Talking Touch – October

first_imgTo view the stories, please click on the following links:Home Defence For Our Touch FootballersIt was an unexpected surprise for Jacqui Simspon and her Maitland Redbacks squad in 2010.They travelled to Parkes and took out the regional championships with victory in the open women’s division. http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/news/local/sport/other/home-defence-for-our-touch-footballers/2338606.aspx?storypage=0 Touch of ClassMaitland has claimed a regional championship crown on home turf courtesy of the Redbacks’ senior mixed team. The Redbacks defeated Newcastle 3-1 in yesterday’s decider at Maitland Park, leading from start to finish in a thrilling touch football encounter.http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/news/local/sport/other/touch-of-class/2340664.aspx?storypage=0 Side With A Touch Of ClassWhen Collaroy’s Sam Donlan joined a rookie Touch Football side this season nobody was expecting miracles.But the Manly Warringah division one women’s touch football team has defied the odds to be one game away from playing in a grand final.http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/sport/story/side-with-a-touch-of-class/ Star Of The FutureMacquarie Hills Netball and Touch star Tanisha Stanton won the most promising sports talent at this year’s Deadly Awards, held in Sydney last week. Tanisha was up against A-League Gold Coast United soccer star Tahj Minniecon, boxers Fred Mundraby and Shane Parker and Muay Thai boxer Thomas Boyle.http://www.newcastlestar.com.au/news/local/sport/netball/star-of-the-future/2311437.aspx Mudgee Touch Tests New FormatA change of format will hopefully work wonders for the Mudgee Touch Association. On the eve of a new summer competition, president Ben Stoddart believes Touch Football is on the verge of huge success.http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/news/local/sport/other/mudgee-touch-tests-new-format/2318085.aspx Record Touch Footy Season To Kick-Off Season 2011-12 is shaping up as a big one for the City of Orange Touch Association. Not only are there record numbers in their junior touch competitions already underway, the seniors are looking strong as well.http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/news/local/sport/general/record-touch-footy-season-to-kickoff/2318956.aspx A Touching GestureSport is often a great way to promote causes and spread messages throughout communities. And later this month, Touch Football will be the vehicle raising awareness of health issues within the Koori community and spreading the message about the benefits of good health.http://www.batemansbaypost.com.au/news/local/sport/other/a-touching-gesture/2323216.aspx?storypage=0 Training Touches On Referee AccreditationMr Adam Wicks the NSW Touch Football Development Officer trained 28 students from Years 7 to Year 10 to gain their Level 1 Referee Accreditation on Tuesday. This will help them to ref to the best of their abilities this Friday at the Combined Schools Touch Football Netball Carnival.http://www.boorowanewsonline.com.au/news/local/news/general/training-touches-on-referee-accreditation/2331757.aspx Mudgee Guardian 04/10/2011They were the kings of Mudgee touch football for a good part of a decade. However, their crown was taken away from them in a thrilling grand final in February.Now, Ross Granata Motors want it back and have fired a warning shot to the rest of the men’s A-grade competition to get out of the way.Since 2003, Granata have featured in every A-grade grand final; they won seven consecutive titles during that time.But their run was ended by the Court House Hotel Fruit Bats, who featured a number of Mudgee Dragons players including Jono George and Terry Wood.Granata player and Mudgee representative Jeremy Doherty said the loss was a shock to his side.‘It was a bit but they were a good side all year. It was going to be close,’ Doherty said.Granata will have a similar team to previous years, which includes Doherty, Peter Doherty, Chris and Tim Ward, Kyle Cochrane and Jared Robinson.They also have a new player in Mudgee Dragons first division flyer Andrew Laurie.‘He will be pretty handy for us,’ Doherty said of Laurie.Most of the players in the Granata team have played alongside each other for nearly 10 years.Doherty believes that has played a significant role in their success.‘We have been pretty much the same team since we started in the under 13s,’ he said.The Mudgee touch football competition will begin on Tuesday night at Glen Willow.This year, the committee decided to play games for the summer competition only one night a week, instead of two, which has been the case for most seasons.Doherty likes the idea of only having games on one night a week as it will tighten the competition up.‘It will be a stronger competition being [on] one night, teams will be a lot more tough.‘[The one night] will help out our representative side for Port Macquarie. Instead of playing on Thursday night we can train. That should help the rep side.Caboolture News; 10/19/2011St Columban’s College Touch Football representatives were absolutely chuffed to claim two trophies at the Queensland All Schools tournament earlier this month. The school faced off in the middle of 300 teams participating in the four-day competition at Whites Hill, Brisbane. More than 3500 students took part in more than 900 games. While most were from Queensland some travelled from far and wide to assure their mark was made. “Historically we’ve seen people from all over the globe travel to compete,” All Schools Touch convener Peter Bell said. Fortunately the competition was spared the effect of rain which caused problems last year. The odd drizzle caused no hassle. For the open girls Cavendish Road State High School were the side to beat as the defending champions, however St Columban’s surprised the masses with a 6-2 shake up in the grand final. “The defending champs were beat by the better team on the day,” said Mr Bell.“Our kids were working hard organising the event and had to put in a little extra.”All Schools encourages students to experience events management first hand by organising and running the competition. The open boys saw Keebra Park take out Emmaus 5-4. St Columban’s once again shone in the junior mixed match again head to head with Cavendish Road. However the side persisted and achieved a 2-0 win. While Bell called Cavendish home base he could not deny Columban’s performance during the competition. The Queensland All Schools event has achieved world recognition in school sport, but Mr Bell said Touch Football needed more recognition in its own backyard, with other sports often overshadowing it. For more information on Queensland All Schools touch competition log on to www.qldallschools.com Players Looking For Touch Of FormNewcastle Herald 29/10/2011Starts at the national championships next March in Port Macquarie will be up for grabs when Maitland Park hosts the NSW Hornets Regional Touch Championships this weekend.Around 60 representative Touch Football teams from the Hunter, Central Coast and Central West will play across 10 fields, with more than 160 games played in men’s and women’s open, mixed seniors and men’s over-30 divisions.Wallsend, Newcastle City, Beresfield, Maitland, Nelson Bay and Singleton will fly the flag for the Hunter in the two-day carnival and are expected to dominate the Hornets squads.Three near-certainties for the Hornets are Wallsend identical twin sisters Holly and Amy Smith and Darren McSpadden.The trio played in the Australian over-30 mixed side at the world cup in Edinburgh, Scotland, in June.Amy Smith was judged the top player in her side for the tournament.Maitland won the women’s title last year in Parkes, but Wallsend have the quality to dethrone the reigning champions due to their superior structure and training facilities.Central Coast won the men’s title last year and are hot favourites to go back to back.Mum’s The Word For Championship SideRockhampton Morning Bulletin 28/10/2011Mum was the magic word for the Central Queensland over-35s women at last weekend’s Queensland State Touch Football Championships – quite literally.The team of mostly mums was crowned state champions in Brisbane on Sunday after a thrilling 7-6 win over South West Queensland in the grand final.The CQ girls finished the championships undefeated, with Rockhampton’s Tracy Upton named player of the final and player of the series.A humble Upton yesterday praised her teammates for the side’s success, with Rockhampton’s Tanya Shuker and Wendy Evans and Emerald’s Nyree Keating also starring.“It was unreal, really good,” Upton said.In a nail-biting gold medal game for spectators, the decider was heading for drop-offs before CQ edged out their southern opponents.“It went try for try. We’d score and we couldn’t keep them out,” Upton said.“It was a pretty good game. It was good for the crowd but not good for the players,” she said laughing.It was a big weekend for CQ’s open men, open mixed, over-35 men and over-50 men at the state titles.Despite heading away with a youthful open men’s line-up, CQ’s young guns, led by Rockhampton’s Australian star Gavin Shuker, made it all the way to the grand final before going down 10-7 to North Queensland.“They really stepped up and it was really good watching them,” said Upton, also CQ Touch’s administration officer.The hard luck story of the championships was CQ’s open mixed team, who narrowly missed out on a place in the gold medal game on a count back.With Rockhampton’s Australian representative Daniel Withers leading the charge, the open mixed team finished equal on points with Brisbane City and North Queensland for a place in the grand final against the Gold Coast Sharks.The CQ side did collect a consolation prize after Withers was named male mixed player of the series.CQ’s over-35 men and over-50 men enjoyed mixed results at the championships, with the region’s representative teams now turning their attention to next year’s National Touch League (NTL) at Port Macquarie in March.Teams To Touchdown For Carnival Rockhampton Morning Bulletin 28/10/2011Central Queensland’s Touch Football stars of the future will be on show in Rockhampton next weekend.More than 1000 junior touch players, along with their coaches, parents and supporters, will converge on Cyril Connell Fields on November 5-6 to contest this year’s Red Rooster Junior Touch Carnival.A record 85 teams from Emerald, Biloela, Blackwater, Gladstone, Cap Coast and teams from Rockhampton’s local competition will compete in the annual event in boys’ and girls’ divisions from under-10 to U17.The increase in team numbers each year has forced the tournament to be scheduled over two days for the first time this year.Cap Coast Touch, awaiting the completion of its own fields, has nominated 17 teams in the carnival and is evidence of the growth of the sport for juniors on the coast and the region.Games start at 10am on the Saturday and 8.30am on Sunday.Game On: Cyclones Take Out State Touch TitlesTownsville Bulletin 28/10/2011North Queensland’s 2012 open men’s touch football team can boast writing their own piece of history.The NQ Tropical Cyclones last weekend became the first from the region to clinch the State Touch Championships crown in Brisbane, defying the odds and even their own expectations to do it. “There’s always that hope, but never did I, as coach, think we were going to win it,’’ mentor Col Beckitt said of his young team. “But now I think it’s really put North Queensland touch on the map. We always had the talent, it was just a matter…of getting the best out of them. “It’s unreal, it’s a good feeling.’’ Perhaps propelled by the enthusiasm and fearlessness of youth, the Cyclones lost just one of six games across the weekend. But they had to work hard for it in the final. Trailing 2-1 to Central Queensland at halftime, they played attack-first footy and blew their opponents away to win 10-7. Beckitt believed the team was set up for a big future. Their next challenge will be at the national titles next year.Young Guns Close To FinalNorthern Territory News 28/10/2011THE Territory under-13 Touch Football side is just one win away from a grand final berth at the Australian Schools Touch Championships in Coffs Harbour after a stunning 6-4 win over powerhouse NSW yesterday. The young guns will play NSW again this morning for second place and the winner takes on Queensland for the gold medal this afternoon. A collective team effort got the Territorians over the line but the standout players have been captain Zane Clarke-Edwards, from Alice Springs, and Brandan Parfitt and Joel Rousell, from Darwin. The NT under-13 girls are placed third at the end of the round games while the under-15 boys and girls sides play for 7th and 8th today.College Gets A Touch Of SuccessDalby Herald 25/10/2011Last weekend in Brisbane, Our Lady of the Southern Cross College sent three teams to the Queensland All Schools Touch Football Championships.In total the college played 19 games, with 13 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses.The under-15 Boys Team won their pool and made it through to the final 16 on Sunday where they lost 5-4 in a drop off against Emmaus College, Rockhampton.The U15 Girls Team finished second in the their pool but also made it through to the final 16 on Sunday were they lost 2-1 against Palm Beach Currumbin.The Open Mixed Team finished second in their pool but didn’t qualify for the finals.All students enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to the 2012 Carnival. Keebra Use Deft Touch To Extend Winning ReignGold Coast Bulletin 25/10/2011Keebra Park State High School’s open boys’ touch football team has been identified as one of the best in the state. It comes after the team topped the All Schools Touch Football Competition, at the Whites Hill touch football complex, Brisbane, from October 6 to 9. Despite having taken out the top spot at the competition for the past three years, the team admitted this year’s competition was tough, winning after a close five-tries-to-four victory over Rockhampton’s Emmaus College. A semi-final win over Bundaberg State High School set up the grand final encounter against Emmaus College, with Keebra’s determination in defence paving the way for the win. Team member Manaia Rudolph said he was proud the group had been able to continue the school’s winning streak. “We have a good team spirit here at Keebra Park and what we lacked in experience we made up for with enthusiasm,” he said. “It was awesome playing against the best schools in Queensland and good to keep the tradition going.”Coach Ben Woolf praised his team’s spirit and attitude, saying he always knew they had it in them to win. “Some of these boys hadn’t played much touch football before but had the basic skills from their rugby league,” he said. “Once we worked on a bit of structure, I knew they had a chance and they stuck to the game plan and came up trumps.” Touch And Ready To Go For TitlesCoffs Coast Advocate 22/10/2011The annual School Sport Australia Touch Football Championships begin in Coffs Harbour on Monday.Boys and girls in the under-12 and under-15 year age divisions will battle for supremacy over five days of competition.BCU International Stadium and Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park will be the venue and play will start on Monday following the opening ceremony at 9am.Tuesday’s and Thursday’s matches will start at 8am with Wednesday a recreational day. Play will be continuous on four fields.To assist younger players to develop their touch football ability, a two-hour skills and coaching activity will be held for the 12-years players on Tuesday starting at 2.45pm, conducted by NSW Touch in conjunction with visiting team management.Highly accredited referees Steve Lyons and Mike Franks will coordinate the whistle-blowing brigade.During the visit the students, coaches, managers and teachers will taste the hospitality of the Coffs Coast with visits arranged to the Big Banana and Pet Porpoise Pool.Peta To Take On Touch Footy’s Big Guns Without FearGympie Times 21/10/2011Even though young Touch Football player Peta Dray does not know what to expect when she takes on the under-20s state competition today, she is confident.Peta, 17, is in Year 12 at St Patrick’s College and is competing with an open women’s team in the new under-20 state competition.From that competition, she said, a Queensland “State of Origin” side would be picked.Her first game is today at 12noon.“I’ve never played in the under 20s before. I normally play in the under 18 comp,” she said.“I don’t really get excited or nervous until the hooter goes on field, but I’m looking forward to it,” she said yesterday.Playing against older women was a step up in competition. “I’m pretty confident. I just go into it like it’s any other game.”Peta has been playing touch football since she was eight years old and has been selected in the state team once before.“I hope I get in again. I’ll probably play until I die or can’t run anymore.”Peta trains four days a week, playing touch football Monday, Wednesday and Friday and training on Sunday.For 23 Years David Weekes Has Been VolunteeringWestern Advocate 21/10/2011For 23 years David Weekes has been volunteering with the Bathurst Touch Football Association and he will be back on Monday when the organisation steps up its workload for the start of its 2011 season. This season 100 teams and more than 1000 players will be playing at Learmonth Park, the home of touch football in Bathurst. Mr Weekes has been treasurer of the touch association since 1989 and has seen the game venues move around, but he is happy the sport has finally found a home. “When I started out touch was at Morse Park,” he said. “It went to Saint Pat’s for a few years, then the university for one season and then to Learmonth Park, near the hockey fields.” “Now we are on the far side of the hockey fields and have our own clubhouse. “This will be our second season there and my dream and vision for the sport has been recognised. “It is great we have our own sporting facility.” David retired from playing, but pulled the boots back on to play with his children. “I used to play a lot, in the over 30s, but now I just enjoy running around with the kids,” he said. “Touch is such a great sport as it is social and it is the thrills without the spills and being over 30 that is important.” Not only does David do the treasury, he is a referee co-ordinator and junior co-ordinator. He referees as well and he was rewarded for his contribution at the Bankstown annual NSW Touch Association dinner. “I have been to the last five dinners and was not going to go this year to give others the chance to go, but they convinced me to go,” he said. “I was awarded for my contribution to touch football. I have an office job so it is good to get out and enjoy the sunshine and run around,” David said. With the sport growing the competition is now run over Monday and Wednesday nights. Juniors play first at 5pm, then the men play at 6pm, followed by the women’s and the mixed competitions.Team Can’t Wait For 2012Sunshine Coast Daily 19/10/2011THE Sunshine Coast Pineapples under-16 touch football team will begin to prepare for next year’s competition after a successful season, having finished second behind the Sydney Rebels at September’s National Youth Touch Championships on the Sunshine Coast.Coach Shane Crotty said female sport was advancing every year and Coast locals were embracing it. “I am extremely happy with the outcome for the girls,” he said. “They are excellent athletes and they are progressing every year, making the Sunshine Coast proud.“They all performed well. They are aged between 14 and 17, but they play at an advanced level and underestimate just how good they are – their fitness is incredible.”Pineapple player Paige Parker, 16, said the season had been a tough one, especially in the warmer conditions straight after winter.“This year, everyone put in heaps of effort and we all had fun,” she said. “Even though the competition is so tough, everyone gets really excited to continue to play, working together to make the Coast proud.”Teammate Sarah Keleher agreed, saying she loved being challenged by the sport and was looking forward to next year’s competition.“Whether you play for fun or competition, every girl should have a good crack at touch footy because it’s so fun,” she said.With next year’s football season just around the corner and Australian selectors on the lookout, the Pineapples’ main plan is to “keep focused, have fun and train”, taking it all in their stride.“First and foremost, we do this because it makes us happy,” Paige said.Big Turnout To Play TouchBundaberg News Mail 15/10/2011The Bundaberg Junior Touch Football season began last night at the Greg Duncan fields on University Dve.An excited 750 eager youngsters have signed up to play in the weekly Friday night touch football fixtures.Bundaberg Junior Touch Football president David Bonser said the local sport continued to grow in popularity.“It’s proven to be very popular among both boys and girls,” he said.“There’s actually more juniors wanting to sign up so we think the final figure will be in excess of 800.”Junior touch footballers compete across 10 age categories from U7s to U17s.Bonser said players could look forward to an exciting season of competition.The season will run from last night until March 30.“It’s shaping up to be an excellent season,” he said.Bonser said the social aspect of touch football was attractive to younger competitors.“It’s not just about winning and losing,” he said.“Players get to make new friends and we put a lot of effort into selecting the teams evenly so it’s not one-sided out there.”Bonser said the $70 registration fee of players had also made the sport popular.“It’s probably one of the cheaper sporting options around,” he said.“For a whole season that’s a bargain.”Bundaberg Junior Touch Football Association fixtures begin each Friday night at 6 o’clock.College Routs RivalsNorthern Times 14/10/2011St Columban’s College Caboolture claimed two trophies at last weekend’s Queensland All Schools touch football tournament. The Open Girls side defeated Cavendish Road State High School 6-2 in the grand final, while the Year 8 mixed side also defeated Cavendish Road 2-0. With more than 3000 competitors across 356 teams vying for the title, St Columban’s assistant-principal Mike Connolly said the school was proud. Open Girls captain Britt Parker said it was “amazing” to take out the title in a tournament that featured teams from New South Wales and New Zealand. The Open Girls team was undefeated. “Our whole team trained hard,” Britt said. Year 8 Mixed girls player of the final Emily Rockley said the young side was thrilled with its win. “We knew each other really well and we played as a team,’’ Rockley said. The Open Boys team was defeated by one point after reaching the quarter finals. Connolly said only three players from the Open Girls side would graduate this year, and they would be eager to defend their title. He said many of the athletes involved took part in the school’s Academic and Sports Excellence Mentoring program.Carnage Lives Up To NameNorthern Territory News 13/10/2011Carnage came up with a major upset, knocking off the highly fancied BOC Dodgers in men’s Professionals Cup touch football on Monday night. BOC Dodgers turned up under-manned and paid the price, with Carnage tallying up an insurmountable lead and were never headed, winning 9-5. David Delaney and Tom Edgeword both had great games for Carnage, while Anthony Castro and Paul Bond worked tirelessly for the vanquished. Cazaly Crocs cashed in on a mistake- riddled Bears and ran out 7-4 winners. Grant Russell starred for Crocs, while Ben Cole tried hard for the Bears. Hoops4Health completed the men’s round with a close 4-2 win over Prospects. In Women’s Professionals Cup action, Sportsco Titans and Honkers played out a 4-4 draw in what was deemed by most to be one of the games of the season. Titans dynamic duo Racheal Curtain and captain Amanda Brimson were again dangerous. Lakeishia Baird had another great game for Honkers, with Rachel Willis being hard to stop. The Hoops4Health women coasted to a 7-2 victory over Scorpions.College In Touch With BestDalby Herald 11/10/2011Last weekend in Brisbane Our Lady of the Southern Cross College sent three teams to the Qld All Schools Touch Football Championships. In total, the college played 19 games with 13 wins, three draws and three losses.The under-15 Boys team won their pool and made it through to the final 16 on Sunday where they lost 5-4 in a drop-off against Emmaus College Rockhampton.The U15 Girls team finished second in the their pool but also made it through to the final 16 on Sunday were they lost 2-1 in a drop-off against Palm Beach Currumbin.The Open Mixed team finished second in their pool but didn’t qualify for the finals. All students enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to the 2012 Carnival. Ranges Teens Within Touch Of The Nation’s BestSunbury-Macedon Ranges Leader 11/10/2011IT was just six years ago that touch football hit the Macedon Ranges. Now the region has produced some of the state’s best players. Four boys from the Macedon area took part in the Under-18 National Youth Championships, held in Caloundra last month. Tom Anderson captained the team, while Zach Pain, Michael Boyd and Scott Boyd rounded out the local contingent. Macedon was also represented in the girls’ tournament, with Megan Lorkin captaining the team which included Ash Butler and coach Sarah Ray. Victoria faced fierce opposition from the hardened Queensland and New South Wales sides, losing all its games in the boys’ and girls’ competitions but showing gallant improvement against the states more exposed to the game. The region’s younger stars will fly the state’s flag at the end of the month, with Jackie Boyd, Jack Anderson, Matt Anderson and Samantha Francis gearing up for the Under-15 National Championships in Coffs Harbour. Similar to rugby league or union, but without tackling, touch football is played by six competitors on each team and has 20-minute halves. While still obscure in Victoria, it is a popular game in the nation’s northern states. Victorian coach Chris Pain said the representatives from the Macedon Ranges Touch Football Competition had done well to compete at the elite level. “They have just been fantastic,” he said. “They have been a dedicated bunch, which has been really good. “Essentially that is what it boils down to. You need that to step up at the next level.”Students Keen To Shine At All Schools Touch TitlesRockhampton Morning Bulletin 06/10/2011Emmaus College captain James Baartz is ready to lead Rockhampton’s onslaught on the 2011 Queensland All Schools tournament. Baartz and his Emmaus College teammates are competing in the open boys division at the biggest schools Touch Football event in the world from today when they hit the White Hill touch fields in Brisbane.Some 17 teams from Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast are also headed to the four-day carnival, with Baartz’s Emmaus College contesting five of the six divisions.Teams from Rockhampton High, North Rockhampton High, St Brendan’s College, Rockhampton Grammar School, Rockhampton Girls Grammar School, St Ursula’s College and The Cathedral College are all competing in the carnival in the hopes of featuring in the finals on Sunday. Across the four days, each team will play five matches before the finals on Sunday. After starring in Queensland Secondary Schools under-18 13-7 win over New South Wales at the 2011 X-Blades National Youth Championships last month, Baartz is eager to continue his good form.Emmaus College open their carnival at 3pm today against rugby league heavyweights Ignatius Park College, Townsville, and a quietly spoken Baartz is confident. “We’ve got a good bunch of boys. They know what they’re doing,” he said. “In the local competition, we’re on top at the moment, so hopefully we can take that form into All Schools.”The boys play as a team in the Rockhampton Senior Touch Association’s B grade men’s competition and are blitzing the competition midway through the season, having won six of seven matches during the season.After bowing out in the All Schools semi-finals in 2009, coach Gary Benbow said the team was red-hot last year before rain ruined their chances of winning. “I’ve got high expectations for them,” he said. “Most of the players played last year and with the young guys coming through and James leading them, I’m confident.”Hoops Edge HonkersNorthern Territory News 06/10/2011THE Monday night clash in the women’s Professionals Cup touch football game between Hoops4Health and Honkers didn’t disappoint as a contest, with a close and exciting game before the Hoops prevailed 4-3. Honkers came out fast from the outset and with their usual hard-rucking through Rachel Willisand Leah Sneddon, they scored first. Hoops bounced back, with some great second-phase play putting Mel Turner over, but Honkers then went on to dominate the first-half, scoring two more touchdowns. Hoops4Health came out better in the second-half and stole the win with a late scoring frenzy. Firstly it was youngster Sophie Armitstead and then Kelly O’Connor for a touchdown with only seconds left.The other women’s game saw Sportsco Titans heap more misery on Scorpions’ season with a clinical 8-1 drubbing. In men’s Professionals Cup games, BOC Dodgers registered an emphatic 8-4 victory over Bears to keep them in contention for a top-two finish. The other men’s game saw a pulsating 3-3 draw between Hoops4Health and arch-rivals Cazaly Crocs in an often spiteful clash that culminated in a player melee on full-time.The game between Carnage and Prospects was postponed due to Carnage’s involvement in the National Defence Touch Championships.last_img read more

Top US regulator calls for transparency from tech giants

first_imgFCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he hopes the recent scrutiny of US technology firms will lead to more transparency © 2018 AFP The head of a key US regulatory agency called Tuesday for Silicon Valley firms to provide more transparency about how they operate, raising the possibility of tougher regulations for technology firms. Explore further After Trump bashing, tech firms gird for congressional grillingcenter_img 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. “We need to seriously think about whether the time has come for these companies to abide by new transparency obligations,” Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said in a blog post a day ahead of congressional hearings with executives from Twitter and Facebook.Pai offered no specific proposals, but appeared to echo concerns raised by President Donald Trump, who claimed tech firms may be biased against conservatives.”Consumers interact with these digital platforms on a daily basis. We get our news from them. We interact with our family and friends on them,” Pai wrote.”But how do these companies make decisions about what we see and what we don’t? And who makes those decisions? We still don’t know.”The FCC chief repeated complaints made in recent months over the blocking or removal of content by conservative politicians and activists.Tech firms have contended their algorithms are not designed with political aims, and analysts have pointed out that many conservatives, including Trump himself, have a considerable online following.Pai said the FCC imposes “strict transparency requirements” on companies that operate broadband networks,  but that the public has “virtually no insight” into tech firms’ business practices.”Are these tech giants running impartial digital platforms over which they don’t exercise editorial judgment when it comes to content?” he asked.”Or do they in fact decide what speech is allowed and what is not and discriminate based on ideology and/or political affiliation? And again, going back to the first point: where is the transparency?”The government  “ shouldn’t regulate these entities like a water company,” Pai said, while maintaining that “it’s important to have a serious conversation about these issues… because these tech giants have come to have much greater influence over our economy and society.”Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg were set to appear at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday of foreign influence operations on social media.Lawmakers were seeking a top executive from Google or its parent Alphabet, but it remained unclear if the search giant would be represented.Dorsey is due to testify at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on online “transparency and accountability.” Citation: Top US regulator calls for ‘transparency’ from tech giants (2018, September 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-transparency-tech-giants.htmllast_img read more

Several popular apps including Yelp automatically send data to Facebook watchdog group

first_img Apps send intimate user data to Facebook: report In its statement sent to Privacy International and shared with USA TODAY, Duolingo said it thanked the group “for their important work raising awareness of this issue. As part of our ongoing commitment to privacy, we are removing the … component from both the Android and iOS apps in the next version releases.”In December, Privacy International said it tested many popular apps, including Spotify, and found it automatically sent data to Facebook. In a retest, PI found Spotify and two-thirds of the apps had “updated their apps so that they no longer contact Facebook when you open the app,” its report said.The update comes as Facebook said it was moving forward on its plans to combine its Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp apps in a move to make messaging more “privacy-focused,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Wednesday.Facebook has faced numerous privacy-invading incidents over the past few years, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which as many as 87 million had their data improperly shared. “Many people don’t think Facebook can or would even want to build this kind of privacy-focused platform—because frankly we don’t currently have a strong reputation for building privacy protective services,” Zuckerberg wrote in the blog post.Heightened regulator scrutiny could hamper Facebook’s strategy, said Scott Devitt, an analyst with investment bank Stifel. “We believe Facebook sits in the precarious position of trying to protect the golden goose of engagement-and-data-driven advertising revenue while pivoting to a new privacy-centric business model to create the perception of addressing flaws of the past,” he said. “Facebook will make this attempt while integrating the very assets that could be targets for separation by global regulators.” (c)2019 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. U.K.-based non-profit Privacy International analyzed the data of 34 popular Android apps with 10 million to 500 million installs. In a December report, it found that two-thirds, or 23, apps automatically sent data to Facebook. While some apps have since been corrected, not all have, Privacy International said in an updated report.Android versions of Yelp, job search app Indeed, language app Duolingo, the King James Bible app and Muslim prayer apps Qibla Connect and Muslim Pro continue to send data to Facebook regardless of whether users have an account on the social network or are logged out, according to the report.Some versions of the apps for Apple iOS devices also “exhibit similar behavior,” the group said.The action is “hugely problematic” in that it not only invades users’ privacy but also puts competing apps at a disadvantage, Privacy International report says. “Since so many apps still send this kind of data to Facebook, this could give the company an extraordinary insight into a large share of the app ecosystem.”The group said it had brought the issue to the attention of European Union regulators and contacted the various app makers.Facebook said, in a statement sent to USA TODAY, “It’s common for developers to share information with a wide range of platforms for advertising and analytics. We require app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are collecting and what they are doing with it, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data.”The social network, the statement continued, also takes “steps to detect and remove data that should not be shared with us. Additionally, we are planning a proactive outreach to developers beyond our existing notifications and emails to push adoption of the latest version of (its software developers kit).”Yelp, in a statement sent to USA TODAY, said its Android app “does not also send personal data to Facebook at launch.”However, the app “may transmit a device’s anonymous advertising ID to Facebook” as part of the process in how it runs ad campaigns for its apps on Facebook, Yelp said. “This use is described in Yelp’s Privacy Policy and Android users can, at any time, choose to deny access to the advertising ID through Android settings.” Citation: Several popular apps including Yelp automatically send data to Facebook, watchdog group says (2019, March 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-popular-apps-yelp-automatically-facebook.html 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. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further Some Android apps including Yelp continue to send data to Facebook even if the device owner doesn’t have a Facebook account, according to a privacy watchdog group.last_img read more

You dumped cable Comcast hopes to reel you back in

first_img © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 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. The new service, “Flex,” available March 26, brings together apps that customers already pay for, like Netflix, Amazon’s video or HBO, and free services like YouTube, Pluto and Tubi, and lets users search for TV shows and movies across the different services.Something that might make Comcast’s offer a hard sell? All these apps are already available on a TV through a Roku, which costs $30, and several other gadgets and platforms. Comcast hopes customers will pay for its version, which comes with a 4K HDR box and a voice remote, and will become tailored to users’ preferences like Netflix is. It’s trying to make it easier for users to find TV and movies they want to watch as the number of video app subscriptions and free services grows. Flex is only available for Comcast internet users.The cable giant has been trying to reposition itself as a “connectivity” provider of broadband as more people dump traditional $100 cable bundles.Some video services that compete with Comcast won’t be available on Flex, like the internet versions of cable, such as YouTube TV or DirecTV Now. Comcast doesn’t offer those with Flex because it hopes that users interested in live TV will upgrade to a Comcast bundle instead. That function isn’t available yet at Flex’s launch. Explore further This Jan. 24, 2019, file photo shows a Comcast truck in Pittsburgh. Comcast is launching an aggregated bundle of existing streaming-TV apps for $5 a month. The new service, “Flex,” available March 26, brings together apps that customers already pay for, like Netflix, Amazon’s video or HBO, and free services like YouTube, Pluto and Tubi, and lets users search for TV shows and movies across the different services. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)center_img Comcast is launching an aggregated bundle of existing streaming-TV apps for $5 a month to appeal to cord-cutters. Citation: You dumped cable? Comcast hopes to reel you back in (2019, March 21) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-dumped-cable-comcast-reel.html Comcast loses cable users, but internet subscribers surgelast_img read more