What Happened At The 2015 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

FiveThirtyEight’s delegation made the pilgrimage to this year’s Sloan conference, a kind of mecca for anyone who’s obsessed with sports, data and retelling how they first felt when they read “Moneyball.” We updated all of Friday and Saturday from Boston, where Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and our own Nate Silver roamed the halls. Read on for highlights from the weekend. CORRECTION (Feb 28, 9:47 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the ages of Sam Hafetz and Jonah White. Saturday, Feb. 28 4:05 p.m. Friday, Feb 27, 2:20 p.m.The panel: “Basketball Analytics: Push the Tempo”The panelists: Shane Battier, Mike Zarren, Sue Bird, Mike D’Antoni, Pablo TorreAre basketball teams now so saturated with data and analytics that it’s hard to use them for a competitive advantage?Mike Zarren, assistant general manager for the Boston Celtics, raised an interesting point about what qualifies as analytics in an analytics age. “If I know how well a player slept last night, is that analytics?” The breadth of topics discussed — injuries, biometrics, pace, traditional positions, rest, incentives, shot selection, team chemistry — reveal what a truly broad spectrum of questions and answers fall under the umbrella of basketball analytics. However the field is defined, it all serves the same master: talent. Shane Battier, the poster boy for the adoption of analytic ideas at the player level, summed up the mission perfectly: “It’s about creating space to allow talent to do what they do.”Zarren returned to a well-worn focus at this conference — communication of insights — and defended that arena as the place where a competitive advantage still exists: “You have to use it, it has to affect the decisions you make. I don’t think there is a saturation of that yet.” — Ian Levy Friday, Feb 27, 11:55 a.m.Daryl Morey has been as instrumental to the rise of the Sloan conference as he has been to the rise of the Houston Rockets. Morey, the general manager of the Rockets, has steered the team to third place in the Western conference — behind MVP-candidate James Harden, whom he acquired in a now-legendary 2012 trade — and helped start the Sloan conference in 2007. At Sloan on Friday, I boxed him out to ask a few questions about advanced basketball analytics, specifically player-tracking data from companies like STATS’ SportVU technology. While he can’t divulge the details of the Rockets’ private statistics, Morey’s remarks about the publicly available numbers are especially insightful because the Rockets are one of the most stats-savvy teams — not just in the NBA, but in all of sports. — Andrew FlowersAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/flowers_morey.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Friday, Feb 27, 12:21 p.m.The Panel: “Valuing Franchises: How Sports Teams Break the DCF”The Panelists: Lyle Ayes, Aswath Damodaran, Joe McNulty, Randy Vataha, Abe Madkour (moderator)The recent sales of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clippers for over $2 billion have opened up a new paradigm in sports franchise valuations. As shocking as the price of those transactions may have been, the mood at this Sloan panel was buoyant. In fact, panelists seemed to be most worried about prices getting so high that billionaires would be priced out of the market. As Lyle Ayes, managing director of the investment bank Evercore’s sports advisory practice said, “how many people can pay $4 billion for an asset?”Panelists thought the seemingly inexorable rise in franchise valuations was driven by the increasing value of media and content rights. Aswath Damodaran, an NYU professor who focuses on valuation (and FiveThirtyEight contributor), commented that across the entertainment industry, owning content is becoming king. Ayes cited the NBA’s massive new TV deal as evidence of this trend. He noted that advertisers put a large premium on live content like sports because viewers are relatively captive during the event. Interestingly, none of the panel members thought that a team’s performance had a large impact on valuation. The most important factor, according to the panel, was metro area population and GDP. The New York Knicks can command significantly more from their local TV rights for bad basketball than the San Antonio Spurs can command for good.Despite the increase in the real earnings of teams as media deals improve, panelists (with the exception of Ayes), broadly agreed that sports franchises still do not make sense as actual businesses. While they are relatively low-risk and uncorrelated with other potential investments, almost any analysis of the current cash flows — or lack thereof — will not find them to be great investments. As Damodaran noted, the supply of franchises is relatively fixed, while demand has been growing. The panelists did not see this dynamic changing any time soon. — John Ezekowitz Saturday, Feb. 28, 11:20 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, 9:50 a.m.There are bold-faced names headlining the ninth annual Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, sure. But for academics like myself the real action is in the research paper contest, where academics and researchers are hoping to create the kinds of insights that the bold-faced names one day treat as gospel. For these researchers, Sloan marks the culmination of what can be more than a year’s worth of work. The stakes are high: top prize is $20,000, with second place worth $10,000. For some of the PhD students submitting papers, that may equal their annual salary.But until now, the mechanics of how this contest is judged have largely been cloudy (see an overview of the 2015 contest here, or my personal experience submitting a paper to the 2014 contest here). On Friday, conference co-lead Paul Campbell helped clarify how Sloan makes its picks. “We try to be consistent about what we solicit,” said Campbell. “We kind of have our perspective on the validity of the method, and making sure that the academic and mathematical rigor is there. Also, do the results make sense?”The 2015 research paper contest began back in September, when Campbell and this year’s judging committee, comprised of various MIT student organizers and academic advisers, received 189 abstracts. Of that total, 68 were invited to turn in a formal paper for submission in mid-December. Paper submissions were placed into one of four tracks: basketball, baseball, other sports or the business of sport. The top two submitted papers from each track were given the opportunity to present at this year’s conference. In addition, 11 papers were given a poster in the halls of the convention center.Each of the eight finalists were allotted a 20-minute presentation on Friday. The judging committee identified the top presentation in each of the four categories based on a 50-50 split of the presentation itself and the originating paper.“We have an idea of what the best analytically rigorous paper is, but we want to see if it is presented well. It’s an equal weighting with [the presentation] and the paper,” said Campbell. The four papers still in the running for the top prize, are:Baseball: Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattBasketball: Counterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryOther Sports: Assessing the productivity of NHL players using in-game win probabilities by Stephen PettigrewBusiness of Sports: Diamonds on the Line: Profits Through Investment Gaming by Clayton Graham.Those four finalists are given an additional 10 minutes with which to make their case, this time in front of a larger and more general audience, including Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and FiveThirtyEight’s own Nate Silver.Those judges, according to Campbell, are asked to judge by something different than the last committee. “Which of these [papers] seems like the most applicable or potentially transformative within the industry?” $20,000 rides on the answer. — Mike Lopez Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:00 p.m.The session: “Analytics of the Tommy John Injury Epidemic”The speaker: Glenn FleisigWe’re in the midst of an epidemic of elbow injuries among major league pitchers. Twenty-five percent of current MLB pitchers have had an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (“Tommy John surgery”) and 15 percent of minor league pitchers have undergone the procedure. Over the last decade, the problem has trickled down to high school and little league players. In 1990, none of the baseball players coming to the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center clinic Tommy John surgery were kids. Today, one third of them are high school age or younger, said Fleisig, the research director at the American Sports Medicine Institute.What’s to blame for the epidemic of torn elbow ligaments? Are more players getting hurt? Or are we just better at diagnosing these injuries? Are doctors more willing to do the procedure? Or are patients more eager to have it?The answer, said Fleisig, is all of the above. Some players assume they should go in for surgery at the first sign of elbow pain, just “to get it over,” but that’s the wrong attitude. Best case scenario, the surgery can return a player to the career trajectory he was on before he got injured, but it won’t improve performance and not every player makes it back to play, Fleisig said.About 80 percent of major league players who get Tommy John surgeries make it back to the mound, but only two thirds of those who undergo the procedure make it back and stay there.Most elbow ligament injuries occur due to overuse. During the middle part of the pitch when the elbow is held upright at a right angle, the joint experiences severe torque. “It’s like holding a string with five 12-pound bowling balls,” Fleisig said. (That’s why doping raises the risk of an elbow injury — “If you’re on the juice you’re making your muscles too strong for your tendons and ligaments to handle.”)There’s a common notion that curveballs are dangerous, but the research doesn’t bear that out, Fleisig said. “We expected the curveball to have more torque than the fastball, but it turns out it has less.”Four things determine which players get injured — biomechanics, how much a player pitches, training and recovery. “It’s not one of these things or the other, it’s all of them,” Fleisig said.Wear and tear on the elbow is one of the most important factors, and when Fleisig’s group followed a group of 500 kids over a ten-year period, they found that pitching more than 100 competitive innings more than tripled the risk of needing a Tommy John surgery. Likewise, more than 80 pitches per game quadrupled the risk of injury, and kids who pitched when fatigued had 36 times the risk of having surgery.In an effort to cut the rates of elbow injuries among young pitchers, Fleisig and his colleagues have teamed with Major League Baseball to create Pitch Smart, age-appropriate guidelines to avoid injury. Suggestions include limits on the number of pitches thrown and not pitching when fatigued. “The best computer we have is right here,” Fleisig told me, pointing to his head. — Christie Aschwanden Friday, Feb. 27, 6:10 p.m.Walking into a conference at Sloan today I walked by yet another guy in a sports coat — and then did a double take, because this guy’s blazer sleeves were rolled up…and he was a 13 year-old. There are some teenagers running around Sloan but none looked younger than Sam Hafetz and his friends, Manu Hurskovitz, 14, and Jonah White, 14. After calling their parents for permission (hi, Mr. Hurskovitz!), I dragged them to our podcast table. There, Jody Avirgan asked what brought them to Sloan (it’s their second year attending), why they love sports analytics, and what they’d do if they became GMs of the Celtics. — Chadwick MatlinAudio Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/kidsatsloan.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Friday, Feb. 27, 4:43 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: Growing Soccer with Don Garber”The panelists: Don Garber, Grant WahlMLB and MLS share two letters and the pickle of how to balance tradition and innovation. Baseball’s struggle comes from within, as Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred showed earlier Friday. Major League Soccer isn’t as conflicted about changing rules and trying new technologies, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. Its burden, unlike MLB’s, is its peripheral place in a global game.Garber said he wanted goal-line review technology, extra time put on scoreboards (instead of only a ref with a “Timex that probably cost 20 bucks” knowing how much time remains) and a whole lot more. “If I were king, we would have instant replay, we would have cameras on our players, we would be putting them on goalposts.” He’d put a microphone on the field. Players would wear GoPro cameras. He watched hockey players wear GoPros at the NHL All-Star Game and thought it was cool.But Garber can’t have all those things. Other sports’ U.S. pro leagues just need to get the owners to agree, but MLS needs the approval of IFAB, the International Football Association Board — or, as Garber called it, the International Federation of Somebody Who Has Something To Do With the Rules That’s Not Me. Garber’s message to IFAB: “Let us be the Guinea pigs.” He worries that the world’s most popular sport could lose its lead “just because of our structure. We should be able to use the power of our influence to lead.” — Carl Bialik Friday, Feb 27, 4:35 p.m.At last year’s Sloan conference, Dean Oliver was our ESPN colleague, leading analytics at the Stats & Info Group. This year, he’s here as the Sacramento Kings’ director of player personnel and analytics. I spotted him Friday huddled with a few of his peers from other NBA franchises. Oliver has been in the sports analytics business for three decades, and has seen it grow from a field wrestling with a lack of data to one with more data than it knows what to do with. He spoke with me about the similarities in working for teams and working for sports media, and about what it takes for a franchise to succeed at using analytics. — Carl Bialik Saturday, Feb. 28, 1:46 p.m.The panel: “Beating the Shift: Baseball Analytics in the Age of Big Data”The panelists: Sandy Alderson, Dan Brooks, Dave Cameron, Ben Lindbergh, Jonah KeriSloan’s flagship baseball panel largely focused on teams’ reactions to sabermetric findings. Alderson, the general manager of the New York Mets, spoke about the proliferation of defensive shifts, and how it has led to changes in the way certain players are valued — specifically right-handed power hitters.Along the same lines, no discussion of baseball analytics would be complete without some mention of strike zone analysis and catcher pitch-framing metrics. Despite the volume of research on the subject in recent years, the consensus of the group was that the market may still not be properly valuing catchers who “steal” strikes on the edge of the strike zone at a higher rate than their peers. Then again, part of that may relate to a theory that pitch-framing is a taught skill. (We’d have liked to hear more thoughts about how umpires doing better at calling an accurate strike zone has led to baseball’s aforementioned drop in run-scoring.)Finally, Keri asked the panel their thoughts about wins above replacement (WAR). The panel agreed WAR was a valuable framework, even if its individual parts can always stand to be improved. For his part, Alderson confirmed that teams use at least some version of it, even with its imperfections, because the idea of creating a cumulative statistic is appealing. — Harry Enten and Neil Paine Friday, Feb 27, 10:40 a.m.The panel: “Innovators and Adopters”The panelists: Shane Battier, Michael Lewis, Daryl Morey, Jeff Van Gundy and Jackie MacMullanPity Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant. Out for the season with injuries after performances well below their high standards, they’re now punching bags in Boston, at least according to the first session of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday.The other panelists treated the retired Battier more or less as Lewis depicted him in a New York Times Magazine article in 2009: the platonic ideal of the intelligent NBA player, one who incorporates insights from advanced statistical analysis to optimize his game for team success. (Battier initially resisted that framing, saying “it was about winning,” before eventually letting on that yeah, he was a pretty smart player.) LeBron James, with whom Battier won two titles in Miami, was the more typical player, open to occasional tastes of analytics-based tips.Anthony and Bryant, though, were depicted as the anti-Battiers, in a question by moderator MacMullan (who, like Battier, works for ESPN, which owns this website and sponsors Sloan). MacMullan noted their selfishness and focus on scoring over other ways of contributing to their teams. (To which my boss, Nate Silver, would respond that Anthony’s shooting makes his teammates better.) Battier made clear how much he relished having those two stars as foils, learning their tendencies so that he could neutralize their strengths when playing defense. MacMullan pointed out that Battier blocked more of their shots than any other player’s. Anthony also topped the Battier leaderboards for balls stolen and offensive fouls drawn. And the pair led another personal leaderboard Battier innovated: They gave him the most “looks of disdain” when they found out he’d be guarding them. — Carl Bialik Sunday, March 1 12:17 a.m.After what conference co-organizer Jessica Gelman said was a “heated discussion,” voters for the top research paper at Sloan reached a split decision and split the $30,000 prize pool between two papers. The winners:Who is Responsible for a Called Strike? by Joe Rosales and Scott SprattCounterpoints: Advanced Defensive Metrics for NBA Basketball by Alexander Franks, Andrew Miller, Luke Bornn and Kirk GoldsberryRosales and Spratt, both of Baseball Info Solutions, presented work suggesting that pitch framing, which has traditionally rewarded most of the credit to catchers alone, is actually a function of three independent participants: the catcher, pitcher, and umpire.Franks, Miller, Bornn, and Goldsberry — all members of Harvard’s XY Hoops group — used player tracking data to quantify individual defensive play in the NBA. The academic version of this group’s paper has been accepted at the statistics journal Annals of Applied Statistics.The groups behind the winning papers each received $15,000 for their efforts. Additionally, Bornn and Goldsberry, along with co-authors Alex D’Amour and Dan Cervone, received the conference’s top poster prize of $1,000 for “Move or Die: How Ball Movement Creates Open Shots in the NBA.” — Mike Lopez Saturday, Feb. 28 3:15 p.m.Will sports betting inevitably become legal in the U.S.? It sure seems like it.Momentum behind legalization has grown since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times in November 2014 explicitly endorsing legal sports gambling. The facade of professional sports leagues that oppose sports betting is beginning to crack. And it’s clear why: money.Silver estimated the market for illegal sports wagering is currently $400 billion per year, though it’s likely that figure is inflated. But even lower-end estimates of around $80 billion still represent a huge market. Sports betting is already enormous in Europe, Australia and many other regions. State governments want in because of the potential revenues.Professional sports leagues are intrigued because they see gambling interest as a ratings driver, much like fantasy sports have been. (And, coincidentally, daily fantasy sports sites – with cash prizes – bear an eerie resemblance to gambling anyway.) Gambling is already inherently analytical; but the appetite of stats-savvy fans for geeky coverage about odds is growing. Jeff Ma, a contributor to ESPN’s new sports-betting site, Chalk – said gambling analytics would meet the demand from those with a “high-brow” interest.But there are major risks to legalization. The revelations that former NBA referee Tim Donaghy owed gambling debts and bet on games he officiated was a reminder of the long, scandalous history of how gambling can challenge the integrity of sports. Here, too, analytics can help. Ryan Rodenberg, a professor at Florida State University, suggested statistical scrutiny of betting markets would combat fraud and fixing. Several private European firms already specialize in such analytics.The panelists were asked that if they had to bet on legalization sweeping the country, when it would happen. The lines offered by the panelists ranged from 2-to-10 years. Dan Spillane, the Assistant General Counsel for the NBA, didn’t offer a timeline, however. He just said “years, not months.” — Andrew Flowers Friday, Feb 27, 3:28 p.m.The panel: “Commissioner’s Perspective: 1 on 1 with Rob Manfred”The panelists: Brian Kenny, Rob ManfredRob Manfred has a long history with Major League Baseball. And Major League Baseball has long tried to avoid letting its history weigh it down. In a wide-ranging interview at Sloan on Friday, one month into his tenure as league commissioner, Manfred sounded like a man trying to make sense of how to reform a game without hollowing it out.A few days ago, Manfred said that there was a universe in which baseball could shave eight games off its regular-season schedule “sometime down the road.” A reduction in the current 162-game schedule could make the sport’s playoff timing a little more flexible, and might increase fan interest in each game. At Sloan, Manfred said he chose the 154-game mark because it would take the majors “back to a number that’s already in our record books.” Could he see MLB going even lower, to 150? No, because then “you’re going to go have a record book with 150, 154, 162 …” Only in baseball, a sport hallowed enough to get the Ken Burns treatment, could the record book be more important than the ledger. Integrity is paramount. (Or as Manfred, who has worked for the league for nearly two decades, put it when talking about whether to reform gambling laws around sports betting: “Integrity, it’s Rule One.”)Yet this is a commissioner who clearly wants to find ways to change the game. Manfred has introduced rules to speed the pace of play, and said Friday he’s very happy with the replay system MLB added last year. He said that in the future — “past Rob Manfred” — the league could have a team outside North America, and before that, maybe even one in Mexico. Now that would be historic. — Chadwick Matlin read more

LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington Week of December 16 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are several opportunities to catch live music in Wilmington this week:Larry GilbertTuesday, December 18, 6pmThursday, December 20, 6pmRocco’s Restaurant & Bar193 Main Street, WilmingtonPianist Ricky LauriaThursday, December 20, 8pmTremezzo2 Lowell Street, WilmingtonKaraoke with Winnell EntertainmentFriday, December 21, 8pmPacific Grove211 Lowell Street, WilmingtonNOTE: Know of any other musical performances happening in town this week or in the coming weeks?  Let me know at wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of May 27, 2018)In “Business”LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of March 25, 2018)In “Business”LIVE MUSIC in Wilmington (Week of December 24, 2017)In “Community”last_img read more

Amazon expands its fleet of planes so you get your package on

first_img Read the Rylo camera preview See It See it $60 at Best Buy I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $155 at Google Express HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Angela Lang/CNET DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. 0 Sarah Tew/CNET An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sarah Tew/CNET $999 Comments Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $6 at Tidal TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express See at Turo See It $59 at eBay Turo $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) $520 at HP $999 Read Google Home Hub review $999 JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Post a comment Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Sarah Tew/CNET Rylo Chris Monroe/CNET Tagscenter_img Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Share your voice Best Buy Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Sprint Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $299 at Amazon See It Sarah Tew/CNET The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Amazon expanded its fleet to 50 aircraft. Digital First Media/Orange Count More people are using Amazon Prime than ever. The online retail giant surpassed 100 million Prime subscribers earlier this year, and Cyber Monday 2018 was the site’s biggest shopping day yet. So how will Amazon keep up with this demand? Apparently by buying more airplanes.On Friday, Amazon announced that it was expanding its fleet to 50 aircraft (up from 40). Amazon says this is to support the increasing number of Prime subscribers who expect free two-day delivery. (On top of that, Amazon customers bought 2 billion items with one-day delivery this year.)By adding 10 more aircraft, Amazon is expanding its fleet by 25 percent — a sizable increase. But this fleet is still dwarfed by other shipping companies. UPS owns 247 aircraft (and leases more during November and December), while FedEx owns over 650 (ranking it among the world’s largest airlines).If Amazon is to continue offering free-two day shipping to its millions of Prime subscribers, it better have the arsenal to back it up. Boost Mobile Read DJI Osmo Action preview See at Amazon Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Apple iPhone XS Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $210 at Best Buy Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Internet Tech Industry The Cheapskate $999 Amazon Prime Amazon,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Share your voice Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Read the AirPods review Tags 7 DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Amazonlast_img read more

You can catch Pokémon on Google Maps for April Fools Day

first_imgSince certain parts of the world are time travelers living in the future while the rest of us are still stuck in the past, driving non-flying cars and unable to ride public teleportation commuter pods to work, some people are already living in April 1, 2014. The internet reaches across the globe, so perhaps as an effort to reach space-time parity with other markets, Google has already launched one of its April Fools’ Day jokes, and it’s awesome. You can catch Pokémon in Google Maps, and fill out your Pokédex.The April Fools’ joke is accompanied by a video that envisions an augmented reality future where Pokémon trainers can traipse around the world, point their phones at AR Pokémon hiding in various environments, and capture them.In (non-augmented) reality, you can pan around the map, zoom in, and catch Pokémon on the iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. Once you find a pocket monster hiding on the map, tapping on it will invoke a prompt — complete with a Poké Ball — that will allow you to capture the critter and fill out your Pokédex. Interestingly, the Pokédex only has 150 available entries (as opposed to the original 151), but the available Pokémon appear to be from various generations, so once you’re not adhering to the original cast, you likely don’t need to adhere to the original number anymore.As you can imagine, the internet has taken to Google’s “prank” rather quickly, and is already compiling a list of where each Pokémon can be found. There are two popular lists at the moment, which can be found here and here.  We’re not entirely sure what happens if you catch ’em all yet, but considering there’s a Pokédex that can be filled out, we wouldn’t be surprised if something neat transpired upon completion.Last year, Google joked that it would be bringing its much-desired Google Fiber outside the home and into the streets, allowing users to plug into utility poles to access the speedy service. The Google Maps team also once recreated its map entirely in the aesthetic of an old-school 8-bit RPG, so it’s nice to see Google keeping with its preferred theme of video game hilarity.last_img read more

North Bengal likely to receive light rain mercury to go down slightly

first_imgKolkata: Some of the North Bengal districts may receive light to moderate rainfall in the next 24 hours, predicted the Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore.According to the weather office, a low pressure trough has formed over Nepal and the Northern parts of Bihar, which will bring rainfall in North Bengal districts including Alipurduar, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. There may be some rainfall in Sikkim as well. It has been said that the low pressure trough will become weak in the next four days. People in the city and other adjoining districts have been experiencing a breeze for the past few days. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseIt may be mentioned here that the temperature in the city has dropped by a few notches due to the uninterrupted flow of the northwesterly wind. Some parts of the city and its adjoining areas witnessed slight rainfall on Saturday evening. The weather office also said that the sky will remain clear on Monday but the temperature may further go down by a few notches in Kolkata and in some South Bengal districts. The temperature may slide down in the western parts of the state as well, including the districts of Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore. The average temperature in the city is expected remain between 13-15 degree Celsius. The constant flow of the northwesterly wind will contribute to the cold situation in the state. Earlier, the Met office had predicted that the cold wave situation would continue in the state till Saraswati Puja.last_img read more

Youtube promises to reduce recommendations of conspiracy theory Exgoogler explains why this

first_imgTalks of AI algorithms causing harms including addiction, radicalization. political abuse and conspiracies, disgusting kids videos and the danger of AI propaganda are all around. Last month, YouTube announced an update regarding YouTube recommendations aiming to reduce the recommendations of videos that promote misinformation ( eg: conspiracy videos, false claims about historical events, flat earth videos, etc). In a historical move, Youtube changed its Artificial Intelligence algorithm instead of favoring another solution, which may have cost them fewer resources, time, and money. Last Friday, an ex-googler who helped build the YouTube algorithm, Guillaume Chaslot, appreciated this change in AI, calling it “a great victory” which will help thousands of viewers from falling down the rabbit hole of misinformation and false conspiracy theories. In a twitter thread, he presented his views as someone who has had experience working on Youtube’s AI. Recently, there has been a trend in Youtube promoting conspiracy videos such as ‘Flat Earth theories’. In a blog post, Guillaume Chaslot explains, “Flat Earth is not a ’small bug’. It reveals that there is a structural problem in Google’s AIs and they exploit weaknesses of the most vulnerable people, to make them believe the darnedest things.” Youtube realized this problem and has made amends to its algorithm. “It’s just another step in an ongoing process, but it reflects our commitment and sense of responsibility to improve the recommendations experience on YouTube. To be clear, this will only affect recommendations of what videos to watch, not whether a video is available on YouTube. As always, people can still access all videos that comply with our Community Guidelines”, states the YouTube team in a blog post. Chaslot appreciated this fact in his twitter thread saying that although Youtube had the option to ‘make people spend more time on round earth videos’, they chose the hard way by tweaking their AI algorithm. AI algorithms also often get biased by tiny groups of hyperactive users. As Chaslot notes, people who spend their lives on YouTube affect recommendations more. The content they watch gets more views, which leads to Youtubers noticing and creating more of it, making people spend even more time on that content. This is because YouTube optimizes for things you might watch, not things you might like. As a hacker news user observed, “The problem was that pathological/excessive users were overly skewing the recommendations algorithms. These users tend to watch things that might be unhealthy in various ways, which then tend to get over-promoted and lead to the creation of more content in that vein. Not a good cycle to encourage.” The new change in Youtube’s AI makes use of machine learning along with human evaluators and experts from all over the United States to train these machine learning systems responsible for generating recommendations. Evaluators are trained using public guidelines and offer their input on the quality of a video. Currently, the change is applied only to a small set of videos in the US as the machine learning systems are not very accurate currently. The new update will roll out in different countries once the systems become more efficient. However, there is another problem lurking around which is probably even bigger than conspiracy videos. This is the addiction to spending more and more time online. AI engines used in major social platforms, including but not limited to YouTube, Netflix, Facebook all want people to spend as much time as possible. A hacker news user commented, “This is just addiction peddling. Nothing more. I think we have no idea how much damage this is doing to us. It’s as if someone invented cocaine for the first time and we have no social norms or legal framework to confront it.” Nevertheless, Youtube updating it’s AI engine was taken generally positively by Netizens. As Chaslot, concluded on his Twitter thread, “YouTube’s announcement is a great victory which will save thousands. It’s only the beginning of a more humane technology. Technology that empowers all of us, instead of deceiving the most vulnerable.” Now it is on Youtube’s part how they will strike a balance between maintaining a platform for free speech and living up to their responsibility to users. Read Next Is the YouTube algorithm’s promoting of #AlternativeFacts like Flat Earth having a real-world impact? YouTube to reduce recommendations of ‘conspiracy theory’ videos that misinform users in the US. YouTube bans dangerous pranks and challenges Is YouTube’s AI Algorithm evil?last_img read more

Cayman Islands taps Raymond Mathias as BDM Canada

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Cayman Islands, People Monday, October 24, 2016 Share Raymond Mathias, Cayman Islands BDM for CanadaTORONTO — The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has appointed Raymond Mathias, to Business Development Manager, Canada.Mathias will play a critical role in working with the global marketing management team in the development and execution of strategic marketing plans for the Canadian market. He will be responsible for leading the team in marketing, sales, advertising, public relations and social media outreach designed to grow Canadian visitation to the Cayman Islands.“The Canadian market is very important to us and we are extremely pleased to have Raymond on board, forging meaningful trade and industry relationships and strengthening our outreach campaigns across the country,” said, Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “We have a strong affinity with Canada, as not only are Canadians choosing to visit us in increasingly larger numbers, but many live and work in Cayman, making them an integral part of our tourism product.”An industry expert with more than 20 years in the field of international tourism marketing, Mathias previously served as the director, International Marketing at the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) where he oversaw consumer marketing, travel trade and media relations in 10 key markets. His experience also includes serving as the marketing manager at VisitBritain Canada and marketing manager USA for Visit Wales.To contact the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Canada, call (416) 485-1550.center_img Travelweek Group Cayman Islands taps Raymond Mathias as BDM, Canada Posted bylast_img read more

Jamaica is Sunwings destination of the month heres what agents earn

first_img Posted by Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Travelweek Group Tags: Jamaica, Promotions, Sunwing Jamaica is Sunwing’s destination of the month, here’s what agents earncenter_img TORONTO — Agents can earn multiple STAR Agent Reward Points throughout September with the latest promotion from Sunwing.With Jamaica being the destination of the month, agents can earn 4X the points until Sept. 30. Points convert into cash on all new bookings to select hotels in Jamaica.Plus, each time an agent makes a booking to any participating resort, they’ll be entered into a weekly contest for a chance to win an all-inclusive vacation for two to the island. The more bookings agents make, the more chances they have to win.Agents who confirm bookings by Sept. 27 will earn 4X the STAR points on any Jamaica package booking for departures between Dec. 22, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019. Any bookings confirmed by the same date for Melia Braco Village, for departures between Nov. 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019 will earn agents 10X the STAR points.As an added bonus, Sunwing’s most popular resorts in Jamaica are offering incentives throughout the month of September. These include: Sensatori Azul Beach Resort Jamaica; Sunset at the Palms Resort; RIU Hotels & Resorts; Iberostar Hotels & Resorts; Excellence Oyster Bay; Blue Diamond Resorts; Palladium Hotels & Resorts, and more.More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemGroups receive additional perks, with those comprising 10 or more adults enjoying credits of up to $100 per couple on any pre-booked excursion for departures between Dec. 22, 2018 and Oct. 31, 2019. Plus, savings of up to $320 per couple are available on select packages for departures between Jan. 5, 2019 and Oct. 31, 2019.Moreover, when a group of 10 or more people book their group getaway, the eighth passenger travels free. This applies to bookings at select resorts including: Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort; Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa; Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort and Spa; Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa; Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa, and more, for departures between Sept. 30, 2018 and Jan. 2, 2019.Sunwing offers flights to Jamaica from 16 gateways across Canada, with year-round service from Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal. All packages in the promotion include return flights on Sunwing Airlines.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaFor more details go to sunwingagents.ca. Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more