As a peripheral victim of the cyber attack on Sony, Mark Cuban knows first-hand the negative effects brought on by information leaks.

But Cuban would argue he already saw the potential for such PR disasters well in advance. That's why the Dallas Mavericks owner steers clear of email when communicating with his players, coaches and other team staff.

"When you send a text or email (you) lose ownership of the message but not responsibility," Cuban explains to For the Win. "Any email or text you have ever sent -- even the most innocent or benign -- could be forwarded, posted on social media, or shown to someone out of context."

Cuban has been exposed in the Sony leak of blasting an offer to appear on upcoming episodes of "Shark Tank" due to what he considered a low-ball on compensation.

"no chance... this is beyond an insult," Cuban wrote.

But the billionaire has no problem with that email being exposed, saying that leaks come with the risk of online communication. Security liabilities were also the impetus for Cuban's recently released app, Cyber Dust, which offers a secure platform for communication.

With Cyber Dust, messages are deleted soon after they are read. They can't be stored or copied down. If someone tries to take a screen-capture of the content, the sender is notified.

Cuban says he had already switched to using Cyber Dust more frequently before the Sony hack occurred, which saved him from potentially more damaging press.

But the Mavericks owner also has a preference for direct, face-to-face communication. Says Cuban: "You can be blunt, honest and direct."

Clippit, an app that creates video clips up to 30 seconds long from live television, was designed to make it easier for sports fans to share favorite moments on social media.

With Clippit, fans can share a video just seconds after the event was broadcast on TV. There is an option to attach a caption and then share it on Twitter, Facebook or within the Clippit community.

Ronald Yaros, an associate professor in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at University of Maryland, said Clippit is an "invaluable" tool for sports fans because of its efficiency. It eliminates the middle step of needing a link to view the video.

The ability to clip videos seconds after a play happens and to spread news from user-to-user allows more serious sports fans to influence more casual fans.

"If you're a marginal sports fan, you’re probably not going to care what the NFL or the MLB does or sends you or prints anywhere," Clippit CEO Jim Long said. "But when a friend sends you something from the NFL or the MLB, now you're much more likely to look at it."

Yaros praised Clippit, available on Apple iOS and Android, for providing higher definition videos compared to user-generated videos usually found on social media sites.

In a world where people upload recordings of live TV taken with the camera on their smartphones, Long said video quality is low and attribution to media companies is almost nonexistent.

Clippit solved both of those problems, allowing users to share high-quality clips, while affiliating the video with the media company that provided the content.

Click the photo below to watch a Monday Night Football highlight on ESPN from Clippit:

Long said the founders of Clippit wanted to “come up with a service that provides a better tool for users to express themselves than what they have with just a shaky phone and a DVR."

Aside from negotiating with certain media companies, whose names he did not disclose, Long said any other copyright issues are covered under fair use. The reproduction of content in 30-second clips is legal for users to circulate among friends because of how short the video is compared to the length of the entire show.

While Long expects fans to share videos of touchdowns and other big plays, he believes odd events will be more widely clipped by users. Long said Clippit users widely shared and commented on the Oakland Raiders nearly blowing their first win of the 2014 season against the Kansas City Chiefs.

After starting the season 0-10, the Raiders closed in on their first win Nov. 20 with a fourth-quarter sack on Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith. Raiders linebacker Sio Moore celebrated his sack, which occurred third down, by sprinting downfield. Moore was 13 yards before the line of scrimmage when Smith tried to get the ball snapped on fourth down. It would have been an offsides penalty on the Raiders, but fortunately for them, Justin Tuck had called a timeout before the Chiefs could get a play off.

"That’s the kind of event that’s really cool to clip," Long said. "The touchdowns, the interceptions, they’ll be fun, but the odd stuff that happens, where you might not necessarily find that right away on the NFL site."

According to Yaros, most news organizations list 26 seconds as the average time that videos will engage viewers but emphasized that the video alone cannot engage users fully.

"If you can tell me what I’m about to view on the video, it will definitely perhaps engage me, maybe get me to click that video to watch it," Yaros said. “We do still have to entice the viewer to engage with the video."

Clippit practically markets itself because users share content with other users constantly spreading news and the use of the app as a social tool.

Reiterating Clippit's relationship with sports, Long gave an example how the spread of information via video from user-to-user can help market the app and the media content shared: "By fans talking to non-fans you have a much better probability of converting them into fans."

After building a user base, the next steps are expanding Clippit into newer markets and monetizing the app. Exactly how the expansion will affect sports fans, the sports market, and the spread of sports coverage is being kept under wraps.

"It's a little tricky to monetize short clips," Long said. "So that will be one of our secret sauces. How do we monetize this user ability, share that revenue with media companies, and do it all in a way that keeps consumers happy?"

Tags:
Apps, TV

A recent sporting event drew more viewers than both Game 7 of the 2014 World Series and Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, and you probably have no idea who won.

The Season 4 League of Legends World Championship, won by the South Korean team Samsung White, averaged an astounding 27 million viewers.

By comparison, the World Series between the Giants and Royals averaged 15.8 million viewers (Game 7 hit 23.5 million) and the 2014 Miami Heat-San Antonio Spurs series drew an average 15.5 million viewers.

Game 7 of the 2013 Heat-Spurs series drew 26.3 million viewers.

And get this -- viewership of the League of Legends championship was down five million viewers from 2013.

These viewership numbers are a testament to the enormous popularity of video games and the passion with which fans follow their teams. The gamers are enormous celebrities, and some make nearly $1 million a year.

Viewers watched a combined 179 hours of League of Legends competition, with 40 companies broadcasting the games in 19 languages. Although the competition took place in October, the calculations for the TV ratings weren't finalized until Monday.

After the 2013 championships were staged at Staples Center in Los Angeles, this year the tournament moved to Taiwan, Singapore and Korea. The finals took place at South Korea's 40,000-seat Sangam Stadium, which was built for the 2002 World Cup. Below are some images from the event:




League of Legends has made significantly headway in the United States, and earlier this year Chicago's Robert Morris University became the first college to offer scholarships for video gamers.

New technology promises to bring the game action closer than ever -- even for fans watching San Jose Sharks games from a couch.

Groundbreaking technology has been revealed to the public, and Sharks fans are the ones standing to benefit the most. The new tech toy is a device that can be fixed to a piece of furniture so that hard hits into the boards encasing a hockey rink can be mimicked through vibrations delivered from the device.

The Sharks' home rink, SAP Center, has had sensors installed into the walls surrounding the rink. Each time the sensors pick up a crash or check into the boards, the data is relayed to those devices in fan's homes, triggering a corresponding vibration that matches the intensity of the hit.

Dubbed "4D Sports," the new systems cost $300. Since no device of this kind has ever been released, no one is quite sure how the equipment will be received.

The hope is that such technologies elevate the quality of the virtual fan experience, giving more to fans who don't make it out to see the game in-person.

But fan reception will play a significant role in whether this and other technologies move forward and become staple components of the virtual fan experience. According to the San Jose Mercury News, some analysts are skeptical that the device will catch on, calling it a "gimmick."

And some fans questioned by the newspaper are skeptical that the experience would have any staying power.

"I think it's something that for the first game would be kind of cool. After that -- whatever," said Sharks fan Rick Lilly. "I can see a check [into the boards]. ... It's an exciting enough play that I don't know that I need my feet vibrating to get me into it."

People love their superstitious methods of predicting sports outcomes. Whether it's groundhogs, octopi or puppies, a good prediction can never be wrong, as long as it's fun.

With that, XBOX has released its third installment of the "Game Before the Game," a not-so-scientific method of prediction in which NFL games are previewed by video game matchups featuring two players from the respective teams. In this third installment, Golden Tate represents his Detroit Lions against Alshon Jeffery's Chicago Bears. Spoiler alert: This one goes down to the wire.

Related Story: Tim Howard On Playing Video Games With His Kids

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