Consumers prefer operator billing for mobile content purchasing, according to analysts at Strategy Analytics. In a new report authored by Paul Brown, the firm asked consumers in the U.S. and Western Europe to rate their interest level for several different mobile payment options. Surprisingly, operator billing came out on top, even over the use of pre-registered accounts such as iTunes or PayPal and over the use of credit cards/debit cards.For the survey, Strategy Analytics asked 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and 1,500 in Western Europe to rate how they would prefer to pay for apps, using a scale of 1 – 5. The percentages reported below are based on those who responded either 4 or 5 from the scale provided (4 = interested, 5 = very interested).In the U.S., 38% of respondents said they would prefer operator billing and 40% said the same in Western Europe. And in both regions, paying for purchases via iTunes or PayPal are preferred over entering either credit card or debit card details. Preferred Billing MethodsIn the U.S., the breakdown is as follows (remember, participants were asked interest levels for each item, not to pick their favorite – these responses aren’t meant to total 100%):38% – Operator billing31% – Pre-registered accounts31% – PayPal22% – Credit or Debit Card entry, where information is saved22% – Credit or Debit Card entry, where you re-enter it each timeIn Western Europe, the responses were:40% – Operator billing26% – PayPal18% -? Pre-registered accounts16% -? Credit or Debit Card entry, where you re-enter it each time??11% – Credit or Debit Card entry, where information is savedBy Plan TypeWhen responses were broken down by plan type (pre-paid, post-paid or family plan), responses varied a bit. In the U.S., pre-paid users said they preferred PayPal, a pre-registered account or their credit card, while those on post-paid and family plans still preferred operator billing. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#mobile What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … sarah perez However, in Western Europe, both pre-paid and post-paid respondents showed interest in operator billing, with 44% or post-paid respondents and 30% of pre-paid respondents interested. The second most popular option was then PayPal.Content OwnershipThe report also looked at how consumers prefer to pay for mobile content – via ads, fees or rentals, for example. Not surprisingly, people said they prefer free content.In the U.S., nearly half want free, ad-supported content and 27% said they want to pay a one-time fee to own the content. In Europe, 40% prefer ad-supported content, while one and five prefer a one-time fee to own content. Only 10% in the U.S. and 8% in Europe said they were interested in renting content. The full report is available via the firm’s website here. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts
Achieving the net-zero-energy performance mark is rarely easy, but it is less often done in obscurity thanks to competitions such as the Solar Decathlon, the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge, the Zero Energy Challenge in Massachusetts, and the Net Zero Energy Building Award contest, which is conducted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) and now soliciting entries for its 2011 edition.The NZE Building Award competition will enter its third season in 2011. The winner in 2009 was a 2,800-sq.-ft. house in Charlotte, Vermont, whose owners, both architects, designed it to include a superinsulated shell, passive solar orientation, a 10-kW wind turbine, and a ground-source heat pump. The 2010 winner, a 1,152-sq.-ft. home called the Montague Urban Homestead, features a superinsulated envelope, a high degree of airtightness, a 4.94-kW photovoltaic system, and solar hot water. (Montague Urban Homestead also won the 2009 Massachusetts Zero Energy Challenge.)NESEA says it will welcome entries, for any building type, through December 15, 2010, for the next NZE Building Award, which will be presented at the Building Energy 11 Conference + Trade Show scheduled for March 8-10 in Boston. Eligibility is limited to buildings in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) as well as those in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. The winner receives a $10,000 cash prize.Key criteriaThe contest is designed to highlight the design ingenuity, materials, mechanics, craftsmanship, and occupant behaviors that combine to bring a building’s performance to net-zero energy. Eligible buildings must have been continuously occupied for at least a year, during which time their operation at net-zero energy must be documented.Beyond performance, a three-judge panel of experts will also focus on the overall design of each project and its replicability, since one aim of the contest is to celebrate buildings that can be reproduced relatively easily.One disqualifying factor, NESEA adds, would be idiosyncratic behavior by the building’s occupants, which might include “acceptance of unduly low thermostat settings; dietary regimens that dispense with refrigerators; perpetual candlelight reading.” In other words, sensible conservation measures are encouraged, but extreme occupant behavior is not.NESEA also points out that projects that achieve net-zero-energy performance with smaller energy conversion systems tend to be favored over those that feature “brute force” deployments of large renewable-energy installations.Click here for details about NZE Building Award submission requirements.
The Uttar Pradesh government headed by Yogi Adityanath has sought information on the possibility of withdrawing nine criminal cases pending in a court in Muzaffarnagar against BJP leaders in connection with 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, according to a letter to the district magistrate by a senior State official.The cases were filed against U.P. Minister Suresh Rana, former Union Minister Sanjiv Balyan, Bijnor MP Bhartendu Singh, Budhana MLA Umesh Malik and party leader Sadhvi Prachi.In the January 5 letter to the district magistrate, Uttar Pradesh Department of Justice Special Secretary Raj Singh has sought information on 13 points, including whether the cases could be withdrawn in public interest. The letter also sought the opinion of the Muzaffarnagar Senior Superintendent of Police.Though the leaders have not been named in the letter, the file numbers pertaining to the cases against them have been mentioned in it.The accused are facing charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for violating prohibitory orders, deterring public servants from discharging their duties and wrongful restraint.The accused had allegedly participated in a “mahapanchayat” and incited violence through their speeches in the last week of August 2013. The communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas in August and September 2013 had claimed more than 60 lives while over 40,000 people were displaced.In the two riot cases, 22 activists, including Mr. Rana, are facing trial in which a special investigation team (SIT) has filed charge sheets.
National Conference (NC) president and Member of Parliament from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah said on Saturday that annulling Article 370 and Article 35-A will be tantamount to a constitutional coup.“Article 370 is essential and unassailable until a final resolution is reached. Yes, the Article was deemed to be temporary until the issue of the State was resolved. However, the issue is still lingering; therefore Article 370 will continue to remain in force,” said Dr. Abdullah in a speech in north Kashmir’s Handwara.He said the accession of the State took place in unusual circumstances. “The Maharaja who was rather vacillating then did not want to accede to any of the two dominions. He wanted the erstwhile state to remain free. Keeping in view the special circumstances, Article 370 was added to the Constitution of India,” he said.Dr. Abdullah said the uneducated rants of those who wanted to obliterate Article 370 were far-fetched, fanciful and devoid of any genuineness.He warned that if Article 35-A was annulled, “then all the successive presidential orders will get annulled automatically.”“The need of the hour is to make people aware of the consequences of repealing Article 370 and Article 35-A,” he added.
Man Man This collection by United Colors of Benetton showcases keen understanding of a mans wardrobe. The United Colors of Benetton man is urban yet sophisticated, and turns heads with his Italian approach to dressing. The Fall collection of the brand, with its wide range, meets the style needs for all occasions. The choice of materials and meticulously detailed finishes are emblematic of the Italian approach to dressing. The mens collection consists of themes like urban, heritage colors, street graffiti, 3D prints, color blocking, modern strong rebellious and bold 80s sports. The United Colors of Benetton man reflects the easy-going, bold yet suave personality, which is strongly influenced by the need to have a diverse wardrobe and celebrates effortless style with every gesture. The collection showcases key styles that bring to life different tones of tangerine and blue, with a highlight of yellow in prints and graphics. For the man with a busy life out and about in the city, Benettons URBAN range blends discreet elegance and a casual attitude into quality, sophisticated casualwear. Autumn reflects return to the city, but the urban environment will be lived with an attitude which blends essentiality, a relaxed but dynamic spirit and refined taste. T-shirts and woven tops with geometric prints add a point of difference to the sense of style of the wearer. MORE PRNewswire GSV
AdvertisementThe match between England and Tunisia saw some controversial calls being given and some not given. Although England captain scored a brace in the match, he was frustrated for not being given the penalty on two clear occasions.Kyle walker conceded the penalty for throwing an elbow on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, however, Harry Kane was denied the penalty on two clear occassions where he was bought to ground by Sassi in the first half and Yassine Meriah in the second half. On both the times, there was the availability of VAR but wasn’t used. The tottenham striker said that he maybe a bit dissapointed that he couldnt get the penalty given the fact that he thinks they got a penalty from a soft foul. But the fans spotted something in the same play where Kane went down. Replays showed that prior to Kane being brought down, Stones clearly pushed his marker to the floor. But nothing explains the second penalty not being given for the English striker.Kane being wrestled down to the floor in the first half.However, England fans were convinced Harry Kane was fouled inside the penalty box and they should have been given a penalty.A frustated England captain, Harry Kane called out the Colombian refree to make better decisions in the nex match. He further added,”It’s part of the game. We knew from watching the other games, there’s been a lot of penalties and a lot of soft decisions. We had to be aware of that. We had one against us today and probably another couple that didn’t go our way. It’s difficult, but as players all we can do is get on with the game.It’s down to the officials and hopefully when they watch it back they will make it right for the next games.”England play Panama in their next match and Darkhorses Belgium for their group stage match.Read also :FIFA World Cup 2018: Artem Dzyuba speaks his mind ahead of Russia vs Egypt matchFIFA World Cup 2018: Stats of the Day – Day 5 Advertisement
The Government will be spending $1 billion to assist with the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).The funds, which have been allotted in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, will facilitate increased access to financing for MSMEs under two projects being undertaken by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).These are the Credit Enhancement Programme, for which a sum of $600 million has been allocated; and the Access to Finance for MSMEs project, for which $400 million has been provided.Under the Credit Enhancement Programme, 64 bank guarantees will be issued to MSMEs in the upcoming fiscal year. Up to December 2018, a total 70 bank guarantees were issued to targeted businesses.Originally slated to run from September 2017 to September 2022, the programme, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to promote investments in MSMEs in Jamaica by enhancing their access to financing, particularly medium and long-term loans.In the meantime, the Access to Finance for MSMEs seeks to increase the number of businesses with guaranteed loans through the DBJ Loan Guarantee Fund; and increase the number of entities getting access to risk capital through the Fund.This project, being funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), is slated to run from March 2018 to January 2023. Story Highlights The Government will be spending $1 billion to assist with the growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The funds, which have been allotted in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, will facilitate increased access to financing for MSMEs under two projects being undertaken by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ). These are the Credit Enhancement Programme, for which a sum of $600 million has been allocated; and the Access to Finance for MSMEs project, for which $400 million has been provided.
Washington: Dinesh Chawla, a prominent Indian-origin hotelier in the US, who previously partnered with President Donald Trump’s family on four hotels, has been arrested on charges of stealing bags from the Memphis airport for the “thrill and excitement,” according to media reports. According to police records, airport security footage recorded Chawla, the CEO of Chawla Hotels, on August 18 removing another passenger’s suitcase from a baggage claim carousel at the Memphis International Airport in the US state of Tennessee and putting it in his car before taking a flight. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe airport police said they searched the car and discovered the suitcase and another piece of luggage that had been taken from the airport a month earlier, The New York Times reported. Chawla, 56, was arrested when he returned to Memphis on Thursday and admitted to stealing the two bags and their contents, valued at about $4,000, according to a police affidavit. The records also said Chawla had confessed to stealing other luggage “over a long period of time,” but it provided no details of other thefts. Chawla told an officer “that he knows stealing luggage is wrong, but he does it for the thrill and excitement,” the NYT quoted the records as saying. He was given a $5,000 bond and released on Thursday. Chawla has a court date scheduled for Friday, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger newspaper reported. He could not immediately be reached for comment, the report said.
OTTAWA – The federal privacy watchdog says he’s concerned about the possibility that the personal information of Facebook users was harvested for political purposes.Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien says his office will contact Facebook to find out whether the personal information of Canadians was affected by a major data leak involving the global social media platform.A Canadian data expert named Christopher Wylie has exposed the breach in media interviews, saying he helped found a data analytics company that helped the Trump campaign capitalize politically on private Facebook information.In a statement today, Therrien says his office has also offered to assist an investigation into the matter already launched by the U.K. information commissioner’s office.Therrien says his ultimate goal is to ensure that the privacy rights of Canadian Facebook users are protected.Reports by The New York Times and The Observer of London say U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign hired data-analytics company Cambridge Analytica to collect private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users.“Recent media reports regarding the use of personal information posted on Facebook for political purposes raise serious privacy concerns,” Therrien said in the statement.“Our office will be reaching out to Facebook to seek information regarding whether Canadians’ personal information was affected by the issues raised in those reports. That will help us determine possible next steps.”
NEW YORK, N.Y. – “America’s Got Talent” ended its summer run last week with the most-watched entertainment programs on television since May, although its popularity dipped this summer.Just under 13 million people watched the final two episodes of the NBC competition last week, where magician Shin Lim was chosen as the winner. While those were bigger audiences than any entertainment show since the last original episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” Wednesday’s finale was down 18 per cent from the 2017 season finale, the Nielsen company said.Last season was an anomaly for the talent show, which had its highest ratings ever during its 12th season. Young ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer was a popular winner in 2017. Overall, viewership for the main Tuesday edition of the show was down 11 per cent from last year, Nielsen said.Still, “America’s Got Talent” remains by far the most popular television series of the summer, and NBC is planning a midseason edition this year for the first time.That series, along with a Sunday night football matchup, led NBC to a dominant week in the television ratings, nearly doubling its closest rival in audience size.NBC averaged 8.2 million viewers for the week. CBS was second with 4.2 million, Fox had 4 million, ABC had 2.7 million, Univision has 1.33 million, Telemundo had 1.32 million, ION Television had 1.2 million and the CW had 650,000.Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.71 million viewers in prime time. ESPN had 2.55 million, MSNBC had 1.88 million, HGTV had 1.31 million and USA had 1.3 million.ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers, and scored its biggest season advantage over NBC in 22 years. Last week the “NBC Nightly News” averaged 7.6 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.6 million.For the week of Sept. 17-23, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: New England at Detroit, NBC, 19.46 million; “NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 13 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 12.99 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 12.88 million; NFL Football: Seattle at Chicago, ESPN, 11.89 million; “The OT,” Fox, 11.55 million; “Emmy Awards,” NBC, 10.22 million; “911,” Fox, 9.83 million; “Football Night in America,” NBC, 9.13 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.99 million.___ABC and ESPN are owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.___Online:http://www.nielsen.com
“This figure, which is a conservative estimate, shows that the seemingly small sums sent home by migrant workers when added together dwarf official development assistance,” said Kevin Cleaver, Assistant President of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which co-authored the study with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).According to Sending money home: Worldwide remittances to developing countries, Asia received the largest share of the remittances – more than $114 billion – followed by Latin America and the Caribbean with $68 billion, Eastern Europe with $51 billion, Africa with $39 billion and the Near East with $29 billion.India received the most of any single nation with $24.5 billion, followed by Mexico ($24.2 billion), China ($21 billion), the Philippines ($14.6 billion) and Russia ($13.7 billion).The study also found that the remittances sent home regularly by some 150 million migrants exceeded foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries, which last year totalled around $167 billion.IFAD underscored that more than one third of these remittances flow to families in rural areas, and is mostly used for basic necessities such as food, clothing and medicines. While 10 to 20 per cent is saved, too often these savings are hidden in homes rather than put to work in financial institutions, constituting a “major missed opportunity for local development.”The study based its figures are based on official data from governments, banks and money operators, as well as estimates of informal flows, such as money carried home. It was released yesterday ahead of the International Forum on Remittances 2007, co-hosted by IFAD and IDB in Washington. 18 October 2007A new United Nations study reveals that migrants working in industrialized countries sent home more than $300 billion to their families in 2006 – surpassing the $104 billion provided by donor nations in foreign aid to developing countries.
23 January 2012The world needs to create 600 million new jobs over the next decade to sustain economic growth and maintain social stability, the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) said in its annual report on global employment unveiled today. According to the report entitled ‘Global Employment Trends 2012: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis,’ the world faces the additional challenge of creating decent jobs for the estimated 900 million workers who subsist on less than $2 a day, most of them in developing countries.“After three years of continuous crisis conditions in global labour markets and against the prospect of a further deterioration of economic activity, there is a backlog of global unemployment of 200 million,” according to the report. More than 400 million new jobs will be needed over the next 10 years to absorb a labour force expansion of an estimated 40 million people.“Despite strenuous government efforts, the jobs crisis continues unabated, with one in three workers worldwide – or an estimated 1.1 billion people – either unemployed or living in poverty,” said Juan Somavia, the ILO Director-General. “What is needed is that job creation in the real economy must become our number one priority,” he said.The economic recovery that started in 2009 was short-lived, according to the report, which notes that there are still 27 million more unemployed workers than at the start of the crisis.The fact that economies are not generating enough employment is reflected in the employment-to-population ratio (the proportion of the working-age population in employment), which suffered the largest decline on record between 2007, when it was 61.2 per cent, and 2010, when it fell to 60.2 per cent, according to the report.There are nearly 29 million fewer people in the labour force now than would be expected based on pre-crisis trends. If these “discouraged workers” were counted as unemployed, then global unemployment would swell from the current 197 million to 225 million, and the unemployment rate would rise from 6 per cent to 6.9 per cent.The report presents three scenarios on the employment situation in the future.The baseline projection shows an additional 3 million unemployed for 2012, rising to 206 million by 2016. In the second scenario, if global economic growth rates fall below 2 per cent, then unemployment would rise to 204 million in 2012.The better scenario assumes that there will be a quick resolution of the euro zone debt crisis, which would lead to global unemployment dropping by one million this year.Some 74.8 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 were unemployed last year, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007, according to the report. Young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. The global youth unemployment rate, at 12.7 per cent, remains a full percentage point above the pre-crisis level.
Two City of Burlington Summer Students were taken to hospital in critical head injuries after they were hit by an SUV while on the job. Halton Regional Police say the 19 and 22 year old male workers are now in stable condition. Their 34 year old female supervisor was also struck and taken to hospital but has since been released.It happened around 9:30am Thursday on a centre island median on Walkers Line south of Berton Avenue. The employees were doing landscaping work when the driver of a Nissan Pathfinder lost control and mounted the curb. The 51 year old male driver was not hurt. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash but have ruled out alcohol and cell phone use as possible factors. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Constable Greg Cormier at 905-825-4747 ext. 5066.
Laboratory results have confirmed that the last case of the wild poliovirus was a 14 month old child from Uige Province in the African country’s north-west in July 2011, following years of concerted efforts by the Government and its partners to halt the outbreak, which had spread to neighbouring countries, according to a joint press release from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Government of Angola.”This success is the result of the improvement in the quality of polio campaigns round after round,” said the acting WHO Representative in Angola, Jean-Marie Yameogo, who also credited the “high commitment” of Government officials at all levels and the engagement of civil society.Other factors included improved surveillance of the disease, improved routine immunization and the coordination of efforts in neighbouring countries, along with greater access of populations to safe water and sanitation, according to the joint release.Primarily funded by the Government, the country’s massive vaccination campaigns deployed thousands of health workers and volunteers door to door and at crossing points, main streets, markets and water points, reaching 95 per cent of children under the age of five.The decline of new cases from 33 in 2010 to five in 2011, with none as yet in 2012, is significant, UNICEF’s Representative for Angola, Koenrad Vanormelingen, noted, while also warning against complacency.“These investments demonstrate the importance of building strong primary health care for all the country’s children,” he said. “We have a duty to protect and ensure that all children are born and developed in a healthy polio-free environment, which means we can not stop until every child is fully vaccinated.”The Global Polio Eradication Initiative – spearheaded by the WHO, UNICEF and a host of national, multilateral and private sector partners – has overseen a 99 per cent reduction of polio cases since its launch in 1988, with only three countries still endemic – Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.Also today, WHO reported that no new cases of Ebola haemorrhagic fever have been reported over the past four days in Uganda, as a team of experts from the health agency and its partners continues to support the Government’s response to an outbreak in the western part of the country. As of 8 August, a total of 23 probable and confirmed cases had been recorded, including 16 deaths, WHO stated in an update on the situation. All people who came into contact with probable and confirmed cases of Ebola are being followed-up for a period of 21 days, the agency added, with 190 having completed 21 days of close monitoring, while 185 are still being closely monitored for any possible sign of illness.Uganda has previously experienced outbreaks of Ebola, which can in severe cases lead to internal bleeding and is transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids of infected persons or animals, but the most recent outbreak was declared over in early 2008.
BELFAST, Ireland — Brendan Barry made seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points and Dartmouth beat Albany 91-77 in the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic on Friday.Barry was 7-of-11 shooting behind the arc in finishing a point and a 3-pointer shy of his career highs. James Foye and Chris Knight added career highs of 20 points each. Foye made 5 of 6 3-point shots with the Big Green (4-4) shooting 51.5 per cent from the arc by going 17 of 33. The 21 3-pointers were the second-most ever for Dartmouth versus a Division I team, one shy of the 18 they made — also against Albany — in Jan. 20, 2001.Adrease Jackson grabbed 10 rebounds to go with eight points for Dartmouth in the consolation game of the Samson bracket.Cameron Healy made four 3-pointers and scored 24 points for the Great Danes (2-6) with Ahmad Clark adding 23 points and Adam Lulka 14 with nine rebounds.Dartmouth used a 17-0 run to go up by 20 points 9 1/2 minutes into the game and were ahead by as many as 28 before going into the break leading by 17. The lead remained comfortably in double figures thereafter.The Associated Press
FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Jan. 17, 2017), we discuss how Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to victory in one of the most exciting NFL playoff games in recent memory. Plus, we preview next weekend’s AFC and NFC championship matchups. Next, ESPN Insider’s Mike Goodman drops by to school us on what’s going on in the English Premier League as the title race gets going. Finally, we add our 2 cents to the speculation about Carmelo Anthony potentially leaving the Knicks. Plus, a significant digit on Alex Rodriguez’s future as a TV host.In case you missed it, ESPN recapped the Packers’ 34-31 victory over the Cowboys.The Cowboys-Packers game was as great as it seemed, writes Neil Paine.Bill Barnwell wrote for Grantland on why icing the kicker does not work.ESPN’s Dan Graziano reflected on the four biggest questions in next weekend’s conference championships.Our NFL predictions will continue to be updated throughout the playoffs.In the other type of football, the BBC took at look at how the top six are shaping up in the English Premier League.Deadspin’s Tom Ley investigates the latest speculation that Carmelo Anthony may leave the Knicks.Significant Digit: $21 million, the reported salary that A-Rod will be paid by the Yankees next season. He won’t actually be playing for the team, but instead hosting “Back in the Game,” a new CNBC reality show that will feature a panel of experts advising former professional athletes who are struggling financially. Embed Code
This MLB offseason, star players searching for contracts like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are going to be fine. But the majority of free agents in baseball this winter? They might be in store for another long wait as the game continues to trend younger — younger than it’s ever been for position players in the free agency era.Harper and Machado — rare 26-year-old superstar free agents — could break contract records this year. (Harper has already turned down $300 million.) But the rest of the free-agent class of 2018-19, which was once expected to be historically rich in talent, is not as strong as it could have been. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw declined to exercise his opt-out and signed a new three-year, $93 million deal with the Dodgers on Friday without ever becoming a free agent. Josh Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP, suffered a series of injuries that diminished his value, and A.J. Pollock has a similar recent history. Andrew McCutchen, a former National League MVP, is now 32 and no longer a star-level player.While there is star power at the top, more money to spend and perhaps fewer rebuilding teams, the vast majority of this class’s 250-plus free agents — who became eligible to sign with any team on Saturday — face the same questions that tormented the middle tier of free agents last year: Will any team sign them? And even if they land on major league rosters, how long will they have to wait, and what kind of salary will they have to accept to get there?The overriding issue is that the game is getting younger. Last season was the youngest for position players since the 1970s.To become a free agent, a player must accrue six years of service time.1Players also become free agents when they’re released from their clubs before reaching that threshold. The average age for rookies breaking into the majors last year was 24.4 for position players and 25.3 for pitchers. By the time these players have six years of service time, most will be at least 30 years old. Harper and Machado, who debuted as 19- and 20-year-old wunderkinds, are outliers.According to Spotrac, the 147 free agents to sign at least a one-year deal with guaranteed dollars last season were, on average, 32.6 years old, and the average age of this year’s class is 33.1 years. Last season, position players age 32 and older accounted for 12.9 percent of wins above replacement (WAR)2According to FanGraphs’ version of the metric. and 18.6 percent of plate appearances, which were the lowest numbers that demographic have contributed since 1975 and 1979, respectively. Free agency began in MLB after the 1976 season, so last offseason’s landscape for 30-somethings was about as bleak as it’s ever been in the free agency era. And this past season featured position players who were even younger. Pitchers are also trending younger, though not as dramatically. Pitchers age 32 and older combined for 18.7 percent of WAR and 19.9 percent of innings in 2018, which is down from 2001 levels (27.1 and 24.9 percent) but up from the 21st-century low in 2015 (12.1 and 17.1 percent).David Freese — who hit .296 with a .359 on-base mark last season — was ostensibly so concerned about his prospects this winter that, rather than test the open market, the 35-year-old signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Dodgers last week that was less than his 2019 club option of $6 million. (The Dodgers also paid him the option’s $500,000 buyout.) Some background: Freese waited until March 11, 2016, to sign a one-year, $3 million deal coming off a 2.2-WAR 2015 season. Freese is well-aware of how tough the market can be for a 30-something free agent.When I spoke with free agent infielder Neil Walker in June, he was already concerned about the upcoming offseason. Walker signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the New York Yankees on March 12, nearly a month after spring training camps opened. He had produced seven straight seasons of at least 2 WAR.3Walker hit .219 last year, so perhaps teams saw something that made them rightfully cautious.“You hope this trend with middle-tier guys doesn’t continue through this collective bargaining agreement [which ends in 2021], because there are going to be many, many more guys that are affected,” said the 33-year-old Walker, a former player representative for the union. “It’s not the top top-tier guys. … It’s the guys in between. There are a lot more guys in between. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know there are teams out there that didn’t spend a dime. There are teams out there that sold off most of their assets. That’s something, when you look around the league, it makes it pretty top-heavy and bottom-heavy. That’s alarming. That’s not the greatest situation, in my opinion, for baseball.”There was a time not long ago when a player with Walker’s resume wouldn’t have to worry about finding work. Not now, though. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Walker’s former club, proved you could achieve mediocrity without spending a single dollar on a major league free agent last offseason. The players union went as far as filing a grievance against the Pirates — along with the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s — for spending very little on their major league payrolls while also being among the clubs receiving revenue sharing.There are a number of other issues contributing to the game’s youth movement, including testing for performance-enhancing drugs and teams’ growing desire to manage budgets more efficiently. The average position player age reached this century’s peak — 29.3 years — in 2004, when PED usage had become so rampant that the league finally enacted penalties for testing positive. That age has been declining ever since and fell to 28.1 last season, suggesting that PEDs may have been artificially extending the productive lifespan of a significant number of older players. Furthermore, last season position players age 32 and up saw their plate appearances decline by 36 percent compared with 2001, but their WAR production dropped by 54 percent. In other words, older players have become less effective in the playing time they get.Younger players are also usually cheaper — until they reach arbitration after three seasons in the majors, players make at or near the league minimum salary. Players who haven’t yet hit free agency also don’t come with the kind of high-risk long-term contracts that teams seem increasingly leery of — and not without reason. For instance, Eric Hosmer was a relatively young free agent last winter, entering his age 28 season, when he signed an eight-year, $144 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Hosmer proceeded to turn in a below-replacement-level performance for the year (-0.1 WAR). FanGraphs’ top 10 free agents last winter included some successes — J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain — and some failures in Hosmer and Yu Darvish.4Granted, this was just the first year of the players’ multi-year deals, so these assessments may change by the time the contracts end. Overall, the top 10 FanGraphs free agents combined to produce 20.5 WAR at $179 million in earnings in 2018. That’s $8.7 million per WAR for a club, which is not particularly efficient.Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer also believes that younger players have another advantage: They are better adapted to recent technology advances and have benefited from improved player-development practices.“Older players, generally, haven’t kept up with how the league is changing and evolving,” Bauer said. “They do what they did to get there.”But while more older players are aging out of the game and teams are avoiding risky, big-ticket contracts, free agency is also being pinched on the front end. Teams have increasingly manipulated players’ service time, delaying their entry into free agency. Kris Bryant filed a grievance against the Chicago Cubs in 2015 over this. Last year, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit .402 in Double-A and .336 in Triple-A, but the Blue Jays didn’t bring up the 19-year-old because they claimed that he needed to work on his defense, and the son of a Hall of Famer has yet to debut. Guerrero and the MLBPA filed a grievance.“Now it’s almost getting chopped on both sides,” Walker said. “The window [for player earnings] is much smaller than it used to be.”Moreover, teams have had success at hanging on to many young stars by offering club-friendly extensions before they reach free agency, buying out those first years when a player can test the open market. And in recent offseasons, an unusual number of teams have been mired in dramatic rebuilds, with no interest in adding to their payroll. In September, things had gotten so dire for the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals that we questioned whether they could even beat Triple-A teams.Said a MLB Players Association spokesperson to FiveThirtyEight: “If 30 clubs are competing for a pennant, the free agent market for players will be robust. We’ll closely monitor developments.”And while baseball officially has no salary limits, MLB’s strengthened luxury tax acted as a soft cap last winter. Only the Red Sox and Nationals exceeded the $197 million threshold in 2018, according to numbers obtained from the commissioner’s office by The Associated Press. The Yankees stayed under the luxury tax for the first time since it was implemented, and the Los Angeles Dodgers spent just $4 million on free agents last winter. Perhaps that was done with an eye on this year’s class and on courting Harper, Machado or other stars. Time will tell.At a time when baseball revenues have increased dramatically — the average franchise valuation increased from $295 million in 2004 to $1.6 billion in 2018, according to Forbes — total money spent on player salaries increased by just 1.86 percent from 2017 ($4.638 billion) to 2018 ($4.724 billion). Some have wondered whether baseball players would actually benefit from a salary cap if it also came with a salary floor that guaranteed players a share of the sport’s revenues. After briefly instituting a salary cap and replacing arbitration with restricted free agency during the 1994-95 strike, owners would likely reject such a proposal today.Tinkerers have put forward other ideas to help improve free agency for players, including declaring all players free agents when they reach a certain age, which would also address the way clubs have been manipulating service time. For now, they are just ideas.“As we approach the next round of collective bargaining, we’re going to be considering all aspects of the system, as we always do,” the MLBPA spokesperson said.But there are several actual developments that could help players this winter.The Marlins spent last offseason trading off significant assets like Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, which had the trickle-down effect of allowing several teams to fill the holes in their roster without resorting to the free-agent market. This time around, the Marlins don’t have many assets to shed, though catcher J.T. Realmuto could be dealt. There don’t appear to be many teams with major assets to sell, though the Seattle Mariners might rebuild.In addition, large-market clubs like the Yankees and Dodgers reset their tax status last winter, which means that the next time they exceed the threshold, their tax rate will be lower. Since so many teams were rebuilding last year, maybe some of them will be past the teardown stage and more interested in upgrading their rosters this year.The Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves, for example, may begin to spend more significantly and build on their cores. The Philadelphia Phillies are rumored to be interested in Harper and Machado. The Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and even the Tampa Bay Rays are projected to enjoy considerable payroll space.The stars will certainly get paid this offseason, but the game also continues to trend younger. That means it could be another long winter for the majority of free agents. Meanwhile, younger players continue to be productive — and gain more playing time. Position players 26 and younger accounted for 43.2 percent of position-player WAR in 2018, the highest share since 1974, up nearly 20 percentage points from 2001 (23.4 percent). Similarly, this group got 38.4 percent of plate appearances, which was the highest number for them since 1987.
60 Comments Short URL Share112 Tweet Email1 Apple is changing the iPhone’s charging port again The switch to a USB-C port would put the Apple product on par with others across the industry. Image: Yui Mok PA Wire/PA Images https://jrnl.ie/3263246 Image: Yui Mok PA Wire/PA Images Feb 28th 2017, 1:00 PM TECH GIANT APPLE are said to be replacing the lightning connector on the bottom of their phones with a standardised USB-C port for the next edition of the iPhone.The Wall Street Journal reports that the iPhone 8 will feature “a USB-C port for the power cord and other peripheral devices instead of the company’s original Lightning connector”.Since the creation of the iPhone, Apple has favoured its own proprietary brand of charging port while other players in the industry largely adopted a standard USB port for most devices.Apple kept the size of the charging port the same size until the iPhone 5, which made it much smaller and meant that devices designed to work with iPhones would no longer be compatible with the new generation of Apple products.The new iPhone is also set to feature a curved OLED display, like the latest editions of Samsung’s Galaxy phones.A source told the Wall Street Journal that Apple “has decided to adopt a flexible display for one model of the new iPhone coming out this year and has ordered sufficient components to enable mass production”.The home button could also be set to go, in favour of a distinct touch-enabled area near the bottom of the screen. It’s front facing camera is also rumoured to possess 3D video capturing capabilities.It is expected that the 10th anniversary iPhone 8 will cost around as much as €950. Currently the iPhone 7 is available for €770.In recent years, the Wall Street Journal’s reports on the latest iPhone features have largely proven correct, when the phones are eventually unveiled.Read: Your iPhone now has a hidden magnifying mode that you can useRead: The latest major update for your iPhone is here, and this is what it brings 46,864 Views By Sean Murray Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Tuesday 28 Feb 2017, 1:00 PM
Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner opened in US cinemas to a wave of criticism last month – its appallingly mistimed launch coinciding with the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.Its inappropriate release date in the US has added insult to injury for the film’s growing number of critics – mostly Armenian and Greeks united in their anger at what Greek Australian academic Panayiotis Diamadis described as the film’s “genocide denial by omission”.In a letter to Warner Brothers, American Armenian film producers Garin Hovannisian and Alec Mouhibian said the American release of The Water Diviner in April could only be viewed “as complicity in the denial of the worst crime ever imagined” and that it should be “met with the offense and outrage it deserves”.Hovannisian and Mouhibian’s film commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was also released last month.Beyond the outrage over the timing of The Water Diviner’s American release, the film’s dewy-eyed interpretation of Turkey’s actions during WWI – along with inferences such that the Ottoman Empire was a blameless victim of western aggression – has incensed many.The script’s ‘editing out’ of any mention of Turkish atrocities committed against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks during and after WWI has caused most offence.In the film, Russell Crowe – who also directs – plays Joshua Connor, a Victorian farmer who travels to Turkey after the war to find the bodies of his three Anzac sons, all believed to have fallen at Gallipoli.The story – co-written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight – goes on to reflect a Turkish version of WWI and its immediate aftermath, including conflict with Greece during the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922.Made on budget of $22.5 million, The Water Diviner was the top-grossing home-grown movie of 2014 in Australia.In a letter-writing campaign soon after the film was released, many in the Greek and Armenian diaspora writing from Australia, the US, Israel, Germany and elsewhere expressed outrage at the film’s depiction of events – particularly a scene in which what appear to be Greek bandits attack a Turkish military train, as well as omitting any reference to atrocities carried out by Turkey in 1919, when Crowe’s character is in Anatolia.Historian Professor Peter Stanley believes that rather than a conscious distortion of history, the film’s problem lies in the fact that Russell Crowe “entered a highly contested historical arena … without any idea of what he was getting into”. “His response was to simply roll over and accept the Turkish version.”The UNSW Canberra professor told Neos Kosmos that Crowe had “blundered” into the depiction of the situation in Anatolia “like a bull in a china shop”. “I think he could have done a much better job of depicting the history faithfully and fairly … but like a lot of Australians, he was captivated by the Turkish national epic and basically came down on that side of telling the story.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Gunners ready for a backroom shake-up with legends Jens Lehmann and Steve Bould moved.While shuffling his pack, Emery is looking to add loyal allies Juan Carlos Carcedo and Pablo Villa at the Emirates. This move will have club hero Steve Bould, along with Boro Primorac roles altered with the former reportedly asked to be a link-man between Emery and the players.Report: Kanu makes bold claim about Pepe George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Former Arsenal superstar Kanu claims the Premier League teams fear Nicolas Pepe.The Ivory Coast international Pepe, made an 80 million Euro move to Arsenal…Meanwhile, the Gunners are also trying to find a new position for Jens Lehmann, although this won’t be as a goalkeeping coach as Gerry Peyton will be replaced by Javi Garcia, according to talkSPORT.Julen Masach will replace Tony Colbert as the fitness coach, and video analyst Victor Manas is also set to join Emery at Arsenal. Former assistant boss Bould has been asked to be a link-man between Emery and the players. And the club are also hoping that a position can be found for Arsenal Invincible Lehmann, according to The Sun.