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