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Debate rages on whether super sneakers helped Kipchoge break record[SciTech]

The Morning Call

Facebook on Monday unveiled a new logo for the company to distinguish it from its apps.

Facebook which started as a single app 15 years ago, has over the years acquired other apps and diversified its service offering in its quest to connect friends, families, businesses and communities.

The new brand design seeks to distinguish the Facebook company from the Facebook app, and its other apps including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. In June this year, it began including “from Facebook” within its apps.

Super shoes or Super athletes?

Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna and Brigid Kosgei’s record-breaking run at the Chicago Marathon last month brought the Nike Vaporfly shoes into focus, sparking heated debate over whether the hyper-advanced footwear gave an unfair advantage.

Shalane Flanagan, who won in New York in 2017, told Reuters the running community should “always question what’s going on” in her sport but said the debate should not overshadow individual performances.

“You could give the pair of shoes to Joe Shmo off the street – they can’t go run what Eliud ran or Brigid Kosgei,” said Flanagan, a Nike athlete who recently retired from competition and was consulted in the creation of the shoe.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) established a working group months before Kipchoge’s historic run to establish whether the shoes were fair and expects the group to report back before the end of the year.

Nike said they “respect the IAAF and the spirit of their rules” in the running sphere.

“The shoe that Brigid wore in Chicago is the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%. In Vienna, Eliud wore a future version of the Nike Vaporfly that is currently unreleased,” a Nike spokesperson said. “However, a shoe is only one factor in a race, and Eliud’s incredible run should be acknowledged.”

Retired marathoner Meb Keflezighi, who won the New York City Marathon 10 years ago, told Reuters credit still belonged to the athletes despite high-tech advances.

“You’ve got to have the lungs, you’ve got to have put in the work and all that,” the Olympic silver medalist said. “If there’s a lot of aid at the end I’m pretty sure it will make a difference.”

Athletics is not the only sport to consider reining in the use of advanced technology in competition. In 2010, high-tech suits were banned from swimming amid a glut of broken records.

Graveyard app

An Israeli-developed app offers turn-by-turn voice directions to help cemetery visitors navigate large graveyards in search of a loved-one’s resting place.

“It will change everything,” said Yehuda Hanfling, a service manager for Chevra Kadisha, the main group that oversees Jewish burials in Israel.

The app, ‘Gravez’ is only available in Israel for now, but its developers plan to expand globally.

For a person visiting a grave or making their way to a funeral, finding the exact location can be tough in a large cemetery that is constantly changing.

“People who haven’t been to graves for years and want to reach (the grave) get lost because graves have been added, paths have been added everywhere,” Hanfling said. Chevra Kadisha began operating the app in September.

By providing real-time, turn-by-turn directions on smartphones, Gravez aims to save cemetery goers a lot of stress, and time, in reaching the grave they are looking for.

The developers, Corido, used drones and image processing tools to map over 1.3 million graves in 30 cemeteries in Israel so far for pedestrian and vehicle navigation, said Guy Liany, partner chief executive of Corido.

“We map all the geographical elements, the paths, the plots, interest points, everything that depicts the outline of the cemetery,” said Liany, adding that the cemetery managers constantly update the system.

A cemetery that contains an average of 30 thousand to 40 thousand graves can be mapped within several days. The app is free for private users but cemetery operators need to purchase the system. The price depends on the size of the grounds.


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The Morning Call

The Morning Call is about you. We want to share your opinions on our programme. If you want to contribute to The Morning Call, here are the best ways to get in touch : For more details on how to contribute, click here.