NFL Eyes Extra Point Change

first_imgPHOENIX (AP) — Spice it up. The NFL’s dullest play, the extra point, appears to be headed for some changes, perhaps significant ones, for the 2015 season.While team owners didn’t vote on any extra-point proposals March 25, there was so much discussion and interest in potential changes that the issue will be a main focal point for the next set of league meetings in May.“There’s a clear movement to wanting to change and change it this year,” said Rich McKay, Co-chairman of the competition committee and president of the Falcons.McKay’s committee will “develop alternatives and be ready for a potential vote” in two months in San Francisco.Among the possibilities are moving the line of scrimmage back for PAT kicks; placing the ball on the 1½-yard line for a 2-point conversion; eliminating the PAT kicks entirely, requiring teams to run a play from scrimmage; and allowing the defense to score, as in college football, if the ball is turned over on a 2-point try.McKay described the discussions as “lively, with lots of ideas … it’s time to make this a football play.”“A couple coaches said they favor just lining up on the 2 and going for the 2-point play,” he said. “Or move the ball to the 1 1-2 for two points, or kick from the 15 for one, your choice.”The league experimented with extra-point kicks from a longer distance last preseason. Currently, the line of scrimmage for both an extra point and 2-point conversion try is the 2-yard line.Voted down as the meetings concluded was Chicago’s proposal that each team get a possession in overtime regardless of what happens on the first series.Now, if the side receiving the OT kickoff scores a touchdown, the game ends. If it kicks a field goal, the opponent gets a possession.Unsportsmanlike penalties handed out at the end of a half now will carry over, either to the second half or to overtime.Lining up players with eligible numbers at ineligible positions, as New England did against Baltimore in the playoffs, now has more specific guidelines. Those players must line up inside the tackle box.The owners also approved teams with retractable domes being allowed to open them at halftime, weather permitting, and allowing linebackers to wear numbers from 40-49; previously they could wear only numbers in the 50s and 90s.Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke briefly about two high-profile personal conduct cases in which both players, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, remain on the exempt list.Goodell said the league continues to review Hardy’s case to determine if discipline is warranted. Hardy signed earlier this month with Dallas.Goodell said the date for Adrian Peterson’s suspension to end remains April 15. The Vikings running back had the ban overturned by appeal, a decision the NFL now is appealing itself.Also March 25:—The NFL is not focused necessarily on having a team or teams back in Los Angeles in 2016, but it is a hot topic. Goodell noted the league “wants to succeed long term” in LA, so “right now the focus is on the process and also understanding what it takes to be successful in the LA market.”A report on all three teams interested in moving there — the Rams, Chargers and Raiders — is expected in late April, and Goodell said the owners then would discuss it in San Francisco.—Expansion of the playoffs by two teams was discussed, but won’t be happening for a while. Goodell mentioned scheduling issues as well as competitive questions for such delays.—Ted Wells’ investigation into the deflated footballs in the AFC championship game is ongoing, with no timetable on its conclusion.—Texting during a game by Browns General Manager Ray Farmer is still being investigated to see if any league rules were broken.Earlier in the week, of the 13 video replay alterations proposed, including extending the number of coaches’ challenges and letting them challenge all officiating calls, the only one passed will allow game officials to use replay for clock issues at the end of a half, game or overtime if more than 1 second remains.Five player safety rule changes were made, the most notable allowing a medical adviser to stop a game if he believes a player is disoriented, having the player removed from the field and examined on the sideline or in the locker room.(BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Death toll in Banani fire climbs to 25

first_imgFirefighters recover a body from the blaze-hit Banani FR Tower, Dhaka, on 28 March. Photo: Abdus SalamAt least 25 people were killed so far and 73 people sustained injuries in Banani FR Tower fire in the capital city that broke out on Thursday afternoon.Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Gulshan Zone) deputy commissioner Mushtaq Hossain confirmed the death toll in a media briefing in front of the blaze-hit building on Friday morning.A helicopter carries water to drop on a burning office building as Bangladeshi firefighters on ladders work to extinguish the blaze in Dhaka on 28 March 2019. Photo: AFPMushtaq also said 24 bodies have already been handed over to the family members.A number of people jumped off the FR Tower to their deaths in a desperate bid to save their lives from the blaze as the devastating fire broke out at the 22-storey building at Kamal Ataturk Avenue in the capital’s Banani around 1:00pm on Thursday.last_img read more

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Robots Are Basically Teenagers They Ace Video Games and Barely Pass Math

first_imgJune 15, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. The question of when and how robots will eventually take all of our jobs is perennially up for grabs. It would appear that we’re safe for now — our potential overlords seem more like average high school students at the moment than terminators.Earlier this month, a robot called AI-MATHS created by Chengdu Zhunxingyunxue Technology took the math portion of China’s national college entrance test.It completed the version given to students in Beijing in 22 minutes and got a score of 105 points out of 150 points. This was an improvement on the robot’s showing from February when it got a 93. The minimum passing grade is a 90.Related: I Had a Conversation With a Robot, and It Taught Me Something About HumanityChengdu Zhunxingyunxue Technology’s CEO Lin Hui told Xinhuanet that it hopes AI-MATHS will have better luck next year. “It would take two hours for a human to finish the test. I hope next year the machine can improve its performance on logical reasoning and computer algorithms and score over 130.”The robot is being designed to get accepted into Chinese institutions of higher learning such as Peking University and Tsinghua University. The test is no joke — average high school students in China generally study for the test by answering 30,000 questions — the robot so far has 12,000 questions under its belt.Related: Bill Gates Believes Robots That Steal Jobs Should Pay TaxesBut while AI-MATHS is cramming (fine, machine learning) for the big exam, an AI system developed by Malubba, which was recently acquired by Microsoft, just crushed the competition in beloved 1980s game Ms. Pac-Man.It got a perfect score of 999,990 points. Apparently the unpredictability of the game makes it an ideal training ground for artificial intelligence because it allows the machines to learn by trial and error to get to the best result.And isn’t that what growing up is all about? 2 min readcenter_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more

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HAProxy introduces stick tables for server persistence threat detection and collecting metrics

first_imgYesterday, HAProxy announced that they are introducing stick tables, an in-memory storage. It allows you to track client activities across requests, enables server persistence, and collects real-time metrics. It is supported in both the HAProxy Community and Enterprise Edition. You can think of stick tables as a type of key-value store. The key here represents what you track across requests, such as a client IP, and the values are the counters that, for the most part, HAProxy takes care of calculating for you. What are the common use cases of stick tables? StackExchange realized that along with its core functionality, server persistence, stick tables can also be used for many other scenarios. They sponsored its developments and now stick tables have become an incredibly powerful subsystem within HAProxy. Stick tables can be used in many scenarios; however, its main uses include: Server persistence Stick tables were originally introduced to solve the problem of server persistence. HTTP requests are stateless by design because each request is executed independently, without any knowledge of the requests that were executed before it. These tables can be used to store a piece of information, such as an IP address, cookie, or range of bytes in the request body, and associate it with a server. Next time when HAProxy sees new connections using the same piece of information, it will forward the request on to the same server. This way it can help in tracking user activities between one request and add a mechanism for storing events and categorizing them by client IP or other keys. Bot detection We can use stick tables to defend against certain types of bot threats. It finds its application in preventing request floods, login brute force attacks, vulnerability scanners, web scrapers, slow loris attacks, and many more. Collecting metrics With stick tables, you can collect metrics to understand what is going on in HAProxy, without enabling logging and having to parse the logs. In this scenario Runtime API is used, which can read and analyze stick table data from the command line, a custom script or executable program. You can visualize this data using any dashboard of your choice. You can also use the fully-loaded dashboard, which comes with HAProxy Enterprise Edition for visualizing stick table data. These were a few of the use cases where stick tables can be used. To get a clear understanding of stick tables and how they are used, read the official announcement by HAProxy. Read Next Use App Metrics to analyze HTTP traffic, errors & network performance of a .NET Core app [Tutorial] How to create a standard Java HTTP Client in ElasticSearch Why is everyone going crazy over WebAssembly?last_img read more

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