Our parents had Dear Abby; we have the hive mind of the Internet. When it comes to resolving arguments and disagreements, technology can play a role. Factual disagreements are easy to resolve – a quick Google search or a visit to WIkipedia can resolve most such disputes. But what about a disagreement that boils down to a matter of opinion? Side With Me is a web site that helps declare winners and losers in arguments that aren’t based solely on fact.
Today is the deadline for most NCAA March Madness brackets — the first game of the second round. If you’ve been invited to participate in a pool or some other sort of friendly competition, you need to get your college basketball stats together in a hurry. It’s a bit of a bear of a project though, isn’t it? Especially if you’re busy, don’t follow basketball like it’s your religion, or statistics make your eyes roll into the back of your head.
Not to worry , though… PickMyBracket.com has come to your rescue! It’s bracket generator algorithm will create a full bracket for you in seconds — and you might even win a “Brand New iPad,” to boot.
PickMyBracket.com was developed by Information Systems students Jerry Potter and Nick Walter at Brigham Young University. The site pulls statistical data on NCAA teams from ESPN and runs comparisons to pick a winner. To make sure everyone has their own bracket flavour, and to keep things interesting, there are random factors you can choose from, as well, such as hotness of coeds, partying reputation of colleges, SAT scores, mascot type, etc.
The idea actually originated with Walter’s father.
“For around the past 10 years he made an excel file that filled out your March Madness bracket for you based off of team’s ranks and some randomness. He called it ‘The Pickalator,’” said Walter. “I thought this would be a great chance to bring The Pickalator to the whole world!”
If you want to participate in this year’s March Madness bracket competitions, but figure you’re out of time or don’t have the know-how, think again! PickMyBracket.com can have you up and running with a good bracket in just a couple of minutes. Get on it now, so you don’t miss out. Who knows… you might win.
Sadly, we live during a time when the U.S. Congress has earned a much-deserved reputation for whoring itself out to the highest bidder. The latest committee hearings on SOPA heightened the average tech geek’s frustration with Congress, where a Congressional committee lined up several supporters of SOPA (the entertainment industry and the Chamber of Commerce, to name two of five), while only allowing the testimony of a Google representative on the other side. Does money play a role in this? While it is impossible to get inside the head of a congressperson, the money trail can be pretty damning in some instances. How do you easily check the money trail? MapLight can help.
Just about everybody I know has gotten a laugh out of Damn You Auto Correct, the website that collects embarrassing iPhone messages, thanks to goofy and unintended automatic corrections by the iOS engine. If that is your cup of tea, then you might enjoy Literally Unbelievable, a site that collects Facebook updates from users who think articles from the Onion are true.
Every now and then, a web site comes along that defies categorization, but is amazingly cool nonetheless. One such site made the rounds lately, spreading virally. The site is by Intel, and takes the content of your Facebook account, and puts it together in one mind-blowing online “museum.” I was late to the game, only recently visiting the site. If you haven’t paid the site a visit yet, check it out.