Potayto, potahto

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The two sides of the immigration debate rarely see eye to eye. And, as it turns out, they don’t speak the same language, either. Depending on whom you’re talking to, the country has to figure out how to deal with the estimated 11 million “undocumented” or “illegal” “aliens” or “workers” in the United States. Should the U.S. offer them “amnesty” or “earned transitions,” or instead opt for “mass deportations”? Should we worry about “assimilation” or “dual allegiance?” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals No wonder this country can’t come up with sensible immigration policy. We can’t even talk about it clearly. Instead, politicians and advocates resort to throwing around charged language or wimpy euphemisms intended to spin or scare the citizenry. Part of this is by design. Words are powerful. The right ones can reverberate in the collective psyche for years. The wrong ones can irrevocably damage an idea and send it to the ideological graveyard. As Congress prepares to consider various immigration proposals, from border protection to guest-worker programs, there are sure to be more semantic shenanigans. And that’s going to make the task of developing sensible solutions for both border security and immigration a Herculean task. Here are some plain words for people to consider: Americans can’t afford to obscure or derail the immigration reform with a war of the words. It doesn’t matter what words we use, so long as we come up with a sane and humane policy dealing with the immigrants who don’t have permission to be in the United States, but are here anyway.last_img read more

Build an Insanely Great Web Service

first_imgbernard lunn Tags:#Gritty Entrepreneurs#NYT#start#StartUp 101 Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.First, the good news: building a website today is ten times cheaper and faster than it was 10 years ago. Now, the bad news: building a website today is ten times cheaper and faster than it was 10 years ago.You are entering an incredibly crowded marketplace. You have to get and keep people’s attention extremely fast, because hundreds of other services are just a click away. The bar is set very high, and knowing exactly how high does help. If you reach too low, you will only catch air and crash to the ground.Six Milestones from 30 Seconds to 3 YearsHere is what an insanely great Web product looks like to the average user right now and through the next 3 years:30 seconds: “I get it.”3 minutes: “I’ve used it and still get it, and it has not annoyed me yet.”3 days: “I find this really useful or fun.”3 weeks: “I am raving about this to other people.”3 months: “I couldn’t imagine not having this, and I’m boring my friends telling them about it.”3 years: “How weird to see this on Oprah.”The 30-Second MilestoneYou can moan all you like about what attention deficit disorder has done for user engagement, but it won’t help you one bit. Get over it. People don’t automatically care about your product and won’t invest any time to find out if they should care. This rule is as old as consumer markets. This is what those guys on Madison Avenue with their jingles and insipid ad slogans have always known. Political sound bites live in this same reality.Does this feel fake and insubstantial to you, the engineer, schooled in solving big, hard, complex problems?So, study this like you would any other big, hard, complex problem. Making a product or service look totally simple and obvious is a big, hard, complex problem.In 30 seconds, a user who comes to your website should be able to say:“I get what they are offering.”“This might help or amuse me.”“I know what I have to do next.”There is a science to achieving this; it has been documented. You need to look at great examples and understand how they did it. Then you need to test and change, test and change, test and change, test and change, and then test and then change, until you go crazy!The 3-Minute MilestoneAfter using your website for 3 minutes, the user should be able to say:“I still understand what they are offering, and it does help or amuse me.”“This has not annoyed me yet.”“This could be even more fun or useful than I thought.”“I know what to do next to find out if this could be even more fun or useful.”The 3-Day MilestoneNow is the time to worry about stuff like performance and reliability. If you get to the 3-week milestone and bomb, your fanatical users will cut you some slack. But at this stage? Zero slack.Have you been planning for this milestone since the design stage? Are you running on a cloud service with auto-scaling and recovery? No. Whoops! You had better hope your product is not insanely great, but rather just reasonably good and will grow steadily. Hint: build on a cloud service (like Amazon AWS) from the start.The Three Remaining Milestones3-week milestoneYou’ll know you have hit this when VCs return your calls and VCs you have never heard of call you out of the blue. Close fast to leverage your hotness. Don’t get all arrogant and believe you can do it alone. With this kind of traction, you can raise capital cheaply (and thus have less dilution), so do it.3-month milestoneIf you reach this stage, you can skip ahead to the chapter on “How to Scale Without Losing Your Shirt.”3-year milestoneIf you reach this stage, skip ahead to the chapter on “Planning Your Exit.”Concept vs. ExecutionWe have reached the point that almost any website can be built quickly and cheaply. Money to scale awaits only for sites that actually gain traction. Management teams take care of the basics when you have traction and money. So, in the age-old debate about which is more important, concept or execution, concept is currently winning. You have to have something that meets a real need or is addictively fun.The area where concept and execution intersect is usability. A concept that does not grab users within 30 seconds and move them through those other milestones is totally useless. Basecamp is all about usability. Twitter is about usability. Gmail is about usability. The concept in each case is simple.New Concept vs. Doesn’t Suck vs. Fast Follower vs. NicheYour website falls into one of four categories:New conceptIf you fall into this category, your product or service type does not have a name yet. It has no market space, category, or even articulated need yet. In a decade, the number of these concepts that actually gain traction is tiny. The number of them that get through the early-adopter phase to the mainstream (i.e. reach the 3-year milestone) is even smaller. In other words, good luck!Doesn’t SuckThis one is easier. This is a service you can describe as “[something] that doesn’t suck.” Google first offered “search that doesn’t suck,” and then followed it up with Gmail, which is “email that doesn’t suck.” In other words, don’t be afraid to go after mature markets in which the current services are not that good. Spend a couple of days browsing online and you will see plenty of such opportunities.Fast FollowerThis applies to a new concept that makes your jaw drop and you think “OMG, this is so cool.” And then you realize that doing something similar would actually be pretty simple. The first one to market with a new concept is not always the winner. It just looks that way because the originator gets lost in the dustbin of history when the better venture out-executes it. You need access to capital to do this right, because you have to move fast, which means hiring an A-Team. And A-Teams like to be paid a lot.NicheThere are thousands of these. Your niche might be geographic or a user type. Most niches are limited in scale and so do not require much capital. These are ripe for bootstrapping. But don’t think niches are easy. Users will still be very demanding. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

90% ICC members backed minnows

first_imgIt was not just a persistent and vociferous global demand that forced the International Cricket Council ( ICC) to change its own decision and revert to a 14-team World Cup in 2015. A major reason was that there was a pressing, though silent, pressure from within the ICC that forced,It was not just a persistent and vociferous global demand that forced the International Cricket Council ( ICC) to change its own decision and revert to a 14-team World Cup in 2015. A major reason was that there was a pressing, though silent, pressure from within the ICC that forced it to give minnows another opportunity following their superb performance this year.A top Irish official said that 90 per cent of ICC’s 105 member countries had quietly exerted pressure on the Sharad Pawar-headed world body to allow the Associate countries to compete in the next World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.Also, a threat by the Associates to seek legal opinion against the ICC if it denied them the opportunity could have played a role, though Cricket Ireland (CI) CEO Warren Deutrom would not speculate as to how much that contributed to the final outcome.”From the moment the April decision was made (by the ICC), there was a near unanimous consensus from stakeholders that it needed to be changed. The speed with which the president (Pawar) reinstated the matter for the (Executive) Board’s consideration was ample testament to this,” Deutrom told MAIL TODAY.”And it wasn’t just 90 per cent of the ICC’s member countries that sought a reversal, but also 90 per cent of FICA [Federation of International Cricketers Association] members surveyed and 90 per cent of 17,000 fans surveyed on Cricinfo ,” he revealed.Warren Deutrom, Chief Executive of Cricket Ireland.Deutrom disclosed that the Clive Lloydheaded ICC cricket committee, too, had recommended to the chief executives’ panel that the Associate countries should be retained after their superb performance in the 2011 World Cup.”It was also a recommendation of both the ICC Development and cricket committee. I think the ICC Board should be greatly commended for having the courage to review its decision,” he said.advertisementThe ICC chief executives’ committee last week decided not to press for a 10- team World Cup in 2015, following pressure from all around, including possibly a few Test-playing countries.But from the 2019 tournament, the World Cup will be a 10-team affair, with promotion- relegation coming into play for the first time.The top-eight ranked full members, or Test-playing nations, at a given time on the ICC list will automatically qualify while the bottom two places will be filled through a qualifying round. Deutrom, however, did not completely rule out re- opening of the debate later.”On the basis that the original 10- team decision was predicated on minimising one- sided uncompetitive fixtures, it’d appear reasonable to judge whether the Associates should have guaranteed places in 2019 based on their performances in 2015,” he said.”Should there be clearly competitive Associates at that event, as there were this time, it may be prudent to re- open the debate.” Cricket Ireland had the backing of the Irish government, particularly its sports minister, on the World Cup issue, and Deutrom is grateful to the ICC for retaining the tournament format.”I don’t believe there was any one moment or issue that crystallised the decision- making; rather, the ICC Board clearly realised that fairness was the primary consideration. In addition, the Board was about to approve a strategic plan in which meritocratic pathways for its major events were about to be enshrined, which meant that reestablishing the pathway to 2015 was consistent with that vision,” he averred.The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) also welcomed the new lifeline for the minnows. “It is wonderful to hear that we have a chance to qualify for the 2015 World Cup. We had felt completely shut out by the earlier decision which seemed like cricket was becoming a closed shop,” said ACB CEO Nasimullah Danish.”For the 2011 World Cup, we came close to qualifying. This time we’ll try again and, even if we do not make it, at least we have the chance to try and we have the hope and excitement that come with the opportunity.”There were reports that the ICC decided to revert to the 14- team format only after a deal with its 36 Associate member countries that the number of participating countries for the World Twenty20 in 2012 and 2014 would remain 12.Deutrom, however, says that the decision was taken only on merit.”My personal feeling is that this ( deal) was never a consideration in the World Cup debate,” he said.last_img read more

Man City, PSG fined 60 million euros by UEFA for breaching FFP rules

first_imgUEFA has also ordered Man City and PSG to limit their Champions League squads to 21 players next seasonBig-spending clubs Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were fined 60 million euros ($82 million) by UEFA on Friday and ordered to limit their Champions League squads to 21 players next season for breaching the body’s financial fair play rules.In the first series of sanctions handed down by UEFA over its new regulations meant to curb over-spending by wealthy owners, nine clubs in all were handed punishments – but those given to the Premier League winner and the French champion were by far the heaviest.City said it will accept the sanctions and will not appeal, but insisted that the club has a “fundamental disagreement” with UEFA about its “interpretations of the FFP regulations on players purchased before 2010.”PSG also accepted the punishment “in spite of the tremendous handicap they represent in terms of the club’s ability to fully compete on an equal footing against Europe’s biggest teams.”PSG also said in a statement that it “deplores the fact” that UEFA hasn’t recognized “the full value” of its partnership with the Qatar Tourism Authority, which the governing body said was inflated.The fines given to City and PSG are the heaviest ever handed by out UEFA. However, UEFA said 40 million euros will be returned to the clubs if they fulfil their financial obligations over the next two years.Those obligations include limiting the deficits to 10 million euros in the financial year ending in 2015 for City, with PSG allowed a deficit of 30 million euros for that period before being obligated to break even by 2016.advertisementCity said it expects to break even by the end of 2014.UEFA said both clubs have agreed to “significantly limit” their spending in the transfer market over the next two years. However, City said it is allowed to spend 60 million euros, plus whatever it earns for selling players, in this summer’s transfer window. It said the UEFA sanction “will have no material impact on the club’s planned transfer activity.”The reduced Champions League squads may not have much of an impact either. Teams are ordinarily allowed 25-man squads for the competition, but few end up using that many. City and PSG both used 21 players on the field this past season – not counting unused substitutes.”Our ambition to build one of the best and most competitive European Football clubs will not be undermined by these measures,” said PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. “We will continue to invest in developing a highly competitive team and will continue our investments in our stadium and training infrastructures while at the same time remaining, as we are today “debt free.”The FFP rules require clubs who play in the Champions League and Europa League to balance their finances, and are meant to curb huge investments by owners and excessive spending on transfers.The sanctions were handed down five years after UEFA President Michel Platini launched the program to tackle “cheating” by overspending. No club was expelled from next season’s Champions League or Europa League, which had been billed as the harshest punishment available.The other clubs to have failed FFP were Galatasaray, Trabzonspor and Bursaspor from Turkey, Russian sides Zenit St Petersburg, Anzhi Makhachkala and Rubin Kazan, as well as Levski Sofia from Bulgaria.Those were handed fines ranging from 200,000 euros – for Galatasaray, Trabzonspor, Levski and Bursaspor – to 12 million euros for Zenit.UEFA was expected to rule against Man City and PSG, which far exceeded a limit of 45 million-euro losses over the first two seasons of very complex accounting rules for FFP assessment. Both clubs tried to balance their finances with inflated sponsorship deals linked to their owners in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, respectively.City was also scrutinized for booking tens of millions in revenue from selling image rights and consultancy fees to third parties.Critics of FFP say it was effectively manipulated during UEFA’s lengthy consultation with clubs who saw an opportunity to lock out emerging rivals whose new, wealthy owners wanted to spend quickly to join the elite.Clubs such as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Real Madrid, which have lucrative commercial deals worldwide, will all likely benefit from City and PSG now having to rein in their transfer strategy.last_img read more

PBA D-League: Valencia City-San Sebastian blasts CD14 Designs to zero in on no. 1 seed

first_img‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess PBA D-League: Family Mart-Enderun stuns AMA for breakthrough win Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Allyn Bulanadi leads Valencia City-San Sebastian. PBA IMAGESMANILA, Philippines—Valencia City-San Sebastian dismantled CD14 Designs-Trinity, 105-82, to stay on course for a top seed finish in the Foundation Group in the 2019 PBA D-League Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.The Golden Harvest took their fourth straight win and pulled even with idle Centro Escolar University atop the Foundation Group at 7-1.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue MOST READ Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Emmanuel Bonleon had an early offensive spark, scoring 20 of his total 23 points in the first half to lead the Golden Harvest to a 36-23 lead heading into the break.Allyn Bulanadi, however, led Valencia’s offense with 28 points to go along six rebounds, two assists, and three steals while JM Calma had 16 points and 11 rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“We’re just taking it one game at a time and we have an opportunity to take the top spot and I think that was the reason why the players were so motivated,” said Golden Harvest head coach Egay Macaraya in Filipino.Clark Derige led the Stallions with 22 points and five rebounds but the team has yet to win after nine games. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

Small shoulder procedure to delay Maria Sharapova return

first_imgMaria Sharapova has undergone a small surgical procedure on her right shoulder and will miss next month’s Miami Open in Florida, she said on Wednesday.Sharapova has not played since the St Petersburg Trophy four weeks ago when she withdrew before a second-round match.The 31-year-old former world number one has already said she would not play in the March 6-17 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California.The Miami Open starts on March 19.”I have struggled with shoulder pain since last summer,” Sharapova wrote on her Instagram page.”For 10 weeks post U.S. Open, I focused on getting my rotator cuff and scapula strong to support a surgically repaired fraying tendon and a small labrum tear. Although my shoulder got strong, it didn’t help the pain on impact.”After a few different opinions in a few different countries, last week I had a small procedure done which will take a few weeks to heal.”Sharapova, who beat defending Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki before losing in the fourth round at Melbourne Park in January, added that she was “incredibly committed” to returning to competition.Also Read | Knee injury forces Juan Martin del Potro to pull out of Indian Wells tournamentAlso Read | Nick Kyrgios saves three match points, beats Rafael Nadal in Acapulcolast_img read more

SIMON NOTT Call Yourself a Bookmaker

first_imgSimon Nott is author of:Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS There’s been a series of very entertaining and well interacted with ‘Top 5’ lists on Twitter. They’ve been posted by professional punter and former #BettingPeople interviewee Nick Goff. One that particularly caught my eye was the one entitled ‘Top Five Bookmakers That No Longer Exist’.As the replies came in, one of the interesting points was how many were remembered with affection. Some were for personal reasons, anyone who remembers racecourse bookies Kenny Wager, Jack Lynn or Michael Mendoza, will know why they are so fondly remembered.The majority appeared to be off-course and fledgling internet firms also fondly remembered, but by shrewdies who had it off in style before the hapless layers went skint.Be it laying newspaper prices in the morning, being the first to price up overnight, or just giving the clever punters too much rope.It reminded me of working on course, my boss was looked down upon. Why? Because when the guy whose firm used to get to know what the off-course firms were going to back before they backed them came in with a smile and a request for £600-£400. He got nothing. What he often got back was;‘Wanker, call yourself a bookmaker?’When the son of the rails bookie who used to get red hot information came sliding in for a £600-£400 a two-year-old that would soon be odds-on. He got nothing.(No swearing too much of a gentleman) ‘Call Yourself a bookmaker’.When one of the shrewd beards came in for the fractions each-way the second-in against the odds-on shot in the novices’ hurdle. He was told, ‘Leave me out.’ ‘Call yourself a bookmaker?’.When the ESL bookie that got in on the back row and destroyed the market by betting overbroke came cap in hand asking for borrow a grand after three races because he’d knocked his readies out, he got nothing. ‘Call yourself a bookmaker?’When a known knocker swaggered to the joint shouting over the heads of the cash punters asking to back a horse to win ‘Two Grand’ he was asked to pay on.‘Wanker (no gent this fellow) call yourself a bookmaker?’Of course, there were some ‘Brilliant bookies’ who would accommodate all the above, the trouble was, after a while they’d stop coming.My old boss died in his 90’s, he didn’t call himself a bookmaker, he still was one.Simon Nottlast_img read more