a month agoAdvisers urge Foden to stick with Man City

first_imgAdvisers urge Foden to stick with Man Cityby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the lovePhil Foden is being urged to stick with Manchester City.Foden feels a loan move away from the reigning Premier League champions would hinder his progress, despite his limited playing time.The family and friends of the 19-year-old are reported to be keen for the England youngster to continue his role at the Etihad under Pep Guardiola, in which he receives game time primarily in cup competitions.The Times says there is a feeling within Foden’s close circle that leaving City on loan could actually prove damaging to the teenager’s progression.And City have no intention of sending Foden out to another Premier League club on loan. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Bruce Greenwood is a man of many roles

first_img“I’ll do anything is the simple answer,” jokes Greenwood, 61, when his extensive list of credits is mentioned.“I’m a little choosier now than I have been in the past, but I’ll fall off that wagon of choosiness with alarming frequency and just go and do something just because I don’t happen to be busy and it seems like fun, or it’s in a nice location or something like that. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Advertisement He has played doctors, lawyers, TV executives, disapproving fathers, a murderous husband, U.S. presidents, a U.S. secretary of defence and a starship captain, among many other things.In fact, if you have watched a TV show or seen a movie in the last four decades, chances are you’ve seen Bruce Greenwood’s face onscreen.On this particular morning, that face is across the table at Cafe Boulud in the Four Seasons Hotel. “I like being on a set, I really do; it’s hard for me to say no.” Login/Register With: Bruce Greenwood plays Dr. Randolph Bell — “a guy past his best-by date” — in The Resident. (ROGERS MEDIA) Facebooklast_img read more

Drake Gifts Chris Brown 300 OVO Varsity Jacket

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Both artists share a connection with singer Rihanna. Brown and Rihanna dated, during which he infamously assaulted her. Rihanna and Drake, once frequent collaborators, have also been romantically linked in the past.Drake, 32, and Brown, 29, have not always seen eye-to-eye and were beefing for the better part of six years. Drake and Chris Brown seem to be friends again.The once-feuding hip-hop and R&B artists made amends in October at one of the Aubrey & The Three Amigos Tour Los Angeles concerts. Drizzy brought Breezy onstage for a special performance.It looks like the pair’s friendship is making positive progress. On Wednesday, Brown revealed Drake had gifted him an OVO Varsity Jacket. Price-tag, $300. “Thanks for lacing me I GOT THAT,” Brown captioned the photo, making sure to address his thank yous to Drake. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Vancouver rules for shortterm rentals to ease citys vacancy rate mayor

first_imgVANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver is moving to legalize short-term rental accommodation like Airbnb but operators will only be able to advertise their principal residence.Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said Wednesday that new regulations to be enacted next week are designed to protect and free up rental housing in response to a critically low vacancy rate.“The goal of the city is to restore some of our long-term rental and take a balanced approach, making sure we are protecting rental stock at the same time that we’re enabling supplemental income for people who are using Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms,” he said.There are roughly 6,600 short-term rentals posted online, and more than 80 per cent will remain legal under the program, city officials said.Operators will be required to apply for a business licence by Sept. 1 and include that number in their listing, which Airbnb has agreed to make as a requirement on its platform.Secondary suites can only be listed on the platform by a long-term resident of the unit, and city staff say there are about 1,000 units currently listed that are not an operator’s primary home.Robertson said most of those units should go back on the rental market or be subject to a $1,000 a day fine as of Sept. 1.Airbnb spokeswoman Alex Dagg said the agreement reached with the city, which also requires the company to share quarterly data and user contact information, is the first of its kind in Canada. She said other jurisdictions globally have implemented a similar partnership.“I’m always reminded how progressive the Vancouver community is,” she said. “This agreement today is an important step to making home sharing easier while giving the city the tools it needs for enforcement.”She said the information being given to the city will help enforce the new regulations, while allowing users to continue to list their homes with ease.The city’s general manager of development, Kaye Krishna, said about 88 per cent of all online short-term rental listings are posted on Airbnb.Other platforms are in negotiations with the city, Krishna said. The Expedia Group, which owns the platforms VRBO and HomeAway, has agreed to educate users on the new regulations and encourage them to obtain licences, she said.The cost of the licence is $49 annually, and operators must have permission from their landlord or condo board and adhere to fire and safety standards.The city has set up an online application, which Krishna said takes only minutes to complete, that will launch next week.The city has hired bylaw enforcement officers to monitor violations and issue tickets.“Housing here is for homes first and be used as a business after that and be taxed as a business appropriately,” Robertson said.The new regulations, paired with the city’s recent empty-home tax, are “tools that can boost the supply of long-term rental, and again, make sure we are getting the best use of our housing stock across the city,” he said.The city’s vacancy rate is currently at 0.8 per cent, Robertson said.—Follow @Givetash on Twitter.last_img read more

Every NBA Teams Chance Of Winning A Title By 2019

Does this underrate OKC? Yeah, probably. As I’ve said, our simple method is liable to underrate teams dealing with injury problems. The Thunder have played pretty well since Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have returned to the lineup. But two points to consider.First, when a team has the talent the Thunder do, there’s no time like the present to win a title. But the Thunder are unlikely to win the championship this year. They’d be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference if the playoffs started today, and while Hollinger’s method may underrate them, there’s a big gap between the Thunder and the top seven seeds. Even if they improve to (for instance) the No. 6 seed, they’ll probably have to win four playoff series as the road team to win the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Not. Easy.Second, Durant is a superstar by any definition, but the degree of superstardom matters. If Durant is the star Sirius, as he was last season, shining brighter than anyone else in the NBA firmament, the Thunder will always have a leg up on the rest of the league, other things held equal. If he’s merely “in the conversation” as the league’s best player, along with Curry, James, Chris Paul, James Harden and Davis, then the Thunder will perennially compete with Curry’s Warriors, James’s Cavs, Paul’s Clippers, Harden’s Rockets and Davis’s Pelicans — but not necessarily beat them.To be even more geeky about it, championship contention in the NBA is nonlinear function. Being a 56-win team instead of a 60-win team — because, say, Durant has become a half-step slower or more injury-prone — could matter a great deal.But how overjoyed Gotham would be if blue and orange stood for the Manhattan Thunder and not the Knicks! The Knicks, obviously, will not win the championship this season. And here’s how the model pegs their chances over the next four seasons. In 2015-16, they have a 0.3 percent of winning the title. In 2016-17, their chances are 0.6 percent. And then in the two subsequent seasons, 0.9 percent and 1.0 percent. Overall, there’s about a 3 percent chance the Knicks will win the NBA title in the next five years.Three percent is not zero percent, so naturally you’ll find the exception to the rule if you dig in deep enough. The 2007-08 Miami Heat, who finished at 15-67, are the most favorable precedent. Their situation wasn’t entirely different from the Knicks’; in a down season, their roster featured one star (Dwyane Wade) and a lot of aging and overpriced “talent” around him. Three seasons later, they signed LeBron James, and in 2011-12 they won the NBA title.So, maybe the Knicks will luck into Jahlil Okafor in next year’s draft. And maybe Durant signs with them two years from now, and maybe Anthony has a gentle decline. I’m telling you there’s a chance, Knicks fans! It’s just not bloody likely.The Knicks, however, do not quite have the worst projection in the league; instead that belongs to the 76ers, whose title chances are lower still.If your eyes are on the long-term, wouldn’t you rather be in a tanking rebuilding situation like Philly than in the predicament of the Knicks or Lakers? Maybe, but the history of teams who have been as laughably bad as this year’s Sixers is not good. Since the ABA merger, 51 teams have finished with fewer than 20 wins in a 82-game season or the equivalent amount in a shortened season. How many of them won a championship in the next five years? Only one — the aforementioned 2007-08 Heat, whose situation was more analogous to that of the Lakers or Knicks than that faced by the 76ers.The thing about starting from a 15-win baseline is that you can add a 20-win megawatt superstar from the draft, and sign a 10-win free agent, and have another guy develop into a five-win talent … and still be a 50-win team, a No. 5 or 6 seed. It’s not clear there’s anyone on the Sixers’ roster who is a good bet to develop into a better-than-average NBA player. A team like the Detroit Pistons, who at least have Andre Drummond, is about twice as likely to develop into a championship contender, according to the model. The Pistons also face extremely long odds, but you’d rather have Drummond and a slightly inferior lottery position than the other way around. Tanking doesn’t pay, kids!But there are a lot of ways to be awful in the NBA, and only one team wins the title. Golden State is the best bet to be pouring the champagne soon. I can see Madison Square Garden from my Manhattan apartment. This year, the arena installed LED lights along the exterior columns of the building — blue, red and white for New York Rangers games; orange and blue for New York Knicks games. They outshine everything else along a drab stretch of Eighth Avenue. When the Knicks colors shine, I’m reminded that there’s a dreadful basketball team playing a few blocks from me.The Knicks are 5-22 on the year, on pace for their worst season in the not-exactly-glorious history of the franchise. But unlike a lot of bad teams, the Knicks are not yet in rebuilding mode. Their only players to have performed at an above-average level so far this season1According to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus are 30-year-old Carmelo Anthony, 32-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire and 37-year-old Pablo Prigioni. They have a few (not many) good players and a few (not many) young players, but there’s almost no overlap on the Venn diagram.Just how dire is the Knicks’ situation? Are they worse off than the Los Angeles Lakers? Than the Philadelphia 76ers, who very much are in rebuilding mode and are 2-22?Let’s take a longer view. What are the chances any of these franchises will field a championship-caliber team over the next five seasons (from this year through 2018-19)? On the flip side, which NBA franchise has the most reason to be optimistic about its future? Would you rather be the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors? Would you rather be the Memphis Grizzlies, with a sterling record so far this season but no superstar, or the New Orleans Pelicans, who aren’t so good yet but have a potential world-beating talent in Anthony Davis?There have been some valiant attempts to answer such questions before (see ESPN’s NBA Future Power Rankings). Our method here will be simpler and more statistically driven. The idea is to project the number of NBA championships a franchise might expect to win over the next five seasons based on three easily quantifiable factors:How good is the team now?How old the team?How good is its best player?To be clear, we are not claiming these are the only things that matter. You’d probably want to give a team some extra credit if it’s run by a genius like Gregg Popovich. You’d probably want to dock it if it has traded away some of its future draft picks (as the Knicks have) or if its salary cap situation is poor. And our approach will not be so great at handling teams with injuries to star players. But simple models like these can be a useful tool for understanding how NBA franchises evolve.Some modestly technical bits follow. You can skip ahead a few paragraphs if you’re not sweating the small stuff.As I mentioned, our goal is to estimate the likelihood of a team winning an NBA championship over the next five seasons. The method won’t give much credit to a team for being just decent. Unlike in certain other sports, an NBA team almost never backs into a championship by being slightly above average and then getting lucky in the postseason. A 52-win team in the regular season will win the NBA championship only about 2 percent of the time; a 64-win team will win it something like half the time.More specifically, the model takes the form of a logistic regression analysis where the inputs are three factors I described above — age, overall team quality and the quality of its best player — and the output is the projected number of championships won.2More specifically, the model treats championships probabilistically based on regular-season win totals. For example, a 60-win team is treated as having about a 20 percent chance of winning the title based on the process described here — whether or not it did so. I believe this to be a more robust method than treating championships as binary outcomes; it has the effect of reducing the impact of postseason luck. I’ve used data from the ABA-NBA merger season of 1976-77 onward.To measure overall team quality, I’ve used the number of games a team won.3Win totals are prorated to 82 games in the event of seasons shortened by labor disputes. But when looking toward future seasons, a team’s most recent win-loss record isn’t all that matters; so does the distribution of its talent. The presence of an actual or potential superstar significantly improves its chances of winning championships.This shouldn’t be surprising. In the NBA’s economic structure, there are two types of players who routinely produce a high return on investment: young players (who often make far less than they would as free agents under the rookie salary scale) and superstar players (who are often underpaid because of the maximum salary). Teams built around superstars face downside risk; if the superstar leaves town or gets hurt, they’re screwed. But in the NBA, you’d rather take a high-risk, high-reward approach than settle for a No. 8 seed every year.Our measure of superstar talent is how a team’s top player rated according to the statistic “wins added,” which is described at more length here. Wins added is based on a combination of Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating (PER). Neither metric is perfect (far from it), but because each can be computed from readily available “box score” statistics, they allow us to compare players and teams on a level playing field dating back to 1976-77.Having a younger team helps, of course, but it’s better to evaluate the age of a team’s best players rather than everyone on its roster. So, our calculation of a team’s average age is weighted based on wins added.4In the calculation, negative wins added totals are treated as zeros. This is important. The average New York Knick, weighted based on the number of minutes played this season, is about 28 years old. But the team’s better players are old; its average age is closer to 30 when weighted by wins added.There are a couple of further details in the footnotes,5The model also accounts for the number of teams in the league; it’s easier to win a title in a 23-team NBA than a 30-team NBA. I also calibrate the numbers such that the cumulative odds of a title win in any given season is one exactly among all teams in the league. There’s only one trophy to go around. but let’s see how this works in practice. Here’s how the 30 NBA teams ranked in future championship potential based on their statistics at the end of last season. We’ll run the numbers based on the current season’s data in a moment.At the end of last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder had the most hopeful situation in the league, projecting to win 0.8 championships over the next five years. This total includes cases where the Thunder would win multiple championships, so this is not quite the same as saying they had an 80 percent chance of winning at least one championship. (Titles in the NBA can come in bunches.)Still, this was a reasonably impressive figure; since 1976-77, only 12 teams had a better projection. The top one belonged to the Chicago Bulls going into the 1996-97 season. They projected to win 1.2 more championships to go with the four that Michael Jordan had won already; Jordan won two more in reality.But the NBA is a tough league. Some of the teams that projected almost as highly as Jordan’s Bulls never won a championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers projected to win about 1.2 championships over their next five seasons heading into the 2009-10 season — but LeBron James left, and they didn’t win any. (A championship in Cleveland this season now that James has returned would be one year too late to count within the five-year window.) Other teams appeared likely to follow one championship with more but failed to do so. The Philadelphia 76ers, coming off a 67-win championship season in 1982-83, projected to add another title to Julius Erving’s mantle but never did.Last season is old news, however. So, we’ve also come up with a projection that accounts for roster turnover and a team’s performance so far this year. This required a few modifications to our original model:Team win totals are projected based on John Hollinger’s playoff odds, which account for potential reversion to the mean.6For instance, the Knicks have a .185 winning percentage so far this year and are on pace to go 15-67. But they’ll probably improve on that at least a little bit, according to the Hollinger standings, which project them to finish with a 25-57 record instead.For individual players, wins added are projected based on a combination of a player’s performance so far this year and in recent past seasons.7For each player, I made a preseason projection based on his age and wins added over his past three NBA seasons, then averaged this with a projection based on his wins added per game so far this season, assuming he’ll play in 95 percent of his team’s remaining games. I did not consider players like the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George who have not played this year.Team ages are weighted based on projected wins added.To estimate a team’s chances of winning a title this year (2014-15), I used Hollinger’s playoff odds simulation. For the remaining seasons in the five-year window through 2018-19, I used the figures from our model instead.All projections are based on stats through Tuesday evening.One team is clearly ahead of the pack. It’s the Golden State Warriors.The Dubs project to win 0.95 championships between now and 2018-19. Some of that is because they’re the favorite to win the title this year, according to Hollinger’s method, with a 36 percent chance. But they also rate as the best bet to win the championship in each subsequent season through 2018-19.This isn’t rocket science: the Warriors are really good. They’re young — in fact, their average age has declined slightly from last year as older players like Andre Iguodala have come to play less important roles. And they have a superstar in Stephen Curry.Following the Warriors on the list:At No. 2, the Los Angeles Clippers. They’re not off to the start the Warriors are, and they’re a little older. But they have the talent they’ll need.At No. 3, the Cavaliers, who have a young core surrounding James, but who don’t yet look like they’ll stand head and shoulders above the pack as James’s teams did some years in Miami.At No. 4, the Toronto Raptors, another obvious choice. They’re young, Kyle Lowry is on the verge of being a superstar, and they have the benefit of playing in the Eastern Conference.8The model does not explicitly account for which conference a team plays in. It may account for it implicitly, however, because it uses W-L totals without adjusting for strength of schedule. It’s easier to win the same number of games with lesser talent in the Eastern Conference.At No. 5, the Houston Rockets, whose projection is largely unchanged from the end of last season despite a disappointing off-season.At No. 6, the Grizzlies. Note, however, that this year is probably their best hope of a championship drive. The roster is fairly old, and there’s not a true superstar to build around.At No. 7, the Pelicans. They haven’t gotten off to an especially strong start this year and have little shot of title contention this spring. But Davis has as bright a future as anyone in the league and the team’s average age (weighted by wins added) is just 23.6. They project to be the second- or third-best team in the league by the end of the five-year window, according to the model.At No. 8, the Portland Trail Blazers, whose numbers are similar to the Raptors across the board but who play in the tougher conference.At No. 9, the Chicago Bulls. Theirs is a decent projection, but the Bulls are older than you might think, and Derrick Rose hasn’t played like a superstar lately, even on the rare occasion he’s played. Instead, wins added thinks that Jimmy Butler is their best player.And at No. 10, the Thunder, whose projection has declined more than any other team since the end of last season. read more

Even Pretending To Be A Professional Tennis Player Is Terrifying

CARL BIALIK STATSMOJJOMOJJO NEWCARL CHARTING Based on my experience covering tennis, professional players usually remember to bring their tennis shoes to the court. On a June Thursday, as I walked into Courbevoie Sport Tennis outside of Paris, I realized I hadn’t. I was there to try out a new technology from Mojjo — a French company that makes what Emmanuel Witvoet, one of its founders, calls “Hawk-Eye for everyone.” Hawk-Eye is the advanced camera-based system that tennis tournaments use to adjudicate disputed line calls and to provide advanced stats for television. It’s sophisticated, impressive and expensive — out of reach for most amateurs, in part because it uses 10 cameras. Witvoet said he and his co-founders had figured out how to do much of what Hawk-Eye does with just one camera, making it affordable for the masses.Unlike the masses, pro players have ready access to the kind of data that Mojjo was about to provide me. They get all sorts of detailed stats after every match, and at tournaments like Wimbledon, they get more. After matches, they receive DVDs that allow them to toggle between points or watch only, say, their backhand errors. It’s not easy for amateurs like me to get that kind of information, but we are clamoring for it. Some 70 million fitness trackers like Fitbit were bought last year, and smart watches like Apple’s bundle fitness tracking with their smartphone features. In tennis, rackets from Babolat and racket attachments from Sony measure things like spin and speed of shot — but their accuracy is questionable.Now, for one surreal, amazing, frustrating and delusion-shattering morning, I would finally have the data. A camera would capture the flight of the ball, software would analyze what happened on each point, and detailed match stats — my detailed match stats — would be put online. I was treated like a pro, but the data showed me how far I had to go to play like one.My friend Alex Duff came along to help me test Mojjo out. Duff is a data geek and amateur tennis player who once recorded video of one of our matches so we could review our performance later. For this match, we were instead armed with two laptops — so that we could each predict the match stats beforehand.After telling the Mojjo courtside kiosk which of us was serving first, Duff and I took the court atop a light dusting of red clay, the same kind of stuff the pros would play on later that day at the French Open five miles away.I told Duff not to be too self-conscious even though a camera was running. I then proceeded to be incredibly self-conscious because a camera was running. I can’t remember starting another match as poorly as I did this one. My head was full of excuses, and I felt self-conscious every time a club employee walked on court, which was often: I felt his eyes staring at my shoes, as if he were the Mona Lisa.Mojjo was the main problem. I’d recently read the classic book “The Inner Game of Tennis” and knew I was supposed to think less and clear my mind. I didn’t — and instead was rushing during points. Silver lining: That meant we’d play more points in our allotted two hours, and more points meant more data.Despite my struggles, I won the first set 6-3. And after extending my winning streak to six straight games, I started to consider secondary goals, like looking good for the camera. I couldn’t do much about my sweat-stained shirt, but I could at least retuck my shorts pocket after pulling out a ball for a second serve. I promptly lost eight straight points.I started playing a little better and went up 5-3 in the second set. That’s when we played our best game of the match by far. We both hit winners and saved game points. After four deuces, I closed out the set. I asked for one more — and cruised to a 6-0 win.Then the email containing our stats arrived from Mojjo, and our amateur match suddenly felt like an official one. We had numbers that looked, if you squinted sideways, like numbers from the pros. We each had one ace. I hit four double-faults; he hit five. We each made a little over 50 percent of our first serves. These weren’t crazy numbers for a clay-court match by pros. Andy Murray and David Ferrer, two of the best players in the world, had just put up roughly similar numbers in their match at the French Open the day before.The video uploaded to Mojjo’s site later that day, and it was odd — not only because it depicted my awkward-looking one-handed backhand. At times, it showed scores that didn’t make much sense and seemed to include shots hit after rallies were over, like to get a ball back to the server, as part of the match.When I could get past the technical hiccups, I saw that unlike the emailed stats, which could have passed for professional-grade, the video looked nothing like match footage I was used to watching. Even with the unusual perspective of the single-camera wide shot, it was clear that my strokes weren’t Grand Slam-ready. And the tennis looked like it was being played at half-speed. Our bodies and the ball crept through the frame — even when the video wasn’t glitching. Second-serve returns in percentage81%81%81% Double-faults455 First-serve returns in percentage77%78%85% Second-serve in percentage89%87%86% Percentage of all points won61%61%61% Aces101 Special Podcast: Check out Baseline, a U.S. Open mini-podcast with Carl Bialik, Louisa Thomas of Grantland, and others from the National Tennis Center grounds. Listen here, and subscribe to the FiveThirtyEight sports podcast Hot Takedown on iTunes now so you don’t miss an episode! First-serve win percentage64%61%57% Break points of opponent’s serve202012 Win percentage for rallies of 10+ shots100%50%33% Win percentage for rallies of 1-3 shots60%61%64% Mojjo isn’t the only tennis tracker around. An Israeli company named PlaySight uses four cameras to Mojjo’s one, and its technology is more mature: Clubs have already installed it in about 130 courts. It provides a glimpse of what Mojjo could eventually do and of how a more advanced system could do things for amateurs that even some pros don’t get.Over Skype, PlaySight’s CEO and co-founder, Chen M. Shachar, said his system cost $10,000 per court — about three times what Mojjo will charge — plus a license fee for each facility. As is the case with Mojjo, the club, not the player, pays the PlaySight fee. But clubs most likely pass this cost on to players through higher per-match prices.Shachar said PlaySight has much bigger plans. For instance, he said the software eventually will be able to compare, say, me to its database of other players and tell me how my serve, backhand and other shots compare with the averages. And he envisions an improvement on current systems for remote coaching, which require coaching companies to download and tag video: I could instead share my PlaySight account — including video and data — with a top coach on the other side of the world. That’s better than pros can do when they’re playing on courts without Hawk-Eye.PlaySight already can do things Mojjo doesn’t immediately plan on. For instance, PlaySight live-streams matches. And its courtside kiosks provide in-match stats and video replay. It also offers a level of precision that makes it possible to review line calls, which Mojjo doesn’t.While Mojjo lacks the precision to make line calls with certainty, its camera nonetheless gave me a rare chance to review my own calls. Pros don’t call their own lines, but amateurs like Duff and I do. And I could tell while watching the raw video of my match that I’d made some questionable out calls.That’s not the only lesson I learned from my experience with Mojjo. My serve and volley stinks — I won 25 percent of those points, and that was lucky. My backhand is much weaker than my forehand (43 percent on backhands without slice vs. 63 percent on forehands without slice). I also landed fewer first serves than I predicted I would — and that I thought I had right after the match.I wasn’t nearly as good at intuiting stats while playing a match as I’d thought. Shachar said this isn’t unusual for people in high-stress activities — including sports and higher-stakes contests. PlaySight founders adapted their tennis platform from one they developed to allow fighter pilots to review their actions. “The gap between what really happened and what you think happened is huge,” Shachar said.2Pros, too, can have trouble tracking stats in their head. Gilles Simon, one of the most stat-conscious men on tour, said after defeating big-serving Milos Raonic at the Queen’s Club tournament in London last month that he’d thought Raonic had landed the vast majority of his first serves in the first set, only to learn when looking at the scoreboard between sets that Raonic had made just 52 percent.On the plus side, I learned that statistically, tennis looks pretty similar when played by two people of similar ability, no matter what that ability is. I even found a match that had roughly similar stats and scoreline to my match with Duff. It happened 15 years ago at Wimbledon. The winner was Fabrice Santoro, who like me had unconventional strokes.3He also had the very cool nickname “The Little Magician.” The loser was Andrea Gaudenzi, which sounds a little like Alex Duff in Italian.4To find a similar match, I examined stats from 12,379 best-of-five-set matches made available on GitHub by Sackmann. Then I zeroed in on the 855 straight-set wins with scores closest to ours of 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. Finally, I calculated z-scores for 15 stats in our match and for each of the 12,379 pro matches: seven for each player (ace percentage, double-fault percentage, percentage of first serves that went in, percentage of first-serve points won, percentage of second-serve points won, break points against, and break points converted against), plus the dominance ratio (the ratio of the percentage of return points won to the percentage of serve points lost by the winner of the match). I summed the absolute value of the difference of the z-score for each of the 15 categories for our match and for each of the 855 matches. Santoro d. Gaudenzi came out the closest. Pros: They’re just like us.I also came to a fairly obvious realization that nonetheless troubled me. Before my Mojjo match, I considered myself a smart player, adjusting my tactics to take advantage of each opponent’s weaknesses. But with Mojjo, whatever I learned, my opponent would too — we’d both get the same stat sheets. For instance, from my charting, Duff landed 22 serves directed at my forehand and lost 20 of those points. If he notices that stat, he probably won’t serve to my forehand nearly so often the next time we play. Maybe having post-match stats would help my opponents more than me, by removing what I think is my tactical advantage from having an approximate handle on what’s working and what’s not. There’s also the risk I’d overthink things; even pros like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic said in media conferences at Wimbledon this year that they don’t normally look at their own stats in too much detail.But even if data can’t improve my game, my curiosity is stronger than my competitiveness. Now that I’ve experienced what very few players have, it’s been hard to go back. Each match uncharted feels like a lost opportunity to learn more about my game — including just how ugly my backhand is. While I wait for Mojjo to fix its bugs and come to courts near me, I’m awfully tempted to start filming and charting my matches myself.Maybe I’ll use a GoPro. Win percentage for rallies of 4-6 shots60%61%61% First-serve in percentage53%51%58% Win percentage for rallies of 7-9 shots54%54%50% Second-serve win percentage50%51%54% Break points converted151510 The next day, Witvoet, Duff and I met at the picnic tables outside Court Suzanne-Lenglen. Witvoet acknowledged that there were plenty of bugs still to work out. He and his fellow 30-something co-founders — Charles Chevalier, the chief technology officer, and Julien Vernay, the chief operations officer — had just installed Mojjo permanently at the club the prior week. “You are one of the early birds,” Witvoet said. “As you’ve seen, it’s not all polished. We know definitely it’s not totally ready.”After matches, the founders compare the footage from the Mojjo camera to the stats and use any discrepancies to hone the system. On their to-do list: a voice-recognition system that detects when players call balls out; social sharing of points so you can, for example, brag about an ace on Facebook, with video; and a gamified system so coaches can set statistical targets — like hitting a higher percentage of service returns in the court — and players can collect badges for achieving them. They’re also considering a pure software version that will allow players to use Mojjo to analyze footage they’ve shot themselves. “Our idea is, in some future, you GoPro yourself, and it’s done,” Witvoet said.Because of the video problems, Witvoet agreed to share with me the raw video of the match. I decided to check the stats for myself. I used a system developed by Jeff Sackmann for his Match Charting Project, which has enlisted volunteers to chart nearly 1,000 pro matches. During my Eurostar trip from Paris back home to London, I alt-tabbed between the video and the spreadsheet to log every shot — its type, direction and outcome.1For example, for one long rally I lost, I entered 4f29b2f2f3b2b2f+1f1# into a cell in the spreadsheet. Then I compared the results with Mojjo’s. They were off, in some cases by a lot.Duff hit 13 double-faults by my count, not the five Mojjo counted. I was making more first serves, but losing those points more often than Mojjo said. Both Duff and I were making more first-serve returns than estimated. And the break-point stats were way off for Mojjo, off even from the realm of possibility: The system showed that I’d faced five break points but been broken six times. (I counted four breaks off nine break points.) When Mojjo rolled out the next version of its software, correcting for problems reading high balls, and applied it to our match video, some but not all of these stats were more accurate — you can see just how accurate for my stats in the table adjacent to this paragraph. Chevalier estimated that the error rate on who won each point was below 5 percent. Score one for humanity over machine, so far at least, when it comes to logging tennis stats. But also score one for the pros, that special subset of humans who have someone doing the statkeeping for them. read more

Eden Hazard expected to delay Chelsea contract talks

first_imgEden Hazard will likely continue to delay talks over a contract renewal at Chelsea, as the club desperately search for a replacement for Thibaut CourtoisThe Blues are now resigned to losing their first-choice goalkeeper after he failed to report for training once more on Tuesday and have now begun a late frantic search for a replacement.But while Chelsea have accepted that Courtois is now a lost cause, there is still hope that they can convince Hazard to commit his long-term future at the club by signing a new deal.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.While the 27-year-old has also expressed an interest in joining Courtois at Real for the new season, the Evening Standard has reported that Hazard has accepted Chelsea’s stance and reported to training yesterday.And with two years remaining on his current £200,000 a week contract, Chelsea feel that they are in a much stronger position to retain Hazard – unlike Courtois, who has less than 12 months on his deal.Maurizio Sarri’s side are prepared to offer Hazard a new £300,000 a week deal in order to ward off the advances of Real but the Belgium captain insists that he is in no rush to commit his future and intends to see how things develop further down the road.last_img read more

El Cajon businesses evacuated 1 in the hospital after carbon monoxide leak

first_imgEl Cajon businesses evacuated, 1 in the hospital after carbon monoxide leak June 17, 2018 Updated: 2:31 PM Posted: June 17, 2018 KUSI Newsroom center_img EL CAJON (KUSI) – An exhaust fan that appeared to have been accidentally turned off led to high levels of carbon monoxide at an El Cajon shopping center Sunday, triggering evacuations of multiple businesses.Firefighters were called to a Starbucks on Fletcher Parkway near Navajo Road about 8:15 a.m. to assist with an employee who reported difficulty breathing, said Heartland Fire and Rescue spokesperson Sonny Saghera.While at the scene, the firefighters monitored the air and noticed carbon monoxide inside the coffee shop, Saghera said. Workers and customers were cleared out of the Starbucks and nearby businesses, including an adjacent bagel shop, the Golden Bagel Cafe.Firefighters were able to trace the carbon monoxide to the bagel shop, and found an exhaust fan above a boiler had apparently been turned off, allowing the gas to collect and spread, Saghera said.A hazardous materials team was able to ventilate the businesses, and people were then allowed back inside.The Starbucks employee was taken to a hospital for treatment.Carbon monoxide is not poisonous in itself, but where it accumulates it displaces oxygen, and can be lethal. KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

2020 Audi S6 gets its USmarket pricing still no Avant though

first_img6:29 Audi’s corporate grille keeps getting bigger, but so does the S6’s performance. We’ll let it slide. Audi We’ve known the specs of the forthcoming 2020 Audi S6 for a while now, for both European and US models, but one thing we’ve been kept in the dark on was just how much it’d cost stateside. Not anymore. Audi on Thursday announced US pricing for its hotted-up midsizer, and we’re definitely interested.So just how much can you expect to shell out for your fancy German Q-ship? For the entry-level Premium Plus trim, you’ll spend $73,900, which actually compares favorably with the E53 AMG, which is only slightly cheaper but down 15 hp and a whopping 59 pound-feet of torque. Step up to the top-level Prestige trim at $77,800, and you’re more in BMW M550i xDrive territory, where the S6 is way down on power compared with the 4.4-liter turbo V8 in the Bimmer.Unlike the Euro model, our S6 will run on gasoline and be powered by the same 2.9-liter V6 engine that produces an extremely healthy 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque in the Audi RS 5. It’s is a very healthy if not wildly exciting powerplant, but this car isn’t exactly meant to be a hooligan. Unfortunately, there’s still no sign of the nerd-catnip Avant wagon version coming to the US.Some of the other highlights of the 2020 S6 include a 48-volt mild hybrid system that powers (among other things) an electric compressor that seeks to eliminate or at the very least drastically reduce turbo lag, making the engine more responsive. The compressor spins at a slow-compared-with-a-turbo 70,000 rpm but has a superfast 250-millisecond response time.The S6, of course, gets Quattro all-wheel drive and Audi’s latest eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox as standard and there will be an optional S sport package, for those drivers who want to turn the wick up a bit on a back road. Audi More From Roadshow 2019 BMW 330i xDrive review: The new and improved 3 Series 2020 Audi S6 gives the sedan a dash of sport 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53 Sedan review: A breath of fresh(er) air Share your voice 0 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback is a goody two-shoes 2020 BMW 7 Series first drive: Travel comfortably and carry a big grille Performance Cars Luxury cars Sedans Now playing: Watch this: Tags 39 Photos Post a comment Audilast_img read more

Eminem publisher sues Spotify for copyright violations

first_imgEminem’s music publisher is seeking billions of dollars in a lawsuit against Spotify. Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV Eminem’s music publisher is suing Spotify, claiming the streaming service infringed on the copyrights of hundreds of songs. The lawsuit also challenges the constitutionality of a landmark music licensing law.Music publisher Eight Mile Style, in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Tennessee federal court, alleges that Spotify willfully committed an infringement by reproducing Eminem hits like Lose Yourself and “pretending” to have licenses. The complaint also claims Spotify violated the Music Modernization Act, a federal law passed in October that is designed to streamline the process for artists and songwriters compensated for streaming music.Despite not having proper licensing agreements, Spotify has streamed the music publisher’s compositions “billions of times” but “has not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams,” the lawsuit says.Central to the lawsuit is how Spotify allegedly categorized the music. The streaming service labeled Lose Yourself as “copyright control,” a designation for songs whose copyright owner is unknown. Eight Mile Style called Spotify’s assertion that it couldn’t locate the copyright holders of Lose Yourself — an Oscar-winning song from the 2002 hit movie 8 Mile — “absurd.””Spotify has not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams,” the complaint says.The lawsuit seeks statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the 243 compositions Spotify allegedly infringed — an award that could cost the streaming service more than $3 billion. It also seeks to disqualify Spotify from MMA limitation of damages and declare the federal law unconstitutional as it applies to Eight Mile Style’s allegations.This isn’t the first time Spotify has been accused of copyright infringement. In 2018, music publisher Wixen filed a $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit against Spotify, alleging the digital music platform had played music by Wixen artists such as Tom Petty, Neil Young and The Doors, without first obtaining proper licenses or compensating the publisher. That lawsuit was reportedly settled in December for an undisclosed sum. Spotify didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The lawsuit:Eight Mile Style v. Spotify by jonathan_skillings on Scribd Tags Spotify Eminem Share your voice Post a comment Digital Media Music 0last_img read more