New racing season opens with a bang

first_imgThe season-opening night at the Redwood Acres Raceway did not disappoint on Saturday, with a thrilling race in the Super Six Challenge Series Late Models.Mic Moulton took the checkered flag in the 50-lap feature, but had to hold off Northern California racing legend Jim Walker over the final few laps as the latter appeared to be closing the gap.David Henderson had a solid night and placed third.Walker showed everyone how it’s done in qualifying with a fast time of 15.685. Scott Baker won the …last_img

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Virgin Australia’s Velocity promises exclusive access to concerts and events

first_imgHow many frequent flyer points would you sacrifice for a backstage meeting with your favourite superstar?It’s a question Velocity Frequent Flyer executives appear to be pondering as they look at options for their latest partnership with TEG Live, the company behind Australian event ticket seller Ticketek.Country rock superstar Keith Urban yesterday became the first major act to be part of a push by Velocity to connect its 6 million plus members with the entertainment industry. Premium tickets to Urban’s concerts in December are among the first available and he also gave an intimate concert at the launch in which he explained and played tracks from his new album, RipCORD.Velocity Live aims to give the one in four Australians who now belong the program to access to VIP offerings such as premium seating, pre-sale ticket allocations and backstage packages with the added bonus of earning frequent flyer points.Velocity chief executive Karl Schuster also yesterday did not rule out allowing people to use their points to pay for concerts. “Watch this space,’’ he said.The Velocity move is part of a push by loyalty programs to expand their offerings to members and make themselves an increasing part of their everyday lives.Velocity already allows members using BP service stations to buy petrol using their points and operates a portal where frequent flyers can use what has essentially become another currency to buy merchandise. Other “out of the box’’ concepts include giving members parental leave so they can maintain their status, family points pooling and awarding points for pets who fly.While still smaller than its opposition, Velocity has grown strongly and Schuster says there is plenty of room for more growth. “Aussies are really unique in the world, they’re a bit like Canadians, in they really love their loyalty programs,’’ he said.  “So we want to enrich the proposition and give people more earn opportunities, give people more burn opportunities.’’Schuster acknowledged most people still want to redeem their points for flights, an area in which Velocity has won awards for seat availability and which it still sees as crucial.“So that is really an important part of our deal and having being part of the Virgin Australia family, that’s again foremost in our minds,’’ he said.  “So we are always thinking about those things for our members. It’s what they care about, it’s where the rubber hits the road.’’But Velocity is also seeing members using their points in other ways and Schuster believes the technology will facilitate this trend.“The ease and frictionless nature of how you can use digital to engage in the program is becoming more and more a reality and we want a big part of that,’’ he said.On the live performance and event partnership, Schuster said entertainment was deeply entrenched in the Virgin family’s DNA and was were the brand was born with founder Richard Branson’s record label.He said the move was about “putting the heart back into loyalty’’ and would be available to all members regardless of their Velocity status. Velocity was working with TEG on select events across Australia throughout the year, with plans to add sporting events.“The intention is that Velocity Live will become the place to go to get exclusive money-can’t-buy experiences and the hub will be continually updated with exciting new events, entertainment experiences and offers for our members,’’ he said.Urban said he loved the fact the program would offer access to people who would not otherwise get it.“For me the live experience isn’t just playing live,’’ he said. “We also do a thing backstage in a lot of our concerts right now which is sort of the show before the show — not just a basic meet-and -greet but really getting to spend time with people and do a mini concert backstage.’’last_img read more

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Calm, cruel and connected: September’s best and worst of IoT

first_imgIt seems that every day a new IoT device or means to connect existing devices is revealed. With so much energy in being devoted to tell us how, when, where, what we can connect to each other, the “why” may be getting a little blurry. So we want to take a step back every now and take a calm, cruel and critical look at the connected devices that actually go out and buy, right now.Here’s what caught our eye, for all the right – or wrong – reasons:PIN Genie Smart LockHome security is a big concern to all, especially those who offer their properties for Airbnb. PIN Genie Smart Lock is the first peep-proof and hidden camera-proof PIN door lock. Equipped with a patent-pending touchscreen pad, it shortens your ten-digit passcode into just four buttons for simple usability. With each use, PIN Genie Smart Lock reshuffles the numbers. No one will be able to guess your unique PIN, even if they’re watching. Go ahead, dare your friends! They won’t be able to guess your PIN code.My initial concern was that it would be a struggle when you are unable to see clearly to type the PIN number after far too many cocktails  — particularly as after three failed attempts the PIN pad will be disabled for one hour. Fortunately, you can still use a corresponding app or physical key alternatively to open the door, covering all bases. They’re now crowdfunding on Kickstarter and you can preorder your very own.Verdict: HitSony glass sound speaker Related Posts Follow the Puck Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Tags:#Alchema#behavior modification#connected home#connected kitchen#connected sound#Home Automation#home security#Internet of Things#IoT#Life Space UX#smart home#smart kitchen#Sony#wearable Envisage a rather delicate looking wireless lamp with a speaker. Bundle it with a suite of exclusive products by Sony called Life Space UX. Add a marketing campaign that includes a troupe of hipsters carrying the lamp through a forest at night and using it for a spot of glamping.Add a price tag of $799. Yes, it’s essentially $800 for a lantern/speaker combo, made of easily breakable components like glass, just right for when you trip over a tree root. Apparently the sound quality is excellent. But you could buy a flashlight for $20 and stay in a hotel instead.Verdict: MissAlchemaDIY homebrewing and fermenting is a hobby enjoyed by many all around the world. Coming from a home where you could be awakened by homemade ginger beer bottles exploding in the laundry, there’s a number of very tangible benefits to the Alchema system.It comes with recipes on a corresponding app which also includes key facts about your current batch, including fermentation temperature, pressure, and alcohol content. The latter is particularly important as it’s extremely difficult to measure the alcohol content of homemade booze with any definite accuracy, meaning a particularly potent beverage could put you down for hours.There’s even a built-in sanitization tool meaning you no longer need chemicals to sterilize the equipment. There are a few negatives. The device is a relatively small size, considering homemade enthusiasts typically like to make generous quantities to give away to neighbors and friends. It’s unclear if you can bottle the finished product after fermenting and how long it would keep outside of device. It also comes at a rather high price of $429. That said, it’s one of the most interesting products in the home drinks market and will give devices like the Brewie and MiniBrew some competition. If you’d like your own, it’s now crowdfunding on Kickstarter.Verdict: HitBedjetThe BedJet is based on the hardly new notion of enabling a bed to be an appropriate temperature to suit the needs of both bedfellows. This is not achieved through different sleepwear or bed blankets but instead a BedJet AirComforter sheet that contains two separate hollow cavities in which BedJet Air Nozzles fill, gently distributing the warming or cooling air to a specific half of the bed.The temperature/air flow can be modified via a corresponding app. But to be exact, if you want to temperature control both sides of the bed  — presumably the point — you need to buy the Dual Zone bundle for independent cooling and warming to each half of the bed with two BedJet machines -double the price at $929. I’m sure I’m not the only one reminded of those air conditioners that funnel air out the window via a plastic pipe. It’s hard to believe people would actually buy this, but apparently they do!Verdict: MissLowiee smart cigarette caseQuitting smoking can a difficult and disheartening experience for many. French company Lowiee have come up with a novel way to support people in the process through a connected cigarette case. Users can set the number of cigarettes they want to smoke in a day along with a time interval between the dispensing of each cigarette. This brings a level of awareness into one’s smoking habits and behavior. The case is fingerprint locked so no one else can gain entry.An app enables you to share your progress with others trying to quit smoking, including the amount of money you have saved, so you can compare your achievements and challenge each other. It’s only available as a pre-order right now, but it adds an additional level of engagement that current smoking cessation apps lack.Verdict: HitLittle Rooster alarm clockThe latest connected pleasure product to hit the internet is designed to make your mornings a happy experience. It’s basically a wearable sex toy that claims to gradually awaken the wearer over 5 minutes with an orgasm.With the assertion “Set the alarm and slip it in your panties. Because of its shape you won’t notice it,“ the makers of the Little Rooster connected sex toy/alarm clock are obviously heavier sleepers than the rest of us. It’s a product that leaves me with more questions than answers. How could you not notice a big hunk of plastic in your nether regions? What happens when you roll over in bed? Can you put it on snooze? What if it got hacked via the app? How will they get the app in the iTunes store? Read the customer comments for a laugh, as users confess to wearing it outside of the bedroom. My favorite:“I used to fall asleep and miss my stop. I don’t miss it now! Plus, my colleagues have noticed a change, but I haven’t told them why.”The device has 27 ultra-quiet levels of intensity, plus three more super-loud ones for the deep sleepers. Will it get you out of bed on time? Well, it might not if it works as well as the customers claim. It retails at around $57. Why do so many connected sex toys come from the UK?Verdict: Hey you decide, to each their own.  Cate Lawrence Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

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Nehru under-17 girls’ tournament begins in Shivaji stadium

first_imgHockey was back after five years at the Shivaji Stadiu m here on Monday, to the joy of many lovers of the game who have long cherished the action at the centrally-located venue. Old timers say how the stadium used to be choc-a-bloc in the bygone days, and hoped the refurbished venue would draw the crowd back into the stands. There was a healthy turnout for the inaugural match of the Nehru under-17 girls’ tournament, where Govt. MLB Girls Hr.Sec School, Jashpur, Chattisgarh beat Career Residential Academy, Thoubal, Manipur 4-3. The stadium was locked for renovation in 2007 and was to be a practice venue for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but the deadline was never met. In fact, the stadium built by New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) missed several deadlines before its completion.This season the Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament Society (JNHTS), which has been organising age-group and senior level tournaments every year at this venue, will be back to hosting the events here. They had moved to National Stadium during renovation.The venue could accommodate close to 15,000 spectators earlier, but there was no proper seating arrangement. Now with seats installed a capacity crowd of 7,000 can witness hockey. The stadium now boasts of floodlights, a new sprinkler system, and air conditioned changing rooms. Installation of an electronic scoreboard is also on the cards. Those who have been part of many memorable moments here are happy to just see hockey return to the venue. “I have some fine memories of the ground and I am so thrilled to see hockey back here. The ground is looking beautiful. It can even host international matches now,” former player Harbinder Singh, who was present to see the inaugural match, told MAIL TODAY.”The place is easily accessible and crowd love seeing hockey at this ground. It has a rich tradition,” he said. Harbinder played in the first Nehru senior tournament in 1964 when he represented Northern Railways who beat South Eastern Railways. He recounted how domestic hockey used to drive hordes of fans to the stadium. “The craze was such that people used to queue two hours before the match to get a seat. It used to be full. You would not find a place to put your feet,” he reminisced. The Nehru hockey society is hopeful that as the news of hockey resuming at the venue spreads, fans will fill up the stands. For the senior tournament starting in December, JNHTS has invited the Bangladesh national team and a team from Pakistan (Lahore XI).”This junior level tournament will serve as an appetiser for the fans. We are expecting a good turnout in the senior tournament. People will enjoy watching hockey here,” says JNHTS president Arun Subhas Chandra Yadav. [email protected]last_img read more

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