Fintro Hockey World League: Indian women almost at Olympics doorstep

first_imgIndian girls weathered a Japanese onslaught in the last quarter and a half before hanging on to the 13th-minute goal by Rani Rampal to grab fifth place at the Fintro Hockey World League match on Saturday. In the coming weeks, the win should officially translate into an entry into next year’s Rio Olympics.Japan (No. 10) was ranked three places above India, who had beaten them for the bronze medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. While only the top-3 from the two HWL Semi-Final and five continental champions make the Olympics, places will fall vacant as some of the qualified teams are also likely to win Continental championships. Korea has won the Asian Games; and either Australia or New Zealand (third and fourth here) should win Oceania while Argentina and the United States (fourth and fifth at the Valencia HWL) will be favourites at the Panam Games. Netherlands, who will qualify from Antwerp, Great Britain and Germany, who also qualified from Valencia, will be favourites for the European championships.Saturday’s match could broadly be divided into two halves, the first dominated by India and the second by Japan.India began sharply and won an early penalty corner, which was wasted. But coach Mathias Ahrens’s team took the lead in the 13th minute after Lilima Minz took the ball from inside the Indian half and passed to Vandana Katariya, who ended her fine run with a reverse shot.The attempt was saved by Japanese goalkeeper Sakiyo Asano, but an unmarked Rani Rampal put the ‘near half-volley’ over the custodian’s reach.advertisementFive minutes into the second half, a loose clearance at the 25-yard line put Japan in possession and a long ball into the circle came to Akane Shibata, whose two shots were saved by goalkeeper Savita. But off the second save, the ball bounced and led to a penalty corner, which was wasted.Indians did go on a couple of attacks but no clear shot was taken.The third quarter was dominated by Japan, who launched dangerous attacks and got penalty corners but just couldn’t get the ball into the goal.A 38th-minute penalty corner was saved on the goalmouth by Monika, and Savita took a shot on the body. All the action was within the Indian 25-yard line, but Savita and the defenders held out.In the final quarter, Monika suffered cramps and was replaced by Deep Grace Ekka. Vandana Katariya was also injured and had to leave with three minutes left.Japan kept up the pressure as a defensive India allowed them to dominate. In the last seven minutes, the Japanese girls virtually camped in the Indian circle, but could not find the equaliser despite five penalty corners.last_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal squad for Nations League finals

first_imgCaptain Cristiano Ronaldo was included in Portugal’s squad for next month’s Nations League semi-final against Switzerland, head coach Fernando Santos announced on Thursday. Ronaldo, 34, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner missed the group stages preferring to try and adapt to life in Juventus since moving from Real Madrid. The Euro 2016 champions welcome the Swiss on June 5 in Porto and the Netherlands play England in Guimaraes a day later before a third place play-off and a final on June 9. He lifted the Serie A title with his Italian club this season but failed to clinch a third straight Champions League after losing to Ajax in the quarter-finals.Related News Cristiano Ronaldo denies secret wedding with gilrfriend Georgina Head coach Fernando Santos has chosen not to call up veterans Adrien Silva, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma and Sevilla forward Andre Silva misses out with a knee injury. Highly-tipped Benfica uncapped youngster Joao Felix is also included alongside three other club teammates who won the Portugese league champions this season. Portugal squad to face Switzerland on June 5 in the Nations League semi-finals: Goalkeepers: Beto (Goztepe/TUR), Jose Sa (Olympiakos/GRE), Rui Patricio (Wolves/ENG) Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Juventus/ITA), Jose Fonte (Lille/FRA), Pepe (Porto/POR), Mario Rui (Naples/ITA), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Ruben Dias (Benfica/POR) Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Danilo Pereira (Porto/POR), Joao Moutinho (Wolves/ENG), Pizzi (Benfica/POR), Ruben Neves (Wolves/ENG), William Carvalho (Real Betis/ESP), Joao Felix (Benfica/POR) Forwards: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia/ESP), Rafa Silva (Benfica/POR), Dyego Sousa (Sporting Braga/POR), Diogo Jota (Wolves/ENG), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/ITA) Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates Euro 2020 qualifiers: Portugal through after 2-0 win Spain great Iker Casillas: Wrong to award Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldolast_img read more

ICC suspends Pandurang Salgaonkar for 6 months after India Today’s #OperationCricketGate

first_imgThe International Cricket Council has announced a six-month suspension of Maharashtra Cricket Association’s pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar following its investigations over alleged charges of corruption dating back to October 2017.Salgaonkar was caught on India Today’s camera agreeing to manipulate some bounce, some movement and some balance between bat and ball for the second ODI between India and New Zealand at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) stadium. Following the sting operation, he was barred from entering the ground.WATCHIndia Today, at that point, also been able to confirm that preliminary action will be taken against Salgaoncar, who was a first-class cricketer.After the sting operation, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) had taken cognizance of India Today’s sting operation on the then Pune pitch curator.”We have carried out an extensive investigation based on the allegations made by India Today and the material they shared with us,” Alex Marshall, the ICC’s general manager, anti-corruption, said in a statement.”I am satisfied that Mr. Salgaonkar has no case to answer on the broad allegations of corruption made by India Today.””However, as he is bound by the ICC Anti-Corruption Code as a participant of the sport, he has been charged with breaching section 2.4.4 of the Code for his failure to report an approach to engage in corrupt conduct. Mr Salgaonkar has accepted that he has committed the offence and has received a six-month suspension.”The expose was made public hours before the second ODI between India and New Zealand which was played in Pune.advertisementBhuvneshwar Kumar (3/45) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/38)restricted New Zealand to 230/9 off their 50 overs. India overhauled the target with six wickets and four overs to spare, thanks to half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Dinesh Karthik.In November 2017, an ICC team visited the India Today office to collect raw footage of the sting operation. The ICC officials had also met with the two undercover reporters who had carried out the covert operation. The two reporters also explained when and why they became suspicious of Salgaonkar.Before that, Salgaonkar had been questioned by an ICC team at an undisclosed location.last_img read more

Report: Andorra 0 Portugal 2

first_imgAndorra 0 Portugal 2: Rested Ronaldo the saviour for Euro 2016 champions Jamie Smith Last updated 2 years ago 04:38 10/8/17 Cristiano Ronaldo Getty Images Portugal face a do-or-die concluding Group B clash with leaders Switzerland after Cristiano Ronaldo inspired them to a 2-0 win in Andorra. Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to keep Portugal’s hopes of automatic World Cup qualification alive, breaking the deadlock in a hard-fought 2-0 win away to Andorra in Group B.Ronaldo, one booking away from a suspension, was named among the substitutes on Saturday by coach Fernando Santos ahead of the crunch clash against Switzerland on Tuesday.But, after a goalless first half, Santos was forced to turn to his star man and risk Ronaldo getting a yellow card that would see him missing that crucial concluding fixture. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. The Real Madrid superstar thrived on the pressure by scoring his 15th goal of the qualifying campaign to draw level with Poland’s prolific Robert Lewandowski 18 minutes after his introduction, poking in a Joao Mario cross from close range.Ricardo Quaresma and Bernardo Silva were wasteful but an Andorra equaliser was never likely and Andre Silva scrambled in a late second to guarantee the points for his side, while Ronaldo successfully avoided a booking.With Switzerland maintaining their perfect record by winning 5-2 at home to Hungary, Portugal – who have confirmed a play-off place at least – will have to beat the Group B leaders in Lisbon to snatch top spot.Record setters…15 goals in a single European qualifying campaign:@Cristiano Ronaldo Robert @lewy_officialpic.twitter.com/7c0mORyQK5— European Qualifiers (@EuroQualifiers) October 7, 2017Ronaldo scored twice in the first four minutes in the return game a year ago, but without their talisman the Euro 2016 winners toiled to break down Andorra’s stubborn resistance.Defenders Pepe and Luis Neto sent early efforts off target before Quaresma missed the first clear chance after 24 minutes.Nelson Semedo’s viciously inswinging right-wing cross flicked off Ildefonso Lima’s head and Quaresma, arriving at the back post, headed wide with the goal at his mercy.Quaresma almost rapidly made amends but Josep Gomes punched his cross-shot away with his first meaningful involvement, then Andre Silva lashed a volley over the crossbar after a defensive mix-up.Portugal finally made Gomes work after 39 minutes, the Andorra goalkeeper diving to his left to keep out a swerving Pepe strike, but the deadlock remained unbroken at the interval.Santos had seen enough and introduced Ronaldo, replacing the ineffective Gelson Martins, but a Bernardo Silva mishit from a fine position summed up Portugal’s wastefulness.But it was inevitably Ronaldo – who had scored 96 goals in his 100 competitive games since the start of 2016 for club and country – who made the difference for the visitors.SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM #TudoPorPortugal #ANDPOR pic.twitter.com/EEW0ULpeiB— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) October 7, 2017An enticing Joao Mario cross reached Ronaldo at the back post via a deflection off Lima, ensuring he was onside despite Andorra’s protests, and he was never going to miss from six yards out.Ronaldo and Quaresma failed to make Portugal’s lead more comfortable, sending long-range efforts off target, while a Bernardo Silva strike after a goalmouth scramble deflected wide.The second goal eventually came with five minutes to go, Andre Silva bundling in from close range after a left-wing Ronaldo cross was headed into his path by Danilo Pereira, with a straight shoot-out with Switzerland for top spot in Group B now set for Tuesday. read morelast_img read more

VIDEO: Thorco’s Tenth Newbuilding Makes a Splash

first_imgzoom The tenth newbuilding of the Copenhagen-based shipping company Thorco Shipping hit the water on February 9 in Japan.The new vessel, named Thorco Lohas, was built and launched by the Japanese shipbuilding company Honda Heavy Industries.Thorco Lohas, the final general cargo vessel of the L-class built for the company, has a length of about 131 meters and a width of 23 meters.According to the Danish shipowner, Thorco Lohas features technologies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and optimizing fuel efficiency and performance.Thorco Shipping recently bought five tweendeckers in an effort to replace some of the older tonnage in its fleet. The five vessels, from 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively, all in the 15,000 – 20,000 DWAT range, form the new Thorco R-class.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Changes to Improve Interior Designers Scope of Practice

first_imgGovernment is introducing changes that will benefit interior designers, their clients and the building industry in Nova Scotia. The proposed amendments to the Interior Designers Act, introduced today, April 28, will modify the scope of practice of interior designers to allow them to work on projects that use the Building Code process. Under current legislation, the practice of interior designers is defined too broadly and, as a result, their role is not recognized under Building Code Regulations. That means interior designers do not have authority to sign off on Building Code projects they have worked on. This prevents them from working on Building Code projects. The proposed changes to the legislation will help remove this barrier. “Much of the work of interior designers is done in the context of Building Code Regulations and the act was never intended to restrict the ability of interior designers to do their job,” said Mr. Landry. “The changes being proposed today will make the process more efficient and improve the scope of practice for interior designers.” Removing the barrier is a two-step process. The first is the changes being proposed to the Interior Designers Act. The second is changes to the Building Code Regulations, which are being considered by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. “The Interior Designers Association of Nova Scotia welcomes the proposed changes to the Interior Designers Act,” said Denise Hermanson, president of the Interior Designers Association of Nova Scotia. “These changes will add clarity for building officials in administering building code permits and allow Interior Designers to better serve their clients.” Interior designers are regulated by the Interior Designers Act. They provide design services for non-structural construction and alterations to building interiors.last_img read more

Govt to clarify on applicability of FDI policy on digital media Sources

first_imgNew Delhi: The government is likely to come out with a clarification on applicability of the foreign direct investment policy on the digital media sector, official sources said. The present FDI policy is silent on the fast-growing digital media segment. In the print media sector, 26 per cent FDI is allowed through government approval route. Similarly, 49 per cent FDI is permitted in broadcasting content services through government approval route. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalBut 100 per cent is allowed for up-linking of non-news and current affairs’ TV channels, and down-linking of TV channels through automatic approval route. “In the FDI policy, digital media does not find a place. As the sector is growing fast, we are looking at it will come under FDI cap or not,” a source said. The proposal is worked out by the commerce and industry ministry, sources said. On in the proposal, Deloitte Partner Jehil Thakkar said that this is a great move by the government as it would help media companies to raise additional capital for their digital media segment. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”The government should clarify about the FDI cap in the sector and whether that FDI will be coming through automatic route or not, he said. Thakkar added that at present a significant part of the growth in the media sector is coming from the digital area. “Additional capital is needed to keep this growth going and FDI would be the most welcoming thing in this.” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech in July had stated that the government would examine suggestions of further opening up of FDI in aviation, media (animation, AVGC) and insurance sectors in consultation with all stakeholders with a view to attracting more overseas investment. FDI in India dipped 1 per cent to $44.36 billion in 2018-19. Last year, the government had relaxed FDI rules for several sectors, including single-brand retail, non-banking financial companies and construction. Foreign investments are considered crucial for India, which needs billions of dollars for overhauling its infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth. FDI helps in improving the country’s balance of payments situation and strengthen the rupee value against other global currencies, especially the US dollar.last_img read more

Disway Reports Robust 2016 Annual Results

By Yousra AcherquiCasablanca – Disway’s consolidated revenue jumped by 10 percent to MAD 1.809 million amid a declining PC market in Morocco and Tunisia.Thanks to higher revenue and decent cost management, Disway’s earnings before taxes soared by 34 percent and stood at MAD 106 million while NIGS jumped by 8 percent to MAD 66 million. When the 2015 NIGS is restated to account for exceptional capital gains following the opening of the capital in Tunisia, the 2016 NIGS growth rate actually stands at 40 percent. Disway’s Board of Directors have proposed a dividend of MAD 23 per share versus MAD 20 per share one year ago.According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the PC market declined by 9 percent in Morocco in 2016 after a big plunge of 16 percent in 2015, due to a plummeting od demand from the public sector in the second half of 2016.Disway is the leading operator in the wholesale distribution of computers, servers, printing equipment, and software in Morocco. The company emerged as the indisputable market leader as a result of the merger of Distrisoft with MattelPC.Disway has a product portfolio comprised of all the major international hardware and software brands (HP, Apple, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Cisco, Adobe) and their Blueway business is the leading distributor of IBM and Lenovo servers.Disway also operates in Tunisia, with revenue having grown by 38 percent in 2015 after soaring by 70 percent in 2014 thanks to a further post-Arab spring recovery of the Tunisian market.Going forward, Disway’s management stated that they will pursue their development efforts in North Africa and West Africa while enhancing their value offering and improving their logistical capability by increasing their platform’s capacity by twofold. read more

Yogurt company offers to pay school districts lunch debt

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Yogurt company Chobani has offered to pay off $85,000 in student lunch debt at an Idaho school district.The Twin Falls School District announced Tuesday that the donation would cover the debt acquired by more than 900 students during the last school year.The New York-based company operates a plant in Twin Falls.District spokeswoman Eva Craner says the school system still has about $115,000 in lunch debt from previous years.Craner says the schools make sure students are fed even if they don’t have money in their lunch accounts.The company says in a statement that it reached out to the district in May at around the time it paid off lunch debt for schools in Warwick, Rhode Island.The Associated Press read more

Closing vast gender gap ending child marriage key priorities Ghanaian President tells

“Most of the world’s poorest people are women,” John Dramani Mahama said. “Currently we create programs and policies to address this imbalance, yet regardless of how successful they may be, they are not permanent solutions. They do not solve the ultimate problem, which is the vast inequality between men and women that so many traditions have inculcated.”He also addressed the plight of children and the work his country is doing to address their needs.“In order to address the issue of child mortality and malnutrition, preparatory work is underway to earmark disbursements for pregnant women and mothers of children under the age of one,” he said.He noted the central role of education in achieving gender parity, emphasizing that it was “the key to change.”“In Ghana, we have made tremendous progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goal target on universal basic education. We instituted the ‘Girl Child Program,’ which encourages parents to send girls to school, and at the primary level we have achieved gender parity between boys and girls,” he said.Turning to the practice of child marriage on the continent, Mr. Mahama highlighted that, in West Africa, two out of five girls are married before they turn 18, face increased maternal mortality rates and “are subject to the sort of poverty that is nearly insurmountable.”“Ghana has launched a campaign, under the auspices of [the UN Children’s Fund] to end child marriage in our nation by focusing not only on getting young girls in school but also on keeping them there their education is complete,” he continued. “This is being achieved through enhanced access to secondary education and beyond without compromising quality.”On UN reform, he emphasized that it was time “for greater inclusivity in the United Nations.”“The world that was in 1945 does not exist now in 2015,” he continued, “so the visionary Organization that was formed to meet the needs of that world must now be reformed to meet the needs of this one.”He also delineated those needs, among them the issues caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Boko Haram and Al-Qaida, as well to address the situatio of those killed in the South Sudan conflict and the “thousands dead in Syria, in Pakistan, in Nigeria, in Mexico, Afghanistan and Somalia; thousands more, the majority from African nations, dead in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to flee poverty, hunger, disease or political strife or persecution.” read more

Skeptical Football The Playoffs Are A Trial By Fire

While the wild-card round of this year’s NFL playoffs was wild, a lot of the action followed familiar scripts: Skeptical Football regular Andrew Luck continued to impress in the Indianapolis Colts’ win against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Detroit Lions jumped out to a big lead — uncomfortable territory for gunslinger extraordinaire Matthew Stafford — against the Dallas Cowboys and, sure enough, Tony Manning Romo successfully engineered a double-digit comeback victory — though possibly with a little help from the officials. The Carolina Panthers brought their record back to (exactly) .500 for the first time since October against the Carson Palmer-less Arizona Cardinals. And the Baltimore Ravens beat high-flying Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers, on the road.But while the wild-card games were a nice diversion, the big guns will only come out after the bye.This weekend will see the playoff debuts of last year’s Super Bowl participants, the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos and the potentially historic Seattle Seahawks, along with the ever-contending New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers’ enigmatic Aaron Rodgers.1As we know, a New England vs. Green Bay Super Bowl matchup is inevitable.At this stage of the playoffs, there are an equal number of bye teams and wild-card game alums. Not only are the bye teams better-rested and more accomplished, but they have home-field advantage — both this week and against any surviving non-bye teams in the conference championships. So our eventual Super Bowl winner will almost certainly come from that cohort, right?If recent history is a guide, the answer is no. The wild-card veterans have more than held their own, winning seven of the past 14 Super Bowl trophies.Consider what this takes: First, having just won a game for the right to make the final eight, a team has to turn around and play a fresh top-two seed in the divisional round — on the road. And if it wins that game, more often than not it has to play the other top seed — on the road. And if it wins again, more often than not it has to play one of the other conference’s top seeds in the Super Bowl.Compare that to the route a bye team takes: It plays only two playoff games before the Super Bowl, and at least one of them is at home, against a lower seed.While anyone with a rooting interest would prefer his team take the easier road, teams that do manage to survive the playoffs’ “trial by fire” are disproportionately successful the deeper into the postseason they get.This chart goes back to the introduction of the salary cap in 1994. Prior to the 1997 John Elway-led Broncos victory, few teams survived the trial by fire (“TBF”) for long (i.e., none made the Super Bowl), so I typically consider that the start of the TBF era.As we would expect, a large share of TBF teams (meaning wild-card round veterans) are eliminated by their higher-seeded opponents right away. Over the entire period, TBFers won just 24 of 80 divisional round games (30.0 percent). And in the TBF era, including 1997, they’ve done only slightly better, winning 21 of 64 games (32.8 percent).But if they survive that second game, all bets are off. Since 1997, of those 21 TBF teams who made it to the conference championship games, 17 faced a top-two-seeded bye team on the road (the other four faced each other). The TBF teams in that scenario won 9 of the 17 games (52.9 percent) they played.2I should also note that the overall 45 percent win rate in this round in the salary cap era is still extremely high for road teams against higher-seeded competition. That’s right, TBFers who made the conference round have won a majority of their games against bye teams, despite playing in hostile territory.Those nine all faced another top-two seed from the other conference in the Super Bowl — such as the New York Giants against the then 18-0 New England Patriots in 2007 — and seven of nine triumphed. Overall, TBF teams have an 8-3 record in Super Bowls (in the salary cap era), including a 6-1 record in their last seven appearances.That one losing team was the Arizona Cardinals,3One of the TBF teams that had to beat another TBF team in its conference championship rather than beating both top seeds. who lost 27-23 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, but covered the 6.5-point spread. TBF teams have gone 10-0-1 against the spread in Super Bowls, and 11-6 in conference championships since 1997.That stunning 21-6-1 record against the line is meaningful even if you’re not a sports bettor. It means that this phenomenon isn’t just an artifact of stronger teams happening to be lower seeds for incidental reasons. TBFers legitimately exceeded expectations — even market expectations.It also makes it fairly unlikely that the phenomenon is purely a result of chance. The probability of going 21-6 on what should be a 50/50 proposition is roughly 0.002, or about 1 in 500.Of course, 1-in-500 events happen all the time, so it could just be that these teams have gotten lucky. But the probability that an unlikely phenomenon results from something other than chance is proportional to how plausible the other explanations are. If a coin comes up tails on 21 of 27 flips, you say “wow,” but the coin is still unlikely to be weighted. But say a tennis player wins 21 of 27 matches — she could have gotten lucky, but a more likely explanation is that she’s good.And in this case — while perhaps not accounting for all the good fortune TBF teams have seen — there are plenty of reasons to expect the TBF phenomenon to exist and persist.4Though I would expect the market to adjust accordingly.The first reason — at which I’ve already strongly hinted — is that, by virtue of the tougher road that TBF teams face to get deeper into the playoffs, their continued presence tells us more about their quality than that of their bye-having opponents.At the very minimum, the team that wins the wild-card round has one more win going into later rounds than its regular-season record. In some cases, this is enough to cover or exceed any gap between it and a higher-seeded team. Such is the case with this year’s Cowboys, who, at 13-4, now possess the best record in football (though they will still be on the road against the Packers). Moreover, that extra win didn’t come against an average NFL team, it came against a playoff team, meaning it’s probably worth a little more than an average win.With each road win against top competition, a TBF team’s pedigree gets stronger and stronger. A lot of teams win a lot of games without ever getting road wins against top teams.Obviously upsets happen, and they don’t always mean that the upsetting team is a secret powerhouse. But such upsets are much more likely to happen if the upsetting team is actually better than previously thought (such as when it’s actually much better than its record or playoff seed would indicate). So as a matter of Bayesian inference, it’s not so shocking that teams that accomplish one seemingly unlikely result may continue to accomplish more.In subsequent rounds, a TBF team’s opposition has also won playoff games, but against weaker opponents and usually at home. Since these are more expected results, they have much less of an impact on our assessment of those teams.As a test case, if the playoffs were seeded completely randomly, we would expect to see this effect: A team that had won three road games would be a favorite over one that had won two home games, simply because winning on the road is harder.And the real case can be much more drastic: By the time we get to the Super Bowl, we may have a TBF team — which got there by winning three road games against the top three teams in its conference — facing off against a bye team that has won only two playoff games, at home, against teams with worse records.The problem with that explanation is that it only gets us so far. With an entire season of games under their belts, the difference between a big underdog and a big favorite shouldn’t be reversible merely as a result of three strong wins versus two mediocre wins.Unless those wins come in games that are substantially more important to our assessment of those teams than normal games.5For a somewhat extreme example: This is what things would be like if team quality in the NFL behaved like a ladder ranking, where each time a team beats a team of higher quality, it assumes the other’s position. Under such circumstances, a team like the 2011 New York Giants would have been a favorite against the 2011 New England Patriots by virtue of having beaten the 15-1 Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional round. Playoff wins seem to be just that.Normally I’m somewhat skeptical of taking whether a team is “hot” or not too seriously. In regular-season contexts, recent performance is typically not much more predictive of future performance than past performance is. But the NFL playoffs appear to be an exception. That the results of playoff games are more indicative of a team’s quality makes sense. It’s easy to speculate on any number of reasons:Playoff rosters are more current, reflecting injuries, trades and the like.Playoff results are unlikely to be affected by the various late-season tactical strategies that teams employ, whether that be “tanking” to get a top draft pick, resting starters to avoid injury and fatigue, etc.Although I reserve my right to skepticism, it’s possible that playoff football actually does have a different nature than regular-season football — whether because playing strong teams entails a different skill set than beating up on scrubs, or because playoff games are more likely to be played in cold weather, or something else.There’s a phenomenon that I think is real by which teams often “save” something for the playoffs or more high-leverage situations in the regular season — such as innovative or “trick” plays.Using a couple of different regression methods to estimate the value of a playoff win relative to a regular-season one, I’ve come up with figures as high as one playoff game being worth three to five regular-season games.6This can be somewhat reproduced by using an Elo system with a very high k (meaning calibrated to adjust very rapidly). But this whole line of analysis is tainted because it’s ex post facto. That is, we already knew there was some effect, because that effect is the reason we’re looking into it. So measuring its strength kind of begs the question.We could just modestly assume a mid-sized multiplier (like each playoff game being worth two to three regular-season games), but before we start artfully reflecting on our priors, it would be nice to have a little more insight into the nature of what’s going on.The league only adopted the 12-team, four-bye playoff structure in 1990, and introduced the salary cap in 1994. The “trial by fire” phenomenon begins to appear in earnest shortly after that, yielding its first Super Bowl contender in 1997, and has seemed to get even stronger in recent years with TBF teams actually winning six of the last nine Super Bowls. The emergence of this effect has coincided with the supposed era of “parity” in the NFL — so it’s tempting to think that it may just result from lower-seeded teams getting stronger. Here’s a comparison of how the winning percentage of TBF teams versus bye teams in each round has changed over time, as well as the winning percentages of TBF teams versus bye teams in the regular season:The difference between a TBF team and a typical bye team in the regular season hasn’t changed much, with bye teams having won those matchups around 70 percent of the time. That seems high, but it’s partly because the bye teams have better records and/or hold head-to-head tiebreakers to get in their position. The key isn’t the raw value, it’s that the trend has remained essentially flat. In other words, “parity” — the bogeyman often used to explain a variety of NFL phenomena — probably isn’t the answer.From the other panes, we can see that the percentage of TBF teams winning in subsequent rounds has risen sharply in each case. Considering the sample sizes, those trends certainly shouldn’t be considered too probative individually, but the consistency between them supports the idea that the importance of playoff games has been on the rise.7We would also expect it to rise more sharply in later stages is because the effect is compounding.Is it reasonable to think that this reflects a real development in the game?I think so. At least anecdotally, I think teams have been getting more strategic about playing for the playoffs, and treating the regular season as more of a qualifying period than an end in its own right. Not only have we seen a lot of resting of players (where QBs like Brett Favre used to take every snap to the bitter end) and tanking, but we’ve also seen things like experimenting with young quarterbacks, and benching reasonably decent ones as a scapegoating maneuver.Also, football has evolved into more of a passing or finesse/strategy game, which may be contributing to teams sometimes being substantially better or worse at different times in the season (for example, if you figure out how to use a previously unheralded third receiver in a particularly effective way, it may transform your offense overnight). And this may make matchups more important as well. When the balance of power between teams rests on intricate relationships of many variables rather than just size and strength, it’s easy to see how matchup problems might hinder a team’s regular-season outcomes, or bolster its playoff ones — depending on whom it faces.But I’m not sure any of this gets us 100 percent of the way there. In fact, virtually nothing explains the status quo over the last 14 years (much less the past nine), wherein divisional road teams have been winning as many (or more) Super Bowls as their home opponents.That is, to some extent, just freaky-deaky. Let me demonstrate by imagining an absurd case: Say there were one single best team in the playoffs, and that team won every game it played, and thus won the Super Bowl 100 percent of the time — and then assume playoff seeding were completely random. Since twice as many teams play in the wild-card round as those that get byes, the Super Bowl winner would end up being a TBFer two-thirds of the time. Thus, under the most absurdly extreme case imaginable, we would still expect the “trial by fire” to produce a champion at the same rate that the real-world trial by fire has over the past nine years.That absurd case is so crazy that it’s very unlikely that the TBF trend will continue as vigorously as it has in recent years. But I wouldn’t expect the phenomenon to go away, either. I expect that teams that win against strong opponents in a playoff environment will continue to be extremely dangerous, regardless of appearances.Sizing up the wild-card winnersOne thing we can do practically and theoretically is to consider what types of teams are most likely to exhibit the TBF power-up effect. So let’s take a gander at this year’s winners in the wild-card round.Dallas and Indianapolis are two division-winners who won in the wild-card round against fairly strong teams (the 11-5 Detroit Lions and 10-5-1 Cincinnati Bengals, respectively), and who weren’t that far behind their rivals to begin with. Counting the playoffs, Indianapolis now has the same number of wins as the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, and as of this moment Dallas has the best record in football (at 13-4). Both the Cowboys and the Colts face tough road games against the Packers at Lambeau and the Mannings in Denver. That makes it less likely that they’ll be picking up the TBF banner — unless they win. The difficulty of these games would make victories in them even more meaningful.The Baltimore Ravens had probably the most impressive win in the bye round against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They also have experience winning championships “the hard way” twice. And they’re playing the Patriots, who have been vulnerable to TBFers before. Since winning their last championship in 2004, the Patriots are only 5-4 against TBF teams as a bye team themselves, most notably losing to the Giants in the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowls, and to the eventual-champion Ravens in the 2012 AFC championship game.Of course, the most fun TBF case would be if the Carolina Panthers somehow kept winning. But at the moment, they haven’t accomplished much. In addition to their awful regular-season record, it’s not clear that beating the Arizona Cardinals without Carson Palmer on the field meant much (the Cards ended up 0-3 with Ryan Lindley starting this year). But if the Panthers somehow pull off a win against the powerhouse Seattle Seahawks this week, watch out!Charts by Reuben Fischer-Baum. read more

Theres A New Favorite In The 2019 Womens NCAA Tournament

The 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament resumes on Friday with its Sweet 16 games. In the video above, Assistant Sports Editor Sara Ziegler talks about the lack of surprises in the tournament so far and the path of the one Cinderella team that’s still hanging on. She also discusses who our model thinks is the new favorite to cut down the nets in April.You can see all of our March Madness projections here.

Muslim man seen comforting elderly Jewish woman at Manchester memorial

first_imgCredit:REUTERS/Darren Staples REUTERS/Darren Staples  A Muslim man named Sadiq Patel comforts a Jewish woman named Renee Rachel Black next to floral tributes in Albert Square in ManchesterCredit: REUTERS/Darren Staples  A Muslim man named Sadiq Patel comforts a Jewish woman named Renee Rachel Black next to floral tributes in Albert Square in Manchester A terrorist blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert, killing children and their relatives who had accompanied them to the concert or come to pick them up.Vigils were also held in London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Coventry, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Bolton, Swindon, Leeds and Tarleton in Lancashire, where the vigil was attended by the mother of victim Georgina Callander. Georgina lived in the village and another of the victims, eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, went to school there. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The evening sun shone over Manchester’s Albert Square tonight, as the city came together to mourn those who lost their lives in Monday’s attack. The square was packed with thousands of people, many of them girls around the age of the young people who were killed, who had rushed here from school and work to pay their respects. The pair comforted each otherCredit:Darren Staples/Reuters A minute’s silence followed words from mayor Andy Burnham, Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and poet Tony Walsh, many of which moved members of the crowd to tears.  A Muslim man was seen comforting an elderly Jewish woman next to floral tributes at Albert Square in Manchester.Renee Rachel Black and Sadiq Patel comforted each other by the tributes which were laid at the vigil on Tuesday evening.The people of Manchester came together that night to remember the 22 who died in the Manchester attack, and all those injured and missing. The pair comforted each otherlast_img read more

Never forget the time Colin Farrell was into line dancing

first_imgHere is Colin hanging out between bops with a colleague, the style of him.THE STYLE:Here is Colin giving the thumbs up and probably thinking to himself “I really need to get that role on Ballykissangel and kickstart my career”(All images via Marc O’Sullivan)What could be better then these pictures you ask?A video flashback to this classic Colin Farrell moment?Oh well, would you look at that:Violeta Raminez / YouTube We may have found the worst music video ever>Twitter tells us what Alan Shatter knows> COLIN FARRELL MAY be one of our most successful acting exports but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t the odd morto moment.While promoting new animated movie Epic this week he appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where the topic of his dancing days come up, much to his mortification.via Late Night With Fallon / NBC.comBefore Phone Booth, Miami Vice or In Bruges Farrell was part of the country music phase that swept Ireland like a stetson-wearing rash in the 90s.Dublin photographer Marc O’Sullivan snapped Colin at work.He took the pictures in 1997 and he told DailyEdge.ie it took him 5 hours to dig up the images after going through 5,000 rolls of film.Jaysus.Still, it’s worth it to relieve the hilarity of a stetson wearing, cut-off denim shirt clad Colin Farrell.Here is Colin having a little bop:last_img read more

A Derry company is moving into the Irish electricity market with cutprice

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Pexels A NORTHERN IRISH company has entered the electricity market in the Republic of Ireland and is offering cut-price rates in an effort to win over consumers.BEenergy, which is part of Derry-based company Budget Energy, is offering the lowest standard unit rate for electricity.It is also offering the lowest standing charge for electricity, at €128 a year. The next cheapest is Bord Gáis Energy, which charges €131.64.The company is the first to enter the Irish electricity market since Panda Energy started selling energy to consumers about two years ago.The move is likely good news for consumers, as BEenergy will look to compete with established players in the market on price. Source: Switcher.ieClick here for a larger imageDespite BEenergy’s low unit price, Energia still has the cheapest overall annual bundle, according to price comparison website Switcher.ie.Best dealsThe site says that Energia’s offer will cost the average electricity customer €909.68 in year one.The next cheapest is Bord Gáis Energy, whose customers will pay an average of about €917 in their first year.Switcher.ie estimates that customers who take up BEenergy’s new offer will pay an average of just over €1,100 in their first year. Source: Switcher.ieClick here for a larger imageCompetitionSwitcher.ie managing director Eoin Clarke said that it is “great to see a new electricity supplier come onto the Irish market”.“We haven’t seen any electricity price decreases since last October, so this has the potential to shake things up a bit,” he said.“At the end of the day, more players in the market can only be a good thing – as it means more choice for consumers and greater competition between suppliers, which should help to drive prices down and service up.”He added: “BEenergy’s standard unit rate is the lowest on the market, as is their standing charge. They don’t offer a discounted plan, though, so customers are unlikely to make the biggest possible savings by switching to them.”However, Clarke pointed out that most people do not switch to get the best offers, and are on standard plans. These people could likely benefit from BEenrgy’s offer.“As the market continues to change, it’s likely we’ll see even more innovations as suppliers compete to win customers – especially if new entrants continue to come into the market,” he said.“All consumers have to do is shop around to take advantage and enjoy significant savings.”Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie Wednesday 29 Mar 2017, 6:05 AM Short URL Share61 Tweet Email5 http://jrnl.ie/3311645 13 Comments Image: Pexels Take me to Fora Mar 29th 2017, 6:05 AM Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: 12,064 Views A Derry company is moving into the Irish electricity market with cut-price rates BEenergy is challenging more established rivals like Bord Gáis Energy on price. By Fora Stafflast_img read more

Garda fear more violence as David Lynch 42 becomes latest victim of

first_img GARDAÍ FEAR A resumption of violence in west Dublin following the murder of a man in his front garden yesterday which officers believe is linked to a local drugs feud. David Lynch (42) was shot dead as he walked out his front door in Foxdene Avenue in Clondalkin at around 2pm yesterday afternoon. The gunman fired at least two shots at Lynch. He died almost instantly as he was shot in the head. Lynch was well-known to gardaí and was suspected of facilitating the local drugs trade. He was a known associate of a large drug supplier who is also based in the Clondalkin area. Gardaí also discovered a burnt out van, believed to be the shooter’s getaway vehicle, in a car park adjacent to a local primary school. A handgun equipped with a silencer was also discovered there. It has been sent for ballistic and forensic testing. While the major drug supplier is linked to serious players within the Kinahan cartel, this killing is not linked to the Kinahan/Hutch feud, gardaí believe. Six yearsThe local feud has been ongoing since 2013 but has flared up in the last two years. Darragh Nugent (36) was shot dead in September of 2017 as local dealers believed he was attempting to muscle in on the trade in the area. One week later, Nugent’s friend and associate John Gibson (28) was shot in the head in a car park in Saggart. This local feud has also seen associates of veteran criminal John Gilligan dragged into the middle of disputes. They have long been involved in the cocaine and cannabis trade in west Dublin. Garda drugs units as well as armed officers will be stationed in gangland flashpoints in a bid to quell any retribution from the rival gang. Gardaí are also calling for anyone with any information to call them. A spokesman said: “Gardai in Lucan Co Dublin are investigating a fatal shooting which occured in the front garden of a house in Foxdene, Dublin 22 at approximately 2pm today, Friday 1st March 2019.“A number of shots were discharged at the scene. A man believed to be in his 40s was fatally injured.“The scene of the shooting is currently preserved pending an examination by Garda Crime Scene Examiners.”With reporting by Michelle Hennessy Image: RollingNews.ie Gardai and Garda Forensics investigating a fatal shooting which occurred in the front garden of a house at Foxdene Avenue. Image: RollingNews.ie Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 27 Comments Garda fear more violence as David Lynch (42) becomes latest victim of Clondalkin drugs feud David Lynch was shot dead in his front garden. Mar 2nd 2019, 6:01 AM center_img 40,813 Views Gardai and Garda Forensics investigating a fatal shooting which occurred in the front garden of a house at Foxdene Avenue. Share2 Tweet Email By Garreth MacNamee Saturday 2 Mar 2019, 6:00 AM https://jrnl.ie/4520219 last_img read more

Washington ranks in top 10 for businessfriendly tax climate

first_imgWashington state improved its standing in a national assessment of how friendly state tax systems are to businesses, moving from No. 8 last year to No. 7 this year, according to a report released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.The Washington D.C.-based tax research group, which has analyzed fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937, said the absence of an individual income tax in Washington puts it among the 10 states with the best tax systems under which to attract new companies and to expand existing ones.All but one of the states that rank in the top 10 “do without at least one of the major taxes,” said Mark Robyn, economist for the Tax Foundation and author of the group’s State Business Tax Climate Index. And Washington’s lack of an individual income tax is an “obvious strength,” Robyn said. “That can be very positive for competitiveness. Washington reaps some benefits from that.”Indeed, Ken Fisher, CEO of Fisher Investments, says his company’s decision to expand in Camas has largely been because of the advantages of Washington’s tax climate. Fisher Investments is headquartered in California, which ranked No. 48 in the country.Oregon did not fare as well as its neighbor to the north. However, the state improved its position in the Tax Foundation report, moving from 15th last year to 13th this year. That was due partly to its lack of a sales tax.last_img read more

Zachary Levi asks fans to stop pitting Captain Marvel against Shazam

first_img Shirtless Aquaman Jason Momoa helps Girl Scout cookie sales Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart share Guinness record for Marvel X-Men roles Captain Marvel stars gush with love for Goose the cat Zachary Levi calls out the fake reviews and fabricated posts about Brie Larson, asks fans to stop pitting #CaptainMarvel and #Shazam against each other(via @ZacharyLevi | IG Live) pic.twitter.com/Xb8rD8POj6— Fandom (@getFANDOM) February 24, 2019 “There are people out there making defamatory and completely fictitious reviews and posts of Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel — and trying to pit Shazam against it, saying they’re gonna support us and not them because of things they are making up,” Levi said in the video.”For anyone out there who thinks you’re doing me a favor, or you’re doing Shazam a favor, you’re not,” Levi continued. “This is not helping anyone or anything. There is no competition.” “Just because Shazam used to be called Captain Marvel way back in the day doesn’t mean that somehow Brie or Marvel’s Captain Marvel pitted against us. We’re both movies and we’re both going to be out in theaters at similar times. And the irony of that timing is really interesting, but there is no conspiracy.”For more details about the Shazam movie, including the character’s comic book history, check out our Shazam movie guide.  Be sure to take a look at our Captain Marvel movie guide too.Shazam hits theaters on April 5 in the US and UK. An Australian release has not yet been announced. Captain Marvel comes out in theaters in the US and UK on March 8 (International Women’s Day), and March 7 in Australia.  Zachary Levi takes on the bad guys as the DC Comics superhero Shazam. Warner Bros. Pictures With Marvel Studio’s Captain Marvel hitting theaters on March 8 and the Warner Bros. picture Shazam in theaters on April 5, fans already seem to be trying to pit the two superheroes against each other.But Shazam actor Zachary Levi isn’t putting up with the fan-instigated rivalry. In an Instagram Live video posted on Sunday, Levi called out fans for posting fake reviews and made-up posts about Captain Marvel star Brie Larson, and asked fans to stop trying to fan flames of competition between Captain Marvel and Shazam.  More superheroes 2 2019 movies to geek out over TV and Movies Share your voice Comments 77 Photos Tags Levi also brings up the confusion fans might have over the fact that Shazam was originally called Captain Marvel when the superhero character was introduced back in the 1950s (first by Fawcett publishing and then when DC Comics acquired the comic book character). Captain Marvel DC Comics Marvellast_img read more

The game streaming dream was inside us all along

first_imgGoogle’s Stadia is one of several services that suggest gaming’s next level will be streaming. Or will it? Google If, like a rapidly growing segment of the world’s population, you’re the type of warped individual who spends the majority of your free hours playing video games, it’s probably apparent we live in interesting times. And this year’s E3 reflected that fact.E3 2019 wasn’t the rollicking roller coaster ride we’ve come to expect in recent years. That makes sense — E3 is changing because video games are changing. Also, 2019 is something of a gap year for the games industry as we wait for a new Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation, both expected in 2020. Many of the most exciting games announced this week, like Halo Infinite and Cyberpunk 2077, are due next year too. But if you broaden the scope of your thinking to dog years, E3 actually gave us plenty to chew on. In some ways this year’s E3 was a moratorium on the future of gaming. If you read the headlines, the story is clear: The way we’re going to play video games is about to change. The race to become the Netflix of gaming is on.Yes, it’s all about game streaming, folks.Or is it? The truth is a bit more tangled. Aug 3 • E3 journalists see their personal info exposed by security flaw Jul 26 • Doom Eternal: QuakeCon ‘Year of Doom’ keynote shows more ‘Battlemode’ action Comments Microsoft shows off Xbox trailers, hardware, services at E3 16 Photos E3 2019 Mobile Culture Computers Gaming Aug 28 • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order trailer, gameplay footage and everything we know Aug 19 • Borderlands 3: FL4K, new endgame content and everything else we know E3 2019 Why 2020 could be the best year for video games • Google Microsoft Sony Tags 12 Share your voice reading • Google Stadia and Microsoft’s Project xCloud: The game streaming dream was inside us all along On the one hand we have Google Stadia, a streaming service that promises to forever change the way we consume video games. We haven’t seen a company with pockets as deep as this enter the gaming sphere since Microsoft launched the original Xbox in 2001.And speaking of Microsoft, its Project xCloud is what’s on the other hand. It’s another streaming service, and it complements the upcoming Xbox console while also promising to forever change the way we consume video games.That’s not all. There’s also a bunch of subscription gaming services popping up, from Xbox Games Pass to Google’s Stadia Pro to Ubisoft’s Uplay Plus. Together, they’re offering us a chance to live the dream of chucking game consoles in the bin and solely streaming games direct to our devices, Netflix style.The second, the foundation for what’s to come has already been built. It’s been under your noses all along.Head in the Cloude3-2019-xbox-project-xcloud-4342Phoning it in for the win. James Martin/CNET Let’s talk about Microsoft.One of the biggest surprises of E3 was the announcement of Project Scarlett, Microsoft’s next Xbox console. Onstage at E3, Phil Spencer announced that it’ll be a big powerful machine designed for 8k gaming at 120 frames per second. The biggest surprise: Project Scarlett will launch, in the year 2020, with an optical drive. What does that tell us? Microsoft, which was actually the first main player to launch a discless console with its Xbox One S All Digital Edition in May, is still tethering its next-gen console to past technology (discs). Microsoft, quite rightly, doesn’t want to leave any consumer behind. Not everyone has lightning fast internet connections.The harsh reality is that the global games market, at the retail and consumer level, is barely prepared for an all digital market, let alone a bold Netflix-esque streaming future where gaming is nothing more than an app on your TV, phone or tablet. The death of the games console has been greatly exaggerated.That said, Project xCloud works, and it works insanely well. Microsoft has been offering demos of Halo 5: Guardians and Resident Evil 7 using an Xbox controller attached to an Android phone, and the performance was nearly flawless. The technology exists; the technology works. Project xCloud is going into public testing this year. It’ll be a thing. But if Microsoft is right, it’ll merely augment the console gaming experience. It won’t replace it. Not for a while at least.StadiaFor all the hype and expectation around Google’s entry in the console gaming space, perhaps the most surprising thing about Google Stadia is how traditional it is.It’s not exactly the utopian dream of flicking a switch and being able to stream every game available direct to your TV. Take the Founder’s Edition of Stadia, for example. Here’s how it works: You pay $129 for a game controller and Chromecast Ultra, which allows you to stream direct to your TV. From that point you can do one of two things: You can use Stadia to buy full-price games using Google Play and then stream and play those games. Or you can pay $9.99 for Stadia Pro, a service that has a number of rotating games you can stream for free. Not every game — some games. In other words, sorta like Xbox Game Pass, which already exists and has done since June 2017. The only real difference is that with Stadia you’ll be streaming but Xbox Game Pass requires you to download, for now.Still, it’s likely that Xbox Game Pass — a service that, according to reports in late 2018, already has millions of subscribers — will let players stream games using Project xCloud in the near future. And considering that Microsoft already has hundreds of data centers in 140 countries around the globe, the capability already exists for the company to take a real stab at creating a full-on game streaming service that outperforms the competition.In short, the video game stream dream was inside us all along. Getting messyWhen it comes to Stadia, you might suspect things could get messy. Unlike Microsoft, Google doesn’t have 15 game studios at its disposal to create content exclusive to Stadia. An in-house studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment, helmed by industry veteran Jade Raymond, exists, but Microsoft already has a working suite of proven studios at its disposal. Think Netflix originals, but for video games. Google doesn’t have that. Yet.e3-2019-ubisoft-uplay-plus-google-stadia-streaming-games-4679Will consumers be up for still more subscriptions? James Martin/CNET Instead Stadia appears to be banking on partnerships with third party publishers like Ubisoft — but with that comes a whole new set of problems. At E3 this year Ubisoft announced its $14.99 per month Uplay Plus, an Xbox Game Pass-esque service that gives players access to 100+ titles in Ubisoft’s library. You’ll be able to stream this service through Stadia.But where does it all end? $10 for the Stadia games, plus $15 for Ubisoft games. Are we about to live in a future where Stadia is a means through which we acquire game subscription after game subscription to the point of absolute fatigue?”Americans want two, three, four subscriptions. They certainly don’t want 40 of them, and they aren’t going to pay for them,” said Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Grand Theft Auto maker Take-Two Interactive Software (he’s also the interim chairman of CBS, which owns CNET). “Consumers still always get to vote.”What about EA’s $4.99 per month EA Access, or the $19.99 per month PlayStation Now? These are all services that work on the subscription model — where do they fit in this bourgeoning ecosystem? That’s a little harder to parse at this point. But it’s a confusion that requires resolving if game streaming is to go as mainstream as Netflix. “I have never thought that one business model should dominate gaming,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox. The company, for its part, sees game streaming as just one more facet of a broad ecosystem, another way to consume games in a crowded, competitive marketplace busy with multiple platforms. That in and of itself is another problem that needs solving: eliminating the confusion that comes with these options and packaging them in such a way that anyone can get on board. People like Robert Altman, the CEO of Zenimax, which makes the postapocalyptic game Fallout and the shooting game Doom Eternal, sees streaming platforms as a way to reach broader audiences that currently don’t have access to gaming. “It removes friction,” he explains, “and makes it very easy for people to experience this entertainment form.” Still, game streaming, as of this moment, needs to get the kinks ironed out. If anything it’s a novelty for the kind of people who already play video games obsessively.Game streaming, right this second, feels like a classic case of “so close, yet so far.”CNET’s Ian Sherr contributed to this story. 40 Photos See Alllast_img read more

MLC Ramachander Rao launches BJP membership drive

first_imgLalapet: MLC Ramachander Rao and former MLA Babu Mohan launched a BJP membership drive at Shanthi Nagar on Sunday.Babu Mohan criticised the TRS for failing to implement its electoral promises. He expressed the hope that BJP would come to power in Telangana State in the future. He called upon party leaders and activists to strengthen the party by taking central government schemes to the people. City executive committee member Srinivas Chary, Prakash Goud, Pochaiah, Anita and others attended the programme.last_img read more