Geocaching Geocoins Help Crack a Theft Ring

first_img SharePrint RelatedThe Father of the Geocoin: Moun10BikeMay 25, 2015In “Community”Become Trackable on Geocaching.com – Tattoos to Travel BugsSeptember 13, 2011In “Community”Geocoinfest 2011 – Europa: Travels with the World’s First GeocoinSeptember 14, 2011In “Community” Heather, aka “Craftea”, with her recovered Geocoins still in the police evidence bagThere’s something special about a Trackable at Geocaching.com—it’s actually trackable. You know who owns it. You know where it’s been, and ideally, where it wants to go next.Now imagine you’re a police detective. You serve a search warrant on a storage locker. You find evidence you believe is stolen. But how do you prove that evidence actually belongs to someone else? Then, you see a glistening Geocoin, with a tracking number.Heather, aka Craftea, from Washington state in the U.S. was the beneficiary for just such a series of events and some real crafty police work.She says her story began in November of 2012. “My home was burglarized and I lost a great many items, including a three-ring binder with baseball-card pockets where I kept my geocoin collection, and a bag of geopins along with more standard stuff like laptops and other electronics.”Her day to day geocaching wasn’t completely interrupted thanks to a lucky break, “Thankfully my GPS was in the car with me when my home was being broken into so I didn’t lose that. The responding cop didn’t give me much hope that any of my things will ever be recovered but it still took me several months before I finally went online to mark each of my coins as missing, feeling that made it more final, like I was giving up hope.”Months passed, life continued. And Heather began to move on. “I did, really, give up hope, and while I feel the loss of my things just about every day, I am slowly replacing things as I can afford to.”The whole experience came back to her after it was nearly forgotten. “It was with a bit of a shock when I got an e-mail from a detective from Seattle’s West Precinct with front-and-back pictures of one of my geocoins with a note saying that it and ‘several others’ were recovered during a search warrant issued on a storage unit. He said he recognized it as a Geocoin and logged on Geocaching.com and did a search with the coin’s code and saw my profile and that I had marked it missing and wanted to know why.”It was an email she quickly responded to, “I contacted him and was able to either describe the coins or give him the code after he described them to me. He had “4 or 5″ of them and he was satisfied they were mine. After more search warrants were issued on a different storage unit and a house associated with the same people as were for the original unit where my coins were found, the detective contacted me again and invited me to his office to pick up my coins and look at the pictures of the suspects as well as go through photos of evidence they’d recovered.”One of the Geocoins lost in the burglary“When I got to his office, he handed me 5 coins…” But for Heather the Geocoins are more than pieces of metal imprinted with a custom tracking code. They were reminders of adventures past and friends who offered the Geocoins as presents, “Two were gifts from FrodoB, one was a gift from Rey del Roble, one I earned at The Dalles Dash geocoin challenge and the 5th was an unactivated geoachievement coin given to me by my friend, MacCrew, from New York. Precious memories!” Check out the Trackable Details page from one of the lost and recovered Geocoins.Heather also received a few of the other items that were lost to the thieves who broke into her home. Among them, she has recovered a sense of justice, “There is still a great deal of loss but it was exciting to get back a few pieces, and knowing that a handful of geocoins connected the burglars to their crime against me (and many other homes…) and was instrumental in their arrest.”Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Asian Games: Indian football teams stranded in China as govt can’t decide on contingent

first_imgIndia’s men’s and women’s teams are currently training in Shanghai for the Asian Games but they are not sure about participation.The Sports ministry’s dilly-dallying over the Asian Games contingent has left athletes in limbo. Among the many disciplines facing the axe from the initially proposed 942-strong contingent cleared by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), football is the prominent one. The men’s and women’s teams were supposed to depart from Shanghai, where they are training for the Asiad, for South Korea on Tuesday.But with the ministry delaying a decision, the teams are in the dark about their participation as well as when they would be able to leave China, as they are yet to receive their Asian Games accreditation cards, without which they cannot board the flight to Incheon.The accreditation cards, which are with the IOA in New Delhi, will only be provided to the athletes after the ministry clears the final contingent, according to IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta.Under the circumstances, the football teams are almost certain to extend their stay in China, which would cost the All India Football Federation (AIFF) $5000 (Rs 3,00,000) per day. The number of footballers and support staff who may go to China add up to 50 (men’s team – 20 players and seven officials; women’s team – 18 players and five officials).Even if the decision comes by Monday, an official would have to go to China to hand over the accreditation cards before the team departs.”We have arranged for an official to go to China for giving the accreditation cards. But the problem is that nobody knows when the decision will come. Our main concern is that the players have been left stranded for no fault of theirs,” said a top AIFF official. The problem, however, does not end with the players getting the accreditation cards as they will not be able to enter the Games Village until an IOA official goes to Incheon and takes part in the Delegates Registration Meeting (DRM), without which no player of any country will be allowed inside the Village.advertisement”Even if the accreditation card reaches the footballers by Tuesday, and they take the one-and-a-half hour flight from Shanghai to Incheon, they will have no place to stay as they will not be allowed inside the Village without an IOA official attending the DRM,” the official said.”Most countries who are taking part in football at the Asiad are reaching Korea well in advance as the football competition starts on Sunday, five days before the opening ceremony. The Bangladesh contingent is reaching Korea on Monday and we are in China doing nothing.”The Indian men’s team has been drawn with Jordan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while the women’s team has been grouped with South Korea, Thailand and Maldives. The women face Maldives on Sunday while the men’s opening match is against the UAE next Monday.The football teams’ poor performance in recent times, especially the men’s team’s loss to Pakistan in a friendly, has only added to the ministry’s reluctance in sending the teams to the Asian Games. But surprisingly, all this happened after the SAI spent `1.40 crore on the teams’ exposure trips to Czech Republic and training camps in Mumbai and Bangalore.The AIFF has spent Rs 1.60 crore for Asiad preparation.last_img

LSU Quarterback Brandon Harris: “I Expect To Play More This Year”

first_imgBrandon Harris speaks during press conference.Twitter/@DellengerAdvTo be frank, LSU’s quarterback situation in 2014 was not great. Anthony Jennings played most of the snaps for the Tigers, but finished with just 1,611 yards, 11 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a poor completion percentage of 48.9. Freshman Brandon Jennings also spent some time under center, and had slightly better numbers (55.6% completion, 10.04 yards per attempt, six touchdowns to two interceptions), but after a very poor game at Auburn, he was benched. Harris was asked about his expectations for the upcoming season, and he was pretty blunt about the subject of playing time.Brandon Harris: “I expect to play more this year.” #LSU pic.twitter.com/7xj9XTAhEp— Ross Dellenger (@DellengerAdv) March 10, 2015Neither quarterback shined last year, but outside of the Auburn game, Harris looked pretty good. LSU will certainly be a quarterback battle to watch as we approach the 2015 season.last_img read more

Varun Dhawan gets hilariously trolled by Arjun Kapoor

first_imgMumbai: Actor Arjun Kapoor trolled his friend and actor Varun Dhawan on a photograph taken at the wrap-up bash of “Street Dancer 3D”. In the image shared on Instagram, Varun is seen posing with co-stars Shraddha Kapoor and Nora Fatehi. He captioned it: “Coming to you January 24. Bye-bye”. Nora replied on the post, saying: “We look like snacks”. The “Main Tera Hero” actor asked Nora if she is doing people’s eyebrow to which Arjun wrote: “Nora Fatehi he’s definitely done his eyebrows.” “Street Dancer 3D” is helmed by Remo D’Souza and will hit the theatres in January 2020.last_img

Christmas candles lit by memories

first_imgAPTN National NewsAs the Christmas holiday season is upon us, many of us are spending time with loved ones.But for some families, the holidays aren’t what they used to be.That’s because some of their daughters, sisters and mothers make up the 582 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in this country.As APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson reports, a special gathering in the Manitoba legislature building was organized so these women would never be forgotten.last_img

Four Strikes And Youre Out

The strike zone shrinks by as much as 20 percentage points in the top and bottom. With two strikes, borderline pitches — those that are ordinarily 50/50 calls — become 30/70 calls (30 percent strikes, 70 percent balls) for the average umpire. And with two strikes, the most biased umpire calls balls on borderline pitches almost every time. On close calls, umpires act as if they would rather give the batter another chance than call a third strike.In both maps, the biases are greatest where the boundaries of the official strike zone are least apparent. What matters most is the vertical location of the pitch. Standing behind the plate, the umpire can easily tell whether a pitch is too far inside or outside. But it’s harder to know where the pitch is relative to the batter’s knees and chest. We would expect this uncertainty to breed inconsistency. But it also seems to induce the greatest bias. The highest peaks and the deepest parts of the moat are at the top and bottom of the strike zone.Finally, we see that the strike zone shrinks again when the previous pitch in the at-bat was a called strike.Change in the Probability of a Called Strike When the Previous Pitch Was a Called Strike The official strike zone is the red rectangle beneath the heat map. The color and height of the heat map measure the change in the probability of a called strike when the count has three balls versus when there are two or fewer balls. The deep blue signifies no change — these are the pitches that are so obviously a ball or strike that not even a three-ball count changes them. In the center of the official strike zone, obvious strikes are still strikes; on the periphery, obvious balls are still balls. But on the edge of the official strike zone — in the band of uncertainty — a ring of mountains rises from the plane. The strike zone expands in three-ball counts, particularly at the top and bottom of the zone’s vertical axis. Borderline pitches, which are normally called strikes 50 percent of the time, are called strikes about 60 percent of the time with three balls in the count. Umpires act as if they would rather keep an at-bat going on a borderline pitch than issue a walk.In two-strike counts, we see the inverse effect. For close pitches, a strike is now less likely to be called, which makes our heat map look like a moat.Change in the Probability of a Called Strike With Two Strikes The plane at the bottom of the figure is the plane that rises from the front of home plate — the same one on which the official strike zone is occasionally rendered in television replays. The thick red lines on the axes denote the strike zone. The red on the horizontal axis is the width of home plate; the red on the vertical axis is the normalized distance between the batter’s chest and the bottom of his knees.3MLB’s Pitch f/x system provides measurements of the top and bottom of each batter’s strike zone, which we used to normalize the height of the strike zone for each batter. If you were a home-plate umpire, you’d be looking down through the plane, over the catcher’s head and towards the pitcher.The 3D heat map rising from the plane measures the probability of a called strike at each location on the plane. Home-plate umpires are good at calling the obvious. Pitches that travel right down the center of the official strike zone — through the red at the top of the heat map — are called strikes more than 99 percent of the time. Pitches that cross the plane well outside the official strike zone — where the heat map is its deepest blue — are called strikes less than 1 percent of the time.Umpires are inconsistent at the edges of the official strike zone, where the heat map turns green. Here, pitches that cross the plane in the same location are sometimes called strikes and sometimes called balls. This band of uncertainty is wide: about six to eight inches separate pitches that are called strikes 90 percent of the time and pitches that are called balls 90 percent of the time.There’s a difference between an umpire being inconsistent and an umpire being biased. Inconsistency usually takes place within that band of uncertainty, when the umpire makes different calls on pitches at the same location. But he is biased when those differences correlate with factors other than pitch location, like the count. Where umpires are inconsistent, they also happen to be biased. To see this, consider two versions of the figure above: one for when the count has three balls, and one for when the count has fewer than three balls. These heat maps should be the same. Whether there are three balls in the count shouldn’t matter. All that should matter is the location of the pitch.When we look at the difference between these two heat maps, we should see no difference — a flat plane. But we don’t. We see an expansion of the strike zone in three-ball counts.Change in the Probability of a Called Strike With Three Balls Here, the shrinkage is more uniform — about the same on the sides as on the top and bottom. The blue tips of the moat are about 15 percentage points deep: 50/50 calls become 35/65 calls when the last pitch in the at-bat was a called strike. Umpires appear reluctant not only to end the at-bat but also to call two strikes in a row. (Interestingly, there is no change in the probability of a called strike when the last pitch was called a ball.)These mistakes are frequent — pitchers tend to pitch to the borders of the official strike zone. And they are consequential — they happen in the most pivotal calls. When a 50/50 call becomes a 60/40 call, as it does with three balls, umpires are mistakenly calling strikes on 10 percent of borderline pitches. When a 50/50 call becomes a 30/70 call, as it does with two strikes, umpires are mistakenly calling balls on 20 percent of borderline pitches.Major League Baseball has embraced technologies that are meant to make calls on the field more consistent. The league has long used pitch-tracking technology to encourage home-plate umpires to behave more like machines, evidently without complete success. This past offseason, the MLB extended replay review to cover essentially all umpire decisions — except ball and strike calls. Now as before, no justice will be served when a pitcher throws a strike and the umpire drops the ball.This article is adapted from “What Does it Take to Call a Strike? Three Biases in Umpire Decision Making,” which the author wrote with David P. Daniels. Consider a forgotten game in April 2010 between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox were up a run with two outs in the eighth. Their set-up man, Matt Thornton, was on the mound, protecting a lead with a runner on first and the right-handed Jhonny Peralta at bat. Ahead in the count with one ball and two strikes, Thornton froze Peralta with a slider on the outside half of the plate, a couple inches below the belt. For a pitch like that, the umpire, Bruce Dreckman, would normally call a strike — 80 percent of the time, the data shows. But in two-strike counts like Peralta’s, he calls a strike less than half the time.Sure enough, that night Dreckman called a ball. Two pitches later, Peralta lashed a double to right, scoring the runner and tying the game. Neither team scored again until the 11th, when Cleveland scored twice to win the game. Had Peralta struck out to end the top of the eighth, Chicago almost certainly would have won.1When the home team carries a one-run lead into the bottom of the eighth, it wins 89 percent of the time.This one call illustrates a statistical regularity: Umpires are biased. About once a game, an at-bat ends in something other than a strikeout even when a third strike should have been called. Umpires want to make the right call, but they also don’t want to make the wrong call at the wrong time. Ironically, this prompts them to make bad calls more often.That’s according to research I did with David P. Daniels showing that the strike zone changes when the stakes are highest. We looked at more than 1 million pitches, almost all ball and strike calls from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 regular seasons, and found that the strike zone expands in three-ball counts and shrinks in two-strike counts.2Baseball observers have previously documented how the strike zone changes with the count. Other researchers have shown that the count changes how likely umpires are to call a strike outside of the official strike zone or a ball within it. It also shrinks again when the preceding pitch in the at-bat was a called strike. To put it another way, on close calls, umpires are unlikely to call a fourth ball, a third strike, or a second strike in a row. Umpires call balls and strikes as if they don’t want to be noticed.The umpire’s job is simple: Call a strike when the pitch crosses the official strike zone; call a ball when it doesn’t. When the right call is obvious, umpires make it almost every time. One way to see this is to look at the probability of a called strike by pitch location.Probability of a Called Strike read more

Womens volleyball Ohio State looking for a comeback after loss to Hoosiers

Members of OSU women’s volleyball team celebrate after a point during a match against Nebraska on Oct. 14 at St. John Arena. Credit: Jenna Leinasars | Assistant News DirectorThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team is trying to rebound following a 3-1 upset at the hands of the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday and a loss to Wisconsin at home prior to that.The Buckeyes will have two opportunities for redemption when they host back-to-back home matches this weekend at St. John Arena. OSU clashes with Rutgers on Friday and No. 10 Penn State on Saturday. The loss to the Hoosiers put OSU outside of the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association poll for the first time this season. Upcoming opponent Rutgers holds a 4-23 record and has yet to win a Big Ten match this season, while the Penn State Nittany Lions have maintained their powerhouse presence in the conference and stand at 18-7 overall. Penn State also swept the Buckeyes 3-0 the last time the two teams met on Oct. 19 in University Park, Pennsylvania.Senior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe said the team’s loss to Indiana was just the nature of the beast that is the Big Ten conference. “They played really good defense against us, and I don’t think we were able to respond,” she said. “It’s just part of being in the Big Ten. You can’t underestimate anyone, and everyone has something to offer.” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said the Buckeyes have been in a rut for the past couple of matches. Prior to Indiana, OSU took a tough loss to Wisconsin at St. John Arena by a margin of just 11 total points. “The last couple matches, we’ve struggled finding rhythm. We make two or three good plays and then we’ll miss a serve at a crucial time or we just won’t make a play,” Carlston said. “We need to be able to string those runs together.”Putting the past aside, the Buckeyes – from the newcomers to the veterans – are choosing to stay optimistic heading into weekend play. “I really believe we can do it. We’re ready,” said freshman outside hitter Bia Franklin. “We’re going to practice hard this week, and it would be really nice to (get) that revenge (on Penn State).” Sandbothe is looked at as one of OSU’s senior leaders, and the team turns to her in times of trouble. Her strategy relies on keeping everyone calm and collected in the huddle. “It’s just taking a deep breath and refocusing, letting everyone know that we’re all on the same page,” she said. “The middle is a really great time for us to reset.” Sandbothe isn’t just leading by her words. Her play is speaking volumes about her and the team that surrounds her. During the Buckeyes’ last match with Wisconsin, she locked down the OSU record for most career blocks in history with 518 rejections. Sandbothe said the record has only added fuel to her competitive fire. “Now I want to slaughter it. Now I’m going to make sure that it’s not going to be broken for a lot longer,” she said. “It (breaking a record) gives you a greater appreciation for what this program means and the fact that there are people who put the jersey on before you and there’s going to be people who put it on after you.” Sandbothe is confident that OSU can put on a strong performance this weekend. She said back-to-back Friday and Saturday matches are good for the team’s pace. There is also the advantage of playing on home court. Carlston is looking a little farther than the weekend with the NCAA tournament coming up in December. All members of the Buckeyes’ teams have mentioned throughout the season their anticipation to be in the Final Four, which will be played in Columbus at Nationwide Arena. Carlston feels that 12 out of the 15 teams in the Big Ten have the ability to make it into the NCAA tournament, and this is the time for his team to make a statement that OSU should be one of them.“For us, taking care of our business this weekend at home is important,” he said. The Buckeyes will first take on the Scarlet Knights on Friday at 7 p.m. followed by the Nittany Lions at 7 p.m. on Saturday, both at St. John Arena. read more

Gene Smith named athletic director of the year

Ohio State athletic director and vice president Gene Smith was named 2010 Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year.Over the past year, Ohio State has enjoyed much on-field success, including a victory in the Rose Bowl over Oregon in January.Off the field, the Buckeyes recently celebrated the accomplishments of 503 scholar-athletes, who achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Smith beat out other athletic directors from the University of North Carolina, Boise State University, UCLA and the University of Alabama. Other winners on the night included Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones as Sports Executive of the Year, Super Bowl XLIV as Sports Event of the Year, CBS Sports as Best in Sports Television, and the Seattle Sounders of the MLS as the Professional Sports Team of the Year. Smith was named athletic director in 2005 and was a finalist for the AD of the Year Award in 2008. The event was held in New York City on Thursday night. The awards are presented annually by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily and judged performance from Jan. 1, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010. read more

Allardyce denies rift with Rooney

first_imgEverton manager Sam Allardyce has denied reports that both himself and Wayne Rooney have had a falling out after the club’s goalless draw against Liverpool last weekendThe former England captain was visibly upset when Allardyce chose to substitute him during the Merseyside derby with Rooney making it clear that he did not approve of such a decision.Afterwards, Allardyce declared that he would have talks with the former Manchester United star to clear the air and explain that he simply wished to put on a fresh pair of legs for the closing minutes of the match.But the former England manager feels that the issue has now been exaggerated by the media.“We’re all right, no problem,” said the 63 year-old, according to Liverpool Echo.“Like there’s no problem with Yannick Bolasie and there’s no problem with Tom Davies. All three of those players I substituted last week.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“You’re asking players to be angels. Stop it. We live in a politically correct world as it is, if somebody stamps their feet we’ll be saying you can’t do that. A reaction from a player when he comes off of disappointment is to be expected.“One would ask him not to do it in the public eye but sometimes that can’t be helped. A man as proud of being an Everton fan as him and playing for Everton, that’s where the reaction came from.”Despite Rooney’s recent struggles in the his new midfield role at Everton, Allardyce revealed that the 32 year-old wishes to continue playing in that position.“It’s the role he wants to play,” added Allardyce.“Our tactical change was for the benefit of the team. It’s a team game and you make a decision on the day to try and help the team to get a victory.”last_img read more

Wilshere now a target for Southampton

first_imgSouthampton have reportedly joined the race to sign Jack Wilshere this summer on a free transfer from Arsenal, claims the Daily MirrorThe England international’s contract at the Emirates will expire at the end of the month and it appears increasingly certain that Wilshere will opt to leave his boyhood club after new head coach Unai Emery was unable to give him any guarantees over any regular playing time for next season.The 26-year-old is now considering his next move with the likes of Everton, West Ham United and AC Milan believed to be keeping a close eye on the situation.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.But now Southampton are preparing to enter the race for Wilshere’s signature after missing out on signing James Maddison from Norwich City.Saint’s boss Mark Hughes is keen on adding another central midfielder to his ranks and has listed Wilshere as an ideal signing.Wilshere had previously spent a season on the South coast with Bournemouth in a loan deal during the 2016/17 season and, therefore, may be tempted by the prospect of moving to St Mary’s Stadium.last_img read more