If you read my Skeptical Football column regularly last season (which I’m sure you did), you may already be familiar with my “gunslinger” obsession. But in case you’re new, here’s the quick recap: For a quarterback to maximize his ability to win, he has to take risks. Just as a coach failing to go for it in certain fourth-down situations costs his teams wins, so does a quarterback who doesn’t alter his game to exploit the situation he faces. Many times this means making decisions that can be costly to a player’s statistical efficiency — and often his popular reputation — in order to slightly improve his team’s chances of victory. In other words, throwing interceptions may not always be bad, and not throwing interceptions may not always be good.To celebrate the QBs willing to make this bargain, last year I picked a Gunslinger of the Week (the QB who set the best example of taking “good, smart risks in their relentless pursuit of victory, whether or not those risks succeeded”) each week. This season, we’re spinning that off into its own post, to be released on Mondays. (MNFers are eligible to steal the next week’s award, but only if they’re really really slingy.) So without further ado:Week 1Philip Rivers and defending Gunslinger of the Year Tony Romo both won despite trailing big and throwing multiple interceptions while they were behind. Those impossible wins are rare feats that I love to reward.But when I looked over the play-by-play, I was less impressed from the gunslinger perspective. Romo’s first interception came with less than a minute left in the first half, on Dallas’s own 20-yard line, and was thrown only 1 yard downfield on a first-and-10. “Good” interceptions are low risk/high reward — or sometimes high risk/high reward — but a bad short pass on first down in Romo’s own territory is high risk/low reward. His second came on a throw that went 2 yards downfield on third and 6, again in Dallas territory. Suffice to say, these were not the kind of plays that signify that a QB is pulling out all the stops to win; they were just good, old-fashioned turnovers.Rivers had two interceptions in the first half, including one returned for a touchdown and one on the Lions goal line. While he eventually pulled out an amazing win, gunslinging had little if anything to do with it. The Lions’ Matthew Stafford — a Gunslinger Award veteran himself — got a little too slingy for his own good and threw two INTs while in the lead to help the Chargers get back into things, and then Rivers sealed the deal with an impressively robotic but decidedly non-slingy stretch of 20 straight completions, only four of which went for more than 5 yards in the air (and eight of which were thrown behind the line of scrimmage).Note: Gambling by throwing downfield isn’t the only way to be a good gunslinger, but it’s certainly one way. Which leads us to this week’s winner:Ben Roethlisberger.This week 11 quarterbacks faced extended multiple-score deficits,1Took at least 10 pass attempts with their team down 9-plus points. and none pushed the ball downfield as hard as Steelers QB Roethlisberger:Playing the Patriots, Roethlisberger threw his passes the farthest downfield by far: on average, more than 12 yards per pass. That included seven attempts of more than 20 yards — more than the rest of these quarterbacks combined.After New England raced out to a 21-3 lead early in the third quarter, things looked pretty bleak for the Steelers. But Roethlisberger brought them to within 7 with a TD (plus 2-point conversion) and a field goal on the next two drives — each featuring passes completed 24 yards downfield. When the Patriots went back up 14, Roethlisberger continued to push, completing an 18-yard pass to get the Steelers to midfield and then going big with a 40-yard pass that was intercepted by Duron Harmon. There’s no shame in being intercepted on a throw that — if completed — would have set up a potentially crucial score with seven minutes remaining.On the final drive of the night, Roethlisberger would push his yard tally to 351 and get a meaningless TD with seven seconds left. But with two minutes left on that same drive — when he probably could have given up and padded his stats a little more easily — he was throwing a 29-yard bomb to Markus Wheaton that a defender got a hand on. Had that been successful, it might have given the Steelers a slim chance of winning instead of none. That’s the kind of choice I like to see.Reminder: If you tweet NFL questions to me @skepticalsports, there is a non-zero chance that I’ll answer them in Skeptical Football. Check out win and loss projections and playoff odds for all 32 NFL teams.
Updated: 4:46 PM Update: 52-year-old man killed in last night’s officer-involved shooting in El Cerrito KUSI Newsroom August 25, 2019 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) – A 52-year-old man, who police say threw a brick at his 70-year-old aunt, was shot and killed by an officer during a shooting in the El Cerrito community of San Diego, a police lieutenant said today.The woman called police a little before 7:50 p.m. Saturday from a home in the 5800 block of Adelaide Avenue to report that her nephew had thrown a brick at her, San Diego Police Lt. Matt Dobbs said.Two officers responded to handle the possible assault with a deadly weapon call, which eventually resulted in an officer-involved shooting, Dobbssaid.“Although it is early in the investigation, witnesses told the investigators the male advanced on the officers, while swinging a large post-like object at them (later determined to be a shovel),” he said.“The officers gave the male orders to drop the weapon, but the male refused to cooperate,” he said. “He continued quickly advancing on the officers, swinging the shovel, prompting one officer to fire his Taser, while the second officer fired his service weapon.”The 52-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported, Dobbs said. The officers involved in the shooting were from the department’s Mid-City division. One was a four-year veteran, while the other was a 16-year veteran of the police department.San Diego police asked anyone with information regarding the officer-involved shooting to call the department’s Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: August 25, 2019 KUSI Newsroom,
Shoppers are entering a brave new world of retail technology that they could find appealing — or annoying.Stores hope to catch customers’ attention and improve the buying experience with interactive devices such as holographic store greeters and mirrors that dispense fashion advice. While these technologies may be eye catching, consumers could find them gimmicky, even irritating.”The more technology, the more you must compensate for it with a human touch,” says Patricia Aburdene, author of Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2010). “Technology for its own sake [can be] technology overkill. High tech/high touch is an exquisite balance of technology in service to the human experience of sensuality.”Louis Rosas-Guyon, president of R-Squared Computing, a business technology consulting company, and author of Nearly Free IT for Micro and Small Business (Heroic Cow Publishing, 2009), judges the merits of retail technology on five criteria: convenience, speed, accessibility, advertising-free information and soft selling. “My ideal shopping experience is like a caveman hunting: find my prey, acquire/kill it, and then take it home hanging from my spear, singing songs of victory,” he says. “Any technology that helps me be more efficient when I shop is a winner in my book.”Here are three new retail technologies and the experts’ opinion of them:A holographic greeter.Courtesy of Marketing Ad GroupVirtual GreetersIf you walk by Eye See Solutions in the vision-care area at the Wal-Mart store in Plant City, Fla., you may see a small crowd gathered around a “virtual woman” talking about why you should get an eye exam. This holographic greeter takes the place of an employee at a lower cost, says Dale Gillis, co-owner of Mooresville, N.C.-based Marketing Ad Group, which began promoting the product last summer and has leased about 70 greeters. “You might have to pay someone $10 an hour to be a greeter, while this costs just $2 to $3” an hour based on the monthly leasing cost.Alice Marie Bruce, office manager for Eye See Solutions, an optometry practice that rents space in Wal-Mart, says the Plant City store has seen an increase of about 50 percent for eye exams and almost 60 percent for product sales since installing the virtual greeter in November. “The greeter offers various discounts on products and services through a QR code she displays,” Bruce says. “We can directly attribute these increases to the discounts generated by the scanned QR codes.”Expert opinions: Rosas-Guyon doesn’t foresee long-term success for the holographic greeter. “Ultimately, we are social animals,” he says. “Human interaction is still too important.” Aburdene agrees that short-term cost savings aren’t worth the loss of human interaction. “Greeters are supposed to provide the human touch,” she says. “That’s something technology can’t do — ever.”Related: Why Next-Gen Displays Might Be Your Next Point-of-Sale Marketing ToolInteractive mirrors offer product suggestions and style advice.Courtesy of MirrusInteractive MirrorsMost retailers can’t afford their own style advisors, but Winston Salem, N.C.-based Mirrus has created an interactive mirror that can help customers make fashion choices and generate additional sales. Shoppers either hold up or try on an outfit, then step in front of the mirror, which displays recommended accessories and their location in the store. “Retailers today have to work so hard to get people into the store. This provides a way to keep them there and move them from one department to the next,” says Mirrus founder and CEO Brian Reid, whose company began marketing full-length and countertop mirrors in 2010. When shoppers aren’t using the mirrors, retailers can play videos on such topics as the right way to wear a scarf or the style of sunglasses that best suits different face shapes.Mirrus currently has about 3,000 mirror units installed in clothing stores, sports and entertainment venues, airports and beauty salons around the world. For example, the Paul Mitchell Beauty & Cosmetology School in Charlotte, N.C., which sells hair products and discount haircuts, is testing mirrors that advertise product specials and provide reminders to book an appointment. Reid wouldn’t comment on the mirror’s cost, but he said he tries to “create a financial structure that enables [the business] to recoup the hardware investment in eight months or less.”Expert opinions: Rosas-Guyon says to expect this technology to be adopted quickly by large department stores because it can encourage additional sales. But Aburdene believes the mirrors might be invasive: “The customer is standing in front of a mirror partially dressed and feeling vulnerable, and some hidden force is telling her to buy something? What else can this computer see about me? It’s not great for retailers if it’s not great for customers.”Touchscreens like the Wine Guru let shoppers compare products.Courtesy of Touchpoint Interactive MediaTouchscreensTouchscreens are a growing part of the shopping experience, and they’re becoming more sophisticated. Touchpoint Interactive Media of Dublin, Ireland, for instance, is selling multi-touch technology that brings together many products on one screen so shoppers can compare features. Last year, Vodafone began using Touchpoint’s screens to let customers compare features of various mobile phones in 55 stores across Ireland.”Overall feedback has been very positive,” says Alessandro Quadu, retail operations executive for Vodafone Retail Ireland.”Walking the customer through the process step by step using the screens is a much more interactive experience and allows a much better profiling experience.” Another offering from Touchpoint: the Wine Guru, a virtual wine expert managed by a backend master database that provides information about a store’s selection and costs $40 to $120 a month, depending on the size of the inventory and the bundle of hardware and software used.Expert opinions: Rosas-Guyon is on the fence, saying such touch screens would work best in auto dealerships and other places where buyers need to review large amounts of information before making a decision. But, he adds, “More often than not, when confronted with too much information, humans delay decision making in order to review the facts.” Aburdene is a big fan of the Wine Guru because it provides information many consumers want. “Wine is already a high touch experience, and wine drinkers are technology consumers,” she says, “so this technology is a cost effective balance of high tech/high touch.” Related: Creative Business Uses for Touch-Screen PCs Register Now » August 8, 2012 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 6 min read
Register Now » 7 min read Scenario: You’re a startup office. People in hoodies and graphic tees are throwing the term “AI” around like confetti. You nod and try to play along, managing to churn out a brief mention of Elon Musk and Tesla as you look up the definition of “artificial intelligence” on your phone. You try to translate it into plain English. No luck. Relatable?Never fear: Our trusty guide is here, no prior knowledge required. Let’s talk about what it is — in layman’s terms — and how it could affect your life.What AI isAI is the advancement of computer systems to perform tasks usually limited to humans. Translation: Some things you used to have to do yourself — or call someone about, or visit a physical location for help with — can now be done by a computer.The difference between AI and “machine learning”Chances are, if you’ve heard the term AI ballooning over the last few years, you’ve also heard “machine learning” as a buzzword. Here’s what it means: Advanced machines use large data sets to “learn” and create patterns — then, they use what they’ve learned to recognize more of the unknown.AI and machine learning have a similar relationship to rectangles and squares. Just as all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares; machine learning is one application of AI, but AI is a broader concept that has other uses, too.What AI isn’tSome say AI doesn’t even truly exist yet — that it will only be possible when computers become more similar to sentient beings. People using that definition would say most companies claiming to use “AI” are incorrect. They’d also usually view “machine learning” not as a subset of AI, since it works largely based on pattern recognition and not a more advanced system.But the late John McCarthy, the American computer scientist recognized as having coined the term “artificial intelligence,” did consider pattern recognition to be a branch of AI. He said it had many branches, some of which haven’t even been discovered yet — and that some were much more advanced than others.All this to say: As McCarthy wrote, AI encompasses “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs.”How AI affects your lifeThe idea of AI may sound futuristic and scary. That’s because it is futuristic, and it can be scary — at least in terms of the amount of personal data in play. But AI can also save people considerable time, money and error margins. And it’s likely already a much larger part of your life than you realize.Exhibit A: Worried you’re not saving enough money? Personal finance apps can now analyze your spending patterns, then sock away small amounts of money on your behalf that they deem you won’t notice.Exhibit B: Many hospitals around the country already incorporate AI in an advisor capacity for medical professionals. Since new breakthroughs and research are relatively constant, AI tools help doctors stay up to date on the latest findings, gauge the impact of certain symptoms and make decisions regarding diagnoses.Exhibit C: Whenever you use a traffic or GPS app to navigate your way to work or a friend’s house, AI has a hand in the route it suggests, using an extensive amount of data from smartphones about speed, routes and traffic incidents. And when you’re using a rideshare app, AI helps determine the price of your ride, which route the driver will take and which other passengers will be picked up when.Key playersTesla CEO Elon Musk, who incorporates AI into his company’s autonomous cars, fears for what the technology could mean for the future of humanity. “If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be,” he tweeted in August 2017. “Vastly more risk than North Korea.” He also encouraged the government to regulate the technology before it becomes too advanced. “Nobody likes being regulated, but everything (cars, planes, food, drugs, etc) that’s a danger to the public is regulated,” he wrote on Twitter. “AI should be too.”Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, seems to disagree wholeheartedly. The Facebook CEO hosted a 2017 Facebook live in which he called his views on AI “really optimistic” and mentioned that those who “drum up doomsday scenarios” about AI are “negative” and, in some ways, “really irresponsible.” People naturally pointed to Elon Musk, who later tweeted, “I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.”Key figures at Amazon lean more towards Zuckerberg’s view of the subject, saying the benefits of AI outweigh the risk. “We believe it is the wrong approach to impose a ban on promising new technologies because they might be used by bad actors for nefarious purposes in the future,” wrote Dr. Matt Wood, general manager of AI at AWS. “The world would be a very different place if we had restricted people from buying computers because it was possible to use that computer to do harm.” The company recently sold its Rekognition facial recognition software — which identifies and tracks faces in real time, including those of “people of interest” — to police departments and government agencies. Critics argued it could easily be misused and harm marginalized people.Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, recently released new guidelines surrounding the company’s future with AI. His views are more in line with regulation, even if it’s self-regulation, of the company’s use of AI. “We recognize that such powerful technology raises equally powerful questions about its use,” he wrote in a June blog post. “How AI is developed and used will have a significant impact on society for many years to come. … We feel a deep responsibility to get this right.” He clarified that where there’s a material risk of harm, the company will proceed only when it believes the benefits substantially outweigh the risk. The company also said it won’t collaborate on weapons or “other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people.”Related: What’s Behind the Employee Revolts at Amazon, Microsoft and Google?Potential for biasAI has an intrinsic potential for bias in terms of the data used to train each algorithm to do what it’s supposed to. For example, Google Photos came under fire for tagging African American users as gorillas in 2015, and in 2017, the developers of FaceApp “beautified” faces by lightening skin tones. That’s why it’s vital for AI companies to look at the data they’re using and make sure it’s engineered to reduce bias.What’s nextAI is on the rise in industries across the board. In fact, 30 percent of businesses are predicted to incorporate it before 2019, and that’s up from just 13 percent last year, according to Spiceworks, an information technology company. Google, IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and many more companies are making AI a priority. July 9, 2018 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global