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2020 Tokyo Olympics coverage

Japan, Australia to meet for first event of Tokyo Games

2020 Games begin as Japan, Australia take the field

Olympics-Japan win softball opener as Games ‘of hope’ begin

Olympics-Softball-Japan, rivals dominate their openers as Games action begins

Softball-Italy draws fuel from late coach, seeks first medal – Reuters News

U.S. beats Canada as Abbott strikes out nine

Softball-Skippy the kangaroo will miss Fukushima

Olympic softballers hunt roaming bear, no luck finding it so far

Softball-Japan, U.S. off to 2-0 start as action wraps in Fukushima

Mexico to replace two pitchers after positive COVID-19 tests -coach

Olympics-Softball-Mexico to take on U.S. in clash of familiar foes – and fiancees

Canada seize on Australian gaffes in 7-1 win

Softball-Battle for gold looks down to Japan, U.S., Canada

U.S. overcome Aussie youngster in extra frame to win 2-1

One curve ends gold chase for Canada pitcher out of retirement

Softball-Japan toast Canada in extra frame to set up final with U.S.

U.S. stage late comeback over Japan in tune-up before gold match

No fans? Bronze-chasing Canada pitcher has family on hand

Surfing medals to be decided early, softball in focus as storm churns off Japan

Softball-Mexico down Australia, head to bronze game with Canada

Gen Z debut in Tokyo but will they be back for Los Angeles?

Storm remains threat, bringing rain as it lurks off coast

Softball-Japan shuts down USA to win gold; Canada take bronze  

Japan pip Dominican team 4-3 at the last to open Games’ baseball play

Late rally lifts Japan over Dominican team to open Games’ baseball play

South Koreans strike in extra inning for comeback win over Israel

Soaring heart rates laid bare on TV as archers okay new tech

One-time MLB vets lift Dominican Republic over Mexico 1-0

U.S. thrash Israel 8-1, Dominican Republic down Mexico

‘Best ball in the world’ gets mud bath, gloved treatment

Baseball-Japan slug Mexico 7-4 to advance to quarter-finals

U.S. beat S.Korea to make quarter-finals with Japan

Cute bullpen cart gets mixed player reviews

U.S. pitcher woke to 2 a.m. call of trade to Twins

Israel pounds Mexico out of Tokyo 2020 in 12-5 battering

Umpires feel the heat in longest, hottest game

Foul-ball watchdogs sound their sirens, though few around to hear

Mexico ousted, Dominican Republic get second chance

South Korea smashes Israel 11-1 to advance to final four

Japan, South Korea clinch spots in final four

Boston Red Sox minor leaguers making a difference at Games

Double lives: athletes split time between work and sport

Dominican Republic snap Israel dream in strange 7-6 victory

Dominican Republic rallies past Israel to advance to medal game

Israel’s dejected U.S.-born stars hope to inspire native heroes to fill their cleats

U.S. win relegates Dominican Republic to bronze-medal game

Japan book spot in gold-medal game, Dominican Republic to play for bronze

U.S. set as Japan’s date for gold-medal game with 7-2 win over S. Korea

Olympics-Beach volleyball-America’s Ross and Klineman beat Australia for gold

Golden U.S. duo await music passes to wrap their ‘fairy tale’

Japan a win from gold feel onus to avoid sorrow, boost interest

U.S. coach who won gold in 2000 wants to tell old mates ‘I’ve got two’

U.S. coach finally spells slugger Casas’s name right

Dominican Republic win bronze medal in 10-6 win over South Korea

Japan rejoice over ‘wonderful’ gold medal, pressure off their backs

Baseball-Young pitchers lead Japan to first gold as vets take backseat

Olympics-Will Dodger Stadium host baseball, softball at Los Angeles 2028?


Jumping into covering softball and baseball at the Olympics from the tech beat back in San Francisco was a smooth transition because I am a big fan of bat-ball sports and had the extra year to prepare when the Games were postponed. There are three overarching highlights from Japan:

One was on the field. Experiencing up-close the dominance of these softball players was awe-inspiring. And as one of the only journalists who is watching in person all 33 softball and baseball games at these Olympics, I tried to capture that for readers by describing their repetitive mid-inning routinestheir unchecked emotions on the mound and how they keep themselves psyched up by writing messages on their mitts. In the case of baseball, these aren’t the best players in the world – and they admit that – but that does not mean they are trying any less to impress. Just look at how dejected Israel was with its elimination from the Olympics.

Off the field, I cannot say enough about the gracious hosts who taxied us, interpreted for us, rushed water and ponchos to our outdoor desks, wrapped TVs and ethernet cables every night to protect them from humidity and done tons more to try to make the experience comfortable. These softball, and especially baseball games, were in uncomfortable heat and support staff and volunteers fought through it more than anyone else here to put on a good show for the media and officials in attendance and also for those watching on TV. In addition, as evidenced by my presence, Reuters brings together a global team of journalists from various beats to help cover the Olympics. The pandemic means we couldn’t all meet, but I was privileged to work on the bat-ball action alongside Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jorge Silva.

On the tech side, it was wild using face match everyday to enter venues after writing about facial recognition a bunch but rarely experiencing it in daily life. The WiFi on buses was a lifesaver and I am still stunned by how well it worked. The press conferences were streamed for journalists on Microsoft Teams, which was great because I could remotely ask questions to some players while waiting to interview others in a different area. The experience largely was error-free. I tried to keep my eye on tech stories while there, which is why I wrote about potential bias in archery’s new heart rate trackinga noisemaking gadget that keeps us safe from foul balls and the low-tech measures that make the ball here the “best in the world.” I’m also returned home with some story ideas based on the incredible usage of Google Translate, Google Lens and Yahoo Weather that I saw among visitors and locals alike. I should mention that the robot that entertains during halftime at basketball games, which somehow can swoosh a mid-court shot with ease, was just as creepy in person as everyone on social media thinks it is.

One regret: Some of the bat-ball games were in Fukushima, which is rebuilding from the devasting tsunami a decade ago. Coaches and players talked up the peaches of Fukushima ad nauseum. The prefecture government even showed media a video about their peaches and other agriculture, including what was described as the nation’s finest rice. But unless I missed a big bowl somewhere, no peaches were offered to media. The peach-pie lover in me is excited to return in the years ahead for some fresh pickings!

Photobooth rental? Check the privacy policy fine print

I was a bit taken back a few months ago when I realized a photo booth service at a wedding I had attended had publicly posted all the images from that night to a professional photo-sharing website.

I had been accustomed to thinking that when you hop into one of those photo booths and walk away with a print out or two from the session, those images die forever. Maybe I was naive, but turns out that’s not always the case.

Sure you’re at an event – a somewhat public setting. But most photo “booths” are private by their very nature, with the curtains and all that. So people going inside them expect some modicum of privacy, or at least that only them and the operator will know what silly, funny, goofy poses went down inside.

I recently polled the top 10 local photo booth purveyors to get a better sense of their image retention and image sharing policies. Five provided informative answers. The big issue that clients are in charge of setting the privacy rules. But they might not even know what rules or limits to consider, and there is not usually a mechanism deployed to communicate the chosen policies to the guests at an event.

  • The photo booth operators said it is up to clients to decide how images are protected. Some will maintain the images for clients in online storage for up to six months; others will maintain them online in perpetuity. They offer the option to have those links password-gated. Some give the option of making the links “unlisted.”
  • However, none provide disclosure to the guests at the event about what the clients have chosen….and that’s where I think there could be much improvement. I get that guests are likely to be drunk and may not fully comprehend the situation. But a little insight would go a long into knowing what you are getting yourself into. One purveyor said that some corporate clients in Silicon Valley will have their own warning notice/disclosure posted at events.
  • Before posting online, the photo booth operators generally scan through looking for nudity or extraordinarily embarrassing shots. One gives the option for phototakers to ask for images deleted on the spot at the event.
  • One operator said they do upload photos to their social media accounts in some situations when they have approval to do so. Again how guests know that approval has been given by clients is unclear.
  • On the plus side, all the purveyors said they do not sell images to external parties. Whether those guarantees are made in the contracts, worth double checking. Not all the operators actually have a “privacy policy.”

If Enterprise looked at its data…

I was just clearing out marketing emails from my inbox when I stopped on a message from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I realized now that I’m 25, I don’t need to only use Enterprise for my rental car needs. You see, Enterprise has a special page — aimed for university students and alumni — to rent a car without being at least 25 years old. Sure, you can do that other rental car firms too. But Enterprise, through this special link, doesn’t charge an extra underage driver fee in most cases. So countless times, it was my most affordable and reliable option.

I have a loyalty account with Enterprise, but I’m guessing that’s unlikely to keep me coming back now that I’m 25. There’s likely to be other options that are cheaper.

But there’s a chance Enterprise could have gripped me with a promotion or two in recent weeks. When I turned 25, some big data robot analyzing my purchases might have realized a pattern to my behavior and warned an agent that I was risk of not returning. An offer could have come my way for a free weekend getaway maybe? Not sure, but anything to get me on their good side. Or at least, a smarter reminder about why the loyalty program could pay off for me.

An Open Letter To ‘The Mentalist’

Dear Chris Long and David Nutter,

I was disappointed to see Special Agent Kimball Cho flush pain medication pills down the toilet on a recent episode of The Mentalist (Season 4, Episode 18).

Government agencies nationwide have been stepping up efforts to educate people that extra or unwanted pills should be disposed of properly. This keeps them out of the hands of drug abusers and protects the environment. The accumulation of pills in our wastewater system inject unnecessary chemicals into our water systems.

Government agencies, law enforcement, retailers and other partners have made it really easy for people to throw away pills at all kinds of locations. The fictional CBI office could have easily included a prescription medicine disposal bin. For a law enforcement officer to do something incorrectly is one thing, but for an agent as upstanding and by the book as Cho to not follow proper procedures is even more egregious. If this was an attempt to show the continuing degradation of his character which began with his relationship with his confidential informant, then I would say that subtlety is lost on most viewers.

I hope in future episodes you take into account what’s happening in this world and that you recognize the importance of characters such as Cho as role models.

Thanks for the terrific show.


Open Letters To City Of Alameda and BART

Dear Mayor Gilmore,

Last month, I freaked out when I realized I was biking straight into oncoming traffic near the Posey Tunnel one Saturday afternoon. Luckily, I was able to navigate to safety.

While the sharrows and “Bike Route” signage is great in the heart of Alameda, the directional cues for bikers seems to disappear on the edge of the city.

When money becomes available for the next round of bike program improvements, I hope the council puts a serious emphasis on signage to help direct riders in and around the Posey and Webster Street tunnels.

Google Maps tells me its safe to bike through the Posey Tunnel, but I’m still skeptical. Are the skinny raised pathways on the sides of the tunnel meant for bikers? I have no idea because there’s no information at that location that I could see. If they are, I hope an emphasis also is placed on smoothing out those pathways, widening them and/or bending parts of the fence.

Again, I ask that you pay more attention to bikers operating on the edges of the city.

Thanks for your service to the city.

Got a nice reply from city officials in response to that.


Dear BART,

In my month in San Francisco, it’s become a common sight to see tourists fumbling around with cash, tickets, cards and luggage at the ticket vending machines at Powell Street Station. The downtown station is obviously near many major hotels. These tourists just want to get to the airport. But the seem unable to easily comprehend the machines or fare schedule posted on them.

I would suggest creating a poster dedicated to explaining how to buy a ticket for the airport. Or even better, how about installing a new machine dedicated to only issuing SFO or Oakland Coliseum tickets. Such a booth could enhance the experience of tourists and speed up queues for existing machines.

You could even recoup costs through a small surcharge for using that machine. I’m sure airport-bound folks can spare a nickel or two.