Tony Becca: Cricket’s dwindling reputation

first_img The latest problem surrounds the colour of sightscreens used by some teams in the limited over matches and particularly the use of blue sightscreens, instead of black sightscreens, as called for by the conditions of play. Melbourne used a blue sightscreen at Melbourne Oval in the match against St Thomas some weeks ago and won the match comfortably. Then, St Thomas protested the match. They claimed they lost the match because of the colour of the sightscreen and claimed they had complained about it to the umpires. Melbourne said that the sightscreen had nothing to do with the result, that they had used it before, including last season, and no other team had complained. The disciplinary committee of the JCA threw out the protest. St Thomas, however, appealed the decision and the committee ruled that the match must be replayed. Apart from saying that it was difficult to get the black cloth to make the sightscreen, Melbourne also claimed that other clubs had used a blue sightscreen this season, had used a blue sightscreen last season and there was no complaint on any occasion that the blue sightscreen was used when it should not have been used. They also argued that St Thomas’ protest came after the match had started. According to reports, Melbourne argued also that the fact that a blue sightscreen was used by them during last season, that it was used by other clubs during last season and again this season, and that the JCA, who knew about it but did nothing about it, had by their silence agreed with its use. On top of that, Melbourne argued that in playing with the blue sightscreen during the match, they and the two umpires, like all the other umpires in all the other matches in which the blue sightscreens were used, believed that the blue sightscreen was quite in order. If the blue sightscreen, however, was not in order and if Melbourne were found guilty of using it despite the JCA’s lack of action, then St Thomas should have been awarded the match. The question, however, is this: did Melbourne deserve to be penalised for using a blue sightscreen instead of a black sightscreen? In the circumstances, the answer is ‘no’ and it is no for the following reasons: although Melbourne at the time had been working on installing a sightscreen, which can be easily switched from white to black and vice versa, and had acquired a black sightscreen after the St Thomas protest, because of its silence on the use of the blue sightscreen during last season and again this season, the JCA had set a precedence. On top of that, the umpires, in that match or in other matches, had no objection to the use of the blue sightscreen, and the blue sightscreen had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of the match. The appeals committee has said that it dealt with the Melbourne case because it was reported to them and also that they could not have dealt with others simply because no one else reported the matter to them. That, to me, should not be the case. The JCA knew about the use of blue sightscreens and as a national association, as the body running the competition, they had a right to deal with the entire issue. They had a responsibility to rule on the matter when it first surfaced and by not doing so they reneged on their responsibility. The replay of the match, however, was scheduled for last Saturday. It was changed on Thursday to the Sunday and Melbourne protested. What unfolded was bad for the game, no doubt about that. The situation at Melbourne Oval was that Melbourne prepared the ground, prepared lunch and turned up on Saturday for the match; and St Thomas and the umpires turned up on Sunday for the match. The JCA has since ruled against Melbourne for their behaviour. colour of sightscreens Once upon a time, and not too long ago, cricket was known as a gentleman’s game, so much so that whenever anyone did something wrong he was told loud and clear for all to hear “that’s not cricket”. While the game remains a good game to many, however, cricket has changed, probably for the worse, especially in Jamaica and because of a weak governing body. Cricket, national and international cricket, has rules, but in Jamaica they seldom mean anything to anyone any more. They are, most times, meaningless to administrators, players, or spectators, excepting those times whenever something is at stake. In Jamaica, anything and everything goes. Administrators, and members of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) are mostly selfish people; they are concerned only about themselves and their own clubs or parishes. Everything, important or not, urgent or not, is done at their own pace and mostly at a slow pace, unless things are really urgent. The JCA does not operate with the seriousness of a national association, but rather, as Jamaicans tend to say, like a ‘fry fish shop’. The JCA usually turns a blind eye to most things until those things become a problem for everybody. Melbourne will not be in action in today’s quarter-finals and they have been summoned to a meeting by the JCA. As far as Melbourne’s part in the competition is concerned, therefore, it is over. The association, however, needs to answer some questions. What would have happened had the teams who lost matches while playing before a blue sightscreen protested and is it that Melbourne will be the only team to suffer when other teams committed the same breach in the same competition run by the same JCA? St Thomas were within their right to protest, no doubt about that. Melbourne, however, were harshly treated by the JCA in the first instance. A replay should not have been ordered. The blame rested entirely with the JCA for sitting by and twiddling their thumbs. They should have found a way to appease St Thomas. The whole affair is simply not cricket. Melbourne summonedlast_img read more

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Low to negative margins driving hog industry

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ben Brown, Program Manager for the Ohio State University Farm Management ProgramRallies in grain markets, especially soybean meal, have increased feed costs for hog producers that did not lock in contracts when prices were low. Higher input costs along with a decline in pork prices erased many of the margins hog producers experienced in the first quarter of 2018, but prices rebounded in May. Large increases in hog production in Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Nebraska have contributed to the low prices. The national average for fed hog prices was $52.50 in January but fell to $45.3 by April. Prices have rallied in recent weeks, but still below 2017 levels at this same period. Prices reached a peak in July of 2017 at $67.30. Markets for the nearby July futures contract signal horizontal movements in price. Current prices would suggest a per head return of $2 to $5 as a national average for 2018. With higher feed costs expected in 2019, negative margins could return.Exports to international markets will be a large factor in the hog outlook. Exports of U.S. pork were lowered 35 million pounds in the May WASDE report on concerns around Chinese demand. With the implementation of a 25% tariff on U.S. pork, exports to China have lagged. Increased exports to emerging markets like South Korea and the Dominican Republic will be important in offsetting decreases to China and increased domestic supply. Exports make up roughly 22% of U.S. pork production with the largest markets being Mexico and Japan. However, U.S. pork exports to Mexico decreased in the first quarter of 2018, substituted by large amounts of turkey imports. The USDA forecasts even higher pork production in 2018. The key question will be levels of domestic and international consumption of pork with competition from potential substitutes like beef and poultry. If China backs away from U.S. pork, negative margins could return in as early as this year.last_img read more

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Lalu Prasad puts on a brave face after I-T raids

first_img But, minutes later, RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha tweeted that his (Mr. Prasad’s) indications were towards the I-T Department and the CBI. However, political observers said Mr. Prasad had indicated towards his ruling alliance partner, the JD(U).In yet another tweet, he asked “educated illiterates” to let him know which were the 22 locations where the (I-T) raids were carried out?. “Tell me all educated illiterates which are the 22 locations where raids have been conducted? Lalu is not afraid of the BJP supported media and their alliance units (sarkari tota),” he said.Also Read I-T raids in benami land deal case linked to Lalu Prasad Prasad Hours after the Income Tax raids on his alleged benami  (proxy) properties, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad tweeted that he would not be cowed by such frightening actions and also “congratulated BJP for its new alliance partners”. However, he did not elaborate who the “new alliance partners” were.“BJP has no courage to suppress Lalu’s voice… if Lalu’s voice will be suppressed thousands of Lalu would rise in the country…I’m not to be cowed down with such frightening moves,” Prasad tweeted.In his next immediate tweet, he said, “BJP ko naye alliance partners mubarak ho…Lalu Prasad Jhukane aur darne wala nahi hai…jab tak aakhiri saans hai fasiwadi takato ke khilaph ladta rahunga (congratulations to the BJP on new alliance partners…Lalu Prasad would not be cowed down…will fight against Fascist forces till my last breath).” पूँजीपतियों के सरगनाओं सुनो, ग़रीबों का समर्थन व शुभ आशीर्वाद मेरे साथ है।लालू न हारा है,न थका है।अपराजेय योद्धा की तरह सदा लड़ा और जीता हूँ— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) May 16, 2017 Reacting to Mr. Prasad’s tweets, senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who first exposed the alleged fraudulent land deals done by Mr. Prasad and his family members, tweeted: “Laluji, as you sow, so shall you reap (Laluji boyaa ped babool ka to aam kahan se hoyee?)”Talking to journalists on Tuesday, Mr. Modi took on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too. He said, “Nitish Kumar chahte hain ki saanp bhi mar jaye aur lathi bhi na tute [Nitish Kumar wants to have such developments in his favour without doing anything].” Mr. Kumar on Monday asked the BJP to take the legal course on their charges against Mr. Prasad, if they have substance.लालूजी बोया पेड़ बबूल का तो आम कहाँ से होई ।— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) May 16, 2017  Several senior RJD leaders reached 10, Circular Road, the residence of Mr. Prasad to express their solidarity with him. Party insiders told The Hindu that Mr. Prasad, though dejected, was chatting with party leaders putting on a brave face to them. A pall of gloom has prevailed inside the sprawling bungalow with no family members in sight.last_img read more

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RISC-V ready to come of age

first_imgZurich – Over the last year or so, we’ve heard many times that ‘this is the moment for RISC-V’. So, this week, I attended the RISC-V workshop in Zurich to get an idea of where it really is at right now. The conclusion: while there is still a lot of background work to be done for RISC-V to go mainstream, the signs are that all the triggers to make it happen are now gradually being released.The biggest challenge is that RISC-V is still perceived as a hobbyist architecture, and this makes it difficult for mainstream companies to adopt, unless it has deep ecosystem support. It’s not enough to have a cool or disruptive technology. Designers need to provide assurances to their customers that a chip or system fits into their existing design flow and toolchains and can be supported, wherever in the world it may be.This is why the recently appointed CEO of the RISC-V Foundation, Calista Redmond, said at the workshop here in Zurich, “We need to move this past a hobby.” Around 250 or so workshop attendees from both industry and academia, including representatives from Arm, Google, Huawei, NXP, Samsung and STMicroelectronics, listened to a ‘state of the union’ on the architecture, software, tools, debug, verification, and security, as well as numerous ongoing projects and community initiatives.Redmond is keen to use her experience in open source initiatives to drive the RISC-V Foundation, saying she had the appetite for open source and the timing was right for her to join RISC-V, taking it to a new level. She admitted the market for RISC-V is yet to develop, but that there were a lot of initial silicon RISC-V cores, which were yet to become visible. Almost as if dismissing the hobbyist image, she added, “This is not just an academic project, this is going mainstream.” Gaining Traction While you’d expect the main vocal proponents of RISC-V – namely SiFive and Western Digital, and to a certain extent Microchip (which doesn’t shout as loud) to be talking up the values and benefits of the architecture, there were many experienced voices at the workshop who suggested that we are clearly at a watershed moment for RISC-V. Simon Davidmann president and CEO of Imperas, which provides virtual debug and test platforms for embedded systems, said that the company is seeing equal instances of Arm, RISC-V and other architectures in the market, and they are servicing all platforms. Imperas used the workshop to announce a collaboration with Metrics to help deliver an ‘off-the-shelf’ test and verification solution for RISC-V cores, to help achieve the required tape-out-ready quality for broad adoption by silicon designers. The companies have developed an early stage of this framework using the Google open source Instruction Stream Generator for RISC-V processors and Google cloud services.Loic Lietar, co-founder and CEO of GreenWaves Technologies, said they are seeing huge interest for its GAP8 processor. “People are screaming for face ID solutions. After that, the next big area of interest is in gesture recognition.” He added the next major market opportunity he sees for the company is in smart toys. The company was recently named in Gartner’s report on cool vendors in AI semiconductors.Lietar said the AI industry is at an inflection point as the need for interpretation of rich data sources is pushed out into IoT devices operating at the very edge of the network. “We are seeing a clear market need for a flexible processor, optimized for battery operation, incorporating acceleration for AI and other signal processing algorithms to support booming IoT and consumer applications such as medical wearables, and people and object detection and counting.”Other signals in the market also point to a possible turning point in the RISC-V story. One is the commitment from Qualcomm Ventures to explore the potential of RISC-V in wireless and mobile with its part in the latest $65.4 million funding in SiFive. And there are the many different emerging and evolving groups to support the development of proper support infrastructure for RISC-V architecture. We also saw Andes Technology launch its RISC-V FreeStart program to encourage developers to try using a commercial grade RISC-V CPU core without having to pay any upfront license fees. ISA Alone is Not Enough As Lietar highlighted in Zurich this week, “A free instruction set architecture (ISA) is nothing special without the commercial grade tools to support it.” This is why GreenWaves is one of the founding sponsors of the OpenHW Group, a new not-for-profit global organization which aims to boost the adoption of open-source processors by providing a platform for collaboration, creating a focal point for ecosystem development, and offering open-source IP for processor cores. The model they will operate is very similar to the Linaro model and leverages the RI5CY and Ariane open source RISC-V cores from the ETH Zurich PULP platform.The group is headed and co-founded by Rick O’Connor, who was previously CEO of the RISC-V Foundation. He said the RISC-V Foundation is focused on specifications and not delivery of cores. Hence the OpenHW Group is moving beyond the specs to focus on delivering and supporting proven RISC-V based IP with the ecosystem it needs plus quality and manufacturability assurance. The group’s chairman, Rob Oshana, who is also VP of software engineering at NXP summed it up by saying that industry needs hardened SoCs for wider adoption which is what the OpenHW Group is enabling.O’Connor explained that the group is aiming to make it easy for high volume semiconductor manufacturers to adopt RISC-V based cores, especially when companies like NXP and Silicon Labs need existence proof for open source IP. “We are not asking them to change their development methodology, but instead use existing design and verification tools,” he said.He adds, “When we release a core to production, the IP will be a supported piece of IP in the market. For continuity, it will need both internal and external contributors, a roadmap and support infrastructure that the community can rely on – and it’s that whole environment we are providing.Oshana continued, “The electronics industry is embracing open-source processor technologies at an unprecedented rate. At NXP we believe there’s a need to create a deep ecosystem to support adoption of the RISC-V ISA. This includes various components – middleware, stacks and tools – all aligned to move the architecture forward.”Another board director, of the OpenHW Group, Alessandro Piovaccari, who is also CTO of Silicon Labs, said many of the billions of SoCs expected to form the smart, connected world in the next few years will contain many specialized cores to address various tasks from subsystems supervision, to security and machine learning. He added, “I believe the CORE-V family of open-source RISC-V cores will be vital in providing robust and accessible processors to address this need, which will ultimately help accelerate innovation in the IoT.”The OpenHW Group has already recruited 13 sponsor organizations and expects this to grow to 25 by the end of 2019. It is also a member of the RISC-V Foundation and has entered into a strategic partnership with the Eclipse Foundation, a global community for open-source software collaboration and innovation. The inaugural OpenHW sponsors include Alibaba, Bluespec, CMC Microsystems, Embecosm, ETH Zurich (University), GreenWaves, Imperas, Metrics, Mythic AI, NXP, Onespin, Silicon Labs and Thales.In his state of the union address at the workshop, Krste Asanovic, chairman of the RISC-V Foundation and also cofounder of SiFive, said he expects significant investment in high-end RISC-V implementations in areas like the server, mobile and automotive in 2020. “RISC-V will start taking other sockets on the SoC, such as the DSP, AI, graphics and network processing.”Asanovic was keen to highlight high-profile users already in market with RISC-V – such as Nvidia, Huami, Google and Fadu. In fact Huami is said to have launched two new smartwatches this week one of which, the Amazfit Bip 2, which uses the Huangshan No. 1 chipset based on RISC-V. Continue Reading Previous What HD mapping brings to autonomous vehiclesNext Solid Sands: verification of optimization correctness with SuperTest In summary, RISC-V is certainly gaining traction but there has been quite some concern among larger established companies of its stability and ecosystem support. The Gartner hype cycle is probably the best way to describe where we are at present with RISC-V: many startup companies, lots of initial projects and early adopters, and lots of media hype.But events over the last few weeks, like the launch of the OpenHW Group, plus further moves expected in the coming weeks from the Chips Alliance and possibly even more groups means there will be a next phase in the evolution of this open source architecture that attempts to bring some connections between the disruptive architecture (and choice of ISA) that it may present to many, and existing design flows that then make it easier to integrate.Plus, with funding now coming in with large rounds, like that in SiFive last week, and more large reference customers and early adopters, RISC-V will no doubt start making inroads into more design slots. RISC-V is definitely coming of age.>> This article was originally published on our sister site, EE Times: “RISC-V Moving Beyond Academia, New Group offers Hardened SoCs.” Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.center_img Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Calista Redmondlast_img read more

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