TechGraphs News Roundup: 10/16/2015

The baseball playoffs have been narrowed to four teams, the number of undefeated college football teams continues to shrink every week and of course, this past week’s news cycle was filled with no shortage of information and rulings in the Daily Fantasy Sports market. Here are the stories we found interesting this week.

IBM’s supercomputer, Watson (of Jeopardy fame), could help optimize DFS lineups in the near future. TechInsider learned of an upcoming IBM partnership with baseball stat company Ariball where Watson will choose which players to own and which to avoid. Similarly, a generator is also in the works for fantasy football thanks to IBM teaming up with Edge Up Sports. Of course, with the FBI investigating the goings-on of both FanDuel and DraftKings, the Watson-chosen lineups may become irrelevant. The state of Nevada — where gambling is somewhat popular, so I’ve been told — just banned DFS as it was ruled “unlicensed gambling.

Soccer star Thierry Henry will be speaking at TechCrunch’s Disrupt London Conference. The all-time goal scoring leader at Arsenal as well as for the French National team, Henry’s long career has allowed him to see the development and growth of sports as technology allows. The event will be held December 7 and 8 and Henry, among other guests, will be speaking at the Copper Box Arena.

Many advanced technology has unlocked in the athletic world has come to benefit the players in the form of improved safety measures. One player, former Seattle Seahawk Michael Robinson, is helping develop a smart mouthpiece. Robinson is teaming up with SMRT Mouth to develop a biometric device to monitor a player’s hydration, respiration and perspiration levels. The former fullback still recalls losing one of his best friends to heat stroke back in high school, and is now setting out to prevent another tragic loss of life. From concussions to exhaustion and heat stroke, seeing former players step up to help current and future generations is grand.

As YouTube continues to wade into the live-streaming market of esports, they appear to be taking a cue or two from current industry leader YouTube recently launched their “$3.99 Sponsorship” option for streamers, identical in all but name and price to Twitch’s “$4.99 Subscription” option, where the respective amount is sent from the sponsor or subscriber to the streamer.

More esports investors are flocking to the digital realm as ESL, probably the largest Western esports organization, announced a multi-faceted partnership with data service provider Sportradar. ESL will give exclusive data to Sportradar, who will in turn provide analytics as well as fraud detection. With so much money — both hard currency and in-game items — on the line, match fixing is an issue in esports the same as it is in traditional sports.

While tracking digital property from esports is certainly a concern, so is the digital property of various sports leagues. Recently Deadspin’s Twitter account, along with Sports Blog Nation’s, was temporarily shut down due to a DMCA notice from the NFL. Deadspin and SBN were suspended from Twitter for a handful of hours. Those sites, like many other sites and people, use GIFS (or more accurately GIFV or HTML5 videos) to help convey points, show impressive plays or just have, you know, fun.

Hopefully this week’s TechGraphs News Roundup went well as I stepped in for it. I’d like to think it went better than Josh Lyman’s press briefing from The West Wing.

As always, be excellent to each other.



You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.

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