Chelsea line-up v Barcelona: Striker set for first start?

first_imgOn Tuesday night, while many football fans in England are hitting the hay, Chelsea will be kicking off their final pre-season match before Sunday’s Community Shield against Arsenal.At 1am the Blues have the small matter of Barcelona at the FedEx Field in Washington DC to contend with.Jose Mourinho, perhaps sagely after their humbling 4-2 defeat to New York Red Bulls, has claimed neither the tactics or the result matters – but it will be important for the fitness of his players.So who will Mourinho choose for his starting XI against the Spanish and European champions? talkSPORT takes a look.A possible Chelsea team to face Barcelona:GoalkeeperHaving come on as a half-time substitute for new signing Asmir Begovic against Paris Saint-Germain, it’s likely Thibaut Courtois will start against Barcelona. He’ll be full of confidence too after he saved a penalty in the shoot-out and rattled home the winning spot-kick.DefenceCesar Azpilicueta should retain his spot at left-back, and the same goes for Branislav Ivanovic, while in the middle, Mourinho could pair Kurt Zouma and Gary Cahill together after John Terry played the full match against PSG.MidfieldNemanja Matic is likely to start again but will most likely be partnered by  Ramires, with Oscar just ahead of the duo, allowing Cesc Fabregas and Mikel to join the fray later in the game.On the left, Eden Hazard should start, while Willian may play from the first whistle after coming on as a substitute in the last match.StrikerRadamel Falcao came on for Diego Costa as a late substitute in their last match and could start but it seems likely Mourinho will once again opt to play his Spain international, allowing the Colombian more time to adapt.How do you think Chelsea will line up? Let us know by commenting below… 1 Chelsea striker Diego Costa in action last_img read more

Councillor calls on embattled John O’Donnell to resign

first_imgA Donegal county councillor has called on embattled fellow councillor John O’Donnell to resign.The Standards in Public Office today found that the Kilmacrennan contravened ethics legislation after he appeared on an RTE Investigates programme.The programme was fronted by a fake reporter who pretended to be working for an energy company seeking political lobbying for a windfarm to be placed in Donegal. Now Cllr Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig says the finding by SIPO means that Cllr O’Donnell must go.He said “The report from Standards in Public Office today finding that John O’Donnell contravened Ethics legislation by seeking to be paid by an undercover reporter confirms what the public knew all along.“Also it vindicates the position I took at the time calling on O’Donnell to resign.“I wonder how those Cllrs who blocked us at the time from removing him from positions of influence will stand over their vote now? “I call again on Cllr. O’Donnell to do the decent thing and resign immediately.”Councillor calls on embattled John O’Donnell to resign was last modified: March 26th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Has Biomimetics Surpassed Biology?

first_imgAn article on Science Daily announced an invention that is “Better Than the Human Eye: Tiny Camera With Adjustable Zoom Could Aid Endoscopic Imaging, Robotics, Night Vision.”  While true that human eyes do not have zoom lenses, how does the comparison hold up?    The invention both imitates and surpasses human vision in some respects: “Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are the first to develop a curvilinear camera, much like the human eye, with the significant feature of a zoom capability, unlike the human eye.”  They even call it an “eyeball camera.”  PhysOrg shows a picture of the device, which “has a 3.5x optical zoom, takes sharp images and is only the size of a nickel.”    Previous research by this team, who had “drawn inspiration from animals,” had shown the optical benefits of curved photodetector arrays (08/07/2008).  This time they have upped the ante by controlling the curvature with hydraulics.  Both the simple lens and the photodetector array can have their curvature adjusted by water pressure, allowing for variable zoom.  “We were inspired by the human eye, but we wanted to go beyond the human eye,” said Yonggang Huang at Northwestern.  “Our goal was to develop something simple that can zoom and capture good images, and we’ve achieved that.”    Does the original paper boast about this being an improvement over the eyeball?  In PNAS,1 Jung et al began by saying, “Mammalian eyes provide the biological inspiration for hemispherical cameras, where Petzval-matched curvature in the photodetector array can dramatically simplify lens design without degrading the field of view, focal area, illumination uniformity, or image quality.”  Camera makers have already gone beyond nature by inventing zoom lenses: “Interestingly, biology and evolution2 do not provide guides for achieving the sort of large-range, adjustable zoom capabilities that are widely available in man-made cameras.”    The authors took note of two cases in biology where animals have a kind of binary zoom: (1) “in avian vision, where shallow pits in the retina lead to images with two fixed levels of zoom (50% high magnification in the center of the center of the field of view),” and (2) “imaging properties occur, but in an irreversible fashion, during metamorphosis in amphibian vision to accommodate transitions from aquatic to terrestrial environments.”  (Recall a related capability in cormorant eyes, 05/24/2004).  The “eyeball camera,” however, unlike animal eyes, would be capable of continuous zoom.    The new invention is admittedly simple.  Its resolution is only 16 x 16 pixels, compared to the human retina’s resolution of 126 megapixels (100 million rods 07/13/2001 and 6-7 million cones).  So as interesting as their device is, there is a huge disparity between what they achieved and what we take for granted with human vision (by almost six orders of magnitude in resolution and probably a similar amount in light-gathering power).  It is, however, an important proof of concept: “Although the fill factor and total pixel count in the reported designs are moderate, there is nothing fundamental about the process that prevents significant improvements,” they concluded.  The concepts they have demonstrated in this prototype “might be useful to explore.”1.  Jung et al, “Dynamically tunable hemispherical electronic eye camera system with adjustable zoom capability,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print January 18, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015440108.2.  This was the only mention of evolution in the paper.More power to this team and to all inventors inspired by biology.  Even if they succeed in improving on the eye some day, they will have supported intelligent design through and through.  Reverse engineering pays a compliment to the designer of what is being imitated.  In spite of their passing reference to evolution, their work has absolutely nothing to do with Darwin – you know, the old storyteller who got cold shudders thinking of the design of the human eye – and that was without knowing about its ideal optics (05/09/2002), waveguides (05/07/2010), clean-up crews (08/28/2003), image processing (05/22/2003), and much, much more.  “Biology and evolution do not provide guides,” they said.  Of course not; evolution is unguided.  It would be the blind leading the blind, so ditch the thought.    Human ingenuity can and does exceed biology all the time.  No animals explore space, or resolve distant quasars, or image the molecular motors in their own cells with X-ray diffraction.  God gave humans the minds and hands to expand their biological capabilities.  If scientists can invent eyeball-mimic cameras with zoom lenses, all for the good.  If they can get them to take high-def 3-D video at 126 megapixel resolution, repair themselves, reproduce themselves and run on potatoes, then we might consider them starting to come a little closer to a few of the engineering specs of the One who made “the seeing eye” (Proverbs 20:12).  Even such devices, though, would be useless without an even more complex brain to interpret them and to understand what it is they are seeing.  Let’s not be numbered among those who, having eyes, do not see (Mark 8:18).(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Crowdflower and Skout: How Labor on Demand is a Better Moderator

first_imgIt looks like the startup trends of 2009 are getting the resources they need to become lucrative businesses in 2010. Labor on demand provider Crowdflower closed a $5 million dollar Series A this morning from Trinity Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. ReadWriteWeb named the elastic workforce phenomenon a major trend in 2009 and we caught up with one of Crowdflower’s happy customers to see how the elastic workforce is helping startups thrive. Companies like Crowdflower save startups money by offering on-call labor at a fraction of the cost of on-site or contract workers. Tasks generally include data collection, content moderation and product grouping. Crowdflower’s crowning jewel is that employers only pay for tasks if they’ve been completed at a standard quality level. This quality assurance, coupled with the Crowdflower’s ability to help companies scale with its 125,000 member workforce, have allowed it to grow its business by 750% in the last year. Skout CEO Christian Wiklund recently transformed his company from a location-based social network to a location-based dating community. While many perceive labor on demand as a low quality work, Wiklund explains otherwise. “When we first received dating profile photos, we had two interns looking at grids of 100 photos at a time and they were still slow and couldn’t keep up with the volume. We didn’t want our users waiting 48 hours for content moderation. Crowdflower has three people look at every job and it’s a maximum of ten minutes for content review.” 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#startups Related Posts dana oshiro Since moving content review to the cloud, Wiklund has saved 20% on staffing and is considering Crowdflower for profile verification and spam moderation. Says Wiklund, “One of the advantages of cloud services is that you have enough workers 24/7. If someone calls in sick or doesn’t want to work that day, there’s always someone to get the job done. I’m not in the business of content moderation, I want to focus on my core content. Crowdflower does a great job of allowing you to do that.”To inspect Crowdflower’s work visit or to try the service visit Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Forging Ties Between Pre-Design and Passivhaus

first_imgFab-Homes, a design firm based in Vancouver, recently rolled out a series of design options for single-family homes that incorporate Passivhaus concepts and performance to varying degrees, depending on the size of the construction budget.Contemporary styling prevails in each of Fab-Homes’ nine design packages and, even though clients can modify plans to add interior space and extra features, most of these homes are, by green standards, appropriately compact. The smallest, called the Olympia I, offers 1,400 sq. ft., while an expanded version of that design, the Olympia II, features a conditioned basement and a total of 2,400 sq. ft. The remaining designs deliver an average of 1,700 sq. ft.Pricing and contractorsCompany director Alex Maurer told GBA that a client may work with one of Fab-Homes’ builder partners in the U.S. or Canada, or with a contractor of the client’s choice. In the latter case, he says, “we would prefer working closely with the client’s contractor to ensure proper execution.”Although the firm offers custom-design services, pricing for the fixed-design packages ranges from $8,000 to $16,000. Construction costs start at about $150 per square foot, depending on the location, builder fees, and energy efficiency goals. In a recent press release, Maurer points out that “for us, to achieve the German Passive House standard for every home is a goal, but not a requirement.” Options include a heat recovery ventilation system, triple-glazed windows, a rainwater harvesting and grey-water recycling system, solar power, and solar hot water. Each house is designed to accommodate PV and ground-source heat pump installations.Maurer said that while Fab-Homes already has a few builder partners in various locations throughout the U.S., the company is working on extending its network. Any builder interested, he said, should contact the company. Contact information and background on the design options are available on the Fab-Homes website: read more

Ajax risk forcing Kluivert & Co. out of Amsterdam

first_imgTransfers Kluivert is right! Ajax risk forcing star players away with stubborn policy Peter McVitie 16:00 5/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Justin Kluivert Ajax 2017-18 Getty Images Transfers Ajax Manchester United Barcelona Eredivisie Opinion The 19-year-old has hit out at the club’s chiefs Edwin van der Sar and Marc Overmars, pointing out some real issues facing the Eredivisie outfit When Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar was asked about the delay in Justin Kluivert’s contract extension on Dutch television earlier this month, he picked a familiar target to blame: Mino Raiola.”I think his agent is pushing him towards the exit,” he said on Ziggo Sport ’s talkshow ‘Rondo’. “We’ve had talks with Kluivert about extending his contract. It’s often not the player, because he is a real Ajax boy. We would really like to keep him, but you have to deal with agents.”A controversial figure, Raiola is known for stirring up disputes between players and clubs to extract either a lucrative contract or a big move for his clients, pocketing a hefty sum along the way. With the pressure on Ajax to keep one of the brightest prospects of a talented group, the chief executive saw the ideal straw man to blame for the hold up and at the same time suggest the issue was really down to a single factor: money. Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash 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 Concerns over Kluivert’s future had been building for some time as he approaches the final year of his contract. The blossoming winger has remained ambiguous all season, proudly boasting about the interest from Europe’s top sides he has already attracted while stressing he is in no rush to leave.The continued mystery over his future began to make some nervous, though, as rumours of interest from Manchester United, Tottenham and most recently Manchester City have circulated and the tussle has predictably caused a stir among fans, with some calling Kluivert greedy and insulting his family.But Van der Sar’s diversion towards Raiola will not mask the real problem they have in persuading Kluivert. A tense, tough campaign for last year’s Europa League finalists has left them with a wealth of issues to address in the summer, but the ex-Manchester United star and director of player policy Marc Overmars’ track record raises concerns about the direction taken by those at the top.Taking a stance against the head honchos, Kluivert turned Van der Sar’s argument about Raiola around and went on a verbal attack  of his own.“Ajax want me to extend my contract so that they can ask for more money [when they sell],” he told Dutch newspaper Volkskrant . “I was more or less told that I had to sign or else I had to leave… I feel pressured. The most important thing for Ajax is that I extend my contract. Then it’s not about football, but about money.”I want to be the best in the world. Look what’s happening around me, with other players who want to leave or are leaving. It will soon be difficult to get through the preliminary round of the Champions League, and competing at the highest level is important.”Ajax change coaches too easily. They don’t really get a chance. You can see our coach [Erik ten Hag] is not really comfortable. You also saw that with Marcel Keizer before him. That’s what the boys feel. You can see how coaches behave, how they express themselves, even in the press. It feels unstable. We are not really a team. There are different opinions about everything. One time you play one way, then another coach comes in and you play another way. That’s difficult. We never really knew what we wanted from this season.”He also feels burned by the way they handled Tottenham’s attempts to sign him last year , saying they treated his future “like a game” and that the top men “do what they want”.To demand he sign out of loyalty so Ajax can regain money on their investment is to ask more than he owes them. In upping his asking price, Kluivert risks cutting off some options and his ambition to reach the pinnacle of his profession means he must seriously consider where he can progress properly. The likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, David Neres and Donny van de Beek may find themselves wondering the same.Ajax have a strong enough squad to paint a pretty picture for the future, but things have only deteriorated over the last year. Structural issues caused a rift between former boss Peter Bosz and the hierarchy of Van der Sar, Overmars and Dennis Bergkamp. Although Van der Sar stood firm and refused Bosz’s request of having control over his background staff and let him go, the error was acknowledged in a sense months later when successor Marcel Keizer was sacked along with the key coaching staff Bosz had been stuck with, including Bergkamp.By then, Ajax were already behind PSV in the league and had crashed out of both European competitions at the first hurdle, leaving new coach Erik ten Hag with a tough job. Their title challenge ended feebly as they collapsed in a 3-0 defeat to PSV that saw the Eindhoven side win it for the third time in four years.GFX Info Justin Kluivert Ajax quoteIt all raises further questions about the leadership of Van der Sar and Overmars, whose reputations have been battered at times amid the public soap operas they constantly stumble into. With a very talented generation on their hands and Europe’s top sides circling, players are justified in asking if it is the right environment for them in an important stage of their development.Indeed, Kluivert is only the latest player to take direct aim at the decision makers.Goalkeeper Andre Onana, 22, went all out with his criticism after the loss to PSV, saying: “That this happens is not only the fault of the manager, because I know the media will spread negativity about him. Overmars and Van der Sar are equally responsible for making us play shit. It’s the fault of everyone at Ajax, not just that of Ten Hag.”I can stay and try to be champion next season, but if something better comes I’ll be away. I think it’s important to look at my own career, I’m ready for my next step with a new challenge.”Hakim Ziyech, 25, has already made clear he wants to leave after two years with the capital side. Easily the best player in the league in recent seasons, he has grown exasperated by their inconsistency and said he feels he has nothing left to learn in Netherlands. His departure will be a huge one for Ajax that will drum up memories of the hole left by Christian Eriksen’s move that went unfilled until Ziyech’s arrival three years later.Perhaps most worrying has been the apparent change in 18-year-old sensation Matthijs de Ligt, who recently signed a new contract but has, according to De Telegraaf , expressed his desire to leave amid the team’s decline. Ajax also have to deal with interest from Barcelona , Manchester United and Tottenham.Midfield wizard Frenkie de Jong is also said to be considering his options after his first full season of Eredivisie football as Barcelona eye him up, too. The 20-year-old is said to be willing to wait another year before fleeing, but that will hardly offer much relief amid the growing uncertainty.Besides Kluivert, Ziyech and Onana, Ajax are unlikely to let their best prospects go this summer, but the implications for the void between players and the board stretch beyond that.Leaving the Eredivisie at a young age is a risk for any player, so it says a lot about the confusion over the direction Ajax are heading in that such promising ones fear Amsterdam may not be the best place for them.If Van der Sar and Overmars don’t make clear their plan to the protagonists of a potentially glorious era, they might end up chasing them away. Try as he might, Van der Sar can hardly blame Raiola for all of it.last_img read more