CAN qualifiers: Black Stars wallop Congo in Brazaville

first_imgThe senior national soccer team the Black Stars of Ghana have humbled their Congolese opponents in a crucial group I clash with a comprehensive 3:0 drubbing.The match came alive when red-hot Prince Tagoe who is on loan with Serbian side Partizan Belgrade continued his fine form with a cool finish in the 20th minute of the first half.His teammate at Partizan, Dominic Adiyiah, scored the second goal in the 44th minute when he headed home a well placed cross from John Paintsil.After the break, the coach made a few changes, pulling out Prince Tagoe and bringing on Dnipro star Samuel Inkoom. David Addy was also withdrawn from the left of defence for Red Star Belgrade defender, Lee Addy.As the game wore on, the coach brought on Sulley Muntari to replace the tiring Dede Ayew, and Sulley made an instant impact scoring the Black Stars’ third goal.Speaking to Joy FM after the game, the Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi said the resounding win proves that the team took the game seriously contrary to views that the team had made the England friendly on Tuesday a much higher priority. Ghana now have seven points and still remain top of the group.The team will head to Wembley in England to play the Three Lions Tuesday in a game that promises a lot of excitement.Story by Derick Romeo Adogla/ read more

Celebrating Miracles at Christmas

first_imgBy Muriel J. SmithVic and Courtney Rossomanno and their three children will be celebrating their own little miracle this Christmas. And they know that miracle came about because of the skill of specialists, technology, and a series of incidents they can only describe as happening because of their faith. The Rossomannos have a daughter, Elizabeth, who is 2, Vic’s son, Joey, who is 15, and Victoria, who will be a year old January 13.Victoria is the miracle they are celebrating.The youngest Rossomanno was born 25 weeks prematurely two weeks into 2014, and the medical reason for that surprise birth has never been identified. Courtney had had a wonderful, healthy and happy pregnancy up until the time she suddenly went into labor and was rushed to the hospital. Victoria weighed in at a critical 1 pound, 10 ounces, stretched over a 12-inch frame. She literally could fit inside a shoebox. And she was absolutely perfect, her proud mother beams.One of the highlights for the Rossomannos will be Christmas Eve, when their relatives will be gathering at their house rather than Vic’s mother’s, Mimi Mayes, to celebrate in the Italian tradition with music, song, love and friendship…and no fewer than seven fish entrees on the Christmas Eve dinner table. Courtney is overwhelmed with the excitement of it all. “I can’t put it into words; we are always experiencing miracles.”Victoria’s miracles began at her birth when, because of her tiny size, she was admitted to the neo-natal intensive care unit at Monmouth Medical Center, her home for the next 134 days. It was a time the family and close friends rallied together to ensure both parents could visit their newest daughter every day, juggling the care for Elizabeth at the same time. It wasn’t until nine days after the birth that they could hold the infant for the first time, and then for only an hour a day. Gradually the time was increased; in the meantime, they spent their time, sometimes up to eight hours for Courtney, talking to Victoria, singing to her, going on rounds with the nurses and learning the intricacy of caring for a determined little fighter after they could take her home. Big sister Elizabeth was able to come to the hospital and visit Victoria on Easter and Mother’s Day.There was a serious setback when Victoria was 2 1/2 months old and contracted a staph infection. It was a frightening time for the young couple who were first told Victoria had meningitis; an ultra sound showed she had two brain bleeds, apparently the result of the staph infection.Treatment of that problem is highly specialized and normally would mean the infant would have to be rushed to CHOP, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. But the next of many miracles the family has experienced had already occurred. Garrett Zoeller a Morristown physician specializing in both adult and pediatric neurosurgery, had just become affiliated with Monmouth Medical Center the day before Victoria’s situation developed. And while he could see, treat, and diagnose Victoria at Monmouth, he preferred to complete the necessary surgery at St. Barnabas in Livingston, one of the other hospitals with which he is affiliated.  At under three months of age, Victoria had her first surgery.  Back once again at Monmouth, it was determined she had hydrocephalus, and two more surgeries were necessary to drain the fluids. In July, Dr. Zoeller inserted a shunt which will be permanent for Victoria, but will continue to drain fluids before they build to a crucial level.The Rossomannos, grateful and appreciative of all the help and prayers they received, reacted spontaneously when they saw a sign about the March of Dimes and its work with premature infants. They immediately launched their own fundraising campaign for the March of Dimes, raising more than $6,000 through events both at one of Vic’s restaurants… he runs several Quaker Steak & Lube restaurants in New Jersey…as well as other fundraisers. And the Rossomannos have been named the March of Dimes Family of the Year for the Jersey Shore for 2015.“We are so blessed, we have been so fortunate,” the attractive and capable mom smiles, “we believe Victoria was given to us for a reason. We feel we have to give back and help others.” They are active with Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation, Courtney took both girls to Washington, D.C. to visit with Sen. Chris Smith and other Congressional leaders to keep them better informed of the special problems premature infants face and the need for government support for foundations that help families and further education. They want to continue to inform the public of special situations, and great milestones, for children like Victoria who only have 50 percent of their total brain.They’re on Facebook at Victory for Victoria Community with dozens of photos of their happy, impish little daughter and progress notes on her growth and development, sharing information with other parents with premature children.There are the numerous visits to all kinds of therapists and specialists, Courtney admits, generally five a week. There are MRIs every two to three months to keep track of the infant’s progress. “But we were told not to expect her to have any gross motor skill development,” Courtney says, then giggles as she watches Victoria roll over, laugh, hold her bottle with great dexterity, and do everything else an average full-term 6 month old would do.The couple’s faith in God and their belief God has some special reason for giving Victoria to the Rossomannos cannot be denied. Courtney describes herself as a traditional, rather than orthodox, practicing Jew, so the children have been baptized Catholic, Vic’s religion, and the family, Courtney included, worships at St. Anselm’s Catholic Church in Tinton Falls. The family also lights the eight candles on their menorah set up in the dining room.  For both parents, whichever formal religion in which they worship isn’t the important thing, because “it really doesn’t matter….so long as God is there.”last_img read more

Montebello council moves toward removal of city administrator

first_imgMONTEBELLO – The Montebello City Council has decided to move ahead with the removal of long-time City Administrator Richard Torres. In a closed-session performance evaluation of Torres at Wednesday’s meeting, the council voted 3-2 to work out the details of his separation agreement at its March 14 meeting, said Mayor Norma Lopez-Reid. The three-vote majority calling for Torres’ removal were Lopez-Reid and council members Jeff Siccama and Bob Bagwell. Rosie Vasquez and Bill Molinari were opposed. All three members of the majority have cited their desire to “move in a different direction” as the reason for replacing Torres. Torres is one of the longest-running city administrators in the area, having served nearly 18 years in Montebello. Torres could not be reached for comment Friday. “We need new ideas,” Bagwell said. “(Torres) has been a great crisis manager, but we seem to be stuck in a deficit budget and we’re not moving forward. We need new ideas and leadership.” But Vasquez said removing Torres would weaken the city beyond repair. She said the council majority had damaged the city’s unity already by firing three other department heads since gaining the three-vote edge in the 2005 elections. Those included fire chief Jim Cox, community development director Ruben Lopez and city attorney Marco Martinez. “A lot of people don’t know this, but (Torres) turned down a $25,000 raise,” Vasquez said. “He said the city couldn’t afford it and he didn’t need it. And he’s lived here all his life and cares about the city. “This is a very sad day and it’s just another blunder that will cost us thousands of dollars,” she added. Vasquez was referring to Torres’s $131,000 annual salary which was found to be the lowest in a survey last year of nearby comparable cities, done by the City Whittier. “I believe he has an exemplary legacy,” Vasquez said. “He’s been a fine example of an administrator who’s dedicated his entire professional career to Montebello.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Champions League draw: Manchester City to face Real Madrid in semi-finals

first_img1 Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City have been drawn against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.The Premier League side reached the last four of the competition for the first time in their history with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Paris Saint-Germain.They now face a formidable task to progress to the final at the San Siro, with ten-time winners Real Madrid standing in their way.The Spanish giants booked their place in the semi-finals by overcoming a first-leg deficit to beat Wolfsburg 3-2 on aggregate, thanks to a hat-trick from former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.City will be at home in the first leg on April 26/27 before heading to the Bernabeu a week later.Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid will meet in the other semi-final tie.The draw throws up the possibility of Pep Guardiola facing future employers Manchester City in the final.Guardiola announced in February that he will leave Bayern at the end of the season to take charge of City.His current side reached the semi-finals by beating Benfica, while opponents Atletico stunned holders Barcelona.last_img read more

Ryan Tubridy returning to Donegal for another big broadcast!

first_imgIt seems that RTE star Ryan Tubridy just can’t get enough of Donegal, as he has announced yet another visit to the county this summer.It will be ‘Destination Donegal’ for the RTE Radio 1 presenter on 3rd June when he brings his ‘Tubs on the Wild Atlantic Way’ tour to Donegal Town.Fáilte Ireland is encouraging everyone to come along to the broadcast and meet Tubridy as he goes live from the town from 9am -11am. Just as he did in Rathmullan and Arranmore last August, Ryan will be interviewing some local tourism businesses from the surrounding area and discussing some of the many activities and experiences available to anyone touring the Wild Atlantic Way.During his time in Donegal, Ryan will get to visit and engage in activities on the route, including taking a boat tour around Sliabh Liag.Joan Crawford Failte Ireland and Ryan Tubridy. Photo Clive WassonLooking forward to the arrival of the popular RTE Radio 1 show, Joan Crawford, Wild Atlantic Way Manager, Fáilte Ireland, said: “Ryan Tubridy is a fantastic ambassador for the Wild Atlantic Way and he can really get across to his listeners what the Wild Atlantic Way is all about and how it captures people’s imagination.“This is the sixth consecutive year the show has chosen to experience the Wild Atlantic Way and Fáilte Ireland is delighted to be supporting it. We are delighted Ryan will get to experience some of the great tourism highlights during his visit along the route and of course that fantastic Irish hospitality on the Wild Atlantic Way.” “Spectators coming down to watch the broadcast – whether in Donegal, Sligo, Clare or Inis Mór, Co Galway – can expect to see plenty of festivities, interviews, live music as well as hear some fantastic local tourism experiences. We are encouraging everyone to come on down, to arrive early and join in the fun and discover ways to ‘Embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of Life through the airwaves.”Ryan Tubridy returning to Donegal for another big broadcast! was last modified: May 23rd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Failte IrelandRyan TubridyWild Atlantic Waylast_img read more

Bombers’ bats barrage Ringtails for 13 runs to complete two-game sweep

first_imgEureka >> When the Humboldt B52s bats get going, the opposition should seek shelter.Down 6-0 after an inning-and-a-half, the Bombers bats sent a barrage of base hits the Ringtails’ way. After Humboldt starter Ryan Ellena struggled in the early going — allowing six earned runs on five hits in 1-1/3 innings of work — the B52s offense erupted for 11 runs combined in the second and third innings. The B52s (13-4 overall) scored three in the second on an error followed by an RBI triple from Dustin …last_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dan MillerProgressive Farmer Senior EditorHenderson Farms put two John Deere 1795 planters out into its north Alabama fields this spring mounting RTK guidance systems. “When you’re pulling the planter on a drawbar with a pin, and the GPS unit is centered over the tractor, you get some planter drift,” said Stuart Sanderson, who farms in partnership with his uncle, Mike Henderson, Mike’s son, Chad, and Jackson, Chad’s son.Their purpose is to have the planter communicate with the tractor. Essentially, the planter takes over guidance to control drift. “It gives you absolute straight rows,” Sanderson said. “We want every plant to be the same distance apart in the row and equal distance from row to row.” There is a 10 to 15% reduction in ear quality from the effects of drift.That Henderson Farms was able to execute its corn-management fine-tuning is due to the RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) units, aerial photography by drones that recorded the narrow rows and careful record-keeping.MAKE IT ACTIONABLEAgriculture in 2019 America is about data — data collection, analytics and actionable uses. “The biggest challenge we have is not the data itself,” Sanderson said, “but it is managing, analyzing and reacting to data with real-time feedback. Can you address the anomalies you see in the field [in season]?” Sanderson believes he can, and the drone might be one tool that makes it possible. Last summer, Sanderson flight-tested the Quantix drone system from AeroVironment.“Within a few minutes of its landing, I’m looking at data,” he said. “Within a few more minutes, I can make changes to our irrigation system, whether it be adding more nitrogen or micros, or back the pressure down where it looks like nitrogen may have leached.” Some analysts put the agricultural drone market at $1 billion within five years.Digital analysis is not new to agriculture. John Deere recently celebrated 25 years of precision agriculture — yield documentation was its beginning. What is changing is the ability to wirelessly pull an immense pile of data points from a farming operation, analyze it and act upon it, all with the power of a handheld tablet or cellphone.“It’s been like watching a [growing] wave in the ocean,” said Leo Bose, Case IH AFS (Advanced Farming Systems) marketing manager. “Five years ago, we began to see this craving for data. [Farmers] wanted to see where machines are in the field. Now, they want to look at yield data, as-planted data, as-harvested data, and make correlations between those [measures] and inputs.”Data can discover inefficiencies, for example, finding mismatches between labor and field operations. “If I have three or four combines out in the field, I know I have three or four operators with different skill levels. AFS Connect looks at that to provide a deeper level of information about them,” Bose said.END GOAL IS REPLICATIONYield is not an end goal in and of itself. Profit per acre and replication of outcome are the brass ring.“This technology only works for those who can make use of it — those who can deal with a huge amount of information and analyze it to make better farm-management decisions,” said Terry Griffin, ag economist at Kansas State University. “Our studies indicate that only about 15% of farmers are capturing that value.” Griffin bases his estimate on annual reports from 660 farmers who participate in the Kansas Farm Management Association.Matt Danner farms in western Iowa, near Templeton. He collects reams of data. “We’re so data rich, and yet, we’re so information poor,” he said. “We plant the same hybrid across several farms in dozens of different moisture levels, different heat unit, planting dates, elevations, and then we collect the various yields and test weights,” he said. “Tell me something about all that. Tell me five things about that hybrid in those varied conditions that I can use next year.”Danner hunts for more refined data that’s clean of garbage from the field. “Do we need more granularity in what we already have, or do we need smaller bits of clean data still not collected today to create a better picture? Maybe the missing link is still missing.”Alex Purdy, head of John Deere Labs, in San Francisco, said digital tools when connected with smart equipment and well-designed analytics will bring greater profitability and sustainability to farmers. But, there are hurdles, he adds. “How do we get customers connected? How do we make sure data comes off a piece of equipment? But, more importantly, how do we make sure that intelligence gets back onto a piece of equipment? How do we automate an experience?” Purdy points to artificial intelligence (AI). “AI will transform agriculture,” he said.TECHNOLOGY LAUNCHEDCase IH said its new model-year 2020 AFS Connect Magnum series tractor represents the manufacturer’s largest technology launch in 10 years. The AFS Connect Magnum is purpose-built for digital interactivity.The AFS Connect Magnum wirelessly sends and receives farm, fleet and agronomic data. Operator and manager can converse to make live, in-field adjustments.Of note is the pair of cameras mounted in front and back on the Magnum. Today, they provide a live image of space around the Magnum. Tomorrow, cameras might push images back through the Cloud to distant managers who interpret ongoing field operations by clod size, who use imaging to decipher plant health or who use cameras to operate the tractor remotely.“These are the options for which we have to create capabilities we don’t have to today,” Bose said. “But, the [cameras may] allow us to bring technologies into the AFS Connect Magnum that are the eyes in the air and the eyes on the ground.”Case IH’s parent company, CNH Industrial, uploaded a video in 2016 that shows sleek autonomous tractors conceived by CNH Industrial’s Innovation Team (see…). “We set out to take technology in a different direction that would allow farmers to integrate new technology into existing fleets and give them access to real-time data wherever they are,” CNH explained in its video. The driverless tractors were filmed on a farm in Kentucky.Today, Case IH positions AFS Connect Magnum as a communications hub. “It’s AFS. Connect. Magnum,” Bose said. “There are three pillars there that bring this together. The connect nomenclature is in the center.” In essence, a connected tractor produces information in real time and affecting real-time decisions, he said.DOING WHAT IT WON’TIn its partnerships with 100 connected software companies, Deere is looking for a total customer solution connecting customers with tools Deere will never build.“How [can] they build solutions that help [farmers] go from good farmers to great farmers through the data and integration that’s possible in this digital ag ecosystem?” asked Kayla Reynolds, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, digital business development manager of Deere’s connected partners.“Analysis and decision-making is what people think about when it comes to data. Why do I get the data?” said Jeremy Leifker, John Deere Operations Center solutions manager. “Can you imagine what could be done to affect the yield outcome with better information a month after planting, [how] things could be affected to produce a better outcome?”UNDERSTANDING VARIABLESJamie Blythe, Town Creek, Alabama, is looking for rifle shots — data that generates savings or income in real time. Blythe manages her farm by management zones, accounting for varying soil types. No-till and cover crops affect organic matter and fertility across those zones.Blythe uses AgDNA to act on the variables. Was the planting speed too high? Seed populations too low? She uses AgDNA to interpret test strips to understand how five years of yield data will improve the outcome of the 2019 crop. AgDNA includes functions for record-keeping, equipment, agronomics and finance, and others.“We want to get better every day, every week,” Blythe said. “I want to analyze those yields and make the planting decisions” in a time and in space that allows the data to be useful.Jonathan Riley, Fuse product marketing manager with AGCO Corp., suggests producers control the data flood by asking the questions that move you toward your goals. “I can give you 30 columns of data on an Excel spreadsheet, and it’s not going to give you anything,” Riley said. “So, is it big data or right data? Will a system give you a single big answer or a series of answers that, step-by-step, leads to a solution?”CONTROL COSTSKnopf Farms, Gypsum, Kansas, works to lift benefit from the data it collects. “Our two biggest input costs are seed and fertilizer, so we’re trying to optimize these in order to maximize profits,” said the farm’s agronomist, Garrett Kennedy. “We’re using aerial imagery during the growing season to check on management decisions we make.”Satellite imagery fine-tuned sidedress nitrogen applications. “We had a hot, dry year, so we’re tempted to cut back on that nitrogen application; but the imagery indicated that most of the field was doing fine, so we were more comfortable making that additional investment,” Kennedy said.“Ease of interpretation is important,” agreed Matt Olson, John Deere product marketing manager. “Customers want to do more with data, with most finding themselves limited on time to do so.”Deere is deliberately moving data management away from the confines and the data-limiting cables of the desktop computer.“Data used to be an activity reserved for a desktop computer in their office, but that doesn’t work anymore,” Olson said. “Farm managers are more likely to manage their operation from the seat of a truck, combine, tractor or sprayer than their office.” Deere’s MyOperations app gives managers a portable option to monitor completed field operations and determine productivity from their seeding, application, harvest and tillage work, he said.This winter, Deere released a video named Farm Forward With John Deere [see…; see… for the 2012 version]. At just under four minutes, Deere’s video proposes a vision of technology where voice, wireless and real-time analysis perform a smooth digital dance.THE “BOYS”From a transparent tablet, viewers see weather scans, topographical maps indicating flood zones and drainage patterns. There is a reference to the “boys.” The boys are seemingly hovering sprayers that are “working where we can’t.” And, the video introduces Kate, who is monitoring the farm from an office in an unidentified city. She is “looking at the latest” from her family’s agronomist and assures her brother (or maybe her husband) that the newest prescriptions will make Dad “feel better.” Agronomic, market and mechanical information move to heads-up displays in equipment. Handheld scanners examine individual corn plants.Deere’s Leifker offers this vision. “When our machine comes to the field, it knows what it should be doing, the operator hits the ‘go’ button, and it executes. That’s the path we’re on.”AGCO’s Riley foresees technologically advanced farms will soon include a technology manager — someone who is adept at converting raw data to new dollars.“This is an exciting time in agriculture,” Riley said, “as we find new ways to connect farmers’ machines, no matter the color, to do it in a way easy for all to operate.”**(Sidebar)Intelligence From AboveBy Dan MillerProgressive Farmer Senior EditorWithin a few years, there may be thousands of drones gathering images over American farm fields and groves. There is much to learn.“Much like other innovative technologies, we are only scratching the surface of aerial imagery and data analytics,” said Brad Carraway, director of product marketing for AeroVironment, located in Simi Valley, California. AeroVironment launched its Quantix drone into the ag market a year ago.“We deliver the actionable intelligence that today’s growers need to drive their business forward and maximize every acre,” said Jeff Rodrian, who leads Commercial Information Solutions for AeroVironment.ONBOARD IMAGINGQuantix is a VTOL hybrid fixed-wing drone with fully automated vertical takeoff and landing, and horizontal flight. Quantix can survey up to 400 acres per 45-minute flight. It flies with two onboard 18 megapixel true color and multispectral cameras. Its true color camera has a resolution down to 1 inch on the ground and multispectral at 2 inches captured at an altitude of 360 feet. Onboard processing delivers “Quick-Look” true color and NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) imagery on the included operating tablet as soon as the drone lands.Quantix is integrated with the AeroVironment Decision Support System (AV DSS) data analytics platform that performs detailed image processing and analysis, delivering high-resolution true color, NDVI, GNDVI (green normalized difference vegetation index), canopy coverage and an anomaly layer. Images provide insight into plant emergence, vegetative health and resource management. The company recently announced new enhancements:— Variable Rate Layer. Creates georeferenced application maps to help more efficiently create prescriptions with more geospatial resolution for use with variable-rate controllers.— Connected to John Deere Operations Center. With single-click data transfer, variable-rate maps can be easily exported from AV DSS into the John Deere Operations Center. Operations Center users also can import field boundaries into AV DSS to create georeferenced locations for Quantix flights.— Quick Resolution Imagery. In areas with slower internet connection, users can select quick resolution imagery, decreasing total upload and processing time by 50%.— Plant Count Beta Trial. Utilizing machine learning and advanced image recognition algorithms, this is a no-cost, on-demand data product currently in test for 2019 that provides growers with stand counts and plant emergence.For more product and pricing information, visit**Editor’s Note: Larry Reichenberger contributed to this article.(AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

How To Crowdsource from the Cloud

first_imgTags:#cloud#cloud computing Crowdsourcing is the outsourcing of work to a large community of people. The size and quality of Wikipedia and open source projects like Linux and WordPress are a testament to what crowdsourcing can accomplish.But what if you do not have a community ready to show up for work? Luckily there are Web services like Mechanical Turk and LiveWorks that can help broker tasks with people who will do them for money.Amazon’s Mechanical Turk allows you to integrate a human being into your application or business process to do work that computer programs traditionally find difficult. Amazon describes work units as:A Human Intelligence Task, or HIT. A question that needs an answer. A HIT represents a single, self-contained task that a worker can work on, submit an answer, and collect a reward for completing.For example, if you need to check that user uploaded photographs are not offensive, you can integrate your application with the Mechanical Turk API to submit a HIT for each piece of content that is uploaded. The HIT would require a worker to decide whether the photograph was offensive or not. Each worker who performs a HIT by submitting their judgment call would earn a fee. You decide the fee a worker will earn each time a HIT is done. If you set the fee too low, then you will find it difficult to attract workers to do your task.Once a Mechanical Turk Worker (a Turker) submits a HIT, the requester can approve or reject the result. These results contribute to the worker’s reputation. Mechanical Turk supports restricting the pool of workers who are eligible to work on HITS using worker attributes such as their language skills or their geographic region.In contrast, LiveWork takes a different approach to getting work done. LiveWork is more suitable to organizations that are looking for a longer lasting relationship with workers, or where the work is more complex than answering a question. LiveWork provides a list of workforces you can hire. Workforces may be an individual or a team who offer different services and rates – often negotiable. Work is not submitted via an API, but rather described via a Project mechanism similar to freelancing sites like eLance and Rent-a-Coder. Once projects are underway, bulk tasks can be created via an upload mechanism. For example you may upload a CSV file containing many sales calls for a workforce make.The LiveWork site also maintains workforce reputations via ratings, but also via written reviews – a clear indication that tasks require more engagement between client and worker.The two services provide very different approaches to outsourcing work. LiveWork focuses on building a flexible extension to your business whereas Mechanical Turk facilitates very brief encounters with no enduring client and worker relationship.Photo credit: Sanja Gjenero Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img tim hastings Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Does Microsoft Still Matter? 2013 Will Decide

first_imgmarkhachman Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 2013 will be a make-or-break year for Microsoft. Not so much from a financial standpoint, but for how the company is perceived.Traditionally, Microsoft has built itself around the PC, anchoring itself by its core operating systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and now Windows 8. But in the last few years, Microsoft’s Server and Tools division has generated the highest revenue and profits in the company, followed by the traditional pillars of the company, Windows and Business Tools, or Office.How will Microsoft fare in 2013? Financially and overall, just fine. But be on the lookout for softness in the company’s traditional businesses as Microsoft evolves into a services company.Windows 8: A Mild FlopAny Microsoft predictions need to start with Windows 8. So let’s get this out of the way: Windows 8 will flop in 2013.Not hard – the new operating system probably shouldn’t be compared to the catastrophe that was Windows Vista. But Windows 8 will likely be seen as overly ambitious, a risk that many potential customers won’t be willing to take. In all, though, Windows 8 will sell slightly fewer copies than Windows 7 during 2013.That’s not because Windows 8 is bad. It isn’t. To its credit, the new OS hasn’t been plagued with the sort of slowdowns and crashes and user interface mistakes that afflicted Vista. But the break from previous version is sharp. Windows 8 doesn’t launch to the desktop, the most familiar interface (and – perhaps to speed the transition to the new user interface – Microsoft is refusing to let users configure it to go direct to the old-style desktop). Years of interacting with smartphones and tablets have taught users how to navigate the Metro interface, and swiping left and right along the main Start screen is easily understood. But most consumers don’t quite seem to get what they need to do when they want to “work,” i.e. use the desktop. The back-and-forth between the desktop and the Start menu, the navigation between apps, the lack of a traditional Start button and other interface changes will frustrate users. Unlike Michael Dell, I see a significant chunk of enterprises still choosing to standardize on Windows 7. Typically, Microsoft halts sales of the previous operating system two years after the new version goes on sale, which would mean that Windows 7 would fade away in Oct. 2014. (Windows 7 mainstream support will expire in January 2015.) I think we might see a “toned-down,” more transitional edition/service pack of either Windows 8 (or 9?) that will help consumers shift over to the new OS. Basically, what consumers will accept is a Windows 8 tablet interface on top of a Windows 7 desktop environment. They don’t have it. Yet.Surface: A Nice Idea, But…If Microsoft could deliver a full-fledged Windows 8 experience at the $500 price point of the Surface RT, the company would sell a ton of its new tablets. So far, it’s not even trying – the Surface Pro starts at $900.Windows tablets – from Microsoft or others – will be lumped together with Windows Phone: lovely experience, but without the variety of apps that users are used to on the leading platforms. Sorry, but developers are going to support Android and iOS first, and then maybe Windows and BlackBerry. That leaves Web apps as the saving grace.In that environment, Surface will survive, but not thrive. Windows tablets from other manufacturers will barely survive. Expect some hardware makers to try a consumption-oriented “Surface Mini” form factor, though, with modest success.Traditional clamshell laptop form factors will still be the most popular for business, with convertible/detachable hybrid tablet/laptops making headway among consumers. That means it’s hard to see a sweet spot for the Surface Pro to catch on.Finally, Touchscreens will become a standard necessity very quickly. Logitech and other peripheral manufacturers are in trouble. Server Tools and Office: Under Pressure, But Still DominantAt this point, most people use Office because they use Office. It’s a habit. Most consumers don’t really need Office for basic Word processing, but there’s always just a bit of formatting that the free alternatives can’t manage. Businesses, meanwhile, have made Word, Excel and PowerPoint into staples of everyday business life.There’s no reason any of that will change in 2013. Office for Windows RT and Surface remains one of the compelling selling points for the platform. And, revenue concerns or not, it makes perfect sense for Microsoft to ship Office for the iPad and the Mac. So it no doubt will do just that. It’s in Microsoft’s best interest to keep its .DOC, .PPT, and .XLS formats (and their XML equivalents) front of mind for most of the Web’s population.It’s also difficult to see Microsoft’s Server and Tools business disintegrating. This has been one of the company’s most stable businesses, and should continue to be so for years to come.Xbox: The Top Dog’s Getting Long In The ToothWill there be an “Xbox 720” by Christmas 2013? Hard to say. But with each passing year (the Xbox turns seven in 2013) the possibility becomes more and more likely. Either way, the Xbox is becoming even more important to Microsoft. The Xbox’s function (as a games console) has evolved into an entertainment console. I think we’ll probably see that recognized as a rebranded “Arcade” version, reimagined as a sort of beefed-up Roku. Cloud services remove much of the need for local storage, but the Kinect provides a compelling user interface as well a gaming controller. Microsoft could strip out cost from Kinect, possibly making it audio-only. I think a stripped-down Kinect Arcade bundle is likely.Kinect for Windows, though a fascinating idea, probably doesn’t as make as much sense, given Windows 8’s a touchscreen interface. In general, however, Microsoft will have to stumble badly to allow Sony, Nintendo or others back into the console game. Windows Phone: We’re Number Three!Great product, nice interface, solid hardware. Count me in the camp of people who admire what Microsoft’s done in the smartphone arena. But there’s no way Microsoft unseats either Android or iOS. Instead, Microsoft should hope to become the third option – outpacing RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10.Will it? Probably, over time. In the United States, BlackBerry and Symbian are dead ducks.Microsoft Online: Bing, IE Gain RespectabilityIt’s probably fairer to say that Microsoft’s online services have already gained respectability, and will continue driving forward in 2013. Bing’s home page is still one of the most attractive sites on the Web, and if people were forced to visit it for every search it would do even better. They’re not forced to do that, of course, and Bing continues to trail Google by a large margin.If that’s going to change in 2013, the boost will come from Windows 8. In the new operating system, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome are unwelcome guests, rather than a fundamental part of the OS. And integrating Bing – which has diverged into its own ecosystem, rather than follow Google – will help Microsoft gain share in search. Whether or not Internet Explorer is truly the most popular browser varies by which analyst firm you ask, but IE10 will definitely help grow Microsoft’s presence online.The tougher question is whether Microsoft’s online division turn a profit in 2013? The answer is No. It will come closer, but that milestone will have to wait.All the changes should work together to benefit Microsoft’s online ecosystem. The company has brought together a suite of products, from Skype to Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, that can all be tied together. How well Microsoft can monetize them, however, is anyone’s guess.Put it all together, and 2013 is the year Microsoft doubles down on its pivot away from being a software supplier to being a services provider.Expect some softness in Windows sales, but continued strength in back-end tools and services. How this all plays out will determine whether 2013 ends with a very different Microsoft perceived as a newly revitalized dominant player or a reeling giant struggling to regain relevance.  Related Posts Tags:#Microsoft#predictions#Windows 8#windows 8 rt#Windows Phone 8#Xbox center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Black fears de Ocampo out of finals with calf injury

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMeralco finally won after dropping Games 1 and 2 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals but lost its starting forward Ranidel de Ocampo in the process.De Ocampo hurt his left calf in the first four minutes of Game 3 and did not return.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next De Ocampo, who was acquired by the Bolts this conference, is averaging 9 points per game in the finals.Fortunately for Meralco, Reynel Hugnatan stepped up with 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting from downtown. And by the looks of it, Bolts head coach Norman Black fears de Ocampo could miss the remainder of the series.“We have a little bit of bad news, I think we probably lost Ranidel for the rest of the series with the calf injury,” said Black after Meralco beat Barangay Ginebra, 94-81, Wednesday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We’ll have him checked by a doctor but he doesn’t look very good right now,” he added.The 35-year-old de Ocampo has been a vital piece to Meralco’s finals run and his absence is a big blow to the team’s bid to win the franchise’s first championship. MOST READ Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:20Hidden healers treat Hong Kong protesters00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Black blasts Cone after post-game spat View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightlast_img read more