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Uneven start

first_imgWith last year’s senior-laden roster gone, the Dons are searching for a new identityBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — The Marshfield Columbus Catholic boys basketball team is one-third of the way through its 2014-15 regular-season schedule, and it is still working out the kinks.The Dons have won a one-point game, lost tight games at the Cranberry Classic and against Neillsville on Tuesday, lost by 26 at Auburndale, and then turned around and beat Gilman by 37 two days later.The Dons tied for the Cloverbelt East title and reached the WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinals last season with a senior-laden roster. This season, Columbus (3-4, 2-1 Cloverbelt East) is relying on an entirely new starting lineup and a number of sophomores and juniors that have not played many varsity minutes prior to this year.Seven games into the season the Dons are trying to find their identity.Following the loss to Auburndale, where the Dons shot 36 percent and committed 15 turnovers, the team did some soul searching. Columbus responded with a dominant performance against Gilman, using a full-court press to force 16 turnovers in the opening 7 minutes and open up a big lead early.“I wasn’t so much worried about a playing hangover as I was an attitude hangover,” Columbus Catholic coach Joe Konieczny said following the Gilman game on Dec. 11. “At practice we had some tough conversations with them about what type of people we are, whether we’re disciplined and unselfish. I think we had some good conversations and some growth from it. We saw some kids on the bench that were into it, emotional, enthusiastic and supportive, and good teammates.”The message is simple from Konieczny.“If these guys are good teammates and supportive, we can be good,” Konieczny said. “If we’re not disciplined and not 100 percent unselfish, then we’re not going to be very good.”Junior Evan Nikolai and sophomore Hunter Schultz have been the top offensive players thus far this season for the Dons. Senior Christian Payant, junior Brett Loveland, and sophomore Tyler Fuerlinger fill out the starting lineup with senior Ben Behling and junior Matthias Gouin the first off the bench.Konieczny likes to use his defense to force the tempo and get easy layups or open 3-point shots. The style has been a staple for the Dons during the past few seasons as they have won three of the past five Cloverbelt East titles. However, Columbus has not been able to consistently implement that style of play to its advantage.“We’re fast, and we have kids that can handle the ball and play fast,” Konieczny said. “We just need to do it disciplined. I think sometimes when we’re teaching kids to play fast, that turns into being undisciplined on defense and taking too quick of a shot on offense. If we can learn to play quick and disciplined, I think we can be pretty good.”Columbus hosts Colby on Friday and Granton on Tuesday in a pair of Cloverbelt East matchups as it looks to recover after suffering its first conference loss of the season this past Tuesday at Neillsville, 54-51.Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at [email protected]last_img read more

SA ready for Rea Vaya

first_imgThis Rea Vaya station in Johannesburg will start operating at the end of August. Commuters will now have affordable, safe transportation in and around the city. School children will also benefit immensely from the BRT system as it will cover a number of stops around the city. (Images: Rea Vaya)Khanyi MagubaneSouth Africa’s transport system is set for a major boost when phase one of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system comes into effect on 30 August in Johannesburg, Africa’s leading economic hub.Named Rea Vaya – meaning “we are going” in township slang – the project will start operating at 23 of its 27 stations across greater Johannesburg.About 3.5-million trips are made in the City daily. Of these, 47% are made by public transport including minibus taxis, trains and busses.The system, however, has not been upgraded or improved over the years, resulting in public transport becoming increasingly unreliable and unsafe to use.But, according to Head of Transport in the City of Johannesburg, councillor Rehana Moosajee, the current state of transportation in the City, and the country as a whole, will soon be a thing of the past.“Johannesburg’s commuters will have a first taste of their own world-class public transport system.“We must never forget that BRT is … for the elderly and school children to travel safely, for mothers that need to reach their children speedily and for people with disabilities to have access.”Phase one A, will consist of a main route, known as the trunk route, which will run from the Regina Mundi station in Soweto to Ellis Park East in Johannesburg’s central business district.Supported by four complementary routes, the 143 busses included in the roll out plan will make stops at several key places in the City including University of Johannesburg’s Doornfontein campus, the fashion district, the City’s cultural hub Newtown, the City library and the Johannesburg art gallery.At a media briefing on the progress made on BRT, Moosajee revealed some facts and figures of phase one A of the project;25.5km of dedicated lanes have been constructed, which will serve an estimated 69 000 passengers on a daily basis.3 300 jobs were created during the building phase of Rea Vaya.It’s expected to generate R158-million (US$20-million) in its first year of operation and will use a smart card system, which passengers can reload at approved vendors’ kiosks.One of the attractive features of BRT is its affordability. Bus fares will range between R8 ($1) for a full trip using both the trunk and complementary routes, and R3 (39 cents) for the complementary routs running within the city.Buses will arrive at stations every three minutes during peak hour and every 10 minutes during off peak hours.SA transport new lookThe BRT system is part of the South African government’s plan to overhaul the public transport system in the country, ahead of the upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond.BRT has been designed on similar types of public transport models developed in Columbia, France, Australia, Equador and Brazil.In the countries where the system has been tried and tested, BRT benefits cited have been its efficiency and reliability, its friendliness to people living with disabilities and the elderly, as well as its decreased energy consumption and vehicle emissions.Cape Town, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth will also be rolling the BRT system concurrently, and in Cape Town, the system is expected to be operational in March 2010.Roping in the taxi industryOne of the biggest challenges in rolling out the BRT system has been the resistance from the minibus taxi industry, currently Johannesburg’s majority means of transport.The taxi industry’s concerns have been the anticipated major job losses and collapse of the industry when the new BRT system is implemented.  The industry is also concerned with how the new system would fall in line with the government’s taxi recapitalisation programme, which is already underway.The taxi recapitalisation programme, approved in 1999, was set up to reduce the number of old vehicles on the road, as well as introducing a new non-cash based system.Government partnered with the industry to remove old, unroadworthy taxis by offering operators a “scrapping allowance” to replace ageing and unsafe minibus taxis with newer models.According to a survey conducted in 2000, there were approximately 126 000 taxi vehicles in South Africa.Most of the vehicles were at least 10 years old and no longer fit for road use as public transport.Government had planned to spend R7.7-billion ($56-billion) over seven years to finalise the system.In the wake of confusion over the future of the taxi industry, on 24 March, Johannesburg was brought to a standstill when taxi drivers staged a major protest against the new BRT system.Taxis blockaded major highways around the City, causing traffic standstills on various key roads to and from the City.In the wake of the unprecedented move by the taxis, President Jacob Zuma pleaded with the council that Rea Vaya should be put on hold, to give the new administration a chance to acquaint themselves better with the project and the grievances of the taxi industry.Fortunately, significant progress has been made with the industry, represented by the National Taxi Association, Top Six and the Greater Johannesburg Regional Taxi Council.After a steering committee was set up, both the City of Johannesburg and the steering committee have been able to reach some agreements with regards to the future of the taxi industry in Johannesburg. Local taxi operators have now been offered a stake in the new bus operating company as well as a stake in the station management companies.Some taxi drivers will be employed as bus drivers, as well as station managers.Those previously in the taxi industry will also have the opportunity to invest and own companies linked to the BRT system.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: [email protected] articlesCape Town’s new bus systemNew infrastructure for the 2010 Fifa World CupFirst glimpse of the GautrainUseful linksRea Vaya City of Johannesburg Scrap Taxilast_img read more

Government IT Spending: Governments Turn to Technology to Become More Efficient

first_imgWhen you think of government efficiency, you might think of big bureaucracy, long lines and antiquated equipment.  That may still be in some places, but Gartner found that all levels of government are spending healthy amounts of money on new technology and services.  Globally, government spending by both federal and local governments is estimated to be $430.1 billion in 2016, and that number is expected to reach $476.1 billion in five years.Rick Howard, research vice president at Gartner, said  that “in the digital service economy, government must make strategic investments in IT or risk perpetuating suboptimal business and service models that are financially unsustainable in the long term.  Government CIOs who are too slow to adopt the technology innovations that are transforming private sector service industries will increase business risk and cost, while compromising the mission of their organisations.”If governments don’t know how to spend the money, Gartner has come up with a ranked list of the top ten strategic technologies that they recommend governments should consider adopting:Digital WorkplaceMultichannel Citizen EngagementOpen Any DataCitizen e-IDAnalytics EverywhereSmart MachinesInternet of ThingsDigital Government PlatformsSoftware-Defined ArchitectureRisk-Based Securitylast_img read more

3Tera Acquisition Complete – Disruption Fuels CA Move to the Cloud

first_imgCA completed its acquisition of 3Tera today in what seems like a successive line of announcements about CA’s push into the cloud as an infrastructure service provider. In fact, the 3Tera announcement feels like yesterday’s news in wake of the most recent announcement that CA is acquiring Nimsoft, the California based startup. Overall, CA has been a buying spree, acquiring a total of five companies in the cloud world. In addition to 3Tera and Nimsoft, CA has also purchased Cassatt, NetQos and Oblicore.CA realizes that the halycon days of being an IT vendor are as solid as vaporous cloud. The real future is in adapting to the enterprise and its efforts to shed IT assets and move its applications to a cloud environment.The 3Tera and Nimsoft acquisitions exemplify this move.3Tera3Tera’s AppLogic is a cloud management platform to move applications to a public or private cloud. It’s widely viewed that AppLogic gives CA the ability to provide service providers with a set of management tools. It also gives 3Tera the capability to sell to enterprise customers. Some of the challenges concern the scope of AppLogic’s virtualization capabilities. It is limited currently to the Xen platform. This could prove an issue as most companies have standardized on VMware. CA says it will broaden AppLogic’s virtualization capabilities to VMware ESX and Microsoft HyperV.NimsoftNimsoft is a cloud management platform and benchmarking service. Cloud computing sounds fine and good but how it compares to on-premise applications can be a challenge to quantify. Nimsoft provides a unified monitoring environment for Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. Nimsoft also provides benchmarking tools that actually test and compare the differences, giving quantified results about the actual performance.What’s Next?As stated on GigaOm, CA will hold its annual CA World event in May. We will learn more what is in store at that time. But we can expect to see its cloud strategy unfold a bit more, including SaaS services with upgrades at a pace that we see with SaaS providers.The cloud management market is getting quite competitive but we have to keep in mind that customers are still a bit wary about cloud computing. And when companies are wary it means long decision making processes. And that means a longer sales cycle for the likes of companies like CA. Tags:#cloud#cloud computing#news 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… alex williamscenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

After Months Of Waiting, Facebook Surges In Opening Moments As A Public Company [UPDATED]

first_imgA Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos dave copelandcenter_img Tags:#Facebook#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification From here on out, Facebook will not be measured by the number of registered users, the number of photos being uploaded every minute or the number of likes and comments left by its more than 900 million members.Facebook became a publicly traded company at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Friday, and from here on out, Facebook will first and foremost be measured by its share price.Founder Mark Zuckerberg rang the opening bell of Nasdaq, where his company will be listed under the symbol FB. The bell, which Zuckerberg rang remotely from the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, was rigged to automatically update his Facebook status to say he had listed a company on the exchange. The sheer volume of orders for the stock delayed the start of trading by 30 minutes, as traders were flooded with change orders. Zuckerberg had been expected to make comments after U.S. markets opened at 9:30 a.m. Eastern but had not issued a statement by the time Facebook shares started trading two hours later. Facebook’s share price was set at $38 late Thursday night but quickly rose to $42.99 after 421 million shares of Facebook started trading. [UPDATE: After that increase, the share price dropped back to its initial sale price where it hovered for the rest of the morning.] Analysts and investors were expecting a day of high volume and volatility, as early investors cashed in shares, and people getting their first crack at owning Facebook placed orders through retail brokers. Nasdaq IT officials were on a morning-long conference call to make sure the volume – which is estimated to be at least 500 million shares traded – did not crash the exchange’s order-processing system.It was the third-largest initial public offering in history, netting $16 billion and valuing Facebook at $104.2 billion. It was also arguably the biggest tech story on Wall Street since Google went public in 2004.“The more we talk about it, the more people at home are going to say ‘I want to own a piece of Facebook’ and not just go on Facebook,” CNBC analyst Jim Cramer told viewers just after Nasdaq opened at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday.  “It could overwhelm the market – there is Facebook, which is fabulous, and there is everything else, which is the worst market we have seen in years.”In spite of grim financial news for the broader markets – and repeated warnings from Cramer that naive investors would run up the price of Facebook – the IPO had a celebratory feel to it, coming a decade after the dot-com bubble burst and five years into a global recession. Anchors on financial news networks wore hoodies over their shirts and ties in deference to Zuckerberg’s trademark outfit. One CNBC commentator called the buildup to the start of trading “the business news equivalent of a car chase.” A beaming Zuckerberg was shown flanked by employees, including COO Sheryl Sandberg, as he rang the Nasdaq opening bell in the early-morning hours following the company’s 31st hackathon. Television reporters camped outside the campus gave a blow-by-blow account of what was happening at Facebook at dawn local time, including updates that employees stayed up all night binging on Red bull, working on code, playing roller hockey, ordering Chinese food and making runs to In-N-Out Burger.Still, all of the optimism was tempered by persistent and familiar fears that the company may be overvalued. Facebook opened with a valuation 100 times greater than its earnings for the previous 12 months. If Facebook stumbles, it will have a far-reaching ripple effect across the tech sector and the broader economy.“Facebook is the component that will make or break the IPO market,” Scott Sweet, of IPO Boutique, told Dow Jones. “It is so powerful and there is so much demand that if the IPO didn’t work, the IPO pipeline would immediately freeze.”last_img read more

How Can a Software-First Strategy Improve Your Data Center?

first_imgSoftware-first networking can be an interesting theory or a transformative technology for enterprise computing. Which one it is depends on your perspective…and maybe your age.Many of today’s enterprise IT leaders will remember the glory days of infrastructure expansion. If you needed more CPU or storage, it was easy and relatively inexpensive to throw new hardware at the problem of scale and capacity.While that approach was not sustainable, it helped to establish a habitual response to IT challenges: more hardware. For a while it seemed that any computing, storage, or networking problem could be solved by more or better boxes.But the modern IT landscape has blown that assumption out of the water. Data volumes and encryption demands are orders of magnitude larger than they were a mere two decades ago. Computing power has increased exponentially and predictably such that dual-socket servers with 44 cores (88 threads) are now readily available.  Eye-popping volumes of corporate data and off-the-charts processing power can be a powerful combination…if your network can move data efficiently enough.Enter the software-first approach. It is a strategy that removes barriers that arise when IT services are bound to physical devices. While you can’t entirely ignore hardware, the right components can prepare you for the future of software-defined everything. Intel and Citrix are working together to help you make a successful transition from a hardware-centric network into a software-defined network (SDN).Hardware Versus SoftwareA hardware-defined network has inherent limitations associated with physical devices. These limitations constrict data flow and make  it harder to scale, upgrade, or otherwise transform your data center.A software-first strategy shifts your company’s infrastructure from being overly reliant on hardware. The strategy looks to software solutions, rather than more hardware, to give your data center the agility and throughput that it needs to process today’s gigantic volumes of structured and unstructured data—even when that data is encrypted.One way to begin the software-first journey is to incorporate automation into the network by way of application delivery controllers (ADCs).You might be thinking, “But, Tim, you just told me that moving toward a software-first strategy is the way to go. An ADC is a piece of hardware.” You’re right—at least partially. You can’t replace your hardware-centric data center with a software-centric one over night, but you can take small steps toward your software-defined infrastructure (SDI) goal.Your First StepsIf you want to move toward an SDN, you’re going to want Citrix NetScaler. NetScaler is an ADC that can be deployed as a physical, virtual, physical-virtual hybrid, or containerized appliance. Because each iteration of NetScaler shares a single API and set of code, it’s much easier to transition from a physical NetScaler ADC to a virtual ADC than it would be to install or upgrade hardware. The shared code base and API also mean that NetScaler integrates with your heterogeneous environment regardless of hypervisor, cloud, orchestration platform, or fabric architecture.For example, you could deploy Citrix NetScaler MPX today—that’s the bare-metal version—to optimize network traffic. Then when you’re ready to start walking the software-defined road, you can switch to Citrix NetScaler SDX, which is a physical appliance that supports multiple virtual instances of NetScaler software. Then, once you’re ready to move your network control into the virtual space, you can upgrade to Citrix NetScaler VPX, a virtual appliance.If you’re a cloud-based provider or app developer, the micro-version of NetScaler VPX, known as NetScaler CPXOpens in a new window, might be your best bet.Software-first SupportRunning NetScaler on the Intel Xeon processor E5 family can propel you into the software-first arena. NetScaler was designed to capitalize on technology built into the Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family allowing NetScaler to bypass main memory and route data through to the L3 cache, which can reach sizes up to 55 MB. That puts data even closer to the processor.The Intel Xeon processor E5 family is available in a variety of configurations, so you can choose the processor that best fits your data center’s needs. The Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family supports up to 1.5 TB of fast memory (DDR3/DDR4). Other Intel technologies baked into the processor enhance security and accelerate encryption.Read MoreThere’s a lot more to the symbiosis between the Intel Xeon processor E5 family and Citrix NetScaler than this blog can cover. Read our latest paper, Citrix and Intel Help Advance Next-Generation Data Centers with NetScaler,Opens in a new window to get the full picture.To stay up to date on the latest big data news and developments, check out the #TechTim community on Twitter, and follow me @TimIntel.last_img read more

Talking Super Saturday With RetailROI’s Greg Buzek

first_imgBack in September 2008, a group of retail leaders were chatting at Oracle OpenWorld when the conversation turned toward charity. “A group of us got together and said, ‘We’re competing with each other for everything, but let’s do something together,’” Greg Buzek, the founder and president of IHL Group and one of Retail Orphan Initiative’s trustees, recalls. “‘We can work with orphans and vulnerable kids.’”The seed of a big idea was planted. A year later at NRF’s Big Show, the group met again to figure out how to raise money to start making a difference. They realized they were well-versed in events, with connections to great speakers and people with access to sponsor budgets. So the group determined an event with all proceeds going to building computer labs, clean water projects, and other charitable efforts to help vulnerable kids could be a huge success. The next year, in 2010, the seed bloomed and Super Saturday was born.“We are a grassroots charity of people in the retail industry that has three goals,” Buzek explains. “One is to bring awareness that there are over 400 million children that are orphaned or in vulnerable conditions around the world. Two, to bring our networks and abilities to bear to help. And three, to partner with charities that are doing great work very efficiently, to come alongside them to deliver financial donations and experience in the areas of clean water, schools and education, computer training and labs. And we also do some general care and feeding programs depending on the situation.”The Super Saturday EventThis year’s Super Saturday event, scheduled for January 14, is set to be the best yet. Taking place at Manhattan’s Harvard Club, Super Saturday will feature nearly 20 speakers across a full day of programming and 285 attendees, many of whom are C-level executives from major retailers and charities. Featuring numerous TED Talk-style seminars on the latest retail technology and trends, plus discussions of shopper evolution, every other session is about RetailROI’s charity work. Super Saturday also features multiple opportunities to network with fellow retail industry do-gooders. “It’s a very, very fast-paced day where people come together and we raise about half a million dollars to go toward building schools and more,” Buzek says. Ninety-four percent of money that comes in during Super Saturday goes out in project grants.A new facet of this year’s event is a youth summit for the children of Super Saturday attendees. “We thought, this year, it’d be really great if we invested in our own kids,” Buzek explains. “We have this incredible executive talent [available at Super Saturday] to teach skills like networking, how important LinkedIn is, and how to do college applications and get scholarships.”Last year, one attendee’s daughter received three job offers after speaking on a few millennial panels. It’s an opportunity for the attendees’ children to spend time with their parents while networking, learning, and understanding the broader charitable goals of RetailROI.It’s All About the Kids“Since we started,” Buzek says. “We’ve been able to help about 185,000 kids in 19 countries around the world.”Numbers like that showcase the impressive larger impact of RetailROI, but the more personal impact can be shown in the stories of what that money went toward. For instance, with the help of Intel, one of RetailROI’s earliest partners, the organization built a school in Liberia — the first school in that area in 15 years.“We’ve done trips to about 10 countries around the world where our retail executives have worked side by side with the charities, and that has led to what I call RetailROI 2.0,” Buzek says. “People are now joining the boards of our partner charities and helping them from a business perspective.”“Most of us, we go to college and we come out and we want to change the world. Then, life takes over. We’ve got school loans to pay, we have kids, we have soccer practice, and we get to our 40s and wonder ‘What I do every day — does it make a difference?’ And the answer is yes, if you’re willing to get past what you can’t do.”By understanding the work people are doing, and what their needs are, RetailROI learns how best to offer their resources. The perfect example comes in a story that begins with a computer lab in a school in Honduras. After the lab was built, RetailROI continued to help the school, where the needs of the kitchen quickly became obvious. A CIO from Schlotzsky’s involved with RetailROI knew that his head of franchising, John Geyerman, could add some efficiency to the kitchen. He saw the corn shucking process there — done by hand by 13-year-old girls who were handmaking 4,300 tortillas daily — and assessed the issues. Collaborating with his buyers, suppliers, and contacts, Geyerman was able to put together a million dollar kitchen for this school for only $65,000, due in large part to their volunteered skills and abilities.But it didn’t stop there. Geyerman thought it’d be beneficial to help the girls working in the kitchen learn a trade. So working with RetailROI, they translated a food safety course into Spanish so the children could all earn food safety certificates. Catering classes were also developed to help the students become better candidates for jobs. That’s how RetailROi is making a difference. Caring concerned people are using daily job skills, but they’re turning these skills to nonprofit organizations and efforts.“When you can start matching executives — people that think in a five-year clip — with [partner charities], it becomes a powerful combination,” Buzek says.It’s a powerful combination that Intel is very proud to be a part of as one of RetailROI’s partners and as a sponsor of Super Saturday. You can follow RetailROI’s efforts via their Twitter for updates on Super Saturday and opportunities to get involved in their charitable work in 2017.last_img read more

Rep Huizenga schedules local office hours

first_img30Apr Rep. Huizenga schedules local office hours State Rep. Mark Huizenga of Walker set office hours to meet with local residents of the 74th District in the month of May.“I enjoy talking with people in district every chance I get,” Rep. Huizenga said. “Office hours are a way to directly hear your thoughts on the state issues you care about most. I hope to see you at one of these upcoming opportunities!”Office hours are scheduled for the following times and locations:Friday, May 10 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Rainbow Grill, 4158 Chicago Drive SW in Grandville;Saturday, May 11 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at New Beginnings, 4735 Lake Michigan Drive NW in Grand Rapids; andSaturday, May 18 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive NE in Rockford.No appointment is necessary. Residents unable to attend may contact Rep. Huizenga’s office by calling (517) 373-8900 or by email at [email protected] Categories: Huizenga Newslast_img read more