Ian Abrahams and Scunthorpe defender Scott Laird review the weekend’s Sky Bet Championship and League Two play-off finals from Wembley.They speak to victorious Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner and winning-penalty taker Christopher Schindler, as well as Reading boss Jaap Stam.
By Brian Ricks | Special to the Mercury NewsSAN JOSE — Erik Karlsson, a year after he was acquired by the Sharks and three months after he was awarded the biggest contract in franchise history, began his first full training camp with the Sharks on Friday.Without question, Karlsson feels a greater level of comfort with the team in his second year.“It’s a big difference,” Karlsson said. “Last year was a big change for myself individually and for the team as well.” Karlsson signed an … read more
IBM is announcing its biggest release for WebSphere in the past four years. It is also naming the application server one of its top technologies for its centennial celebration.We’re here at IBM Impact to live blog the news about the transformation in application server technology and how the company fits into a space with a variety of competitive challenges.8:20 a.m.: A Spanish guitarist is performing with string players and two drummers, one on a moveable stage. Apparently. they were playing iPads. Yes – this is a show. I agree with Ray Wang, though. IBM has the best branding of any software company. Looks good.8:27 a.m.: As we see with a lot of shows, we have Larry Miller a comedian, starting the event.8:35 a.m.: We’re now getting started. Nancy Pearson is on stage. She is thanking the Japanese group that has made it here for the event. IBM Impact has more than 8,000 people here. Twitter hash tag is #ibmimpact. We’re getting the summary of what to expect from the event and thanks to the sponsors, led by Akami.8:46 a.m.: Vice President of Marketing Jon Iwata talking through the history of IBM Going back to 1964 and the announcement of the mainframe. The news cannibalized the entire product line. It set off a civil war inside the company. The mainframe cost $34 billion in today’s terms. 8:50 a.m.: Today, computing is going into things we never thought would have the capability to have data. Associated with it are systems that create entire new smart environments. Iwata is very good. Jacqi Levy tweeted: “I love John Iwata’s speaking style. So refreshing to see someone who doesn’t rely on a slide deck to communicate! #ibmimpact”8:58 a.m.: Discussing how police in Madrid and fishermen in Italy use smart systems to better communicate. For example, how fishermen in southern Italy can see dynamic results for market prices while out in the boat. Iwata sought to sum up the 100 year history of IBM as marked by a continual learning process. But it’s also the continual automation of systems from punch cards to smart roads and bridges.9:01 a.m. Moving on to the next group. We’re hearing from Jeffery Burns of Children’s Hospital Boston. He is talking about how data is in a bottleneck. He is recounting a story how he needed a way to communicate with a heart surgeon in Guatemala City who was caring for a sick, little girl. The girl’s life was saved because they could communicate through the Internet. But we are stuck. The connections are difficult to make and we are caught in paradigms for how we communicate. Medical knowledge is transferred in small meetings and academic environments. Simulation is a current approach to break the knowledge jam. But it is still passive learning. But video games show us how we can learn in a new ways. We can learn according to our level of knowledge. Two years ago, Burns was watching the Masters. He saw a simulation in a video game that allowed him to use an avatar to play Amen Corner, the 12th, 13th and 14th holes at Augusta National. He called IBM in to the Boston office to see how they could use the game and simulation technology for learning and teaching in public health. They have since launched a database model that provides information on demand for how to care for a critically ill child. These different modules are adopted dynamically and the collaboration is made part of the environment.9:27 a.m.: Moving on from healthcare, the theme continues about the need for learning to deal with change and complexity. IBM executive is talking about business agility to make change happen. Transformation has to happen at a faster and faster pace. Seventy percent of transformations fail. There is no silver bullet but executive support is key. With executive leadership in place, the technology can be implemented. 9:32 a.m.: Looking at the history of application servers and SOA, which is interesting, considering how fast the adoption is for RESTful Web services. But this is IBM and there are a lot of customers who depend on IBM application server technology and the associated products which has SOA at its core. 9:38 a.m.: A lot of talk about business process management (BPM) and how it can connect legacy systems. Now we’re watching a video from Caterpillar and its machines moving dirt. Theme seems to be about the technology in these industrial machines.9:42 a.m.: Caterpillar CIO John Heller says it’s goal is to help put earth in the right place.Caterpillar is 85-years-old. Executive is talking about how it has had to invest in global workforce to align with business goals around the world and the growth in fast accelerating markets such as Asia. IBM and Caterpillar have an 83-year-old partnership. 9:53 a.m. Running out of power. Back in a bit.10:04 a.m. We’ll see a lot of discussion here about SOA here at IBM Impact. And we’ll hear about the WebSphere application server and what appears to be a mobile feature pack. IBM is focusing on standards in the cloud with its Cloud Standards Customer Council. We’re finishing up the general session and you can pick up on a few themes:Process optimizationConnected networksTransforming systemsThose are just a few. We’ll be back throughout the day, live blogging the news, talking to people and doing what we do.11:04 a.m.: Here at the press conference. Making announcements for 60 new products. Focus is on business process management and SOA. 11:08 a.m. New WebSphere application server is complemented by IBM WebSphere Application Server; IBM WebSphere Virtual Enterprise; IBM WebSphere DataPower; Application Accelerator with Akami; IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS and Extended Deployment Compute Grid.Most significant is the extension of the mobile application feature deck with support for Apple IOS and Android.There are a number of cloud announcements. The IBM Workload Deployer brings infrastructure provisioning and what is required to deliver a Web application. And then decide what the styles are for deployment. It can be customized and deployed automatically. It is offered as an appliance.11:20 a.m. Steve Mills leads the software group for IBM. He is on stage, talking about the history of WebSphere and the theme over the years around business process management. He describes it as a choreography and ties it into SOA and its buzz. This is where I start to wonder. Such an emphasis on SOA seems a bit old school. Now he is talking about cloud. It is not just about compute but using services to do process oriented tasks such as business process management. He emphasizes that you need a robust system. Stepping back, you see this long history of ways IT can help a business operate with applications that flow from the Internet and the enterprise.11:27 a.m.: How does Caterpillar’s CIO see social media? It is built into processes throughout the enterprise, he said. Social media is a big part of this conference. They have a social media lounge, which is far more open and spacious than the press room. There are numerous places to check in on Foursquare. IBM says the technology is increasingly built into the products, too.11:37 a.m.: What is the road map for rolling out WebSphere and other services in Europe? IBM says products are being announced globally. 11:42 a.m. IBM is putting REST APIs on everything. It can complement SOA. It’s about REST and SOA, not one or the other. 11:46 a.m. Lots of questions about the stumbling that is being witnessed with integrating complex systems. Mils says they are emphasizing narrow scope and iterative methods. 11:54 a.m. Off for a while. Back later.1:06 p.m.: We’re back with Robert LeBlanc. He is talking about the competition, especially Oracle and its acquisition of ATG. Extended enterprise integration and spreading the portfolio – how does it fit with the cloud? LeBlanc says it comes down to standardization and automation You want to do it in a way that does not add complexity. That’s where automation comes into play. You need to have the process automated for application loads. LeBlanc says this comes back to the hype about the public cloud and private cloud. The hype is around public cloud but the real work is in the private cloud. LeBlanc believes the future is in hybrid cloud environments. Therefore processe need to be decomposed to determine where resources should be allocated. For example, analytics for internal data may be on-premise as opposed to the public cloud. The technology at the end of the day is similar. 1:23 p.m.: What do you mean by the weak link? if I am a service provider and I don’t have the same level of security, then you have a weak link. Its not a single business process, it’s end to end. LeBlanc says he knows what he knows. It’s what you have. In some cases, you may want to go to an outside services provider. Moving on to talking about standards. He said they felt there was a need for a standards body that can represent the customers. Why not integrate with OpenStack? This is really broad, he says. This is about the broad array of standards in the market. This is about automating virtual machines, for instance, in terms of interoperability.1:33 p.m. If all you are doing is connecting to database, it is good enough. Anything that is transactional in nature requires SOA. There are use cases for both. We have to be careful of not painting things in black and white.4:09 p.m. In an interview with IBM’s Marie Wieck. I asked about the relationship between REST and SOA. One of the things we showed were the REST interfaces for the mobile interface in the mobile feature pack. The very credible Mike Vizard is in the interview with me. He is asking about what is free and what is not free in version 8 of WebSphere. Will software become like hardware? Good question by Mike. 4:18 p.m.: IBM sees a broad trend for heterogeneous systems. But is IBM seeing less interest in platforms. Dialogue is shifting, which is reason for IBM Cloud Workload Deployer. Most common workload is a Web workload. Development and test and Web apps are in most demand. She says that most of the investment is on the private side versus the public side.Disclosure: IBM covered the author’s expenses to attend this event. Tags:#enterprise#news alex williams Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… read more
Thursday’s clash between Pune Warriors India and Kolkata Knight Riders at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai is expected to take on an extra edge as comeback man Sourav Ganguly faces his former team.The former India skipper would be eager to stamp his authority on the proceedings and send a message to the owners of the Knight Riders, who did not buy him at the January auction for the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), leading to him remaining unsold.He replaced the injured Ashish Nehra in the Pune squad quite late in the tournament, scoring an unbeaten 32 in his first game against Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad. But in their previous match, also against the Chargers in Navi Mumbai, he was out for a duck.Having suffered eight defeats in 12 games, Pune are only playing for pride but can still play party poopers for the Knight Riders.Kolkata are well poised to make it to the second phase of the tournament, having won seven out of 12 games with a total points tally of 14, and a victory would make their way much easier.But a defeat for the Knight Riders would make their position shaky with Kings XI Punjab storming up the table in grand fashion with a string of victories.Punjab have sent out strong signals to the top-four teams in the table, following their massive 111-run victory over leaders Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.The Kolkata outfit has blown hot and cold this season. Wins have often been followed by defeats, including the one against Bangalore in their previous game last week.advertisementBut they have had enough time to recover from that defeat and would now be anxious to hit the ground running and vanquish the Warriors, who arrested a seven-match losing sequence with back-to-back victories before suffering a huge defeat at home.The Knight Riders’ batting has revolved around five key players in captain Gautam Gambhir (312 runs from 12 games), leading run-scorer Jacques Kallis (358 from 12), Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan.Kolkata’s bowling has been sustained by spinners Yusuf (11 wickets) and left-armer Iqbal Abdulla (14).But the biggest disappointment has been Brett Lee, who has neither been incisive (4 wickets in 12 games) nor economical (236 runs conceded at over 7 per over and a none-too-impressive average of 59 per wicket).Lee would thus be eager to set things right on a track that has offered more bounce during the season than the one at the Knight Riders’ home venue, the Eden Gardens.Against Pune’s left-hander heavy top-order, Yusuf can do the trick as he can take the ball away, which would invite Jesse Ryder, skipper Yuvraj Singh and Ganguly to play against the spin.The Warriors’ batting has not lived up to expectations, depending a lot on Ryder (291 runs from 12 games) at the top and Yuvraj (319 from 12) down the order till Ganguly’s arrival late in the tournament.Pune’s bowling has also been unimpressive so far and apart from Rahul Sharma’s 16 wickets from 12 games in the tournament at an economy rate of six, there is little the team can boast of.- With PTI inputs read more
Pistone has advice for Kean about ‘exceptional Everton fans’by Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Everton defender Alessandro Pistone has offered advice to Moise Kean about winning over the Goodison support.Pistone, who played for the Toffees 113 times between 2000 and 2007, believes that maximum effort is the minimum Everton fans will expect from their £27.5million signing.He told the Daily Mail: “Everton have exceptional fans who support the team and ask their players one thing only, to give maximum commitment.”Moise will have to give 100 per cent to be loved. He is a player with great perspective, with huge potential and an education in Italian football.”To become their main man he has to make the jump from being a squad player to one that can take them to trophies. “It won’t be easy but the city of Liverpool is a perfect place to improve his game. He will fall in love with it.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say read more
Southampton midfielder Ward-Prowse: Ings form a positiveby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse says Danny Ings’ form is a positive from a poor start to the season.In defeat to Chelsea last week, Ings continued his impressive run in front of goal, with Ward-Prowse complimenting the striker’s efforts.“He is doing well,” said the 24-year-old.“You can see from some of the goals he has scored this season the work-rate he gives us which really sets the tone for the way we play.“He’s deserved the goals and I am sure with his quality and his work-rate that plenty more goals will come for him.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say read more
Finau is an incredible athlete who turned down Division I basketball scholarships to go professional in golf, and his sturdy 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame no doubt has a great deal to do with his eye-widening drives. The top four drivers on tour this season are all at least 6-foot-2. Plus, as Finau has said, before he learned how to hit the ball straight, he first learned how to hit it far.But what has changed this season? Like any dexterous big-hitter, Finau starts with a wide base and balance as he approaches his ball. Despite possessing cable-like arms — “arms like an orangutan,” as he put it — Finau has an extremely compact swing, unleashing his lower body through the ball. Drives don’t exist in a vacuum; there’s a whole host of factors that play into distance off the tee, including launch angle, club head speed and spin rate. Last season, Finau’s average club head speed was 123.1 miles per hour, but that figure has dropped to 122.2 mph this season. His spin rate also dropped: He ranked ninth a season ago, but this season he ranks outside the top 80, meaning his ball is generating more carry — 1.1 yards more, in fact. Finau is also showcasing a higher launch angle this season.An obscene 90.9 percent of Finau’s officially measured drives this season2 Because there’s no formal tracking of club selection, the tour measures only two drives per round, on specific holes, to safely assess driving capability. have eclipsed 300 yards, a mark that would obliterate Hank Kuehne’s record of 85.8 percent since PGATour.com began tracking the statistic in 2001. Consistency has been key for Finau: His longest drive this season, 391 yards at the Farmers Insurance Open, ranks outside the top 100 among all players. So he isn’t raising his average with a few bombs here and there — he’s doing this every time he tees it up.It’s worth noting that Finau’s marks are based on only 44 drives this season, around the same number you get when you purchase a medium bucket of balls at the practice range. The season doesn’t end until late September, so a lot could change; regression to the mean is always possible. But right now, if nothing else, Finau is swinging for history — and transcending our understanding of consistency at the tee box while he does it. Finau still has only one tour victory in his career. If that number changes in the coming weeks and months, people might forget about Johnson’s drives and take more notice of Finau’s. Tune into any PGA Tour event, and it won’t be long before the broadcast team comments on Dustin Johnson’s can’t-miss power off the tee.This is for good reason: Johnson is a 6-foot-4 freak who hasn’t finished worse than second in average driving distance since 2012 or worse than fourth over the past decade. He’s also presently the No. 1 golfer on the planet. Last season, he won four tournaments, claimed $8.7 million in earnings and accounted for four of the 15 longest drives on tour, including a tour-best 439-yard bomb at the Bridgestone Invitational.But nearly five months into the PGA Tour season, the biggest hitter on the links isn’t Johnson. It’s Tony Finau, the first golfer of Tongan and American Samoan descent to hold a tour card. While he gets far less attention than DJ, he’s currently on pace for the longest driving season in PGA Tour history.Finau’s entire game has turned the corner this season. He’s already finished in the top two twice and inside the top 20 in six of nine starts.1 The current PGA Tour season began in October 2017. Finau ranks seventh in the FedEx Cup standings and has raised his world ranking to No. 32 — up from No. 88 at the end of 2016 and No. 40 at the end of 2017.But while he’s playing better everywhere on the course, Finau is putting on a show in the tee box. With 327 yards per drive, the 28-year-old is smashing the tour average by 32 yards.It goes without saying that a lot has changed in terms of technology and training since Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer were marquee figures — or even since John Daly was pounding beers during rounds and wowing fans with his long drives. In 1980, the first year for which data is available, Dan Pohl led the tour with an average driving distance of 274.3 yards. In 1997, Daly became the first man on the PGA Tour to average at least 300 yards per drive; this season, 65 players are on pace to do so. read more
Coming into the year with “ramped up expectations,” the Ohio State baseball team is making a push for postseason play. The Buckeyes (24-20, 8-10 Big Ten) are in eighth place as of Tuesday afternoon and are six games out of first place in the Big Ten after losing two of three games at Penn State over the weekend. The Buckeyes look to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009, when OSU finished 42-19 and secured an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament. The first step for the Buckeyes is to finish in at least sixth place in the Big Ten to qualify for the Big Ten tournament. With 12 games remaining in the regular season, OSU is one-and-a-half games back from four teams tied for fourth place. The Buckeyes are behind Nebraska, Michigan State, Illinois and Penn State, who are all tied for fourth with an 8-7 Big Ten record. To catch these teams, coach Greg Beals said OSU and the coaching staff must be able to stay relaxed. “We need to be able to stay loose and have fun and be relaxed,” Beals said. “Even though we’ve ramped up our expectations, if we have a couple of bad days, we can’t let that make us press. We need to trust ourselves. Trust the system, trust your teammates and trust the coaches.” Beals said as a team, the Buckeyes have prepared for big games like they will encounter in the Big Ten tournament with games throughout the season. “We (played tough games) early in the year, too, with Georgia Tech in the second week of the season,” Beals said. “Our guys have been in that fire, so when it comes conference time, we’ve been there. We’ve been in these tough series.” OSU has played Purdue, Michigan State, Nebraska, Illinois, Penn State and Minnesota so far in Big Ten play. Beals said OSU’s sweep of Minnesota early in April was one of the bigger moments of the season. “The Ohio State and Minnesota rivalry is as strong as any Big Ten rivalry in any sport,” Beals said before the series. After the series Beals said pitching was the key. “We put a lot of emphasis on our bullpen and our guys out there know I have a lot of confidence in them.” One of the players who Beals said he has a lot of confidence in is sophomore pitcher Jaron Long who, in his first season with the Buckeyes, has a 4-2 record with a 1.98 ERA and 54 strikeouts to just nine walks. He has been the Friday night starter and “ace” for OSU. “Any time you can win on Friday, it’s great to set the tone of the series,” Long said about being the Friday starter. Long also said he likes to work quickly to keep batters off balance. “I just like to get up there and focus on my next pitch. It keeps your defense in it and disrupts the other teams’ timing. This game is big on disrupting people’s timing.” Another player, junior catcher Greg Solomon, is hitting .243 on the season with and leads the team in sacrifices. Beals called Solomon a “great competitor” and a leader of the team, willing to do whatever it takes to win. Solomon said it’s been a tough season for him personally, but he’s still contributing to the effort for a Big Ten championship. “Being competitive is something that I think all athletes strive for,” Solomon said. “Being the catcher on the team, I have to be competitive because I’m the one running the game. If I’m not competitive, then the people that are playing, the other eight guys, they’re not going to be as competitive or as tough as they should. I feel like being competitive is just the way I’ve been my whole life.” Beals said the Buckeyes rely on all of its parts to compete for a championship, but rely heavily on its seniors. Senior outfielder Dave Corna said practice is what drives the team toward success. “In practice we have to work on things compared to games when we stay positive so we can do what we have to do,” Corna said. “(Beals) in game time is more positive than practice, when he can be more aggressive. Senior pitcher Andrew Armstrong also said Beals can be an aggressive coach during practice, but more relaxed during games. “It all really kind of depends,” Armstrong said. “He can get in your face if he wants, but he kind of lets us play to whatever we need to do. Some guys he needs to jump, he’ll jump. Other guys he needs to take it easy on, he does. Just for each player, he’s kind of different, but overall I’d say he’s kind of laid back.” Beals said he likes to think he’s tougher in practice so that games are easier for players and are more prepared for tough games. “Practices are big for us,” Beals said. “At practice, it’s program time where we’re working on things we need to work on, and game time it’s time for guys to go out and play. If I’m going to allow them to go out and play at game day, then we have to get after it at practice so I know they’re prepared for it.” OSU’s next game is against Northwestern (14-26, 5-13 Big Ten) Friday at 7 p.m. read more