Electronics giant Sharp is currently testing out a software package called Himpact Sports, which automatically records only the highlights of televised sports events. For football, for example, it exploits the fact that important parts of the match are repeated in slow motion to work out which bits are worth seeing and which bits are just David Beckham. The New Scientist reports that in tests, the software has cut an hour of American football down to around 14 minutes, and an hour's baseball to 10 minutes. But Sneak feels that with a bit more work the Japanese boffins ought to be able to cut both these US sports down to zero. Apparently the next sport on Sharp's list is the bare-bottomed spectacle of sumo wrestling, but Sneak feels that a more impressive feat would be to boil down Formula One motor racing. On one level it should be easy to select the worthwhile moments: any frame that doesn't feature Michael Schumacher pointing in the right direction is bound to be a highlight. On another, it's a monumental challenge. How do you compile an interesting and engaging summary of two hours' racing, when nine out of ten times you know exactly who will win before the race has even started?
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