Daily Archives: October 18, 2014

BCCI persuades Sri Lanka for 5 ODIs post West Indies pull out

In an extraordinary turn of events, the West Indies cricket team on Friday pulled out of the remaining part of its India tour in the wake of an acrimonious ongoing pay dispute with their Board, prompting a livid BCCI to rope in Sri Lanka for a five-match ODI series.

Hours after the sudden development, the BCCI managed to persuade Sri Lanka to play a five-match ODI series, which is likely to be held from November 1 to 15.

A top BCCI official said that it was deiced to play only the ODIs, keeping in mind the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“Scheduling a Test series at such a short notice would have been difficult for us since the team has to leave for Australia shortly. So it was decided to have an ODI series, which will help the team for the World Cup,” the official said.

Venues which were deprived of the matches — Kolkata, Cuttack, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Ahmedabad — are likely to be alloted the One-dayers. The BCCI will announce the fixtures in the next few days.

The BCCI made it clear that the decision to pull out was taken unilaterally by the West Indies Board and its players inspite of several appeals to them to honour the commitment.

“The BCCI wishes to inform all its stakeholders, especially ardent fans of the Indian cricket team, that this is a unilateral decision taken by the WICB and its players, in spite of several appeals to the WICB to honour its commitment and complete the series,” Patel said.

“The BCCI will pursue all options available to protect its rights, whilst seeking appropriate action from the ICC to ensure that its interests and those of the game at large will not suffer any damage due to such acts of indiscretion,” he said.

“It was only after my persuasion they agreed to play today’s match. They were hell bent on not to play and leave for home tomorrow,” BCCI Joint Secretary Anurag Thakur said.

The West Indies were scheduled to play one more ODI in Kolkata on Monday and a Twenty20 in Cuttack on October 22.

They were also scheduled to play three Test matches in Hyderabad (Oct 30-Nov 3), Bangalore (Nov 7-11) and Ahmedabad (Nov 15-19).

The repercussion of the Caribbean players’ move to abandon the tour could have long term implications as many of the them are popular players in India and play in the cash-rich IPL, owned by the BCCI.

The crisis broke out on the eve of the first ODI in Kochi when the players threatened to boycott the match in protest against the contract, handed out to them by the WICB.

Although the players competed in that match, they had made it clear that their decision should not in any way be construed as an acceptance by the players of the unreasonable terms and conditions put forward to us by WICB. They had said it was not an acceptance of the purported new Memorandum of Understanding, Bravo had said in a letter to Players’ Association chief Wavell Hinds.

“The Players will not accept any agreement it has had no input in, did not give its consent to and which would infringe on its rights. We reserve all of our rights and intend to seek independent advice so as to establish the players best course of action,” the letter said.

The new contracts would see Caribbean players’ pay go down by approximately 75 per cent. The contracts were given to the players after they reached India.

The players are also disgruntled with the West Indies Players Association president and chief executive Wavell Hinds for agreeing to the terms without consulting them.

According to reports, the players claimed Hinds “hoodwinked” them and did not take their inputs while signing a new MoU with West Indies Cricket Board last month, under which they would suffer a significant cut in their pay.

As per the new MoU, the players “understand” their Test, ODI and T20 fees “have been decreased by 75 per cent”; that they will receive “no compensation for the use of our rights.

That has been decreased by 100 per cent”; and their ICC fees have been “decreased by close to 100 per cent.”

The players said they were being kept in the dark about the “purported agreement”. Bravo and his team-mates insisted that they want the old structure back as the new one is “significantly different from what we received in the past.”

This is not first time that the players are locked in a pay dispute with the WICB. The players have threatened to go on strike in those instances as well but have ultimately come around after hectic negotiations.

IT

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What You Eat Affects Your Productivity

Think back to your most productive workday in the past week. Now ask yourself: On that afternoon, what did you have for lunch?

When we think about the factors that contribute to workplace performance, we rarely give much consideration to food. For those of us battling to stay on top of emails, meetings, and deadlines, food is simply fuel.

But as it turns out, this analogy is misleading. The foods we eat affect us more than we realize. With fuel, you can reliably expect the same performance from your car no matter what brand of unleaded you put in your tank. Food is different. Imagine a world where filling up at Mobil meant avoiding all traffic and using BP meant driving no faster than 20 miles an hour. Would you then be so cavalier about where you purchased your gas?

Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.

Here’s a brief rundown of why this happens. Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.

So far, so obvious. Now here’s the part we rarely consider: Not all foods are processed by our bodies at the same rate. Some foods, like pasta, bread, cereal and soda, release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. Others, like high fat meals (think cheeseburgers and BLTs) provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us groggy.

Most of us know much of this intuitively, yet we don’t always make smart decisions about our diet. In part, it’s because we’re at our lowest point in both energy and self-control when deciding what to eat. French fries and mozzarella sticks are a lot more appetizing when you’re mentally drained.

Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper and faster than healthy alternatives, making them all the more alluring in the middle of a busy workday. They feel efficient. Which is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day.

So what are we to do? One thing we most certainly shouldn’t do is assume that better information will motivate us to change. Most of us are well aware that scarfing down a processed mixture of chicken bones and leftover carcasses is not a good life decision. But that doesn’t make chicken nuggets any less delicious.

No, it’s not awareness we need-it’s an action plan that makes healthy eating easier to accomplish. Here are some research-based strategies worth trying.

The first is to make your eating decisions before you get hungry. If you’re going out to lunch, choose where you’re eating in the morning, not at 12:30 PM. If you’re ordering in, decide what you’re having after a mid-morning snack. Studies show we’re a lot better at resisting salt, calories, and fat in the future than we are in the present.

Another tip: Instead of letting your glucose bottom out around lunch time, you’ll perform better by grazing throughout the day. Spikes and drops in blood sugar are both bad for productivity and bad for the brain. Smaller, more frequent meals maintain your glucose at a more consistent level than relying on a midday feast.

Finally, make healthy snacking easier to achieve than unhealthy snacking. Place a container of almonds and a selection of protein bars by your computer, near your line of vision. Use an automated subscription service, like Amazon, to restock supplies. Bring a bag of fruit to the office on Mondays so that you have them available throughout the week.

Is carrying produce to the office ambitious? For many of us, the honest answer is yes. Yet there’s reason to believe the weekly effort is justified.

Research indicates that eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day isn’t simply good for the body-it’s also beneficial for the mind. A fascinating paper in this July’s British Journal of Health Psychology highlights the extent to which food affects our day-to-day experience.

Within the study, participants reported their food consumption, mood, and behaviors over a period of 13 days. Afterwards, researchers examined the way people’s food choices influenced their daily experiences. Here was their conclusion: The more fruits and vegetables people consumed (up to 7 portions), the happier, more engaged, and more creative they tended to be.

Why? The authors offer several theories. Among them is an insight we routinely overlook when deciding what to eat for lunch: Fruits and vegetables contain vital nutrients that foster the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the experience of curiosity, motivation, and engagement. They also provide antioxidants that minimize bodily inflammation, improve memory, and enhance mood.

Which underscores an important point: If you’re serious about achieving top workplace performance, making intelligent decisions about food is essential.

The good news is that contrary to what many of us assume, the trick to eating right is not learning to resist temptation. It’s making healthy eating the easiest possible option.

Harvard Business Review

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Google Announces Android Lollipop, Nexus 6 Smartphone, Nexus 9 Tablet

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WASHINGTON: Google on Wednesday ramped up its mobile arsenal, upgrading its Nexus line with a new tablet and smartphone, and unveiling its revamped Android software, to be dubbed “Lollipop.”

The US tech giant also announced the launch of a streaming media player for music, movies and videos, which can also allow users to play games via the Android TV device.

“Lollipop” or Android 5.0, the upgraded operating system for mobile, “is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit,” said Google vice-president Sundar Pichai, who heads the Android operations.

With the new operating system, according to the Android Website, “The songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all of your Android devices.”

The new devices give Google and its Android partners a broader portfolio to compete against Apple, which launched two upgraded large-screen iPhones last month and is expected to unveil new iPads on Thursday.

Introducing #Nexus6: a bigger phone with more everything.

Google Nexus (@googlenexus) October 15, 2014 The Nexus 6 smartphone becomes the newest and largest of the Google-branded handsets, and is produced by Motorola, which Google bought in 2012 and is in the process of selling to China’s Lenovo.

This aluminum frame device has a six-inch high resolution screen and a 13-megapixel camera.

“The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work,” Google said in a statement.

“It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.”

On the tablet front, Google partnered with Taiwan-based HTC for the 8.9-inch Nexus 9.

The brushed-metal tablet “is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on,” Google said.

“And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.”

Google did not disclose pricing for the devices, but said they would be available for pre-order later this month.

The media player will deliver video apps to a television screen for consumers looking to supplement or go without cable or satellite.

Some of the apps included on the player are Netflix, Hulu Plus, the Food Network, Pandora and Huffington Post.

TG

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