12 October 2012Emerson Network Power, a business of New York-listed Emerson and a global leader in protecting and optimizing IT and telecoms infrastructure, opened a new regional configuration centre in Johannesburg this week, to serve as the base for the company’s expansion into the enterprise space throughout Africa.The facility, staffed by nearly 110 employees, consolidates the company’s sales, marketing, engineering and operations “in one state-of-the-art location to enhance customer support, improve communications and increase efficiency”, Emerson Network Power said in a statement on Wednesday.Speaking at an opening ceremony in Johannesburg, Scott Barbour, executive vice-president of Emerson and business leader for Emerson Network Power, Barbour said the investment showed the company’s commitment to providing “reliable voice, data and IT infrastructure solutions and services to Africa.“We are excited to officially open this new facility in Johannesburg, which has been custom designed to meet regional production needs.”Speaking after the opening, Barbour told Business Day that Emerson Network Power saw South Africa as the foundation of its African business. “From there we will look at the other countries to see which ones have telecoms roll-out. We think those countries will follow the cycle of investment – telecoms build-up followed by data centre build-up.”Emerson Network Power said that the new regional configuration centre marked the company’s expansion “beyond its expertise as an energy specialist for the telecommunications market into the data center and industrial markets in South Africa, broadening its product portfolio to also include AC power, surge protection, precision cooling, rack solutions and infrastructure management and monitoring”.SAinfo reporter
27 March 2014 The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope will transform perceptions of Africa, Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom said on Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s launch of the first antenna of South Africa’s SKA precursor, the MeerKAT. “With SKA, things will definitely change. Africa will no longer be the receiver but a major contributor to technology, and hopefully young scientists on the continent will benefit,” Henekom said. The minister was speaking to the media in Pretoria after the first ministerial meeting of the nine SKA African partner countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. The SKA will be a mega telescope about 100 times more sensitive than the biggest existing radio telescope. It will include 500 000 antennas scattered across southern Africa and Australia. Phase 1 of the SKA will be co-hosted by South Africa and Australia, while Phase 2 will see the eight countries partnering with South Africa. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and conclude in 2024, at an estimated cost to the SKA member countries of €1.5-billion. At Wednesday’s meeting, the nine African countries signed a SKA readiness strategy and joint implementation plan stipulating the resources in time, funds and human capital to be made available by each country by 2015. “We encourage each partner country to work towards establishing relevant human capital development programmes and instruments aimed at building a new pipeline of researchers, scientists and engineers, technical skills and expertise for the successful implementation and substainability of the SKA and other radio astronomy programmes and initiatives,” a communique issued after the meeting reads. Towards an African telescope network The nine countries also plan to mobilise the funding and technical resources needed to realize Africa’s own vision for radio astronomy, which includes the creation of an African-owned network of radio telescopes – capable of supporting an African very long baseline interferometry network – in the nine SKA partner countries. Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) is an astronomical technique that uses widely separated radio telescopes in unison to simulate a single telescope hundreds or thousands of kilometres in diameter, producing the clearest, highest resolution images of some of the most distant objects in the universe. The greater the distance between the telescopes, the greater the resolution of the images produced in this way. Africa’s large north-south geographical spread would therefore make for a powerful VLBI network. The African VLBI Network project aims both to fill a major gap in the global VLBI network and, by boosting engineering and science skills development across the continent, to pave the way for the arrival of the SKA. In June 2012, the board of the African Renaissance Fund, which is located in South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation, approved R120-million in funding for initial work on the project, which will involve recycling disused telecommunications dishes spread out over a number of countries. South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology has added another R21-million in funding for the project, which is being driven by SKA South Africa and the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) near Johannesburg. To keep the wheels turning, Hanekom said South Africa was already providing training for seven Ghanaians who will operate and maintain the soon-to-be radio telescope at Kutunse in Ghana. In all, 90 students from other African countries had been trained in South Africa, and it was hoped that more people from the partner countries would be trained over the next few years. SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter
Austria v Brazil Neymar starts in Brazil’s final pre-World Cup friendly Ronan Murphy 21:13 6/10/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Austria v Brazil Brazil Brazil v Switzerland Switzerland Austria World Cup Friendlies The PSG forward has not started a game for over three months due to a foot injury, but returns to his national side’s XI for their final friendly Neymar has been named in the starting XI for Brazil’s final pre-World Cup friendly as they take on Austria in Vienna.The PSG forward came off the bench in their 2-0 win over Croatia at Anfield, but Sunday’s game marks the first time Neymar starts since February, having missed the final months of the Ligue 1 season with a metatarsal fracture.Neymar netted a goal in the Anfield victory seven days ago and is looking to prove his fitness to international head coach Tite ahead of the tournament. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Gabriel Jesus is once again preferred in attack, with Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino left on the bench.New Manchester United signing Fred will not be involved after being assessed by team doctors, however, the team are optimistic he will be fit in time for the beginning of the World Cup.Inter defender Miranda will wear the armband against Austria as Tite continues to rotate the captaincy throughout the team rather than picking one guaranteed captain for the tournament.The friendly is Brazil’s final game before travelling to Russia, where they will kick off their World Cup Group E campaign with a match against Switzerland on June 17.Brazil also take on Costa Rica and Serbia in the group stage as they look to win a record sixth World Cup title.Brazil XI: Alisson; Danilo, Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Paulinho, Casemiro, Coutinho; Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.Austria XI: Linder, Dragovic, Hinteregger, Arnautovic, Alaba, Baumgartlinger, Prodl, Schopf, Grillitsch, Lainer, Schlager.
Although Major League Baseball’s audience is old enough to give golf a run for its erectile-dysfunction ad dollars, its player pool is skewing younger each year. Research suggests that players are peaking — and declining — more quickly, placing them in their primes ever earlier. It’s no coincidence that young stars such as Bryce Harper and Carlos Correa seem emboldened this spring, openly advocating a more demonstrative style of play. This is their game; modern MLB is no sport for old men.As the game has gotten younger, it has also picked up the pace — and not just between pitches. The average (four-seam) fastball has sped up by about two miles per hour over the last decade, incinerating countless chyrons along the way. In the eight full seasons for which we have complete PITCHf/x data, the proportion of MLB fastballs topping 93 mph has increased by almost 50 percent, with the percentage breaking 95 mph nearly doubling and the share above 97 mph nearly quadrupling.In a recent edition of his newsletter, Sports Illustrated contributor and Baseball Prospectus co-founder Joe Sheehan drew a connection between these two trends, speculating that faster pitches are forcing older hitters into early retirement.“Which players are best equipped to see and hit velocity?” Sheehan asked. “The youngest ones with the sharpest eyes and quickest reflexes. It’s not the hitter pool that is changing, whether through substance usage or otherwise. It’s that the skills of pitchers have changed in a way that hurts older players more than younger ones.”Sheehan’s proposal sounds plausible. Reaction time is known to decrease from a peak at approximately age 24. Faster pitches leave hitters less time to react. It seems intuitive, then, that older hitters would have a tougher time adjusting to baseball’s current hard-throwing conditions.Sheehan did, however, acknowledge that this is only a theory. “To prove it, what we need is a look at whether young players do better at hitting high-velocity pitches than older ones do,” he wrote. “On servers somewhere there’s enough information to see what players of every age do against pitches of every velocity. That’s where the answer lies.”That’s where we come in. We’ve accessed that server, but it looks as if the data — unlike the latest radar-gun readings — is saying “not so fast.”The chart below displays the average offensive performance — as measured by run expectancy added per pitch — against four-seam fastballs1Pitch classifications and data come from Pitch Info. above and below 93 mph, broken down by batter age:The green “against high velocity” line is consistently lower than its orange counterpart, which tells us that faster pitches are generally harder to hit, regardless of the batter’s age. (No surprise there.) But the gap between the two lines stays constant as a batter gets older, suggesting that age doesn’t necessarily make it harder to catch up to fast pitches. If old hitters are at a greater disadvantage against gas, it’s not showing up here.Of course, there are other ways to test Sheehan’s hypothesis. We can also create an aging curve using the delta method, which measures the typical change in a player’s performance over time by grouping players of each age and isolating their performances in consecutive seasons. If rising pitch speeds are responsible for hitters’ declining earlier, we would expect to see the performance gap against faster and slower heaters grow as players get further from their physical peaks. (In this case, a negative number on the y-axis indicates that players got worse at hitting harder fastballs, relative to softer fastballs.)Instead of a widening gap, we again see essentially no change as a player passes out of his prime. Although we know that, on the whole, hitters get worse as they age, their declines don’t seem to be steeper against eliteheat.2The aging curves against fastballs above 95 and 97 mph, respectively, do show slight drop-offs, but they don’t come until a hitter’s late 30s, long after most bats begin to fade. The same is true of the 95-mph trend line even with sinkers and cutters included.We can even try to corroborate the theory in indirect ways. If aging batters were “cheating” against good fastballs, for instance, starting their swings early to mask delayed reactions, we would expect them to be more vulnerable to pitchers who are adept at changing speeds — yet hitters don’t decline any more quickly against pitchers with especially large speed separations between their fastballs and nonfastballs. Similarly, if veterans couldn’t catch up to good fastballs, we would expect pitchers to exploit that weakness by throwing more of them to older hitters than younger ones — but batters barely experience an uptick in the percentage of 93+ mph pitches they see over time.More anecdotally, many of baseball’s best fastball hitters aren’t exactly spring chickens. Last year’s 10 best hitters against fastballs topping 95 mph3Among players who saw at least 1,000 fastballs of any speed. had an average age of 31.2 and included Mark Teixeira (age 35), Jose Bautista (34) and Carlos Beltran (38); only 24-year-old Nolan Arenado checked in at or under the aforementioned peak age for response time.So why wouldn’t older hitters be burned most severely as pitchers turn up the temperature? Although slowing response speed probably contributes to age-related hitting declines, it likely affects performance against all pitches. (It’s not as if any major league offerings were easy to hit.) In addition, the same study that pegged peak response time at 24 noted that older competitors can compensate for a loss in response speed with strategies born of experience. For instance, older hitters could be better at anticipating fastballs, which would help them offset slowing bat speed. And while decrepitude eventually comes for all players, the ability to catch up to good fastballs may not be the first (or the worst) thing to go. Declines in durability, stamina and muscle mass may combine to claim careers before hard-throwing pitchers start to take a higher toll.Admittedly, we may also be missing something. It’s almost impossible to eliminate selection bias from aging studies in sports, because players who decline quickly disappear from the sample. In this case, though, we believe that bias would be slight, in part because we’re focusing not on overall performance against fastballs — which does a lot to determine whether a hitter’s career continues — but on the difference in performance against fastballs of certain speeds.It’s indisputable that hitters are aging less gracefully than they did two decades ago, so if we can’t blame better fastballs, we need another culprit. It could be that baseball’s anti-PED policies have (mostly) removed an unnatural advantage that was propping up older players, although that presumes the unprovable — that veterans were disproportionately using (and benefiting from) steroids and/or amphetamines before the bans. It could be that teams have gotten smarter about evaluating defense, which tends to decline quickly, or that year-round amateur play and improvements in professional player development have better prepared young players to displace their predecessors. (Or even that skyrocketing salaries have made it more common for players — cough, Adam LaRoche — to walk away before they’re forced out.)Or maybe our perspective is skewed by one anomalous era. Although the current percentage of wins above replacement4As calculated by Baseball-Reference. produced by hitters over 30 looks extremely low compared with its 1998 peak, it’s roughly in line with the same proportion from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, when the typical fastball was far slower:So, sorry, Joe: for better or worse, access to servers can’t confirm this appealing hypothesis. Some sports mysteries still resist the neat narrative, no matter how many stats we have on our side.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to make an appearance during the July match at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of TNSA different kind of football is set to come to Ohio Stadium this summer.An international exhibition match scheduled for July 27 at the ’Shoe between two of Europe’s premier clubs, Spain’s Real Madrid and French club Paris Saint-Germain, was officially announced Tuesday morning. The match, which is a part of the International Champions Cup, a soccer series that has been pairing together the world’s top clubs for summer friendlies since 2013, could bring some of the sport’s biggest names to Columbus, headlined by Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid. “We’re very excited to work with The Ohio State University to bring this match here,” said Kwame Bryan, the vice president of stadium partnerships for Relevant Sports, the New York-based firm that hosts the ICC, at a press conference Tuesday. “We’ve been working for countless months to bring a game here,” he said. Tickets for the match, which is set to be the first international soccer match ever to be played at Ohio Stadium, go on sale to the general public April 5 through Ticketmaster. Exclusive presale tickets are available beginning 10 a.m. on March 29. Fans can sign up for a chance to obtain presale tickets via the ICC’s website, but Bryan told The Lantern the OSU community — students, staff and faculty — will have access to them. Final ticket details are still being ironed out, Bryan said, though he added they will likely start at $35.“We hope there is a price point for everyone,” he said. The match is another extension of the university’s push in recent years to bring events to the ’Shoe beyond football games, OSU Vice President and Athletic Director Gene Smith said.To date, that has primarily meant concerts, but Smith said the soccer match allows the school — and Columbus — to showcase itself to the global audience that the sport has. “We feel very comfortable that that particular day, July 27, we’ll have an opportunity to showcase two of the greatest, most valuable teams in this world right here in the ’Shoe,” he said. Both Columbus Crew SC President Andy Loughnane and OSU men’s soccer coach John Bluem praised the match’s capacity to highlight Columbus’ passion for the world’s most popular sport.Loughnane said it is a “landmark match for the city of Columbus.” It will be the first professional soccer match in the ’Shoe since Sept. 30, 1998, when Crew SC played its final game there before moving to its own stadium for the 1999 season. A mere 10,966 fans were on hand for it. The number of fans anticipated for the July exhibition could dwarf that figure.Although Smith and Bryan were hesitant to make an attendance projection, both said they expect it to be more than 100,000. The stadium’s attendance record is 108,975, which was set on Nov. 21 when the Buckeyes played Michigan State. The largest crowd at a soccer game in America was also an ICC match. In that game, 109,318 fans packed in the University of Michigan’s stadium to watch Manchester United take on Real Madrid on Aug. 2, 2014.Smith laughed after being asked if the university was out to top its archrival. “We don’t look at it that way,” he said. “We’re not competing with anyone. Our focus is to make sure that these professionals — and these are the best of the best — have a quality experience. So we want make sure we have a packed house for them, regardless of where our number falls relative to anyone else in the world.” Real Madrid, according to Forbes, is the most valuable sports franchise in the world. Its roster is littered with elite talent, headlined by Ronaldo and James Rodriguez. The Royal Whites have captured the La Liga title 32 times, while also winning 10 European Cup competitions — the most of any club. PSG has won its league title each of the past three seasons and is currently on pace to take the crown again this year. The club is anchored by Thiago Silva and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, though the latter is rumored to be exploring transfer options. In addition to the match at Ohio Stadium, there are currently seven other ICC matches set to take place in the United States this summer. But for one day, the soccer world will turn its attention to Ohio’s capital city.“Soccer is the world’s sport … so on July 27, all eyes, literally around the world, will be tuned in to Columbus,” Loughnane said. “No matter what time a day it is in Europe, or elsewhere throughout the world, Columbus will be the focus.”
When Ohio State’s Tyler Moeller tore his left pectoral muscle in the Buckeyes’ win over Illinois on Oct. 2, it was hard to tell exactly what OSU lost: a defensive back or linebacker? The truth is, the Buckeyes lost a combination of the two. Moeller played the “star” position — a hybrid defensive back/linebacker who lines up over the slot receiver as the Buckeyes’ nickelback, or fifth defensive back, when teams present three- or four-receiver sets. “You’re called on to fill in on the run, be more physical and things like that, as other nickelbacks probably do a lot of covering,” said senior safety Jermale Hines, who started at the star position for OSU in 2008 and 2009. “A lot more blitzing and things like that, so you have to be tough.” The position is ideal for players like Moeller and Hines. Both players were recruited to OSU as undersized linebackers and were eventually converted to safeties. The star position lets the Buckeye defense effectively match up with opponents who use the spread offense. Should the opposing offense attempt a pass, the star has safety skills to drop back into coverage with a receiver. If the offense runs the ball, OSU has a third linebacker on the field. OSU coach Jim Tressel said the Buckeyes’ defense is designed to stop teams that run either spread or traditional offenses. “You have to be ready to go against the whole gamut,” Tressel said. “That’s why we try to give them as much of that whole gamut as we can.” The star also tends to blitz more often than a traditional nickelback would, evidenced by Moeller’s blindside sack and subsequent forced fumble on Marshall quarterback Brian Anderson in OSU’s season-opening win. With Moeller out for the season, the OSU coaching staff made true freshman Christian Bryant the first-string star until he was sidelined with a foot infection. Tressel said Bryant will miss another month. At 5-feet-9-inches and 178 pounds, Bryant is more of a traditional nickelback than either Moeller or Hines. However, his hard-hitting style and his high-school experience as safety make him a natural fit for the position. Hines said he welcomed the move back to the position he played for the previous two seasons. “I definitely embrace it,” Hines said. “I’m willing to do anything for the team. No matter what my role is, I’m willing to do it.”
Ohio State head women’s volleyball coach Geoff Carlston looks on afterhis team surrendered a point during their match with Purdue on Friday, Oct. 27 at St.John Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Purdue won the match 3-0. Credit: Jeff Helfrich |Former Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team is heading into its second series of the season Friday and Saturday after kicking off the season undefeated through three games. The squad will head to Oxford, Mississippi, to play Southern Mississippi and Ole Miss on Friday and Samford in the Rebel Invitational on Saturday. “It’s a really good tournament,” head coach Geoff Carlston said. “You’re going to get three really different looks, three styles and three coaches who know what they’re doing. We won’t be in Saint John’s, so embracing that trip is something we’ve talked a lot about. We’re excited.”After the opening weekend, Southern Miss holds a 3-0 record, with Ole Miss and Samford at 2-1.Ohio State sophomore middle blocker Lauren Witte, was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday. Witte hit .636 during opening season and scored 48 points, 37 kills and 12 blocks with only one error, a number that Carlston deemed “unheard of.”“Every team was worried about her,” Carlston said. “They were focused on stopping her and she still was able to be effective. When everyone knows that it’s coming and you can still play with the maturity that she played with; I think that’s the most impressive thing. Witte said she hopes to focus on better exemplifying all of these traits throughout the season. “Being a sophomore, I’ve been here for a year and know how the team and the Big Ten works,” Witte said. “At this point, I think it’s most important for me to have a constant core presence, leadership and skill-wise, that other teams are going to notice and worry about.”The team values their “culture playbook,” a set of rules and beliefs that they are all fully behind, with Witte crediting it for her mindset this season.“‘Trust the process’ is one of my favorites,” Witte said. “It’s easy to see the end goal. Obviously we want to win a national championship, but we have to realize that each practice is progressive and if we are getting better each day small bit by small bit, in the end it will pay off.”Having just come out of the Buckeyes’ first series, there is time and room for improvement. Carlston said he aims to focus on playing around with the rotations more, and building more aggressive serving.Witte and Carlston both look forward to the ongoing transition of the four freshmen on the team, a process that they both noted has been smooth and enjoyable so far. The team will face Southern Miss on Friday at 1 p.m., Ole Miss on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Samford on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
France failed to beat the USA in their last preparation game before the upcoming World Cup and Didier Deschamps claimed that he always expects more from his team but this performance wasn’t entirely bad.The France national team coach claimed that his team were a bit tired after a week of hard work and that was the reason that they failed to convert some of the promising chances into a shot on goal.Deschamps spoke about his side’s performance as he said, according to ligue1.com:Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group H George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group H is being controlled by France and Turkey, but Iceland is still in with a shout.Reigning world champions France ran…“I always expect better. But tonight we lacked a bit of spring in our step as we have been working very hard all week. Even though we had a lot of chances, we didn’t get many efforts on target.”“We lacked a bit of precision and mobility. I won’t say it pleases me but it’s part of the preparation process. These three preparation matches (against Ireland, Italy and the USA) gave us a chance to see some different things from our side.”
Manchester City duo of Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez have returned to training with the club, according to the club’s official website.Kyle Walker returned to training after an extended break due to participation at the just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia.Riyad Mahrez who signed from Leicester City on a club-record fee of £60million picked up a knock in their last friendly against Bayern Munich which ended 3-2 in favor of the Citizens. The Algerian forward has missed training so far this week but has joined his teammates once again as they prepare for Sunday’s Community Shield clash against Chelsea at Wembley.Guardiola clears up Mahrez drug-testing confusion Manuel R. Medina – August 10, 2019 The Manchester City manager has explained what happened to Riyad Mahrez during his last international duty as he took some medication.Also pictured in training was club captain Vincent Kompany. The Belgian defender is also back from extended holiday after helping his national team finish third at this summer’s World Cup.Kompany missed the first two games of the tournament due to injury but feature in the remaining four matches as Belgium defeated England 2-0 in the third place playoff to finish as second runners-up.Vincent Kompany will be hoping to stay fit this season as Pep Guardiola’s men look to become the first team to successfully defend the Premier League crown since Manchester United in 2009. The Citizens begin their title defence at the Emirates against Arsenal on August 12.