Kimani’s hope – Convicted Jamaican basketballer finds peace on the court

first_imgIn his own words, the last four years of Kimani Ffriend’s life have played out like a movie. Not a sunny, happy film, but a horror flick; one which Ffriend hopes to walk out of very soon. Things are looking up for the professional basket baller though. After spending two years and eight months of his sentence, part of that period under house arrest after he was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter in 2014 for the November 3, 2012 death of Serbian Nevena Dragtunovic, Ffriend late last year signed a contract with Serbian team OKK Beograd and only a few weeks ago got a new contract with the top team in the country’s domestic league – Dynamic. He’s so far been the leading scorer for the team and is one of the most valuable players in the league. In fact, he says playing basketball has been his therapy as he hovers on the cusp of liberty – not quite free, not quite locked up. He is scheduled to return to court on January 25 for a hearing on an appeal against his conviction. While he awaits the outcome of his appeal, Ffriend has been allowed some freedoms and that is what enabled him to start playing again, and earn a living in the sport which brought him fame. “The basketball for sure has been my therapy. The two hours I’m in training or the weight room or playing that is my way of getting away from the reality of the situation. If it wasn’t for me being able to play here it would have been much harder and being under house arrest it was much harder,” he told The Gleaner. His renewed faith in God has also helped him get through the difficult moments. Ffriend admits that his position has weighed heavily on his psyche. Because he was so well known, and the woman who died was the girlfriend of a Serbian pop star, the case has continued to make headlines. “It’s all been very humbling. I made a lot of money financially and all of that was taken away from me, but although I lost a lot, I gained in Christ and now I rely on my faith and it’s my faith why I’m able to have a positive mind outlook,” Ffriend said. Ffriend, who continues to live in Belgrade, has not been able to see any of his Jamaican family throughout the period and he says the experience has taught him patience. “Everything happens for a reason and I see what my purpose is and now I have to stay patient and trust God that everything will work out,” he said. “It messes with your head but at the same time it’s a blessing because I am able to move around, but my life is stagnant because I have to go back to court and I’m still like a prisoner. I’ve been here four years now but my life is still not moving forward. I can’t do anything in my career. I lost four of my best years in this country,” he said. “It’s traumatising. Those types of stuff affect your mentality. Because of that I can’t really be myself until all of that is over. I’m more aware of my surroundings. I don’t trust people as much as before. I’m not as open or friendly as I used to be. It’s not a good feeling and this is something I have to live with for the rest of my life.” The knowledge that he robbed a family of its daughter also weighs on his conscience. “There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about it,” he said.  Through basketball and over the last few months Ffriend has been turning things around and one of the best parts he says is that when the newspapers write about him it’s no longer about his court case but his exploits in basketball. “The fact that I’m playing and the coaches want me to play is a big deal. It’s a new year. All I’ve been going so far is up and I just have to believe that God is going to pull me through,” he said. dania.bogle@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

Chinese shoe company ices NBA; could Klay Thompson’s colossal deal be in jeopardy?

first_imgThe fallout from the China-NBA cold war could hit some NBA players where it hurts most — in their shoe contracts.According to Reuters, China’s Anta sportswear company announced Tuesday it will discontinue contract renewal negotiations with NBA playersSeveral NBA stars have contracts with Anta, including three Warriors: Jacob Evans III Kevon Looney and Klay Thompson. The trio appeared in Oaklandish last weekend where Thompson launched his newest Anta product, the KT5 shoe.last_img

Embrace new smart card IDs: Zuma

first_img9 July 2013 President Jacob Zuma has urged South Africans to embrace the new smart card IDs, saying they would transform the country’s security systems. “I call on all citizens to come forward and be smart … the new smart ID cards are indeed very smart,” Zuma said after Home Affairs officials processed his smart card ID application at the presidential residence in Pretoria on Monday morning. “I’ve just done my own smart ID now and I must thank Home Affairs for this development. We have thought the ID we had after 1994 was the final one, but now we are moving to the smart cards, which are [secure] and easy to carry,” Zuma said. The process took about 15 minutes and included fingerprint verification, a picture and an electronic signature. Home Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the President would receive his smart ID card on 18 July. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela are among others who will also receive theirs. Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor has said it would take between six and eight years for all South Africans to get their smart identification document (ID) cards, which will replace the green bar-coded ID books. Officials say the new cards will take five to 10 days to produce and deliver, compared with the current 47 days for paper documents. Containing microchips embedded with biometric data unique to each individual, and with the information laser-engraved on the chip to prevent tampering, the new IDs will be near impossible to forge, according to Home Affairs. Besides cutting down on identity theft and fraud, the smart IDs will speed up the process of establishing a modern, reliable population register. The cost of the new IDs will be the same as the amount paid for the green bar-coded IDs, which currently cost R140. IDs are free for first-time applicants. Source: read more

Creator of Instant Messaging Protocol to Launch App Platform for Your Life

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Jeremie Miller is a revered figure among developers, best known for building XMPP, the open source protocol that powers most of the Instant Messaging apps in the world. Now Miller has raised funds and is building a team that will develop software aimed directly at the future of the web. Called The Locker Project, the open source service will capture what’s called exhaust data from users’ activities around the web and offline via sensors, put it firmly in their own possesion and then allow them to run local apps that are built to leverage their data. Miller’s three person company, Singly, will provide the corporate support that the open source project needs in order to remain viable. I’m very excited about this project; Miller’s backgrounds, humble brilliance and vision for app-enabling my personal data history is very exciting to me.Here’s how The Locker Project will work. Users will be able to download the data capture and storage code and run it on their own server, or sign up for hosted service – like and Then the service will pull in and archive all kinds of data that the user has permission to access and store into the user’s personal Locker: Tweets, photos, videos, click-stream, check-ins, data from real-world sensors like heart monitors, health records and financial records like transaction histories. Where data extraction is made easy already by APIs or feeds, Lockers will pull it that way. Where the data is appealing and the Locker community is motivated to do so, data connectors will be built.Searching those data archives has been a technical challenge for many other startups, but the Locker team says it is trivial for them – because they only have to build search to scale across your personal data and the data you’ve been given permission to access by members of your network.Seach and sharing across a user’s network will be powered by Miller’s eagerly-anticipated open source P2P project called Telehash, described as “a new wire protocol for exchanging JSON in a real-time and fully decentralized manner, enabling applications to connect directly and participate as servers on the edge of the network.”The team was not yet willing to disclose the identities of its investors on the record.Apps on Your PlatformBuilding a developer ecosystem is going to be the team’s biggest priority. What will apps look like in the Locker ecosystem? They’ll be pieces of software run locally on top of your personal locker and across any of your network connections that give them permission. The app model is a compelling one and provides a logical source of revenue for Locker and Singly. Presumably they will monetize sales of apps.The team is collecting video testimonials from industry luminaries about what kinds of apps they’d like to see built on top of their data. Singly won first prize in the startup competition at the O’Reilly Strata conference and Tim O’Reilly himself later gave the project a shout-out in a panel on data ownership.The team behind the project say they fantasize about apps like:food recommendations in neighborhoods they’ve visited from restaurants their friends have checked in at a newsfeed filtering out what their click-stream history shows they’ve already readpre-diagnosis of possible medical conditions based on personal medical and other history.Your personal data will likely be of interest on its own, as a type of diary, but it’s probably going to be much more interesting and useful when cross-referenced with other sets of data. Those other sets of data will provide context, surfacing correlations and patterns that would otherwise be invisible. Recommendations, personalization, alerts, benchmarks, social and self assessment: the types of value adds that can be built on top of a good data set are just beginning to be explored. And there are few data sets as interesting, to you, than you.Part of a Big PictureSee also: The Coming Data ExplosionExhaust data, data created as a matter of course by our various activities on and offline but to date under-utilized, is believed by many to be the next big frontier in the creation of apps, services and value in many forms. That’s presuming that things like privacy, permissions, data transmission, storage and more can be done right. The Locker Project aims to do that by doing everything on a personal scale.Kaliya Hamlin, long-time online identity expert and now Executive Director of the Personal Data Ecosystem Collaborative Consortium, is enthusiastic. Hamlin says Miller’s project is “a great development from the perspective of this emerging market/ecosystem happening. Others are looking at getting into the personal data store market as well, is coming to market for example, services businesses too – this is really happening.”In a blog post on the sector in general earlier this week, Hamlin put it this way:“A nascent but growing industry of personal data storage services is emerging. These strive to allow individuals to collect their own personal data to manage it and then give permissioned access to their digital footprint to the business and services they choose–businesses they trust to provide better customization, more relevant search results, and real value for the user from their data.”She also expects the personal data market to become subject to extensive regulation soon.Miller says that some ad industry people he’s spoken with hope that an independent system for data stores under the control of consumers themselves will help create an atmosphere concerning liability more amenable to innovation on top of that data than exists today. Advertisers are interested of course, but far more app developers will likely seek to build on top of that data once it’s accessible and properly permissioned.The people behind The Locker Project will have no shortage of issues to tackle trying to take a distributed, open-source, app-centric approach to leadership in an emerging era of data. It wouldn’t be the first time that Jeremie Miller has managed to change the world though. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Tags:#Data Portability#Data Services#web last_img read more

Würth Elektronik expands LAN portfolio with WE-LAN AQ

first_imgWürth Elektronik eiSos is expanding its LAN range with WE-LAN AQ. The LAN transformer for the elevated requirements in the industrial sector is characterized by excellent electrical parameters that can be reproduced in this new series. This enables particularly powerful Ethernet communication interfaces to be set up whose top quality can also be guaranteed in the production of large quantities. WE-LAN AQ can be used in applications up to 1000Base-T.The WE-LAN AQ transformer convinces in an exemplary fashion in terms of crosstalk, insertion loss, return loss, differential and common-mode rejection. Its innovative coil winding technology reduces electrical fluctuations and raises reliability while boosting performance over a wide frequency range. Production in a fully automated process guarantees consistently high quality.The new WE-LAN AQ series Ethernet transformers are cost-effective, robust and reliable components. With a maximum height of just 4.5 millimeters, they are also extremely compact and are ideal for SMT assembly.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous Lanner: HybridTCA, the benefits of converged infrastructureNext Marvell: low power PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD controllerslast_img read more

10 months agoBarcelona defender Pique signs son of Vilanova for FC Andorra

first_imgBarcelona defender Pique signs son of Vilanova for FC Andorraby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona defender Gerard Pique has signed the son of Tito Vilanova for FC Andorra.Adria Vilanova is already training with Andorra, reports Sport.Adria came through Barcelona’s academy and was a highly-rated centre-back as a teenager. While with Barça B he joined Hercules on loan before moving to Mallorca B this season. His switch to FC Andorra is a step up to an ambitious club with the aim of re-finding his best football. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Athletes up their game by going vegan

first_imgThis National Nutrition Week (September 1-7), there’s no denying that a growing number of professional athletes are choosing to fuel their bodies with healthy vegan foods. From tennis legend Novak Djokovic to Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton, elite sports stars are opting for vegetables, fruits, pulses, grains, and other plant-based foods instead of animal-derived ones. Former Australian cricketer Jason Gillespie stays in top shape by eating vegan, and our very own national football captain Sunil Chhetri has also stopped consuming animals’ flesh, eggs, and milk. He says that eating vegan food helps with recovery and that he’s experiencing other health benefits. “It’s been a few months since I’ve turned vegan now and I feel as healthy as I will ever be.” Also Read – An income drop can harm brainFrom Ironman tri-athletes and record-breaking runners to “America’s strongest weightlifter”, athletes excel when they eat vegan. Vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian broke the world record for the most weight ever carried by a human and holds multiple weightlifting world records. Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel is an Olympic bronze, silver and gold medallist who also holds two world championship titles – and she’s vegan. US women’s national soccer team star Alex Morgan went vegan because of her dog and says it makes her “stronger and helps with fatigue and recovery”. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardMany professional basketball and American football players including DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee, and Malcolm Jenkins are vegan. Venus Williams, a decorated tennis player in Olympic history, is meat-free while professional surfer Tia Blanco went vegan at age 16. Athlete Dana Glowacka powers up with vegan food and holds the women’s world record for the longest abdominal plank which she held for over four hours. Some of the toughest athletes on the planet are vegan because they know that humans don’t need to eat animals to be strong. In fact, a study revealing that Roman gladiators were predominantly vegetarian inspired the upcoming documentary ‘The Game Changers’, which features professional athletes – including executive producer Hamilton – sharing how turning vegan optimises their health and builds strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger – who’s been dairy-free for over 40 years – and Djokovic are also executive producers. When the tennis player stopped eating animal flesh, he said, “(It) hasn’t just changed my game, it’s changed my life, my wellbeing.” Eating vegan foods that are low in fat and rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants benefits athletes’ performance, endurance, recovery, and more. These foods keep their hearts strong, body weight and inflammation down, and saturated fat and cholesterol levels low, which prevents pain, increases aerobic capacity and improves blood viscosity so that more oxygen reaches the muscles, thereby improving athletic performance. The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics confirms that vegan foods are appropriate for athletes and reduce their risk of suffering from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and obesity. Many professional athletes choose to build and maintain body tissue with vegan protein sources because unlike animal-derived sources of protein, they also contain fibre and complex carbohydrates which are the primary fuel used during high-intensity exercise. For example, Trujillo loves eating sweet potatoes because they provide the complex carbohydrates and energy he needs. Athletes are also choosing to fuel up on vegan foods to protect animals from the intense suffering caused by imprisonment in cramped, waste-covered cages, sheds, or warehouses; genetic modification and drug regimens that result in chronic pain and crippling deformities; abject abuse; and slaughter by the billions. Sports stars who eat vegan foods also score big for the environment and prevent the waste of precious resources. Raising animals for meat, eggs and dairy is responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than the world’s transportation sector and more water pollution than all other industrial sources combined and it sucks up one-third of the world’s freshwater resources and global cropland for animal feed. Let’s all be winners for our health, animals, and planet by going vegan.last_img read more

Delegation of women leaders from South America coming to Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John will be welcoming a group of women leaders from Peru and Columbia as part of an international study tour on gender equality and women’s empowerment this weekend. The delegation, which will be visiting the Energetic City from May 6th – 13th, will tour local resource facilities, educational institutions, and visit non-profit organizations. The women, who are sponsored through a program with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will also meet with local First Nations, business and community leaders to discuss inclusivity and gender diversity. “We are delighted to welcome these women to the City of Fort St. John and share our community’s expertise,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman. “As a resource-based city, we have worked hard to create a sustainable and inclusive community through collaborative partnerships, and hope to share this knowledge with these remarkable community leaders who are making a difference in Peru and Columbia.” In 2017, City Council passed a resolution to sign an agreement with the mayors of Chumbivilcas province in the Cusco region of Peru to work on strengthening the planning of local economic development and the inclusion of women in municipal development.  The program had a delegation including Mayor Ackerman visit the Cusco region last year to help local governments with sustainable economic development planning, government transparency and accountability in mining areas, and share best practices in effective local government operation.  The goal of the program is to help build more sustainable and inclusive communities in resource-based regions of Columbia and Peru through learning opportunities from their Canadian counterparts. The Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America is a five-year program and funded through grants from Global Affairs Canada. A number of other municipalities from B.C. and across Canada that have successfully diversified their local communities from single-employer and/or resource-based economies have also participated in the program.last_img read more

Finance Bill 2014 draft the main focus of Moroccan editorials

first_imgRabat – The editorialists of the daily newspapers, published on Wednesday, focused on the Finance Bill 2014 draft, which outlines will be presented today by the Minister of Economy and Finance before the Chamber of Representatives.Under the title a “project with no perspective,” the columnist of Rissalat Al Oumma says that the Finance Bill 2014 contains numerous indications announcing more austerity at the expense of the purchasing power of citizens under the pretext of the need to cope with the impact of the financial crisis, lethargy of economy and lack of investment.For its part Annahar Al Maghribia writes that it is possible to understand the regional and international situation surrounding the drafting of the Finance bill 2014 without, for all, conceiving the way in which the government has interacted with the environment. L’Economiste says that, despite affronts and neglects, considering the Finance bill 2014 can take place in the standards. “This return to the standards of governance should be highlighted and praised,” said the editorialist.last_img read more

How To Tell If A March Madness Underdog Is Going To Win

When the NCAA men’s basketball tournament picks up full speed Thursday, many fans will tune in with the hopes of seeing one thing: upsets. Some no doubt will come on last-minute buzzer beaters, but plenty will probably be long-simmering, the kinds of games that you can’t look away from. Those games will be all about tension: The underdog can’t possibly hold on to this lead, can it?We can figure out the answer to that question. Or at least what we should expect to happen when an upset is brewing — specifically, at what point in the game an underdog with a lead is more likely to win than lose.I analyzed play-by-play data from every NCAA tournament since 2004, which is the earliest that second-by-second scoring data is readily available. I considered all games played by teams with different seeds, leaving me with about 700 games to analyze. In the analysis, I estimated the probability that a lower-seeded team (i.e., the better team, according to the selection committee) wins the game, depending on the score and the time remaining.At the opening tipoff, the underdog has a 29 percent chance of winning the game. But if the game is tied or the underdog is ahead with five minutes remaining in the first half, the probability of an upset is higher than 50 percent.1The green line in the first chart does not fully reach 100 percent because games tied at the end of the second half are included in the analysis.It is, of course, not that simple. There’s a big difference between an “underdog” that’s a No. 2 seed and one that’s a No. 16 seed.To better distinguish between these two cases, I split the data based on “big” and “small” upsets. Any game in which there was more than a four-seed difference in the teams’ seedings was considered a potential big upset, and the games in which the difference was four or fewer were counted in the “small upset” category. (A No. 10 seed beating a No. 7 seed is a small upset, a No. 11 seed beating a No. 6 seed is a big one, etc.)2Ideally, I would break up the data more finely by looking at each possible seeding matchup, but with only 700 games and 120 possible matchups to work with, there was not enough data. The graph shows the difference between the average upset, the big upset and the small upset. As you might expect, the big underdogs begin the game with a slightly lower probability of winning (about 20 percent). Also unsurprisingly, a big underdog with the lead does not cross the 50 percent win probability threshold until around halftime.But the results are very different when you look at small upsets. In these matchups, when the underdog has a lead or the game is tied at any point more than five or six minutes into the game, it’s likely that we’re going to see an upset.We all know, however, that all leads are not created equal. Through the rest of the article, I’ll split the data a bit further, based on how big the underdog’s or favorite’s lead is: a three-possession game (a lead of 7 or more points), a two-possession game (a 4-to-6-point lead), or a one-possession game (0-to-3-point lead).The figure above shows the results from this analysis.3The jaggedness in the raw data has been smoothed with cubic regression. When a game is close, within 3 points in either direction (gray), the average favorite is still more likely than not to win. But, assuming the game stayed within 3 points all the way through, the chances of an upset increase throughout the game. By the last few minutes, if the game is within one possession, the average better-seeded team has only a slight advantage in win probability. The probability that an average underdog with a two-possession lead (light green) will win crosses the 50 percent threshold with about five minutes left in the first half. And an underdog who leads by more than 7 points (dark green) perhaps shouldn’t be considered an underdog at all.4Although there are almost zero games in which a team is ahead by seven points in the first minute or two, the cubic regression allows me to estimate these probabilities. There’s more uncertainty about the exact estimates early in the game because there is less data, but this problem disappears just a few minutes into the game. Its odds of completing the upset are more than 50 percent very early in the first half.Things are slightly different in big upset situations; the underdog must wait until the second half for a modest lead (4 to 6 points) to trump the seedings.5The tangling of the curves in the middle graph shouldn’t lead us to believe that a 4-point lead very early in the game is better than a 7-point lead. It is more the result of a very small number of games with huge score differentials early in the game. Those open up the possibility of outliers influencing the shape of the curves on the left side. If, however, you’re watching a game in which a big underdog has a three-possession lead in the first half, keep watching because there’s a good chance that it’ll pull off the upset.In smaller potential upsets, an underdog with at least a 4-point lead (light and dark green) at nearly any point in the game has a better chance of winning than losing. The underdog wins about 40 percent of one-possession games (gray), regardless of the time remaining.So, as you watch games, don’t get too excited about a big underdog with a small lead, at least until the second half. If there is not a big gap in the seedings between the two teams, then the scoreboard, not the seedings, is what matters. And remember, this whole analysis is the aggregation of hundreds of games. Any one particular game can certainly defy the odds. Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more