Light along a jagged border

first_imgHarvard researchers have combined new technology with old to better understand conditions in the war-torn border region between Sudan and South Sudan. It is thought that civilians have been targeted by armed forces in the area, which is closed to outside media and international observers.In a report released Tuesday by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Signal Program on Human Security and Technology, researchers combined satellite images with thousands of publicly available reports, including soldier accounts posted on the Internet — YouTube videos in which they talked about their exploits — for more insight on fighting that took place in 2011 and 2012.“You’re talking about basically an area closed off to the outside world,” said Brittany Card, the Signal Program’s coordinator of data analysis and a lead author of the report. “It’s a sad reality that conflicts like that are occurring all over the world.”The report identified specific military units involved in certain engagements and indicated that the destruction of civilian homes — more than 2,000 — was greater than earlier believed. It also corroborated the destruction of the headquarters of four humanitarian organizations that had been operating in the area.Written by Card and Ziad Al Achkar, a Signal Program analyst, with the help of interns Jody Heck, a Harvard junior, and Sam Plasmati from Tufts University, the report also shows what’s possible when modern satellite imagery is combined with new reservoirs of information available online, providing a “proof-of-concept” that could help future researchers get a fuller grasp on other conflicts in closed areas.“This study provides previously unavailable information about the conflict in Sudan, while also demonstrating how humanitarian actors can see other, future disasters in new ways,” said HHI Director Michael VanRooyen, professor of medicine and of global health and population and an emergency physician at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.The report, “Sudan: Anatomy of a Conflict,” looks at the volatile border region in the months after the January 2011 referendum that created South Sudan. Though the Sudanese government has officially accepted the referendum’s results, the actual location of the border remains disputed and fighting has continued among multiple armed groups. Roughly a million people have been displaced.“It was really a critical moment in the history of South Sudan,” Card said.The YouTube videos — shot by a Sudanese army public relations team — were particularly useful, the authors said, as were tweets and other posts from the soldiers themselves. Al Achkar, who viewed and translated the videos from Arabic, said it’s clear that the soldiers feel like they’re defending their country or tribe, rather than possibly breaking international law.“They don’t see it as potentially criminal behavior, they see it as fighting for their nation or tribal group,” Al Achkar said.By filling in blanks, the report’s methodology could change how conflicts in closed areas are monitored and provide humanitarian organizations with an important tool, Card said. The findings could also be useful should international criminal courts be convened over human rights violations in the region, as well as to policy makers from organizations negotiating with the governments or groups involved.In their analysis of fighting around the border town of Abyei, researchers realized that many more homes had been burned down than originally estimated, because the images showed that the fighting affected not just Abyei, which was razed, but numerous outlying towns.Researchers may also have shed light on extra-judicial killings in the Sudanese town of Kadugli in 2011. The report showed that cars similar to those used by the killers — white Toyota Land Cruisers — were seen at state police headquarters in Kadugli in June 2011.“When you gather all this information here in Cambridge and add satellite imagery, we’re seeing how much we know about a non-permissive conflict zone,” said Benjamin Davies, deputy director of the Signal Program. “What we found out is that you can learn quite a lot.”last_img read more

Adi Dagan: Beehive – An intrinsic link! Redefining industry retention & intelligence values

first_img StumbleUpon Share Submit Share Mikael Hansson – Enteractive – Staying responsible when acquiring & retaining players December 6, 2017 Bojan Sovilj: Why CloudWalker is not just a ‘Big Data’ company September 12, 2019 Related Articles Round table – Betinvest: The future of sportsbook personalisation July 31, 2019 Adi DaganAhead of ICE 2017, Adi Dagan CEO & Co-Founder of Beehive software, speaks to SBC on the changing industry landscape with regards to customer retention and business intelligence.   Leading Beehive operations which in 2016 won numerous industry clients, Dagan tells SBC readers that placing data first industry stakeholders can no longer afford to be ‘stabbing in the dark’ when planning and strategizing their retention goals.  _______________________SBC: Hi Adi thanks for the interview. Amid a growing focus on data and intelligence, how is betting and igaming retention changing?Adi Dagan: The two – data and retention – are now intrinsically linked. For a retention strategy to be effective and efficient, it must be powered and supported by data – if not marketers are very much stabbing in the dark. By using the right data in the right way, operators and marketers can target players with the right communication at the right time, offering them the incentives and rewards they need to keep returning to their brand time and again. In the past, it has not been possible to deliver such an individual and tailored approach, but data has changed that and will continue to force a shift in the landscape as we develop the technology that allows us to collate and analyse it.SBC: Dealing with multiple verticals and products serviced by the majority of operators, what is Beehive’s core approach to industry retention practices?AD: Regardless of whether you are a casino, poker, sportsbook, bingo or lottery operator – or all of the former – the same approach to retention applies. First and foremost, it is about adopting a data-led strategy and using the information you gather to shape core marketing practices. But it’s not just about gathering as much data as possible; the information needs to be properly segmented – our platform allows our partners to cluster players under hundreds of different factors – and presented in a way that makes for easy and efficient analysis. This should be accessible 24/7, 365 days a year so that marketers can instantly react to any emerging trends.SBC: From a retention perspective, what new core values are Beehive witnessing in industry clients?AD: It’s up to seven times more expensive to acquire a new player than retain a current customer, so operators are dialling in on how to reduce promiscuity and churn. They also understand that a loyal player offers far more long-term value than a player who takes advantage of a bonus offer, plays for a day or two, then goes elsewhere. In fact, loyal players are worth up to ten times their initial deposit. With this in mind, retention is overtaking acquisition as the core purpose of marketing efforts; that’s not to say operators are not looking to acquire new players because they are, but keeping hold of their customer base is very much front of mind.    SBC: Can the industry learn effective retention processes from outside sectors or companies…who should industry stakeholders follow?AD: They can, but the online gambling industry offers some unique quirks and foibles that don’t apply to other industries. That is why we established Beehive in the first place – to offer gaming operators a marketing platform designed specifically for the sector. If anything, we believe the online gambling industry is pushing the boundaries when it comes to effective retention process and the way data is being used to strengthen strategies and foster new approaches. Keeping hold of customers is more of a challenge in our industry than most, and that is why we have had to develop a platform that is innovative and ground-breaking. SBC: Can industry operators gain differentiation from new retention processes? Does retention reflect individuality for bookmakers?AD: Operators approach retention differently, from the way they segment data, read into what it is saying, and act upon it. That is why they need to work with a marketing platform that is flexible and can be moulded to their individual needs. By taking an individual approach to retention, operators can have a point of difference in the way they communicate with their customers, and the messaging and bonusing they offer them. A one-size-fits-all mentality does not work with retention, meaning bookmakers can take the approach that suits them best and reflects their wider branding and voice.SBC: Coming into 2017 how will Beehive continue to grow its services and operations within the betting/gaming sectors?AD: We have ambitious plans to grow our geographical footprint, particularly in emerging markets. The gaming industry is growing at a rapid rate, with new regions licensing and regulating the activity. It presents a huge opportunity for companies such as ours to enter these markets and help operators make the most of the big data from the outset. We are excited by the prospect of building a truly global business, and racking up some serious air miles in the process.________________________Adi Dagan – CEO & Co-Founder – Beehive B.I.last_img read more

Dwyane Wade on NBA All-Star voting results: ‘If I’m choosing an All-Star, I’m not picking me’

first_img“If I’m choosing an All-Star, I’m not picking me,” Wade said, via the Sun-Sentinel. “It’s not an indictment on anything, but guys that deserve to be All-Stars will be All-Stars.” “For the first time, I actually agree with [TNT analyst] Charles Barkley and what he said,” Wade said. “It’s a lot of guys that get their first chance to be All-Stars, and if they deserve it, then they deserve it and they should have those spots. I appreciate the love from my fans to even vote me, to have as many votes as they did. But from an All-Star standpoint, there’s multiple guys that deserve to be in there and I hope they get their opportunity.”Wade is averaging 13.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 2018-19 for a 22-24 Heat team. Dwyane Wade wouldn’t vote for himself to be an All-Star.The 16th-year vet is lacing up his shoes for the last time this season. While he finished with the third most votes for backcourt players in the Eastern Conference, he didn’t feel it was right. Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to draft Russell Westbrook, Joel Embiid to same All-Star squad to squash beef Wade wasn’t named a starter this season, but could be voted in as a reserve. He’s made the All-Star team 12 times in his career, with his last appearance coming in 2016. Related Newslast_img read more

Lonzo Ball on being traded from Lakers to Pelicans: ‘I was excited’

first_imgLonzo Ball opened up about being traded from the Lakers to the Pelicans earlier this offseason, revealing he was excited to be moved. During a recent interview with ESPN, Ball explained that he knew someone was going to be traded from the Lakers when speculation around Anthony Davis continued to grow. Ball was part of the blockbuster deal that sent Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart — along with the draft rights to No. 4 overall pick De’Andre Hunter, two first-round picks, a first-round pick swap and cash — in exchange for six-time All-Star Davis. Ball reiterated that the trade didn’t come as a shock as he was expecting it, though he found out about the deal on Twitter.”I’ve been hearing my name for two years now,” Ball said. “So it didn’t bother me at all. We were all ready for it.” Despite the uncertainty about his future for most of last season, Ball said he’s ready for a fresh start and to play alongside Zion Williamson, who the Pelicans selected with the No. 1 overall pick out of last month’s draft. “Obviously, injuries kind of messed up things a little bit,” Ball said in regards to his two seasons with Los Angeles. “But you take the bumps with the bruises and keep moving forward. Only been in the league for two years and looking forward to this third year in New Orleans, get a fresh start and show people what I can do.”I know New Orleans is excited to have me, and I’m excited to get started. Moving to a new team, a new situation, a new organization, new coaches, new everything — it’s a refresh, getting back to playing basketball how I know I can play.” Lakers GM Rob Pelinka on missing out on Kawhi Leonard: ‘You just don’t look back’ 3 takeaways from Anthony Davis’ introductory press conference with Lakers Anthony Davis sidesteps question on long-term future with Lakers “I was excited, honestly,” Ball said. “I kind of figured someone was going to get moved soon enough. I knew Anthony Davis wanted to come bad. Anytime you can get a guy like that, you are going to have to do what you have to do to get him. So I was kind of already just waiting for it, honestly, and I was happy to go with two guys I am comfortable with in B.I. (Ingram) and JHart (Hart). I am excited to see what we can do.”I tell people when I was a rookie, I probably would have been sad. Just being from L.A., having my whole family here and wanting to be a Laker. But being in the league for two years, knowing it’s a business, as long you get to play, that’s a blessing in itself.” Related Newslast_img read more

Woods keeps it dry and wins Players Championship

first_imgTiger Woods gestures as he misses a birdie putt on the eighth hole during the final round of The Players championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass, May 12, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods had the last word against Sergio Garcia by winning The Players Championship on Sunday.Woods ended a weekend of testy words with Garcia by doing what he does best — closing out tournaments, even if he let this one turn into a tense duel over the final hour at the TPC Sawgrass. Tied with Garcia with two holes to play, Woods won by finding land on the last two holes for par to close with a 2-under 70.If only it were that simple for the Spaniard.Garcia was standing on the 17th tee shot, staring across the water to an island as Woods made his par. He took aim at the flag with his wedge and hung his head when he saw the ball splash down short of the green. Then, Garcia hit another one in the water on his way to a quadruple-bogey 7. He completed his stunning collapse by hitting his tee shot into the water on the 18th and making double bogey.Woods was in the scoring trailer when he watched on TV as Swedish rookie David Lingmerth missed a long birdie putt that would have forced a playoff. It raced by the cup, and Lingmerth three-putted for bogey.“How about that?” Woods said to his caddie, Joe LaCava as he gave him a hug.Woods won The Players for the first time since 2001 and joined Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Steve Elkington as the only two-time winners at the TPC Sawgrass. It was his 78th career win on the PGA Tour, four short of the record held by Sam Snead.Lingmerth closed with a 72 and finished two shots behind along with Kevin Streelman (67) and Jeff Maggert, who also was tied for the lead until finding the water on the 17th to make double bogey. The 49-year-old Maggert birdied the 18th for a 70.Garcia took 13 shots to cover the final two holes — 6-over par — and tumbled into a tie for eighth.Woods made this drama possible by hooking his tee shot into the water on the 14th hole and making a double bogey, dropping him into a four-way tie with Garcia, Maggert and Lingmerth. The final two holes came down to Garcia and Woods, most appropriate given their public sniping at each other this weekend.It started Saturday when Garcia complained in a TV interview that his shot from the par-5 second fairway was disrupted by cheers from the crowd around Woods, who was some 50 yards away in the trees and fired them up by taking a fairway metal out of his bag. He said Woods should have been paying attention, and it became a war of the words the next two days.“Not real surprising that he’s complaining about something,” Woods said.“At least I’m true to myself,” Garcia retorted. “I know what I’m doing, and he can do whatever he wants.”When they finished the storm-delayed third round Sunday morning, Garcia kept at it, saying that Woods is “not the nicest guy on tour.”Woods had the last laugh. He had the trophy.Garcia, when asked if he would have changed anything about the flap with Woods, replied, “It sounds like I was the bad guy here. I was the victim.”The real villain was the infamous 17th hole, which knocked out Garcia and Maggert.Sports, Men’s sports, Golf, Tiger Woods, Men’s golf, Fred Couples, Davis Love III, Sergio Garcia, Kevin Streelman, Jeff Maggert, David Lingmerth, Steve Elkingtonlast_img read more

Saint Martin’s University Theatre Studies program presents “Uncle Vanya”

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Vanya and his niece Sonya lead predictable lives, keeping their emotions buttoned up while maintaining a country estate and sending all the profits from their work to Vanya’s brother-in-law. But their daily routine quickly unravels with the return of the brother-in-law, a retired professor named Serebryakov, and his young, very beautiful wife, Yelena, who manages to trigger within the entire family hidden passions born of unrequited love, thwarted ambition and enduring hope.This is the plot of what many consider to be Anton Chekhov’s greatest play, “Uncle Vanya,” which will be presented by the Saint Martin’s University Theatre Arts Program in November under the direction of David Hlavsa, professor of theatre arts.Hlavsa has chosen a new translation of the play by critically acclaimed playwright Annie Baker.“Baker’s version of ‘Uncle Vanya’ really brings out the humor and the emotional depth of the play,” says Hlavsa.  “It’s reasonably true to the original, but it doesn’t make us feel like we’re watching a museum piece — the play feels quite contemporary and relevant.”Hlavsa adds that he’s wanted to do the play for years, but this is the first time he’s had a group of students who are right for the parts and up to the challenge of Chekhov.  “The actors really have to have a keen sense of comedy and irony — and they have to have the emotional range and intelligence the work demands.”Performances will run November 14 – 16 and November 19 – 22 in Kreielsheimer Hall, the performing arts building, located on the University’s Lacey campus, 5000 Abbey Way SE. Tickets at the door cost $12 for general admission and $7 for students, seniors and military personnel. November 19 is Pay-What-You-Will. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com.Performance times are as follows:7:30pm, November 14, 152:00pm, November 167:30pm, November 19, 20, 21, 22For additional information contact David Hlavsa, Professor in the Theatre Arts program at 360-438-4345 or through email at [email protected]last_img read more

Zharnel Hughes eyeing Rio

first_imgBritish sprinter Zharnel Hughes has come a long way since his first international experience at the 2010 Carifta Games. Fresh from a 2015 campaign highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the 200 metres at the World Championships, Hughes has his eyes on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is quietly confident and is expecting his hard work to pay off. In 2010, at the Carifta Games in Grand Cayman, Hughes was timid. “I was always thinking I probably won’t medal,” he recalled. He placed eighth and last in the Under-17 100-metre final won by Jamaica’s Odean Skeen, now at Auburn University in Alabama. “I just went out there and I didn’t know what to do,” he reminisced. The 6’5″ native of Anguilla is far more confident these days. World ranked at number five in the 200 metres by respected US publication Track and Field News, he said: “I just go out there with a positive mindset each time instead of having to doubt myself.” He ended his days as a junior athlete with gold medals from Carifta, the CAC Junior and Pan-Am Junior Championships and the ISSA Boys’ Championships Class One 100-metre record of 10.12 seconds. He entered 2015 with a 200m personal best of 20.32 seconds – from his 2014 season at Kingston College – and cut and carved it down to 20.02 seconds. That time and his fifth-place finish in the World final came despite a minor injury that first surfaced in the semi. Third position “If you look back at the race, I was actually in third position and then my back flared up a bit on me.” With his deep baritone unwavering, he said: “There was nothing I could have done.” Informed of his Track and Field News ranking, he said: “I wasn’t expecting it but I put in the work, and it definitely did pay off for me.” Hughes and his Jamaican coach, Patrick Dawson, a highly regarded assistant to sprint guru Glen Mills at Racers Track Club, have reviewed his 2015 efforts and are cautiously looking forward to Rio and a place in the 200m final. “As to the medal”, said Dawson, “I’m not one of those who like to count my eggs before they hatch, but it would be great to see him on the medal rostrum.” Hughes has started his 2016 programme with a 400-metre personal best of 47.12 seconds. That’s part of an effort to make the sprinter stronger. The plan also includes 100-metre races. He did only one last season and achieved a clocking of 10.15 seconds. While he is confident of lowering his 100-metre best, he is sombre about breaking 20 seconds in the 200m. “Expectations are there,” he said diplomatically. “Work is definitely being put in right now”, he revealed, with the advice that he is expecting the work again to pay off. “It’s just for me to continue to work hard, and to trust my coach and to stay injury free and to continue to climb to the top,” he said, full of hope and determination. “So definitely, maybe one day I could be the world record holder. “You never know.”last_img read more

Where’s My Confidence?

first_imgTell me nil the amazing sanguinity I squanderAsk me not where my happiness abruptly disappearSpeak nil about the awful moment soon to befall meFor you won’t understand even if I squawk everydayIgnorant of interval of interval when anxiety became my cohortNow I’m plunk in the middle of a deserted highwayOne question wandering so deeply my mind stuckWhere is the confidence I once yielded so tightly?Tell me not the sweat my protruding forehead holdsTell me not the nervousness emanate like a stormReveal to me with placidity my mistakes to correctWhisper with restraint the wrongs I have committedShower me with affection for it must soothe my painBut the worse of it all a dreaded question that loomsWhere is my confidence all through these dark times?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Real Madrid a draw away from La Liga title after win over Celta Vigo

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo has taken Real Madrid to the verge of its first Spanish league title in five years.Ronaldo scored early in each half as Madrid defeated 10-man Celta Vigo 4-1 on Wednesday to retake the league lead from Barcelona and move within a point of winning the title.A draw at mid-table Malaga in the final round on Sunday will allow Madrid to lift the trophy and avoid its longest title drought in La Liga since the 1980s.”One game to go,” Ronaldo said. “We have to keep going until the end.”The victory at Celta in a game postponed from February because of bad weather gave Madrid a three-point lead over Barcelona, which hosts eighth-place Eibar in its final match on Sunday. The Catalan club still has a chance of winning its third straight title because of a better head-to-head tiebreaker.”We played with a very good attitude, with a lot of determination and personality,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “We knew that the three points were the most important thing, but we went out there to play, the win was only a consequence.”Madrid played with an extra man after the controversial sending off of Celta forward Iago Aspas, who picked up a second yellow in the 62nd minute for an alleged dive inside the area after a challenge by Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.Celta players loudly complained, and there were more complaints a few moments later when Ronaldo fell inside the other box in an apparent flop – but was not shown a yellow card that would have suspended him from the final round.advertisementRonaldo opened the scoring at the Balaidos Stadium after picking up the ball just outside the area and firing a firm left-foot shot into the corner. The ball went through the legs of defender Gustavo Cabral and gave goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez no chance.Ronaldo added to the lead after halftime with a well-placed shot from inside the area after receiving a perfectly timed pass by Francisco “Isco” Alarcon in a breakaway.It was Ronaldo’s 13th goal in his last eight matches, and 24th in league. The Portugal star missed the chance for a hat trick in the 75th minute, incredibly missing from close range with only the goalkeeper to beat.”I did the hardest part, which was to score the first goal and then the second,” Ronaldo said. “Obviously it’s not common for me to miss like that, but it can happen, I’m human and I also make mistakes.”Ronaldo hadn’t played an away match in the league since March, a run of four straight games.Celta, with nothing left to play for, improved after conceding the first goal and started to threaten, with Aspas creating a series of chances. But its hopes of a comeback started to sink after Ronaldo found the net for the second time, and then sank further after Aspas was dismissed.Celta’s lone goal was scored by John Guidetti with a shot from outside the area in the 69th, just a minute before Karim Benzema restored Madrid’s two-goal lead from close range after a left-flank cross by Marcelo. Toni Kroos completed the scoring in the 88th.Celta had eliminated Zidane’s team from the Copa del Rey quarterfinals this year, beating Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and drawing 2-2 at the Balaidos. It reached the semifinals of the Europa League, being eliminated by Manchester United.The game against Celta was originally scheduled to be played on Feb. 5 but was postponed because heavy winds damaged the roof of the Balaidos, making it unsafe for players and spectators.Madrid wanted to avoid Celta so late in the season, but there were no other dates available as Celta was in the Europa League and Madrid in the Champions League. Madrid will play Juventus in the Champions League final on June 3.last_img read more