Softball Travels to Arizona for Six Challenging Games

first_imgStory Links Arizona is 11-0 all-time against Drake, including 2-0 at the 2017 Wildcat Invitational. Drake and James Madison will play each other for the first time ever. Drake defeated Minnesota 5-0 during the 2010 season in the last meeting between the teams. Drake and Kent State have split six all-time head-to-head matchups with the last one coming in 1993. At the plate, the Bulldogs were led by their 1-2-3 hitters, Mandi Roemmich (West Des Moines, Iowa), Macy Johnson (Winterset, Iowa) and Libby Ryan (Mount Vernon, Iowa). The trio of Iowans went a combined 18-for-45 (.400) with five RBI, six stolen bases, 10 walks and 13 runs scored. Arizona Game 1 Live Stats Arizona Video Stream TUCSON, Ariz. – The Drake University softball team travels west to Tucson, Ariz., Feb. 28-March 3, where it will play at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational. In the five wins, Newman went 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA and one save with 22 strikeouts while Timmons went 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA and 28 strikeouts. Newman, who became Drake’s all-time wins leader over the weekend, earned her 12th MVC Pitcher of the Week honor Monday. Timmons improved her all-time record to an impressive 20-6 in her young career.center_img Drake received votes in both the USA Today/NFCA’s and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 polls this week after its successful weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. The Bulldogs were led by outstanding pitching by the duo of Nicole Newman (Madison, Wis.) and Nicole Timmons (Davenport, Iowa), paired with timely hitting and patience at the plate. As a team, Drake drew 31 walks, including several with the bases loaded. Arizona Game 2 Live Stats Non-Arizona Live Stats Drake, which is coming off a 5-0 weekend, including a win over then No. 12 Arkansas at its home tournament, will play host and No. 12 Arizona twice, Minnesota (RV) twice, No. 19 James Madison and Kent State while in Tucson. The Bulldogs start the trip Thursday night with a game against the Wildcats before the three-day tournament starts Friday against Minnesota at 12 p.m. and followed by a rematch against the Wildcats. The games against Arizona will be streamed for free at arizonawildcats.com/sblive while the rest will be streamed with a subscription fee at FloSoftball.com. Live stats will be available for all six games. Following its trip to Tucson, Drake visits Norman, Okla., March 8-9, for the Oklahoma Invite hosted by the No. 4 Sooners. It will be the Bulldogs final non-conference tournament where it will play Grand Canyon, Northwestern and Oklahoma and then end the trip March 10 at Tulsa for a single game. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

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South African socks are a global hit

first_img16 October 2015In an attempt to beat an overseas competitor at his own game, South African entrepreneur Nicholas Haralambous built a fashion company out of colourful designer socks that are now sold in 20 countries around the world.The Capetonian bought some brightly coloured socks some years ago. But he was not happy with either the quality or the design of the imported product. It sparked a desire to do something better, and in November 2012 he set up Nic Harry, a fashion company that creates vibrant socks and men’s accessories.“At the moment I am having fun, adding style to men’s options, and increasing the limited range that men have in accessories,” Haralambous explained. “I like to dress men from the ground up.”Nic Harry socks, which are made from bamboo fibres, now adorn the feet of high-profiled people, such as cricketer Herschelle Gibbs, actor Maps Maponyane, rugby player Bob Skinstad, and politician Mmusi Maimane.How it started The Barbershop sock is Nic Harry’s first design. It is a hit in 10 countries. (Image: Supplied)He had exited another business and used the money he saved to start Nic Harry socks, Haralambous told the television magazine show Top Billing. “I wanted to show South Africans that you could use a relatively small amount of money to slowly grow something of value.“I took the $400 (±R5 000 at the time) and grew it into R30 000 within six weeks and then reinvested the money into the business for the first two years,” the 31-year-old explained.The biggest seller is The Barbershop, which is popular in 10 countries.Watch behind the scenes at Nic Harry’s local factory:He mostly designed his own socks, said Haralambous. “We partner with designers about twice a year to help us with new, innovative designs. All of them are local designs. There have been five (designers) overall and we’re growing that number in 2015.”Failing to learnHe had had nine businesses over the past 10 years, Haralambous told the British news agency, BBC. He set up his first business as a student, when he was just 19.Despite his jump into business, he graduated with a degree in journalism, politics and philosophy from Rhodes University, in Eastern Cape. Initially using his university learning, he started out in the media at 702 Talk Radio. Over the years, Haralambous has also worked at Financial Mail, Business Day and Mail & Guardian, where he was head of the mobile division for a brief stint.He left Mail & Guardian for a young start-up called Zoopy. Other start-ups in which he has been involved include Motribe, a mobile social network builder that he co-founded with Vincent Maher in 2010. After two years of intense work, Mxit bought Motribe.Watch Haralambous explain how business ideas emerge:Of the nine businesses in which he has been involved over the past decade, Motribe was the first successful one. About Nic Harry, Haralambous said: “In our first year we did sold 6 500 socks globally. In our second year we sold 66 000 pairs; this year we are on the track to do a 100 000 to 110 000 pairs.”His philosophy is that failure means that you learn. “What a lot of entrepreneurs do is they run into a wall and stop. What good entrepreneurs do is knock the wall down and run to the next wall. That is key. It’s key that you just keep going.“However, sometimes it really comes down to grit and determination to stay motivated in the face of relentless odds and endless problems. Either you see those problems as something to solve or as a road block. If you see roadblocks then maybe entrepreneurship isn’t for you,” he said.His advice From selling 6 500 pairs of socks globally three years ago when the business started, colourful socks by Nic Harry are worn by celebrities such as Herschelle Gibbs and Maps Maponyane. In 2015, Nic Harry is aiming to sell 110 000 pairs of socks. (Image: Supplied)He had no other formal training or education in building businesses, Haralambous said. “I don’t think you decide to become an entrepreneur. My family is filled with entrepreneurs and it’s what I realised I am best at and comfortable with. It makes me happy. So I do it!”Trial and error was how he learned. “Build, fail, learn, and repeat. For me, that’s the only way I know how and the way it’s worked out.“I think that the key thing is to persevere. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard to build a business of any kind, anywhere in the world so don’t think it’s going to be a breeze. You’re going to face hardship and there will be sacrifice but if you want the long-term benefit you need the short-term pain and risk.”Nic Harry had produced about 70 different sock designs over the past three years. “Right now, in stock we probably have 65,” he said.The company opened a dedicated shop in August, at 66 Wale Street, in Cape Town.Source: SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

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USFRA brings SMART Farm communications concept to consumer electronics show

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Last week at CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance introduced a new communications concept, called SMART Farm, aimed at bridging the gap between the acceptance of innovation that’s a part of consumers’ everyday lives with the science and technology happening on today’s farms and ranches.“Science and technology are embraced by consumers in all aspects of their lives,” said Brad Greenway, USFRA Chairman and a South Dakota crop and pig farmer. “We want to demonstrate that farmers and ranchers are using similar technology to produce food in a way that is good for the soil, air, habitat and water on and around our farms and ranches — without compromise on cost, quality or taste.”Today’s SMART Farms use data and technology to help farmers and ranchers become more efficient, nimble, and more equipped to protect the planet’s resources while producing food.  While at CES, USFRA and its partners showcased a few examples of these innovations that, for example, result in better care for animals, fewer trips across the field and more precise application of water and crop inputs like fertilizer and pesticides.“Media, influencers and consumers all understand the notion of ‘smart’ as a descriptor for the innovation and technology that helps improve their lives — the smart phone, the smart home, the smart classroom,” said Randy Krotz, USFRA Chief Executive Officer. “Just like every other forward-thinking industry, American agriculture is employing science and technology to help build an ever-improving version of the American farm.”In the coming year, USFRA will incorporate programs and activities, such as 360 videos, infographics, events, speaking opportunities and more, to demonstrate SMART Farming practices.For more information on USFRA, click here.last_img read more

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Report: Phil Jackson Will Be At Tonight’s Ohio State Game, Presumably To Scout D’Angelo Russell

first_imgThe Lakers logo on the Staples Center jumbotron.LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 28: A moment of silence is observed in honor of Philip “Flip” Saunders’ passing before the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center on October 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Update: Phil Jackson is in the building. In attendance tonight – One of the greatest coaches of all time…alongside Phil Jackson  #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/QfvIDzSYea— OSU BASKETBALL (@OhioStateHoops) February 26, 2015New York Knicks President Phil Jackson is at the Schottenstein Center to watch the Buckeyes and D’Angelo Russell. pic.twitter.com/CnhSXGTvhr— Lantern TV (@LanternTV) February 26, 2015Earlier: The New York Knicks have the worst record (10-46) in the NBA and are one of several franchises in tank mode as they attempt to secure the best possible odds for the 2015 NBA Draft lottery. If the Knicks do end up with the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, the common opinion is that they will select Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor, but there are other possible candidates. One prospect who might be worthy of the top pick is Ohio State playmaking freshman guard D’Angelo Russell. The 6-foot-5 Russell is having a monster season in Columbus, and Knicks team president Phil Jackson is reportedly going to watch him play tonight against Nebraska. Word from the Schott that some dude named Phil Jackson will be in the house…Gee…wonder who he’s scouting?— Matt McCoy (@MattMcCoyWTVN) February 26, 2015 Jackson has to cover all of his bases. The Knicks need a lot of help, and can’t afford to bungle their lottery selection, no matter where they will pick. Either Russell or Okafor would be a win for a franchise in dire need of them.last_img read more

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WWE Teams Up With Drew Brees And Boys Girls Clubs For Kids

first_imgWWE will join forces with celebrities and professional athletes to launch Superstars for Kids, a global online auction benefiting New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees’ non-profit organization, The Brees Dream Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs.Superstars for Kids is a part of WWE’s pro-social initiatives celebrating WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.Beginning today, through a partnership with Charitybuzz.com, the online auction will feature unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with WWE Superstars, top athletes and Hollywood celebrities. Fans can visit www.Charitybuzz.com/WWE now through Tuesday, April 8 at 12:00 noon ET to bid on items. Current auction items include experiences with WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels, WWE Superstars Triple H and Daniel Bryan, Drew Brees, Michael Strahan, Anger Management’s Charlie Sheen, Jimmy Kimmel, Tyler Perry, Maria Menounos and many more.In addition to the auction, producer and star of the upcoming comedy A Haunted Mansion 2, Marlon Wayans, will join Drew Brees as one of the special guests at the Superstars for Kids red carpet party to help kick-off WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. Wayans will lead a live auction at the party where additional once-in-a-lifetime experiences will be made available for bidding.“I can’t thank WWE enough for their support of The Brees Dream Foundation,” said Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints. “The funds raised will be used to support our ongoing global efforts to help improve the quality of life for Cancer patients and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need.”“Boys & Girls Clubs is honored that WWE recognizes the value of our work, not only in New Orleans but on the Westbank and Northshore, and the deep need of our club kids and the tremendous impact membership has on their lives,” said Frank Sanchez, National Vice President, Sports, Entertainment & Alumni Development. “We are thrilled that Boys & Girls Clubs has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries for this year’s WrestleMania philanthropic activities and look forward to a long lasting relationship between WWE and our organization.”“WWE is committed to using the power of our brand to help improve the lives of children around the world,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “We are proud to support two very worthy organizations that make such a significant impact on so many people.”Online auction highlights include: • Lunch with Charlie Sheen on the set of Anger Management • A chance to be in a Tyler Perry Studios Movie or TV Show • A Bullet Stratosphere Guitar Signed by Maroon 5 • Meet Jimmy Kimmel with 2 tickets and green room access to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live! in LA • Meet & Greet with Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart at Hogan’s Beach in Tampa, FL • Lunch with Shawn Michaels and a backstage tour of Monday Night Raw • Meet WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin and be a part of his podcast • NXT Full Sail Experience with Triple H that includes lunch, behind the scenes tour and all access to NXT • Be a part of the “Yes Movement” and join Daniel Bryan during his entrance to the ring at a WWE Live Event • The Ultimate Drew Brees Experience including a meet & greet with the New Orleans Saints quarterback • Take over the court at The World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden!Source:BusinessWire.comlast_img read more

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These Kings Are Better Than Gretzkys Kings

For NHL fans of a certain age,1Full disclosure: I am of this demographic, albeit one of the younger members. the definitive Los Angeles Kings team is Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings team. The franchise existed for 21 seasons before Gretzky arrived in Los Angeles in 1988, but the banality that he single-handedly made hockey relevant in LA is largely true. Kings attendance soared with No. 99 in the fold,2Increasing 27 percent in Gretzky’s first season with LA and another 11 percent in his second, per Rodney Fort’s data. the team’s value increased sharply during his tenure there,3The Kings ranked as the NHL’s third-most valuable team in 1994, according to contemporary estimates by Financial World magazine. In 1995, the team sold for a price ($113 million) nearly three times its value in 1988, when Bruce McNall bought 51 percent of the team for $20 million. and Gretzky instantly transformed the on-ice product into a legitimate contender by powering one of the best offenses in the game. Behind a 40-point postseason by Gretzky, the Kings reached their apex in 1993 — losing in five games but earning what was, at the time, the franchise’s lone Stanley Cup Final berth. For years, the Gretzky era easily represented the high-water mark of hockey’s four-decade experiment in Southern California.Not anymore. The Kings now are back in the finals for the second time in three years, and are looking for another Stanley Cup victory to follow the one they won in 2012. But this team isn’t Gretzky’s. It’s constructed differently and it plays a different game. And it might be better for it.If you’re looking for an NHL “Moneyball,” the modern Kings may be as close as any team to embodying the ethos of hockey’s sabermetric revolution. As FiveThirtyEight contributor Eric Tulsky has noted before, the current Kings pursue a strategy of constant control of the puck. With a host of possession superstars, the Kings have led the NHL in close-score4To filter out the influence of score effects. Fenwick percentage — a proxy for time of possession that measures a team’s share of all unblocked shots directed at either net during its games — for two years running, and the year before that they dominated the metric down the stretch after swapping defenseman Jack Johnson5A particularly poor Fenwick player, it should be noted. for center Jeff Carter at the trade deadline.No opposing team can score (or even shoot) when it doesn’t have the puck. During the regular season, LA allowed the league’s third-lowest rate of unblocked shots per minute of 5-on-5 play, and its second-lowest rate of total shots allowed per game. Along with decent goaltending from Jonathan Quick, that’s how the Kings helped clinch the William Jennings Trophy, given to the goaltenders on the team that allows the fewest goals all season. Maximizing possession is a hockey hack that helps at both ends of the rink.But all that possession hasn’t guaranteed the modern-day Kings a bushel of goals. The Kings spent most of the 2013-14 regular season struggling to light the lamp, despite firing the league’s second-highest rate of unblocked shots at the opposing net.6Per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play. Their 5-on-5 shooting percentage with the score close, which had been average in 2012-13, slumped to third worst in the NHL this season. Still, LA kept emphasizing possession and putting the puck on net, seeming to trust that shooting percentages tend to regress heavily to the mean.And the Kings rediscovered their scoring touch at just the right time. During the playoffs, they’ve scored on a substantially higher proportion of shots than they did during the regular season. It doesn’t hurt that they also acquired right wing Marian Gaborik — whose career shooting percentage ranks among the best of any active player’s — at the trade deadline. But the biggest reason for the Kings’ offensive resurgence is that they rode out their poor shooting luck and continued to focus on dominating the puck, the way statheads have been calling for teams to do for years.The Kings squad that Gretzky tearfully joined on Aug. 9, 1988, played a very different kind of hockey.We don’t know for sure because play-by-play records from that era are not available, but it’s unlikely that Gretzky’s Kings dominated possession of the puck. According to estimates of close-score Fenwick percentage for older seasons, Los Angeles ranked among the top half of teams in possession rate just once (1990-91) in the eight seasons the Great One wore silver and black. Most of the time, they were actually somewhat bad at keeping control of the puck, ranking 18th out of 26 teams in estimated close-score Fenwick percentage during Gretzky’s tenure.Instead, they lived off a suspiciously high shooting percentage that modern analysts might decry as luck. During Gretzky’s first three seasons as a King, LA finished no worse than second in goals per shot. But Gretzky’s playmaking wizardry was probably a very real effect. Over that span, he paced the league in assists by a wide margin,7He notched 107 more helpers than No. 2 Adam Oates. You could have finished 70th in assists over the same period with the leftovers Gretzky didn’t need to pass Oates. and his teammates shot 9.1 percent better in those seasons than they would over the rest of their careers.The defense couldn’t measure up to the offense, though. Those Kings allowed the league’s second-highest number of shots8Only the miserable San Jose Sharks, in their second year of existence, played softer D. and its fourth-highest number of goals.Gretzky’s squad didn’t have a deep roster, either. According to Tom Awad’s catch-all summary stat Goals Versus Threshold (like Value Over Replacement Player for hockey), the 1992-93 Kings were a notably top-heavy team. They were led by stars such as Luc Robitaille and Jari Kurri. (Not to mention Gretzky, who recovered from an injury in time to post 65 points in 45 games.) But they also lost 17.8 goals because sub-replacement-level talent was on the ice, one of the largest totals in recent memory by a team that won more than half its games.The current iteration of the Kings has superior depth, and nary a Gretzky type to be found. Since LA’s top scorer Anže Kopitar debuted with the club in 2006-07, his best offensive season was 86 adjusted points. Gretzky’s worst full-season mark as a King by far was 83 adjusted points9Adjusted points are, well, adjusted — meaning they remove the influence of scoring environment — so Gretzky doesn’t get an unfair advantage for playing in a more high-flying era. in 1994-95 — and he cracked the century mark in five of his six full seasons in Los Angeles. Today’s Kings rely less on a single superstar to carry the bulk of the offensive workload.Superior depth and puck possession don’t automatically equal a better hockey team, though they often do. The proof is in the results for the current Kings, who over the last three seasons are already twice as close to a quantifiable dynasty as the franchise was during Gretzky’s entire stay in Southern California.10200.0 dynasty points compared to 97.6. If advancing deep into the postseason is the standard for success, today’s Kings beat No. 99’s in a landslide.Gretzky himself has said that the present-day Kings are impressive. Of the Cup-winning 2012 team, the Great One said, “They’re a much better team than we were in ’93.”He’s right. Gretzky’s team was an exciting offensive squad, and one of the last successful relics of the high-octane playing style that had ruled the game in the 1980s. But today’s Los Angeles Kings are exemplars of the modern game. They know that if you always have the puck on your stick, you can’t lose. read more

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Whats New In Our 201718 Club Soccer Predictions

Costa RicaCONCACAF0.09-0.300.02 HondurasCONCACAF-0.61-0.61 SpainUEFA2.012.102.01 There aren’t too many surprises at the top; out of the five biggest European leagues, four are in the top five, with La Liga in Spain and the Bundesliga in Germany pretty far ahead of the pack. The Premier League in England, despite being the most valuable league in the world, has struggled to compete in the Champions League recently, and their match-based rating lags far behind their market value rating. Another league whose recent performance according to our ratings has lagged behind their market value is Major League Soccer in the U.S., whose last CONCACAF Champions League title was in 2000. MLS shows up in 28th place, between the Danish and Croatian leagues and a long way behind their regional rivals Liga MX in Mexico.To generate these league strength ratings, we’ve set up a system where we first assume that all leagues are of equal strength and determine how far above or below expectation each league has performed over the past five years. In order, we:Run through all domestic matches in history and calculate domestic team SPI ratings throughout time.Look at each inter-league match from the past five years and calculate the expected score of the match based purely on each team’s domestic rating at the time.Take the difference between our expected score of the match and the actual score and run these results through Massey’s Method to find a rating for each league, expressed in how many goals better or worse than average that league is.Regress these calculated ratings toward market-value based ratings, weighted by how many inter-league matches we have for each league.Run through all matches in history again, incorporating league strengths into the predictions for any inter-league matches to improve the final team ratings.Our league strengths can be interpreted as a bonus (in goals) given to each team in an inter-league match. So, for example, if Real Madrid (league strength of 2.01) were playing PSG (league strength of 1.48) and Real Madrid were a 0.2 goal favorite based only on their domestic SPI ratings, our model would give Real Madrid an extra 0.53 goal bonus because of the difference in the two teams’ league strengths.A nice feature of these league strength ratings is that they let us generate global SPI ratings for any club team in the world. These global SPI ratings are a combination of each team’s domestic SPI rating and the strength of the league they play in. To generate them, we set up a mock match on neutral ground against a team with a domestic offensive and defensive SPI rating of 1.35 that plays in a league with strength of 1.25. (These values are just arbitrary ratings that we use for a baseline team against which we can compare any other team.) We calculate the number of goals we expect each team to score in the match as well as the chances of each team winning. So each team’s global SPI ratings can be interpreted as follows:Offensive SPI: the number of goals the team is expected to score in such a matchDefensive SPI: the number of goals the team is expected to concede in such a matchOverall SPI: the percentage of points the team is expected to take in such a matchWe’ll be adding a list of all SPI-rated teams to our club soccer predictions soon. For now, you can find forecasts from 24 leagues. They’re available in three languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese) and will be updated after every match. Czech RepublicUEFA0.710.440.69 PortugalUEFA1.181.161.18 COUNTRY▲▼CONFEDERATION▲▼INTER-LEAGUE MATCHES▲▼MARKET VALUES▲▼OVERALL STRENGTH▲▼ HungaryUEFA-0.360.11-0.29 GermanyUEFA1.891.881.89 GreeceUEFA0.810.620.80 ItalyUEFA1.481.891.50 SwedenUEFA0.730.290.70 Not all leagues have market values on Transfermarkt.Sources: ESPN, Transfermarkt MaltaUEFA-1.65-0.63-1.44 COUNTRY▲▼CONFEDERATION▲▼INTER-LEAGUE MATCHES▲▼MARKET VALUES▲▼OVERALL STRENGTH▲▼ GuatemalaCONCACAF-0.64-0.64 IsraelUEFA0.220.230.22 NetherlandsUEFA0.711.050.73 IcelandUEFA-0.31-0.69-0.36 UruguayCONMEBOL0.600.150.58 BulgariaUEFA-0.150.27-0.10 BelgiumUEFA0.971.000.97 AustriaUEFA0.860.590.84 DenmarkUEFA0.590.380.57 MacedoniaUEFA-0.74-0.88-0.76 BoliviaCONMEBOL0.530.53 LuxembourgUEFA-1.41-0.84-1.29 WalesUEFA-1.60-0.88-1.46 PeruCONMEBOL-0.06-0.03-0.06 BrazilCONMEBOL1.481.641.49 ArgentinaCONMEBOL1.480.711.45 Faroe IslandsUEFA-1.70-0.88-1.54 STRENGTH BASED ON … CroatiaUEFA0.550.490.55 Relative strength of club soccer leagues from Europe, North America and South America, by countryBased on matches played in the past five years and the current market value of each league FranceUEFA1.511.011.49 ParaguayCONMEBOL0.900.90 ChileCONMEBOL0.740.180.71 KazakhstanUEFA0.400.270.39 EstoniaUEFA-1.67-0.52-1.47 ScotlandUEFA0.140.440.17 ArmeniaUEFA-1.05-0.42-0.92 RussiaUEFA1.491.271.48 AlbaniaUEFA-0.77-0.30-0.70 CyprusUEFA0.04-0.300.02 USACONCACAF0.540.660.56 AzerbaijanUEFA0.01-0.040.01 SwitzerlandUEFA1.070.751.06 Northern IrelandUEFA-1.63-0.88-1.48 BelarusUEFA0.150.020.14 TurkeyUEFA1.111.161.12 GeorgiaUEFA-0.79-0.30-0.71 MexicoCONCACAF1.120.931.09 ColombiaCONMEBOL1.020.460.99 All our significant changes are in how we assess the relative strength of domestic leagues. The goal was to improve our forecasts for the Champions League and Europa League and to better compare clubs in different countries — say, Juventus in Italy to Ajax in the Netherlands. We’re using recent matches played between teams from different leagues, supplemented with league market values (from Transfermarkt), to assign a strength rating to every league that we’re forecasting. Our new league ratings also give us the ability to a calculate a global Soccer Power Index (SPI) rating for each team — a number from 0 to 100 that represents the overall strength of each team.We’ll get into more detail about that methodology below, but to start, here are our league strengths for most of the top-tier domestic leagues in Europe, North America and South America: FinlandUEFA-0.45-0.38-0.44 This methodology article is for an old version of our club soccer forecasts. See how our latest club soccer predictions work.We’ve launched a big expansion of our soccer predictions here at FiveThirtyEight. We’re now forecasting 24 club soccer leagues, with two more — Champions League and Europa League — to come in a few weeks. We’ve added leagues from South America (Brasileirão and the Argentine Superliga), along with 14 new European leagues, including five second-tier leagues, such as the English Championship.For the most part, the methodology behind our forecasts is the same as last year’s. We’re still using four metrics from each match — goals scored, adjusted goals, shot-based expected goals and non-shot expected goals — to evaluate team performances. Those evaluations are expressed as offensive and defensive ratings for each team. And those ratings, in turn, let us calculate win/loss/draw probabilities for future matches and simulate the season thousands of times to estimate each team’s chances of winning the title. RomaniaUEFA0.750.240.71 SerbiaUEFA-0.110.12-0.09 EnglandUEFA1.582.281.60 El SalvadorCONCACAF-0.46-0.46 PanamaCONCACAF0.070.07 UkraineUEFA1.100.881.09 MontenegroUEFA-0.99-0.43-0.87 AndorraUEFA-2.79-0.88-2.25 VenezuelaCONMEBOL-0.09-0.11-0.09 LatviaUEFA-1.46-0.35-1.27 STRENGTH BASED ON … IrelandUEFA-0.28-1.07-0.40 BosniaUEFA-0.61-0.03-0.51 EcuadorCONMEBOL0.770.460.75 LithuaniaUEFA-2.08-0.43-1.69 SlovakiaUEFA0.19-0.160.15 PolandUEFA0.630.210.60 MoldovaUEFA-0.63-0.88-0.67 SloveniaUEFA-0.160.01-0.14 NorwayUEFA0.500.190.48 read more

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Wrestling looking to take down the team up north

Any Buckeye will tell you there’s not much that tops the feeling of defeating “that team up north.” The Ohio State wrestling team is no exception. “It’s Ohio State — Michigan. We don’t like each other,” senior captain Colt Sponseller said. “That’s evident when we wrestle each other.” The misconception that the rivalry is limited to football is something the team looks to dispel. “A lot of people think it’s just football, but it’s all sports,” Sponseller said. “It’s a real big deal.” The Buckeyes have beaten Michigan the past three years, and look to extend that to four when they host the Wolverines at 7 p.m. Friday. “We’ve won the last three; we want to continue to win against Michigan,” coach Tom Ryan said. “Our group understands the importance of the rivalry.” The competition brings a different approach to the week preceding it. Ryan said he showed his team a video of the football rivalry, and the wrestlers know it is not just an ordinary dual. “The whole Ohio State atmosphere with Michigan — we want to beat them; they want to beat us,” sophomore captain Ian Paddock said. “So, that always adds to the competition.” Members of the winning team will receive gold singlets, like the gold pants trinkets given to victorious football players. Though their records are near opposites — Michigan is 7-2 and the Buckeyes are 2-6 — Ryan said he believes a win is within the Buckeyes’ sights. “We’re looking for a win,” he said. “Despite the struggles we have had, I think the matchups are favorable for us.” A Buckeye victory against the Wolverines rests on the outcome of one key matchup. “It’ll come down to the 197 pounds,” Ryan said. “It’ll be the key match of the night for both programs.” Sponseller said his team is ready for the dual and eager to take on its rival. “Everybody gets geared up,” he said. “It always feels like there’s a rivalry.” Ryan said his captains need to step up for the dual and lead the team to victory. Sponseller said he isn’t taking the challenge lightly. “Not trying to be an enforcer,” he said, “but trying to be a motivator.” The fans will play a key role in Friday’s dual, Sponseller said. “The crowd means a lot,” he said. “It feels like you have an 11th man out there.” Sponseller said he has one plan. “I just plan on going out there,” he said, “and beating Michigan.” read more

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Is your website Hacker proof

first_imgAdvertisement Each day, Google identifies 9,500 malware-infected websites, about 4,000 of which are legitimate sites compromised by hackers. About half of these victims learn they’ve been hacked when they see the same browser and search-engine danger warnings their customers see, a sign they’ve been blacklisted.Hackers are constantly breaking into innocent websites and using them to infect visitors with malware, lure them to dodgy sites and infiltrate databases to grab sensitive customer information. But you can avoid trouble or eliminate it quickly by taking some relatively simple steps.Small businesses are especially vulnerable to hacking because they usually lack the technology expertise and site security that larger companies have. They also suffer more if their lack of expertise slows repairs and their ability to get back to work. Business owners can lose significant online traffic and sales if their site lands on blacklists operated by Google and other search engines. – Advertisement – A lot of people will have to tangle with [a hack] at some point in time, my advice for companies is secure everything.Here’s how to get started:Keep your software up to date. Hackers aggressively target security flaws in popular Web software such as content management systems and blogging programs so they can attack websites en masse. Stay out of the line of fire by using the latest versions of software and applying security patches promptly.Sites that get infected and clean up, but don’t fix the vulnerability in their software, just get re-infected,” says Lucas Ballard, a software engineer with Google’s Safe Browsing team. He urges webmasters to address the underlying weakness that enabled the hack, as well as remove hackers’ malicious code from site pages.Use strong passwords and keep them safe. Using strong passwords is crucial because hackers frequently attempt to crack or steal passwords for web software and FTP servers, which are computers that use the File Transfer Protocol to move web pages and other files to another computer, such as a Web-hosting server. Default, common or predicable passwords can be easily broken.Also make sure to protect your PCs from a virus infection since that can lead to the theft of site passwords. An infection in a computer can allow hackers to steal your FTP password and plant malware that infects visitors to your sites.Register with Google’s Webmaster Tools. Getting on Google’s blacklist, which is used by the search site and the Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers, can reduce traffic to your site. By registering with Webmaster Tools, you can receive notifications of malware infections immediately, sometimes before blacklisting occurs, so you can get rid of them faster. The service also provides details about the precise problem Google is seeing. That can speed your clean up and your return to Google’s good books.Get expert help. Companies that are heavily dependent on their websites may want to hire a firm that provides alerts if they get on a blacklist, monitoring for malicious activity, scanning for security vulnerabilities or help with repairs after a hack. Businesses that have databases with sensitive customer information connected to their sites should get help building security into their sites and scouring software code for bugs.Information from Entrepreneur.com was used in this post.last_img read more

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Why Smarter Voice Assistants Means Youll Have More Time to Work on

first_img In the same way the first iPhone changed how we viewed cellphones, Google Duplex, a new digital voice assistant that can make calls and sets up appointments on our behalf, is showing us that voice assistants can do more than just purchase laundry detergent and play music.Duplex reframes our view of voice assistants from a clever user interface meant for consumers only, into a powerful business tool that can get almost anything done, independently of you.  Of course, as the intelligence of assistants grows, so do people’s anxiety. HAL 9000’s red eye hovers over any discussion of AI assistants like a menacing cyclops. And the advance of AI certainly poses serious questions about automation and work. The ethical concern raised over Duplex mimicking a human assistant isn’t needless handwringing. Fortunately, these anxieties are neither new nor unanswerable. Because thankfully, as AI get smarter, we entrepreneurs get smarter right along with them.  Related: This Is How to Get Started With AI When the Only Thing You Know Is the AcronymThe future of AI looks more like cooperation than competition.The power to increase your mental horsepower comes from harnessing AI assistants to do two distinct tasks:  Carry out brain-taxing, menial tasks for you so you can focus on higher-level workCombine your natural abilities with tasks that machines do better, like analyzing massive datasetsTo imagine how AI can immediately be integrated into daily life, consider a typical office meeting. Now, instead of every important decision made during that meeting evaporating the moment it ends, imagine an AI assistant using natural language processing to transcribe the meeting notes. Instead of everyone leaving with a fuzzy idea about what to do next, imagine an AI assistant using machine learning to process that transcription to pull out and assign the action items for each attendee. The current AI revolution digitizes such mundane tasks and spoken work done in our offices — making us smarter by collecting, storing and analyzing the kinds of information we don’t normally give to computers.  Related: Walking With AI: How to Spot, Store and Clean the Data You NeedAI assistants will continue, like Duplex, to be narrow in scope, typically serving a single purpose, and be very good at what they do. Rather than using a single voice assistant for everything, a team of these programs likely will share the burden of the 1,000 menial brain tasks we do every day. They will not be human replacements, but they will be tools for driving specific outcomes.  A 2017 survey by PwC found that 31 percent of business and IT leaders name AI assistants as the top innovation they expect to change their business. For comparison, automated data analysis (29 percent) and automated communications (28 percent) came second and third. Around 80 percent of those same executives see huge potential in AI to alleviate repetitive tasks like paperwork, scheduling and timesheets.  In fact, PwC estimates that AI could be worth $15.8 trillion in increased global GDP by 2030.  Incorporating AI assistants into a team requires some work.Teaming up with AI requires knowing how to cooperate with a different type of intelligence. Many people don’t know how to team up with AI assistants because they misunderstand how they work. The mystery surrounding AI leads people to think of it as some magical machine consciousness — often one that many suspect has bad intentions (see the half-joking/half-serious news articles about Alexa’s maniacal laugh for proof).  And it may be this misunderstanding that’s holding some entrepreneurs back from leveraging these powerful new tools. Yet, for entrepreneurs asking themselves, “Where do we even start?” — the answer couldn’t be simpler: just start.  Related: How AI Can Make Customer Service More EfficientCompanies that begin using AI now will, in the long run, significantly outperform those that do not.  After all, as most entrepreneurs know, first-mover advantage is everything and the best education comes from direct experience. Google proved their commitment to be an AI-first company this year. They even rebranded Google Research as Google AI. But they’re not the only ones driving AI forward. As Google was demoing Duplex, Microsoft presented their own vision of an AI assistant that could turn meeting chatter into notes and actions. Amazon continues to build out Alexa as a platform for voice assistants, and the applications for IBM’s Watson keep growing as well. As these companies turn their AI technology into platforms for other developers to use, the amount of AI-powered tech will explode. Alexa already has more than 10,000 skills added by other companies, and Google just made some of its AI tools available to developers through ML Kit. Whatever the long-term fate of Duplex and other new AI business offerings, they definitely signal the transition of such assistants from convenient novelties to serious tools for amplifying work.   Dave Damer AI can do brain-draining menial tasks flawlessly, so you can focus on the higher-level work no machine can do. Next Article 5 min read Founder & CEO of Testfire Labs Add to Queue Why Smarter Voice Assistants Means You’ll Have More Time to Work on Your Business Technology –shares June 27, 2018 Enroll Now for $5 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Guest Writer Image credit: Busakorn Pongparnit | Getty Images Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful.last_img read more

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