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Carr’s performance vs. KC was bad regardless of weather –

Posted: December 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm

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Derek Carr's performance in Raiders' loss to Chiefs bad in any weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Derek Carr heard all week about how bad he plays in cold weather, how Arrowhead Stadium is his personal house of horrors.

The Raiders quarterback had another terrible day in a 40-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs that spoon-fed that narrative and proved detractors right, but he vehemently stated that the elements played no part in his lackluster performance.

I think we handled it just fine, Carr said. It was not a factor, because I do not want to take anything away from the plays that they made. If it was 80 degrees or 30 degrees, it does not matter.

Carr cant escape the fact that hes 0-6 at Arrowhead Stadium and 0-5 in games played at 40 degrees or less.

Sundays weather in Kansas City was frightful. It was 36 degrees at kickoff with awind chill of 25 degrees, and snow flurries descended as the game wore on.

I think everyone struggles to a degree in cold weather. Thats is why a lot of people move south, Gruden said. I have to do a better job of helping him. I think it starts with me and ends there. He is a good quarterback. I think he has a chance to be great. It just wasnt his day and it wasnt our day.

Carr finished 20-of-30 passing for 222 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions and a 71.8 passer rating. Those numbers were inflated by a garbage time touchdown drive that accounted for 70 yards and a score.

The Raiders passing game was awful most of the night, and severely hurt the Raiders ability to finish drives despite Josh Jacobs going strong in the first half.

Carr threw two interceptions in the first half that led to Chiefs touchdowns. Tyrann Mathieu broke off his responsibility to make the first pick, baiting Carr to make a throw. Safety Juan Thornhill jumped Tyrell Williams route on the second interception and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown.

Mathieu said those calculated risks came about after properly identifying when Carr would try to work the ball down the field.

When he did take shots down the field, we were able to understand it pre-snap by the formation and it would put us in position to make a play, Mathieu said. Derek is going to try and take care of the football. Tight ends, running backs, check downs, thats kind of his game. I was glad we were able to capitalize on him when he did try to throw the ball down the field.

Easily read quarterback decisions mightbe a bigger issue than anything to do with the weather, and ultimately cost the Raiders dearly. The Mathieu interception was a tough break, but the Thornhill pick six was the games true turning point.

[The interceptions are] very frustrating, Carr said. You cant turn the ball over, and youve got to credit their defense. I pride myself on taking care of the football, but they made two great plays. We cant have that happen. Thats my fault.

This loss wasnt all Carrs fault, but the well-paid franchise quarterback will shoulder most of the blame after another nasty-looking loss. The Raiders were running well but the air attack was inept. Raiders receivers were a non-factor in this one, rarely creating separation against the Chiefs secondary. The Silver and Black played most of this game with just eight yards passing produced by a receiver, before more of them got involved on that meaningless touchdown drive. Williams was a non-factor, and Zay Jones didnt play a significant role. The Raiders certainly missed the injured Hunter Renfrow, a point made clear by the Raiders converting just 3-of-13 third downs.

[RELATED: Self-inflicted wounds cost Raiders]

While Carrs performance was bad in any condition, it continued a run of poor play in Kansas City. His 222 passing yards tied a career high in Kansas City. He has never had a passer rating above 77 in this place, where he has lost all six times he has played here.

Its easy to look as his interceptions, but it is a tough place to play, Gruden said. Its a tough environment. Its cold and windy. They played good defense, and we were behind most of the game. All those things, with bad field position and a long way to go are tough on a quarterback.

ALAMEDA --Trayvon Mullen logged his second professional interception. The Raiders rookie cornerback caught a ball straight from Patrick Mahomes, in the end zone.

Pick. Touchback. Possession claimed. Officials on the field confirmed it.

All turnovers and scoring plays, as we know well by now, are reviewed by eyes in the sky.

Those watching saw Mullen commit pass interference. It doesnt matter that wasnt called on the field, or that PI judgments are rarely overturned upon review, even after a specific coachs challenge.

Mullen got flagged by 345 Park Ave. Believe it or not, true freaking story.

We had an interception we thought we did intercept that was turned over by the Wizard of Oz or somebody, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said after a 40-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs I dont know what happened on that. That was a big play in the game no doubt.

The Chiefs took possession at three yards from paydirt and scored on the next play. That play didnt cost Mullens Raiders a game. The result had been decided long before. While a call went against him, the second-round draft pick didnt let the outcome erase the athletic play originally made.

My goal is to make those types of plays. I didnt let the call get to me, Mullen said after the game. I believe Im a great player continuing to get better. Im going to keep being aggressive and working to make big plays.

Thats the right attitude for a young player developing on the job, someone tasked to both help his team win now while individually developing for a better future. That two-pronged attack has been asked from all contributing Raiders rookies.

Mullen ranks among them, given a starting job after Gareon Conley was traded to Houston near midseason. The Silver and Black need him to play well and progress, understanding full well that athletic plays and mistakes will be made.

In Mullens case, late in the fourth quarter, both happened on the same play.

I can live with that call, because I know that Im going to continue making plays and continue to get better, Mullen said. When plays present themselves, Im going to work hard trying to make them.

What was Mullen thinking after that review went against him?

That Im going to have to go back on the field, Mullen said, And make another big play.

The Raiders are seeing good things from their confident young cornerback, who is immensely talented but can be prone to aggressive mistakes that should tone become less prevalent with experience.

[RELATED: Should the Raiders move on from Derek Carr?]

The Clemson product was targeted nine times by the Chiefs --rookie initiations in full swing but gave up just three catches for 33 yards. He had two nice pass breakups, though the pass interference call will be held against his final line.

Hes getting better, Gruden said. He had some really good plays [Sunday]. He was obviously flagged a few times for penalties. One of them, I cant quite say where it came from, but it was a big reversal in the game. He made a couple great plays against a great receiver and I think hes getting confidence. I think hes getting better. I think he performed better and hes performing better and better each week.


The Raiders offense has hit the skids. A unit that scored 24 points or more in six consecutive games has crossed the goal line just once since Nov. 17, a garbage-time touchdown that only mattered to those who bet the over.

The run game keeps marching along save a hiccup against the Jets, but the air attack has fallen on hard times.

Fingers will point straight at Derek Carr for recent offensive failings, but its never all on the quarterback. There were several times in that disastrous 40-9 loss to Kansas City where Carr was well protected, waiting for prospective targets to create separation.

Wide receivers had just eight yards through three quarters and just 34 on four catches and eight targets.

Tyrell Williams knows that isnt good enough, even if the conditions, early turnovers and the quickly lopsided score made life harder on the passing game.

They were trying to take me away. They were trying to take away [tight end Darren] Waller, making sure they had two guys on him, Williams said Monday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. I saw a couple of double teams every once in a while. Hindsight is 20/20, but in the game, we felt like we had a good game plan. Were trying to continue to execute that game plan, but sometimes you get behind in the sticks and that takes us away from what were trying to do."

"We need to stay on schedule so we arent facing third-and-long situations, and we obviously have to avoid turnovers. Playing from behind, on the road, and in that environment is hard.

Head coach Jon Gruden took some blame for the overall lack of receiver production against the Chiefs. The position group has struggled this season after dealing with significant personnel turnover, Williams difficult bout of plantar fasciitis around midseason and Hunter Renfrows current rib injury. The overall talent level isnt soaring at this stage, but Gruden believes he can scheme targets open.

Well, Ive got to do a better job, Gruden said. Weve got to do a better job getting them better looks and getting them involved in the game no question, so I put that on myself. I think weve got good, young receivers. We might shake it up a little bit, give some other guys some more opportunities this week, but well study the Titans and see what goes.

Keelan Doss, Marcell Ateman and recent practice squad promotion Rico Gafford are 53-man roster options who havent been involved much. Zay Jones has and hasnt ever gotten in sync with Carr.

Williams scored touchdowns in his first five games as a Raider and has had a few nice moments in his return from injury, but has hit a production slump. He has three catches for 27 yards on eight targets over the last two weeks and was the intended target on two interceptions in that span, though neither pick should be blamed on him.

Williams is the teams best deep threat and has been targeted twice on passes 20-plus yards downfield in the last two games, and five times between 10-20 yards from the line of scrimmage in that span.

Williams obviously wants to be more productive than in recent weeks, especially with the offense struggling, but he isnt the type to yell or scream or demand the ball.

I never want to be that type of person, Williams said. Of course I want to get more targets. I want to be able to stretch the field a bit more and get that deep threat out there. I think that comes with talking and communicating with coaches and being on the same page with Derek throughout the week. That should allow us to focus and hit on those opportunities.

Theres also a danger of pressing to get out of slumps, whether its trying to do too much, stepping outside of ones responsibility or Carr forcing a throw. This offense has been steadily productive before and Williams believes it can be again. One key is not overthinking it.

You have to focus on each play as it comes and let the game come to you, Williams said. Im going to go out there and play hard and leave everything I have out there, but I dont like focusing on when targets are coming and when theyre not because that takes me out of my game. I have to just play and after the game evaluate and see what we did do and what we couldve done better.

[RELATED: Jacobs vows to get Raiders 'right' after loss]

Theres time to get rolling again. While losses to the Chiefs and Jets essentially snuffed their AFC West title hopes and largely erased margin for error, the Raiders can still land a playoff spot with a strong showing against the Titans and Jaguars at home and then on the road against the L.A. Chargers and Denver Broncos to close out the year.

The seasons long and theres still time to get back on track, Williams said. These two home games are obviously huge. Theyre against teams that are, like us, fighting for a playoff spot. The rest of the way for us, theyre all playoff games in a sense.

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December 4th, 2019 at 5:46 pm

Focusing a digital first mindset in the New Year – Human Resource Executive

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When it comes to using artificial intelligence in hiring, tread carefully. Hogan Assessments shares the secrets of how to avoid the AI trap.


Everyone, it seems, has a hard time staying away from shiny new toys these days. When it comes to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, the pull seems to be exceptionally strong.

Undeniably, those impressive tech tools are making serious progress in so many ways, including mastering complex games like chess and poker versus humans. Yet, as a couple of recent newsworthy cautionary tales demonstrate, AI and ML are far from a panacea. In fact, what buyers are promised and what they receive may not quite be in sync.

In the first case, a recent report in the New York Times focused on a well-funded Silicon Valley start-up, One Concern, that promised its AI-based platform could be used to pinpoint exactly where people in need of help could be located during disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes. On paper, it sounded great, and the company scored some serious investment dollars and new clients. Problem was, when users gave it a whirl, the results fell short. The Times reported that, when Seattles Office of Emergency Management checked out a simulated earthquake on One Concerns platform, troubling inconsistencies arose. For instance, many large buildings that would be vulnerable didnt appear on the AI-generated map. Not good when you are trying to save lives.

And, while the pre-employment assessment process certainly is no life or death scenario (depending on the job, that is), getting it wrong can, at a minimum, lead to higher attrition rates, lower productivity or other negative financial outcomes for employers looking to stay competitive.

Along those lines, the second example in the news, reported by the Washington Post, described a new service from a company called Predictimthat claimed to help people find the perfect babysitter. To do that, the services AI technology scans the would-be sitters entire social media profile (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram histories primarily), then uses recent advances in personality and data analytics to assess four personality featurespropensity toward bullying/harassment, disrespectfulness/bad attitude, explicit content and drug abusethat would weed out bad prospects. Unfortunately, that approach is limited when it comes to choosing the best person to care for your kids.

At face value, this type of service has merit, says Ryne Sherman,chief science officer at Hogan Assessment Systems in Tulsa, Okla. However, these services ignore a long history of research showing that people strongly respond to incentives and will modify or even falsify their responses to succeed.

And therein lies the rub, not just for Predictim but for any service offering to evaluate someones workplace potential on the basis of social media pages or other comparable data, according to Sherman.

If you believe the marketing hype, using AI as the only tool to find the best person for a job seems to make sense, but its destined to fail, he says.

Gaming the system

Sherman explains that, in the mid-2000s, many employers started using text-searching programs to quickly sift through resumes. This worked just fine until savvy applicants found ways to stuff their resumes with keywords. A simple tactic was to put loads of keywords typically used by employers to select candidates in their resume in a white font. When printed, the white font is undetectable to the human eye (on white paper, of course). However, the computers slogging through resumes picked up all of those keywords hidden on the resume, increasing the applicants chances of being selected.

Today, he adds, text-searching technology has gone beyond keyword-only searches to use natural language to weed out such strategies. However, the point is not about resume stuffing; instead, its that job applicants strongly respond to incentives and will try to trick or cheat the system to get selected.

Which, in turn, brings us back to choosing babysitters via social media analysis. Virtually all the research mentioned earlier that demonstrates that personality is linked with social media usage was performed in a context in which the people being studied had no incentive to be dishonest. However, when people know their social media profiles are being used to measure their intelligence and select them for jobs, they often will start gaming their social media profiles to beat the system. If there is an incentive for having a clean social media profile, people will do just that, Sherman explains, adding that many users already have both professional and personal Facebook accounts.

Which account do you think they submit to a potential employer who asks? Which Instagram account will the potential babysitter send to parents? Sherman asks.

With employers using social media records and AI-based systems to make personnel decisions, the stakes of social media use have become much larger. If employers continue to do this, services that specialize in creating sanitized social media accounts for job applicants will emerge. Sherman wonders, how will employers combat these services? How will firms that assess personality via social media know that the profile they are getting is the real Risky Rebecca and not the professionally cultivated Responsible Rebecca?

Faking is a common problem in the personnel-selection industry, though traditional personality assessments based on questionnaires tackled this issue long ago, he says. Simply put, faking a questionnaire-based personality assessment is extremely difficult, and many people who try to fake on such assessments get worse job-fit scores than they would have gotten if they had simply answered honestly.

Sherman adds that faking a social media-based personality assessment is much easier, as you just need to keep content positive and to a minimum. If AI-driven social media analysis companies cannot solve the faking problem, it will quickly put an end to their business model.

Promises, promises

There are many promises from AI in the talent-assessment industry, but AI-driven assessments are easy to foolakin to reading tea leaves, not actual personality traits, Sherman says, noting that Hogan is using AI, but as an enhancement tool only.

Weve seen it work in practical settings, even here at Hogan, he says. In fact, we revised our algorithms based on what we would call AI or machine-learning models. And theyve improved our ability to select high performers by about 20%, in certain job categories.

He also cites some marketing hype from one of the companies purporting to offer an AI-based solution as the only means to land top talent. The come on: We have applied proven neuroscience games and cutting-edge AI to reinvent the way companies attract, select and retain talent.

Were using AI, but I wouldnt say were reinventing anything. Were just making a high-quality product even better, he says.

Ryan Ross, managing partner at Hogan, readily admits that technology has enhanced the talent-assessment business, but the more AI and ML extract the human element from the process, the less effective they become.

Its night and day now, because today were delivering quality assessments 24/7 in 48 different languages. You cant do that without technology, Ross says. Whats really interesting, though, is some of the AI and gamification we see is much like the old saying of using a hammer to kill a mosquito.

In many cases, some are applying this emerging technology in ways that, yes, its very cool, but is it productive and does it get us where we want to be? he adds. I would say those applications are interesting, but they are not going to achieve that goal.

Sherman says many people today see AI and ML as if they are some sort of revolution in the assessment business, but thats simply not the case. Helpful? Yes. A revolution? Nope.

Weve been using linear regression for more than 30 years to build profiles, and these AI-based solutions are just fancier versions, he says. Thats why we see a little bit of improvement because theyre a little bit more robust. The computing power has improved.

For now, he says, the future of using AI in our business is unclear, but there is potential and thats where we operate.

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December 4th, 2019 at 5:46 pm

What Happened in the Stock Market Today – The Motley Fool

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Investors sold off major benchmarks on Tuesday after President Trump ratcheted up trade tensions, threatening new tariffs on more countries and implying that an agreement with China may take longer than the market is currently expecting. TheDow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI)and theS&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC)were in the red all day but did close near highs of the session.

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

As for individual stocks, (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported strong Cyber Monday sales, and Cleveland-Cliffs (NYSE:CLF) announced a merger agreement with AK Steel (NYSE:AKS).

Image source: Getty Images.

Shoppers opened their wallets on Cyber Monday, with online spending hitting forecasts for a new record and Amazon reporting the biggest shopping day in the company's history. Shares of the e-commerce giant slipped 0.7%.

Accordingto AdobeAnalytics, U.S. consumers spent $9.4 billion shopping online on Cyber Monday, up 19.7% from last year and matching the company's forecast, with results boosted by a burst of activity from late-night shoppers.

Amazonsaid that Cyber Monday broke the record for the number of items ordered worldwide on its platform and that customers ordered "hundreds of millions of products" in the days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Last year, the company reported sales of 180 million items during that period. Top-selling categories were toys, home, fashion and health, and personal care.

Retail stocks slumped despite the strong sales news, with the SPDR S&P Retail ETFfalling 1.4%. Worries that the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods -- which would hit retailers particularly hard -- may go into effect on Dec. 15 after all likely outweighed any optimism about the health of the U.S. consumer.

Ironore mining company Cleveland-Cliffs announced an agreement to acquire steel producer AK Steel in an all-stock deal, but investors gave the news a cold reception, with Cleveland-Cliffs shares tumbling 10.7% to $7.51 and those of AK Steel rising 4.2% to $3.01.

Under the terms of agreement, Cleveland-Cliffs will exchange 0.4 shares of its stock for each share of AK Steel, a price that had represented a premium of 16% as of the stock prices yesterday, but that has been mostly wiped out today.

The combination would create an integrated steel producer that the companies think will be more efficient and less exposed to volatile commodity prices. Cleveland-Cliffs believes that the merged entity will find $120 million in annual cost savings, and that lower risk resulting from vertical integration will allow it to pursue new growth opportunities.

Investors weren't convinced of the benefits, though, and the market capitalization of the two companies together fell 5% today.

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December 4th, 2019 at 5:46 pm

How to take an FTP test on Zwift to kick-start your winter training –

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Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is one of the key performance metrics for cyclists who want to train and race with power.

It is generally defined as the maximum average power, measured in watts, that a cyclist can sustain for an hour.

While this has applications in its own right if you race 25-mile time trials in the UK, for example, its a very useful figure to know if youre racing with a power meter its more commonly used to set training zones and for measuring improvements (or deteriorations) in fitness.

FTP is also one of the key figures used to determine all manner of things on Zwift, such as training zones and race categories.

Dont worry if this is all Greek to you though, because you can check out our full guide to FTP and why it matters for the full run-down. Here were going to focus on how to use Zwift to complete an FTP test.

While you can complete an FTP test on the open road, it can be difficult to find a suitable stretch of tarmac, free of interruptions such as junctions, traffic lights, road works and congestion. Given how downright unpleasant an FTP can be, theres nothing worse than having to stop your effort after 15 minutes.

Using the turbo trainer removes those variables and allows you to focus on producing your best performance.

Zwift is the ideal platform to test your FTP and for power-based training. Zwift

Before you embark on any kind of training plan, like those available on Zwift, its worth setting a baseline FTP figure for a couple of reasons.

Matt Rowe, of Rowe and King Cycle Coaching and host of the Zwift Power Up Cycling Podcast, says that having an accurate figure for your FTP is vital because its used to set you power zones.

If your power zones arent accurate, youll be training in the wrong zones, and not targeting what youre intending to, says Rowe.

Having a baseline figure from the very beginning of your training plan will also allow you to know how much progress youre making throughout the plan.

Get a couple of weeks under you belt, then get stuck in, he says. Youre not going to get a great score, but it helps establish where youre at.

Its particularly relevant at this time of the season, Rowe adds particularly if youre just coming back to training after a break. You might be a long way off where you want to be but, at this time of year, thats where you should be, says Rowe. Setting an FTP now will help you to evidence your improvements later on.

One of the main reasons to use Zwift is that it makes it all very simple the test protocols are well signposted and easy to follow. This also means its very repeatable, so you can be sure that your results are comparable every time.

If you have a smart trainer, then Zwift can also use ERG mode to control the resistance of the trainer to ensure you hit the specific power levels required in a ramp test, or in the warm-up for a 20-minute time-trial test. Weve cover those options in more detail below.

Once youve set your FTP, Zwift can then adjust all of the workouts and training plans to your specific level of fitness.

Youll also then know which race category you fit into, based on your current fitness level, because these are decided according to FTP in watts per kilogram (w/kg).

There are three FTP tests on Zwift: two classic tests, which involve a 20-minute max effort, and a ramp test. Zwift

Outside of simply riding as hard as you can for an hour (which is very hard to pace correctly and can also be pretty dull), there are two main ways to test FTP, both of which are available on Zwift.

First, theres the traditional 20-minute time-trial test. After a warm-up, you perform a 20-minute interval at maximum effort. Record your average power and then subtract 5 per cent to determine your FTP (Zwift will do this automatically for you).

The second way to calculate FTP is to perform a ramp test. As the name suggests, the ramp test involves performing intervals at ever increasing power levels until failure. Zwift then calculates your FTP based on 75 per cent of the maximum power interval that you reach.

If youre new to Zwift but you already know what your FTP is, you can manually enter it on your profile page or on the workout page it displays your FTP on the bottom right of the window, and to change it you simply need to click it.

Alternatively, Zwift will calculate your FTP from general riding in the game or from racing. Zwift will automatically calculate your FTP on every ride, using the maximum 20-minute average power you record on each ride, but will only notify you if it detects an increase over your current score.

However, the best way is to perform one of the three specific FTP workouts available in the training page on Zwift.

The first workout, which is simply called FTP Test, is Zwifts standard protocol.

It starts with a long, easy warm-up, followed by a few ramps and a 5-minute effort. After that, you get a rest period, before performing the 20-minute maximum effort test interval.

Zwift will then subtract 5 per cent from your average power during that test interval to extrapolate it out to an hour.

For example, if you average 300 watts for the 20-minute test interval, you FTP would be 285 watts.

The shorter FTP test simply ahortens up the warm-up the 20-minute max effort test interval is still just as long. Zwift

The second FTP test on Zwift is called the FTP Test (shorter). Its simply a compressed version of the first test.

The 20-minute maximum effort test interval is the same, so its not any easier, the only difference is that the initial warm-up is shortened to save time.

This test has the advantage of being a reasonably long interval, so it tests your aerobic capacity very well and can give accurate results. However, Rowe says it can be a daunting task for many people, because its always going to be a very hard test and is difficult to pace properly, especially for beginners.

With that in mind, Zwift has recently introduced a different kind of test; the ramp test.

The ramp test is intended to be a more manageable way to test your FTP. Zwift

As the name suggests, the ramp test involves performing intervals at ever-increasing power levels until you cant ride any further.

Rowe says the ramp test is more manageable than the 20-minute test, so people repeat it more often and therefore have more accurate zones as their training progresses.

Another benefit of the ramp test is that the result depends less on pacing you simply keep going as long as you can.

On Zwift, after a brief warm-up, the ramp test begins at 100 watts, then increases by 20 watts each minute. At first, it should feel easy, but it will eventually get very hard (how long that takes will depend on how strong you are the test continues as long you can keep holding the power).

Zwift will then take 75 per cent of the maximum power you reach on the test as your FTP.

No matter which workout you do, Zwift recommends staying seated for the duration of the test effort, because this helps to keep your effort and technique consistent throughout the intervals.

In terms of how often you should be retesting your FTP, Rowe recommends doing so once every six to ten weeks, or at the end of each training block preferably after an easier few days so that youre well rested.

You might think it would be useful to test more often, to keep your zones as accurate as possible, but Rowe says that any more often than that and you risk getting bogged down with testing rather than training.

At the end of the test, Zwift will notify you of your score. Hopefully you will have improved, but dont fret if not sign up for one of Zwifts training plans and kick-start your winter riding. Zwift


Once you hit the test part of the session, you dont want to pause or take any sort of breaks, because doing so will spoil the data.

With that in mind, its vital to ensure your indoor training setup is running as efficiently as possible: make sure youve fuelled correctly, have a full water bottle to hand, a fan to keep you cool, and youve got some suitably motivational music lined up to last the full duration of the test.


When pacing an effort such as a 20-minute power test, its very easy to go out too hard and end up finishing with a whimper or vice versa. What you really want to do is ride right on the limit of what youre capable of for the entire duration of the test which might leave you wondering how you are supposed to know where that limit is?

British cycling legend Chris Boardman once suggested a method whereby you simply ask yourself, Is this current effort sustainable for the remaining duration?. If your answer is yes, then youre going too easy, if its no, then youre going too hard. What youre looking for is maybe.


Although hitting huge numbers in the lab/shed/spare room can be exhilarating and hats off to all those who do it the final figure isnt the be all and end all of cycling.

An FTP test isnt a race there arent any prizes for getting a great score, and getting a low score doesnt mean youve lost anything either its simply a personal performance benchmark and everyone is different.

Sign up for one of the many training plans available on Zwift and try to focus on the process of self-improvement, rather than the specifics of the raw data. Unless youre a professional, having fun is what matters, after all. The numbers are just that numbers.

Simon is a freelance writer and photographer, who has been riding bikes for fun since he was a kid, but took a deep dive into road racing, crits and time trialling culture whilst living in London in his twenties. As a man of very little talent, he always looks to tech to compensate and loves nothing more than finding a smart (preferably cheap) hack that others hadnt thought of. His stable of bikes certainly isnt the most extravagant, but theyre all customised to meet Simons particular tastes and kept fastidiously clean. His current No.1 bike is a 2009 Giant TCR Advanced SL, that he purchased second hand from a friend in London he maintains that the 2019 TCR is basically the same bike, so why bother upgrading?

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December 4th, 2019 at 5:46 pm

Serge Aurier speaks out on that Liverpool display, his form and why he’s in his ‘best period’ – Football.London

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Serge Aurier was in top form on Tuesday evening as he helped Tottenham complete a remarkable turnaround against Olympiacos.

Trailing 2-0 after a nightmare opening 20 minutes, the right-back scored the crucial third goal before they ran out 4-2 winners overall to seal a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League.

Excellent against the Greek side as he started his second successive game under Jose Mourinho, it has not always been easy for the Ivorian with a number of poor performances since his transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Now getting a good run in the team following Kieran Trippier's summer move to Atletico Madrid, the 26-year-old has opened up on his difficult display against Liverpool at the end of October and why he now believes he's in his "best period" for the Lilywhites.

"It's all about confidence," he told the club's matchday programme. "Starting the season with Mauricio Pochettino, I had some good games and then, after the game against Liverpool where we lost, people talked quite a bit about that performance.

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"In tough moments, we have to stay calm, not listen to anything that is being said externally. I know if I've had a bad game, I'm a footballer, I know when I have played well or when I have not.

"I've been here for three years now; I know when people aren't happy about my performance. I've played at Paris Saint-Germain and Toulouse and, of course, it was the same there. I'm not young either. For me, I prepare myself for everything, every possibility, for good things and for bad things.

"It wasn't that easy when I arrived here because I didn't always play. It's difficult. Players need to be playing to keep their confidence. When you play each week, it's easy to stay in that same vein and mindset and keep your levels. I work hard to stay at that level so I can do my best for the team and the gaffer.

"When I came back in against Crystal Palace, my first game of the season, I gave everything and Mauricio was very happy with my performance that day. I want to keep at that level but sometimes, if the team is in a difficult period and when you suffer a defeat, people will talk about your personal performance, that's normal. When the team are winning, it's easier to show your qualities because everyone is at their best level.

"Now, I feel I'm in the right place. I need to stay in this mood and with this confidence because when I am like this, I am happy, I play well, I can give the team and the fans good energy.

This week are running a special series of articles looking back at the key moments from the last decade for Spurs.

Each day, there will be three new articles; one in the morning, one at lunchtime and one in the evening.

Here are some of the best bits so far...

"I think I'm at my best period, especially with the team winning back-to-back games but we need to do more and work harder. We might have won 4-2 against Olympiacos but there are still many parts of our game that we need to get right - it was by two clear goals that we won but we are conceding too many, so we need to say focused for the full 90 minutes. We have to stay together in difficult moments, like at the start of the Olympiacos game.

"Obviously, it's good to win but we want to be in control and dominate games. We know what we need to do to get to that point, so everyone is working towards that."

Serge Aurier speaks out on that Liverpool display, his form and why he's in his 'best period' - Football.London

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December 4th, 2019 at 5:46 pm

Kanye West gives emotional performance of ‘Jesus is King’ for inmates at a Houston jail – NBC News

Posted: November 23, 2019 at 8:48 pm

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Nov. 18, 2019, 5:38 PM UTC

Kanye West has followed the Johnny Cash route and performed for inmates at a Houston jail.

In secret from the public, the star rapper-turned-gospel singer performed songs Friday from his new gospel album Jesus is King. He and his choir performed for more than 200 male inmates at one jail facility before crossing the street to another jail facility and performing for a smaller crowd of female inmates.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Wests representatives asked jail officials about doing secret shows.

The events were reminiscent of prison concerts given by country singer Johnny Cash in California, and were performed two days before West is to speak at Joel Osteens vast Lakewood Church in Houston.

West discussed his musical and personal turn to Christianity, as well as the inspiration behind his latest album, in an interview with DJ Zane Lowe on Apple Music in October.

"Now that Im in service to Christ, my job is to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me," West said during a nearly two-hour conversation.

West's gospel-inspired album is his ninth in a row to open at the top of the Billboard 200, putting him in a tie with Eminem for the most consecutive No. 1s, Billboard says.

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Kanye West gives emotional performance of 'Jesus is King' for inmates at a Houston jail - NBC News

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November 23rd, 2019 at 8:48 pm


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Arguably the hottest item among Tour professionals this year hasnt been the latest driver or longest ball. In fact, this product doesnt even help golfers hit their shots. But, it does make them better players and more-focused competitors. The WHOOP Strap 3.0 has been on the wrists of several Tour winners this year, as well as throngs of other pros -- none of whom get paid to wear it. Think of it as an ultra-advanced, state-of-the-art fitness tracker.

What started as a performance monitoring tool solely for elite athletes began catching on with the worlds top golfers three years ago. As they travel from one event to the next which in itself can take a tremendous toll on their bodies -- Tour pros perpetually seek an edge to improve their games and stay ahead of the competition. Gushes one top player: Right from the start, I realized WHOOP was an unbelievable tool to evaluate my process and help me prepare each day.

Thankfully for you, WHOOP is now also available to the masses. So, how exactly does it work?

Where other wearables monitor the basics like step count and heart rate, WHOOP goes well beyond -- giving insightful feedback through its Bluetooth-paired smartphone app on how your mind and body are adapting to external stressors. Among other things, stress can manifest itself in sleep quality, heart rate and heart rate variability . WHOOP tracks these physiological phenomena and translates that data into actionable recommendations.

Lets start with sleep. If yours is lacking, its almost certainly affecting you on the golf course. WHOOP evaluates your sleep quantity, quality and efficiency, then coaches you to a better nights rest by suggesting how much time you need to spend in bed. After all, chronic sleep debt reduces your mental and physical capacity that in turn lowers your performance level. Additionally, WHOOP tracks your sleep cycles and stages nightly, telling you how much time you spend in each. Tour pros using it aim to get 40-50 percent of their total sleep in deeper stages, so they can fully leverage physiological and psychological capacity in competition.

WHOOP also measures strain -- the cardiovascular load you put on your body. It opens a window into how quickly or slowly youre using up the proverbial fuel in your tank, and lets you know the exertion level you should aim to achieve each day. Managing strain and understanding how it builds is paramount in reducing any uncertainty around your performance levels. On the WHOOP app, you can see your live strain measure, heart rate and caloric burn all in real time, and even share performance analysis with your coach or swing instructor.

The thing that really sets WHOOP apart -- and the metric that many Tour pros find most valuable -- is the daily recovery score. Taking into account your previous strain, sleep and a number of other key physiological factors, it gives you a percentage from 0-100 (broken down and color-coded as red, yellow or green) indicating exactly how ready your body is to perform that day. Using the WHOOP recovery metric as a training guide enables golfers to ensure theyre in the green when it matters most.

Ultimately, WHOOP is an information portal to your body that lets you know ahead of time when youre primed to swing the club effortlessly, zero in on all of your targets, and think clearly out on the course. By taking your most advanced biometric data and presenting it to you in uncomplicated language and easy-to-understand graphics, its like having a personal trainer right on your wrist.

Click here to sign up for a six-month membership using promo code GD15, and WHOOP will send you the device for free. Then youll see why two of the worlds top four Tour pros rely on it -- and how it can transform your game, too.

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November 23rd, 2019 at 8:48 pm

Jayhawks Have Record-Breaking Friday Kansas Jayhawks – Kansas Jayhawks

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LAWRENCE, Kan. Kansas swimming and diving opened up the first day of the Kansas Classic with not one, but two record-breaking performances in the five-event meet.

It was a team effort in the 400-yard medley relay to close out the night, as the team of Manon Manning, Kate Steward, Elizabeth Amato-Hanner and Jenny Nusbaum broke not only the Kansas Classic record but also the Kansas school record in the event with a final time of 3:37.37. This was a record that had stood in the program for 10 seasons before tonights performance.

Steward not only contributed to the record in the relay, but she also set her own individual record on the day as well in the 200 individual medley. Her final time of 1:59.21 was not only a personal best, but it set the Kansas Classic meet record as well in the event.

"Really good start to the meet. We were solid really from the first race on. How we ended the night was really strong. Our medley really was really good and broke a 10-year-old school record and Manon Manning had a lifetime best in her 100 back. Kate's 200 IM, the way that she finished that race, her best events are yet to come. So this was a great way to start the meet and we hope to keep up the momentum heading into tomorrow."

Through the first five events of the teams midseason meet, the Jayhawks currently sit in the lead with 350 total points. Iowa State currently holds second place with 217 points and Miami (Florida) rounds out the top three with 160 points.

Meanwhile, in Columbia, Missouri, the Kansas divers finished out the final day of the Tiger Invite with the platform dive events. Peri Charapich finished atop the Jayhawks leaderboard with a score of 182.10. She was followed by Amanda Fingerut with 146.00 total points and Alison Grass with 123.20 points.

"Overall, two victories and three top-12 finishes among our best competition to date. We're certainly happy with the outcome. But our divers also gained invaluable knowledge about where they are and what it will take to be even more successful going forward."

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Jayhawks Have Record-Breaking Friday Kansas Jayhawks - Kansas Jayhawks

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November 23rd, 2019 at 8:47 pm

How this basketball start-up raised millions of dollars from investors including David Stern and Magic Johnson – CNBC

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ShotTracker's 'enabled' basketballs


"If you don't shoot you don't score," entrepreneur Davyeon Ross recently told CNBC.

For Ross, that isn't just a clich it's a mantra that's helped him use his love of basketball to secure more than $25 million from investors including NBA legends David Stern and Magic Johnson.

Ross is the co-founder of ShotTracker, a start-up developing new technology to help basketball players, coaches and fans track individual and team performance on the court. The system, currently being used by more than 60 college basketball programs, incorporates wearable devices, "enabled" basketballs and on-court sensors to instantly feed more than 70 statistics such as shot count and points won to its users.

Raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Ross came to the U.S. on a basketball scholarship in 1996, studying for his math and computer science degree at Benedictine College before landing a job as a software engineer at Sprint.

"After that, I traveled while working in software but I always had a love for basketball," he told CNBC in a phone call. "My current partner called me one day to ask how I used to track my performance when I was playing at college. He was trying to measure his son's performance to help him improve his game."

The call prompted Ross to look at what was available on the market, which he remembers as "a painful process" and that gap in the market led to the birth of ShotTracker in 2013.

When it comes to securing investment, Ross told CNBC that every start-up founder must to be willing to bet on their own idea.

The founding team launched ShotTracker at the annual technology show CES in early 2016, self-funding to create a physical product they could show to would-be investors. The gamble came with no guarantee of securing additional investment.

"We put our money where our mouths were," Ross said. "You have to find ways to show you believe in your idea and that you've valuated it. That was a big, big investment, but it's paid its dividends."

Being fully behind your product or service as a start-up founder is "very powerful," he added.

"A lot of the time entrepreneurs' effort goes into telling people about their ideas, but for me it's about execution," Ross said.

Stern, former commissioner of the NBA, and legendary player Earvin "Magic" Johnson became investors in ShotTracker in October 2016, and both also act as business advisors. The amount they invested remains undisclosed, but their investments were part of a $5 million seed round for the start-up.

In May last year, Stern led a Series A funding round in ShotTracker, raising $10.4 million and taking the total invested in the company up to $21 million. To date, the team has raised around $27 million.

ShotTracker isn't Ross' first foray into starting a business. He started his first company, Digital Sports Ventures, at the age of 27, developing a platform that organized video and other college sports media.

His partner, Bruce Ianni, is also a seasoned entrepreneur, having founded Innovadex, a company Ross describes as the "Google for chemists," in 1997. Both co-founders sold their first companies to corporations for undisclosed amounts, but Ross told CNBC that their "decent exits" were enough to get ShotTracker off the ground.

Despite its success, ShotTracker has faced its fair share of challenges Ross told CNBC. Among other things, the co-founders struggled with deploying aspects of the technology, scaling the company, and even adapting to the changing nature of how people practice basketball.

"Setbacks are mandatory experiences that come with entrepreneurship," Ross said. "Start-ups are a learning experience. You try to go down one path and learn it's not the most optimal path, so you find a better one."

Looking forward, the company's growth strategy aims for ShotTracker to become to basketball what "wifi is to coffee shops," he added, with a view to expanding to other sports.

Technology focused on sports and fitness is a rapidly growing market.

Earlier this year, research firm MarketsandMarkets estimated the global sports tech industry would be worth $31.1 billion by 2024, with researchers valuing the market at $8.9 billion in 2018.

Big tech is helping to drive that growth, with Apple and Samsung investing in fitness tracking technology, while Alphabet's Google announced this month that it was acquiring Fitbit for around $2.1 billion.

In 2015, U.S. athleticwear brand Under Armour bought Endomondo, an app tracking users' performance while running, for $85 million.

Speaking to CNBC over the phone, Pete Giorgio, head of Deloitte's U.S. Sports Practice, said sports technology fits into two categories, depending on whether it's intended for professional or personal use.

"It's only going to continue to grow on both sides teams are becoming more and more comfortable with the information these things produce, and more adept at analyzing and gleaning information from it," he said.

"I think you'll continue to see an increased sophistication of the devices, but they already are pretty sophisticated. On the personal or non-professional side I think it will grow as well, but this will be less around increased sophistication and a little more around simplification."

However, companies would be challenged to somehow consolidate the overwhelming amounts of data people were given as more devices and systems flooded the market, Giorgio told CNBC.

"It's starting to become a little bit too much in some instances," he said. "If you have multiple devices and use different ones in different situations, one of the things we'll see is how those can create a collective view of all that information versus individual views of different devices."

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How this basketball start-up raised millions of dollars from investors including David Stern and Magic Johnson - CNBC

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November 23rd, 2019 at 8:47 pm

The three-film secret of Trey Edward Shults: Keep it personal, even during the apocalypse – Cambridge Day

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By Tom Meek Thursday, November 21, 2019 Trey Edward Shults on the set of Waves with actor Sterling K. Brown.

The films of Trey Edward Shults are haunting in their immersive ambience and enigmatic narratives, but theyre also to date deeply personal, if not autobiographical. In his debut, Krisha (2016), Shults explored the effects of addiction on the family surrounding the user, reflecting how Shults immediate family had been affected by addiction and alcohol abuse over the years; even his near post-apocalyptic chiller It Comes at Night (2017) was a means for Shults to work out the grief of losing his father to pancreatic cancer.

Themes of addiction and struggles with an estranged and dying father are also part of Shults latest, Waves, in which young African American wrestler Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), in a tumultuous romantic relationship in addition to struggling against his controlling father, Ronald (Sterling K. Brown), turns increasingly to drugs after an injury that threatens to sideline his promising athletic career and shot at college. Meanwhile, Luke (Lucas Hedges), another wrestler on the team, struggles to reconnect with his his dying, distant father.

Im both Tyler and Luke, Shults said in an interview with the Day, and [their] girlfriends are something like my girlfriends. The parents are somewhat based on mine primarily Lukes dad but Brown brought a lot to the role of Ronald.

The story revolves primarily around Tylers family members, who happen to be black. I wanted to tell a tale that was both universal to what all families go through, but also show the challenges a black family faces that white people dont, said Shults, who is white, and wrote in collaboration with Harrison Jr. At one juncture in the film, Tylers dad tells him that because they are black, they need to work 10 times as hard to take a step forward, and then theres the one lone hateful drop of the N-word just one, but it resonates.

I just knew I wanted to work with him again after It Comes at Night, Shults said of Harrison Jr., whose experiences described in long mini therapy talks between the director and actor helped Waves take shape. Harrison Jr., who was also in Luce earlier this year, delivers a nuanced and complex performance that is bound to elevate his stock.

Shults, on his third film at only 31, got into filmmaking somewhat by happenstance when visiting his aunt, Krisha Fairchild yes, the star and title character of his debut in Hawaii, where she got him a job working on commercials. That led to an encounter with Terrence Malick, who was there filming his documentary Voyage of Time (2016); Shults, just 18, stepped in as a film loader for the shoot. Seeds for Krisha were sown quickly.

That film changed my life, Shults said. After Krisha won the Grand Jury and Audience awards at South by Southwest, buyer and distributor A24 was was hungry for more. I had a version of It Comes at Night before I shot Krisha, and A24 wanted to know what else I had.

As for what comes next, Im not sure, Shults said.

Maybe live a little? I put everything I had into this film, he said, and now Im just a blank slate.

Waves opens today at Landmark Kendall Square Cinema, 355 Binney St., Kendall Square.

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The three-film secret of Trey Edward Shults: Keep it personal, even during the apocalypse - Cambridge Day

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November 23rd, 2019 at 8:47 pm

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