‘Hopeful Eight’ seek starring role in Singapore showdown

first_imgAll eight women competing at the WTA Finals will go into the tournament believing they have a genuine chance of finishing the season on a high note when round-robin play starts on Sunday without a clear favourite for the title.Three women in the field have topped the world rankings this season, incumbent Simona Halep and her predecessors Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova, but none of them have been able to kick on and cement their place as the tour’s dominant player.All three are also the only survivors from last year’s tournament, where they failed to make it out of the group stage, and will at least be hoping to advance to the semi-finals to improve on their underwhelming displays of 12 months ago.Spain’s Muguruza is arguably the most talented all-round player of the octet in Singapore but bouts of inconsistency and a high-risk strategy have often been her downfall in big matches as well as a tendency to get over-emotional.A tearful exit at the French Open in June was followed up by a brilliant fortnight at Wimbledon, where the 24-year-old stormed through the field to claim her second grand slam title with a brutal dismantling of Venus Williams in the final.Both Halep and Pliskova have been consistent rather than spectacular throughout the campaign and the Romanian has the ingenuity to make up for her lack of power, while the Czech can call on her big serve to put any opponent under pressure.Veteran Venus will fly the flag for the Williams family in the absence of new mother Serena, who plans to return from her maternity leave in early 2018, and the American will be a clear crowd favourite in her first finals appearance since 2009.The 37-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant season in the twilight of her career, losing the Australian Open final to pregnant sister Serena in January, before falling to Muguruza after navigating a tough path to the Wimbledon title match.Venus is also the only former WTA Finals winner playing in Singapore but she will need to come through five tough matches against top-eight opponents in a week if she is to add to her 2008 success with what would be a first title of the season.The only other grand slam champion present is 20-year-old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who stunned the tennis world to claim the first title of her career when she rallied past Halep to claim the French Open in three sets.Her youthful exuberance and aggressive game helped her bag a second title in Seoul, making her one of the dark horses in Singapore, along with in-form Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the last to book her Finals berth with back-to-back titles in China.Elina Svitolina won five tour title this season to qualify for the first time, although the Ukrainian struggled to replicate her top form at the grand slams, while Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki is making her fifth WTA Finals appearance.Wozniacki suffered a frustrating campaign despite being ultra-consistent, the Dane losing six finals in a row in 2017 before finally tasting victory with the defence of her Pan Pacific Open title in Tokyo late last month.last_img read more

Report: Atlantic storms double in frequency

first_imgWASHINGTON – The number of tropical storms developing annually in the Atlantic Ocean more than doubled over the past century, with the increase taking place in two jumps, researchers say. The increases coincided with rising sea surface temperature, largely the byproduct of human-induced climate warming, researchers Greg J. Holland and Peter J. Webster concluded. Their findings were published online Sunday by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. An official at the National Hurricane Center called the research “sloppy science” and said technological improvements in observing storms accounted for the increase. From 1905 to 1930, the Atlantic-Gulf Coast area averaged six tropical cyclones per year, with four of those storms growing to become hurricanes. Holland said about half the U.S. population and “a large slice” of business are “directly vulnerable” to hurricanes.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The annual average jumped to 10 tropical storms and five hurricanes from 1931 to 1994. From 1995 to 2005, the average was 15 tropical storms and eight hurricanes annually. Even in 2006, widely reported as a mild year, there were 10 tropical storms. “We are currently in an upward swing in frequency of named storms and hurricanes that has not stabilized,” said Holland, director of mesoscale and microscale meteorology at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. “I really do not know how much further, if any, that it will go, but my sense is that we shall see a stabilization in frequencies for a while, followed by potentially another upward swing if global warming continues unabated,” Holland said. It is normal for chaotic systems such as weather and climate to move in sharp steps rather than gradual trends, he said. last_img read more

Strachan praises Scotland’s second-half performance in draw

first_img“I don’t see the lucky bit, I thought it was the other way about,” he said. “We were unlucky. “We had a lot of chances so it was happening before the goal but it just so happened that we took the chance later on. It wasn’t as good a chance as some we’ve had. “You had the ball just sliding past the post, a guy heading the ball of the line at the end, maybe being a penalty so there were a few things that might be unlucky. “If you want to take that out of it, that’s fine. “You might put it down to just not finishing well so I’ll rephrase it and say we weren’t lucky, we just didn’t finish our chances.” Gordon Strachan has said that he was impressed with Scotland’s second-half display as the national team drew 1-1 with Lithuania in their World Cup qualifying match.James McArthur’s late goal earned Scotland a point after they had fallen behind to Fedor Cernych’s 59th minute goal.Strachan said he was pleased with how the players had responded to the shock of going behind and said their performance after the break was their best of recent times.“The first half, I felt it was like an English Championship game where the ball got smacked from one end to the other and it was basically a game of knock-ons,” he said. “It’s very hard to play when the ball is in the air a lot. “You need to be really brave and really on top of your form to deal with that type of football. Second half, we played well. “We did really well, the best we’ve played for a long time. It was far better than the friendlies we had, that’s for sure, and we made more chances than we did in Malta. “To drag themselves back after the body blow of the Lithuania goal was terrific. We congratulate the lads on that and for going for it. It might be a good point, in the end.”The manager rejected any suggestion that his side were lucky to have taken something with a late goal, insisting that they had made enough chances to have deserved more but could only reflect on not taking some of the opportunities that came their way.last_img read more

Defoe starts for Rangers, Johnston in for Celtic

first_imgJermain Defoe will lead the line for Rangers against Celtic with Alfredo Morelos on the bench for the derby at Ibrox.Steven Gerrard has made just one change to the team that defeated Hibernian last week, with goalkeeper Wes Foderingham coming in for the suspended Allan McGregor.James Tavernier, Conor Goldson, Nikola Katic and Jon Flanagan make up the back four in front of Foderingham. Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack and Steven David are in midfield with Ryan Kent and Scott Arfield providing support to Defoe.Neil Lennon has made three changes to the Celtic team for the trip across Glasgow. Kieran Tierney, who will require surgery at the end of the season, is not in the squad, with Jonny Hayes in at left-back. Oliver Burke and Mikey Johnston also come in to the team.Celtic start with Scott Bain in goal and Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic, Kristoffer Ajer and Hayes in defence. Scott Brown and Callum McGregor anchor the midfield with Tom Rogic, Burke and Johnston providing the supply to Odsonne Edouard.last_img read more

Five Takeaways from Google I/O 2015

first_imgToday I joined over two million people watching the online keynote for the Google I/O conference. The annual conference is held for developers, but it’s also the event where Google announces new products and developer tools. The technology community was abuzz throughout the week about the conference, with their expectations of news about fingerprint support, online payments, Android Wear, Maps, and more. I was anxiously awaiting an announcement about the rumored Google Photos application, and I wasn’t disappointed.Here are my top five takeaways from the Google I/O keynote address: Android M: the next version of Android (available later this year) has new permissions controls which allow you to selectively choose which permissions an app can have on your device. Additionally, Android M will have fingerprint reader support, Chrome Custom Tabs, Doze mode (powering down your device when it’s not in use), mobile payments with Android Pay (which replaces Google Wallet), and support for USB Type C for faster device charging.Inbox by Gmail available to all: Introduced last October on an invite-only basis, Inbox by Gmail is now available to everyone. New features include Trip Bundles for staying organized, Undo Send, swipe to delete, and custom signatures. Google Photos: With the release of Google Photos as a standalone product, I think Google has cut out all the cloud storage competition for photos. Google Photos offers free, unlimited cloud storage of your photos and videos.Your photos are saved in original resolution up to 16MP and videos are saved in 1080p high-definition. No need to tag your photos; the auto-organizer will automatically organize your images by people, places, and other labels that matter to you.Google Maps Expected to be released later this year, new features in Google Maps will offer offline search and turn-by-turn voice navigation to you, even when you don’t have an Internet connection.Cloud Test Lab: Making sure your Android application works correctly got a lot easier with today’s announcement of the free Android testing service, Cloud Test Lab.Submit your app and Google will conduct automated testing on the top 20 Android devices. Their automated reports will give developers insights with screenshots, videos, and logs. Did you watch today’s keynote? What were your favorite takeaways?Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedThree Helpful Features in Google Drive Announced at Google I/O 2014At yesterday’s Google I/O developer conference, Google announced many new updates to Google Drive. Among the updates you’ll see are a new interface, improved file management options, and faster speed on mobile and desktop. Three of the features quickly caught my attention. Two new features are related to file management;…In “Internet”September 30, 2012: Weekly Roundup of Web Development and Design ResourcesWith three online conferences last week, Accessibility Summit, UX Web Summit and the first annual Content Strategy Summit, it was a busy week of learning for me. I’ve shared some of the resources from the conferences in this roundup. Hope you find them helpful. CSS Web Inspector Support for CSS…In “Web design & development links”Weekly Roundup of Web Design and Development Resources: September 12, 2014This week I’ve been at the Accessibility Summit conference, learning along with hundreds of people around the world, how to create a more accessible web. Hard to believe this is the fifth year I’ve teamed up with my friend Scott Williams, Web Accessibility Coordinator at the University of Michigan, to…In “Web design & development links”last_img read more

Featured Hire: Sam Whitmore on IDG’s Loss is Sega’s Gain

first_imgTags:#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img marshall kirkpatrick One of our first posts on the new RWW Jobwire site was about the hiring of Kellie Parker as the new community manager for gaming company Sega. Jobwire guest editor Sam Whitmore chose Parker’s story as our first Featured Hire because of its significance to her former employer, tech publisher IDG, and the publishing industry in general. Click here to read Sam’s take on the news. Related Posts last_img

Business Intelligence Breakout Sessions: From Real Time BI to Social

first_imgI just returned from my European trip and wanted to  summarize some of the key customer feedback that I received from a breakout  session on BI and Analytics.I need to preserve the identity of the customers so I’ll  leave out names, and I’m sure that the messages are ones you have heard before,  but perhaps with some amplification.Most of the attendees agreed that BI was an area of  investment for their businesses, agreeing with analyst trends like:Gartner Forecasts Global  Business Intelligence Market to Grow 9.7 Percent in 2011Dashboard  Insight’s Top Business Intelligence Predictions for 2011There is a lot of interest for in-memory databases,  primarily for either real time BI with response time in seconds  to drive production, or for critical decision  workloads where time = money. There’s also interest in utilizing in-memory for  predictive analysis because the speed up would let you consider more scenarios.  All of those  interested were experimenting now! They want it ASAP, even if they have to roll  up their sleeves and work with the vendors.There was a lot of discussion about cloud as a BI resource.  Obviously if you are analyzing data that comes from the web (social media,  online sales etc.,) is has some appeal, assuming that you can deal with the  data security issues.  If your data  doesn’t originate in the cloud, there is concern about the cost of moving it  back and forth. We actually had one customer say that they had shipped hard  drives as that was a lot cheaper than shipping the data! (Maybe there is a long  term market for HDDs as interchangeable media?!?)Also, there was a lot of excitement about cloud resources,  as a way to quickly set up business in emerging countries without conventional  infrastructure.   These are places were  cloud works for traditional BI and DB until the datasets are too large, and it  lets you ramp up a new business or expand into a new geography.Lastly, there is some concern about consolidation in the BI  sector because the customers are enjoying the pace of innovation and some are  working with smaller companies.  Because  no one stack is perfect, they like to pick and choose.It was a great session and always good to hear directly from end users!last_img read more

Plants and animals sometimes take genes from bacteria, study of algae suggests

first_imgTo thrive in extreme environments like thermal springs, unicellular red algae (green) have taken in bacteria genes. Plants and animals sometimes take genes from bacteria, study of algae suggests Debashish Bhattacharya By Elizabeth PennisiJan. 29, 2019 , 4:45 PM Algae found in thermal springs and other extreme environments have heated up a long-standing debate: Do eukaryotes—organisms with a cell nucleus—sometimes get an evolutionary boost in the form of genes transferred from bacteria? The genomes of some red algae, single-celled eukaryotes, suggest the answer is yes. About 1% of their genes have foreign origins, and the borrowed genes may help the algae adapt to their hostile environment.The new research, posted last week as a preprint on bioRxiv, has not persuaded the most vocal critic of the idea that eukaryotes regularly receive beneficial bacterial DNA. But other scientists have been won over. The group provides a “fairly nice, rock-solid case for horizontal gene transfer” into eukaryotes, says Andrew Roger, a protist genomicist at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.Many genome studies have shown that prokaryotes—bacteria and archaea—liberally swap genes among species, which influences their evolution. The initial sequencing of the human genome suggested our species, too, has picked up microbial genes. But further work demonstrated that such genes found in vertebrate genomes were often contaminants introduced during sequencing.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In 2015, after analyses of millions of protein sequences across many species, William Martin, a biologist at the University of Dusseldorf (UD) in Germany, and colleagues concluded in Nature that there is no significant ongoing transfer of prokaryotic genes into eukaryotes. Martin believes any such transfers only occurred episodically early in the evolution of eukaryotes, as they internalized the bacteria that eventually became organelles such mitochondria or chloroplasts. If bacterial genes were continually moving into eukaryotes and being put to use, Martin says, a pattern of such gene accumulation should be discernible within the eukaryotic family tree, but there is none.Debashish Bhattacharya, an evolutionary genomicist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and UD plant biochemist Andreas Weber took a closer look at a possible case of bacteria-to-eukaryote gene transfer that Martin has challenged. The initial sequencing of genomes from two species of red algae called Cyanidiophyceae had indicated that up to 6% of their DNA had a prokaryotic origin. These so-called extremophiles, which live in acidic hot springs and even inside rock, can’t afford to maintain superfluous DNA. They appear to contain only genes needed for survival. “When we find a bacterial gene, we know it has an important function or it wouldn’t last” in the genome, Bhattacharya says.He and Weber turned to a newer technology that deciphers long pieces of DNA. The 13 red algal genomes they studied contain 96 foreign genes, nearly all of them sandwiched between typical algal genes in the DNA sequenced, which makes it unlikely they were accidentally introduced in the lab. “At the very least, this argument that [putative transferred genes are] all contamination should finally be obsolete,” says Gerald Schoenknecht, a plant physiologist at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.The transferred genes seem to transport or detoxify heavy metals, or they help the algae extract nourishment from the environment or cope with high temperature and other stressful conditions. “By acquiring genes from extremophile prokaryotes, these red algae have adapted to more and more extreme environments,” Schoenknecht says. Martin says the new evidence doesn’t persuade him. “They go to great lengths to find exactly what I say they should find if [horizontal gene transfer to eukaryotes] is real, but they do not find it,” he asserts. Others argue that gene transfer to eukaryotes is so rare, and the pressure to get rid of any but the most important borrowed genes is so strong, that transferred genes might not accumulate over time as Martin expects.Of course, Roger says, “What’s happening in red algae might not be happening in animals like us.” Humans and all other multicellular eukaryotes, including plants, have specialized reproductive cells, such as sperm or eggs or their stem cells, and only bacterial genes picked up by those cells could be passed on.Despite this obstacle, several insect researchers say they see evidence of such gene transfer. John McCutcheon, a biologist at Montana State University in Missoula who studies mealy bugs, is one. “I’ve moved beyond asking ‘if [the bacterial genes] are there,’ to how they work,” he says. The red algae, he adds, “is a very clear case.”last_img read more

Galaxy S4 gets the Lollipop update in India

first_imgSamsung Galaxy S4 running on the Exynos chipset has finallygot the much anticipated Lollipop update in India. Samsung recently began rolling out updates to the Exynos variant I9500 Galaxy S4.Galaxy S4 is the second Galaxy flagship phone to get theLollipop update. India is the second country after Russia to get the update.Samsung Galaxy S4 owners can download the OTA update from the phones settings.The update file will be around 990MB for which the users will have to empty atleast 3GB of internal space.Samsung Galaxy S4 was a popular phone manufactured under theGalaxy banner. The phone was launched in March 2013.  It has a 5 inch FullHD Super Amoled displaywith a pixel density of 441ppi.The phone is powered by an Exynos 5 Octa 5410 chipset which is backed up by 2GBRAM. On the camera front, the phone sports a 13 megapixel primary camera and a2 megapixel secondary camera.last_img read more