Sharapova not backing pay rise for early losers

Posted On Aug 28 2020 by

first_imgMaria Sharapova is not convinced it is a good idea to give first round losers at next year’s Australian Open a huge pay increase as part of a $4m rise in overall prize money.Tournament organizers announced earlier this month that the total prize money pool at the opening grand slam of 2013 had risen to $30m, making it the richest event in tennis.While the exact breakdown of prize money is yet to be announced, it is expected that the biggest increases will be weighted towards the early rounds – a move intended to counter concerns that lower-ranked players were struggling to sustain careers on the ATP and WTA Tours.Roger Federer, president of the men’s ATP Player Council, has expressed sympathy with the rank and file players who rarely reach the latter rounds of major tournaments where the big money is made but Sharapova is not convinced it is a good move.“I don’t know if I agree with a raise for a first-round loss,” the Russian, who is playing at the WTA Championships in Istanbul this week, was quoted in The Times on Tuesday.Sharapova and the other seven competitors in Istanbul met with officials of the four grand slams on Monday. “I think the compensation as you win more rounds is right, but I’m not sure about the first rounds,” added the French Open champion.The rise in Australian Open prize money followed similar increases at Wimbledon and the US Open.This year’s Wimbledon championships saw first round losers in the men’s and women’s singles pocket a cheque for £14,500 ($23,300) – a 26 percent rise from 2011.Players have long argued that the percentage of total revenue from grand slams set aside for prize money should be increased. There was even talk of a boycott of next year’s Australian Open before the increase was announced this month.While not enthused by the prospect of first round losers enjoying a financial boost, Sharapova said she was happy the Australian Open had taken the lead. “If you compare the percentage of what we (the players) are making compared to the other grand slams, certainly the Australian Open is doing a much better job of compensating us based on their revenue,” the 25-year-old, who has earned $22 million in prize money alone, said.“They are under a lot of pressure because they are the first slam of the year, but I think that the other grand slams need to step up, based on what they make, because their revenue is much bigger than Australia’s.”WTA Player Council member Serena Williams, winner of this year’s Wimbledon, Olympics and US Open titles, said she was happy with Tennis Australia’s decision to raise prize money.“I know everyone’s complaining about the amount of prize money, but it was a good increase,” the American said.“We know the tournaments are making so much money off of us. We can’t start out asking for 30-40 percent (more). Hopefully we can gradually make more progress every year.” Sharapova was embroiled in a row with Frenchman Gilles Simon at Wimbledon this year when he suggested women should not enjoy the same prize money as men at grand slams.last_img read more


Soccer Academy Facility Coming to Tinton Falls

Posted On Aug 4 2020 by

first_imgBy Kyle DePontesTINTON FALLS – A new era is set to begin in New Jersey Youth Soccer. The New Jersey Cedar Stars Academy  has broken ground on a new, $25 million sports facility in Tinton Falls. The Capelli Sports Complex will be located on the west side of Wayside Road, with the Garden State Parkway on the south. Built exclusively for NJCSA players, the complex will have five outdoor soccer fields with lighting including two synthetic turf soccer fields as well as a 140,000 square foot indoor complex that will have an indoor soccer field as well as a long list of other amenities including locker rooms, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall and a gym. The two outdoor turf fields are phase one of the construction and are set to be completed this fall. Saddle River resident George Altirs, the founder of the clothing manufacturer Capelli Sport, will finance the project.Altirs has long been prominent in the New Jersey soccer community. In 2014, Altirs donated nearly $500,000 to install new artificial turf for Saint Benedict’s soccer program in Newark, and in 2011 he turned one of his Capelli warehouses in Carlstadt into topnotch indoor fields. But Altirs’ plans for the Cedar Stars extends far beyond an expensive soccer facility. Already, the academy has appointed a new youth academy director, and is attracting some of the best players and coaches in the area.New Jersey has a rich soccer history and has long been a hotbed of soccer development. Beginning in the 1980s, northern Jersey produced some of the United States most valuable players, including World Cup stars Tony Meola, John Harkes, and Tab Ramos, all of whom hailed from Kearny, and Claudio Reyna, who grew up in Livingston, and who captained the U.S. national team in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. The current Men’s National Team captain, Michael Bradley, spent his childhood in Pennington, while his father was the head coach for Princeton University. And Tim Howard, considered by many to be the best U.S. goalie ever, and who gained legendary status when his 15 saves against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup broke an international record, grew up in North Brunswick. On the Women’s National Team, key players and 2015 World Cup winners Heather O’Reilly and Tobin Heath hail from East Brunswick and Basking Ridge respectively. Carli Lloyd, who received the Golden Ball as the best player in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, was born and raised in Delran.Today, more and more kids are playing soccer, and the U.S. participation in recent World Cups, as well as the success of Major League Soccer has sparked a renewed interest in the game. NBC’s new multi-million dollar deal to broadcast the English Premier League, widely considered one of the best leagues in the world, has also had an impact in marketing the game to Americans. Soccer is now considered “cool” again among younger generations, and with the decline of youth participation in baseball, as well as the recent concussion crisis in the NFL, many parents are opting to place their kids in soccer.The site where the new soccer compex will be situated in Tinton Falls.The statistics support this. In 1974, US Youth Soccer recorded 103,432 registered youth soccer players. In 2014, there were 3,055,148 registered youth players, over 29 times the amount in 1974. Amazingly, tiny New Jersey and Massachusetts led the way in youth participation, surpassing not only their region, but also every other state, in some states by over 100,000 players. In 2014, New Jersey boasted 151,000 registered youth soccer players.But for many parents, driving sons and daughters to games can be tiresome, especially when their kids are failing to get the proper coaching and exposure needed to make it to the next level. In recent years, however, many parents are opting for an alternative to the traditional club model – the soccer academy.“Academy soccer has more to do with training time than traveling,” said Tab Ramos, the President and Technical Director of NJCSA, echoing the popular European model of development that has now gained traction in the U.S. “In the past, U.S. kids might have trained one or two days a week, with multiple games on weekends. Now we train four days a week with one game.”Soccer academies, which are organizations that attract top-notch coaches and players from many different towns and are dedicated almost exclusively to training, were almost unheard of PDA (Player Development Academy) was founded in Bernardsville. Ramos, now the assistant coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team and arguably the best American soccer player ever, set his sights on a new project after a lengthy career in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. In 2004 Ramos helped found NJSA 04 (New Jersey Soccer Academy), which in the initial stages combined players from Freehold, Howell, and Holmdel. NJSA 04 saw tremendous success at an early stage, with its U-15 team known as The Gunners, capturing a national championship in 2008. But even as late as 2008, there were still no real distinctions between academies and regular travel teams.Although academies theoretically attracted better coaches and players, they still competed against town teams and took part in some of the same competitions. It was not until late 2008 that U.S. soccer stepped in to form the “Development Academy,” a massive organization containing every academy team in the country. The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an everyday environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The league is comprised of 77 teams from around the country, with ten divisions and four conferences. Each team will play around 30 games a year. While the light game schedule appeals to many parents, some remain hesitant over placing kids in an academy, especially since U.S. Soccer prohibits academy players from participating in any events outside of the Developmental Academy or National Team. This means no high school soccer. But the exposure that academies offer more than makes up for it.“Eighty-nine percent of Youth National Team Call Ups come from the Academy. If you’re not on a Developmental Academy club you have minimal chance of being called to the National Team” said Ramos. It’s also no mystery that college coaches favor academies. In 2013, 17 players on NJSA 04’s U18 team went on to play soccer at Division One universities. “High school soccer is fun,” said Justin McStay, a member of the NJCSA U-15/16 team. “But the level of play in academy is very high and it has more competition than high school. A lot of college coaches also look through the academies.”Cost is another factor that most parents consider when choosing a team, but at academies this is a non-issue. That’s because for players on a team within the Developmental Academy, soccer is free. At NJCSA, parents do not pay anything for boys on the U-18 and U-16 academy teams. NJCSA has applied for the Girls Developmental Academy, so starting next year U-18 and U-16 girls academy teams at NJCSA will also be free. This does not mean that every team within NJCSA is free, there are still a number of pre-academy boys teams, and girls’ teams outside the Development Academy and parents can expect to pay around $1600-$2400 for the entire season.Next year there will be further developments at NJCSA. Currently, NJCSA has three branches in New Jersey: Monmouth, Bergen County, and Newark. And the academy will soon be branching out to Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Orange County, New York. In the coming years, NJCSA plans on adding more age groups, such as U-12, and also incorporating their girls teams into the Development Academy. What ever direction, the academy chooses to go in, the future looks bright.last_img read more


Uganda draws Ghana, Senegal in Africa Rugby Sevens Championship

Posted On Dec 22 2019 by

first_imgUganda have won two sevens titles so far (file photo)Rugby Africa Sevens ChampionshipMonastir, TunisiaOctober 13th-14th, 2018KAMAPALA – The Uganda Rugby Sevens team will face two West African opponents in the Rugby Africa Sevens Championship set for next month in Tunisia.The Cranes have been drawn in the same group with Senegal and Ghana in pool B of the continental showpiece.Having won the last two editions of the championship, Uganda will be the team to beat.The tournament will attract Kenya and Namibia this time round. The two sides missed the last edition that was held in Kampala.Kenya are in pool A alongside Morocco and Botswana while Namibia are in pool D with Madagascar and Zambia.Last year’s runners up Zimbabwe are placed in pool C with Tunisia and Mauritius.The championship is set for October 13-14 in Monastir, Tunisia.POOL AKenyaMoroccoBotswanaPOOL BUgandaSenegalGhanaPOOL CZimbabweTunisiaMauritiusPOOL DMadagascarNamibiaZambiaComments Tags: Africa Rugby Sevens ChampionshipRugby Craneslast_img read more


Yeak thrash Mengo to move five points clear

Posted On Dec 22 2019 by

first_img Tags: Futsal Super LeagueYeak Kabowa Futsal Super League 2018/19International Futsal Courts, MengoThursday, 14-02-2019-Equator 2-1 Aidenal-Mengo City 2-7 Yeak Kabowa-Crown 2-3 Bajim-Typhoon 6-2 Parakeets-Yap Stars 0-1 Kabowa United-Elephants 5-6 Park-Dream 4-1 NomadMENGO – Yeak Kabowa are surely closing in on a first ever Futsal Super League title.The Kabowa based side who were nowhere near the favourites at the start of the season are brushing aside everyone that stands in their way.On Thursday, they were at it again, whalloping Mengo City 7-2.In a one sided affair, Yeak were already 3-1 up by halftime and dominating proceedings in terms of possession and shots on-goal and target.In the second, they added four more and conceded one to win the contest comfortably. Enock Ssebagala scored four and the trio of Emma Magembe, Andrew Katende and Shaffic Avemah helped themselves to one each.For Mengo, it was Najib Muwonge and Ronald Nsamba (og) who scored for them.The win takes Yeak to 32 points from 13 games, five ahead of second placed Park. For Mengo, they remain 9th after gathering 16 points.In the opening fixture of the evening, Equator came from a goal down to defeat Aidenal.Aidenal held a slender 1-0 lead at halftime thanks to Fred Kajooga’s goal. They however spent most of the second half pegged in their own half, eventually conceding two goals and losing the game.Equator’s goals were scored by Ismail Adan and Sulaiman Mutyaba to ensure their 4th win of the season.The three points earned see Equator climb into 10th on the standings with 14 points while Aidenal slip into 11th with 12 points.Elsewhere, Bajim powered their way onto a 3-2 win over crown.Ibrahim Kamya put Bajim ahead at the stroke of halftime with a well taken penalty after Crown had accumulated six fouls.It was soon 2-0 at the start of the second with substitute Franco Sunday scoring his 7th of the campaign. Crown pulled one back through Ahmed Ali but their joy was short lived as Kamya scored his second of the night off a swift counter attacking move.Despite Crown scoring again a minute to full time through Ahmed Mohamud, Bajim held on to a 5th victory of the season which takes them into 8th with 19 points.For Crown who led the standings at some stage, they are now 6th with 22 points.In the game involving defending champions Dream and Nomad, Swaib Kazibwe struck twice as last year’s winners won the game 4-1 on the night.It was a tense first period with Dream going into the break leading but 2-1 but they would later gain control of the game to score two more goals in the second.Jamal Muyingo and Peter Kikomeko scored the other two goals for Dream while Jama Osman grabbed Nomad’s consolation.In the other results, Kabowa United defeated Yap Stars 1-0, Park were 6-5 winners over Elephants while Typhoon humiliated Parakeets 6-2.Yeak’s Shaffic Avemah still leads the standings with 25 goals, four ahead of teammate Enock Sebagala.There will not be League action next week with the Uganda Cup Round of 8 taking center stage at the same venue.Comments last_img read more


Ohio Beef Expo sale summary

Posted On Dec 17 2019 by

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Beef Expo held March 17-19 at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio hosted five breed sales, selling 289 live lots at an average price of $3,385 with a gross of $978,350. More than 30,000 cattle industry enthusiasts attended the 30th annual Expo, an event of the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). Individual breed sales results were as follows:  LiveLotsSaleGrossLiveGrossLiveAverageGeneticGrossBullAverageFemaleAverageAngus52$186,750$179,350$3,449$7,400$3,454$3,444Hereford37$104,850$102,600$2,773$2,250$3,313$2,624Maine-Anjou64$252,000$245,800$3,841$6,200$4,098$3,613Shorthorn63$151,560$143,950$2,285$7,610$2,325$2,272Simmental73$329,200$306,650    $4,200$22,550$4,909$3,797TOTAL289$1,024,360$978,350$3,385   AngusManaged by: Dan Wells Auctioneer: Ron KreisSale Gross: $186,750Live Lots: 52Live Average: $3,449High Selling Bull: Lot 12 – Kingsway Style 354 sold to Scott Spohn – Jackson, OH for $5,400Consigned by Kingsway Angus – Tiffin, OHHigh Selling Female: Lot 34 – HFS Dameron Bardot 572, sold to Flatrock Farms – Barnesville, OH for $8,000Consigned by HFS Angus – Radnor, OH HerefordManaged by: Lisa KeetsAuctioneer: Dale StithSale Gross: $104,850Live Lots: 37Live Average: $2,773Embryo Lots: 1Gross Embryo Sales: $2,250Embryo Average: $750High Selling Bull: Lot 1 – JLCS 9438 Canton C71ET sold to Herman’s Cattle Co. – East Liverpool, OH for $4,700Consigned by J & L Cattle Services – Jeromesville, OH High Selling Female: Lot 2 – KH JLCS X73 Miss Uptown D59 sold to Kinney Farms – Norwalk, OH for $5,000Consigned by J & L Cattle Services – Jeromesville, OHLot 12 – MSF Z834 Miss America 622D sold to Premier Livestock, Canada for $5,000Consigned by Morrison Stock Farm – Lexington, OH Maine-AnjouSale Manager: Craig ReiterAuctioneer: Kevin WendtSale Gross: $252,000Live Lots: 64Live Average: $3,841Embryo Lots: N/AGross Embryo Sales: N/AEmbryo Average: N/AHigh Selling Bull: Lot 18 – JPF Saltin The Rim 45 D sold to Egbert Cattle – Botkins, OH for $9,900Consigned by Pettigrew Farms – Columbia City, INHigh Selling Female: Lot 40 – CHAM GOET Win X ET 79D sold to Ben Dickson – Edison, OH for $18,000 Consigned by Goettemoeller Cattle, Winchester, INShorthornSale Manager: Cagwin Cattle ServiceAuctioneer: Kevin WendtSale Gross: $151,560Live Lots: 63Live Average: $2,285Embryo Lots: 4Gross Embryo Sales: $1,800Embryo Average: $450Semen Lots: 75Gross Semen Sales: $5,810Semen Average: $77 High Selling Shorthorn Bull: Lot 8 – CLF Delia Reward sold to Robin Donohoe – Mt. Sterling, OH for $4,500 Consigned by Cedar Lane Farms – Cedarville, OHHigh Selling Shorthorn Female: Lot 19 – S/F Margie 118 RB sold to Scott Miller – Wakeman, OH for $7,500Consigned by Simon Farm – Rockford, OHHigh Selling ShorthornPlus Bull:  Lot 17 – BONL EH Route 9 sold to Rohn Farms Services – Wooster, OH for $3,000Consigned by Bonnell Cattle Company – Columbus, INHigh Selling ShorthornPlus Female: Lot 63 – WLTZ Rose 616D sold to Cairnes Shorthorns – Amherst, OH for $5,000Consigned by Waltz Show Cattle – Morristown, IN  SimmentalSale Manager: Doug ParkAuctioneer: Ron KreisSale Gross: $329,200Live Lots: 73Live Average: $4,200Embryo Lots: 16Gross Embryo Sales: $22,550Embryo Average: $1,409.38Semen Lots: N/AGross Semen Sales: N/ASemen Average: N/AHigh Selling Bull: Lot 77 – Longs Jerrin sold to Phillip Lautner. – Adel, IA for $14,750Consigned by Long Simmental & Grandview Cattle – Creston, IAHigh Selling Female:  Lot 54 – WCCO Miss Lily sold for $20,000Consigned by Woodard Cattle Co. & West Livestock – Cambridge, OHlast_img read more


Mia San Giga 2014

Posted On Dec 17 2019 by

first_imgDelicious!- Photo Credit: “Rony90”Saturday was the big event! The doors opened at the Munich Olympic Stadium and hundreds of visitors to our shared lackey/volunteer booth started flowing in. We enjoyed the wide selection of options available from vendors, including geocaching socks, Geocoins, and T5 gear. The food stalls, beer garden, and stage also provided constant entertainment. Particularly fun were the bavarian-themed games for kids of all ages including a stein lifting contest, a “cow” milking contest, and a coaster toss (the target was a barrel.) All the while geocachers ziplined overhead across the stadium and toured the rooftops of this architectural marvel.Geocaching HQ CrewEvent Grounds- Photo Credit: “vossis 71”On Sunday we rounded out the weekend with a great finale at the breakfast event in the festive hall of the famous Munich Hofbräuhaus. Together with hundreds of cachers we enjoyed a beer and white sausages for breakfast followed by a tour of the most interesting places in Munich thanks to 30 lab caches.Sunday MealCity ViewsWe would like to thank all the friendly geocachers from all over the world for the fun, the insights, and the opportunity to participate in the geocaching community. A special thank you goes to the giga organizers and all the volunteers for their hard work in creating such a smoothly running and memorable experience. Want more? This video immerses you in the experience (and it’s only 3 minutes!)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IvdlzMI9Y0Share with your Friends:More By Andrea HoferOn August 16, 2014, the world’s first Geocaching Giga Event took place. Annie, Andrea, Raine and Annika traveled from Geocaching headquarters in Seattle to the Bavarian capital of Munich to witness this historic moment. Below is a trip report in the Lackey’s own words:The first-ever Giga was a blast! In geocaching terms, Giga means 5,000+ participants, but Mia San Giga 2014 had well over 8,000 participants!A Giga would not be complete with a whole weekend of mega entertainment. The night before the giga, we attended the “ochsenessen,” where a whole ox was roasted on a spit in true Bavarian style. This was a chance to sit down and chat about local ‘caching customs. We learned that German cachers refer to each other using “Du” instead of “Sie” (both meaning “You.”) Normally “Du” is reserved for family, extremely close friends and sports teammates. This is an example of the instant community geocaching creates.Roasting Ox- Photo Credit: “rejuch”center_img SharePrint RelatedEin GIGAntisches Geocaching-Erlebnis – “Mia san Giga” 2014September 9, 2014In “Community”Des Events Mega et Giga vus de l’intérieurAugust 27, 2019In “Français”Announcing Your Newest Geocache TypeApril 22, 2014In “Geocaching Info”last_img read more


Weekly Wrap-up: I Worked on the AOL Content Farm, Ceremonial Site Takedowns, Jailbreak iOS 4.2.1, and More…

Posted On Dec 16 2019 by

first_imgI Worked on the AOL Content Farm & It Changed My LifeATDHE Seized: How Site Takedowns Are CeremonialStep By Step, Google Docs Becoming the Mythical “GDrive”You Can Now Buy Up to 16 Terabytes of Storage from GoogleHow to Jailbreak iOS 4.2.1 – Now, Untethered!More coverage and analysis from ReadWriteWebDownload Our Latest Free Report: Engaging Online Communities The countless individual interactions people make online have introduced a new level of complexity in marketing. These “gestures” come in the form of likes in Facebook, replies in Twitter or subscriptions to blogs. Other gestures may be a link to a site or a check-in on a location-based network. Engaging Online Communities takes a look at how the modern enterprise must set up the right systems so it can keep track of the gestures that people make and perform analytics on the data. You can download and view Engaging Online Communitieshere.LocationFacebook Deals Launches in EuropeGoogle Adds 3 New Ways to Check In to Places, Including AutomaticallyMore Location coverage Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups ReadWrite Sponsors The violence, ongoing turmoil, and occasional triumphs in Egypt impacted our news coverage every day this past week. But it was Marshall Kirkpatrick’s tale of life on the AOL content farm that ended up as readers’ top choice in the week’s most popular stories. Verizon, and its plan to throttle high-data users in the wake of the new iPhone release was the top mobile post. In location news, Facebook Deals arrived in Europe. And Richard MacManus profiled a leading innovator in the Internet of Things. Read on to find out who, as well as more top stories.Top Stories of the Week 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market MobileEricsson Launches Mobile Banking System to Rival Western UnionIn Preparation for the iPhone, Verizon Plans to Throttle Its Heaviest Data UsersMore Mobile coverageInternet of ThingsLast Block of IPv4 Addresses AllocatedInternet of Things Innovators: ThingMagicMore Internet of Things coverageCheck Out The ReadWriteWeb iPhone App As well as enabling you to read ReadWriteWeb while on the go or lying on the couch, we’ve made it easy to share ReadWriteWeb posts directly from your iPhone, on Twitter and Facebook using the official ReadWriteWeb iPhone app. You can also follow the RWW team on Twitter, directly from the app. We invite you to download it now from iTunes.ReadWriteEnterpriseReadWriteEnterprise is devoted to enterprise 2.0 and using social software inside organizations. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Git Hacking: A Social Layer for GitHubThe Stanford Visualization Group Debuts Visual Tool for Cleaning Up DataA Free Visual Programming Language for Big DataReadWriteMobileReadWriteMobile is dedicated to helping its community understand the strategic business and technical implications of developing mobile applications. You Can Now Buy Up to 16 Terabytes of Storage from GoogleRolling Blackouts in Texas May Cause Trouble for the CloudA Home Where the Digital Wallpaper Changes When Grandma VisitsReadWriteBizReadWriteBiz is a resource and guide for small to medium businesses. center_img Top 10 Most Popular Open Source Applications in the Enterprise (Maybe)Forget “Brand Conversations” on Social NetworksSalesforce.com Buys Google Apps Marketplace Favorite ManymoonReadWriteStartReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is a resource for startups and entrepreneurs. Get a Viral Launch Page For Your Startup With LaunchRockStrategy Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Indian Entrepreneurs Are MaturingReadWriteCloudReadWriteCloud, sponsored by VMware and Intel, is dedicated to Virtualization and Cloud Computing. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… The New Rules of the App StoreUpstage: A New App for Sharing iOS MockupsSamsung’s Galaxy Tab Sales Exaggerated, Negates Data from Android Market Share ReportEnjoy your weekend everyone!Subscribe to the Weekly Wrap-upYou can subscribe to the Weekly Wrap-up by RSS or by email below.RWW Weekly Wrap-up Email Subscription form: 4 Reasons to Spring A Few Bucks For That Premium WordPress ThemeHow to Opt Out of Receiving the Yellow PagesAndroid Honeycomb: The First Few Apps For BusinessesReadWriteHackReadWriteHack is a resource and guide for developers. Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more


Getting Around in Sweden

Posted On Dec 16 2019 by

first_imgI had the great fortune two years ago to spend a couple weeks in Sweden. In late December 2007 I was visiting my daughter, who was studying at Lund University.When I arrived in Lund by train from the airport in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was late afternoon, raining lightly, and nearly dark—even southern Sweden is quite far north. I was immediately struck by the way people got around: despite the rain, bicyclists were everywhere; sidewalks were filled with pedestrians; and I think city busses almost outnumbered cars.Something was different here. Lund is an old, medieval city, densely populated with row-houses lining the narrow, cobblestone streets and broad sidewalks. Compared with my home state of Vermont, it’s also fairly flat, making it well-suited to bicycling.A couple decades ago the city made a decision to put attention and money into bicycle transportation. Bike lanes were incorporated into city streets, and extensive networks of separate bicycle paths were built, forming a sort-of alternative road network. Most of the bike paths have separate lanes for each direction of travel, plus a third one for walking—all clearly defined with signage. While there are certainly road crossings, where new road work has been done, separate underpasses or overpasses for these bicycle paths have often been created.All this makes it a breeze to get around.When I went further afield—into Malmö or north to Växjö—I’d either walk or bike the seven or eight blocks to the Lund train station. The bicycle “parking lots” at the train station were immense, with several that contained hundreds of bikes.Buying train tickets was quick and easy, using automated machines, and you could set your watch by the precise train arrivals and departures. I happened to see an individual in a wheel chair boarding the train; a conductor quickly appeared with a simple ramp to bridge the gap. All this was a model of efficiency—as one might expect from the country that spawned IKEA.I didn’t ride busses when there, but they struck me as being similarly efficient, though they struggled somewhat to navigate the narrow streets.One of my most cherished images in Lund was in the center of town on a busy afternoon with streets filled with people, when I came across a parking lot. It was a lot like our parking lots—with white lines demarcating the parking spaces—but with one huge difference. It was nearly empty! The few Volvos and Saabs looked so oddly alone that it took me a while to figure out what was wrong. Residents just don’t feel a need to drive. For more transportation-related photos and observations from my trip, see my blog, “Notes from Sweden #1: How They Get Around.”As a result, if the price of gasoline and diesel were to shoot up to, say, $10 per “gallon, the direct impact on residents would be relatively minor. Sure, their cost of food and shipped goods would go up and bus fares would likely increase to cover the higher fuel cost, but life could go on much as it is today.Contrast that with the United States. If gasoline were to get dramatically more expensive here, or if there were to be actual supply shortages due to refinery shut-downs or terrorist actions, we’d be in a real bind. Most of us can’t walk or bike to a store for our basic needs, and we don’t have access to convenient bus or rail transportation. Even schools are getting more regional, precluding walking or biking—which most of us in our 50s or older did as kids.The average distance an American walks per day is 350 yards. Think about that! Not only are we unable to get where we need to go without getting in our cars, but we drive to the health club to get our exercise—if we exercise at all.Something’s wrong with this picture.Throughout my trip to Sweden, as I visited all sorts of interesting facilities (including wood-chip-fired power plants providing district heat; a sewage treatment plant that produces biofuel for city busses; and a green roof demonstration center that’s been operating since the 1990s), I thought about what it would take to make our own transit system less dependent on automobiles.It won’t be easy, to be sure, but I believe that we need to begin figuring out what needs to be done and then chip away at it, little by little. We need to construct wider shoulders for biking when we work on roads. We need to create walking and biking pathways. We need to make public transit convenient and pleasant enough that it’s actually used.For these sorts of things to happen, more of us will have to get involved. The good news is that that’s beginning to happen. New models of transportation are emerging from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. I’m optimistic that we can someday make clean, convenient, affordable transportation the rule rather than the exception.last_img read more


ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: Zynga

Posted On Dec 15 2019 by

first_imgThe Players Mark Pincus, CEO: Mark Pincus is a smart guy, and he gets social media, having founded the push news service Freeloader and the social network Tribe Networks. He’s also not afraid of bending the rules to make a buck. In addition to the stock clawback, Pincus admits to dumping spyware on his users’ computers to turn a profit:I knew that I wanted to control my destiny, so I knew I needed revenues, right, f*cking, now. Like, I needed revenues now. So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this Zwinky toolbar which was like, I don’t know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it. *laughs* We did anything possible just to just get revenues so that we could grow and be a real business…So control your destiny. So that was a big lesson, controlling your business. So by the time we raised money we were profitable.Pincus got the company this far by being ahead of the curve. His challenge now is coming up with a way to stay there as the industry becomes more commoditized.The PrognosisZynga’s stock will not return to its peak for years, if ever. Its current franchises will likely hold onto a good deal of their market share, and the titles in the pipeline should perform well enough, but competition will eat into the company’s dominance. Within a few years, Zynga may still be the biggest social game publisher, but own a far smaller portion of a market valued far more conservatively than it is today. Unless it hits a major home run with one of its new initiatives (see below), there’s really no reason for anyone to acquire Zynga, so the company’s value will continue to float down to a point justified by its actual profit.Can This Company Be Saved?Zynga should continue to produce relevant, popular games, but to remain a power player in the social world, Pincus needs to win big with two moves.First is his push toward becoming an infrastructure provider. This will be an uphill climb, and there’s no good way to lock in developers who become successful on the Zynga platform.Second, and much riskier, is a jump into online gambling, a recurring theme that Pincus resurrected in July. Given the recent domestic troubles online gambling has faced, Zynga will likely be relying on years of Farmville sequels before gambling becomes a major revenue source.The Deathwatch So FarResearch In Motion: Amid Massive losses – more than 11 times worse than expected – the company has reportedly started pitching its long-delayed Blackberry 10 devices to carriers. And rumors are swirling that the company may do a licensing deal – or even a sale – with Samsung.HP: The company reported disappointing earnings last week, with declines in computer and printing revenues – and an $8.9 billion loss on a $10.8 billion writedown. Reports that HP is creating a new division to take another plunge into the consumer tablet market did not reassure anyone.Nokia: The mobile phone giant’s quarterly revenue and earnings exceeded expectations and it has reduced its cash burn rate, but the company lost money yet again and saw its debt ratings cut to junk status. And it still hasn’t cracked the U.S. smartphone market as it halves the retail price of its flagship Lumia 900 to $49.99.38 Studios: No changeBarnes & Noble: No changeSony: No changeGroupon: Groupon’s stock price continues to hit all-time lows as growth slows. T-Mobile USA: The company’s troubles continue to mount, reporting second quarter losses of 557,000 high-value contract customers, and a net loss of 205,000 customers. Netflix: No changeElectronic Arts: No changeBest Buy: After rejecting Richard Schulze’s takeover bid over the weekend, Best Buy hired Hubert Joly as its CEO. Joly is a turnaround mercenary who’s done good work in the past with companies like EDS, but whose primary experience is in the hospitality industry. Best Buy’s stock dropped 7% in an initial response.Motorola Mobility: no change Zynga’s Mafia Wars, Farmville and Bubble Safari are enormously popular pastimes that helped define social/casual gaming. But faced with a changing market and an unpopular leader, can Zynga innovate its way out of the hole it keeps digging for itself?The BasicsZynga’s climb to the top of social gaming didn’t take long. In 2007, Mark Pincus launched the Texas Hold’Em Poker app (now Zynga Poker) on Facebook. Within a year, he had acquired nearly $40 million of venture capital. A year later, Zynga reached 40 million active users on the back of Farmville, and an empire was born. Zynga went public in late 2011, and its stock took off, bolstered by strong performances from games like CityVille, Bubble Safari and Words With Friends. Since it peaked in March 2012 at nearly $15 per share, scandals and missed numbers have driven Zynga’s stock down to just over $3 per share. The company is now fighting to gain back the valuation, reputation and dominance it enjoyed just a few months ago.The ProblemsZynga’s biggest problems break down into four buckets. Some of them are Zynga’s fault, and others aren’t:1. The Brand Problem Mafia Wars has a loyal following. So do Words With Friends, Hidden Chronicles and Pioneer Trail. They’re all Zynga games, but Zynga itself does not command any loyalty. Social gamers are interested in individual game, not the companies producing them. That’s how something like OMGPOP’s Draw Something could come out of nowhere in a matter of days. Draw Something scared Zynga enough to prompt it to buy the company for $180 million. You can only do that so many times before the well runs dry, and hot apps can die as fast as they grow. The only way to stay on top is to keep churning out new hit games. That’s a tough business to maintain and scale.2. The ‘Book Problem Zynga and Facebook are tied together in a very unequal partnership. Sure, Zynga still dominates Facebook’s gaming channel, but there are plenty of other options for gamers, and Facebook is willing to test the waters. When Facebook made non-Zynga games easier to discover, Zynga’s business – and its stock – took a dive.On a recent earnings call, Mark Pincus acknowledged Zynga’s Facebook problem, noting that “getting beyond the Facebook Web footprint through mobile is going to give us more growth opportunities.” In the long run, that may be the case, though monetizing mobile traffic has been notoriously difficult for everyone. In the short term, Zynga has to hang on to as big a piece of the pie as Facebook will let them eat.3. The Bubble Problem Zynga isn’t the only social gaming company that’s disappointed. Electronic Arts’ PopCap acquisition is also starting to look like a bust. Social gaming is here to stay, but it seems tremendously overvalued. Zynga was funded in a bubble, built its expectations in a bubble and now has to meet bubble-sized expectations in a world that’s made a market correction. 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 4. The Boss Problem Speaking of management, the former wunderkind at the top of the org chart hasn’t made a lot of friends. Despite all his talk about everyone being a CEO, Mark Pincus has always been known as a bit of a control freak. When he was on top of his game, everyone let it slide. Then it got ugly, and so did the public.In late 2010, we heard rumors of stock option clawbacks where Pincus allegedly demanded that certain employees return their options or be fired. Then, when Zynga executives cashed out before the stock tanked (and while everyday employees remained locked up), Pincus became the target of a class-action lawsuit alleging insider trading.Pincus doesn’t seem to care about the common employee, and when you make video games for a living, your employees are your only real asset. That helps competitors to swipe your best talent and makes it really easy to mock you in videos like this one from Kixeye (language not suitable for work):center_img 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#Deathwatch#gaming#web cormac fosterlast_img read more


Use Track Targeting to Navigate Premiere Pro’s Timeline

Posted On Dec 12 2019 by

first_imgSpeed up your Premiere Pro post-production workflow with the power of track targeting.The Adobe Premiere Pro timeline can be a confusing area, even for seasoned editors. With source patching, track targeting, sync and track lock, you can quickly become confused with how to navigate and properly use all of the tools within Premiere’s timeline panel. Let’s focus in on the power of track targeting.What’s a Track and How Do You Target It?Premiere’s timeline consists of both video and audio tracks. Video tracks are represented with a V and can be found above the audio tracks, which are denoted with an A. You’ll notice that every track in the timeline has a number. You can add, delete, and rename tracks as needed. To target a track, simply click on its number. Targeted tracks are highlighted with a blue color. You can target multiple tracks at a time. Three Benefits of Track Targeting1. NavigationLearning the ins and out of track targeting will help you to become a significantly faster editor, since targeting helps you navigate quickly through the timeline panel.Use the up and down arrow keys to immediately snap your playhead to in and out points of clips on targeted tracks. Again, you can have multiple tracks targeted at any given time, which will allow you to navigate the in and out points of any clip on the timeline. Target a track in your timeline and hit the up and down keys to give it a try. You’ll quickly realize how useful this feature is.2. Copy/PasteTrack targeting also gives you additional control over clips on the timeline when using copy/paste. When you copy and paste clips within your timeline, Premiere will always paste the clips to the lowest numerical track targeted. If you have no track targeted, the clip will paste to track 1.3. Match FrameTrack targeting also correlates with match frames. Match framing allows you to find the source frame of any frame in a sequence clip on the timeline, and brings it up in the source monitor. Premiere Pro will only match frame a clip when a track is targeted, and will always match the frame in the highest targeted track. As you can see, learning the ins and outs of track targeting will significantly speed up your post production workflow.Got any Premiere Pro workflow tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more