However, off the field BCCI looked set for a complete However, off the field BCCI looked set for a complete overhaul with Supreme Courts stinging observations tightening the noose around the mandarins of the richest sports body. The pandoras box that opened way back in 2013 after the spot-fixing scandal has come to haunt BCCI big time. In between, Jagmohan Dalmiyas death last year followed by Shashank Manohar deciding to leave the home board for the safer confines of independent chairmanship of ICC left current incumbent Anurag Thakur with a crown of thorns. It is a matter of conjecture whether some of the reforms like One State-One Vote, Age Cap of 70 years, cooling off period of three years after each term are easily implementable or not but BCCI is in a tight corner. Around the world, Pink ball Test slowly gained popularity while South Africas series win in Australia and Pakistans praiseworthy performance in England were worth noting. Faf du Plessis ball tampering controversy and a classic hundred at the Adelaide were the highlights of South Africas win against Australia which led to wholesale changes. Englands Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Pakistans Azhar Ali, Yasir Shah along with the ever-dependable Misbah-ul-Haq were some of the star performers in international cricket throughout the year. The private leagues and their impact got bigger as Test cricket in West Indies fought an existential crisis with top players still at loggerheads with countrys cricket board. An eventful and even more colourful 2017 awaits as far as international cricket is concerned. PTI KHS PM ATadvertisement
India is a rapidly adapting but extremely fickle-minded country. Like a kid picking petals from a sunflower, we can never come to a steady conclusion of what our preference in engines are. With diesels furiously facing the wrath of the government, NGT and environmentalists alike, we have once again crawled back to the warm embrace of gasoline goodness. The luxury segment manufacturers can’t sit still either. BMW, at one stage decided to flood their stables with diesel-powered models and is now re-introducing petrol variants, one model at a time. We initially welcomed the scorching BMW 320i which was a fun-filled petrol package on epic proportions. And now we get the 520i.Headlight assembly houses the familiar signature daytime running LEDs and BMW adaptive headlights and auto-high beam assistance. Yes, BMW’s mid-sized luxury sedan powered by the same 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo – a twin-scroll turbocharger coupled to BMW’s Valvetronic and High Precision Injection tech – four cylinder engine. With 184bhp and 270Nm of torque, the 520i definitely impresses on paper. Even the claimed 0-100kmph acceleration times is a respectable 7.9 seconds. In real world conditions though, things are a little different. We’ll get to that in just a bit. It’s interesting to note, the petrol-powered 5er only comes in one trim, and that is the Luxury Line. Which means, what you also get are illuminated entry sills and chrome treatment on the kidney grille, front and rear, window frames, tailpipe and the key fob. Also Read:India-bound BMW 5 Series to debut at Detroit Auto Show 2017advertisement Enter the cabin and you’ll be greeted to familiar interior specifications too. What we get is a design which, like we’ve mentioned before is starting to show its age. But this will be fixed when the new-generation 5-Series is launched here, the details of which you can read about elsewhere in this very issue. Till then, we have to make do with this. However, it is still very luxuriously appointed and the convenience features definitely haven’t been skimped on. You do get iDrive Touch with a 10.2-inch colour display, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, 3D mapping, rear-view camera (absent on the 320i), multifunction steering controls, a 10.2-inch instrument display with individual drive mode design and a crisp-sounding 600W 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system. But what about that engine? The BMW 5-Series is one of the best known and successful business sedan in the world. In India, the businessman likes his cars long and rear space aplenty. That is where a majority of the owners will spend a majority of the time. In that regard, the easy-going nature of the engine and supple suspension will leave no room for complaints. Coupled with features like audio operation, AC vents, centre armrest at the rear, one can get very comfortable very fast. If the owner does decide to give the driver a rest and take over control, it won’t completely disappoint. The 520i is amongst the better handlers compared to its competitors. However, when left in Comfort or Eco Pro mode, the BMW will tug itself along at a relaxed pace. It feels refined but never in a hurry when you leave it to itself in these two modes, looking at the weight the 2.0-litre engine has to haul. Shift to Sport, slot the gearbox into S or manual and that’s when it starts to hustle. This is when the engine is much more responsive and will hold on to gears longer before shifting.Also Read:India-bound BMW X7 caught undergoing testing in Germany VerdictBMW has thrown in the 520i for the enthusiasts and environmentalists alike. It doesn’t disappoint. But entering as a CBU unit and priced right in the middle of the 5-Series range price spectrum? For my money, I would have preferred it to be a 528i for better poke and a 10+kmpl figure.The rear LEDs are hard to miss at night.
Madurai, Jan 21 (PTI) With the Centre clearing a draft ordinance to allow jallikattu, the Madurai district administration today said it is fully prepared to hold the bull-taming sport at Alanganallur, near here.Alanganallur is famous for conducting jallikattu events.District Collector K Veera Raghava Rao said everything is ready and they are waiting for the green signal from the government.Officials said with the Collector inspecting the venue, the sport is likely to be held in a day or two.The Centre had last night cleared an ordinance on jallikattu, paving the way for the Tamil Nadu government to promulgate it in an effort to end the protests that have paralysed the state for the last five days. PTI SSN BN RC
Amaravati, Feb 5 (PTI) Andhra Pradeshs first Smart Police Station, having look and feel of a corporate-style office, equipped with a “custody” room and under watch of CCTV network, is set to start functioning.Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will inaugurate the States first Smart Police Station at Nagarampalem in Guntur city in the capital region Amaravati tomorrow.The facility, in fact, doesnt look like a typical police station, thanks to plush exterior and interiors that leave one with a feeling of having walked into a corporate- style office.There are no boundary walls to the Smart Police Station but the exterior has been beautifully landscaped while the facade is of glass.The fully air-conditioned station has a staff room, dormitory, mini control room, a reception chamber and individual enclosures for the Station House Officer and three Sub-Inspectors.Staff manning the station will not wear the usual khaki uniform and instead sport a navy blue trouser and a light blue shirt.While women Constables have a light blue sari for uniform, the lady receptionist will additionally sport a navy blue blazer.Interestingly, the station does not have a “lock-up” for detainees. Instead, a “custody” room with a double bed has been readied.The facility, built in two months at a cost of Rs 91 lakh, is one of the two model Smart Police Stations constructed in Guntur as a pilot project.Andhra Police administration has drawn up plans to build another 100 Smart Police Stations across the state.”The Smart Police Stations will be the pride of police,” Director General of Police (in-charge) Nanduri Sambasiva Rao told PTI.advertisement”Pride to policemen and satisfaction to public is the main aim behind the Smart Police Stations. Simplicity is the hallmark,” he said.Closed circuit television cameras have been installed in and around the station for closer surveillance of staff behaviour and movement of visitors. PTI DBV RSY BAS
Himachal Pradesh hammered Delhi into submission with an emphatic 185-run win in a Vijay Hazare Trophy group B encounter on Sunday.This is second defeat in a row for young Rishabh Pant-led Delhi. They will have to win all their remaining matches in order to harbour hopes of qualifying for the knock-outs.Batting first, Himachal Pradesh piled up a massive 339 for 8 in 50 overs with opener Prashant chopra smashing way to 159 off 140 balls with 24 boundaries and three sixes. (MS Dhoni’s hundred helps Jharkhand sink Chhattisgarh in Vijay Hazare Trophy)He added 115 for the 3rd wicket with Paras Dogra (77 off 65 balls) that had four boundaries and four sixes. Debutant left-arm pacer Kulwant Khejroliya took 3/61 while other seamer Navdeep Saini had figures of 3/63 to show for his effort.In reply, Delhi were shot out for 154 in 37 overs with six players failing to cross double figures.Gambhir was out in the second over without troubling scores. The highly rated Rishabh Pant is also having a poor tournament getting out for two after scoring 5 in the first game.Debutant Sarthak Ranjan scored a dedate 37 off 56 balls with five boundaries.Off-spinner Dheeraj Kumar wreaked havoc with 5/24 in 8 overs.MUMBAI BEAT RAJASTHANAkhil Herwadkar scored a fine fifty as Mumbai defeated Rajasthan by five wickets in a truncated Group C match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.In a match reduced to 38-over-a-side, Rajasthan scored 181 for nine and in reply, Mumbai comfortably reached the target in just 29.1 overs, losing five wickets in the process.Put in to bat by Mumbai, Rajasthan lost four of their wickets with just 50 runs on the board, before Salman Khan (37) and Mahipal Lomror (49) managed to steady the boat. (Mahendra Singh Dhoni named Jharkhand captain for Vijay Hazare Trophy)advertisementThe duo put on a crucial 68 runs together for the fifth wicket.Lower down the order, Kamlesh Nagarkoti chipped in with an important 21 runs to take the team to a respectable total.For Mumbai, Shardul Thakur (3/47) was the pick of the bowlers.Chasing 182 for victory, Mumbai got off to a good start with opener Herwadkar (50) and one-down batsman Shreyas Iyer (41) taking the team past 100-run mark, having shared a 67-run stand for the second wicket.After Iyer’s dismissal, Herwadkar found and able partner in skipper Aditya Tare (36 not out) and the two put on a 51-run partnership for the fourth wicket to almost drive Mumbai home.Mumbai eventually reached 184 for five with 53 balls to spare.For Rajasthan, Tajinder Singh claimed three wickets for 45 runs.Brief scores: Rajasthan: 181 for 9 in 38 overs (Mahipal Lomror 49, Salman Khan 37; Shardul Thakur 3/47).
India’s pace spearhead Ishant Sharma went shockingly unsold at the Indian Premier League 2017 player auction that saw a few rookies fetching some big bucks. (IPL: 5 stars who were snubbed at the auction)Ishant, who had the base price of Rs 2 crore, was twice snubbed by the franchises on the auction. (How the teams stack up after the auction)CLICK TO WATCH FULL VIDEOIshant is a key part of India’s Test squad but has not featured in the limited-overs sides for a over one year now. He last appeared in Twenty20 internationals against Australia in October 2013.It is believed that Ishant’s high base price was the reason for finding no buyers at the auction which saw teams gunning for young turks and in-form players. (Uncapped Indian players trump India stars at auction)The 28-year-old Test specialist has played for now-defunct Deccan Chargers, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiants over the years. (Stokes hits jackpot in historic Indian Premier League player bid)He was last year picked to play for IPL debutants Pune Supergiants, finishing with three wickets in four matches at a poor average of 49.33 and a high economy of 9.86. (Tymal Mills happy to be on the same side with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers)As a result Ishant was among the 11 players who were offloaded by RPS after the team finished seventh in the eight-team tournament. (Happy for myself and Rashid Khan, says Mohammad Nabi after SRH bag Afghan players)”We needed to have a fitter team and that’s why we dropped 11 players. Many of whom are physically and completely unfit and past their prime,” RPS owner Sanjiv Goenka told India Today the day MS Dhoni was sacked as captain.advertisementNO BUYERS FOR IRFAN PATHANVeteran all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who had a base price of Rs 50 lakh, too failed to grab a deal and remained unsold.Irfan too played for RPS last season. In four matches that he played, the Baroda left-arm medium pacer went wicketless and his economy touched 7.62.Irfan has not played for India since August 2012 and not considered express pacer or a big hitter in Indian cricket fraternity.He even failed to show off his skills with the bat last seaon. In three innings, the left-handed batsman hit just 11 runs.Both Ishant and Irfan were once India’s most sought after players but the saying ‘perform or perish’ fits best in this case.
Kolkata, Apr 3 (PTI) With less than a week to go for the the all-important I-League derby, Mohun Bagan will go easy against their Bangladeshi rival Abahani here tomorrow, even as both teams eye their first win in the AFC Cup. Fresh from their 3-0 drubbing of reigning champions Bengaluru FC in the I-League two days ago, Mohun Bagans next stop is in Siliguri where they face bitter-foes East Bengal in the return leg clash on Sunday. They go on to play two more matches on the road — April 12 (Shillong) and April 15 (Minerva) — before resuming their AFC Cup campaign against Maziya Sports & Recreation Maldives on April 19. “We have to overcome adversities. We have been able to overcome the obstacles, be it the flight journeys between AFC Cup games and I-League games or be it the international break,” Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen about their packed schedule. Focused on the I-League where they are three points behind Aizawl with a game in hand, Sen may opt to give his key players rest. Sony Norde made three assists to hand them a win over Bengaluru, and it remains to be seen whether the Haitian starts tomorrow along with captain Katsumi Yusa, who struck twice. Mohun Bagan squandered their lead to lose their AFC Cup group E opener in Bengaluru March 14 and Abahani too faced a a similar fate, going down 0-2 to the Maldives Premier League champions. The five-time Bangladesh Premier League champions, who did a double by winning the Federation Cup, are struggling to return to winning ways under coach Drago Mamic. The Dhanmondi-based outfit became champions of Federation Cup and BPL under coach George Kottan. But under the former Churchill Brothers coach Mamic, they have struggled to replicate their show, finishing with a wooden spoon in the Sheikh Kamal International Cup last month. They are missing two key foreigners Sunday Chizoba and Lee Tuck and have roped in Samad Youssif, Emeka Darlington and David Jonathan. The 28-year-old Nigerian Darlington earlier played for Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi along with Norde and the two players will be seen in different colours this time around. Darlington will be seen alongside former Cardiff City forward Jonathan Brown and Sky Blues would want the duo to come good in their bid to make the knockout stage for the first time in four appearances. They are likely to miss Ghanaian defender Youssif because of visa issues and Nasiruddin Chowdhury may take his place at the heart of their five-man backline. “In one sense Mohun Bagan and we are on same position, as they also conceded defeat in their first match like us but they have the advantage of playing at home ground and in front of home crowds. Nothing is impossible, but the boys would have to perform,” Abahani football manager Satyajit Das Rupu said. “If you play with full dominance for 90 minutes but fail to score and concede a goal, it has no meaning. That was what happened in our first match against Maziya.” PTI TAP AH AHadvertisement
Sony launched the Xperia XZ in India in October last year. In April 2017, it launched the Xperia XZs, a phone that takes many visible cues from the Xperia XZ, but adds changes so drastic you would want to question the very existence of its predecessor. So much so, that you would want to question the very existence of the Xperia XZ in the first place.A lot of these changes that Sony has made have to do with the camera. It’s a pint-sized RX100 IV, the Xperia XZs. Just like the RX100 IV, Sony’s Xperia XZs can theoretically shoot slow-motion clips at a mind-boggling 960-frames-per-second. For your reference, the slowest slow-mos available in a commercially available phone right now can’t exceed 240 fps. Sony’s new phone can record videos 4X times slower than the slowest in the trade.Also Read: Sony Xperia XZs review: The pint-sized RX100 IV Understanding the super slow-mo tech inside the Xperia XZsThe Sony Xperia XZs uses a three-layer stacked CMOS sensor — as opposed to using a conventional two-layer sensor — that allows the system to accommodate a 128MB DRAM layer of memory in between the pixel section and the circuitry. It’s actually the DRAM layer that does all the heavy-duty stuff storing all the visual information the sensor takes in until it’s ready to be used by the rest of the phone, primarily the image processor. Since the system has been designed for speed Sony calls it Motion Eye.The 960 fps slow-motion mode is activated via a dedicated toggle inside the camera app. But if you thought freezing a live-action moment was as simple as pushing a toggle, well, it’s not that simple. Rather, it’s quite complex. For one, it’s going to take some time getting used to, and even when you do get used to it, recording a 960 fps slow-mo the way you imagined would be a hit or miss really. Timing and proper lighting are crucial.advertisement The Sony Xperia XZs uses a three-layer stacked CMOS sensor — as opposed to using a conventional two-layer sensor — that allows the system to accommodate a 128MB DRAM layer of memory in between the pixel section and the circuitry. It’s actually the DRAM layer that does all the heavy-duty stuff You can either record a regular video interrupted by short bursts of slow-mos or a full-scale slow-mo depending on the situation at hand. Since, 9 out of 10 times, your subject would be in some sort of motion you’ll have to be quick to make that decision.You begin by pushing the super slow-mo toggle that sits next to the standard video recording toggle. Once enabled, the process begins with a standard recording. You then wait for that perfect moment you want to freeze in time and push the same toggle again. The sensor would then capture a super slow-motion 960 fps video for a period of 0.182 seconds — only because that’s all the time it takes to fill up the 128MB DRAM layer of memory — before going standard again. Pushing the toggle once again would capture one more freeze-frame. So on and so forth. The recording — when played — would then play as standard video interrupted by 6 seconds of dramatic slow-mo depending on how many you recorded.It’s still early days for super slow-mo, in phonesWhile digital cameras can afford the luxury of protruding lenses, for a smartphone, to accommodate a similar sensor inside is no walk in the park. Even for a company like Sony that has literally spent eons supplying camera sensors to third-party OEMs. But, it’s still early days.The technology that Sony has employed inside the Xperia XZs is fantastic, but, it has its shortcomings.To begin with, you can record super slow-mos at mere 720p — even as the main camera can record 4K — and because it’s all a game of speed and accuracy, more often than not, focus would be an issue especially when shooting close ups. The farther the subject, the better the focus you would be getting in your videos. As for the video quality, well, a lot of it would depend on the available light. Since the sensor operates at a much higher ISO in super slow-mo, the quality of videos shot goes for a spin. Even more so in tricky and low light.Super slow-mo tech isn’t actually the Xperia XZs’ main USPThe Xperia XZs’ rear camera — Motion Eye — has a knack for moving objects. As soon as you fire up the camera app and should there be some sort of motion in view, the phone’s sensor is able to predict the same. The sensor then (predictively) captures three random shots of the object in motion before you actually press the shutter key. The focus is on getting the best possible — blur-free — result out of the given scenario. Once you’ve taken the picture, the camera app would show you four different cases of the same photo — three taken automatically by the sensor and one taken by you — and you can then chose to keep either all of them or select the best possible outcome.advertisementPredictive capture works by default in the Xperia XZs, which means that it is active all the time. The mode, however, springs into action only when it detects motion.But, is the Xperia XZs’ camera any good?The Xperia XZs sports a 19-megapixel camera on the rear — f/2.0 aperture — assisted with predictive phase detection and laser autofocus, but no Optical Image Stabilisation. There is EIS for videos though. But, more importantly, for the first time in a long time, Sony has favoured larger individual pixels — from 1.12um in last year’s Xperia XZ up to 1.22um in this year’s Xperia XZs — that should technically increase light sensitivity resulting in better low-light photos. The Xperia XZs is resultantly a better camera phone than the Xperia XZ.Photos clicked with the XZs come out well in good lighting. The phone is able to hold and retain plausible dynamic range with little or no metering issues like the Xperia XZ before it. The Xperia XZs photos are less susceptible to digital noise even in tricky light, a problem that was a major point of concern in the Xperia XZ.Low-light is where the Xperia XZs makes a strong case for itself over the Xperia XZ. Low-light photos shot with the phone have more detail and far less noise in comparison.The post-processing algorithm on-board is still marred by a slight delay in processing and saving pictures after you’ve clicked them though. Even more so during predictive capture.The Xperia XZs is a better all-round performer than the Xperia XZThe Xperia XZs is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (clocked at 2.15GHz) coupled with 4 gigs of RAM and 64GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a microSD card slot. The Xperia XZ, meanwhile, came with the same Snapdragon 820 processor but with 3 gigs of RAM.The dual-SIM Xperia XZs runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based Xperia UI and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready). Sony has been able to well optimise the software with the hardware in the phone. It actually feels much faster and more fluid than last year’s Marshmallow-based Xperia XZ. It does have a slight tendency to get warm occasionally, and gets a little too hot especially while playing graphical games for longer periods or while recording 4K or streaming 1080p videos. It is also fairly quick to cool down.Another point to note is that the Xperia XZs has far less bloat or unwanted apps in comparison to the Xperia XZ.advertisementAnd now the similarities– The Xperia XZs, like the Xperia XZ, comes with what Sony calls loop surface design. It’s an all-metal smartphone with razor sharp — even to the extent of being uncomfortable for some — edges and side-mounted deep-seated — even to the extent of being uncomfortable for some — fingerprint scanner. It is IP68-certified for dust and water resistance which is nice and uses USB Type-C for charging and data syncing. High-res audio via compatible headphones is also supported by the Xperia XZs.– The Xperia XZs comes with a 5.2 Full-HD 1080p display which feels like an AMOLED panel in actual usage, with its near over-saturated colours, high contrast ratio and pleasantly sharp viewing angles. Colours are often not the most accurate, something which is more pronounced when you switch alternatively between Sony’s custom user interface and the Chrome browser for instance. There’s an option to manually correct colour temperature — which works just fine — in case you’re not impressed.– The Xperia XZs, much like the Xperia XZ, boasts of front-firing stereo speakers which get really loud and punchy with little or no distortion at peak volume. It’s again one area where the phone really stands out.– Phone calls made with the phone are of excellent quality and we did not encounter any odd call drop issues with our review unit. The phone supports dual-SIM, 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready), USB Type-C (v 2.0) and NFC connectivity options.– The Xperia XZs, like the Xperia XZ, is also backed by a 2,900 mAh battery. Battery life is good. In our battery benchmark, we subjected the device to an hour of 1080p video playback, half an hour of GPU-intensive gaming, 45 minutes of basic games, phone calls (to the tune of one hour), some music streaming and YouTube video playback along with web browsing, and we were able to get almost 14 hours out of the device. Not the best, but, no slouch either. Still, Sony could have upped the battery capacity to maybe a 3,000mAh this time round.A combination of old and new makes Xperia XZs a better packageOn the one side, the Xperia XZs has future-proof camera hardware, on the other it comes with a dated design, a 1080p screen, dated processor and a too small for comfort battery. But, in the case of the Xperia XZs, the combination of dated design, a 1080p screen, dated processor and a too small for comfort battery actually works in its favour. The Xperia XZs is a way better phone than the Xperia XZ and a lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s a much better optimised phone than its predecessor. Its futuristic camera hardware is just the icing on the cake.For a long-term Sony phone, the Xperia XZs is definitely a recommended buy. It’s not too bad for the others as well.Also Read: Sony Xperia XZ review: Being good isn’t good enough anymore
Can you communicate in a few seconds what you do and why it’s important?Your nonprofit home page is a crucial introduction to your organization. Within a few seconds, a first-time user should understand the purpose and usefulness of your site. Your home page should show how your nonprofit website can meet the user’s needs; highlight your richest, most current content; and demonstrate your positive impact on society.Your home page (and all other pages) should load very quickly. Don’t use an introductory “splash” page or flash animation.Your mission statement and the word “welcome” should not be on your home page.Strive for simplicity and clarity in design. Your home page should be attractive and engaging, but uncluttered.Put your logo at the top of the home page and on every page on your site. It should always be linked to your home page.A one-sentence tagline on your home page should explain what you do and how you differ from others doing the same.An About Us link should be clearly available for users who want to know more about you.There should be a compelling, local photograph (not a stock shot) that echoes your tagline on your home page. The photo should have alt text and a message-rich caption.Contents are hierarchically arranged to match an F eye-movement pattern. Jakob Nielsen shows how readers tend to scan Web sites by moving left to right across the top of the page, then left to right slightly below the top of the page, then vertically top to bottom on the left side of the page-in a pattern resembling an F. Think about that pattern when placing your most important content.Links on your home page should quickly show readers what actions they can take on the site. Make it easy for them to find the answers to their questions.Share examples of your most interesting, recent site content. There should be a place to glimpse your latest news.There should be a place where people can sign up for your email newsletter. It’s critical to also include a large, colorful donate button.Make strategic use of keywords to make your home page more attractive to search engines.Let users know about your social media presences without distracting them with too many badges and widgets.If you offer an intranet, make sign-in easy to find and easy to use (no more than one click).Offer a site search option with a search box that’s 27 characters wide on every page.Put essential contact information on every page. Source: Gayle C. Thorsen, Best Practices Nonprofit Web Site Design ebook
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.So you think you want to crowdfund your artistic project. It’ll be easy. After all, didn’t some guy raise over $50,000 making potato salad? Sure, but let’s talk some facts first.More than half — 59 percent — of all Kickstarter projects don’t meet their fundraising goal.These projects were all probably started by well-meaning artists who fell prey to the siren call of crowdfunding: if I just put my project on Kickstarter, people will throw money at me.Wrong. My writing partner and I just closed a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $6,000 to fund the production of our military thriller, Weapons of Mass Deception, and we learned a few lesson along the way.If you’re seriously thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign, take the time to answer these six questions first.1. Who is my crowd?The most common misunderstanding about crowdfunding is how it works. The website you work with (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Go Fund Me, etc.) provides the funding platform.YOU need to provide the crowd. In our Kickstarter campaign, 96% of the funding came from external referrers, only 4% came from the Kickstarter site. In other words, we had to direct the crowd to our Kickstarter page.Start by making a contact list of everyone you know. Think broadly here: work colleagues, college roommates, elementary school teachers, relatives, friends. Everyone.2. What is my story?Let’s say you’ve written a book. You probably have a rocking cover and a terrific book description, but here’s the thing. Giving money is a personal act, people want to be persuaded.Who are you? Why did you write the book? What do you have to say that hasn’t been said before? When my writing partner and I started our Kickstarter campaign for our military thriller Weapons of Mass Deception, we focused on our Navy backgrounds as a way to stand out among all the other publishing projects.Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Browse successful projects that are similar to yours and see what other artists have done.3. What am I going to give my backers?Once you’ve persuaded a backer, the next question that person asks is: what do I get for my money? Yes, we humans are complex creatures, giving freely with one hand and expecting a gift with the other.My advice here is twofold. Make it directly related to your project and make it a Kickstarter exclusive item. For our project, we offered three editions of our novel, e-book, paperback and a limited-edition, Kickstarter exclusive hardback volume. Guess which one was the most popular?4. How much does it cost?The point of crowdfunding is the money you get to keep, after you pay for all those gifts. Do your homework on all the costs.For example, if you plan to offer a signed paperback as a reward, you will pay for (1) cost of the book, (2) cost to ship the book to you, (3) cost for you to ship it to the lucky backer, who just might live in Finland. And don’t forget the fact that the crowdfunding site claims a transaction fee off the top.If you don’t know how to use a spreadsheet, find a friend who does and build a model so you can estimate how much money you get to keep from your crowdfunding effort.5. How much money can I raise?Using your cost model and your contact list, estimate how many people you think might back you and at what level. This is not an exact science. In fact, you will be surprised by who does and does not back your campaign. Uncle Al who you haven’t spoken to in twenty years contributes $100, while your best friend never shows up.Play with adjusting the reward levels to see how that affects your net profit from the campaign. Compare that amount with the answer to the next question.Join the nation’s largest group representing the new workforce (it’s free!)Become a member6. How much money do I need to raise?Crowdfunding site policies vary, but most only let you keep the money if you meet your funding goal. (Indiegogo has a partial funding option, but it comes with a higher fee.)Bottom line is you should be asking for the minimum amount needed to make your project happen. In our case, we set our Kickstarter goal at $4000, even though that would net us less than we needed.We hoped we would overfund (we did) and if not, we were willing to pay for the rest out of pocket. Choose carefully, once you set your funding goal and campaign duration, they cannot be changed.7. Am I willing to ask my crowd for support?And now we come to the single most important question of all. Are you willing to contact every person on your list and ask for their help? Maybe some of the people on your contact list aren’t in a financial position to contribute, but they can still help spread the word.If the thought of asking people you know for their support makes you sick to your stomach, you may want to rethink the idea of crowdfunding.Fear Not, Brave CrowdfunderBut there’s still hope. This is where crowdfunding platforms work in your favor. All the work I mentioned above–telling your story via video and words, researching costs, deciding on gifts and reward levels—happens before you launch your campaign.Once your campaign is launched, your sole job is to get people to show up to your page, listen to your story, and tell all of their friends.There you have it. If you can answer these six questions before you launch your campaign you will be well on your way to crowdfunding success.David Bruns (www.davidbruns.com) is an independent author and recovering corporate executive. He is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, and one half of the writing team for the military thriller, Weapons of Mass Deception, about modern-day nuclear terrorism.
World XI rode on a superb late charge by Hashim Amla and Thisara Perera to defeat Pakistan by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Gadaffi Stadium here on Wednesday.In a nail biting finish, World XI overhauled the target of 175 runs with just one ball to spare. The three-match series is now locked at 1-1. Pakistan had won the first match by 20 runs.Amla and Perera played a crucial role for the visitors with an unbeaten partnership of 69 runs off just 29 balls.Amla was the highest scorer among the visitors, scoring 72 runs off 55 deliveries with five boundaries and two sixes.Perera plundered 47 runs off a mere 19 balls with five huge sixes studding his power packed innings. Fittingly, it was the Sri Lankan star who hit the winning runs, smashing a delivery by Pakistan pacer Rumman Raees into the sightscreen.SIX! 18.5 Sohail Khan to Thisara PereraWatch the match at https://t.co/ssrhnqqgQA#CricketKiHalalala #PAKvWXI pic.twitter.com/foRSvojrAS- PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) September 13, 2017With the visitors needing six runs off the last two balls, Raees seemed to have buckled under the pressure as he produced a juicy full toss which Perera promptly smashed into the night sky.For Pakistan, Imad Wasim, Sohail Khan and Mohammad Nawaz took a wicket each.The visitors suffered an early blow when opener Tamim Iqbal mistimed an attempted slog off Sohail’s bowling. Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine followed him back to the pavilion soon after. The Australian was outfoxed by the low bounce of a delivery from Imad only to see the ball crash into his stumps.advertisementFaf du Plesis seemed to be good touch during his brief stint in the middle, scoring 20 runs off 14 balls with two hits into the stands.But Mohammad Nawaz seemed to have turned the tide firmly in Pakistan’s favour when du Plesis holed out to long off while going for another big hit.However, it was not to be as Amla and Perera came together to carry the visitors to victory.2nd innings highlights. Watch full highlights at https://t.co/ssrhnqqgQA#CricketKiHalalala #PAKvWXI pic.twitter.com/bAGrwfrMXX- PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) September 13, 2017Earlier, opting to bat on winning the toss, Pakistan posted 174/6 in their 20 overs. The talented Babar Azam was their top scorer with 45. Pakistan opener Ahmed Shehzad also batted well for his 43.The Pakistan batsmen however, could build on their starts as the hosts lost wickets at regular intervals.Brief scores:Pakistan: 174/6 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 45, Ahmed Shehzad 43) vs World XI: 175/3 in 19.5 overs (Hashim Amla 72 not out, Thisara Perera 47 not out).
Atletico Madrid warmed up for next week’s Champions League clash with Chelsea by brushing aside Sevilla 2-0 at home on Saturday thanks to second-half strikes from Yannick Carrasco and Antoine Griezmann.New Atletico striker Diego Costa, whose transfer from Chelsea was agreed this week, watched on from the stands as both sides hit the woodwork in the opening 20 minutes of an even first period.It was all Atletico, however, after the break.Carrasco raced onto former Sevilla striker Luciano Vietto’s through ball to round the onrushing goalkeeper and slot home minutes after the restart, before Griezmann then put the result beyond doubt from close range with just over 20 minutes to play.Diego Simeone’s Atletico side, who face Chelsea at home on Wednesday, leapfrog Sevilla into second place on 14 points, one behind league leaders Barcelona, who face Catalan rivals Girona in Saturday’s late kick off.
Mumbai, Jan 16 (PTI) A citizens body has urged the Bombay High Court to decide whether providing yoga and meditation classes was taxable under the law.The Malabar Hill Citizens Forum wanted the court to clarify whether these classes are covered under the health and fitness services category of the Finance Act.A division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and Bharti Dangre heard today an appeal filed by the forum challenging an order passed by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT).The CESTAT had in its July 2015 order upheld a notice issued by the service tax departments assistant commissioner, demanding a service tax of Rs 5 lakh from the citizens forum for providing services like yoga, meditation and aerobics at the Priyadarshini Park in South Mumbai.The forum, in its appeal in the high court, claimed that services like yoga and meditation are provided by its members in the open park.”These do not fall under the category of health and fitness services and hence, are not taxable. We pay the service tax for other sports activities provided by us at the park and its gymnasium, like tennis and so on,” it said.The court, after hearing brief arguments in the case, told the lawyer appearing for the tax department that the area where the park is situated was earlier a rocky terrain and witnessed nefarious activities.”The citizens forum has developed the land into a parkand now people are using it for walks and meditation and yoga under the open sky,” the bench observed, while posting the petition for further hearing next week. PTI SP GK ZMN RDSadvertisement
Bhubaneswar, Feb 4 (PTI) Over 10,000 participants took part in the first of its kind premier Cyclothon event here that was flagged off by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.The idea behind this programme lay in Prime Minister Narendra Modis appeal to the people in his monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat about avoiding the use of petrol and diesel for one day in a week to conserve fuel and contribute towards nation building.While flagging off the event at Kalinga stadium, the minister said that benefits of cycling were not only limited to protect the environment or conserve fuel but it also carried huge health and fitness dividends.Pradhan appealed to all the citizens to join in the movement for conserving the finite petroleum resources through practicing simple, easily implementable ways and using petroleum products in cooking, transport, agriculture and industries.Based on the distance to be covered, the Cyclothon featured three categories? Saksham Elite Race (Men? 33 km/ women-22 km), and Saksham Green Ride (11km) from Kalinga Stadium to Khandagiri via Jaydev Vihar Chhak and back to Kalinga Statdium in the same route. Cyclist Rajesh from Tamil Nadu won a cash prize of Rs 1.25 lakh and Rutuja of Maharastra won Rs 1.0 Lakh in Odishas premier Cyclothon here today.Officials from various ministries, sports personalities, cine stars and personnel from the oil industry participated in the event. PTI AAM MM
Virat Kohli scores an ODI hundred every sixth match. So when he smashed a classic 160 not out against South Africa to script India’s 124-run victory in the third ODI in Cape Town, you would have wondered what was really so new about it?Another Kohli hundred, another ODI win for India. Par for course, is it not? What else is there to say for a man who scores hundreds for fun?Well, there is plenty.Apart from a plethora of records Kohli broke on Wednesday, he played out his longest ODI innings and ran 100 runs of 160 runs. What was really impressive about the knock was that Kohli did not look at his fluent best when he walked out to bat after Rohit Sharma fell to Kagiso Rabada in the first over.Kohli, who came to Cape Town on the back of a majestic 112 and a polished 46*, was happy to take the backseat as Shikhar Dhawan tore into the attack. However, the Indian captain started taking toll shortly after and ensured his team was always in the hunt for a big total even as Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav perished in short time.Moreover, Kohli later admitted he had to battle cramps when he was in his 90s. It was a hot day in Cape Town and running could not have been easy.But Kohli, who hits 4.21 boundaries on an average in every ODI, ran as many as 75 singles, 11 doubles and one three. He hit 12 boundaries and two sixes.advertisementIt was also Kohli’s longest innings, 159 balls. Nearly six years ago, he had faced 148 balls to score a scintillating 183 against Pakistan at the Asia Cup.Nearly 30 now, it was that much harder for Kohli to push himself but the innings was an ode to his fitness. A strong advocate of fitness, Kohli has insisted training hard has made all the difference.”I will be 30 this year. The decision was in terms of extending the quality of cricket you want to play at an older age as well. That is my intention. I want to play this kind of cricket even when I am 34-35,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.”That’s why I train so much. I am the guy who likes to play with intensity and once that is gone I don’t know what I am going to do. I try to protect that and I try to train as much as I can, keep a check on my diet. Those things pay off on days like these when team needs it. You stand up and pull through as I said amazing things happen when you are thinking of the team throughout. As an athlete you crave for days like these. These are the kind of days that give you satisfaction as a batsman and as a Team India player. I am really happy to contribute to the mood that is in the dressing-room right now,” he said.Kohli was among the busiest cricketers last year but he did not let the burden of international pressure and the hectic schedule bog him down. He finished 2017 with 2818 international runs, 11 hundreds including three double hundreds in Test cricket. (India’s ODI wins in South Africa prove we can travel well: Tendulkar)He of course later said even he could be tired and needed a break but that was to be expected.However, Kohli, after a short break during which he got married, returned to the international fold and resumed business as usual. After a couple of low scores in the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town, he roared back with a superb 153 in Centurion and two gutsy knocks on a difficult Wanderers pitch – he was by far the best batsman in the Test series and finished as the highest run-scorer.In the ODIs, Kohli is once again miles ahead of the rest with 318 runs – he was the top scorer in ODIs last year with 1460 runs and could well finish 2018 on top. Given his dedication to fitness and training and a strict diet, it would need a very brave observer to rule that out.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes he needs to be more persuasive when asking the club to sign new players, saying that his efforts to convince his board to spend big in the transfer window were “a bit of a disaster”.Conte led Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, but their failure to replicate last seasons form has led to questions about the size and quality of the squad, with the side in fifth on 50 points, 22 behind leaders Manchester City.The club also either failed to splurge in the recent transfer market or lost out on players they were interested in and while the Italian said he felt he could still get the best out of his squad, there was a need for fresh blood.”My task is to try and improve every single player, in every aspect. In terms of their mentality also…for this, I’m very good,” Conte was quoted as saying by British media.”But I think I’m a bit of a disaster to convince the club to buy players. I think in this aspect I can improve a lot.”I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers, in that aspect. I have to speak more with the managers who are very, very good at persuading their clubs to spend money to buy top players.”Striker Alexis Sanchez and defender Virgil van Dijk were among the players linked to Chelsea in January, but they went to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively.advertisementChelsea have since suffered league defeats to Bournemouth and Watford since the transfer window closed, leading to media speculation about Contes future.The 48-year-old, however, is confident the reports would not hinder his players performances, with Chelsea hosting bottom side West Bromwich Albion later on Monday.”Honestly I don’t think talk about my future can affect the players,” he added.”I think my players are getting used to these rumours, to this speculation, but for sure I am very happy with the commitment of my players, the behaviour of my players because they show me every day they want to overcome this situation.”(Source: Reuters)
In a huge blow for Bangladesh ahead of the upcoming T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka, skipper Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out of the tournament due to a hand injury.Vice-captain Mahmudullah Riyad was picked to lead the side in the Nidahas Trophy. Batsman Liton Das was named in the squad as a replacement for Shakib.The star all-rounder was earlier included in the 16-man squad for the upcoming tournament as the board hoped Shakib would recover in time for the tournament but the BCB announced on Saturday that the cricketer has failed to recover from the injury.Shakib had injured his left hand during the final of the one-day international tri-series at home against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in January, and has been out of action since.Bangladesh squad for the Nidahas Trophy 2018. Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out due to injury. Mahmudullah to lead the side. pic.twitter.com/1kgMWn13MnBangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) March 3, 2018Shakib, who has featured in 61 T20Is, has 1223 runs against his name, along with 73 wickets and is one of the most sought-after players in the format worldwide.The Nidahas Trophy will also include Sri Lanka and India, who will play the tournament opener on March 6.The tournament, being hosted to celebrate 70 years of Sri Lanka’s independence, will be held in Colombo from March 6-18.Squad: Mahmudullah (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Haider Rony, Abu Jahed, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Nurul Hasan, Nazmul Islam, Liton Das.advertisement
Briton Matt Wallace beat compatriot Andrew Johnston in the first hole of their play-off to win his second European Tour title at the Indian Open on Sunday.Wallace, who shared the lead along with home favourite Shubhankar Sharma after the penultimate round, carded a four-under 68 at the DLF Golf and Country Club to soar to the top on 11-under.Johnston, who entered the day in joint fourth, sank six birdies in a bogey-free 66 to force a play-off with Wallace.Wallace attacked the first extra hole, the par-five 18th, and birdied to win the tournament after Johnston took a more conservative approach to finish on par.”I played great,” Wallace said. “Ever since being three over through eight at the start of the week I’ve played some of the best golf of my life and to do it in that style at the end there capped it off.”There are some great champions. SSP (Chawrasia) held it for a couple of years there and I am so happy to get my name on the trophy.”I asked on 15 what the score was. I didn’t hit many great iron shots on the back nine but I knew where I stood. I like to know what I have to do,” added the 27-year-old.Sharma, 21, had another final round to forget following last week’s collapse at the WGC-Mexico Championship, as the Indian went three-over 75 to finish at four-under along with Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.Kim Sihwan sealed third position on eight-under after carding an impressive 68 in the final round while Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and Austrian Matthias Schwab were a shot behind at joint-fourth.advertisement
Babita Kumari on Thursday won Silver in the women’s Freestyle 53kg Nordic to register India’s first medal in wrestling on Day 8 of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.Babita was defeated by Canada’s Diana Weicker 2-5 in the final.Babita had booked her chance for the top prize with three back-to-back wins in the Nordic event, and accumulating 13 classification points.Babita started off by defeating Bose Samuel of Nigeria in her opening bout. Babita shook off a strong start by the Nigerian to clinch a 3-1 win.Samuel had taken an early lead but Babita pulled off a two-point move to put her nose ahead. She earned another point with a take down to bolster her lead.CWG 2018, DAY 8 LIVEMEDALS TALLYCWG 2018 FULL COVERAGEBabita was even more dominant in her next bout, defeating Sri Lanka’s Deepika Dilhani by fall early in the first period, hence earning a 5-0 win.She was too good for Carissa Holland of Australia as well, beating her in 36 seconds and clinching another victory by fall to earn another 5-0 win and set up the gold medal match against Canada’s Weicker to contest for Gold.Her Candian opponent too won all of her matches, beating Australia’s Holland 4-0, Sri Lanka’s Dilhani 4-0 and Samuel of Nigeria 4-0.Babita had earlier won Silver in the women’s Freestyle 51kg category at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games.Ealier in the day, India’s Tejaswini Sawant got India’s first medal as she clinched a Silver in the women’s 50m Rifle Prone event.advertisementKIRAN WINS BRONZE IN FREESTYLE 76KGKiran won Bronze by defeating Katouskia Paridhaven of Mauritius in the women’s Freestyle 76kg.She had lost in the semi-finals to Blessing Onyebuchi of Nigeria, conceding a 0-10 deficit in the first round itself to lose by technical superiority.Bouts are awarded on the basis of technical superiority when one wrestler takes a lead of 10 or more points.Kiran had started her campaign by defeating Danielle Sino Guemde of Cameroon by technical superiority.She taken a 4-1 lead in the first round before scoring seven consecutive points in the second to wrap up the victory.(With inputs from IANS)