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What are the Cost Of AWS Cloud & Pricing Model?

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Amazon Web Services or the AWS Cloud has emerged as the most successful Cloud platform. A notable trend that has developed over the years is that there is a huge increase in the amount of bandwidth which comes with a dedicated server in the industry.

The rise in Server Bandwidth

Ten years ago, the amount of data which was transferred monthly was around 1000 GB, which gradually moved up to 2000GB, 3000 GB, and so on. The current limit exhibited by most of the simple hosting servers is between 5TB to around 20 TB with many times the same it comes on a 1Gbps port. Thus, in the last couple of years, the data center and the whole industry undertaking hosting have been increasing the server bandwidth, which has been included due to two main reasons:

  • There has been an increase in the use of the services of the world wide web every day consistently building up. The increase in the use of the above has led to streaming of more content in terms of more videos, more data, etc. which flows across the web. Thus, an average customer who had been happy with 1000GB in bandwidth a decade ago or even as less as 500GB now needs around thousands of gigabytes transfer per month at the rate of more than 100 Mbps.
  • Another reason is that the cost of the transit, i.e., the bandwidth has significantly reduced as most of the companies who provide the hosting services can honor huge commitments with various network providers like Verizon, Comcast, Airtel, Level 3, etc. The increase in the network throughout which is committed by a data center every month leads to a relative drop in the price per Mbps from the same. It has also been noticed that there has been a considerable slash in the base price on even a small 1Gbps from $15-$30 per Mbps in 2005 to less than $5 per Mbps. Also, in case the demand touches around 10Gbps+ commits, the price can further fall below $1 every Mbps.

Thus, it has been basically the increase in supply, which has considerably brought down the prices yet improved the user experience.

Read More: Amazon’s Cloud Unit Will Sell Satellite Data Service

AWS Pricing Model 

Amazon has wonderfully described its pricing model by putting the following information on its website, “AWS pricing is similar to how you pay for utilities like water or electricity. You only pay for the services you consume, and once you stop using them, there are no additional costs or termination fees”. In other words, AWS basically offers a pay-as-you-go payment structure for more than 70 services. Thus, you have to pay for these on an individual basis as much as you have used them. There are many benefits associated with this model like

  • There are no upfront expenses underlying the project or application infrastructure, and the resources can be increased or decreased depending upon your business requirements from time to time. This model thus completely rules out any kind of upfront expenses.
  • This is also a more flexible approach as you can adjust with the changing needs of your own business.
  • There is no requirement for you to get into any kind of long-term contract or services.

Read More: Virtustream Adds a New Software-as-a-Service tool Support to its Risk

How to work around the AWS Pricing effectively?

The best approach to work around your AWS Pricing to bring down the costs involved is by picking up the right pricing model for paying for the Amazon EC2 instances.  Amazon broadly has four methods to make payments. These are

  • On-Demand: This model completely rules out any kind of upfront payments, which means that you do not have to commit for a long period, but Amazon will be charging for the computer capacity on an hourly basis. The usage of the latter can be increased or brought down as per your requirements. The model is also highly beneficial to you if you are expecting flexibility in your business demands in the form of an unexpected shift in workloads like a sudden high or sudden drop. In this case, the on-demand model offers a cheap solution. Also, it gives you a chance to be well-versed with your business needs before you buy any committed plan. This plan works best for the businesses you are testing their solutions for the first time on Amazon EC2.
  • Reserved Instances: In this case, you need to pay 30 percent less when compared to the on-demand model. The reserved instances are always assigned to a particular Availability Zone which allows capacity reservation. Thus, in this case, you do not have to think about the capacity for starting any new instances.
    • The pricing in comparison to the On-Demand model is low because there are many instances which are reserved up front, i.e. you have to commit to a one or more years for bringing your costs down significantly. But, a three-year lock-in period is a huge period in these competitive days in IT as there can be a sea-change in the way things work like resource demand, pricing, etc.
    • Thus, designing a complete infrastructure for that kind of time is difficult. Thus, you can avoid the clause. However, one should not ignore the fact that the model also provides a sense of security that the computing resources which are needed by your business will always be there. Thus, you should be aware of your computing resource usage for driving full benefit from your model.
    • Amazon has made it a Standard Reserved Instance and also introduced a new type of instance called the Schedules Reserved instance designed particularly for the businesses which run their most critical tasks regularly.
  • Spot Instances: These involve bidding for all the empty EC2 computing capacity at a price 90 percent less than the regular On-Demand price. These are primarily only for the use cases which satisfy urgent computing needs and for those applications which are only possible to run by making use of computing capacity at a very low price. This acts as an awesome way to bring down costs as you can get the computing resources at a very less price.
  • Dedicated Hosts: This is basically a physical EC2 server where you can also use your existing server-bound software licenses. You have the choice to buy it on-demand or on reserved capacity with the latter up to 70 percent cheap.

You should remember that AWS regularly makes new instance types available to the market and thus you have to always make use of the latest version of the instance types as the pricing for each is optimized much more effectively when compared to the same instance type of the previous generation.

Read More: Amazon has built AI which will work like a Newspaper Reader

Optimization for Reduction in Costs

The biggest pricing drain on AWS is the EC2 instance, i.e. the computer resources. This is why you have to pick the best instance for your workflow as there is a huge difference between instance families. It is also important for you to monitor your resource usage as by doing the same, you can ensure that compute resources are not used. In case your need for computing resources is for only a short period, and there is little risk associated, then you may prefer spot instances and can bring down your costs by 90 percent as compared to the on-demand instances.

Another method to optimize your costs is by reviewing frequently and eliminate any kind of unused resources. Even though the production instances have to auto-scale in response to the demand but the development and even the testing instances can be easily shut down in the off-work hours or even during the weekends. This will also bring down your costs by about 65 percent.

Also, the instances which have been used for AWS training or demos have to be stopped after the completion of these projects.

Read More: Microsoft is considering Mellanox acquisition

AWS Calculators

It is quite possible that you completely lose track of the services which you are using after you are into many AWS services. Although there are many ways to optimize your usa

ge, all these plans will not be able to work effectively is a clear and concise overview of your AWS usage is known. Thus, this creates the need for using the AWS Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator, which is a wonderful tool for prediction and monitoring of your expenses. The tool is easy to use. It helps you to estimate your cost savings and gives you detailed reports of the same based on the assumptions you have punched in. Thus, you must enter the present configuration of your hosting environment, and the TCO calculator will provide you with an elaborate cost comparison and other estimated savings if you have to migrate your application to AWS cloud.

Conclusion

The costing for AWS Cloud depends on the extent of your knowledge, other pricing models, and the way you optimize your expenses for avoiding any kind of price shocks at the end of the month. AWS regularly lowers the pricing of its services and resources. So this typically means that going forward both AWS services and resources will be more affordable.

Read More: Google’s DeepMind predicts 3D shapes of proteins

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Top doctors say not so fast to Biden’s boosters-for-all plan

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Top doctors say not so fast to Biden’s boosters-for-all plan

WASHINGTON — Just one month ago, President Joe Biden and his health advisers announced big plans to soon deliver a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine to all Americans. But after campaigning for the White House on a pledge to “follow the science,” Biden found himself uncharacteristically ahead of it with that lofty pronouncement.

Some of the nation’s top medical advisers on Friday delivered a stinging rebuke of the idea, in essence telling the White House: not so fast.

A key government advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected Biden’s plan to give COVID-19 booster shots across the board and instead recommended the extra vaccine dose only for those who are age 65 or older or who run a high risk of severe disease.

Biden’s Aug. 18 announcement that the federal government was preparing to shore up nearly all Americans’ protection had been made with great fanfare. It was meant to calm the nerves of millions of Americans fearful of a new, more transmissible strain of the coronavirus.

“The plan is for every adult to get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot,” Biden said, noting that his administration would be ready to begin the program on Sept. 20.

Biden added the qualification that third doses would require the signoff of health officials at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but his public message glossed over the nuance.

“Just remember,” he said, “as a simple rule: Eight months after your second shot, get a booster shot.”

Biden’s plan drew immediate outrage from global health groups that encouraged the United States and other well-off nations to refrain from administering boosters until poorer countries could provide first doses to their most vulnerable citizens.

“Viewed from a global perspective, this is a squandering of a scarce global resource, as a consequence of which people will die,” said Dr. Peter Lurie, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “I feel completely comfortable saying this,” he added, acknowledging that domestic political considerations weigh differently on presidents.

The Biden plan was criticized, too, by medical professionals, who cited a lack of safety data on extra doses and raised doubts about the value of mass boosters, rather than ones targeted to specific groups.

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One stunning afternoon: Setbacks imperil Biden’s reset

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One stunning afternoon: Setbacks imperil Biden’s reset

By JONATHAN LEMIRE and ZEKE MILLER

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was an hour President Joe Biden would no doubt like to forget.

On Friday, the Pentagon acknowledged that a drone strike in Afghanistan killed 10 civilians, including seven children, not terrorists. A panel advising the Food and Drug Administration voted to not recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans over age 16, dashing an administration hope. And France announced it was recalling its ambassador to the United States out of anger for being cut out of a secret nuclear submarine deal Biden had struck with the United Kingdom and Australia.

The headlines, all within an hour, underscored the perils for any president from situations that can define a term in office.

Already, Biden has seen public approval numbers trend downward as the pandemic has deepened and Americans cast blame for the flawed U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The administration had hoped to roll out tougher vaccine guidelines, a new international alliance to thwart China and a recommitment to what Biden has done best: drawing on his years on Capitol Hill and knowledge of the legislative process to cajole fellow Democrats to pass the two far-reaching spending bills that make up the heart of his agenda.

Those ambitions are now more difficult to achieve.

Biden has proclaimed defeating the pandemic to be the central mission of his presidency. But the United States is now averaging more than 145,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases per day, compared with a low of about 8,500 per day three months ago.

The president has tried to shift the blame for the resurgence of cases to the more than 70 million Americans who have not gotten a vaccine and the GOP lawmakers who have opposed his increasingly forceful efforts to push people to get a shot. Aides had hoped for full FDA approval for the boosters, yet the advisory panel only recommended them for those over age 65 or with underlying health conditions or special circumstances.

Biden aides in recent days had quietly expressed relief that the Afghanistan withdrawal — like the war itself for much of its nearly two decades — has receded from headlines. That feeling was shattered Friday afternoon when the Pentagon revealed the errant target for what was believed to be the final American drone strike of the war.

Biden had long advocated leaving Afghanistan. Even after a suicide bombing killed 13 American service members, he told advisers the withdrawal decision was correct. He is known for his certitude, a stubbornness that flashed when he dismissed suggestions that he express regret for how the withdrawal occurred.

Aides have since been quick to note that more than 120,000 people have been successfully evacuated and they say U.S. efforts are securing the steady departure of others from under Taliban rule.

The end in Afghanistan was part of an effort to refocus foreign policy on China, an aim that accelerated with the surprise announcement of the agreement between the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

But not only did Beijing balk, so did Paris, as France angrily accused the U.S. of cutting France out of the alliance and scuttling its own submarine deal with Australia.

And then France recalled its ambassador after its officials expressed dismay that, in their estimation, Biden had proven to be as unreliable a partner as his predecessor Donald Trump.

The strain with France came just as Biden had hoped to pivot to his ambitious domestic agenda.

But there are ideological divides among the Democrats on Capitol Hill about the $3.5 trillion spending package meant to be passed in tandem with the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. And all of Congress will be forced to juggle the White House’s legislation while being swamped with imminent deadlines on the debt ceiling and government funding.

The West Wing is re-creating a legislative strategy that worked to secure passage of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief in March and pushed the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill through the Senate in August, according to a half dozen White House aides and outside advisers who were not authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

With Biden cajoling lawmakers, the infrastructure bill is to be passed through the House along with the $3.5 trillion spending bill that contains many of the president’s priorities, such as like climate change and child care, and would pass the Senate along party lines.

Because the Senate is in a 50-50 tie and Democrats’ margin in the House is only a handful of seats, few votes can be lost. It could be a formidable task to unite Democratic moderates such as Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who want a far smaller spending bill, with liberals including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has steadfastly said it could not shrink.

The White House also has begun filling the president’s schedule again with events meant to highlight the need to pass the bills, including linking visits to the sites of natural disasters — fires in California and Idaho, hurricane damage in Louisiana and the Northeast — to the climate change funding in the legislation.

This past Thursday, on what had previously been tentatively planned as a down day for Biden, the White House scheduled him to give a speech from the East Room during which he zeroed in on how tax enforcement to get big corporations and wealthy Americans to pay more would help fund his plan, without offering any new details.

But there are roadblocks. Manchin told Biden that he could not support $3.5 trillion and White House aides have begun signaling that they would settle for a smaller package, even if it raises the ire of progressives.

Biden’s advisers believe that, even if there is some unhappiness with the package, no Democratic lawmaker would want to be perceived as undermining the centerpiece of the agenda of a president from their own party.

The White House is also scaling back the president’s travel so he can support the agenda on Capitol Hill, but it’s led to concerns among some Democratic lawmakers that Biden isn’t doing enough to personally sell the legislation to their constituents across the country.

Some aides worry about the exposure level Biden may have faced when he mingled in groups during a recent trip to the West and his three stops to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary, two officials said. Biden, 78, also did not get a summer vacation. His plan to spend time at his Delaware home in August was scuttled by the Afghanistan crisis.

Aides had finally scheduled him a break, a long weekend at his house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.. He reached his home Friday just after 1:30 p.m.

Ninety minutes later, any hope for a quiet weekend vanished.

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Buffalo mayoral ballot matter decided against Brown

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Buffalo mayoral ballot matter decided against Brown

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s chances of appearing on the November ballot took two hits Thursday as both state and federal courts ruled in favor of Democratic primary winner India Walton.

A state appellate court unanimously overturned a previous ruling in favor of Brown on Thursday morning, one day before the Erie County Board of Election is set to finalize the ballots it will send out to military members.

Later Thursday, the 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay in the federal case, nullifying the preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra Jr. that ordered the Erie County Board of Elections to place Brown on the ballot.

The Walton campaign says they are thrilled with the court’s decision:

“We are thrilled that, immediately after the Fourth Department convincingly ruled in our favor on the merits of the case, the Second Circuit granted our motion to stay Judge Sinatra’s order,” Walton campaign spokesperson Jesse Myerson said in a statement. “As of now, Byron Brown’s frivolous legal actions have failed, and we are calling on him to cease them once and for all, and let us get back to the issues.”

Mayor Brown’s campaign is saying they’re disappointed by the federal and state court decisions:

“We are disappointed by the decisions in federal and state court today. We believe that the initial rulings were correct and properly granted ballot access for the Mayoral election in the City of Buffalo,” Conor Hurley, Campaign Manager of Brown for Buffalo said in a statement. “Despite our disappointment, we respect the Court’s decisions and will not disparage or denigrate anyone involved in them, as our opponent and her supporters have done over the last two weeks. Our campaign remains focused on what has sustained us all along, which is ensuring that Buffalo’s progress continues, and that no matter what method people vote by, that they will have the ability to cast their vote for a qualified and experienced candidate. In November, Mayor Byron Brown will prevail. Write Down Byron Brown.”

Five judges of the Fourth Department of New York State Appellate Court heard oral arguments Thursday morning in Rochester in Walton’s appeal of a September 3 ruling by State Supreme Court Justice Paul Wojtaszek. He ruled earlier this month in favor of Brown’s attempt to get his name on the ballot under the newly created “Buffalo Party,” despite the fact that the petition was filed after the May 25 deadline.

But the appellate court unanimously overturned that ruling Thursday. “It is hereby ordered,” the appellate court wrote, “that the judgment so appealed from is unanimously reversed on the law without costs, the petition is dismissed, the declaration is vacated and the second decretal paragraph is vacated.” (You can view the full decision below.)

During Thursday’s hearing in Rochester, Sean Cooney, the attorney representing Walton argued that Brown should not be allowed on a minor party line after the May 25 deadline because he says Brown would have an unfair advantage by knowing the outcome of the primary election before proceeding with a minor party candidacy.

Brown, who is hoping to become the first mayor in Buffalo history to serve five terms, has continued to run as a write-in candidate since losing the primary election in June. He did not attempt to run on any other party line until submitting paperwork for the Buffalo Party in August—months after the May 25 deadline—hoping to get the recent change in the election calendar ruled unconstitutional.

The Erie County Board of Elections needs to send out military ballots for the Buffalo mayor’s race by Friday. Elections commissioners have scheduled a meeting for 2:30 p.m. Friday to finalize those ballots.

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Denver weather: Summer-like heat hangs on in the city with highs in the lower 90s

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Denver weather: Summer-like heat hangs on in the city with highs in the lower 90s

Hot summer-like weather is hanging on in Denver and along the Front Range, but a cool down is expected on Monday.

Denver’s high temperature on Saturday will hit 91 degrees, according to the National Weather Service forecast. Clouds will increase during the course of the day and winds will gust to about 15 mph.

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The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 2: Raiders committee will replace Josh Jacobs

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The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 2: Raiders committee will replace Josh Jacobs
Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) heads toward the end zone to score against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

UPDATE: 10:51 a.m. Saturday
The season started spectacularly for the Las Vegas Raiders with their thrilling victory over Baltimore on Monday night, but things are about to get dicier. Immediately.

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (toe, ankle), who limped badly at various points against the Ravens, has been ruled out Sunday in Pittsburgh.

You might think that’s great for folks who have Raiders No. 2 RB Kenyan Drake. And you might be mistaken. Coach Jon Gruden announced Friday that No. 3 Peyton Barber will take some of the “lead back” load against a Steelers defense that played very well in their upset in Buffalo.

The dreaded “backfield by committee”? Sounds like it. There is also uncertainty with a couple of other backfields.

In Seattle, No. 2 RB Rashaad Penny (calf) is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. The Seahawks will likely give all their rushing duties to starter Chris Carson on what is forecast to be a rainy afternoon. Expect to see almost endless doses of Carson and Titans titan Derrick Henry.

Detroit is already facing a daunting task Monday night in Green Bay, and both of the Lions’ top backs are banged up. D’Andre Swift (groin) and Jamall Williams (chest) are listed as questionable, though both are expected to play. But the Motor City Kitties are expected to be in their usual mode: Playing from far behind and throwing the ball.

Ruled out this week is Miami WR Will Fuller, for “personal reasons.” Four prominent receivers are currently listed as questionable: Baltimore’s Marquise Brown (ankle), the Jets’ Jameson Crowder (groin), and Indy’s Michael Pittman (ankle) and Parris Campbell (abdomen).

ORIGINAL POST: 11 a.m. Wednesday
A great man once said, it’s better to be lucky than good. And there’s no better time to get lucky in fantasy football than to have top waiver priority after the opening week of play.

We’re one of those fortunate souls. By random chance we have secured No. 1 priority for pickups this week, allowing us to claim the most sudden standout of Week 1. A player almost nobody drafted during the summer but is already being compared to last season’s revelation, the Jaguars’ James Robinson.

Say hello to the leading rusher in the National Football Conference: San Francisco rookie Elijah Mitchell.

1631985828 409 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 2 Raiders committee will
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell runs the ball against the Detroit Lions in the second half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

The rookie from Louisiana was thrust into action after starter Raheem Mostert went down with a knee injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season. Mitchell rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown. And there could be plenty more in the coming weeks, for Mitchell, for the 49ers, and for your humble narrator’s fantasy team.

Mitchell won’t be the only Week 1 standout coveted by fantasy mavens this week. There are these fellows:

Latavius Murray (Ravens RB) — The former Viking got a touchdown in his first game with Baltimore on Monday night. He’ll be sharing the backfield with Ty’Son Williams, but the Ravens’ running game is always strong. We’re thinking Murray will be the back of choice near the goal line.

The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Baltimore Ravens running back Latavius Murray (28) scores a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Mark Ingram (Texans RB) — While many thought he was long past his expiration date, Ingram ran 26 times for 85 yards and a touchdown in Houston’s win over Jacksonville. His rivals for touches, David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay, combined for a mere 12 carries for 65 yards. Ingram is worth grabbing, at least until he runs out of gas in a few weeks.

1631726544 933 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Houston Texans running back Mark Ingram II (2) rushes for a gain against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Mike Williams (Chargers WR) — Quickly becoming a favorite of phenom quarterback Justin Herbert, Williams was targeted 12 times Sunday against Washington. His eight catches for 82 yards and a touchdown are easily repeatable in the Chargers’ offensive attack.

1631985828 322 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 2 Raiders committee will
Washington Football Team cornerback Benjamin St-Juste (25) lines up against Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Cole Beasley (Bills WR) — He has been in the headlines for his anti-vaccine stance but Beasley was in the spotlight Sunday, being targeted 13 times by Buffalo QB Josh Allen. He caught eight passes for 60 yards and will be a reliable receiver all season as defenses focus on stopping Stefon Diggs.

1631985828 290 The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 2 Raiders committee will
Buffalo Bills receiver Cole Beasley warms up prior to the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Orchard park, N.Y., Sunday Sept. 12, 2021. (AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Jameis Winston (Saints QB) — New Orleans’ new quarterback only completed 14 passes Sunday, but a remarkable five went for touchdowns. The more remarkable number for Winston was his number of interceptions: zero. Coach Sean Payton just might be able to make Winston a star again.

1631726544 139 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) rolls out to pass while being defended by Green Bay Packers linebacker Krys Barnes (51) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Jared Goff (Lions QB) — The lesser half of the Matthew Stafford trade passed for 338 yards and three TDs, mostly because Detroit was playing catchup all day Sunday. But that is going to be the Lions’ natural state all season. If you’re a fan of garbage time statistical padding, you will just love the 2021 edition of the former No. 1 pick.

1631726544 223 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) looks to pass against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

SITTING STARS
How long will it be until the Giants’ Saquon Barkley is again one of the NFL’s best running backs? It certainly won’t be Thursday night, so you might want to bench him against the Washington Football Team. … Same goes for Jacksonville RB James Robinson, who was a non-factor in the opener and will have even less room to run against Denver. … Kansas City’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire also had an unimpressive opener and should be no better vs. Baltimore. … Until Tennessee’s offensive line remembers how to block for him, you should keep QB Ryan Tannehill out of your lineup, including Sunday vs. the Seahawks. … And while you should always start former Vikings WR Stefon Diggs, he will have a tough go of it against Miami’s top-notch secondary.

1631726544 521 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is tackled by Denver Broncos’ Shelby Harris (96) and Kareem Jackson (22) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

MATCHUP GAME
Starting with Thursday night’s Washington-Giants game, there are two guys we especially like: WFT running back Antonio Gibson and Giants wideout Sterling Shepard. … Bad run defenses should be a boost for Denver’s Melvin Gordon (vs. Jaguars) and New England’s Damien Harris (vs. Jets). … Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield will bring the Texans back to reality after their surprising opener. … Justin Herbert and Dak Prescott will both post huge numbers in the Chargers-Cowboys matchup. … The Packers will bounce back fiercely after their Week 1 embarrassment, meaning big numbers for the usual suspects and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling. … And now that Ja’Marr Chase has stopped dropping the ball, the Cincinnati rookie WR should post more good numbers against an overrated Bears defense.

1631726544 313 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) talks to Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Sept.12, 2021 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

INJURY WATCH
While Mostert had the first season-ending injury of Week 1, Washington quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was not too far behind. His hip injury could end up costing him the rest of this season, elevating Taylor Heinicke to No. 1 for the WFT. … Denver wideout Jerry Jeudy suffered a high ankle sprain that looked much worse on video. He will be out four to six weeks, which will lead to more targets for Courtland Sutton and K.J. Hamler. … Dallas WR Michael Gallup (calf) could miss as many as five weeks, so Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb will keep posting huge numbers. Notables listed as questionable include Cleveland WR Odell Beckham Jr. and Philly tight end Zach Ertz.

1631726544 582 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) is tackled by New York Giants’ Logan Ryan (23) and James Bradberry (24) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

THE DEEPEST SLEEPER
While most Minnesota fans would like to forget everything about the opening week loss in Cincinnati, the game was not a total loss. We know now who will likely be the Vikings’ No. 3 pass receiving option: second-year wideout K.J. Osborn. The former Miami Hurricane caught seven passes for 76 yards and earned raves from Vikings coaches. He could find himself open regularly as defenses focus their attention on Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Pick him up, park him on your bench, and see if he blossoms.

1631726544 733 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) makes a catch against the Cincinnati Bengals during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati. The Bengals won 27-24. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

THE THURSDAY PICK
Giants at Washington (-3):
Pick: Washington by 7

1631726544 121 The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 2 Timing is everything
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) throws the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

BREAKING NEWS
We’ll be updating our column, based on the latest injuries and innuendo, right up until Sunday’s kickoffs. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.

You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Rally in support of Puppy Mill Pipeline bill planned Saturday, Sept. 18 at Colonie Center

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Rally in support of Puppy Mill Pipeline bill planned Saturday, Sept. 18 at Colonie Center

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Justiceforthehundred, a local group trying to bring awareness to animal abuse, according to its Facebook page, is holding a peaceful protest Saturday, September 18 at Colonie Center. The rally is to show support for the Shut Down the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill.

The bill would prohibit the sale of pets in New York pet stores but would allow stores to work with rescue organizations to adopt animals. The bill was passed by the New York Senate in May but failed to pass before the Senate adjourned in June, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

“The NY Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill received a groundswell of support and we are so thankful for your dedication! Unfortunately, the puppy mill industry was working behind the scenes to block this bill and it didn’t make it across the finish line,” the ASPCA tweeted on June 11.

“We should not be treating animals as if they are a commodity, as if they are a can of soup that we take off the shelf at the supermarket to buy,” said Senator Mike Gianaris, who sponsored the bill, in May.

The Humane Society conducted an investigation into puppy mills and released a report in November 2020. They said the results of the investigation were troubling. “What the investigator found was disturbing: breeders licensed and considered in good standing to sell to pet stores, who were nevertheless keeping
dozens or even hundreds of dogs in conditions that are a far cry from the happy and comfortable settings pet stores typically claim their puppies come from,” the report said.

The protest is scheduled from 12-2 p.m., according to a post from Justicefortheonehundred on its Facebook page.

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Kickin’ It with Kiz: Why trading for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2022 makes no sense for Broncos

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Kickin’ It with Kiz: Why trading for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2022 makes no sense for Broncos

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who favors selling the future of the Broncos down the river to get quarterback Aaron Rogers is an idiot that has no clue whatsoever. None.

Gurney, Boulder

Kiz: The staff here at Kickin’ It Headquarters was willing to pick up Rodgers at Denver International Airport if Broncos general manager George Paton found a way to pry him from Green Bay prior to this season. But we’ve moved on. The Packers have made the mistake of trying to milk one more season out of Rodgers. That’s their problem. Rodgers celebrates his 38th birthday in December. John Elway retired at age 38. Peyton Manning was done before his 40th birthday. Yes, Tom Brady might play until he’s 50, but Rodgers isn’t Brady. If the Packers are looking for first-round draft picks in return for Rodgers in 2022, it would be wise for Paton to tell Green Bay to look elsewhere for a trade partner.

Seriously? You are taking Rodgers if offered, right? Please say one amazing week by Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t prove anything. Remember when people wanted to give Trevor Siemian a deal after the Broncos started 4-0 in 2016?

Nick, skeptical by nature

Kiz: I never thought for one second thought Siemian was the long-term answer. All Bridgewater has proven to me is he’s a significantly superior quarterback than Siemian.

You totally questioned the Bridgewater signing and now everybody gets a free seat on the Broncos’ bandwagon, except for you, Kiz! He was totally Teddy Icewater with his performance in the victory against the New York Giants. Given more time to work with his receivers, he’s only going to get better. His defense will become loyalists in the same way they were for Manning and Jake Plummer. I see a team on the verge of something big!

James, rolling with Teddy B

Kiz: Well, I did doubt Bridgewater as a quarterback who can lead the Broncos to Super Bowl contention. (And I still do.) But question his signing? That would be difficult, because Denver traded for Bridgewater. Don’t let facts get in the way of your good rant, though. What I like best about Bridgewater is he’s comfortable enough in his own skin to not be unnerved by the playing QB in the city that Elway built. That makes him much more likely to succeed in Denver than Case Keenum.

Hey, Mark Kiszla, we would love to get 10 minutes of your time to hop on the radio with us here in Jacksonville and discuss Jaguars coach Urban Meyer. Can you lend us 10 minutes of your time?

Ryan, calls himself “Hack”

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Patriots sign QB Brian Hoyer off practice squad to 1-year deal

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Patriots sign QB Brian Hoyer off practice squad to 1-year deal

The Patriots signed quarterback Brian Hoyer off their practice squad to a 1-year deal Saturday, a source told the Herald.

Hoyer was temporarily elevated from the practice squad last weekend before the team’s season opener against Miami. Rookie starter Mac Jones had been the Pats’ only quarterback on the active roster. Since re-signing in May, Hoyer has been viewed as a mentor for Jones. The 35-year-old veteran leaves Garrett Gilbert as the only quarterback on the team’s practice squad.

The Patriots have one open roster spot left, with rookie kicker Quinn Nordin landing on injured reserve. Like Hoyer, the Pats could sign veteran kicker Nick Folk off their practice squad or elevate him again, as they did last weekend.

Sunday’s kickoff against the Jets is set for 1 p.m. from MetLife Stadium.

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Theater review: ‘Animate’ tries to tame existential questions in production that unfolds at Como Zoo

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Theater review: ‘Animate’ tries to tame existential questions in production that unfolds at Como Zoo

Jack Reuler spent nearly a half-century breaking and re-making the mold of theater in the Twin Cities. With “Animate,” the founding artistic director of Mixed Blood Theatre gives his final directorial effort a flair worthy of P.T. Barnum.

Reuler gathered a who’s who of local talent, called in a chit from film star Don Cheadle and somehow managed to borrow a helicopter to tell a Choose Your Own Adventure story that takes place in and around the exhibits of St. Paul’s Como Park Zoo.

Sally Wingert tries to convince city officials to go ahead with the zoo project in “Animate.” (Photo by Rich Ryan)

It’s ground Reuler and Mixed Blood have trod before. In 2017, “Safe at Home” had audiences traipsing through the press boxes and locker rooms of CHS Field. A couple of years later, patrons clambered onto golf carts and rolled through the St. Paul RiverCentre, weaving among classic cars and actors to experience “Autonomy.”

Like those productions, “Animate” blends gimmickry with zeitgeist: The central conflict involves the fictional Jackson Kennicott Zoo, which is on the brink of developing a shiny new rhino exhibit, funded by a $40 million gift by wealthy octogenarian Preston Davis.

On the day of the announcement, an interview surfaces in which Davis describes zoo chief Keisha Hardeman (the unflappable Regina Marie Williams, leading a tireless company of actors and audience-schleppers) as “street smart” and “highly articulate.”

Hardeman is an African American female, so the billionaire’s comments are broadly construed as racist. Protests ensue, as does a demand that the zoo return the donation, undoing a decade’s worth of deal-making efforts and robbing the city of a potentially valuable amenity and Hardeman of her legacy.

But smaller moral dilemmas dot “Animate” as well. The zoo must decide the fate of a giraffe deemed a “surplus animal” scheduled to be euthanized. And what of a pair of gorillas who, to human eyes, are a committed couple? Should they be kept together or separated to facilitate reproduction and the survival of the species?

“Animate” tees up the existential question of whether the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. As Hardeman, the zoo director, mulls, it’s not a choice between right and wrong; it’s a call between right and right.

In its best moments, “Animate” makes these tensions feel immediate: It’s one thing to debate the life of giraffe in the abstract. It’s another thing altogether to do so when that giraffe is blithely munching leaves 10 feet away from you.

In its lesser moments, the show can feel preachy and pedantic. Scenes are chopped up into strict eight-minute segments which audiences experience in small groups and in no particular order, so some vignettes feel rushed and others padded. The final scene — in which audiences reconvene at Como Harbor (home of the beloved Sparky the Sea Lion Show) labors to gather the various strands of the show and tie them up into a tidy bow.

For all its spectacle, “Animate” ultimately offers a quieter, more urgent lesson: We live in complex times, with competing needs and an imperative to reconcile intractable problems. Doing so requires nuance, a trait anathema to many characters in the play, and — sadly — a proxy for the binary, no-quarter-given political debate currently poisoning our country.

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Suspect arrested for allegedly stabbing two people in Pittsfield

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Suspect arrested for allegedly stabbing two people in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — A man was arrested for allegedly stabbing two people on Tyler Street in Pittsfield Thursday night.

According to Pittsfield Police Lieutenant Gary Traversa at around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, officers were called to a reported disturbance involving a motor vehicle crash and multiple stabbing victims in the area of the 700 block of Tyler Street. Two stabbing victims were located and medically assisted by Pittsfield Fire, County Ambulance, and bystanders. The victims were taken to Berkshire Medical Center with serious injuries.

Police arrested 36-year-old Joshua Lofink of Pittsfield Friday just after noon by a member of the Patrol Division, Anti-Crime Unit, and Detective Bureau. Lofink is charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and two counts of vandalizing property, the vehicle tires.

Lofink is expected to be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court Friday afternoon.

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