Category Archives: Sports

Remind101 – Text Messaging for Classroom or Sports Teams

From the Twilio Customer Stories page I learned about Remind101, a free service designed for teachers to keep students and parents up to date via text messaging or email. From their website you can learn more about the service, or about the team.

This is a very useful service. While it was primarily designed for classrooms, it could also be used for sports teams or anywhere else you need a 1:Many text messaging system.

Remind101 designed their system to be very focused for this type of communication. By keeping with a narrow focus, they’ve got a strong set of features like:

  • Privacy – no one participating (teacher, student, parent) has anyone else’s phone numbers; this would be very important for younger kids in particular
  • Only Group Messaging – there is no support for 1:1 messages; instead everything is sent to the entire group/class
  • One-way Messaging – students and parents cannot reply to any teacher message; I would like to see the ability to reply as well, in order to make it a better communication channel for the students back to the teacher
  • Mobile Apps – for the teacher side, they have apps for both Android and iOS
  • Email – as an alternative to text messaging, students/parents can receive messages via email

As a sport coach or manager, you could set up individual teams (“classes”), and connect with each of your teams separately as needed. For example, “16U Red”, “16U White”, and so on. This app could be used for a whole season, or just for a tournement weekend. (Just delete the group when the weekend is over.)

Here’s a screenshot of the web interface for sending a message:

Remind101 website screenshot
Using Remind101 to send text messages to a sports team

Yahoo! Sports Broken on Nexus 7

Yahoo! Sports was recently updated with an all-new design, following along with updates to other major sections of the site. There has been a lot of vocal feedback – common whenever a popular site has any design changes – but I’m warming up to it.

I only have one complaint: the site doesn’t work correctly on Nexus 7 tablets. Here’s a sample screenshot:

Yahoo! Sports Screenshot from Nexus 7

Yahoo! Sports layout is broken from Android Nexus 7 tablets (click for larger image)

I did some further testing on other Android tablets and phones and found it’s something unique about the Chrome browser on Nexus 7 that causes this problem. All other combinations worked correctly. Yahoo checks the browser user-agent to serve different styles, so there must be something broken for this particular device/browser combination.

Here’s a user-agent string that will cause the problem to appear:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.3; Nexus 7 Build/JWR66Y) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/29.0.1547.72 Safari/537.36

This is easy to reproduce on desktop Chrome browsers as well:

  1. Start Chrome and navigate to sports.yahoo.com
  2. Open Developer Tools
  3. Open settings and change User Agent override to “Chrome – Android Tablet”
  4. Refresh the Yahoo Sports page

I captured a full-length page from Internet Explorer 10 with the Nexus 7 user-agent string as an override: yahoo-sports-it-nexus7.png (5 MB).

NASCAR Race – Phoenix 2004

Eight years ago this week my wife and I spent the weekend in Phoenix Arizona for the NASCAR race. We had a great connection through my uncle and were able to get Sprint Cup garage passes. (We also had Nationwide garage passes through Yahoo, but our driver didn’t even qualify for the race…)

Here’s one of my favorite pictures from the weekend – Dale Earnhardt, Jr in the Budweiser Chevrolet #8 – the race winner.

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Dale Earnhardt Jr Budweiser #8 – Phoenix Arizona – November 2004

See my whole photo set on Flickr: NASCAR Phoenix 2004

London Summer Olympics Mobile Web Sites

With the 2012 Summer Olympics about to get underway, I wanted to get ready with the best mobile websites to follow along with all the action. So far these are the best I’ve found, brought to you by the BBC, ESPN, the official London 2012 site, and NBC. The content is just starting to roll in, so we’ll soon see which of these have the best coverage.

I’ve also added these to the Sports section of my Mobile Websites list – check out Cantoni.mobi if you haven’t already!

ESPN Olympics Mobile Site

ESPN 2012 Olympics – http://m.espn.go.com/extra/olympics/

London 2012 Official Olympics Mobile Site

London 2012 Olympics – http://m.london2012.com/

NBC Olympics Mobile Site

NBC Olympics – http://m.nbcolympics.com/

Masters Golf Mobile Website

If you want to keep up with the 2012 Masters golf tournament from your mobile phone, look no further than masters.com. They’ve done a nice job of mobile detection, giving a focused view of the leaderboard and other key content:

Masters Mobile Website

Masters Mobile Website on iPhone

By comparison if you visit the Masters site from a desktop browser, you get a “full” desktop experience, including a video that runs as soon as you visit the site.

On the mobile site I noticed the highlight videos worked correctly on my Android phone, but not on the iPhone for some reason.