Former Dodgers GM joins Sharks scouting staff

first_imgNed Colletti is returning to the Bay Area sports scene. But it’s not for baseball.Colletti, who was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ General Manager for nine seasons after more than a decade in the Giants front office, has been hired by the San Jose Sharks as a professional scout.1/16.2001 — PHOTO BY PAULINE LUBENS/SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS — Ned Colletti, the Giants’ assistant general manager, grew up dirt poor, living in a shack so close to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport that he could see the passengers …last_img read more

Land ‘expropriation’ in context

first_img5 May 2006Alexandra Fuller’s books on her youth in Zambia and what was then Rhodesia – Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Scribbling the Cat – have deservedly made her a minor literary sensation. If she submits an article to a major US or British newspaper, she is likely to have it accepted, and it is likely to have an impact.In one such piece, published in the Los Angeles Times last October, she argued that President Thabo Mbeki “looks set to sail the same course as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe” in pursuing a policy of “uncompensated expropriation of land held by whites for black resettlement”.Because of stereotypes about Africa, this kind of statement, profoundly inaccurate though it is, finds ready credence in the US.I don’t know where Fuller got her facts from, but it is a fair bet she follows events in her old stamping ground via the internet from her new one, Wyoming.To be fair, given the sometimes sloppy way in which South African land reform has been reported in the media, it is easy to see how she could get things wrong. Not that the media is exclusively to blame. The language that officials use can also lead to misunderstanding.It is important that the South African government’s land restitution and redistribution policies are properly understood. The perception that South Africa is headed the same way as Zimbabwe has serious consequences. It raises the cost of capital. It deters investment. It constrains the government’s ability to promote growth and reduce poverty.International precedentsAt the root of much of the misunderstanding is the phrase “willing seller-willing buyer” and what is seen as its opposite, “expropriation”.When the government says that it means to start favouring the latter over the former, this is reported in ways that make it sound like a draconian shift from reason and reconciliation to the coercive and uncompensated dismemberment of property rights. The truth is otherwise.Respectable, prosperous democracies the world over reserve the right to take private property for public use on a compensated basis when the owner proves unwilling to sell or demands a price the government is unwilling to pay.In Britain, this is called compulsory purchase. In the US, where property rights are held in popular mythology to be especially sacrosanct, the government is said to exercise the power of eminent domain.The South African Constitution grants the government a precisely equivalent power and imposes on it limitations scarcely less binding than the fifth amendment to the US constitution, the relevant clause of which states: “. nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”What constitutes a legitimate “public use” is a matter of ongoing debate in the US. Some contend that local authorities have been abusing eminent domain by using it to condemn low-income neighbourhoods so that they can be sold to private developers.The US Supreme Court on ‘public use’The authorities have justified their actions on the grounds that they are improving public welfare by bringing in new wealth and jobs and growing the tax base to improve services. A narrow majority of the Supreme Court has sided with this view.On one “public use”, the Supreme Court has been unanimous. In 1984, in an opinion penned by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, an appointee of the very pro-property President Ronald Reagan, the court declared that eminent domain was an entirely legitimate means to deal with “the perceived social and economic evils of a land oligopoly”.In an answer to a parliamentary question on land reform last October, President Mbeki cited the O’Connor opinion and urged members to study it.The case, Hawaii Housing Authority vs. Midkiff, concerned an attempt by the state legislature in Hawaii to undo the effects of a feudal land tenure system which had resulted in just 72 private landowners owning virtually all non-public land, or nearly half the state.On Oahu, the most populous of the Hawaii’s islands, 22 landowners held 72% of all property titles. This, said the legislature, was skewing the local property market, inflating land prices and “injuring the public tranquility and welfare”.The remedy the lawmakers adopted required landowners to sell land to the state which would then transfer it on a subsidised basis to former tenants. If a sales price could not be negotiated, owners had to submit to binding arbitration.They filed suit, claiming breach of the fifth amendment. When the case reached the Supreme Court, they were resoundingly defeated.South Africa and eminent domainIn South Africa today the government is moving to use its power of eminent domain in much the same way, for a “public use” little different from the one explicitly approved by the highest US court.The democratic will of Hawaiians, expressed through their elected legislature, was for sweeping land redistribution. When this could be achieved on a willing seller-willing buyer basis, their representatives exercised eminent domain. So it is in South Africa.The Hawaiian landowners were compensated, of course, as ours will be. Was their compensation just? No doubt they received less than they would have wished. But that is automatically going to be the case whenever eminent domain is exercised. Eminent domain is what respectable, prosperous democracies do when a “willing seller-willing buyer” agreement cannot be reached.Does anyone seriously think that the US is headed down the same path as Zimbabwe?If not, as South Africa’s US ambassador, Barbara Masekela, asked in a letter to the Los Angeles Times, under what set of assumptions should South Africa be judged any differently?Simon Barber is the United States representative of the International Marketing Council of South Africalast_img read more

Track Finger Movements for After Effects on Your iOS Device

first_imgWith trackFinger you can ‘easily’ track your finger movements and place them in After Effects.As first reported by ProVideoCoalition, the Italian company Exmachina recently unveiled the latest in mobile motion graphic technology: trackFinger.Instead of using motion sketch and a mouse or trackpad, why not use your iPad or iPhone to track your finger movements? With trackFinger users can record finger movements on their mobile iOS device (sorry Android users!) and upload that information into After Effects. TrackFinger records finger movements from your mobile device and emails the tracked information to be copied the clipboard so you can easily impress all your motion graphic friends.The app features:Multiple project handling and track listFinger tracking with variable tracks per second.Fully customizable user interface.Online tutorials and resources Unfortunately, trackFinger‘s free version will not drop until the middle of January but a paid version is available for 39.99 in the app store. Feel free to watch the  video below for a more in-depth look at trackFinger’s user interface.What do you think of this app? Is it just a silly novelty or could you see yourself actually using it in your post production and motion graphics work? Share your thoughts in the comments below!last_img read more

Detailed look at the India vs Pakistan World Cup semi-final

first_imgThe India versus Pakistan World Cup match on Wednesday is being billed as the final before the final, having gained elevated status among the billion-plus people in these cricket-obsessed countries. A peek into the numbers -It was already the most discussed match in the World Cup, but it will no longer be just about years of intense rivalry or Sachin Tendulkar’s hundredth international century.Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will attend after a direct invitation from his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, giving the match a new diplomatic significance.In a cricket sense alone both sides will be under massive pressure. It is the first time they have met in the semifinal of the World Cup, though they met in the 1996 quarterfinal in Bangalore, which India won by 39 runs.This is the first head-to-head match since July 2008 which has taken place on the home soil of one of the teams. On that occasion Pakistan beat India by eight wickets in Karachi in the Asia Cup.Mohali is the border state of Punjab and this will be the closest Pakistan have been to a home game since March 2009, when the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team’s convey en route to a test match at Lahore led to the end of teams touring Pakistan for the foreseeable future.Master Blaster Sachin TendulkarThe teams have only met four times in nine previous World Cups and India have won all four games convincingly. Sachin Tendulkar has played in all four of these encounters, scoring 54 not out, 31, 45 and 98.In 1992 in Sydney, India won by 43 runs after Pakistan lost their last eight wickets for 68 runs. In a highly-charged match Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More made a frenzied appeal for a legside catch off Javed Miandad – Javed mocked him by leaping up and down. Tendulkar was man of the match for an unbeaten 54 and 1-37.advertisementIn 1996 in Bangalore India won the quarterfinal by 39 runs. Navjot Singh Sidhu made 93 out of 287-8. In Pakistan, crowds burned an effigy of Wasim Akram even though had not played in the game because of injury. It was Miandad’s final match. While announcing his retirement he took the opportunity to denounce the team management.In 1999 India won the Super Six match by 47 runs at Old Trafford amid high security because of the tense situation in Kashmir. India scored 227-6. Pakistan made 180 off 45.3 overs with Venkatesh Prasad taking 5-27.In 2003 India won by six wickets at Centurion. Pakistan made 273-7, with Saeed Anwar scoring 101. India reached 276-4 in 45.4 overs and Tendulkar was man-of-the-match for his 98 off 75 balls, laying into Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling despite struggling with cramp.HEAD TO HEAD ODIs: Played 119; India 46, Pakistan 69, NR 4In India: Played 26; India 9, Pakistan 17In World Cup: Played 4; India 4, Pakistan 0At Mohali: Played 2; Pakistan 2– In April 1999 Pakistan won by seven wickets in Mohali after bowling India out for 196. It was Virender Sehwag’s debut match and he batted at No. 7. Saqlain Mushtaq took 3-49 and Shoaib 2-18. From 34-3 Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq added an unbeaten 163 after Prasad had dismissed the top three batsmen.– On Nov. 8, 2007, Pakistan won by four wickets. India made 321-9, with Tendulkar out for 99 after edging Umar Gul to the keeper. Pakistan overhauled India’s total with a ball to spare with Younis Khan making 117 and Shahid Afridi hitting the winning run. The 322-6 is still Pakistan’s highest score batting second to win an ODI.– India have played nine games at the Punjab Cricket Association ground at Mohali, winning five and losing four, including two to Pakistan. Of the eight floodlit games, India has won four and lost four.– Pakistan has played six games here, all under lights, won two and lost four. Pakistan has batted second every time. Afridi has played in all six matches, spanning more than 10 years.– Overall 18 ODI’s have been staged at the PCA Ground. Of the fifteen that were floodlit matches, 10 have been won by the side batting first and the average first innings score is 253.– The two matches played here in this World Cup were both day games and the results went to form with South Africa beating the Netherlands and West Indies beating Ireland.– Once again all eyes will be on Sachin. He scored 53 in the quarterfinal win over Australia as a nation watched hoping he would reach his 100th international hundred. Will he make it against Pakistan? He has 32,710 international runs at 49.71 from 629 matches, with 99 hundreds, 153 fifties and 34 ducks.– He is the first batsman to cross the 18,000 run barrier, his 18,008 coming at 45.13 with 48 centuries and 94 half centuries. His average against Pakistan is lower at 39.16 and he has five hundreds and five ducks against them.advertisement– Afridi is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 21 at 10.71, including two five-wicket hauls. He has taken a wicket every 18 balls and his economy rate is 3.49 in his seven matches. Afridi has 313 ODI wickets and is the third leading wicket-taker for Pakistan. This will be his 300th ODI innings and he will become the ninth player to pass that mark, the second for Pakistan after Inzamam-ul-Haq. His batting has been a disappointment in this tournament, with just 65 runs off 50 balls in six innings, with a top score of 20 against Canada.– India have asked for eleven umpire decision referrals, resulting in two decisions being changed. Pakistan have asked for 19 reviews, seven of which were lbw appeals by Afridi. In total five of the 19 were successfully overturned, including two in Afridi’s favour. Simon Taufel and Ian Gould are the on-field umpires. Taufel has changed one of his seven decisions that were referred to the TV umpire, whereas Gould has had all six confirmed on review.STAT ATTACK India opener Virender SehwagVirender Sehwag needs two for 1,000 runs against Pakistan.Mahendra Singh Dhoni needs 24 for 1,000 runs against Pakistan and 67 for 6,000 runs.Gautam Gambhir needs 51 for 4,000 runs.Kamran Akmal needs 95 for 3,000 runs.Misbah-ul-Haq needs 51 for 2,000.Saeed Ajmal needs three wickets for 50 and Shoaib Akhtar needs three wickets for 250.Glenn McGrath holds the record for most wickets in a tournament with 26 in 2006-07. In this tournament Shahid Afridi has 21 and Zaheer Khan 17.last_img read more