Mon Dieu, the man has a look of absolute determination in those fierce eyes, and considering he's retiring from both club and Cup after this world championship...c'est finis...I can't say as I blame him. Though his penalty kick against Portugal yesterday was mildly amusing (sorry, Portugal), his sweet cross to Thierry Henry in the quarter finals against Brazil was pure soccer...err, football...poetry in motion.
Will there be more poetry against Italy in the final match on Sunday (where tickets can be found from a London ticket broker for a mere $7,400 U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal [registration and a rather large cheque required])? While I'd love to hop across the pond and revel in the streets of Berlin to see for myself, I think I'll stick with the ABC/ESPN HD coverage, despite the red card their announcers have been garnering.
Hey, I told you in a previous posting we in the U.S. don't get soccer...err, football.
Although I am glad to announce that a reported 10 million people here in the U.S. watched Italy's drubbing of the U.S. -- 10 million viewers is much, much better than a goalpost falling on an empty pitch.
Back on the Open Standards Range
Meanwhile, back on the open standards range, IBM's own Bob Sutor blogs a seemingly scored goal for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) movement. In an apparent second-half substitution, Microsoft has announced a plan to expand document interoperability with the creation of the Open XML Translator project, an effort intended to "build a technical bridge between the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats and the OpenDocument Format."
Coach Sutor, in a post-game interview, indicated that while this is a positive step in the right direction, he notes that "Open XML formats are unique in their compatibility and fidelity to billions of Office documents" and that there are "virtually no documents in existence that use the Open XML formats; any existing binary Office documents will have to be translated to it, warts and all."
Translation: Sure, you can use Open XML, and be sure to throw in some serious bonuses and a pizza party while your IT staff coverts all those gazillion Office documents into the Open XML format. Can you spell "office productivity"?
I'm Ready for My Close-up, Mr. Demille
And finally, speaking of warts, the rapid rise and fall of renowned video blog "Rocketboom" is currently all the rage in the blogosphere. Though I have no clue why all those bloggers aren't doing something much more interesting -- like watching the World Cup, for example -- it appears that Rocketboom's Amanda Congdon has launched her own rendition of a virtual cyber soap opera with her decision to jump rocket ship.
BusinessWeek has all the skinny in an article titled "Splitsville at Rocketboom." But the net seems to be that Amanda wants to leave behind her guerilla video roots to move to Los Angeles to become a serious actress, and this despite a loyal audience of 250,000 viewers per day and an estimated cash till of $40K per week in advertising revenue.
Good luck in those cattle call auditions, Amanda. And be sure to let Mr. DeMille know you're ready for that close-up.