Good Morning Kyle, I would like to thank you for all your good work, and ask you a question. I'm a Creighton grad 1 A.K. (After Korver). I live in Wisconsin, and for most Jays games, I have to resort to some kind of stat tracker or internet radio. However, #pixelvision intrigues/scares me. I am an attorney and try to follow the law for fear of losing my job (probably way overdramatic). I'm afraid using #pixelvision will get me in trouble. I'm no internet lawyer, but it just doesn't seem possible that this is OK. If it is too good to be true it usually is. I wanted someone with much more internet knowledge than me give me some comfort so I don't worry about government ninjas swinging through my window to arrest me. Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thank you! Big Fan Since Season 2,
INDIANAPOLIS -- Thanks for the kind words, D.J. We've been getting a lot of Form™ about #pixelvision these days, mostly from fans who think it's awesome. No cease and desist letters (yet?), but this is as good a time as any to talk about some of the legal aspects of it.
Most of the #pixelvision feeds are culled from video aggregators like atdhe.net, ChannelSurfing and LiveScoreHunter. They, in turn, scan online video services like UStream, BoxLive and Justin.tv for sports-related videos. While the services promote online sharing by way of making the HTML embed codes public, the aggregators present these as an easy-to-follow list for fans who want to watch the game. Both are in business. They serve banner ads, either in the streams or on the list pages, or use the services for loss-leaders for gambling operations.
So our first line of defense is that TMM is not profiting off #pixelvision. We don't run ads, and we don't have a paywall. The feeds are paired with stats from a pay site that we run separately, but that information is moved out of the walled garden for those purposes. We do link over there from time to time, but the wall doesn't come down until the seventh page view. And it's true, The Mid-Majority is a business itself, but purchases of memberships go towards our travel costs. This site is, and always will be, free to all, and #pixelvision is presented as a value-added service.
Obviously, we don't have the resources to mount any sort of legal fight, and I hate courtrooms, so it would be a no mas situation if we did ever get a nasty notice. We'd take any requested feeds down, or shut #pixelvision altogether. But not before referring them to the real source of their misery: the video services. We are two steps removed from the source, but recent caselaw has shown that quite a few lawyers understand virtual sue-guns more than they understand the way the Internet really works.
The only gray area, as I see and understand it, are the school and conference feeds. #pixelvision veterans may recognize these as the Jumbotron feeds and the grainy steadicams you sometimes get. Some of these are part of initiatives to monetize, to charge people ten bucks or so to watch the games.
I'm going to try to keep from getting too geeky here, but some of these paywalls protect the page in which the feed is embedded, and not the feed itself. This is like charging for parking at a lot without surrounding walls or barriers, where people can just drive in from the corners without paying. As a software engineer with 16 years experience, I have no sympathy for these organizations. To paraphrase another writer/programmer, Merlin Mann, if your business plan can be circumvented by switching out a few characters in a URL, you don't have a business plan. But if we're approached with a takedown notice, we'll comply, and will, once again, point in the direction of the real problem. In this case, it's the aggregators.
It's really no big to lock down a web address, and if any of these schools want to get serious about paywalls, my programming fee is what it's been for the last several years: $65 an hour. I'm cheaper than a lawyer.
Red Line Upsets
If you've been following along with the RLU scoreboard on the front page, which includes numbers for the last two seasons, you've noticed that mid-November tends to be the time when the percentage rises from single digits up into the teens. The most obvious reason for this is that this is the time of the season when teams convene in exotic places for Multi-Team Events. This is where the Other 25 rises up: on neutral courts, far from home, in front of small crowds.
North Florida 76, at Wyoming 60 [Thu.] -- It might be "just" Wyoming, the saddest sack in the Mountain West, but you may recall that D-I fledgling North Florida didn't win a road game in its first 44 tries at this level. So traveling two time zones away from Ospreyland and beating anybody by 16 is still special. We were in an Atlantic Sun building that evening, and upon telling folks the news, they weren't that surprised. Matthew Driscoll, the second-year head coach off the Baylor bench, is quickly changing perceptions all across the league.
at San Francisco 83, Colorado 81 (OT) [Sat.] -- It's a shame anybody has to be reminded that USF has two National Championships (1955, 1956), but the Dons have been just another group of backup singers for Gonzaga in the WCC for the last decade. Beating a Big 12 team, in their own building, has to be an extra shot of pride. And it was a great profile in courage: the winning foul shots were made by Michael Williams, a sophomore guard who hobbled off the floor with severe muscle cramps earlier in the game.
Texas Southern 66, at Oregon State 60 [Sun.] -- The Tigers shot 53 percent, put on a run in the "fourth quarter," and beat Oregon State at Oregon State. The Beavers are pretty bad, but this still ranks as one of the signature wins for a program that has very few to speak of. It's also a small miracle for the SWAC. Consider this: this was the league's second non-conference win against 32 losses this season. Consider this, too: in 2009-10, the SWAC only defeated one team out-of-league that ended up with a winning overall record. This was the league's first RLU in exactly four years. So it's kind of a big deal.
Mid-Majority Baller of the Week #1: Ken Horton, Central Connecticut
Despite all the RLU fun, I'm not sure anybody had a better first full week of the season than the "other" Blue Devils' sophomore 6-foot-6 forward. Horton took a medical redshirt last year, but in the early going he's been one of the most efficient scorers in the country.
Take, for instance, his Monday showing at Army, where he hit 11 of 15 shots for 34 points, made all eight of his free throws, and added nine boards, a block and a couple of steals. That adds up to an efficiency rating of 43, which is tied for the highest this year with the Adnan Hodzic performance we saw later in the week. On Saturday, against UMBC -- a game that was part of a home-and-home series One Beautiful Season readers might remember as "the Stat Crew" chapter -- Horton kept the Stat Crew extremely busy: a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
With those two road wins, and a Connecticut 6 victory against Hartford in the first weekend, Central Connecticut is 3-0. Horton is averaging 21.3 ppg (21st in the nation), and he's been a giant part of that success. Not a lot of NEC people have been talking CCSU as a big threat (most of the polls were all Quinnipiac, all the time), but it may be time to insert this team into your radar. Congratulations, Mr. Horton, you are our first MMBOW of the season.
Game! Of! The! Night!
Nevada vs. George Washington Washington, DC 8:00 EST
These next couple of days, we have the "consolation rounds" of the Preseason NIT. It's a bit of a harsher term than "subregional," which the Gazelle Group events use. Either way, it's two extra games, and the opportunity for some matchups that we would never have seen otherwise.
Like, for instance, GW and Nevada. The Wolf Pack, a highly effective program at placing players in the NBA, are off to a bit of a rough start this season. Nevada opened with a strong win over Big Sky champs Montana, and then stumbled against Pacific and Pepperdine in the P-NIT portion. Distracted by all the talk about the splintering WAC? Doubt it. It's just a team that's coming together after the losses of Luke Babbit and Armon Johnson. Dario Hunt, a 6-8 junior who played a bit role for two years, is now a featured part of the offense. He's scored in double figures all three games (averaging 15.2 ppg), and came within a few rebounds of double-doubles each time. The other early contributors are underclassmen: sophomore Malik Story and freshman Deonte Burton.
George Washington will get these two P-NIT games at home. The 1-1 Colonials are coming off a 20-point win over Marist, which followed the 76-67 spanking by Boston University that sent them into this part of the bracket to begin with. The big early revelation has been the play of Tony Taylor, a 6-1 dynamo who had 20 ppg in his first pair of performances (double last year's average), and has improved his free throw percentage by over 25 points year over year (62 to 89). He's from Sleepy Hollow, New York, so he may be used to people sleeping on him? That's such good sportswritin', it should have been the lede.