While watching Tuesday’s spring training game between the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves, some of us in the FiveThirtyEight office were surprised to see Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez. Didn’t Gonzalez retire years ago?He was Atlanta’s everyday shortstop in 2011, but over the past two seasons, Gonzalez was thoroughly forgettable, playing just 65 games for the Milwaukee Brewers (hitting .211 and producing -0.8 wins above replacement). If you go back to 2009, when Gonzalez was 32, he seemed particularly unlikely to be in the majors five years later.This got us thinking: Could we quantify the “Wait … he’s still playing?” question. Our idea was to use a player’s age and WAR to predict whether he would be an active major leaguer a half-decade later. To that end, we plugged every player from the designated hitter era (1973-present) into a logistic regression model. The result will tell us the likelihood of a given player being in the league five seasons later. For example, here’s the arc of a generic Major League Baseball player who peaks as an All-Star (5 WAR) at age 27:So for players in MLB this season (a list taken from Fangraphs’ depth charts), we looked at the odds at the end of the 2009 season that they’d still be playing today. Here are the most unlikely major leaguers:Gonzalez is not the most improbable player in the game. That honor belongs to catcher Henry Blanco, who was 37 in 2009 and had been hovering around replacement level for the previous three seasons. All else being equal, a player of that profile would have just a 3 percent chance of still being in the majors five years later, and yet Blanco is slated to be in the mix for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ backup catching role this season.Blanco underscores one of the themes of the list. The probabilities listed above don’t take into account the player’s position (beyond the positional adjustments in WAR) — just his age and performance. For most players, that’s enough, but backup catchers are a different breed. No other position is so well-represented among the “I can’t believe he’s still playing” set.One reason for this is that WAR, for all of its strengths, doesn’t incorporate a catcher’s receiving skills. Recent research suggests that elite pitch-framers such as the Tampa Bay Rays’ Jose Molina have a startlingly large impact on the game, far beyond what was originally believed in the sabermetric community.Another explanation, though, is that on-field performance isn’t necessarily the first thing managers look for in their reserve backstops. Instead, managers may place more value on intangibles such as clubhouse presence and leadership. How else to explain how backup catching became what Sports Illustrated once called “the cushiest job in baseball”?
Legal Facebook Donald Trump Deepfake coverage on CNET Deepfakes may ruin the world. And they can come for you, too Samsung deepfake AI could fabricate a video of you from a single profile pic Tags A manipulated clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has people worried about bogus videos in the run-up to 2020. Larry French/Getty Images Congress is looking to investigate deepfakes after the appearance of doctored videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, says a Tuesday report from CNN. Deepfakes, video forgeries that make people appear to be doing or saying things they didn’t, are the moving-picture equivalent of bogus images created with programs like Photoshop. Deepfake software has made manipulated videos accessible and increasingly harder to detect as fake. One technique enables users to make a deepfake using a single image, such as the Mona Lisa.Speaking with CNN, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, reportedly said the Russian fake news campaign during the 2016 presidential election could escalate for the 2020 presidential race thanks to deepfakes. “The most severe escalation might be the introduction of a deepfake — a video of one of the candidates saying something they never said,” Schiff said. Schiff called the Pelosi video a “cheap fake.””Very easy to make, very simple to make, real content just doctored,” Schiff reportedly told the publication. “If you look back at how impactful the Mitt Romney videotape about the 47% was, you could imagine how a videotape that is more incendiary could be election-altering. “Combine that with the fact that we already have a president of the United States who says the things that are real, like the Access Hollywood tape, are fake, and things that are fake, like the Pelosi tape — he pushes out as real.” 1 Politics Security Culture Digital Media Online Share your voice On May 23, videos doctored to make Pelosi appear like she was drunkenly slurring her words spread across Facebook. Facebook refused to take down the viral clip, despite reportedly having been looking into its manipulated-media policy just days before the video appeared. The Pelosi videos then disappeared from Facebook on Monday, but the social network denied removing them. In her speech, originally made at a Center for American Progress event, Pelosi accused Trump of being part of a “cover-up.” The video was then found by the The Washington Post to have been slowed to around 75% of its original speed, with the pitch of Pelosi’s voice also altered. The doctored videos went viral after being posted to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, with one version on Facebook being viewed over 1.4 million times and shared 30,000 times. Pelosi, another Democrat from California, slammed the social network. “We have said all along, poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians,” Pelosi told KQED News on Wednesday. “I think wittingly, because right now they are putting up something that they know is false. I think it’s wrong.” “[Facebook is] lying to the public … I think they have proven — by not taking down something they know is false — that they were willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election,” she said. Schiff’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Comment
This picture of Rajinikanth’s lookalike is doing rounds online.TwitterEvery single gesture of top celebrities in public will usually have positive or negative reactions. In case of Rajinikanth, people considers him as a model man for good behaviour. Photos of him captured in public only proved that he is the epitome of simplicity.To give you an example, Rajinikanth holding a Nokia 1130 phone was widely circulated on internet for years stating that despite being a big star he found joy in using a basic cell phone. Likewise, Rajini wearing a simple dress and a slipper during a trip with his friends had also indicated that success had not gone to his head.Time and again, such photos and videos have only made the belief stronger about the Tamil superstar. However, not all we read or see about him is true and one such instance is the latest viral picture. A photo of a man wearing a simple t-shirt and shorts while speaking over a phone is doing rounds on social media sites and fans have mistaken it to be Thalaivar.The man in the picture has close resemblances to Rajinikanth. The white beard and overall look easily make one believe that it is the picture of the superstar.The fans have been spreading the picture on social media claiming that the picture is one more example for Rajini’s simplicity. However, it has now been clarified that it is not the superstar in the picture and someone else.Rajinikanth’s Next Film Rajinikanth, who is basking in the success of Petta, is yet to begin his next film to be directed by AR Murugadoss. The shooting is expected to commence next month. Rajinikanth’s Petta ends its 2nd weekend on a positive note.PR Handout
The new logo of State Bank of India (SBI) is pictured at the podium of the venue of a news conference after the announcement of SBI’s fourth quarter results, in Kolkata, India May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File PhotoReutersThe State Bank of India (SBI) has changed the names and IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) of about 1,300 branches located in major cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Lucknow among others.This came after SBI merged its five associate banks – State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore – and Bhartiya Mahila Bank, the Press Trust of India reported.”Some of our old associate branches are getting merged with SBI branches. When that merger happens, the IFSC codes get changed,” said the bank’s managing director (retail and digital banking), Praveen Gupta.He also said that the customers holding SBI accounts have been informed about the change in IFSC codes. Internally the bank has also mapped then to the new codes.”Even if some payment comes based on the old IFSC codes, it will get mapped with the new codes. It will not cause any problem to any customer,” he added.The country’s largest lender has nearly 23,000 branches across the country and has put up the updates list of branches with old and new names and IFSC codes on its website. A security personnel stands guard in front of the gate of the State Bank of India (SBI) regional office in Kolkata May 23, 2014. SBI, the nation’s top lender, reported its fifth consecutive quarter of declining profit as slower loan growth and a rise in bad loans take a toll on Indian lenders. REUTERS/Rupak de ChowdhuriIFSC is an 11-digit alpha-numeric code which is used to uniquely identify each branch of every bank in India. This code is given on the chequebook of individuals and firms which is needed to transfer money from one account to another through National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) or Real Time Gross Settlement (RGTS).How to access the updated list of branches with new names and IFSC code? Individuals can easily access the new list through this link:http://www.sbi.co.in/webfiles/uploads/files/RATIONALISED_BRANCHES_WITH_IFSC.pdfCustomers can search their branch or city or district to check if IFSC codes have been changed. Account holders can also search by doing “Control+F.”
Kolkata: A Jaipur-Kolkata IndiGo flight with 136 passengers on board made an emergency landing in Kolkata after smoke engulfed the plane mid-air, prompting the government to order a probe, an official said Tuesday. However, no passengers were injured in the incident that happened on Monday, a senior DGCA official said. The pilot had to issue a ‘May Day’ call, made to seek help in times of distress, and the the Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus A320 Neo plane landed at the Kolkata airport under full emergency conditions, a source said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life On landing, some of the passengers were evacuated using emergency chutes, the source said. “The IndiGo aircraft VT ITR was about 45 miles off Kolkata when the smoke engulfed the aircraft. Amid the passengers’ safety in danger, the pilot issued May Day and sought an emergency landing at the Kolkata airport,” the source said. IndiGo confirmed the incident but said the aircraft did not face any technical issue in the past. “An IndiGo flight (A320 aircraft) 6E-237 operating on Jaipur-Kolkata route made an emergency landing as a precaution at Kolkata due to suspected smoke in cabin,” the airline said in a statement. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed There was no report earlier of any malfunctioning in the aircraft, it said. The flight landed safely at Kolkata, it said, adding that on reaching the bay, a few passengers were evacuated via the “aft exit deployed slides” while most passengers deplaned via the front step ladder. The Airbus A320 Neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines, which are being operated by budget carriers IndiGo and GoAir, have been frequently facing serious glitches mid-air and on ground since their induction. The senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the “flight made an emergency landing at Kolkata due to smoke in cockpit and cabin”. On landing, the aircraft was taken to an isolation bay, where aft or emergency passenger chutes were deployed and few passengers were evacuated, the official said. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB), which comes under the Civil Aviation Ministry, has launched a probe into the incident, he said. The airline has also been asked to submit a preliminary report after a detailed technical inspection, he added.
Rumors about the hotly anticipated virtual reality system Oculus Rift have been swirling for some time now, but many of the details remained shrouded in mystery.Earlier today – after a short initial delay – Oculus VR’s CEO Brendan Iribe took the stage to shed some light on the virtual reality system. Speaking to an audience in San Francisco, Iribe didn’t skimp on the drama. At long last, he said from his onstage perch, users will be able to “experience anything, anywhere. It is that powerful. For the first time we will finally be inside of the game. This is going to change everything…It is finally here.”Here’s what was covered at the press conference:A partnership with MicrosoftAfter dropping that each Oculus Rift will include an Xbox One controller and adapter, Iribe brought Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, onto the stage. “People will be able to stream their Xbox One games to the Oculus Rift using the controller that they know and love,” Spencer told the audience, before announcing that Oculus VR and Windows 10 have entered into a partnership.Release date and pricingUnfortunately, we don’t have a release date yet, although Iribe narrowed it down to sometime in Q1 2016. As to pricing, Iribe offered no further details (the company has previously suggested that the Oculus plus a VR-ready PC will cost $1,500). Games and experienceAs game developers, “there’s always this unfulfilled promise, a distance between players and the worlds we were making for them,” Jason Rubin, head of worldwide studios at Oculus, told the audience. “VR changes that. Finally, we can create worlds that feel real.”To illustrate the point, a procession of game studio execs took the stage, each showcasing a game built explicitly for virtual reality (in 2-D, but there’s no real way around that as of yet). They included: Hilmar Petursson of CCP who demoed EVE: Valkyrie; David Adams of Gunfire Games who demoed Kronos; and Ted Price of Insomnia Games who demoed Edge of Nowhere.Image Credit: oculus.comRelated: Game Over? Oculus Fans Outraged by Facebook PurchaseRubin then revealed a partial list of additional games coming to the VR platform in early 2016, including Damaged Core by High Voltage, VR Sports Challenge by Sanzaru Games, Esper by Coatsink, AirMech by Carbon Games and Lucky’s Tale by Playful Corp.DesignTo illustrate its lightness, Iribe brought the Oculus Rift headset on stage. “I can hold it with one hand,” he said, brandishing it about. Irbie went on to highlight additional design features such as the device’s custom display and optic system, which eliminates “motion blur, judder or pixels…it feels as if you just put on a pair of glasses,” and the strap architecture, designed to maximize comfort. “You’re going to put it on like a baseball cap,” he explained. Hand and finger-tracking controllersThe biggest reveal, saved for the end of the conference and delivered by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, was the unveiling of Oculus Touch (codenamed Half Moon), i.e. a pair of hand and finger-tracking wireless controllers that allow users to manipulate objects, make hand gestures and experience “hand presence” within virtual reality. Luckey showed them off onstage, although he labeled them “a prototype.”“This isn’t science fiction,” Luckey told the audience. “This is reality, and it’s happening today.”Image Credit: oculus.comRelated: Will Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Learn With Virtual Reality? 4 min read June 11, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »