World Cup for geeks
World Cup fever is hitting every community around the world, and the one that sits behind a computer screen is no exception. Here’s our roundup of the geekiest things to come out of World Cup 2006 thus far.
Why watch football on your television when you can watch it on your telnet connection?
A group of Austrian geeks has developed an ASCII stream of live World Cup football. Flash up your telnet client and visit “ascii-wm.net 2006” (telnet ascii-wm.net 2006) to get live football pictures painted in seven-bit glory. According to its home page, the service has already received over one million telnet connections and has served over one terabyte of ASCII football.
Don’t expect to see much though, even if you do manage to connect. The resolution isn’t great, especially with the normal wide-angle pitch view. However, the framerate is pretty decent and there is live text commentary. Its creators boast that the text stream is “the best, most ridiculous, most redundant graphical implementation of ASCII!” We’d tend to agree.
But if that’s not your cup of tea, Wired.com has some ideas on how to get live streaming video of football matches over the Internet.
Meanwhile, Google and Mozilla have teamed up to release a Firefox extension that keeps you up to date with the latest World Cup news and scores. The Joga.com companion offers live scores and statistics from the status bar of your Firefox browser. This super extension is likely to make some Internet Explorer fans switch allegiance. (Microsoft is competing with its own Football Scoreboard software, however the “free” installation requires customers to validate their operating system.)
Geeks will be impressed with New Scientist’s coverage of the science of World Cup soccer. Predicting the World Cup winner, the science of ball trajectory perception and developing the “perfect” pair of football boots are all covered in the magazine’s roundup.
Finally, the Malaysian Electronic Football Challenge, dubbed the “World Cup for Geeks” by some bloggers, concluded earlier this month. It was a one-on-one tournament for EA FIFA Soccer gurus, but that didn’t prevent organisers setting up on a mini football pitch and lining up their PCs in 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 formations. It’s unclear whether players could be substituted due to RSI injuries.