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first_imgSo the 32-year-old Scot is relaxed about his prospects of returning to anywhere near the heights which saw him win three grand-slam singles titles.“There were a number of times over the last 18 months where I did want to stop, I didn’t want to play anymore, I was getting no enjoyment out of tennis at all,” he said.“Now, I like playing tennis. I’m a fan of the sport, I played it as a kid and I want to keep playing if I can.“I didn’t know how I was going to feel if I went and had the operation but it’s been brilliant, completely life-changing for me from where I was. Andy Murray revealed his hip operation has been “life-changing” as he prepares to make his return to competitive tennis.Former world number one Murray has entered the doubles at Queen’s Club with Feliciano Lopez in what will be his first taste of action since undergoing surgery in January.Next week’s Fever-Tree Championships represent the first tentative steps towards resurrecting a career which Murray feared was over due to a chronic hip condition.Such was the pain Murray was in he considered quitting the sport on more than one occasion. “Yes it would be nice to be winning Wimbledon and things like that, but hardly anyone gets the opportunity to do that, and there are loads of players who still love and enjoy the sport without winning the biggest competitions.“I would hope that I would be able to deal with that and enjoy it.”Murray and Lopez will face Colombian top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah when the tournament gets under way.“I don’t know how I’m going to feel when I get back on the court, but I feel lucky, I feel relaxed, I didn’t expect to be in this position,” added Murray.“I’m looking forward to getting back out there but I don’t know what to expect. I’m not putting any expectations on myself because just being out on a tennis court again, and being comfortable and pain free, is enough.“I’ll enjoy competing. I enjoyed practising, hitting tennis balls, doing all the things I couldn’t do even a few months ago, so we’ll see what happens.”last_img read more

first_img18 November 2005A South African working as a waitress in London is on the shortlist for the prestigious Whitbread Award for her first novel. Rachel Zadok (33) joins fellow nominees Salman Rushdie and Nick Hornby with Gem Squash Tokoloshe, the story of a girl growing up on a remote farm in the height of the apartheid era.Zadok’s talent was spotted in a television writing competition on Channel 4’s Richard and Judy show, where she was one of five finalists out of 46 000 entrants.Although she didn’t win, the quality of her work prompted Pan Macmillan to offer her a £20 000 (R230 000) advance for her novel. Gem Squash Tokoloshe was published in September.The Whitbread Award shortlist was announced on Wednesday, with winners in the five categories, who each receive £5 000 (R57 500), to be made known in January.‘Writing takes you to another place’Zadok began writing when she began to feel unfulfilled with her job as a graphic designer in Johannesburg.“I suddenly realised that it was something I really enjoyed doing,” she told BBC News. “Writing takes you to another place.“When my husband had to move to London for work, I made the decision to work here as a waitress and concentrate on writing.”It was at her Brixton flat that Gem Squash Tokoloshe began to take shape.The book follows Faith, the young daughter of a mentally ill woman living on a remote farm in apartheid era South Africa.“The book is really about belief and the influence society has on children,” she told the BBC. “I grew up in South Africa during apartheid and saw how beliefs become so ingrained in people.”After one unproductive afternoon, a frustrated Zadok began to doubt her skills. She stopped working and turned on the television in time to see Richard and Judy announce details of a novel-writing competition.Seeing it as a sign, she sent off a sample chapter and synopsis to the competition – eventually reaching the final five of 46 000 entrants, and the Pan Macmillan book deal.“The day the book arrived in the post was the first time that I felt that I didn’t have to waitress anymore. I was overwhelmed that I had actually had my book published,” Zadok told the BBC. “That night, I went to the restaurant and quit.”Now working on a new novel, Zadok hopes to return to South Africa to live.“It’s such a dynamic country, and it’s changing so fast. I’d miss London if I left, but I would always come back to spend time here.”Gem Squash TokolosheGem Squash Tokoloshe takes its title from Faith’s incantation to ward off the tokoloshe, an evil spirit in South African mythology.The opening half of the novel is set in 1985, when Faith is seven. Her father leaves and her mother suffers a breakdown, becoming increasingly obsessed with the African world of spirits, her tales of which terrify her daughter. Faith is a resilient child with a vivid imagination trying to absorb and survive her parents’ marital strife and her mother’s descent into madness.In the second half, Faith, now 20, returns after her mother’s death to the farm she left as a child, and learns why her mother was incarcerated and she sent away. The account of Faith’s return and the awakening of her memories of the death of the family maid, Nomsa, is vivid, particularly in its description of place.“Gem Squash Tokoloshe impressed us with its powerful evocation of a child’s-eye view of rural South Africa,” said the Whitbread judges. “Rachel Zadok sets the private drama of a collapsing household against the backdrop of a changing nation and creates a tangible atmosphere of menace.”The Whitbread Awards recognise the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. They were established by Whitbread, the UK’s leading hospitality business, in 1971.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgNew employee monitoring tools regularly emerge that allow retail organizations to keep a closer eye on employees. What is your sense of these products? Does technology-based employee monitoring reduce misconduct? Does it dampen or enhance worker productivity?Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examined these questions by analyzing two years’ worth of employee theft and sales transactions at 392 restaurants in 38 US states.Restaurant servers can steal from their employers and customers in many ways, including voiding and “comping” sales after they pocket customers’ cash payments. Transactional monitoring software, such as NCR Corporation’s Restaurant Guard, attempts to alert managers to egregious examples of such actions via frequent reports.- Sponsor – An obviously important question for loss prevention practitioners is whether such monitoring reduces internal theft.On that criterion, the researchers found that the monitoring product worked: “Our empirical models identify a 22 percent (or $24 per week) decrease in identifiable theft after the implementation of IT monitoring. This treatment effect is persistent, with the magnitude growing from $7 in the first month to $48 in the third month,” according to the MIT Sloan research paper, Cleaning House: The Impact of Information Technology Monitoring on Employee Theft and Productivity (2013).Although the amount seems modest, the effect on total revenue seemed to be much larger, said researchers. Following implementation of Restaurant Guard, total revenue increased by $2,975 per week, or about 7 percent of revenue for the average location.The results suggested “either a considerable increase in employee productivity or a much larger latent theft being eliminated by the IT product,” concluded the study. Additionally, implementation of Restaurant Guard increased drink sales—the primary source of theft—by $927 per week, or 10.5 percent.Finally, researchers also observed an increase in average tip levels, suggesting that the implementation of monitoring technology improved the level of customer service provided by restaurant servers. Although the exact reason why is unclear, the researchers think that waiters’ level of service probably drops when they are “multitasking” between stealing and serving customers.So, the employee monitoring technology proved to be effective in reducing theft—but researchers also wanted to answer the following question: Did the reduction in theft result primarily from changing worker behavior or instead result from more honest workers replacing less honest ones?In other words, did dishonest employees quit when they couldn’t steal as freely, to be replaced by more honest workers?No, said researchers. “Individual worker models show that our restaurant-level model results can be explained by employees changing their behavior, as opposed to a change in the group of employees working at the restaurant,” the study concluded. Indeed, the researchers found that employee attrition dropped significantly following IT monitoring implementation.The researchers state their findings are important for expanding what is known about the impact of technology on worker productivity: “Other studies show that IT can improve productivity by reducing mild forms of misconduct such as shirking and absenteeism. [This] is the first to show both the direct impact in reducing explicitly illegal behavior such as theft as well as the secondary effect of incentivizing increased productivity.”This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated October 2, 2018. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

first_img HomeDigital MarketingComing to terms with fake reviews Coming to terms with fake reviewsYou are here: Related postsThe California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019Lytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Consumers overwhelmingly expect the reviews they peruse on Amazon, Yelp, Google and other review sites to be trustworthy, neutral and objective. But this reasonable expectation is frequently thwarted by the efforts of aggressive marketers who pay third parties to create phony reviews in exchange for compensation or incentivize existing good customers to leave reviews with discounts or free products or services.These deceptive practices — termed “opinion spam” or “sock puppetry” — are a form of information pollution with multiple victims. Opinion spam blinds the consumer to the truth and poisons the reputation of the review site where the fake review appears. When detected, it may subject the marketer and/or opinion spammer to criminal and civil penalties.Unfortunately, opinion spam — despite the best efforts of review sites to control it — appears to be a permanent, intractable feature of the e-commerce and local business information ecosystem.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]From our sponsors: Coming to terms with fake reviews Posted on 28th November 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+sharelast_img read more

first_imgFor Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Donal Power Tags:#Apple#Autonomous vehicle#Baidu#BMW#Chrysler#Didi#Didi Chuxing#General Motors#Gett#Google#IoT#Lyft#self-driving cars#Uber#Volkswagen As the world’s biggest players in IT and the car makers dive frantically into self-driving cars, a new report estimates this market will grow to an astonishing $2.6 trillion annually within 15 years.The site Gas2.org reports the startling growth prospects for self-driving cars revealed in a new Mogran Stanley report led by Katy Huberty.Her research team estimates that the global shared mobility market will reach $$2.6 trillion annually by 2030.Much of what’s superficially driving this market is disruptive technology and business models of companies like Uber and Lyft. These companies have muscled into the traditional taxi market in big cities worldwide and shown a thriving willingness for tech savvy citizens to pay for new types of services.More importantly, Uber’s disruptive approach has broken open the car-buying paradigm in big cities, and exposed an increasing desire by urban dwellers to reduce vehicle ownership or skip it all together. And as individual car ownership is expected to wane, this will be countered by a corresponding rise in vehicles sold to shared mobility networks.Demand seems strong – but trillions?Earlier this spring, Uber’s CEO boldly pronounced that if Tesla developed an autonomous car by 2020 Uber would by the entire manufacturing run. Following this Tesla guru Elon Musk coyly hinted that electric car company may be poised to enter into the race to develop self-driving cars.Another new contender in the car market is Apple, which invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride hailing service. Not only will that deal allow Apple to integrate its existing technology in a new market, but it will provide vital data on consumer behavior in China, a market that analysts predict will be one of the most open to switching to autonomous vehicles.This seismic market shift has traditional automakers scrambling to catch up to the drastically changing technology and consumer landscape.Volkswagen recently announced that it would focus more of its resources on self-driving and electric cars, while pumping $300 million into Israeli firm Gett.Not to be outdone, General Motors recently acquired Cruise Automation for $1 billion and invested an additional $500 million into Lyft.Add to this Chrysler teaming up with Google self-driving minivans and BMW’s refocusing its “i” division toward developing autonomous car technology.And with such huge players from both the IT world and the automaking universe gambling big, it’s clear there will be massive winners and losers as the technology shakes out. So strap in, it’s going to be one wild ride. Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and…center_img IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… Related Posts 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more

first_imgJagmohan Dalmiya is a consensus candidate from N Srinivasan’s campAt the peak of his career, cricket administrator Jagmohan Dalmiya’s detractors rued that such was the man’s resilience that he had it in him to swim back to the shore if thrown deep into the sea, or rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes. The 74-year-old’s almost unbelievable comeback at the head of the country’s premier cricket body has only reinforced the notion.After losing his almost vice-like control of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) midway into the last decade, the Kolkata-based businessman had to endure court cases, political pressure, corruption charges, arrest and even expulsion from the BCCI, as he seemed helpless and lonely in the face of sustained offensive by a formidable coalition of Sharad Pawar, I.S. Bindra, Shashank Manohar, A.C. Mutthiah, Lalit Modi and N. Srinivasan.Joining them was the then West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who used all his clout – both political and administrative – to oust Dalmiya from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).But Dalmiya held on to his position in the CAB against all odds, and silently started mending fences with his detractors in the board.The businessman and ace manipulator pulled off the first surprise when sidelined president Srinivasan pitchforked him to the post of BCCI interim chief in June 2013 after the spot-fixing scam emerged.That stint was small – lasting only four months – and Dalmiya’s powers seemed grossly limited, but enough to announce to the cricketing world that he could not be written off.advertisementBorn in a business family in 1940, Dalmiya was a club-level cricketer. He kept wickets for two teams – Jorabagan and Rajasthan – in the (then) Calcutta cricket league, and switched to cricket administration after hanging up his gloves.Mentored by then BCCI mandarin Biswanath Dutt, Dalmiya cut his teeth in CAB politics, beginning what has turned out to be one of the most chequered and marathon innings in India’s sports administration.Dalmiya became BCCI treasurer in 1983 – the year India won the World Cup – and later served as its secretary, before becoming ICC chief for three years in 1997.After continuing as International Cricket Council chief for three years, Dalmiya was elected BCCI president in 2001. He was all-in-all in the board till his tenure ended in 2004.Later that year, Dalmiya hoisted his acolyte Ranbir Singh Mahendra as BCCI president in a tantalizingly close election where then union minister Sharad Pawar threw his hat into the ring for the top post.As the election ended in a tie, Dalmiya gave his casting vote to ensure Mahendra’s victory, prompting a dejected Pawar to remark that the entire process was unfair.”The umpire was the bowler,” Pawar had quipped after his loss.Dalmiya then controlled the board by proxy for a year, with Mahendra being a mere puppet. But the Pawar camp fought back by using all means to checkmate Dalmiya at his own game in the 2005 election.Months later, the BCCI lodged a police complaint against Dalmiya for alleged misappropriation of funds related to the 1996 World Cup in which India was a co-host.As Dalmiya faced a police probe, the BCCI expelled him in December 2006, that also forced him to step down as CAB president, months after a nerve-wracking election which he had won by defeating the chief minister’s nominee, city police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee.In mid-2007, Dalmiya was exonerated by the court, and he returned to head the CAB in 2008, by defeating then president Prasun Mukherjee.However, in the next few years, Dalmiya seemed only a shadow of his former self. He looked old, and his lack of full fitness was talked about in CAB circles.But the wily cricket administrator bided his time, and the short term as BCCI interim chief brought him back to centrestage, also displaying his wide acceptability in the board.This time around, Dalmiya seemed to have played his cards well, after the Supreme Court ran out Srinivasan from the race.Keeping both the lobbies headed by Srinivasan and Pawar guessing his next moves, Dalmiya deftly exploited the hostility between the two to put himself up as an acceptable candidate.At the prime of his career, Dalmiya was known as a trouble shooter par excellence. His convincing powers were such that the joke used to be that he could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.He now takes over the reins of the BCCI in challenging circumstances. The spot fixing scandal has taken some of the shine off the IPL.advertisementIt will be Dalmiya’s first challenge to clean up the game, while India’s poor performance in several series away from home is also an issue that needs redressal.His critics say, Dalmiya’s hands will be tied, as he is surrounded by office-bearers elected with Srinivasan’s backing. However, those who have followed Dalmiya’s style of functioning over the years, have no doubt he will be his own man.last_img read more

first_imgzoom South Korea-based shipping company Dong-A Tanker (DAT) has sold two long range 2 (LR2) tanker newbuildings currently being built by compatriot shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, according to data provided by VesselsValue. Both tankers were bought by Greek shipping companies. The first ship was purchased from Stealth Maritime for USD 43.5 million and the second one from Marmaras Navigation for USD 43.8 million.Each featuring 62,000 gross tons, the vessels are scheduled to be completed in May 2017.Earlier this month, DAT disposed of two Capesize bulk carriers. The 2010-built Dong-A Leto and the 2011-built Dong-A Ether were sold to Winning Shipping from China for USD 21.85 million and USD 24.65 million, respectively.VesselsValue’s data shows that DAT’s fleet is currently comprised of 19 ships. In addition, the company has one LR2 and two Suezmax tankers on order, with all of them slated for delivery in 2017.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more