Microsoft Caught With Hand in Plurk’s Cookie Jar?

first_imgCurrently, the Microsoft microblog site reads something along the lines of “We regret to inform you that the service is temporarily not available due to system maintenance. Please visit the site again later. We apologize for the inconvenience.”Perhaps they ought to be apologizing to Plurk for the inconvenience.“We were absolutely shocked and outraged,” wrote Plurk rep Dave Thompson, “when we first saw with our own eyes the cosmetic similarities Microsoft’s new offering had with Plurk…“We’re still in shock asking why Microsoft would even stoop to this level of wilfully plagiarizing a young and innovative upstart’s work rather than reach out to us or innovate on their own terms.”Microsoft has issued this press release that passes the buck on to an unnamed third-party contractor. Is it likely that the Microsoft executives in charge of producing the microblog were a) unaware of Plurk’s existence and design to the extent that they wouldn’t recognize a clone as such, and b) that they didn’t simply point at Plurk and tell their vendors to “make us one of those”?Having had some experience in both startup development processes and corporate application deployment, I personally know very well that a criminal amount of IP theft goes on every day in Silicon Valley and around the world. Most of the time, the offending parties are operating under the belief that they won’t get caught. And a great deal of the time, they’re not caught.We must, however, applaud Microsoft’s taking the site down to investigate the matter rather than being defensive or litigious. Still, the software giant should be accepting more accountability for the attempted theft that was conducted in its name and under the auspices of its brand.What do you think? Who is to blame in this situation? Cast your vote below, and tell us what you really think in the comments. Related Posts This morning, we got news that Microsoft had unequivocally ripped off design and code from marginally successful microblogging service Plurk.Now, we’re seeing reports – and seeing for ourselves on the Microsoft website – that the knockoff site has been unceremoniously ganked from the tubes. Did a major corporation get caught red-handed stealing intellectual property from a startup? Say it ain’t so! More interestingly, is the removal of the site an admission of guilt? And are these side-by-side source code screenshots incriminating or what?We received an email from a Plurk co-founder Amir Salihefendic this morning calling MSN China’s Juku an obvious plagiarism. The proof is in the pudding. And the screenshots. And the source code: jolie odell Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Microsoft#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The NFL Likes Running Backs Again Kinda Sorta

It’s no secret that running backs have been falling out of favor on draft day since the NFL’s pre-1980s ground-and-pound era. The amount of draft value invested in the position1As defined by a pick’s expected approximate value in his first five seasons. has declined continuously over the last half-century. This reached a low point in 2014 when not a single running back was taken in the first round for a second consecutive season.Things have changed a bit over the past few years. In the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night, two rushers — LSU’s Leonard Fournette (who went to the Jacksonville Jaguars) and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey (picked by the Carolina Panthers) — were taken among the top eight picks for the first time since 2005. This came after the Dallas Cowboys picked Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in 2016, to great success. And in 2015, two running backs were chosen in the first round.Clearly, a running back renaissance is in the works. Right?Well, sort of. While it’s true that teams haven’t sworn off stud running backs completely at the top of the draft, they’re also being more selective. After McCaffrey went at No. 8, the class of 2017’s other first-round hopefuls — such as Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara and Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon — were all still available at the end of the night. It’s been five years since a team has taken a RB in the second half of the first round.A lot of this has to do with the economics of the position, as ESPN’s Kevin Seifert wrote on Wednesday. Because the rookie wage scale pays high picks well and running backs are being devalued across the league as a whole, highly drafted RBs are instantly among the highest-paid players at their position before they ever take a snap in the pros. That means teams better be damn sure about a running back before spending a first-rounder on him (lest they end up with the next Trent Richardson). The problem: teams can’t be sure about much on draft day. Only the elite of the elite check off enough boxes to make that kind of investment feel worthwhile.Adding to the risk, running backs also age differently from the rest of the NFL. Unlike, say, quarterbacks — who improve steadily during their early-to-mid 20s and peak right before age 30 — a running back’s shelf life is much shorter. Depending on the research you look at, RBs peak somewhere between the ages of 24 and 26, with the majority of their most productive seasons front-loaded early in their careers. So if you do manage to snag a game-changing runner, you’re most likely getting the best he has to offer before his rookie contract even has a chance to expire.Because of this, a team willing to invest a high pick on a running back better be in a position to win immediately, otherwise his best years could be squandered. For all the talk about the “Zeke Effect” — that Elliott’s high selection and subsequent performance in Dallas would spur increased investment in running backs on draft day — Elliott fell into a tremendous situation as a rookie with the Cowboys. Dallas’s mammoth offensive line paved the way for Elliott to lead the NFL with 999 yards before first contact.2To be clear, Elliott is a tremendous player; he was also second with 632 yards after contact. That’s a luxury Fournette won’t have in Jacksonville, where he’ll run behind an O-line that ranked sixth-worst in Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards metric. (Maybe he should call 2015 No. 10 pick Todd Gurley, who has had to run behind a patchwork Rams line, for advice.)The Jags are betting that Fournette’s ridiculous ability to break tackles and run away from defenders in the open field will render that point moot, and maybe it will. But that also underscores just how talented a running back needs to be to justify a high draft pick these days. For those who possess that skill level, things are looking up compared with a few years ago. But for the rest, they’ll still have to wait to hear their names called at the podium. read more

Quick hits Midweek news and notes from Ohio State football

First-year Ohio State football head coach Luke Fickell held a press conference Tuesday and discussed everything from his strategy for calling timeouts to redshirt senior quarterback Joe Bauserman’s smile, as well as the Buckeyes’ Saturday game against Colorado at Ohio Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Timeout indecision against Miami Trailing by 11 points with 9:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, Fickell elected not to use a timeout during Miami’s 14-play drive, which lasted 8:48 seconds and ended with a touchdown that increased the Hurricanes’ lead to 24-6. The Buckeyes finished the game with all three timeouts remaining. “We were going to call a timeout right there, I think, on (Miami’s) third-down play that they converted,” Fickell said. “I think there was still a minute and a half left to go. They actually ended up calling the timeout.” Fickell, who was asked five questions during the press conference about the late-game timeout situation, said he planned to save the timeouts for OSU’s next drive. “We decided, ‘Hey, we’re going to need to save these unless we get in a situation because we’re going to need two scores,’” he said. “It ultimately didn’t end up hurting us.” Players Gotta Play Numerous freshmen, including Miller, freshmen wide receivers Devin Smith, Verlon Reed and freshman defensive back Bradley Roby, among others, have received significant playing time through the Buckeyes’ first three games. Despite their occasional struggles, Fickell said he’ll continue to field a team that features young, first-year players. “You got to get out there and do it to do it,” Fickell said. “That’s no excuse that they’re young. We’re not going to give them that excuse.” Smile, you’re on camera During ESPN’s national telecast of the Buckeyes’ loss to Miami, redshirt senior quarterback Joe Bauserman was captured on camera smiling toward the end of the game. Fickell said that he received an email about the incident after the game. “I didn’t see it,” Fickell said. “I haven’t talked to (Bauserman) and I know that Joe hurts every bit as I do. But, no, that’s not something you want to see. “We try to tell (the players) that nothing goes unnoticed.” Captaincy carousel Junior defensive lineman John Simon and junior fullback Zach Boren will act as team captains for OSU’s Saturday game against Colorado at Ohio Stadium. Boren, who is roommates with Simon, said that “John and I have a great relationship. It gets competitive (between us) with video games.” Nay-saying the boo birds Bauserman threw the ball away in several instances during OSU’s Sept. 10 win against Toledo, and members of Buckeye Nation sometimes greeted his tosses into the stands with boos. Boren said that if he were in the crowd watching the Buckeyes, he wouldn’t boo. “I know what this team goes through on a yearly basis and I know what we’ve done in fall camp,” Boren said. “I would never boo our team.” Fickell acknowledged the passion of the Buckeyes’ fans, but said that he doesn’t give a whole lot of thought to the crowd’s reaction during game. “They pay their money to get in,” Fickell said. “They love Ohio State, Ohio State football. If they don’t like something, they let you know. “That’s not what we’re going to focus on. Hopefully, that doesn’t affect us mentally in any way.” read more

Win over Cincinnati a game for the record books

OSU sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa (left) forces a fumble from Cincinnati redshirt-sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel during a Sept. 27 game at Ohio Stadium. The fumble resulted in an OSU safety.Credit: Chelsea Spears / Multimedia editorLed by a redshirt-freshman quarterback and a largely inexperienced offensive line, Ohio State put on one of the best offensive performances in school history Saturday, as it rolled to a 50-28 victory against Cincinnati.The Buckeye offense totaled 710 total yards against the Bearcats, just eight yards shy of the school record.In addition to yardage, the Buckeyes broke the school record and tied an FBS record for first downs with 45 and tied a school record for most plays run with 101.OSU coach Urban Meyer said after the game that the offensive diversity — along with improved line play — is what contributed to the record-setting night.“We’re an offensive line-driven team. And they won the game for us. And they controlled that line of scrimmage,” Meyer said. “They protected our (redshirt-freshman) quarterback. J.T. (Barrett) played well. Other than a dropped third down and a fumble, I was very pleased for the night, offensively.”The explosive and balanced attack could have easily broken the school record, had it not been for a fumble by freshman running back Curtis Samuel and a dropped third-down pass by senior wide receiver Devin Smith, both in the second quarter. Despite the drop, though, Smith scored twice on the night.Smith’s fellow senior, tight end Jeff Heuerman, who recorded three catches for 38 yards Saturday after sitting out the Kent State game because of a foot injury, said the Buckeyes could have played even better.“We did a whole lot as an offense tonight. The crazy part is we didn’t play our best,” Heuerman said after the game. “We left points and yards out there, too. We punted once, but we fumbled and kicked two field goals. Overall, it was a pretty impressive performance.”Perhaps the most impressive performer was Barrett, who totaled 409 yards of offense. His performance left him just three yards shy of the all-time school record for most individual yards in a game, a mark held by Art Schlichter, a quarterback who accumulated 412 yards against Florida State in 1981.Barrett completed 26 of his 36 pass attempts for 330 yards Saturday, and six of those completions were to sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson, whom Barrett found wide open for a 24-yard score late in the third quarter.Wilson said Barrett’s hard work in practice is starting to show during games.“He is playing very well. I always knew he had it in him because he is such a great leader,” Wilson said. “He works really hard and now, he is just perfecting his craft.”Barrett said he attributes his big night to the big guys up front.“All the credit goes to the offensive line,” he said following the game. “They got it started for us and that’s what coach Meyer always talks about is relying on them to keep the offense going.”The Buckeyes seemed to do just that as Barrett was sacked only once, and OSU rushed for 380 yards.Of the 380 yards on the ground, 182 belonged to sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott in a new career high. But Elliott also said afterward that the offensive line deserves the credit, despite his big stat line.“It all goes to the line. The line made those big holes. It is not that hard to run when you got those gaping holes,” he said.Co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman said following the game that it did not dawn on him how impressive Elliot was until after the clock hit zero.“I honestly didn’t realize we had run the ball so well until the end of the game,” Herman said. “The guys up front deserve a lot of that credit too. (Elliot) certainly got his pads north and south and was running through arm tackles, and it was fun to watch him run tonight.”Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville said he thought his team played hard, but it couldn’t find a way to stop the Buckeye rushing game.“I’m proud of my team for fighting,” he said. “Effort was good on both sides and we played hard. We just got knocked off the ball on zone plays.”The win over the Bearcats marked Meyer’s first-ever win over Tuberville in three tries. Meyer lost twice to Tuberville when both coached in the Southeastern Conference at Florida and Auburn, respectively.The Buckeyes are set to travel to College Park, Md., to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. read more

Jim Tressel 3 former Ohio State players on College Football Hall of

Then-coach Jim Tressel holds the championship trophy after a game against Oregon Jan. 1, 2010, at the Rose Bowl. OSU won, 26-17.Credit: Courtesy of TNSFormer Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and three former OSU players are listed on the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame ballot, according to an OSU release.Alongside Tressel — who is the current president of Youngstown State University — on the ballot are former Buckeye running back Keith Byars, linebacker Tom Cousineau and fullback Jim Otis. The former coach and three players are among 193 names on the ballot.The 2015 class is set to be announced on Jan. 9 in Arlington, Texas, three days before the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship Game, according to the release.Tressel coached at Youngstown State from 1986-2000 before joining the Buckeyes from 2001-10. He won the Football Championship Subdivision national title four times with the Penguins before winning the 2002 BCS National Championship with OSU.Byars was the 1984 Heisman Trophy runner-up, the same season he was named the Big Ten MVP and a first team All-American and All-Big Ten. He’s fifth in OSU history for all-purpose yards and rushing yards. Byars also played 13 seasons in the NFL as a running back and tight end.Cousineau’s 572 career tackles while at OSU are the second best in school history and he was named first team All-American twice to go with three All-Big Ten seasons. He was drafted first overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 1979 NFL Draft.Otis won the 1968 national championship with the Buckeyes and was named a first team All-American the following year.Currently in the College Football Hall of Fame are 24 former Buckeye players and 10 former coaches. Former offensive lineman Orlando Pace was inducted last year. The last OSU coach to be inducted was John Cooper in 2008. read more

Cardinals Head to Nebraska For Two Matches

first_imgThe Cornhuskers are 5-5 , but have won four of their last five. NU is coming off of a 2-0 weekend at home, taking down Wyoming, 5-1 and Drake 4-0 win. Junior Claire Reifeis has mainly played at No. 1 singles and leads the team in wins with four. The doubles team of Reifeis and freshman Jessica Aragon are 5-1 this season. Junior Hayley Haakenstad is just behind Reifeis with three singles wins. Wichita State heads into Sunday’s match having faced steep competition. With a 2-4 record on the season, the Shockers have fallen to No. 11 Kansas, Baylor,  and Missouri but have notched wins over Middle Tennessee and UT Arlington. The Shockers have made 10 straight NCAA Tournaments and recorded an NCAA Tournament win last season, their first in school history. The University of Louisville women’s tennis team travels to Nebraska this weekend for a double-header against Nebraska and Wichita State. UofL takes on Nebraska (5-5) Friday, Feb. 15 and will then battle Wichita State (2-4) Saturday, Feb. 16 in Lincoln.  Louisville moved to 9-0 after completing a sweep of Marshall and Pittsburgh last weekend. They downed the Thundering Herd 5-2 as freshman Chloe Hamlin picked up her sixth win of the year. Sophomore Nikolina Jovic dropped the first set 3-6, but battled back to win 6-3, 6-3 to keep her undefeated streak alive. In the ACC opener, the Cardinals defeated Pittsburgh for the third straight season. The doubles team of Jovic and junior Raven Neeley won both of their outings this weekend in their first pairing of the season.center_img Louisville returners to the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center next weekend, taking on conference foes Syracuse and Clemson.Print Friendly Version Story Linkslast_img read more

Perk Up Your Living Room

first_imgA well-heeled living room symbolises its owner’s personality; giving everyone an insight into their interests and passions through their taste of décor. Monika Kamal, well-renowned interior designer and founder of Siddharth by MKC, luxury brand into furnishings shares a few tips on how to perk up your living room.Curtains to the rescueThings like curtains and carpets are highly noticeable and influential. Curtains are not just for privacy and cooling; they enliven your living room, set the ambience and convey the story behind your home. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfCurtains alone can make the décor styling or fusion. Paints, Wallpapers and panelling don’t match the finishing touch and elegance brought on by curtains. Rags to RugsRugs and carpets are very impactful when it comes to tying your floor space together. Ditch the centuries old wall-to-wall carpet style and go for the trending area floor coverings.Pair the colour of your carpet and curtains and use the two together in a secondary colour as a foolproof way to unite and stimulate your living room. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveScented surroundingAdding a home fragrance to your living room adds a whole new sensory dimension. Home fragrances are a lot more than a simple finishing touch, they add an invisible layer of ambience that connects and transforms the composition. Elegant AdditionsMatch the colour of your home accessories with other pieces in the room to create a living masterpiece.last_img read more

Rep Brann Grant program invests in veteran service offices

first_img08Feb Rep. Brann: Grant program invests in veteran service offices Categories: Brann News State Rep. Tommy Brann of Wyoming cosponsored legislation encouraging Michigan counties to establish and maintain veteran services through a new grant program.Under this legislation, each county with a veteran service office that satisfies pre-approved requirements would receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county. To continue receiving the grant, an established county veteran service office must meet benchmarks for staff performance and reporting while maintaining the previous year’s funding level.“This grant will help the state do a better job providing services for our veterans,” Brann said.  “Veterans will now be able to have access to services and benefits throughout the state no matter where they live.”Under the current veteran’s benefits system, the state supplies the Veteran Service Coalition with a grant to provide benefit services to veterans. Depending on the county, a Veteran Service Officer may only be available for a few hours each month at a single location. This bill provides incentives to counties to develop or enhance a tool for providing sufficient services for veterans.Currently, there are 11 Michigan counties without a veteran service office. This could be due to the number of veterans in the area, lack of funding or because the county partners with neighboring counties.The measure, House Bill 5536, will be formally read into the record next week.####last_img read more