The Indian cricket board is the biggest earner of foreign exchange amongst all sports bodies in the country. This is an important contribution that BCCI makes to the Indian foreign exchange kitty, but the body hardly gets the credit for it.Now, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has amended its rules and made it mandatory for all foreign exchange earners to retain only 50 per cent of the foreign exchange, as against the earlier limit of 100 per cent, and the rest be converted into Indian rupees.The RBI has taken this step to arrest the sharp depreciation in rupee. With more dollars coming in, the rupee gets strengthened. “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which boasts of $32.61 million in foreign exchange, has readily agreed to abide by the rules,” according to a top Board official.BCCI president N Srinivasan recently admitted to Mail Today in an interview that it’s already having problems with tax authorities after they re-opened old assessments dating back to seven years.”RBI amended its rules in May – and revised them last month – which entails all concerned parties to convert 50 per cent of their foreign exchange into rupees. The issue was discussed by the BCCI and the members unanimously agreed to abide by the new rules,” the official told Mail Today.”The BCCI currently has $32.61 million in its Exchange Earner’s Foreign Currency (EEFC) account and half of it is being turned into rupees, as per the RBI instructions.” It means that $16.305 million will be converted into rupees, which comes to Rs 88.84 crore at a current rate of Rs 55.52 per dollar.advertisementThe BCCI, as per its 2010-11 balance sheet, is worth Rs 2,530.88 crore.The main sources of foreign exchange income for the BCCI are television rights since bidders for various television rights are always asked to bid in dollar terms, various sponsors of the BCCI, as well as, the Indian Premier League and the Champions League T20.”Further, the 10 franchises who bought the IPL teams also paid the BCCI in dollars. And although the player auction for IPL also takes place in dollars, the money doesn’t go to the Board,” pointed out another official.The RBI on May 10 issued a circular to all Authorised Dealer Category-I (AD Category-I) banks, referring to a 2006 circular that allowed all foreign exchange earners to retain 100 per cent of their forex earnings in EEFC accounts. After a review of the scheme, the RBI said that 50 per cent of the balances in the EEFC accounts should be converted forthwith into rupee balances and credited to the rupee accounts as per the directions of the account holder.”This process may be completed within a fortnight from the date of the circular (May 10, 2012) and compliance reported to the chief general manager, Foreign Exchange Department, Central Office, Mumbai,” the circular said.While mentioning that the circular was being issued under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999, the RBI said that “the facility of EEFC scheme is intended to enable exchange earners to save on conversion/transaction costs while undertaking forex transactions in future. This facility is not intended to enable exchange earners to maintain assets in foreign currency, as India is still not fully convertible on capital account”.The RBI then amended the regulations for “operational convenience” on July 31, allowing “credit of 100 per cent foreign exchange earnings to the EEFC account subject to the condition that the sum total of the accruals in the account during a calendar month should be converted into rupees on or before the last day of the succeeding calendar month…””Accordingly, balances outstanding in an EEFC account as on July 31, 2012, and those balances that would accrue in the account with effect from August 1, 2012, shall get converted into rupee balances on or before close of business on September 30, 2012. Similar procedure may be followed for accruals during the subsequent months.”
The State Bank India (SBI) has recently released a notification regarding postponing of Specialist Cadre Officers recruitment online examination on the official website, the link for which is sbi.co.inMeanwhile, SBI has not stated any reason for postponing of examination which was earlier scheduled to be held on November 25.Now, the examination will be held on Friday, January 20, 2017 at various test centres across the country.And the recruitment is done to fill up around 476 vacancies on a regular and as well as contract basis.Examination scheme:The online examination will test candidates on their ability of Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, English Language, and Professional Knowledge of concerned field.The examination will be divided into two sections:Section 1: This section will consist of 120 question of 1 mark eachSection 2: This section will consist of 50 questions 2 marks eachThe total duration of the examination would be 135 minutesSelection procedure:The selection process for the four regular positions of system officer, developers, test lead, tester and statistician is different from that of all contractual positions and the regular position of technology relationship manager.Candidates will be selected on the basis of online test and interview for the four regular positions.For the contractual positions and that of technology relationship manager, candidates will be selected by shortlisting and an interview.Important dates:Examination will be held on: Friday, January 20, 2017Date of release of admit cards: January 10, 2017 onwardsFor latest updates, candidates are requested to keep a constant check on the official website of the bank.advertisementRead: SBI specialist cadre officers’ recruitment notification released at sbi.co.in Read: UPPSC RO/ ARO Mains 2014 results: Declared at www.uppsc.up.nic.in Read: Kerala VHSE, DHSE First Year (Improvement) September 2016 results: Declared at keralaresults.nic.in For information on more upcoming exams and results, click here.
NEW YORK — Henrik Lundqvist and some soft ice in front of his net kept theNew York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals.Lundqvist made 40 saves in the Rangers’ 2-1 victory in Game 4 that kept the Los Angeles Kings from a sweep on the night of June 11.Twice Los Angeles put the puck on the goal line without getting it all the way across.The last came with 1:11 left in the game when Rangers forward Derek Stepan pushed the puck out of danger after it got behind Lundqvist.“It’s probably the product of moving a lot,” Lundqvist said. “I stay deep in the net, so there’s a lot of snow there.”“I thought I had it because I felt the puck, felt like I got a good piece of it on that deflection. I was yelling at the ref to blow the whistle. Then I realized it was behind me for a couple seconds.”Benoit Pouliot and Martin St. Louis each scored for the Rangers. Los Angeles leads the series 3-1 and will get its second shot to claim the Cup for the second time in three years June 13 at home.“We would have liked to finish it tonight, but having the next game back at home, that is where we are comfortable,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. “We are in front of our fans, we are at the Staples Center, we are on good ice. I’m looking forward to it.”According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Lundqvist is the first goaltender to record at least 40 saves in an elimination regulation win in the Cup finals since the NHL began recording saves as an official statistic in the 1950s.“Hank stood on his head,” Stepan said. “He made some big saves in some big times for us. Hank stood tall and he’s a big part of why we are going back to LA.”Pouliot scored 7:25 into the first period and St. Louis added a goal in the second. New York squandered multiple two-goal advantages in losing the first two games in overtime in Los Angeles. Not this time.Lundqvist and the Rangers continued their mastery of extending their season.New York is 11-2 in the past 13 games when facing elimination, and Lundqvist was in goal for all of them.Madison Square Garden had a different feel than the festive atmosphere of Game 3 when the Rangers returned home from Los Angeles. There were no T-shirts draped over the seats, and some of the seats in prime-viewing areas were empty. But as the Rangers started to score, the crowd slowly came alive, roaring in approval.The Rangers also have won an NHL-record eight consecutive home games when facing elimination, dating to 2008, behind Lundqvist.“This is do-or-die,” St. Louis said. “Before the game, we were in our game-day routine. We’re a confident bunch. We’ve done great things. We got our first one, and I’m sure that’s going to help our mood.”The Kings pressed for the tying goal in the third period and outshot the Rangers 15-1 in the frame and 41-19 overall. “I think we sat back a little too much in the third period. But we didn’t blow the lead this time,” Stepan said.Two nights after Jonathan Quick stopped 32 shots in a 3-0 victory that put the Kings on the brink of another championship, Pouliot got a puck past him.St. Louis then put in a rebound at the left post 6:27 into the second, giving theRangers their fifth two-goal lead of the series. But just like in Games 1 and 2, a two-goal deficit sparked the Kings.At the tail end of a Rangers power play, New York defenseman Dan Girardi broke his stick and lost the puck to Kings captain Dustin Brown for a breakaway the other way.Brown made several moves in front of Lundqvist before tucking a forehand inside the right post to make it 2-1 with 11:13 left in the second.“He made some good saves, but we didn’t test him,” Brown said of the Rangers goalie. “Enough or make it hard enough on him.”The Kings had a chance to get even, but the Rangers killed Dominic Moore’s cross-checking penalty late in the period. Jeff Carter then got behind Girardi before being stopped on a breakaway by Lundqvist.Pouliot broke Quick’s shutout streak at 123 minutes, 1 second. New York hadn’t scored since Derick Brassard’s second-period goal in Game 2. Pouliot’s fifth goal of the playoffs came 2 seconds after Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell finished serving a high-sticking penalty.John Moore fired a drive from the center of the blue line that Pouliot deflected high with his stick blade into the top right corner behind Quick, who finished with 17 saves.The Kings almost tied it at 1-1 with 8:11 left in the first period — seconds into a power play — when defenseman Alec Martinez’s shot got behind Lundqvist and slid along the red goal line without crossing it.Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman cleared the puck as Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik pressured in the crease. Video replay clearly showed that the puck didn’t go over the line.(SIMMI BUTTAR, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
As always, the sands of time are trickling through the hourglass. “Time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like bananas,” as they say (when artificial intelligence systems understand and laugh at this pun, that’s when we’ll know we have problems).(Source: pixabay.com) Have you ever thought about presenting a paper (preferably on a topic you know something about) at ESC? In addition to the gratification that comes from sharing your knowledge, and the adulation of the audience, being able to add “ESC Presenter” to your resume always looks good. Furthermore, if you submit a paper and it’s accepted, then you automatically get a full conference pass, which means you get to listen to any of the other talks, plus you can rub shoulders with your peers in the speaker’s lounge (I’m often to be found there having an after-breakfast or pre-lunch snooze — try not to wake me 🙂If speaking at ESC is on your bucket list, then now is the time to submit your presentation proposals for ESC Minneapolis (November 8-9) and ESC Silicon Valley (December 6-7). Sad to relate, time is no longer on your side. I just heard that the ESC Minneapolis Submissions Portal and the ESC Silicon Valley Submissions Portal will be closing their doors this coming Friday, June 9.Of course, even if you decide not to talk yourself, it would be great to see you out there. As always, I’ll be the one in the Hawaiian shirt. And, as always, if you see me meandering around, all you need to do is shout “Max, Bacon!” or “Max, Beer!” to be assured of my undivided attention. Continue Reading Previous Optical technology creates more secure environment for voice biometricsNext Another technological Cheshire cat? Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Industry Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Batsman Peter Handscomb has retained his place in the Test squad despite recent failures as Australia named an unchanged side for the remaining two matches against India.Handscomb has not scored a Test fifty since his 82 against Bangladesh in Chittagong in September 2017. In the first two Tests against India, the right-hand bat has scores of 34, 14, 7 and 13.Australia bounced back after the Adelaide Test defeat to outplay India in the second match in Perth on Tuesday. The hosts beat the world’s top-ranked Test side by 146 runs at the Perth Stadium to level the series at 1-1.The final two matches — the Boxing Day Test and the New Year’s Test — and will be played in Melbourne and Sydney from December 26 and January 3 respectively.Uncapped paceman Chris Tremain will continue to remain out of the squad after being released before the Perth match, Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement.”With Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle in the squad we believe we have enough fast bowlers to choose from, so we’ve made the decision to stick with the 13 person squad for the remaining two test matches against India,” national selector Trevor Hohns said.”We believe it’s important to keep this group together to build on the momentum we have established in Perth.”Squad: Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (captain), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc(With inputs from Reuters)Also Read | Tim Paine relieved after registering first Test win as Australia captainadvertisement
Time for the post-State of Origin 1 edition of Sixty Seconds in Touch and the last-day-of-May edition, the edition that signifies the end of autumn and the start of winter. With temperatures dropping to the minuses overnight here in the ACT, we’re starting to feel it, letting us know that Christmas is just under 7 months away… * Well after Queensland’s nail biting 24-20 win in the first game of the NRL State of Origin for 2005, there are no doubt many NSW Touchies out there feeling the heat from their Queensland counterparts. A special congratulations to Matt Bowen, who not only took the winning intercept and scored the winning try but is a past Australian Touch representative, taking part in the Australian 18’s Mens 1999 tour and the 2000 Trans Tasman Youth Series. Congratulations Matt! * Make sure you keep an eye out this week for the next edition of the ATA newsletter Touch-e-Talk, it’s being released at the end of this week and is full of great stories and tons of info. There’s some added feature stories about All-Nations representatives, with the media starting to take an interest in these players. * The newsletter will be available for download on the ATA website, however, if you would like it emailed directly to you simply send an email to email@example.com and let Rachel know. * The next article on www.sportsnews.com.au is also due for release this week…with the topic set to be the State of Origin series, in Touch and the NRL. Make sure you keep an eye on the ATA website, a link to the Sports News website will be up as soon as the story is done. Sports News is a great website and it’s a fantastic opportunity to put Touch into the media and world of sport. * There’s some big changes afoot with the ATA Constitution and so forth. Please make sure you have a read of the article “Governance Review FAQ’s” on the ATA homepage. It’s got heaps of info and several documents on what’s going to be happening and the process for this. Definitely worth a read. * The NSWTA 2005 Country Championships are done and won, with Central Coast defeating Yass to take the Mens Open division and Newcastle Uni defeating Wagga for the Womens Open division. For the full story, please use the following link: http://www.nswtouch.com.au/index.cgi?det=1&intArticleID=924&sID=12 * Touch SA have introduced the Mitchell Cup, a new intrastate challenge cup to help develop their elite Mens and Womens Open players. All the info can be found on their website http://www.touch-sa.asn.au/ * Victoria Mens Open are holding their trials in June, check out http://www.victouch.com.au/ for all the info. * Nominations will be called for next with for referees and a referees manager to attend the National 18’s Championships in Coffs Harbour from September 7-10. So keep an eye on the ATA website and get your nominations in early, numbers are limited. By Rachel Moyle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 12. Story Highlights The Ministry of National Security is in talks with the Moneague College towards establishing a faculty for the advanced training of police officers. He informed that the Ministry recently engaged the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) for the training of marine police to the required level. The Ministry of National Security is in talks with the Moneague College towards establishing a faculty for the advanced training of police officers.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 12.He informed that the Ministry recently engaged the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) for the training of marine police to the required level.Dr. Chang said the training is in an effort to retain more bright young people in the force.He noted that the ratio of gazetted officers in the JCF is three per cent, which is less than the global average, with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) standing at eight per cent.He said research shows that modern police forces require between 10 and 15 per cent and in some cases, even 20 per cent of gazetted officers for sound leadership and accountability.“Change in the police force’s structure to increase this ratio would allow for the elimination of contention concerning promotions. If we were to change this figure to nine per cent, it would provide at least 600 spaces to bright, young Jamaican men and women to be promoted to gazetted ranks and significantly reduce the potential for attrition,” Dr. Chang said.He added that as part of the organisational renewal, the Commissioner of Police will be critically examining skill sets, with recognition that promotions and advancement within the organisation will be based on these skills and abilities.“We will place emphasis on officer training and retention, as this is the framework on which the new national police service will operate,” the National Security Minister said.
zoom The number of ships registered in the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) has surged by 48 percent in the first three quarters of 2017.As a number of new members joined the association during the period and existing members added significant number of ships, INTERCARGO passed the 1,500 ships threshold with a total tonnage of 138 milion dwt at the end of the third quarter of the year.Additionally, the associations number of full members increased by 32 percent, passing the 100 threshold.“We are proud that INTERCARGO-entered ships continue to outperform industry averages in respect of detentions and deficiencies per inspection,” John Platsidakis, INTERCARGO Chairman, said.Platsidakis added he would encourage the formation of a dry cargo charterers’ assessment scheme which would enable them to promote their quality of performance.The information was presented as part of semi-annual meetings held by INTERCARGO’s Technical and Executive Committees in Athens on October 9 and 10, 2017.Main topics covered at the meetings included the safe carriage of cargoes, the non- availability and adequacy of reception facilities for cargo residues and cargo hold washing waters hazardous to the marine environment (HME), port state control transparency and anti-corruption practices, operational challenges after the entry into force of the ballast water management convention, air emissions, design standards for bulk carriers and related equipment.INTERCARGO will hold its next meetings in Singapore in March 2018.
Rabat – The Moroccan government has signed a tripartite agreement with the United Nations and the General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco (CGEM) to support refugees’ economic integration in Morocco.A statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs outlined the agreement, signed May 18, in which CGEM will work with refugees to develop their professional skills and increase employability in the private sector. As the enterprise leaders’ union in Morocco, CGEM is committed to promoting economic autonomy for all vulnerable populations through workshops and skills development.As the CGEM develops refugees’ professional skills, the UNHCR, also known as the UN Refugee Agency, will bolster training and employment to raise awareness and open employment opportunities within Moroccan businesses. The agreement falls under Morocco’s National Strategy for Migration and Asylum, initiated in 2013, and the broader UN Global Compact for Migration. Morocco’s migrant regularization strategy and socio-economic integration policies constitute key aspects of the national migration strategy. At the international level, the Global Compact aims to foster greater international cooperation and create a multifaceted and coordinated international response response to human migration.The signing of the tripartite agreement was attended by Mr. Ahmed Eskim, Director of Immigration Affairs of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Affairs; Mr. Salah Eddine Qademiri, Deputy General of the General Federation of Moroccan Contractors, and Ms. Bettina Gambirt, Deputy Representative of the UNHCR in Morocco.Migrants in Morocco primarily emigrate from 38 countries, including Senegal, Mali, Cameroon, and Nigeria. The press release noted the extensive knowledge and skills of many refugees and positive impact that their skills could create in the Moroccan private sector.
The Group of Friends – comprising Australia, China, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam and Slovenia (as holder of the European Union presidency) – met today for the second time following their first gathering last December.Mr. Ban’s Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari plans to travel to the region shortly, and will visit Beijing from 18-19 February, followed by stops in Jakarta and Singapore.Earlier this week, the Secretary-General called on Myanmar to ensure that the constitutional referendum scheduled to be held in May represents the views of all of the South-East Asian nation’s people.He “renews his call to the Myanmar authorities to make the constitution-making process inclusive, participatory and transparent in order to ensure that any draft constitution is broadly representative of the views of all the people of Myanmar,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson. 13 February 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today convened a meeting of the 14 Member States known as the “Group of Friends” to review developments in Myanmar, where the Government forcefully cracked down on peaceful protesters last year.
Speaking at a press briefing at UN Headquarters, Ambassador Ole Peter Kolby of Norway said all 15 members of the Council would take part in the visit, which in itself was testimony to the importance the Council attached to the mission. According to Ambassador Kolby, the purpose of the trip was to address the peace process between the two nations on the eve of the official border delimitation, scheduled to be delivered by the end of March by the Boundary Commission established under the 2000 Algiers Peace Agreement signed by Ethiopia and Eritrea. Since the signing of the Agreement, there had been considerable progress in the peace process, as the situation in the temporary security zone had remained calm. “This very moment is a key stage in the peace process between the two countries because the upcoming determination by the Boundary Commission and its implementation are favourable steps towards building a comprehensive and lasting peace,” he stressed. While in the region, the mission will underline the international community’s commitment to contribute to the completion of the peace process and will address the implementation of the Boundary Commission’s decision, Ambassador Kolby added. The issue of mine clearance, in preparation of the physical demarcation of the border, would be taken up with both sides, as well as confidence building measures such as the release of all remaining prisoners of war and civilian internees. After arriving tomorrow in Addis Ababa, the mission will spend all of Friday in meetings. On Saturday, the members are scheduled to travel to the border to participate in a ceremony on the Mereb River Bridge between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and afterwards will visit various points along the temporary security zone established by the UN. The party will then head to Asmara, where it will hold a full day of meetings on Sunday before returning to New York on 25 February.
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a news release drawing attention to recent statements by its Director-General, Mohamed ElBaradei, dealing with the problem, including additional information that has come from the agency’s ongoing verification of nuclear programmes in Iran and Libya. Mr. ElBaradei raised the issue during his participation in sessions on global and regional security at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and in press interviews last month, stressing the mounting challenges facing the world’s regime to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the urgent need for a stronger security framework, the release noted. “What we are seeing is a very sophisticated and complex underground network of black market operators not that much different from organized crime cartels,” he said. “We are very much into the process of investigating key pieces of this complex picture, with assistance from a number of countries. “It’s vital that we keep making progress in combined efforts against illicit trafficking, and to keep upgrading security to effectively prevent sensitive nuclear material and technology from falling into wrong hands,” he added. He stressed that the emerging picture so far has not indicated governments are involved, but rather points to individuals engaged in illicit trafficking of material and equipment. Over the coming weeks, the IAEA Board of Governors is set to receive reports from Mr. ElBaradei on the IAEA’s verification of nuclear programmes in Iran and in Libya. The Board meets in Vienna on 8 March.
Going into Week 9, the No. 1 slot in our Elo ratings had been the exclusive province all season long of last year’s Super Bowl participants, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. In fact, the last time a team other than Denver or Seattle ranked first in Elo was Week 19 of last season, when the San Francisco 49ers owned first place after beating the Carolina Panthers on the road in the NFC divisional playoffs. (They would cede that ranking to Seattle the very next week.)This week, though, the New England Patriots have finally broken the Denver-Seattle duopoly on No. 1 after the Patriots crushed the Broncos 43-21 Sunday afternoon. How unusual was the Seahawks’ and Broncos’ long stranglehold on the top slot? Going back to the advent of the 16-game schedule in 1978, it’s the eighth-longest span into a season it’s taken for a third No. 1-ranked team to emerge. Last season, it took seven weeks for Seattle to wrest No. 1 away from a Denver/New England duumvirate.For the Patriots, it’s a long-awaited return to a familiar spot. New England occupied No. 1 in 27 (!) consecutive editions of the Elo rankings between Week 19 of the 2011 season and Week 2 of the 2013 season. And since 2000, they’ve spent more weeks at No. 1 (102) than the next three most frequently top-ranked teams (the Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Rams) combined.But of all teams, the Patriots should know that a No. 1 Elo ranking midway through the season is no Super Bowl guarantee. They sat atop the league through the first nine weeks of both the 2012 and 2007 seasons but failed to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy either season. (Since 1978, the top-ranked team through Week 9 has gone on to win the Super Bowl at a 41.7 percent clip.)New England also faces a difficult schedule. It has a bye this week, but after the break it will have to travel to Indianapolis to face the fifth-ranked Colts. Then, following a home date against the 17th-ranked Detroit Lions, the Patriots must go on the road against the No. 12 Packers and the No. 14 San Diego Chargers in back-to-back weeks, with the surging No. 16 Miami Dolphins waiting in the wings after that. An average (1500 Elo rating) NFL team would be expected to win only 46.6 percent of the Patriots’ remaining games, which means they have the seventh-hardest remaining schedule of any team in the league.Our Elo-based simulations give the Patriots just a 16 percent probability of winning the Super Bowl, which is well below the aforementioned historical average for top-ranked teams through nine weeks. Part of that is simply an artifact of league and playoff expansion. Since the NFL adopted its current size and divisional format in 2002, the top-ranked team through Week 9 has won the Super Bowl 25 percent of the time, a rate more in line with New England’s simulated odds. But 2014 has also been a strange year in terms of the distribution of ratings across the league’s 32 teams. The Patriots’ 1677 Elo rating at No. 1 is 21 points below the average for that slot through Week 9 from 2002 to 2013, while 18 of the next 22 highest-rated teams have better Elo ratings than the average for their ranking from the previous 12 NFL seasons.In other words, New England isn’t as strong as the typical No. 1, and there is an unusual number of solid teams out there for the Pats to tangle with en route to the Super Bowl. That lends credence to the growing talk of 2014 being a banner season for parity in the NFL.Meanwhile, the league’s nine worst teams by Elo are far worse than usual, culminating with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders each falling more than 50 points behind the typical ratings of the NFL’s two worst teams through nine weeks. It will be worth monitoring whether this year’s atypical dispersion of Elo ratings is a one-year quirk or part of a larger trend.Here are the current playoff and Super Bowl odds for all teams:I mentioned that San Francisco had defeated Carolina (who ranked fifth in Elo at the time) to briefly claim the No. 1 ranking during last season’s playoffs. This year, however, neither team has enjoyed the same kind of success, going a combined 7-9-1. And there’s a 55 percent chance that both will be shut out of a return trip to the postseason.After starting the season 1-2, the 49ers had regained some measure of playoff probability with three straight wins over the Philadelphia Eagles, Chiefs and Rams in Weeks 4 through 6. Going into Week 7, they even had an NFC West-leading 65 percent probability of making the playoffs, as well as the division’s best projected end-of-season win total in our Elo simulations. But a pair of losses sandwiched around a bye week have left San Francisco on the verge of missing the playoffs entirely. Its current playoff probability stands at 32 percent after taking into account their mediocre record (4-4), the difficulty of their remaining schedule (ninth-hardest), and the strength of the teams they’d have to beat out for a wild card (as their hopes of winning the NFC West have been all but extinguished).Carolina’s chances of returning to the playoffs look even worse. Despite failing to win five of its previous six games (it lost four and tied one), Carolina still had a 44 percent probability of qualifying for the postseason before its game against the New Orleans Saints — but our weekly playoff implications article also identified Panthers-Saints as one of the most crucial matchups of Week 9. Sure enough, New Orleans’ 28-10 victory dropped Carolina’s playoff probability by 25 percentage points, leaving it with less than a 1-in-5 chance of making the playoffs.In addition to the Panthers and 49ers, the other teams who lost the most from their playoff odds in Week 9 were the Baltimore Ravens and the Chargers in the AFC.The cause for Baltimore’s decline was all about the division odds — predictably, its head-to-head loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night had huge ramifications for the AFC North race. Going into the game, the Ravens had a 33 percent chance of winning the division, with the Steelers sitting at 28 percent; after the game, Pittsburgh’s chances had increased to 45 percent and Baltimore’s had dropped to 13 percent. (Neither team’s wild card odds really budged at all.)San Diego’s dip, on the other hand, had little to do with a division race. The Broncos are rated so much higher than their AFC West competitors that our simulations see little chance they don’t win the division. That leaves the wild card as the only real viable path to the playoffs for the Chargers and Chiefs, both of whom are in a dogfight with each other — as well as the losers of the AFC East and North — for one of those two slots. (The AFC South loser is unlikely to make much of a wild card push.) Miami’s 37-0 pasting of San Diego on Sunday had direct consequences in that regard, boosting the Dolphins’ wild card probability by 17 percentage points as the Chargers’ chances dropped by 19 (with scarcely a change to either team’s division odds).Elo point spreadsRecord against point spread: 64-62-3 (7-5 in Week 9)Straight-up record: 94-39-1 (9-4 in Week 9)Although the Elo ratings are performing better against the spread in recent weeks, we still would strongly advise you not to take them to Vegas as a betting tool. Even so, it is always interesting to see how they differ from the spreads offered by the major sportsbooks.This week’s biggest disparity is in the Dallas Cowboys-Jaguars game, which is not only taking place in London, but adds the wrinkle of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo’s availability being in question. With the possibility that the Cowboys will once again have to start backup QB Brandon Weeden, who oversaw the team’s Week 9 defeat to the Cardinals, the oddsmakers have dropped Dallas to a mere 6-point favorite against the lowly Jaguars, rather than the 10.5-point favorite the Elo ratings would suggest.Aside from that change, the other big discrepancies against Vegas this week involve the Cardinals and Rams (the books have been comparatively down on Arizona all season, relative to Elo) and the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns (Elo rates Cincinnati slightly higher — and Cleveland slightly lower — than Vegas’s power ratings would value the two teams). But in the Detroit-Miami tilt, which may go down as the biggest game of the week from a playoff-implications perspective, both Vegas and Elo agree: The hosting Lions should be favored by about a field goal.CORRECTION (Nov. 6, 11:56 a.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Elo is 62-44-3 against the point spread. It is 64-62-3.(Nov. 6, 2:04 p.m.): A previous version of this article said the Dallas Cowboys had a 75 percent chance of defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Dallas should have an 82 percent win probability, because it has an Elo difference of +259 and there is no home-field effect in either direction.
Call of Duty: Black Ops TV Commercial: “There’s A Soldier In All Of Us” It’s no surprise that this newly released commercial for the just-released Call of Duty: Black Ops (or CODBLOPS, as many gamers have taken to calling it) game has pulled down close to 2 million views. The new game is smashing sales records, and to drive the point home this new commercial reveals that behind each avatar in the game is an actual human being with a day job and a life – you know, normal people. Normal people with guns. And grenades. Blowing things up and shooting each other. It’s all in good fun, and there are more than a few celebrity cameos in the commercial as well. With over 8 million views at YouTube since it was uploaded on the 7th of November, the kids on the Driscoll Middle School football team must be pretty proud of themselves, not just for the incredible touchdown they scored in the video by fooling the opposing team into thinking the ball hadn’t just been snapped, but also for the impromptu fame the recording of the play earned them. Admittedly it’s kind of a one-shot thing; none of their opponents will ever fall for that again, and you bet the other team won’t, either. ALERT: Mystery Missile Launch Seen off Calif. Coast 11/09/2010 The “Mystery Missile” was probably this week’s biggest buzz on the Internet. Blogs were chattering about it, and this YouTube video was embedded on countless sites, with readers everywhere begging or an explanation. Even the Pentagon had to get involved to first say that there was no missile launch in that area, and finally to reassure the public that the so-called “missile” was actually a plane in flight. AdChoices广告Granted, none of that did anything to assure conspiracy theorists, who are still buzzing over what the cloud formation really was, where the so-called “missile” went, and – yes, I’m not making this up – whether the government is secretly using the missile to spray mind-controlling chemicals over the west coast of the United States. Seriously, speculation is still running rampant in the YouTube comments as you read this. Driscoll Middle School Trick Play Andy Irons – I Surf Because Short Film I don’t follow surfing, but even I knew who Andy Irons was, and this week he passed away. Andy Irons was one of the world’s greatest surfers, with a host of championships and awards to his credit. After he passed, this old short film that includes an interview with Irons where he explains why he surfs, mixed with footage of him on his board out on the water, started trending again on YouTube. To date, it’s close to a million views. If you’ve ever wanted to know what good surfing looks like, this is the video to watch. YouTube was buzzing this week over made-up conspiracy theories, cloud formations over the California coast, the launch of Kinect for the XBox 360, and the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops for PCs and consoles. Some of those things made for great videos, others really didn’t. Regardless, we sifted through some of the trending videos at YouTube again this week to bring you some predictably awesome Kinect-related moments, a eulogy for an incredible athlete, and some young athletes with a few tricks up their sleeves. Kinect Fail Kinect for the XBox 360 launched this week, and sure enough people everywhere started clearing out their living rooms to make way to play the new games available for it. The trouble is, when people start getting off of their couches and getting active, one thing inevitably happens: people get injured. In this video, which has already racked up over 250,000 views, two family members try out the Kinect, with interesting results.
In April last year Adobe introduced a big change to the way in which you could purchase and use its popular tools. Instead of spending thousands of dollars to purchase editions outright, you could instead pay a monthly subscription for access to different versions of Creative Suite 5.5.Today, Adobe has unveiled the next stage of its subscription model timed to coincide with the launch of Creative Suite 6. The multiple subscription versions from last year have been replaced by just one under the new name of Creative Cloud Membership.Creative Cloud gains you access to everything Adobe has to offer as parts of the Creative Suite experience. It costs $74.99 per month, or drops to $49.99 if you sign up for an annual membership. That’s going to be tempting to those who only want to use tools for a short period of time. However, when compared to the standard version pricing, which ranges from $1,299 to $2,599, it’s clear Adobe is encouraging everyone to switch to a subscription model.The news is even better for existing users who can get the first year of subscription for $29.99 per month. A Student and Teacher Edition is also being made available for the same $29.99 per month.The Creative Cloud offers a few advantages over opting to buy a CS6 products outright. First of all, you are going to gain access to more tools as part of your subscription, including the final version of Adobe Edge for HTML5 development, and Photoshop Lightroom 4 when it ships. Add to that 20GB of cloud storage and sharing facilities allowing you to edit wherever you happen to be and on a range of devices including tablets. Adobe will also support publishing, website creation, and offers access to Typekit for 700 typefaces.Ultimately a subscription ends up costing more than buying a suite of tools in the long run. However, if you opted for the top package at a cost of $2,599, you could instead subscribe and get 52 months of access before spending the equivalent. By that point Adobe may have the next version available to buy/subscribe too. Therefore the subscription is going to be a very tempting proposition even for regular users of Adobe applications.Check out the table below (click to view full size) for a comparison of the different CS6 products and Creative Cloud:Read more at Adobe and TechCrunch
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Most of us have focused on the cash rate cycle in recent times, but there’s another cycle I’m interested in: property. Australian property prices were inflated leading up to the GFC, and then they started falling. Property prices fell more drastically in some of the major cities than in others. However, investment property was hit hard. Many investment apartments were liquidated, as households switched their outlook from debt to savings. But it could be time to look again. There are a few observations behind this: firstly, interest rates are near 50-year lows, so debt is cheap. Secondly, rental vacancies in capital cities are low, meaning strong demand for rental properties. Thirdly, although house prices are now moving upwards in some cities, it’s a slow recovery nationally, meaning there is value for smart buyers. Lastly, employment is still strong in Australia meaning you can find a lender for an investment property. Where would you start? Personally, I would rather make a profit on my property and pay the tax than be negatively geared, which entails booking a loss. Going for ‘yield’ means buying well and having good equity in the property, so the costs don’t overcome the revenues. However, if you want to negatively gear a property you must ensure you have an adviser because the ATO does not accept mistakes in your calculations. But for the basics of what to look for in an investment property, I really like the check list used by RUN Property: Location: buy close to shops, train stations and schools; Scarcity: art deco and scarce architecture increases demand; Features: properties with views, outdoor living spaces or units with off-street parking; Demand: which can be seen in median valued properties, low rental vacancy rates and infrastructure which can support employment; and, don’t forget capital growth and rental yield. Now what about the ‘where?’ Tim Lawless, RP Data National Research Director, has some great property figures via the RP Data Home Value Index. His research shows that, for the quarter, across the major cities, Darwin is the stand-out for rental yields: Darwin houses yielded (5.9 per cent) and units (6 per cent), while Melbourne houses (3.6 per cent) and units (4.5 per cent) were the worst performing rental yielders in the eight major cities. Most investors also look for capital gain in the property and the RP Data figures are interesting for different reasons. In the year to October, only three cities’ dwellings have risen in value: Darwin (8.6 per cent), Perth (3.5 per cent) and Sydney (0.6 per cent). It’s worth looking also at supply. In Melbourne the supply question is still sorting itself out with apartments, which in the 12 months to October went backwards by 6 per cent. Regionally, it’s the mining areas where rental yields are strongest: the Bowen Basin and Port Hedland provide high gross rental yields. When it comes to owning rental property, always do you homework, talk to experts and be realistic (not greedy). And good luck. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on email@example.com with any queries you may have or check www.ybr.com.au for your nearest branch.
A group of South Mississippi leaders has started making the case for the area’s military installations, ahead of a possible BRAC round.During a meeting last week of the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Harrison County Military Team highlighted the importance of installations in the region, including Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Trent Lott Training Complex in Gulfport and Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg.The group’s Mike Peterson stressed the value of having bases with diverse facilities and training opportunities located in close proximity, reported the Sun Herald.“It’s a fantastic joint training opportunity,” Peterson said, “and you don’t have to bring everything with you. Think of it as a complex where you can get all your training done.”He also urged the region to improve the installations’ military value. One critical need is moving the gate at Keesler because it does not meet Air Force security requirements.“We’ve got some work to do,” Peterson told the chamber. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Chennai: In a bid to accelerate innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India, scientists from IIT-Madras on Wednesday launched a platform called ‘AI4Bharat’ that would help build AI solutions to address local problems in agriculture, health care and other sectors. Founded by Dr Mitesh M Khapra and Dr Pratyush Kumar, assistant professors in the department of computer science and engineering, the platform is open to students who would be mentored to solve real-world problems and accelerate AI innovation. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us “AI is one of the defining technologies of this age. However, much of the research in AI today is driven by the problems of the West. For instance, building autonomous cars takes priority over building systems that can monitor the condition of rural roads,” said Kumar. “We need to change this by shifting the focus to India. This is where domain experts and the government would play an important role — identify problems that are unique to India and can benefit from AI,” he added. Also Read – CBI carrying out surprise checks at 150 government departments Advertise With Us Khapra and Kumar have also co-founded “One-Fourth Labs” (incubated at the IIT Madras Research Park) with a mission to design and deliver affordable hands-on courses on AI and related topics. “To solve such problems, it is important to move AI research and development out of silos and create a platform where AI professionals can come together to design and build impactful solutions. With this in mind, our immediate goal is to create a community of 100 selected AI experts and 50 domain experts,” Khapra noted. The “One-Fourth Labs” start-up would work closely with AI4Bharat and offer basic and advanced courses in AI at affordable prices – as low as Rs 1,000 for a five-month online course.
State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam Foreign, secretary M Shahidul Haque and professor Imtiaz Ahmed at BIISS auditorium. Photo: Prothom AloSince Bangladesh’s bilateral efforts with Myanmar would not be enough for sending back the Rohingyas, professor Imtiaz Ahmed, director of Centre for Genocide Studies of Dhaka University, on Sunday suggested bilateralism might be backed by internationalism in a big wayHe came up with the view while speaking at a seminar organised by the Diplomatic Correspondent Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) in the capital’s BIISS auditorium.The Bangladesh government and the international community should engage the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice for ensuring accountability on crimes against humanity by the Myanmar authorities that led to Rohingya exodus to Bangladesh, an expert on genocide said in Dhaka on Sunday.UNHCR country representative Steven Corliss said conditions on the ground [in Rakhine of Myanmar] ‘are becoming difficult’ for return of Rohingya people due to armed conflict between Myanmar military and Arakan Army, a non-state armed group.Mentioning about the signing of agreements between the Myanmar government and the UN authorities, the progress of implementation of the agreements ‘has been slow.’On the question of relocation of Rohingya people to Bhashan Char, an island, the UN official said relocation to the Bhashan Char should be on the grounds that it would help improve the life of Rohingya people.Return in safety and security ‘is the [ultimate] solution’ to the Rohingya crisis with implementing the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission report, Corliss added.State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam said the countries which had helped Myanmar for democratisation should work with the country for ensuring repatriation of Rohingya people.State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam Foreign, secretary M Shahidul Haque and professor Imtiaz Ahmed, among others, at BIISS auditorium. Photo: Prothom AloThe government would carry on efforts to engage with China and Russia, two out of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, to get their active support for Rohingya return, he said adding that former foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali visited China and Russia in the past, while incumbent foreign AK Abdul Mamun was on the way to Moscow [on Sunday].Foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque also attended the seminar.DCAB president Raheed Ejaz moderated the seminar while its general secretary Nurul Islam Hasib delivered welcome speech.
A Boeing 737 is seen in the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, US on 3 May 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. ReutersA Boeing jetliner with 143 people aboard from the US outpost at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, slid off a runway into a shallow river in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday while attempting to land at a military base there during a thunderstorm, injuring 21 people.There were no reports of fatalities or critical injuries. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter that all 21 of the injured were taken to a hospital, where they were listed in good condition.The plane, a chartered Boeing 737-800 arriving from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba with 136 passengers and seven crew members, crashed into the St. Johns river at the end of the runway at Naval Air Station Jacksonville at about 9:40pm local time, a spokesman for the Florida air base said.”The plane was not submerged. Every person is alive and accounted for,” the sheriff’s office said on Twitter.The sheriff’s tweet was accompanied by two photographs showing the plane, bearing the logo of Miami Air International, resting in shallow water and fully intact.The mayor of Jacksonville, Lenny Curry, said on Twitter that US president Donald Trump had called him to offer help.”No fatalities reported. We are all in this together,” Curry said in a separate tweet.A passenger on board the plane, attorney Cheryl Bormann, told CNN in an interview that the flight, which had been four hours late in departing, made a “really hard landing” in Jacksonville amid thunder and lightning.”We came down, the plane literally hit the ground and bounced. It was clear the pilot did not have total control of the plane. It bounced again,” she said, adding that the experience was “terrifying.”Bormann said she hit her head on a plastic tray on the seat in front of her as the plane veered sideways and off the runway. “We were in the water, we couldn’t tell where we were, whether it was a river or an ocean.”The military base is situated on the western bank of the St. Johns River about 8 miles south of central Jacksonville, in the northeastern corner of Florida about 350 miles north of Miami.Bormann described emerging from the plane onto the wing as oxygen masks deployed and smelling the jet fuel that she said was apparently leaking into the water.Bormann, from Chicago, said that most of the passengers were connected to the military and helped each other out of their seats and onto a wing, where they were assisted after some time into a raft.Miami Air International is a charter airline operating a fleet of the Boeing 737-800, different from the 737 MAX 8 aircraft that has been grounded following two fatal crashes involving that plane. Representatives for the airline could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters on Friday evening.The charter company is contracted by the military for its twice-weekly “rotator” roundtrip service between the US mainland and Guantanamo Bay, said Bill Dougherty, a spokesman for the Jacksonville base.It flies every Tuesday and Friday from the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia to the Jacksonville air station and on to Cuba. It then flies back to Virginia with a stop again at Jacksonville, he said.The rotator service typically flies military personnel, family members, contractors and other civilians travelling from the United States to Guantanamo Bay. But officials said the mix of civilians and military personnel on the plane that crash-landed was not immediately known.A Boeing spokesman said that the company was aware of the incident and was gathering information.