1. My least favorite complaint about NBC’s Olympic coverage

    Okay, I know. NBC’s Olympics coverage isn’t perfect. Their website sucks when you try to find the live streaming coverage. They hack the opening and closing ceremonies to bits and block live access to them that doesn’t require wading into legal grey areas. The only coverage on free TV is sappy, edited pablum akin to a reality show. Right, I get it. And I’d agree.

    But the one complaint I just can’t stand is this: "The Olympics should be made available completely free."

    No, it doesn’t have to be made completely free to anyone. Sure, apparently the BBC and CBC air more things live on free TV than NBC does. They’re also big, beefy public broadcasters that receive mandatory (for the BBC, if you want to own a TV) tax dollars from the citizenry, something NBC doesn’t get. I’m not arguing for or against moving the games to a public broadcaster, but just know the facts. NBC is entirely a capitalistic venture.

    And so is live sports. As DVR-proof programming, it’s increasingly valuable. And some companies that run cable networks have realized they can make so much more money from cable companies if they put live sports on cable. That’s why the BCS moved to ESPN (and its successor will be there too). That’s why the Final Four will be on TBS this year.

    Am I defending any of that? Not really. But people don’t seem to complain about that as much as they do about the part of NBC’s Olympics coverage worth watching being on cable or streaming with cable authorization. I guess I would understand why the Olympics are put on a pedestal compared to those other sports, as many see them as an altruistic means of promoting world peace, something college football doesn’t do. But still, it’s heavily bankrolled by massive corporations like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. While the IOC itself is nonprofit, don’t think they don’t mind other profiting off their image.

    I love the Olympics, and a lot of NBC’s cable and streaming coverage is great, even if not perfect. But the Olympics is still a live sporting event with a lot of money put in it. And while you’re entitled to think what you want about NBC’s coverage, demanding that they just give all of it to you for free is unreasonable.

    Cheaper? Maybe. But not entirely free. Come on.

  2. vigniette 2: where’s karen?

    2

  3. script 1 (test)

    script 1 by andybugay

  4. Another Thing About a Yahoo! Thing Oh God Why

    So this happened right at the stroke of midnight on the east coast, where a company decided to jerk people around with a 30-day jaunt through playing around with their well-known logo and then decided to, well, come up with this thing.

    The Internet’s reaction: Really?

    First glance, this thing is nothing. Yahoo’s old logo had character and had the spunk and surfer-dude mentality of the go-go dawn-of-the-web ’90s. Was it a fantastic logo? Not really. Did it represent its company well? In the ’90s, probably, as Yahoo was not much more than a nifty web directory and search engine at the time. Nowadays, as Marissa Mayer is trying to reshape Yahoo as a multi-platform “media” company with a name people still equate with the nifty web directory and search engine that’s now more of a relic than a current thing? Not so much.

    What the heck is Yahoo now? It’s a company with the logo of a cosmetics company on acid.

    But more importantly, what is this logo and what does it represent? It probably represents missed opportunities to improve. Look at the company’s much-ballyhooed attempts to redesign its sites. Most notably for me, the new Yahoo Sports is awful. One of the nicest things about Yahoo Sports is its great blogs, which used to have prominent placement on the front page. Now they’re hidden under a tab marked “Blogs” just above an endless-scrolling vomit of random news. The BuzzFeed model doesn’t work for everything, you know. There’s no longer a place to feature the best content— it all just spews from the stream. And the layouts for the blogs are pretty bad, too. White text on dark? Come on.

    How about Flickr? Hey, remember when I said they didn’t make any changes to Flickr? THEY MADE CHANGES TO FLICKR. And they’re terrible. Old Flickr’s search results were well-organized and paginated. New Flickr, with its endless scrolling, slows down even the fastest of computers, even to the point of a script timeout. Great job, Flickr!

    So of course I’d expect this logo from Yahoo. It doesn’t fit a company desperately trying to adapt to a changing Internet and missing the point entirely.

    It should be noted that according to a survey, this was the best of the “30 days of change” logos:

    Looks familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s the old Yahoo logo without serifs. Instead of making massive changes and just assuming the public’s going to accept them, why not change things more subtly and over time? Would it be a fix for Yahoo’s identity crisis? Not entirely, but it’s better than going to the extreme and alienating everybody.

  5. filmgirl:

    Designed by Apple in California

    Hate me all you want. This commercial gives me the chills. And iOS 7 is awesome. I might write something about it later. Jony Ive’s new design hits all the right notes.

  6. A Few Things I’m Working On

    I’ve decided to use my Google+ profile as a place to curate good video-based things I see online, under the hashtag #HeyWatchThis. They’ll follow a pattern that changes slightly. I might post some of them here sometimes as well.

    Also, my debut at the world’s repository of lists and gifs, FeedBuzz, is now up. Let’s nostalgia, web friends!

  7. Everybody Calm Down

    Yes, everybody. Calm down.

    I figured we’d get some sort of hyperbolic reaction to Yahoo!, the Uncool Tech Company From the Nineties or Something, buying Tumblr, the Hip Young Breeder of Ideas and Feelings and the Pulse of [[OUR!!!]] Generation. Yep. Enn-a-da-world. Is CompuServe gonna buy Pinterest now??? Netscape gonna buy Spotify?!?!? AOL gonna buy the Huffington P—

    Oh, right. That one happened. And the Huffington Post has been largely allowed to exist independently. In fact, AOL shuttered its entire news department in favor of letting HuffPost be its news department, for better or worse.

    Yes, it’s apples and oranges. But it is an example of an older, declining-in-relevance Web outfit snapping up a younger, hipper outfit. You know what’s a closer comparison?

    Flickr, which got snapped up about a year after its creation, saw very little of its independence threatened. You can still post dirty things to Flickr. You will probably still be able to post dirty things to Tumblr.

    In the nineties and early 2000s, it was about establishing portals and consolidating content. That’s why Yahoo! was eager to smash GeoCities hard under its brand and why Microsoft rushed to slap the MSN logo on Hotmail (later slapping the Windows Live branding on it, and then finally killing the brand off this year in favor of Outlook).

    However, in recent years, tech brands are treated with more independence and autonomy. Microsoft bought Skype but hasn’t changed it to Microsoft Skype or Windows Skype. Google bought YouTube, and it’s still called YouTube. Yahoo! bought Flickr, and it’s still called Flickr. Facebook bought Instagram, and Instagram is still terrible.

    So calm down. Chances are in a few years you’ll be required to link your Tumblr account to your Yahoo! account or be forced to start a new Yahoo! account. So dang what? I think Yahoo! knows the power of the Tumblr brand and what it entails, just like what it saw in the Flickr brand. Very little will change, and you’ll be able to still post whatever the heck you want.

    Are we calm now? Hope so.

  8. Let’s Talk About NBA Expansion

    First off, we need to admit, as a fanbase, it’s going to happen. Yes, the better route for the NBA is contraction. There are too many teams unable to compete with the more successful teams. Promotion and relegation would be an awesome thing to try as well. But neither of things are going to happen. I’m guessing you’re sitting down, so please don’t be too shocked when I tell you it’s about money. There’s so much money going around, nobody wants to see teams just up and go away. And nobody wants to move their team into a second tier of a multiple-tier NBA. That’s just how it is.

    Now why am I talking about NBA expansion? Nobody’s talking about it. The NBA has backed off at hinting at it. The NHL is, though. A league that normally is behind the NBA in attention, ratings and revenue is looking to expand to 32 teams. They made that apparent earlier this year when they approved realigning its 30 teams into conferences of 16 and 14, instead of 15 a side. The writing is on the wall there, and the NBA is very likely to follow suit. And as the NFL can tell you, 32 is a perfect number when it comes to alignment.

    So where? The NHL has a much greater surface area to work with. They are likely to add teams in Canada, where demand is highest— probably Quebec City first, then maybe a team in Toronto, its suburbs or Hamilton. But the NBA is more of a U.S.-only affair. Only 50% of its decision to expand into Canada in the 1990s worked, and there doesn’t seem to be any demand from Canada for another NBA team at this point.

    The NBA will expand to Seattle. There is a more-than-willing ownership group led by Chris Hansen and Microsoft honcho Steve Ballmer wanting to bring the SuperSonics back. But where else?

    A couple of NHL markets could also support NBA teams. St. Louis had an NBA team ages ago (the now-Atlanta Hawks) as well as an ABA team (the Spirits of St. Louis). Pittsburgh is in the same boat as St. Louis. Both have arenas that have housed college basketball (Scottrade and Consol, respectively). So why not NBA basketball?

    A possible dark horse is Louisville. Kentucky has no representative among the four major North American sports. But Kentucky loves basketball. Would they be willing to support the professional game? Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center can hold 22,000 fans, many more than some current NBA arenas.

    My top choice though, besides Seattle, would be Kansas City. Their arena, the Sprint Center, was built with the purpose of snagging an NBA or NHL franchise. Since Kansas City would be further down the NHL’s list behind Canadian cities, the NBA would be a much better fit for them. And maybe it’s for the better to not let St. Louis hog all the pro teams in Missouri. St. Louis can have the state’s NHL team while Kansas City has the state’s NBA team. And both cities already have an MLB team and an NFL team.

    Like I said, expansion is not ideal. But it’s inevitable. Let’s just hope the NBA decides to put its product into markets where fans will definitely support it, like when it relocated into Oklahoma City. Let’s just hope the NBA can find owners that will want to invest in a team and make it successful rather than want to coast off initial fan support but later do little to keep those fans.

  9. The Official White House Tumblr: The White House, Tumbling Things →

    whitehouse:

    We see some great things here at the White House every day, and sharing that stuff with you is one of the best parts of our jobs. That’s why we’re launching a Tumblr. We’ll post things like the best quotes from President Obama, or video of young scientists visiting the White House for the science…

    That’s right, kids, the White House has made the official declaration that “gif” is pronounced with a hard g, which puts them in #TeamHardG with Strong Bad and… uh, who else? #TeamSoftG is a bunch of people at Gawker, I think. Oh, and whoever owns the websites at the top of the Google results when you search “pronounce gif.” This ain’t over, kids. Not by a long shot.

  10. NFL Preview!!

    Uh, kids, you want this? Okay! Let’s do an preview of The Footballs League. It is the most imporpotant thing in the world, so people from around the world and also the Moon watch da niffle. So hurrrrrr.

    *takes brain medicine*

    I picked the game the NFL has already deemed as the “best game” from each week. Because I’m not good at judging quality.

    WEEK 1: RAVENS AT BRONCOS

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    There was a bit of kerfluffle in Baltimore over this game not being in Baltimore, because the NFL always wants to have the Super Bowl champion from last year open the year at home. You see, the Orioles already had a game scheduled against the White Sox in their park, which shares a parking lot with the Ravens’ stadium. So instead, the Ray Lewisless Ravens will open their season on the road against lovable Southern goob Peyton Manning and his newest weapon, Wes “ley Crusher” Welker (more on him later). This game will be a tapestry of excellence, and it probably will have lots of Joe Flacco passes. Watchability score: 8

    WEEK 2: BRONCOS AT GIANTS

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    You know that Peyton Manning? He has a brother. His name is Eli (like that movie. Wait, that was the book of Eli. The movie was My Name is Earl. No wait, that was the TV show. Or was it My Name is Jonas? Wait no, that’s the band with the brothers. No wait, that’s Band of Brothers. Wait no, that was a song by Weezer. No wait, that’s Weezy Jefferson. no wait, that’s Jefferson Starship. No wait, that’s Starship Galactica. No wait, that’s BATTLESHIP Galactica. No wait, that’s Battleship. The movie. Based on the board game. That’s what I was reaching for!). They’re brothers and they play quarterback and sometimes they play each other. Watchability score: 12, 14 if stoned

    WEEK 3: CHIEFS AT EAGLES

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    Andy Reid was the head coach of the Eagles. But then, something happened that ROCKED HIS WORLD: *record scratch* HE GOT FIRED. *cue “I Feel Good”* Now he’s the head coach of the Chiefs, and he has to face his old team! Luckily for him, his new team is composed entirely of third graders! Can Andy Reid coach up his team to take on the evil Michael Vick? Wait, is Michael Vick even going to be playing this year? Is he still in prison? Who really cares? Watchability grade: C- (because the Chiefs really are third graders)

    WEEK 4: STEELERS AT VIKINGS

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    This is the annual contest held in London, and with it Roger Goodell will tell the London faithful that he wants to expand the league to London because he thinks it’s hilarious that one team has to travel thousands of miles more than the other 31 or so teams in the US. But hey, Roger Goodell has invented going faster than the speed of light because he’s God or something. Watchability rating: three and a half footballs (out of 6)

    WEEK 5: SAINTS AT BEARS

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    Both of these dudes used to go to Purdue: Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Bears quarterback Kyle Ort— *crumples up sheet of paper* The Saints’ offensive coordinator is now the Bears’ offensive coordinator because he was kicked off the team because of the bounty scandal. Wait, that’s not right. *crumples up sheet of paper* I’m typing this on a computer. Why am I also writing something on paper? *crumples up sheet of paper* Uh, this game isn’t really that interesting. Two sketchy quarterbacks and some stout defenses. We hope. Watchability verdict on count 1 (aggravated murder): three thumbs up (out of 11)

    WEEK 6: REDSKINS AT COWBOYS

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    Although Griffin says he’s close, he also admitted that he really has no idea when he’ll return: “I just know that I’m close, and I’m taking every day seriously… it could be tomorrow, and I could feel like I could play the next game. Nobody knows but God.” The 2012 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year continues to participate in quarterbacking drills and said he’s made improvement, but his knee is not yet what it was before tearing his ACL and LCL in his right knee in the first round of last season’s playoffs. Adidas rating: 3 stripes

    WEEK 7: BRONCOS AT COLTS

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    Peyton Manning brings his Mastercard commercials and two million free pizzas to the house he used to own but is now occupied by Andrew Luck, noted architect. Both guys will quarterback the heck out of their respective teams, and you’ll probably hear about 3,000 stories about JUST HOW THE INDY CROWD WILL REACT to their prodigal son returning, in exact words said by every person in the crowd and decibel level. Rick Reilly just had a nosebleed. Awesome rating: 20% more

    WEEK 8: PACKERS AT VIKINGS

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    America will be watching as one of the league’s most beloved players makes his debut with a new team. Brian Urlacher is a multiple-time Pro Bowler, and his Vikings debut will be one of the most anticipated events on the NFL calendar. Will he out-sack his old nemesis, Clay Matthews? He knows the fans— whom he cares about very much— will want to know. Jenny McCarthy’s interest level: .3

    WEEK 9: TITANS AT RAMS

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    "So let me get one thing straight here. We have a pro football team now, but they’re in Nashville?"

    "Em… yeah. Oh my god! Okay, they used to be in Houston. First, they were the Oilers, but now they’re the Titans."

    "Houston Oilers are the Tennessee Titans."

    "Yeah, and that’s not all. They went to the Super Bowl last year."

    "Well, I missed that."

    "I nearly died! It was so exciting. They almost won by one yard. One lousy yard right at the end."

    "Wow. Went to the Super Bowl."

    "Oh, and also, 13 years from now, they’ll play another game against the Rams. That’s who won the Super Bowl. Only this time, uh, the Titans’ coach is the Rams’ coach."

    "In a Super Bowl?"

    "Uh, no. Regular season game."

    "Wait, why is this important? And why do you know what happens 13 years from now?"

    "Because that is the date of your death, Chuck." Director’s cut runtime: 172 min.

    WEEK 10: PANTHERS AT 49ERS

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    The Panthers’ quarterback is Cam Newton, who is known for running a lot. The 49ers’ quarterback is Colin Kaepernick, who is known for running a lot. So in this game, I predict a lot of running. Perhaps we’ll see Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick run in opposite directions until they both run around the world and then finally collide AND OH GOD THE WORLD ENDS but it can’t because there needs to be more NFL football next week! And we can’t have the world ending, now can’t we?! Pitchfork rating: 6.8

    WEEK 11: PACKERS AT GIANTS

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    This game really has no storyline other than both of these teams are pretty good. Aaron Rodgers is good at this football thing and so is Eli Manning. Both teams have dedicated fanbases. And this game will take place in MetLife Stadium, the stadium that hosts this year’s Super Bowl. It’s a fabulous stadium that holds over 80,000 people. That’s more people than some cities! Watchability credit score: find out by clicking here!

    WEEK 12: BRONCOS AT PATRIOTS

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    The aforementioned Wes Welker was Tom Brady’s favorite target last year. But not so fast, Tom Brady! The Patriots didn’t want Welker anymore, so they threw him in the dumpster. And who was dumpster diving in Foxborough, Mass. on that cold winter night? None other than Broncos president John Elway, looking for a wide receiver for his pal Peyton Manning. It was a Christmas miracle, and nobody said anything about John Elway reeking of garbage. Non-sequitur words: Number, or maybe some funny word replacing a number

    WEEK 13: STEELERS AT RAVENS

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    It’s Turkey Day (get it?!) and the NFL decided to make good with the Ravens for not giving them Week 1 at home by giving them the big Thanksgiving night game. These two teams have really powerful defenses, so we’re predicting about 25 bodies will be pounded into a singularity that will turn into a black hole that will consume the slowest players. So speed up, slow players! Watchability rating: who cares, you’re zonked out on turkey and wine and will watch anything at this point

    WEEK 14: SEAHAWKS AT 49ERS

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    It’s the Battle of the Crazy Persons as certifiable crazy person Pete Carroll leads Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks into San Francisco to take on certifiable crazy person Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers! Watch these guys yell, pout and otherwise make bizarre, GIFable faces into your heart this winter! Watchability index: high. Wear sunscreen.

    WEEK 15: PACKERS AT COWBOYS

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    Faaaaarrrrrrtttttttt. Watchability rating: Tony Romo


    WEEK 16: FALCONS AT 49ERS

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    A rematch of last year’s NFC title game. We all know how that one ended, with the Niners going to the Super Bowl where the power went out and nobody won, or maybe it ended in a tie. But anyway. Matt Ryan wants revenge on Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t stopped running since the Carolina game. Also, I just realized I could have used Full House as a 49ers picture, and we’re all out of Niners games. Oh well. Watchability rating: 20X6

    WEEK 17: PACKERS AT BEARS

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    You know what? Forget Bears vs. Packers. This is Marc Trestman vs. his evil past. Will the Bears make the playoffs? And if not, will Chicago sports radio collapse under the pressure of the FIRE MARC TRESTMAN calls the next day? Of course it will. Sleep tight, Chicago. This is the season you’ve been dealt. Watchability rating: the song of the demons of the end times