Q&A on the News

Q: While watching the baseball playoffs, we can see a graphic that shows whether a pitch was a ball or a strike by seeing whether it registers inside the strike zone. Where is this device and how does it work? — Richard Jackson, Atlanta

A: The technology, which is called PITCHf/x, was developed by Sportvision. It uses a three-camera system that is permanently installed in all 30 major-league stadiums to measure the location, speed and trajectory of every pitch of every major-league game within an inch, Sportvision President Mike Jakob told Q&A on the News. The pitch data are processed by computers to "be streamed in real time for television broadcast effects, consumer applications, performance analysis or other forms of entertainment and/or evaluation," according to the company's website.

Q: Do charter schools have to meet the same accreditation standards as public schools, and do federal guidelines on separation of church and state apply? — George Killgore, Carrollton

A: Charter schools are public schools, so they can't have a religious affiliation, Nina Rubin, the director of communications for the Georgia Charter Schools Association, told Q&A on the News. They must meet certain state requirements, such as CRCT scores, but have the flexibility to meet the goals of the school, which are provided in the school's charter, Rubin said. That means they can hire noncertified teachers and have a nonstandard school schedule. They are not required to provide transportation and they can be single-gender, the AJC reported. "Unlike traditional schools, if charter schools don't meet the goals of their charter, they are closed," Rubin said.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).