Maybe you've been following a sport called football (not soccer!) recently. You wouldn't be alone. The World Cup has an audience size of nearly a billion people, roughly nine times the audience that watches the Super Bowl (or the whatever-you're-allowed-to-call-it "big game"). But for those of you not really interested in watching these soccer football matches, here are some links on the technology behind various game balls.
Soccer ball designs have changed quite a bit since the 1920s. The Telstar Durlast ball from the 1970 World Cup is the buckyball shape that was designed to be more visible on black & white TVs. The newest ball designs have far fewer panels and seams, and they need to be tested to make sure the aerodynamics aren't too different from previous balls. [url]
The first basketball was actually a soccer ball. Before the 1940s, the technology to make an inflatable ball without laces didn't exist, so it wasn't until after basketballs could be molded for a smooth surface (without laces), that dribbling became a major part of the sport. [url]
In an age where anyone can speak up, and anyone can criticize you, the first reaction of many folks is to hit back hard -- even trying to take down critical info. As we all know, that's exactly the wrong thing to do. But, it's still quite difficult to turn something that's negative into a positive quite as well as video game company EA just did. Mathew Ingram has the details, but basically, when last year's version of EA's Tiger Woods golfing game came out, some users made a video jokingly pointing out that a glitch in the game allows Tiger Woods to stand in the middle of a water trap and take a shot:
With this year's version coming out, EA actually took that video as inspiration for a new ad, "responding" to that video, by showing that it wasn't a "glitch" at all, but that Tiger really can walk on water and hit a golf ball: