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  1. The first ceremonial kick at the opening 2014 World Cup game taking place in Brazil later this year may be delivered by a paralyzed teen who will control an exoskeleton body to allow him to move and actually hit the ball, NewScientist reports. The teen is now training in virtual reality with the technology that will let him kick the first ball at the competition. The teen will wear an exoskeleton that will support his lower body and will respond to wireless commands received from electrodes placed on the scalp or within the brain and converted into movement by a computer that’s also worn by the kicker. The research behind this Walk Again Project is backed by a variety of institutions from the U.S., Germany, Switzerland and Brazil. The researchers aim to make movement feel more natural to paralyzed people by including sensors into the exoskeleton that will be able to provide feedback to the wearer including touch, temperature and force. In the future, the feedback may be transformed in sensations and fed back to the brain. “The vibrations can replicate the sensation of touching the ground, rolling off the toe and kicking off again,” explains Gordon Cheng, a lead robotics engineer at Technical University of Munich, Germany. “There’s so much detail in this, it’s phenomenal.” Source
  2. With the World Cup, Football’s most revered and decorated tournament of them all, taking place in Brazil next summer, we’re going to be seeing a dramatic rise in the number of products related to the sport being released. The general interface, whilst pretty unspectacular, is clean and flat – a move many app makers have subscribed to since Apple introduced the ironed-out iOS 7. The Android iteration of the app appears to have been dealt many of the same characteristics, although since Google’s OS has been free of skeuomorphism for a long while now, the clean and minimal appearance looks good on Android as well. It covers all of the major leagues, including the States’ very own Major League, so no matter where you are, you can stay in sync with the goals, decisions and controversies around the clock. -|download links|- Google Play Store Apple iTunes Store Source
  3. Ghana confirmed their qualification for next year's World Cup in Brazil despite a losing 2-1 to over Egypt in Cairo on Tuesday. Kwesi Appiah's side wrapped up a 7-3 aggregate victory from both legs to secure passage to the finals after the Black Stars' 6-1 first-leg win in Kumasi last month. The Black Stars, thus secure passage to their third-straight World Cup finals. Second half substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng, making his Ghana return since 2011 side-footed home from inside the six-yard box in the 89th minute to pull a goal back for Ghana after Egypt had taken a two-nil lead. Egypt, who dominated the return leg, scored the opener through Amr Zaki, when a free kick delivered by Mohamed Aboutrika flew past goalkeeper Fatau Dauda. His goal meant that Egypt needed four more without reply to reach Brazil and after early domination and near misses, they had to wait until the 84th minute for Gedo to slot in their second. Kevin-Prince, Ghana's final substitution who came on for Majeed Waris following the withdrawal of Andre Ayew and Sulley Muntari for Mubarak Wakasu and Agyemang Badu ended the Egyptian dream he converted Asamoah Gyan's cross. His goal all-but ensured Ghana's ticket to Brazil. Now the Black Stars can be part of the biggest football carnival when they make their third-straight appearance at the finals As the clock ticked down to qualification, Ghana's fans begun the celebrations as the victory shirts were pulled on the Ghanaian bench. Ghanaian fans can finally begin to make arrangements for a trip to Brazil. Source
  4. geeteam

    90 minutes to go in Africa

    For the ten countries remaining in Africa's FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign, the journey will come to an end this week with five sides holding tickets to Brazil 2014. Each of the five ties features a side that reached South Africa 2010, so depending on the results from the second leg of the home-and-away play-offs, the continent might have a repeat of the qualifiers from four years ago. The big gameAlgeria - Burkina Faso, 19 November, Mustapha Tchaker Stadium, Blida, 19:15 (local time)Last time around, Algeria were the only African country that qualified via a play-off after finishing equal on all levels with Egypt, whom they edged out with a 1-0 victory. They are looking to emulate that success against Burkina Faso, who travel to North Africa with a 3-2 advantage from the home leg. The Stallions, who are looking for a first-ever appearance at the World Cup finals, will be able to call on the previously injured Aristide Bance, who scored the decisive third goal from the spot in the first leg after having earlier missed a penalty. Algerian coach Vahid Halilhodzic has called up a string of European-based players, including the Inter Milan duo of Saphir Taider and Ishak Belfodil and will be confident in overturning the first-leg deficit with two away goals. ElsewhereAlthough Ethiopian coach Sewnet Bishew is cautiously optimistic that his team can turn around a 2-1 first-leg home defeat against African champions Nigeria on Saturday in Calabar, anything but a Nigerian victory would be a major surprise. The coach welcomes back South African-based striker Getaneh Kebede, who has recovered from a knee injury that forced him out of the first leg. “[Getaneh's] presence will be an added advantage for my attacking options," the coach said. Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi, meanwhile, has once again opted for his strategy of complimenting international stars with locally-based players, and he has also called up American-born Toronto FC striker Bright Dike as a late replacement for Uche Nwofor. Also on Saturday, Senegal face Côte d'Ivoire in neutral Morocco as the Lions of Teranga are still barred from playing at home. Senegalese coach Alain Giresse has once again omitted explosive striker Demba Ba because he has failed to find regular playing time with Chelsea this season. It is a controversial decision since Giresse's team are down 3-1 from the first-leg and in need of goals. He has, though, changed things up by bringing in three new players: defender Zarco Toure, midfielder Pape Diop as well as former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf. As one of the continent's most experienced sides, and with players like Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba available, the Ivorians are favoured to protect their advantage and reach their third finals on the trot. The only match on Sunday sees Tunisia travel to Cameroon with the tie all-square after the two played to a goalless draw in the first leg. Cameroon coach Volker Finke has made a plea for team spirit ahead of the game saying: "We don’t need more quarrels and confusion within the national team. We need unity and peace in order to overcome the hurdle of Tunisia, which is in the interest of the entire nation,” he said. Tunisian coach Ruud Krol made several changes to his squad for the return leg, bringing in Fabien Camus and Stefan Nater, who are based in Belgium and Switzerland respectively, while leaving out former national team captain Karim Haggui and Wahbi Khazri. Next week's other match sees Egypt trying to keep their dream alive of a first finals since 1990, but a 6-1 thumping in the first leg has all-but the most die-hard fans admitted the task is probably impossible, even with a full stadium in Cairo expected. Pharaohs' coach Bob Bradley, who says they will have a "different approach" in the return leg, has opted to retain most of the squad, giving the players an opportunity to redeem themselves. He has picked 11 players from new African champions Al Ahly, and Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has is taking no chances by selecting his strongest squad for the game, including the Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre. Did you know?Burkina Faso will have their work cut out for them if they want to prevail in Algeria, as the Fennec Foxes have never lost a match in Blida, winning all but four of the 21 games they have played in the city at the base of the Tell Atlas. However, one of the four teams that escaped with a draw were the Stallions, who managed a 2-2 draw in 2004 in a friendly. Algeria's record in World Cup qualifiers in the city is even more impressive, having won all nine games with a goal difference of 22-5. Player to watchAlthough the Black Stars have all-but qualified, Ghana's players will be eager to show that they are worthy of being included in the World Cup squad. Germany-born Kevin-Prince Boateng has had a mixed relationship with the national team, but since returning to the Bundesliga from AC Milan at the start of the season, the midfielder has been on song for Schalke 04, and he'll no doubt be looking to cement a spot in the team with a strong performance. What they said"I think [an African team] may have a stronger chance [to win the World Cup next year] than any of the European teams, to be perfectly honest, because of the climate. There are many African players out there of excellent quality who play in the top European leagues and that makes the African nations very strong," England manager Roy Hodgson. Source
  5. Hoping to limit the availability of pirated World Cup matches, FIFA has sent advance warnings to the owners of several sites that host or link to unauthorized live streams of sports events. The football organization warns site owners that they face criminal liability, and demands unprecedented takedown powers during the World Cup. In a few hours the 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil, an event that will be seen by hundreds of millions of people from all over the world. While most people watch the matches through licensed broadcasters, there is also a large group of people who resort to unauthorized sources. These so-called “pirate” streams are available through dozens of sites, including Firstrow and Rojadirecta, which generate millions of views during popular sporting events. These broadcasts are a thorn in the side of world football association FIFA who have contacted several owners of streaming-related sites over the past few days. TorrentFreak obtained a copy of the letter from a site owner who asked to remain anonymous. In the letter, signed by Director of Legal Affairs Marco Villiger and his colleague Jörg Vollmüller, FIFA asks the site operators to do all they can to take these streams offline. Those who refuse to do so could face criminal liability. “Due to the nature of your service, we anticipate that a large number of users will continually use your website to create, distribute and/or link to live streams via the Internet of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM. We want to ensure that all infringing streams can be promptly identified and removed, regardless of whether they can be viewed openly or through private areas of your site,” FIFA writes. The letter then goes on to emphasize that the site owners bear full responsibility for all unauthorized live streams, or links to live streams. FIFA strongly recommends that site operators immediately block access to unauthorized broadcasts when these are pointed out to them. To facilitate this process the football association has included a link to the tournament schedule, further demanding that the websites in question have people available during the matches, to ensure rapid takedowns. “As you have been provided with the specific dates and times of all matches, we thereby expect a member of your website team to be present and available to promptly perform this duty during and throughout ALL matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM,” FIFA writes. In addition, FIFA requests a special takedown tool so their monitoring and enforcement company NetResult can remove streams whenever needed. “Provide a service or tool whereby NetResult, FIFA’s service provider for online monitoring, will have the ability to immediately take down and remove ANY and ALL unauthorized streams of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM found on your website,” FIFA demands. While the site owner we spoke with only received the letter two days ago, the deadline to comply with the demands ends today. Toward the end of the letter FIFA points out that those who fail to comply will face civil and criminal liability. “Should you fail to implement either of the above by the beginning of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM on June 12, your failure to comply will expose you to civil and criminal liability,” the letter states. The FIFA letter is unique in its kind, as copyright holders generally don’t take these types of proactive measures. As far as we know this is the first time that FIFA has sent an advance warning to site owners. While most site operators are happy to comply with takedown notices, FIFA’s demands go above and beyond the common takedown procedure. Whether this will have the desired effect has yet to be seen. FIFA letter obtained by TorrentFreak Source: TorrentFreak
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