for its own gain.
I may leave out certain links from my feed if I feel the stories have already been covered ad nauseam this week.