Confident Groves ready to defend titles

first_imgGeorge Groves says he is raring to go and in peak condition ahead of Saturday’s fight with Paul Smith.The unbeaten Hammersmith boxer will defend his British and Commonwealth super-middleweight titles against the Liverpudlian, who lost to Groves’ arch rival James DeGale last year.It will be Groves’ first fight since beating DeGale on points in May and a victory at Wembley Arena this weekend could pave the way for a world title shot in 2012.“All’s well. I just can’t wait now,” Groves told West London Sport.“Training’s been great and the weight’s good, which is always a bonus because otherwise you can get a bit cranky when you’re low on carbs and a bit dehydrated.“As the time gets closer you try not to think too much about the fight because you can get too excited. You’re like a kid at Christmas.“The fight is only a few days away now and I’m so looking forward to it. I’m ready to go.”Smith, 29, was British champion before being stopped in the ninth round of a one-sided fight against DeGale.Smith (left) has won 29 of his 31 fightsDespite being outclassed in that contest, Smith believes his aggressive style will be more suited to taking on Groves.But Groves, 23, insisted: “I know what he’ll do – he’s a come-forward fighter and will be well up for the fight – and I’ve got the answer to it.“It’d be great if he did try and box, because he’s not got the ability to do that.“You fight how you fight – and what he’s been doing in the gym these last few weeks isn’t going to change what he’s been doing for years.“You learn new things, but the core structure you have from a young age. I’ve always been able to fight on the front or back foot.“When things aren’t going well for Smith in there, he’ll get frustrated and revert to type – and his type is a brawler.“I know how to deal with that. I’ll let him walk forward and walk onto my shots, which he won’t be able to keep taking.” read more

Spreading the love – and profit

first_imgJennifer SternThere’s never a dull moment at Vida e Caffe. Never a quiet one, either. This trendy coffee chain is characterised by big smiles, loud laughter and rapidly shouted orders as the perfectly brewed espressos and giant muffins move over the counter at a rapid pace. On the other side of the stream of delicacies patrons enjoy a quick espresso with friends or linger for ages over a double mucho cappuccino while penning that bestseller on their laptops.It’s been accused by devotees and detractors alike of being too trendy by far, but there really is more to this runaway marketing and business success story than the beautiful life and clichéd European-style sidewalk coffee culture.Started in 2001 in Cape Town’s trendy Kloof Street, Vida e Caffe was an instant success. With a simple formula of really good coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice and a range of huge and delicious sweet and savoury muffins, Vida hit the spot. While the queues are seldom unbearably long, it is almost unheard of to walk up to the counter and find yourself first in line.Room for improvementIn 2005, Grant Dutton, William Dutton and Shaun Bond joined Vida as joint venture partners in three new stores. Before the year was out they had bought the company, all five-and-a-half stores (the Green Point store was still being built). Today, there are 36 Vida stores across South Africa.They had bought a successful business built on serious marketing savvy and clever strategic relations, but there is always room for improvement. And the one place they decided they could make some real improvements was in their staff. They figured that happy staff meant happy customers so they work hard to keep those guys in the hip Levis jeans and funky T-shirts smiling.Almost all their workers live in the townships and struggled to get to work at 5:30am to start baking those yummy muffins. So the first thing they did was buy a few of houses – one close to each store – that could operate a bit like a student digs with staff members going back to their families on their days off.While almost every aspect of the staff relations in this chain is – well – just a little different, it’s the training that really sets it apart. Every staff member – absolutely every staff member – starts off clearing tables and mopping the floor. Yes, potential marketing managers – and even shareholders – start off doing what they call “meze,” which is Portuguese for “table”.Each new staff member will have a “buddy” who guides him through the learning curve. Before we continue it’s probably a good idea to explain the apparently sexist language. There are virtually no female employees at the shop-front at Vida – quite a few in head office, but none in the stores. The few that started only lasted a couple of weeks so any female job applicants are encouraged to work at their sister store (no pun intended) O Sumo. O Sumo is a new brand focusing on healthy wraps, salads and soups with fresh juices and smoothies. And the staff at O Sumo is exclusively female.  It may sound a bit weird, but it works for the staff in both stores.Back to the training. Each new staff member starts off cleaning the floors and clearing tables and eventually moves on to washing dishes, baking, making coffee and running the till. And every step of the way he is supported by his buddy, who is often an old friend, brother or cousin. Yes, that’s the other interesting thing. Most new employees are friends of existing ones – another way of keeping that happy family going. With the pace of work, the frenetic high energy and the constant need to be friendly and to smile, there is just no place for personality clashes, petty jealousies or rivalries.It takes about three months, on average, to get someone trained up as a barista and to a point that they can handle the till, do the baking and generally put a hand in wherever it’s needed. The good thing about this is that if there is a staff shortage in one store, they can call on staff from another and they will slot in effortlessly.The mystery shopperBut let’s be honest, most people don’t go to work in the morning because they get on with their colleagues. The motivation is usually far more pragmatic, and Vida employees are paid better than average. And there’s also a good bonus scheme. If they keep waste to a minimum, they get a bonus and – this is a sneaky little one – if they pass the “mystery shopper” test, they get another bonus. A mystery shopper that no-one (not even management) knows visits each shop once a month and, if every aspect of customer service is in place – voila – a bonus for the guys.But, of course – regardless of how much fun it is – an ambitious lad does not want to stay a barista for ever. So, another way of keeping the staff happy and working hard is to make it clear from the beginning that the sky is the limit. Every trainee who comes in at the bottom cleaning the floors can see people who’ve been there a year or so working their way into management positions.Papa Charles Masara is just one such person. Having emigrated to South Africa from Zimbabwe some time back, he started working at Vida three years ago. He did the whole progression from meze to baker, barista, cashier, assistant manager and store manager. But he didn’t stop there, and is now a senior regional manager overseeing 18 stores in the Cape Town area. Once he was financially secure, he brought his family out of Zimbabwe and then – spotting a good gap, helped them to set up a business doing laundry for Vida e Caffe, as well as other clients.Global expansionMost of Vida’s 36 stores are in Cape Town and Johannesburg, with a few in Durban, one in Pretoria, one in Bloemfontein and one in Knysna.  “We’ll never go above 45,” says marketing director Shaun Bond. Then he smiles and adds, “Never say never.” But they do intend to stay small and manageable. “We don’t want to be Starbucks,” Bond says, laughing. “But we are in the process of opening our first two stores in London – one in Regent Street, and one just off Carnaby Street.“It will be a great opportunity for the guys,” he adds, saying that they will take 12 baristas to London for between six months and a year to work in their UK stores. They’ll have all their transport and accommodation paid for and they will get to earn pounds, some of which Vida will insist they deposit in a bank account back in South Africa. It seems like a great opportunity to see some of the world and, if they exercise some fiscal discipline, they can come home with quite a nice little nest egg.So, next time you need a quick caffeine fix and you head for the bright red Vida e Caffe logo, you’ll know why your service comes with a smile. Some good news for anyone flying out of OR Tambo International is that Vida e Caffe is opening a branch in domestic departures beyond the security barriers, so you can get a coffee and muffin served with a smile and take advantage of Vida’s free Wi-Fi while you wait for your flight.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesSouth African foodA walk on vibey Vilakazi Street SA chilli sauce bites the world Wine: South Africa’s French connectionNando’s blazes into the US Useful linksVida e Caffelast_img read more

Ohio’s wheat, flour industries to be explored at forum

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Experts from the wheat and flour processing industries will share an update on Ohio’s future in this billion dollar market at the Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum, Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.  The event is hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation (AIF).Siemer Milling Company executives Rick Siemer, president, and Carl Schwinke, vice president, along with Diane Gannon, former subject matter expert, Mondelēz International, and current wheat processing technology consultant, will provide the latest information on the industries and what the means to growers in northwest Ohio. Siemer, Schwinke and Gannon will also discuss the technical aspects of wheat processing, milling procedures, grain quality and more.Flour production by U.S. mills reached a new record for the first quarter of 2017.Employing roughly 160 people, Siemer Milling Company sources approximately 25 million bushels annually of soft red winter wheat largely from Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. The wheat is processed into 650,000 tons of wheat flour, bran and germ, used in products as such cakes, crackers, breadings, batters and cookies.Arrive early, as breakfast and informal networking will start at 8 a.m., with the program to follow. The cost is just $10 per person when you RSVP in advance, or $12 per person at the door without RSVP (cash or check) which includes breakfast and networking opportunities.The Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum is an educational networking opportunity to provide information on current issues, trends and programs available to the agricultural community and those who support its advancement.The AIF is located at 13737 Middleton Pike (St. Rt. 582) in Bowling Green.  Walk-ins are welcome, but guests are encouraged to reserve a seat in advance by visiting read more

Can Music Save MySpace?

first_imgYesterday, amid all the news of Twitter’s arrival into both Microsoft’s Bing and the Google search engine, another major announcement was being made. MySpace is giving up on trying to be a major social network. According to MySpace CEO, Owen Van Natta, Facebook is no longer their competition. “We’re focused on a different space,” he says. That “different space,” as it turns out, is music…and it really isn’t all that different, especially considering MySpace’s roots. If anything, this major overhaul of the social network is an attempt to return the site to becoming the popular entertainment hub it once was. MySpace: Remember When it Was “A Place for Music?” When MySpace hit the scene back in 2003, local bands – especially indie rock bands – were among the first to create profiles on the social network. Their presence immediately began to attract a young, hip crowd of users who were interested in following pop culture, and, in particular, the up-and-coming artists they discovered while browsing through the network. Only eight months after its launch, MySpace began to experience exponential growth, as its users created profiles and friended others who would then, in turn, invite more users to join the social network. Thanks to the “network effect,” MySpace soon became the place to be online. Everyone was there. But at the same time that MySpace was having its heyday, another social networking site was being created. Although still in its infancy in 2004, a Harvard student named Mark Zuckerberg began writing the code for what would eventually become Facebook, now the world’s largest social network. Over recent months, we’ve seen the mass exodus from MySpace to the more popular – and more populated – Facebook. Studies have shown that those left actively engaging on MySpace now tend to be younger, lower-income users. Researcher Danah Boyd pointed out, somewhat controversially, that the differences between the two networks, MySpace and Facebook, went further than age and income – they involved your “social class,” too. Tired of being compared to Facebook in this way and certainly tired of hemorrhaging its users, MySpace CEO Van Natta has plans to turn the sinking ship around. After taking over the company six months ago, he’s been busy arranging new partnerships for the one-time king of social networks. These partnerships aim to bring the focus back to music, and less on socializing. New Music Initiatives: iLike, Videos, Artist DashboardsOne of the most notable new initiatives involves MySpace’s iLike integration. After being acquired by MySpace in August, many wondered why iLike wasn’t becoming a part of the MySpace network. Actually it was, but Van Natta didn’t want to disclose that information at the time.But now, the iLike acquisition is beginning to make sense. Through iLike music video widgets, now popular installations on other social networks like Facebook and Orkut, the videos – and, most importantly, their ads – can be streamed on other sites while the revenue generated returns to MySpace. Even though many of the users watching these videos now may be lost forever to MySpace, they’re helping the company regain its footing through their streams.MySpace’s entire music video vault, one of the most popular features on the social network, has also been integrated with iLike. In August, comScore reported 45 million people watched 340 million videos during the course of the month. It only makes sense for MySpace to capitalize on that activity, which is why the company has now launched MySpace Music Videos, an online video archive where users can not only watch videos from their favorite artists, but with a click, purchase the song or ringtone from Amazon or iTunes. Meanwhile, pre-roll, post-roll, and overlay ads help to monetize the content. In addition, to cater to the musicians, bands, and labels who make MySpace their home, the network has also launched “Artist Dashboards.” These online analytical tools track the fans’ demographics by age and location, the total number of plays per song, profile views and more. Every artist with a MySpace profile is given free access to these tools. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Is it Enough?The question that remains, of course, is whether or not MySpace’s re-branding efforts will be enough to keep the site from going under. Although MySpace still had a healthy 64 million users in August of this year, that number is 12 million fewer than it did at the same time last year. Meanwhile, Facebook climbed to 300 million worldwide that same month. Can MySpace entice people to come back to the network through its new music-based initiatives? It’s too soon to tell at the moment whether the strategy will work or not, but it’s definitely the network’s best shot. By capitalizing on what remains the most popular activity on MySpace to date (music and video), the company hopes to become more of a niche site for socializing around music instead of a site for just socializing. The newly launched features are just a part of the company’s overall efforts in this direction, too. Still to come are concert ticket and merchandise sales, although no details or launch dates have been given for those features as of yet. While these efforts may not ever allow MySpace to reclaim its status as the number one social network – that ship seems to have sailed – they could definitely help the network maintain profitability. And at the end of the day, that’s all that’s really needed. It’s not about how many users you have, it’s about how much money you can make off of those that you do. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#music#social networks#web sarah perez A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Apple Promises To Fix An iOS 7 iMessage Bug

first_imgRelated Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Apple#iOS 7#messaging What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Apple keeps adding injury to insult with the latest release of iOS. In the two weeks since the release of iOS 7, users have complained about the design, battery life and a security hole that allowed people to bypass the lock screen. The latest bug in iOS 7 cuts straight to the heart of how people use their iPhones and iPads: messaging. Users have reported flaws in Apple’s iMessage text system in which text messages are not being sent (or arrive very late). Users see an exclamation point and a “message not sent” alert next to their messages. Many users have said that this glitch has only been present since Apple rolled out iOS 7.0.2, which was intended to fix the security problem with the lock screen.The iMessage app is supposed to timeout after a message has failed to send. But users are reporting that messages remain in a perpetual “send” state. Users report that their messages will eventually be sent if they restart their device or turn off iMessage in the settings in iOS 7 and then turning it back on. This is a temporary fix for frustrated users as the error will likely crop back up even after restarting the device or resetting iMessage.  Apple told the Wall Street Journal that it will be shipping an update to iOS 7 soon—iOS 7.0.3—that is intended to fix the bug. This will be the second public update to iOS 7 since it was released on September 18. Apple’s statement to WSJ:We are aware of an issue that affects a fraction of a percent of our iMessage users, and we will have a fix available in an upcoming software update,” Apple said in a statement. “In the meantime, we encourage any users having problems to reference our troubleshooting documents or contact AppleCare to help resolve their issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes impacted users.The complaints and criticism of iOS 7 come after a tumultuous summer for the operating systems beta phase. Application testing firm uTest anecdotally said in a recent conversation that the beta of iOS 7 had “twice as many” bugs in its beta than previous betas of iOS. Some of those bugs have cropped into the public release.Apple’s headache is compounded by the fact that demand for iOS 7 has been enormous. The beta of iOS 7 was the most downloaded of any version of the operating system and many people upgraded to iOS 7 the day it was released. With such a public eye on Apple’s latest operating system, every misstep, flaw or bug is met with headlines and an outpouring of frustration.  Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement dan rowinski The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Nadal travels long road to win 16th Slam title at US Open

first_imgRobredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side It has been a long journey for Nadal to his latest Grand Slam glory.Nadal won an under-12 regional crown at age eight and by 12 had captured Spanish and European age-group junior titles.By 15, he had turned professional and was facing such foes on the global circuit as Anderson.At 17, Nadal won his first match against Federer.At 19, he won the 2005 French Open in his debut, the first of nine Grand Slam titles in 10 years he would claim on the red clay of Roland Garros, cementing a legacy as the greatest player ever seen on the surface.It was early in his career when Nadal began his habit of biting the championship trophies he wins.Nadal added Wimbledon crowns in 2008 and 2010, an Australian Open title in 2009 and completed the career Grand Slam in 2010 by defeating Novak Djokovic in the US Open final, becoming the youngest in the Open era (since 1967) to complete the four-event career sweep.And only Nadal and Andre Agassi can say they have a career Grand Slam and an Olympic men’s singles gold medal, Nadal having claimed his in 2008 at Beijing.Nadal, the sixth left-hander to win a US Open title, added another crown at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2013, again downing Djokovic in the final.Knee injuries took a toll throughout his career, costing him nine Slam appearances, and after he failed to even reach a Slam semi-final in 2015 and 2016 some figured his greatest moments were behind him. Nadal wins US Open for 16th major title View comments READ: Nadal wins US Open for 16th major titleThe triumph moved Nadal three shy of Roger Federer’s all-time record of 19 Slam singles titles.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe US Open was the final Slam at which Toni, Nadal’s long-time coach and inspiration, will join him, instead of taking a role directing Nadal’s youth academy.In his victory speech, Nadal reflected on what Toni has meant to his life in building the grit to overcome numerous knee injuries. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Spain’s Rafael Nadal poses with his winning trophy after defeating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson during their 2017 US Open Men’s Singles final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 10, 2017. Nadal raced to a third US Open title and 16th Grand Slam crown on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 rout of South African giant Kevin Anderson. AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADNEW YORK — Rafael Nadal reflected on his roots as a child prodigy from the island of Mallorca and on the influence of his uncle Toni on Sunday after winning the US Open title.The 31-year-old Spaniard defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 for his third US Open title and his 16th career Grand Slam crown after having taken a 10th French Open trophy in June at Roland Garros.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim But Nadal roared into the Australian Open final, losing to Federer, then captured his record 10th French Open crown in June, setting the stage for his title run in the Flushing Meadows fortnight.Only Nadal, Pete Sampras and Ken Rosewall have managed the feat of winning Grand Slam titles in their teens, 20s and 30s.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side “It’s not one lesson. Diary is in the head from 3 years old,” Nadal said.“Probably without him I’ll never be playing tennis. I’m thankful I had somebody like him pushing me all the time.“Because he gave me motivation I could get through all the problems I had in my career. I can only thank him for making me stronger.”When Nadal reclaimed the world number one ranking last month, it was the first since in more than three years he had topped the list.And when Federer lost in the US Open quarter-finals to Juan Martin del Potro, Nadal was ensured of keeping the top spot.ADVERTISEMENT Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more

Terror scare near Pentagon, 1 held

first_imgAn American national, apparently of Ethiopian origin, was detained on Friday after being found with a suspicious device in a vehicle near Pentagon, following which security around the Defence Department headquarters was tightened and roads to the building closed for some time.Pentagon police spokesman Chris Layman said the person was taken into custody and that one or two other people may be involved.The suspected man was found in a cemetery after it was closed. A suspicious device had been found in his car, media reports said.”The man’s backpack contained what officials believe is ammonium nitrate and spent 9mm shells as well as written material that contained statements including: ‘al-Qaeda Taliban rules’,” ABC news reported, quoting sources.Pentagon said there was no security breach to its premises as a result of the incident.”There was no security breach,” Pentagon spokesman, Col Dave Lapan said.”A man was taken into custody by US Park Police in the area of Arlington National Cemetery and a vehicle associated with him is being investigated by law enforcement officials,” he said.The incident occurred outside the Pentagon Reservation.US Park Police spokesman David Schlosser told reporters that authorities “sent their bomb disposal people there to look at the vehicle”. The US media reports that the package was a bomb and has been rendered inoperable.The arrested person is reportedly of Ethiopian origin and he is not cooperating.Homeland Security spokesman, Matthew Chandler, said that the DHS was monitoring the incident, but that “this is a law enforcement matter at this time”.advertisement- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.last_img read more

Indian Olympic Association rejects merger agreement between IHF, Hockey India

first_imgV. K. Malhotra, said the IOA would never accept two federations for one discipline in the country.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday rejected the agreement between Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI), worked out at the behest of Union sports ministry calling it a “monumental exercise in confusion and futility”.The acting president of IOA, Vijay Kumar Malhotra , said the whole agreement between IHF and HI was a bizarre “live-in relationship”. He said the IOA would never accept two federations for one discipline in the country.”We don’t want to open a Pandora box which will lead to a total chaos in Indian sports,” Malhotra said issuing a press release, a day after the two warring bodies announced that their differences had been resolved.”The IOA will only recognise one federation for one game and unless a unified body is formed to run hockey, it will not be acceptable,” Malhotra said adding, the IOA would never accept two co-chairpersons for one federation as it was “not feasible”.Malhotra said the sports ministry should have given it a thought on how could two separate entities run a single sport “before hailing it as a ‘significant way forward'”. “As per the agreement, IHF and HI will continue fighting the court cases and will have their own executives. Then how the game will be administered in case of a dispute between the two factions,” Malhotra asked, calling the agreement a “blatant act enforced by the sports minister who wants to earn some brownie points”.-With PTI inputsadvertisementlast_img read more