Sony looks to play in download services

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TOKYO – Sony may soon compete directly with Apple and its popular iPods and iTunes, producing its own movie-download service and products, company officials said Tuesday. “Music and video downloading has been available through networks, and we are looking into the area as a possible business,” said Sony spokesman Shigenori Yoshida. The Japanese pioneer of personal music players fell behind Apple Inc. and its market-leading iPod. It also got a late start on flat-panel TVs, forcing Sony Corp. to cut jobs, shut plants and shed underperforming divisions under the guidance of Chief Executive Howard Stringer, who took over in 2005. Last week, Sony revealed a new Walkman video player that comes with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Player 11, capable of managing digital libraries in the U.S. and Europe. The LCD-mounted players, which will also be compatible with MPEG-4 encoded video and AVC, are already available in Japan.last_img read more

South Africa aims high for Glasgow 2015

first_img9 July 2015The South African swimming team have their eye on the prize at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships, starting on Monday, 13 July in Glasgow, Scotland.South African world champion, 24-year-old Kevin Paul, is defending his title in the men’s breaststroke during the tournament. Paul holds that it’s all about having confidence in your preparation and team.“Confidence is the biggest building block to success,” he said. “I’ve trusted my coaches and the process up until now. A good performance in Glasgow will only confirm that we are on track.”Team workPaul has nothing but praise for his teammates. “We have a very motivated squad this year with a mix of guys and girls that have competed on the international stage before.” Paul said. “There are a few that will be competing in their first World Championships as well.”He said it is a great opportunity for the younger generation to gain this sort of an experience at an international level to continue South Africa’s proud Paralympic legacy.From Glasgow to Rio de JaneiroFor the athletes participating in Glasgow, it is the last hurdle to next year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Paul sees this competition as the final big step before Rio next year, which he says is “the ultimate goal”.“We have had a solid year of training and have been working on a lot of new things since I made the move to a new squad and coach at the beginning of last year,” he explained. His coaches, Graham Hill and Dellon Dannhouser, also trained another of South Africa’s medal-winning swimmers, Chad le Clos, who won gold in the 2012 Olympics.This is the third time Paul is competing in the World Championships.“I feel that anyone that makes the final will have a good chance of putting together a solid performance,” he observed. “But training in an environment with a strong group of able-bodied swimmers has matured me as a swimmer and I’m looking forward to seeing the result in Glasgow.”About the competitionThere will be over 580 athletes from 70 countries competing in the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. This is the seventh edition of the competition.South Africa hosted the event in Durban in 2006. At the end of that competition – 549 athletes from 49 countries took part – Great Britain topped the medals tally with 52.Source: International Paralympic Committeelast_img read more

South African women break coding gender stereotypes

first_imgSeveral South African women have made it their mission to change the perception that the tech industry is a place only for men. They started initiatives to teach girls about coding and inspire them to become innovators.Thembiso Magajana, founder of Social Coding, says if you teach one girl to code she will teach 22 more because women are, by nature, change agents. “By doing so, we’ll solidify the economy of our nation for years to come.” (Images supplied)Melissa JavanHer journey to teach girls about computer programming languages started with four girls, one laptop and a whole lot of faith, said Thembiso Magajana, who founded Social Coding ZA in May 2016.Magajana started this initiative with the daughters of her older friends. “I’d teach them Scratch 2.0 on the verandah and sometimes it would take the entire day to teach them because we only had one laptop between us.” Scratch is a free educational programming language developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group.“Those times were frustrating because we didn’t have wifi, so when we ran out of data, we’d be stuck and could not continue learning because a lot of the tools I used to teach them were online.“One Saturday, one of the girls was so frustrated with having to wait till I was done teaching one girl with the laptop before I got to her, that she decided she’d ‘build’ a computer interface using cardboard and magazine cut outs,” explained Magajana, who has an accounting background.“That was the proudest moment of my life because it showed that they were learning how to make the best out of exhausted resources. That’s when I knew that innovation was something that could be taught.”Magajana’s initiative, Social Coding, is one of several in the country that focuses on teaching girls computer programming. Together, they upend the stereotype that tech is for geeky boys, encouraging girls to get into the IT industry.According to online news platform MyBroadband, software developers have been in high demand for the past year. Top of CareerJunction’s “most wanted skills” list were developers in the programming languages Java, C#, and .Net.MyBroadband also reported that Philip Joubert, co-founder of OfferZen, which specialises in matching developers with companies, said there were significant skills shortages for languages such as Ruby, Go and Scala.“We’ve also seen that companies are struggling to find front-end developers. Front-end development has become a much more important aspect of software development in the past few years,” Joubert told MyBroadband.“Frameworks such as React and Angular allow you to build interfaces which weren’t possible before, and companies are eager to find developers who can do that. The shortage is probably also linked to the fact that most universities and colleges focus on back-end technologies.”Melissa Javan spoke to Magajana and several other women who have set up coding initiatives for girls in South Africa.Social CodingSocial Coding was at the premiere of the movie, Hidden Figures. Founder Thembiso Magajana says the free screening for 118 girls is a partnership between Social Coding and Cinema Nouveau in Brooklyn. “We had some of our girls in the programme speak to the audience about how coding has changed their lives.” Magajana (middle) is pictured with two Social Coding volunteers, Oria Kopa (left) and Kele Shole (right).Melissa Javan: Why did you start Social Coding?Thembiso Magajana: I started this for my niece, Leano (now seven years old). I wanted her to have a safe place to nurture her interest in technology and entrepreneurship. Three months into running Social Coding, I realised that this was bigger than just my niece and our backyard. I wanted every young girl to have this space – an incubator that encouraged and grew their curiosity.MJ: What does Social Coding do?TM: Our technical workshops cover six modules such as software development fundamentals, design thinking, business models and fundraising over the course of the year. Social Coding workshops are designed to teach girls to be initiators, conceptualists, shapers and drivers of innovative and strategic problem-solving.MJ: How old are the girls who are part of your initiative?TM: We generally have girls between 14 and 18 years old but we have one who is eight years old. I believe we can go even younger.MJ: Where do they come from?TM: Mostly Gauteng — we work with girls from the Pretoria CBD and Mamelodi. We’re looking into expanding into Johannesburg next year.MJ: How do you explain to young girls that coding is cool or important?TM: In every introductory workshop we emphasise the importance of being at the forefront of real change and what their role is. Even if not all of them end up as computer engineers, we encourage them, giving them the space, tools and equal chance to create innovative solutions that will have a significant impact on people’s lives.GirlCode ZAZandile Keebine and two of her friends, Jeanette Theu and Tinyiko Simbine, all work at tech companies. Speaking on a GirlCode ZA podcast, Keebine said she had been to many hackathons where she was either the only female or one of a few to attend. This prompted her to approach her employer to organise a women-only hackathon. GirlCode ZA was born in 2014. It was registered as a nonprofit organisation in 2015, and hosts the GirlCode Hackathon annually.Its mission, according to its website, is to create a network of women who are highly skilled in computer literacy, coding and design, and who can leverage those skills to develop innovative and sustainable solutions in their communities.Girl Code ZA is (from left) Jeanette Theu, Tinyiko Simbine and Zandile Keebine. (Images supplied)Melissa Javan: How did you grow a network of mentors that is now available for women who want to go into the tech industry?Zandile Keebine: We realised that there were, in fact, a lot of women in tech and that the underlining issue was visibility. We provide a platform where women who are already in the space can volunteer their time and knowledge.MJ: You said in a radio interview that it was vital for people to learn a programming language. Why?ZK: It is an undeniable fact that programming is the language of the future and if you want to be part of the economy then it is important to have the right skills that will allow you to be employable.MJ: How do you provide opportunities for women?ZK: Besides workshops, we have an annual hackathon at which women and girls can showcase their coding skills and get job or internship opportunities from our sponsors. With the high unemployment rate it is important for women to realise that they need to up-skill themselves and put their current skills into practice. This is why we have volunteering opportunities for any women whether they are in tech or not.MJ: What can you tell us about your workshops?ZK: The workshop series is designed to offer participants the opportunity to improve their craft before competing in the hackathon later in the year. The idea to introduce workshops was conceived following feedback from participants in previous years. We know that women and girls enter the GirlCode Hackathon for fun, but we also know they do so to improve their skills. So we wanted to offer them more opportunities to do so earlier in the process.The workshops started in February 2017; various corporate sponsors in and around Johannesburg have run half-day workshops on a variety of topics such as HTML and CSS, Design Thinking, WordPress, Business Model Canvas. The topics were carefully designed to give participants the best chance to compete and win at the Hackathon 2017 in August.Besides holding the annual GirlCode Hackathon, Girl Code ZA gives computer literacy courses and has a GirlCoder Accelerated Learning Programme, which teaches students to become full stack ASP.NET developers.MJ: What is a hackathon?ZK: A hackathon is a competition where you have 48 hours or less to build a working prototype of a web or mobile app — maybe even hardware if you are driven to accept that challenge. While it sounds impossible, it’s not.MJ: How many women have taken part so far in these hackathons?ZK: When we first started the hackathon, there were about 17 females. As the years went by, we saw an increase in the number of participants and over the past three years we’ve had just more than 100 females from beginners to advanced developers.MJ: From what age are these women who you help?ZK: We have been focusing on university students and recent graduates. In the upcoming years we plan on expanding to reach girls in high school, from as young as 13.MJ: Are there free tools or websites available for anyone who is interested in learning a programming language?ZK: There are a lot of free online websites such as www.w3schools.com where anyone can start learning. Also, the community is bigger than just GirlCode; there are other initiatives such as www.geekulcha.co.za that offer opportunities for anyone keen to learn programming.Africa Teen GeeksLindiwe Matlali started Africa Teen Geeks after winning a grant of $35,000 (R462,007) from Google Rise. This enabled her to hold a Computer Science Week and start a school programme whereby teachers were trained so they could introduce coding into their schools, she said on the Girl Code ZA blog.Africa Teen Geeks was founded in May 2014, and since then has reached more than 38,000 children. Matlali said the initiative had partnered with Unisa to enable children from disadvantaged communities without computer access to also have an opportunity to learn to code.Lindiwe Matlali, named Innov8tiv’s Top 50 Visionary Women in #Tech To Watch in 2017, is the founder of Africa Teen Geeks. She is pictured with Ndaba Mandela, an ambassador for Africa Teen Geeks. (Images supplied)Melissa Javan: What does Africa Teen Geeks do?Lindiwe Matlali: We teach children aged from five to 18 how to code. We also train teachers from disadvantaged schools so they can teach coding in their schools. There are township schools with donated computer labs that are sitting as white elephants because of a lack of qualified teachers.MJ: Children from what ages benefit from your initiative?LM: We teach children from Grade 1 to matric (grade 12).MJ: Where are they from?LM: Most of our students are from townships.MJ: How do you explain to children that coding is important?LM: We are motivating them to be creators of technologies and not just consumers. Our focus is to raise their aspirations to not only be content about knowing how to use technology, but to create it.Lindiwe Matlali has a BCom in economics and a statistics qualification. “The fact that only 5% of schools teach IT and also only from Grade 10 and in mainly model C schools, led me to start Africa Teen Geeks,” she says. Her intiativeinitiative exposes disadvantaged children to computer science.MJ: Why is it important to be a creator or innovator?LM: South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. In fact, according to Statistics South Africa, 58% of unemployed people are aged between 15 and 34. This means that youth stand the highest risk of being unemployed. If they are innovative they will not join the unemployment lines and will create employment for themselves and their communities. We want to inspire a generation that doesn’t aspire to be employed but rather to be game changers and trailblazers.MJ: You said on Girl Code ZA that parents often taught their children that coding was for boys, not girls. How do you address this and other negative stereotypes?LM: We have programmes that remove that masculinity of coding. We focus on highlighting female role models who have created technology solutions.MJ: You’ve held hackathon events for children — how do they work?LM: A hackathon is a 48-hour event at which the children create a working prototype of the challenge. This month, the hackathon is on UNODC, the Education for Justice initiative. The children will create apps, games or interactive platforms to solve crime.MJ: On Power FM radio you said that Python was an easier language to learn. Where is this available? Can anyone access it?LM: Python is easier to learn because it uses plain language. Anyone can learn and can access the curriculum on the Python website python.org/about/gettingstarted/.MJ: Are there any there any free tools available online or offline to start learning about programming?LM: There are many free tools available from code.org, Scratch.com for kids and for adults at coursera.org, edx.org and the Khan Academy, to name a few. These are all free tools one can use to learn how to code.We have already created a platform called Knit2Code, on which we teach young girls Python using knitting. They learn to write a Python code for the South Africa flag and a scarf. This is what we call computing without a computer to remove the barriers for disadvantaged children who do not have access to a computer or the internet.Sources: MyBroadband, Girl Code ZA, African Teen Geeks, and Social Coding.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Survey Finds Local Marketing Dollars Go To Facebook Places Over Foursquare, Groupon

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Location#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting When Facebook Places launched last summer, one of the first questions (other than “how will this impact my privacy?”) was “How will this impact other location-based startups?” While Foursquare was gaining tractions and users, some questioned if Facebook’s entry into location would serve to squash it.Foursquare has hardly been squashed. The startup ended 2010 with over 380 million check-ins and now boasts over 6 million users. But a new survey from MerchantCircle suggests that while users may be flocking to Foursquare, businesses’ marketing dollars are going elsewhere.According to the 8,000 local business owners that participated in MerchantCircle’s quarterly Merchant Confidence Index, Facebook and Google are still the leaders when it comes to online marketing efforts. Respondents to the latest survey indicate that 32% are using Facebook Places to promote their businesses, with 12% planning to do so in the coming months. That compares to 8.7% who use Foursquare, with 7.6% planning to add it to their marketing repertoire soon.Behind Foursquare in the survey is Groupon, with 6.6% of local merchants saying they’d offered a “daily deal.” But 13% of those surveyed say they plan to do so, an indication that there is a demand for group-buying opportunities. Interestingly, 14.3% of respondents said they’d never heard of Groupon, while 27.6% said they’d never heard of Foursquare; 26.9% said they’d never heard of Groupon’s competitor Living Social and 11% said they’d never heard of Facebook Places. Before you draw any conclusions about Super Bowl ads, the survey ran from Jan. 22 through Feb. 3, narrowly missing the Groupon advertising gaffe. According to the survey, about 72% of local businesses say they’ll spend less than $5,000 a year on these marketing efforts, with 34% spending less than $1,000. audrey watters Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Team India safe under leadership of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli: KL Rahul to India Today

first_imgSolid, flamboyant, secure, explosive. It’s hard to find a batsman who has all of those qualities & more. But these adjectives fall short when describing India’s new run machine KL Rahul. While he was as solid as ‘the Wall’ in the Test series, Rahul left everyone in awe with his maiden T20 ton in Florida.In his first exclusive interview post the Tour against West Indies, we asked KL Rahul which of the terms, either ‘Test specialist’ or ‘T20 specialist’ suits him best.”I think the media loves to brand players as soon as they get one or two good knocks. I think it is still early to be calling me a specialist in any of the formats. I am very new in international cricket & currently enjoying myself” says Rahul, who had just finished a training session at the NCA.INDIA WILL BE NO.1 in TESTS AGAINRahul was one of India’s lead batsmen in the Test series, third best run-scorer behind skipper Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane but the 24-year-old played a match less than the duo. His exploits helped India reach the No. 1 spot only for rain to play spoilsport. But India’s new run-machine adds that it’s only a matter of time before the team make the No.1 ranking their own, a ranking which has been the mission of skipper Virat Kohli.”There is no doubt in our heads that we are going to be no.1 very soon, it is just about how long we can stay in that position. With 13 or more Test matches coming our way in the next six months and everything being at home we are very confident that we will be the number one team for a very long time. The next 6-8 months give us a great challenge & opportunity to develop as a good strong young team and for individuals to go out there and challenge themselves, get more runs and do the job for the team,” a confident Rahul said.advertisementIn West Indies, the Mangalore lad smashed a ton in his very first innings of the series & scored at an average close to 80. So the Caribbean must be one of his favourite touring destinations? “I guess (laughs). Look we went there to do a job which was to win the Test series firstly. We went in with a very clear mind and a very fearless attitude. We wanted to go out there and play some aggressive cricket”, he added.’TEAM COMES FIRST’Terms like ‘the new Wall’ or ‘the new Virat’ were used in the media after his exploits with the bat and it wasn’t wrong. He has the patience, poise & the hunger which is rare in a batsman so new to the pressure of international cricket. However opportunities were not exactly served on a plate to him. Rahul had to wait for his chance. Despite a good show in the warm-up matches where he scored two half-centuries, he was still not in the playing XI for the 1st Test. However once he got the nod, Rahul ensured that he remained the No.1 choice for the remainder of the series.”When I got a chance in Jamaica I knew I had to make the most of it. It was unfortunate that (Murali) Vijay got hit on the hand & had to miss the Test but I wanted to grab the opportunity with both hands. I was batting well and I got a couple of fifties in the practice games and I was hitting the ball well in the nets. I just wanted to go out there and play my game and keep things simple and do the job for my team. We knew if we win that Test we would be sitting comfortably in the series. It was very important for me to go out there and score some runs so we could post a big target and bowl them out again to win the Test match. So I was thinking on those lines more than thinking about my personal score. I think that made it comfortable for me to go out there and post a big score. I tried to do whatever I could and when the chance came I obviously made the most of it”, he explained.SIMPLE PREPARATIONSHe looked at home at the pitches in the Caribbean, but to prepare for it, he only had a week-long training camp at the NCA with the rest of the team & under the watchful eyes of new coach Anil Kumble.advertisement”Not much, the preparations were very simple man”, he said. “I was watching a few games of the CPL and we thought the wickets will be similar, slow and with a bit of turn. So I tried to prepare myself for wickets which would be similar to those that we get in India. We got a week of training here in India to prepare so I could talk to Anil Kumble about what the pitches in the West Indies would be like but none of us knew what to expect. We had to prepare ourselves for whatever that would come our way. But all 4 wickets in the series were very different from what we were expecting, there was bounce and the wickets had something in them. So it was a good challenge” he added.’DHONI BEST CAPTAIN EVER’Even in his short career, Rahul has played under both MS Dhoni & Virat Kohli. He explained their leadership qualities to India Today, “With MS having so much experience behind him he understands what is best for the team. He is obviously the best captain that India or the world has ever seen there is no doubt about that. When he is in the dressing room there is a bit of calm, you know that the captain is doing most of the thinking, he will give you your roles & responsibilities and you just need to go and play them out. When it comes to Virat he is more energetic & has more passion. He wants the boys to be in the face of the players (opposition), be aggressive on the field and express themselves. We enjoy playing with both of them as leaders and both of them set great examples for rest of the boys in the team. They are great leaders and the team is in safe hands with both of them as leaders”.Cricket can be a cruel game and the star batsman got a taste of that. Despite scoring his maiden T20 ton, Rahul was at the non-striker’s end as he saw India fall short of a World record chase in the 1st T20 against the World Champions in Florida. Though his partnership with MS Dhoni was a joy to watch.”It was really good batting with MS, he was the best man for the situation. When he came in I was set too and was batting on fifty. He just walked in and started hitting boundaries and sixes from ball one which was good to see and we knew we had to score at over 13 runs an over. It was just one of those days, a one-off you know, as people have said before that 9 out of 10 times MS Dhoni would have finished that game off. He is the best finisher in the game”, concluded Rahul.Up next for him & team India is a tough home series against the Kiwis & claiming that No. 1 spot is their main target.last_img read more

10 months agoSevilla ready bid for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sevilla ready bid for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morataby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla are ready to bid for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata.The Mirror says Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros has sounded out Morata’s representatives and they are trying to persuade Chelsea to do a deal this month.The Spanish club are offering a loan deal worth £5m until the summer when they will pay £35m plus add-ons for the Spain international.Morata has become disillusioned at Chelsea after falling out of favour with Maurizio Sarri.But Chelsea are still reluctant to let Morata go without strengthening their own squad first. last_img

EC orders 26 lakh bottles of indelible ink… worth Rs 33 cr

first_imgNew Delhi: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission (EC) has ordered 26 lakh indelible ink bottles worth Rs 33 crore. The seven-phase election will begin on April 11 and conclude on May 19. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the poll panel had bought 21.5 lakh phials, 4.5 lakh less than this year.Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd, a government of Karnataka undertaking, is the only authorised manufacturer of indelible ink for the Election Commission. Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd Managing Director Chandrashekhar Doddamani said that the company has received an order for 26 lakh phials of 10cc each from the Election Commission. “The expected turnover is approximately Rs 33 crore,” he said. The order, Doddamani said, is higher than the last general elections by 4.5 lakh phials. In this election, nearly 90 crore people are eligible to case their votes for which the Election Commission will set up nearly 10 lakh polling stations across the country. In 1962, the Election Commission, in collaboration with the Law Ministry, National Physical Laboratory and National Research Development Corporation, had made an agreement with Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd for supply of indelible ink for Lok Sabha and assembly elections. Since then, it has been supplying the ink for elections in India. A bottle of indelible ink contains 10 cubic centimetres (cc). As per modern measurement methods, one cubic centimetre is equivalent to one millilitre. Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd exports indelible ink to more than 30 countries across the globe. Soon after the note ban, the company was asked to provide indelible ink to banks to mark customers exchanging defunct currency notes to check suspicious deposits. Grappling with unending queues and frayed tempers in banks and to check operation of syndicates after the note ban, the government had introduced the system of marking customers exchanging defunct currency notes with indelible ink.last_img read more

Wickets in England to assist batsmen Sachin

first_imgMumbai: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar reckons that the wickets in England and Wales, set to host the 2019 Cricket World Cup starting May 30, will assist batsmen and bowlers might struggle to swing the ball. Sachin said the summer conditions, which will prevail during the showpiece event, will not help bowlers much and the pitches will behave in a similar way as during the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. “I am told it’s going to be a hot summer. Even during the Champions Trophy the wickets were superb when the sun was out. In the heat, the wickets get really flat. I am sure they will give beautiful tracks to bat on,” the 46-year-old said on the sidelines of the inauguration of the MIG Club pavilion named after him. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”I don’t think there will be much difference in the conditions unless there is a heavy cloud cover. If there is a cloud cover, the ball might go around a bit. Even if that’s the case, I don’t see that happening for a longer duration, may be just in the initial overs,” he said. Sachin also felt as several Indian players, including captain Virat Kohli, M.S. Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan, are performing well in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), it will help in boosting their confidence for the World Cup. “A good performance in any format is good news because it gives the player confidence. If you are confident, that’s important,” he said. “The players have time to make some adjustments according to the conditions. All of them have played enough cricket to know what to do to improve,” Sachin remarked.last_img read more

CEOs office launches twin trams to educate voters in city about EVMs

first_imgKolkata: In a unique bid to create awareness among voters to exercise their franchise, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in the state introduced two trams with facilities to educate voters about the use of EVMs and VVPAT.One of the trams will move around South Kolkata with another in North Kolkata till Saturday. The two constituencies of Kolkata North and Kolkata South in the city, along with Dum Dum, Barasat, Basirhat, Joynagar, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour and Jadavpur will go to polls on May 19, in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”Tram is one of the modes that we are using for greater participation of common people in the electoral process. These will move around different parts of the city and create awareness about EVMs and VVPAT. Our icons for physically challenged voters will also motivate them,” CEO Bengal Ariz Aftab said on Tuesday, while flagging off a tram from Ballygunge tram depot. The trams have been decked up nicely with hoardings, banners and leaflets that speak about the importance of elections and at the same time, educate voters about the process. As per figures available with the Election Commission in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the two Kolkata parliamentary constituencies saw poor turnout of voters. Although the state average was a whopping 82.22 percent, Kolkata South recorded only 67.95 percent voting with North Kolkata at 65.99 percent. Some Assembly constituencies located within the city also witnessed poor percentage. Tollygunge, which falls under Jadavpur constituency, recorded a voting of 74.01 percent, while Metiabruz under Diamond Harbour constituency and Bidhannagar Assembly segment under Barasat constituency recorded 72.26 percent and 71.81 percent respectively.last_img read more

Ohio State softball leaves Wisconsin with a win loss and tie

OSU redshirt junior outfielder Alex Bayne swings at a pitch.Credit: Courtesy of OSUDespite opening up Big Ten play with a sweep last weekend, the Ohio State softball team (19-8-1, 4-1-1) was unable to keep those dominant ways going, splitting its weekend series at Wisconsin (18-14-1, 3-2-1). Both the Buckeyes and the Badgers earned a win, while the final game Sunday was left in a tie.Offensively, sophomore Taylor White led the Buckeyes, going 7-for-10. The outfielder combined with redshirt senior Maddy McIntyre, redshirt junior Alex Bayne and junior Alex Kirk to deliver home runs. Bayne, who played the weekend in right field, now has 12 homers on the year, which is triple her 2015 total.Game 1The Badgers snapped the Buckeyes’ six-game winning streak in a tight 6-5 contest on Friday. Both teams were scoreless through the fourth inning due to the solid pitching from junior Shelby Hursh, who struck out six, and Wisconsin junior Kirsten Stevens.OSU jumped ahead in a big way in the top of the fifth after hits from Kirk and White, followed by sophomore Becca Gavin’s walk, sent Stevens and the Wisconsin defense into a bases-loaded situation. McIntyre came up big last weekend with a walk-off home run against Maryland, and she followed that up with another statement, blasting a grand slam to give the Buckeyes the lead.Wisconsin got on board after Hursh walked in the first run, which prompted freshman Morgan Ray, who earned the loss, to step in the circle for the remainder of the game. The Badgers then added two more in the bottom of the sixth after a series of infield singles and a walk moved runners around the bases.The slim 4-3 lead inspired OSU to push its lead to two following senior catcher Cammi Prantl’s RBI single to right field. Earlier in the inning, freshman Bri Betschel entered the game to pinch hit, and her sacrifice bunt brought Gavin into scoring position for Prantl.But the Buckeyes could not maintain their grasp on the lead as the Badgers headed to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore first baseman Samantha Arents jumpstarted the late rally with a deep double, and senior left fielder Katie Christner drew a walk to keep Wisconsin’s streak alive. Freshman Melanie Cross ended OSU’s hope for a win with her walk-off, three-run homer, putting OSU on the other side of the dramatic ending after last weekend.Game 2After cold temperatures left Saturday’s game postponed until the following day, OSU bounced back with a tight 10-8 victory in Sunday’s first matchup. Junior Lena Springer, who only saw one inning of action last weekend against Maryland, got the start in the circle but did not strike out a single Wisconsin batter in her four innings pitched.Both the Buckeyes and Badgers went scoreless in the first inning after leaving runners stranded in scoring position. After a quiet Friday, Bayne sent a two-RBI single through the left side after White, freshman second baseman Emily Clark and Gavin ignited the offense with a trio of singles in the second inning.Wisconsin brought in a run of its own in the bottom of the frame after Springer hit two batters and a string of infield groundouts moved the runners around the bases. OSU’s defense got out of a bases-loaded jam, and its offense lengthened its lead on White’s RBI triple in the top of the following inning.The Buckeyes’ 4-1 lead prompted an early pitching change by the Wisconsin pitching staff, swapping senior Taylor-Paige Stewart for sophomore Mariah Watts. Still, the Scarlet and Gray scored one more in the third on Clark’s deep double.After spending two games last weekend recovering from an injury, sophomore infielder Ashley Goodwin returned briefly for the Buckeyes in order to ease back into the lineup. Freshman Bailee Sturgeon and redshirt junior Jess Machovina also filled designated player roles in the matchup to keep the Badgers defense on its toes.The Badgers added one run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a quick single by second baseman Macy Oswald but again left a runner stranded. White continued her hit streak with a leadoff single, but it was Kirk’s two-run shot over the fence that frustrated Wisconsin’s defense. Watts returned to the game for Stewart, which turned the tide of momentum back to the Badgers.Wisconsin scored six runs on just three hits in the bottom of the fifth inning, beginning with a solo home run by Cross. McCombs entered the game to relieve Springer, but a handful of wild pitches moved runners into scoring position. Oswald added two runs with an outfield single, prompting another pitching change — Hursh for McCombs — for OSU. Sophomore Kelsey Jenkins sent a ball of her own over the fence to give the Badgers their first lead of the game.White, who went 4-for-4, then tied it up in the top of the seventh with a solo home run, and the bottom of the order followed up with a pair of singles. McIntyre brought Kirk home with a sacrifice fly to right field, and Bayne beat the throw from shortstop Ashley Van Zeeland to put the Buckeyes up two. In the bottom of the inning, Wisconsin went down in order, making the series a 1-1 split heading into the final game.Game 3OSU carried its offensive momentum into the final game of the series, kickstarted by Bayne’s two-run homer in the top of the first inning. The Buckeye defense then got out of a one-out, bases-loaded situation to stop Wisconsin from scoring any runs.Prantl added another double to her tally, which is now eight shy of OSU’s all-time record, bringing in Bayne with no outs in the third inning. Machovina hit an RBI double of her own to make the score 4-0, but a bases-loaded opportunity to add more runs was obstructed by Stewart’s effort from the mound.Cross put up her third home run of the weekend to give Wisconsin its first two runs, and a string of singles to the outfield gave the Badgers another big inning and a 5-4 lead.In what was only her third appearance of the season, OSU freshman Katya Duvall relieved Hursh, who struck out four batters in her outing. Duvall did not fan any batters of her own but held the Badgers to three earned runs.Machovina continued her clutch pinch hitting with a single to bring in Prantl and Bayne, sending the Buckeyes up again. Kirk gave OSU another comfortable lead with her second home run of the series, and season, a three-run shot.In the fifth inning, Van Zeeland bunted in a run due to an error by Kirk, and Cross continued her stellar weekend with a two-run double. In the following inning, Van Zeeland laid down another RBI bunt to tie the game at nine and send the teams into extra innings.After over three hours of play, time constraints left the game in a tie, closing the series without a clear weekend victor.Coming upOSU is next scheduled to face Penn State in a doubleheader at home on Wednesday before traveling to Piscataway, New Jersey, for a weekend series against Rutgers. First pitch from Buckeye Field is set to be at 4 p.m. read more