Italian soccer star to sue Facebook

One of the world's most famous soccer players, Alessandro del Piero of the Juventus club in Italy, is said to be suing Facebook.

He is distressed because of a Facebook profile that purports to be his (it features his name and image) and carries links to Nazi propaganda sites.

Del Piero, who is as handsome as David Beckham (research conducted by me among females in the last 30 minutes) and a somewhat more accomplished player (no research needed), claims that he has never had a Facebook profile.

Fascist symbolism has a long history in Italian soccer. If you've … Read more

Soccer video goes online with Kaltura

Kaltura is an open-source video application server that competes with the likes of Brightcove. In a nutshell, it helps companies put video on their Web sites.

Kaltura recently released an integration of its product for Drupal, which was a great way to quickly enable its technology for broad distribution. Of more interest to me, however, is that Kaltura was recently selected to power the video on Footbo, a dedicated social network for soccer (football).

With more than 1 billion soccer fans on the planet, Kaltura couldn't do much better than to tap into this passion, starting with Footbo. From … Read more

Don't move!? or the science of inaction

If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you might have noticed that I'm an avid soccer fan who doesn't let an opportunity pass to draw analogies between the "beautiful game" and the other big game: business. As such I was riveted by Clive Thompson's "Goalkeeper Science" piece in last week's New York Times Magazine's "Year in Ideas" issue. Based on research examining the behavior of soccer goalkeepers facing penalty kicks, Thompson concludes that "inaction may be the biggest form of action" (Jerry Brown).

The study, … Read more

The 404 166: Where we're invaded by the girls

On today's show, we're joined by two of the girls from! Wilson's sick, but he misses out on an insane show filled with the girls drooling over Michael Phelps, even more slanted eye pictures, Nintendo bikinis, Apple store nightmares, and a possible meetup!? Listen for more details!

Wilson can't make it to the show today so we replace him with two of the fantastic ladies from! "Broadway Baby" Hillary and "Soho Hot" Amanda are a real treat to have in the studio, especially for the … Read more

Is Twitter responsible for Germany's massive soccer loss?

Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, really wanted her national soccer team to win the 2008 European Football Championships, which concluded today in Vienna.

Expressing her obviously heartfelt enthusiasm for the German team (and not her need to get re-elected next year), she began to text them.

The texts were not merely expressions of positive fortune and celestial speed.

According to her favorite player, the suspiciously and excessively blond Bastian Schweisteiger, she weighed in with tactical suggestions.

Which, if the evidence of the games is anything to go by, must have gone along the lines of "Kick that Portuguese pillock … Read more

The 404 115: Where it ain't no lie, baby BYE BYE BYE

F'realsies this time, we say a final farewell to our fallen comrade Randall Bennett on his last official day at CNET. He takes the reigns as guest host and gives his two cents on the homeless world cup, Craigslist disasters, the deportation of America's valedictorians, canine sexual assault, and (surprise surprise) DISNEY MOVIES. EPISODE 115 Download today's podcast

Fedora + soccer = Ronaldo-esque technique

I recently helped my son take third-to-last place in the Pinewood Derby. Reading this, I clearly should have powered his car with Fedora.

Fedora is the operating system of choice for AllemaniACs' winning robot in the RoboCup, a soccer tournament played between robots. Fedora has fueled AllemaniACs' victories in 2006 and 2007, and appears to be poised to raise the cup again in 2008.

The RoboCup sounds fascinating. There is no human intervention in the games beyond coaches yelling instructions to the robots, and the robots responding in kind. Hopefully they respond better than my five-year old does on her mob ball team....

AllemaniACs' robot is mostly powered by off-the-shelf Fedora, with some modifications that have been contributed back to the Fedora core. Importantly, these modifications and the work done for Fedora's RoboCup success aren't limited to the electronic dreams of RoboCup's Ronaldos:… Read more

Collaborative competition: sport for a better world

Here's an innovative approach to facilitating social innovation: a "collaborative competition" leveraging sports.

Ashoka's Changemakers and Nike have partnered to open a worldwide search for projects that use the transformative power of sport to promote social change. Ashoka is a citizen-sector support system for social entrepreneurs. Changemakers is building the world's first global online "open source" community competing to surface the best social solutions, and then collaborating to refine, enrich, and implement those solutions.

Changemakers invited users worldwide to submit innovations to what it calls a "collaborative competition" -- an "… Read more

What the US could learn from Ghana

The African Cup of Nations is in full swing, taking over Ghana, where it is being hosted. I should know - two of Arsenal's best players are out of action for six weeks while they play for their country, the Ivory Coast.

What is beautiful in this tournament - besides the fact that it's the divinely inspired sport, soccer/football - is how the African nations treat nationalism. As the Christian Science Monitor writes:

...Ghanaians exude gratitude rather than arrogance. They all want God to shine upon the team, naturally, but there's no suggestion that He ought to do so. I even heard one television reporter urge viewers to pray for all of the African nations, lest anyone get left out....… Read more

Off-topic: Fifa releases revised list of the top-20 soccer countries

Who has the best soccer team on the planet? At least, at the national level (since we all know Arsenal is the best club on this planet). Argentina.

Here are the rankings (last year's ranking in parentheses):

1. (1) Argentina 2. (2) Brazil 3. (3) Italy 4. (4) Spain 5. (5) Germany 6. (6) Czech Republic 7. (7) France 8. (8) Portugal 9. (9) Netherlands 10. (10) Croatia

Arsenal? They've got players on all of those national teams except for Italy (Sorry, Fabrizio, but Arsenal can't afford to put its fans to sleep with Italian football!) and … Read more