According to reports, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick showed up to the first practices under new head coach Chip Kelly ‘noticeably bigger’ and very enthused about Kelly’s high-tempo offensive system. Apparently, Vick also arrived with a point to prove, and a burr in his saddle when it comes to the criticisms levied against him regarding the sandlot nature of his game. On Wednesday, Vick went on Philly radio station 97.5 The Fanatic and laid it out to those who wonder if he’ll ever play consistently and with the right kind of mechanics, as opposed to winging it and letting his athleticism rule the day.
“I’m really tempted right now to just say no comment to that because like I said a second ago, you don’t last 12 years in the NFL not being able to read the defense,” Vick told the station, via Sheil Kapadia of Phillymag.com. “Those people who are talking and saying that are just ignorant, and they know nothing about football. Unless they turn on the film and watch my game and see what goes on, then they’ll replace those comments with the right comments.”
But there are those who do watch tape, and are fairly informed on the subject, who believe that Vick holds on to the ball too long, fails to read defenses completely, doesn’t correctly anticipate pressure, and runs himself into sacks that shouldn’t happen. It’s why Vick has started all 16 games in a season just once in his career, and it’s why Vick was so turnover-prone in 2012, giving the ball up 11 times on fumbles. Vick led the NFL in fumbles in 2004 and 2010, but he doesn’t want to hear the talk about the holes in his game.
“It’s incorrect. Without getting sensitive about it, it’s incorrect. So I’d rather not talk about it.”
Well, that’s not entirely true. Vick also said that Kelly, the former Oregon offensive mastermind, recently taught him how to correctly run with the ball, which is a pretty amazing claim for a guy who’s been in the NFL since 2001 and has 791 rushing attempts and 5,551 yards and 34 touchdowns in his career. You’d think someone would have taught him that before, but apparently not.
“The other day, I broke out in the pocket, and the first thing Chip told me was to tuck the football,” Vick said. “So I showed him how I was running with it, and he looked at it and he knocked the ball right out of my hands. And he was like, ‘Hold it like this.’ And what he told me felt comfortable. I had a tighter grip on the football. That should secure that problem as long as I work on it. Like I said, you’re always a work in progress, and even when you think you know it all, sometimes you don’t. The people who feel like they know everything, they don’t.”
One of the first things Kelly did when he took the Eagles job was to insure that he has Vick on the roster by restructuring his old six-year, $ 100 million deal down to a one-year, $ 7.5 million contract with a $ 3.5 million signing bonus. Vick is the projected starter at this point, but there’s backup Nick Foles and fourth-round draft pick Matt Barkley to worry about. Vick would seem to have the ideal skill set for Kelly’s offense, but Kelly doesn’t generally tolerate a lot of sacks and turnovers from his quarterbacks. So, whether he likes it or not, and whether he thinks he has to or not, Vick will have to clean up a few things if he wants to go forward with his current team.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN’s NFL Matchup, who also contrubites to Shutdown Corner on a regular basis, watches as much tape as anyone in America who isn’t working with an NFL team. His take on Vick, from May, 2012:
Vick is a transcendent athlete, capable of extraordinary throws and runs at any given moment. Yet he always leaves you wanting more. The reason, in simplest terms: Vick is not, to this day, an accomplished passer. He remains a week-to-week player with little stability or continuity to his game. He’s always dangerous, at times dazzling, but seldom consistent … NFL quarterback is a highly disciplined craft. For those like Vick who are exceptional athletes, it requires more intellectual discipline to properly harness that athleticism than is necessary for those players predisposed to play in the pocket. Perhaps the most damning assessment of Vick is this: his frenetic, haphazard approach sabotages his ability to stay on the field.
Many with no specific agendas, who have watched Vick for years, would certainly agree.
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Welcome to Wired’s live blog of the Google IO keynote. What should we expect today? We know it won’t be a roll-up of Chrome and Android, no matter how much that might make sense. But we are hoping for an …
Sprint was clearly hungry for capacity when it bought spectrum from US Cellular last fall, and it’s at last getting its fill — some of it, at least — by closing the deal today. The carrier has officially taken possession of 20MHz in airwaves across Midwestern cities like Champaign, Chicago and South Bend, as well as 10MHz in St. Louis. The customer handover isn’t quite as grandiose as was mentioned in November, however: Sprint is ultimately adopting 420,000 US Cellular customers, rather than the originally claimed 585,000. It should be a relatively bump-free transition, no matter who’s included in the group. Sprint expects the switch to take several months, and it’s keeping the US Cellular network active while customers go hunting for discounted phones.
If you’re still laughing at Google+, and at Google Glass, then it might be time to stop; Google has just shown that they’re its next route to digitally understanding everything about you, and it slipped that through in the guise of a simple photo gallery tool. Highlights is one of the few dozen new features Google+ gained as of I/O this past week, sifting through your auto-uploads and flagging up the best of them. Ostensibly it’s a bit of a gimmick, but make no mistake: Highlights is at the core of how Google will address the Brave New World of Wearables and the torrent of data that world will involve. And by the end of it, Google is going to know you and your experiences even better than you know them yourself.
Lifelogging isn’t new – Microsoft Research’s Gordon Bell, for instance, has been sporting a wearable camera and tracking his life digitally since the early-2000s – but its component parts are finally coalescing into something the mainstream could handle. Cheap camera technology – sufficiently power-frugal to run all day, but still with sufficiently high resolution and bracketed with sensor data like location – has met plentiful cloud storage to handle the masses of photos and video.
More importantly, the public interest in recording and sharing memorable moments has flourished over the past few years, with Facebook over-sharing going from an embarrassment to commonplace, and Twitter and Tumblr evolving into stream-of-consciousness. For better or for worse, an event or occasion isn’t quite real enough for us unless we’re telling somebody else about it, preferably with the photos to prove it.
Into that arrives Glass. It’s not the only wearable project, and in fact it’s not even trying to immediately document your every movement, conversation, and activity. Out of the box, Glass doesn’t actually work as a lifelogger, at least not automatically. However, it hasn’t taken long before Explorer Edition users have tweaked the wearable to grant it those perpetual-memory skills, though we need to wait for Google’s part of the puzzle before we see the true shift take place.
Kickstarter project Memoto, which raised over half a million dollars for its wearable lifelogging camera that fires off two frames a minute all day, every day, isn’t really a hardware challenge – though the startup might disagree with that somewhat, given the slight delays caused by squeezing power-efficient camera tech into a tiny little geek-pendant – but a software one. The issue isn’t one of taking photos, or of storing them: it’s of then organizing them in a way that’s anywhere near manageable for the wearer.
Think about your last set of holiday photos. You probably took many more than you did in the days of traditional film cameras. Maybe you synchronized them with iPhoto, or uploaded them to a Dropbox or Picasa gallery. Perhaps they went on Facebook, either sorted through or – more likely, maybe – simply dumped en-masse. How many times have you looked through them, or shown them to somebody else?
Now, imagine having a whole day’s worth of photos to deal with. We’ll be conservative and assume you’re sleeping for eight hours – lucky you – and maybe have a couple of hours “privacy” time during which you’re showering, getting changed, or otherwise not camera-ready. Fourteen hours when you could be wearing your Memoto, then, or some other camera: 840 minutes, or 1,680 individual photos. In the course of a week, you’ve snapped 11,760 shots.
By the end of the year, you’ve got over four million of them. Sure, plenty of them will be of the same thing, or blurry because you were running across the road at the time, or too dark to make out details. Many, many of them will just be plain dull. But they’ll all be there, sitting in the cloud waiting to be looked at.
Nobody is going to sift through four million photos. And so the really clever thing the Memoto team is working on is the relevance processing all of those images are fed through. The exact details of the algorithm haven’t been confirmed – in fact it’s still something of a work-in-progress, and likely will be even when the first units start shipping out to Kickstarter backers – but it takes into account the location each image was taken at (there’s geotagging for each shot), the direction you’re facing, what interesting things are in the frame, and more.
That way, you get the best of both worlds, or at least in theory. “All photos are stored and organized for you,” Memoto promises. “None are deleted, but the best ones are more visible.”
As Memoto sees it, that all amounts to about thirty frames per day. Thirty potentially review-worthy shots out of more than sixteen-hundred. Now, there’s no way of knowing quite how well the system will actually operate, and we’re bound to miss out some gems and have out attention drawn to some duffers, but make no mistake: we need this layer of abstraction if lifelogging is to be more than just a boon for those selling hard-drives.
For a while, Google didn’t seem to have given managing the extra photos from wearables like Glass much consideration. In fact, the first evidence of photo sharing – automatically uploading to Google+, and being posted out with the generic #throughglass tag – was one of the more half-baked of the company’s implementations. That all changed, though, at I/O this week.
Google+ is the glue for Google’s ecosystem – what I call the “context ecosystem” – not least Glass; you may not want to use it as a social network, replacing or augmenting Facebook and Twitter, but if you want Google services or hardware you’re going to end up a Google+ user on some level. The new Highlights feature in Google+ is the key to unlocking Glass’ usefulness as a lifelogger.
“The Highlights tab helps you find photos you’ll want to share by automatically curating the images you upload to Google+ photos” Google explained. “Highlights works by de-emphasizing duplicates, blurry images, and poor exposures while focusing on pictures with the people you care about, landmarks, and other positive attributes.”
For the moment, for most users, Highlights is a way of quickly cutting out duplicated shots. Take three or four pictures of your kids in the park, just to make sure they were all looking at the camera at the right time? Google+ Highlights will make sure you only see one, not all of the nearly-identical frames. No need to delete the others, just – as Gmail taught us with achive-not-delete email, a privilege of copious space and effective search – hide them from regular sight.
As the flow of photos into Google+ turns into a torrent, fueled not least by wearables, those vague “other positive attributes” Google mentions will become most important, however. Highlights is going to become not only a curator of your galleries, but of how you reminisce; how you look back on what you did, where you did it, and who you did it with.
Google can already identify buildings, and locations, and people. It knows who your friends are. Factor in Events, and the communal photo sharing feature, and that will help Google+ fill in even more of the gaps. If it knows you were with your best friend, and your best friend was in Paris at the time, and what a number of famous Parisian landmarks look like, it’ll be able to do a pretty good job at piecing together a curated “holiday memories” album that’s probably more detailed than your own recollection of the trip.
If you’re clenching various parts of your anatomy over fears about privacy, you’re probably right to. Even with only about 2,000 Glass Explorer Edition headsets made, the degree of controversy over what the rights and responsibilities around having photos taken in public and in private are is already exponentially greater. Those at Google I/O this past week are undoubtedly a tech-savvy, open-minded bunch, but the range of comfort levels reported about being in the Glass gaze is a telling sign that there’s more to this than just old-school versus new-school.
The discussion is going to be broader than Google, of course – a Memoto camera is arguably more discrete, clipped to your coat or shirt, and it’s almost certainly not going to be the last wearable camera – but how the companies involved process the data created is likely to be the biggest factor, and Google has a track-record of giving privacy advocates sleepless nights.
If Glass – and wearables along with lifelogging in general – is to succeed, however, this is a discussion that will have to be settled. We’re not talking about “how okay” it is for your email account to talk to your calendar account. If the EU decides there should be a clear division between those in the name of user privacy, then you might have to manually create appointments based on email conversations; if the huge and inevitable rush of photos and video that wearables will facilitate aren’t addressed, then Glass and its ilk will stumble and fail. Our new digital brain needs permission to work its magic, but we’re still in the early days of seeing just how magical that might be.
Google+ and Glass just got the upgrade for lifelogging everything is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.
Free agent pass-rusher Dwight Freeney is nearing a deal with the San Diego Chargers, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.
Freeney had a two-day meeting (Wednesday and Thursday) with the Chargers, who are in the market for pass-rush help after losing Shaun Phillips to free agency and Melvin Ingram to a torn ACL. Phillips led the Chargers with 9.5 sacks last season and his departure, to AFC West rival Denver Broncos, was expected to be cushioned by a larger role for Ingram, a 2012 first-round pick who suffered what will likely be a season-ending knee injury during the team’s second day of OTA practices.
The 33-year-old Freeney spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, earning seven trips to the Pro Bowl while becoming that franchise’s all-time leader in sacks with 107.5. Most of Freeney’s production came during his first ten seasons as a defensive end in a 4-3 system. Last season, the Colts hired Chuck Pagano as head coach and, in a new 3-4 system, Freeney was moved to outside linebacker. Freeney posted just five sacks, his lowest total since notching 3.5 sacks in an injury-shortened 2007 season.
First-year Chargers GM Tom Telesco is very familiar with Freeney as he worked in the Colts’ personnel department for 15 seasons before landing the San Diego job in January. San Diego’s defensive coordinator is John Pagano, Chuck Pagano’s younger brother, so the Chargers should have a good sense of whether or not Freeney is a fit for a role in their defense.
With much of its information obscured it’s hard to say what Google has planned for this new device revealed by its FCC filing, but the model number at least indicates someone has a sense of humor. Called an “H840 device” and rocking the model number H2G2-42 (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 42, the ultimate answer to the question of life, the universe and everything) it has WiFi of the 802.11 b/g/n varieties, but that’s all we know for sure. The natural question is whether this is a proper revamp of / follow up to the failed Nexus Q project, particularly with its appearance coming so closely after the unveiling of its Google Play Music All Access subscription. Of course, Google has no shortage of mysterious device projects in store, we’re hopeful this one will reveal all of its secrets soon.
Google’s short-lived Nexus Q has already been left out of the Google Play Music All Access action, but there looks to be a successor in the pipeline, with a new Google media player spotted in FCC testing. The Google H840 (product code H2G2-42, an apparent play on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) WiFi-testing listing has been pared back thanks to a confidentiality request, but the wireless report does confirm that it “functions as a media player” with 2.4GHz WiFi b/g/n connectivity.
Unfortunately there are no test photos, so we don’t know what the Google H840 looks like. The report suggests it was tested with a USB-connected Dell monitor, though that’s presumably to access either the LCD’s USB hub or its memory card slot, since that particular model doesn’t support video input over USB.
Anything else is, at this stage, speculative, though given the launch of Google Play Music All Access this past week at I/O, some sort of Sonos-style streaming box would seem an obvious guess. That could be hooked up to a set of external speakers or alternatively have onboard speakers and amplification.
Google isn’t the only company tipped to be working on a streaming media device. Earlier this month, it was rumored that Amazon’s hardware lab is developing a wireless audio adapter which could be used with its own cloud music locker service.
The Google H840 would presumably be a more focused device than the Nexus Q, which was unveiled at I/O in 2012 and then swiftly killed off as market feedback proved uncertain. The orb-shaped streamer was intended to funnel YouTube videos, music, and other content direct to a TV, with communal playlist control from multiple Android-powered phones and tablets.
However, a combination of high price – partly because Google intended it to be manufactured in the US – and confusing purpose meant the Nexus Q project was axed. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Google would not be officially supporting the streamer with the All Access subscription music jukebox service.
The H840 (its H2G2-42 product code a combination of the fan abbreviation for Hitchhiker’s Guide and the “meaning of life”: the number 42) looks to be the second attempt at the market, though when Google will actually unveil it officially remains to be seen.
Google H840 media streamer hits FCC to potentially replace Nexus Q is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 – 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.
Wake up to a dancing iPhone, Ep. 121
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This week on Crave, we take a look at Tim-e, an iPhone dock that wakes you up in the most annoying ways possible. We salute Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on making space travel cool again and demonstrate Petswitch, which lets you put your face on your cat’s visage.
- Dream Chaser space plane to begin NASA flight tests … [Read more]
Chris Hadfield sings Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ in ISS farewell
Having made the ISS cool again, Hadfield returns to Earth
Dream Chaser space plane to begin NASA flight tests
Petswitch: Give a pet your own face
Wringing out a space station washcloth makes water clingy