49ers mailbag: Why so few snaps for Dante Pettis, Solomon Thomas?

first_imgYOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Being embedded with the 49ers here in northeast Ohio offers time on an off day to catch up on fans’ questions submitted via my Twitter and Instagram:What is the deal with Pettis? Is his injury worse than the team believed or lead on or is he in the doghouse? Both? (@ClellandChad)Kyle Shanahan expressed surprise that Pettis played just two snaps, and Shanahan vowed it would not happen again. Pettis’ groin issue limited his practice reps the past two weeks, but it is not an …last_img read more

Boks, Habana hit ground running

first_img10 September 2007The Springboks opened their Rugby World Cup challenge with a 59-7 victory over Samoa in a match that contained its fair share of niggle. After struggling to string two passes together in the face of a confrontational approach from the Samoans in the first half, the Boks pulled away to a comfortable victory in the second half.Bryan Habana was the star of the show, dotting down four times, and twice making tries out nothing with some slippery running, huge acceleration off the mark, and speed, speed, speed. Addressing the media afterwards, South Africa’s coach Jake White said Habana is a special player – the type of player that wins World Cups. While rugby is a team game, explained White, it often takes a special moment of individual brilliance – like the many that the flying wing produces – to help a team to World Cup success.‘You can’t coach pace’“You can’t coach pace,” said White, “and Bryan gives us a dimension few teams have. He was always going to be very important to our World Cup challenge and today you could see why.”While Habana provided the glitz with his four tries, equalling the Springbok World Cup record that Chester Williams set against Samoa in 1995, it was the pack that also shone, albeit with less glamour than the winger.The Samoans competed manfully against the Springboks up front, but the set pieces belonged to South Africa. After wearing Samoa down in the early going in the scrums, the Boks had their way with the Pacific islanders, regularly sending them into reverse gear and thus preventing the Samoans from attacking with good ball.The lineouts, too, belonged to the Springboks as the opposition managed to win less than half their own throw-ins.Uphill battleStruggling in the tight phases, it became an uphill battle for the Samoans as they had to weather wave after wave of attacks from the Boks, with the flanks, Schalk Burger and Juan Smith, especially prominent.Facing a pounding from the big South Africans, Samoa couldn’t withstand the onslaught, conceding 38 points in the second half without reply. And that’s despite coach White sending on all his substitutes after the result was beyond doubt.South Africa suffered one casualty with centre Jean de Villiers forced from the field with a torn biceps muscle. De Villiers, who must be one of the unluckiest players in the game, will require surgery and will miss the rest of the tournament.On a positive note, his replacement Francois Steyn performed well when he took over at inside centre. He displayed some silky skills to ignite the Springboks’ backline efforts, setting up Jaque Fourie for a try with only his second touch of the ball.Poor first halfWhile the Boks won by a big margin, their first half performance was poor as they struggled to build any momentum and continuity. Referee Paul Honiss didn’t help much by repeatedly warning Samoan players for foul play, yet not penalising them.The South Africans were no angels themselves, but their discipline was considerably better than that shown by the physical Samoans.By the end of the match, it was one-way traffic and John Smit’s men did enough to convince many that the defending champions England – 28-10 winners over the USA – won’t be able to stop the Boks when the teams meet in the biggest match in Pool A.The authoritative website Planet Rugby stated it plainly, saying “On this evidence, England’s reign as world champions is over.”Early pointsSouth Africa put early points on the board thanks to a second minute penalty from Percy Montgomery, who finished the match with 29 points to take him within three points of 800 in test matches.It was scrappy in the early going but, after seven minutes, the Springboks finally managed to get the ball down the backline. Butch James grubbered through for right wing JP Pietersen, but the ball just beat him into touch near the Samoan tryline.Shortly afterwards, Montgomery had another penalty shot at goal and was again good with his effort to put SA 6-0 in front.Samoa had an opportunity to get on the board when Schalk Burger collided with Junior Polu in the air as the Samoan attempted to field a kick. Gavin Williams took the penalty, but his effort was off target.With a quarter-of-an-hour played, Montgomery lifted South Africa into a nine-point lead with a third penalty from about 45 metres out.ShockedThree minutes later, the Boks were shocked when Samoa scored the opening try of the contest. The ball was moved down the backline from a lineout and outside centre Williams ran an excellent line on the shoulder of his midfield partner Jerry Meafou to take the pop pass and slice through the South African defence to score easily next to the uprights.Williams converted his own try to reduce South Africa’s advantage to only two points at 9-7.That score seemed to stun the Springboks somewhat and there followed a period of play in which the Samoans more than held their own.South Africa needed to find some inspiration and it came from the most predictable source: cue Bryan Habana.Sensational tryReceiving a pass on Samoa’s 10 metre line, he stepped inside a would-be tackler, ducked another player’s attempt and cut infield. Stopping on a dime, he changed direction back to the outside, dummied a pass, and raced over for the Springboks’ first try after 33 minutes of play.It was a superb solo effort and the kind of try that very few players in the game are capable of scoring.Montgomery’s kicking compass was ill-aligned and his conversion attempt left South Africa 14-7 ahead.Four minutes later, the Boks nearly had their second five-pointer. After moving the ball to the right, Burger made a break, fighting off two tackles before passing over his shoulder to the backline once more. The ball was moved to Pietersen on the flank, but he was held up over the line.Scrumming examinationThe Samoans were then subjected to a series of scrums only five metres from their line. Time and again the Springboks drove the islanders back. To counter the powerful Bok scrum, the Samoans tried to twist to the side to force resets. A number of times they conceded penalties by collapsing the scrum, but SA captain John Smit was only too happy to ask for another scrum.After six resets one began to wonder why referee Honiss had not signaled a penalty try. Then, one was left to wonder why the Springboks finally chose to move the ball wide when they had the Samoans’ number in the scrums.The answer to that question came in the form of Percy Montgomery. The Boks created an overlap out wide and the fullback, spotting hesitation in Samoa’s defence, raced between two players to crash over for a try right on the halftime whistle.He converted his five-pointer to leave South Africa 21-7 to the good at the break.Second halfThere was a fright for the Springboks after the restart when Butch James had his kick for touch charged down, but Burger was on hand to clean up and prevent the Samoans from scoring.Just four minutes into the second stanza, Steyn came on for De Villiers and immediately made an impact, breaking from inside the South African 22-metre area and making 40 metres up the field before kicking the ball into touch.Three minutes later, he held back a pass before releasing Fourie through a gap to score the Boks’ third try.Montgomery added the extras to extend South Africa’s lead to 28-7 and suddenly the combative Samoan defences were looking fragile.Montgomery’s second tryJust over five minutes later, the South Africans notched their fourth try. It started with a huge scrum by the pack and after moving the ball through a number of phases, Montgomery went over for his second.He missed the conversion, but SA had moved well clear at 33-7.The momentum was with South Africa and the team was showing greater fluency and cohesion, but the next try once again came from a superb solo effort from Habana. Taking a pass from Montgomery on the halfway line, he saw off the efforts of three tacklers to break through the Samoan defences and score near the posts.Monty converted to lift South Africa into a 40-7 lead.After an hour, Samoa sent on Brian Lima to play in his record fifth World Cup. He lasted only two minutes on the field, however. Attempting a late and dangerous hit on Andre Pretorius, leading with his head and without using his arms, he hit the Springbok in the chest but came off second best.Lima was led from the field looking dazed and confused. Viewed objectively, the veteran should be cited for a terrible tackle, but the fact that he was injured carrying it out might have saved him from being cited.Hat-trickWith 66 minutes gone on the clock, Habana claimed his hat-trick. After the Springboks were awarded a penalty five metres from the Samoan tryline, he took a quick tap and burst towards the white line. Two players tried to stop him, but Habana managed to ground the ball.Montgomery put over the easy conversion, moving South Africa to within sight of 50 points.Ten minutes later, Habana scored his fourth try. The Boks found some space down the left hand flank and once Habana had the ball in his hands, with open ground in front of him, he hit the afterburners to speed over from about 45 metres out.Montgomery was off line with his attempt at a conversion of the try, but South Africa had moved past the 50-point mark at 52-7 to the good.Five? No!With only two minutes to go it seemed Habana had scored his fifth try of the game, but referee Honiss, questionably, ruled the pass to the winger forward.However, a minute later, Pietersen, on the opposite wing, completed the rout by rounding off a backline move that included a sweet catch-and-pass from Fourie, which created the space out wide.Montgomery split the uprights with a conversion from the touchline and the final whistle sounded with South Africa convincing winners by 59 points to seven.Eight tries to oneThus, the match finished with Smit and company running in eight tries to one. All eight five-pointers went to the backline, but the forwards deserved something for the manner in which they systematically dismantled the combative approach of the Samoan forwards and laid the platform for the fast men at the back.Next up for the Springboks is the big one versus England on Friday in Saint-Denis.Based on the performances produced by South Africa and England in their first matches, it would be a shock if the men in green and gold don’t walk away with a victory over the defending champions. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

A complete guide to registering for the 2014 elections

first_imgIN 2014 South Africa will not only celebrate 20 years of freedom from apartheid, it will also hold the country’s fifth national democratic elections. With the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announcing a second and final round of voter registration set for February, we bring you a complete guide to registering for the elections.When will the elections be held?The elections must take place some time in 2014, but the final date will only be known once the president has proclaimed it in the Government Gazette.Who may vote?To be eligible to vote, you must:Be a South African citizenBe at least 18 years oldHave a green bar-coded ID book, or an ID smartcard, or a temporary identity certificate. These are all issued by the Department of Home Affairs.Finally, you may only vote if you are registered on the voters’ roll.How do I register to vote?First, ensure you have the necessary identity document – a green bar-coded ID book, an ID smartcard, or a temporary identity certificate. If you don’t, you will need to apply for one at the Department of Home Affairs.With your identity document, you must then register in person – you can’t do it online, for example, or by email.You can then register in two ways:Any time before the president proclaims the date of the election, you can register at your local IEC municipal office – but you must first contact the office and make an appointment. The IEC has a list of municipal offices with all the contact details you need.On the weekend of 8 to 9 February 2014, you can register from 08h00 to 17h00 at the voting station for your voting district. Find your voting station using the map on the IEC website, or phone 0800 11 8000 on Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 17h00. Do I have to register before every election?Unless you have moved into a new voting district, you only have to register once. If you have moved, you have to register for your new district. If you remain on the voters’ roll for your old voting district, you will only be able to vote at your old voting station.You may have to register again if your voting district changes.How do I check if I am correctly registered to vote?You can check if you are registered to vote, and for the right district, in a number of ways:Send an SMS with your ID number to 32810.Check your voter registration details online – this will also give you the address of your voting station.Phone the IEC’s call centre on 0800 11 8000 – this is toll-free if you phone from a landline.Check at your voting station during the registration weekend of 8 to 9 February 2014.Check at your local municipal electoral office during office hours. How old must I be to register?Even though you may only vote if you are 18 or older, you may register on the voters’ roll from the age of 16.Where do I register?Any time before the president proclaims the date of the election, you can register at your local IEC municipal office – but you must first contact the office and make an appointment. The IEC has a list of municipal offices with all the contact details you need.On the weekend of 8 to 9 February 2014, you can register from 08h00 to 17h00 at the voting station for your voting district. Find your voting station using the map on the IEC website.Note that you must apply for registration on or before the day the president proclaims the date of the election in the Government Gazette. The voters’ roll for the election closes at 17h00 on the day of the proclamation.What documents do I need to register?By law, you must apply in person, and bring with you a valid green bar-coded South African ID book, or a smartcard ID, or a temporary identity certificate if you don’t have an ID book or smartcard. If you don’t have any of these, apply for one at the Department of Home Affairs.Can I register if I’m currently living outside South Africa?Yes, all South Africans with a valid South African ID (see above) and a valid South African passport are allowed to register. Overseas registrations close on 7 February 2014. Find out more on the IEC website.How do I register from overseas?Go to your nearest South African embassy, high commission or diplomatic mission with your valid ID and passport. Note that you can’t register with only your passport – you must have your ID document as well. Both documents must be valid.Can I vote before I leave South Africa?If you will be overseas on election day and would like to vote in South Africa a few days beforehand, you can apply for a special vote at your municipal electoral office.What happens when I register?Go to your voting station, municipal electoral office or, if voting overseas, your diplomatic mission.Fill in the Application for Registration as a Voter formYour ID book will be scannedA bar-coded sticker will be pasted in your ID bookNote that completing the form and receiving a bar-coded sticker doesn’t mean that you’re registered, it only means that you’ve applied for registration. Your application must still be processed, which may take up to seven working days.last_img read more

5 Tips for getting your video into GIFF 2015

first_imgFree Play MusicVimeo Music Store (choose Creative Commons/free)Computer apps: 3. Know the rules for submission Seriously. Don’t make “Thriller” your main theme song unless you have permission from the King of Pop himself. Though a particular song might suit your geocaching love story perfectly, the GIFF judges will regrettably but firmly have to chuck it back to you. And remember—any geocache featured in your film should follow all basic requirements for hiding a geocache. (Hint: no buried caches, folks!) Review the GIFF 2015 submission guidelines and contact giff@geocaching.com if you have any niggling questions. And check out these free music websites if you’re struggling to find appropriate tunes to use:Websites: A moment from GIFF 2014 finalist, “Spend a Little Time With You”.4. Make it visualShow, don’t tell! Film is visual medium—while you might love the sound of your voice, you’ll have your audience hanging on tenterhooks if you keep the voiceover and dialogue to a well-planned minimum. That being said, dialogue can still make or break a film, so be thoughtful about what you do include. This GIFF 2014 finalist film was able to do a lot with no dialogue at all.5. Quality over quantity The submission guidelines say it all: “Film length must not exceed 4 minutes (including credits).” That may not seem like a lot of video to write, shoot, and edit, but creating four minutes of absolute video gold is the challenge. So be discerning about what your audience gets to see. Make those four minutes the best four minutes of their week. Month! Year!Find out “How To Geocache in Thailand” from this GIFF 2014 finalist. [vsw id=”SmGMn7sPtE0″ source=”youtube” width=”620″ height=”445″ autoplay=”no”]Attention geocaching filmmakers! The deadline for submissions to the 2015 Geocaching International Film Festival is fast approaching (July 1, 2015). As you write, shoot, an edit your films, keep these 5 tips in mind. They’re straight from mouth of a GIFF judge. 1. Make it global Geocaching is an international game, and so is every GIFF audience. Try to show an element of the geocaching experience that people in different corners of the world can feel connected to. That can range from a tangible moment in the game—FTF hunt, anyone?—to something a little more abstract—like that feeling you get when you find the geocache after hours of searching…in the first spot you looked.2. Tell a story only you can tell There’s nothing wrong with your film being about a geocaching love story or a race to the FTF, but it’s exactly because these are such universal geocaching themes that you’ll need to work to make your film stand out from others. We have it on good authority that you are a unique person, so…make it personal! Show the GIFF audiences why this crazy/nerdy/wonderful hobby is your wacky/nerdy/wonderful hobby. Odds are, the things that matter the most about geocaching to you are some of the same things that matter the most to others. The perspective you use to show those things will be the catalyst for surprising and delighting your audience. This finalist from GIFF 2014 is an awesome example of this:[vsw id=”yvrBlIbXDW0″ source=”youtube” width=”620″ height=”545″ autoplay=”no”] Are you going to be in Seattle, watching GIFF 2015 finalists on the big screen with us? Log your Will Attend here! Share with your Friends:More Garage Band (mac)LMMS (PC) As someone once said, “We are on the edge of our exercise balls over here at HQ”…to see what geocaching filmmakers create for GIFF 2015. Watch all of last year’s finalists here. SharePrint Related6 Tips for Submitting a Film to GIFFApril 3, 2017In “Community”5 Film Genres GIFF Audiences LoveJune 5, 2018In “News”6 Tips for Hosting a GIFF Weekend EventSeptember 16, 2015In “Community”last_img read more

Kids More Likely to Own a Cellphone Than a Book, Study Finds

first_imgchris cameron Tags:#mobile#web Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces As technology becomes more a part of our day-to-day lives, some are worried that it is stunting the education of children by taking away time from activities like reading. A startling discovery from the London-based National Literacy Trust finds that children are more likely these days to own a cell phone than they are a book. The study, which NLT will publish next week, ties cell phone penetration to the presence of books in a child’s home, but are these conclusions fair to draw?A survey of 17,000 U.K. children between the ages of 7 and 16 found that while 86% owned a cell phone, only 73% said they owned a book. The NLT believes a child’s access to books has a direct effect on their reading ability, finding that 80% of children reading at their expect levels have their own books. Conversely, the same can only be said for just 58% of children not reading up to par with their age group.“Our research illustrates the clear link with literacy resources at home and a child’s reading ability,” said Jonathan Douglas, Director of the NLT. “By ensuring children have access to reading materials in the home and by encouraging children to love reading, families can help them to do well at school and to enjoy opportunities throughout their life.” The connection between books and cell phones in the hands of children is a strange one for the NLT to make. In the press release announcing the study, NLT does not define what they consider to constitute “owning a book,” – a significant factor that could change the way readers interpret the study. There are, however, ways to help the literacy problems by taking advantage of the popularity of mobile devices.While children certainly seem more interested in chatting with friends on their phones than sitting quietly and reading a book, some argue that this debate shouldn’t become about the media which children consume. Teacher and education blogger Vicki Davis told ReadWriteWeb that she believes kids benefit from reading on phones or computers as much as they do from paper.“Whether on a mobile phone, iPod, Kindle, or handheld device or paper – the medium should be irrelevant. The important thing is that students can read and write, or in this case read and text,” said Davis. “If ancient man had demanded that their children continue to use their tools – we would still be looking for cave walls to draw upon – paper has been an essential tool of the mass-produced industrial age and electronics are the essential produce of the interconnected information age. Education needs to wake up and harness these tools for learning!”Redefining “Reading”Michelle Manafy, editorial director at Information Today, says older generations need to open up their definitions of what “books” actually are. “The very notion of literacy and reading itself has evolved beyond the capacity of many who grew up with linear reading experiences to understand,” she says.“If every kid has a phone, then maybe we need to be looking much harder at creating content optimized for this reading environment, to creating a reading experience that coincides with their voracious appetite and shorter attention spans, with their tangentially and serendipitously connected non-linear reading style and socially mediated tastes,” said ManafyMobile technology blogger Jason Harris agrees with Davis and Manafy, and adds that the drop in reading skills are likely due to a combination of factors.“The world is changing in that mobile phones are falling into the hands of new populations, including young children,” said Harris. “Of course, there’s a competition for time in this age group, so if they’re on their mobile phones then all leisure activities, including reading, will take a hit. But are reading scores falling because of this one factor? I doubt it.”Are Parents to Blame?Marnie Webb, co-CEO of TechSoup Global says the technology is not to blame for the decline in reading skills. As she puts it, the onus is on the parents to make sure the kids have the same access to books as they do phones.“It doesn’t have to be an either or. We can’t make it an either or,” says Webb. “But that seems to me to be up to grownups […] I have to put the books in the kid’s pocket. Just like we put the phone in the kids’ pockets.”Agreeing with Webb is Peggy Anne Salz, founder of MSearchGroove.com, a leading blog on mobile search. Salz says the report is “a call to parents to participate in their children’s education, a process they can only improve and enhance with anytime, anywhere mobile access to educational materials.”“Read between the lines, and this is not about a connection between children having a mobile device and any drop in grade school literacy skills,” adds Salz. “The report argues there is a link between having literacy resources at home and a child’s reading ability. That’s an access issue that mobile devices can solve for children in the U.K. and around the world.”It is certainly true that mobile handset penetration is reaching a younger and younger audience, but that is not necessarily a direct catalyst to lowering reading scores. Whether the presence of books in a home affects a child’s ability to read is another argument, but it seems strange to try and hook that on mobile phone usage. As technology evolves, so too will the way kids “read” and consume information, so basing studies on the presence of older forms of information digestion may become less and less appropriate.UPDATE: I received a response after reaching out on Twitter to LeVar Burton, known famously for his love of reading and as the host of the children’s show Reading Rainbow. What did the book lover think of the fact that more children own phones than books? “I believe kids need both,” he said.Photo by Flickr user eyeliam. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Can Google Be The Amazon.com For The Rest Of The Web?

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement markhachman Tags:#1-Click#Amazon#Google#Google Wallet#Mobile Payments#mobile wallets#online retail#Payments#What’s In Your Mobile Wallet? What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologycenter_img Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Amazon’s 1-Click arguably offers the best shopping experience on the Web—desktop and mobile.But 1-Click has been slow to expand beyond Amazon’s walls. While Amazon offers the convenient checkout service to retail-website builders, competitors are understandably loath to embrace the e-commerce giant’s tools.Now a wiser, bloodier Google has re-entered the fray, taking lessons learned from Amazon and applying them to its own “1-Click” solution for Google Wallet, Instant Buy.But Google’s road to riches won’t lie through a button on a website. That’s the route it took in traditional Web e-commerce, with its older Google Checkout service, which Wallet replaced after it failed to unseat PayPal and other, more traditional credit-card-processing services. Instead, Google’s placing its bet on terrain where it has the upper ground: Android apps and Gmail.Google announced Google Wallet Instant Buy on Wednesday at its annual I/O conference. Instant Buy, a set of tools for Android developers, is a complement to the Google Wallet API that the company announced last fall. Instant Buy should probably be thought of an evolution of the Wallet API – the older API filled in payment information, while the new version offers a button to “Buy with Google”. Instant Buy serves to both authenticate the shopper and actually pay for the purchase, with an intermediary step to confirm. It’s a two-click solution the first time a shopper logs in, but then it’s down to one if they save their Google login information with the app.Why is this important? Because buying products via a smartphone can be a brutal experience, requiring dozens of steps to enter payment and shipping information – and users aren’t inclined to stick around if they get frustrated. More than 90 percent of mobile users leave a mobile site without buying anything, according to Mike Putnam, vice president of mobile at fashion site RueLala. For a merchant, a simple, painless buying experience is a virtual necessity, given the rising numbers of mobile shoppers. Last Cyber Monday, for example, about 11 percent of all purchases were made via smartphone, according to IBM, about 90 percent more than the year before. This year, about 15 percent of all online retail sales will take place via mobile, according to eMarketer. But payment buttons aren’t exactly new. So how does Googl plan to get an edge? The familiarity and ubiquity of Gmail, for one. Google also added the ability Wednesday to pay by email, clicking a “$” sign to “attach” a few bucks, much like a document or picture. The funds simply go into the recipient’s Google Wallet, where they can be redeemed for real money (via a connection with a bank account) or used to buy movies, games and apps from the Play Store.PayPal and Dwolla, among others, have offered pay-by-email for years. But PayPal and Dwolla don’t have one of the most popular email platforms in the world, tacitly encouraging users to send money at the push of a button. That’s one of the more important hooks that the new Wallet offers, a Google spokeswoman said. Eventually, it’s possible that Google could push Wallet back into the real world – where it first started out, of course. What Are The Secrets To Success? Lock-in And ContextIn a horse race, a jockey’s tools are the whip and blinders. So it is in mobile payments. The most effective way of retaining customers is to eliminate the possibility of going elsewhere. Within the mobile space, the most effective blinder is the app. If you click Amazon’s mobile app to buy a router or garden hoe, chances are you’re not going anywhere else. Amazon knows that you can shop elsewhere, pay a higher price, and enter your information across all of those dozens of fields – or you can simply stay and buy with one click.Payments by Amazon, of course, is Amazon’s one-click solution, ported to the Web. But check out Payments by Amazon’s customer list: the biggest name is probably Ace Hardware. Payments by Amazon offers the same one-click payment that Amazon does, but for the consumer,  without the context of Amazon.com, it’s just another provider. And for most merchants, Amazon is the enemy.Google’s hold over the customer is weaker. Within Gmail, users simply don’t have the choice to send funds via any other provider, but they can simply use PayPal or Dwolla and send money to the same email address. But what Google offers is what Payments by Amazon can’t: context. Within the Play Store, Google is building recommendations for movies, music, and apps, based on your own preferences and what your friends have recommended. Payment providers have a number of arrows in their quiver. PayPal offers the ability to pay via its service at retail locations. Dwolla users can pay via Facebook and Twitter. But attendees at Google I/O suspect that the next step is for Google to begin building profiles of real-world purchases, so that if the Gap adopts Google, visitors to its online store will know what their Google+ friends bought. Virtually every other payment provider lacks the social integration that Google includes. The idea behind products like Google Wallet—where you could leave your wallet at home and pay for everything by tapping your phone—never really took off. Why? Numerous technical reasons have been suggested—a lack of infrastructure, resistance from financial institutions—but the conversation so far has focused on the problem of paying for things. And paying for things isn’t as important as the shopping experience itself, and providing the context for an informed decision that the customer is excited about.“I’m not saying that there are no advantages to mobile payments,” Nick Holland, a former Yankee Group payments analyst, recently wrote. “However, the opportunity for consumer/merchant value addition seems to be less around the transaction and far more around augmenting the retail experience. The mobile payments obsession is missing the point.”And that happy coincidence may well benefit Google.Photo by Nick Statt for ReadWritelast_img read more

U.P. and Bihar bypoll results | As SP wrests Gorakhpur, Phulpur from BJP, Akhilesh calls on Mayawati

first_imgThe BJP scored a zero in the bypolls to three Lok Sabha constituencies, two in U.P. and one in Bihar. The Samajwadi Party wrested the Gorakhpur and Phulpur constituencies in U.P., while the RJD retained the Araria seat in Bihar.Results of two Bihar Assembly bypolls too were announced on March 14. While the RJD won the Jehanabad seat, the BJP retained the Bhabhua constituency.The Gorakhpur parliamentary constituency was once a stronghold of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Ten nominees were in the fray in in Gorakhpur and 22 in Phulpur. Mr. Adityanath has represented the Gorakhpur seat five times.Before him, his mentor Yogi Avaidyanath held the seat.Phulpur, once represented by the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, witnessed a saffron surge in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya won the seat.Here are the updates:8:00 p.m.: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has reached BSP supremo Mayawati’s residence in Lucknow.  11.40 a.m.: UP Lok Sabha bypoll: SP candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel leading by 8,199 votes in Phulpur after seven rounds of counting: Officials.11.15 a.m.: With the BJP candidate leading in Araria by-poll, the state party leader and minister in Nitish Kumar cabinet, Nand Kishore Yadav said NDA will win all three seats, two assembly and one Lok Sabha by-poll. The RJD candidate Suday Yadav in Jehanabad had taken a comfortable lead over his rival Abhiram Sharma of JD(U).10.16 a.m.: BJP still leading by 1212 votes at Araria.10.10 a.m.: BJP candidate from Araria Lok Sabha seat Pradeep Singh is leading over his rival RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam by 2321 votes. Araria is a keenly contested Lok Sabha by-poll between two rivals NDA and Grand Alliance.10.02 a.m.: In Bhabhua assembly by-poll, BJP candidate Rinki Rani Pandey, wife of Rajesh Pandey whose death had necessitated the poll, is ahead of her rival Congress candidate Shambhu Patel by 3000 votes.10.00 a.m.: BJP ahead in Gorakhpur, SP leading in Phulpur by 1400 votes after round 1.8.45 a.m.: Early trends show Rashtriya Janta Dal lead on Araria Lok Sabha, Jehanabad assembly while BJP lead in Bhabhua assembly.(With inputs from Amarnath Tewary and Omar Rashid)Uttar PradeshThe Lok Sabha constituency of Gorakhpur witnessed 43% polling while Phulpur saw a turnout of 37.39% till 5 p.m. on March 11, Election Commission sources said.The bypolls were necessitated after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats respectively following their election to the state legislative council.Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today said the BJP was getting widespread support from the people.Speaking to reporters after casting his vote in the Gorakpur bypolls, the priest-turned-politician noted that the public believes in the mantra of development and governance given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Bihar57% polling was recorded in the by-election to the Araria constituency in Bihar on March 11, a senior poll official said.The by-poll in Araria is being viewed as a test for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine as well as the opposition RJD-Congress alliance, ahead of the big battle in the general elections due next year.In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies, where by-polls were also held, the voter turnout was 54.03% and 50.06% respectively after polling ended at 5 p.m., Bihar Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V. Nayak said.This is the first electoral battle in the state since Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also heads the JD(U), walked out of the alliance with the RJD and the Congress and joined the BJP-led NDA last year.  6.40 p.m.: SP chief Akhilesh Yadav thanks BSP leader Mayawati for her support on both Lok Sabha seats.Mr. Akhilesh Yadav attributes the Samajwadi Party’s win in the bypolls to the support from the Dalits, farmers, labourers, women and the unemployed, saying that it is a victory for  social justice.“Governments which trouble people are brought down, this government brought problems and led to fear among the people,” says Mr. Akhilesh.This is a mandate against both the Centre and State governments, people have come together to bring “bad days” for the BJP, says  Mr. Akhilesh Yadav.6.00 p.m.: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has congratulated the winners in U.P. bypolls. “Congratulations to the winners of today’s by-elections. It is clear from the results that voters have a lot of anger towards the BJP and will vote for any non-BJP candidate who has more chances of winning,” he tweets in Hindi. “The Congress is keen on rebuilding the party in Uttar Pradesh, but that will not happen overnight.”5.45 p.m.: Samajwadi Party’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeats BJP’s Kaushlendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes to win Phulpur Lok Sabha bypoll, PTI reports quoting an Election Commission official.5.40 p.m.: U.P. CM Yogi Adityanath says he accepts “the verdict of the people”. “This result is unexpected, we will review the shortcomings. I congratulate the winning candidates,” ANI reports. PTI quotes Mr. Adityanath as saying: “BJP’s performance in two Lok Sabha by-elections is lesson for us.” 5.35 p.m.: RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam wins the Araria Lok Sabha seat defeating BJP’s Pradeep Kumar Singh by a margin of 57358 votes.4.45 p.m.: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut claims SP leader Naresh Agrawal’s induction cost the BJP dearly in U.P. “I don’t consider that the SP-BSP tie up has worked. I believe that Lord Ram was angry with you (the BJP) the day you (the BJP) rolled out the red carpet for the SP leader, who has criticised Lord Ram,” he says. – PTI4:15 p.m.: Even as results are coming in for Araria, BJP’s Pradeep Singh congratulated his rival Sarfaraj Alam of the RJD. Mr. Singh also said internal sabotage by local party leaders was the reason for his defeat. He said the party will review their performance and take proper action against those leaders.3.30 p.m.: RJD in Araria leads by over 40,000 votes.2 p.m.: After 14 of 35 rounds in Phulpur, the SP has 1,55,314 votes while the BJP has received 1,34,819 votes. Praveen Nishad of SP extends margin by 14,648 votes in Gorakhpur over BJP at the end of ninth round of counting.1.25 p.m.: In Araria, after the ninth round, RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam has taken a comfortable lead of 16,000 votes over BJP candidate Pradeep Singh.1.15 p.m.: In the eighth round in Araria, RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam takes lead of 3,556 votes over his rival BJP candidate Pradeep Singh. NOTA has received 4,000 votes so far.1.05 p.m.: After Round 11 in Phulpur, SP has 1,22,247 votes and BJP has secured 1,06,534 votes.  SP looks to be running away with it in Phulpur. In 2014 BJP’s Keshav Prasad Maurya, now a deputy CM in UP, had won by over 3 lakh votes, securing more than 50 per cent. Congress a distant fourth in Phulpur with 5,668 votes only.12.55 p.m.: In a neck-and-neck contest in Araria, the BJP candidate Pradeep Singh has again taken lead of 6,605 votes over his rival Sarfaraj Alam of RJD.12.50 p.m.: RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav said: “10 rounds counting done in Araria, RJD is leading by margin but administration just showing results of three rounds. Why is that? How long they will hide the defeat of BJP and Nitish Kumar.”12.30 p.m.: SP leads by 3760 votes after 5 rounds, party has 74077 votes so far. SP complained to the Election Commission, alleging that the district administration in Gorakhpur is trying to ensure a BJP win through foul play. “The district administration is working under the pressure of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and throwing out SP observers and journalists from counting zones to ensure that the BJP wins,” said the letter signed by Naresh Uttam Patel, UP Samajwadi Party president.12.15 p.m.:  RJD candidate Sarfaraj Alam leads by 1,379 votes over BJP candidate Pradeep Singh  in Araria Lok Sabha seat.12.10 p.m.: In Phulpur, SP leads by over 12,000 votes. The counting in Gorakhpur is slow. After three rounds, the SP is ahead in both the Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.12.05 p.m.: After three rounds of counting, the Samajwadi Party is leading in Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency by over 1,500 votes.11.50 a.m. Rinky Rani Pandey of the BJP leading by 2,729 votes in the Bhabua Assembly constituency. RJD’s Suday Yadav leading by around 1,200 votes in the Jehanabad Assembly seat, according to the early trends.Read more Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav reaches BSP chief Mayawati’s residence in Lucknow on Wednesday.  | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt  7.10 p.m.: Praveen Nishad of the SP wins Gorakhpur seat by 21,961 votes.7.00 p.m.: The Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bye-election results are a “lesson”, says Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, citing over-confidence and the inability to understand the equation between the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as prime reasons for the BJP’s defeat.Read morelast_img read more


first_imgNo one can deny the fact that New Zealand have been catching up to Australia in the Touch standings and the Australian Touch Association (ATA) is certainly not about to let themselves be overtaken. The ATA and the Board of Directors has identified the need to improve not only the elite areas in Australian Touch but also the development at grass roots level. After the ATA Board of Directors meeting was held last weekend, the ATA are pleased to announce Louis Tompkins has been given charge of the men and women in white and diamonds (the referees), while Cathy Gray has been re-affirmed as the High Performance Programes Director. Gray, currently the ATA Director of Elite Programs, will continue in her role with the passion and commitment she has already demonstrated for so many years. Lou has been a member of the Federation of International Touch referees panel for the past 9 years, a member of the National Referees Panel for the last 11 years and if that’s not enough…a member of the NSW Referees Panel for 17 years! His experience and knowledge will benefit Australia’s top referees as well as encourage the growth and development of our up and coming referees. Not only is Lou qualified as a referee, referee presenter, referee coach and Touch coach, he has playing experience and administrator within NSW and has been heavily involved with the Penrith Rugby League affiliate in the past. Lou and the ATA will soon be calling for Nominations for the National Referee Panel in four portfolio areas; Education and Training, Communication, Coaching and Assessment and Affiliate/Youth referee development. All four of these portfolios are crucial to the development of refereeing in Australia. For Cathy, the work load is certain to get no lighter. Australian Touch is already setting it’s sight on retaining the World Cup in South Africa in 2007 and then winning back the Youth World Cup in 2009. Cathy will play a vital role as the High Performance Programs Director and will no doubt have a heavy load of pressure on her shoulders as the World Cup approaches. At the end of those long days of work she may be wishing she wasn’t spending her holidays away from those delightful Year 7-12 students she teaches at school! By Rachel Moyle, media@austouch.com.aulast_img read more

10 months agoDONE DEAL: Ipswich sign Huddersfield Town forward Collin Quaner

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Ipswich sign Huddersfield Town forward Collin Quanerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveIpswich Town have signed Huddersfield Town forward Collin Quaner on loan until the end of the campaign.The 27-year-old German has only featured twice for the Terriers this season, making two appearances from the bench last month.The former Ingolstadt and Union Berlin player moved to the John Smith’s Stadium in January 2017.He becomes Ipswich’s third signing of the January transfer window. last_img read more

9 months agoLazio step closer to signing Chelsea defender Zappacosta

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Lazio step closer to signing Chelsea defender Zappacostaby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLazio are a step closer to signing Chelsea defender Davide Zappacosta this week.Il Messaggero says Lazio have agreed personal terms with the Italy fullback, who is eager to return home this month.And the outline of a transfer has also been settled, with Lazio and Chelsea agreeing to a six month loan with the option of a permanent deal in June.However, Chelsea’s €15m price is regarded as too rich by Lazio.And Lazio sports chief Igli Tare will spend this week attempting to talk down the valuation. last_img read more