Raiders Straight Talk: Dumping Antonio Brown saved the season

first_imgALAMEDA — The Raiders became a playoff contender the day they released Antonio Brown.It’s not a topic players or coaches are interested in talking about on the record nine games into the season, not when they’re 5-4 and surprising everyone but themselves.Some of the league’s smartest minds have made accommodations for the peculiarities of star players. Bill Walsh and Charles Haley. Bill Belichick and Randy Moss. Al Davis and . . . too many to count.Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike …last_img read more

South Africa’s macro-economic environment is resilient and we are open for business

first_img• Our prudent fiscal management and monetary policies have created macroeconomic stability.• According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2015/16, South Africa improved by four places to stand at 85 out of 140 countries in terms of its macro-economic environment.• South Africa is a competitive business and investment destination.• The country recently climbed seven places to take a spot in the top 50 out of 140 countries in WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index.  South Africa stands at number 49.• South Africa is also ranked fourth out of 54 African countries in the Ibrahim Index on African Governance.• Changing global economic conditions will necessitate the strengthening of our policy framework to ensure we can respond effectively.• South Africa is cognisant of the impact of the falling commodity prices, on our economy.   The weakness in commodity prices is a concern for major commodity exporters such as South Africa. The fall in commodity prices is unlikely to reverse and will have a sustained impact on emerging market economies.  This will serve as an impetus to prioritise the further diversification of our economy away from an over-reliance on commodities.• The depreciation of the rand occurs within a broader international context which is currently characterised by a fair amount of turbulence• The implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) remains the cornerstone of our economy.• The NDP is supported by the Nine-Point plan for economic renewal.• In supporting the NDP government is acting to alleviate the most binding constraints to growth and has set out a series of urgent economic reforms to build a more competitive economy. These include:1. Continued investment in economic infrastructure2. Reforming the governance of the State Owned Companies, rationalising state holding and encouraging private-sector participation3. Expanding the independent power producer programme4. Encouraging affordable, reliable and accessible broadband access5. Promoting black ownership of productive industrial assets6. Finalising amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (2002), and continuing dialogue with the industry; and7. Reviewing business incentive programmes in all economic sectors to ensure that resources support labour-intensive, job creating outcomes.Operation Phakisa is a national response to unlocking constraints to economic growth and development.last_img read more

A ‘disruptive’ technology: Sandile Ngcobo’s world-first digital laser

first_imgSandile Ngcobo at work testing the digital laser at the CSIR laboratory in Pretoria. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)Breakthrough experimental work by University of KwaZulu-Natal scientist Sandile Ngcobo as part of his PhD research has led to the development of a world-first digital laser set to open up revolutionary new technologies for medicine, communications, manufacturing, product development and more.Ngcobo was a key part of the team at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Laser Centre that demonstrated that, instead of resorting to expensive optics or other special mediating devices to control the shape of the light coming out of a laser, laser beams can be digitally controlled from inside the laser device itself.Watch an eNCA documentary on Ngcobo’s research: Watch Ngcobo explaining his technology at TEDxSoweto 2013: First published on Media Club South Africa – Brand South Africa’s library of quality images and articles, available for freelast_img read more

Six Technologies Poised to Change the Future of Film

first_imgWhat does the future hold for filmmaking? These six new technologies may change things in ways you haven’t imagined.Top image via LytroIn 1885 two French brothers invented the first moving picture machine and filmed a train arriving at a station and everyone lost their minds. Since then, the medium has evolved; film has added color and sound and become digital and three-dimensional. We’ve seen the likes of D. W. Griffith, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Keanu Reeves, and Steven Spielberg all work to redefine what we consider to be movies, film, cinema and good.Now it’s 2016 and we’re over a hundred years removed from The Great Train Robbery. Screens are getting smaller and smarter, while films are getting bigger and more diverse and easier to consume than ever before. At the current rate, what we perceive as films will change much more drastically in the next hundred years than the last. Here are six emerging filmmaking technologies that just might be the instruments of that change.1. Light Field TechnologyImage via LytroCameras are progressing at a rate that can only be described as “whoa” and are even beginning to break the rules of image capture. A new camera by Lytro, the ILLUM, is the world’s first commercially available “light field camera.” What does it do?Well, basically when you take a picture with the ILLUM, you capture all of the image with all of the available information. Not just the parts in focus. Not just the light you see. All of it. Everything. Which essentially lets you decide in post what you want your aperture and focus to be.You can read more about the science here and explore the company’s other high-tech endeavors here.2. Flat LensesImage via Harvard SEASA team of Harvard researchers are working to patent a new type of optical lens that is flat rather than curved. Why you ask? Because a flat, ultra-thin lens can theoretically offer complete accuracy over a wider range of wavelengths and reduce chromatic aberrations usually associated with curved-lens capture. The new technology would certainly re-image how we create and package cameras — possibly resulting in doing away with any connotations of what a “camera” does and looks like.3. iPhone 7 Dual-Lens CameraWhile, the iPhone 7 won’t be the first phone camera to use dual lenses — it’ll probably be the best. Apple’s purchase of LinX Imaging gives the company the technology to give their phones SLR-quality image capturing capabilities, along with the always included fun gimmicks and features. There have already been some celebrated feature films shot on iPhones in the past, so it may not be too long before it becomes less of a gimmick and more of a trend.4. Canon PatentsImage via CanonAs we posted about earlier this month, there have been some hints and patent leaks that point to some major Canon announcements by the end of the summer. Highlights include a new Canon 5D, a camera which has routinely shaken up the world of digital video and photography over the last decade. And a possible Canon C700 to compete with the ARRI AMIRA. Regardless of your feelings about the brand, the breakthroughs seem to be speeding up as pixel counts sky rocket and the high-end bottoms out toward better cameras in the hands of more and more people.5. Computerized Sound DesignImage via MIT CSAILFrom this Washington Post article, MIT researchers have developed a computer system that can analyze silent video and add in realistic sound. While this is a work in progress based on the findings in the report, the notion of computerized algorithms sound designing an entire film could open up a whole world of possibilities for other elements of production.6. AI-written ScreenplaysWhich leads into this eerie and odd look into how a computer’s “mind” works.  New York University AI researcher Ross Goodwin teamed up with director Oscar Sharp to create Benjamin: a self-named recurrent neural network that penned its own screenplay after being fed dozens of science fiction movies as source material.You can watch the finished product (starring Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch) awkwardly unfold above. (Thankfully, it doesn’t appear Benjamin is on the fast-track to taking over Hollywood anytime soon.)There’s no real way to tell what the future holds in store. If the last century has served as any indication (the jump from Buster Keaton silent comedies to fully rendered interspecies adventures), there really aren’t any good ways to predict what will ever be next. As long as artists keep creating stories and audiences keep watching, it’s really just up to us to enjoy the ride. Have any other imaginations on the future of film? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Assam NRC final list: Students’ body AASU to challenge NRC findings in SC

first_imgWatch | Assam’s NRC Final List is out 19 lakh people left out of Assam’s NRC Final List. What next?Volume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9Live00:0001:5001:50  Unhappy with the number of people excluded, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has decided to challenge the findings of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the Supreme Court, which had monitored the exercise.The AASU, which spearheaded the anti-foreigners Assam Agitation four decades ago, first demanded an updated NRC in 1980. It was a signatory to the agitation-ending Assam Accord of August 1985 that sought “detection, deletion (from voters’ list) and deportation” of illegal migrants from the State.“The figure of 19 lakh NRC-rejects is not what we expected, given the history of large-scale influx into Assam. This NRC has turned out to be incomplete and error-prone. We will appeal to the Supreme Court to remove the faults and discrepancies,” AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said.NGO Assam Public Works, whose petition in the Supreme Court in July 2009 led to the start of the NRC exercise four years later, also criticised the findings. It said it would move the apex court again besides writing to the President of India, the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister for rechecking the final NRC figures.“We had fought for removing foreigners from Assam, not for their ‘Indianisation’ which is what the NRC has done. For more than a year, we have been telling the Supreme Court for 100% reverification of documents but the NRC State Coordinator’s claim of 27% sample reverification was accepted,” the NGO chief, Aabhijeet Sarma, said. center_img “The NRC authority found 5,464 ‘Bangladeshis’ after 29% reverification in Cachar district, 4,096 in Dhubri district after 38% reverification, and 3,980 in Karimganj district after 25% reverification. If these many were detected, imagine how many would have been identified after 100% reverification,” he said.“We will leave no stone unturned for a quality check and a total reverification of the NRC documents. We will also demand an audit of the Rs. 1,600 crore spent on the update exercise,” he added.last_img read more

No room for SAI sports medicine centre in Delhi

first_imgThe Sports Authority of India’s sports medicine centre at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium has not been set up again after the venue was demolished in 2008.Initially set up in 1986, the sports medicine centre was a big help for thousands of Indian athletes who were either part of the SAI training programmes or were taking part in national camps in the Capital and needed medical cover.Once the stadium was broken down for renovation in 2008, the sports medicine centre went into rubble. And now, two months after the Commonwealth Games (CWG) ended, no space has been allotted for the centre to be set up again.When Mail Today contacted SAI sports medicine expert PSM Chandran, he said: “I have no idea when the centre will come up again. Whatever equipment we had then is now not there.”As it is, the equipment had outlived its utility, having been used for over two decades. I am hopeful the authorities will wake up and re- establish the centre as national camps will again be held in the Capital.” It is well known that when the Nehru Stadium and other venues in the Capital hosted national camps, the SAI sports medicine centre was most sought after. In addition, athletes who were training in SAI venues could also access the place for treatment.Chandran says while a skeletal staff is still there “with no work to do”, he is hoping money will again be spent on this project.”The next year will again be important as in the lead- up to the 2012 London Olympics, national camps will be held in New Delhi. If we start now and order equipment and hire staff, we can set up the centre again in a couple of months,” added Chandran.advertisementIt is well known that apart from sports medicine doctors, the centre requires physiotherapists, masseurs, sports psychologists, nutritionists, physiologists and nursing staff.At a time when people in the sports ministry and the SAI are breaking their heads over what will be the legacy value of the CWG, the SAI sports medicine centre surely seems to have been forgotten.last_img read more

PCB to oppose end to ICC president rotation policy

first_imgPakistan has rejected reforms which could see the country lose the right to have one of its nationals at the head of cricket’s governing body, an official said on Tuesday.ICC chief Sharad Pawar with PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.A plan to scrap the rotation policy for appointing presidents and vice- presidents of the International Cricket Council is likely to be tabled at its board meeting in Hong Kong later this month.”Under the current rotational system, Pakistan and Bangladesh have to put up the next candidates for president and vice-president and we don’t agree with the proposal of change and we have shown our reservations to the ICC,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed told reporters.Ahmed said Pakistan and Bangladesh had the right to nominate their candidates.”We are in touch with the ICC over the matter and will decide the future course of action soon,” said Ahmed.The post of ICC president was first created in 1997 when India’s Jagmohan Dalmiya took the top job. He was followed by Australian representative Malcolm Gray, followed by Ehsan Mani of Pakistan and Percy Sonn from South Africa.India’s Sharad Pawar is the current president and will be succeeded by Australia-New Zealand nominee Alan Isaac next year.Pakistan and Bangladesh will nominate their candidates after Isaac completes his term in 2014.It was unclear what new system for picking ICC presidents would replace rotational appointment.Pakistan has also opposed another suggested amendment in the ICC’s constitution allowing the council to suspend members in cases of government interference in the running of national cricket boards.advertisementThe role of PCB chairman is widely criticised for being a political appointment by the ruling administration.”But we challenged them on this issue and sent a legal notice in April. Now we are in talks with them to explain our position,” Ahmed said.Ahmed pointed out that the PCB had taken the stance that every member country had its own particular environment and set-up that it functioned under.- With Agency inputslast_img read more