AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore”Once a gifted break-dancer in California, Tuy Sobil, 30, has resurrected his old passion – to help save Cambodian street kids from the sort of dead-end detour he took. And the kids, many neglected, some orphaned, love him for it.” (CS Montior) Inspiring! Thanks to Steve Ghent for the link. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia is presenting Mark Richt’s exit as coach as a mutual decision, and Sunday’s announcement came padded with tributes usually reserved for retiring legends.Glowing compliments for Richt came from University of Georgia president Jere Morehead and athletic director Greg McGarity. Richt has been allowed to remain as coach through the team’s bowl game. New home pages for the athletic department’s Web site were constructed to pay tribute to Richt.All of Sunday’s warm and fuzzy tributes couldn’t overshadow the fact Richt insisted one day earlier he had plans to be on the job for the immediate and long-term future.McGarity met with Richt on Sunday morning. Soon after, Georgia announced the news that Richt was out as coach.McGarity said in a statement released by the school the two “mutually agreed that he would step down as head coach.”Richt has been offered a chance to remain at Georgia in a new role that McGarity said would include helping former Georgia players and fundraising.McGarity had generous praise for Richt, who ranks second in all-time coaching wins at the school.“Mark has touched thousands of lives over the past 15 years,” McGarity said. “He has a huge heart and his positive influence has affected many people, young and old. We will never actually know how many people were positively impacted by a comforting phone call, a sympathetic or uplifting note, an autographed football or photo — he had the unique ability to shine a bright light on others when they needed it most.”Morehead said Richt “has been an outstanding coach and mentor to our student-athletes.”“I am deeply grateful for his many years of dedicated service to the University of Georgia, and I particularly appreciate the positive way he has represented UGA,” Morehead said.Richt had a short meeting with his players Sunday night. A news conference was scheduled for Monday.“I wish the best for him,” said senior fullback Quayvon Hicks before the meeting. “I enjoyed my four years here with him. … We have to understand it is part of the business.“We’ve got to make sure we stay together and our minds are right. It’s bigger than us.”Several players declined comment following the meeting.Fans set up a small tribute for Richt outside the team’s football facility. The words “Thanks Coach Richt” were written on a white poster board, situated near a burning candle. A smaller sign said “Fire McGarity.”Georgia (9-3) ended its regular season with Saturday’s 13-7 win over Georgia Tech. The win left Richt 13-2 in the state rivalry.It was clear following the game Richt had no plans to step down. He said he planned to begin recruiting “and getting prepared for the future at Georgia.”Richt had only a short statement in the announcement released by Georgia.“I appreciate the opportunity of serving the University as well as considering any other options that may present themselves in the future,” Richt said.There has been speculation about Richt’s future since losses to Tennessee, Alabama and Florida ended the Bulldogs’ hopes for a Southeastern Conference championship. Georgia closed the regular season with four straight wins, but that was not enough to make up for failing to land a spot in the title game. The Bulldogs were the preseason pick in the SEC East.Richt, 55, acknowledged Saturday the team “came up short of our goal” to win the SEC championship.“That’s the standard here,” Richt said. “Win the SEC and hopefully go beyond that. From that point of view, we fell short of our goals.”Alabama coach Nick Saban reacted to the news with shock.“I don’t know what the world’s coming to in our profession,” Saban said. “Mark Richt’s been a really good coach and a really positive person in our profession for a long, long time. I think when you win nine games, that’s a pretty good season, especially with the body of work that he’s been able to put together there for however many years he’s been there.”Richt is 145-51 with two SEC championships. Only Vince Dooley (201) won more games at Georgia.___AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org
A U.S Senator has proposed a federal bill that will bring loot box and microtransaction regulations to video games. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley proposed the bill dubbed, “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” to target “the exploitation of children through ‘pay-to-win’ and ‘loot box’ monetisation practices by the video game industry,” according to a statement released by the senator’s office.Though mostly an outline at this point, further refinement of the bill may be poised to shake the gaming industry up a fair amount if passed. (opens in a new window)Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.). wants to see loot box and microtransactions regulations. Courtesy: AP Photo/Alex BrandonAs outlined, the bill would serve to protect those under the age of 18 from potentially manipulative or predatory “randomised reward” features in games as well as those that offer “pay-to-win” mechanics that grant “competitive advantages” over other players.If approved, the legislation would prohibit the sale of loot boxes in games that were designed with a target audience of persons under the age of 18. The ruling would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, treating “the distribution of such games by publishers and online distributors as an unfair trade practice”.The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which heads up the global rating system to assign age ratings to games known as the ESRB, was swift to respond with a statement: “Numerous countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, determined that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. “We look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending in parents’ hands. Parents already can limit or prohibit in-game purchases with easy to use parental controls.”SEE ALSO: Danish authorities target unauthorised Counter-Strike skin gambling sitesThe government and developers have quarrelled over loot boxes for quite some time, and this particular bill likely won’t be the last clash between them either. Overcoming pressure from authorities for mandation has led to multiple incidents such as Valve disabling skin trading for Dutch customers, EA being put under criminal investigation and Belgium declaring loot boxes illegal entirely, to name a few.Back in April of last year, we defined loot boxes and our take on whether the in-game transactions should be constituted as gambling or not. Regardless of your stance on the matter, the passing of said act could have severe implications on the microtransaction-driven business models of many of today’s game developers.loot box and microtransaction regulations could cost publishers billionsAs of now, the description of how regulators will attempt to distinguish games that violate these terms seems a bit broad and subjective. The outline of the bill states it will identify the targeting of an underage audience through “subject matter, visual content, and other indicators similar to those used to determine the applicability of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)”. SEE ALSO: UK Labour Party call for ‘Gamer’s Consultation’ with relation to online gamblingIf it’s any indication of who the bill be targeting, Activision’s mobile hit, Candy Crush, was cited in press materials announcing the bill, using the game’s $150 “Luscious Bundle” as an example of a pay-to-win structure. Undoubtedly a lucrative model, microtransactions saw players spending an average of $4.2 million a day on Candy Crush in 2018, according to a report by VentureBeat.Mobile games like Candy Crush are notorious for their pay2win models.It’s unlikely the war on loot boxes and microtransactions will wane off anytime soon barring the steadfast attempts from regulators to grab hold of this colossal trade. If the gaming industry doesn’t start to moderate this column, odds are the government will do it for them.Esports Insider says: Though the bill includes some loose-wording in terms of how they’ll look to identify games with underage audiences, its fruition has potential to send a tremor through the industry in one form or another. We’ll be sure to keep a watchful eye on any developments to come from this story to see if we do get actual loot box and microtransaction regulations.
Sebastian Vettel went fastest ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen as Ferrari set the pace on the opening day of Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix practice on Friday.Vettel’s time of one minute 31.261, the fastest ever around the 5.5-kilometre Sepang track, was set in the second 90-minute session in the afternoon, which was brought to an early halt after a loose drain cover caused a heavy crash for Romain Grosjean.Vettel had been fifth quickest in the rain-hit opening session.The Ferrari driver’s championship-leading title rival Lewis Hamilton was only sixth fastest in the afternoon, as he had been in the first session, ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas with both Mercedes drivers reporting a general lack of grip.Ferrari’s Friday display and Mercedes’ struggles will be welcomed by Vettel who trails Hamilton by 28 points in the overall standings with six races left.A record four-times winner in Malaysia, Vettel desperately needs a fifth victory after his title hopes were dealt a severe blow at the last race in Singapore, where the German crashed out on the opening lap to clear the way for Hamilton to win.Daniel Ricciardo, who led a one-two with team-mate Max Verstappen in last year’s Malaysian race, ended the day third fastest ahead of the Dutchman.Verstappen, who turns 20 on Saturday, had ended Friday’s opening session fastest ahead of the Australian.Fernando Alonso, who vaulted up the order on a rapidly drying track to end the first session third, was an impressive fifth for McLaren.Sergio Perez in the Force India was eighth ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and team mate Esteban Ocon who rounded out the top 10.Frenchman Pierre Gasly, making his Formula One debut this weekend after being drafted in as a replacement for under-performing Russian Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso, was 15th fastest.The 21-year-old, being evaluated as a permanent replacement for Renault-bound Carlos Sainz for next season, outpaced the Spaniard who was 16th.Neither of Friday’s two sessions ran to their full 90-minute length.The morning session was delayed by half an hour due to a tropical downpour that lashed the track minutes before its scheduled start.Grosjean’s crash in the afternoon brought out the red flags with 22 minutes of the session left.The Frenchman hit the loose drain cover with his right rear tyre, which exploded upon impact and pitched his Haas into the barriers.The session was not restarted, with Formula One race director Charlie Whiting driving out in the safety car to inspect the damaged drain.