Week in Review–April 20th, 2014

Week days signpost

The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRainmaker.com posts this past week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week.

Sunday: Week in Review–April 13th, 2014
Monday: Paris Super Sprint Triathlon 2014 Race Report
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: The Paris Color Run 2014 ‘Race’ Report
Wednesday: The Pinnacle of Fitness Failure: Samsung’s Gear Fit Activity Tracker
Friday: Behind the Scenes: How I choose which products to review

Cool global map of DCR readers!

In Friday’s post on ‘How I choose which products to review’, I included a not-so-awesome map generated from Google Analytics of where all the DCR readers were from.  The challenge was, it wasn’t terribly detailed since it was just auto-generated.  Well, reader Brian H. offered to take a bit of data and pull together a more visible version.  So the map below represents the approximately 1 million unique readers over the last 30 days (from yesterday):



Sweet stuff!  Thanks Brian!

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:

1) Photos from a North Korean Marathon: The title pretty much says it all.  Definitely worth a peek.  (via Ulas Apak)

2) Nike lays off entire hardware engineering group, no future devices: I can’t quite see how them slashing all but the smallest sliver of the digital workforce and then supposedly focusing on the software-platform only will work.  Especially since in the grand scheme of fitness software platforms, the Nike+ platform isn’t exactly one to aspire to.

3) All that said, earlier this week they did announce that Nike Fuel points are coming to other platforms including MyFitnessPal, Strava, and RunKeeper.  Ironically, Nike wants to ultimately compete with those platforms.  So it would seem odd in light of the later-week news that those platforms would actually want to help keep the Nike platform afloat.

4) Boston doctors can now ‘prescribe’ you a bike: Yup, pretty cool!  In doing so the patient would get a subscription to the city’s bike-share program. (via Bike Shop Girl)

5) The most GIF-animated pro bike race report you’ll ever see: I’m not 100% sure I love it, but it’s definitely unique and kinda fun. (via Race Radio)

6) Meet an Elite – Ryan Hall: A good but succinct look at the resume of marathoner Ryan Hall. (via Jordan Rapp)

7) AT&T looking to add cellular access directly into wearables this year: I’ve long said this is the ‘final resting place’ of connectivity for most sports technology devices (and smart watches/activity trackers).  It’s simply a matter of how soon, not if.  With companies like Bia already doing it in the sports space, the question is how long until the majors do as well. (via Bill Geiser)

8) There’s a delivery-by-bike-only taco delivery service: The FAQ is awesome, there is no place you can pick it up. Only delivery by bike. Brilliant.

9) How to make a sick mountain bike film: This is pretty funny (but sorta really useful).  Like a ‘DIY’ guide to creating the best sports/action cam films. (via Peta Pixel)

10) Why following an unknown ski track might not work out: Don’t worry, according to this he only came away with minor injuries. (Via Randy, my awesome editor around these parts)

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

Most of this content used to be found within the main section, but I figured I’d just call it out up here and make it easy to find. I regularly sift through Kickstarter and Indiegogo (plus a few others on occasion) looking for sports projects. Note that as always with crowd funded projects, assume the project will be late and will under-deliver on features. Thus far, on the numerous products I’ve helped ‘fund’ (except a leather bike handle), that’s been the case.  And finally, me simply mentioning them below is definitely not an endorsement, it’s just me mentioning they exist.

(I didn’t really see anything of note in the sports tech world this week)

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one liners is perfect, or Tweet it at me is even better) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?

Site/Firmware Updates:

Suunto Moveslink uploader updated: The software was updated in preparation for the Ambit 2/2S firmware update to include the Ambit2 R features (+ a few other 2R updates)

Garmin Fenix/Tactix beta firmware update: Another beta update in the march towards a production firmware release adding in all the beta features. (via GPS Information)

Magellan Switch Up firmware update: A few minor items, but nice to see a firmware update so long after the last one over a year ago.

Details on upcoming Adidas Windows Phone App Update: Information prior to the update.  A pre-update of sorts.

SportTracks supports iRunSmooth: Good overview of the functionality integration points.

iPhone Updates:

20140415_211431000_iOS 20140415_211439000_iOS20140415_211510000_iOS 20140418_005939000_iOS20140418_005953000_iOS 20140418_010202000_iOS

Android Updates:

Screenshot_2014-04-16-16-59-16 Screenshot_2014-04-16-16-59-28Screenshot_2014-04-16-16-59-35 Screenshot_2014-04-19-20-29-38Screenshot_2014-04-16-16-59-02

Windows Phone Updates:


Have a great weekend all!


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  1. Lin

    Does this mean, one shouldn’t buy the Nike+ hardware such as Fuel Belt or Sportwatch? I’m just curious since a few of my friends actually use and like the app on their iPhones and were considering the Sportwatch.

    At this point if it’s me, I wouldn’t buy any Nike hardware. Anyway, I am just curious as to your take on this since you follow the industry much more closely.

    • Apparently it may have something to do with the mythical iwatch. I say ‘may’as nothing is certain, but it Apple and Nike have quite close associations and some articles I have read believe iwatch would completely undermine Nikefuelband. Food for thought

    • In general, I haven’t recommended folks purchase the Sportwatch in some time. As for the Fuel Band, I’d likely shy away from it – but at the same time, I think in many cases it’s best to actually base your activity tracker platform based on what your friends are on. Social motivation is a big part of it, and if you’ve got 70% of your friends on the Nike platform, I’d probably still go that direction.

  2. James

    Ray, that would make the best if not the most surreal race report if you raced the North Korean marathon! It has got to be on your schedule for next year. Maybe you should crowd fund the entry??

  3. Matt

    Reading what Apple is planning, I have a feeling Apple products will make Nike hardware obsolete.
    (Health monitoring focus in iWatch and iOS 8)
    May be getting out of the business before investing more into it.

  4. JimL

    The gif race report is seizure-inducing. Agreed not a fan.

  5. Lara

    In North Korea, instead of chasing a “rabbit”, a pack of hungry dogs chases YOU!

  6. Scott Buchanan

    Hmmmmm……I’ve had a nagging feeling that somewhere lurking in the darkest shadows of the Nike announcement Apple is actually the company thats orchestrating things.

    Wasn’t Nike+ (?) built into various Apple products…. isn’t Apple about to launch a wearable? Apple has a long history of not liking competition other than were its forced to by Anti-trust laws or business expediancy.

    Time will tell.

    • Nike Devices

      Nike dropping fuel band is just about getting an underperforming product line off the books before the end of the fiscal year. The product was poorly designed and managed and had some success only because of the brand name. The margins in the industry are also much lower than in Nike’s more traditional industries. The entire devices foray seems pretty ill-advised.

      I’m not sure what Nike is thinking partnering with Strava and others, but I imagine Strava is hoping to grow their user base. Strava users are predominantly cyclists, triathletes, and some gadget focused runners. There is a much bigger potential user base out there of more casual runners and runners who have been using running specific software. Nike fuel points are poorly designed and meaningless. Strava is counting on Nike users realizing this and switching over.

  7. Mark

    It would also be interesting to see the DCR readership by country on a per capita basis, i.e. which countries have the highest rate of DCR readership.

  8. Gingerneil

    Simply a huuuge congratulations for building such a readership. Could this ever become a full time job for you?

  9. BillM

    Do those runners think about the great violations of human rights taking place in that country. There are prison camps in N Korea housing people whose greatest sin has been to speak out against the leadership. Millions have been starved while the leadership enjoyed luxury western goods, anyone wanting to familiarize themselves with NK would be well advised to read ‘Nothing to Envy’ for an insiders view of what goes on there. South Africa was isolated towards end of apartheid years with sports ( South African teams and events) being boycotted, every bit of political and economic pressure had a cumulative effect resulting in that dreadful regime becoming a thing of the past. Anyone promoting NK as a tourist destination of whatever sort is just making it easier for the dictatorship there to prolong their sick antics. Sorry for the rant.

  10. Gary

    What is the green circle next to Australia? Is that New Zealand? I’m an Aussie and I am sure the kiwis won’t be happy that you show them as part of the continent of Australia.

  11. Chris Pedersen

    One of your readers from Canada! Love the site. Saw a video of running in Paris that was pretty cool.
    link to youtube.com

  12. ken

    172 in the Atlantic ocean? Is that Atlantis? They must really like the waterproof features of the products you test.

    And 175 to the east of Madagascar. What gives?

    • Guillaume

      Thanks for that!

      I was hoping they also had a vote for Strava to remove their total time / moving time algorithm 😉 It’s just plain terrible.

  13. giobox

    The Nike move is actually very easy to understand – Apple. Nike have a long history of partnering with Apple, with integration with many iPod and iPhone models. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, sits on Nike’s board, and he’s known to wear a Nike+ fitness band.

    Considering it’s the worst kept secret in technology that Apple intend to enter the wrist worn market, with a key focus on fitness tracking, the existing partnership between Apple and Nike is perfect for this. When Nike say then intend to focus on the software, I think this is really a way of saying focusing on the Apple partnership, and getting the nike logo onto the display of whatever wrist thing Apple end up shipping, much like they did on iPods and iPhones previous. It makes no sense for Nike to try to compete with Apple if they can partner instead.

    • Fabian Gruber

      Would be also my reading of the decision. It’s still interesting to see the different strategies unfold. Intel buys Basis for 500 million and Nike closes their (semi-successful) Fuelband unit.

  14. Guillaume

    Suunto update also changed gpx outputs (at least on the 2S) – there are now a few more fields added to the file: altitude, energy, speed, verticalspeed and a second set of data for heart rate.

    People who were using file editors to truncate the data (aka removing the cumulative distance field) that some sites (Strava, for example) had issues with might want to check how the new fields are handled.

  15. Why Nike Is (Probably) Killing Off The FuelBand

    Why wait for Apple to kill a bad product when you can team up instead?

    link to fastcodesign.com

  16. David


    There is a group of folks who will NEVER wear a watch OR if they wear a watch will want a normal mechanical fashion piece. Those of us who DO WEAR a band from Nike, Fitbit or Garmin 24×7 are different and we are not only very likely to consider wearing a fitness “band” but we are likely to switch to a band which has fitness functions and integrates with our smartphone ecosystem of choice.

    Since Nike has no ecosystem outside fitness they could see the writing on the wall. Tim Cook of Apple sits on Nike’s board of directors and an Apple wearable is just around the corner. It likely will see a convergence of fitness, watch, smartphone, apps and more in a single device. Samsung will improve (ie. copy) their Gear Fit and other players like Microsoft and Google will move into the space rapidly. Fuelband (and Fitbit with their band products) likely have little time left before a new wave of superior products that blend existing devices into one take their place.

  17. Scott Buchanan

    @David “Samsung will improve (ie. copy)”
    Would love to know how you “copy” vapourware!
    Apple has done a fair bit of stealing itself over the years. As an example of the hypocracy Apple who are uber sensitive about there own intellectual property rights* blatantly stole the iconic 1944 Hans Hilfiker watch face design for use in iOS6. Apples response….. Silence. Only when legal proceedings were pending did Apple come to an out of court settlement reputedly in the 10’s millions of $ .

    * laughably under the circumstances Apple has rejected a number of Apps submitted to the App Store because the clock icon in the Apps was too similar to its own. You couldn’t make it up

    Apologies Ray I know this isn’t a debating forum but I find any evangelism towards a specific company/platform whether it be Garmin, Samsung, Apple etc on this site to be jarring especially when the reviews are so rooted in fact.

    I’m completely agnostic when it comes to tech and platforms my only requirement is it does what I need it to do. For the record I don’t use any Apple products apart from a Macbook Pro as I find that the ludicrous Apple imposed restrictions make their products unusable.

    • Mr Nofish

      You seem to be missing the point that to some the fact that Apple products have unbelievably ludicrous limitations is one of their main selling points.

      a guy who remembers the one-button-mice days (and the rationalizations)

    • Side note: Tonight, I noticed in the hotel gift shop that they were still selling CD-R and mouse pads. Yes, really.

  18. lex

    I was impressed to see how many Australian readers there is. Proud to be among them. 🙂

  19. Mr Nofish

    My god the race report looks like the guy who made it never heard about animated GIFs until 5 minutes ago.

    Utterly awful, but now I know why Castelli stuff is so expensive, so that they can splurge on shit like that.