Photos: 49ers great Joe Montana selling Calistoga ranch for $3.1 million

first_imgLegendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana is selling his Calistoga, Calif. ranch for $3.1 million, reports the L.A. Times.Click here if viewing from a mobile device.The 87-acre property is near a 500-acre property with a Tuscan-style mansion that Montana listed for $35 million seven years ago, according to the report.The ranch has a private gated bridge entrance with spectacular vineyard views, a lake and an 11-stall breezeway barn with tack room, among other amenities. …last_img read more

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11th Annual Soweto Career Day and Expo

first_imgThe 11th Annual Soweto Career Day and Expo took place on 25 and 26 May 2018 at the Orlando Community Hall in Soweto. Held since 2004, the Expo has been a platform that gathers about 40 000 learners and job seeking community members to present to them career pathways and education and training opportunities.This year, exhibitions by government departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations, private sector organisations, colleges and universities covered a range of careers available in many different sectors of education, training and employment in South Africa.Every year, the event aims to encourage and empower learners and community members to better themselves and their communities by making informed choices on their education, training and careers; and each year, the guidance provided at the exhibitions proves to be invaluable and informative to learners and job seeking community members from and around Soweto.The annual event has gone a long way in addressing South Africa’s socioeconomic challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment by creating a platform where underprivileged future and present job seekers can build relationships and network with further education and training institutions and potential employees.It is important to create economic opportunities for those who were previously excluded from participating in the economy due to the country’s history. This initiative contributes to the country’s economic growth by equipping learners with the necessary tools to accelerate progress.Many walked away inspired to fulfill their potential and informed about the countless opportunities available for them to contribute to South Africa’s economy.last_img read more

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Never Mind the Valley: Here’s London

first_imgA settlement for nearly 2,000 years, London is today the most populous greater metropolitan area in Europe with over 13 million residents. Home to popular tourist locations such as Big Ben, The London Eye and Buckingham Palace, London’s skyline is unmistakable. While London often serves as the representative bridge from Europe to the United States, it also is the seat of Europe’s rapidly expanding entrepreneurial landscape.The London startup scene saw its first major consumer Internet success in 1998 with LastMinute, a travel site similar to Expdedia that eventually traded publicly on the London Stock Exchange beginning in 2000. UK companies like LastMinute were largely able to avoid the doom and gloom of the dot-com bubble burst at the turn of the century due to the nature of the venture funding scene.RWW’s Never Mind the Valley series:AustinBangaloreBeijingBostonBoulderIsraelLondonLos AngelesNew YorkPortland 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Never Mind the Valley#start chris cameron A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts The key difference between the startup communities in London and Silicon Valley is that the latter has VCs more willing to take risks with their investments and give money to early-stage companies. The opposite is true in London, meaning that during the dot-com era, there were fewer startups and fewer risky investments. The more daring VCs of Silicon Valley choose to ride the roller-coaster of risk vs. reward and often find success that way, while London VCs choose to take safer bets, investing money in established companies with traction. The major UK firms, such as Index Ventures, Accel Partners and Balderton Capital used this to avoid the pitfalls of events like the dot-com bust, but they sacrifice the possibility of higher returns because of it. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… It is this attitude that has created a difficult venture funding scenario for early-stage startups looking for seed money in London. Azeem Azhar, founder of Viewsflow, a platform for identifying valuable business information online, says that three obstacles stand between startups and success in London. The first problem is the difficulties in securing capital due to apprehensive VCs and a lack of second- and third-generation entrepreneurs. The second problem Azhar notes is one of talent.“Silicon Valley’s talent depth is astonishing, and when you get smart people in the same room they make better ideas,” Azhar told ReadWriteWeb. “The numbers are comparatively smaller in London, and there are better industries for engineers to go into, like banking.”The third problem Azhar sees is that the markets in Europe are significantly smaller than US markets. According to Azhar, a typical European early-stage company will sell for less than $50 million, while VCs are looking to make $100 million or more. This complements the first problem, allowing already cautious VCs to become more fastidious than before. However, things have begun to turn around for the London startup scene. In the past, entrepreneurs would leave the UK and cross the pond to the US to find the money to get off the ground. More recently, however, organizations like Seedcamp and The Accelerator Group, as well as new funds like Atomico Ventures and PROfounders Capital, have begun to provide young startups with funding and resources.Mark Littlewood of The Business Leaders Network, a UK-based membership organization that helps connect CEOs and founders with investors and possible customers, says that the VC firms in London are letting their influence slip away.“The most significant trend recently has been the decline in influence (in start up terms at least) of the venture community,” Littlewood told ReadWriteWeb. “VC firms have either been struggling to raise funds whilst at the same time have focused on investing later in more mature businesses.”What is driving this new force of organizations and funds for early-stage startups? It’s the second generation of entrepreneurs from previous successful London startups. The most successful project to come out of London (and perhaps all of Europe) is Skype, which was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis and later acquired by eBay for nearly $2 billion in cash. Zennstrom is now the co-founder of Atomico Ventures. The fund is an effort to invigorate the venture capital industry in the London area so that it may be more like the US – a dichotomy Zennstrom knows well.“I think we went to over 20 VCs here in Europe, and no one wanted to touch the company,” Zennstrom recalled about Skype during a keynote at LeWeb in 2009. “Always the Silicon Valley option seemed very very attractive because it’s such a powerful ecosystem with VCs that are brave that are willing to take risks.”But Zennstrom, along with countless other entrepreneurs, stayed in Europe and managed to create a successful company. Major successes to emerge from London include Last.fm, an Internet radio service acquired by CBS in 2007, Bebo, the largest social network in the UK, which was acquired by AOL in 2008, and Playfish, a social gaming platform acquired by EA in 2009. Other London startups include MOO, TweetDeck, Playfire, LOVEFiLM, HuddleWAYN and Seatwave. With the cycle of returning second-generation entrepreneurs like Zennstrom, the startup scene in London is beginning to grow and be more inclusive. Saul Klein, a partner at Index Ventures and a former Skype employee, has played a large role in mobilizing the startup community by founding both Seedcamp and the Open Coffee Club.Stephanie Robesky, an entrepreneur in residence with Atomico Ventures, says that thanks to the new funds and organizations in London, things are looking up for the future.“There are great opportunities for people to start businesses in London with not just financial support, but operational support as well,” Robesky told ReadWriteWeb. “I think that it is going to continue developing and maturing. The Valley has years on London and Europe, but the Europeans are ambitious.”Other London-based startup events and organizations include DrinkTank London, NESTA, Springboard and Glasshouse London.Photo credits: Trodel and Ian Muttoo.Special thanks to Azeem Azhar, Mark Littlewood and Stephanie Robesky for information and a crash course in London.last_img read more

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Do Grid-Tied Photovoltaic Systems Really Have an Advantage?

first_imgNet-Zero-Energy versus Passivhaus Energy-Efficient Retrofits: Insulation or Solar Power?Green Basics: Photovoltaic (Solar) RELATED ARTICLES Our expert’s opinionWe asked GBA technical director Peter Yost for his take on this question. Here’s his response:I think all of the points made in this discussion are fair and accurate. But the decision to select grid-tied or off-grid PV is completely one of context for me. If you have access to the grid, tie into it. Of course there is no guarantee that one home’s excess PV will shut down a coal-fired plant, just as one of us biking to work won’t shut down an oil field. We all make incremental contributions that nudge us along and bank on the “Horton-Hears-a-Who” phenomenon. GREEN PRODUCT GUIDE Yes, grid-tied systems make senseWhile it’s unrealistic to think that small amounts of electricity fed into the grid will allow fossil fuel plants to be shut down, there are benefits nonetheless, Damon Lane writes.“A lot of distributed energy would have some benefit by reducing the load and therefore the fuel consumption of those plants,” he says. “Also, while off-grid systems completely remove the building’s load and therefore many such buildings may allow a plant to shut down, all the batteries required probably offset the environmental benefit.”There also is the issue of efficiency. Utility-produced electricity is only about one-third efficient, due mostly to losses during the conversion of fuel to electricity but also due to losses during distributing the power through the grid.“Anyway,” he adds, “by reducing demand through efficiency or on-site generation you effectively save more than what you generate because you are also removing the losses and power plant inefficiencies associated with that power so primary power savings might be three times the on-site savings.” Grid losses are relatively smallRoberts thinks transmission losses are about 9%. However, Ben Wilson, who identifies himself as a distribution engineer at a large electric utility, says they are probably even less.“Most of the losses on a distribution line itself come from the transformers serving customers, and these rarely account for a loss greater than 5% or so,” Wilson writes.“Excess power produced by an on-site renewable source will be consumed by neighbors and other users connected to a distribution circuit,” Wilson says. “The fact that power does not need to flow all the way back to a generating plant is actually the main reason why renewables are so beneficial to a utility system — the losses in transmission, distribution, and transformation are eliminated, therefore making the total power required to be produced at a generating plant much less than the offset demand provided by the renewable.” Photovoltaic CollectorsDoes this mean, he wonders, whether homeowners should be steered more toward off-grid installations, or systems that split the electrical load between on-grid and grid-tied generation? How renewables may affect electric ratesWilson raises another point: how net-metering may one day affect the cost of electricity. Net-zero energy homes, which generate as much power as they consume over a given length of time, are possible because utility customers are billed only for total consumption.“However, as we should be well aware,” Wilson writes, “most on-site renewables cannot meet a home’s demand at all times, especially during the times of highest loading. Utilities must provide this marginal power to a grid-tied home, and as renewables become more widespread, utilities will begin to bill for this benefit via real-time pricing, time-of-use rates, or something similar.“In other words, a net-zero home might lead to no electricity bills today, but it is possible (even probable) that the electricity bills will return as utilities learn how to more properly bill their customers for the benefits they provide.”Not so, says Kevin Dickson, who argues that a “smart grid” should make possible real-time pricing and time-of-use electric rates. That leads to another benefit of solar photovoltaics: panels have their highest output when time-of-use (TOU) pricing is the highest.He cites an article arguing that a fair TOU rate structure will actually reduce the size of a PV array on a net-zero energy house by 28%.Wilson says his experience in the Midwest is that net-zero homes typically produce far more energy than they use in spring and fall, but less than required in winter and summer.“The fact that PV produces more energy during the summer is more than offset by the usage of AC in many of these homes,” he says. “At the end of the year, the spring and fall surplus cancels out the summer and winter deficiency. With TOU rates, however, canceling out may not be enough.”Another factor is what utilities pay in a net-zero energy arrangement. Bob Coleman says utilities often pay “market rates” for the excess power that’s generated, but are still billing consumers at a rate that can be double that.Finally, it’s important to point out that during the summer, when solar electricity production is high but off-grid homeowners’ usage is low, much of the electricity produced by an off-grid PV array goes to waste. If your batteries are all topped up by 10:00 a.m. on a sunny day, there’s no easy way for an off-grid homeowner to sell excess power to the neighbors. Most houses with solar electric panels remain grid-tied, meaning the house is still connected to the utility’s grid even as it has the means to produce its own power. Off-grid houses, which once accounted for the lion’s share of installations, are now in the minority.And that seems to make sense. Grid-tied houses get the benefit of solar electricity, but also can tap into grid when panels don’t produce enough power to meet demand. Net metering allows houses to sell power at times when the panels are over-producing, and grid-tied systems are cheaper because they don’t require banks of deep-cycle batteries.But is the situation really that cut and dried?In a Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor, Tristan Roberts says a chat with an expert at the Department of Energy got him poking at these widely accepted premises.“If that electricity is feeding into the grid, we were discussing the difficulty in accounting for environmental benefits,” Roberts writes. “It’s hard to know if the 2 kW that you fed into the grid at 12 p.m. really resulted in the utility being able to reduce their coal-fired output by 2 kW. In fact, there are a lot of reasons to conclude that nothing of the kind happened…The point of our conversation was that the best use of on-site renewables, from a thermodynamic and environmental point of view, is on site.”last_img read more

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Creating an Interconnected Icon Tree in After Effects + 30 Free Icons

first_imgLearn how to make an interconnected icon tree using 30 FREE animated icons in After Effects.To build an interconnected icon tree, you first need some icons. You may choose to draw and animate your own, but in this tutorial, we’re using the excellent Technicons freebie pack from RocketStock.GET 30 FREE ANIMATED ICONS FROM ROCKETSTOCKAfter you’ve downloaded or created your icons, import them into your AE project.We will also be using a script called Connect Layers from Motion Boutique. It is available here at pay-what-you-want pricing. The script does a lot of math that connects layers with shape layer lines.Now that you have all your assets, let’s get started. Make Individual Icon CompsEach icon should have its own composition. Start by dragging the first icon you intend to use onto the new composition icon in the project panel. This will create a composition the exact size, duration, and frame rate of the source files.Inside the new composition, we will use the Time Stretch to speed up the .mov file.Select the layer, and in the top menus, go to Layer > Time > Time stretch. Enter a value of 50 to double the speed.With the .mov layer shortened, we want to trim the composition to that new layer’s length. Set the playhead at the end of the layer, and hit “n” to set the work area’s end at that point, and then trim the composition to fit the new work area.This container is also where we want to add a background circle for our icon to sit on, to separate it from the background. Make an ellipse by double-clicking on the shape layer ellipse with no layers selected (otherwise you’ll make a mask or shape on an existing layer).Twirl into the contents and ellipse parameters to access the ellipse size. Set keyframes at 0 frames and 20 frames for [0,0] and [350,350] respectively, and adjust the value graph in the graph editor as you see below to achieve a popping-on look. Don’t worry that the circle goes beyond the outside of the composition.If you’re only making a network of one type of icon, then you’re done. But otherwise, you will need icon comps with different contents. First, rename your composition something you will remember, then duplicate it.Open the duplicate and swap out the source of the .mov for another by selecting the layer to replace, holding alt, and dragging from the project window. Then rename the composition and repeat as necessary.Putting It TogetherCreate a new composition that is the same frame rate as your earlier comps — for us that’s 29.97. This is the composition where everything will come together.Drag out your first icon to the timeline and adjust where in time you want the animation to start. We want the icons to shift and drift on their own in their cloud, so we will use expressions to automate their movement. Apply the following expressions by holding alt and clicking the stopwatch to the position:wiggle(.1,100)and scale:x=wiggle(.1,10)[0];[x,x]Now we can position and scale the layers as we like, and they will still have some variance over time. Set the scale values to roughly 60%.Duplicate the first icon, and replace it using the previous method of holding alt and dragging in another comps. Continue this until you have all the icons you would like to connect.Connecting the NetworkWith your icons out on the timeline, you can now connect them with the connect layers script. Select the layers you want to connect to each other.Then run the script from the File > Scripts > Run Script file, and select the Connect Layers file you’ve downloaded previously. This will open a dialogue window with options. This will present you three modes of connecting layers. If you have only a few icons you want to connect, I recommend the tree method. Or you can use the triangulation method and delete the piece you don’t need.This will create many rectangles that are pointing from one layer to another. To animate and format the layers, twirl into the content and twirl into the stroke. Increase the stroke thickness as necessary and change the line cap and joint to round. To animate the stroke, we will use the trim paths setting keyframes on the end of the existing trim paths from 0 to 50%. Since the “line” is made of a rectangle, we only need to stroke half of the shape.If the line is animating in the wrong direction, adjust the offset to 180 degrees. Ease the trim path keyframes for smoother motion. The animation of each line may vary by length, but they should be around 10 frames.Finally, time up the lines so they emanate from an icon after it has animated on completely. The icon the line is animating to should begin animating one or two frames before the line has completed its animation.Finishing UpTo pack up the network for an easy transition, you can set keyframes on the position of all the icons so they move to the middle of the frame. Set position keyframes to end, in this case, at 960,540. As the icons are moving to the middle, have the middlemost icon (presumably the most central of the network, and the topmost layer) scale up to cover the incoming icons.At the apex of the scale, trim all the other layers to end. Then set the last remaining icon scale to zero. Adjust the keyframes in the graph editor, and set to speed graph as you see below to get a nice swell and quick out for the piece.last_img read more

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Photo: Notre Dame Sent Mail About Its High School Prospect Camps To A Starting Offensive Lineman At Rutgers

first_imgNotre Dame accidentally sends recruiting letter to Rutgers OL.Chris Muller is a rising redshirt junior at Rutgers. He has appeared in 26 games for the Scarlet Knights the past two seasons, making 25 starts at right guard. One of those starts was actually against Notre Dame in the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl. Apparently, the Fighting Irish staff either didn’t remember Muller from that game, or were so impressed that they are attempting to recruit him over a year later. Tonight, Muller tweeted that he received mail from Notre Dame about its upcoming 2015 summer high school prospect camps, a curious delivery considering Muller is entering his fourth year at another program. Well this is awkward… #CHOPNation pic.twitter.com/OsQLwniVCK— Chris Muller (@Chris_Muller70) February 21, 2015Not sure if this is an actual NCAA infraction but either way Notre Dame should probably update its recruiting mailing lists. More: The Only 13 Teams That Can Win The Playoff In 2015last_img read more

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Video: Indiana Lost The Pinstripe Bowl On Controversial Missed FG In Overtime

first_imgIndiana and Duke players react to Indiana's missed field goal attempt.Indiana Missed FGDuke just held off Indiana 44-41 in overtime in a wild New Era Pinstripe Bowl. It was the program’s first bowl win since 1961, and it came in dramatic fashion when Indiana’s Griffin Oakes missed a 38-yard field goal by the slimmest of margins.Take a close look at the video. Oakes’ kick actually went over the upright. It was ruled no good, but while Duke players immediately began celebrating, Oakes also threw his hands up, convinced he had made the kick.To top it off, the situation isn’t reviewable, because of the fact it went over the upright. Indiana really cornered the market on heartbreaking losses this year. Tough way to end the season for the Hoosiers.last_img read more

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Youngsters in State Care Awarded for Their Achievements

first_img Addressing the ceremony, Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, saluted the students and teachers for their hard work and achievement, and the foster-parents for the love and attention given to the students. Sixty-seven youngsters in State care were awarded for their academic achievements in external examinations at a ceremony organised by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA). Story Highlights Fifty-seven youngsters in State care were awarded for their academic achievements in external examinations at a ceremony organised by the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).The youngsters qualified for the awards after obtaining four or more subjects in the recent sittings of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).They were presented with trophies, tablets, plaques and laptops at the function held at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston on November 22.Addressing the ceremony, Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, saluted the students and teachers for their hard work and achievement, and the foster-parents for the love and attention given to the students.The Minister wished continued success for them and urged them not to be distracted “by those who promise quick riches through the fast lane that never last”.“Remember these wise words that ‘silver and gold will vanish away, but a good education will never decay’. Take your education seriously, and help others to do the same,” he told them.The Minister assured those children involved in the children services programme, which include those in foster care and State facilities, that his Ministry is now in a better position to assist at all levels.“We want to make sure that as a State, we take our responsibility very seriously. If our children find themselves in vulnerable circumstances, we as a State will step in and ensure that they do not face undue difficulties,” he said.Meanwhile, State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, noted that young people must invest in themselves, especially their education, to become people of substance.“You (the youngsters) are a testament that anything you put your minds to, despite your circumstances, can be achieved,” he said.Mr. Green reminded those in attendance that the Ministry this year enabled students, especially wards of the State on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), to sit more than four subjects, by paying for them.“What you will see in the years to come is that more children (wards of the State) will sit more subjects,” he said.Mr. Green also congratulated the youngsters on their achievement and challenged them to “expand their dreams and visions” of the future.For her part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CPFSA, Rosalee Gage-Grey, said the agency will continue to provide these children with a “healthy environment to help them grow in every sphere”.“We have given equal opportunities to our children, so that they realise their true potential and are ready to face the outside world once they complete their studies,” she said.Mrs. Gage-Grey hailed the students for their achievement and urged them to continue focusing on their studies.Attorney-at-law and former ward of the State, John Clarke, encouraged the students to create a personal plan for the future and write down what they want to achieve in 10 years.The award for top male (CSEC) went to Ronaldo Latibeaudiere from the South East Region, and the top female award went to Valencia Parchment from the Western Region.Top female for CAPE went to Davia Carney from the South East Region, while top male went to Nickorta Samuels from the same region. The youngsters qualified for the awards after obtaining four or more subjects in the recent sittings of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).last_img read more

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Domestic air passenger traffic slips to 18 in July Report

first_imgMumbai: India’s domestic air passenger demand plummet to 1.8 per cent in July following the end of tourist season while the cumulative growth in traffic in the first four months stood at a mere 1.6 per cent, the report said. According to rating agency Icra, the international traffic catered by the domestic airlines de-grew 14.7 per cent in July over 0.6 per cent of the industry with the local carriers continuing to underperform the industry on international routes and their market share declining by 528 basis points to 32.1 per cent in July over the year-ago period on account of the under-performance. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe growth in the industry capacity (measured in available seat kilometres ASKMs) continued to be muted in July at 3.5 percent, primarily due to the grounding of Jet Airways. “Furthermore, the Indian airlines have been increasing focus on international operations as witnessed in increasing capacity deployment, due to higher opportunities in overseas markets from India. The same is evident from increasing capacity deployment by some of the carriers on international routes,” said Kinjal Shah of Icra. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostObserving that the jet fuel prices first declined sequentially in June and July by 0.3 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively, Icra said they, however, increased sequentially by 3.3 per cent in August while declined 7.9 per cent year-on-year. September 2019 again witnessed a sequential as well as year-on-year decline of 0.9 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively, it said adding the decline, however, may not have a material impact on the profitability of the airlines if they continue to witness pressure on passenger load factors which have been declining sequentially since May. Icra also said that given the favourable international scenario, few more airlines are likely to enter into international flying from India or expand capacities on international routes in the near future to tap the opportunity. The domestic space, however, will continue to remain critical for the carriers as it provides sizeable potential as well as feed-in traffic for the international routes, it said. As the airlines continue to expand their fleet, resulting in a gradual correction in the demand-supply imbalance and thus a further moderation in airfares, the domestic passenger traffic growth growth is expected to increase in the near-to-medium-term, said Shah.last_img read more

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