Start with Sure Step

first_img TURNING THE TABLES The Kingsley Davis-trained TRADITIONAL STORM beat then 3-5 favourite SCOOP JORDYNE into third place over 1300 metres on January 14, but SCOOP JORDYNE was closing strongly a mere 13/4 lengths away and given the additional 100 metres, I take him to recoup losses, turning the tables on both TRADITIONAL STORM and the runner-up MIND SET. Apprentice Oneil Beckford, who claims 4.0kg, will ride SCOOP JORDYNE for trainer Rowan Mathie. The day’s five-star banker comes in the form of BRAVE PROSPECT in the fifth race over 1500 metres for $250,000 – $210,000 claimers. BRAVE PROSPECT has beaten much better than his nine opponents in recent months, and now stepping down two classes, should give the 2015 champion apprentice Linton Steadman, title chasing trainer Anthony Nunes, and reigning champion owner Stephan Narinesingh another winner. CHEERS, a consistent sort, looks his principal danger. Other firm fancies on the card are DUSSELDORF to win the competitive looking eighth race over 2000 metres ahead of HEY CHAMP and MAJOR FORCE, as well as FIERY PATH with Nelson up in the seventh and the lightly-raced FIVE STAR to rebound in the sixth for maiden three-year-olds. With no trophies at stake on today’s midweek programme at Caymanas Park, three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson should seize the early initiative by winning the opening race over 1200 metres, for native breed maiden 4-y-o and up, with SURE STEP. The 4-y-o gelding from the stables of Norman Rose faces five moderate opponents and following his 31/2 lengths third to 23-1 outsider CREEDENCE over the straight on February 8, could not have asked for an easier opportunity to open his account. SURE STEP’s best performance came in November of last year when failing by a short head to beat CODED CITIZEN over the straight, a race in which JASON’S GOLD finished another neck away third in a blanket finish. The Steven Todd- trained JASON’s GOLD was again behind him in a subsequent race and although considered a worthy opponent in a race of this nature, SURE STEP looks the right choice with Nelson sticking with the ride. Next on the programme is a $450,000 – $400,000-claiming race over 1400 metres which should see the recent winner TRADITIONAL STORM and old rivals SCOOP JORDYNE and MIND SET in contention at the finish.last_img read more

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Quarter-finals on tonight!

first_imgGT Beer “Keep Your Five Alive” Competition…The line-up for tonight’s round of matches in the quarter-finals of the GT Beer “Keep Your Five Alive” Competition could very well light up the National Gymnasium.Following the conclusion of Round of 16 action, attention is now paid to the business end where the survivors of this phase go into the money rounds so there is a lot to play for.In the opening game, East Bank-based Rhythm Stars go up against Leopold Street and this clash is predicted to be the perfect start for the night.Sceyon Hope, Steffon Ramsay Orville and Dorville Stewart are the key players expected to carry the weight of the Rhythm Stars quest to progress, while Okanie Fraser, Omallo Williams, Goalkeeper Travis Bess and Carl Tudor will bear the bulk of responsibility for Leopold Street’s ambition to advance.In the next game, Sparta Boss take on West Demerara’s Showstoppers and clearly the former are the overwhelming favourite to move on with the likes of the nippy Eusi Phillips, Sheldon Shepherd, Denis Edwards, Gregory Richardson, Jermin Junior, all part of one of the most lethal attacking forces in the format.Stephon Jupiter and Marvin Josiah are the marquee players for Showstoppers and they will need to play at an unbelievable level to put the team in a position to progress.However, they are capable of producing that required level, so count them out at your own peril.The Future Stars versus Tiger Bay encounter is undoubtedly the most eagerly-anticipated matchup of the evening and choosing a winner in that game is a difficult task.Future Stars have a deadly strike force led by Jamal Cozier that also includes Akeemo Anthony, Akosi Jarvis, Jamal Codrington and Josiah Charles, and they are among the most feared in the shorter version.However, Tiger Bay’s combination, which is led by the skilful Deon Alfred, Godfrey Powers, James Meredith and Orin Moore are equally efficient in scoring goals and this is why this clash has the potential to be a blockbuster.In the final quarter-final, Back Circle square off against Albouystown, and fans are certain to get their money’s worth to bring the curtains down for the night.Selwyn Williams, Stephan McLean, Jermaine Samuels and Jamal Adams will be the spearhead of the East Ruimveldt-based unit, while the speedy and instrumental leader Devon Dooker will shepherd Albouystown’s assault on the opposition along with the efforts of Marlon Nedd, Melvorn Ross, Sean Turney and Lenox Cort.A few exhibition games will precede quarter-final action.The night’s fixtures are as follow:Rhythm Stars v Leopold StreetSparta Boss v ShowstoppersFuture Stars v Tiger BayBack Circle v Albouystownlast_img read more

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Ballon d’Or 2015: Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Lionel Messi named on final three-man shortlist

first_imgBarcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo have been shortlisted for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.The prize is the most prestigious individual player award in the game and the three were chosen from a longer list of 23 names which also included Wales and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.The winner will be revealed at a gala ceremony in Zurich on January 11.Ronaldo has won four Ballon d’Or awards, including for the past two years.Messi also has four, which came consecutively from 2009 to 2012.The Argentina forward helped Barcelona win the treble last season, and is odds-on favourite to make it Ballon d’Or number five in 2016.Ronaldo certainly feels no reason to expect an upset.“To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes,” the former Manchester United forward said earlier this month.“You win competitions, you win the Champions League you win the league in terms of individual. I did probably the best season of my career which is good and I was the highest scorer in Europe [but] it’s all about votes.“It is difficult and to be honest I am not very worried about that because as I said many times, I never thought I would win three times to be honest.”At 23, Neymar is the youngest of the finalists.The Brazil forward netted twice as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in the Premiera Division on Saturday, and afterwards spoke of his pride at being included among the contenders.“I have never played football to be the best player in the world, or to win the Ballon d’Or. I’ve always just played with the idea of continually getting better, to always surpass my goals, to always be better, play better, train better,” he said.“To be the best in the world is the direct result of all of this work. If today I am being spoken of in such terms, it is a clear sign that what I am doing is working.” Messi and Neymar have a great relationship 1last_img read more

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Legislators trying to keep snouts in the public trough

first_imgHERE at the height of the winter holiday season, it’s easy as can be to spot people seeking generous gifts for themselves. For Californians contemplating the Feb. 5 primary election and the fast-approaching start of early absentee voting, there are 42 very obvious gift-seekers. These are the 18 state senators and 24 Assembly members who provided many of the Legislature’s votes for creating the early presidential primary and now are pushing voters to give them another four or six years in office. For make no mistake, this is what the early February vote is really about. Yes, the early date will probably give California far more voice than it’s had for decades in choosing the presidential nominees of both major parties. But for the people who set this up, Proposition 93 is the real point of the earliest-ever California balloting. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIt’s about Fabian Nu ez wanting six more years as Assembly speaker and Don Perata wishing for four more years at the helm of the state Senate. And many of their legislative minions also wanting to keep their snouts in the public trough. As it now stands, both will be termed out at the end of next year, along with about one-third of their fellow lawmakers. Nu ez, with only six total years of service, could conceivably run for a state Senate seat if one opens up, but none seems about to in his area. Perata’s Sacramento career would simply be finished a year from now. Both would lose all the lucrative campaign contributions they spread around to colleagues to ensure support when leadership positions come up for new votes. Both would lose the opportunity to take luxurious lobbyist-funded trips abroad. Imagine, no more $5,000 wine-buying excursions in Bordeaux, France, for poor Fabian. No Louis Vuitton luggage bought with campaign dollars. So these guys and their colleagues created Proposition 93, which would limit service in the Legislature to 12 years, two less than the current limit of 14, but would allow that service all to be conducted in one house or the other, ending the present six-year Assembly limit and the eight-year maximum in the Senate. Plus, everyone now serving would be able to keep running for re-election until they reach that magic 12-year mark in one house or the other. Altogether, 42 present legislators could get extensions under this measure, to be decided a convenient month or so before the filing deadline for the June primary election for state offices. Does anyone still wonder why the Legislature decided to have two primaries, rather than one, as has sufficed in all prior election years? One slight snafu: Because of the same ineptitude that creeps into so much of its work, the current crop of legislators wrote Proposition 93 so that legislators who were previously termed out can probably run again – so long as they didn’t switch houses and serve the full 14-year maximum. Oops, that wasn’t what the incumbents wanted – some of them might actually get unexpected primary election challenges. The current lawmakers say it ain’t so, claiming ex-members of their club are excluded. But virtually every other lawyer reading their measure says that’s wrong. The courts will eventually have to decide this one, but it seems likely Proposition 93 might provide at least a little less safety than the incumbents intended. Still, any law that favors a small class over all others is a bad law. Yes, it makes sense to let lawmakers concentrate their service in one place and make better use of acquired experience. But no, it makes no sense to give a few men and women a free gift, just because they want it. In short, Proposition 93 is unjust because it would give Perata and those in his situation more time in office than others who have gone before or anyone who might come after. It’s discrimination against anyone who doesn’t belong to a small and exclusive class that simply wants to keep slurping money, privilege and power. Which means voters should decide to give themselves a gift after the holiday season and reject this most self-serving of propositions. Thomas D. Elias is a writer living in Southern California. Write to him by e-mail at tdelias@aol.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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“Breaking Bad” Debut Fills the Second Screen

first_imgThe popular TV drama Breaking Bad returned to television last night for a fifth season. The premiere was accompanied by a flood of tweets, check-ins and status updates across a variety of services, as has become standard during big entertainment events like this. At the same time, the Breaking Bad premiere demonstrated the rapid evolution of social TV and the second screen. For fans of Breaking Bad, the Internet chatter began long before the opening scene of last night’s episode. AMC started generating buzz about the premiere several weeks ago through the show’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.On Facebook, this activity involved straightforward promotional tactics like posting trailers for the new season and related photos. But it also went well beyond the standard fare by including things like Spotify playlists, photo caption contests and show trivia. As the new episode approached, these posts became more frequent and engaging, often reminding viewers of the date and time of the impending premiere.  The Growth of the TV Check-in  AMC is clearly not sitting this one out. The channel was not only proactive about building social media buzz on Facebook, Twitter and GetGlue; it also launched its own second screen experience in the browser. Breaking Bad Story Sync, as the feature is called, provided supplementary content as the episode aired. In many cases, it was as simple as a poll asking viewers for their opinions about something that had just happened in the show. The auto-refreshing feed also included graphics and quotes from previous episodes, which provided pertinent context and details at precisely the right moments. Figuring Out the Second Screen 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout john paul titlow Related Posts Tags:#television#web 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App AMC also gave an official push to the “check-in” category of entertainment apps by partnering with Get Glue. In the weeks leading up to the premiere, the cable channel enticed viewers with a virtual Breaking Bad sticker, which could be unlocked by checking into the program. The gambit worked. A few minutes into the episode, more than 10,000 viewers had checked in to Breaking Bad on GetGlue. After checking in, users were presented with a Twitter-style stream of comments, allowing them to interact with one another in real time. It’s not unlike the social chatter that typically happens on Twitter (of which there was plenty during the debut), but it’s self-contained and thus less disruptive to uninterested users. By the time last night’s episode was over, GetGlue saw 27,690 check-ins, the company told ReadWriteWeb. This represents a 232% increase over check-ins during the premiere of Breaking Bad’s fourth season last July. Evidently, the popularity of checking in to TV shows, as through they were real-world venues, is growing. AMC Takes Advantage of the Second Screen Social media chatter about popular television programs happens organically these days, with or without the producer’s participation. Networks, cable channels and even Twitter itself have realized this and begun to formally tighten the relationship between TV and the social Web.  9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Observing the social Web and TV-specific apps during a major television event, it’s apparent that we’re still figuring out exactly how and why to use our second (or third) screens. Many people live-tweet their thoughts as the episode progresses, sometimes to the irritation of Twitter followers who have no interest in the show. Apps such as GetGlue provide a filtered solution for that type of chatter, but they’re young and still growing their user bases. Miso, a competitor to GetGlue, has the check-in functionality but lacks real-time chatter, so engagement is limited. There’s also the issue of fractured attention spans. Checking in, tweeting and answering viewer polls during a television show are fun, but viewers still actually need to, um, pay attention to the episode’s plot as it unfolds.The kinks are still being ironed out, but the trends toward social TV and the second screen are indisputably growing. The majority of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices while they’re watching TV, according to Nielsen. For some, it’s to look up related content while others prefer to converse with their fellow viewers. Little by little, networks, producers and viewers are converging on a new way to watch TV. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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Autodesk Smoke: Action Node

first_imgWhen objects are linked together, an arrow is seen in the connection line that shows you the direction of control. With the basic Axis/Image connection, the Axis is connected to the Image and you can see the arrow pointing from the Axis to the Image. So any manipulation of the Axis controls will be applied to the Image. This is how you reposition, rotate, & scale the Image.  This is the fundamental workflow of how the node connections operates.  Since your images are not layers, you can perform complex actions fairly easily in the schematic. Here are some examples:1.  Several Axis Connected to 1 Image for Multiple Instances Of That ImageIn this case, any adjustments made to the Media via the Media List or the Image controls will be applied to every instance of the Image in the scene. So if you applied blur to the image, every instance is blurred and adjusting the transparency will adjust the transparency of every instance.2.  Axis Nodes Controlling Multiple Images (Global Axis)You can add an axis to another axis which will cause a cascade of transform controls to be applied to the final image. You can use these axis to control multiple  images which may have sub animations on the axis nodes below.3.  Selective LightingBy using the Light Link (Shift+L) you can connect a Blue selective link to cause a light in the scene to only light the object/image connected. By holding ALT, you can create a Red link which will exclude the light from lighting an object.There are many nodes in Smoke that perform special functions. There are special objects like 3D Path, 3D Text, Front and Matte Sources.  Lens Flares contain many sub maps for glows, glints, rays, iris to build custom flares. Then there are the image maps for both images and 3D Text and other 3D models. These are Diffuse and Reflection maps as well as the Displacement map.  The nodes are grouped by Tabs in the Action Node bin.Here is an example of a complex Action setup using 3D Text, Lights, and Photoshop Images. Often these schematics can get quite complex. And of course each Action scene can contain a moving Camera or multiple Cameras that you can move through your 3D scene. When you are in the Output menu your schematic is dimmed, and when you ALT+E and select an image along with it’s connected axis, the image is output and placed in the output list.This selection allows you to output just parts of your image for further manipulation by other nodes later in the ConnectFX pipeline.Action is a very deep and complex node in Smoke.  And this post is meant only as an introduction to show you the power and options available to you.  This is why Action is meant to be the center pieces of the compositing inside ConnectFX. You can have multiple Action nodes in your CFX schematic. I tend to think of these as separate comps in After Effects. Each Action can have it’s own resolution so you can create larger Action comps that can be fed into another Action node that matches your sequence settings.In upcoming blog posts I’ll dive deeper in to the Action Nodes and focus on 3D Text, 3D Texturing, and Lens Flare creation. Until then, any comments or questions are welcome so feel free to post them below. Smoke Action Output MenuAction has the ability to output several different passes to send along to other nodes in your ConnectFX setup.  You can output the Front Composite Images, the Matte Images for each Media, a Zdepth pass to send to the Depth of Field Node, and a Shadow output from the Shadow Cast node in your scene. You can also output an AO or Ambient Occlusion pass.  Many of these passes are similar to passes you may export from a 3D application.You can create multiple outputs and select which images get selected by using ALT+E to select those images in the schematic. The heart of 3D compositing inside Autodesk Smoke is the Action Node.  Find out what makes this node so powerful and how you can use it in ConnectFX.In a recent blog post, Nodes vs Action, I talked about how using Action inside ConnectFX is often a better and easier way to composite inside Autodesk Smoke.  In order to better understand why that may be, let’s explore some of the features of Action. [Click on images below for larger view]Smoke’s Action NodeAction contains 4 main areas of focus: the Media List, the Object/Image controls, the Node Schematic, and the Output List.The Media List is a collection of all of the available media for your scene. The Media is numbered and listed in a layer format, but it is not a layer by layer representation of your scene. Since Action is a true 3D compositor, media in the scene is defined by its position in Z-Space.  The media list allows you to use the clips within as images in your scene and as diffuse and reflection maps for other images and 3D text or models.The Media List:Certain effects are placed at the media level in your scene. Each media clip can contain an alpha/matte channel which will automatically work as a luminance key. You can blur (Gaussian or Box) the front and matte images separately via the X and Y axis.  You can crop with hard and soft edges along the Top, Left, Right, Bottom of the image.  You can activate a Color Correct or Color Warper for each media layer and each media also has access to the Modular Keyer for Chroma-Keys.Inside the Modular Keyer you have Gmask controls with tracking. So any masking is done at the media layer level, before any transforms are done on the image in the scene.The Object/Image Controls: As I stated, the image of your clip is being texture mapped to a flat 3D surface, much like the mapping of material textures in 3DS Max or Maya. Since this is the case, each image has Material options for Specular, Ambient, and Diffuse Color Controls.There is also a Shine value you can assign to the image which will change how reacts to Lights in the scene.  Images can also use all of the Photoshop Blend modes as well as the legacy Flame blend modes. Transparency is also handled at the image level.The Node Schematic:The Action Schematic View is where you build your scene.  It’s similar to how the CFX nodes are linked together, but Action has it’s own workflows and connection rules. Each clip in the Media List when added to the scene will be displayed in the schematic with an AXIS node and the media’s Image.This is known in Smoke as Axis/Image.  The Axis controls are similar to those of the Axis effect in the Timeline.  Each Axis has XYZ controls for Position, Rotation, Scale, Skew, and Centre (Anchor Point).  The Axis controls the position and rotation and size of the image in 3D space. Every Axis node has access to Smoke’s Stabilizer for tracking. The Image is actually a mapping of the video clip to an image plane matching the resolution of the clip.Since the image is mapped, many effects can be done to the image plane in 3D space.  Each Image can be set as Flat (Default), Bilinear, Bicubic, and Extended Bicubic. The Bilinear, Bicubic, and Extended Bicubics allow you to physically bend the image plane based on the option selected. The Extended Bicubic has an option to subdivide the image allowing you pull the vertices on the face of the image in 3D.last_img read more

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Five private universities get nod to set up campuses in AP

first_imgVijayawada, Jul 8 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Government today decided to issue Letters of Intent to five private universities for setting up their campuses in the State.The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here this afternoon.While Amity, SRM and VIT would set up campuses in the new capital region Amaravati, Centurion would open a university on its own land in Vizianagaram district.The Fisheries and Ocean University would come up in Bhimavaram, Information and Public Relations Minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy told mediapersons after the meeting.The Cabinet, at its meeting last month, decided to allot 150 acres of land for Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Amaravati while the request of Amity and SRM for land was under consideration.The Cabinet today also decided to permit setting up of six “functional universities” in the Public-Private Partnership mode, the Information Minister said.The functional universities would come in the fields of water, energy, logistics, sports, hospitality and fisheries with the respective Government departments tying up with private parties, Reddy added.In another decision, the Cabinet approved the setting up of AP Innovation Society, “the first-of-its-kind in the country”, to promote innovation, incubation and start-ups.The Society would have chapters in each district, said Reddy, who also handles the Information Technology portfolio.In another policy decision aimed at boosting job opportunities, the Government decided to set up MSME Parks (micro, small and medium enterprises) in each of the 175 Assembly segments in the State.”Each MSME Park will come up in 100 acres and each will create 1,000 (total 1.75 lakh) jobs. The Government will develop necessary infrastructure like roads, water and power supply for the parks,” Palle said.advertisement”Land is readily available in 117 Assembly segments. We have to procure land in the rest of the segments.”The Cabinet approved allocation of several thousand acres of land in districts for various purposes. In district of Visakhapatnam, 742 acres would be given for setting up the Knowledge Hub project through the Higher Education Department.Bharat Electronics, a defence PSU, would be allotted 45.27 acres at Palasamudram village, Anantapuramu district for setting up a test-bed facility for radars and weapons systems.Each acre would be sold at Rs 3 lakh. The Government also decided to acquire 125 acres at Veerapanenigudem village near Vijayawada for setting up an engineering cluster for the manufacture of defence machinery equipment.”Already 86 acres is available for the cluster. In all 78 companies will invest Rs 200 crore in the project and create 2,000 jobs,” Reddy said. PTI DBV RSY KJlast_img read more

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Indian football seeking a fitness awakening

first_imgIndian cricket took to scientific physios and trainers about fifteen years ago. They never looked back and today are as fit a team as any in world cricket. Indian football has now taken a cue and looks to take the fitness route to success with Australia-based sports scientist Danny Diegan. (Will India be able to take advantage of a rare chance to go up the world rankings?)While the fitness benchmark in world football is significantly higher and India languishing on the rankings scale, the team now recognizes there is a correlation between performance and fitness. Diegan was roped in a year and a half back by coach Stephen Constantine to integrate fitness drills with strategy.”Our outlook with Stephan was to make the team competitive against other nations. We looked at what we needed to do physically before making a game plan. We looked at what we had with other leagues across the world. We saw what happens in EPL, La liga, Bundesliga and other national teams playing World Cup,” Diegan told India Today.Using GPS data in elite sports is not a novelty but it was to the Indian team when first introduced. And the initial data results were a reality check for the players. “The first time we presented data of what our guys were doing and players from US national team were doing in the World Cup, the difference was alarming. But the more we have presented these statistics, the graphs are getting closer and our performance increasing as well,” he said.advertisementGetting the players to understand that fitness alone will supplement their skills has been an ice breaker for Diegan.”Everything we do is worked out between the medical team, the coaching staff and myself. We sit down as a group to identify what the players need to do from a technical perspective, tactically and under physical aspect as well. We have noticed the intensity has remarkably increased and the more we have shown them this information, it’s got better,” he said. (Also read: Stephen Constantine names probable squad for Puerto Rico match)’BIG CHALLENGE’One of the problems for India’s new sport science expert has been players availability with ISL also added to the football calendar. Things however don’t sound that bad considering that finding training time for the national team is a global problem.”It is a very big challenge. It was tough when I first came in when the players didn’t know what to expect from us. We have educated them with time and they understand expectations at the national camp. They understand that intensity here is higher and the gap between domestic and international football has improved. The players came in the fittest they have in this camp,” he spoke of Indian team’s preparedness for the Puerto Rico friendly.GPS and ice bath therapy are not discoveries in terms of training methods. So is there any cutting-edge technique on the pipeline?”We are looking at research every day. If something is proven to work we have to implement it. But we have to bring it in gradually. We have come from a base where there is no sports science just over a year and a half ago. Things change every day so we have to keep looking for our next improvement,” he said. (Also read: Constantine emphasizes on the importance of sports science)Fitness improvement in Indian football will not leap frog the team on FIFA rankings, currently, poorly placed at 152. But professionals like Deigan can streamline the fitness system, now a necessity in modern sport.last_img read more

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Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime review: Premium looks, outstanding battery life

first_imgSamsung’s Galaxy J7 Prime is a J-series phone trapped inside an A-series phone’s body. There’s no other way of putting it. A J-series phone — before the Galaxy J7 Prime came along — was synonymous with all-plastic build, mediocre specs and affordable pricing. The Galaxy J7 Prime has none of these and yet it is a J-series phone.On a regular day, the Galaxy J7 Prime would pass of as Samsung’s A-series phone. You know, with all that metal and all that jazz, it’s really hard to tell the difference. But, that’s precisely what has happened. Samsung has finally decided to give its J-series — which, for the record, is doing a fabulous job in the Indian market — a much-needed premium treatment. Whether or not, the move would set cash counters ticking for Samsung is yet to be seen. After all, it is always a gamble to up the premium quotient and price tag of a phone — out of the blue — that buyers generally expect to be practical and more affordable. Also Read: Galaxy J5, J7 Prime quick review: Samsung’s J-series finally gets the premium treatment Clearly, the J-series is doing well, and Samsung is ready to take the plunge. To recall, it is also doing something similar with its A-series phones now. It has started building them with all the more premium materials — glass and metal — bringing them closer to its S-series line-up. The lines between Samsung’s high-end S-range, its mid-level A-range and its affordable J-range are blurring by the day. Call it signs of changing times. Design and build qualityThe Galaxy J7 Prime boasts of an all-metal unibody design — top and bottom ends being plastic with brushed metal finish to accommodate the antennas — with curved 2.5D glass on the front. In typical Samsung fashion, the phone comes with a front-mounted physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The home button is flanked by touch-based capacitive buttons which are non-backlit. The design is generic at best. You know, most smartphones at under Rs 20,000 tend to look the same these days. In Samsung’s defence, the South Korean company’s phone doesn’t look like it’s trying to copy someone else. It is, but, a very original Samsung design only that such a design (and build) was previously reserved for its higher mid-range and top-tier phones. The Galaxy J7 Prime clearly changes many notions. advertisement A J-series phone — before the Galaxy J7 Prime came along — was synonymous with all-plastic build, mediocre specs and affordable pricing. The Galaxy J7 Prime is better and yet it is a J-series phone The flat back panel and rounded corners make this 5.5-inch phone easier to handle and operate. It can be a tad slippery and also being all-metal means, the Galaxy J7 Prime comes with a non-removable back cover, and obviously a non-removable battery. That is a small price to pay for all that premium looks you’re getting. Build quality is outstanding, which is again a big break from Samsung’s previous J-series phones which were mostly awful and clunky in this regard. At 167 grams, it is a little on the heavier side of things and at 8mm it is also easily among the slimmest phones in and around its price category.What really sets the J7 Prime apart from other J-series phones (and phones in general) is its screen-to-body ratio. Samsung has done a pretty neat job with the bezels here, so you get more real estate in comparison to phones like the Moto G4 Plus and the Oppo F1s.The dual-SIM phone has two separate slots for SIM — and not hybrid slot which is fast becoming the industry norm – and a separate slot for micro-SD on the left. The volume rocker also lies on the left, while the right edge houses the power button and the speaker out.DisplayThe J7 Prime comes with a 5.5-inch Full-HD IPS LCD display with a 1080×1920 pixels resolution which roughly translates to 401 ppi pixel density. The phone has just the right amount of pixels, without going overboard, which means it has a pleasantly sharp display and good viewing angles. There’s no option to manually correct the colour saturation, but the phone does give you an Outdoor Mode option to manually up the phone’s brightness levels for when you’re out in direct sunlight.Speaking of which, the screen of the J7 Prime can get really bright, brighter than most phones in and around its price category. Samsung is not using an AMOLED panel here, which means, colours don’t necessarily end up popping out from all corners but then, on the positive side, the J7 Prime ships with a more neutral colour palette which is soothing to the eyes. advertisementSoftwareThe J7 Prime runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based TouchWiz UI. It is still far from perfect, the TouchWiz, but at least Samsung is trying really hard to cut down on bloat or unwanted apps now more than ever. It’s safe to say that it’s moving in the right direction. Software inside the J7 Prime is a pretty standard Samsung affair, but what sets its J-series phones apart from its other phones is a set of extras that it incorporates to make the life of an average user more ‘innovative’ and ‘meaningful’. At least, that’s what Samsung calls it.Samsung is banking on two key features to sell its new Galaxy J phone: S Power Planning and S Secure. The S Power Planning is essentially a battery saving feature that allows users to reserve the phone’s battery for calls by allocating a certain percentage of the battery for calls and messages. It also allows users to extend the phone’s battery time to up to twice the current available time and also forward calls when it is running low on juice. Of these the last one is particularly interesting. The forward calls feature lets you feed in a number that you would want your incoming calls to be forwarded to when your phone runs out of battery. Usually, when such is the case, you get a message from your telecom operator that says you missed so and so call next time when you power up your phone. Using Samsung’s forward calls feature you can re-route that call to a different — a spare, perhaps — number and carry on with your conversation even if your primary phone is out of juice.The S Secure feature on the other hand allows users to lock and hide their applications, secure Wi-Fi thereby encrypting all data which is being transferred and create a separate secure folder for images and applications.Performance and battery lifeThe Galaxy J7 Prime is powered by a 1.6GHz octa-core Exynos 7870 processor clubbed with 3GB RAM and 16GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 256GB via microSD card. The dual-SIM phone supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) and USB OTG. The phone comes with separate slots for two SIM cards and one microSD.The J7 Prime is a very capable performer, spearheaded by a mid-range processor (built by Samsung itself) which also focuses on efficiency and 3 gigs of RAM that can be quite a handful at its price point. This is, again, one more instance where Samsung has tried to up the premium quotient of this J-series phone. The J7 Prime is fairly well powered for its price unlike previous J-series phones that served mediocre specs to buyers.Basic tasks are handled well with occasional lag or stutter which is more a TouchWiz issue than something creeping out of processor constraints. At the same time, the phone is able to handle hard-hitting tasks (and multitasking) quite efficiently most of the time. While basic games are handled well, graphical intensive games like Asphalt 8: Airborne can be prone to some lag especially at mid and high settings when playing for longer periods. Overall, the J7 Prime does well in all-round performance. More importantly, it does all this without losing its cool. There is some heating when you’re pushing it to the edge but nothing that is alarming. Also, it is pretty quick to cool down so that’s a plus.The mono speaker on-board the J7 Prime gets pleasantly loud with little or no distortion at peak volume. Voice quality during calls made with the J7 Prime was also excellent.advertisement The phone has a credible screen and capable performance. There’s very little overheating and battery life is fantastic The phone is backed by a 3,300mAh battery which is non-removable. Battery life is fantastic. Moderate to extreme usage saw us cross the one whole day barrier with ease. Extreme usage scenarios got us close to 14 hours on the J7 Prime. Samsung has practically overloaded the phone with fancy power-saving features, and some of them actually work well in extending the battery life considerably, even when it is dangerously low on juice. Sadly, the phone doesn’t support Samsung’s adaptive fast charging technology.CameraThe Galaxy J7 Prime sports a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/1.9 aperture, autofocus and LED flash. On the front you get an 8-megapixel camera, also with LED flash.First things first, I was pleasantly surprised with the phone’s rear camera, especially its quick focus locking and shutter speed. The rear camera on-board the Galaxy J7 Prime is really fast, even in indoor lighting conditions. As for picture quality, well, the J7 Prime can take some really good photos in outdoor good lighting conditions. Photos shot in such situations come out well with lots of detail and colours that are mostly true to source. Images clicked in tricky light situations also boast of enough detail, although some noise does creep in as the intensity of light decreases. XPreviousNextAs for the front camera, well, it clicks some well-detailed selfies in good light, which will be more than a handful for all your Facebook and Instagram posting needs. Selfies clicked in low light have lots of noise and substantial loss in detail.Should you buy it?While meaningful innovations still form the backbone of Samsung’s new J-series phone, the Galaxy J7 Prime is a different breed altogether. It is more premium and comes with a heftier spec-sheet. And it costs more. The Galaxy J7 Prime will cost buyers Rs 18,790. But it isn’t just a paper tiger. It’s quite good at what it does actually. While design is subjective, a little bit of premium is always a plus to have and grab. The phone has a credible screen and capable performance. There’s very little overheating and battery life is fantastic. Of course, the cameras could have been better (especially in low light) and the software could have been lighter. But, there will always be a ‘what if’ with any smartphone. The J7 Prime, like most smartphones, isn’t perfect. But it does the job, and it does the job quite well.I understand there would be many, who would be turned off by the pricing, especially those who have for long considered the J-series as one that is relatively affordable. At the same time, there would be buyers, who were for long looking for a premium phone — at under Rs 20,000 — from the likes of Samsung. These are the kind of buyers who wouldn’t want to invest (more) in something like the Galaxy S6 or the S7, but, would definitely want to try out something more premium should Samsung bring something of that sort. The Galaxy J7 Prime, in that case, would make so much more sense. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least, it looks and feels premium, and won’t burn a noticeable hole in your pocket.Also Read: Samsung Z2 quick review: This can be your first smartphone ####Samsung J7 Prime####8/10########Good stuffPremium all-metal designSharp displayGood all-round performanceFantastic battery life####Bad stuffSlippery to holdLow light camera performance16GB memoryNo fast charginglast_img read more

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Kevin Pietersen trolls Virat Kohli. India captain has a sporting reply

first_imgVirat Kohli and Kevin Pietersen go back a long way. The two played together for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League and remain good friends even to this day. And when Kohli, the world’s best batsman posted a picture on Twitter, Pietersen had a cheeky reply.Virat Kohli is currently in New Zealand and is basking in the glory of sweeping the ICC awards. He became the first man in history to win all three ICC awards – the ODI Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year and Cricketer of the Year.On Wednesday, Kohli led India to their first ODI win against New Zealand in New Zealand since 2009.A day after, Kohli was visibly relaxed and posted a photo on Twitter.Basking in the sun. pic.twitter.com/BEcZ2y2qrtVirat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 24, 2019PIETERSEN AND KOHLI BANTERLooks a bit like you’re more in the shade, bro!Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) January 24, 2019Well in that case you should’ve seen my first caption. Much worse.PS – the face is still in the sunVirat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 24, 2019I’ll let you off cos I love you!Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) January 24, 2019Kevin Pietersen, known for his quick wit, could not resist a reply. He pointed out Kohli looked like he was more in the shade.Pietersen is the fifth highest run-scorer for England in Test cricket but his career came to a halt when he was sensationally dropped after an Ashes whitewash in Australia.advertisementYears later, Alastair Cook, who was England captain on the tour of Australia in 2013-14, revealed he did not want to sack Pietersen.”I was involved in the decision at first, but the England captain doesn’t have the final say on hiring and firing,” Cook told Test Match Special in September. “I agreed with it, but I said ‘why don’t we give him some time off, we can go away and maybe KP can come back later on’.”Paul Downton (the England director of cricket) wanted clarity, a clean break, because people would always be asking when is he coming back. You had to back his decisions because that’s what his job was. The fallout was pretty nasty and I don’t think the ECB handled it well or appreciated how social media worked very well then. I bore a lot of the brunt of it.”Also Read | Smriti Mandhana hundred helps India crush New Zealand by 9 wickets in 1st ODIAlso Read | Johan Botha retires from all forms: Time has come for me to move on to the next phaseAlso Read | I can bowl on most pitches, says Anderson after 4-wicket haullast_img read more

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