Column: A look back at the best (and mostly worst) in sports

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil FIFA research says 3.5 billion people viewed some World Cup action After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The city of Atlanta was once dubbed “Losersville,” with good reason. Until this year, the 1995 World Series-winning Braves were the A-T-L’s only big-time champions (though those who remember soccer’s Atlanta Chiefs, all 14 of them, would beg to differ). Atlanta United broke the 23-year drought by winning the Major League Soccer championship in just its second season. While certainly out of character for the city United calls home, the title was a fitting reward for a franchise that has stunningly become one of the best-supported teams in the world. Atlanta broke its own league record by averaging more than 53,000 fans per game during the regular season. Every playoff game drew more than 70,000.MOST AMERICAN-LIKE PERFORMANCE AT THE RYDER CUPReturning to form after winning golf’s premier team competition in 2016, the star-studded U.S. team was blown out by the Europeans at Le Golf National outside Paris. One week removed from his first victory in more than five years, Tiger Woods went 0-4 in the Ryder Cup. Phil Mickelson lost both his matches as well. Europe romped to a 17½-10½ victory — its ninth triumph in the last 12 tries of the one-sided rivalry.JUAN ANTONIO SAMARANCH BOONDOGGLE CUPThis award will now be handed out every other year. In other words, during every Olympic year, when the city that just hosted the games realizes what a financial mess it left behind. After this year’s Winter Games, Pyeongchang was saddled with empty venues, feuding over who pays for upkeep and a glistening ski course that’s now an abandoned dirt runway. To the surprise of no one, there wasn’t much use for a speedskating arena, or a hockey center, or a bobsled track, or a ski-jump stadium once the 2½-week party was over. Now, it looks as if many of those venues might have to be razed because it’s too costly to keep them open. Kudos to the South Koreans, who faithfully followed the wasteful tradition established by Montreal and Athens and Sochi and Rio de Janeiro.We look forward to handing out the next prize to Tokyo in 2020.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Always one of the most competitive categories in sports, this year the choice is clear. While it’s hard to deny the spineless wonders at the World Anti-Doping Agency, who went against the advice of pretty much everyone except Vladimir Putin when they in effect forgave Russia for its massive doping operation, we’ve got to go with those who looked the other way for years when faced with very clear evidence of Larry Nassar’s serial sexual abuse. Really, folks, this should be an easy one. If you know of a doctor, coach or anyone who is abusing another human being, report it. Nassar will spend the rest of his miserable life behind bars. Those who allowed him to get away with his crimes for so long are equally culpable.URBAN LIAR 101While we’re on the subject of lacking backbone, let’s not forget Urban Meyer. The Rose Bowl will go down as his last game, but we’d prefer to focus on some other achievements that came to light during his final season as Ohio State coach. Like spending the better part of the past decade hiding, denying, ignoring and justifying the horrific behavior of assistant coach Zach Smith. Meyer served a three-game suspension, returned to lead the Buckeyes to another Big Ten title, and then announced his retirement. Of course, disgraced coaches never just fade away. Meyer says he’ll be back on campus next year to teach a course on character and leadership. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.WORST FAREWELL TOURDanica Patrick, who had far more success on Madison Avenue than she did on the race track, closed her career in appropriate style. The much-ballyhooed “Danica Double” turned into the Danica Dud when Patrick crashed out of both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. She finished 35th out of 40 drivers in her final stock-car race, followed by 30th out of 33 in her Indy-car capper. While Patrick was undoubtedly a highly influential figure, it feels as if her career was largely an opportunity wasted.BEST DEBUTTalk about a longshot. The Vegas Golden Knights brought the NHL to the glittery land of all-you-can-eat buffets, watered-down drinks and washed-up stars. But instead of going through the growing pains that are a rite of passage for most expansion franchises, the Golden Knights won their division and made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final. Alas, that’s where the fairytale ended with a loss to the Washington Capitals. Too bad. If nothing else, it would’ve been fun to needle Toronto fans that an expansion team we presume was coached by Wayne Newton held the title champions of hockey, while the Maple Leafs haven’t won the cup in over a half-century.SPECIAL RECOGNITION FOR REDUNDANCYThe College Football Playoff is certainly a welcome upgrade over previous methods for selecting a national champion, but it’s also clear that changes are needed. The same teams keep showing up in the four-team field, including Alabama all five years, Clemson four times and Oklahoma on three occasions. Notre Dame is the only newcomer this season. An eight-team playoff would be an easy fix, giving automatic berths to each of the Power Five conference champions, another automatic berth to the top team from the Group of Five, and two wild-card spots to round out the field. Of course, that makes so much sense we can expect the powers-that-be to resist with all their might. Oh well, maybe next century.MOST UNLIKELY TITLE Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Chris Rock? Billy Crystal? Who has Ellen DeGeneres’ number?(Insert sound of crickets.)Well, since no one appears interested in a major career boost, we’ll resort to our usual method for doling out the 2018 awards.Without further ado, the winners (using that term very loosely) are:INVERTEBRATE AWARDADVERTISEMENT No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum LATEST STORIEScenter_img Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew FILE – Vegas Golden Knights players hug after a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks during Game 6 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series, Sunday, May 6, 2018, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)Wanted: a host for the sixth annual Newby awards.Yes, we’re in a bit of a bind, though nothing like the good folks at the Academy Awards.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia You see, we never even got to the point where Kevin Hart accepted the honor, then had to withdraw because people capable of working the screengrab function pointed out that he’s posted some terrible things about gay people.I guess the lack of an actual ceremony — not to mention those all-important goody bags they hand out backstage — has stifled our search just a bit.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissBut we’ve still got time to rectify the situation.Anyone interested? Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View commentslast_img read more

Regal knock out Floodlights

first_imgNYSCL/Independence Cup 2018– set up final clash with Better HopeRegal Masters turned the tables on rivals Floodlights Masters to advance to the final of the 12th annual New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) Independence Cup in New York on Saturday.In the final preliminary round match in the Masters Over-45, the 2017 champions Floodlights stunned Regal Masters in a low-scoring encounter at the Canarsie Park in Brooklyn.When the draw for the semi-finals was done, it turned out that the Guyana-based sides would go head to head for a crack at the title today. Regal Masters were sent in and got excellent contributions from their top order to put up 213 for 3 from their 20 overs. The new opening pair of Mahesh Chunilall and Throy Kippins put on 115 that laid the foundation for the massive total.Chunilall’s good form continued, but he was the first to go for 34 (30 balls; 2×4, 2×6) in the 12th over bowled by Unis Yusuf (1-15). Eion Abel (08) followed shortly after, making the score 126-2. Kippins played some exciting strokes, but at 128 was run out for 70, after hitting nine fours and three sixes from 42 balls.In the 15th over, Rudolph Baker and Eric Thomas joined forces and took the score to 213 for the same three wickets. Baker ended on 44 not out (26 balls; 5×6, 1×4) and Thomas, 31 not out (16 balls; 3×6, 2×4) in an unbroken 85-run partnership.In reply, the defending champions lost wickets at regular intervals with only opener Unis Yusuf showing resolve and hanging around for 41. At the halfway stage of the run chase, Floodlights were above the required run rate at 109 for 6, with only 105 required but with just four wickets in hand.Regal Masters, who were sloppy in the field in the group stage, held their catches, and Floodlights were restricted to 176 for 8, falling 37 runs short and bowing out of the tournament. Skipper Ramo Malone batted at number 8 and tried desperately for 31 (14 balls; 3×6, 2×4), but the odds were heavily stacked against him and his side.Pacer David Harper was the pick of the Regal bowlers with 3-28, and was backed up by Fazleen Mohamed with 2-21, Kippins 2-55 and Laurie Singh, who was very economical with 1-19 from four overs.Regal Masters will meet Better Hope Masters at 10:00h today at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens. Better Hope edged NYSCL Masters by three wickets off the last ball chasing 129.In the final of the Open Category, SVC All-Stars will meet NYSCL All-Stars at the same venue from 14:00h.last_img read more

City of Fort St. John stands behind Resource Coalition

first_imgWhen the Coalition was announced in September, their mandate was to protect and enhance resource municipalities, maximize B.C. workers, good and services, cumulative resource infrastructure planning, protect the environment, collaborate and partner with First Nations, and protect and extend existing funding agreements.The City of Fort St. John says they stand firmly behind the mandate of the Coalition says Mayor Lori Ackerman.  “We understand that every municipal government needs to do what they believe is best for their community, we respect their individual autonomy and wish them well. Fort St. John continues to believe that the foundation of success in creating permanent and strong communities is research into the impacts of industry growth on municipalities.”According to the City of Fort St. John, communities who have left the Coalition cited differences in philosophy and have expressed a desire to renegotiate the existing Fair Share agreement with the Province.  That agreement doesn’t expire until 2020 and the City is opposed to renegotiating the current agreement.- Advertisement -The District of Taylor, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the City of Fort St. John will continue to will advocate for a permanent arrangement with the Province in order that a predictable and permanent source of industrial tax base revenue is available to ensure we have the capacity to support the needs of the Province and industry in developing the vast resources of Northeastern BC.last_img read more

Five things going wrong at Real Madrid

first_imgThe European champions were hoping for a boost after slipping to a surprise 1-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, but Manu Garcia’s 95th minute winner in Vitoria turned disappointment into disaster and after the match, Lopetegui was left to wave away questions about his future.Here, AFP Sport looks at five things going wrong at Madrid:Quality lacking up frontKarim Benzema is no longer the goalscoring force he was © AFP/File / Mladen ANTONOVLosing a player who scored 30 goals for nine consecutive seasons would leave a gigantic hole for any team to fill but more surprising was Madrid’s failure to buy an alternative to Cristiano Ronaldo.President Florentino Perez was keen on Eden Hazard in the summer but backed off, while interest in the likes of Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski also came to nothing.Instead, Lopetegui has been left relying on Karim Benzema, who started brightly but has long said goodbye to his days of being a prolific scorer, and Mariano Diaz, lively in flashes, but yet to establish himself in the side. Madrid are now paying the price.Uncertainty in defenceMadrid’s goal-scoring problems have been much-publicised but they are vulnerable at the other end too. Ramos has escaped criticism, despite a poor start to the season, summed up against Alaves, when he played two sloppy early passes before engaging in a series of skirmishes with striker Jonathan Calleri.Thibaut Courtois was at fault for Garcia’s winner and it cannot help those in front of him to have a rotating goalkeeper either. Lopetegui’s policy of playing Courtois in La Liga and Keylor Navas in the Champions League feels like mollycoddling, when instead a clear decision might be required.Alvaro Odriozola has struggled since coming into the Madrid defence © AFP / ANDER GILLENEAThe inexperienced Alvaro Odriozola, in for Dani Carvajal at right-back, has come into a struggling team and looks nervous.Creative players injuredCarvajal and Marcelo were key for Zinedine Zidane last season, offering cool heads in pressure situations and providing attacking impetus down the flanks too. Both have been out with calf problems during this difficult run and it is no coincidence Madrid have missed them dearly.Lopetegui has been unlucky with injuries. Benzema was forced off at half-time against Alaves — although in truth he could have been substituted anyway — and Gareth Bale signalled to be replaced late on.Bale also sat out the defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday, as did Isco, who is recovering from an appendix operation.Replacements like Marco Asensio should have done better but a handful of key absentees have left Madrid stretched.World Cup fatigueLuka Modric admitted last month he felt emotionally and physically exhausted after leading Croatia to the World Cup final and he may not be the only one.Raphael Varane, who was guilty of losing his man for Alaves’ goal on Saturday, was integral to France’s triumph in Russia while Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Nacho, Isco, Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Odriozola, Marcelo and Casemiro were all involved in the knockout stages.Madrid are not the only team affected but their summer was particularly short, given they also reached the Champions League final on May 26, less than three weeks before the World Cup.“It was not easy to start again after those emotional moments,” Modric said.Post-Zidane hangoverFollowing Zidane was always going to be something of a poisoned chalice. The Frenchman was immensely popular with the players, combining mutual respect with a relaxed style of management that gave them the confidence to deliver when it mattered.He left on a high, after leading the team to Champions League glory for a third consecutive year, and it was perhaps no surprise the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp and Massimiliano Allegri could not be convinced to take up the baton.Lopetegui admittedly enjoyed success with many of Madrid’s Spanish players while in charge of the national team but then left before finishing the job. Most of all, he is not Zidane.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Julen Lopetegui is already facing questions about his future at Real Madrid © AFP/File / CRISTINA QUICLERMADRID, Spain, Oct 7 – Sergio Ramos said it would be “crazy” to sack Julen Lopetegui after eight La Liga games but the pressure is mounting on the Real Madrid coach after Saturday’s defeat to Alaves.Madrid have lost three and drawn one of their last four matches, and failed to score in any of those, which amounts to their longest goalless run since 1985.last_img read more


first_imgFOLLOWING his clearance in London today, the judge in the John Downey case ruled that so-called ‘On The Runs’ had been given a guarantee by the British government that they would not face prosecution.It was part of a deal between the British and Sinn Fein during the peace process.Mr Justice Sweeney said: “When the defendant received his [2007 assurance] letter he was entitled to and did believe that it was the product of careful and competent further work, and that there had been a genuine and correct change of mind about him – particularly given that he was a supporter of the peace process. “However, that assurance was wholly wrong… thus, as the prosecution conceded, the defendant was wholly misled.“Clearly, and notwithstanding [the Good Friday Agreement], the public interest in ensuring that those who are accused of serious crime should be tried is a very strong one with the plight of the victims and their families firmly in mind.“However, in the very particular circumstances of this case it seems to me that it is very significantly outweighed in the balancing exercise by the overlapping public interests in ensuring that executive misconduct does not undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and bring it into disrepute, and the public interest in holding officials of the state to promises they have made in full understanding of what is involved in the bargain.“Hence I have concluded that this is one of those rare cases in which, in the particular circumstances, it offends the court’s sense of justice and propriety to be asked to try the defendant.”The Hyde Park attack is one of the most significant unsolved IRA bombings of The Troubles. One other person was convicted in relation to the deaths before being later cleared on appeal.The bomb that Mr Downey was accused of planting was the first of two that day in London and he was allegedly linked to the attack by fingerprints found on a parking ticket bought for the car used to transport the bomb.In the second explosion, less than two hours later, seven Royal Green Jackets bandsmen in a Regent’s Park bandstand were killed.JOHN DOWNEY: JUDGE SAID HE HAD GUARANTEE was last modified: February 25th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:John Downeyjudgementlast_img read more


first_imgA LARGE NUMBER of homes in the Moville and Greencastle areas are without power this evening.ESB Networks says it will restore power to 1,634 customers by 1am.Thirty homes in Dungloe and another 30 in Stranorlar are also without power.  1,600 HOMES IN MOVILLE AND GREENCASTLE WITHOUT POWER was last modified: January 13th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ESBmovillenetworkspower cutslast_img read more

Carrigart’s digital hub moves a step closer with planning application

first_imgPlans to create a digital hub in Carrigart have moved one step closer with a planning application.The 18 station hub on the town’s Main Street is set to attract small businesses from near and far.Minister Joe McHugh has welcomed the announcement. He said “The Carrigart Digital Hub was one of a number of projects in Donegal that got share of a €1.15million Government funding pot back in 2017,” Minister McHugh said.“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes since then to get this ambition and idea to where it is now.“We are looking forward to a digital hub, on the Main Street in Carrigart, where people can work from with 18 workstations and a meeting room.“This is planning for a future where remote working is more commonplace and it will complement the Government’s plans for rural broadband in every part of the country.” Mr McHugh, Minister for Education and Skills and Donegal T.D. said the Government backed this ambition with a €200,000 grant under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.“It’s great to see that coming to the planning stage and especially with everything that it will bring and the new opportunities for economic growth in a rural area,” he added.Carrigart’s digital hub moves a step closer with planning application was last modified: June 3rd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Carrigartdigital hubplanning permissionlast_img read more

Trade centre to promote exports

first_img6 December 2002A private company is planning to open a trade centre in Johannesburg’s inner city for local exporters to exhibit products and services to foreign trade missions and visitors.The International Trade Bureau (ITB) says the exorbitant costs of finding new markets hamper many companies’ ambitions to become successful exporters and that a local trade centre could ovecome this problem.The ITB says that each year South Africa hosts foreign visitors from 59 European countries, 57 countries in Africa; 30 Asian countries; 25 Pacific Rim countries; 16 countries in the Middle East; 3 Indian Ocean Islands and 39 countries in North, Central & South America.The original plan was to house the centre at the bottom of Rissik Street, across the road from the SA Revenue Service building, but the company is also looking at a number of alternative buildings in the inner city.Mile Stojacovic, ITB managing director, said: “The total investment will be an estimated R25 million.’ He said that the venture has the support of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) and the Johannesburg Development Agency. “The project has also attracted the interest of Trade & Investment South Africa, who have been approached to assist in promoting the centre internationally through their consulates and embassies,’ Stojacovic said.Anton Pispeki, ITB marketing manager, said that they have received many requests from foreign embassies and consulates to open trade offices in the city centre. He said they were currently negotiating with a number of landlords for a bigger building but still expected to open for business in March next year.At the official launch in September, Graeme Reid, CEO of the Johannesburg Development Agency said: “The International Trade Bureau is one of the many exciting developments and initiatives aimed at regenerating the Johannesburg city centre.”In addition to the provision of a comprehensive range of trade facilitation services, the international trade centre will offer 15 000m² of permanent exhibition space for 1 310 South African and foreign companies.It says a plan for the centre, depending on the number of floors, will include a ground floor and lobby dedicated to the South African mining, industrial and capital equipment sector. The first 10 floors will be dedicated to South African products by industry sector.These industry sectors have been segmented to include mining and industrial; transport equipment; chemical and allied industries; hardware and building materials; defence and telecommunications; electrical and security; textile and tourism; medical and pharmaceutical; and food and beverage.The remaining floors will be dedicated to exhibiting foreign products organised according to the region from which they originate.Permanent exhibition space will range in size from 6 – 12m², and exhibition contract terms will be for either 6, 12 or 18 months. The rotation of permanent exhibitors will ensure that as many companies as possible get the benefit of access to foreign markets.A total of 85 consultants will be employed, which will give the trade centre a ratio of 1 consultant per 15 reporterlast_img read more

Putting Information on the Balance Sheet

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… RedMonk‘s James Governor and EMC VP of Global Marketing Chuck Hollis are calling for enterprises to put information on the balance sheet. In other words, start considering useful information as an asset and poorly managed information as a liability.“If you’ve got an expensive manufacturing machine, you invest periodically to keep the asset running in top shape, otherwise its value falls sharply over time,” writes Hollis. “Are information bases any different? How many databases in your organization are providing declining value simply because there isn’t a regular program of data maintenance and enhancement?”Not a bad idea. Taking it a step further, Gartner and Forrester have been agitating for IT to be a profit center, and putting information on the balance sheet would be a step towards quantifying the value IT provides an organization.One way to make information even more clearly an asset is to sell information in a marketplace like Azure DataMarket. And, for organizations that simply can’t do this, paying attention to these markets may help determine the value of information.Even though the CIO role is increasingly under fire, it’s also an increasingly important role. Intel CIO Diane Bryant said in a recent interview:It’s remarkable how dependent the business is on IT. Every business strategy we’re trying to deploy, every growth opportunity we’re pursuing and every cost reduction all funnels back to an IT solution. How do you go from hundreds of customers to thousands of customers? You do that through technology. You don’t scale the sales force by 10 times. I look across Intel’s corporate strategy and I can directly tie each one of our pillars to the IT solution that’s going to enable it. It’s a remarkable time to be in IT. All of a sudden the CIO had better be at the table in the business strategy discussions because they can’t launch a strategy without you.The new role for IT will be to make money for companies, not to just support operations. That’s a big shift in thinking, and it’s time to start making plans.Photo by Philippe Put Tags:#enterprise#Trends klint finleycenter_img Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

The Future of Microsoft’s Xbox? Interactive “TV”

first_imgTags:#365 Days#film#gaming#Microsoft#web#YouTube Related Posts The future of Microsoft’s Xbox appears to be moving briskly toward interactive TV, based on a high-profile hire of CBS Entertainment’s former television chief and the launch of two interactive TV “programs” that tap into Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral. This week, Microsoft hired Nancy Tellem, the former CBS exec, to run a dedicated Xbox content studio. As Microsoft’s new Entertainment & Digital Media president. Tellem will work under Don A. Mattrick, the president of the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business. That’s the unit that developed the Xbox, the Kinect and the Mediaroom software that quietly powers a number of the world’s set-top boxes.This means the woman who greenlit hits like “CSI,” “Survivor,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The King of Queens” – and helped create “Friends” and “ER” – is now developing content for Microsoft. Wow.Tellem’s new studio will design “interactive and linear content for Xbox and other devices,” according to Microsoft. “In addition to running the production studio, she will help spearhead the company’s efforts to turn Xbox into a destination where consumers can enjoy all their entertainment in one place.”Microsoft Wants To Lure New ContentAccording to analyst Richard Doherty, who tracks the intersection of technology and content for the Envisioneering Group, Tellem will be responsible for luring new content to the Microsoft Xbox platform, competing with Google’s YouTube and Netflix in what he characterized as a bidding war. She also will be tasked with working with content providers to help develop content like the two new Kinect programs, “Kinect Sesame Street TV” and “Kinect Nat Geo TV”, that launched Tuesday.The Xbox remains the most socially connected entertainment platform, Doherty said, despite the Sony PlayStation’s best efforts. And that is going to appeal to Hollywood’s content mavens.“J.J. Abrams was constrained by what ABC could do with ‘Lost,‘” Doherty said. “There wasn’t Twitter when it started – the show would still flash ‘Go to’ when the show aired. When I talked to Abrams years ago at a Digital Hollywood [conference] with his production team that was with him, they were planning for social media that wasn’t there yet.”“[Tellem] probably is the most important influx of new DNA, entertainment DNA, into a tech company, since Terry Semel at Yahoo,” Doherty said, referring to the former co-chief executive of Warner Bros. who was ousted in 2007 after netting more than $500 million in stock and other compensation.Coincidentally or not, Microsoft on Tuesday also announced the release of two interactive pieces of content that bring a new dimension to the concept of “program”: Kinect Sesame Street TV and Kinect Nat Geo TV. Both pieces of interactive software ask the children watching them to participate, such as clapping their hands or jumping up and down. Xbox: Stumbling Toward Interactive TVThe Xbox, of course, began life as a game console, adding downloadable movies to the Xbox 360 way back in 2006 with the Xbox Live Marketplace. Netflix added streaming movies to the platform in the summer of 2008. Microsoft’s Kinect ushered in a new level of interactivity in 2010, but only to games specifically designed for the motion-sensing peripheral. Kinect’s voice commands could also be used to seek out TV shows and movies as a voice-operated remote control. In December 2011, Microsoft added the ability to retrieve programming from Verizon FiOS and Comcast’s Xfinity services via the Xbox interface.Microsoft first tried its hand at TV-inspired interactivity in 2009 with “1 vs. 100 Live” and “1 vs. 100 Extended Play,” two related shows that let Xbox players compete – live – in a virtual version of the TV game show 1 vs. 100. Over two seasons, U.S. and U.K. players could participate in hosted live events that ran between 30 minutes and two hours. The show was entirely free, with revenue generated from advertisements, just like “real” TV.“Gaming is usually a premeditated experience where you know what you want to play ahead of time,“ said Manuel Bronstein, director of 1 vs 100, told The Los Angeles Times in 2009. “We wanted to create an impulsive experience that players might discover in the same way they flip on the TV and browse the channels.”According to reports, however, the show suffered from lack of revenues because Microsoft shuffled it around too much internally, not devoting enough resources to sales and marketing. markhachman Kinect Sesame Street: A Glimpse Of The Future?Leticia Barr, the founder of the Tech Savvy Mama blog, and one of the testers for “Kinect Sesame Street TV” and “Kinect Nat Geo TV”, said that her kids couldn’t really tell whether the games were a TV show or not.“They were talking about that was kind of a show, but there were times when we could go in and play, with the favorite characters, and they were talking about how this was a hybrid of a show and a game at the same time,” Barr said. “It wasn’t one or the other. It was this very fluid combination of both.”(Both “Kinect Sesame Street TV” and “Kinect Nat Geo TV” are available in disc form and as a download through via Xbox Live, according to the Associated Press. For $30, users can purchase a package that includes eight 30-minute episodes on two discs. Users can also purchase single episodes for $5.)Making Cents Of It AllIn Dec. 2011, Microsoft refreshed its Xbox Live software, adding new movie and television content the more than 65 entertainment apps already available – including Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, MLB.TV, ESPN, YouTube and VEVO. Global video consumption on Xbox Live has increased 140% during the past year, Microsoft said, with more consumers watching video than using the Xbox to play games.“Whether you are voting for your favorite contestant on a TV show or playing a game, entertainment is becoming more personalized and social, driven by the Internet and new tools to interact with content,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, and Tellem’s boss, in a statement. “We are embarking on a new chapter with the creation of a studio dedicated to making original interactive and linear content…”Tellem’s role appears to be designed to make sense of this combination of original programming, interactive television and interactivity. Don’t be surprised to see Tellem orchestrate deals that include Xbox SmartGlass the second-screen, tablet-based control app that Microsoft revealed in June. And having spent time as Les Moonves’ right-hand woman, Tellem has the clout in Hollywood to equal Robert Kyncl, the global head of content at Google/YouTube.According to Doherty, Microsoft’s combination of pre-recorded content, interactivity and an online Internet connection offers a combination no rival can match.“There are producers that the networks are not appreciating enough, and have tremendous ideas for social media – when everybody gets excited – oh my gosh, ‘30 Rock’ is going to be filmed live!’” he said. “We’re talking episode-and-a-half sort of scenarios, multiple-ending sort of things. The talent in L.A. and London and Mumbai, they’ve got the ideas that Microsoft is better positioned to deliver on than anyone else, with Apple as a last resort.”Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock. Other images courtesy of Microsoft. 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutlast_img read more