Modern Technology And The Baseball Fan

May 30, 2012

- See all 763 of my articles


If you’re new around here, you might not know that I’m a huge baseball fan.  If you’ve been a reader for a while, you really have no excuse for not knowing.

I really feel fortunate to live in a time when there is so much modern technology to keep me in touch with baseball.  Sure, it lets me keep up on world news and the stock market, but let’s focus on what’s important.

The Old Days

When I was a kid, I was a fan of the Cubs (I was cured of this disease in my late teens).  I loved baseball, but my access to information was extremely limited.  We didn’t have cable TV, so the only time I was able to watch a game was when the Cubs were on national TV – a handful of games each year.  I did have the ability to listen to games on the radio.  I could almost always get the Cubs games, and often the Cardinals, too.  On a good night, I could catch the Reds from where I lived in eastern Iowa.  I’m sure I could have also picked up the White Sox, but even as a kid I had little interest in the American League.

Statistics?  There were box scores in the daily paper, but if I wanted a running total, I had to wait for the Sunday paper, which would list the league leaders in hitting and pitching (a long list).  I had to run my finger down the list until I found my favorite players.

The Modern Age

These days, I subscribe to MLB Extra Innings.  Although a bunch of teams are blacked out in Iowa (Cubs, Sox, Twins, Brewers, Cardinals), I have the ability to catch most games played by my Colorado Rockies – assuming that I have the free time to do so, and that the game gets over at a reasonable time (those west coast games are killers).  Such easy access to “out of market” games is a dream come true for a baseball fan.

If I want statistics, there are no end of sites that can give my up to date information.  The most frequently used app on my Palm Pre?  The “Baseball Live!” apps that constantly refreshes scores and allows me to quickly check in on any game.  I keep tabs on quite a few players (beside my Rockies,  I watch Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Matt Holliday, Adam Dunn, Albert Pujols, and a few others), so this is really handy.

I don’t get as much time to catch baseball coverage as I would like, and I spend a lot of time alone in my car.  Recently, I realized that it would make a lot of sense to load up on podcasts.  Since then, I’ve been listening to several hours of baseball coverage every day.  ESPN, Baseball Prospectus,, Baseball America – if they’re talking, I’m listening.  It’s definitely far better than the options available on over the air radio during my drive times.

Of course, we can’t forget about Twitter.  I’m not a huge Twitter user, but I do follow a couple of Rockies players – Dexter Fowler and Eric Young Jr.  Both interact quite a bit with fans, and I’m come to become bigger fans of both as a result of what I see on Twitter.  EY occasionally retweets some nasty tweets he receives from “fans” (anti-fans), which let us see what they have to deal with at time.  Fowler seems to constantly be doing ticket giveaways.  Both guys are clearly enjoying playing a kids’ game.

Has your hobby been influence by technology in recent year?  What impact has technology had?

What Technological Advances Will The Future Hold?

December 21, 2011

- See all 763 of my articles

1 Comment

Image via Wikipedia

Many are in awe of the technology we have today. Indeed, if you took someone from just a century and exposed them to the technologies of today (something forbidden by the Prime Directive), the person’s head would likely explode (a major reason why the Prime Directive forbids it). Cell phones, the internet, live sports on TV, microwaves ovens, cruise control, solar powered devices – previous generations would no doubt be very impressed by the technology.

However, I’m convinced that the future if we took a trip into the future, we like similarly be amazed by technological advances. I won’t try to look forward 100 years, but just 20. What will the world look like in 2031?  Here are a few of my thoughts.

Flying cars?

Flying cars have been on the drawing board for a long time.  There are a lot of advantages to flying cars.  There wouldn’t be wear and tear on roads, it would be easier to avoid collisions with other cars (since can move in three dimensions), and trips would be shorter as you could fly as the crow flies.

On the downside, planes (and by extensions, flying cars) are more difficult to operate (having a plane engine stall out is far worse than having your car engine stall at an intersection) and tend to be considerably more expensive.  Will be get there some day?  Probably – but not by 2031.

Automobile auto-pilot

Cars already have cruise control, crash avoidance systems, stability control, GPS, and some have the ability to parallel park themselves.  The next logical step is to take a page out of airplane handbook and add full auto-pilot technology to cars.  Pull up the GPS navigator, tell it where you want to go, kick your feet up, and let the car do all the work.

Electrified roadways

Researchers at MIT have developed Witricity – a technology that allows wireless transmission of electricity.

While it would be great to be able to cut the cord to consumer electronic devices, I think the real promise of this technology is related to automobiles.  Imagine driving down the road at 70 mph and have the battery in your electric car be recharged by Witricity stations in the roadway (powered by wind energy?)


There’s a basic rule when it comes to video screens.  As you get further from a screen, the screen needs to be larger in order for you to read it.

Conversely, the closer you are to the screen, the smaller it can be.

I wear prescription eyeglasses.  It would be great to watch whatever I wanted to via my glasses.  Books, movies, live sports, the internet, even the outside of my house could be flashed onto the lenses of my glasses.  This could make traditional videos screen redundant.

Expanded use of biometrics

I hate carrying around keys, credit cards, money, and other physical devices that do nothing but give us access to things.  I’d love to see expanded use of biometric – fingerprints, eye scans, or even implantable chips.  It would be nice if I could get into my home, office, or car just by being me – without needed to carry anything on my person.  Likewise, it would be great to buy things without having to pull out my wallet.

On a tangent … I’m a huge fan of NCIS, but they had a massive blooper in one episode.  A couple of people with high clearance were killed and their electronic chips were stolen so that some bad guys could gain access.  If this happened in the real world, you’d simply cancel the chip’s access immediately.  There are two basic components to a security system: authentication and authorization.  An id/password combination or biometric may authenticate who you are, but there needs to be authorization on the back end to actually grant you access.  Without both the proper authentication and authorization, you don’t get access.

Self-cleaning environment

You don’t have to be in the pew every Sunday to know that something’s wrong when we live in a country where we can send astronauts to an international space station but can’t get a toilet clean without getting down on our hands and knees.

Cleaning the house, washing dishes, and doing the laundry take a lot of time for the average family.  Surely there’s some technology that could allows things to be cleaned automatically, with not human interaction.


Seriously, if Calvin could invest one, why hasn’t the scientific community be able to duplicate his efforts.  Shameful.

While you’re at it, how about working on the food synthesizer from Star Trek.  It would be great to have a Monical’s pizza whenever I wanted one!


Enhanced by Zemanta

Modern technology in banks

February 26, 2009

- See all 763 of my articles



For years, I have been frustrated by the apparent lack of interest that banks have shown in security cameras. Any time video or photos were shown on TV, the images seemed to be grainy. This always seemed odd. If any business were going to invest in high quality cameras, wouldn’t it be the business that is trying to protect a vault full of cash?

In October, a local bank was robbed. The security photos were awesome. The images were crystal clear, and the robber was even nice even to turn to the side and give the camera a nice view of his profile. Someone actually correctly identified the robber within the comments section of the TV station’s web site. The guy was a local. (Hey, maybe consider robbing a bank more than 20 miles from your house?) Needless to say, it did not take long for the cops to arrest him. Just one day, in fact. They managed to find him in possession of they money, which tends to help the criminal case a bit.

Hopefully more banks will move to higher quality cameras.

Trick doors

In January, a bank robber in Ohio got a bit of a surprise when he tried to flee the scene. After he passed through the first door, the teller flipped a switch the locked both of the double doors, trapping the robber in the entryway. The glass doors were bulletproof, so the robber could only wait until policy arrived to arrest him (of course, this particular robber didn’t have a weapon, anyway).

Not only is this a cool way to stop the robber dead in his tracks, but the bank might even making a profit selling the video to COPS. The robber’s first few frantic minutes running around inside his cage could be quite entertaining.