first_imgI’ve had the pleasure of knowing Martin Holladay for more than 10 years, so it came as no surprise to me that his passion for sustainable building and his journalistic chops were recently recognized by the website Retro Renovation. The site’s regular blogger, Pam Kueber, told readers that Martin is “pretty much my favorite blogger in the universe.”Martin, who writes the Musings of an Energy Nerd blog for Green Building Advisor, has developed a loyal following because of a level of journalistic integrity that’s often missing from other green-building blogs. Pam writes, “The #1 reason I love Martin’s columns: He is data driven. If a product claims it will save energy — and therefore, money — he digs for the research to see if it really did, or will. Furthermore, he bakes in how much it costs to buy and install the product — to determine the final financial/environmental calculus. I have not been able to find this level of practical, data-driven, environmentally-focused home improvement journalism anywhere else online.”You can read more by following this link: In praise of Martin Holladay: Musings of An Energy Nerd — Retro Renovation.Well done, Martin. Keep up the good work.last_img read more

first_imgThe game publisher that brought the world Madden NFL, The Sims and Battlefield has shed nearly 60% of its value in the last year, and its stock is down more than 80% from its all-time high. Why are investors so sour? Because despite being one of the world’s largest game publishers, EA still doesn’t seem to understand its customers or business.The BasicsElectronic Arts is probably the best-known brand in gaming. For years, the company has dominated PC and console gaming on the backs of high-quality, big-budget games (so-called “AAA titles”) like The Sims, SimCity, FIFA, Madden NFL and Command & Conquer. While some of its content was original, EA was best-known for acquiring successful game developers – such as BioWare – and incorporating their franchises. As the gaming market has diversified, so has EA, purchasing the social game publisher PopCap, maker of Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled.The ProblemThe gaming world is changing, and publishers need to adapt. To its credit, EA is acutely aware that the days of AAA titles dominating the market are numbered. With its traditional business of leveraging existing franchises as sequels (derided as “buying and bleeding” or “gutting and dumping” by many hard-core gamers) on the decline, EA has diversified into other platforms and business models, most notably mobile/social games and Free-to-Play (F2P) titles where the revenue comes from add-ons. Unfortunately, its execution shows a distinct lack of understanding of how gamers think. Here are four key examples: 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 1: Star Wars: The Old Republic. Thanks to massive hubris and overconfidence in the Star Wars brand, EA vastly over-invested in Star Wars: The Old Republic. With a massive 500,000 paying users needed to break even and subscriptions falling from 1.7 million to somewhere under a million in just seven months, EA was forced to offer a Free-to-Play (F2P) option just to keep players involved. There’s nothing wrong with F2P – even the ever-popular World of Warcraft is now free for the first 20 levels – but SW:ToR has not come close to matching its lofty expectations. A more modest effort might would have been much more profitable and allowed progressive, organic growth.2: Predatory Profitability. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there is a right way to make diners pay without making them feel ripped off. Dozens of game-makers earn solid profits selling game-enhancing add-ons. But EA’s greed threatens to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.According to comments made at a shareholder’s meeting, EA’s CEO sees potential for a more “leveraged” micro-transaction payment model: “When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you’re really not very price-sensitive at that time.” 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… To many gamers, this kind of gameplay-affecting pinch crosses the line by tilting the playing field toward players with the deepest pockets.3: Drinking the “Social” Kool-Aid. In 2011, EA acquired PopCap Games for $650 million in cash, $100 million in stock and an earn-out that could raise the total cost to nearly $1.3 billion. On its face, the deal gives EA a solid foothold in the social gaming market, but as Zynga’s flopped acquisition of OMGPOP shows, past performance in social games doesn’t necessarily translate into future performance. A good, new game is far more important than a legacy of good games, and paying a premium for an existing user base doesn’t make sense when the very nature of social games makes viral exposure cheap and easy. EA should have been smart enough to smell a bubble – that billion dollars could have built the company a whole lot of new social games.4: Gamers Hate It. To many gamers, EA is the Dark Side, minus the cool Sith duds. Some of that comes with simply being big, but much of it is EA’s own fault. The company has done little to counter its reputation as a Borg-like behemoth that buys cool indie publishers and bleeds them dry.EA recently won Consumerist.com’s “Worst Company of 2012” award, beating Bank of America nearly 2-to-1.The Players John Riccitiello, CEO: John Riccitiello has a solid corporate past as a brand manager and executive, plus an MBA from a top-tier school, but the most unusual thing about him is that he’s actually a gamer. Even as the company he runs appears oblivious to the needs of its customers, Riccitiello seems to understand the industry. While his company-wide reorganization and the PopCap deal might have been an overcorrection, Riccitiello has seen the diversified future of gaming world for some time, and he also seems to get the details.So what’s behind EA’s clunky moves? Is he just incredibly shortsighted, or under the thumb of a board that never got over its old ways of doing things? While the rumored appointment of Peter Moore to EA’s throne might have been an improvement, Riccitiello may still have the soul of a gamer.The PrognosisEA won’t be shutting down any time soon. It also won’t be acquired. Its brand portfolio remains valuable, but few companies could afford the price tag – and none of them are capable of returning lagging brands to their former glory. EA will probably muddle on for some time, rarely releasing a Game of the Year but occasionally hitting middling expectations with playable, unremarkable games. It will probably get some growth in social gaming as the sector grows, but unless it gives PopCap room to breathe, don’t expect anything groundbreaking.Can This Company Be Saved?EA can absolutely rescue itself from mediocrity – but first it needs to stay out of its own way. That starts with treating its studios with respect, creating an environment that encourages developers to stay on and remain creative. Next, the company needs to extend that trust to gamers – and make sure everyone knows its change of heart. If EA can make the move from miserly bean-counting evil overlord to hip, in-the-know incubator and marketer, it has the resources to reclaim the industry’s top spot. But that hardly seems to be the company’s strategy. (Filing copyright lawsuits against competitors like Zynga probably won’t help that effort. ) Instead, the company is crowing that its most recent quarterly losses weren’t as bad as expected, and spending $500 million on a stock buyback.The Deathwatch So FarResearch In Motion: Things are hurtling downhill even faster than expected. Massive losses – more than 11 times worse than expected – and new delays in its Hail Mary BlackBerry 10 operating system update have made the company’s dire situation even harder to ignore. And over the weekend, a federal jury found RIM liable for $147 million in patent damages to Mformation Technologies.HP: No change in statusNokia: The mobile phone giant’s quarterly revenue and earnings exceeded expectations and it has reduced its cash burn rate, but the company lost money yet again and saw its debt ratings cut to junk status. And it still hasn’t cracked the U.S. smartphone market as it halves the retail price of its flagship Lumia 900 to $49.99.38 Studios: No change in statusBarnes & Noble: No change in statusSony: No change in statusGroupon: Groupon’s stock price recently hit an all-time low on a downgrade from Evercore Partners, and a perceived weakness in social companies, led by Zynga.T-Mobile USA: No change in statusNetflix: No change in status Related Posts center_img Tags:#Deathwatch#gaming#web 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… cormac fosterlast_img read more

first_imgRey Guevarra cruises to record-tying 5th PBA Slam Dunk title Other schools in Group A are Treston, AMA University, and Manila University.UAAP Season 81 runner-up University of the Philippines is the top school for Group A with Far Eastern University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, College of St. Benilde, San Sebastian College also in the fold.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, logisticsDiliman College and La Consolacion College are also in Group B.Games will be played at San Beda and at SGS Gym in Quezon City. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving MANILA, Philippines—A total of 32 teams are set to see action in the 25th season of the Fr. Martin’s Cup Summer League that will start on April 6 at the campus of defending champion San Beda.The Red Lions, also the reigning NCAA champions, headline Group A that includes Arellano University, University of Perpetual Help, and UAAP’s De La Salle.ADVERTISEMENT The high school division, meanwhile, has 14 schools with Group A comprising of Letran, FEU, University of Santo Tomas, San Beda-Manila, Diliman College, St. Patrick’s High School, and AMA.Adamson University, San Beda-Rizal, Arellano, Lyceum, Treston, San Sebastian, and La Consolacion are in Group B.The women’s division will have five teams competing for the title with defending champion National University, the owner of five UAAP titles, staking its claim to the throne against UST, FEU, La Salle, and University of the East.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 2013 PLAY LIST 01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201300:50Trending Articles01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch02:42PH 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 MOST READ Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Google Philippines names new country director Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

first_imgOver 300 teams will compete at the four day event, including teams from Kambala Girls School and Reddam House School in New South Wales and Papanui High School in New Zealand. Round games will be played for the first three days of the event, with finals to be played on Sunday, 10 October. Six divisions will be contested at the tournament, including the following divisions: Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Junior Mixed, Open Boys, Open Girls and Open Mixed. Benowa State High School will be going for its third title in a row in the Junior Boys division, while it will also be looking to win back-to-back Junior Mixed titles. In the Junior Girls division, last year’s runners up, All Hallows, will be looking to go one place better than in 2009, with last year’s winner, Cavendish Road State High School, not attending. In the Open Boys division, Keebra Park State High School will be looking for its third consecutive title, following wins in 2008 and 2009. Keebra Park will also be hoping to go one place better in the Open Girls division, with last year’s winners, Caboolture, not attending. The Open Mixed division is back in 2010, after not being played at last year’s event. The finals will be played on Sunday, with the Open and Junior Mixed finals to be played at 1.00pm, the Junior Girls and Boys finals to be played at 1.40pm and the Open Girls and Boys finals to be played at 2.20pm. For more information, please visit the Queensland All Schools Championships website: www.qldallschools.comlast_img read more

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery: Very young Guendouzi offers many thingsby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery is delighted with the impact of Matteo Guendouzi.Guendouzi was booked for the fourth time this season in the feisty 3-1 win over Burnley.That was the 19-year-old’s 15th Premier League appearance of a season which began with him excelling even in defeat to Manchester City and has seen him establish himself as the latest youngster to take Arsenal by storm.“I am very happy with Matteo, he’s improving a lot and helping us,” said Emery. “He gives us a lot of moments in the team with combination and quality, with the possibility to play with our style.“He needs to improve more, to continue his progress with us. He’s very young.” last_img read more

first_imgVAUGHAN, Ont. – A cane fight that broke out between two elderly women in a parking lot north of Toronto resulted in police being called to break up the scuffle.York regional police say they were called to a No Frills grocery store parking lot in Vaughan, Ont. shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday.Const. Andy Pattenden says concerned citizens called police as the two women in their 70s were engaged in a cane duel, screaming and shouting at each other.He says by the time officers arrived, the fight had ended without injury, with one woman trying to take off in a vehicle and the other going inside the grocery store to shop for food.He says police spoke to both women, although he says the one inside the store didn’t want to talk and preferred to continue looking for produce.Pattenden says he doesn’t know what the two were fighting over, but neither are expected to be charged.“It just sounds like some angry older people,” Pattenden said.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: State-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) has disposed of 2.97 lakh tonne of pulses, nearly the entire stock it procured in last two years, to various states and to bulk consumers, according to an official data. FCI had a stock of 2.98 lakh tonne of pulses procured at the minimum support price (MSP) during 2015-16 and 2016-17 marketing years (July-June). As per the latest data, the agency has cleared 2.97 lakh tonne of pulses comprising ‘tur’, ‘masoor’, ‘moong’ and ‘urad’ till February 2019. Of this, 2.36 lakh tonne was sold through electronic auction mode to bulk users, while the rest through states. Less than 800 tonne is left with FCI, which will also be disposed of, the data added. FCI is the central nodal agency that undertakes mainly the procurement and distribution of wheat and rice at the MSP. It started procuring pulses in the last two years to ensure farmers get the support price.last_img read more

All-America forward Otto Porter is leaving Georgetown after his sophomore season and making  himself eligible for the NBA Draft.“The toughest part was knowing you’re going to leave a great place like this,” Porter said Monday at a news conference on campus alongside Hoyas coach John Thompson III. “I love this place.”Porter, ranked fourth overall among draft prospects by ESPN.com’s Chad Ford, was the Big East player of the year and finished second in the voting behind Michigan’s Trey Burke for The Associated Press player of the year award. Burke, also a sophomore, is leaving college for the NBA as well.Porter averaged 16.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, both highs for Georgetown. Along with outstanding junior guard Markel Starks, Porter led a team that was unranked in the preseason to as high as No. 5 in the AP poll.The Hoyas were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, but lost their opening game to Florida Gulf Coast and finished 25-7.The 6-foot-8 Porter, from Sikeston, Mo., was Georgetown’s sixth All-America selection and first since Allen Iverson in 1996. He also was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award.It’s Porter’s all-around game that impresses, with an ability to score inside or from beyond the 3-point arc, to rebound, to set up teammates and play defense.“Whatever they ask him to do, he’s going to be able to do,” Thompson said.Porter’s breakout performance — the one that put him on everybody’s radar — came on the road against Big East rival Syracuse on Feb. 23. Porter produced 33 points, eight rebounds, five steals and hit five 3-pointers while playing all 40 minutes in a Hoyas victory.After Porter had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists when Georgetown beat Syracuse again on March 9, Orange coach Jim Boeheim declared that Porter ought to be the No. 1 overall pick in the next NBA draft.Now everyone will get a chance to find out exactly where NBA teams think Porter stands.“On draft night, we don’t expect him to be sitting around too long,” Thompson said. read more

There is an axiom in sports that all die-hard fans embrace. Once a team has reached a level at which its coach is grumpy after a victory, that team has “arrived.”So it was with the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday in their 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings before a crowd of 15,251.On the back of their strong special teams’ play, the Blue Jackets improved to 5-1-0 this season, the best start in franchise history. The Jackets got two goals from their power play unit, and captain Rick Nash scored a short-handed goal during the penalty kill.It didn’t seem to be enough for coach Ken Hitchcock.“We didn’t play that well tonight,” he said. “We competed, but we didn’t play that well. We need better play if we’re going to get to the next level.”The energy was noticeably absent from the building at the beginning. At least a third of the stadium’s seats remained empty at the first drop of the puck. The subdued atmosphere wasn’t improved when L.A. right winger Dustin Brown kicked off the scoring with a shot from just outside the slot that beat Jackets goalie Steve Mason.This Jackets team, unlike many in the past, refused to head into the dressing room down a goal. With just under a minute remaining in the period, left winger Jason Chimera brought the puck out of Columbus’ end, sped through the neutral zone, and fired a slap shot from the left circle. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was too slow for it, and the Jackets went into the first intermission tied up.The Jackets never looked back.Mason continued to flash the kind of dazzling goaltending that made him the NHL Rookie of the Year last season, making 27 saves, many of the jaw-dropping variety.During one stretch in the second period, Mason made a series of saves on a flurry of opposing shots, including one in which he was caught out of position but made a diving recovery to cover up the puck in front of the net.Mason was quick to credit his teammates.“It’s extremely huge the way these guys are stepping up right now,” he said. “These guys are coming in and putting up a big effort and making my job easier.”Columbus’ Raffi Torres took some of the pressure off him with a rebound goal out of a scrum in front of the Kings’ net on the power play. He was assisted on the play by Derick Brassard and Kris Russell, who had just been signed to a contract extension by the club earlier in the day.Columbus was not finished yet.Down a man because of a cross-checking penalty on Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin, Rick Nash decided to take matters into his own hands.  Jackets center Samuel Pahlsson deftly stole the puck away from a Kings forward and swept it to a waiting Rick Nash, just past the blue line. Nash raced up the ice and undressed the Kings’ Justin Williams with a deke to his left before letting fly with a backhand shot that beat Quick.“I noticed there was a forward playing defense, and I thought I’d try something. Luckily enough, it worked,” Nash said of the goal.Jakub Voracek finished the scoring with an empty-net, power-play goal with 1:11 left in the game.As Jackets fans stood and applauded their team’s victory, there was joy once more in Mudville as the sting of the Buckeye football team’s defeat faded from memory. read more

first_imgGermany manager Joachim Low has revealed that the decision to drop Leroy Sane in favour of Julian Brandt was an extremely difficult choice and that it was so close between the pair that it could have been a “photo finish”The PFA Young Player of the Year was the shock omission from Low’s final 23-man squad for Russia after having performed superbly in the Premier League this season as Manchester City sealed the league crown with a 19 point lead over their nearest rivals.Despite having netted 14 goals and added 15 assists, Sane was dropped in favour of Bayer Leverkusen forward Brandt who fared worse this season with 12 goals and seven assists in comparison.“That was a very close decision between him and Julian Brandt, which was made in favour of Brandt,” said Low, according to the Evening Standard.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…“Draxler, Reus and Muller are set. Leroy has a huge talent.“He will be back again from September. He had not played in international matches yet.“It was a very close decision. If it were a 100-metre race, it would have been a photo finish.”On the bright side, Manuel Neuer was included in the final squad after having proved his fitness to Low and will now captain the national side once more ahead of the World Cup.last_img read more