Tanya Lee | Retirement and the elite athlete

first_img Prepare Ahead The Decline Phase I recently had a conversation with a professional athlete who was nearing the end of his sporting career and sought my advice on what to do next to continue his earnings. It’s always a tough conversation to have because he was essentially out of contracts, but hadn’t yet figured out the next step. So daunting was the prospect that he considered lengthening his career in hopes of “buying time”. This scenario was all too familiar. This is a common conversation I’ve had with numerous athletes over the years. Irrespective of the level at which they play or the heights they reach, most face a similar quandary once the lights go dim on the pitch. Essentially, they’re unprepared for retirement or surprisingly, hadn’t given it much thought. The tough question of what to do next career-wise is actually a small part of the equation. Walking away from a sport that has defined them for the larger part of their lives does take a huge hit psychologically. Most elite athletes define themselves directly in relation to their sporting performances and cannot see themselves doing anything else outside of the sport. Socially, the negative effects are numerous. The transition from the bright lights of the stadium, the excitement of the fans, the intensity of the game, and the extensive global travel is difficult. You wake up one day, slower, weaker, and sometimes aching from the many knocks and demands of athletic life, and you go off into the sunset from the sublime and spectacular to the ordinary and commonplace. I urge all athletes to prepare for retirement even during their best playing years. The ministry of sports and sports-governing bodies should also consider providing support for athletes nearing retirement and walk them through what changes are likely and what options are available. Families should also be cautious about placing significant financial demands on the retired athlete during those difficult transitional months. In cases where depression is evident, counselling is always a viable consideration. I urge all athletes to explore earning options before retirement to ensure a seamless transition. Once you have another purpose identified, it makes the retirement decision that much easier because you are pulled by the possibilities for the future rather than pushed by the physical decline. Next week, I’ll provide some alternative career solutions for the retired athlete. One Love. Social changes aside, there is also the physical-decline phase right before retirement that challenges even the greatest of athletes. It is quite prevalent for them to decide on retirement only after noticing a drastic dip in their physical performance or being eclipsed by the competition. That decline phase takes a hit on one’s self-esteem. Most athletes place a high value on peak performance and intense training and thus struggle to adapt to the lack of intensity required in normal, everyday life. The bodily changes of weight gain, loss of muscle mass, and the bodily aches and pain that typically come with years of playing professional sports can negatively impact their body image and feelings of self-worth as well. Families should be keen to take note of any changes as depression is a likely result. The depression that many athletes face as retirement nears is largely related to the financial changes as well. The harsh reality of the financial shortfall brought on by retirement is often instantaneous. Except for those with long-term endorsement deals, most athletes stop earning altogether immediately, as they stop playing, swimming or running. The mortgage, car note, family expenses, school fees and extended family demands are usually structured around whatever salary they earned while playing the sport. There is no job to walk into the next day that will match those immense earnings that sports can bring across cricket, football, track and field, and the like. The immediate drop-off in athletes’ earnings is hard to plan for or adjust to for a 35-40-year-old, some 30 years before the rest of the population will have to grapple with retirement.last_img read more

City in Peru left devastated by quake

first_imgPresident Alan Garcia acknowledged that aid had been slow to arrive so far, but predicted that “a situation approaching normality” would be restored within 10 days. But that could seem like an eternity for those here without food and shelter. “Nobody is going to die of hunger or thirst,” Garcia said. “I understand your desperation, your anxiety, and some are taking advantage of the circumstances to take the property of others, take things from stores, thinking they’re not going to receive help.” But Carlos Bruce, an opposition lawmaker, said, “In this first emergency of Garcia’s government, they started with what they should have done last by sending ministers and the president himself to the emergency zone. The first thing they should have done is send aid.” The U.S. State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, announced in Washington that the Disaster Assistance Office and the Red Cross would provide $100,000 for food, water, medicine and blankets and that the Defense Department would provide an additional $50,000. The aid will focus primarily on Ica and Chincha, areas also hard hit by the quake. While the earthquake, which registered a magnitude of 8.0, shook several cities, including Lima, the capital, no place was hit harder than this city of adobe homes in southern Peru. Rescue teams who arrived here were shocked to find block after block of modest houses reduced to piles of dirt and rubble. On Friday, hospitals were overwhelmed and people were still digging out of the rubble, and the toll seemed certain to rise. Residents wandered the dirt streets in a daze, looking for missing relatives. Others went to the public health clinic to peek under the black plastic tarps covering corpses. “We are in the desert here,” said Marta Rebatta Huaman, as she stood above a plot in the cemetery Friday while waiting to bury her 16-year-old daughter. Huaman said her daughter had died while attending Mass in San Clemento de Pisco Church, which crumbled above some 200 parishioners Wednesday night. “I feel today as if my life is ending,” the mother, a 43-year-old hairdresser, said. The priest celebrating the Mass, the Rev. Jose Torres, was found alive in the rubble Friday morning, emergency aid officials reported. Torres was trapped under the adobe roof and managed to remain relatively unhurt while a cave of rubble fell around him. As many as 50 people died when the church collapsed. Of the 600 prisoners who fled the Tambo de Mora prison in Chincha after the quake, 75 were reported back in custody. Many had turned themselves in. Peru is subject to quakes generated by tectonic plates located off the Pacific Coast. An earthquake in the central highlands in 1970 killed more than 70,000 people. “Thank you, God Almighty, that these terrible earthquakes did not cause death tolls like in years past,” said Garcia, who is both admired and derided for his theatrical oratory. The disarray in Pisco’s streets seemed at odds with the pride evoked by the city’s name, which it shares with that of the white grape brandy produced in the area. But after the earthquake, with aftershocks still shaking the survivors here, Pisco will acquire wider significance in Peru. “We had 120 bodies prepared for collection just this morning,” said Lauro Guzman, 25, a police officer standing watch at the makeshift morgue. “We’ll have more tomorrow.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PISCO, Peru – No site in this ruined city rivals in misery the cemetery, where hundreds of people milled around freshly dug graves Friday. Each coffin bore the scribbled name of its occupant, and gravestones wedged into the dirt were marked with chalk. Two days after a powerful earthquake killed at least 510 people and injured 1,500, clouds of dust rose around frenzied gravediggers making way for more bodies. Military transport planes bringing aid roared overhead. In a quarter of the cemetery set aside for the youngest victims of the earthquake, a tearful family gathered at a new grave marked “Ricardo G. Torres Farfan, 2 anos.” Near the entrance to Pisco, mobs of residents looted cars and trucks bringing food and medical supplies to the city, breaking windshields with rocks, thrusting their arms through open car windows and racing on foot from one promising-looking automobile to another. Outnumbered police squads shot into the air in attempts to disperse the crowd. On the Pan-American Highway from Lima, the earthquake tore large chunks of asphalt from the highway and created zigzagging crevices in many parts of the road. The government came in for early criticism that it was not moving fast enough to aid the victims and restore order. “There is no authority here,” said Roberto Angulo, 38, a construction worker, as he wandered in front of the ruins of one of Pisco’s churches. “It’s like we’re dispensable.” Pledges of international aid have reached $40 million, according to Agustin Haya de la Torre, president of the International Peruvian Cooperation Agency. Haya de la Torre said the total included $5 million in ready cash and humanitarian aid, $5 million pledged by international donors and $30 million offered by the United Nations. last_img read more

Celtic showed ‘complete performance’, says Griffiths

first_imgLeigh Griffiths believes Celtic showed a “complete” performance as they trounced Astana 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.The striker returned to the starting line-up after being kept on the bench against Partick Thistle on Friday and showed his importance with a key role in the victory.Griffiths said that the second half display in particular had been key to the emphatic win and he drew comparisons with playing the same team in last season’s qualifiers, when only a late penalty ensured progress..“I think a year on after we’ve played them it shows you how far we’ve come,” he said. “Last year we struggled to put them down at times and it took a last-minute goal from us here to go through but tonight we showed the complete performance. “It was 2-0 at half-time, maybe fortunate because we were a little slack in possession at times but second half we came out a different team and it could have been a lot more than five.”Griffiths found the net with a deflected shot to complete the scoring in the final minutes but the strike was marked down as an own goal by Astana’s Igor Shitov. The Scotland forward said he was claiming the goal nonetheless.“Definitely,” he said. “The boys are trying to give me a bit of stick but it’s one of those instinct shots I’ve hit. I don’t know if it’s actually going in or not but it’s gone in off the defender and it’s given us an extra advantage going over there.“It is [a massive result] but the tie’s not over yet and anything can happen in football. We’ve given ourselves a great chance to go through. “We’ll go over there and still look to win the game. We won’t sit back, we won’t let them come and attack us but we’ll go on the front foot. We’ll go over there and if we don’t concede then we’re through.”last_img read more

SA prioritises quality education

first_imgLawley residents were relieved to finally get a high school in their area, children no longer have to travel long distances to other areas to attend school. (Image: Kirsten Koma) The South African government has launched a massive turnaround strategy for basic education, committing to build more public schools in disadvantaged areas and radically improve the quality of teaching and learning. This forms part of the country’s Action Plan 2014 (PDF, 2.77MB), which promotes thorough teaching methods, regular assessments to track progress, improving early childhood development, focused planning, and greater accountability within the state school system.The action plan fits into a greater scheme called Schooling 2025 – the vision of which is to ensure that there are adequately resourced schools accessible to all South African children so they are able to attend and complete the compulsory grades one to nine.“We want South Africa’s children to get only the best education at school – this is one of government’s top priorities,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.In many of the country’s rural areas and townships, pupils have to travel vast distances to get to and from school, and sit in overcrowded and ill-equipped classrooms. With such obstacles, there is a high incidence of pupils dropping out of school before completing the compulsory phase or grade 12, the final year of high school.The Department of Basic Education has undertaken to build more schools to alleviate some of these problems. In 2011, seven new schools will be opened in Gauteng, nine in the Western Cape and 20 in KwaZulu-Natal.Changing livesMonako Tsotetsi from Lawley, a township in the south of Johannesburg, was excited as he prepared for his first day at the community’s new high school, aptly named Lawley Secondary School. “It’s so good to go to school just down the road from your house. I don’t have to wake up in the wee hours to travel for about two hours to get to school anymore.”Tsotetsi began his grade nine year at the newly built school, which was officially opened by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy and Johannesburg City Mayor Amos Masondo on 12 January as schools across the province began their academic year.In January of 2010 Motlanthe visited the Lawley community and many residents spoke to him about the need for a secondary school in the area. Most senior pupils at that time had to travel a distance to Lenasia or Ennerdale to attend high school – and transport was costly for their low-income families.“It also just took too long to get to school, which took a toll on us and tampered with our ability to be fresh and focused for school,” said Tsotetsi.Members of the community say they are impressed that the deputy president was so swift in attending to their need. “This is a really great move by Motlanthe,” said Thabiso Molefe.“Not having a high school here led to many of the kids, whose families could not afford school fees, doing crime or drugs. Now the kids have a chance at a better life.”  Speaking at the school’s opening ceremony, Mokonyane said: “You’re going to make history. One day when you’re older you will say I was among the first learners of this school.”The premier encouraged the pupils to study hard and work towards achieving great grade 12 marks. “Start today to prepare, and it is possible that your future can look brighter.”Motlanthe also encouraged the pupils and teachers to work together to bring about great results at the school. “This school begins with a blank sheet. It brings no baggage, it has no history of failure and can therefore move directly into becoming a school of excellence,” he said. “The future of this school depends on what both students and the teachers put in.”The school, which comprises 24 prefabricated classrooms, has 11 teachers and 200 pupils enrolled in it at the moment. The basic education department said the school could accommodate more pupils as time goes by.The government chose prefabricated classrooms as a temporary measure at the school because they could be set up relatively quickly and easily, as opposed to having to construct the institution from scratch.“If this school had not been built, I know I would have ended up without an education. My parents would not have been able to afford to send me to school far away for much longer. This school is saving a lot of our lives and our futures,” said Tsotetsi.last_img read more

Environmental activist laid to rest

first_imgArguably one of Kenya’s most well-knownwomen, Wangari Maathai was a fearlesscampaigner for women’s rights andenvironmental protection. She is seenhere with former president NelsonMandela.(Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation) Kenyan children plant a tree.(Image: UNEP) Maathai photographed in her homelandof Kenya.(Image: The Green Belt Movement) MEDIA CONTACTS • The Green Belt Movement  Nairobi, Kenya   +254 20 3873057 RELATED ARTICLES • Swazi attorney wins Green Nobel prize • Cheetah guru wins Tyler prize • African projects to save the earth • ‘The Infinite Gardens of Mandela’ • Green Scorpions in sting operationEmily van RijswijckShe was the inspiration behind, and patron of the Billion Tree Campaign, which falls under the UN Environmental Programme and aims to halt global deforestation.In her own country she created the Green Belt Movement (GBM), an environmental NGO with a strong social focus, especially on the empowerment of women.Professor Wangari Muta Maathai, who died at age 71 on 25 September in Nairobi after a long battle with cancer, was a woman of firsts: in 1971 she became the first East African woman to earn a doctorate in anatomy and in 2004 was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her tireless work to promote sustainability, democracy and peace.Maathai’s maxim was that when you plant trees, you also plant the seeds of peace and hope. After seeing the environmental devastation and economic ruin caused by mass deforestation in her home country of Kenya, Maathai started the Green Belt Movement in 1977, with the aim of promoting better management of natural resources.In so doing she hoped to bring about greater sustainability, equity and justice, particularly for her countrywomen, with whom she worked closely.The GBM has since planted more than 47-million trees across Africa, restoring degraded environments and improving the quality of life for people in poverty, especially the 900 000 women who have established tree nurseries and improved their own quality of life.The Billion Tree Campaign reached its target in less than a year and is now aiming for the 14-billion mark. The campaign has planted almost 12-billion trees across the world and celebrates the International Year of Forests in 2011.In a tribute to Maathai on the Green Belt Movement website, she is quoted as saying: “You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.”Jeunesse Park, CEO of the South African NGO Food and Trees For Africa, described her as an inspiration to all,“The Tree Woman of Africa who bravely confronted governments in her efforts to save the forests – her messages were so simple, yet so meaningful. She showed how every one of us can change the world,” said Park.“We were privileged to be acknowledged by her, to know her, share with her and plant a tree with her – she will be greatly missed.”In a statement the Nelson Mandela Foundation announced its shock at her passing and gave praise to a woman who had achieved so much in her lifetime.“Prof Maathai has left a lasting legacy in greater awareness and work in protecting our environment and the world,” said Achmat Dangor, the foundation’s CEO.On African leadership As the work of the GBM expanded, Maathai soon came to realise that deeper social issues underpinned poverty and environmental destruction.Bad governance lay at the heart of Africa’s many challenges, she felt, contributing to disempowerment of the masses and the loss of vital social values which over centuries had sustained communities.Maathai used tree-planting to drive a larger environmental, economic and social agenda. She became especially vocal about leadership, or the lack thereof, in Africa at large. In her own country during the 1980s and 90s, she spoke out strongly against the unbridled human rights abuses of then-Kenyan president, Daniel arap Moi.As a consequence of her ongoing crusades against environmental destruction, and her outspoken stance against the government, Maathai and her staff were sometimes physically harassed, assaulted and even jailed.During one of her many interviews she had this to say about Africa’s leadership: “Our leadership in Africa is characterised by corruption, selfishness and greed which has literally torn our continent apart.” This, she said, was because “our leaders are not willing to serve”.  In 2005, Maathai delivered the third Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in her capacity as Kenyan deputy minister of environment.“We need people who love Africa so much that they want to protect her from destructive processes,” she said in her address. “There are simple actions we can take. Start by planting ten trees each of us needs to absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale.”In the same speech Maathai also asked people to practice the 3R campaign – reduce, re-use, recycle – and to get involved in local initiatives and when possible, volunteer to serve the community as best they can.As an MP during the early 2000s, she advocated for reforestation and the protection of forests. She was a tireless campaigner for education and empowerment and the role of the government in bringing about change.In 2006 she co-founded the Nobel Women’s Initiative with fellow women peace laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, and Mairead Maguire, Aung San Suu Kyi to advocate for justice, equality, and peace worldwide.On the website the remaining members express their deep sadness at her passing, but remember Maathai for her “fearless strength in adversity, her creative approach to building a peaceful, healthy planet and her hard work to inspire and empower women”.Global warming activistAs concern over global warming became more pronounced, Maathai added her voice and efforts to the worldwide campaign to fight climate change.The last years of her life saw her increasingly involved in global issues, specifically advocating for the protection of indigenous forests and the inclusion of civil society in policy decisions.  As a result of her efforts she became goodwill ambassador for the Congo Basin rainforest in 2005 and in 2009 she was designated a UN messenger of peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.One of her final contributions was to establish the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies in 2010, bringing together academics to share experiences and research.The Green Belt Movement has announced the establishment of a memorial fund to continue Maathai’s legacy.last_img read more

Today’s Top LP Jobs

first_imgLP Supervisor, Kohl’s, (FL) Develops and implements store awareness programs addressing theft, safety, inventory, and operational controls. Administers product protection strategies, awareness, and deterrence programs in the store. Works in partnership with store management to ensure operational excellence and reduce exposure to theft through operational assessments and associate training/awareness. Supervises Loss Prevention Officers and Loss Prevention Service Specialists… Learn moreDistrict AP Manager, JC Penney, (VA) As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture… Learn more LP Agent Supervisor, URBN, (NY) This position will execute, with excellence, the business plan and associated programs that will deliver desired shrink and profit results with the highest standards of service. Develop great teams and partnerships, through fostering good working relationships with corporate work groups and local law enforcement so that observations and recommendations can be made to improve inventory shrinkage and store operations… Learn more- Sponsor – LP & Safety Manager, Lowe’s, (NJ) This position implements loss prevention and safety programs, overseeing and coordinating processes to minimize loss while maintaining a safe working and shopping environment. In addition, this position will train and provide mentorship around safety and loss prevention for teams of individual contributors in multiple store locations… Learn more Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Why Spark And Hadoop Are Both Here To Stay

first_imgGuest author Josh Klahr is the vice president of product management at AtScale.The past few years have been filled with a number of prognostications related to the future of big data and the various technologies that have emerged to tackle the challenges posed by the world’s ever-expanding data sets. If you believe what you read, you might reach the conclusion that:The Hadoop wave has come and gone and was just a hype cycle Hadoop and related big-data technology and services will be a $50 billion industry Spark is the next Hadoop, and will overtake Hadoop for big-data workloads Hadoop is going to replace traditional massively parallel processing (MPP) databases There is some truth in all of the above assertions. At the same time, all of these statements deserve deeper investigation. The reality of the situation is not easily captured in a single headline or sound bite.A Brief History Of HadoopTo understand what is really happening in the big-data market, it’s useful to first understand the market forces that are driving the evolution and adoption of these various technologies. Then we can identify which tools and technologies are best-suited to address these challenges.  Hadoop evolved at Yahoo as a solution for low-cost scale-out storage coupled with parallelizable tasks. The result was HDFS and MapReduce. As Hadoop matured and adoption increased, so did the need for higher-level constructs, like metadata management and data query/management languages. HCatalog, Pig, and Hive became part of the ecosystem.  With increased workloads came the need for more robust resource management increased, and services like YARN emerged. At the same time, an expansion in the the number of consumers drove an expansion in the number of supported languages (SQL, Python, R, Scala) and data-processing engines like Spark and Impala emerged.So, where are we today?With all of this evolution, there are some things that remain the same, and as would be expected in an market, continued areas of innovation. Based on AtScale’s work with a number of enterprise customers, we’ve learned there are a set of consistent requirements:People still need low-cost scale-out storage—HDFS remains the best optionResource management in a clustered environment is paramount to delivering on the promise of a multi-purpose, multi-workload environment. Our experience is that YARN is still very at the forefront of providing resource management for enterprise-grade Hadoop clusters.Spark is clearly being very much adopted for a specific set of use cases, including pipelined data processing and parallelizable data-science workloads. At the same time, SQL-on-Hadoop engines (including Spark SQL, Impala, Presto, and Drill) are very much critical and growing.While batch data processing and data-science workloads are common for today’s Spark and Hadoop clusters, support for business intelligence workloads is the dominant theme for many.A Reality CheckWhat’s happening in the market is not necessarily that one platform is winning while another is losing. A recent survey of Hadoop adoption that AtScale conducted revealed that more than 60 percent of companies think of Hadoop as a game-changing investment, and more than 50 percent of organizations which currently don’t have a Hadoop plan on investing in the technology in the next 12 months.  At the same time, Spark is also increasingly on the scene. According to a recent survey on Spark adoption, Spark has had the most contributions of all open-source projects managed by the Apache Software Foundations over the past year. Although not as mature as Hadoop, Spark’s clear value proposition is leading to this increased investment.Based on what we are seeing with companies working with AtScale, there is room in the market for both Spark and Hadoop, and both platforms have an important place in the big-data architectures of the future. Depending on workloads and preferences, there are different mixes of these technologies in each customer. For example, one customer may rely on Impala to support interactive SQL queries on Hadoop, while another might turn to Spark SQL.  However, one consistent thing we are seeing across the board is an ever-increasing demand to support business-intelligence workloads using some combination of Hadoop and Spark SQL. As the AtScale Hadoop Maturity Survey discovered, more than 65 percent of respondents are using or plan on using Hadoop to support business-intelligence workloads—the most prevalent of all workloads on current and planned clusters. Similarly, a recent Spark user survey found that among Spark adopters, 68 percent were using Spark to support BI workloads, 16% more than the next most prevalent workload.Playing With Technology MatchesWe need to stop playing Spark and Hadoop off each other and understand how they will coexist. Hadoop will continue to be used as a platform for scale-out data storage, parallel processing, and clustered workload management. Spark will continue to be used for both batch-oriented and interactive scale-out data-processing needs. I believe these two components together will play an important role in the next generation of scale-out data platforms, and enable the next generation of scale-out business intelligence.Photo via Wikimedia Commons Tags:#Apache Spark#Big Data#Business Intelligence#Guest Posts#Hadoop#Spark Follow the Puck Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces josh klahr How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…last_img read more

IoT-weets: Argus looks at 2.3m+ IoT Twitter mentions

first_imgRelated Posts As more Internet of Things (IoT) products are found on more Americans’ wish lists – from the Amazon Echo to Fitbit wearables to Bosch refrigerators to Nest thermostats – the latest analysis from Argus Insights shows that most potential buyers’ conversations are heavily concentrated around “big data” concerns.Argus’  “State of the Internet of Things: What’s Leading Market Conversations” points out that as the IoT space grows, so does the sheer massive volume of data collected – and buyers of IoT-enabled devices are talking amongst themselves about their fears of what will happen with this massive mound of data and how it will remain secure.The research firm looked at over 2.3 million social mentions that made up the Twitter storm around IoT between January and mid-April this year. The most popular content, hashtags and tweets – those that prompted the most social media engagement – provided the basis for determining what the marketplace deemed important and how those concerns shifted over time.Argus’ report demonstrates that among IoT issues discussed in social conversations, big data leads market mindshare – well ahead of other general IoT topics like wearables, cloud computing, smart homes and cities, and more. As data growth is a natural byproduct of the IoT – since all connected devices generate a huge amount of data – it’s not surprising this would be the chief concern voiced about IoT.Argus sees IoT brand dominance still up for grabs?Among IoT in general, security concerns dominate, showing significantly more social mentions than privacy concerns. In fact, the report explains that consumers are tired of Google and Amazon tracking everything they say through Alexa and other smart home devices, and they’re concerned that hackers can crack baby monitors, smart locks, and other connected devices.“Security concerns for consumers are definitely on the rise and this goes double for any enterprise deployments. Security issues continue to be a real roadblock for IoT product acceptance,” said John Feland, CEO of Argus Insights.Marketers, take notice: among the social conversations Argus observed over their analysis period that talk of brands accounts for less than ten percent of the social world’s conversations on IoT. “Though there was definitely talk about Google, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Cisco and the rest, no single brand is dominating the overall IoT conversation,” Feland said.So in the IoT terms, the market is still up for grabs in terms of recognition.Asked by Readwrite if an analysis of tweets – even millions of them – might just be a giant echo chamber, Feland said if that were the case, you’d expect to see brand dominance.“If it was purely an echo chamber, you would expect the discussion to be awash with brand-based propaganda, the way the smartphone social conversation is a never-ending stream of iPhone case ads,” he told Readwrite. “In fact, less than 20 percent of the discussion makes any mention of the major brands leading the fight for mindshare.”While he said any good analysis “starts with understanding the limits of the data you are using,” the aim of their report was not to measure market adoption size, but to take a snapshot of main themes of the IoT story right now.“This means that most of the IoT discussion happening in Twitter is not just brands touting their own prowess, but a mix of thinkers, doers, consumers, advertisers, analysts and more all sharing and even conversing about the Internet of Things,” he said, adding that, in their estimation, “no single company has control of the market.” Tags:#Amazon#Amazon Alexa#Argus Insights#Bosch#Cisco#Google#Intel#Internet of Things#IoT#iPhone#Microsoft#Nest Follow the Puck Trevor Curwincenter_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Scientists Use Weather Radar to Track Bats

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C.—When Winifred Frick sits down at her computer to look at radar maps, it’s not to track a local thunderstorm. It’s to follow bats. A bat ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Frick uses weather radars to monitor the movements of animals that used to vanish quickly from scientists’s view as they took to the night sky for daily or seasonal journeys. Her research is part of a new field of study, called aeroecology, that looks at the interactions between flying animals and their airspace. Given the numbers of birds and bats killed at wind turbines, there is a great urgency to better understand the movements of airborne animals.Frick has discovered that at least one bat species is quite particular about the weather. Brazilian free-tailed bats, common in the south-central United States and Mexico, emerge from their daytime slumber at different times of day depending on the temperature and humidity, as Frick and her colleagues will report here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW).Radars are a window into airspace. They send out radio waves that reflect off raindrops, airplanes, bats, and so forth. To predict storms, meteorologists must filter out reflections from organisms. So what Frick needs are the unfiltered raw data, which are less readily available. 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To compile weather and flood information used by forecasters around the country, the National Severe Storm Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, stitches together data from 156 NEXRAD radars from across the United States and overlays the filtered information on a U.S. map. Researchers can look at the big picture or zoom in to a particular locale. The data are updated every 5 minutes, and all of the information is archived.Now the lab is making it easy for researchers to download and use not just data processed for meteorologists, but the unfiltered data as well. And in the next few years, those radars will be upgraded. The new equipment may allow biologists to tell birds, insects, and bats apart, something they can’t do right now.”It’s a tool that can be used by lots of people to ask a variety of different questions,” says Frick. “It will really open up the field.”With a few strikes on her keyboard, Frick was able to call up daily radar data that covered a bat cave in Texas. That data showed what time the bats emerged from the cave for their nightly insect hunts. It was very dry during 2009 and 2010 was very wet, allowing her to get a sense of how the climate affected emergence time. During the dry year, the bats tended to come out relatively early, and hotter days meant even earlier starts, she found. But during wet years, hot days resulted in late starts. “How local weather affects the bats depends on the seasonal climate,” she explains.The bats are balancing the need to wait until dark, when day-flying hawks stop hunting, and the need to catch the insects when they are most plentiful, right at dusk. Also, dehydration is a factor on hot days. In moist years, the bugs thrive, so there’s more to eat and insects stay active longer on hotter days. But in dry years, water stress and fewer insects make the bats come out earlier, says Frick.”We’ve been limited in the past in that we haven’t had very good methods for seeing up in the night skies and the air above us,” says Paul Cryan, a research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, Colorado, who is not connected with the work. Now with the easier access to radar data, Cryan says that researchers such as Frick “are just starting to see patterns that are meaningful.”Follow our full coverage of AAAS 2011last_img read more