A Full Complement

first_imgBy Phil Collin STAFF WRITER Hmm. Fullback, huh? Sparks a vague memory as a rather vital tool for the USC offense. In two games, which included one electrifying 50-yard run, Stanley Havili delivered an emphatic reminder of the role the fullback once played for the Trojans, who had to limp through virtually the entire 2006 season without one. Powdrell had begun to make his impact at fullback, catching four passes for 72 yards in the opener, including a 44-yard catch-and-run play. His work didn’t escape Havili’s attention. “After last year and watching Ryan Powdrell and what he did in the Arkansas game, I knew that the fullback played a role significantly, not only blocking but in the passing game,” said Havili, who rolled up 2,652 all-purpose yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior in high school. “I knew coming out this season I’d have a few opportunities to catch the ball out of the backfield and help open up the offense.” Sure enough, after two games, Havili is tied for the team lead with eight receptions and has scored three touchdowns, two on receptions. And his stunning 50-yard run from the USC 4-yard line on the first play last week against Nebraska set the tone for the Trojans’ 313-yard rushing day. The play originally was to be called for tailback C.J. Gable, but USC just tried to create some breathing room for the offense. All Havili did was allow the Trojans to exhale a huge sigh of relief. “Last year we manufactured some things and handed it to Chauncey (Washington, a tailback) on that play and played (receiver) Steve Smith at tailback,” offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said, adding with a laugh: “We got creative.” But the Trojans couldn’t gimmick their way through the season, and by the end, they had to chuck the run game and pass their way out of trouble. After Havili was hurt, USC turned to Mike Brittingham, a former walk-on; little-used Jody Adewale; linebacker Thomas Williams; and converted defensive back Allen Bradford at fullback. That’s when the Trojans actually used a fullback. For much of the time, they tried to make do without. “You’re using wideouts to block a lot more and, as much as anything, you’re making guys sit there and think at the line of scrimmage,” Sarkisian said. “You change a lot more plays. We audibled unbelievable amounts last year for a variety of reasons, but one is, when you don’t have a fullback, when you can’t line up with two backs and run the ball, or play-action pass and get protection, you’ve got to sit there and figure things out. “That puts a burden on your quarterback, who’s thinking a lot at the line of scrimmage, and at the end, I don’t think you’re playing fast as a team. It’s nice to do it once in a while as part of your offense, but that doesn’t need to be your mainstay. At least that’s not the way we think.” The Trojans quickly found that two of their favorite facets of attack, tempo and creating mismatches, had been interrupted. No more. “Stan’s such a dual threat in the run game and the pass game,” quarterback John David Booty said. “We can play-action and run. He can do anything and opponents don’t even know what’s coming.” And to think a year ago, Havili didn’t know what was coming. He had to battle the frustration of not being able to play and fight the urge to come back during the season, which would prevent him from gaining a redshirt year. “I was real frustrated, very down after the Arizona game, and when they played Washington State, I was very down when I was watching it on TV,” Havili said. “I was kind of depressed for a few weeks, but I realized what I could do in this offense, what the fullback can do and waited for my opportunity to play.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Havili fits the mold the Trojans coaches imagined when the 6-foot-1, 225-pound redshirt freshman from Salt Lake City was recruited. If only he hadn’t broken his leg in the third game of the ’06 season, Havili could have made a huge difference in how the season turned out. The Trojans have chosen not to play the woulda-coulda game, instead turning their attention to what has been restored for the offense in 2007. Havili, having endured almost an entire season on the sideline, is only smiling at what the future can bring. He had played in USC’s wins over Arkansas and Nebraska to start the 2006 season, then started in the third game against Arizona after Ryan Powdrell was lost for the season with an ankle injury. last_img read more

Middle class Africa: meet the new African consumer

first_imgAmerican politician Steve Forbes was a guest at the launch of Mosunmola Abudu’s new African TV channel. (Image: EbonyLife) • Patrick Dupoux Partner Boston Consulting Group + 212 529 023 049 • South Africa’s competitive advantage in the developing world • South Africa – and Johannesburg – the richest in Africa • Getting the export balance right • Entrepreneurs bring British business back home • Slow but steady: South Africa’s economy on the upward pathSulaiman PhilipThe United States of Africa is the 10th largest economy in the world. It is ahead of China and India, countries with populations to match Africa’s just over a billion people. Its booming consumer market is worth almost a trillion dollars a year but international companies struggle to tap into it.Africa still suffers from the illusion that it’s a difficult place to do business, a dark continent of war, famine and corruption. This short-sighted and misinformed belief has put companies that are just awakening to the economic miracle of Africa, at a disadvantage.Instead, it is an awakening consumer giant with a growing middle class eager to show off their new-found economic and social status through the purchase of branded goods. On average, 40% of the population of any given African country belongs to what Vijay Mahajan, author of Africa Rising: How 900 Million Consumers Offer More Than You Think, describes as Africa 1 and Africa 2. These are the elite of the population and the growing aspirant middle class.These are the people who are driving the market for consumer goods, the Africans who told researchers for the Boston Consulting Group they were planning on spending money to upgrade their mobile phones, buy laptops and spend more on entertainment, homes, cars and education in the next year.Economies across Africa withstood the economic meltdown of 2008 and have grown at an impressive 6%, on average, while old world economies have contracted. The growth is tied to the demand for the riches under the African soil, but only in part. The African middle class has also risen on the growth of Africa’s consumer driven society. Consumer spending accounted for more than 60% of sub-Sahara’s growth last year, according to the World Bank.Spending spreeAnd Africa is looking to spend. Or, in the words of Zimbabwean journalist Farai Sevenzo: “…like a recklessly wealthy bride, we look over our shoulders at the orderly queue of suitors seeking a partnership of one kind or another.”By 2020, the African consumer market will be worth $1-trillion, driven by demands for technology-based goods like smart phones and household appliances, and cars. It is expected that the South African electronics market alone will be worth around $13-billion by 2016. The rising demand is good for tech companies; however, even more appealing is the fact that relative to income, Africans are willing to spend more than Europeans, Americans and Japanese consumers on technology.This statistic is skewed by the higher cost that Africans pay for goods, which is one of the major challenges that face some companies trying to tap into the market place. The demand for competitively priced technology has led to the growth of companies willing to offer them. Middle Eastern computer companies have been able to carve out market share for themselves as suppliers of low-cost computer equipment. The performance of companies like Huawei, Nokia and Blackberry has outstripped Apple because their handsets are far more affordable.Another factor in the choices made by the emerging middle class of one brand over another is a product’s suitability to African conditions. The recent discovery of oil in Ghana is often offered as a reason for the growth of its aspirational market; but the reality is that the country still rations electricity and faces constant clean water shortages.Taking such restrictions into account, South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung has developed fridges with built in surge protectors and laptops powered by solar energy that have given the company the lead in African markets like Ghana and Kenya. The company has set up manufacturing plants in Africa as well, which has helped to bring down the costs of these goods.Car manafacturers with African production plants are increasing the number of cars and components produced on the continent to supply demand.(Image:Media Club South Africa)Aspirational valuesAnd the African market will continue to heat up. Grant Hatch of Accenture explains: “The costs of a lot of technology products have been declining for some time, so products will become even more affordable to the consumer.”Mahajan’s research came up with an interesting finding: the majority of Africans, those in the group he refers to as Africa 3, worked for the top two groups and over time assimilated their aspirational values.The African middle class is estimated to number about 350 million and growing. The contest for the hearts, minds and wallets of African consumers is growing in intensity, and local manufacturers are also benefitting from this new-found wealth.The 2013 African Development Bank’s Development Effectiveness Report showed that the growth of the middle class was in part thanks to better economic governance and a better business climate. While foreign investment in Africa has increased fivefold since 2000, it is the entrepreneurial spirit of Africans that has helped to sustain growth. In the past seven years the number of people delaying the opening of a business has halved and the costs of doing so have fallen by two thirds.Mabati Rolling Mills started out as a manufacturer of metal roofing sheets in Kenya. As the middle class grew and the housing market exploded, the company grew into the dominant manufacturer in the $180-million Kenyan market. Today it is a conglomerate that exports to 50 countries across Africa and the world.Mo shows the wayIf there is a figurehead for the rising African middle class then it’s Mosunmola Abudu, Africa’s answer to Oprah. Abudu is a Nigerian media entrepreneur and self-taught TV host. Her talk show, Moments with Mo, first aired in 2006, is syndicated across 48 African countries and has had guest as diverse as International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde and former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate FW de Klerk, as well as English football player Rio Ferdinand.Last year, Abudu launched EbonyLife TV, a continent-wide broadcaster aimed at the growing aspirational African middle class. “Not every African women has a pile of wood on her head and a baby strapped to her back! EbonyLife celebrates style and success while motivating its audience to dream, and dream big,” the glamorous Abudu told press agency AP.The English-born mother of two wants to change the antiquated view of Africa as “the dark continent”. Programming on her new channel highlights the continent’s wealth of talented entrepreneurs and artists. Her return to Africa and the birth of her media empire began at London’s Marble Arch. “On a whim I asked people what came to mind when they heard the word ‘Africa’. The nicest thing I heard was ‘sunshine.’”Programming on EbonyLife is targeted at the 18- to 34-year-old demographic, a group Abudu refers to as Africa’s “custodians of the present and future”. But is also the dream demographic of marketers. The original shows cover everything from domestic abuse to skin bleaching and sex tips, with a healthy sprinkling of celebrity gossip, with an African flavour. Her reality series, The Fattening Room, follows young women going through traditional pre-marriage rites, learning from the matriarchs what it means to be a traditional wife.Tradition mixed with modernity is Africa today, Abudu argues. In the reality series the older women try in vain to fatten up the young women, who all want to retain their Hollywood-inspired shape. “People need to know that this kind of Africa exists; we have moved into the modern age. People don’t think that people live in Africa like this. They don’t think that we have high-profile events where people look glamorous and they’re all dressed up.”Admittedly there are still pockets of despotic rule, of famine and strife, but as the slogan for EbonyLife goes, “Everything you think you know about Africa is about to change”.last_img read more

Will BPMN 2.0 make BPEL irrelevant?

first_imgAs technology is speeding up, the lifecycle of standards is shrinking.  Business Process Execution Language or BPEL is one good example.  BPEL has its origins in competing standards sponsored by IBM and Microsoft, WSFL and Xlang.   The two languages were merged in April 2003 and over just a period of three years BPEL has become the most popular business process execution language.  BPEL is used extensively in SOA environments because BPEL was designed with Web Services in mind and this matches well with the tight coupling of SOA and Web Services.  While generally complementary, BPEL is now being challenged by a different technology from Object Management Group OMG called Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).BPEL is a language that describes the flow and coordination of interactions between published business component interfaces.  Typically those interfaces are implemented as Web Services.  Note that the “EL” at the end of the BPEL acronym refers it as an “execution language” as distinguished from a “notational language”.  What this means is that while BPEL is a “workflow tool”, it doesn’t really provide any kind of graphical layout modeling capabilities.  As such, it is a fairly low-level language based on XML that provides a standard way for describing the business process flow.  BPEL language is used to create instructions that are fed into a BPEL server that in turn coordinates the activities of the business process.Working with raw BPEL requires a solid understanding of XML and software logic.  BPEL requires that business requirements be first captured and translated before being rendered into the BPEL logic.  The gap between specification and BPEL implementation can isolate business analysts from IT groups.  The solution is to bridge the gap between these two groups by creating higher level model tools that allow the graphic creation of a the business process flow and output BPEL language.  These kind of tools exist, but there is no standard for these higher level tools.  This is where BPMN comes in the picture by attempting to standardize business process modeling.BPMN is a notational language that can graphically describe business processes.  With BPMN, the process flow is depicted with a network of lines showing interactions between components represented as shapes like circles, rectangles and diamonds.  It provides standardization in creating workflow diagrams.  Graphic workflows represent the classic image of what “Workflow” is all about.Because BPMN describes the business process from a higher-level perspective, it can include information about human steps and interactions in the process that fall outside of the control of software.So, BPMN and BPEL seem to be complementary technologies and perhaps that is how the two will develop:  BPMN tools would be used during business analysis and modeling, and from the BPMN model, a BPEL representation would be generated and output and used for execution.Stepping back a little more though we see that BPMN and BPEL both express the flow of the business process, but the BPMN process model representation is more useful to the business analyst.  BPMN is addressing the model level and BPEL addresses execution.  Because of that, the importance of having a standard for the execution language is less relevant.  BPMN models can be exchanged and exactly how the models are translated and executed is less relevant.What happens next isn’t clear.  It should be noted that BPEL may further evolve and this is likely to happen because of its current high level of acceptance.  Another factor in how this all plays out is whether BPMN will be actually accepted.  OMG intiatives have not always been met with unanimous acceptance.  Right now though the reaction to BPMN 2.0 seems positive, so it is likely that BPMN-based tools should begin appearing.In any event, the good thing is that after many years of very many proprietary tools for both business process modeling and execution that the industry will be moving towards standardization.  At Formtek, we frequently see business solutions comprised of both ECM and BPM components, and as a partner with Oracle, we are very familiar with Oracle’s BPEL Process Manager.  Both Oracle and IBM have been strong proponents of BPEL technology.  It will be interesting to see the evolution of these technologies and the response of leading vendors like Oracle in this area over the next 18-24 months.last_img read more

From Co-Working to Cubicles: Where Are You Working?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#StartUp 101#startups Related Posts One of the fantastic things about being an entrepreneur is that you can define your own working conditions. From Craigslist’s modest Sunset District apartment headquarters to Twitter’s stylish new digs, startups are getting creative with their work spaces. Below are a few options to consider in choosing your space. Virtual: As covered in an earlier post, ReadWriteWeb runs a totally virtual office. Using a combination of Basecamp, Google Docs and Skype, the team manages to coordinate articles and interviews from more than five locations across the globe. Traveling Space: We recently came across iStopOver – a service that allows you to rent space for your team while on the go. If you’re together at a conference, or you’d just like a change of pace, this service allows you to rent furnished office space on a daily basis. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting dana oshiro Co-working: Rather than having your staff work in isolation, you can rent them desk space at one or a number of distributed co-working facilities. Sites like San Francisco’s Citizen Space and The Hat Factory allow nomadic tech workers to share ideas and solutions in a friendly environment. Many co-working spaces offer a daily drop in rate as well as the option for monthly membership. To find a space in your community, check out the co-working map on the Co-working community blog. Lease and Rent: Sites like LoopNet and Rofo specialize in finding commercial space. A number of sites will allow you to take on space for a short-term lease with the idea that you may need to scale up your team in a short period of time. If you’ve got a unique work environment, let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Boone Pickens presents James Castleman with 2015 ‘quote of the year’ award

first_imgBoone Pickens and James Castleman.Boone Pickens and James Castleman.Boone Pickens had lunch with James Castleman on Thursday to present him with an award after sending him a hand-written note at the end of football season.The award, which was much deserved, was earned for delivering the quote of the year after the 2015 Cactus Bowl.Boone has a quick trigger, apparently. We’re 43 days in and the race is already over.Here’s a look at the award:Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 2.44.43 PMIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Hospital fires nurse after women given inappropriate drug to induce labour

first_imgMONCTON, N.B. — A New Brunswick hospital says police are investigating a nurse suspected of inappropriately using a drug that induces labour.The Moncton Hospital says it appears the registered nurse administered oxytocin to two women.Both needed emergency caesarean sections as a result.Dr. Ken Gillespie of Horizon Health Network says the nurse has been fired.The hospital is not giving further information about the nurse.Gillespie says the women and babies are doing well and have been told what happened.The Canadian Presslast_img read more