Bears look to future

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LAKE FOREST, Ill. – A day later, after a gloomy end to an otherwise surprisingly good season, Nathan Vasher noticed the sunshine outside Halas Hall. Then, he predicted a bright future for the Chicago Bears. Their season ended Sunday with a 29-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC divisional playoffs. And now, the question is: Are they ready to take another step up the NFL’s hierarchy, or was this another one-year aberration? “It was very disappointing, but the sun did come out today and it was a bright day so we just look forward to next season, and we know that we started out on the right foot this year and we just try to continue to build on that,” Vasher, the Pro Bowl cornerback, said Monday. Making their first postseason appearance in four years, the Bears allowed a season-high 434 yards. They were unable to contain Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith or get to quarterback Jake Delhomme, whom they sacked eight times in a 13-3 victory in November. Smith caught two touchdown passes and finished with a career-high 218 yards. And Delhomme was sacked just once while passing for 319 yards and three touchdowns. That explains why Carolina is preparing for the NFC championship game in Seattle and the Bears are turning their attention toward next season. Chicago was an unexpected 11-5 in the regular season, reversing its 2004 record and winning the NFC North after a 1-3 start in coach Lovie Smith’s second season. The Bears won eight straight and scored their signature victory over a Carolina team that ultimately ended their season. And they reached the postseason despite losing Rex Grossman to a broken left ankle in the preseason, an injury that kept their starting quarterback out of the first 13 games. Now, the Bears hope things don’t fall apart the way they did following their previous playoff appearance. After going 13-3 in 2001 and earning a first-round bye, Chicago lost by 14 to Philadelphia. Then, injuries hit. The Bears plummeted to 4-12 the following year. Two more losing seasons followed, a fact that was not lost on middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. The 2001 team, like the current group, was relatively young. The oldest regular starter on a defense that was the NFL’s toughest to score on this season is 28-year-old Adewale Ogunleye. “We were young last time, too, and we ended up being 4-12 the next year,” Urlacher, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, said after Sunday’s loss. “I’d like to think we’ll be better next year. We have a lot of guys coming back. … We’re optimistic, but I’m not going to look at that right now.” Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera thought back to the atmosphere in the locker room after the Bears lost 23-0 to San Francisco in the NFC championship game following the 1984 season. There was anger, resolve. And a year later, there was a Super Bowl celebration. “These guys feel the same type of fervor,” said Rivera, a former linebacker. “They can’t wait until we get started for next season. … I think there are a lot of plusses we can take from this. I believe that guys do have a defiant attitude because of what happened, and we’ll be better for it.” With most of his players signed through next season, coach Lovie Smith does not expect major changes. Cornerback Jerry Azumah and right guard Terrence Metcalf are unrestricted free agents, but both might be expendable. Smith liked what he saw from Grossman, who added some versatility to a run-heavy offense when he returned late in the season. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian gave the Bears a deep threat the last few weeks after returning from a thumb injury. And the running game … behind an experienced offensive line … was solid the whole season. In his second season with the Bears and sixth in the league, Thomas Jones ran for a career-high 1,335 yards. And backup Adrian Peterson rushed for 391, averaging 5.1 per carry. “Thomas is definitely No. 1 in our rotation,” Smith said. Where does that leave Cedric Benson, the No. 4 pick in the draft? After sitting out the preseason in a contract holdout and missing six games with a sprained ligament in his right knee, Benson rushed for 272 yards in nine appearances. “The next year is normally a lot better than that rookie year, and I see it that way for Cedric,” Smith said. As for the Bears as a whole: “We’ll build on this effort,” Smith said. “We have our core players in place.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anitalast_img read more

Deep Field Survey Shows Oldest Galaxies Yet

first_imgAstronomers continue to find mature galaxies at higher and higher redshifts.  The latest record, reported in Nature,1 is z=6.96, interpreted to mean the galaxy was present 700 million years after the big bang (usually dated at 13.7 billion years ago).  A survey of distant galaxies from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), also reported in Nature,2 found 500 galaxies at z=6 (assumed 900 million years after the big bang) but only one candidate at z=7 to z=8 (700 million years).  They interpreted this to mean, “The simplest explanation is that the Universe is just too young to have built up many luminous galaxies at z approximately ~7-8 by the hierarchical merging of small galaxies.”  Are we, therefore, peering into the “dark ages” before the dawn of galaxies?  Richard McMahon, commenting on these studies in the same issue of Nature,3 noted that the HUDF study was restricted to an extremely narrow portion of the sky, so better instruments and more observations will be required; “Only then will the presence, or absence, of further galaxies be able to tell us whether we really are homing in on the era of reionization.”    This story was noted by Space.com, National Geographic; a press release is available on the Hubble Space Telescope site.  The European Space Agency press release includes pictures of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field survey, including a dramatic animation zooming in from a wide star field to the very narrow spot where one of the distant galaxies was discovered.  “The findings also show that these dwarf galaxies were producing stars at a furious rate,” it says, “about ten times faster than is happening now in nearby galaxies.”  The Hubble press release states, “Astronomers had not seen even one galaxy that existed when the Universe was a billion years old, so finding 500 in a Hubble survey is a significant leap forward for cosmologists.”  See also the 10/14/2005 and 04/06/2005 entries.1Iye, Ota et al., “A galaxy at a redshift z = 6.96,” Nature 443, 186-188(14 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05104.2Bouwens and Illingworth, “Rapid evolution of the most luminous galaxies during the first 900 million years,” Nature 443, 189-192(14 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05156.3Richard McMahon, “Astronomy: Dawn after the dark age,” Nature 443, 151-152(14 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/443151a.It must be remembered that things like starbirth rates and galaxy formation timelines are inferred from theory.  The observations show only colors, luminosities and chemical compositions of objects, along with other properties of spectra.  The shift of certain absorption lines from their normal wavelength positions is interpreted as universal expansion, except by the maverick astronomers (12/06/2004).  Even assuming the standard big bang scenario, though, it is a huge lumpiness problem for cosmologists to find galaxies already formed and producing stars at prodigious rates so near the beginning.  The sample sizes have been very limited so far.  Already, though, it is very surprising to think that whole galaxies could appear so soon out of a sea of particles by natural causes (05/11/2006).  Watch for new records to be set in future surveys.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

TIBCO’s tibbr May Be the Enterprise 2.0 Solution You’ve Been Waiting For

first_imgSo what’s the big deal about tibbr? Here’s a quick look at the features:Active Directory and LDAP integrationBoth cloud-based and on-premise offeringsEnterprise software integration (Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com, etc.)Social media integregation (Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, etc.)RSS aggregationMobile client for Android, BlackBerry and iOS (including the iPad)It can aggregate social media, business intelligence, ERP and more into a single interface. It works with major enterprise software out of the box. In short, this is an enterprise-ready product from a serious vendor that’s ready a universal inbox.Even enterprise 2.0 curmudgeon Dennis Howlett is impressed:I first saw an early iteration of tibbr last year when it was used as a socially mediated communications tool at the company’s annual user conference. At the time I thought: ‘meh.’ It was like another Yammer with little to commend it beyond the ability to discover other attendees, share questions and the like.Fast forward to last week when I was given a sneak preview of the latest iteration. Today, tibbr is a whole new animal with the ability to do what I have been asking of Enterprise 2.0 technologies. It intelligently marries people, process and context, delivering information the way people want to consume.Howlett says that unlike other enterprise 2.0 solutions, tibbr doesn’t look like a solution looking for a problem.Other companies, such as SimplyBox, SnapLogic, Socialcast and Socialtext have been trying to solve the integration problem for big enterprises. Interestingly, SimplyBox and Socialcast take a different approach – instead of a universal inbox, those products are trying to bring a social layer into existing products. This may be a better approach than adding a new application that aggregates information from other sources. Time will tell.Where is TIBCO going with all this? It’s already touting the combination of its Spotfire business intelligence product with tibbr as “social BI.” And last month acquired loyalty management company Loyalty Lab, so watch for it to become more active in the social CRM space. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#enterprise#Products TIBCO‘s enterprise 2.0 offering tibbr has been a long time in the making. We first covered it in Oct. 2009. It was finally released from beta today, and the reaction has been positive. It seems that TIBCO took its time and got the product right. It may be a bit late in the game, but Tibco has serious enterprise credibility and a solid product.This, along with the announcement that Microsoft’s OfficeTalk may be commercially released, reminds us that there is still room at the enterprise 2.0 table for products from established enterprise vendors. klint finleylast_img read more

If You Are Not Asking, You Are Not Selling

first_imgIf you are not “asking,” you are not selling.It sounds nice to say things like, “I am facilitating a buying decision, and I will wait until my prospect tells me that they are ready to take the next step.” It sounds nice, but it isn’t. It’s abdicating your responsibility.Not asking doesn’t make you consultative. First let’s dispatch with the idea that not asking for commitments makes you consultative. It doesn’t. Consultants make recommendations on next steps as a matter of course. Consultants also help organizations change. The very nature of helping a company change not only requires asking for commitments, but it also requires asking for massive commitments of time, energy, money, and political capital.By not asking, you do not establish yourself as a peer. If you want to serve your dream client as a trusted advisor and a peer, you ask for the things that you know you need to make a difference. If you need access to and other stakeholders, you ask for that access. If you need information, you ask for the information. If you need your dream client to take a run through your proposal and presentation before you present, you book time on their calendar. A subservient, non-value creating salesperson who fears damaging relationships by asking for what they need will never be considered a peer.Not asking cedes the process to your prospective client, and it presupposes that you are not necessary beyond whatever point it is where you stop asking for commitments. Let’s say you make a discovery call and your dream client tells you that they will get back to you in the next few weeks. By not asking for a future commitment, you have agreed that you are irrelevant in the process of decision-making that they will engage in during those few weeks. If you make a proposal without asking for the business, you leave open the idea that your prospective client should consider this on their own, potentially looking at other partners. You need to ask for agreement on the process.By not asking, you don’t demonstrate your serious interest in helping your dream client make changes. Asking your dream client for their business shows your serious interest in working with them. Not asking demonstrates your apathy. There is nothing attractive or sexy about someone who is dispassionate about what they sell. People want to work with people who are all in on helping them get the results they need. You cannot be ambivalent. Therefore, you have to ask.Just ask.last_img read more

IPL: Journalists accuse Chris Gayle of assault

first_imgA police complaint was filed against star West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle and his bodyguards after they had an altercation with a regional TV crew in Bangalore on Thursday.Gayle, who transformed the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s fortunes after joining the ongoing fourth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) midway, allegedly abused a reporter and a cameraman of Kannada news channel Janashri when they tried to film him while he was shopping. The incident reportedly took place at one of the shops at Brigade Road. Gayle’s two bodyguards also allegedly pushed and shoved the TV crew. However, Gayle denied any wrongdoing on his Twitter account. “Why TV reporter saying I push n shove them! Its all lie!..stop using my name for wrong things plz! If its on tape release plz..,” Gayle tweeted.last_img read more