Defiant Qatar to announce 10 new routes

first_imgQatar’s Boeing 777-300ER lands in Canberra. Photo: Qatar/© Kurt Ams Qatar Airways plans to open a further 10 new routes this year as it continues to expand its network in defiance of a blockade of its home base by Gulf neighbours.Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker revealed the plans Monday after the launch of airline’s latest new route to the Australian capital of Canberra and said the airline would begin revealing names from next month.The new destinations are in addition to a slew of routes already announced for 2018 and which include  Pattaya, Thailand; Penang, Malaysia;  Thessaloniki and Mykonos, Greece ;  and Cardiff, Wales.Al Baker vowed last year to continue to expand Qatar’s network after  Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic ties and reduced access in what he labelled an illegal and unprecedented blockade.The 2018 expansion comes after the airline opened 11 new routes in 2017, most of them after the blockade of Qatar. It also began expanding frequencies to some of those destinations.Qatar new routesQatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker. Photo: Steve CreedyThe blockade has not significantly affected the airline’s routes to Europe and Australia, where Al Baker estimates it adds 10 to 15 minutes flying time.But it has taken its toll on the Qatar’s bottom line and he told reporters in Canberra  it was poised to announce a loss.This comes after Qatar produced its best annual results in its history in 2017 with a $US5414m profit, up 21.7 percent on the previous year.“Qatar Airways will announce a loss because I lost mature destinations,’’ Al Baker said, noting the mature routes were being replaced with growth destinations such as Canberra that would not immediately make money.“This is a long-term investment and a commitment,’’ he added.However, the Qatar chief said his nation’s adversaries had failed to achieve what they wanted from the blockade – regime change – and reiterated his vow that “Qatar Airways will keep on growing, we’ll keep on expanding”.“And the Qatari people will always stand one inch higher with pride, dignity and, of course, safeguarding our sovereignty,” he saidQatar was launched in 1997 with five old planes with an average fleet age of more than 22 years.  Under Al Baker, it  has grown to be one of the world’s top airlines serving more than 150 destinations across six continents.It now has 200 aircraft and an average fleet age of less than five years and more than 350 aircraft on order with Airbus and Boeing with a total catalogue price of $US92 billion. It will be the  global launch customer of the A350-1000 when it  gets the first of 37 aircraft on February 20.New innovations include  “superfast” inflight internet and Al Baker said it was developing other products “which will again be a first in the industry”.The Qatar chief also revealed the airline was working on a variation  of its impressive Qsuite to install in its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A380 superjumbos.The airline showcased the business class suite on its Canberra inaugural and expects to have it on the route regularly by June.Read our review of QsuiteIt currently has the Qsuite on 14 of its 56 Boeing 777s and it will be featured on four new aircraft to be delivered this year.There is a retrofit program to add it to existing B777s that Al Baker said would take 18 months to complete.But he said it would not be installed on the airlines A380s because of the curvature of the fuselage on the superjumbo’s upper deck or on its B787-9s because this would require the seat to be narrowed.Instead, it is developing a new suite for the 787s which would have full privacy and would “not be very far away from the Qsuite” but would not allow four seats to be joined to create a “quad” family area.“And then they will be retrofitted into the A380,’’ Al Baker  said “So the A380 product will again by upgraded to full privacy.”Al Baker believes other airlines will find it difficult to build a business class seat that is better  than Qatar’s Qsuite, which rivals some airlines’ first class product.Asked if business class seating had reached ts zenith, he said: “I really think that there will be no room anymore for improvement.“The only improvement will be in technology, in how much you can digitise a product and how lightweight you can make it.‘You know these seats are not very light and we always endeavour to have a product that is lighter on an aeroplane.‘For example, the modified Qsuite that we are now looking at for our 777-X program will be at least 22 percent lighter than the current Qsuite.“So in that way we are going to keep on improving but within the same envelope.”He expected that other airlines would try to catch up in terms of seating but argued they would be unable to match Qatar’s culture of attention to detail and commitment by its staff.On the airline’s plans for  Canberra, Al Baker said Qatar would look at the possibility of building a five-star hotel in the city if it could get land cheaply enough.“We see the potential for more five-star room nights and Qatar Airways would like to bring one of the top brands to Canberra if we have been given appropriate real estate,’’ he said. “But, of course, I’m not going to write a big check for that real estate.’’Al Baker said the airline was unable to fly direct from Canberra because the runway was not long enough to allow a fully-laden Boeing 777-300ER carrying enough fuel for the long flight to Doha to take off.The airline had calculated the runway length would need to be minimum 4300m, he said.Asked whether he would like to see non-stop Canberra-Doha flights, he  said: “Why not? We will look at every opportunity we have to fly direct because Qatar Airways’ strategy is always to fly point-to-point directly without going through busy or congested hubs anywhere in the network.’’This is only Canberra Airport’s second international service and the first coming from as far away as the Middle East.Airport boss Stephen Byron said the question of lengthening the runway could be addressed as part of the airport’s long-term master planning.Steve Creedy travelled to Canberra as a guest of Qatar Airways.last_img read more

I Shared What?!? See What Facebook Info You Share with the Web

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Analysis#Facebook#privacy#web The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit mike melansoncenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Managing your online identity is a constant struggle between defining the public, the private, and the many shades of context in between. One prominent battleground, of course, is 500-million-member strong Facebook, where we constantly share opinions, links, pictures, videos, status updates, contact information and more.Navigating the various shades of privacy, however, can be difficult and I Shared What?!? helps to show you what information your sharing according to your privacy is an “information sharing simulator that lets you see the information you would share right now with a Facebook App or Facebook Connect, using permissions you set.” The site makes a comparison between navigating the social Web with driving a car, calling it “inherently dangerous” while “incredibly powerful,” pointing out that sites like Facebook are helping to create a Web “based on people, rather than websites”.The site works by letting you log in using your Facebook login and then showing you, plain and simple, what you’re granting access to every time you log in to another website or Facebook App using Facebook. Depending on your settings, this can be anything from your basic details like name and time zone to more intimate details like your friends list, your email address and even your phone number.To get a look at what you’re sharing, give the I Shared What?!? Simulator a shot. If you’re concerned with sharing your information with the site, this is what it has to say about how it handles your information:I Shared What?!? is a javascript application running in your browser. Our server never sees the information you share from Facebook. With the exception of your permissions and your Facebook user ID, your information never leaves your browser.Moving Beyond What You ShareAs I mentioned earlier, the site makes a pretty decent analogy between driving a car and navigating the social Web, saying that “Some people will believe that these crazy new contraptions are deathtraps and avoid the whole system. Others will dive in before road signs and traffic rules are figured out. […] But in the end, it will be worth it.”Renowned privacy researcher danah boyd shared shared some interesting anecdotes just this morning of users employing innovative methods for controlling their digital identities on Facebook. While your controlling your permission settings is important, boyd profiles two teens who also found that Facebook is, in the end, “worth it” but employ practices beyond settings to insure their privacy. The first teen, Mikalah, performs a “super logoff” by deactivating her account every time she logs off, they way she has complete control over her online identity. For Mikalah, there is no Facebook Connect, Instant Personalization or concerns over third-party sites. When she isn’t actively on Facebook, she doesn’t exist.The second teen, Shamika, simply takes a more proactive approach to Facebook by keeping her profile completely current and erasing each status update, comment, picture or message as it moves from the present to the past. “If it’s relevant now,” writes boyd, “it belongs on Facebook, but the old stuff is no longer relevant so it doesn’t belong on Facebook.”While many of us forge on ahead or opt out entirely, it seems that there are even finer grades of social media use occurring that defy entirely the privacy settings Facebook has set for our use. In the meantime, it’s likely you (like most) fall somewhere in the middle, and a tool like I Shared What?!? can help you see where you stand.In the end, the creators of I Shared What?!? envision “an entirely new kind of digital infrastructure where individuals are free to use their own data seamlessly at any service, as easily, and as safely, as we can drive to the grocery store today.” Already, from boyd’s tales of youthful privacy navigation, we can see that this will go beyond just data portability to realms of whether our digital self exists when we log off, and if so for how long. last_img read more

Identity and Access in an Increasingly Fragmented Environment

first_imgThis blog is part 2 of 7 in a series focused on mobile security in the enterprise. For a full report, please click here.Which 4th Gen Intel® Core™ processor best fits your business needs? Click here to use our convenient comparison tool.For more conversations about IT Center and mobile security, click on the hashtags below:#itcenter #security Hardware-Based AuthenticationIntel vPro processor technology offers two-factor authentication that provides a simple way for web sites and business networks to validate that an actual user—not malware—is logging in from a trusted PC. This hardware-based support helps protect enterprise access points while reducing costs and complexity over traditional hardware-token or smart-card methods.For example, Intel Identity Protection Technology (Intel IPT) delivers hardware-secured VPN access by incorporating private keys, one-time password (OTP) tokens, and public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates. By eliminating the need for a separate physical token, it streamlines the VPN login process and, more importantly, ensures that the PCs accessing your VPN are those assigned to your employees. Because the credentials are secured inside the platform, the information cannot be compromised or removed from a particular PC. In today’s mobile business environment, strengthening and streamlining authentication is a critical part of protecting your network. Whether you’re securing VPN access or protecting access to software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, a simple username and password solution is no longer enough. Many organizations have long deployed powerful authentication solutions using tokens or smart cards, or via software-only provisioning. However, recent data breaches have exposed vulnerabilities even with these baseline forms of account protection.last_img read more

10 months agoHuddersfield boss Wagner: We must forget about table, results, whatever

first_imgHuddersfield boss Wagner: We must forget about table, results, whateverby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHuddersfield Town boss David Wagner has urged his players to focus only on themselves ahead of facing Manchester United.Wagner’s team having won only once at the John Smith’s Stadium this season, scoring four goals in 10 games.He said: “We have to make ourselves independent from what is around us, from the table, results, whatever.”We are exactly where everybody predicted us so this makes no sense to think about it and get affected by it.”We are only able to collect points and to be competitive if we perform on our highest level. This is what we’ve done in recent weeks and this is what we’ve done in the second half (against Southampton), where we looked competitive.”In the first half we didn’t perform at our level, we were not competitive and we were 2-0 down.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoSolskjaer unconvinced as Man Utd labour past Astana

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer unconvinced as Man Utd labour past Astanaby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveOle Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United made it hard on themselves against Astana on Thursday.United kicked off their Europa League campaign with a 1-0 victory over the Kazakh side.The winner came through 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who finished superbly after 73 minutes in what was his first start for United.The goal saved Solskjaer’s blushes as they laboured throughout the 90 minutes.Speaking after the game, he said: “We made it hard for ourselves. Games like these, you want to make sure you win the game in the first 20 minutes and you can enjoy it.”You could see some of our lads needed games but it’s pleasing we got the three points.” last_img read more

The People Tracking Every Touch Pass And Tackle in the World Cup

With each click and drag of a mouse, young soccer fanatics are creating the building blocks of the advanced stats that are changing how the sport is played, watched and analyzed.Opta and Prozone are among the companies that have taken soccer stats far beyond goals and saves, into the realm of pass completion percentage, defensive touches, percentage of aerial balls won, tackle percentage and goals scored above expectation. Cameras alone can’t process all these stats. So companies employ people — mostly young, mostly male, most logging matches in their spare time as a second job — to watch matches and document every event.Their work has helped develop stats that capture the value of players who don’t score many goals, but who set them up with pinpoint passing and hustle. Teams use advanced stats to decide which players to buy and put on the pitch. And fans, whether they like it or not, read and hear more numbers than ever before about this sport that for so long bucked the sports-analytics trend.On a Sunday last month, Opta1Opta Sports provides soccer stats to ESPN, which owns FiveThirtyEight. Opta also provides stats for other sports, including cricket, rugby and motor sports. Last year, Opta was bought for 40 million pounds ($67 million) by Perform Group. let me watch as the loggers at its South London headquarters tracked the last 10 matches of England’s Premier League season. I stood among rows of young men at computer monitors as they scrutinized games, sometimes rewinding on one monitor to check a tough call while keeping track of the live feed on another. I tried to stay out of the way while their supervisor leapt away from watching his favorite team’s match to confirm every goal was attributed correctly. And I watched as Opta’s media team processed the raw numbers — 1,600 to 2,000 events per game — into TV-ready factoids, which they heard commentators repeat to TV audiences moments later.In soccer stats, as in so many other numbers-gathering endeavors, big data sets are built piece by piece by human collectors with human imperfections, moods and preferences. Throughout the year, 350 part-time analysts working in London and a half-dozen other Opta branches in Europe and North and South America record every pass, header and goal while watching live or recorded video of more than 14,000 matches around the world. The London operation I watched will be logging each of the World Cup’s 64 matches.Opta says software, standards and oversight can help it harness the best of human judgment while curbing any potential downsides. It sees the people behind its stats as a selling point. I wasn’t the first to be invited to watch. Many prospective customers visit during matches, said Aidan Cooney, chief executive of Opta. “Frankly, that sells the business.”The business is providing stats to professional clubs, to national teams, to leagues — as the official data provider for the top divisions in England, Spain and Germany — and to the media.A Tebow jersey and a Yankees capMy day at Opta was an unusually busy one: Every Premier League club was playing its last match of the season. The finale wasn’t as exciting as 2012’s: Manchester City was all but assured of edging Liverpool for the title, and most Champions League and Europa League slots had been sewn up. The biggest suspense was whether Tottenham would finish in sixth or seventh in the league.That was the case, anyway, for Paul Pettitt, 31, who is the assistant manager of data collection and a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He spent the two hours between kickoff and final whistle alternately tracking Tottenham’s match against Aston Villa — when Tottenham took an early lead, he said he wanted a 25-goal win to contend for fifth place on goal differential — and jumping out of his chair to check on calls in other games, such as whether an early Swansea goal was a deflection. All logged events scrolled down a screen at his station, and when an important one came up, he conferred with the analyst who entered it.This is when soccer’s rare stoppages of play are so valuable for analysts. A lengthy goal celebration allows loggers to rewind and rewatch goals and other major events, often while Pettitt looks on.But most of the work is logging routine passes. Opta’s analysts log each one by dragging and clicking a mouse at the spot where the pass was received, then keying in the player who received it. Their monitors have an image of a soccer pitch in the background with video of the live match superimposed on top.Confusingly, to my eyes, the broadcast image hardly ever corresponded to the image on the field. So loggers had to drag the mouse to a spot that had nothing to do with the ball’s location in the video rectangle. None of the loggers I watched got stuck on this point: After all, this was the 38th and last match of the season.Each of the 10 matches had a pair of analysts assigned to it, plus a checker. Each analyst had his own monitor and tracked only one team’s touches. Sometimes the analysts conferred over calls — “Is it a tackle?” was a question in the fourth minute of the Liverpool match. (It wasn’t.)Until eight years ago, Opta didn’t even produce the live numbers that are now such a staple of TV broadcasts. Pettitt started at Opta in 2001, fortunately just as the company was phasing out pen-and-paper logging. He wasn’t lucky enough to miss the VCR era. “My elbow started aching after a while” from all the rewinding, he recalled.The more unusual a team’s formation, the harder it is to log its matches. A well-organized side like Barcelona can be easy to log, Khalid Hussain, U.K. training manager for Opta, said. Today he particularly enjoys challenging matches.At his peak, Hussain was logging 10 to 15 matches a week during each Premier League season. His primary assignment was Arsenal, and he also worked four nights a week covering matches around the world. He once logged six matches in a day. “Then I went home at the end, in a pretty bad state,” he said.All this meticulous work changed how Hussain, now 33, watches soccer. He became “very passionate” about Arsenal, to the point where he’d enjoy watching a Gunners match against Stoke more than Real Madrid versus Barcelona, a minority opinion in global soccer. When he clicked a name at one end of the pitch and then entered the same name at the other end seconds later, he came to appreciate the players who covered a lot of territory more than the flashy dribblers.And he learned that his previous pet stat of possession time doesn’t mean much. “Working here burst that bubble,” Hussain said. “It doesn’t matter how much ball you’ve got. You’ve still got to do something with it.”Hussain is mainly a supervisor now, though he pitches in as an analyst when needed. On this day, he logged Cagliari for its 1-0 loss to Chievo.2Opta didn’t make available for an interview any of its more junior analysts who were working the Premier League matches. Like other pinch-hitters who aren’t familiar with their assigned clubs’ players and formations, Hussain watched DVDs of recent Cagliari matches to prepare.The loggers Hussain supervises generally are between 18 and 24 years old and male. (“We’ve got two girls in Leeds, and one girl in Germany,” he said.) They love sports. They enter an office fantasy NFL league. They go home and play video games. They day I watched, none wore soccer apparel but I spotted a Tim Tebow jersey and a Yankees cap.It helps to be nuts about soccer, to appreciate “a job where they get to come in and watch football,” as Pettitt put it.There is occasionally cheering in the analysts’ box. “As much as you can try to control them, if Liverpool score a goal while Man City are down a goal, you might hear a yelp from our Liverpool fan, and probably some censored words as well,” Pettitt said.Candidates are tested for their understanding of soccer and their hand-eye coordination when using the Opta logging software. They have to type quickly with their left hands, without looking at the keyboard. Certified soccer coaches sometimes don’t have the required hand-eye coordination; the avid PlayStation players often do. “We give them five-hour tests, and pick out the ones who are best,” Hussain said.At that stage, successful applicants remain far from match-ready. It will be at least a month before they’ll produce usable data, even under the easiest conditions of logging a recorded match. “For training, they do the same game over and over for two or three days,” Hussain said.Cooney, the Opta chief executive, has tried his hand at logging, “much to everyone’s amusement,” he said. “It’s impossible, absolutely impossible for someone of my motor skill set,” he added. “If you don’t play PlayStation, basically, you’re finished.”Opta employs full-time analysts to review every event of the matches it logs, a process that can take three to five hours. Its live analysts get 99 percent of player identifications correct, Pettitt said.The match-trackers are rated on their performance, and the best get spare games.3Opta doesn’t disclose how much it pays analysts. It creates a competition, and “keeps them on their toes,” Hussain said. He’s confident that today he’s one of the best loggers in London. He also gets to travel to train loggers at offices around Europe.The dubious goals panelAmong Opta’s competitors is Prozone Sports, which tracks players on the pitch using cameras and player-recognition systems. Stewart Mairs, the U.S. operations manager for Prozone, said the company’s optical tracking system — like SportsVU’s for the NBA — gives it a leg up over Opta. The system produces millions of data points per game.Prozone, like Opta, needs human loggers, too. Prozone’s cameras sometimes can’t tell players apart when they cluster, and don’t distinguish crucial game events. So it employs coders, usually interns or students who are interested in soccer, Mairs said. Like at Opta, they are supervised and trained by more experienced managers, and, for big matches, supplemented by more experienced coders.Cooney said Opta is offering something different from camera tracking. “People want analytics,” he said. “That requires holistic data sets, which only we can deliver.”Keeping standards consistent across offices is vital for Opta. An assist needs to mean the same thing in London, New York and Montevideo. Soccer stats already have plenty of doubters, and it doesn’t help that different companies track different numbers. Also, individual companies sometimes change what they track, as Opta does nearly every year after an annual review. (Possibly coming soon: more detail on fouls.)So it’s all the more important that a company’s data can be trusted across space and time. “What we’ve had as a clearance” — a defender clearing a ball out of the goal area — “has always been the same, and will not change,” Pettitt said.In addition to post-match reviews, Opta monitors stats across leagues, to make sure they don’t vary too much — and if they do, that it’s because of style of play and not analyst inconsistency.Opta also updates its stats according to decisions of a Premier League group called the dubious goals panel, which weighs whether a player should be awarded a goal when, say, the shot deflected off a defender.Close calls mean the live data is provisional. It’s good enough for television broadcasters, who pepper Opta’s media team with questions via instant message during the matches. I wandered over to watch the media group in action during play. They sat next to a wall with six television screens, usually more than enough but four short of the required number on this day. So laptops filled the gap.During play, the media team moved quickly. Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel scored an own goal in the 20th minute. Duncan Alexander, 36, head of U.K. content and customer services for Opta, told his colleague to “run it” —  in other words, to check that Skrtel had just set the league record for most own goals in a season, with four. The stat was confirmed, sent to the broadcasting company Sky, and announced by studio host Jeff Stelling right after the commercial break.Later, Stelling mentioned that Fulham had used 38 players this season, a new record. I asked if that was from Opta. Alexander nodded.These sorts of stats are nice to have, but won’t change the way managers set their lineups or choose tactics. However, the work of Opta and its ilk have brought soccer, very slowly, into the wider statistical revolution in sports. Alexander and Pettitt pointed to the increasing prominence of assists. A decade ago, “some people would refuse to give assists credence,” Alexander said.Opta’s soccer-stats professionals acknowledge their numbers aren’t for everyone. “There will always be fans who, to use a phrase we hear occasionally, say the only stat they care about is the one in the top left-hand corner” — the score, Alexander said. “We’re not zealots. We don’t bang the drum saying, you have to view football the way we do.” read more

Dear Lionel Messi Please Please Dont Quit Argentina

To: Lionel Andres MessiFrom: Benjamin Morris, professional skeptic, sports researcher and Messi obsessiveDear Mr. Messi,Over the past half dozen years, you have been far and away the best player in the world’s most popular sport, but we know you’ve been having a bit of a rough time of late. You’ve been dealing with tax evasion charges. You’ve dealt with injuries, and fallen to third in scoring in La Liga. Your club team Barcelona was unable to repeat last year’s amazing treble after being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the quarterfinals.And finally, following Argentina’s loss against Chile in the Copa America final – in which you missed a kick that may have been the difference in a penalty shootout – you seemed to indicate an inclination to retire from the Argentine national team:It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over. I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, then for everyone. . . . It’s very hard, but the decision is taken. Now I will not try more and there will be no going back.We’re not entirely sure what you meant by this, and I hope by the time this letter reaches you, you’ll have relented. But, just in case: Retiring is a terrible idea.Of course you don’t owe anyone anything, and you can do what you want. But here’s why you shouldn’t:You missed a damn free throw.Look, you screwed up. You missed a penalty kick that would have put Argentina ahead, and your team ended up losing. You also failed to put the ball on frame – thus violating the first rule of penalty kicking.But let’s dispel the myth that penalty kicks are easy. In the top divisions of soccer (the Big Five leagues and major international tournaments) about 75 percent of the penalty kicks taken connect – similar to the rate at which free throws are made the NBA (76 percent in 2015-16). But even this partly masks their difficulty, as penalty kicks are generally taken by the designated (and typically best) penalty kicker on each team.You’ve made about 78 percent of your penalty kicks, for both club and country. This is below the rate of some other top strikers like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (who have made around 85 percent each), but is above average overall. For comparison, LeBron James has made around 74 percent of his free throws in his career (below average in the NBA) — and just made 72 percent against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.High-leverage misses are painful — had LeBron missed his second straight free throw in the waning seconds of Game 7 and the Warriors tied the game, it would have been a disaster, percentages be damned. But percentages win out in the long run nonetheless, and following this miss, you’ve now made three of your four shootout shots for Argentina, perfectly in line with your career penalty kick conversion rate.International play may not be as pretty, but you’re still the best at itAnother persistent myth in soccer is that you haven’t been as good for Argentina in international play as you’ve been for Barcelona in club play. While it’s true that the numbers you’ve put up at Barcelona have been mind-boggling, you’ve also played brilliantly for Argentina. To see just how much so, let’s look at some very basic stats: Goals plus assists per game played, for both club and country (excluding international friendlies). Here’s what we have according to ESPN Stats & Info data (which includes data from most club and some international results back to 2010-11, and from World Cups back to 1966): Your play for Argentina has been the third-most productive on a game-by-game basis (0.88 GPA/G over 42 games). Of the 324 soccer players with at least 20 appearances for both (Big Five) club and country, only two have put together more productive runs: David Villa, with 0.90 GPA/G over 31 games for Spain and Klass-Jan Huntelaar with 0.96 GPA/G over 29 games for the Netherlands. (In fact, despite international soccer being notoriously low-scoring, the international version of yourself has been more productive than any club players save yourself, Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Luis Suarez.)As great as Villa and Huntelaar have been, they’re basically the result of the field playing playing “best hand” against you. How well have their international hot streaks have been corroborated by their club careers? In the Stats & Info data, Villa scored 0.49 goals plus assists per game in club play, and Huntelaar scored 0.61. You’ve scored 1.46. In other words, their combined club production still falls well short of yours.Your play with Argentina does affect your legacy. It cements it.But let’s face it: In Barcelona, you pretty much play for an all-star team in a game so unequal it makes Major League Baseball look like a communist revolution. You play for a team so good that you aren’t even the most productive player on it! I mean, you’re likely still more valuable, but Luis Suarez has had a Messi-like season.Playing for Argentina is your one chance to play a substantial number of games on a relatively even playing field.Of course, other players benefit from playing for what are essentially all-star teams as well, but on the other side: While Argentina is a decent team on its own, without you it doesn’t have the star power as Germany, Brazil, Spain or the Netherlands. Many players have been significantly more productive playing for their international team than their club team, and vice versa. We don’t always know which represents a player’s true strength, so let’s look at the less productive setting of the two for everyone: You come out on top, even though some players have fewer games and higher variance (the three other dots in your neighborhood are – you guessed it – Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Suarez). Of the players who have done worse for club than country, only Neymar and Robin Van Persie have produced within 0.1 GPA/G of the 0.88 you put up for Argentina.If you take an unweighted average of country and club performance, your 1.17 GPA/G easily tops all players, with Ronaldo second at 1.08 and Ibrahimovic in third at 0.96.Still not convinced? Here are a few hundred million other reasons to keep playing.So you’ve never won a major cup for Argentina. Continuing to play is no guarantee that you will. And no matter what you do, some Argentinians will never think you’re better than Maradona. International play is hard and high variance.But it’s also incredibly popular.You’ll be turning 31 at the start of the 2018 World Cup, meaning you could legitimately have two or three more runs on the grandest stage in sports left in you.Of the hundreds of millions of soccer fans who have seen you play, most have seen you in the blue and white.1Note your most famous fan isn’t wearing creamsicle. I think I can safely speak for all of us when I say that we appreciate seeing your magic on the international stage, even if it’s a long, frustrating and potentially futile struggle. read more

Commentary Buckeye fandom runs deep even for nonfootball fans

OSU fans celebrate a big play during The Game Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium. OSU won, 42-41.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorThe frosty breath of fans drifts through the stadium air as they chant and cheer on their Buckeyes in temperatures so brisk they can keep their pregame Budweisers chilled without the hassle of a cooler. The underneath of their eyes tinged with gray from the early morning they had in order to properly clothe themselves in Scarlet and Gray spirit wear, fuel up the car and make the journey to the game. Tickets to an Ohio State football game will run you about $35 if you’re a student, to $550 if you are not, but putting a price on fandom isn’t something you will find many fans doing. It’s the Buckeyes we’re talking about, a team whose now back-to-back undefeated regular seasons puts on a finishing coat of Krazy Glue in a very strongly bonded relationship between fan and team.Having attended every away game this season, with the exception of California, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with fans of all ages, varying connections to OSU, and vastly different measures of football knowledge. I’ve spoken to fans whose knowledge of game play mirrors their knowledge of astrophysics, where a linebacker might very well be the one scoring touchdowns and getting sacked. But I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting a fan that holds a perfect attendance record over the past 70 years. John Crawford, an OSU alum, told me death is the only thing that could stop him from coming to a home game. Where his attendance record might be an anomaly, rest assured that his Buckeye spirit is not. The rapture that is OSU pride roots itself in the hearts and souls of people in such a peculiar way that I’m afraid my own dissection of it couldn’t possibly do it justice.I grew up in a family of artists, where sports did not typically make dinner conversation, or any conversation for that matter. I watched my first football game on television in November 2006 — Then-No. 1 OSU versus Then-No. 2 Michigan, as a matter of fact. I had no idea what was going on and truly, I wasn’t highly motivated to learn (especially not while there was a tin of fresh-from-the-oven brownies on the table). That was seven years ago, but to be fair, sometimes I still don’t know what’s going on. And where that might sound ridiculous, it’s actually not — many, if not most fans are in the same boat, maybe even on a barge several miles behind me. That’s because football doesn’t rely on game-play comprehension to be a staple in American culture. No, football is not about whether or not the audience can knowledgeably commentate on the offensive line, and it’s certainly not dependent on the fans’ understanding of every call, flag or whistle on behalf of the referees. Football isn’t as much about how well people understand the technicalities, as it is the unity that sweaty bodies and grass-stained jerseys indoctrinate.Consider the many sensory elements that make gameday what it is — the scent of warm buttery popcorn that wafts through the air in harmony with the freshly steamed hot dogs. The uniformity of replica jerseys, scarlet T-shirts and Block ‘O’ adorned skull caps that coordinate the crowd; the “OH-IO,” chanted so often it echoes indefinitely. The players gain celebrity status — signing autographs, getting verified on Twitter (Braxton Miller has almost 100,000 followers on Twitter, more than double the followers of Capital Cities, a music group that topped the charts for months in 2013 with its hit ‘Safe and Sound’), flying on planes to games that could easily reached by bus. Seeing players in class is a story to share with friends and getting assigned to be their lab partner is the stuff that dreams are made of.To be an OSU fan is to be part of something grand, a seemingly exclusive club that’s joined by signing a large check to the admissions office. That’s not to discount Buckeye spirit in any way — the bond between fans, alumni, and current students is distinct and romantic, even. The many facets of the tradition of OSU bind together Buckeyes in a near biological way, creating a blood bond that can rival that of any traditional family. And that’s what you see in the eyes of fans, the supporters who spend countless hours and dollars to watch the team, a familial gaze that is just as proud of senior running back Carlos Hyde’s run to the end zone as a parent is of their child for scoring high on their English test. It’s a sight unlike any other, an observation that makes me reach back, deep into my memory of my college experience and wonder just how permanent a stamp, the seal of the university, will be left on my own individuality. read more

Lifeless Body of Haitian Migrant Found on Bahamas Beach

first_img Related Items:#haitianmigrantfounddeadonbeach, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, May 15, 2017 – Eleuthera – The police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a Haitian man, whose body was found on a beach on the Bahamas island of Eleuthera on the weekend.The police report that the man was believed to be part of a group of approximately 50 Haitian migrants who landed in the South Eleuthera early Saturday.According to the police, shortly after 3:00 am (local time) on Saturday, they received a report that several Haitian migrants landed on the island.The officers, on checking the immediate area, found the lifeless body of a male on the shoreline, suspected to be a part of the group of migrants.The officers also detained the Haitian migrants and handed them over to immigration officials. This incident follows the apprehension of 23 Haitian migrants last week who landed in the Yamacraw area on the island of New Providence.The police say they were notified about migrant sightings and subsequently apprehended the Haitians.The Royal Bahamas Defence Force says over 60 suspected Haitian migrants were apprehended in Bahamian waters last month.#magneticmedianews#haitianmigrantfounddeadonbeach Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

LGBT Community Center to host 13th Annual HIV Fundraiser Throughout County

first_img SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Restaurants around the county will participate in Dining Out for Life Thursday to raise funds for HIV prevention services and programs at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.More than 70 restaurants and bars will participate in the 13th iteration of the fundraiser by donating 25 percent or more of their proceeds to the LGBT Community Center. Residents will have the chance to participate throughout the day when they go out for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks.“We are so proud that Dining Out for Life has a diversity of locations throughout San Diego that are supporting this important community driven fundraiser,” said Ian Johnson, the LBGT Community Center’s director of development. “We are grateful to all that local restaurants and bar owners for providing San Diegans so many great places to dine out to help end HIV.”A full list of participating restaurants can be found here. Residents can also sign up to volunteer with the LGBT Community Center for Dining Out for Life by contacting Cheli Mohamed at 619-692-2077, ext. 202. Posted: May 2, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Updated: 7:37 AM LGBT Community Center to host 13th Annual HIV Fundraiser Throughout Countycenter_img May 2, 2019 KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more