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Team USAs World Baseball Classic Championship Didnt Come Easy

DATEROUNDTEAMALL-TIME SRS RANKUSA’S RESULT 3/22FinalPuerto Rico5thW 8-0 Team USA’s path to the championship Team USA finally did it. Buoyed by a tremendous pitching performance from starter Marcus Stroman — who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning — the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 in Wednesday night’s title game of the World Baseball Classic, securing America’s first-ever championship at the event.Going from mediocre (they went into 2017 with a 10-10 all-time record in the tournament) to championship worthy wasn’t easy for the U.S. Although the American roster was stacked with major leaguers, the team once again found itself facing elimination after losing to Puerto Rico last Friday. Keeping its tournament hopes alive meant beating the Dominican Republic — the second-best team in WBC history by my calculations,1I used the Simple Rating System to rank every team in WBC history. (and one that had roared back to beat the U.S. a week earlier) — in a do-or-die qualifier, then beating Japan (the greatest team in WBC history) in the semis, and then turning the tables in a rematch with Puerto Rico (who were undefeated and playing as well as any WBC team ever).Talk about a difficult path to a championship: 3/11Round 1Dominican Republic2ndL 7-5 But the U.S. persevered through it all, and now they are WBC champions. And who knows — perhaps the win will even persuade more marquee players to represent America at future World Baseball Classics.Now, if only they could do something about those painfully ’90s-looking uniforms. Share on Facebook OPPONENT 3/18Round 2Dominican Republic2ndW 6-3 3/17Round 2Puerto Rico5thL 6-5 3/12Round 1Canada17thW 8-0 3/15Round 2Venezuela9thW 4-2 The Simple Rating System (SRS) adjusts a team’s per-game run differential for strength of schedule. This SRS ranking uses data from all WBC matches since 2006, with extra weight applied to games in later rounds.Source: Wikipedia 3/10Round 1Colombia11thW 3-2 3/21SemisJapan1stW 2-1 read more

Infosys working on GST despite uncertainty over passage of bill

first_imgInfosys is continuing its work on developing a technology platform for the proposed goods and services tax (GST), even as the uncertainty persists over the tax reform’s passage in Parliament.Bengaluru-based Infosys had secured the contract to develop the technology framework for the GST for Rs 1,380 crore.Prakash Kumar, CEO of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), was in Bengaluru on Monday to assess the progress made on the project, The Economic Times reported, citing sources close to the developments.”From our end, the project is going ahead as per plans — the delay in the Bill getting passed has not stalled anything,” said an Infosys executive, adding: “If not this session, there’s every chance that the Bill will be passed in the next session. In such a scenario, the technology framework for the GST has to be ready. So, as of now, the project is still going ahead at full steam.” The Modi government was forced to delay the passage of GST bill “indefinitely”, after it failed to get support from Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha, where it does not have a majority. The government has now postponed the deadline for GST roll-out to 1 June from 1 April, 2016.But Kumar said the project is being carried out as planned.”We are already working on the IT framework,” he said. “It’s going on as planned. You don’t develop these kind of applications in one month, it takes time.”Infosys declined to comment on whether it is continuing with the project.”In case the government makes some changes, we’ll incorporate that. That’s the way it was planned,” said Kumar.”The three most important functionalities in the online system are registrations, returns and payments. We are closely monitoring the passage of the GST Bill and as of now aiming for the system to be ready by April-May 2016, with the key functionalities in place,” said Anurag Dua, director, government and public sector, at PwC.last_img read more

The Perfume Chick Galleria Takes Care of Healing the Skin

first_imgThe Perfume Chick Galleria, CEO LaShawn Lindsey. (Courtesy Photo)When you think of Suitland, Md., you think of grabbing a bite to eat, going to the nearest metro, or running errands from store-to-store. Would you think of going to a store selling natural products? The Perfume Chick Galleria is just that. Its products are for all-skin types, and are designed to make any male or female feel good and confident while leaving a wonderful, lingering scent.Their slogan: “Smell Good, Feel Good and Look Good,” Antonia Lindsey explains. The Perfume Chick has been open since 2011, but before their grand-opening, it was operated from a garage.The CEO of the company, LaShawn Lindsey, died last month. Co-founder, Von “Soapman” Lindsey, husband of LaShawn Lindsey, and their daughter, Antonia “The Perfume Chick Jr.,” currently run the shop.It all started with troubling eczema Antonia had growing up. It was uncontrollable until her mom discovered a new remedy that soon transformed into a thriving business. “We do shea butters, whip wash, perfume, car fresheners, of course natural soaps, cologne, and mineral-eye shadows,” Antonia explained.The Perfume Chick’s client’s can’t get enough of their shea butter and their most-popular products are “herbal remedy,” which cures eczema, and “mango madness,” which works well for all other skin types, Antonia said. Celebrities such as The Real co-host, Tamar Braxton, and America’s Next Top Model runway coach, Miss J Alexander support the store’s line of products. “Our customer’s rave about our shea butters,” Antonia explains.LaShawn Lindsey was a passionate woman with a vision bigger than she imagined. Once her and her husband, Von opened the shop their bond was unbreakable. The Perfume Chick’s customers are loyal.”What they loved about her was just her outgoing, free-spirited attitude,” Antonia explained. “She made everybody feel loved and welcome. Also, her best product was her fragrances . . . she could match a perfume to your personality and [you would] love it. That’s just who she was . . . that’s why people loved her so much. That’s what she really liked about the place because she creates all the scents for Perfume Chick.”If you are not convinced yet, just swing by and you’ll see what the hype is all about. Perfume Chick is here, and in-loving memory of CEO LaShawn Lindsey, will forever stay.Perfume Chick’s line of products are available online and in-store. To purchase items online go to perfumechick.com. Online orders are available on Monday’s and Tuesday’s and their in-store hours of operation are Wednesday-Saturday from 11:00 a.m-7:30 p.m. For any other inquiries email The Perfume Chick at perfume@perfumechick.comlast_img read more

Netflix Picks Brillante Mendoza Drug War Show AMO as First Philippines Series

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Global streaming giant, Netflix has picked up drug war drama “AMO” as its first series from The Philippines. The show was produced by broadcaster TV5 and directed by Brillante Mendoza. Netflix will roll it out worldwide from April 9, 2018.AMO tells the story of Joseph, a high school student who starts out as a small-time “shabu” peddler, whose involvement in the drug trade eventually gets him entangled in the violent and dangerous circle of drug lords, crooked cops, and corrupt government officials.The series stars Vince Rillon, an upcoming indie film actor from the movies “Captive,” “Fallback,” and “Bagahe,” and Derek Ramsay, a veteran of numerous movies and TV shows.Mendoza is The Philippines’ best-known film director, with credits that include “Service,” “Kinatay” and “Thy Womb.” The most recent of his three Cannes competition titles “Ma Rosa” similarly probes the milieu of small time drug dealers and the endemic violence and corruption of the police. A timely production, it highlighted the brute force of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs. It has been estimated that since Duterte’s election, more than 3,000 drug dealers and users have been shot dead by police.center_img “AMO is a bold and suspenseful show that has the potential of capturing thrill-seeking audiences worldwide,” said Robert Roy, VP of Content Acquisition at Netflix.“We are excited to finally be able to share AMO with everyone. Brillante has done a beautiful job in bringing paper to life, and the show’s acquisition provides an additional platform to help share the first-ever Filipino series on Netflix to a worldwide audience,” said TV5 President & CEO, Chot Reyes, in a statement.last_img read more

Social media use linked to depression loneliness

first_imgExcessive use of social media including Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram is associated with poor well-being which could lead to depression and loneliness, researchers have warned. The study, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, showed that limiting screen time on these apps could boost one’s wellness. “When you are not busy getting sucked into clickbait social media, you are actually spending more time on things that are more likely to make you feel better about your life,” said Melissa Hunt from the University of Pennsylvania in the US. For the study, researchers from the varsity, included 143 undergraduate participants. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe team designed their experiment to include the three platforms most popular with the participants. They collected objective usage data automatically tracked by mobile phones for active apps, not those running in the background, and asked respondents to complete a survey to determine mood and well-being. The participants were then randomly assigned to a control group, which had users maintain their typical social-media behaviour, or an experimental group that limited time on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram to 10 minutes per platform per day. In addition, the participants shared mobile phone battery screenshots for the next three weeks to give the researchers weekly tallies for each individual.last_img read more

3 Things You Need to Know About Your Tech Guy

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals You’d think by now, with “cloud” applications, everything being “hosted” and all software being delivered as a “service” that we wouldn’t have to deal with tech guys as much as we did in the past. But we still do. That’s because most of us still need PCs, laptops and tablets. We still have routers and cabling and switches in the office. We’re still saving some stuff locally on servers and many of us still have on-premises systems, like accounting and other databases that we rely on daily and will probably continue to rely on for the foreseeable future. And so all of this needs the tech guy. You know who this is, right?He’s as old as your own kid. He’s a hipster. He last showered when Windows 7 was released. He has a goatee, and probably a pony tail. He’s rushed, frazzled and impatient. He fixes one thing and ten other things break. He drinks coffee or Red Bulls. He’s not unfriendly. But he’s definitely not a salesman. You pay him by the hour or maybe you have a monthly contract with him. You need him. He makes sure your systems keep running so your business can keep running.There are at least three important things you need to know about this guy:1. Not all tech guys were created equal. Most tech guys think their clients are idiots when it comes to tech. But rest assured, there are plenty of other tech guys who likely think the same about your tech guy. And they’re probably right. In the corporate world there are tech guys who deal with very complex security, data, application and connectivity issues. They come with respectable academic pedigrees and work for years in the bowels of giants like Oracle, SAP and Google.Your tech guy is likely not one of these guys. Otherwise, he’d be working there. The barrier to enter the world if independent IT consulting is almost non-existent. Any clown who’s tinkered with a computer can do it. And maybe your tech guy did work at Oracle. But that may not qualify him to be a tech guy. Because tech, like any other industry, has many sub-specialties. I know plenty of competent C# programmers who know nothing about configuring a network. I know lots of SQL database experts who can’t even setup a printer. Make sure you understand your tech guy’s qualifications.2. Don’t take their word for it. Lots of tech guys like to make their clients feel like nincompoops. They toss around unrecognizable words and give you withering looks when you ask simple questions. Men (most tech guys are men because it is one of the last places left in the world where we feel we can control things) like to pretend we know stuff when we really don’t. That’s why we hate to ask for directions and get help. Tech guys pretend they know the answers. But don’t believe every answer they give you. Trust your own common sense. Before spending a lot of money on a new project, get some other tech guys in to give you their second opinions. Don’t be afraid to question. You’re not as stupid as you’re being made to think. Technology is an art, not a science. If it were truly a science, most tech guys wouldn’t be smart enough to do it.3. Get used to stuff breaking. Your tech guy is likely a Microsoft person. That means he’s used to stuff not working all the time and he accepts this. You should too — to a degree. Often tech guys throw out fixes like a baby throws  food — hoping it sticks to the wall. Don’t ask silly questions like “Why did this happen?” Instead ask “If it is God’s will that this problem occurs again, how do I reach you?”This is not entirely the fault of the tech person. There is a part of technology that cannot be explained, perhaps for the same reason no one can explain why Duck Dynasty is such a popular show. It is like dark matter. So you let it go. Tech guys are used to dealing with an imperfect world. You will have to accept this. But don’t let that hold you back from asking the questions you need to get yourself comfortable. If the issue is important enough, don’t let him walk out the door until you get your questions satisfactorily answered. And make sure you know where to reach him when the problem inevitably re-occurs.Just remember, your tech guy may be halfway decent at technology. But he’s not a great businessman. Treat him fairly, but be tough. And don’t let him off the hook. Some tech issues are not worth fighting. But others are important, so push for the answers you need. If a tech issue seems strange to you, that’s because it’s probably strange. You’re not stupid, so get your answers before he leaves. Otherwise you’ll quickly be out-of -ight and out-of-mind, and he’ll be on to disrupting the next small business owner. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. November 18, 2013 5 min read Register Now »last_img read more

Is YouTubes AI Algorithm evil

first_imgYouTube is at the center of content creation, content distribution, and advertising activities for some time now. The impact of YouTube can be estimated from the 1.8 billion YouTube users worldwide. While the YouTube video hosting concept has been a great success story for content creators, the video viewing and recommendation model has been in the middle of a brewing controversy lately. The Controversy Logan Paul was already a top rated YouTube star when he stumbled across a hanging dead body in a Japanese forest which is famous as a suicide spot. After the initial shock and awe, Logan Paul seemed quite amused and commented “Dude, his hands are purple,” then he turned to his friends and giggled. “You ever stand next to a dead guy?”. This particular instance was a shocking moment for YouTubers all across the globe. Disapproving reactions had poured in and the video was taken down 24 hours later by YouTube. In those 24 hours, the video managed to garner 6 million views. Even after the furious backlash, users complained that they were still seeing recommendations of Logan Paul’s videos. That brought the emphasis back on the recommendation system that YouTube uses. YouTube Video Recommendation Back in 2005, when YouTube first started out, it had a uniform homepage for all users. This meant that every YouTube user would see the same homepage and the creators who would feature there, would get a huge boost in their viewership. Their selection was based on their subscriber count, views and user engagement metrics e.g. likes, comments, shares etc. This inspired other users to become creators and start contributing content to become a part of the YouTube family. In 2006, YouTube was bought by Google. Their policies and homepage started evolving gradually. As ads started showing on YouTube videos, the scenario changed quite quickly. Also, with the rapid rise in the number of users, Google had thought it to be a good idea to curate the homepage as per each user’s watch history, subscriptions, and likes. This was a good move in principle since it helped the users to see what they wanted to see. As a part of their next level innovation, a machine learning model was created to suggest or recommend videos to users. The goal of this deep neural network based recommendation engine was to increase watch time of every video so that users stay longer on the platform. What did it change and How When Youtube’s machine learning algorithm shows a few videos in your feed as “Recommended for you”, it predicts what you want to see from your watch history and watch history of similar users. If you interact with any of these videos and watch it for a certain amount of time, the recommendation engine considers it as a success and starts curating a list based on your interactions with its suggested videos. The more data it gathers about your choices and watch history, the more confident it becomes of its own video decisions. The major goal of Youtube’s recommendation engine is to attract your attention and get you hooked to the platform to get more watch time. More watch time means more revenue and more scope for targeted ads. What this changes, is the fundamental concept of choice and the exercising of user discretion. The moment the YouTube Algorithm considers watch time as the most important metric to recommend videos to you, less importance goes into the organic interactions on YouTube, which includes liking, commenting and subscribing to videos and channels. Users get to see video recommendations based on the YouTube Algorithm’s user understanding and its goal of maximizing watch time, with less importance given to user choices. Distorted Reality and YouTube This attention maximizing model is the fundamental working mechanism of mostly all social media networks. But YouTube has not been implicated in the accusation of distorting reality and spreading the fake news as much as Facebook has been in mainstream media. But times are changing and so are the viewpoints related to YouTube’s influence on the global population and its ability to manipulate important public opinion. Guillaume Chaslot, a 36-year-old French computer programmer with a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence, was one of those engineers who was in the core team to develop and perfect the YouTube algorithm. In his own words “YouTube is something that looks like reality, but it is distorted to make you spend more time online. The recommendation algorithm is not optimizing for what is truthful, or balanced, or healthy for democracy.” Chaslot explains that the algorithm never stays the same. It is constantly changing the weight it gives to different signals; the viewing patterns of a user, for example, or the length of time a video is watched before someone clicks away.” Chaslot was fired by Google in 2013 over performance issues. His claim was that he wanted to bring about a change in the approach of the YouTube algorithm to make it more aligned with democratic values instead of being devoted to just increasing the watch time. Where are we headed I am not qualified or righteous enough to answer the direct question – is YouTube good or bad. YouTube creates opportunities for millions of creators worldwide to showcase their talent and present it to a global audience without worrying about country or boundaries. This itself is a huge power for an internet application. But the crucial point to remember here is whether YouTube is using this power to just make the users glued to the screen. Do they really care if you are seeing divisive content or prejudiced flat earther conspiracies as recommended videos? The algorithm can be tweaked to include parameters which will remove unintended bias such as whether a video is propagating fake news or influencing voters minds in an unlawful way. But that is near impossible as machines lack morality or empathy or even common sense. To incorporate humane values such as honesty and morality into an AI system is like creating an AI that is more human than a machine. This is why machine augmented human intelligence will play a more and more crucial role in the near future. The possibilities are endless, be it good or bad. Whether we progress or digress, might not be in our hands anymore. But what might be in our hands is to come together to put effective checkpoints to identify and course correct scenarios where algorithms rule wild. Read Next Sex robots, artificial intelligence, and ethics: How desire shapes and is shaped by algorithms Like newspapers, Google algorithms are protected by the First amendment California replaces cash bail with algorithmslast_img read more