Tag Archives: events

NBC hits ratings gold, best ever – despite extensive online features, streaming events

NBC’s London Olympics ratings defy expectations

NBC’s ratings are on track to outdistance numbers from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which many TV industry executives had figured would be a high-water mark. The last Summer Olympics to consistently attract such large crowds were the Montreal Games in 1976 — long before cable TV networks began splintering the audience.

Wow, NBC had 32 million people watching every night!

 

 

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A brochure from the Olympics – the map from the London Tube

 

I’ve got two maps for you. The first is the slippy map above from London Town:

I like the…hand-drawn feel of the map. Venues are shown in indicative locations rather than being geographically correct, as the details of London between the venues are missed out. This makes it a very poor map for navigating around London between the venues, but a good graphic illustrating just how many venues in London there are, and how they relate geographically to the major London landmarks. – Mapping London

 

Second, is the one you would pick up in the London Tube if you were going to the games. Created for the Olympics, the “London Summer 2012″ map looks like a pretty cool brochure/souvenir for the games:

The maps feature key landmarks, the locations of Olympics related events (such as London Live) and shops, a selection of interesting museums and also more practical information such as public amenities, police stations and NHS walk in centres. The maps also include 6 discovery trails (round trips) to help explore different areas (such as the City; Spitalfields and Brick Lane; Regent’s Park; and the West End).

Two screenshots of it below – more at – Mapping London

 

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Ai WeiWei reviews London’s opening ceremony for 2012 Olympics – criticizes Beijing’s

Brilliant. It was very, very well done. This was about Great Britain; it didn’t pretend it was trying to have global appeal. Because Great Britain has self-confidence, it doesn’t need a monumental Olympics. But for China that was the only imaginable kind of international event. Beijing’s Olympics were very grand – they were trying to throw a party for the world, but the hosts didn’t enjoy it. The government didn’t care about people’s feelings because it was trying to create an image.

In London, they really turned the ceremony into a party – they are proud of themselves and respect where they come from, from the industrial revolution to now. I never saw an event before that had such a density of information about events and stories and literature and music; about folktales and movies.

At the beginning it dealt with historical events – about the land and machinery and women’s rights – epically and poetically. The director really did a superb job in moving between those periods of history and today, and between reality and the movies. The section on the welfare state showed an achievement to be truly proud of. It clearly told you what the nation is about: children, nurses and a dream. A nation that has no music and no fairytales is a tragedy.

 

Keep reading: The Guardian - Olympic opening ceremony: Ai Weiwei’s review

 

 

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YouTube a major platform for news – says new Pew report

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, “YouTube is becoming a major platform for viewing news.”

By far, the incident that sparked the most interest was the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Pew looked at the most popular videos in the “news & politics” section of YouTube over those 15 months and found that 5 percent of the 260 videos related to the Japanese disaster.

Given that 70 percent of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S., it’s not surprising that the top three news videos were related to non-U.S. events. After the earthquake/tsunami, the Russian elections and the unrest in the Middle East topped news-related video views, Pew said.

Natural disasters and political upheavals were the most popular news video topics. People did not figure prominently; “No one individual was featured in even 5 percent of the most popular videos studied here-and fully 65 percent did not feature any individual at all,” Pew found. President Obama, however, was featured in 4 percent of the top videos worldwide, in posts that ranged from speeches to campaign ads from opponents.

As Pew noted, the growth of news videos on YouTube has been a help and a hindrance to traditional news outlets…

 

Keep reading: PC Mag - YouTube Becoming ‘Major Platform’ for News

 

 

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NBC releases iPhone/Android apps for the Olympics – live-stream events on the go

NBC Sports and Adobe Systems have teamed up to give fans two apps that stream the Olympics live on mobile devices, record footage for playback, and share the experience through social media.

The apps — a live-streaming app for the more than 3,500 hours of content, and a companion app loaded with additional content launched today. The apps are now available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch via Apple’s App Store, and select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play. (For Apple users, the apps seems a bit hard to find in iTunes. Get them here and here).

The NBC Olympics Live Extra app features the streaming of all 32 athletic competitions and the awarding of all 302 medals, while the NBC Olympics app provides content like interviews, news stories, highlight videos and live results, according to a joint press release from NBC and Adobe. (It may be confusing because the “Extra” app is actually the live streaming app, while the one with the extras is call the “NBC Olympics” app.)

 

Keep reading- c|net: NBC Olympics to stream games live on mobile devices

 

 

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Yellowstone – new government petascale supercomputer – to attack chaos theory in climate change

This month, on a barren Wyoming landscape dotted with gopher holes and hay bales, the federal government is assembling a supercomputer 10 years in the making, one of the fastest computers ever built and the largest ever devoted to the study of atmospheric science.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research’s supercomputer has been dubbed Yellowstone, after the nearby national park, but it could have been named Nerdvana. The machine will have 100 racks of servers and 72,000 core processors, so many parts that they must be delivered in the back of a 747. Yellowstone will be capable of performing 1.5 quadrillion calculations — a quadrillion is a 1 followed by 15 zeros — every second.

The sheer speed of Yellowstone is designed to burst through the limits of chaos theory — the difference, allegorically, between predicting the odds of blackjack after playing five hands versus playing a million. The machine is expected to give scientists a clearer image of the state of the planet, and its future, revolutionizing the study of climate change, extreme weather events, wildfires, air pollution and more.

 

learn moreL.A. Times – New Wyoming supercomputer expected to boost atmospheric science

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May the 4th be with you – #HappyStarWarsDay

May 4 is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate Star Wars culture and honor the films.

May 4 is called Star Wars Day because of the popularity of a common pun spoken on this day. Since the phrase “May the Force be with you” is a famous quote often spoken in the Star Wars films, fans commonly say “May the fourth be with you” on this day.

Current day Star Wars fans were not the first to introduce the line “May the fourth be with you”: when Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister on May 4, 1979, her party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News that said “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” This reading of the line has also been recorded in the UK Parliament’s Hansard.

In a 2005 interview on German news TV channel N24, George Lucas was asked to say the famous sentence “May the Force be with you.” The interpreter simultaneously interpreted the sentence into German as Am 4. Mai sind wir bei Ihnen (“We shall be with you on May 4″). This was captured by TV Total and aired on May 18, 2005.

In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen. The second annual edition is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 4, 2012.

via Wikipedia

 

 

…and don’t forget tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day.

 

// Photo – Amanda Blain

Is live streaming going to take over?

Famed author and technology journalist, Steven Levy, posed a question/bet on his Google+ stream:

My bet (literally) is that most of the video we watch in 10 years will be live — whether a persistent connection with friends or co-workers, streams from the cameras of friends and strangers, or the increasing amount of pro entertainment that will be streamed live on the unlimited channels of YouTube, network carriers, or the web. It will be more unusual for something NOT to be streamed live than the alternative.

Personally, I think we are witnessing the rise of on-demand, but he may be right with sporting events and parents live streaming their sleeping babies…

Living on a Stream: The Rise of Real-Time Video

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about streaming. I was marveling how easy it’s becoming to beam a live video feed, anywhere, not only to a friend or a group, but, essentially, the entire world. The province of the network news team with satellite truck has now extended to anyone with a smartphone.

I ranted that we’re only at the beginning of a process that will transform the way we watch moving images, not to mention what those images are and how we produce them. We are well clear of the world of television — where video meant sitting down in a living room and watching carefully scheduled, professionally produced “shows” — and now are about to move from our more fluid, DIY and YouTube-infused paradigm into something different: an explosion of video as its happening now.

Whether the point is to share an environment with friends or co-workers for an extended period of time, to indulge in a slickly produced event enhanced by the knowledge that it’s live, or to drop in on the most compelling events on the planet at any time, more and more of what we see will be seen as it happens.

via Wired Opinion

 

 

// Photo – Fibonacci Blue

What I Learned From A Fashion Show…For The Dogs

Ok, I’ll admit it. Of all the charitable causes I could give money to, supporting a philanthropy that involves dogs walking a catwalk first seemed a little silly. There’s poverty and homelessness, domestic violence, educational gaps, hunger problems, all under our noses just here in Washington, DC alone. I haven’t even mentioned hard-hitting catastrophes like the ones that have devastated Japan, Haiti or New Orleans.

But then I had a conversation with @robotchampion that changed my mind. He rescued a dog from a shelter that most likely had been abused or at the very least, neglected. People who meet Jesse fall in love instantly. She’s one of the sweetest, most loving, well-mannered and fiercely dedicated and protective dogs I’ve met. Jesse has been one of Steve’s most trusted and loyal companions for most of his adult life – driving cross-country four times with him, protecting him from stray dogs and of-questionable-intent humans when walking alone in the city at night, guarding the homestead when he’s been away. Not growing up in a “dog house” I was fairly uneducated on canine matters; what I learned from Steve and what I went on to discover further on my own, is that humans and canines evolved over time together. Our four-legged friends are actually descendants of wolves and this transformation from wild animal to domesticated partner proved revolutionary to man. Dogs became our hunting partners, protectors of our settlements and livestocks, and our own personal mobile alert systems.

It seems we owe a lot to man’s best friend. Which is why I wanted to support the Washington Human Society in their annual benefit, the Fashion for Paws Runway Show. On it’s fifth year, this event proved to be, in a word, spectacular. And a lesson to any non-profit and business. If you build something incredible and novel, they will come. Last night, ~1,700 Washingtonians turned out (and donated ~$500,000) for a truly exquisite experience held at the National Building Museum. The catwalk, lit up like a Lewis Carroll wonderland, was MC’d by Entertainment Tonight’s Lawrence Zarian and the always elegant Pamela Sorensen. With sixty local DC models rocking the runway, the true stars were the dogs. It was miraculous how composed each little (and non-so-little) woofer stayed while marching out into a stadium-like setting with techno-beats blaring in surround-sound and photogs flashing away.

Fashion for Paws is an exemplar, a true purple cow. In a world of competing resources, it’s not enough to simply be a good cause or a good product. You must be remarkable – you must give people something remarkable. Fashion for Paws does just that. In a city where the most fashionable color is beige or black, and dogs are viewed as household companions and not Paris Hilton-style portable accessories, F4P blends the sophistication, style and glamour of New York and LA in one star-studded, stand out event – and all for a great cause. So thank you to the Fashion for Paws organizers, drivers, and supporters for a remarkable experience. It was a pleasure to see the runway go to the dogs.

DC Tech Parties for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again and Happy Holidays!

These next few weeks in DC are jam packed with parties and events, the final rush before we all settle down for quiet family nights. Here are my mandatory events:

Whew, I’m tired just pulling this list together.

Did I miss any events?