everything is bigger yet smaller

September 19, 2008 at 4:46 am | Posted in brian, technology, tennis | 1 Comment

i finally found out why, in televised tennis, they never show both the replay and hawk-eye (or spot shot or whatever corporately-sponsor name they come up with). i used to think it was because spot-shot was wildy inaccurate and probably rigged. now i know it’s because spot-shot is mildly inaccurate. but more importantly, spot-shot collects more data about the incident (by incident, i’m talking about the information relative to the spot the ball touches) to reach it’s conclusions than our eyes or our brains or even our video cameras.

hawk-eye takes information from a number of cameras, probabilitizes (which i’m using to mean assessing the probability of) things like trajectories, spins, velocities and then creates a simulation of the flight of the ball to locate where the ball hit.  this means spot-shot, because it interprets more data, can know things about the location of the landing we, even with our eyes or our brains or even our video cameras, cannot perceive.

take for instance the 2007 final at wimbledon between federer and nadal.  nadal smashes a shot to the baseline.  federer, believing it to be out, doesn’t make a play.  the chair umpire rules out.  the video replay rules out.  however, hawk-eye says in.

the reason: due to it’s superior information gathering and processing, hawk-eye knows that that ball hit with that power will,  on a grass surface, compress and skid for about 10 centimeters.  so while the all of us, even our video cameras, witnessed the ball as out, spot-shot knew, in its heart of hearts, the shot was in.

so the question is, should who should interpret our sport rules?  humans or god or given that god isnt around, the next best thing, super-sensitive computers?

it’ll be like watching a play except with the best robot actors you’ve ever seen

September 27, 2007 at 2:42 am | Posted in brian, football (american), technology | 6 Comments

ever wonder how tomlison throws so many touchdown passes? i mean, he’s gotta hold the all-time record for touchdowns thrown by a running-back. is he like the opposite of micheal vick and vince young? those guys are qbs who run like rbs while tomlinson is a rb who throws like a qb. or is he more like bellichick, employing the lastest football related technology to gain a completive advantage?

as you’ll see in the upcoming photo, tomlinson wears a dark visor. is it because he has sunglasses disease like jim mcmahon and bono? or is it so no one can see his eyes?

nearly every football team in the nfl runs this trick play were they pitch it to the rb who pretends to be involved in a normal running play only to then throw a pass to a (hopefully) open receiver. if your a safety on the opposing team respond to this play be reading the rb’s eyes. if he’s looking at his blockers, it’s probably a run; if he’s looking down field at a receiver, he’s probably going to pass. but when tomlison runs the play you have no idea where he’s looking. when you realize it’s a hb-pass it’s too late, tomlinson has already thrown a touchdown pass.

tomlinson, unlike bellichick employs legal technology to gain his advantage. the nfl can’t ban dark visors since there are a number of football players who suffer from sunglasses disease (also know as photophobia). so it looks like tomlinson’s advantage is here to stay. unless everyone in the nfl starts wearing dark visors. that would leve the playing field.

to be honest, i think it would be so cool if the entire nfl wore dark visors. the nfl already has the least identifiable players. everyone’s wearing tons of equipment and helmets with face masks you can barley see through already. so football players are already cyborgs. this visor not only levels the playing field, it removes the individual human. in the future, all major sports will probably be played by robots anyway, so the nfl might as well get a head start.

p.s. the eagles jerseys this week were probably the best sports jerseys i’ve ever seen in my life. the redskin’s jersey’s weren’t too bad either. unfortunately, both teams will go back to their boring uniforms. it’s like they give you a taste of how cool football could be and then take it away.

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