I really can’t imagine why Manchester City are even-money favourites for the title with us at BetVictor.Yes they won the league, but it was courtesy of two goals scored in added time in the last game at home to 10-man Rangers.Di Matteo has a strong squad.I’m beginning to get excited by Chelsea’s chances for the 2012/13 season.The signings of Eden Hazard and Marko Marin will provide flair and pace and there are reports that either Donetsk winger Willian or fellow Brazilian Hulk will be added to their ‘roster’, as the Liverpool owners would say.Chelsea are 9/2 with Manchester United 13/5 and it is surely only a three-horse race, with Spurs likely to flatter to deceive once again and Arsenal and Liverpool not good enough.We at BetVictor bet 13/2 for Manchester United and Chelsea to finish first and second in any order and that looks just too big even if City flex their financial muscle and buy Robin van Persie. Can you imagine trying to keep Tevez, Balotelli, van Persie and Dzeko happy?Fulham will lose Clint Dempsey to Liverpool and that will be a loss.The Cottagers are 1500/1 to win the Premier League, 12/1 to be relegated, 16s to finish in the top six and 7/4 to finish in the top 10.We continue to bet on top London club in 2012/13:Chelsea 8/11Arsenal 9/4Spurs 7/2Fulham 66/1QPR 250/1West Ham 300/1QPR are 2500/1 to win the title, 9/2 to be relegated and 7/2 to finish in the top half.It looks a very poor division and we have fielded a few bets for Rangers to finish in the top 10.If Djibril Cisse, Bobby Zamora and Jay Bothroyd fire then I think they can sneak into that top half.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Adding a shadow to a 2D element in After Effects helps sell a 3D effect.Drop a shadow from a 2D element in After Effects and match it up with the existing shadows of a piece of footage. This trick can give your video a nice cohesiveness and add an easy 3D effect to a flat object.This effect is best if you use bottom layer footage with well defined shadows, I’ve chose this midday short shadow shot that I will drop a little looping cartoon on top of. Click any of the images below for larger view.The general concept of this technique is that we are going to setup a virtual light to mimic the sun and a shape layer to accept the shadow, so you’ll first want to add a shape layer, draw a white rectangle with the shape tool and then make sure the layer is in 3DThen you’ll want to add a new camera. I set my lens to 35mm because thats what I shot the lower layer at.The goal is for this white rectangle to sit where the ground is and have the cartoon directly on top. I’ve started by rotating my rectangle 90 degrees at the X-axis and then tweaking its placement so it looks like its sitting on top of the ground.I need to make sure my animation is directly on top of the rectangle and has 3D mode turned on as we fine tune it’s placement. Flipping camera modes to top and side lets you place the element right against the rectangle at a 90 degree angle.Once everything looks lined up, change the blending mode on the rectangle to multiply.Next you will add your light. Before you move it around, change a couple of settings on the shape and animation layer.You want your shape layer to accept shadows but not lights and you want the animation layer to cast shadows and accept lights.The next step is to move around the light in 3D space until your shadow starts to mimic the shadows from the video.Switching to different camera views is a good way to get a better feel of your light’s position and length of the shadow.Here I didn’t notice that my image was accepting lights until I moved the light in front of it.Here’s a gif of my final video, I added some color and motion tracking because the base footage wasn’t shot with a tripod.
LeBron James became the youngest player in NBA history with 20,000 points Wednesday night, and, barring injury, it will be just one of many milestones to come for the Miami Heat superstar widely regarded as the best player in the world.James authored a gem in leading the Heat’s 92-75 blowout victory over the Golden State Warriors: 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in just 30 minutes in securing his latest piece of history.James’ short jumper with 2:45 left in the second quarter was the history-making play. The previous youngest to score 20,000 points was Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who was 29 years, 122 days old. James was 28 years, 17 days on Wednesday.“It means everything,” James said. “It means a lot. First of all, like I continue to say, it means I’ve been able to be healthy. To be out on the floor and do what I love to do, I love the game of basketball and I try to give everything to the game. And hopefully it continues to give back to me.”In the first quarter, James also found Wade for his 5,000th career assist. He is the 13th player with 20,000 points and 5,000 assists.James eclipsed both marks before halftime and helped Miami go ahead by 34 points in the third quarter. Dwyane Wade added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Mario Chalmers scored 15 for the Heat, who had lost three of their last four road games.The Warriors, who beat the Heat 97-95 in Miami on Dec. 12, lost consecutive games for only the third time this season. Clearly, James and Co. went into the game focused on making amends for that defeat.“Disappointing, but we faced a team that remembered what took place in South Beach and came with a mindset to make a point, individually and collectively,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “That’s what great players do.”
The new media model has not fullyemerged. It might be right in front of us, but no one recognizes it yet. Whowould have thought, five or six years ago, that when presented with the optionof downloading a song for free on a file-sharing service versus paying $1 forit on iTunes, over time, people would see iTunes as the preferred method?A side note: I tried to post a comment toDumenco’s column on the Ad Age Web site, but, quite frankly, it’s an annoyingprocess. You need to register to post a comment-and registering means providingall kinds of information, like your street address, your company name, yourindustry, your job title (twice), etc.—what an incredible disincentive toengage with Ad Age.com. Whoever dreamed up that idiotic policyon comments ought to be lampooned in one of Simon’s columns. I read Simon Dumenco’scolumn yesterday (via Bob Sacks’ newsletter). Simon writes for Ad Age andused to write for FOLIO:. He’s a valuable observer of the media scene. The column is the best he’s written.He hit the nail on the head in so many ways:The fact that this feels much worsethan 1991 and 2001.The fact that, as Nick Denton says,it’s extinction time.The notion that this really might bethe end of MSM as we know it.The arrogance of the Huffington Postsof the world that think they can create meaningful journalism for free—bytreating their writers with contempt.The staleness of the 12-year-olddebate on micropayments.And, really, the sense of no one havingthe answers.It’s something I tried to touch on here.The shape of the media landscape afterthis period ends—and it will, eventually—is really not apparent now. Instead,we have all kinds of prognosticators thrashing around like a panickedstampeding herd. It’s those who don’t panic, who adjust costs early, whoattempt to innovate, that have the best chance of survival.
Smartphone adoption continues to increase, with users now topping 107 million, according to a new study from the Online Publishers Association, which released the results of its March 2012 online survey Monday. The number of mobile smartphone users jumped by about 33.8 million in 2012, up from a total of 73.2 million users in 2011, representing a 44 percent year-over-year increase.The study, which reached 2,540 Internet users ages 8 to 64, shows that Android phones lead the pack in the smartphone race, claiming 46 percent of users, with Apple’s iPhone taking second with 35 percent of the market. Research In Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry holds about 16 percent of the market, and Windows Mobile Phone takes 7 percent, trailed by Nokia, Palm and others.The number of Android users increased from 38 percent to 46 percent from 2011 to 2012, with the number of iPhone users increasing by almost 10 percent, from 26 to 35 percent during the same time span. The number of RIM Blackberry users decreased by about 10 percent, going from 25 to 16 percent. According to the OPA, the smartphone user’s demand for quick, available content and information is a benefit to publishers who can use these expectations to advance their mobile sites and apps. Excluding phone calls, 93 percent of the smartphone users surveyed say they use their devices to access information and content most when compared to any other activity.Over half of smartphone owners access information and content everyday. Accessing the Internet and checking e-mail follow as the second and third most used smartphone features after content and information activity, with 59 percent and 58 percent of users using these features, respectively. Weather, news and sports come in as the top three most popular content types accessed. Results show that smartphone users are more willing to pay for content, with 24 percent of users saying that they have bought some type of content for viewing on their smartphones. About 14 percent of all downloaded smartphone apps this year were paid apps, but almost all (96 percent) smartphone content consumers downloaded apps in the past year, averaging to 36 apps individually. iPhone content consumers, the study found, spend more on apps when compared to those who use Android phones.The OPA study also reveals that 79 percent of content buyers took action after they saw a smartphone advertisement in the last six months. Overall, people who paid for smartphone content proved to be a more active audience, with 31 percent clicking through an ad, 30 percent using a special offer or coupon, 27 percent making a purchase on a PC and 24 percent buying at a store due to an ad. Generally, smartphone owners come from higher income households, with 53 percent earning a household income of $50,000 or more.According to the OPA, the number of smartphone users is expected rise to by 13 percent to 57 percent in 2013 to an estimated 142.3 million users.
Enlarge ImageStarman goes for a ride in Elon Musk’s space-Tesla. SpaceX One year ago, on Feb. 6, SpaceX blasted a Falcon Heavy rocket into space and sent Elon Musk’s personal Tesla roadster off on a journey through the cosmos to the tune of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, with a spacesuit-wearing Starman dummy at the wheel. Elon Musk shows off the shiny SpaceX Starship Sci-Tech Roadshow Will Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster crash into Earth or Venus? Elon Musk’s SpaceX Tesla stars in retro video game Roadster in space Share your voice Tags If the battery is miraculously still working against all odds, then Starman has listened to Space Oddity over 99,000 times. Talk about an earworm. We’ll have to wait until 2091 for the car to make a predicted close encounter with Earth. Maybe SpaceX will send a Starship then to go pick up Roadster and bring it back home. Then we’ll get to see if Starman survived the harsh conditions of space, or if it turned into a sentient creature worthy of a Star Trek episode. There’s a lot about that last sentence that sounds insane, but it happened. Enlarge ImageThe Where is Roadster? tracker shows the car on almost the opposite side of the sun from Earth as of Feb. 6, 2019. Where is Roadster screenshot by CNET Programmer Ben Pearson runs the Where is Roadster? website, dedicated to tracking the Tesla’s trip around the sun. Let’s check in to see the latest stats.According to Pearson’s calculations as of Wednesday morning, the electric car is 226,423,581 miles (364,393,544 km) from Earth and 163,525,522 miles (263,168,899 km) from Mars. Getting humans to the Red Planet is one of Musk’s goals for SpaceX’s under-development Starship spacecraft, but the Roadster won’t actually run into Mars.Good luck getting any repairs done on the Roadster. It’s exceeded its original 36,000-mile warranty more than 13,000 times over. 16 Photos 6 Now playing: Watch this: 3:08 Comments SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy one year ago Elon Musk Space SpaceX Tesla
Federer will face the man who beat him at Wimbledon.Al Bello/Getty ImagesRoger Federer may be 37 years old but he is still going strong on the tennis court as he notched up his 101st ATP title when he beat John Isner to win the Miami Open on March 31. En route his record victory, Federer set another record as he helped the tournament script its largest attendance record despite the controversy overpricing of tickets.The Miami Open was shifted this year to the Hard Rock Stadium from its traditional home of Crandon Park and this required an investment of $72 million in order to build extra courts. The general ticket prices were priced 40 per cent higher than last year and tickets for the final showdown between the two veterans were priced as high as $4,528.The high price was hardly a deterrent as the star power of the Swiss maestro set an attendance record of 3,88,734 which comfortably trumped the previous record of 3,26,131 set at Crandon Park. The men’s singles final between Federer and Isner saw a football of 17,373 people. Meanwhile, the women’s final between Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova attracted 16,413 people to the stands. Nadal had won 97 per cent of his first serve points en route the Australian Open final.Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesTalking about Federer, Alexander Zverev said that the Swiss, along with Rafael Nadal, are still the best players in the sport at the moment. “Rafa and Roger are still in the best out there right now, they are still winning the Grand Slams, the biggest titles, so of course I have competed for a lot of Masters titles now but not won a Grand Slam yet, so saying that I am at their level would not be fair.”Zverev also spoke about how prepares for his matches, stating that familiarity plays a big part. “Most opponents I know how to play them as I have played them before so we all know each other quite well.” Zverev became the second youngest player in tennis history to win the ATP Finals crown.Clive Brunskill/Getty ImagesThe man who beat Novak Djokovic in the ATP World Tour finals also spoke about how he was the second best player on clay behind Nadal. “I broke through at the Roland Garros already. I showed that I can play a long match, that I can beat great players in the Grand Slams so we are past that part now, and then, unfortunately, I got injured. Throughout the clay-court season, I felt like I was the second best player.””I do not know if you agree with it or not but I think Rafa was the best and I was the second, so getting injured in the French Open quarter-finals – obviously, Dominic is an unbelievable player – but it was frustrating for me. In the grass-court season, I did not play at my best because I had no practice behind, I did not feel fit enough,” Zverev concluded.