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Inside the Shadowy World of HighSpeed Tennis Betting

In January, Daniel Dobson was two months into a new job that allowed him the opportunity to travel overseas and watch live sports. It had a downside, though: It got him arrested in an incident that drew media coverage around the world.Dobson’s job was to sit courtside at the Australian Open in Melbourne and use his cellphone to transmit the outcome of each point of the match he was watching. The faster he worked, the greater the edge his employers at Sporting Data Ltd. would have in the betting market.Police charged Dobson, 22, with violating a law protecting integrity in sport. Two months later, they dropped the charges, and today Dobson works out of Sporting Data’s London office. The experience convinced Sporting Data chief executive and co-founder Steve High to drop tennis courtsiding from his firm’s portfolio.“That’s it for us,” he said in an interview at the company’s headquarters last month. “We’re not going to do that anymore.”Now that he doesn’t need to protect his company’s tennis tactics, or stay mum during a high-profile investigation, High is speaking freely about courtsiding. His colleague Richard Coughlan is also talking, and a former courtsider for another company has written a book on the topic to be published this week. All three describe careers that parallel those of the players. Courtsiders travel the world alongside the tennis tours, spend hours of each day honing their craft, seek to make it to the highest-profile matches to earn a big payday and, if they’re booted early in the week by their opponents, kick back and enjoy touring glamorous cities.“Oh, I loved it,” Coughlan, 27, said of his courtsiding job, which paid an annual salary of about 40,000 pounds ($67,000). “I’d love to still be doing it now.”Officials crack downThe vigorous opposition of tennis officials to courtsiding has made it impossible to continue. Coughlan and Brad Hutchins, author of the forthcoming “Game, Set, Ca$h!,” say tournament directors use a network of scouts, security officials and sometimes police to sniff out people transmitting scores. The sleuths are aided at times by disapproving chair umpires, photographs of known courtsiders and, according to Hutchins, closed-circuit television.Tennis has an uneasy relationship with gambling. In 2007, the sport was roiled by a high-profile incident of irregular betting involving top-10 player Nikolay Davydenko. (Davydenko insisted he was innocent and no evidence was found implicating him.) Partly in response, in 2008 the international organizations that oversee the professional game jointly formed the Tennis Integrity Unit. The TIU standardized rules on betting, including banning spectators from transmitting live scores for commercial purposes. (The secretive, London-based group doesn’t disclose its budget or staff size, and its spokesman told me its policy is not to comment except about cases it has already made public.)Yet the sport also seeks to share in the revenue from the popularity of tennis gambling. The website Bet-at-home.com is a sponsor and the namesake of men’s tournaments in Hamburg, Germany, and Kitzbühel, Austria. And the top customers for the sport’s scores are gambling websites.Tennis bans courtsiders to protect the sport’s integrity, U.S. Open tournament director David Brewer said. That courtsiders might be involved in more problematic betting-related behavior like match-fixing “would certainly seem to be a logical conclusion that some people could reach,” Brewer said, adding, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”Scott Ferguson, a betting-industry consultant, rejects this logic. “There is no connection whatsoever between courtsiding and match-fixing,” he said in an email. “Hell, if you were fixing a match, why on earth would you need to be in the crowd? You’d get as far away as possible to avoid detection.”1A spokesman for the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which hosts the Wimbledon tournament, cited another reason for its crackdown. “We take a view that courtsiding comes under anti-social behavior and is liable to be a nuisance to fellow spectators and therefore we have the right to remove perpetrators from the site,” he said. “To my knowledge we have done it on two occasions previously.”High and Hutchins said they think tennis authorities are cracking down to protect the value of their own scores product. In 2011, the men’s and women’s tours made a deal to sell their scores through a company called Enetpulse, majority owned by IMG. Many of the buyers are sports-gambling websites that provide the scores for in-play betting — wagering on the match after play has begun.2Such wagers make up about 80 percent of tennis wagers for the betting company Coral, according to Coral spokesman David Stevens. One site that reportedly buys the scores, Betfair, is a betting exchange that, like a stock exchange, pairs buyers and sellers for transactions when they are willing to agree to the same terms.A spokesman for IMG said the company believes the tennis tours “should be the providers of the official data, thereby benefiting the sport and allowing funds to flow back into the game.” Spokesmen for the ATP and WTA, the men’s and women’s professional tennis tours, said the tours jointly invested more than $10 million to create and operate their system for collecting and distributing live match data. A spokeswoman for the Fédération Française de Tennis, which runs the French Open, said the FFT bans courtsiding because it “owns the right to the data.”High said the tours could drive courtsiders out of business by providing a product as fast as their competition’s — or faster, if they took advantage of proprietary high-speed wireless networks at tournaments.Time is moneyBoth sides in the cat-and-mouse game owe their jobs to the nature of tennis scoring data. After each point ends, chair umpires enter the outcome into computers, which transmit the scores to fans and bettors around the world.The snag for bettors is that chair umpires aren’t primarily concerned with entering data instantaneously. They follow the ball along with line judges and watch the players to make sure neither one challenges a call, and on clay courts they often spring out of their chairs to check ball marks and ensure calls are correct. There can also be an electronic delay in the data they transmit.The potential for delays means someone who can get score data faster has an advantage. That’s why courtsiders are courtside. The second the ball lands out, or bounces twice, they can click a button on their phones and transmit the score directly into the servers their employers use to place bets. The servers, in turn, contain software that models the outcome of the match. The model incorporates the latest point outcome, spits out a probability of each player winning, and then places any bets it can find that it considers favorable based on its calculated probability.That’s basic courtsiding. A more advanced courtsider will get to know the players and their tendencies, and sometimes make calculated risks to gain a bigger betting edge. Suppose a player on the run throws up a lob. If his opponent’s body language suggests it’s going out, the courtsider can record the point as over before it’s officially ended. Or he might call a shot out before the line judge does, trusting his own eyesight and judgment.Such advanced maneuvers should be used carefully — a premature decision could be costly.“We’d rather be sure,” High said. “If it’s an absolutely critical point, you don’t want to be wrong.”His courtsiders typically got local phones, testing different providers for the best coverage and speed. They rigged the phones with buttons that were easier to press without looking, by reaching into their pockets or even pressing them from outside their pockets.Courtsiders tried to get to tournaments early in the day, to get seats behind one of the players for optimal viewing. They regulated their liquid intake to avoid poorly timed toilet breaks. “You hold, hold as long as you possibly can,” Coughlan said.Coughlan was an active courtsider for 18 months, through last summer’s U.S. Open. At the peak of Sporting Data’s operation, each of its courtsiders was relaying data 30 to 35 weeks a year, three days a week, three or four matches a day. Tennis is ideal for live scoring because tournaments typically stage many matches simultaneously. If one is lopsided and driving no betting, courtsiders can shift to a different match.After getting used to the job of keeping score, “you almost zone out,” Coughlan said. Then at crucial moments in the match, “you really have to really switch on.”I asked him to show me how he’d record the score. He said I wouldn’t see, and I didn’t; he was that good. He could applaud a well-played winner while deftly tapping the right button on the phone in his pocket. He’d usually pick a player to support, going with the crowd whenever possible so as not to stick out.Before prospective courtsiders were sent out to work, they were tested in the office, racing to see who could record points fastest. And they were told not to drink during tournaments after company tests — conducted by assigning employees the onerous homework of drinking heavily — showed hangovers weren’t conductive to fast, accurate match-scoring.3Hutchins’s company didn’t enforce similar rules; in his book he describes one drunk work session: “Our speed isn’t up to scratch but we are keeping it together.”Most of the courtsiders were young men. High, who turned 49 in January, worked mostly out of headquarters in London. “I’m an old man,” he said. “It’s a young man’s game.”It’s also a career with a limited lifespan. When tournaments catch a courtsider in the act, they typically boot the offender and ban him from returning, on threat of prosecution. Hutchins describes in his book a folder with headshots of known courtsiders that he kept seeing at tournaments. When he repeatedly was booted early in tournaments, he knew his days on tour were numbered.“One of our guys got on first-name terms with security,” High said. “At that point, he knew his career was drawing to a close.”‘We broke a million’Sporting Data occupies office space in a storage facility in southwest London, not far from Wimbledon, the International Tennis Federation headquarters and the National Tennis Centre, but not as posh. Inside are a few desks and lots of computer monitors and screens, plus a conference room that doubles as storage space.Sporting Data placed tennis bets primarily on Betfair, which imposes a five-second delay on bets. Often, Sporting Data would get score information from its courtsiders more than five seconds before the official scoreboard updated. Between its data speed advantage and its predictive model — which incorporates each player’s probability of winning serve and return points — it could find advantageous bets.Some of the people on the other side of Sporting Data’s bets probably were casual gamblers who based their wagers on the match broadcast or the digital scoreboard. Others might have been betting with their hearts, when a favorite player was in a tough scrape. Some might even have been rivals whose own courtsiders were sending in scores even faster, or who used models that disagreed with Sporting Data’s.4Rivals also were competing on the same side of the bet as Sporting Data. The first one to offer a bet that matched one they wanted to make would get it. For high-profile matches, there might be five or six other firms, also with courtsiders and models, competing. “Whoever wins that race is going to get the casual punter first,” High said. “Generally speaking, there’s enough for all of us to make a lot of money, because there are a lot of casual punters, a lot of recreational punters out there.”The identity of the person on the other side of his bets didn’t matter, High said. “The clearest point I want to make is, he’s a guy who wants his bet to be matched.”5Also, Betfair warns its customers on its website that its score data may not be the latest available: “Although the current score, time elapsed and other data provided on this site is sourced from a ‘live’ feed provided by a third party, you should be aware that this data may be subject to a time delay and/or be inaccurate. If you rely on this data to place bets, you do so entirely at your own risk. Betfair provides this data AS IS with no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of such data and accepts no responsibility for any loss (direct or indirect) suffered by you as a result of your reliance on it.”Naturally, Sporting Data lost a lot of bets, because knowing about just one more point than your betting counterpart often provides only a minuscule edge. But it won enough bets to make the whole enterprise worthwhile. “We broke a million” pounds ($1.7 million) last year, High said, though that was before expenses on courtsiders and Betfair charges. “From a purely business point of view, I would say the margins were good but not extraordinary,” he said.The business didn’t depend on fixing matches or seeking inside information at tournaments, High said. He said his employees never corrupted the sport, and bristled when some of the press coverage of the Daniel Dobson arrest referred to an alleged “betting scam.”High got into tennis betting after working for Reuters and then Betfair. He and several partners formed a syndicate to pool their bets and agreed to split winnings. Sporting Data is the company they created to provide the syndicate with data.At first they were getting their scores from the official scoreboard, and betting without a model. Then they found a model online and adapted it for their purposes.High speaks with some pride about his firm’s increasing competitiveness in tennis betting, much like a coach might speak proudly of his protégé’s career progression. “We went from being fairly slow, and not having a model, to operating on a Wimbledon final,” he said. At its peak, tennis was producing about half the syndicate’s profits, with horse racing generating much of the rest.Coming into conflict with tennis authorities, and occasionally getting booted, was a cost of doing business. But an arrest wasn’t part of the plan. “We were aware that the authorities didn’t really like it, but there was no suggestion it was illegal in any way,” High said.High described the aftermath of Dobson’s arrest as stressful — for his young employee, for Dobson’s parents, and for High and his colleagues, who stayed in touch with Australia in the middle of the London night. After the arrest, Sporting Data launched a website whose sole content was a statement asserting that “it has never been and never will be involved in any illegal betting or any other illegal activity whatsoever,” and that Dobson couldn’t be guilty of the 2013 law under which he was arrested because recording scores doesn’t affect match outcomes.The company endured about a week of intense and often negative media coverage. “Once people understood we weren’t some sort of criminal organization cheating people out of money, the whole thing died down pretty quickly,” High said.A spokeswoman for Tennis Australia, which runs the Australian Open and which reportedly flagged Dobson to the state of Victoria police, said she would send answers to written questions but didn’t. After the charges against Dobson were dropped, the police issued a statement saying the decision “should not be seen as an invitation for people to attend the Australian Open next year and engage in courtsiding.”High thinks other companies, including Hutchins’s, also pulled out of courtsiding after the arrest. Coughlan can tell some courtsiders are still active simply by watching the in-play betting markets for matches on Betfair. When the odds move before the score has changed, he knows one of his former peers is at the match.Now that Sporting Data has exited tennis, it’s had to lay off some employees. It’s focusing on soccer and horse racing.High is considering ways to re-enter tennis based on intelligence advantage, not a speed edge. For instance, do Asian bettors drive up the price of Asian players beyond what they merit? Betting psychology may be the next frontier, High said. “I think that’s underestimated.” read more

Embrace Commonwealth Ideals in Competition

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, July 20, 2017 – Nassau – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis urged the more than 1,300 athletes, coaches and officials attending the Commonwealth Youth Games 2017 to celebrate the Games in the ideals and values of the Commonwealth.   These include the values of peace, freedom and common purpose for progress and a better and more just world.Addressing the Official Opening Ceremony of the Games, July 18, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, Prime Minister Minnis further encouraged the athletes, coaches and officials to celebrate the unity of the Commonwealth amidst the diversity of its nations and the vibrant bonds of fellowship and friendship being a part of the Commonwealth of Nations entails.“What a delightful sight this is. As I look across the Thomas Robinson Stadium, I can feel the exuberance of the athletes and the many thousands of spectators who will enjoy the thrill of competition,” Prime Minister Minnis said.“The Bahamas is pleased to host the more than 1,300 athletes and the coaches and officials who have come from around the world to celebrate the vibrant bonds of fellowship and friendship of the Commonwealth.“We are particularly pleased that we can celebrate the unity amidst the diversity of the Commonwealth of Nations. We celebrate the young people and athletic excellence in our community of nations,” Prime Minister Minnis added.Prime Minister Minnis said the Commonwealth Youth Games represents an opportunity for the participants to continue their pursuit of excellence.“For many of you, this will be but a first step to greater glory in the years ahead. Names that will resound around this stadium will, hopefully, be the names that we will hear for years to come.“Indeed this Stadium is named in honour of Bahamian sports hero Thomas Robinson, who won a gold medal in the 200-yard dash and a silver medal in the 100-yard dash at the 1958 British Empire/Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. He also won a silver medal in the 100-yard dash in the 1962 British Empire/Commonwealth Games and the 1996 British Empire/Commonwealth Games.“Athletes, you are here because of the sacrifices that you have made and because of your determination and discipline. This has already made all of you winners and deserving of praise and admiration.”Prime Minister Minnis said The Bahamas is emerging as a place for international sporting events.“This year, in addition to hosting the IAAF World Relays, we are proud to have hosted the FIFA Beach Soccer Competition, the CARIFTA Swimming Championships and now the Commonwealth Youth Games.“You are on a global stage. The world is your audience. Endeavour to do your best,” Prime Minister Minnis added before declaring the Games Open.Story by: Matt MauraPress Release: BISPHOTO CAPTION:  Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis addresses the Official Opening of the Commonwealth Youth Games at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, July 18, 2017.  (BIS Photo/Derek Smith) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

The New Childrens Museum wins National Medal Award

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The New Children’s Museum won the National Medal in Washington D.C. recently.The museum was one of five museums selected as winners and the only children’s museum. June 17, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Updated: 11:25 AM Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwittercenter_img KUSI Newsroom, The New Children’s Museum wins National Medal Award Posted: June 17, 2019last_img read more

Around Town DOD Can Say Sayonara to CRs Immigrant Investor Program Gains

first_imgPresident Donald Trump on Friday signed a two-bill spending package that fully funds the Pentagon in fiscal 2019, lifting defense officials from the challenge of coping with short-term spending measures for the first time in 10 years. The legislation’s enactment marks a rare achievement, especially after the president one week earlier signed a three-bill package funding the department’s military construction programs in FY 2019. The defense spending bill provides $674.4 billion in discretionary budget authority and represents a $17 billion increase in DOD’s base budget funding over the FY 2018 allocation. It fully funds the administration’s requested 16,400 end-strength increase this year, including boosting active forces by 15,600 personnel, reports Military Times. … While its long-term fate remains uncertain, an immigration program which has provided a significant source of financing for base redevelopment projects has been extended through Dec. 7. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor program grants 10,000 visas annually to foreigners and their families who have invested $1 million in projects in the United States that create at least 10 jobs, or who have invested $500,000 if the money supports areas of high unemployment. Numerous questions have been raised about the program, though, and lawmakers from both parties have proposed terminating it, reports CQ.DOD photo by Michael Strasser Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

50 PERSONNEL CHANGES Who Joined Who Left Wilmington Public Schools Over The Summer

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington School Committee recently received its August personnel report, recapping the changes to the school system’s staff over the summer recess.“Even within the last 24 hours, we’re contending with very last minute resignations. I doubt we’re unique compared to other districts. There’s lot of volatility right now,” noted School Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand.Andrea Stern Armstrong, the district’s Director of Human Resources, told Committee members she is working diligently to get all positions filled as soon as possible. Her biggest priority is filling the six open educational assistant positions.In response to a question from School Committee member David Ragsdale, Armstrong believes there’s a variety of reasons why staff members are leaving the district, including salary, career advancement, family, and relocation. She noted many Educational Assistants are currently in school studying to become teachers. Once they graduate, they’ll pursue teacher positions and eventually resign as educational assistants.Below is a recap of changes documented by Armstrong. This information was provided on August 28, 2019, so many of the vacancies are likely now filled.Wilmington Middle School  SPED Inclusion Teacher Jennifer Grandbois was hired to a new position.SPED Strides Program Teacher Hannah Laviolette resigned and was replaced by Lauren Kulakowski.Tech Ed/STEM Teacher Dennis Fitzgerald resigned and was replaced by Charles Ronchetti.SPED Inclusion Teacher Kristine Benning resigned and was replaced by Neil MacDonald.STEM Teacher Kevin Welch was transferred to the Shawsheen to become its 1-year Interim Assistant Principal. Welch was replaced by Edward Kaizer. Welch’s interim principalship ended with the hiring of Alexander Phillips.LPN/Ed Assistant Amanda Madigan resigned and was replaced by Carissa Carrier.SPED Teacher Susan Mann retired and was replaced by Justine Palermo.Reading Specialist Marianne Oshiro retired and was replaced by Kristen Romano.Reading Teacher Kristen Romano became a Reading Specialist at the Middle School. She was replaced by Amy Glavin.Math Strategies Teacher Bethany Lloyd resigned her position, which is still open.Woburn Street Elementary School  Ed Assistant Erin Brugger resigned and was replaced by Kara Pereira.Principal Jeff Strasnick retired and was replaced by Suzanne Sullivan.Admin Assistant Justine Palermo transfered to the Middle School and was replaced by Karen O’Reilly.Admin Assistant Karen O’Reilly resigned her position, which is still open.Ed Assistant Conor Bailey resigned his position, which is still open.Shared Ed Assistant Taylor Perella resigned her position, which is still open.Ed Assistant Ryan MacIver resigned his position, which is still open.Assistant Frank Ferriero retired and was replaced by Shelia Burke.Boutwell Early Childhood CenterKindergarten Teacher Sharon Tildsley retired and was replaced by Arlene Poeck.District LevelSchool Psychologist Andrew Paschal resigned and was replaced by Jacqueline Dami.Physical Therapist Eileen Lee retired and was replaced by Kelly Ayers.Kenneth Lord became Director of Technology, which was previously unfilled.SPL Assistant Deryn Blaney resigned his position, which is still open.North Intermediate SchoolReading Specialist Nikki Sutton is taking a leave of absence and was replaced by Jennifer Rizzari.Ed Assistant Nicole McKenna resigned and was replaced by Joanne Vultaggio.Shawsheen Elementary SchoolSPED Teacher Ryan Cunningham resigned and was replaced by Mary Vardner.Ed Assistant for Pathways Eric Lozzi resigned his position, which is still open.Admin Assistant Karen O’Reilly was transferred and was replaced by Jennifer Sirois.Ed Assistant Joanne Vultaggio was transferred and replaced by Elizabeth Pellegrino.Ed Assistant Susan Pelletier was transferred and her position was not filled.Ed Assistant Mary Moran resigned and was replaced by Ashley Jones.Ed Assistant Meaghan Ashley resigned and was replaced by McKayla Hersom.Assistant Principal Erin Burke resigned and was replaced by Kevin Welch.Student Support ServicesAdmin Assistant Margaret Magee retired and was replaced by Lynn Neville & Kathy Fuller in a reshuffling. Neville and Fuller were replaced by Kristina Barbacano.Leanne Ebert became Coordinator of Special Education, a new position.West Intermediate SchoolGrade 4 Teacher Shelia Burke became Asst. Principal at the Woburn Street and was replaced by Renee Descheme.SPED Teacher Margaret Bolt resigned and her position remains open.School Psychologist Bethany Dionne and was replaced by Meghan St. Denis.Ed Assistant for Stepping Stones Avery Woodbury resigned and was replaced by Adrianna Kippenberger.Wilmington High SchoolStrides ABA Teacher Danielle France resigned and was replaced by Ashely Rokobauer.Athletics Director Tim Alberts resigned and was replaced by Ed Harrison.Physical Education & Health Teacher Lois Nardo retired and was replaced by Savannah Dupeyrat.Guidance Admin Assistant Vanessa French retired and was replaced by Sharon Eldered.Guidance Counselor Timothy McCarthy resigned and was replaced by Ashley LeBlanc.Math Teacher Caitlin Enright resigned and was replaced by Jessica Craft.Athletic Department Admin Assistant Cheryl Tavares resigned and was replaced by Heather Paonessa.Mollie Dickerson became the Guidance CTL. She had been serving in the position on an interim basis.Wildwood Early Childhood Center Ed Assistant Conor Bailey transfered from Wildwood to Woburn StreetEd Assistant Emily Weidlin resigned her position, which is still open.Kindergarten Teacher Marion Valeri retired and was replaced by Isabella Gallant. Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSCHOOL COMMITTEE To Discuss New School Year, New Administrators & New Goals At August 28 MeetingIn “Education”NEW ROLES FOR 3 FAMILIAR EDUCATORS: Shelia Burke, Leanne Ebert & Kevin Welch Named To Leadership PositionsIn “Education”Superintendent Brand Announces His TEN Goals For The 2019-2020 School YearIn “Education”last_img read more

Bugatti La Voiture Noire is a 125M oneoff inspired by the Atlantic

first_img 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet first drive: The uber-roadster 62 Photos Bugatti spent the lead-up to the Geneva Motor Show talking about its Type 57 SC Atlantic, a car that’s been captivating people for the better part of 80 years. Bugatti is not reviving the Atlantic, but it did lean on that design to create a wild one-off. Bugatti revealed La Voiture Noire (which literally translates to the black car) on Tuesday, a one-of-one creation that is meant to incorporate the idea of grand touring into a car with immense amounts of power and equal amounts of luxury. It also costs an immense amount of money, with the final price tag from Bugatti coming in at a cool 11 million euros ($12.5 million) — before tax. That’s how you make an appearance at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.It’s not exactly hard to tell who built La Voiture Noire. The car is still quintessentially Bugatti, with a front end that’s closer to the aerodynamic Divo than the O.G. Chiron on which it’s based. However, the nose eschews the hardcore aero of the Divo in favor of some different vent arrangements, more pronounced front lights and dimples (or something) on the hood. Some folks were expecting some sort of wild Atlantic recreation, but it’s clear that Bugatti stayed rooted in modern design for La Voiture Noire.Enlarge ImageTake a good look now, because unless you happen to be the owner, you’ll probably never see this thing in the wild. Andrew Hoyle/Roadshow The dorsal fin, which is a staple of the original Atlantic’s design, lives on here. It starts just above the grille and makes its way to the roof through a centrally-located windshield wiper, continuing down the car’s long body and terminating just ahead of the Bugatti badge. The rear end marks a serious departure from both the Divo and Chiron, with a single lighting element going from side to side. Everything beneath that light is a continuation of the front end’s grille design. There are six tailpipes and, in true 2019 fashion, the Bugatti script out back illuminates.Even though it has more tailpipes than the regular Chiron, the powertrain appears to be the same. Bugatti says that La Voiture Noire sports an 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine that’s good for a shade under 1,500 horsepower and about 1,180 pound-feet of torque, the same as the Chiron. The car is already sold and is rumored to be going to Ferdinand Piech, Ferdinand Porsche’s grandson and the chairman of VW Group from 1993 to 2002. Bugatti wouldn’t say who the lucky person is, naturally, saying only that the person in question is a “Bugatti enthusiast.” No duh. Will it carry the same cachet in 80 years’ time that the Atlantic does today, though? That’s perhaps the most interesting question of all.Originally published March 5 at 12:10 a.m. PT.Update, at 2:41 a.m. PT: Corrected the pre-tax price, which fell prey to a rounding error. Geneva Motor Show 2019 reading • Bugatti La Voiture Noire is a $12.5M one-off inspired by the Atlantic Mar 8 • VW is still ‘100 percent’ investigating a pickup truck for the US La Voiture Noire is a $12.5M hypercar Preview • 2017 Bugatti Chiron: A velvet rocketship Now playing: Watch this: Apr 17 • The 2020 Jaguar XE gets its first major visual refresh Tags Bugatti La Voiture Noire is ‘the most expensive new car of all time’ Mar 7 • New Peugeot 208 debuts i-Cockpit with 3D HUD Combo dashboard More about 2017 Bugatti Chironcenter_img • See All Exotic Cars Superluxury Cars Performance Cars Coupes Geneva Motor Show 2019 2020 BMW Alpina B7 first drive: Big, bad, Bavarian ‘bahn-burner Comment 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: Holy hell 1 Share your voice 2:14 Mar 7 • The Ferrari F8 Tributo is the last of the nonhybrid V8s More From Roadshow Bugattilast_img read more

Great lastminute Fathers Day gifts for 2019

first_img See at Walmart Apple Iron Man tops Father’s Day picks for best sci-fi, fantasy dads 11 great gifts under $100 you can still get in time for Father’s Day 14 great Father’s Day gifts under $50 Available at Walmart Dad loves wine, but probably doesn’t have time to seek out the best red blends or summer whites. Fortunately, Firstleaf offers expert curating depending on Dad’s preferences, then delivers six different bottles for him to try. This can happen at regular intervals (every one to three months), or just as a one-off.The first shipment is just $40. Subsequent ones will be $79. In both cases, shipping is free when you use our link below. And while the first box won’t arrive in time for Father’s Day, just present Dad with any bottle of wine to represent the gift that’s coming. Easy peasy. Firstleaf Wine Club: First six bottles for $40 (save $39), plus free shipping for one year CBS All Access gift card: $25 and up Mobile Mobile Accessories Storage Wearable Tech Toys and Tabletop Games Smart Speakers & Displays Available same-day via Drizly See at Amazon Whatever Dad’s libation of preference, you can get it delivered same-day via Drizly, which works with local liquor shops. This particular whiskey is one I’m suddenly hearing mentioned all over the place, but it’s just one example of the kind of spirit you can get for dear old Dad. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET With its Lightning connector at one end and USB/Micro-USB hybrid connector at the other, this high-capacity drive works with just about any device Dad owns. There’s even a USB-C adapter to accommodate his latest and greatest hardware.The $21.93 price is yours when you click the on-page 5%-off coupon and then apply promo code BWD3ZF88 at checkout. Is Dad constantly running out of juice for his phone? Laptop? Nintendo Switch? All of the above? This “Beast” of a portable power bank can charge them all, and then some. Use code 6EU9D2TR at checkout to score this exclusive discount. Bosch Available locally and online Now playing: Watch this: Amazon remains your best bet if you do need something delivered, as Prime subscribers can now get one-day shipping on many items. From there, look to stores like Best Buy and Walmart, where you may have the option of in-store pickup.Below I’ve rounded up some Father’s Day gift ideas you still have time to get, with subscription options at the top, in-store options below that and then Amazon picks. Read more: CNET’s complete Father’s Day gift guide Total nepotism play, here. (CNET is owned by CBS.) But that doesn’t change the fact that Dad would almost certainly enjoy new shows like Star Trek: Discovery, The Good Fight and The Twilight Zone, plus a massive library of old ones like MacGyver and Taxi.A $25 gift card would be good for four full months of the service (at the $5.99-per-month, limited-commercials rate). See at Amazon Omars Beast 26,800-mAh Portable Charger with AC Outlet: $63 (save $37) with code It’s not even Prime Day, and Amazon is already running one of the best Echo deals to date. At $65, the full-size smart speaker is a whopping 35% off. Of course, Dad doesn’t have to know that. He’ll just know that you got him an attractive, nice-sounding speaker loaded with Alexa smarts.That price is good on all three fabric-cover colors; you can also get one of the wood finishes for $20 more. Apple Watch: $199 and up Bosch GLM20 compact laser distance measure: $29.97 (save $20) The Cheapskate See at Amazon Omars Echo smart speaker: $65 See at Amazon Amazon Echo review See at Drizly Great gadgets for Dad at all prices Escape rooms are a blast, and should appeal to any dad’s puzzle-loving nature. Bring a group and try to find all the clues and solve all the puzzles before time runs out.Most rooms are themed — mad scientist, cold-war spies, zombies run amok and so on — and tickets usually run around $30 per person. Below I’ve included a link to national chain Escape the Room, but you can also hit up Groupon, and you should find package deals for any number of rooms in your area.Better yet, call the business directly and ask if they’ll give you the same deal they’re advertising on Groupon. It’s a much better option for them, and you’ll still get a discount. Jun 14 • Make it a 4K Father’s Day: Save on 4K TVs at Best Buy and Walmart Tickets to an escape room: Around $30 per person See at Firstleaf Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Available on Amazon See at Walmart Ever wish you had a better idea what makes Dad tick? Get him this card game — and play it with him! It’s a deck designed to spark discussions about ideas, perspectives and, well, how you see the world. It’s normally $25, but CNET readers can get $5 off with promo code CNET2019. How Do You See the World? card game: $20 (save $5) with code Available at Amazon Eachine See at Amazon See at Amazon Nikka Coffey Malt Whiskey: $55 and up Nikka All current Apple Watch sales Father’s Day Tech Gift Guide Time’s up! Father’s Day is tomorrow, so any last-minute gift shipping needs to happen now. For starters, consider some kind of subscription (like the Firstleaf Wine Club, below), which you can purchase instantly and doesn’t require any kind of immediate delivery. CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Tags Available at Amazon and Walmart Available at Amazon Firstleaf Available at Amazon A must-have for every Dad’s toolbox, the GLM20 replaces that clunky old tape measure with laser-powered precision. It’s a cinch to operate — there’s just one button — and the price is as low as it’s ever been.Looking for another tool gift? Lowe’s has the Bosch Freak 18-volt Cordless Impact Driver for $89 — a savings of 40%. It may well be in stock at your local store, making it a true last-minute option.  Father’s Day 2019 Wivic Available at Amazon Authentic Agility Watch this space for more last-minute gift ideas as Father’s Day gets closer! If Dad owns an iPhone, the Apple Watch is just about the perfect companion. It handles messaging, heart-rate monitoring, exercise tracking and tons more. Oh, yeah, it tells time, too.The price to beat right now is $199 for Apple Watch Series 3 38mm (with black or white sport band), or the slightly larger 42mm model for $229. The link below will take you to Walmart’s product page, but you can also get the Apple Watch Series for $199 at Amazon.You can class up this gift by adding something like a Milanese watch band for $12. While you’re at it, look at all the other inexpensive Apple Watch accessories you can get for Dad. Amazon Apple 1:10 • Share your voice See at Escape the Room Available online Jun 14 • Gifts for dads who enjoy their booze Jun 14 • Gifts for dads who love breakfast See All Wivic 4-in-1 128GB flash drive: $21.93 with code reading • Great last-minute Father’s Day gifts for 2019 Available at Amazon 8 Comments Get Dad this drone. Seriously. It’s ridiculously cool and comes with a paraglider guy that can ride parachute-style or on top of it, like some kind of crazy flying skateboarder. It normally sells for $35, but you can snag a solid discount with promo code ZV4YT927.I have this. I’ve flown it. It’s a blast. Dad will love it. Eachine E019 Stunt Drone: $21 (save $14) with code Walmart Zsolt Dobak, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0last_img read more

Oculus cofounders exit is latest in string of Facebook departures

first_img Tags Post a comment Mitchell was the head of virtual reality products at Facebook, which purchased Oculus for $3 billion. The Oculus team at Facebook has grappled with a number of woes, including a lawsuit and executive turnover, as it tries to make virtual reality more mainstream. Facebook bought Oculus because it envisions a future in which Facebookers will be able to share moments with their friends and family as if they’re all together in person. Co-founders at other companies Facebook purchased have also left the social media giant in recent years. That list includes Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, WhatApp’s Brian Acton and Jan Koum and Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey. The Instagram co-founders reportedly clashed with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.Mitchell said he’ll be spending time with family and taking time to travel. His departure also comes before Oculus Connect 6, a virtual reality developer conference that kicks off in San Jose, California, at the end of September. Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell James Martin/CNET Facebook can’t seem to hold onto the founders of the companies it acquires.The latest departure: Nate Mitchell, co-founder of the virtual reality startup Oculus, which launched in 2012 and was bought by Facebook in 2014. Mitchell, the last Oculus co-founder still at Facebook, said Tuesday that he was stepping down.”Virtual reality is still on the bleeding edge of technology, and this community continues to pioneer the way forward,” he wrote in a post on Reddit. “What’s ahead is always unknown, and that’s what makes it exciting.” Some bittersweet news to share. After 7 incredible years at Oculus / Facebook, I’m moving on. It’s been a privilege to be a part of the VR community, and I can’t wait to see what comes next: https://t.co/M3XWASigvS pic.twitter.com/dhzPrdmpuP— Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) August 13, 2019 0 Sci-Tech Tech Industry Share your voice Oculus Facebooklast_img read more

Edmund Shing Microsoft and Amazon lead cloud computing crescendo

first_imgClose In the week of 19 October, Microsoft (US code: MSFT) shares surged 9% on the back on an unexpectedly strong quarterly earnings report, reaching a new 15-year price high of almost $53 per share.All key Microsoft business divisions performed better than expected, with strong contributions from the new Windows 10 operating system, the Office 365 online productivity software suite, and strong uptake of the Xbox One games console and associated Xbox live online subscriptions.But the real star of the show was the 14% constant currency growth in sales from the Intelligent Cloud division, with Microsofts Azure cloud services product doubling revenues over the same period a year ago.This mirrors the very strong performance seen in Amazons quarterly earnings report, with Amazon Web Services posting a very impressive 78% jump in sales over a year ago, driving a surge in Amazons profit growth.So two of US Techs hottest cloud computing giants are hitting new share price highs (Chart 1), joined by the third, the company formerly known as Google, now called Alphabet (US code: GOOGL).Looking at the growth of the cloud computing sector overall, it continues to be very impressive as more and more companies take advantage of Web 2.0 to produce new disruptive business models.Think about the impact that new web-based service businesses have had in taking market share: Uber in taxi services, Airbnb in short hotel stays, Netflix in video on-demand and of course the continued boom in convenient, online shopping at the expense of the traditional High Street.The cloud computing companies that provide the essential web hosting and computing power behind these web-based companies are led by Amazon and Microsoft, but also include IBM, Alphabet (Google) and Salesforce.com (Chart 2).US technology dominates the cloudCloud computing is dominated by US technology behemoths. So if you want to invest in the growth of cloud computing, the most obvious way is via buying shares in US tech companies.You could buy shares in one or a number of these technology giants; however that requires a share account that allows you to trade in US-listed shares, and also requires you to buy these shares in US dollars. This is the approach I take personally, but is perhaps only for the experienced investor who wants to invest regularly in US shares.ETFs and investment trusts: An easier solutionFor investors who do not want to take this more complicated route, a far easier solution lies in exchange-traded funds and investment trusts. These funds, listed on the London Stock Exchange, allow you to buy diversified exposure in US technology companies without needing special overseas share accounts or converting money into US dollars.There are three such listed funds that you can buy via a standard UK share account or a stocks and shares ISA:The Polar Capital Technology Trust (UK code: PCT, 572p as of Friday 23 October). This is an investment trust which invests globally in technology companies, with naturally a heavy bias towards US technology stocks. Its top holdings currently are: Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.The Powershares Nasdaq-100 UCITS ETF (UK code: EQQQ, share price £73.67), an ETF which mimics the US technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 index. Top 3 holdings: Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.3. The Source Technology S and P US Select Sector UCITS ETF (UK code; XLKQ, share price £66.85), an ETF which invests in the US technology sector. Top holdings: Apple, Microsoft and Facebook.For pure technology exposure and a fund that holds three of the largest cloud computing providers, I would opt for the Polar Capital Technology Trust right now, although the Powershares Nasdaq 100 comes a close second.UK cloud computing companies: iomartIn the UK, there are few listed cloud computing companies. One smaller UK technology company that is generating strong sales and profit growth from cloud computing is iomart (UK code: IOM, share price 280p), which develops and puts in place cloud computing solutions for companies using, for example Microsofts Azure online software platform.It has performed well over the last year on the back of strong growth, but could be set for further strong growth as cloud computing becomes ever more popular.Edmund Shing is Global Head of Equity Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London. He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.last_img read more

Singapore Airlines arm Scoot expands flight services to India adds Jaipur

first_imgSingapore’s budget airline Scoot is currently increasing its presence in India’s domestic aviation sector. The long-haul budget arm of Singapore Airlines has launched its operations in Jaipur as its third destination.Scoot started its India operations in May this year when it launched flight to Amritsar and Chennai with a Boeing 787 plane. The airline will fly to Jaipur three times a week, which would increase to four from this month end, Press Trust of India reported.”We are excited to welcome an international airline like Scoot as it opens new avenues for the public in Jaipur to fly to popular destinations. This will go a long way in boosting trade and tourism for the city making it more prominent on the world map,” Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan was quoted as saying by the agency.Other subsidiaries’ SilkAir and Tigerair also fly to India.”We are a very young airline, just four years old, but have always been interested in the Indian market. Last year, when aircraft deliveries started coming in, we have been eyeing Indian market. We started the ground work early last year to commence operations here,” Bharath Mahadevan, country head of Scoot airlines had said in a statement in May.The airline hopes to double its operations in terms of cities by 2017.In May 2014, parent company Singapore Airlines (Asia’s biggest carrier by market value) spent $319 million in buying stock in Scoot Pte, Bloomberg reported.last_img read more