Wide World of Sports

  • Those nails can’t be aerodynamic

    Gail Devers' nails

  • It’s ain’t easy, but Michael Phelps has got to do it. For some reason this picture reminded me of this ESPN article: ‘Sex, Olympics go hand in hand.’

    Michael Phelps Pimpin'

  • Funny how nobody wants to talk about this, but everybody’s thinking it… A white guy wins a sprint?!?! It’s like we’re in bizarro world in sports of late. The Professor wins the And 1 contract — Tiger rules (ruled?) golf — Brent Barry wins the NBA Dunk Contest. What’s next?.

    Wariner wins the 400m'

  • Speaking of And 1 Streetball… Has anybody been watching this season? That kid Helicopter is the truth. Those dunks he’s been doing this year have been sick. Especially the ones which he does by doing an alley oop to himself by bouncing the ball over defenders. And he’s only 6′ 1″

  • The U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team: I’ve been wanting to post about them since they lost that exhibition game to Italy, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve been holding out hope that they’d pull together and figure out how to dominate in international ball. I’m still hoping it will happen, but realistically, I can’t see it. The selection committee was smoking crack when they put this squad together. They really should have had a couple of good shooters on the roster. It damn near makes me sick to watch these guys ‘build houses’ on the rim. I think this next game against Spain is gonna be real ugly. I hope I’m wrong.

  • And finally, women’s beach volleyball. I watched the medal round games yesterday and was struck by the outfits the athletes were wearing. After a couple of choice camera shots I had to ask my why these women were wearing bikini bottoms instead of shorts. It must be just for ratings. As MaoXian and Deb have picked up on, men just seem to love this sport, especially the thrill of victory moments:

    Gail Devers' nails

Google’s Engineers Must Be Star Trek Fans

Not that I’m trying to become the search engine blog, but I found this post about Google using alternating algorithms interesting:

Musical Algorithms

What if there were no Google algorithm to game? Or more precisely, what if there were several different algorithms all being used at the same time – so that no specific tactics or tricks would consistently place your pages ‘at the top’?

A discussion going on over at the SEO Chat Forums says this is just what might be happening over in the data centers of the almighty and now almighty-cash-rich Google.

I’ve noticed that my own placement for certain keywords has shifted around a lot the last several days. That may be the reason why. It seems like a good idea to me, and one that may have been stolen from Star Trek – The Next Generation. They discovered that alternating the frequency of their shields was an effective way to keep the Borg at bay (for a little while anyway). Well if it worked on Star Trek… 🙂

Improving Users’ Search Experience

Here’s an interesting look at some of the habits of users while searching for information online, complete with ideas on improving your site’s search usability. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me (my comments are in italics):

  • Satisfaction of both casual users and the more experienced ones was reported at 42%

  • The worst user search experiences logged were in using internal site searches rather than mega search engines. – Not at all surprising.

  • Many users avoid corporate sanctioned, internal search engines and opt instead for Web search engines to look for information outside the firewall related to their company.

  • About 60% of search users typed in only a single word to start a search. – People trip me out with their lack of search skills. I get a good laugh almost daily by looking at some of the terms people used to get to my sites. Unless you’re looking for a very unique word, the odds of getting usable results with just one word must be quite low.

  • A mere 1% utilize the Advanced Search capabilities. – Again, not surprising especially not after the previous note. Perhaps we need to start offering courses in searching as continuing education or something. (I hope that schools are already teaching kids how to search effectively.)

  • Only 3% used quote marks or other query syntax to refine searches

  • The first link in a search result page gets 51% of total clicks. – Ah, the coveted number 1 search result placement. That shows why it’s so important to architect your site so that it’s search engine friendly.

(via this week’s Carnival of the Capitalists)

Michael Moore to Publish Soldiers’ Letters

This should be an interesting book:

“Fahrenheit 9/11” director Michael Moore has signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish a collection of letters sent to him by U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

Slated to hit shelves in November, the tome’s title will be “Will They Ever Trust Us Again?” The letters were received by Moore during the past year, and much of the correspondence was directed to his Web site, http://www.michaelmoore.com.

Note to the Press: It’s ‘Weblog’, One Damn Word!

[rant]This has been bugging the sh!t out of me for weeks now, ever since all the media coverage over the convention bloggers. Why is it so difficult for the mainstream media to understand that ‘weblog’ is one word? It’s not “web log” or even worse “web blog” as I just saw in a NY Times Headline:

In the Classroom, Web Blogs Are the New Bulletin Boards

“Web Blog” is just ignorant and redundant. I put it right up there with “SAT Test” and “ATM Machine”. Argh!!!!

Kottke broke this down over a year ago but obviously the press wasn’t listening. Maybe Tom or George can tell me whose ass needs to be kicked to stop the madness? [/rant]

They’re Playing Bas-ket-ball…

If you’re a hip-hop and basketball fan go read this article about some of the ties between the two. It’s a good exploration of how the two have influenced each other, although I think the author gives Michael Jordan a little too much credit on the fashion tip. There’s definitely a chicken & egg thing here. I was especially glad to see the mention of my old favorite squad, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. Those were the days when Tark was still at UNLV and they whip up on fools all year. Ah, good times…

So That’s what StrangleBerry Does

PVRBlog reveals some details about StrangleBerry, the company that TiVo bought a while back. It looks like they have some powerful technology that may very well keep TiVo out of its death bed. (I’m sure the DirecTiVo’s won’t get this new functionality. -sigh-) There’s even more about this story in this Business 2.0 article (subscription required) (thanks to RedHeadDread for alerting me to the article)