Braves Add Justin Upton With Brother BJ Upton in

The Atlanta Braves, long criticized locally for the lack of African-American players on its roster, traded Thursday to acquire former Arizona Diamondbacks Justin Upton, which pairs him in the outfield with older brother B.J. Upton, who signed as a free agent in the summer.Throw in right-fielder Jason Heyward, and Atlanta has an all-black outfield, something not seen since the 1996 opening day lineup featuring Marquis Grissom, David Justice and Mike Kelly.The trade brings to Atlanta Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson, while the Diamondback receive pitcher Randell Delgado, infielder Martin Prado and minor league prospects Nick Ahmed, Brandon Drury and Zeke Spruill, according to ESPN.The deal is pending physicals of players involved.After signing, B.J. Upton said he wanted to play with this brother in the same outfield. Matched with Heyward, the Braves have built one of baseball’s best outfields. Heyward won his first Gold Glove in 2012, when he hit .269 with 27 homers and 82 RBIs.The Diamondbacks once viewed Justice Upton as a player they would build around for years to come. At age 21, he hit 26 homers, scored 84 runs and drove in 86 runs. In March 2010, Arizona signed Upton to a six-year, $51.5 million deal. The D-backs made the playoffs in 2011, and Upton finished fourth in NL MVP voting.But the Diamondbacks started discussing possible Upton trades that fall, and after he got off to a poor start in 2012, Arizona owner Ken Kendrick criticized Upton and other players in a radio interview.Arizona again looked into trading Upton before the July 31 deadline last summer and continued to have discussions once this offseason began. It became increasingly apparent that the relationship between the Diamondbacks and Upton had been damaged.The Diamondbacks had agreed to a deal to trade Upton to Seattle earlier this month, but the player vetoed it. Seattle was among four teams on Upton’s contract that he could nix. Atlanta was not on that list.B.J. Upton signed a five-year, $75-million contract with the Braves, the richest in the team’s history.  In August, he and Justin made history when they reached 100 home runs for their careers an hour apart. read more

How to Choose and Apply Social Media Tools

first_imgIn the custom-built Ning community, Black Enterprise developed a rewards program that’s resonating well with the BE Insiders. Cesaire details a contest dubbed “The Elevator Pitch Contest”. Black Enterprise hosts an annual entrepreneur conference, and its sponsors give 5 winning entrepreneurs $10,000 each to put towards their respective businesses. The sponsors also work with the winners to make sure the money is properly invested back into the businesses. Contestants were encouraged to submit their “elevator pitch” via video format on the Ning platform. Cesaire says though YouTube had been used in the past for video entry, the Ning platform allowed for user comments and a more seamless experience. “Folks not only returned to the Ning platform at a rate of 3 to 5 times more weekly; they were also building out convos, discussing strategies of videos and showcasing what they’ve done, business-wise, to enhance their pitch. It became a user-generated video hub, but also a platform for folks to converse and network prior to, throughout and after attending the conference,” Cesaire notes of the contest.Grover says that one of the brightest areas for UBM in the social media community is the ability to integrate media. The newly launched BrainYard, a community for business and technology leaders focused on social enterprise, is constantly fed with content from UBM’s Twitter feed. UBM relates this community back to the Enterprise 2.0 conference, “piggybacking on registration around the conference.”In other UBM social communities, it may be more difficult to grow a larger audience with narrower content feeds, but Grover says that these smaller sites often mean a more attentive audience, “TechWeb Security, which is just our security content and has 800 followers, consistently go deeper into our content when they link to our site.” UBM has also created a central wiki that is used throughout the company, which feeds to about 6,000 users. Grover says that this tool is so successful, half of these users log in to the wiki on a daily basis.The StrategiesAs both Grover and Cesaire point out, the two-way engagement opportunity that social media provides is key to building relationships with users. “You have to watch what happens when the content is out there and see what people do with the content. You also have to have the bandwidth to understand it,” says Grover.The BE editorial staff, from the magazine’s editor-at-large to interns, are consistently engaged in conversations about trends the BE team is seeing in relevant content categories. Cesaire says that the constant evaluation of this dynamic is a big tool in the success of her company.Cesaire also identifies the individualization of social media channels as a key to Black Enterprise’s successes in the space, “Particularly with Ning, the audience (called the BE Insiders) behave as if they’re neighbors and they have storefronts. Facebookers sound off in a one-off fashion, not necessarily engaging in dialogue with each other. We try to engage according to user behavior on each platform.”And just as the social media platform allows a dialogue about content between company and user, businesses are fast finding that users are eager to share the good and the bad of company behavior with staffers. Grover discovered this after a Facebooker commented that UBM “was clogging their feed”; after a Facebook member “likes” a company’s fan page, the company’s content is automatically updated to the member’s home page. Grover’s team put out a survey asking users whether UBM was providing too much or too little information, “We got feedback that we were being too aggressive, and that we needed to tone it down a little bit.”Successes in the Sphere According to Grover, there are 700 million Facebook users, 106 million users on Twitter and LinkedIn currently has 100 million members. This is an extremely large audience to engage with, and one that has a diminishing attention rate as the marketplace becomes more crowded with competitors selling similar wares. Before entering the social media sphere, Michael Grover of UMB TechWeb believes it is of utmost importance to hone in what a company intends as a result from participating in the conversation, “Registrants? Traffic? Are you trying to build a third party community with third party credibility? You need to sluice out the different things you want, and hopefully you’ll find one that will rise to the surface as the prime directive.”center_img Since social media was identified as a relevant tool to the publishing industry, magazine publishers have devoted many resources and an abundance of energy to finding and implementing the best strategies to solidify a presence in the sphere. Here, Michael Grover, UBM TechWeb’s director of content operations & syndication, and Patricia Cesaire, the director of digital PR & marketing with Black Enterprise, share tools, strategies and observations of their successes (and a few missteps) in social media.The Tools Once a publisher has established initiatives and joined the social media community, tracking campaign success and content sharing is often the next step for publishers. These results then become part of a base strategy for content production and distribution, as publishers get to see what is catching on among users.At UBM TechWeb, with products that include magazines, websites and social communities such as the newly launched BrainYard, Grover says a content tagging strategy has been important in guiding their social media strategy. An RSS feed isintegrated into all UBM brands, so staff can track what brand is being promoted and to what channel it’s being promoted to on the back end. In order to keep team members in sync, Grover reiterates how the importance of keeping a consistent strategy when tagging and tracking content, “It needs to be immediately understandable not just by you but by other people in your organization, which will reduce number of questions. Data is only good if you can track it historically; if you change your tagging, data becomes unusable.”UBM also utilizes a free online tool called Twitter Feed, which helps manage flowing information into Twitter. Grover says that while there is a similar service for Facebook from the Twitter Feed group, it is not efficient; instead, UBM uses RSS Graffiti for Facebook posting. While the latest gadgets and tricks may seem appealing, Grover makes it top priority to “to be vigilant to see if they’re performing and how they’re performing; I’m always testing products as they come up. I run into many cases when things seem very promising, and then it stops working or doesn’t work the way I thought it would.”For posting on Twitter, UBM TechWeb worked with URL shortener Bit.ly to produce Twb.io, a custom URL shortener that allows the company to fit an entire headline into a tweet. Twb.io also supplies real time tracking of tweets, and maintains branding the standard Bit.ly shortener does not.Grover points out that while Twitter and Facebook may be the most immediately visible entry ways into social media, often, third party applications (like Tweet Deck) account for the majority of aggregating first party content; only 25 percent of Twitter drives come directly from Twitter’s site, and 75 percent comes from third party applicants. To alleviate this issue, UBM TechWeb utilizes Omniture, which is used to collect stats from UBM’s web properties to track how much traffic came from Twitter and other social media forums, as well as third party applicants.Over at Black Enterprise, Patricia Cesaire says Omniture is used to generate reports concerning hot topics on Facebook, Twitter and Ning (Black Enterprise’s social community for entrepreneurs). Then, content in alignment with these topics is generated by Black Enterprise editorial staff.last_img read more

More Gains Remain from Reducing Militarys Overseas Presence Professor Argues

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Defense Department has made some progress closing bases overseas, especially in Europe, but DOD still could gain considerable benefits from additional closures of foreign bases, according to an op-ed published Monday in the New York Times.“The Pentagon and Congress should pair a new round of domestic base closings with base closings abroad,” writes David Vine, an associate professor of anthropology at American University and the author of the forthcoming book “Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World.”Vine argues that DOD’s overseas bases waste taxpayer money and undermine national security. “Each year, United States taxpayers pay on average $10,000 to $40,000 more for each service member stationed abroad, compared with those at home. By my very conservative calculations completed during a six-year study of overseas bases, maintaining installations and troops overseas cost at least $85 billion in 2014,” he says.Even while DOD has been reducing its presence at some overseas locations, it continues to spend billions on new bases in Europe and the Asia-Pacific.“Halting new construction and closing more Cold War bases in Europe are obvious ways to achieve savings, and scrapping ill-conceived multibillion-dollar buildups in the Pacific and Persian Gulf are other important steps,” he states.And with advances in moving forces by air and sea, the advantage of forward stationing service members overseas has largely been erased. Vine also argues that troops based overseas have been the targets of attacks and foreign bases heighten military tensions.“Shuttering overseas installations should be easy compared with the political challenge of closing domestic bases,” he says.last_img read more

MIT reveals Jeffrey Epstein donated 800K to its Media Lab and a

first_img Share your voice Sci-Tech Culture Media Lab got some of the $800,000 donations from Jeffrey Epstein’s foundations. Jon Skillings/CNET MIT received around $800,000 in donations from Jeffrey Epstein over 20 years, the university said in a statement Thursday. The money came from foundations controlled by the disgraced financier, who took his own life earlier this month as he was being held in jail on federal charges of sex trafficking, and went to MIT’s Media Lab and Professor Seth Lloyd. Two professors have already severed ties with the Media Lab over Epstein’s donations. “To my great regret, despite following the processes that have served MIT well for many years, in this instance we made a mistake of judgment,” L. Rafael Reif, the elite university’s president, wrote in the statement.”In response, I have asked Provost Marty Schmidt to convene a group to examine the facts around the Epstein donations and identify any lessons for the future, to review our current processes and to advise me on appropriate ways we might improve them.”The Media Lab, known for research into domestic robots and Black Mirror-esque online social experiments, got drawn into scandal over its links to Epstein. Director Joi Ito apologized for accepting Epstein’s money on behalf of the research center and his personal tech startup funds in an open letter last week. He acknowledged that he invited Epstein to the Media Lab and visited the financier’s residences. Ito said he met Epstein in 2013, five years after Epstein pleaded guilty to “soliciting and procuring” a minor for prostitution.In a deposition unsealed earlier this month, a woman testified that she was told to have sex with Marvin Minsky, an artificial intelligence pioneer who founded the Media Lab, when he visited Epstein’s island in the US Virgin Islands. Minsky died in 2016.Lloyd, a professor of mechanical engineering and physics, on Thursday posted an apology “to Jeffrey Epstein’s victims” and acknowledged that he met the financier at a 2004 dinner. They met several times in the years that followed, and Epstein’s foundation gave Lloyd a grant. Lloyd also said he accepted grants in 2012 and 2017, despite Epstein’s conviction.”These were professional as well as moral failings,” he wrote. “By continuing to participate in discussions he had with me and other scientists and by accepting his donations, I helped Mr. Epstein protect his reputation, and I disempowered his victims. I should have focused on them instead of him.”He noted that he’d “committed financial resources” to aid Epstein’s accusers and other survivors of sexual abuse. Commentscenter_img 5 Tagslast_img read more

Indian telecom industry faces tougher competition ahead profits to plunge

first_img Close Airtel vs Reliance Jio: Which network is faster in India? IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.The media could not be loaded, either because the server or network failed or because the format is not supported.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …center_img Indian telecom industry’s revenue will plunge and hit the ground this fiscal year due to rigid competition and cut-throat pricing, according to the S&P Global Research Report. It also states that the industry revenue will be dominated by the top three companies by at least 75-85 percent. Telecom companies profit will sink by at least 5 to 10 percent, while the competition will get more intense when Reliance Jio launches its new smartphone at zero price in an attempt to lead the rat race. The decline, however, will be sharper for the smaller competitors like Aircel, Tata – teleservices and Reliance Communications, according to the report’s findings.Big competitors like Bharti Airtel, Idea-Vodafone will see the lower end of the range getting lower, making the the future growth outlook of the telecom industry gloomier. Competition in the sector was spurred by the Jio drive which took a lead in the sphere through popular strategies like providing the Jio network initially for free and then taking minimal charges. Later, a big blow came after Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd announced it would produce free smartphones.Jio smartphones will not just be a threat to its competitors but also to smartphone makers, who will be seen struggling with the pricing pressure. Such bullish moves will allow Reliance Jio to receive more subscriptions and also extend its rural penetration. Wikimedia Commons/JovianeyeJio’s competitor Bharti Airtel Ltd also said that Jio was tyring to create a monopoly by removing charges they pay for cross operator calls, BloombergQuint reported.However, the S&P Global research report also found that about 75 to 85 percent of the telecom industry revenue will be dominated by Idea – Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm this year.It will be interesting to see if Reliance Jio leads the pack in future with its launch of “India ka Smartphone.”As per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Reliance Jio Infocomm has managed to top the list in 4G network speed in April with an all – time high download speed of 19.12 megabit per second (Mbps). Mukesh AmbaniReutersWhat will the government-owned telecom companies do?According to the S&P report, the top three telecom companies — Bharti-Airtel, Idea-Vodafone and Reliance Jio —  are expected to become the top tier of the telecom industry this year. If that happens, the government-owned players will be totally sidelined in the competition.BSNL, last year after the Jio drive, however, took an initiative to come up with more competitive strategies, which included a tariff plan where the subscribers on paying Rs 149 monthly, can make all the local and national calls for free.More of such strategies or newer strategies to boost demand will be required to hold up with the competition and retain subscribers. But the question remains, whether the government led telecom companies — Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd — will be able to withstand the fight or succumb to the competition.last_img read more

Venezuelas Guaido We will do what is necessary

first_imgThe president of Venezuela`s National Assembly and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido speaks during an exclusive interview with AFP in Caracas on 8 February. Photo:AFP Venezuela`s Guaido: We will do what is necessaryOpposition leader Juan Guaido is challenging president Nicolas Maduro for control of crisis-hit Venezuela, a country plagued by hyperinflation, shortages of basic necessities and rampant violence.Guaido has declared himself interim president and has been recognized as such by dozens of countries, but Maduro, buoyed by support from the armed forces, has declined to step aside.In an interview with AFP, Guaido discusses the entry of foreign aid, contact with the military and whether he would be willing to allow the highly-controversial step of foreign military intervention.Foreign military intervention-Question: Would you use your prerogatives as speaker of the National Assembly and acting president to authorize the intervention of foreign military forces?”We will do everything possible, once again, this is obviously a very, very controversial subject, but making use of our sovereignty and, within our jurisdictions, we will do what is necessary.”Entry of foreign aid-Question: How is the entry of humanitarian aid advancing?”When we have sufficient supplies, we are going to make a first entry attempt. We know that there is a blockade in Tienditas (on the border with Colombia).””The armed forces have a huge dilemma, whether or not to accept the aid. It would be almost miserable at this point of huge necessity not to accept it.”-Question: When will the first attempt be?”I think it’s going to be next week, when we have formed the corps of volunteers and organized the distribution process.”Contact with the military-Question: Why do you think the offer of amnesty for members of the military has not yet produced a massive defection from high command?”We have to go deeper into that, we saw a division general speak openly a few days ago, we saw some sergeants of the National Guard show discontent and they are being tortured.””Part of what we have to overcome is explaining very well that (the armed forces) have a role in the reconstruction.”Russia and China-Question: Have you had contact with officials from Russia and China (which are allies of Maduro)?”I am sure that Moscow and Beijing know the situation in Venezuela really well: Maduro doesn’t have the popular support and he can’t stabilize the economy, which produced the world’s largest inflation of two million percent.”Negotiated solution-Question: Would you receive emissaries of the International Contact Group seeking a negotiated solution?”We are ready to talk with everyone, with a very specific agenda.”Pope’s position-Question: Does the position of Pope Francis seem lukewarm?”He did not receive anyone from the government, he does not even take them into account anymore.”last_img

3 Easy Tricks to Keep Websites UptoDate

first_imgSeptember 23, 2014 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Your website is often the first way that many customers connect with your company, so make sure you make the best impression. Sites with broken links and stale information can confuse customers and lose their trust. Even the busiest business owners can make time for these three tips from Entrepreneur experts and contributors to ensure sites are up-to-date, functioning properly and sending the right messages.  Related: How Often Should I Update My Website?1. Make a date. You or your web team should set an appointment to review the site monthly and quarterly. At the bare minimum, think monthly about numbers and names. Did any phone numbers or addresses change? Did key staffers come on board or leave the company? Make sure the information is current. Once you’ve finished, click key links on your ‘About Us’ page, and in your header and footer to make sure everything is still live.Use quarterly reviews to think longer-term: take a few minutes to see what your competitors are doing online that you should work into your upcoming plans. Similarly, take a moment to step back and ask yourself: are your pages easy to navigate? Is the information you share clear and understandable? Fix anything that is confusing or distracting to customers.Related: Seven Ways to Whip Your Website into Shape2. Make it simple! Get rid of bells and whistles that slow your site – and your customers – down. And don’t give yourself tasks you can’t finish. If you find you can’t keep up with your blog, get rid of it. If you’re more likely to post a Tweet on the fly, replace your blog posts with a feed from Twitter. Find solutions that work for your business.Related: Is your Web Site Annoying?3. Think online when you think big picture. The solution here is expanding your approach. Whenever you sketch out plans for big changes, clue in your online team so they can keep pace and be prepared. Information on new locations, services and products are often overlooked but are a basic part of marketing. Thinking on the front-end can save you massive headaches, lost time and lost sales on the back-end.Related: Is Your Business Blog Making These 10 Deadly Mistakes?center_img Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more