Groves set to face Sierra in California

first_imgGeorge Groves is set to take on Mexico’s Francisco Sierra in San Jose, California, on 28 July.It will be the unbeaten Hammersmith fighter’s first outing since a second-round demolition of Paul Smith at Wembley Arena in November.This year injuries have forced ‘The Saint’ to withdraw from a world title clash with WBO champion Robert Stieglitz and a defence of his British and Commonwealth belts against Scotland’s Kenny Anderson.Sierra, 24, stands at 6ft 1in, is a former Mexican champion and has a record of 25-5-1 (22 KOs).Groves, also 24, will feature on the undercard of a world title fight between welterweights Robert Guerrero and Selcuk Aydin.It will be his second appearance in the United States. One of his 14 wins came against Alfredo Conteras in Las Vegas two years ago.George Groves features:A work in progressI’m not world class – yetTrue BlueLet history decide‘Ugly kid’ looks the partFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Learning through gaming

first_imgJanine ErasmusThe Games and Learning Indaba, organised by the Shuttleworth Foundation and held in August 2008, explored the potential that digital game-based learning holds for formal education and informal learning in South Africa, especially in improving communication and analytical thinking skills. A number of game developers, teachers, gamers, academics and other experts attended the event.In his presentation titled Social constructivism in games-based learning in the South African context, Alan Amory, an educational ICT professor in Johannesburg University’s Faculty of Education, maintained that games are useful social construction tools, and any game has an inherent educational value that is there to be exploited.“No technology is value-free,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if a game is gender-biased because we can use it to explore gender. It doesn’t matter if it is violent because we can use it to explore violence. It is not the tool itself that is important, but what you do with it. The process of deconstruction, where the game is used as a discussion starter about violence, gender bias, male dominance, etcetera, is where the real learning with games occurs.”Amory has found that games in the learning context are most effective when players are required to work together to construct solutions. He particularly noted that tertiary students, while playing a game designed for better understanding of the biological functions of photosynthesis and respiration, achieved significant results when paired, rather than playing on their own.This was because a team situation always gives rise to discussion and collaboration, and pupils developed better visualisation, logic, mathematical, reading and writing skills as well. Solo players, meanwhile, often learned to solve problems by rote – an unfortunate learning method that is far too prevalent in South African schools, said Amory.Maths on a mobileWhile online safety especially for children is a complex and important issue, according to Steve Vosloo, communication and analytical skills fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation, the opportunities outweigh the risks although safety for pupils has to be the primary concern.One of the advances made by South African educators is the use of popular mobile communication platform Mxit for maths education. Dr Math is a pioneering educational programme developed by Laurie Butgereit of the Meraka Institute, a division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Meraka investigates the role of information and communications technology in addressing South Africa’s developmental challenges.Dr Math provides maths pupils from grade 3 to grade 12 with an instant online tutor between 2pm and 8pm on weekdays, and the occasional Sunday night. There are 20 teachers available to answer maths-related queries and to date some 3 200 pupils have used the service. Pupils will readily seek assistance because of the convenience of being able to turn to a teacher whether on the bus or the sports field, or in one case, in the bath.“If you want to reach kids you have to do it using their own medium,” says Butgeriet, “and Mxit does that.”According to a January 2008 report on Moneyweb, Mxit has over 6-million users, over 90% of them in South Africa, who send a mind-boggling estimated 200-million messages every day. While the application has been known primarily as a platform for entertainment and cheap communication, and has had its share of critics and controversy because children spend so much time using it, its new-found educational function may open up the way for a series of similar initiatives. Reports say that pupils who use Dr Math are also interested in science tutoring. The service is also far more affordable than a personal tutor, with a session costing the pupil up to R1 ($0.12).However, teachers are often not as technically proficient as their pupils in this arena, a fact agreed on by Indaba delegates. In this case teachers can learn along with their pupils, and here the gaming environment may be a useful vehicle.Vosloo, an expert in the use of communication technology for socio-economic development, says that learning through a mobile platform has huge potential for South Africa, as less than 10% of the population has internet access but a whopping 70% has access to a mobile phone.The instant messaging applications developed by MTN and Vodacom, South Africa’s two major mobile service providers, hold similar educational potential. MTN’s NokNok and Vodacom’s Meep, both of which allow users to chat in real time, share picture files, and other useful functions, are touted as competitors for Mxit.Educational gamesWhile the educational game sector in South Africa still has a way to go to catch up to the international standard, developers are not sitting back.There are several interesting locally developed applications already available, among them Mathstermind, a mobile puzzle game developed to teach maths to grade 10 pupils; Fashion Empire, a mobile game designed to teach business skills and maths to grade 10 pupils; OpenSpell, which addresses spelling skills and is available in all 11 official South African languages; and Cartesian Chaos, which helps pupils to understand the Cartesian plane.Elsewhere in the world, many games are being developed with a specific social or educational purpose in mind. America’s Army was created by the US Army, which spent R49-million ($6-million) on its development before it handed the game over to specialists for adaptation to consoles, as a recruitment tool. The game gives players a realistic taste of life in the army, but it has been widely criticised because it targets children under 17.The conclusion reached at the 2008 Games and Learning Indaba was that there is still a lot of work to be done in researching the potential of educational gaming. “Most educators need to be convinced that you can learn from playing video games,” said Vosloo. He added that the Shuttleworth Foundation supports the concept of game-based learning working alongside more conventional forms of learning – not supplanting them.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesA toast to educational successMozilla funds translate.org.zaSoweto through a high-tech lensAfrican inventions site honoured Education in South AfricaUseful linksMerakaGames and Learning Google GroupSteve Vosloo’s blogShuttleworth Foundationlast_img read more

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Moshate: The Voice of Men

first_imgIn a country undergoing transformation, some of the most turbulent yet necessary changes are happening in the areas of gender equality and gender-based violence.While the bulk of the country’s efforts are focussed on women’s rights and activism, men’s rights organisation Moshate says men are also experiencing discrimination and abuse socially, domestically and in the work place.TACKLING MEN’S RIGHTSmany men fear taking action against abuse due to domestic policy framework and programmes that make doing so difficult, worsening the already unpleasant situations these men are inMoshate, “the chief’s kraal”, is committed to fighting the imbalance in the focus on gender issues and men’s ill treatment by the police, court officials and health and social workers.The organisation does not intend to counter or disturb the efforts of women’s rights organisations and activists, or women’s position in society. Mashilo Mnisi, founder and chief executive officer of Moshate, says the organisation’s objective is to combat male victimisation and abuse by the system and by women who obstruct justice when dealing with men.“Moshate is the true social change contributing to a true gender equality. We’re not downplaying women’s issues and rights, but we just wish to see an equal society where men are also considered for sensitivity.“We can only do that by appealing to those authorities holding power as they seem to misunderstand male issues and don’t know that men and boys are also human beings who have emotions and can feel pain.”Mnisi believes that many men fear taking action against abuse due to domestic policy framework and programmes that make doing so difficult, worsening the already unpleasant situation these men are in.Moshate approaches different communities around the country to try and build awareness of this issue through workshops and campaigns that educate and mobilise people who want to be agents of change within what they say is a feminist framework.PROGRAMMESIdeally the organisation hosts nine workshops a year, one in each province, to try and reach as many people as they can given the shortage of other organisations providing similar services.To supplement these workshops the organisation puts together four protest campaigns a year, held in March (human rights month), June (youth month), August (women’s month) and November (men’s month).The organisation will also be attending the GBV (gender-based violence): Positive Male Role Model forum organised by the Gauteng Department of Social Development (DSD) in Vanderbijlpark, Bophelong, on 12 October. Men who are interested in participating can call Mapshane Mathunyane on (011) 050 0943 or email her.SUPPORT AND SUCCOURWhile the bulk of the country’s efforts are focussed on women’s rights and activism, men’s rights organisation Moshate says men are also experiencing discrimination and abuseThe organisation also offers psycho-social support through counselling and assessment before offering professional intervention. Their team includes psychologists and social workers who help the men deal with and recover from psychological, mental and emotional abuse.The Moshate team includes experts offering legal advice, motivation, representation and referrals for men who feel they have been taken advantage of or abused legally, sexually, physically or financially. These complaints are also assessed to ensure that help goes to men who really need it.“We aspire for a total change in the lives of the people we help and aim to start building their self-esteem and change the values of the entire community whereby they can stymie any social ill and abuse.”PROJECTSMoshate has two projects, one of which is compiling statistics on challenges men face.Its main objective is to collect and analyse statistics on women-on-men abuse and by the ‘system’, based on the complaints they receive. These statistics are then processed through police stations, state hospitals and the courts.The second project focusses on employment inequality between men and women and determining whether or not this imbalance and the high rate of male unemployment are due to discrimination against men.The project also scrutinises the criteria and employment processes within government and the private sector.HOW TO GET INVOLVEDThe organisation is mostly volunteer-driven as fundraising efforts are stymied by assumptions about its approach to gender abuse and discrimination.“Gathering our funds is a challenge because a lot of companies, governments and individuals still see men as perpetrators of violence and abuse”, says Mnisi, “hence they’re not interested in supporting an NPO that fights for men and boys. This is somehow still a new phenomenon, and therefore it comes with its challenges since the mentality is still unbiased.”For more information about Moshate visit http://www.moshate.org.za, email Mashilo Mnisi, call them on (011) 050 0943, or send a fax to 086 732 1097.last_img read more

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UPDATE: Market Facilitation Program sign ups

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentUPDATE Jan. 3, 2019: Due to the partial shutdown of the federal government, Farm Service Agency offices are currently closed and unable to process in-person applications for the Market Facilitation Program. There are other options to sign up for the program electronically. Click here for more information. Deadline to apply is Jan. 15. Farmers who have already signed up but have yet to certify their 2018 crop production will have to wait for FSA offices to open in order to do so. PREVIOUS: This week, USDA released the second and final round of trade mitigation payments aimed at assisting farmers impacted by the ongoing trade and tariff implications around the world. Corn, soybean, dairy and other farmers in Ohio and across the country are now eligible to receive Market Facilitation Program payments for the second half of their 2018 production.Producers who have signed up for MFP are eligible for the first and second payments. The sign up period closes Jan. 15, but farmers have until May 1 to certify their 2018 production. The MFP provides payments to almond, cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, fresh sweet cherry, and wheat producers who have been significantly impacted and suffered the loss of traditional exports. Eligible producers should apply after harvest is complete, as payments will only be issued once production is reported.For farmers who have already applied, completed harvest and certified their 2018 production, a second payment will be issued on the remaining 50 percent of the producer’s total production, multiplied by the MFP rate for the specific commodity.  Leave a Commentlast_img read more

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Future of Artificial Intelligence for 2020

first_imgChina and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Related Posts Nabeel Al Ahmed, Digital Consultant – Dubai SightseeingMoreover, several years experiences in Tech savvy I always try to come up with new trends as being Communicator for tech related topic especially in IOT, AI. Tags:#adaptive technology#AI#AI Adoption#AI Machine Learning#Artifical intelligence#Future Tech#tech#technology Speaking of Millennials and the next rising generation — what differentiates us from our predecessors is the inventions. Humans have now created and add further constructions to almost everything that we can touch in our virtual lives. The only thing common between us, our predecessors and the next generation will be our brains.What is really changing in the world is how we look at things — and how we communicate.There is a change in the demeanor of the Millennial — and those who care to keep up with them, who are older. The mode of communication is changing — and how the Millennial looks at things.Artificial Intelligence, most commonly known as AI was a prediction for decades but was initially associated with robots only. However, AI is incorporated in almost everything we use today — and we call it “smart.”AI is something where software acts as humans and shows human-like behavior. It has always been seen, witnessed and predicted as something with great potential. It is becoming significant enough to make us sit at a comfortable level relaxing — while some of our chores are taken care of better than we could do them. AI is saving our time and consuming less of our energies and efforts to get things done.ProgrammingProgramming introduces us to a new world where we can do different things we never thought we could do. AI, basically, connects us and serves as a transition between all discrete actions. That means AI lets us engage in multiple things at one time — such as translating from one language to another instantly — or ordering salt from that table.Ever since computers came into existence, we have been using a set of rules for handling our actions. Every app allows us to customize its operations for us from their settings page. Incorporating technology into AI involves the absence of such rules — and training the algorithm of the computer — to link it up with the correct actions.Predictions for 2019AI now gives us more variables to work with and helps us to process all the variables in a programmatic way which is much simpler and offers a transparent level of confidence. It may come off as controversial to some — guessing what is going to happen.However, if the predictions for the coming future are pretty much accurate — AI will perform within the scientific realm of statistics. From the very beginning — Prepare For AI Automation, the New Revolution in 2019 — computers were known for managing math’s equations well.We have now slated with the responsibility of handling all the related mathematical tasks.Calculating the statistical significance of AI will not always be easy — but these calculations are the foundation of machine learning. When it comes to predicting and checking weather patterns, diagnosing diseases, knowing the product amounts in supply-chain-management or playing chess — for AI to do its duty — the programmers will have had to do theirs.We will always be moving forward towards increases in data and how to use the data sets effectively and building the processing power that will make these AI computers more suitable for the future.DecisionsNowadays, companies make their production predictions depending mainly on the data obtained from management information systems. This is because that information directly originates from the operations of their company — making it significant enough to make the hard number decisions. This data also tells them the margin of error or when to make or break the rules.Merging AI and decision management systems have become capable enough to take decision-making to different heights.AI proficiency also benefits these decision management systems when it comes to interpreting customer data into predictive models of critical trends. This new sensation has already facilitated other departments like marketing and consumer advocacy and CRM — modifying efforts, per crucial demographic.We can safely call AI a more mature technology now — because it has been utilized so extensively in its relatively young life for a range of enterprise applications.AI has been performing automated decision-making for some time. Advanced Systems Concepts, Informatica, Maana, Pegasystems, UiPath — are great instances for decision management through management information systems.InteractionsAI reveals new horizons of interface methods with the least amount of effort, and as such, there is no undiscovered insubstantial method to interact with computers. With the advent of mouse and keyboards in our lives, we are using computers more progressively and more conveniently both now and into the future.For communicating digitally, we learned how to write programming and coding so we can achieve some exclusive outcomes. As coding is being processed into human sentences and can interrupt input from cameras and sensors — this interaction can be done as smoothly and naturally as if it’s being done in person.Impact and benefits to humans.According to some calculations shared by Gartner, by 2012, AI will eliminate around 1.8 million jobs and would replace it with 2.3 million jobs. If we see our journey from past three industrial revolutions towards this current digital revolutions — our working lives and standards have altered fundamentally — and they’ll be changing again. Our work-life balance may soon be working two days or four days a week.Everything we currently do is touched somehow by AI.Given rational thought and direction, AI is still a big deal. Reality as we know it now is where things complete quicker, more effortlessly, with more exactness. Better learning has shown an exceptionally impactful graph of how cell phone clients have an advantage from computerized reasoning.2020 will be an essential year in AI-related business progress, as per Gartner. Also, as a digital reasoning platform, (AI) will turn into a definite spark for significant strides in employment growth. AI-related industrial growth should see positive growth into two million net-new employments by 2025.Several critical advancements in the past have been connected with a higher rate of employment — then a downturn for a time. AI may take this course. But the likelihood is that AI will enhance the profitability of numerous occupations. There could still be a downturn is low-level positions. Passing the financial compliance factors in the US and some other countries may be difficult under the eyes of AI.Tragically, many people think that their job or employment will be taken over by AI in the form of  robotization. Though AI personal assistants may be in that category, the best of the AI advantage will be a growth-blend of the human consciousness where both supplement each other.IT pioneers shouldn’t bring the spotlight on the anticipated net increment of employment. With every interest in AI-empowered advances, IT should be bringing our consciousness to thoughts of what job will be made. AI will change how specialists team up with others and how they will settle on choices and complete work.Conclusion:Over the years much talk of artificial intelligence has been buzzing in our ears from nearly all professions. In 2019, A.I. is growing and enlarging the way forward — more than we ever anticipated.Today, people are starting to come to terms with Artificial Intelligence after realizing and estimating how much it is going to make their professional lives tranquil. There was a time when A.I. was considered one of the next-generation machinery which was only pointed out in bestseller motion picture films set in the future.The overall advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) is that it reproduces choices and activities of humans — minus our fundamental human inadequacies.We will get rid of some of our exhaustion and time restrictions. We’ll make better use of the spectrum of our internet as we observe the present AI inventions. We can watch and see that AI cannot really be summed up in predictions — which is why we will continue to research and see more from these inventions capabilities from 2019 — and well into the future. AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage M. Al. Nabeel A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

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Hockey coach Harendra resigns after India’s loss to Malaysia

first_imgIndian men’s hockey team national coach Harendra Singh on Tuesday resigned from his post after his side crashed out of the Asian Games final with a 3-4 defeat by Malaysia in the second semifinal in Guangzhou, China.India’s hopes of a gold medal and a direct berth in the 2012 London Olympics were dashed by a spirited Malaysia, who rode on Muhammad Amin Rahim’s 75th minute golden goal to progress to their maiden title clash, where they will meet seven-time champions Pakistan, on Thursday.Soon after the unexpected loss, Harendra tendered his resignation to Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra taking full responsibility of the team’s disastrous showing in the semifinal.”Keeping in view of the dismal performance of the men’s hockey team in the semifinal match against Malaysia today, I hereby tender my resignation as the national coach of the men’s hockey team with immediate effect,” he wrote in his resignation letter to Batra.”I accept the moral responsibility for the debacle at the 16the Asian Games,” Harendra added.In his resignation letter, he also thanked the HI and various government bodies apart from the players and his colleagues for their support during his association with the national team.”I am grateful to Hockey India, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India and Sports Authority of India for all the support and encouragement I received during my tenure as a national coach.”I am thankful to all the officials of the said organisations for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve for the country. I would also convey my gratitude for the kind of unconditional support I received from my countrymen as well as well wishers form various countries during the said appointment,” he wrote.advertisement”I would also like to put on record the support I received from the members of the media. I would fail in my duty If I do not convey my sincere thanks to all my players and support staffs who stood by me in each and every occasion during this eventful tenure. I wish all the luck to the Indian men’s hockey team for the future,” Harendra signed off.However, Batra said, in no way, the federation would accept Harendra’s resignation at this crucial juncture and had asked him to continue with the job.”I had received his mail and also talked with him over phone. I told him that it is not right to be emotional. We have a bronze medal match to play and I asked him to concentrate on that match,” Batra told PTI.”It is good that he has taken moral responsibility but it is not the right time to take this step. All this can be sorted out after returning to India. I asked him to be with the team and work together so that we can return with the bronze medal,” he added.last_img read more

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The art of corruption and forgetting

first_imgDid you think, with the Games over, Suresh Kalmadi and his cronies would be in jail by now? And that Sheila Dikshit, Tejinder Khanna, Jaipal Reddy and M.S. Gill would have lost their jobs? Were you expecting guilty IOC, PWD, DDA and NDMC officials to be in chains? Did you,Did you think, with the Games over, Suresh Kalmadi and his cronies would be in jail by now? And that Sheila Dikshit, Tejinder Khanna, Jaipal Reddy and M.S. Gill would have lost their jobs? Were you expecting guilty IOC, PWD, DDA and NDMC officials to be in chains? Did you hope sports bosses who cling like barnacles to a ship’s keel will be removed? Don’t be silly. In India, corrupt politicians don’t usually go to jail; some go to Parliament. If they are lucky, Gandhi sycophants or vote-bank thugs, they may even become Cabinet ministers. So, fat chance sacked chief minister Ashok Chavan will go to prison for his sea-facing role in the Adarsh scam. Vilasrao Deshmukh will continue as the union minister for industries. A Cabinet, which has the 2G-tainted A. Raja as a proud member, doesn’t sack the guilty.Corruption seems to be the 546th member of the Indian Parliament. Some 150 of our esteemed MPs have criminal records. Seventy-two are accused of murder and rape. Corruption is not without its little ironies. Radadiya Vithalbhai Hansrajbhai, Congress MP from Mahatma Gandhi’s Porbandar, tops the list with 16 criminal cases. When it comes to crime and no punishment, the BJP has the most tainted MPs: 42. The Congress follows with 41. When Indian voters are represented by many with criminal records, expecting politicians to go to jail for corruption is naive. In India, corrupt politicians don’t usually go to jail; some go to Parliament. If they are lucky, Gandhi sycophants or vote-bank thugs, they may even become Cabinet ministers.advertisementOfficial corruption is a legacy of the British Empire. When the Indian police force was constituted in British India, the kotwals (aka the chief police officers) responsible for maintaining law and order were paid no salaries. They had to fend for themselves, pay their constables and maintain police stations on their own. Collecting money became a bigger priority than keeping law and order, and extortion got an official face. Villagers, traders and small merchants became victims of police shakedowns and many policemen became henchmen of powerful landlords. The practice continues. A World Bank report calculates that Indian citizens pony up bribes amounting to Rs 21,000 crore yearly. The Central Vigilance Commission receives around 70 corruption complaints a day.Though it must be said that independent India didn’t start off too badly. Jawaharlal Nehru sacked his first finance minister R.K. Shanmukham Chetty for helping industrialists close to the Congress evade income-tax investigations. (Nehru-aide M.O. Mathai’s Reminiscences of the Nehru Age reveals that Chetty was acting on Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s behalf, who made him the sacrificial goat.) Arjun Singh’s father Rao Shiv Bahadur Singh, who was also a minister in Nehru’s Cabinet, was the first Indian minister to be jailed for corruption.Alas, today, the only prison the corrupt politician is in is the helplessness of public imagination. But don’t worry; you will soon forget all this happened. Until another multi-crore scam surfaces and a bunch of self-righteous television commentators invade your drawing room, calling for political blood. Public memory is shorter than newspaper editorials. Until then, stay tuned.last_img read more

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