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Submission + - Did a timer error change the outcome of a Division I College Basketball game?

javakah writes: Controversy has erupted from the February 10th basketball game between Boise State and Colorado State, and speculation is that a timer may have made an incorrect assumption about the number of frames per second the game was recorded in, and ultimately lead to an erroneous result.

With the game tied in overtime, Boise State had the ball out-of-bounds with 0.8 seconds left on the game clock. The ball was thrown in-bounds, the shot went in, and the game clock showed that the Boise State player got the shot off with 0.4 seconds left. However there was a problem: the game clock did not start until a fraction of a second after the in-bounds player touched the ball.

Referees decided to use video replay to examine whether the player had gotten the shot off within 0.8 seconds or not. To do this, they used a timer embedded in the video replay system. This embedded timer indicated that 1.3 seconds had passed between the time that the in-bounds player touched the ball and when he got the shot off.

With the result of the timer, referees ruled that Boise State's shot was invalid, and the game went on to double overtime where Boise State lost. Afterwards, the Mountain West Conference organization, in which both teams play, defended the outcome based upon the embedded timer showing that 1.3 seconds passed and released video of the replay footage.

That footage however, clearly displays the game clock. It shows that the game clock, which was counting down from 0.8, counted down to 0.7 seconds 0.7 seconds after the in-bounds player touched the ball. The game clock also shows that there were 0.4 seconds left when the shot was taken. The problem arises however, that the video also reveals that embedded timer counted 1.3 seconds between when the ball was touched and when the shot was taken, meaning that in the time in which .3 seconds passed on the game clock, the embedded timer had counted .6 seconds.

Speculation has now arisen that the video footage may have been taken at 60 fps, but that the embedded timer may have calculated the time with an assumption that the video was taken at 30 fps. This closely matches ESPN's own timing, showing that only 0.63 passed.

The Mountain West Conference is now investigating this discrepancy.

Comment Re:Not necessarily because of usage. (Score 4, Insightful) 385

Well, more than that, they seem to have stalled in terms of getting much better. 4.5 years ago I built an i7 system. I've been used to getting a new computer every 2-3 years that blows the old one out of the water. This time however, there just hasn't really been much to upgrade to. The CPU specs are still competitive. We're still at quad cores. We've gone from tri-channel memory on the i7's to dual channel. I've upgraded the graphics card though.

In the past, people would buy new computers because their old ones were made obsolete by new ones (so not necessarily because their old ones stopped working). This hasn't happened in a while, so why would people buy new computers that aren't an upgrade, if their old ones are still working?

Comment Re:Short list (Score 1) 363

You should also check out Archaeology (http://www.archaeology.org/issues). Only 6 issues a year, but it's a good magazine. It's a periodical put out by the Archaeological Institute of America that is aimed at the wider public. It reminds me of National Geographic, but without the modern stuff.

Comment I'm interested, but not for gaming (Score 1) 136

I like the iPad for casual stuff, reading, websurfing, light games, but there are times when it just feels limited. You're out somewhere with it and have some time, but can't really work on your programming projects. Depending on the battery life/power economy when not running hardcore games, it could be a good platform, not so much for games, but for straddling the line between a casual platform and a serious work platform. You can do reading/websurfing on it one moment, but switch into a regular IDE as needed and continue with your projects (and not look strange since tablets have become so socially acceptable). You could have it attached to a monitor/keyboard/mouse at home to act as a regular computer.

Comment Really necessary to proxy everything? (Score 4, Interesting) 206

2 years ago I decided that I wanted to view stuff through the BBC's iPlayer, forgetting that most of the good stuff from the BBC makes it here, and what doesn't make it here tends to be the dregs. Anyway, I found an open proxy in the UK and was barely able to get video across it. That was just the starting point. From there I looked at all of the HTTP communications (with Live HTTP Headers) and using FoxyProxy was able to just have certain pieces of data going through the proxy. I narrowed it down to just a few small HTTP communications that were being checked for location, and just proxied those. I got good streaming video after that because the actual video was being served up by Akamai. I wound up being served BBC video content from a server in Arizona.

Given that BBC America has most of the better stuff from the BBC, I haven't bothered messing with that kind of thing in several years.

This kind of thing may not work now, but it's worth checking to see just how much data really does have to be proxied/vpned if you are doing that kind of thing.

Comment Re:What a scam (Score 5, Interesting) 392

The house analogy is much closer to open source. If you find a flaw in the design, such as that thieves figured out how to pry open the windows, then you can't go back and sue the builders. You can however get new locks, add on new security to the house.

Adobe though is more like a landlord who is anal about you making any, even tiny repairs. You aren't allowed to make any changes to the house itself. You find out that thieves have figured out how to pry open the windows. You report this to your landlord, expecting them to make appropriate repairs. They refuse to make reasonable repairs, but tell you that they have a different property for rent, with better secured windows, if you are willing to pay higher rent.

The issue is that since they do not give you the source code to even allow you to make repairs, they should be obligated to make repairs themselves for a decent amount of time.

Comment Re:IP Insanity (Score 1) 284

They initially did try to make the caps really low:

Traffic from Netflix has surpassed traffic from piracy:

After initial public reaction to really low caps, the cable companies did raise the caps to what are currently reasonable rates. But they've also shown no sign of changing those caps. As the quality of the video improves in coming years, it's also going to take up more and more bandwidth. So the higher caps got the public off their back for now, and isn't hurting Netflix at the moment, but it's pretty obvious how this will play out in a few years time.

Comment Re:IP Insanity (Score 4, Insightful) 284

There are a couple of problems.

Cable companies used to simply be mechanisms to get content created by other companies to users, and they did so through the TV.

As time progressed, the cable companies also began providing Internet access over the cable lines.

The cable companies also changed from simply being mechanisms for transferring the content that others have created, to owning some of those content creating companies as well.

New companies sprung up (such as Netflix) which realized that they could serve content through the internet, and serve it to more devices than just TVs.

This tends to drag on the profitability of Cable TV if people start feeling they have a better costing, reasonable alternative, so customers started dropping cable. Meanwhile, content creating companies not owned by the Cable companies were given a new outlet for distribution, not having to rely essentially on their competitors (the Cable companies) for distribution, possibly at unfair terms.

So around the time that the Netflix user base was really exploding, the Cable companies started putting caps on their Internet service, along with creating their own clones of the services provided by other websites that were now serving up content.

The problem now is that the cable companies seem to be unfairly using the arm of their company that provides internet access in order to artificially help it's Cable TV and content creation arms. By keeping the caps artificially low, they keep people from being able to use the Internet to get their content, pushing people towards their Cable TV. Now, by allowing their own sites to not count towards the cap, they are telling people that they can go back to getting content from the Internet again, but only if it's provided by them.

This is compounded by cable companies being granted local monopolies, so many people don't have a choice than to use these Companies that are trying to limit what content they can receive.

Imagine Walmart buying out USPS/UPS/FedEx. People have to go through Walmart to get anything sent to them. Now imagine Walmart saying that you are now limited to receiving 3 packages per month. This would be terrible for Amazon, a competitor in getting a good number of things to customers. This is now the equivalent of Walmart saying, "You are limited to 3 packages per month, but any packages you receive from us won't count, so order from us!". This has a chilling effect then beyond simply winding up costing customers more. A student is studying WWII. They want to read Mein Kampf. Walmart doesn't like it, so doesn't sell it. They've killed Amazon. You can't get it.

TL;DR- So the issue is that because the Cable companies are controlling several parts of the entertainment business, this is monopolistic behavior that will cost customers more and limit customer options.

Comment Re:Why Should NASA Develop a Commercial Rocket (Score 1) 170

The issue is that NASA has become quite politicized. It's suffering because projects are not being decided based upon what are the best engineering options, but by the pork provided. So far, the commercial development has been making large strides, and doing so far more efficiently.


Comment Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (Score 3, Interesting) 584

I find that with Slashdot, the key to getting a high score really has everything to do with posting shortly after a submission is out. Wait until there are more than a handful of comments and your score will likely to be pretty low. This also happens on Reddit, but it doesn't seem like quite to the extent of Slashdot.

Reddit on the other hand tends to suffer more from being more of an echo chamber. On Slashdot, you can more often voice a dissenting opinion and still get modded up, opening up more discussion. On Reddit, you just get downvoted and then ignored. What is really needed is two separate controls: one for giving points for a good, well reasoned or stated (non-troll) post and another for whether you agree with the post or not.

Comment Forget Demented (Score 1) 536

"By using this website, you agree that if you are currently holding an elected position, work directly for someone holding an elected position, work as a lobbyist, or are a Supreme Court Justice of the United States, you will immediately resign your position. Furthermore, you agree to never hold an elected position or work as a lobbyist. You also agree to waive any class action lawsuits against this site, and agree that any disagreements over these terms of service will not be argued in a court of law, but will be subject to binding arbitration by an arbitrator selected by the owners of this website."

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