Starting this week, with the help of basketball analytics experts Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi, we’re rolling out weekly NBA power rankings fueled by ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus player ratings. These power ratings predict how well each team will perform over the coming week of games; we’ll also list each team’s projected end-of-season win total and its odds of making the playoffs.If you want to read more about how these ratings work, scroll below the rankings.Q: What do these ratings mean?A: They represent each team’s projected per-100 possession performance — schedule-adjusted and relative to league average — for the coming week, taking into account the quality of players on each roster, as well as injuries and expected minute allocations.Q: How is player quality measured?A: Using ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus (RPM), which attempts to isolate each player’s contribution to the team’s scoring margin while on the court by adjusting for the quality of his teammates and opponents faced. While the version of RPM listed at ESPN.com is a single-season metric, these power ratings use the more predictive multiyear version of RPM.Q: Where do the rosters come from?A: ESPN’s depth charts and injury wire.Q: Who generates the projected minute allocations?A: Jeremias Engelmann, the creator of Real Plus-Minus, provides the minute projections for each team.Q: How are these different from other computer power ratings available, such as the Hollinger Power Rankings?A: Most power ratings are, to some extent or another, backward-looking; they can only generate ratings using inputs from games the team has played. Given a large enough — and relevant enough — sample of played games, this is usually not a problem. But in the case of early-season rankings, or when a team experiences roster changes midseason (via trades or injuries), it takes time for traditional power ratings to catch up to the team’s new quality.These RPM power ratings, however, are based on the talent of the players on hand for each team. The advantage of this approach is that when a player is added to or subtracted from a team, a talent-based rating can adjust immediately, without waiting for new games to be played. In other words, injuries, trades and signings are instantly accounted for in these rankings.The other side of that coin is that, barring personnel changes, these ratings aren’t going to change drastically from week to week. RPM player talent estimates have a strong grounding in Bayesian statistics; and for veteran players, their prior rating carries a good deal of weight. So, while a team’s “statement win” in a given week might have a tangible effect on human or even recency-weighted computer power rankings, it’s unlikely to move the needle much with these ratings.Q: Why look at only the next week?A: The ratings can also be modified to use long-term minute projections for players who are injured but will return later in the season. For now, though, we’ve chosen to use the short-term version to get a good snapshot of where each team stands.Q: What are the projected wins and playoff odds?A: Those are generated via the aforementioned long-term RPM talent ratings, rather than the short-term numbers from the power rankings themselves. The long-term ratings are used to simulate every remaining game in the 2014-15 schedule, and the simulated results are added to the NBA’s actual standings. Expected wins are the average number of wins for the team at the end of the season across the simulations; playoff probability shows the percentage of simulations in which the team qualified for the postseason.Q: How good are these ratings?A: It’s hard to say, as this type of analysis — using aggregated player talent ratings to estimate team strength — doesn’t have a long track record. However, RPM itself (or at least its predecessor, xRAPM) is consistently the single most predictive advanced metric available to the public. And the FiveThirtyEight preseason projections, which used a similar methodology, are performing well in a prediction contest against other metrics.
Find a range of tie and dye, khadi, ajrakh, bagru and dabu prints, laheriya, ikats and weaves in sarees, dupattas and fabrics at the three-day exhibition of textiles for summer. KAIRI 2018 is an initiative of Delhi Crafts Council to provide marketing assistance to skilled weavers and printers from across the country.The exhibition will go on until March 17 at the Aga Khan Hall, New Delhi.Sarees, dupattas, stoles and fabrics will be available at the exhibition including a range of Khadi, Ajrakh, Bandhani, Banaras weaves, Laheriya, Ikat, Kota, Maheshwari, Chanderi, Bagh prints, Tribal weaves from Bastar, Andhra weaves and Prints from Jaipur amongst a huge variety of traditional techniques. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe exhibition showcases a wide variety of traditional techniques ranging from Abdul Rahim’s vegetable dyed Ajrakh sarees, master craftsman Shyamji Vankar’s intricate Gujarat weaves, Brocade and woven fabrics from Benares and Hari Shankar Meher’s Odisha ikats.Biren Basak’s presents delicate Jamdani’s from Bengal and Rashid has ethereal printed fabrics from Jaipur. Sajid Khatri, Sridevi Handlooms and Badshah Miyan present a collection of Bandhani, Ikat and Lehariya respectively that are perfect for the summer. Bagru bring vibrant prints, Salma Khan with Chikankari and Malkha’sunique range of Khadi fabrics are also part of the exhibition.Other exhibitors showcasing their collections at Kairi include Batik by Shunya Batik, Chitrika’s Andhra weaves and Sajid Khatri’s Bandhej and Shibori from Kutch.Self-help groups are well represented by Tana Bana with beautiful weaves from Maheshwar and Kantha by Street Survivors.
A Look at the GlobalApps Scene and Why You Should CareA Look at the GlobalApps Scene and Why You Should Care
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 5 min read Register Now » October 1, 2012 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The apps-creation craze may be thoroughly embedded in the U.S. tech scene, but, on the other side of the world, young would-be entrepreneurs are not only paying attention, they’re becoming rivals.Tasnim Al Khaldi, a recent graduate from Al Ain University in Abu Dhabi, is leaving college with both a degree and an app under her arm. After taking a crash course in app creation, she and a classmate Ruba Awadallah finalized iMonitor — an app that can send text message warnings to parents when their teens drive faster than posted speed limits — and submitted it to the Nokia App University Challenge in the United Arab Emirates.“I had no past experience in mobile application development or in the tools that I used to develop the app,” says Al Khaldi, 21, who studied software engineering in a school.So why the sudden burst of inspiration?The promise of prize money, along with mentorship opportunities or research assistance for starters.Related: Local App Competitions Fuel Tech Startups Mobile phone makers such as Research in Motion and Samsung as well as telecom operators like Etisalat in the UAE and Saudi Telecom Company are trying to grow the app ecosystem across the Middle East and Africa. Nokia has been organizing innovation summits in Africa, while also launching incubators like mLabs in Egypt, Kenya and South Africa to spur new app-development projects.“It’s really about focusing on stimulating innovation at the base,” says Jussi Hinkkanen, vice president of corporate relations and business environment at Nokia in the Middle East and Africa.Nabeel Ayub Kassim (center) won top prize in Nokia’s app challenge by creating BonAppetit, a program that finds restaurants in the United Arab Emirates. His rewards included $5,000 plus a summer internship at Nokia’s Middle East office, which is overseen by Tom FarrellThe incentives can prove alluring for any burgeoning app creator, particularly at a time when youth employment across the Middle East and Africa has stoked frustration and fuelled riots. Al Khaldi and her partner Awadallah, who came in second place together, won $3,000 cash and new smartphones. Nabeel Kassim, who helped develop the winning restaurant-finding app called BonAppetit, walked away with $5,000 in cash and is slated to attend a study tour to the Nokia Research Center in Finland next month.Although the prizes certainly seem generous, the business opportunities for revenue-hungry handset manufacturers and telecom operators are that much greater. “Mobile makers promote apps [because] they want people to continue upgrading their devices to higher specs,” says David Ashford, an e-business consultant who used to run an app development fund in the UAE.Related: At College Pitch Contests, Giant Companies Are Listening “Telcos promote apps [because] they want people to consume more paid-for data traffic,” he says. “The Middle East market is particularly attractive because demand outstrips supply: There are very few Arabic apps and yet the Middle East has a massive Arabic-speaking population which is very young and one of the fastest growing populations in the world.”The smart phone penetration rate in the Middle East and Africa is also only half that of mature markets like Europe and the U.S., but it’s growing much more rapidly, says Thomas Kuruvilla, managing director of Arthur D. Little Middle East, a Dubai-based consultancy that covers the telecommunications industry.For college students, the money is surely helpful, but so is the credibility that comes from participating in the competitions. After winning top prize in Nokia’s app challenge, Kassim, a 21-year-old electrical engineering student from the American University of Sharjah in the UAE, started a summer internship with the Finnish handset maker’s developer experience team. “I believe that this will give me a leading edge in the current job market,” he says.Plus, Kassim hopes he’ll expand his reach and better inform future efforts. “We need to familiarize ourselves with the current platforms and think of ways to attract developers to our preferred platform, Windows Phone.”Related: How to Start Up from Your Dorm Room Still, there are plenty of hurdles for young coders eager to create apps for the Middle East and Africa. Little funding exists, and neither domestic telecom regulators nor venture-capital firms have provided much in financial support, Kuruvilla argues. There is also a general lack of technical expertise to help app developers meet global benchmarks.Yet Kuruvilla has some quick tips for young developers looking to go global. For starters, participate in world-wide, online app development forums to help in exchanging knowledge and expertise. Also, he adds, develop partnerships with device manufacturers like Apple, Research in Motion and operating-system providers such as Google. “This will help in both marketing and technical support,” Kuruvilla says.If you could make and app for another country, which would you choose and why? Let us know in the comments section.
After an unsuccessful run for Alabama governor, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is taking what he’s learned and applying it to the city. WVUA 23’s Jabaree Prewitt sat down with Maddox for a discussion on his future plans in this three-part special report.READ THE SERIESPart 1Part 2Part 3Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox’s $250 million Elevate Tuscaloosa Proposal was a long time coming, he said, and it comes with some fixes that are also a long time overdue.“My first action as mayor in 2005 was to apologize to the people of West Tuscaloosa for the neglect they’ve seen for decades,” he said. “It’s been our No. 1 core of believe because West Tuscaloosa didn’t get the investment they deserved over time.”His new plan includes $60 million in West Tuscaloosa investments, including $18 million for the McDonald-Hughes Center. “I’m very proud in our 13 years we’ve made more than $100 million worth of infrastructure investments that certainly made a difference,” he said. “Now we have to put in even more of what I call ‘surface investments’, so that’s why it’s part of the Elevate Tuscaloosa plan.”That plan contains 19 projects throughout the city, and comes with a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase equaling out to about $250 million over the next 10 years.“If we don’t (do this) we’re not going to feel the effect in five years,” Maddox said. “Maybe in 10 years, but most likely 15 years from now we’ll wish we’d have been ahead of the curve instead of reacting to the curve.”Alabama Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa has already filed a bill in the Alabama legislature that requires a referendum before any sales tax increases are enacted in Tuscaloosa County, saying he feels the people of Tuscaloosa County should decide for themselves if they want to pay more taxes. But that move, Maddox said, isn’t stopping him.“Tuscaloosa has one of the highest credit ratings in the state, and the lowest city sales tax,” Maddox said. “We have one of the lowest unemployment rates, one of the highest employment rates. In nearly every measure that you judge a city, we’re in that top category.” Alabama Rep. Chris England is filing a bill in the Alabama legislature that would exempt Tuscaloosa’s portion of the grocery tax if it’s passed.