Warriors roll into second round of NBA playoffs

first_imgOAKLAND, California (AP):Golden State rolled into the second round of the NBA playoffs without injured superstar Stephen Curry, thoroughly embarrassing the Houston Rockets 114-81 on Wednesday to clinch the series 4-1.Klay Thompson scored 27 points with seven 3-pointers and Draymond Green added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors, who will face the winners of the Los Angeles Clippers-Portland Trail Blazers series.Portland lead that series 3-2 after winning at Los Angeles, while Charlotte won narrowly at Miami to also take a 3-2 series lead.Golden State, without their MVP Curry, relied on his fellow ‘Splash Brother’ in Thompson to set the tone from the opening tip. Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven threes in consecutive playoff games, while Shaun Livingston scored 16 points for his third double-digit performance in three games.deep defendingJames Harden scored 25 of Houston’s 37 first-half points on the way to 35 points, but the Rockets had no chance with a one-man show against the deep defending champions.Portland’s C.J. McCollum scored 27 points to lead the Trail Blazers to a 108-98 win at the Clippers.Damian Lillard added 16 of his 22 in the fourth quarter when Portland pulled away, and the Trail Blazers capitalised on the absence of injured Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to beat Los Angeles.The Blazers are up 3-2 and could close it out tonight in Portland. If Game 7 is needed, it would be tomorrow at Staples Center.Maurice Harkless added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Mason Plumlee had 10 points and 15 boards for Portland.J.J. Redick led the Clippers with 19 points.Charlotte’s Courtney Lee sank a 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left to put the visitors ahead to stay, and the Hornets beat Miami 90-88 in Game 5.The Hornets have won three straight games in the series, and will take a 3-2 lead into a potential Game 6 clincher tonight.Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 17 points, while Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker each had 14 for Charlotte.Dwyane Wade scored 25 for Miami, while Luol Deng scored 15, Joe Johnson added 13 and Hassan Whiteside finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.last_img read more

Ginebra seals semis spot, ousts Rain or Shine

first_imgFortunately for Cone, he has the players to rely on when the going gets tough.With Rain or Shine still in the thick of the fight midway through the final frame, Ginebra drew crucial plays from the likes of Sol Mercado, Joe Devance and Aguilar.Aguilar hit the biggest shot of the game, sinking a short baseline jumper that extended the Kings’ lead to seven, 96-89, with 55.3 seconds left.Jervy Cruz and LA Tenorio also played key roles in the victory, finishing with 18 and 17 points, respectively.Raymond Almazan led the Painters with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Maverick Ahanmisi scored a team-high 18.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBarangay Ginebra held off Rain or Shine, 99-91, to arrange a semifinals showdown with defending champion San Miguel Beer in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Japeth Aguilar came up big on both ends, posting 27 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks for the Gin Kings, who swept the Elasto Painters in their best-of-three quarterfinals series.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings View comments Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Barangay Ginebra held off Rain or Shine, 99-91, to arrange a semifinals showdown with defending champion San Miguel Beer in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Japeth Aguilar came up big on both ends, posting 27 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks for the Gin Kings, who swept the Elasto Painters in their best-of-three quarterfinals series.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“Wow. What a relief. It’s always a big relief to get through the quarters,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.“To me, the quarters series is the hardest series to win just because there’s so much pressure on you to make the semis all the time.” SEA Games 2019: Charly Suarez stops Burmese foe, advances to boxing semi PLAY LIST 03:22SEA Games 2019: Charly Suarez stops Burmese foe, advances to boxing semi04:07SEA Games: John Marvin 1st Filipino boxer to crash out, bows to Vietnam bet01:02Fajardo predicts there will be no sweep in PBA Finals02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Dasmariñas still not used to fanfare ahead of second crack at IBO title Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

South Africa pays less for ARV drugs

first_imgThe decrease in the price of various drugs ranged from 4% to 81%, resulting in a 53% reduction in the cost of the total tender, and translating to a saving of about R4.7-billion – meaning the state could now afford to treat twice as many people as previously budgeted for. South Africa’s HIV/Aids treatment programme has been given a shot in the arm, with increased competition and economies of scale enabling the government to procure R4.28-billion worth of antiretroviral drugs at less than half the cost of previous tenders. “It is notable that these tender price reductions have been achieved through the same suppliers that are contracted in the current tender,” Motsoaledi said. “There are several reasons for this, including greater efficiency in active pharmaceutical ingredient production, increased competition and a tender system that attempts to achieve the lowest possible price.” To ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness in procurement, the last meeting of the National Health Council (NHC) of Minister and MECs approved the establishment of a Central Procurement Authority. This authority will implement measures that improve the availability and supply of medicines, achieve the lowest possible procurement prices, and ensure that suppliers are paid on time. “Given the clear evidence of the success of this approach to procurement, the Department of Health will be replicating this approach through a Central Procurement Authority,” Motsoaledi said. “The authority will focus on procurement of ARVs, TB drugs, vaccines and drugs for the treatment of diseases related to maternal and child health.” SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material 15 December 2010center_img Economies of scale Motsoaledi said the high prices had made no sense, as South Africa was the largest purchaser of ARVs in the world and should thus benefit from low prices through economies of scale. “Early this year in my health budget speech I mentioned that the prices that South Africa pays for ARVs are significantly higher than all other countries,” Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said in a statement this week. “The high price paid by South Africa was despite the fact that South Africa has the largest ARV programme in the world.” The drugs will support the implementation of HIV/Aids treatment in the country for the next two years, effective from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012. The selected suppliers include Aspen Pharma (with a 40.6% share of the tender), Sonke Pharmaceuticals (21.9%), Medpro (10.1%), Abbott Laboratories (9.8%), Cipla Medpro (5.1%), Strides Arcolab (4.2%), Adcock Ingram (4%), Aurobindo Pharma (3.1%), Specpharm (0.9%) and Merck Sharpe & Dohme (0.2%). Central procurement authoritylast_img read more

Smoke ConnectFX: Deal, Deinterlace, Difference Matte

first_imgWe continue our breakdown of the ConnectFX Nodes in Autodesk Smoke with a look at Deal, Deinterlace and Difference Matte.Not all of the nodes inside Smoke’s ConnectFX workflow are sexy. Many of them are simple utility nodes for various clip processing. However, tools like Deal, Deinterlace and Difference Matte are just as powerful as any flash and glitz effect node when you need to manipulate your clip.Smoke’s Deal Node:The Deal Node is a bit of an ‘old-timers’ node. Back in the day, when video was transferred around on video tape, there was no such thing as an embedded alpha. For clips that had an associated matte or alpha, that Matte would get laid down on tape after the Fill version.  For example, at 1:00:00 your animated logo fill is output to tape and at 1:01:00 the corresponding matte would be output as a black & white hi-con clip.  But organizing these clips when you had various pieces and parts was difficult as you had to keep the Fill and Matte clips together while you were working.If you had all of the fills in one bin and the mattes in another, you would often have to search around to get the matching clip.  So in order to make this easier on the editor or effect artist, the animated logo and its matte would get laid down to tape in alternating frames. So, frame 1 would contain frame 1 of the Fill video and frame 2 would be the matching Matte frame. When you watched the clip play on video tape, you would see a flashing of Fill Video and Matte, back and forth, every frame.  When you digitized this clip from tape, the Fill Video and the Matte for your animating logo would always be together.  This type of recording is know as an Interleave Frame Clip.Interleaving clips was popular when images were transferred from machine to machine via video tape like D1, D5, or DigiBeta. When you digitized the clip, you would use the Deal Node to split the clip apart and create 2 separate clips. One clip would be the fill video and the other would be the matte. You could then use these clips as needed in creating your composition.Today we’re are almost 100% file based for this type of workflow. We are working with video files that can contain embedded alphas that we can use to maintain the relationship to the fill video.  As this is the case, you may never need to use the Deal Node inside of Smoke. But, there are some benefits of using it as a creative tool.The Deal Node in Smoke will split a clip into a user defined number of clips, frame by frame, until all frames are distributed. Essentially, the frames of a clip are dealt out like playing cards in a deck to players at a poker game. The controls for the Deal Node are pretty simple.  The First Rendered Frame is the frame that is output from the node. Setting the start frame to 30 will not display any frames until frame 30. The Clips setting is the amount of clips that the original clip is split.  The Start Frame setting will output which “clip” is output.In the example of fill video and matte, you would create 2 clips.  Then to output the matte you would set the Start Frame to 2:You can use the Deal Node as a creative tool to create a clip that is 200 or 300% faster, if you set the clip setting to 2 or 3. The resulting output would be every 2nd or 3rd frame.  You can also deal a clip out and then treat each segment differently. You could color or blur each dealt clip differently. You would then need to recombine the clips back into a frames clip, with your own interleave effect. You can also create an interesting effect by interleaving the frames in a different order than the original, thereby creating a very studdery-strobe effect. There is no interleave node in CFX, but there is one in the Tools Tab of Smoke 2013. There is also the same deal tool, so you can split your clips on the desktop if you desire.Smoke’s Deinterlace Node:Deinterlacing inside of ConnectFX is different from the deinterlacing you might be familiar with during exporting – where you are taking an interlaced source and making it progressive for web delivery.  The Deinterlace Node will split the fields of a frame, interpolate them, and then place them one ofter the other.  So, Frame 1 would be Field 1 and Frame 2 would be Field 2 (this assumes a field 1 dominate source).  The resulting clip is then doubled in time. A 90 frame interlaced clip becomes a 180 progressive frame result clip. In theory, you could then use the Deal Node to separate the clip into 2 clips, being 1 clip for field 1 and 1 clip for field 2. But this would also give you half of the resolution of the original.Why would you want to deinterlace a clip?  One main reason would be for keying.  Although the keyers in Smoke are excellent, you can still get some edge issues with interlaced clips, especially clips with lots of motion and natural motion blur.  By deinterlacing the clip prior to keying it, you can achieve a cleaner result for your key.  If you were comping this key over a background, you would also deinterlace the background. Once the deinterlaced clip is keyed, you would then use the Interlace Node to reassemble the clip back into it’s original field order.[Click for larger image]A second reason you may want to deinterlace a clip is for tracking.  Tracking can sometimes not be as accurate on moving interlaced images as the fields change.  Although Smoke’s trackers do have a setting for interlaced video and it performs quite well, if you do have a problem track you can try deinterlacing.The Deinterlace UI is very simple as well. The First Fame setting will process the deinterlace at the frame.  No output will happen until that frame. The Field Dominance Box would be set to the clips field order. If you don’t know the clips field order, you can set it to Auto.  By activating the INTERP button, you can eliminate interlace artifacts, as Smoke will interpolate the differences in the fields.  This will create a cleaner full frame.Smoke’s Difference Matte Node:In Smoke you can perform a comparison between two clips on different video tracks on the timeline with the Difference Tools in the viewer overlays.  Inside ConnectFX you can use the Difference Matte Node to perform a comparison between 2 clips and produce a Hi-Con Matte of that difference.  A difference comparison will perform a pixel by pixel comparison between the 2 clips. Exact pixels will return a black pixel result and non-exact matches will result in a white or grey pixel.[Click for larger image]Often times in compositing, you can create a matte for an object by taking a clean background and the same background clip with an object over it by inputting them into the Difference Matte Node. you can often achieve a cleaner matte from difference keying than from luminance keying.The adjustments in the Difference Matte Node are simple.  You can adjust in RGB or YUV color space. and you can adjust the Tolerance and the Softness of the individual RGB or YUV Channels.  There is also a master Gain and Lift adjustment for the result, if you need to enhance the white levels or crush the blacks.I personally get a lot of print logos or images which are composited over white.  By performing a difference matte between a white frame and the logo/image over white, I can pull a matte for the logo/image that I can use further in my CFX schematic. Sometimes you also need to clean up the matte with a Gmask or Paint.[Click for larger image]There are some nodes that are flashy and sexy and are used for creative effects. And then there are nodes like these, that are Smoke’s workhorse nodes and utility nodes. That’s one of the great things about Smoke.  All of the video utility tools you need to technically work with your video clips are provided for you, as are many of the flashy effects tools.As you can see over this series of blog posts highlighting the Nodes in ConnectFX, Smoke is an all-in-one solution, where you don’t need to export your clips out to another application.  If you have any questions or comments on this blog series please feel free to respond in the comment area below.last_img read more

Assam BJP leader praises JNU poll winner, quits party

first_imgA BJP leader in Assam has quit his post in the party’s Information Technology and Social Media department after his praise for a Leftist woman from Assam, who won in the Jawaharlal Nehru Students’ Union polls, drew criticism.In a letter to Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass on Tuesday, Suranjan Dutta said he was resigning from the post of co-convenor of the party’s social media wing for causing “hurt” to party workers for praising the election of Srijani Bhaswa Mahanta as a councillor for the university’s School of International Studies.Ms. Mahanta, who represented the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), is the daughter of Assam’s Additional Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Manahta. She was elected councillor along with another woman from Assam — Karabee Kakati of the All India Students’ Association (AISA).Members of SFI, AISA, and the Democratic Students’ Federation (DSF) contested as United Left to defeat the BJP’s youth wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), in this year’s JNUSU polls.Many party workers and supporters had panned Mr. Dutta when he took to Facebook to praise Ms. Mahanta’s victory, accusing him of taking a Left turn.“…one of my Facebook posts have demoralised and hurt our karyakartas (workers) and I am also in mental agony now. I have admitted my moral responsibility for that Facebook post and hence, asking for apology from everyone,” he wrote in his resignation letter.Assam BJP’s general secretary Dilip Saikia accepted Mr. Dutta’s resignation letter.last_img read more