What Ronaldinho and soccer can teach you about innovation

It's been a lackluster soccer season so far, especially in my favorite league, the Spanish Primera Division. The performances of the two top teams, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona (Barca), have been inconsistent, and while both have displayed some exceptional skills in their best matches, the passion, the surprise, and the big drama, all of which crucial elements of soccer's unique appeal, have been largely missing.

There is hope that this will change on Sunday when the two archrivals battle each other for the first time this season, in the derby of derbies, "El Cl?sico," … Read more

A remote you can kick around

U.S. Soccer Federation, take note: If you want the sport to be as popular here as it is in the rest of the world, start marketing more products like this.

We know as much about futbol as we do about figure skating, but we'd be the first in line to get one of these soccer ball remotes that are sold in the U.K. And it can actually be used as a ball to play with, according to Gizmodo, though we wouldn't recommend that if it was the only remote in the house.

It supposedly can be … Read more

40GB PS3 gets a new soccer theme

We've good and bad news for you soccer fanatics awaiting the upcoming PlayStation 3 installation of Konami's World Soccer Winning Eleven 2008. The highly anticipated game will finally be launched on Nov. 22 in Singapore--but the only way tp take one home is to purchase a $430 40GB PS3 bundle.

While our Sony contact was unable to comment on the actual savings, we were reassured that there is in fact some discount thrown in for the package. A goodie bag including Winning Eleven 2008 collectibles such as a towel, whistle phone strap, and calendars will be included as … Read more

The first Web 2.0 soccer club in the world

After attempts to "crowdsource" the purchase of a soccer club, it was obviously just a matter of time until the concept of crowdsourcing--the act of outsourcing a job or task to a group of people--would be applied to the actual game.

The Israeli team Hapoel Play65 Kiryat Shalom, a shared project of the online backgammon room Play65 and the Israeli social network for sports fans Web2sport, prides itself on being the first Web 2.0 soccer club in the world.

The club has begun experimenting with a wisdom-of-the-fans approach that allows the team's supporters to monitor … Read more

Citizen's robot army

CHIBA, Japan--Citizen's micro robots come in peace.

The watch company, which also makes a wide variety of industrial-grade precision components, has come up with a couple of robot kits designed to get kids interested in the field.

The Eco-drive robots--the three robots with faces and watches on top in that first picture--are powered by gears and mechanisms in the watch. Although the watch is turning the gears of the robot, it continues to function normally. The whole thing is powered by a solar panel.

The system will work "as long as there is light or until breaking," … Read more

Soccer shoes that fertilize the field

One thing sports like football, soccer, baseball, and golf have in common is that in order to play them you use shoes that have cleats in them.

When you run, hit, catch or throw, those cleats can tear up the turf and make holes in the ground. Well, a German designer named Daniel Wilhelms has developed a soccer cleat that is filled with fertilizer. Called the Naturistick, the cleat releases a dose of fertilizer with every step you take. This is an interesting concept that we may see evolve into other sports as a way to insure that our playing … Read more

In case you're feeling vindictive

I paid for my sins tonight. Like Buzz Lightyear, I'm always sure, even when I'm occasionally wrong. In my defense, I have learned to repent...very quickly.

Well, if you've been waiting for me to get my due, I got it tonight. The referees didn't show up for my 10-year old daughter's game, so I was asked to ref. (Hint: If anyone ever asks you to do this, run. Screaming. Far away.)

It was a terrible experience. I had parents from both teams yelling at me. The opposing (assistant) coach questioned me on every call. I just wanted to roll up into a fetal position and have someone bring me my blankie.… Read more

And you thought the software industry was bad...

I am a rabid football (soccer) fan, with Arsenal my passion. I think when we die we are handed soccer balls and we spend eternity passing, shooting, dribbling...

And tackling.

The software industry has its own form of tackle, and open source has offered new ways to do them (Oracle's Unbreakable Linux, potentially Microsoft's application for Open Source Initiative certification, Microsoft and Novell's patent deal, etc.). But no matter how rough we think we may play, football players/thugs are worse. From Materazzi to Joey Barton, some footballers belong in a boxing ring, not on the pitch.

So, on this sunny Friday morning, I give you the worst moments of football series.

My favorite? Perhaps this kung fu kick from one of my favorite players, ever: Eric Cantona. It looks like it comes from The Matrix:… Read more

Crave UK: Mobile services for the new football (soccer) season

This coming Saturday marks the start of the new Barclays Premier League season--and the weekly heartache of trying to keep up to date with the footie while attending weddings and going to visit the in-laws high up in the Pennines. But don't fear, just because you're not sat in a pub or in front of your brand-new HDTV doesn't mean you can't follow the football--all you need is your trusty mobile phone and a little know-how.

There are five main ways of receiving updates using your phone: text alerts, mobile football sites, video clips, using a … Read more

Bluetooth soccer ball brings the noise

Musician and inventor Aleksei R. Stevens has created a concept product called the SoundBall. The SoundBall is a soccer ball that is filled with motion sensors that detect when the ball is being rolled, dropped, kicked, or spun. The motion data is then transmitted over Bluetooth to a local computer that bleeps out corresponding electronic noises.

My guess is that he's got some kind of Arduino or Parallax board inside the ball and Cycling '74 Max/MSP music software running on his computer. Whatever he's using, it looks like a fun way to kill some time and annoy … Read more