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Widespread Panic Performs In Olympic Caliber To Commence Celebrations In Birmingham [Videos]

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first_imgRock and roll titans Widespread Panic returned to stage last night at the Legacy Arena in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, known to many as simply the B.J.C.C. The six-piece powerhouse band appeared to be refreshed after their four-night run in Mexico, with hints of twinkling eyes and a reddened skin color from the week spent under the tropical sun. However, it seems they swapped out the tequila for whiskey as they began an unusually gritty night of music to represent the deep south with badass veterans-of-the-blues swagger.They began the first set of the two-night run with a kickin’ version of their original tune, “Pleas”, in which JB [John Bell] implored to “Don’t let it get too sad (and later don’t let it get too dark),” possibly in reference to the recent horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Just as “Pleas” opened the 1993 album Everyday, it commenced last night’s show as well. Jimmy Herring destroyed a guitar solo before segueing into a cover of Bloodkin’s “Makes Sense to Me.” Danny Hutchens’ song describes three everyday tales of social injustice, in which the singer sympathetically responds “Well, makes sense to me.” John Bell imbued the bluesy lyrics with soul in his remarkable croak. Herring and Bell dominated until JoJo Hermann was summoned by JB with a cry of “JoJo, Go!” to play a jumpin’ organ solo.The band returned to their fourth studio album, Ain’t Life Grand, with a bass-thumpin’ rendition of “Little Kin”. The original tune was only played twice last year, and the boys nailed this top-notch version. Jimmy Herring crafted a masterful solo around Dave Schools’ pulsating bass line. John Bell blended his swampy voice into the mix while Schools added his own take on backup vocals. The song faded off to the lingering notes of Jimmy Herring and JoJo Hermann and a temporary silence ensued.This silence didn’t last long, however, as the boys jumped right into a scorching “Action Man.” The high intensity of this song hinted at chaotic revelry to come. “Action Man”, from their seventh studio album Don’t Tell the Band, was written about horse racing, specifically Triple Crown winner War Admiral and his elite sire, Man O’ War.  Herring, JoJo, and John Bell danced methodically around the heavy drums and bass rhythms provided by Duane Trucks, Sonny Ortiz, and Dave Schools. Sonny, Schools, and Trucks stood out in this driving rhythmic barrage.JoJo Hermann led the band through two songs with his keyboard talents on full display. A jovial “Street Dogs for Breakfast” from their last studio album with the same name epitomized JoJo Hermann’s casual barroom vocals and honky-tonk piano playing. Hermann kept the conducting baton to direct the band through a rarely played version of a brilliant cover of “Red Beans” popularized by Muddy Waters and Professor Longhair. Widespread Panic last played the song at St. Augustine Amphitheatre in 2016. With assistance from Dave Schools, JoJo paid tribute to Professor Longhair, the blues piano legend from New Orleans, and brought a taste of swampy funk to Alabama.The band kept the crowd on their feet all night and followed up with a cuttin’ “All Time Low” from the album Til’ the Medicine Takes. John Bell and JoJo Hermann both crushed the vocals, but at some point, Jimmy Herring took the metaphorical wheel of Doc Brown’s DeLorean and, much like Elon Musk’s “Starman” in the driver seat of the interstellar Tesla Roadster, brought the music to galactic proportions. For a wizard with powers over time and space, the first step into overdrive was a cinch for Jimmy Herring. He began lightly playing in the background behind John Bell and JoJo Hermann’s vocals, but soon he accelerated past lightspeed and the masterful band embraced his fluid tempo changes. Dave Schools took over the helm of the ship and coordinated with the percussionists through a transitional jam while the formidable Jimmy Herring worked his guitar wizardry throughout intergalactic realms. These between-song improvisational jams consistently proved the incomparable skill of Widespread Panic, and this particular build-up exploded into one of the highlights of the night.Widespread broke it down for a sentimental “Space Wrangler”, a beautiful tribute to late founding member Michael “Mikey” Houser. This version was executed flawlessly with a sweet solo by the patient and wise Jimmy Herring and included several perfectly synchronized tempo breakdowns and progressions. JoJo Hermann and Jimmy Herring worked together to interlay melodies while Schools pummeled his bass unmercifully. To finish the first set, the band returned to the swamps with a raunchy cover of Calvin Carter and Bobby Rush’s “Bowlegged Woman”, which was later popularized by Hot Tuna. The band annihilated this erotically suggestive tune with smoking parts by the omnipresent Herring and steady beats provided by Dave Schools. John Bell pulled out aces from his sleeves with an unbelievable improvisational rap that warrants many re-listens, and JoJo Hermann chimed neat cascades around Bell’s erratic phrases before Panic broke it down one last time for a final verse before they walked offstage for a set break.Widespread Panic returned to the stage to obliterate a mind-blowing version of “Greta” from Bombs & Butterflies. Dogs howled, bees swarmed, JB crooned behind JoJo’s lead vocals, and JoJo chased Jimmy Herring up and down his keyboard. The saucy tune wasn’t overextended; it was direct and straight-to-the-point. The band transitioned indirectly into Neil Young’s “Walk On”, but not before a heavy jam that featured teases of the Allman Brothers Band’s “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”. Schools, Herring, and Hermann absolutely rocked out in their distinctive, badass style.“Walk On” slowed the tempo down and gave John Bell room to expand his vocal fills. Widespread continued the Neil Young theme with “Tortured Artist”, an original tune from the album Ball that has only been played once in the last four years: In it, John Bell paints a masterful depiction with the descriptive lyrics of a “tired, old cowboy who lets his horses run free” with other dirty lyrics and stinging guitar licks.The music subsided momentarily before the band delivered an energetically charged version of “Flicker” from Free Somehow. The snare drum provided a quick tempo throughout with bursts of the pure mayhem of Dave Schools. Jimmy Herring maneuvered with a heavenly brilliance while Dave Schools threatened to crush his instrument to bits with the colossal force he drove into his fretboard.The ultra-talented group of musicians executed a nearly twenty-minute old-school sandwich that surrounded “I’m Not Alone” and an improvisational jam between the two halves of “Driving Song”. A crowd-favorite sandwich brought decisive jams and heartfelt lyrics served a reminder that they are never truly alone. “Driving Song” was featured on the band’s debut album, Space Wrangler, while “I’m Not Alone” came on the subsequent album, the self-titled Widespread Panic. Jimmy Herring–as always, but especially last night–was playing perfectly and squeezed so many purposeful notes inside very small pockets of silence.A consolidated version of “Tie Your Shoes” followed. It was not as drawn out as the version from New Year’s Eve in Atlanta, still maintained an absurd amount of energy from each musician in the band. Duane Trucks and Jimmy Herring preserved musical perfection with spirited performances while JoJo Hermann splashed notes with methodological precision. Dave Schools dominated near the end and led the group into another illustrious transition jam. John Bell left the stage as JoJo, Jimmy, and Schools weave skillfully around the drummers’ percussive rhythms.Next, the rest of the band besides the percussionists left the stage, allowing the two rhythm players to vigorously duel for a solid 10 minute “Drums” jam. Sonny recently switched to a new drum kit, and he broke them in with an impressive molly-whopping. The drummers caught their breath for less than a half dozen seconds before they switched gears into a new pace as the other band members resettled into their positions.The ensuing “Diner” was extended and featured another outstanding JB rap. Schools punctuated, Hermann squealed, Herring generated lightning bolts from his deft fingers in overdrive. JB’s “Diner” rap typically describes a man waking up cold and early on a park bench and stumbling into a diner for a tepid cup of “yesterday’s coffee.” Last night’s version began with him indifferently admitting that he “couldn’t sleep anyway.. [when] a face in the window [appears]…. A friend from long ago (long, ago)… how you been? Where you been? Is there coffee yet? Still got some of yesterday’s donuts… ?[etc. etc]” John Bell repeatedly delivered the improvisational goods again and again and provided another reason to re-listen to this show many more times.Dave Schools took over lead vocal duties for his version of Vic Chestnutt’s “Sleeping Man”, which he supplied with his usual flair. The dynamically coupled bassline inexplicably intermixed with Jimmy Herring’s wizardry and JoJo’s exploratory synthesizing. They finally closed a prodigious second set with a rare cover of The Guess Who’s “No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature”, which they performed only once last year at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in June. Schools and Herring fought a musical battle from opposite ends of the stage while ol’ John Bell tried to navigate a treacherous position in the middle ground, avoiding bullets and shellshock alike.Widespread Panic returned to the stage to finish the night with an explosive closer. “Gimme” became the first encore with a poignant lyrical tribute to long-time friend of the band, Garrie Vareen, who passed away seven years prior. The band played deliberately and furnished the song with a very emotionally cutting tone.The boys then abandoned all sentimentality with a fiery performance of a crowd favorite, Funkadelic‘s “Red Hot Mama.” With true Prankster irony, the band typically plays “Red Hot Mama” and “Bowlegged Woman” near Valentine’s Day. Schools bestowed his heavy bass notes upon Herring’s conductive guitar prowess while John Bell’s verbal command and timing never ceased to amaze.To conclude the first night of music, the band dove headfirst into a deep jam-filled well of “Chilly Water” which was conspicuously absent from Panic en la Playa’s setlists. As to be expected, the already-enraptured audience went absolutely apeshit, and harmonious pandemonium ensued. Due to its unexpected position in the setlist, not many audience members had cups of water to throw, but even still, empty water bottles soon filled the air. The excitement persevered right until the very end of the show and left the audience drooling in anticipation of the next night of music tonight.Widespread Panic is back at the B.J.C.C. tonight for night two. For a full list of upcoming Widespread Panic shows, head to the band’s website.You can watch assorted fan-shot videos from the show below: Widespread Panic – “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” – 2/16/18[Video: Fred Ramadan]  Widespread Panic – “Diner” – 2/16/18[Video: Fred Ramadan] Widespread Panic – “Bowlegged Woman, Knock Kneed Man” – 2/16/18[Video: Julia Scott] Widespread Panic – “Sleeping Man” – 2/16/18[Video: Julia Scott]SETLIST: Widespread Panic | Legacy Arena @ The BJCC| Birmingham, AL | 2/16/18Set One: Pleas, Makes Sense To Me%, Little Kin, Action Man, Street Dogs For Breakfast, Red Beans*, All Time Low > Jam > Space Wrangler, Bowlegged WomanSet Two: Greta > Jam > Walk On^, Tortured Artist, Flicker, Driving Song > I’m Not Alone > Driving Song Reprise > Tie Your Shoes > Drums > Diner > Sleeping Man**, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature^^Encore: Gimme, Red Hot Mama$, Chilly WaterNotes:%Bloodkin cover*Professor Longhair cover^Neil Young cover**Vic Chesnutt cover^^The Guess Who cover$Chilly Waterlast_img read more

Super-Marquette Sweep

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first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoMILWAUKEE — It’s nothing new that Alando Tucker might have stolen the show and the spotlight with his 28 points Saturday in front of a national television audience. However, no one could’ve expected two of Wisconsin’s young bench players to shine much in same way on the big stage, but that’s exactly what happened. Sophomore forward Marcus Landry and freshman point guard Trevon Hughes stepped off the bench, out of the shadows (at least nationally) and onto the court of the Bradley Center, each turning in not only productive but also crucial minutes for Wisconsin, especially on the defensive end of the floor. “Those guys came in and did a nice job, especially Landry,” Golden Eagles coach Tom Crean said. “I’m sure [the Badgers] would bottle that up and take it with them if they knew they were going to get that out of him.”Landry, whose worth was proven when the Badgers went 5-10 down the stretch last year without the Milwaukee Vincent graduate, was an electric performer, scoring 11 points, collecting four rebounds and dishing out two assists. “Offensively, Landry did a great job coming off the bench,” Marquette guard Jerel McNeal said. “Our coaches knew he would come in and be a presence. He was definitely a spark for them.””I guess the adrenaline was just flowing,” Landry said. “I try to do this every game.”Landry was most impressive on the defensive end, however, rejecting Marquette shots a career-high four times, often with jaw-dropping athleticism. “Marcus today, he had a couple unbelievable blocks that saved our guards. Marcus was just getting those hustle plays,” UW senior guard Kammron Taylor said, before describing one particularly impressive second-half swat. “One play that definitely stands out is when he takes a man down the court, and he swung with one and his man reversed it, and he blocked it with the other hand. It’s good just to have that energy.”The high-flying Landry might’ve had to deal with a TV dinner for his effort, however, as his wife Efueko Osagie-Landry is a senior on Marquette’s women’s basketball team. “I thought Marcus was focused,” said UW head coach Bo Ryan. Hughes’ numbers in the stat sheet weren’t as eye-catching as Landry’s, tallying only two points, but the freshman from Queens, N.Y., raked in the hustle stats with five rebounds — despite being 6-foot-0 — and three steals, playing lockdown perimeter defense. “For him to come in and take care of the ball and do some of the things that he did — get some steals, some deflections — that was huge,” Ryan said. The first-year player was also on the floor a career-high 18 minutes and had only played double-digit minutes once this season (16 versus Southern). Much of that has been due to the impressive play of fellow freshman point guard Jason Bohannon — who didn’t even check in Saturday, the first time in his young career he hadn’t seen any playing time.”It’s not that Jason Bohannon is not going to be out there,” Ryan said of Bohannon, who had been averaging 17 minutes a game heading into the grudge match. “Call it gut feeling … I just thought Trevon in this type of game … is a guy who would stick his nose in there and stay with his feet.”Ryan’s hunch paid off, and neither he nor the UW players were surprised by Hughes’ game. “He has so much potential,” Tucker said. “And he doesn’t even realize it yet and that’s what Coach Ryan is bringing out of him, and you can see it … He’s going to be a great player.”Both Landry and Hughes impressed each other with their breakout games of 2006. “Trevon played a heck of a game today,” Landry said. “I’m really proud of him being a freshman in a big game like this coming in and stepping it up.” “Marcus played great,” Hughes said. “He was all over the place with the hustle plays — swatting shots and making everything around the basket.”The impact the pair of reserves had on the defensive end of the court wasn’t just key in holding Marquette to only 66 points (despite 22 UW turnovers), but also helped pump up the Badgers with each show-stopping play. “You could definitely see that the team was feeding on that,” Hughes said. “It’s one thing to get a stop, but to do it with a block or a steal, that can get a team’s blood going. It’s exciting.”last_img read more

Field trip to eternity

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first_imgRicky Jackson and Russ Grimm both played at the University of Pittsburgh under Jackie Sherrill. Both were drafted in the second and third rounds in 1981 by the Saints and the Redskins, respectively. Imagine some of the practices at Pitt in the late ’70s! How could Sherrill prevent unintended bloodshed with Grimm and Jimbo Covert on the offensive line and Jackson along with Hugh Green patrolling along the line of scrimmage for the Panthers? Jackson talked about his Pittsburgh connection. “I tell you, I end up going to the University of Pittsburgh. We had a lot of great athletes. You got Russ Grimm, Dan Marino, Mark May. When I went there on a recruiting trip they had Tony Dorsett showing most of us around. They had just won the national championship. They was 12-0. One thing that I can say, coach Jackie Sherrill, he put a lot of young men together from all walks of life.”In the beginning of an emotional acceptance speech Grimm said; “Of all the guys that I could’ve picked, [to introduce him] I knew picking Joe [Bugel] would start me out being a little bit emotional, but with the humidity and some of the pollen, if I start to tear up little bit, that’s the reason.” During Grimm’s stellar career, I am certain that many defensive linemen “cried a few tears” at the thought of spending 60 minutes picking themselves up after being brutalized by Grimm and the rest of his “hog mates.’The football intellect and savvy of legendary Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has not, now or ever really been questioned. Michael Herr, writing for the Detroit News, asked LeBeau if he remembered an incident in which Lions head coach Joe Schmidt had considered using LeBeau as a player/coach late in his playing career.LeBeau said that; “Actually, I remember it very well. Coach [Bud] Grant from the Vikings had called Coach Joe about the possibility of me going to work up there. Joe said no, he’s going to continue to play. I guess that might have gotten Joe thinking about using me as a player coach. We talked about it a couple of times. I think that’s about where it ended. I think that I really would have liked to have done that because I was quite a bit older than most of the guys anyhow but there had not been a whole lot of player-coaches in the history of the league but I would have liked to have tried it. I kind of knew from a pretty early age that I was going to go into coaching on some level.”The love that LeBeau had for his players was obvious in his humble and emotion- filled acceptance speech. He pointed out that “A few years ago we played in this game. Joey Porter and James Farrior got this idea that they would put on Dick LeBeau jerseys and wear them all over. Last year Rod Woodson stood up here in his induction speech and he mentioned me.” He also talked about Ike Taylor. “I might be a bit off on this but when I first came there [Pittsburgh], I don’t think I started him [in] one game. Now he’s started every game that we’ve played for the last six years. He hasn’t missed a game, hasn’t missed a snap. That’s a great record of durability and dependability. “But back to Little who grew up in a time when it was okay for African-Americans to belittle each other because of their skin “tone” and “African” physical characteristics.Gary Smith wrote for Sports Illustrated that Little had an “old hurt from childhood when even Black kids called him Cheetah, after Tarzan’s chimp, because his skin was so Black.” It is apparent that time and life’s experiences have added class and clarity to the journey of Little and have been the ointment that helped heal those old wounds. Little said, “There’s no words to describe the joy of experiencing this final sports chapter of my life. Every player wakes up wishing to have this honor. I have been favored by God and by those who have had a say in what happens to me.”Indeed if the pilgrimage to Canton by the 2010 Steelers to honor and induct Dick LeBeau and his fellow “classmates” into the “corridors of forever” amounted to a “field trip” then that getaway from school has to be one of the greatest trips of all time.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.) There was something special in the air regarding the 2010 Pro Football Hall-of-Fame inductees. All of these men deserved to be enshrined and in the case of Floyd Little and Dick LeBeau, better late than never. What struck me, aside from the heat and humidity at Canton, was the humility of Russ Grimm and LeBeau; the swagger and bright personality of Emmitt Smith; the coolness and calm confidence of Jerry Rice; the quiet intensity of Ricky Jackson; the craftiness of John Randle and the relieved smile of Little. They all have my heartfelt congratulations at being part of one the world’s greatest sports fraternities. Oh by the way, Emmitt Smith gave a 24-minute speech without any notes and without the use of a teleprompter. Mr. Smith does not need me to write any of his quotes.last_img read more

Clerk charged for stealing $1.3M in gold

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first_imgA former clerk attached to Troy Resources Incorporated was on Friday taken before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on a charge of stealing $1.3 million worth of raw gold from the mining company.Kevon De Freitas denied that he stole the gold on August 24, 2018 at 14 Miles Issano, Mazaruni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).The court heard that after the gold had gone missing, a Supernumerary Assistant Superintendent attached to Troy Resources, while in the company of others, visited De Freitas’s home and conducted a search.The prosecution is contending that during the search, 114 pennyweights of raw gold were reportedly discovered hidden in a multi-coloured haversack. When questioned, the defendant allegedly admitted to stealing the gold, and told the officers, “Is a lil hussle I mek.” As such, he was arrested and taken into Police custody.Magistrate McLennan placed DeFreitas on $200,000, and set the case to continue before the Bartica Magistrate on September 14.last_img read more

Guyana participates in WHO meeting on substandard, false medical drugs

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first_imgThe Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) recently participated in the Seventh Meeting of Member State Mechanism on Substandard and Falsified (SF) medical products hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) at its Geneva, Switzerland headquarters.Guyana was represented at the meeting, which lasted from November 27 to 30, by GA-FDD Director Marlan Cole.According to a statement from the Department, discussions at that meeting targeted problems associated with SF medical products entering the global supply chain, particularly in middle and low-income countries.This problem was highlighted in a Study of the Public Health and Socioeconomic Impact of SF medical products published by WHO in 2017 and reports received by the WHO’s Global Surveillance Monitoring System (GSMS) for SF medical products, a surveillance system that was launched in July 2013.According to the Study by WHO, 1 in 10 or 10.5 per cent of medical productsGA-FDD Director Marlan Cole at the WHO meeting in Switzerland last monthsampled was SF and given the estimated market value of US$300 billion in middle and low-income countries, it equates to over US$30 billion in cost to these countries.In addition, the University of Edinburgh developed an Impact Model for WHO, which was used to estimate the impact of SF antibiotics for the treatment of childhood pneumonia in Sub-Saharan Africa. The model revealed that as many as 72,430 excess deaths can be attributed to SF antibiotics with reduced antibiotic activity and 169,271 excess deaths to SF antibiotics with no antibiotic activity.With regard to WHO’s Global Surveillance Monitoring System, it provides National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), with a portal to report SF medical products and after four years, over 2000 SF medical products reports were received from 111 countries. Reports were in all therapeutic categories, ranging from cancer medicines to contraceptives and from antibiotics to vaccines. Reports were also evenly split between generic and innovator products with antimalarial and antibiotics being the most frequently reported.Moreover, the meeting also focused on significant works by the Member State Mechanism to fight SF medical products in the following areas: distribution or the supply of SF or “ fake” medical products via the Internet and medical products in-transit; strengthening of regulatory systems to prevent, detect and respond to SF medical products in health systems; guidance for manufacturers, importers, and distributors’ registration; the authorisation of medical products by Member States; and the advancement of a global communication campaign framework to combat the threat of SF medical products using IDEAS – insight, data, engagement, action, and solution.In Guyana, according to the GA-FDD, the first line of defence against SF medical products is enshrined in the Food and Drug Act, Chapter 34:04 and its accompanying regulations, particularly Regulation 78, whereby registration and authorisation of drugs are required based on the reliance (full assessment) for efficacy, quality, and safety by one or more of the following countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia.In fact, in 2017, an additional pathway for registration was created when the Public Health Ministry and the GA-FDD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) for assistance with medical products registration. This was in an effort to ensure SF medical products do not enter our health-care system and that of the region.The GA-FDD said too that it has been faced with and also simultaneously advanced litigation regarding the sale, release, registration, and distribution of medical products that are not registered or intended for registration. In this regard and in efforts to protect Guyanese consumers from SF medical products, the Department has received key and critical support from the Public Health Ministry and the Attorney General (AG) Chambers with matters before the courts.On this note, the Department thanked the Government through its Public Health Ministry for its support in efforts to combat this problem with public health and economic implications.“The magnitude of this problem in Guyana is currently unknown; however this exposure and alliance will allow us to double our efforts to prevent, detect and respond to Substandard and falsified-SF medical products in our health-care delivery system, by scaling up wharf and facility inspections, medical products examination and sampling,” the GA-FDD said in its missive on Wednesday.last_img read more

Mobile Marketing Made Easier & Smarter: Urban Airship Launches New Publishing & Reporting Tools

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first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Tags:#mobile#web Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement marshall kirkpatrick What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Cross-platform mobile push notification and in-app purchase service Urban Airship announced two new features this morning that mobile savvy marketers are sure to find compelling. In a world fast becoming more mobile, more real time and more data-centric, these technologies are very well timed. Hopefully they’ll be self-correcting enough that app users won’t be driven crazy. The company’s new Push Composer is a simple web-based publishing platform for publishing messages that will be delivered to app users’ iOS, Android or BlackBerry screens. Messages can be scheduled ahead of time and delivered to groups of users segmented by a variety of tags. The second new feature, UA Reports, displays daily metrics about notification open rates by time of day. With nearly 10 million notifications sent each day, Urban Airship says it intends to offer mobile marketing benchmarks, best practices for maximizing engagement through push and more data-centric insights in the near future.An Unusual CompanyWe first wrote about Urban Airship eighteen months ago, when the then tiny startup unveiled its plans to act as a technology middle-man for app developers interested in outsourcing the infrastructure required to take advantage of the new push notifications and in-app purchasing on the iPhone. The company was founded by a scrappy group of engineers with a bizzarre story: their previous employer collapsed overnight, offering company computers in lieu of final checks, they built and sold an online bacon delivery website and a number of them were fortunate enough to receive unemployment payments for bootstrapping entrepreneurs under an innovative program from the state of Oregon. Then they built Urban Airship. Led by serial innovator Scott Kveton, the company started landing customers fast and furious.Fast forward to today and the now venture-backed startup says it has more than 7500 customers, using the company’s services in almost 16,000 different apps, and adds an average of 43 new customers each day. In addition to push and in-app sales, the company was powering some of the first experiments with iOS content subscription. Urban Airship’s list of customers is long and interesting, from Target to the Guardian, Warner Brothers, the Vancouver Canucks and Groupon. That’s right – this little startup powers the push notifications for the fastest growing tech company in history. Say what you will about Groupon (I’m no fan) but that’s impressive.As we discussed in depth when it was revealed that push notifications were coming to the Twitter iPhone app, push enables new forms of interaction with mobile apps. Beyond increasing user engagement, push offers users opportunities to interact with apps in ways that are real-time, synchronous and rich with flow. The interruptive nature of push allows for finer-tuned prioritization of certain messages from certain sources. Push is a big deal, and Urban Airship makes it easy and systematic for app developers to implement it.From its humble beginnings, the startup has now grown to 25 employees, has taken over a spacious office in Portland, Oregon and is quickly hiring many of the most cutting edge engineers, designers and sales people in that tech-rich town. The building now houses a number of mobile startups, including former Twitter engineer Alex Payne’s forthcoming BankSimple. A publicly available mobile device testing lab is in the works as well, gathering devices from manufacturers around the world for anyone to come and test their apps on. Moving Beyond Speaking to GeeksUrban Airship says that companies come to it to save time and money on deploying push notifications, but there’s far more than can be done once the customers are in the door. The startup is building new features quickly – some go over well (like RSS to push) and others have been slower to gain adoption, like the feature the company calls “rich media push.”The two features the company is releasing today speak to a new audience, though. While the legacy product is ultimately an API play, the new features adress the needs of marketing organizations. Both features are being tested with existing customers but will be made generally available once that testing is complete.The new Push Composer is like a little blogging platform, or a Twitter client, but for writing Push Notifications. An attractive UI allows anyone to compose short messages, schedule them for delivery and segment the audience based on tags that users may have opted-into or that a mobile app provider applied to people themselves. For example: one group of recipients might like the Portland Trailblazers, another group may be people who have opened a push notification within the previous 24 hours. Tagged groups can be whatever you like. Click send and boom, the message will be sent and received in seconds.At launch the Composer does not allow users to determine what screen in an app gets opened when a notification is viewed, but the company says that may be offered in the future. Right now when recipients view a notification, the app simply opens up its front page.Even more interesting are the new UA Reports. At first the reports are simple. They just track app opens, time in app, and push volume over time.In time, Urban Airship hopes to see what kinds of data their customers want and to offer a wide variety of information based on that data it collects, cross referenced with other data sources. The company says it believes that app developers will eventually make decisions based on the data the reports deliver: what kinds of notifications get the most response? What kinds of features are users best alerted to by push? Which features or content types should be more prominent in the experience of the app? The company says, for example, that one of its magazine customers found that push notifications and icon badges for its mobile apps were being opened more often at 9 PM than at any other time of the day. In response, the magazine now regularly pushes new content and notifications around 8:30 to prime the pump for evening readers.Push notifications are great for keeping users engaged with apps, but some mobile devices handle them better than others. On iOS they are frankly terrible – though rumors are flying that drastic improvements may be forthcoming. Will putting push composition in the hands of marketers lead to notification overload, a declining user experience and consumer backlash? That seems like one of the risks, but one that Urban Airship hopes to tackle with data-based education about best practices. The company says it has one full time engineer dedicated to metrics right now, but does not offer any formal training or guidelines in pushing just right instead of too much.“2011 is the year that mobile apps need to prove their value,” says Urban Airship’s Jason Glaspey in the company’s announcement today. “With thousands of apps fighting for consumer attention and an average app lifespan of one month or less, developers and marketers need powerful tools.”With a full-speed-ahead attitude and plenty of momentum, Urban Airship will now try to provide just that kind of tools. Hopefully the data analysis the company shares with its customers will help keep trigger-happy push composers in check and not lead to an overwhelming flood of notifications. Time will tell. It looks like this new mode of communication is about to become easier and smarter than ever before.last_img read more

After slow start Ohio State mens basketball takes down Nebraska in overtime

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It wasn’t necessarily a textbook performance from the Ohio State men’s basketball team (18-10, 10-5), but it still got the job done Saturday night at Nebraska (14-14, 6-9). Despite a sluggish start, 17 turnovers and two players fouling out, the Buckeyes toppled the Cornhuskers 65-62 in overtime. With the win, OSU’s postseason flame still burns, albeit dimly. Freshman guard JaQuan Lyle poured in 19 points, including a pair of free throws that sent the game into overtime and three key buckets down the stretch in overtime. Alongside Lyle’s strong showing, sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop had 16 points and classmate Jae’Sean Tate had 15 and a dozen rebounds. Junior forward Marc Loving matched Tate’s 15 points. Outside of this quartet, no other Buckeye scored. Both teams got off to horrendous starts, as they settled for jump shots that simply were not falling. OSU shot just 1-of-10 from the field in the first 11:36, while Nebraska missed 11 of its first 14 shots, too. The result of this indolent start was a 6-2 Nebraska advantage in the first nine minutes, with Tate being the only Buckeye to register in the scoring column. It was a forgettable way to get out of the gates. But as it turns out, OSU quickly did forget its lackluster start. The Buckeyes flipped a switch, peeling off a 13-5 run over a nine-minute period to snatch a 15-13 advantage.During that span for the Cornhuskers, a lack of aggressiveness plagued them. They continued to settle for too many jump shots, converting on just one of their six attempts from downtown.More of the same sloppy basketball ensued up to the halftime horn, with Nebraska holding a one-point lead, 22-21, at the break. The 43 combined points made for the lowest total in the first half of a Big Ten game this season. Freshman forward Jack McVeigh led the Cornhuskers with six points, while classmate Glynn Watson Jr. had five points and four rebounds. As a team, Nebraska shot just 26 percent from the field, including a painful 3-of-17 performance from 3-point land. For OSU, only three players — Tate, Bates-Diop and Loving — scored. Loving led the way with 11 points and three rebounds on 3-of-7 shooting. Tate added six points and four boards, while Bates-Diop registered four points, although he needed seven shots to do so. When the second half began, the Buckeyes were noticeably more aggressive. After an opening 3-pointer by McVeigh, OSU started driving to the basket, either getting fouled and going to the free throw line or connecting on easy layups. The Buckeyes’ first 13 points in the second period came from the charity stripe or inside the paint. At the 10-minute mark, amid a 20-5 run, the Buckeyes were leading 41-30.That momentum-shifting stretch was spearheaded by Lyle, who used a combination of the inside and outside game to score 11 straight points for OSU. It started to look like the Buckeyes were pulling away, but the Cornhuskers had other plans. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Watson and McVeigh immediately breathed new life into Nebraska. Then, a few possessions later, junior guard Tai Webster knocked in a 3-pointer from the top of the key, which cut OSU’s lead down to two points and fired up the white-and-red clad crowd. Over the course of the next four minutes, the two teams traded punches. Nebraska got it to as close as one on two separate occasions, but OSU also had an advantage as large as five in that stretch. After slicing OSU’s lead back to one point at the 1:19 mark, Lyle missed a layup, giving it back to the Cornhuskers with a chance to take the lead. Andrew White III didn’t squander the opportunity. The junior guard buried a contested 3-pointer from a few steps beyond the line, giving Nebraska its first lead in 17 minutes. Trailing 56-54, OSU got its chance to counter. Lyle dribbled the ball at the top of the key, as the clock dwindled, eventually taking his man off the bounce and forcing a foul. The freshman composed himself and knocked down the game-tying free throws. A turnover by Nebraska and a last-second heave from freshman Mickey Mitchell clanked off the rim, sending the game to overtime. In the bonus period, Lyle carried the Buckeyes. Loving scored OSU’s first points, but after that, the freshman guard used his size to take his man off the dribble, weaving to the rim for three consecutive layups.  The third and final one ended up becoming the game-clincher for OSU after the Cornhuskers’ final few chances came up short.McVeigh led Nebraska with 16 points and four rebounds. Next up for OSU is one of its hardest tests to date, a matchup with No. 8 Michigan State on Tuesday at the Schottenstein Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. read more

Ohio State mens tennis win 2 weekend matches beats Minnesota and Wisconsin

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Redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan serves the ball during a match against Texas A&M Feb. 9 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 4-3.Credit: Alice Bacani / BuckeyeTV news directorThe Ohio State men’s tennis team has come out of the month of March looking like a lion. After identifying themselves as kings of the Big Ten, the Buckeyes are now ranked number one in the nation for the second time this season.Playing on the road Friday and Sunday against Minnesota and Wisconsin, respectively, the Buckeyes (23-2, 8-0) solidified their spot atop the ITA rankings.Against the Badgers (9-11, 1-6) Sunday, the second and third doubles teams got off to fast starts to earn the point for the Buckeyes.Redshirt-junior Kevin Metka and freshman Herkko Pollanen defeated junior Michael Sinha and sophomore Jakhongir Jalalov, 8-4, while redshirt-junior Hunter Callahan and redshirt-sophomore Chris Diaz crushed sophomore Frederik Strabo and freshman Elliott Sprecher, 8-2.Moving to singles play, Callahan and redshirt-freshman Ralf Steinbach were off first after dominating the back end of the Badgers’ lineup.Callahan defeated Strabo 6-1, 6-0 and Steinbach beat Sinha 6-3, 6-3.Senior Peter Kobelt clinched the match for the Buckeyes off with a 7-5, 6-1 win over sophomore Alexander Kokorev. Kobelt, ranked No. 8 in the country for singles, had lost his previous two matches, but came out strong on Sunday.“A whole lot of tennis is just forgetting about the past and that was my goal (Sunday),” Kobelt said Sunday. “Just try to play good tennis and I was able to do that (Sunday). The results come after that. I was able to get a win … hopefully the wins keep coming. You can only prepare to play good tennis, not win or lose.”Metka, Pollanen and Diaz all won in straight sets as well to sweep all matches and give the Buckeyes the 7-0 win.Friday against the Gophers (9-9, 3-3) the number one doubles team of Kobelt and Steinbach got in on the action along with Callahan and Diaz to give the Buckeyes the doubles point.Kobelt and Steinbach defeated juniors Leandro Toledo and Eric Frueh 8-7 (7-2) while Callahan and Diaz beat junior Mathieu Froment and sophomore Ruben Weber 8-5.In singles, Steinbach and Callahan were off first this time after winning their respective matches.Steinbach took down freshman Jeremy Lynn 6-1, 6-1 and Callahan beat senior Juan Pablo Ramirez 6-3, 6-1.Kobelt was upset by Toledo 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), but shortly after, Metka defeated Frueh 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to give the Buckeyes the match.A win by Pollanen and loss by Diaz made the final score 5-2.Next the Buckeyes are scheduled for a big non-conference road test at No. 14 Kentucky Wednesday. The two teams played each other Feb. 7, with the Buckeyes winning 4-0.The match against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky., is set to begin at 2 p.m. read more

Mens lacrosse Ohio State coach Nick Myers signs fiveyear contract extension

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After leading Ohio State’s lacrosse program to its first-ever national championship appearance, coach Nick Myers has signed a five-year contract extension, Ohio State announced Tuesday afternoon. Myers has been the coach at Ohio State for nine seasons and has led the program to the NCAA quarterfinals three times and final four and national championship games once, while posting a career 85-63 record.“We are excited to see Coach Myers’ contract here at Ohio State,” said Janine Oman, senior associate athletic director, student services and sport administration and senior women’s administrator, in a statement. “His focus on student athlete development in all facets of their life is an exemplar for others to follow. He has made a tremendous impact on the Ohio State lacrosse program, but, more importantly, the young men he mentors during their time at Ohio State.”Last season was Myers’ most successful as head coach of the Buckeyes as the team set a program record with 16 wins on his way to a semifinal victory against Towson and championship game loss to Maryland, the same team it lost to in the Big Ten tournament finals. Six All-Americans emerged from last season’s team, including then-junior defenseman Ben Randall, Ohio State’s first-ever first-team All-American.Under Myers, the program was accepted into the Big Ten in 2015 after spending its previous five seasons in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. While in the ECAC, Myers led the team to a conference tournament title in 2013 and a regular season title the following year. Ohio State reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2013 for the second time in school history before Cornell upset the Buckeyes, 16-6.Myers began his coaching career at Ohio State in 2002 as a volunteer assistant coach for two seasons — including 2003 when the Buckeyes made it to their first NCAA tournament — before joining Butler’s staff in 2004. After the 2005 season, Myers returned to Columbus as the top assistant coach for the Buckeyes and helped to lead the team to its first NCAA quarterfinals appearance in 2008 when it lost to Duke. Myers was promoted to head coach in July of the same year. read more

DFB furious with Ozil Gundogan

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first_imgThe head of Germany’s football federation (DFB) is furious that their own players  Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan were seen posing for pictures alongside Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip ErdoganThe midfielders are both of Turkish descent but chose to represent their birth country Germany at international level instead.Ozil and Gundogan posed for photos in London on Sunday with Erdogan and have left the DFB chief Reinhard Grindel unhappy with their actions.“The DFB, of course, respects the special situation for our players with migrant backgrounds, but football and the DFB stand for values that Mr. Erdogan does not sufficiently respect,” read a statement from Grindel, as reported on ESPN.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…“Therefore, it is not a good thing that our internationals have let themselves be exploited for his election campaign stunt. It certainly hasn’t helped the DFB’s integration efforts.”Germany team coordinator Oliver Bierhoff was also unhappy over their actions and intends to speak with them at some point in the near future.“I still have absolutely no doubts about Mesut and Ilkay’s commitment to playing for the Germany national team and how much they identify with our values. They were unaware of the symbolism of these pictures, but we cannot endorse it, and we will discuss the matter with the players,” he said.last_img read more