Talk:Times Square Ball

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This looks like an appropriate free-use image that could be uploaded to commons and used here. (cc-by-2.0) —Disavian (talk/contribs) 05:13, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

The descending of the Ball was suspended.[edit]

Was the ball suspended in the air, or was the practice suspended? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

More details about the 2007/2008 ball[edit]

I'm going to add this information here and hope somebody else migrates it to the main page, because while I have data, I'm not sure how or where to add it. IOW I don't think I'd be a good editor.

Focus Lighting was only one company involved in the 2007/2008 Times Square Ball. LED Effects, Inc., now called Lighting Science Group, in Rancho Cordova, Ca. designed, manufactured, and programmed the circuit boards for the ball. There are 168 triangles. Each has 48 Philips Luxeon K2 LEDs (three each red, green, blue, and white, times four pixels), plus three "wing" boards that make up the white lines between the triangles. Each of those has three white Philips Rebel LEDs. That's 8064 K2s and 1512 Rebels for a total of 9576 LEDs.

There are two triangle shapes, one equilateral, one isosceles. I don't remember how many of each there are, but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Electrically they are identical.

Each triangle is driven by a single Cypress CY8C29466 processor, which accepts DMX512 data, interprets it and uses it to drive the LEDs. I know a lot about that part because I wrote the firmware. :) The ball was controlled from a single computer console (in our tests we used a Windows laptop).

Each color of each pixel can display 256 different levels. With red, green, and blue colors that gives you a palette of 2^24 or 16,777,216 colors. The white LEDs add more color combinations, though some would be duplicates, so it's difficult to calculate the actual number (and the exponential curve complicates things even more) so most people are satisfied to quote "more than 16 million" and leave it at that. :)

I might be able to get copyright-free photos and I KNOW I can get a photo of an early prototype triangle, because I have it here and I have a camera. :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jnork (talkcontribs) 03:52, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

More Details on the 2008/09 Ball:--well, we did not see any at all! Whst happened? We were so srely disappointed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:10, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

TV audience[edit]

The claimed TV audience figure of one billion people is implausibly high. We are asked to believe that an event that is watched by only one person in three in its own country is watched by one person in six around the whole planet? Midnight in New York is between 5am and 7am in Europe, so the audience there and in Africa is surely small. I can't imagine the Chinese or the Indians being especially interested. So where are all these people?

The event receives zero public exposure in the UK, for example. The BBC News website seems to mention it once every few years.

Can anyone find a credible source (i.e., not the self-aggrandizement of the organizers) for the viewing figures of this event? Dricherby (talk) 19:01, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I've just added a call for a citation for that figure as I agree that it's implausible. It's not until the arrival of the film "New Year's Eve" in the UK that I'd ever heard of this event. Paulatthehug (talk) 13:43, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I just got rid of the billion claims entirely, and decided to go more by TV ratings/public attendance (1 million is more feasible) ViperSnake151  Talk  04:46, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

It looks likes someone put this implausible 1 billion number is back, citing for a reference !? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Drop control system.[edit]

Until 1996 the ball drop was controlled by a crew of men hanging onto a rope. That's the year it was upgraded to an LED lighting system and a computer controlled power winch so that it'd hit the bottom right at midnight. Master rigger Tony Calvano has said in interviews that it rarely hit the bottom on time, they'd just turn on the lights at midnight. Bizzybody (talk) 01:56, 1 January 2013 (UTC)


Can we use YouTube as a citation for this article? They are the only proof of the countdown clock. Fairly OddParents Freak (Fairlyoddparents1234) Megaphone-Vector.svg C 21:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

YouTube is shaky as a source. Plus, see WP:FANCRUFT (although I must note that I still think that odometer thing they did for 2010 was the coolest thing ever) ViperSnake151  Talk  01:42, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Times Square Ball/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Quadell (talk · contribs) 18:46, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Nominator: ViperSnake151

  • This is a very strong GA candidate. I have started by making copyedits throughout the article, and some of these are rather bold edits, and a little opinionated too. (I think the ball is more a "part" of the NYE celebration than an "aspect"; I think there are places where parentheses or em-dashes would be better as commas; etc.) If you disagree with any of these changes feel free to revert and discuss. Most of these are not required for GA status, but are simply was I think the flow of the prose can be improved.
  • The phrase "core area" is used as a quote, and so should be sourced. The CNN source (ref 2) does not seem to support it.
  • I think that the heading "The 2nd generation" is problematic. First, it should probably be written out "second", if used. Secondly, I don't see that term used in any of the sources, so it might be close to OR. Finally, the section describes two different balls. I think it should be replaced, but I'm not sure with what. "New incarnations"? "More modern balls"? Or you could rename the previous section "Beginnings, 1903-19" and name this "1920-98" (or "New incarnations, 1920-98"), and name subsequent history sections similarly.
  • Since 2008 is not really the "present day", this should be renamed as well. "2008-present"? Personally I would recommend merging the "Present day" section into the "Into the new millennium" section, but that's up to you.
  • The information in the "Event" section, from "Since the 2005–06 edition..." down to the end of the section, really belongs in one of the later history sections instead.
  • Consider moving "Special guests" and "Broadcasting" into being subsections of "Event", and consider perhaps moving the "Weather at midnight" into being the last section of "History". (None of this is required for GA status, but I think it should be considered, to decide on the best organization for the article.)
  • I believe the sentence beginning "After Lombardo's death..." should be split up. I would do it myself, but I'm not sure which sources are used for different parts of the sentence.

All of the images are fine, and the reference section is good. I'm placing this nomination on hold. Some of the above are merely suggestion, but others are problems that need to be resolved. In both cases, I look forward to your replies. If all problems are resolved within 7 days, the nomination will pass; otherwise it will fail. Quadell (talk) 16:48, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

I did most of the adjustments you asked for. ViperSnake151  Talk  19:28, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I still think "Present day" is misleading, since the section doesn't just refer to the present day, but I'm not sure that's a GA requirement, so I won't hold the nomination up for it. But the phrase "core area" either needs to not be a quote, or it needs an explicit citation that calls the area that. (Currently there are two citations at the end of that sentence.) Quadell (talk) 22:20, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Both citations cover the same sentence. The other CNN ref (this one) is where its used. But thenagain, this is technical language that shouldn't be used in an article, so I am going to remove it entirely. ViperSnake151  Talk  00:26, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Well that certainly fixes it. Quadell (talk) 01:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

This article passes all our GA criteria, and I'm happy to promote it the "Good" status. Quadell (talk) 01:11, 6 December 2013 (UTC)