Crowd rallies to show support for Ferguson officer – Maryville Daily Forum

ST. LOUIS (AP) — About 150 people have gathered in St. Louis to show support for a suburban officer who authorities say fatally shot an unarmed black teenager earlier this month.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported ( ) that some demonstrators Sunday said they were protesting at a TV station because it had broadcast from in front of the officer’s home. The newspaper said the station, KSDK later apologized. Others, mostly police and relatives of officers, said they wanted to make their voices heard amid what they have seen as unfair media coverage. Some carried signs denoting support for the officer or saying to wait for all the facts.

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Police shooting draws protesters from near, far – Greeneville Sun

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Protesters who have for days lined a busy suburban St. Louis street not far from the place where a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager have walked from nearby apartments, driven from neighboring communities and flown in from states hundreds of miles away. Some are young parents carrying infants. Others, college students. Retirees. Professionals taking a break from their jobs.

They have chanted, marched, shouted, danced on vehicles and — though most have remained peaceful — also looted and vandalized stores during late-night clashes with armored police who have fired smoke canisters and tear gas into the crowds.

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Telstra taps Ericsson for software-defined networking – ZDNet

Telstra will explore the benefits of software-defined networking, and network function virtualisation (NFV) as part of a renewed deal with Ericsson supplying optical network equipment and services to the telco giant.

In a network, the flow of traffic on the network is determined by the switches and routers. Historically, this is managed on the hardware itself. Under software-defined networking (SDN), software is installed on the network equipment to abstract the control of network traffic away from the forwarding of packets, to allow the network administrator to centrally and programatically determine where and how data flows across the network, to prioritise certain types of traffic, and provide quality of service guarantees for particular types of traffic.

As Telstra looks to manage traffic on its fixed and mobile networks, the company has been in discussions with Ericsson since 2013 on the possibility of using SDN services in its network, and today Ericsson announced that as part of its continued contract for optical transport equipment and services, Telstra’s network gear will include the ability to utilise SDN and NFV functionality.

Telstra executive director for networks, Mike Wright, said in 2013 that SDN would allow Telstra to bring products to market earlier, and control the flow of data across the network.

“At the end of the day, what that means is we should be able to create services that use less network resource, and at the end of the day lower our capex, and lower our opex,” he said.

“And more particularly, allow us to create services more quickly because we will be able to route the services more dynamically and really bring them to market without the traditional intergrating to every network element and every network box.”

Telstra’s director of transport and routing said that SDN will allow Telstra to cope with the demands for high traffic across different parts of the network.

“The continued improvement of Telstra’s optical technology will increase bandwidth capacity and also lower latency which is of growing importance as more and more operations move to the cloud,” Robertson said in a statement.

Ericsson will be supplying some Ciena conveged packet optical equipment to Telstra as part of the agreement.


Nebraska’s Abdullah, Georgia’s Conley remind us there are still ‘student … – The Post-Standard – (blog)

Chris Conley sat at a podium during SEC Media Days last month, the questions coming from all directions.

Literally… and figuratively. 

The Georgia senior wide receiver turned his head to the left, and heard somebody ask about his coach at Georgia, Mark Richt.

While Richt is about winning, Conley said, “He looks at the character of the men playing for him.”

Then his attention turned to the middle of the crowd, where somebody had a question about video games that utilize his likeness without using his name.

“I’ll put it this way,” he answered. “There’s no way you can tell me a (fictitious video game player) who is 6-(foot)-3, from Georgia, has my skin tone and wears my uniform, has my number, is not me in a video game.”

And to the right, where another reporter asked him about whether he has heard from the makers of Star Wars.

Yes, Star Wars.

“I didn’t really hear from anyone from the original Star Wars,” joked Conley who, aside from being one of Georgia’s best returning receivers, is also a budding filmmaker whose Star Wars fan film, “Retribution,” went viral during the offseason. “Because that might have been a cease and desist or a lawsuit, so I’m glad we didn’t hear from them.”

Whether it’s about Georgia football issues, NCAA lawsuit issues or even filmmaking, this was a guy with answers. He is a true Renaissance man.

In this day and age, we may forget those exist. College football is an $8 billion industry, one that became that much bigger when ESPN launched the SEC Network last week. It’s easy to think of the players as simple mercenaries, their weekly gridiron wars the main reason why all that money is generated.

That’s not always, and is often not, the case. Players like Conley remind us that we can never treat college sports like a minor league, a simple stepping stone to professional sports.

The college experience has afforded Conley an opportunity to prepare for an NFL career, something Richt said he expects to come to fruition for the talented pass catcher. But it’s also given him a chance to move beyond the sport.

There is the possibility of becoming an athletic administrator. He’s already on the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

And there is his budding career as a filmmaker.

Asked if he’d rather go to the Pro Bowl or the Oscars, Conley quickly answered, “Both.”

And why not?

College has opened three avenues for him, a happy accident of the evolution of American sport. Perhaps football should have a minor league instead of forcing a linebacker to also be a scholar, but the sport evolved on college campuses and eventually became what it is today.

That model is not going to change fundamentally, so what we are left with is constantly tinkering with an imperfect system while celebrating the victories that come as a result of it. Conley’s story is certainly one of those.

As fans prepare to pay exorbitant ticket prices to crowd into ever-expanding stadiums and watch football programs that are more well-funded than ever and coached by multimillionaires, we should celebrate the players who truly take advantage of the student-athlete opportunity.

And before you dismiss the young men you watch this fall as future millionaires, consider the futures of the kids sitting in the student section along with the kids on the field.

Ameer Abdullah, Josh FurmanNebraska’s Ameer Abdullah is one of the top running backs in the Big Ten. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

Ameer Abdullah, the thousand-yard running back at Nebraska, understands the opportunity afforded to him and every other student in college and he explained it in the “Essence of a Student-Athlete” speech he gave at Big Ten Media Days.

“I read somewhere over one’s life, a college graduate earns up to a million dollars more than someone with a high school diploma,” he Abdullah. “Just think about that for a minute. A million dollars. That’s like saying you can win the lottery by going to class and just doing your work. Now if that’s not motivation for us student-athletes to go to class, I guess nothing will.”

In other words, it’s not just the players on the field that may see a seven-figure benefit from their experience.

And that’s where our imperfect model for player development gets it right. No, it shouldn’t be the business of institutions of learning to put so much emphasis on games.

But in a society that has made higher education less accessible — costs for students have gone up as budgets across the country have been cut — even as much of the rest of the world becomes more educated, maybe this flawed sports model has stumbled onto something.

We force athletes into college, sometimes almost against their will. Maybe we should give a similar push to the rest of the population, instead of discouraging them with rising costs and crippling student loan debt. Maybe, someday, we’ll figure out how to do that.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate athletes like Conley and Abdullah, even if you aren’t a Georgia or Nebraska fan. Instead of getting cynical about how much money is spent on college sports, how about rooting for the guys who squeeze the most out of every penny spent on their student-athlete experience.

Rutgers football’s Steve Longa evokes shades of Khaseem Greene –

Ryan Dunleavy, @rydunleavy
7:12 p.m. EDT August 16, 2014

PISCATAWAY – Even as he sat out the entire 2012 season redshirting behind Khaseem Greene, Steve Longa never deviated from his routine in the hotel on the eve of game day: Watch video of future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, a tackling machine and one of the NFL’s all-time great motivators.

“I just watched how he leads the team and talks to his guys,” Longa said. “Come to find out, Khaseem is watching Ray Lewis, too. There was a documentary that came out two years ago about Ray Lewis. Khaseem had it and we sat down in the living room and put it on the computer and watched it together.”

Longa still watches Lewis before bed and again in the morning if there is time, but different footage helped him most this summer as he prepared to move from middle linebacker – where he was the top freshman tackler in the nation last season – to fill Greene’s shoes one year removed on the weakside.

“I learned my game from Khaseem,” Longa said. “When I got moved I went back and watched film on how he played the game. He just had a good nose for the ball. He was very good at stripping the ball. That’s what I try to do. I don’t care if the ball is going away from me. I just always want to be around it.”

Greene is the gold standard for ‘Will’ linebackers at Rutgers. He won back-to-back Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards after transitioning from free safety – totaling 277 tackles, 9.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and two interceptions – and became a fourth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears.

“(Steve) started out behind me and just showed a little resemblance of myself,” said Greene by phone earlier this week, specifically referencing Longa’s athleticism and versatility. “It was like, ‘This is the guy who is going to be the next guy for our defense.’ He proved it last year at the ‘Mike’ and back at the ‘Will’ now I think he is going to be two times better than what everybody got to see last year.”

One of Joe Rossi’s first acts as defensive coordinator was to switch the positions of Longa and Kevin Snyder to better capitalize on the former’s playmaking ability in space and the latter’s football IQ.

“I want to be my own person but it doesn’t hurt to take a little bit of Khaseem, a little bit of Snyder, a little bit of (Antonio) Lowery,” said Longa, referencing Rutgers’ last three weakside linebackers. “I try to model my own game but try to take the best out of everybody.”

Greene doesn’t want Longa to get too wrapped up in following a lineage.

“What we like to say is the ‘Will’ position is the linebacker that’s the most athletic, the one who can make plays,” Greene said. “Steve obviously can do all those things. You’ve got to have patience and you’ve got to be able to run. A lot of stuff gets filtered back to you and Steve can definitely run. I’m pretty sure he’ll have a lot of success at the position. He is just a natural with it.”

Longa, a Cameroon native who grew up playing soccer, only is seven years into his football career and is one month shy of his 20th birthday, but he is coming off a 123-tackle, three-sack, two-forced fumbles season.

“He doesn’t seem young, but you’re right he is. He is only a redshirt sophomore,” said coach Kyle Flood when asked about Longa’s savvy. “He certainly doesn’t carry himself like it and he doesn’t play like it. To me, he is a veteran and one of the leaders on this team. It’s just nice that he’s got a few more years left.”

For Longa, it’s nice to know that Greene is only an informal text or serious phone call away even as he focuses on putting together his own strong training camp to secure a spot on the Bears’ roster.

“In the summertime something happened football-related and I was extremely mad,” said Longa, declining to go into further detail. “I called him up and I was like this is what happened. This is how I reacted. What do you think? He told me what he thought about it and then he told me, ‘Next time that happens you should react this way instead of this way. That’s probably better for you.’ ”

It’s the very definition of a mentor-protégé relationship, though Longa says he did not need counseling after his seemingly egregious omission from the Watch List for the Butkus Award given to the nation’s best linebacker. Six Big Ten linebackers were included among the 51 candidates.

“A lot of people could take it different ways,” said Longa in downplaying the snub. “I play the game to be the best. That’s always been my motto ever since I started playing the game. I want to be the best. I like the game. It’s fun to me. I love playing it. But at the same time I want to be the best and do it at high level.”

He has a good example to follow.

Staff Writer Ryan Dunleavy:

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China finds Mercedes-Benz guilty of price manipulation: Xinhua – Reuters

Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:19pm EDT

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – German car maker Daimler AG’s (DAIGn.DE) luxury brand division Mercedes-Benz has been found guilty of manipulating prices for after-sales services in China, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing authorities in Jiangsu province.

An array of industries, from milk powder makers to tech firms, have been coming under the spotlight in recent years as China intensifies its efforts to bring companies into compliance with a 2008 anti-monopoly law.

That legislation allows the country’s anti-trust regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), to impose fines of up to 10 percent of a company’s Chinese revenues for the previous year.

The auto industry has been under particular scrutiny, with a wave of investigations in the world’s biggest auto market prompting carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) Audi, and BMW (BMWG.DE) to slash prices on spare parts in recent weeks.

The Jiangsu Province Price Bureau, which launched its investigation last month, found evidence of anti-competitive practices after raiding Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the eastern coastal province as well as an office in neighboring Shanghai, Xinhua said in its report on Sunday.

On Aug. 5, Mercedes-Benz said it was assisting the authorities in their investigation. A spokesman for the German brand was not immediately available to comment on the Xinhua report.

“It is a typical case of a vertical monopoly in which the carmaker uses its leading position to control the prices of its spare parts, repair and maintenance services in downstream markets,” Zhou Gao, chief of the anti-trust investigation at the Jiangsu bureau, told Xinhua.

The Xinhua report did not mention possible penalties. It said replacing all the spare parts in a Mercedes-Benz C-Class could be 12 times more expensive than buying a new vehicle, citing a report from the China Automotive Maintenance and Repair Trade Association.

Early this month the NDRC said it would punish Audi and Fiat SpA’s (FIA.MI) Chrysler for monopoly practices. Chinese media reported last week that Audi would be fined around 250 million yuan ($40.7 million).

Industry experts say automakers have too much leverage over car dealers and auto part suppliers in China, enabling them to control prices, considered as a violation of the country’s anti-trust laws.

China’s government has in the past few years stepped up its enforcement of the anti-monopoly law, slapping several multinational companies, including Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. (MJN.N) and Danone SA (DANO.PA), with fines.

The government is conducting an anti-monopoly probe into U.S. tech giant Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), and regulators also recently said U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM.O) had a monopoly.

(1 US dollar = 6.1457 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Alex Richardson)


Homeowner fined by DEQ – The Register-Guard

CRESWELL — After a property owner repeatedly ignored his leaking residential septic system earlier this year, the state Department of Environmental Quality has fined him more than $9,000 for the alleged violations.

Kevin Cruickshank of 82855 North Butte Road at the southwest edge of the city limits of Creswell was found by Lane County investigators in February to be allowing untreated or partially treated sewage to discharge from his septic system onto the ground, the county said.

County officials visited Cruick­­shank’s property because “there were some complaints from neighbors and folks in the area,” said county spokesman Trevor Steele.

Cruickshank’s 64-year-old house sits on a one-acre parcel abutting a new subdivision with homes about six years old, according to Lane County property records.

Septic leakage was observed again by county investigators in April and May, officials said.

When the county was unable to get Cruickshank to fix the problem, the DEQ’s Esther Westbrook said, the county referred the case to the state.

County officials had been “trying to work with him for some time and haven’t been getting a response or were not able to resolve it,” Westbrook said. “So we pursued it as an administrative penalty.”

The penalty for Cruickshank totals $9,305, but the state could reduce it if he fixes the problem by Sept. 12. Under the DEQ order, while the system is being repaired, he must hire a licensed sewage disposal service to regularly pump the septic tank to prevent more sewage from discharging.

So far, Cruickshank has not applied for a repair permit. But Westbrook says Cruickshank still has time to appeal the fine.

Discharging untreated or partially treated sewage onto the ground is a violation of Oregon law and poses a significant hazard to human health and the environment, the DEQ said. Sewage carries disease and bacteria that can be transferred to humans and wildlife through contact or through animals and insects.

A properly working septic system keeps septic waste away from the surface by delivering it into a drain field via a network of buried pipes. Once in the drain field, the waste is supposed to percolate into the ground, not up to the surface.

Cruickshank could not be reached for comment Friday.


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