sara.ziegler: What, if anything, can the Blazers do to turn the tide as the series heads back to Portland?chris.herring: I think it goes without saying that they did enough to win Thursday.You’d imagine they can control the tempo better at home than they did at Oracle, where the Warriors play extremely fast and in transition during those ridiculous comebacks. I think maybe Terry Stotts would call timeout when he feels one of those runs coming on. And they need to clean up some mistakes, in terms of fouling and taking care of the ball. Andre Iguodala made a great steal on Lillard on the final play, and Lillard had that pretty brutal foul on Steph while he was shooting a three late.tchow: I’m actually not sure what else they can do. They played well on Thursday and still lost. I feel for Portland fans, I really do. But our predictions give them a 6 percent chance of making it to the finals which seems … high?chris.herring: Realistically, unless Golden State has another major injury, that was probably it. I don’t see a whole lot of adjustments for a scenario where you were in control most of the game. You just have to finish the game. Period.natesilver: I guess the one piece of good news for Portland is that it’s not obvious that KD’s going to play any time soon.tchow: Chris mentioned that they needed another huge bench performance to have a chance, but both Rodney Hood and Seth Curry had pretty decent games. I don’t know where else it could come from. Zach Collins?sara.ziegler: Meyers Leonard! He had a pretty good game.chris.herring: Collins had five fouls in eight minutes yesterday, somehow. Leonard was impactful, though.tchow: Yeah, some of those Collins fouls were bad fouls, too.chris.herring: That’s why it’s hard to see Portland doing this: Everything seems really scattered right now.Also, props to Draymond Green for raising his game to a ridiculous level lately. You can’t mention the Warriors looking like the Warriors of old without talking about how incredible he’s been on both ends.natesilver: Maybe Draymond secretly hates KD and so ups his effort level when KD is out?sara.ziegler: LOL. I kind of want that to be true. Since the NBA is just a soap opera, at its core.tchow: “The Plays of Our Lives”I’m sorry.sara.ziegler: OMG, yes.Moving on to the East: Chris, you wrote after Game 1 that the Raptors would likely be kicking themselves for letting that get away from them. How important was that outcome to the series?chris.herring: Not nearly as much of a killer as Game 2 for Portland. But still potentially big.There’s that saying that a series hasn’t begun until a road team wins a game. And on some level, that may be true. I just think that if you’re going to beat Milwaukee, it makes sense to grab the winnable game when it’s there. And the Bucks played really poorly in some regards, yet they still won. They are a complete team, whereas the Raptors look very stilted on offense at times.And it’s part of why I continue to like Milwaukee’s chances of winning this whole thing.tchow: It’s been really impressive seeing how well the Bucks have continued to play when Giannis Antetokounmpo is not on the floor.natesilver: The thing I’d hate if I were a Raptors fan is that I felt like my team played pretty well in Game 1, and it still wasn’t enough. Obviously, not everything was perfect — the cold shooting in the fourth quarter — but it felt like a relatively fair contest.chris.herring: Yeah. I guess there are two ways to view it:1) Lowry is probably never going to shoot like that again.2) There’s probably no way they’ll ever get less of a contribution from the rest of the team than they did in Game 1.tchow: 3) Brook Lopez will not have a game like that again.sara.ziegler: Lopez was EVERYWHERE.chris.herring: I’m not completely sure about No. 3! If Toronto doesn’t go smaller, the Raptors are going to have to sacrifice something defensively. I don’t know that he’ll have almost 30 again, but the Raps are going to dare Brook and guys like him to prove they can make that shot as opposed to letting Giannis run wild in the paint.That’s the risk.sara.ziegler: To your second point, Chris, you can’t imagine a scenario happening again where no Raptor aside from Lowry makes a single shot in an entire quarter.chris.herring: Yeah, those stats — 0 for 15 aside from Lowry in the fourth, and 1 for 23 in the second half outside of Lowry and Leonard — were some of the more insane ones I’ve ever seen.And the one second-half basket that someone else made was a buzzer-beating 3 by Pascal Siakam in the third! One he wouldn’t have even taken if not for how much time was left.tchow: The last time Lopez had a double-double while scoring more than 20 points was … one second, I’m still scrolling up on Basketball-Reference.sara.ziegler: LOLchris.herring: That part is true. But him scoring a bunch wouldn’t shock me based on how they’re defending him. Brook isn’t the biggest rebounder, in part because he’s more concerned with boxing out and making sure a teammate collects the miss. (But also, their minutes are longer in the playoffs, meaning he’ll have more chances.)tchow: Found it! Nov. 3, 2017, when he was on the Lakers. And it was the Lopez revenge game because they played the Nets.chris.herring: Remember: Milwaukee was 11 of 44 from three! That’s 25 percent. So the Bucks left a ton of points on the table. And many of them were wide-open shots.As I was saying, I think Toronto may want to consider playing a little smaller. That would potentially crank up the tempo to a level Lopez isn’t comfortable with, and potentially give him more defensive responsibility, to where he has to come out farther to defend.natesilver: I dunno, I feel weird about slicing-and-dicing the Raptors’ shooting stats into so many little pieces. Overall, they shot 15 of 42 on threes, which is pretty average/good.chris.herring: Lowry was 7 of 9 by himself!natesilver: They didn’t shoot great on twos, but a lot of teams don’t do that well against MIlwaukee. They made 85 percent of their free throws.chris.herring: The other Raptors will likely shoot better. But Milwaukee did plenty to make Kawhi Leonard get his points. This team is really great at pushing star scorers to drive with their weaker hand.tchow: Sixers should take note. Too soon?sara.ziegler: LOLchris.herring: The statistics illustrated that in Game 1. Leonard drove 15 times, and 11 of them were to his left. During the season, he drove to his right a little more than 57 percent of the time.sara.ziegler: That seems to be a huge focus for the Bucks — and it looks like it’s paying off. But again, the Raptors almost stole Game 1. It would be huge for them to get Game 2 tonight.chris.herring: Agreed.While I still think Milwaukee is clearly the stronger team in this matchup, I wouldn’t be foolish enough to say that Toronto is out of this, regardless of what happens tonight. This is a more evenly matched set of opponents than with Portland and Golden State, clearly.sara.ziegler: So let’s end on some soft predictions. How long will each series go?tchow: I’m predicting a gentleman’s sweep for the Western Conference finals.natesilver: Yeah, five games seems like the smartest bet.sara.ziegler: It would be only fair to the Curry parents.tchow: I believe Dame and CJ can do enough to get at least one win in Portland.chris.herring: Agreed on the West.In the East, I’ll go six, with the Bucks winning. Though if Milwaukee wins tonight, I wouldn’t be shocked if they closed it in five.natesilver: I’m going to go seven games for the East. Despite what I said earlier about Game 1 being a bearish indicator for Toronto, I still think they’re a liiiiiiittttle underrated, and Nick Nurse probably has more ways to make adjustments than Mike Budenholzer does.tchow: I think it’ll be Bucks in six, too.natesilver: I have a hot take.sara.ziegler: 🔥natesilver: Steve Kerr’s comments about Kevin Durant’s injury sound fairly ominous.WHAT IF DURANT HAS PLAYED HIS LAST GAME FOR THE WARRIORS?!?!?sara.ziegler: Ooooooohtchow: * searches in google * Durant Knicks jerseychris.herring: That doesn’t sound as crazy to me as some people might think.If it’s a more serious strain, and it’s closer to a month than it is a one-week or two-week injury, then the NBA Finals or the middle of the finals would be more realistic for him.But if the finals aren’t competitive …natesilver: So Knicks fans should be rooting for a Warriors sweep?chris.herring: I don’t know. It would be really interesting. If the Warriors win easily without him, it would be weird for him to stay if he wants validation. If the Warriors LOSE, it gets interesting. Because, obviously, the last time the Warriors lost, he went and signed with them.tchow: I just really want Curry to win his first finals MVP trophy.sara.ziegler: Would THAT push KD to the Knicks?natesilver: I think the BEST-case scenario for the Knicks would be if the Warriors are like up 3-1 over Milwaukee in the finals, and then KD comes back and they LOSE.tchow: grinchgrin.gifCheck out our latest NBA predictions. sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, assistant sports editor): The NBA conference finals are just three games old, but we’ve already seen two of the most entertaining games of the entire playoffs.After Golden State easily dispatched Portland in Game 1 in the West, Milwaukee needed a furious comeback to take down Toronto in the East’s first game. And then came Thursday night, when the Trail Blazers led the Warriors by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, but Golden State used a 27-8 run to get back into the game. The teams traded leads down the stretch, but the Warriors prevailed.Let’s start with the Golden State-Portland series. What have you made of these first two games?tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): The “Warriors are better without Kevin Durant” crowd has gotten REALLY loud.I’m not stupid enough to say they’re better without KD, but I can see the argument being made that they might be more fun to watch?natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): Tony, that feels like a way to rationalize the idea that KD will feel dejected or something by the Warriors because they can win without him so he’ll have to come to the Knicks.sara.ziegler: LOLtchow: I’m still auditioning for my Knicks GM job, Nate.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): I think they are more fun to watch this way, for sure. It’s a good reminder of what they were before Durant ever signed with them. The up-tempo, heavy ball-movement, “we can be down by 15, but still come back to beat you” Warriors.I think Portland losing on Thursday was pretty brutal. It’s sounding more and more like Durant won’t be back in the conference finals, and a win would have gone a long way toward making this a series again. It’s hard to imagine them winning four of the next five.tchow: You’re not kidding about the heavy ball movement, Chris. Per Second Spectrum, the Warriors have averaged 42 more passes per 100 possessions when KD was not on the floor during these playoffs.natesilver: I guess the question is whether the Warriors could win grind-it-out, slower-paced, half-court-type games at the same rate without KD.chris.herring: And that’s the thing. When the Warriors play that way, it’s changing the pace of the game. If you have a game with fewer possessions, I’d venture to guess it leaves things to random chance more often and helps the underdog.Kind of why Virginia was seen as vulnerable in the NCAA Tournament for so long. (A loss to UMBC helps with that, too.)natesilver: Beating Portland twice at home is just not all that rigorous a test, however.tchow: That’s important to keep in mind. All the Warriors did was hold home court.chris.herring: It may not be. But the Blazers played really well on Thursday, and then that third quarter happened. I just think we’re used to these sorts of onslaughts at this point.tchow: Yeah, even with that scoreline at halftime, after the first three minutes of the third quarter, I think all of us kinda went, “Oh, the Warriors are winning this.”natesilver: The Game 6 closeout against Houston, in a game where the Rockets played pretty well, was impressive. But I’m still not sure I really have a great sense for how Golden State is going to match up with Milwaukee or Toronto, with or without KD.sara.ziegler: A Portland win would have completely changed the tone of this series. And it was close to happening — even after the Warriors stormed back!natesilver: “Were the Blazers actually close to winning or was it all just an illusion” is a fun epistemological question. I mean, obviously, a win probability model or whatever would have them ahead for a lot of the game. But the Warriors have made SO many third-quarter comebacks over the years that I just don’t really know.sara.ziegler: When the Blazers were up 8 with 4:28 left, I thought they could really win it.Silly me.chris.herring: I grow somewhat tired of the Curry vs. Curry storyline at times. But it was pretty awesome to see Seth play so well last night, and to try to get into his brother’s head at one point.Crazy to think that, if Pau Gasol were healthy, there would be two sets of brothers playing against each other this round.tchow: That’s very interesting. I’m kinda loving the Curry vs. Curry storyline. It’s pretty cool IMO to have siblings play against each other at such high stakes.I found myself pingponging between “Where’s Steph? OK, where’s Seth now?” when they were both on the court.chris.herring: I like the storyline. I just think it’s being milked pretty heavily in terms of showing their parents in the crowd, that’s all. But Seth was huge last night.I think the challenge for Portland is that there’s a lot of “your turn, my turn” from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. McCollum owned the first half, and then Dame got hot in the second half.And it kind of feels like they may need more of a balance, or another huge bench performance from someone, to get over this hump.natesilver: What if Seth Curry woke up one day and had Steph Curry’s skills, and vice versa? That feels like a weird/bad movie plot.tchow: “Freaky Friday 2”natesilver: Would the Blazers play McCollum at the 3 or something? It would be a really weird team.chris.herring: I already feel like it’s a weird team as is.Credit to them for adjusting heavily after how bad Game 1 was.tchow: You knew they had to do something about that pick-and-roll defense.chris.herring: Enes Kanter was back at the free-throw line in Game 1 and then moved much farther up to contain their pick and rolls in Game 2. That made Golden State’s looks far more challenging, which you almost have to do in order to have a chance.sara.ziegler: The Blazers didn’t get much on offense from Kanter on Thursday, though. What was going on there?chris.herring: His impact is going to be a bit less on a night where they shoot as well as they did from three. Because he doesn’t get any offensive rebounds that way.But also, when he’s playing so much higher up on D, it probably wears him down a bit.Not to mention the fact that he’s fasting during daylight hours, which seems like such a tough thing to do during such a high-stakes series.sara.ziegler: That does seem brutal.chris.herring: Now THAT storyline I find fascinating.sara.ziegler: I can barely edit when I’m hungry. Can’t imagine trying to play basketball at the highest level!natesilver: If I fasted during daylight hours, I don’t think I could even do a Slack chat, let alone play in an NBA game.sara.ziegler: Hahatchow: Muslim soccer players do it all the time! (during Ramadan)It is pretty cool the Blazers have three Muslim players on the roster (Kanter, Jusuf Nurkic and Al-Farouq Aminu).chris.herring: Hakeem Olajuwon did it as well, and apparently Kanter reached out to him to figure out what all he did to maintain his game during that stretch of the postseason.natesilver: I didn’t realize that the dates of Ramadan shift around a lot from year to year. It doesn’t always coincide with the playoffs.
Google workers staged a worldwide walkout last year. James Martin/CNET Google workers on Friday held a town hall meeting to discuss alleged retaliation from the search giant over employees’ activism and organizing efforts. The company’s employees booked rooms for viewing the town hall from Google offices all over the world, according to an employee who attended the meeting. At the gathering, Google workers pledged to protect each other from retaliation and brainstormed ideas to help. Some of that action could take place as soon as next week, that employee said.That employee also said it was the first big town hall meeting that Google’s temporary workers, vendors and contractors — known as TVCs in Google parlance — were able to attend, since the gathering was held by employees and not management.The meeting was called after two workers who helped to organize a massive employee walkout said management was unfairly targeting them. In November, roughly 20,000 Googlers walked out of the company’s offices worldwide to protest its handling of sexual assault allegations directed at key executives. The demonstration drew international attention. One organizer, Meredith Whittaker, who leads Google’s Open Research program, said earlier this week that she was asked to choose between Google and her outside work. Whittaker co-founded New York University’s AI Now Institute, a research center that examines the societal effects of artificial intelligence. Whittaker said Google asked her to give up that work after the company disbanded its own AI ethics board last month amid controversy over one of its members. Claire Stapleton, a marketing manager at Google-owned YouTube, said she was told after the walkout she’d be demoted and lose half of her reports. She said she was also told to go on medical leave even though she wasn’t sick. Google only walked back her demotion after she hired a lawyer, Stapleton said. “Meredith and Claire were bold and unwavering,” the employee who attended said. “The support was overwhelming and it looks like the company’s misguided gamble to cut off the ‘head’ of the organizing against harassment, discrimination and unethical decision-making won’t work.”Google employees have largely been the poster children for protest in the tech industry — a sector where rank and file workers have historically refrained from publicly criticizing management. Aside from the handling of sexual assault accusations, Google workers have also protested the company’s military contracts, its work in China, and its treatment of temporary workers and contractors. Outside of Google, other tech workers have also been speaking up. At Amazon, thousands of workers signed a letter earlier this month that urged the company to reduce its carbon footprint and take action against climate change.The town hall meeting comes a day after Google released its workplace policy guidelines, including its rules on retaliation. Retaliation means taking an adverse action against an employee or TVC as a consequence of reporting, for expressing an intent to report, for assisting another employee in an effort to report, for testifying or assisting in a proceeding involving sexual harassment under any federal, state or local anti-discrimination law, or for participating in the investigation of what they believe in good faith to be a possible violation of our Code of Conduct, Google policy or the law. The section concludes by warning employees that not all complaints may meet that definition.”If you report something that is not a policy violation and you believe you are being treated adversely as a result, you should feel free to report that and we will look into it, but it may not amount to retaliation under this policy,” the guidelines say.Google declined to comment on the town hall, but a spokeswoman said the company prohibits retaliation and has a “very clear policy.” “To make sure that no complaint raised goes unheard at Google, we give employees multiple channels to report concerns, including anonymously, and investigate all allegations of retaliation,” the spokeswoman said. Post a comment Google employees protest tech giant’s handling of sexual… Share your voice 0 Google Alphabet Inc. 1:45 Tags Tech Industry Now playing: Watch this:
(PhysOrg.com) — Australian scientists have invented software that enables mobile (cell) phones to work in remote areas where there is no conventional coverage and in locations where the infrastructure has been destroyed through disaster, or is not economically viable. The technology enables ordinary mobile phones to make and receive calls without the need for phone towers or satellites. Director of the Research Centre for Disaster Resilience and Health at Flinders University, Professor Paul Arbon said the systems could prove invaluable in disasters, providing an instant network allowing people to call out and receive calls from concerned relatives, and helping volunteers to coordinate the response. The system could also provide the community with updates and warnings. The systems have been successfully tested in remote areas of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia where there is no mobile phone reception, with the three researchers creating a network over one square kilometer. The next stages in the project are to increase the range and improve sound quality. The team is also working on developing a method of dropping the temporary towers into disaster areas.Dr Gardner-Stephen said the system could be operational within 18 months provided the project receives adequate funding. He said his dream was for every mobile phone to be equipped with the system so that if there is a disaster all the phones in the region will automatically switch to the mesh network mode of operation as a fallback. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Verizon to allow Skype calls over wireless network More information: www.servalproject.org Paul Gardner-Stephen (left) talks with a colleague in the wilderness using his new system. Credit: Village Telco Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: New project enables mobile phone use in areas with no reception (2010, July 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-enables-mobile-areas-reception.html Leader of the team, Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen of Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, named the project the Serval Project, after an African wildcat renowned for its problem-solving abilities. The aim is to “provide fast, cheap, robust and effective telecommunications systems” for areas where there is currently no telephone infrastructure, or where it has been destroyed by natural disasters or civil unrest. The project includes two systems that can operate separately or be combined. One is specifically for disaster areas, and consists of a temporary, self-organizing and self-powered mobile phone network that operates via small phone towers dropped into the area by aircraft. The second system consists of a permanent mesh-based phone network between Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones, with no tower infrastructure required. Eventually, the system will also include the “Batphone,” which will be a specially designed phone able to operate on other unlicensed frequencies.The systems use open-source software developed by the team and dubbed Distributed Numbering Architecture (DNA). The software allows mobile phones to make calls out and receive calls on their existing numbers. The mesh network technology was developed by Village Telco and is integrated with the software to create a mesh network in which each phone acts as an independent router.Dr Gardner-Stephen said the device essentially “incorporates a compact version of a mobile phone tower into the phone itself.” It uses the Wi-Fi interface in modern Wi-Fi-enabled phones, carrying voice over it in such a way that it does not need to go back to a tower anywhere. The current range between phones is only a few hundred meters, which limits the usefulness of the system in remote areas, but Gardner-Stephen said adding small transmitters and more devices could expand the range considerably. The real benefit of the current system would be in disaster areas where there are plenty of phones but the towers are destroyed or the infrastructure is no longer functioning. In the recent Haiti disaster area for example, the mobile phone network was knocked out for over two days after the earthquake struck, and did not return to normal operation for a week.