ESPN.com Redesign Beta

ESPN has launched a redesign beta of the site to Insiders to preview before the site is officially launched for everyone. Here is a side-by-side comparison with the current frontpage and some highlights.

  1. Simplified navigation and layout
  2. Fewer, less intrusive advertisements
  3. A new scoreboard with live, auto updates
  4. More accessible with less Flash
  5. Lighter page weight and better performance
  6. Personalized scores, headlines, and navigation
What other people are saying:
  • ESPN.COM is counting on less clutter and more advertising options to bolster revenue…Instead of inundating visitors with its intense coverage of every major sport from the get-go, something that the company now believes can drive away certain fans, ESPN.com is moving in a less-is-more direction, at least on the home page — NY Times
  • The redesign brings a cleaner user experience, something I love, and also more naturally brings ESPN’s video content to users, another plus — FanSection
  • Nice. Very nice…much cleaner and more efficient…pleasantly shocked…looks so friggin’ great…the scoreboard, columns, top stories, many of the same elements but simply improved — Small White Ball
  • I have spoken glowingly about ESPN and ESPN.com previously - I don’t feel bad being sour about ESPN Beta… too much like a magazine and too little like a sports site — Ryan Spoon (founder of beRecruited)
  • a wider, more prominent video player… tons of links to additional videos…site’s background is a darker hue of red…featured columnists are promoted with larger modules…soliciting user feedback — PaidContent
  • the revamp will be video-centric, including a larger video player and a new navigational scheme — Paid Content interview with John Skipper (ESPN EVP Content)
  • the principal change isn’t a surprise: a greater emphasis on video — MediaDailyNews
  • they have done away with banner ads on the home page — Louis Gray
  • The new look goes live in a month or so — Steve Clancy
  • the site is substantially better looking…not sure that the new look brings much more than just that, a new, fresh look — Cheap Seats
  • At first glance, the site is aesthetically pleasing… [but] it’s really hard to find any of the “breaking news” content you might be looking for — AwfulAnnouncing

New iPods!

Kevin Rose’s Apple rumors from August 23rd 2008 ended up coming true 17 days later.

Summary of Engadget’s live blog of Apple’s Let’s Rock event:
  1. iPhone/Touch 2.1 software update (w/Nike+ integration, various performance updates, and emphasis on games)
  2. iPod Touch 2G more like iPhone 2G (w/speaker and rounded corners): 32gb for $399
  3. iPod Nano 4G adds colors and new tall form factor: 16gb for $199
  4. iTunes 8 released w/auto music recommendations based on listening and NBC returns to iTMS
  5. New white Apple in-ear headphones released for $79
  6. iPod Classic update: 120gb for $249
  7. iPod Shuffle update (new colors): 2gb for $69

Macbook Pro Docking Station

I have always wanted the ability to drive two external monitors with my Macbook Pro. The ViDock achieves this by connecting an external video card (ATI 2600XT) with your MBP via the ExpressCard slot. This leaves the MBP’s video card intact, so you can drive the laptop display and 3 external displays over DVI (at 2560x1600 - read 30” LCD). All of these features for the low high price of $499

Read more from the people who make the ViDock at VillageTronic.
Or read the ViDock Review at Gizmodo.

2008 Beijing Olympics Basketball Schedule

I couldn’t find the schedule in a format like this, so I compiled this from various sources. I’d put TV information in, but all these games are on NBC or some NBC channel like USA, Universal, or the special Olympics channels.

2008 Beijing Olympics - USA Basketball Schedule
Date & Time Group Matchup
Aug 10 10:15 AM ETGroup B USA vs China
Aug 12 8:00 AM ETGroup B Angola vs USA
Aug 14 8:00 AM ETGroup B USA vs Greece
Aug 16 10:15 AM ETGroup B Spain vs USA
Aug 18 8:00 AM ETGroup B USA vs Germany
Date & Time Group Matchup
Aug 20 2:30 AM ETQuarterfinalTBD
Aug 20 4:45 AM ETQuarterfinalTBD
Aug 20 8:00 AM ETQuarterfinalTBD
Aug 20 10:15 AM ETQuarterfinalTBD
Aug 22 8:00 AM ETSemifinalTBD
Aug 22 10:15 AM ETSemifinalTBD
Aug 24 12:00 AM ETBronzeTBD
Aug 24 2:30 AM ETGoldTBD

 

2008 Beijing Olympics - Complete Basketball Schedule
Date & Time Group Matchup
Aug 9 9:00 PM ETGroup A Russia vs Iran
Aug 10 4:45 AM ETGroup A Lithuania vs Argentina
Aug 10 8:00 AM ETGroup A Australia vs Croatia
Aug 11 11:15 PM ETGroup A Croatia vs Russia
Aug 11 9:00 PM ETGroup A Iran vs Lithuania
Aug 12 10:15 AM ETGroup A Argentina vs Australia
Aug 13 11:15 PM ETGroup A Australia vs Iran
Aug 14 10:15 AM ETGroup A Argentina vs Croatia
Aug 14 4:45 AM ETGroup A Lithuania vs Russia
Aug 15 11:15 PM ETGroup A Russia vs Australia
Aug 16 2:30 AM ETGroup A Croatia vs Lithuania
Aug 16 4:45 AM ETGroup A Iran vs Argentina
Aug 17 11:15 PM ETGroup A Australia vs Lithuania
Aug 17 9:00 PM ETGroup A Iran vs Croatia
Aug 18 10:15 AM ETGroup A Argentina vs Russia
Date & Time Group Matchup
Aug 9 11:15 PM ETGroup B Germany vs Angola
Aug 10 2:30 AM ETGroup B Spain vs Greece
Aug 12 2:30 AM ETGroup B Greece vs Germany
Aug 12 4:45 AM ETGroup B China vs Spain
Aug 13 9:00 PM ETGroup B Germany vs Spain
Aug 14 2:30 AM ETGroup B Angola vs China
Aug 15 9:00 PM ETGroup B Greece vs Angola
Aug 16 8:00 AM ETGroup B China vs Germany
Aug 18 2:30 AM ETGroup B Greece vs China
Aug 18 4:45 AM ETGroup B Angola vs Spain

Track Throwback

Watching the Olympics reminds me of my high school days when I was a competitive track & field athlete. It has been a long time, so I forgot most of my personal records. I did a little googling and found a couple of my results from the past. I am sure I had results better than these (ran a 11.87 in the 100m), but these results are a good start :)