Praja Rajyam Party chief K Chiranjeevi on Thursday said he strongly desired to merge his party with Congress in the temple town of Tirupati where he launched his party two years ago. The actor-turned politician said he had floated his party on August 26, 2008 on a grand scale and on the same magnitude he would like to merge the PRP with Congress. However, Chiranjeevi said that he left the final decision to the Congress High command on the venue of the merger. The PRP has now 18 legislators in the 294 member Andhra Pradesh Assembly.- With PTI inputs For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.
Real Madrid encouraging Arsenal, Man City offers for Iscoby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid are encouraging offers for Isco.The Spain midfielder has been on the outer of coach Zinedine Zidane’s plans this season.And AS says Real are eager to find a buyer in January.Arsenal are keen and hope to repeat the same move that landed Dani Ceballos, on-loan to the end of the season. But Manchester City have been following Isco long-term. City boss Pep Guardiola has long appreciated the midfielder and sees him as David Silva’s successor. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
New Delhi: A 19-year-old drug addict was arrested for allegedly killing a person following an argument in west Delhi’s Vikas Puri area, police said on Thursday. Shivam, a resident of Uttam Nagar, was drunk at the time of the incident late Monday night, they said. Aneesh Kumar Yadav, 24, was stabbed under a flyover near the Janak Puri District Centre. He was rushed to DDU Hospital where he succumbed, a senior police officer said. Yadav had come to the District Centre with his uncle and a friend. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder Around 10.45pm that night, he went near the flyover to relieve himself when he had an argument with the accused, police said. During investigation, police scanned the footage from CCTV cameras from the area and spotted a suspicious bike near the place of incident. They traced it to Nawada Metro Station. “On Wednesday, police got a tip-off that Shivam would come to Nawada Metro Station near Kabadi Road to take the motorcycle. Thereafter, a trap was laid and the accused was arrested near Vikas Puri after a brief chase,” said Monika Bhardwaj, the deputy commissioner of police (west). Interrogation revealed that Shivam and the Yadav had an argument after which he stabbed Yadav three times and fled from the spot, police said. Shivam was previously involved in four cases of robbery and theft, police said, adding that a knife, blood-stained clothes and a bike were recovered from him, they said.
Kananga: Two men suspected of involvement in the murder of two UN experts investigating mass killings in the Democratic Republic of Congo escaped from prison overnight, a defence lawyer said Tuesday. The pair, Evariste Ilunga Lumu and Tshiaba Kanowa, fled the central prison in Kananga, in central DRC, Lumu’s lawyer Tresor Kabangu told AFP. He was informed of their disappearance by the military prosecutor’s office. At dawn on Tuesday, heavy gunfire could be heard from the vicinity of the prison in Kasai-Central province. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportAn AFP correspondent reported that by morning, the situation at the prison was tense with inmates in the yard threatening to attack anyone who ventures inside. Military and police officials were at the scene, awaiting reinforcements to enter the prison and do a headcount to determine how many have escaped. The experts — Zaida Catalan, a 36-year-old Swedish-Chilean national, and American Michael Sharp, 34 — were in Kasai on behalf of the UN Security Council to investigate mass graves associated with a rebellion.
Rome: Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal can’t wait to hit the clay courts of Roland Garros after claiming his first title this season and ninth Italian Open trophy. Nadal defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 for a record 34th Masters, leaving his vanquished foe to label the Spaniard as “the No. 1 favourite for Roland Garros”. “I am going to be there with time enough, as always,” said 32-year-old Nadal, who wants to capture a 12th trophy in Paris. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”I’m going to repeat my normal routines. For sure I can’t wait to be there and have the feeling, see the stadium, watch all the new great things that Roland Garros is doing,” the 17-time Grand Slam winner said of the rebuilt Philippe Chatrier Centre Court. “I saw a picture. Looks great. Still open, still not closed. Is a different stadium, but the feeling probably will not be very different. “This year, I don’t see a big difference. The wind is going to be the same as always. Court is still big.” Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersHis first title this season, and particularly on his favourite clay surface, is a huge boost for the Spaniard. “Happy to reach that level in the last tournament before a Grand Slam,” said Nadal. “But, as I said, for me I don’t want to talk about Grand Slams now. I never did in the past. Important title, now’s the moment to keep going.” Djokovic — winner at the Madrid Open last week — gave an error-strewn display in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal, having spent six hours on court in his previous two matches. “For me, the most important thing is to feel myself playing well and feel myself healthy, with the energy that I need,” said Nadal. “If that happens, experience is that I am going to fight for titles sooner or later.” The 32-year-old had not dropped a set all week before the final taking a 6-0 set from four his five rivals. “During the last couple of weeks, every day and every week have been better. And here we are finally with this great trophy, an important victory.” Nadal pulled out of Indian Wells with a knee injury, and had not gotten past the semi-finals in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. “After Indian Wells, there have been some tough moments for me in terms of recovering again,” he said. “I didn’t arrive very well prepared to Monte-Carlo. There have been some low moments for me. “The first round in Barcelona, that was a disaster.” Nadal had been stunned by Stefanos Tsitsipas, a player 12 years his junior, in the semi-finals in Madrid.
Rabat – The second session of the Morocco-US strategic dialogue opened this Friday morning in Rabat, under the co-chairmanship of minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, and US secretary of state John Kerry. Themed “strengthening solid cooperation ties between the two countries”, the meeting is an opportunity for the two countries to promote and expand economic, political, social, educational and cultural partnership. Rabat and Washington have repeatedly expressed resolve to open new horizons in their ties, in keeping with the joint communiqué released last November following the summit-meeting held in Washington between King Mohammed VI and President Barack Obama. Three work sessions, held as part of this dialogue, will look into “political and security issues”, “economic and trade relations” and “cooperation in education and cultural fields”.
The Indiana Pacers held on to Game 5 by a fingernail clipping, defeating the Miami Heat 93-90 and forcing the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals back to Miami for a Game 6. After the Pacers’ Game 4 loss, spearheaded by potent small-ball lineups from the Heat, the onus was on Indiana to make an adjustment. Indiana coach Frank Vogel’s adjustment was mostly to refuse to adjust: He didn’t do anything new; he just did more of what’s been working.This is the third consecutive year that the Pacers and Heat have met in the playoffs, and — although Lance Stephenson has taken over for Danny Granger the past two seasons for Indiana — a consistent pattern has emerged: Indiana’s starters can more than hold their own against the Heat, but things rapidly fall apart when the Pacers go to their bench.Indiana Pacers’ Point Differential vs. Miami HeatIn Game 5, Vogel essentially eliminated Rasual Butler and Ian Mahinmi from the Pacers’ rotation, instead playing his starters for 31 minutes. As a group, that’s the most minutes they’ve played in this series, and it’s more minutes than they played in Games 3 and 4 combined.The point differential numbers in the table above shows how even a few extra minutes from the Pacers’ starters can make a huge difference. To put those per 100 possession numbers in context, the San Antonio Spurs led the NBA this season with a per 100 possession point differential of +8.1. The worst mark in the league, belonging to the Philadelphia 76ers, was -10.7.There were extenuating circumstances last night. The Pacers’ Paul George poured in 31 second-half points, many of which came on difficult shots. According to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking Box Score, he made 10 of 18 contested shots in Game 5, or 55.6 percent. He had made just 32 percent of his contested shots in the series over the first four games. The Heat’s LeBron James also picked up five fouls in just over 23 minutes, about five times his normal foul rate. He sat for almost the entire second and third quarters, and the Pacers’ starters were just even with the Heat while he was on the floor.The Pacers’ starters aren’t going to outplay the Heat in every stint on the floor or overwhelm every small lineup Miami coach Erik Spoelstra dreams up. But Indiana’s starting five is orders of magnitude more effective than any other lineup the Pacers have.
Hot Takedown More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (Dec. 29, 2015), we bring you the latest edition of “Stat School.” Last time, Statman, aka Neil Paine, talked to us about NFL running back stats. This week, he brings us basketball 101. Neil guides us through three hoop-centric stats: points per game, true shooting percentage and usage rate.Stat one: Points per gameA player’s average number of points scored per game played.Stat two: True shooting percentageA statistic used to gauge scoring efficiency that takes into consideration a player’s shot attempts (including field goals and free throws) and points scored. The result is the average points the player scored when he ended a possession by shooting.Stat three: Usage percentageA metric that estimates the percentage of a team’s possessions that a player “uses” while he is in the game. As players “use” more possessions, their overall efficiency tends to drop.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above. Listen to Statman and you just might be able to eke out a statistical advantage in your holiday pick up games.
CJ McCollum40.7–– Even in the area where the duos are most similar — long-range sniping — they are still markedly different because of the disparate ways the players come by their threes. Lillard and McCollum have almost exact inverse splits between the percentage of their 3-point makes that have been pull-ups vs. catch-and-shoots over the past four years, per Second Spectrum, while Curry and Thompson’s splits have not lined up quite as cleanly. Despite the fact that these guard pairings have carried similar usage rates them over these past four years (30.7 percent and 26.7 percent for Lillard and McCollum; 31.1 percent and 25.4 percent for Curry and Thompson), the above figures show that they have come by that usage in vastly different ways. This is further driven home by the fact that Curry and Thompson have been assisted on their baskets far more often (52 percent and 82 percent) than have Lillard and McCollum (29.6 percent and 38.5 percent).These differences naturally stem from the high-end talent disparity between the two teams. Curry and Thompson have had the benefit of playing alongside Green and Andre Iguodala for the entirety of their run, and they’ve had Kevin Durant as an additional wingman for the past three years. Lillard and McCollum, meanwhile, have spent the majority of their time playing alongside Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu, as well as one of big men Mason Plumlee, Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter. Those three are all nice players, and they have each proven incredibly valuable for Portland at different times, but none of them brings anywhere close to the brilliance of Durant or Green, none has the versatility of Iguodala, and none is the caliber of playmaker any of the aforementioned Golden State players are.The Warriors thinned out their bench in their series against Houston, but not to the point that Curry and Thompson had less help on their side than Lillard and McCollum do — and anyway, Portland is not Houston. The Blazers don’t have the ability to go small as often or as dangerously as the Rockets did when they put P.J. Tucker at center, which means that Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney and even Jordan Bell can be on the floor more often. As good as Lillard is, the Blazers don’t have a singular player who has broken the game quite in the same way James Harden. And they don’t have the deep wellspring of wing shooters Houston has, either.What they do have is a star guard tandem and a deep group of players who have supported Dame and CJ on this run to the conference finals. That construction has generally not been enough for teams to beat the Warriors in the past. It may not be now, either. But the Splash Brothers Lite will try to make it work.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Stephen Curry46.7–– This, of course, is the natural result of the contrasting job descriptions of these players, which flow from the differing roster constructions in Portland and Golden State.Thompson is a classic shooting guard like you might have seen in the early 2000s. He works almost exclusively off the ball, flying off pin-downs and flare screens, spotting up when Curry runs pick and rolls or making split-cuts when Draymond Green has the ball in the post. Curry, meanwhile, may be Golden State’s point guard, but he is more of a co-lead ball-handler, along with Green and Durant, because that structure allows the Warriors to better weaponize his shooting abilities.By contrast, Lillard is essentially the prototype of the modern-day attack guard who is at the controls of the offense at all times, while McCollum splits his time: working off the ball alongside Lillard, on the ball as a de facto backup point guard in certain lineups and off the ball again in bench-heavy units alongside Evan Turner or Curry’s brother Seth. By wading into the tracking data on NBA.com, we can see that in each of the past four seasons, the ball has been in Lillard’s hands for a greater share of his time on the floor than Curry and Thompson’s shares combined, and McCollum has had the ball in his hands nearly as often as Curry and usually more than twice as often as Thompson. * Calculated by dividing the number of minutes the ball was in a player’s hands by that player’s total minutes played during a given season.Source: Second Spectrum ––51.3 2017-1821.512.316.04.9 Average22.612.915.84.9 Source: Second Spectrum Damian Lillard60.5%–– The NBA’s splashiest backcourt outside Oakland resides in Portland. Trail Blazers stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have combined to make 1,645 threes over the past four seasons, more than any duo in the league besides Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.1The four-year period starts when McCollum was elevated to the starting lineup — after the offseason departures of LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum — and became the Robin to Lillard’s Batman. Steph and Klay are also the only backcourt in the league to average more collective points per game over that span of time than Dame and CJ.The Splash Brothers are still (somewhat obviously) the superior pairing. Curry and Thompson are widely considered two of the greatest shooters of all time, and they completely warp opposing defenses. Thompson is also far and away the best defender of the four players. But when the quartet squares off in the Western Conference finals, which begin Tuesday night, the Blazers won’t just be bringing an inferior version of the Splash Brothers to the table. The Splash Brothers Lite are mostly just different — and there are even a few things Dame and CJ do a bit better than Steph and Klay.For starters, Portland’s guards attack off the bounce far more often than their Northern California counterparts. Lillard averaged 13.3 drives per game this season, per Second Spectrum tracking data on NBA.com, and his 7.7 points per game on drives ranked 17th among the 353 NBA players who appeared in at least 40 games. McCollum, meanwhile, averaged 9.4 drives that created 6.3 points per game, a figure that tied for 28th among the same group of players. Each of the Blazers’ guards averaged more drive-points per game than the Warriors’ backcourt duo combined.2Curry’s 7.7 drives per game created 3.9 points per game, (73rd) while Thompson’s 4.4 drives created 2.1 points per game (132nd), which means they combined for only 6.0 points per game off the drive.This isn’t a new phenomenon, either. The Blazers’ guard duo has consistently been more aggressive in attacking the paint than the Warriors have been — both before and after Golden State acquired Kevin Durant prior to the 2016-17 season. ––84.8 2015-1624.5%15.2%16.9%5.1% Portland’s guards handle the ball moreThe time of possession rates* for each pair of players, 2015-16 to 2018-19 ––36.1% 2018-1921.710.014.14.6 Klay Thompson14.0–– YearLillardMcCollumCurryThompson The Splash Brother pairs shoot their threes in different waysShare of made 3-pointers in the regular season that were pull-up vs. catch-and-shoot, 2015-16 to 2018-19 ––58.7 Pull-upCatch-and-shoot 2016-1722.513.615.94.9
Wes Morgan has no longer been the most important defender in Leicester City’s squad but Claude Puel insisted that they want to extend his contract anyway it is going to expire in 2019.Harry Maguire and Aleksandar Dragović have played more this season than Wes Morgan but Claude Puel believes that this experienced centre-back is still a valuable part of the squad and it will be great if he would decide to stay.The French coach spoke about his side’s defender as he said, according to Leicester Mercury:“Wes is our captain and a valuable player for us.”Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“He has a contract for next season and then we will see.”“I cannot say he can have six or seven years more of contract but I am happy with Wes, he’s a good professional with a good relationship with his team-mates.”“He is a valuable player for us and for the team. He’s very important and I am happy with him with everything.”
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, June 15, 2016 – New law to regulate use of the country’s national symbols will impact store owners and souvenir sellers who have been allowed to pretty much use the design of their choice for years.Goods ordered or in stock with the incorrect TCI national symbols displayed upon them will have to be sold within one year of institution of the law, else the items will have to be disposed of. House of Assembly members seemed to agree on that clause in the bill which this time around defines and describes what is the correct Turks and Caicos Coat of Arms.During debate on the Flag and Coat of Arms bill today, it was determined that the pelican standing atop the helmet and crest will remain white, despite it depicting the country’s national bird which is the brown pelican. Black was also added to the color pallet for the design which features black for shadows on the light pink flamingos, on the Turks Head or Fez Cactus and on the helmet.The Flag & Coat of Arms Bill, brought by the Office of the Premier was yesterday passed in parliament. House debate resumes this morning at 10. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Father Joe’s Villages opens more temporary beds for homeless during rainstorm January 9, 2018 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Father Joe’s Villages Tuesday announced a temporary increase in the number of shelter beds it is providing as the first rainstorm of the season continues.During especially cold and wet weather, Father Joe’s will expand its overnight services in partnership with the city Housing Commission. Its East Village building at 1501 Imperial Ave. has space to provide shelter for 250 people.The nonprofit opened its doors Monday night to provide cots for the homeless and also provided them with dinner and breakfast, according to Deacon Jim Vargas, chief executive of the nonprofit.“Last night we were blessed to have 99 individuals here during the evening hours, a number of them were families and children,” Vargas said. “We will continue to do that throughout this winter season when the need arises.”The shelter will be open again Tuesday night, and Father Joe’s officials expect to offer the increased number of beds several more times during the rainy season.The shelter will generally open when it falls under 50 degrees at night or if there is a significant amount of rain, Vargas said.“The reality is we need to do better with those of our neighbors who happen to be on the streets,” Vargas said. “We as a community really need to come together and provide more housing” on a permanent basis.The nonprofit already provides shelter to some 2,100 people in San Diego each night, officials said. Posted: January 9, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Storm Watch, Weather FacebookTwitter
“In a special message to readers last Sunday, we told how we are investing in areas like watchdog reporting, local news and digital publishing,” Kern wrote. “We are able to do this by making clear choices in our priorities and shifting resources to activities that readers and advertisers value most. These changes are part of this effort.”The Chicago Tribune said its paid Sunday circulation average for the six months ending in March was 858,256 copies, putting it behind the New York Times (1.451 million), Los Angeles Times (1.019 million) and Washington Post (868,965). The Chicago Tribune said late last week that it will fold its 55-year-old weekly Sunday magazine on July 5.Instead, the paper will replace the 850,000-circulation Chicago Tribune Magazine with Sunday, a new newspaper section that will include some of the former magazine’s features.”Declining advertising and high costs made weekly publication unsustainable,” Gerould Kern, the Chicago Tribune’s editor, wrote in a memo to staffers.
Racer X Illustrated publisher Filter Publications, on the other hand, wanted a simpler format for its Racer X iPhone app and went with AppMakr software. President Bryan Stealey says he mostly built the app himself, with a little help from a developer, and the service at the time was free. For its widely successful gaming app Mad Skills Motocross, however, Stealey says its partnership with Swedish developer Turborilla, which owns the game and pays a revenue-based fee to Filter in exchange for branding, was essential. “There are partnerships to be made,” he says. “Developers don’t seem to innately be great marketers. They know how to make something that people want to use, but don’t necessarily know how to get it out there.” The game has hit a worldwide rank of number two for paid iPhone apps in the App Store and has reached number one in the racing category, exposing the Racer X logo to millions of people.Tailoring a Strategy The key, says Pedzwater, is to know what best fits your audience and tailor a strategy to that. Spin, for example, has focused only on the iPad for now. “When we made the investment, iPad apps were brand new territory, but we took an approach that said this is where we see our audience going, and we can be successful here. Looking back now and seeing how it has shifted our company in a digital direction and benefited the brand overall, it’s well worth it.” Music magazine Spin partnered with Bottle Rocket Apps for its highly successful Spin Play app, named to the top five in Apple’s Newsstand Rewind for 2011. Brand creative director Devin Pedzwater, who led its development, attributes this to it being more than just a replication of the magazine. “We looked at software options we could have used to build the app ourselves, but we decided to go with Bottle Rocket because they took a different approach, and we wanted that.” Pedzwater agrees: “We set out pretty early and had a long track to think about it. We started with Bottle Rocket on the basics, sketching it out with pencil and paper, until we reached a decision on what we wanted. We ended up with something unique, so that time spent was well worth it.” He warns, though, not to underestimate the time it takes for data conversion, as cleaning up web and content feeds was an unexpected time drain leading up to launch. The Road AheadWhile the trajectory of all this change is hard to foresee, it’s important to be in position to handle them. Pedzwater says his Spin has reworked its entire workflow around digital, without diminishing print. “It actually makes print stronger,” he says. “I think we’ll continue to keep pushing to make this its own product, separate from what a traditional magazine can do. It’s fun to see how far we can push that, and it makes us better able to take advantage of what print does really well.” Boccia makes a similar point: “You gain momentum when you’re on three or four devices, but trying to cover all of them isn’t possible. You have to ask how many users you’ll bring in from each device, and is it worth it?” He emphasizes the advantage of waiting: “I’ve learned not to be first to the market because typically there’s going to be a bleeding edge. You’re going to get hurt. It’s probably better to wait a couple months to let things settle.” Keeping pace with the dramatic changes on the smartphone and tablet front is no small feat for any publisher, but doing so presents a particular challenge for smaller companies without a safety net of funds for experimentation with platforms that are at once in their infancy and yet increasingly seen as essential. For many, the first question is: do we create the apps ourselves, or partner with vendors? For its iPhone apps, Wells Publishing, a b-to-b media company serving the insurance industry, spent a one-time fee of $4,000 with an outside developer in early 2010 but decided before long to build them in-house. “When you use a vendor, you lose a lot of that control,” says Wells’ VP of design Guy Boccia. Apps for the iPad, though, have been another story. At first, Boccia says his team considered building them in house but soon saw the continuous changes and updates and lack of specifications were too great a challenge. “We realized we were better off buying a product that will give us a guarantee so we wouldn’t have to worry about changing what we built and training every two weeks.” After working with three different vendors within two years, Boccia says he feels the changes have slowed down enough, and his team has learned enough, to bring development in-house. While Boccia has faced greater challenges with developing apps for iPad than the iPhone—and though the iPhone apps have so far yielded a healthier return on investment—he sees real opportunity with the tablet platform, especially in 2013. Average users spend sixteen minutes on his company’s iPad apps versus two minutes on those of the iPhone. “Engagement will become a much more important metric going forward, versus number of downloads,” says Boccia. “Advertisers are still shy about the iPad, but there’s a story to tell, a definite market for it. Sales people just haven’t figured out how to tell it yet.” For this reason, he says, developing a focus on analytics is essential.More on this topic How One Small Publisher Cracked the App Store Top 25 How Smaller Publishers Are Scoring With Apps AARP Goes Mobile Digital Edition Briefs | 9.28.11 Bonnier’s Islands Extends Print with Four Apps Hearst Launches Mobile App ‘Think Tank’Just In BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media Consultant Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring TIME Names New Sales, Marketing Leads | People on the Move The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the MovePowered by
Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected $299 HomePod gets multiuser support, live radio and audio transfer Amazon’s Alexa will soon be able to schedule a whole movie night out Google Duplex is less creepy assistant and more autofill on steroids See It CNET may get a commission from retail offers. reading • Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri will get smarter this year. Here’s how. Smart displays let Amazon, Facebook, Google show you answers to your questions Google Assistant Alexa Amazon Bluetooth Google Siri Apple Apple HomeKit See It Aug 31 • The best coffee grinders you can buy right now Of course, it would be much more natural to say, “Alexa, what’s the current temperature at the hallway thermostat?” and then simply “Set my hallway thermostat to 68 degrees,” without requiring the wake word again.Fortunately, Amazon recently introduced two new things that could make Alexa’s natural-language smarts even smarter. First, Alexa will soon be able to handle more than one related request without you having to repeat “Alexa.” This features is expected to roll out to US customers later in 2019 and will be specific to planning an evening out on the town. My colleague, Ben Fox Rubin, saw the feature on display at the Amazon re:MARS conference. In the video demo, someone asked Alexa about local movie times, bought tickets, locked down a restaurant reservation and scheduled an Uber — without having to say Alexa multiple times. Amazon also has an award competition called the Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge, encouraging colleges to design social robots that help develop Alexa’s natural language capabilities. It’s currently in its third year; University of California, Davis won first place last year, which included a check for $500,000 for their social robot, which “achieved an average conversation duration of 9 minutes and 59 seconds,” according to an Amazon’s blog post announcing the 2018 winner. The University of Washington, Seattle won in 2017; their social robot conversed for an average of 10 minutes and 22 seconds. By developing bots that can engage in longer conversations, the hope is that these student groups will help Amazon (and Alexa) find the best ways to maintain longer conversations of their own. News • Get a refurbished Apple HomePod for $194 CNET Smart Home WWDC 2019 Google I/O 2019 $299 SiriApple has been slower to embrace the smart home than Amazon and Google, but it’s still a major competitor. There’s one Apple-branded, smart home device that isn’t an iPhone, an iPod or a Mac: the HomePod, which you can control with Apple’s Siri voice assistant.Through Siri voice commands (and via the Home app in iOS), you can control smart home devices that are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit software. Like Alexa and Google Assistant, you can say, “Hey Siri, set my hallway thermostat to 68 degrees” or ask general questions. While Siri tends to interface well with the the third-party smart home devices that HomeKit supports, she typically falls behind when it comes to answering general questions and understanding natural-language queries. Fortunately, the HomePod got a few updates at WWDC 2019 that might help improve things, including the ability to recognize multiple voices, transfer audio from your iPhone to the HomePod and play live radio on iHeart Radio, TuneIn and Radio.com. Alexa and Google Assistant already have multi-user voice recognition, meaning they can distinguish between my voice and my co-workers’ (some of the time, at least). So Siri’s ability to tell who’s talking is something we’ve been waiting for, but it’s welcome nonetheless. This will mean that Siri should be able to give you reminders, music recommendations and other things that are customized just for you. Apple also announced Neural Text to Speech (TTS) software at WWDC, which should make Siri sound less like an AI and more like a person. We’ll see how well it actually works when iOS 13 comes out later this year. The HomePod, Apple’s smart speaker, costs $299. James Martin/CNET The current state of voice assistantsAmazon’s efforts to enable multiple requests without requiring the wake word each time is a huge step forward, even if it’s currently limited to planning a night out. Google’s “stop” alarm feature shows a similar trend to reduce reliance on the wake words or phrases and allow the conversation to flow more naturally. And while we didn’t hear much about Duplex’s voice-based software at this year’s I/O, Duplex on the Web could streamline a ton of tedious web-chores that I’d just as soon skip. Even Apple is stepping up with its new voice recognition feature and Neural Text to Speech software, designed to make Siri sound more human. There’s a definite theme here, and it’s all tied to streamlining conversations and making them sound more like natural dialogue. I’m all for losing some of those repeated wake words to streamline conversations, but am creeped out by the idea of AI sounding so human that we won’t be able to distinguish between voice assistants and people — and I’m definitely not alone. It’s an interesting time for the smart home voice control, with three major players competing for supremacy. A 2018 study said Google Assistant was the smartest voice assistant even though Echo devices sold better, but that Alexa was catching up. We may be moving into a more incremental phase of improving voice assistants, rather than the mad dash to third-party announcements we saw in the first few years of the technology. It’s these gradual changes though that will ultimately move them forward to hopefully being more useful. Further reading Smart Speakers & Displays Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers Now playing: Watch this: Best Buy See It See All Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house $299 Google AssistantGoogle Assistant appears in five main smart speakers and displays and Google Assistant is the brains behind those devices. Unlike Alexa, which is both the name of the voice assistant and the default wake word for Alexa-enabled speakers, Google Assistant devices respond to the phrases, “OK, Google” and “Hey, Google.”Like Alexa (and Siri, as you’ll see below), you can ask Google Assistant about the weather, the traffic, to adjust a smart LED for you — and much more.Google Assistant is also a fairly strong in terms of natural-language conversations. I particularly like how you can use Google Assistant in concert with your Google Nest Hub smart display to make dinner. The voice assistant is patient as you go through the steps: You can ask it to go back to a previous step, repeat the current step and even ask for the next ingredient, how much of it you need, and what the conversions are, if any. And, at I/O 2019, Google’s annual developer conference, the company introduced a feature where you can say “stop” to turn off an alarm without having to remember to say, “Hey, Google, stop” in your just-awakened grogginess. The tech giant also introduced something called “Duplex on the Web” at I/O 2019, a follow-up to the Duplex software that would put a human-sounding voice AI on the other end of the phone line to assist you with booking appointments, reservations and more. Because it sounded so real, you wouldn’t necessarily know you weren’t talking to a person. Duplex on the Web is text- rather than voice-based. Ask Google Assistant to make a dinner reservation for you and it will use the information it has about you to auto-fill your details on the website. The idea is sound in theory: Let technology book your car rental and other basic information input tasks for you, but I wonder how well it actually works. Regardless, I’m certainly more comfortable with the concept of a text-based Duplex, rather than the voice-based AI. Apple HomePod See it Comments Mentioned Above Apple HomePod (White) Share your voice Apple 14 Photos Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Do you have a favorite voice assistant (or smart speaker)? Weigh in below in the comments. Tyler Lizenby/CNET Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri aren’t the same smart-home voice assistants they were at launch, or even a few months ago. All three AIs undergo regular updates that set them apart from one another — and keep the competition interesting for those of us following along at home (and in my case, at work, too). Google I/O, the tech giant’s annual developer conference took place in May and there was a lot of smart home news. Apple’s own yearly conference, WWDC, just happened too. And Amazon’s re:MARS conference is currently underway. That makes this a particularly busy time for smart home announcements, particularly related to Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri.Let’s explore the most recent changes to get a better sense of each assistant’s strengths, as well as where they need the most work — and what we hope to see in the future. Read: Amazon’s helping police build a surveillance network with Ring doorbellsAlexaAmazon has been a leader in the smart home space ever since it introduced its inaugural Echo speaker back in 2014. Now it has seven smart speakers and smart displays to choose from, powered by Amazon’s AI assistant, Alexa. Say “Alexa” to wake your speaker and then start talking. Alexa can help you with directions, order food and even turn on your lights or adjust your thermostat. Alexa is already a decently strong conversationalist, but it’s dependent on its wake word (Alexa) to initiate nearly every new line of conversation. For example, If I say, “Alexa, what’s the current temperature at the hallway thermostat?” I’d then have to say, “Alexa” again before requesting that the voice assistant “set the hallway thermostat to 68 degrees.” 52 • Review • Apple HomePod review: Great sound, but it’s trapped in Apple’s world 4:05 CNET Smart Home Preview • Hey Siri, beat Amazon, Google and Sonos: Apple HomePod hits Feb. 9 Tags The battle for the best smart display: Google Home Hub… Adorama $299
YouTube ScreenshotThe wait is finally over, as the much-anticipated teaser-trailer of Mammootty’s mega-budget movie ‘Madhura Raja’ had its release at 06.00 pm, on March 20, 2019. As expected, this initial teaser offers an in and out Mammootty show to the audiences, and the megastar can be seen ruling the screens with his unquestionable charm and grace.The teaser is edited well, and the makers have succeeded in giving an impression that this sequel to ‘Pokkiri Raja’ will offer more fun and entertainment than its prequel.However, apart from Mammootty, no others can be seen in the teaser, and all we can see is the megastar performing high-octane action scenes, and delivering powerful punch dialogues.In the final moments of the teaser, Mammootty can be seen saying the dialogue, ‘Raja and his boys are strong, not double strong, but triple strong’, and this scene will surely give goosebumps to the viewers. The background score used in the teaser seems very similar to the music used in the prequel.’Madhura Raja is directed by Vyshakh who has previously directed ‘Pulimurugan’, the Mollywood industry hit that collected more than 160 crores at the box-office. It should be noted that no films of Mammootty have crossed the elite 100 crore club as of now, and megastar fans believe that this film will emerge as the first Mammootty flick to achieve this feat.’Madhura Raja’ is a movie that is loaded with an ensemble star cast. Apart from Mammootty, the film also stars Tamil star Jai, Siddique, Vijayaraghavan, Nedumudi Venu, Salim Kumar, Suraj Venjarammoodu, Kalabhavan Shajon, Anna Reshma Rajan, Anusree, Shamna Kasim and Jagapathi Babu.Gopi Sundar has composed the music for ‘Madhura Raja’, while the camera is cranked by Shaji Kumar. The film is produced by Nelson Ipe in the banner of Nelson Ipe Cinemas. ‘Madhura Raja’ will hit the screens on April 12, 2019.
Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Tech Mahindra IT employee told to resign by 10am, call recording goes viral Mahindra Group’s executive chairman Anand Mahindra has apologised for the way an employee was fired from the organisation. The apology comes after the unnamed employee was reportedly asked to leave with immediate effect and his recorded conversation with the HR representative went viral online.”I want to add my personal apology. Our core value is to preserve the dignity of the individual & we’ll ensure this does not happen in future,” Mahindra tweeted, along with an CEO CP Gurnani’s apology, which said: “I deeply regret the way the HR rep & employee discussion was done. We have taken the right steps to ensure it doesn’t repeat in the future.”The HR representative reportedly asked the employee to resign by 10 am the next day and said that the layoff was a part of the company’s restructuring plan. Even though the employee requested the representative to give him some more time, the HR told him that he needed to leave with immediate effect and cited the condition in the employment contract, which says that the employer can ask an employee to leave with immediate effect.”Cost optimization is happening at the company and your name is part of that list. If you can put in papers we will be treating it as a normal exit with June 15 as last working day. If not, we will be sending you a termination letter and don’t expect anything from the company including an experience letter or basic salary,” the Times of India quoted the HR representative as saying on the call.The IT giant, which is India’s fifth largest IT services provider, also later apologised for the fiasco and Vineet Nayyar, vice-chairman, Tech Mahindra, said in a statement that necessary steps have been taken to resolve the matter and he regrets the way things transpired. An employee sits at the front desk inside Tech Mahindra office building in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi March 18, 2013 (representational image).Reuters fileIt was earlier reported that Tech Mahindra was set to sack about 1,500 employees for poor performance. “We have a process of weeding out bottom performers every year and this year is no different,” the company had then told TOI.I want to add my personal apology. Our core value is to preserve the dignity of the individual & we’ll ensure this does not happen in future https://t.co/yBxAxvFZlc— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 7, 2017Though the company has said that the layoff would be on the basis of the appraisal and the employees’ performance in the past years, it did not reveal whether the decision will affect workers across the board or only at certain levels.
Arun JaitleyReutersThe Modi government has been weighing the possibility of introducing a stimulus package, following GDP growth in the first quarter (Q1) ended June 30, slumping to a 3-year low of 5.7 per cent. It has now done just that by considering a Rs 50,000-crore fiscal stimulus to the economy to boost exports, support MSMEs, and expand bank credit, even at the cost of letting the fiscal deficit widen a little, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing two government sources.Television channel ET Now on Thursday reported the proposed stimulus as Rs 40,000 crore, citing unidentified sources.This is despite industry reportedly not being too enthused about such a move. The government has acknowledged that GDP growth in Q1 was dragged lower due to destocking by manufacturers prior to the introduction of the GST (Goods and Service Tax) on July 1.ET Now said that the government is considering giving itself some elbow room on fiscal deficit as it believes that given the current state of the economy, a fiscal stimulus of Rs 40,000 crore would be more crucial than maintaining fiscal deficit.Indian banks are desperate for capital as they have been reeling under pressure from bad loans, leading to credit growth in India being stifled.The government seems to be of the view that the FRBM panel (Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management) has made provisions for a higher deficit in lieu of structural reforms, the report said, adding that hence, the government is likely to relax the fiscal deficit target this year given the recent implementation of major reforms like GST and demonetisation.Business Today had earlier reported that as private capital expenditure has long been muted following demonetisation and the hasty implementation of India’s biggest tax overhaul, and the government is expected to announce a big capital allocation for public sector projects in the stimulus package.Elaborating on the specific heads of the proposed stimulus, financial daily Economic Times (ET) quoted ET Now as saying that the government is considering an interest subvention scheme for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) — a sector widely considered to be among the primary drivers of India’s economy. Workers stand around a crane as it loads wheat onto a ship at Mundhra Port in Gujarat in this file photo. REUTERS/Amit DaveThe government is also considering relaxing the working capital requirement for the MSMEs to 180 days from the current 90 days, which will provide them with enough elbow room, ET said.The government is also likely to infuse an additional Rs 25,000 crore into recapitalising state-run banks in addition to the Rs 15,000 crore already budgeted. This additional amount of Rs 25,000 crore is not a part of the Rs 40,000-crore stimulus package calculation, ET said, quoting the ET Now report.Last month, the government figures showed that India’s GDP growth disappointed for the second straight quarter, slowing down to a mere 5.7 percent in the April-June period and pitting the country behind China on the list of world’s fastest growing major economies, ET said.The 5.7 percent fiscal first quarter GDP growth was much lower than the 7.1 percent seen in the same quarter a year ago, and down from 6.1 percent in the preceding quarter. The government sought to apportion a major part of the blame for the slow growth on GST, saying that high levels of inventory drawdowns and destocking due to businesses rushing to clear stocks ahead of the implementation of the ambitious tax reform had a negative impact on GDP growth.
The government is set to free 53 convicted criminals, including top terror Tofail Ahmed alias Joseph. A committee formed by the home ministry has made the list as per the recommendations of the ministers and MPs, ministry sources said.When asked why these top criminals are being freed, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Prothom Alo that this provision is not applicable for controversial figures.It is being done as per the law, but if anyone has any complaints, they will take that into consideration, the minister said.As per Article 569 of the jail code, the government may set a criminal free after he has served two thirds of his jail term, provided that he has no more cases against him. And this does not need the approval of the president.The committee initially recommended 297 names, but the home ministry brought that down to 53 after considering a number of issues, including the crime, age and duration of the sentence, said a senior officer of the ministry.The list is now being sent to the law ministry for vetting. It will then be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Once the PM approves, they will be set free within a month, the official added.Law minister Anisul Huq said this provision is for petty offences. When asked if top terrors can walk free, using of this loophole, he said, “No chance. No way is this article applicable for them.”Top terror Joseph has 11 cases, including murder and arms related ones, against him. He was in the hospital for around 20 months despite not being ill. He was recently shifted to the Dhaka Central Jail after a Prothom Alo unearthed his stay at the hospital. However, the home ministry did recommend his name to be freed.Jogesshor Gope is another name in the list. He was sentenced to life in prison for killing a sweetmeat businessman. However, his name has been recommended by Md Abu Zahir, an MP from Habiganj and the district Awami League president. Jogesshor is a brother of Habiganj assistant public prosecutor (APP) Jyotish Chandra Gope.Sulekha Gope, sister of the murdered Shanto Gope, alleged that their life will be hell if her brother’s murder is freed.Abbas Hawlader was sentenced to death for throwing acid on a schoolgirl at Baufal in Patuakhali, but the Supreme Court later handed him life in jail. Nizam Uddin, another criminal who was awarded life sentence, was freed over two years back. Now he has joined the ruling Awami League. The girl told Prothom Alo that she and her family will be in deep trouble if Abbas walks out of jail.Madaripur top terror Nepulian Khondakar Nepu is in jail in a murder case. He has a number of other allegations, including extortion, against him as well. Shipping minister Shahjahan Khan has recommended for the release of Nepu, whose brother is a police officer.Former chairman of National Human Rights Commission Mizanur Rahman said this provision has to be used with utmost cautiousness. Convicted killers or top terrors should not get away using this loophole, he added.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Quamrul Hassan.
.Police have detained a Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal leader in Chattogram on Saturday for allegedly provoking the student protests, reports UNB.Fatema Badshah, acting president of the city unit of Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal, the female wing of BNP, was picked up from her residence at Supariwalapara in the city on Friday night.Officer-in-charge of Double Mooring police station AKM Mohiuddin Salim said Fatema instigated the agitating students during their demonstrations at Agrabad in the city on Thursday.She was detained after scrutinising video footage of the incident, he said.