With the 2011 U.S. Open Tennis Championships getting under way, fans and fanatics alike are sure to be hunting for the latest scores and news updates coming out of the tournament. With a free iPhone app you can have all the updates you desire. You will even get a free radio feed of the matches, as well as a video highlights and a live video on the final weekend.
It's right up there with the sound of nails clawing a chalk board. Scratch that. It's far worse.
Each year, it seems, the on-court shrieks and grunting of professional tennis players gets louder and louder with seemingly no solution in sight. But now technology is coming to the rescue in what fed-up tennis fans will surely welcome as a hopeful harbinger.
The BBC has announced a downloadable noise reduction product it calls Wimbledon Net Mix that will let people listening to the Wimbledon tennis tourney control the decibel levels from the match. (It was co-developed with German technology institute Fraunhofer.)
In a statement, the Beeb, which described the technology as an "experiment," said listeners will be able to "adjust the commentary level relative to the sound of the court: the crowd, base-line grunting and ball. For technical reasons the experiment will only be available during live coverage of matches from Center Court. The player may need manual configuration within some corporate firewalls."
The tool is currently only available for BBC Radio 5 Live transmissions, but it may be introduced to other broadcasting platforms if successful. … Read more
"Star Trek" aficionados may recall the episode in which Captain Kirk gets transported down to a planet by super-powerful aliens to do hand-to-hand combat against the Gorn. Without giving away the plot--in case you were deprived as a child and never saw the show--Kirk used his wits to defeat the lizard monster by assembling a primitive cannon from elements he found lying about.
Now comes Dylan Hacker (I'm assuming he goes by his "stage" name), who runs a San Francisco production company called Household Hacker. This morning we stumbled across his highly entertaining video recipe for putting together a "Superman hand cannon"--basically an enhanced tennis launcher, assembled from bits and pieces of junk that probably are lying around your basement--just in time for the summer. Definitely worth a look-see. (It's amazing how far duct tape will take you, especially on the odd chance that you, too, run into a Gorn somewhere down the road.)
So you work for a video game company. Say it's called 2K Sports. You are about to launch a game called "Top Spin 4."
Now, tennis isn't quite the most popular sport in the world. And you need to persuade, oh, young, happily hormonal men to buy your game.
You hold a brainstorm that takes at least some minutes. You decide you need to make your game sexy. "Serena Williams is sexy," someone says. "Yeah, yeah," someone else replies.
Your minds then hotfoot it to an ad concept in which Williams looks … Read more
Know what I just realized? I'm on game overload. There are too many great games for the iPhone and iPod Touch and not nearly enough hours in the day.
In fact, I'm concerned about the platform's effect on national productivity. I can't prove it, but I think Apple is responsible for lowering the country's GDP. Thankfully, I was able to resist the siren song of gaming just long enough to write up these five new arrivals:
Chop Chop Tennis So this is what the kids of South Park would look like if they dressed as ninjas and played tennis. The latest in the Chop Chop series lets you play singles or doubles on any of five colorful courts. The gameplay is decidedly Wii-style, but here you're swiping (with your finger) instead of swinging. Alas, for now it's a one-person outing, though developer Gamerizon says local multiplayer is coming soon. (But what it really needs is online multiplayer.) Price: $2.99.Fast & Furious: Adrenaline Does the iPhone really need another racing game? Hey, if they're good, keep 'em coming. Fast & Furious: Adrenaline (the latest title based loosely on the movie franchise) breaks little new ground in the genre, but it delivers plenty of high-speed, free-wheeling action for those who like arcade-style street racing. Multiplayer is limited to local competition, but at least the price is right: 99 cents. Flick Baseball Pro There's been a lot of advance buzz about this title, and with good reason: it's without a doubt the best arcade-baseball game to date. You get to pitch, bat, and even field fly balls, all by engaging in various types of timed tapping. The graphics, audio, and presentation are all console-quality, making it all the more surprising that the game is priced at just $2.99.
Tennis Scoreboard is a basic program that allows users to display and update an electronic scoreboard for tennis. Unfortunately, the program's unintuitive operation makes it somewhat difficult to use.
The scoreboard itself is nice, with easy-to-read text and customizable colors. The players' names can be added to the scoreboard as well. If it were easy to operate we'd have no complaints, but unfortunately, that's where Tennis Scoreboard falls apart. The program has a small welcome screen, which most users will likely click through without paying much attention. Users should pay attention to it, though, because this is … Read more
Tennis Elbow 2009 is an incredibly realistic (and addictive) tennis game. It takes a while to get the hang of things, but once you do, you'll find it hard to stop playing.
The program's interface is not the most intuitive thing we've ever seen, and we found it a little overwhelming. There are a lot of options, and even though it's possible to play the game without knowing anything about tennis, such users won't get nearly as much out of it. We don't suppose it's the responsibility of this game to provide a … Read more
OnCourt is a comprehensive program that tracks every conceivable angle of professional tennis to help you make predictions. It has incredible depth and could be a tennis lover's dream.
The interface is filled with so much tennis jargon we needed the Help file and its examples and definitions to walk us through. In no time, though, we were studying up on our favorite players, learning their strengths, weaknesses, and history on a layout that looked a little like a scoreboard. We easily jumped between helpful statistics on a player's ability to win on various court surfaces and against … Read more
Fresh from San Francisco where she was covering last week's Apple announcements, Natali Del Conte joins us on the today's pop-culture-y episode.
Of course, the big Twitter and Facebook news of the day is Kanye West's unwelcome outburst at last night's MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) show. The producer slash performer just can't seem to keep his head above water. In case you haven't heard, Kanye rudely interrupted Taylor Swift's award acceptance speech to announce that Beyonce should have won for her "Single Ladies" video. Whether that's true or not (some of us think it is), the millions of Tweets and status updates indicate that the public isn't on his side, despite his half-hearted apology that someone should probably post on this Web site.
Speaking of celebrity freak-outs, Serena Williams has her own apologizing to do, but this time it's to a line woman who became the object of her public outburst after a call was made in Serena's error. The charitable Williams, albeit unsatisfied with the result of the match, managed to keep her composure and must have thought the woman looked a little hungry, because she offered to feed her a tennis ball down the esophagus. She politely declined the meal. Watch the disaster unfold.
Finally, we do actually have some good news to report today: Captain EO is making its triumphant return to Disneyland! Even though the classic 80s movie has already made its way to YouTube, watching it on a computer doesn't even compare to wearing those cheesy pink 3D glasses and watching it in a giant theater with all the physical effects. We're not sure what changes are in store for the film, but rest assured that you'll be the first to know once we get more info.
Unfortunately, no Calls from the Public segment today because, well, we didn't get any! None that were good, anyway. So give us a call and tell us how much you like/love/hate/despise the show. You know how it works- call 1-866-404-CNET and you might get played on the air. We also accept e-mail submissions (preferably of you holding a 404 sign or something) like the one we received from our buddies Ammi and Samri in Sweden over the weekend. Send 'em our way at the404(at)CNET[dot]com.EPISODE 424 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
APT Sports Scheduler provides users with the capability to manage and schedule games for various sports fields. While users may need to take time learning the program, it will be very beneficial for juggling multiple teams and locations.
We quickly became frustrated by the program's interface, as it provided no direction. The Help file's brief descriptions of each command and some experimenting allowed us to operate things smoothly. We were soon populating a database for sporting fields. The options include everything from baseball and football fields to tennis courts. By using a menu similar to calendaring software, we … Read more