Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘us open’ Category

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Happy Friday.

For you golf fans, this year’s U.S. Open is off to a walloping good start, and, even better, if you’re a Tiger Woods fan, he’s in the hunt (-1 in the first round).

Justin Rose seems to have put together quite the round, tying the record 65 (-6) that Tiger himself set at Pebble Beach back in 2000. We’ll see if the wind starts whipping and the greens start firming up in round 2. Or perhaps the marine layer will blow, and nobody will be able to see anything, including the golfers.

While the golfers do their thing, Facebook’s long-not-very-well-kept secret blockchain/cryptocurrency payment project, "Project Libra," is getting some big named backers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Uber have all backed the new cryptocurrency, and each will invest around $10 million in a consortium that will govern the digital coin, the "Libra."

According to the Journal, that money would be used to fund the creation of the coin, one which will be pegged to a basket of government-issued currencies to avoid the wild swings witnessed by other cryptocurrencies.

The Verge also reported on the development, and addressed how the new "stablecoin" might be used:

As well as allowing users to send money over Facebook’s messaging products like WhatsApp and Messenger, Facebook hopes that its partnerships with e-commerce firms will allow users to spend the currency online. The company is reportedly also looking into developing ATM-like physical terminals for people to convert their money into Libra.

The Block reports that Facebook has also posted additional blockchain jobs this week, just ahead of the release of a whitepaper next week formally announcing Project Libra.

Be interesting to see whether or not the value of a bitcoin changes one way or the other over the course of the next week.

Written by turbotodd

June 14, 2019 at 10:00 am

IBM Watson To Generate Match Highlights At The U.S. Open

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IBM has announced it is launching IBM Watson Media, a new suite of AI-powered solutions on the IBM Cloud that analyze images, video, language, sentiment and tone, at the US Open.

By combining IBM Watson with IBM’s video capabilities, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) will be able to rapidly share highlight videos of more matches while engaging and informing fans more than ever before.

The US Open will use one of the first solutions available through IBM Watson Media called Cognitive Highlights. Developed at IBM Research with IBM iX, Cognitive Highlights can identify the match’s most important moments by analyzing the statistical tennis data, sounds from the crowd and the reactions of a player using both action and facial expression recognition.

The system then ranks the shots from seven US Open courts and auto-curates the highlights, which simplifies the video production process and ultimately positions the USTA team to scale and accelerate the creation of cognitive highlight packages.

The finished highlight videos will be available in four ways:

  • Each day, the USTA will post a Highlight of the Day, as ranked by Watson, on its Facebook page.
  • Fans that “favorite” players on the US Open apps will receive real-time push notification alerts about those players’ highlights. Fans on iOS 10 can play the highlights within the lock screen.
  • On the player bio page, video highlights will be available across all of the USTA’s digital platforms.
  • Onsite in the player’s lounge and in the fan-facing IBM Watson Experience on the plaza near Court 9.

“The US Open is packed with so much action across so many courts that even the fastest video team is challenged to keep pace with what’s happening,” said Noah Syken, IBM VP of Sports & Entertainment Partnerships. “To meet that challenge, Watson is now watching the matches alongside the USTA to help bring fans closer to the best moments across the courts shortly after they happen. We’re seeing this technology come to life through tennis, but the entire IBM Watson Media portfolio has the potential to impact many industries.”

Written by turbotodd

August 31, 2017 at 8:54 am

Posted in 2017, cognitve computing, ibm watson, us open

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Getting Ready For The U.S. Open @ Erin Hills

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The first ever United States Open is being held this Thursday-Sunday at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin.

It’s a good sign that professional players teeing it up at Erin Hills are complaining about the tall fescue grass days before the tournament:

Maintenance crews on Tuesday trimmed the tall fescue along the fairways of four holes at Erin Hills, the site of this year’s United States Open, after several players had criticized the height of the grass. Heavy rain Monday night may have led to the trimming, but some players, most notably Kevin Na, had said the tall grass would lead to unplayable lies.
– via www.nytimes.com

In the same story, Rory McIlroy had this to say:

“These are the widest fairways we’ve ever played in a U.S. Open,” McIlroy said. “We have 60 yards from left line to right line. You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here. If we can’t hit it in that avenue, you may as well pack your bags and go home.”
– via www.nytimes.com

Exactly. If the players aren’t complaining about the course conditions at Erin Hills before the tournament ever begins, as far as I’m concerned, the course conditions are not tough enough. It’s the U.S. Open!

I played Erin Hills last night…on my PSP4…I don’t know how reliable the course layout was, but based on hole #9 (which the New York Times has called a “tiny terror”), it seemed pretty realistic and should pose a tough but “gettable” challenge to the world’s best golfers starting tomorrow.

There’s a great, somewhat heart-wrenching, story-behind-the-story of how Erin Hills came to built upon the obsession of one man. You can read it here.

So who are my picks?

In no particular order, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth, Ricky Fowler, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, and Justin Rose.

In any case, for me, the U.S. Open is all about the journey, not the destination.

USGA, let that fescue fester!

Written by turbotodd

June 14, 2017 at 11:42 am

Posted in 2017, golf, pga tour, us open

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