An engrossing and well-written piece by Brian Phillips for Grantland, on the dominance of the Williams sisters, and specifically the current opponent destruction being wrought by Serena:
Serena took over tennis and then … just kept on taking it over. She never stopped being a conqueror. I followed her around at Wimbledon this year, and let me tell you. Have you seen her play in person? The difference between Serena live and Serena on TV is greater than the difference between Roger Federer live and Roger Federer on TV; I’m not kidding. She is just — and I mean, you can spot this with one eye closed from the top row of a stadium — playing a different sport from her opponents.
Watching Wimbledon and the Olympics this year, I was awestruck by just how insanely talented this woman is. It’s electric to watch her play.
And I firmly believe this is because she loves what she does.
There’s a news post and some great images on Andriasang regarding the recently-announced 25th Anniversary box set for the Final Fantasy series that’s hitting Japan before the end of the year.
I don’t care enough about this to wonder if it’s getting a US release, most especially because I own all of the games in the series in one form or another—and because some of the decisions are a bit odd—but there is no denying that the disc art focusing on the Amano artwork is fantastic.
As I said, there are some moderately bizarre choices in the lineup. It’s clearly meant to be Sony platform-focused, but for example choosing the PS1 editions of 1, 2, and 4 when there are arguably superior PSP versions is odd—as is doing a UMD for 3. It seems to be limited to mainline releases, so no X-2, XIII-2, on IV complete.
The cool thing here is the revelation that there is going to be a PSP release of Final Fantasy III, which I have for my DS but have never finished it. It’s probably not receiving a US release, but it sounds like there’s an English-language option for it so importing is an option. It’s basically the DS version, but sharper-looking and devoid of touch controls, as it should be:
I love the option to select the original soundtrack demonstrated near the end of the video.
Alessandro Fillari for Destructoid, previewing Mass Effect 3′s Leviathan DLC:
Just a month after releasing the Extended Cut to their controversial ending, BioWare returns to the Mass Effect 3 universe with their first original add-on to the single-player campaign, called Leviathan. Taking place during Shepard’s war on the Reapers, players will trek across the galaxy in search of a mysterious creature known as the Leviathan that supposedly can combat the Reapers.
Taking influences from the Mass Effect 2’s Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, BioWare hopes to match the scope and presentation with this new add-on — which will also have an influence on the ending.
This should go well.
And now we come to the actual problem with the Olympic badminton situation. There are “pools” of round robin play where the top 2 finishers from a pool advance to a single elimination bracket. Further, the system of seeding in the single elimination bracket is known ahead of time. This creates the situation where you could playing pool matches but *guaranteed* to make top 2 by your record. If you win, you will qualify and play team X. If you lose, you will also qualify, but you will play team Y. If you think you have an easier chance of beating team Y, you absolutely should lose on purpose. If you don’t, you aren’t playing to win, and you are kind of a bad competitor. You also happen to be playing in a tournament with absurdly bad rules.
This is the real hang-up with the badminton mess: the teams that were disqualified were doing their best to win the entire competition based on the structure of the tournament. This is the first year badminton has used a round robin opening round in the Olympics. Hopefully it will be the last.
John Koetsier for VentureBeat:
As we reported before, Zynga executives and investors, including CEO Marc Pincus, sold over $500 million in stock just three months before. Pincus sold $200 million of Zynga stock, chief operating officer John Schappert sold $3.9 million, and chief financial officer David Wehner sold stock worth $4.6 million.
Every time Zynga’s execs open their mouths, they come off as jackasses. Part of the suit alleges that they basically burned their own employees on the IPO.