Tag Archives: world
Mobile games are transcending their screen-only roots. Developers are bringing the action into the real world.
Twitter’s developers are a busy bunch, (allegedly) working on an app for Glass and updating code for Macs in the last week. Today, they released yet another round of new software for iOS and Android, bringing some new functionality along with the requisite bug fixes and unnamed “improvements.” After updating, both sets of users will be able to see trends from around the world, as opposed to just those happening in the immediate area.
Additionally, iOS users can now invite friends to join Twitter from within the app — in case anyone still knows an unfortunate soul who’s not already pecking out 140-character missives — and both author and retweeter names will be included in replies to RT’s. Meanwhile, Android users also received easier access to swap between accounts and change settings using the menu button. If you haven’t grabbed the update already, well, you know the drill, your download awaits.
"Almost impossible." That's how former German international striker Oliver Bierhoff described the task his country face in trying to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
On the evidence of last week's Champions League semifinal first legs, Bierhoff is mistaken.
Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund could both capture continental glory after four-goal hauls against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, but the big winners look set to be the German national team.
A look through the starting line ups for both Bayern and Dortmund reveals an array of young, exciting, vibrant, German talent which must have national coach Joachim Low licking his lips.
"Both German teams are very good, without a doubt, as are the national team," Real coach Jose Mourinho was quoted as saying on FIFA's website. "There is a generation of players in Germany of great quality and they will be candidates to win the next World Cup."
Bayern’s team revolves around a core of German players reaching their collective peak.
Colossal goalkeeper Manuel Neuer enjoyed a largely trouble-free evening against Barca, stationed behind a back four which included national team captain Philipp Lahm and athletic centre back Jerome Boateng.
Thomas Muller scored a brace and constantly troubled a dishevelled Barca backline, while Bastian Schweinsteiger – a veteran of 98 Germany caps at the relatively young age of 28 – expertly contained midfield opponents Xavi and Iniesta.
And all of this without Toni Kroos, the 23-year-old playmaker widely regarded as one of Europe’s most prominent rising stars.
Swelling Bayern’s fearsome ranks next season will be Mario Gotze, a $ 48 million man signed from Dortmund who starred alongside four-goal hero Robert Lewandowski during last week’s 4-1 rout.
Lewandowski might be Polish but Marco Reus is homegrown and, bedecked in black and yellow, resembled a wasp constantly stinging the Spanish champions.
Even the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo was nullified by the disciplined Iklay Gundogan. The 2011 signing from Nuremberg looked at home in the heart of a high-stakes midfield contest and outshone his Spanish counterpart Xabi Alonso.
Ronaldo’s only moment of joy came following a rare lapse in concentration from Mats Hummels, a young defender who is reportedly attracting admiring glances from Catalonia.
A 4-1 defeat for Madrid and a 4-0 loss for Barca would have had their Spanish stars sweating over an humiliating Champions League exit.
But perhaps the bigger question mark hangs over La Roja’s reign at the top of world football.
Two Spain-based German internationals were certainly given food for thought.
Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira were both anonymous during Madrid’s no-show at the Westfalenstadion.
Spain have ruled the international roost for the last five years, winning two European Championships and a first World Cup crown in addition to a continental title at under-21 level.
Vicente del Bosque’s team may have reigned supreme, but Germany have also enjoyed admirable consistency.
The Germans have reached three semifinals and the Euro 2008 final in the last four major tournaments.
With Low agonizing over how best to push Die Mannschaft over the finishing line, the key might just lie with some of the talent rising through the ranks.
Both Bayern and Dortmund played with an intensity and purpose which made tiki-taka look dated and pedestrian.
Euro 2012, won by Spain after an emphatic 4-0 win over Italy in the final, was a first major championship for Gotze, Rues, Hummels and Gundagon.
Two years wiser, and possibly with Champions League winner’s medal in their back pockets, the young quartet might provide the spark which fires a German World Cup triumph in Brazil.
(Credit: Screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET)
Crowdfunding sites set up by friends and families of the Boston bombing victims are giving the world a way to help. And the world is stepping up.
As of this writing, Bucks for Bauman on GoFundMe has raised more than $ 192,000 in two days for Jeff Bauman, a 27-year-old marathon spectator who lost both legs to the blasts. Bauman also reportedly helped ID the suspects from his hospital bed.
“Medical bills are going to start rolling in, let’s get a head start on helping out Bauman and his family! Every dollar counts!!” reads an introduction by Brooke Gibbs, who started the site. It’s just one of a number of crowdfunding efforts that have sprung up this week to aid Boston Marathon bombing victims through grassroots campaigns — and have collectively drawn more than $ 1 million in a matter of days.
(Credit: … [Read more]
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It was only a matter of time, we suppose, before OUYA found itself on Uncle Sam’s table, and the day has finally come, as the open source console has made its way through the FCC. As we’ve steadily uncovered all of OUYA’s secretes since its inception, there’s not much new revealed by the government’s testing. That said, the flayed OUYA appears to be a founding backer edition, with the names of the chosen 11 inscribed on one side, but it’s exchanged the opaque power button on top for a clear unit — indicating that perhaps retail OUYA’s will make it easier for owners to tell when the thing’s on. Want to see the full monty for yourself? Theres’s plenty of pictures of the OUYA’s insides at the source link below.
Filed under: Gaming
This year’s Masters had its fair share of quiet periods, but in the deepening Augusta gloom it finally delivered the climax for which everyone had been hoping.
A worthy, popular winner, great sportsmanship, some phenomenal shot-making – not least Angel Cabrera’s stunning approach to the 72nd hole when he knew nothing less would extend his challenge – and a final explosion of Aussie joy as the nation’s 77-year Masters curse dropped into the 10th hole along with Adam Scott’s ball in the sudden-death playoff.
Last July, Scott’s family and friends stood, silent and stunned, some in tears, as they watched a TV behind the 18th green at the British Open. Their man had walked off the 14th with a firm grasp on the coveted claret jug, but as they stood there, was proceeding to bogey each of the final four holes, relinquishing what would have been his first major victory.
Scott's composure and dignity in a press conference minutes later impressed many, and now he’s broken through that first major barrier, few would bet against his adding some more.
But his win had another dimension to it – alongside the other key talking points from Augusta:
1. The anchoring decision can’t come soon enough
Scott became not just the first Australian to win the Masters, but also the first player using a long putter to do so. Now all four majors have been won with an anchored putter. The sight of a fit 32-year-old holding aloft a long putter in ecstatic triumph, and at Augusta National of all places, will have had those opposed to the clubs feeling a deep unease.
Even before this victory, Scott was the clearest example of a top pro improving his performances with an anchored putter. When I interviewed him in Shanghai at a World Golf Championships event two and a half years ago, he lamented how his putting let down his exceptional tee-to-green play. Shortly afterwards he tried a long putter in private, found it helped, and has seen a resurgence in his results ever since.
The game’s governing bodies, the R & A and the USGA, are due to announce their final decision anytime now. They originally proposed a ban on anchoring (holding the putter against the chest or stomach) starting from 2016, then consulted widely. The PGA Tour and the PGA of America came out against a ban, but the European Tour supported it.
The PGA Tour cites a lack of data showing the method helps; those supporting a ban will now point to four major champions, and add that two other players using anchored putters (2012 British Open champion Ernie Els and the Chinese wonderboy Guan Tianlang) featured in the top three in putting stats across the week.
The question now is not just whether the R & A and the USGA will press ahead with a ban (the most likely course of action) but also whether, if they do, a three-year delay could be sustainable. Scott, Els, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson and other anchor putters could well win more majors in the intervening period. Then any existing sense of unease would be deeper still if anchoring had been deemed unacceptable, but just not for the time being.
The irony is that, until the final hole of regular play, Scott hadn’t putted exceptionally well in the fourth round. In fact far from it. On the official Masters stats, only four players putted worse all day. Nonetheless, the image of a long putter held aloft at Augusta could well come to symbolize the high water mark of the anchored club. Either way, the issue needs to be resolved immediately.
2. The Chinese aren’t coming – they’ve arrived.
An Australian victory at the Masters is a great story, but Scott has been an outstanding talent for years so it wasn’t that big a shock. A 14-year-old Chinese boy not just qualifying, but then making the cut and finishing as the best amateur, is scarcely believable. Just to cap it, Guan Tianlang achieved the feat despite a harsh one-shot penalty for slow play, and finished the week joint top of the putting stats. Time and time again, the best players in the world have explained how ferociously difficult the greens are at Augusta, how it takes years of experience to work out their intricacies. Then a boy from Guangzhou turns up for the first time and putts better than everyone bar Rickie Fowler.
I first met Guan in Shanghai, the same week as that Scott interview. He was 12 at the time. He won a national junior tournament on the Sunday, and told me in halting English of his hopes to make it as a professional. His victory carried with it the prize of playing in the WGC pro-am a few days later. Come the Wednesday, he stepped on to a par-three alongside Tiger Woods, swung beautifully, and cut a perfect three-wood into a treacherous green. As they walked past I asked Tiger what he thought. "You see that?!" he replied in beaming admiration. "The swing, the shot… "
Tianlang just walked calmly alongside, the offering of his cap for Tiger to sign the only clue that he was in any way conscious of the difference in status.
His was a stunning performance, but he’s not alone. Last year another 14-year-old, Andy Zhang, became the youngest ever to qualify for a major (the U.S. Open) and Jin Yang, at the advanced age of 16, played in the Women’s British Open at Hoylake. Of course a few months earlier, China had got its first major success when Shanshan Feng won the LPGA Championship.
The Chinese national squads are now focusing on the 2016 Olympics, when golf returns to the Games. Let’s just say one of their senior coaches is quietly confident of a decent showing.
3. Rules are rules … sort of
If you’re trying to uphold the principle that the rules of golf apply equally, to all people in all circumstances, it’s perhaps not ideal to crack down on a 14-year-old amateur on the cut-line in his first Masters, and extend leniency/common sense (delete as per your view of the matter) to the world No. 1 and biggest TV draw in golf.
Everyone around the game has been calling for more action on slow play for years now, but Guan Tianlang’s penalty on Friday was the first time such a sanction had ever been imposed at the Masters, and the first handed out to a player in a major since Gregory Bourdy at the U.S. PGA Championship in 2010. You have to go back to 1995 (i.e. before Tianlang was born) for the previous slow play penalty in a regular PGA Tour event.
Guan Tianlang dealt with it superbly, holding his nerve to make the cut then calmly accepting the penalty in post-round interviews, but he could well have pointed out that kids play slowly these days largely because they see their heroes on TV getting away with it week after week.
Tiger’s reaction to Guan’s one-shot penalty ("Rules are rules") suddenly took on a sharp twist when it transpired he’d dropped a ball improperly in the same round. He escaped disqualification – the usual outcome after signing for a wrong score – when Augusta rules officials decreed the circumstances around their review of the incident to be exceptional. Instead they penalized Woods two shots.
What we now need to see is the various Tours consistently applying sanctions for slow play and showing some degree of common sense over disqualification, otherwise we’ll continue to endure five or six-hour rounds and the clear impression will be left that certain rules apply more directly to some players than to others.
4. 'Thunderbear' is for real
As you may have seen on the March edition of Living Golf, we spent a little time earlier this year with Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen in his home city of Copenhagen and then again in Florida. This was his first Masters, having broken into the world’s top 50 late last year. His long-time coach told us he truly believed Thorbjorn could become Denmark’s first Major champion – now quite a few others will be sharing that opinion.
After an opening 78, the debutant then shot rounds of 70, 68 and 68. There was a period during that final round when it seemed he just couldn’t miss the hole. He finished as the leading European (another triumph over experience at Augusta this year) and with more birdies across the week than any other player. Nothing in golf is ever certain (ask Adam Scott, let alone the boy-genius Sergio Garcia) but Olesen proved beyond doubt that he belongs in the world’s elite.
If you haven’t backed up your digital data yet, now is as a good a time as any to start. World Backup Day is on March 31 and it’s only right to observe the pseudo-holiday by backing up your computer. …