Morne du Plessis: a true leader

first_imgMorne du Plessis was one of South Africa’s greatest rugby players and leaders, and in both respects he followed in his father’s footsteps. Du Plessis senior led the Springboks to a four-nil whitewash of the much-vaunted All Blacks in 1949, and 37 years later Du Plessis junior led the Boks to a three-one series triumph over New Zealand. They are the only father-son combination in Springbok history to captain the team.Morne began playing for the South African national team some years earlier, making his debut as Springbok eighthman in 1971 in a three-test series away to Australia. It was a successful series for the tourists, who won the three matches 18-6, 14-6 and 19-11.It was another three years before South Africa took to the international rugby stage again, and it proved a tough time for Springbok rugby as they faced the 1974 British Lions team, regarded by many as the finest rugby team ever assembled. The Lions swept through South Africa unbeaten, drawing only their last test against the Springboks 13-13.DroppedDu Plessis played in the first two tests, losses of 12-3 and a then record 28-9, before being dropped. It was a time of panic in Springbok selection, with 33 players in all taking the field against the Lions. Only three players played in all four tests.Through the rest of his 22-test career, covering 10 years but restricted to few matches because of South Africa’s apartheid policies, Du Plessis would play in only two more losing matches.South Africa toured France towards the end of 1974 and the Springboks restored some pride by defeating the Tricolores 10-8 and 13-4. Du Plessis played in both games.CaptaincyThe French toured South Africa the following year again, and Du Plessis was selected to lead the Springboks. He proved a success in the leadership role as the home team won 38-25 in Bloemfontein and 33-18 in Pretoria. The next big challenge awaiting Du Plessis was a four-test series against the All Blacks in 1976. It proved a much tighter and tougher challenge than the one provided by the French.The South Africans claimed a somewhat controversial series win under Du Plessis’ captaincy, winning the first test 16-7, losing the second 15-9, winning the third 15-10 and taking victory in the fourth 15-14. In 1977, the Springboks faced a World XV in Pretoria and triumphed 45-24 in a high-scoring encounter.It was three years before the South Africans played a test again, as the bite of international isolation took its toll. Just prior to a much-anticipated tour by the British Lions, the Springboks faced South America, a team made up mostly of Argentinians, but also including players from Chile and Uruguay, in two tests. With Du Plessis to the fore, South Africa won 24-9 in Johannesburg and 18-9 in Durban.Where did SA stand in world rugby?The Lions series was eagerly awaited because South Africa had beaten New Zealand in 1976 after their thrashing at the hands of the Lions, while the All Blacks had narrowly beaten the Lions in 1977. The question was: Where did South Africa stand in world rugby in 1980?In the first test in Cape Town, the Lions held the upper hand up front, but the Springbok backs had the edge over their opponents and the home side scored five tries to one as the Boks claimed a 26-22 victory. Du Plessis’ side ensured that they would at least share the series when they defeated the tourists 26-19 in Bloemfontein.In trying conditions, the South Africans made sure of winning the series when they pipped the Lions 12-10 in Port Elizabeth. With the outcome of the series already decided, the Lions managed a consolation win in the final test, triumphing 17-13 in Pretoria.A fitting send-offIn October 1980, the Springboks toured South America, but Du Plessis played in only one of the two tests, leading his team to a 30-16 success against the Jaguars in Santiago. The Western Province eighthman’s final test in charge of the Boks was a November international against France in Pretoria. With a powerful performance that saw the home team outscore the French five tries to one, Du Plessis was provided with a fitting send-off as South Africa triumphed 37-15.In all, he played in 22 tests for South Africa, 18 of which were victories. Under his leadership South Africa won 13 matches and lost only twice.His contribution to Springbok rugby was not over, however, and in 1995 he played an important role in what was perhaps South Africa’s biggest ever triumph in the sport.Du Plessis managed the Springbok team in the World Cup held in South Africa. Up until that time, provincial rivalries had dogged the national side, but under his considerable leadership skills the team gelled and went on to win the World Cup. Du Plessis’ role in that victory should not be under-estimated.The Laureus World Sports AwardsHis stature in the world of rugby, and in sport in general, was recognised by the Laureus World Sports Awards, the sports equivalent of the Oscars in which the world’s best athletes are honoured by former greats of sport.He was elected a member of the World Sports Academy, to decide upon the winners of the annual awards, placing him in the company of other greats of the sporting world including Gary Player, Nadia Comaneci, Sir Bobby Charlton, Mark Spitz, Sir Vivian Richards, Hugo Porta, Sergey Bubka, Kip Keino, Martina Navratilova, Dan Marino, Sebastian Coe, Jack Nicklaus, Willie Shoemaker and Katarina Witt, among others.Today Du Plessis remains one of South African sport’s favourite sons, highly respected for his role as a sportsman both on and off the field.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Marketing Your Products Through Wi-Fi Networks

first_imgRelated Posts corvida 1 Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#web When you don’t have the cash to hand over to Starbucks for Wi-Fi, there are hundreds of other coffee stores that will offer the same for free. For example, Panera Bread cafes include free Wi-Fi and are increasingly becoming my spot for free Wi-Fi access. Unfortunately, there are times when we won’t order a thing from places that provide free Wi-Fi or maybe we’ll grab the cheapest thing on the menu. There’s one coffe shop out there that’s looking to guilt trip Wi-Fi freeloaders into buying something on the menu using Wi-Fi networks.Marketing Via a Wi-Fi NetworkHolland-based CoffeeCompany is starting to market their menu items via their Wi-Fi networks. If you head to any of their coffee shops don’t be surprised to see networks with names such as ‘OrderAnotherCoffeeAlready’ or ‘TodaysSpecialExpresso1.60Euro’. With the help of THEY, CoffeeCompany is promoting their specials of the day and more, while humorously guilt tripping patrons accessing their Wi-Fi networks to grab another cup of coffee. Did anyone suggest this to Starbucks yet?Will it Increase Business?There haven’t been any reports of an increase in business, but we think the idea is great! Would it tempt us to buy another cup of joe? Once we could control our laughter at the creative network names we’d be more than happy to. While it won’t stop most from free-loading, we think CoffeeCompany might be on to something with this marketing technique. What creative network names would you use to market your products or services via a Wi-Fi network?Image courtesy of Adrantscenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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C-Store Employee Arrested in $129K Theft of Lottery Tickets

first_imgPolice say he later redeemed the winners at his place of employmentA convenience store employee in California was arrested Monday after the Fresno Police Department said he stole packets of lottery tickets worth more than $100,000.On Tuesday, Detective Marty Lucero of the Financial Crimes Unit opened an investigation into the reported theft of California Lottery Tickets by an employee of the Fast & Easy #7 convenience store.- Sponsor – During a three month period, S-Mantej Singh, 37 stole packs of Scratcher Lottery tickets valued at $600-$900 each, after the Lottery machine had been closed out for the day, police said… YourCentralValley Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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When The Smartwatch Meets The “Smart” Car

first_imgWhat could not be overlooked is that I was driving a $43,245 Mercedes luxury automobile. Even without a lot of high-tech gear, the sporty CLA 250—with its 208-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and paddle-controllable 7-speed transmission—would have provided sufficient cognitive engagement.  All I really needed was an open stretch of pavement and an easy way to crank up the volume on satellite radio.DriveStyle and the Pebble, however, offer an added layer of digital clutter. DriveStyle itself is a particularly flagrant offender. Start it up and the first thing you see are three vaguely named navigation categories—Social, Media and Places—each containing a bewildering set of apps.The Pebble aims to cut through some of that. Its primary function while driving is to get you to particular DriveStyle apps with a minimum of fuss. With my eyes mostly on the road, I could reach to the set of three buttons on the right side of the watch, and jump the dashboard screen into one of three pre-designated apps. (You can set these yourself, though not while you’re driving.)A single push on the watch, for example, can start Google’s traffic map, Apple’s Siri, or Glympse, an app that lets you share your location with family or friends. Mercedes’s Pebble smartwatch effort—unveiled in January at 2014 CES, and made available a few weeks later—is ironically an attempt to re-focus drivers on driving by paring connectivity back to essential functions.Digital ShortcutsI came to think of the three buttons on the watch as an elaborate workaround to find things in DriveStyle, which itself supplanted the simpler use of analog buttons on the dash. Once you start daisy-chaining, I guess, it’s hard to stop.While parked in my driveway, I had taken a look at DriveStyle’s social functionality—like access to bite-sized Facebook posts, Tweets or a social playlist of videos posted by friends. Those social tasks didn’t make sense to me. When I hit the road, I have zero desire to hear a robotic voice reading Ellen Degeneres’s latest tweets, one of the preset favorites on the loaner car. Things might be different if DriveStyle could read my texts or emails to me—but it can’t, because iOS won’t give it access to them.That left me looking for watch-based enhancements to the actual driving experience. I found the first example when I clicked my Pebble watch to bring up the Glympse app. The watch’s only contribution to the proceedings was providing a shortcut to start the app.From there, I used the analog rotary dial on the center console to find my wife’s email address in the phone’s contacts, and set a time limit of 30 minutes. A moment later, my wife (back home) clicked on a link to open a page where she could track my progress on a map—eliminating any question about when I would be home. That was kind of handy, helping to avoid those inevitable texts: “R u close?” and “Be there in 5.”As I drove, I found another item called “Places, Powered by Google” helpful, at least up to a point. That enabled searching for points of interest in a way that offers some improvement over the convoluted process most car-navigation systems force upon their users—usually by forcing them through a series of clumsy menus.The Places function, by contrast, at least allows you to search on words like “coffee,” even if you do have to use the rotary dial to pick letters off the screen one at a time. The plus side here is that the DriveStyle app offers autocomplete results on the 7-inch screen, trumping the vehicle’s native navigation system, and was available even on the move. (There’s no voice-recognition in the DriveStyle app for text entry.)A list of nearby cafes came up, providing distance from my location. Selecting one of the results allowed me to see open hours, star ratings, and a Google street view (controllable by the rotary dial). The way the street view images displayed, moving across as the dial spins, was slick.Mercedes realizes that smartphone innovation far outpaces the auto industry’s lumbering development cycle. By the time an automotive OEM can update its hardware, interface and apps, the electronics industry is at least a generation or two ahead. For example, the demo car natively connected to the Internet via 3G, while the tethered phone in the glove box was streaming by 4G LTE. The DriveStyle platform can add new apps as developers roll them out. Eventually, developers’ kits will allow third-party innovators to add driving apps.Good Vibrations A day or two of strapping on a Pebble watch only to use it for three shortcut buttons on my wrist left me wondering why Mercedes bothered. So I continued to toss the CLA around city streets and the winding roads of the Berkeley hills near where I live.And then the Pebble buzzed and flashed a screen reading, “Slow Down.” Turns out the DriveStyle’s Garmin integration, combined with GPS, had loaded up my location and local speed limits. When I exceeded the speed limit by about 10 percent, the watch vibrated and issued its warning.It’s standard Pebble functionality to push notifications when you get a text message, a phone call, or an email. Based on the type of vibration, you know what’s up without taking the phone out of your pocket. Mercedes took the idea of push notifications and repurposed it for driving safety. Different warnings for, say, a reported accident or road construction, each have their signature type of vibration, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to know lies ahead.I didn’t encounter an accident or road hazard during my week, so “Slow Down” was the only vibration I experienced. It was effective, and the only interaction with the watch that didn’t duplicate what the car would have provided without the wearable. Something about feeling the buzz—sort of a literal slap on the wrist—grabbed my attention. I slowed down.Another button on the Pebble would have let me push road condition notifications in the other direction—for instance, had I seen an accident that I wanted to report. Like the other functions started by the watch, completing the process would have required using the rotary dial, causing more distraction, and increasing chances that I would become the next accident.Yet Mercedes told me that on some models, if the driver pulls off the road, lifts the hood and puts on the emergency flashers, the car will automatically report the problem to other Mercedes app users. The company is looking to integrate this functionality with Waze and similar services not limited to Mercedes cars.Car Apps Outside the CarWhen you reach your destination and power down the car, the mode-icon on the top left of the phone switches from a car to a walking person. As you step away from the car, the watch receives a full download of your car’s precise location, the trip distance, the amount of fuel left in the tank, and—apparently for use in case your car is stolen—the car’s model name and VIN number.On some models, though not my loaner CLA, you also get a reading of air pressure for all four tires. I liked these functions, but saw them more as a curiosity than essential aids.In addition to Mercedes’s Pebble integration, I also got a five-minute run-through of how Google Glass could become part of the driving experience. The same diagnostics delivered to the watch after a drive—as well as walking directions from where you parked to where you need to go—can be deployed to Glass. This was my very first experience with Google Glass, so most of my time was spent simply fitting the device to my face and making the screen visible.  The simplicity of the watch made more sense for getting a quick read on fuel and tire pressure.Google Glass is also put to use prior to getting into the car. As you stroll to your car, speak your desired point of interest to Glass. The eyeglass screen then provides walking turn-by-turn directions first to your car, and then driving turn-by-turn instructions to the dashboard navigation. Theoretically, there’s no downtime, and the act of driving and living become a single blurred experience.  That idea, and more generally the use of wearables behind the wheel, has some merit.  I’m sure that Mercedes and other automakers will continue to experiment. But I have to admit that after a week, I was relieved to return the CLA and Pebble—and get back to my own dumb car, with its simple singular interface designed simply for driving. ReadWriteDrive is an ongoing series covering the future of transportation.When I first heard that Mercedes is integrating wearable technology—such as Pebble smartwatches and Google Glass—with its smart-vehicle systems, I thought the luxury automaker had a taken just a sip or two of Silicon Valley Kool-Aid. So I tried it out.Turns out, a week of driving a 2014 Mercedes CLA with Pebble tied to the car’s digital nervous system didn’t dispel my doubts about either the wisdom or usefulness of what I came to think of as wearing-while-driving. But I do have to give Mercedes credit for a gallant inaugural try at making the concept work.Driving While WearingMy smart-meets-smart experience started with plugging an iPhone into the car’s Lightning connector, which is tucked away in the glove box. It’s a good move that forces drivers to stow the phone away from temptation. The center dash’s 7-inch screen then turns into the interface for the Mercedes Digital DriveStyle app, which is still running on the iPhone. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#CLA#Mercedes-Benz#Pebble bradley berman Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Think of DriveStyle as the main infotainment and navigation platform, delivered from the iPhone to the center console. (DriveStyle is only available for iOS at the moment.) You can then pair the Pebble to the phone via Bluetooth, after which it acts as a peripheral controller. It’s quite the daisy chain of devices, and yet it’s still not sufficient to complete the setup—the driver also needs to use the analog rotary dial controller between the front seats.I spun the dial to the “Media” category and then “Aux,” where I finished adding the Pebble to the chain. It takes a minute to wrap your mind around how everything is connected, but once you do, the setup isn’t particularly complicated. When everything works and vehicle’s engine is running, a little icon of a car appears on the top left corner of the watch.Bear in mind that my loaner Mercedes CLA 250 already has its own native dashboard infotainment and navigation functions, controlled by analog buttons and viewed on the center dash’s 7-inch screen. DriveStyle and Pebble supplant those old-school buttons. The digital high road aims to trump the analog world and its puny apps.Eyes on the Roadlast_img read more

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RW Q&A: Monisha Perkash, founder of Lumo Bodytech

first_imgTrevor Curwin How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Monisha Perkash is co-founder and CEO of a successful wearables company, Lumo Bodytech.She sat down with us at ReadWrite to to talk about her experience founding an IoT company today and to ponder what she sees as the future of IoT. She’ll be speaking on panel on bringing your wearable to market at the Wearable World Congress event, May 11 in Santa Clara.Perkash describers her firm as a wearables company that specializes in movement intelligence. “We use sensor technologies and algorithms to track human body movements to a very fine degree of resolution,” Perkash says. “We provide people with actionable feedback so they can move better. Think posture, yoga, running, golf, physical therapy. Any activity that requires proper  form, movement, and biomechanics, Lumo is well-positioned to help people with.Lumo’s wearable products are characteristically small with intelligent sensors. Perkash described the Lumo Lift, a small lapel pin that attaches to your shirt with magnets, and the Lumo Run, a tiny clip that could be attached to the waistband of your shorts. “When you slouch, the Lumo Lift reminds you to straighten up”, Perkash says. “The Lumo Run provides lab-quality feedback on running form. You know in real-time how your running form could change.How Lumo came aboutPerkash came up with the idea for Lumo seeing her co-founder and CTO, Andrew Chang, suffering from debilitating back pain. Perkash is married to a spine and sports physician, so she could understand how important posture really was. Perkash advised Andrew to attend a posture class and as a result Andrew learned how to manage his back pain. “Posture and back pain are truly scientifically linked,” Perkash says.She adds that for most people who suffer from back pain, the hardest part of improving one’s posture is being aware of. “We get so engrossed into our gadgets and computers that we don’t have any awareness,” Perkash said. Lumo began with the mission of find a solution so that “people could become more aware of their posture and help hundreds of people with their back pain.”Watch the whole interview: Related Posts Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…center_img Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#health#Internet of Things#IoT#Lumo BodyTech#wearables last_img read more

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Artificial Intelligence and the Fight Against Child Sexual Exploitation

first_imgAuthored By John ClarkOpens in a new window, President & CEO, NCMECOn October 16 of last year, the FBI concluded the 10th annual Operation Cross Country—a program to defeat child sex trafficking operations and rescue victims. Partnering with local and international law enforcement agencies—and supplied with technical assistance and recovery services support from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children* (NCMEC)—agents arrested 239 alleged perpetrators and rescued 82 sexually exploited children.NCMEC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. As NCMEC’s CEO, I’m heartened by the success of our partnership with the FBI to help children, and by the attention these ‘big moments’ bring to the important work we do. But these big moments grow out of painstaking, time-consuming day-to-day work that grows in volume every year. That’s why I’m so excited about the collaboration we’ve begun with Intel to use artificial intelligence (AI) to dramatically increase our speed and effectiveness in helping to rescue exploited children. Let me tell you what we’re doing together.NCMEC’s CyberTiplineOpens in a new window provides a vehicle for the public and for electronic service providers to report suspected cases of child sexual exploitation. Each report we receive must be prioritized to try to identify children in imminent danger and passed on to an appropriate law enforcement agency with as much added value as we can provide. Last year, we handled more than 8 million reports, and the number is doubling every year. Because of the exploding volume, it can take up to 30 days for our analysts to process some reports—which is 29 days too long.Tasks often involve searching tens of millions of images to determine whether we have previously seen potential victims or alleged perpetrators, to differentiate new images from those already seen, to match images with network addresses or domain names, and to identify intentionally misleading domain names. If we can help law enforcement to identify the victim in an image, then law enforcement may be able to intervene to rescue the child.Technology is one of our best tools in the fight against child sexual exploitation, and AI can augment the work our analysts do to help us process reports faster and more accurately. Service and social media providers like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Pinterest already use analytics and AI to detect and stop exploitation within their networks. When I became NCMEC CEO after a career in law enforcement and a stint in cyber security, I was pleased to see the extent to which NCMEC—a non-profit with limited resources—was using technology to solve tough problems. But I was convinced we could do even more. Our partnership with Intel offers us a way to keep up with the exploding volume of reports coming through the CyberTipline and improve our effectiveness in handing them, so it’s one of our most important initiatives.Intel engineers are helping us assess the problem, showing us better ways to store and access massive amount of data, and finding ways to apply machine learning and advanced analytics to help our analysts work faster and better. Then they’re working with us to design and develop the solutions we need. It’s a hands-on partnership that brings Intel expertise and technology together with our own technical and subject-matter experts to find innovative ways to help victims of child sex trafficking. We’re still in the initial phases, but results so far promise to reduce the typical 30-day turnaround time to just a day or two. And for a child in a vulnerable situation, those 28 or 29 days can literally be a lifetime.Our collaboration with Intel is proving AI can be applied to solve a growing number of business and societal problems. But as we focus on the technology, we can’t lose sight of the human side of this problem. When we speak of “images,” we’re speaking of children being violently abused, so we need more partnerships and more collaboration with businesses that can help. If you’re a U.S.-based electronic service provider, email us at [email protected] in a new window and provide your contact info, so we can explore how we can work together. And if you’d like to know more about how the AI technology Intel is providing could help your business or institution, you can find more at the Intel Web siteOpens in a new window.And most importantly, to report a suspected case of child sexual exploitation, please visit www.missingkids.org/CybertiplineOpens in a new window, where you can also learn more about NCMEC’s work to protect children and how you can help. You can also call our 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) to make a report. *Third-party marks & brands are the property of their respective owners.last_img read more

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