NBA notes: Anthony, Howard All-Stars

first_imgJackson turned himself in last week after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. He was ordered jailed after he skipped court appearances for a probation violation hearing, but he posted bond Feb. 1. Grizzlies signing: Guard Lorinza Harrington signed a 10-day contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, who released him before the start of this season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Carmelo Anthony is going to the All-Star Game after all. The NBA’s leading scorer was picked by commissioner David Stern on Friday as an injury replacement and will make his first All-Star Game appearance on Feb. 18 in LasVegas. Stern also added Dallas forward Josh Howard to the Western Conference team. He needed to replace Houston center Yao Ming and Utah forward Carlos Boozer, who will be unable to play because of injuries. Howard also is a first-time All-Star, giving the team with the NBA’s best record twoplayers in the game. Phoenix and San Antonio, the Mavericks’ closest pursuers, each have multiple All-Stars. Howard is averaging 19.6points and 7.3 rebounds. “It is an honor to be selected to my first All-Star Team,” Howard said in a statement. “This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. It is especially gratifying to play alongside my teammate Dirk Nowitzki.” Person charged in brawl violated probation: The only person charged with a felony in the November 2004 brawl during a Pacers-Pistons game at The Palace of Auburn Hills will spend the next six months in jail after a judge determined he violated his probation. Bryant Jackson was found guilty of a probation violation by Oakland County Judge Rae Lee Chabot on Wednesday because he did not attend anger management classes or pay $6,000 in restitution. center_img Anthony averages an NBA-high 30.8 points, but wasn’t voted in by the fans and then wasn’t chosen as a reserve by West coaches. He was undoubtedly hurt by missing 15 games when Stern suspended him for his role in the brawl at Madison Square Garden in December. “I was remaining optimistic a little bit,” Anthony said. “I wish it would have happened earlier. I didn’t want to think about it that much, but I’m glad it happened. It’s an honor.” last_img read more

South African para-cyclists shine at World Cup

first_img13 May 2014The South African Para-cycling team produced a series of top performances in the UCI World Cup in Castiglione, Italy on the weekend, highlighted by gold medals for Pieter du Preez and Justine Asher.Time trialA spectacular time trial route had the riders racing across a flat coastal foreland through Mediterranean coastal forest, with the smell of pine resin and the singing of a few early cicadas adding much to the ambience.The largely non-technical nature of the circuit proved deceptive in the way that it enticed the unwary rider to go out too fast and to not leave enough in reserve for the return section.GoldH1 hand-cyclist Pieter du Preez adapted to the challenges brilliantly to capture gold in his class. Ernst van Dyk picked up a silver medal in the H5 hand-cycling category, while George Rex added a bronze in the T1 tri-cycling class.While Justine Asher used the event to prepare for the following day’s road race, a number of other riders performed well: C3 cyclist Craig Ridgard, competing in his first international tour, finished respectably in the middle of his group; Stuart McCreadie finished fifth in the H3 category; and youngster Yusthin Lintnaar finished sixth, ahead of former Italian T2 world champion Giorgio Farroni.Road raceCompletely different to the time trial route in terms of a technical challenge, the route selected for the road race threaded its way through the narrow streets of Castiglione della Pescaia and the even narrower country roads extending out of town into the postcard landscape of olive groves and vineyards.As the first South African rider Stuart McCreadie discovered, the route made it extremely difficult to maintain a place in the lead group and he lost touch with it towards the end of the 65 km race. Nonetheless, he finished in a very competitive seventh place.George Rex, using lighter gears than in the time trial (to accelerate quickly out of the route’s myriad tight corners) improved on his previous day’s results by claiming a silver medal.His T2 tricycling teammate Lintnaar rode to a pre-set race plan, which worked perfectly and positioned him for a fourth place result after a sprint finish, one bike length behind Paralympian gold medallist David Stone, who finished third. The result was unfortunately later overturned when Lintnaar was disqualified for an infringement.HighlightA highlight performance of the day was Justine Asher’s gold medal win in the H2 category and the award to her of the World Cup champion’s jersey for her outstanding overall performance in the first leg of the season’s road race series.Pieter du Preez added a silver in his event to his time trial gold, while Ernst van Dyk picked up a bronze medal after a three-way sprint to the line to go with his silver in the time trial.SAinfo reporterlast_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

5 iPhone Apps for Creating Expense Reports On the Go

first_imgTags:#biz#Software Guides I admit, I’m not terribly organized or efficient when it comes to tracking business expenses. Of course, as a technology journalist and a freelance writer, those expenses aren’t particularly frequent or substantial. But I still struggle.Mobile phone apps make this process much easier, as you can record your receipts and track your expenses on-the-go. as they occur. I thought I was a genius when I realized I could just snap a picture of a receipt on my iPhone and store it in Evernote. And while that eliminates carrying an envelopes full of receipts when I travel, that process only fulfills part of what’s necessary in tracking business expenses and creating expense reports.So here are a few suggestions for other iPhone apps that can aid in the process:Receipts Related Posts Ah, the shoebox – after the envelope it is the go-to storage device for many receipts. Shoeboxed provides a paid service where you can mail in your receipts for the company to digitize and organize your information. The Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker doesn’t require a Shoeboxed account, but does use photos of your receipts to create expense reports that can be exported into QuickBooks and Excel. (Free)Fresh Xpense Capture The aptly named Receipts lets you create accounts and categories, and has 5 different types of custom receipt fields for local taxes, payment information, and mileage. You can add multiple photos and even record a voice memo. The app also has a graphing component so you can monitor expenses. Reports can be generated via email, and the app has Evernote and Google Docs integration as well. ($7.99)Expensify Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… audrey watters Fresh Xpense Capture takes photos of your receipts and sends them to the Xpenser.com website, where you can generate your reports. (Free)Do you have a favorite mobile expense report app? (Or perhaps, a better system for tracking receipts and generating reports?) We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.Photo credits: Flickr user Jamie A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Expensify can link to your credit card account and import your purchase history. The app will generate IRS-ready receipts for expenses under $75. The app syncs with the Expensify website. (Free)ProOnGo Expense with Receipt Reader ProOnGo Expense tracks receipts and details, and you can export your information to QuickBooks or Excel. The Receipt Reader fills out an expense report for you, based on information from a photo of a receipt. (Free)Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker and Receipt Reader 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more