John Pagano speaks for first time as Raiders’ defensive play-caller

ALAMEDA — The Raiders defense won’t look much different, if at all, from a personnel standpoint with John Pagano at the helm.

Pagano’s title of “assistant head coach – defense” won’t change, but he assumes play-calling duties from Ken Norton Jr., who the Raiders fired as defensive coordinator on Tuesday. Pagano spent the last five seasons as defensive coordinator for the Chargers. He’s now tasked with rescuing a Raiders’ defense among the worst in the NFL.

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Pagano spoke to Bay Area media for the first time in his new role Thursday. He certainly hopes his defense looks vastly different in other ways come Sunday, when the Raiders (4-6) host the Broncos (3-7) at 1:25 p.m. PST.

“We have to do a lot of things different,” Pagano said. “We have to create turnovers. I think that’s the biggest thing missing from any defense. You have to get off the field on third down. We have to go out there, we have to affect the quarterback and make him uncomfortable. I think when those things happen, that gives you that confidence to keep doing the things that you want to do differently.”

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The Raiders rank last in the NFL with six takeaways, all coming on fumbles. Oakland has yet to grab an interception and sits tied for last in the league with 14 sacks. Through 10 games last year, the Raiders were plus-10 in turnovers. In the same time this season, they’re minus-nine.

Pagano, whose main area of focus before his promotion was the secondary, wasn’t handed any favors with a banged-up defensive backs unit. First-round pick Gareon Conley played only two games before his season ended. Second-round pick Obi …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

Everyone spent their Thanksgiving dinner shopping on their iPhones under the table — and it’s great news for retailers like Walmart and Target


Thanksgiving online sales have already reached $1.5 billion.
Almost half of all traffic to retailers’ sites is coming from smartphones.
Last year, Walmart and Target Thanksgiving Day smartphones sales were crucial to kicking off the retailers’ holiday shopping seasons.

Americans have already spent more than $1.5 billion online on Thanksgiving Day — and almost half of shoppers are on their smartphones.

As of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, 46% of all traffic to retail sites on Thanksgiving was from smartphones, according to Adobe Analytics data. That’s a 17% increase from Thanksgiving Day last year.

That means, for the first time, Thanksgiving shoppers are spending more time online shopping on their phones than on their computers. Desktop and tablet traffic both dropped compared to last year.

Ignoring friends and family to shop on your iPhone is becoming something of a tongue-in-cheek Thanksgiving tradition. The New York Times’ product review site Wirecutter tweeted on Thursday: “Thanksgiving is for your family, not for shopping… So please be discreet while you do it on your phone”.

Still, just because everyone is ignoring their families to troll retailers’ websites doesn’t mean that people are spending the most money on their iPhones. According to Adobe, smartphones sales make up a 30% share of revenue so far today. That’s a 22% increase from last year, but still falling short of desktop sales, which accounted for a 57% share.

Last year was also a record year for smartphone shopping on Thanksgiving. As of 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day 2016, mobile sales had reached $449 million, an increase of 58% from 2015.

In 2016, both Walmart and Target highlighted smartphone sales as key to a successful kick off to the online shopping season. According to Walmart, 70% of traffic to the retailer’s website during the Thursday kick off of its Black Friday promotion came from mobile devices.

SEE ALSO: Brands including Papa John’s and Starbucks are victims of a ‘consumer awakening’ as boycotts explode in Trump’s America

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NOW WATCH: The dark story behind the term ‘Black Friday’

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Source:: Business Insider

Aurora Cannabis buying greenhouse designer Larssen to push pot partnership plans

Aurora Cannabis Inc. says it intends to use its ownership of greenhouse design firm Larssen Ltd. to pressure other cannabis producers to enter partnerships that will further its aggressive growth plans.

In a news release, the Alberta-based cannabis producer said Larssen is involved with more than 15 cannabis industry clients globally, including five Canadian licensed producers, but its Canadian deals will be reassessed once the buyout announced Thursday is completed.

“We’re going to certainly encourage those to proceed but we’re going to require some level of partnership, whether that be an equity stake or a supply agreement or other things,” said Aurora executive vice-president Cam Battley. “We’re open to various formulae.”

He wouldn’t name the five Canadian companies but said they don’t include CanniMed Therapeutics Inc., against which it is pursuing an all-stock hostile takeover bid, or Newstrike Resources Ltd., a company CanniMed is attempting to buy.

According to its website, cannabis producer The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. is working with Larssen to build a large greenhouse in Quebec. It did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Analyst Russell Stanley of Echelon Wealth Partners, who covers CanniMed but not Aurora, said Thursday afternoon he hasn’t been able to find out which Canadian companies Aurora is referring to in its release.

He said it’s highly unusual for the buyer of a service company to so publicly declare that it will revise its deals with competitors.

“I think in the context of also announcing plans to launch a hostile (bid) for CanniMed, clearly Aurora is being very aggressive in its growth strategy,” he said.

He said the rapid rise in share price for Aurora and other cannabis companies means they can afford to make acquisitions very cheaply through stock offers.

“You’re going to see M&A activity pick up, scale is going to become increasingly important,” he said.

Aurora shares gained 32 cents or about five per cent to close at $6.74 on Thursday.

Financial terms of the Larssen deal were not disclosed, but Aurora said they include performance-based milestone payments.

Larssen, which has offices in Denmark and Burlington, Ont., is designing, engineering and overseeing construction of the half-built Aurora Sky cannabis greenhouse near the Edmonton International Airport, a facility it says will have capacity to produce 100,000 kilograms of cannabis per year.

Battley said the facility will be a closed system hybrid greenhouse capable of precise control of light, heat, humidity and nutrients to produce “ultra low cost” cannabis. To ensure no contaminants …read more