49ers camp: Scouting the offensive depth chart

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first_imgLong shot: Wilton SpeightAnalysis: Garoppolo still must prove fully recovered from left-knee reconstruction, and if that isn’t accomplished after three exhibitions, will the 49ers keep three QBs? Mullens should have the edge … SANTA CLARA — Not since 2003 have the 49ers produced a top-10 offense in total yards or points. Here is how this year’s depth chart looks heading into training camp (*projected starter):Quarterbacks (4)Lock: *Jimmy GaroppoloBubble: Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathardlast_img read more

Coega keeps top empowerment status

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first_img20 May 2015The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has again achieved broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) Level 1 status, for the second consecutive year.“The [corporation], as catalyst for socio-economic advancement, continues to demonstrate its commitment to transformation and black empowerment through this achievement,” Andile Ntloko, the head of its small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) development unit, said yesterday.The Level 1 status is based on the 2014/15 financial year. The organisation underwent a full BBBEE audit by Beever, an accredited verification agency in East London. CDC was measured against the adjusted generic scorecard for companies with an annual turnover of more than R35-million. It got 100 points, with BBBEE procurement recognition of 135%.“We also qualify as a value adding supplier, which has additional benefits of increasing our clients’ BBBEE scorecard under [the] preferential procurement element by 168.75%,” said Nolubabalo Pandle, the CDC senior BEE analyst.It was measured on six BBBEE elements. Last year, the CDC became the first state- owned enterprise to achieve a BBBEE Level 1 contribution status. As an implementing agent for programme management and related services, this achievement positions the organisation as a preferred service provider and business partner.“We pride ourselves in continued contributions supporting the integration of black people and communities in economic activities. We further promote the procurement of goods and services from small, medium and micro enterprises, including black-owned and black women-owned enterprises who are also BBBEE compliant,” said Ntloko.Codes of Good PracticeAccording to the revised BBBEE Codes of Good Practice, SMMEs with an annual turnover below R10-million are granted an automatic Level 1 status if they are 100% black-owned. If they are more than 51% black-owned, they get a Level 2 BBBEE status. They also get automatic recognition as empowering suppliers. Large companies with annual turnover above R50-million will need to comply with five BBBEE elements.“We look forward with anticipation to the implementation of the amended BBBEE Codes of Good Practice. The revised codes pose both challenges and opportunities for us,” said Ntloko.“The organisation has started putting in place strategies to achieve targets in line with the proposed changes. The organisation will to continue implementing programmes to build the capacity of black-owned SMMEs and also ensure that they benefit from procurement opportunities presented by the CDC.”The organisation will also put in place sector specific programmes to benefit a wide range of SMMEs as part of its Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme.The CDC is the operator of the Coega Industrial Development Zone in Nelson Mandela Bay. Established in 1999, the CDC is wholly-owned by the South African government. Its Zone 2 is a fully registered customs control area. To date, the CDC has enabled the creation of over 62 142 jobs, with 28 operational investors, and has an investment portfolio of more than R151-billion. The CDC has also trained 71 445 people since inception.AmendmentsTrade and Industry Minister Rob Davies confirmed that the Amended Codes of Good Practice would come into effect on 1 May 2015. A notice was carried in the Government Gazette on 15 May, stating that all BBBEE verifications in respect of a financial year ending on or before 30 April 2015 could be conducted using the old Codes of Good Practice.All BBBEE verifications in respect of a financial year ending after 1 May 2015 must be conducted using the Amended Codes of Good Practice, with the exception of the Sector Codes. The transitional period for the alignment of Sector Codes was also extended to 30 October 2015.During the inaugural year of the Amended Codes of Good Practice, all valid BBBEE certificates issued under the old Codes of Good Practice, as well as the relevant Sector Codes, should remain valid and should be accepted and treated as conferring empowering supplier status, it was reported.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Equestrian team may miss Asiad

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first_imgThe Indian equestrian team’s participation in the Asian Games looks in serious doubt as, with just days to go for the dressage event to begin, it is yet to leave for Guangzhou.After Mail Today broke the story about rider Rajesh Pattu’s horse Gabbar being diagnosed with tick fever and another horse testing positive for dope while in quarantine in Bangalore, the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) has time-and-again reiterated that things are under control, while also putting back the team’s departure several times. The last target was November 6, which has come and gone, with the team still being in the country as of Monday night.Normally, equestrian teams arrive in the host city at least two weeks before the competition to help the riders and horses acclimatise to the conditions and prepare. But in this case, the first events — the dressage team and individual qualifiers — are supposed to be held this Sunday. And yet, there seems to be no confirmation forthcoming on when the team will actually fly out, given the fact that transporting horses is a cumbersome process that requires a lot of planning.Mail Today has now learnt that the reason for these delays is that the Chinese veterinary experts, examining the quarantine procedures followed in Bangalore, have refused to give the go-ahead to the team. It may be recalled that the rider at the centre of the controversy, JS Ahluwalia, had told a national daily some days ago that the Chinese were actually extremely happy with the quarantine. Ahluwalia, who is drawing a pension from the sports ministry for being a ‘retired’ sportsperson, is the coach of the eventing team and a competitor in the dressage event and had claimed all the horses were healthy and had been cleared.advertisementHowever, the reality is that the experts now want a detailed analysis of the tests to be conducted in Australia. Pending the reports of these, they still may or may not clear the Indian team for participation in Guangzhou. So, Ahluwalia’s claim that all was well and that India were in with a shot of winning two gold medals may not even get a chance to be proved right or wrong.The politics behind-the-scenes at the EFI and the subsequent cover-ups that have taken place have seriously jeopardised the country’s prospects in the sport. India had won a bronze medal in team eventing at the Doha Asiad four years ago but, in Guangzhou this time around, there may be no Indian representation.last_img read more

eBay sellers exploit Xiaomi flash sale, offer Mi 3 at inflated prices

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first_imgXiaomi Mi 3 is not available on Flipkart. But you can buy it on eBay.Manas Gupta, a media professional, saw Xiaomi Mi 3 smartphone on the company’s India website in the middle of July and fell in love with it. For him Xiaomi was an unknown brand compared to something like Samsung or Sony. But Gupta found the Mi 3 to be the “perfect phone”. And the price of Rs 13,999 was “just brilliant”. The Mi 3 was exactly what he was looking for. It was sleek, was packed with powerful hardware, had a camera that seemed decent and sported a gorgeous large screen.Gupta pre-registered with Flipkart, the only authorised seller for the Xiaomi phone in India, with the intention to buy the Mi 3 as soon as it was on sale.Nearly a month later on August 19, Gupta bought a Motorola Moto G. He didn’t want to get the Moto G. But he had no option. He could have paid sellers on eBay Rs 20,000 to buy the same phone that Flipkart was offering for Rs 13,999. But he decided against that.Gupta is not the only one who was looking to get the Mi 3 and then ended up getting something else. There are thousands like him in India, let down by the contrived sale model that Xiaomi and Flipkart has cooked up for the Mi 3. The model seems to reward scammers, who have bought several units of the Mi 3 in the last few weeks and are now selling these devices on websites like eBay, Olx and Quikr, even when genuine consumers can’t get one.advertisementSo far, the Mi 3 has been put up for sale on the Flipkart website five times. On each occasion there were limited units — numbering thousands — available even when the number of people showing an intent to buy the Mi 3 was more than several lakhs. On the first occasion on July 22, all available units of the Mi 3 were sold in 40 minutes. Gupta tried buying the phone at that time, but didn’t get it.The next four occasions saw particularly frenzied sale process. On the second occasion, the stock lasted 5 seconds, on the third occasion 2 seconds, on the fourth occasion 2.4 seconds and on the fifth occasion 2.3 seconds.While Xiaomi has boasted about how quickly it is selling the Mi 3, thousands of consumers have been left disappointed by the sale model the company is using. The flash sale format not only requires, according to Flipkart, to “register for the sale” and “log in 2-3 hrs before the sale begins” but also seemingly has loopholes that scammers are exploiting.People have reported that buying the device is easier if a consumer is using the mobile app of Flipkart. Then some have managed to snag the device using a special browser plug-in that apparently helps people beat the virtual rush on the Flipkart website. A few others have reported success in getting a Mi 3 unit by using a javascript hack that reportedly automates the buy request on the Flipkart page for the device as soon as the sale starts.All of this puts less tech-savvy consumers or those who can’t be in front of the computer at 2PM (the time when the Mi 3 sale starts) at a huge disadvantage. If these people want the Mi 3, their best bet is a eBay seller charging nearly 50% to 60% more for a phone that he is not even authorised to sale.For example, there is an eBay seller going by the name Mujib Shaikh. Even though Flipkart limits the number of the Mi 3 units a buyer can get to one, Shaikh has multiple Mi 3 units in his possession. His eBay advertisements shows that this week he put up three units of the Mi 3 units on sale at a price of Rs 19,999 per unit. The eBay advertisement clearly mentions that the Mi 3 units were bought from Flipkart. Until the evening of August 20, Shaikh sold 2 units of the Mi 3.Another seller named Ganeshsun has one unit of the Mi 3. “Confirmed order from Flipkart, Will be delivered in un-opened packing condition. Will also assist the buyer within the 30 day FLIPKART Replacement Period, should the delivered piece have any defects/issues,” he writes on his eBay page.Another seller, Aniket1992, who has one unit of Mi 3 for sale at a price of Rs 22,999 says on his eBay page, “Couldn’t grab one from the online sale? No worries! Buy one here!””The flash sale model shows that Flipkart and Xiaomi don’t care about their consumers. They are only bothered with creating a buzz for the Mi 3 and instead of serving genuine consumers. If the supply was low, the companies could have asked consumers to pre-book the device and could have delivered when they had it in stock instead of asking them to take part in a frenzied sale process,” said Gupta.advertisementDespite repeated attempts, Flipkart and Xiaomi couldn’t be reached for a comment. However, Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain had earlier told the Economic Times that the company was aware of people selling the Mi 3 units on eBay at inflated prices. “We can’t legally stop them from selling it (Mi 3) after buying, but we’re working with Flipkart to put some checks and balances in place,” said Jain.Pankaj Ukey, head of eBay India merchant services, did not comment on the specific sellers or products but said, “eBay India is an online open marketplace and an intermediary. We provide an independent platform to our users who are independent buyers and merchants, thereby enabling them to transact. Users of our website are required to adhere to the terms and conditions of our User agreement and policies and comply with applicable provisions of law.”Follow writer on Twitter @Javed_dellast_img read more