Month:

August 2019

Declining Consumer Protections Mandate Greater Nonprofit Eye on Corporate Abuses

first_imgShare6Tweet6ShareEmail12 SharesBy U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsMarch 7, 2018; Washington PostAs you begin your search for your first new home, or a car (new or used) that you will be making payments on, or a replacement for the washing machine that makes strange noises every time you use it, you’ll want to research your upcoming purchase. But will you also be able to do research on those who will be lending you the funds to make those purchases, and know that your rights as a consumer will be guaranteed? Going online to the ratings of organizations such as Consumer Reports to find the “best of the best” may point you in the right direction, but according to the Washington Post, under the Trump administration and the regulators he has appointed, there will be far fewer protections in place for the ordinary consumer.NPQ addressed one aspect of this roll back of regulations in an article in December of 2017 on the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and the rollback of its work as the Trump administration assumed leadership and brought much of its work to a halt. Since November 2017, when Mick Mulvaney assumed leadership, no consumer protection actions have moved forward from this agency. And the ripple effect has moved from one federal agency to another. The Labor Department has slowed implementation of a rule that would require financial advisors to act in the best interest of their clients. The Education Department has received much press for its withdrawal of protections for student borrowers.The new approach—welcomed by banks and business leaders—has alarmed consumer advocates who fear it gives an advantage to Wall Street and other powerful industries while leaving ordinary Americans more susceptible to fraud, discrimination and predatory lending.“There hasn’t been a lot that has been methodical about this presidency, but I do think Trump is systematically dismantling consumer protections,” said Mark Totten, a Michigan State University law professor who studies the enforcement of consumer protection laws and a 2014 Democratic candidate for Michigan attorney general.The new direction affects agencies that touch nearly every aspect of consumer life, advocates say—from how Americans access credit and car loans to the safety of cribs and cellphones.The thinking behind this approach, advanced by Wall Street, big industry, and the Trump administration, is the philosophy of everyone making decisions as individuals.“For too long, the guise of consumer protection has been used to benefit trial lawyers, government bureaucracies, and ambitious politicians looking for their next job,” Lindsay Walters, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement. “The Trump administration has put the focus of consumer protection back where it belongs: on protecting consumers and enabling them to make better decisions for themselves.”Trump proclaimed March 4–10 as “National Consumer Protection Week,” saying it is “an opportunity for Americans to learn about their consumer rights” so they can better protect themselves from predatory practices, identity theft and fraud.As regulations are rolled back on the finance industry, including payday loan companies charging as much as 950 percent and banks who hold student loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, it may be up to the consumer as an individual to take action on their behalf if they feel they are wronged. Under this administration, they cannot count on the government to “go to bat” on their behalf. As NPQ said in December 2017: “If you were counting on someone, somewhere in government to watch out for you and your finances, that agency may now be a thing of the past.”The takeaways for the nonprofit community are many. As consumer protections fade in the finance industry, nonprofits helping clients, particularly those most likely to be victims of predatory practices and fraud, understand that what they are dealing with may become a priority service. As consumer rights are seen only as individual rights, helping clients learn from one another’s experiences may provide useful guidance. Agencies and organizations may find new ways to collaborate and share both information and actions in order to protect and support those who will find themselves caught in the morass of deregulation and lack of consumer protection. Who knows? The mantra “buyer beware” may become a part of the nonprofit mission.—Carole LevineShare6Tweet6ShareEmail12 Shareslast_img read more

Will the Pope Recognize the Moments Redemptive Needs as Bishops Resign

first_imgShare6Tweet30ShareEmail36 SharesBy Milliped [CC BY 3.0], from Wikimedia CommonsMay 18, 2018; CruxSince the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church broke in 2004, the Vatican has struggled with how to respond. This week, Pope Francis was given an opportunity to set a clear example of moral leadership when 34 bishops, representing the entire bishopric of Chile, offered to resign en masse.The statement from the bishops, three of whom are retired, said that they placed their futures “in the hands of the Holy Father so that he might freely decide for each one of us.”Chile is in the spotlight at the moment because of a recent investigation into the behavior of Bishop Juan Barros, whom Francis promoted in 2015. Bishop Barros has been accused of covering up for his mentor Father Fernando Karadima, who had been found guilty of sexually abusing minors. The Pope initially defended Barros, but later admitted this was a “grave error.” Two priests were sent to Chile to interview victims, and they returned with a 2,300-page report, prompting Francis to invite the Chilean bishops to the Vatican for a “frank discernment regarding the serious events which have damaged the ecclesial communion and undermined the work of the Church in Chile in recent years.”Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the abuse victims, wrote to Francis in 2015, saying, “Please Holy Father, don’t be like the others. There are so many of us who despite everything think that you can do something. I treasure my faith, it’s what sustains me, but it is slipping away from me.”The pope accused the Chilean bishops of “grave negligence” and of not having the “mettle to assume as a body this reality in which we are all involved, first of all myself, and that no one can be exempted from by putting the problem on someone else’s shoulders.”Inés San Martín writes in the Catholic outlet Crux,[Francis] also writes of being “perplexed and shamed” by witnesses who testified that those responsible for the criminal process were pressured from above and that compromising documents were destroyed, which shows a complete disregard of the canonical process.This behavior, destroying evidence and suppressing reports, categorized the Church’s response to the sex scandal from the start, and magnified the problem even beyond the immediate crimes. Even Francis has been accused of having a “blind spot” when it comes to sexual abuse. Ross Douthat wrote in 2015,The reason the sex abuse issue was a crisis for the church rather than just a scandal was that it exposed systemic failures of governance within the Catholic hierarchy, systemic culpability on the part of the episcopate, and neither Rome nor the bishops themselves seemed to have any kind of response that wasn’t ad hoc, situational, and self-protective.James E. Post reported for NPQ in 2004,The Church’s own research, published in 2004, confirmed that credible allegations of sexual abuse were filed against 4,399 priests over several decades. Across the country, more than 10,000 victims of abuse were identified in church records. These data are likely underreported according to the researchers, painting a picture of widespread abuse that is dark and forbidding.Francis has responded more compassionately to the crisis than his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, but victims still have not yet seen major, decisive action on the Church’s part to acknowledge the extent of the problem. Tara Isabella Burton wrote that the Chilean bishops’ offer of resignation is “unprecedented” and “the most significant formal acceptance of responsibility for abuse by members of the church hierarchy anywhere in the world.”As of now, it’s unclear what will happen to the bishops, or whether Francis will even accept their resignations. Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register predicts that the four bishops who made up Karadima’s inner circle and presumably knew about the abuse will be allowed to resign, and the rest will remain in their posts. The bishops wrote in their letter that if their resignations were not accepted, they would continue to help repair the damage and do pastoral work in the church. Pentin said that a senior Church figure “cautioned that the events of today could pose serious problems for episcopacies worldwide if whole bishops’ conference were similarly ‘told to pack their bags and go.’” Patsy McGarry at the Irish Times reports that former president Mary McAleese said the Irish bishops considered a similar move, though ultimately only a few men resigned. It’s hard to deny there would be a huge logistical problem if an entire layer of the Church hierarchy were to resign at once.But that matter of practical inconvenience pales in comparison to the opportunity Pope Francis has to make a meaningful gesture of responsibility to the victims. Some of his statements indicate that he recognizes this; he wrote that removing those in authority “must be done, but it’s not enough, we must go further.” That’s encouraging, but it’s vague, and he has not yet informed the public whether he will accept the bishops’ resignation.José Andrés Murillo, another victim, said Pope Francis should accept the offer because “they all deserve to go.”—Erin RubinShare6Tweet30ShareEmail36 Shareslast_img read more

A New Study on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Highlights

first_imgShare448TweetShareEmail448 Shares“A participant in the Greater Than Fear Rally & March in Rochester, Minnesota,” Lorie ShaullNovember 14, 2018; Associated PressAn alarming number of Indigenous women and girls disappear or are murdered each year. The absence of consistent, standardized reporting on the issue has prevented researchers from gaining a true understanding of the problem. However, a new report released by the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI), a tribal epidemiology center, aims to shed light on the cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).Entitled “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” the report identified 506 cases across 71 cities. The cities included in the report were selected based on whether there was a significant population of urban American Indians, a large number of MMIWG cases, or an urban American Indian health center affiliated with UIHI.Researchers Annita Lucchesi and Abigail Echo-Hawk assert that the number likely represents an undercount, given the amount of data that seems to be missing. While the institute requested records spanning from 1900 to the present, two-thirds of the cases included in the report occurred between 2010 and 2018, with the earliest case documented in 1943.While the researchers consider their findings a snapshot of the true scope, their findings fill a critical gap in knowledge. Prior to UIHI’s report, most research focused on reservations despite census data showing that the majority of Native American and Alaska Native people reside in cities. By targeting urban areas, the organization was able to highlight how poor data collection, lack of persecution, and institutional racism are factors that also occur off reservations as well.The report was released on the heels of growing national attention and pending legislation at the state and federal level. Earlier this year, NPQ covered Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women Washington’s role in coordination of the anniversary Women’s March in Seattle. In June, Washington state passed legislation mandating the collection and analysis of data on MMIWG throughout the state by June 2019. And, last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs voted to send Savanna’s Act to full chamber for consideration.The bill is intended to improve data collection, including requiring annual reporting on the number of MMIWGs, establishing guidelines for handling the cases of missing Indigenous people, and expanding tribal access to federal crime databases. However, as Lucchesi and Echo-Hawk point out, the bill is not expansive enough to aggregate the data needed to create sound policy and to protect Native women and girls living in urban areas. Currently, the bill would set reporting mandates for federal law enforcement but not urban areas and municipalities. The exclusion of urban areas from the act means that MMIWG, including Savanna LaFontaine-Greybird, after whom the bill is named, would not be included in data collection efforts. Furthermore, failure to include urban areas in reporting would allow violence against this vulnerable population to continue.Just as important to the study were the significant challenges encountered while attempting to obtain case records. Nearly half of municipal police departments failed to respond at all or within the designated time frame required of public disclosure requests. Additionally, racial misclassification was common, with some victims classified as “white” (the default when race is unknown) or “Hispanic” [sic]. Often, Native women and girls from tribes that are not federally recognized were not identified as Native at all. Despite race typically being used as a classifier when crimes are reported, nine cities were unable to identify Native American, Alaska Native, or American Indian people in their database.In some cases, agencies provided incomplete or confusing records. For instance, in Seattle, UIHI received an updated list after the homicide unit discovered that the letter “N” was used for “Negro” and not “Native American” as recently as the early 1980s. By combing through social media, news reports, missing persons databases, and family sources, the organization was able to find an additional 153 cases that were not included in law enforcement records.In addition to assessing the difficulty in obtaining records and how cases were tracked, the UIHI also focused on how reporting by the media contributes to the issue. Of the 506 cases documented, 95 percent were never covered by national or international news outlets. Of the coverage they could find, Lucchesi and Echo-Hawk noted that 31 percent of outlets used what is considered “violent language,” which is defined as “language that engages in racism or misogyny or racial stereotyping, including references to drugs, alcohol, sex work, gang violence, victim criminal history, victim blaming, making excuses for the perpetrator, misgendering transgender victims, racial misclassification, false information on cases, not naming the victim, and publishing images/video of the victim’s death.” Such reporting can cause additional harm by perpetuating negative stereotypes of American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Furthermore, the lack of sustained reporting minimizes the issue and limits efforts to increase community dialogue on how to improve safety for all who go missing.The researchers provide several recommendations including more funding for research, implementing enforceable data collection methods such as notifying tribes once someone goes missing or is murdered, and using guidelines created by the Native American Journalist Association to evaluate stories for bias. Researchers hope the implementation of such measures will prevent American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls from disappearing “in life, the media, and in the data.”—Chelsea DennisShare448TweetShareEmail448 Shareslast_img read more

The BBC has launched a new Russian language news a

first_imgThe BBC has launched a new Russian language news app for iPhones.The BBC Russian App offers content from the bbcrussian.com website, including breaking news stories and video reports. The app can be personalised to focus on specific news areas including Russian news, world news, UK news, business, sport, society, multimedia and science and technology. It also offers offline access to the top three stories from each category. Video content is accessible over WiFi and 3G networks.James Montgomery, controller of digital and technology, BBC Global News said, “We are delighted to be launching this app for Russian speakers who want to use and share our news on the go with their iPhone or iPod touch, giving them access to a wealth of news content in the way that works best for them.”last_img read more

Ted Hall The football World Cup from Brazil is the

first_imgTed HallThe football World Cup from Brazil is the most accessible in the tournament’s history, according to research group Ovum, which estimates aht coverage of the competition is available on up to 5.9 billion screens globally.According to Ovum, PCs, tablets and smartphones now account for the majority of screens on which the World Cup is available, totalling 57% of all screens. However, larger screens will account for the majority of viewing of the tournament.“Devices capable of streaming live and on-demand video – of which there now 4.7 billion – are providing additional viewing opportunities outside the appointment viewing taking place in people’s living rooms,” said Ted Hall, senior analyst at Ovum. “With the likes of tablets providing the convenience and flexibility to consume content whenever and wherever, fans are able to watch more of the tournament than ever before.”Despite the widespread availability of the content, Ovum said that significant innovation around the tournament is lacking, with FIFA abandoning its support for 3DTV.last_img read more

DTVKit is exhibiting at IBC on stand 4A61c

first_imgDTVKit is exhibiting at IBC on stand 4.A61c Taiwan-based set-top manufacturer Tatung Technology has joined UK-based not-for-profit DVB software stack organisation DTVKit to expand its DVB product range into the European market. DTVKit provides the core building blocks of a broadcast DVB stack royalty free. Tatung provides a wide range of digital TV CPE devices, including video gateways, set-top boxes, wireless devices, content delivery OTT and multiple screen solutions.Tatung’s collaboration with DTVKit is to develop a series of set-top box products, from H.264/1080p60 entry zapper to premium Ultra HD HEVC/4Kp60 gateway, for the delivery of MHEG and HbbTV solutions, in conjunction with IP, satellite, cable and terrestrial DVB services. Beyond its offering, this new development uses the latest software components from DTVKit and will be built on top of Tatung’s STB software platform including Linux/HTML5 Browser, Android and the latest RDK2.0 software.“We are very pleased that [Tatung] has joined DTVKit,” said Amy Cleary, Marketing and Operations Manager at DTVKit. “[Tatung] is an innovative and well respected manufacturer in the digital TV industry and we look forward to their contribution to the foundation on accelerating time to market for new products in this ever evolving market.”Luke Dang, president of Tatung said, “This collaboration allows [Tatung] to offer a mature technology platform to the rapidly growing Digital TV markets that are undergoing the next wave of deployments. DTVKit’s reliable DVB software stack compliments [Tatung’s] existing solution perfectly, and is essential to new product development and faster delivery to our customers.”last_img read more

Video technology provider Harmonic has launched a

first_imgVideo technology provider Harmonic has launched a certification programme for technology partners to recognize their “continued investment in technical talent”, the company said. According to Harmonic, its Certified Services Partner programme is designed not only to enhance customer confidence in participating partners, but also to foster continual improvement in the partner-provided support services afforded to Harmonic customers worldwide.The programme standardises the discount terms and provides branding for partners in addition to their tier status – Platinum and Gold – with Harmonic.Partners that are accepted into the programme will take specified Harmonic training courses. They will also complete an audit of their customer support processes, create procedures for communications and reporting with the Harmonic technical assistance centre, and participate in ongoing reviews.“Our goal in creating the Harmonic Certified Services Partner programme is to continue to empower our partners to deliver not only pre-sales support, but also post-sales support — and to give them the tools and resources to better serve our customers,” said Spencer Hodson, vice-president, sales and channel strategy, operations and enablement at Harmonic.“Partners have asked for this level of support from Harmonic, as services are a meaningful differentiator for their businesses. The programme will reward partners who invest in this service assurance process and pave the way for further certification and specialisation programmes.”last_img read more

Robin Rutili Interactive TV technology provider Ze

first_imgRobin RutiliInteractive TV technology provider Zenterio has agreed to acquire US-based VTilt Digital, an Atlanta-based software company specialising in digital video technology.Zenterio said the SEK12 million (€1.3 million) deal – together with Zenterio’s 27M Group acquisition in September and Systemagic in December 2014 – is part of its expansion strategy for meeting increased demand for its interactive TV software solutions.The deal also gives Zenterio a strengthened position in the North American market.Zenterio said the VTilt acquisition finalised its programme of strategic acquisitions that was announced in connection with a capital injection that was implemented in late 2014.“VTilt’s comprehensive competence is vital for Zenterio, particularly when it comes to IP-TV expertise and leading solutions that are currently installed with operators,” says Robin Rutili, CEO of Zenterio.“We must quickly meet demand because we recently brought home many deals requiring us to replace these solutions. While VTilt is a small company, it has a top-notch reputation in the industry and is the perfect representative for Zenterio’s brand on the North American market. Going forward, the plan is to quickly expand the Atlanta office to be able to leverage business opportunities that are available in the US, Canada, and Latin America and to strengthen our partner network.”last_img read more

Telekom Austria said that TV and broadband growth

first_imgTelekom Austria said that TV and broadband growth partly compensated for continued losses in fixed-line voice in the third quarter.In Austria, the company’s A1 TV service had 263,000 customers at the end of the quarter, up 7.9%. However, TV and broadband revenue failed to completely arrest a decline in fixed line ARPU.In Bulgaria, where the company recently acquired cable operator Blizoo – which has yet to be consolidated – TV subscribers from its existing Mobiltel unit numbered 124,100, up 53.8% following the launch of a satellite offering at the end of last year. Croatian unit Vipnet recorded 187,200 TV customers at the end of September, up 14.6%.Telekom Austria posted revenues of €1.012 billion for the quarter, down 3.5%. Like-for-like EBITDA was €386.4 million, down 6.8%.last_img read more

Beauty firm Coty has bought social TV service Beam

first_imgBeauty firm Coty has bought social TV service Beamly, with plans to use it as a marketing platform to help increase engagement with its digital campaigns.Announcing the deal, Coty described Beamly – which first launched in 2012 as a second-screen TV app called Zeebox – as a “cutting-edge digital marketing firm.”The company said it will use Beamly’s focus on driving audience growth and engagement around media to “provide a significant step change in Coty’s own digital engagement capabilities.”Coty, which is responsible for well-known fragrances from the likes of Calvin Klein, as well as cosmetics and skincare products, said the Beamly team will work across its in-house marketing operations and provide “enhanced digital marketing campaigns.”In particular, Coty said it will tap into Beamly’s data benchmarking, content creation, content optimisation and consumer engagement tools.“The acquisition of Beamly will address the accelerating consumer shift in time spent from traditional media to real time digital and social media channels,” said Camillo Pane, Coty’s executive vice-president, category development.“Beamly will help us to accelerate the growth of our e-commerce business, and be a positive contributor as Coty advances toward becoming a highly focused, pure-play leader and challenger in beauty.”Beamly will continue to be led by CEO and ex-Time Warner Cable executive Jason Forbes, but he will now be supervised by Pane. Beamly’s New York team will be based in Coty’s New York office, while the London team will remain in their current offices.Beamly was rebranded from Zeebox last year in a bid to “capture the zeitgeist” of its core target audience of 16 to 24 year-old millennials. At the time, Zeebox’s founders – former EMI exec Ernesto Schmitt and former iPlayer boss Anthony Rose – described the move as an evolution of the service, in line with shifts in the wider second screen TV market.“Zeebox was all about TV, Beamly is all about the show,” said Rose at the time, with the revamped app becoming a destination that provides value “even if you’re never in front of a TV.”Following the rebrand, both Rose and Schmitt took a “step back” from the firm and in May Rose launched a new social networking app designed to connect people with shared interests, called 6Tribes.Global beauty firm Coty was founded in Paris in 1904 and claimed net revenues of US$4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. The firm’s brand portfolio includes Calvin Klein, Chloé, Davidoff, Marc Jacobs and Rimmel.The Beamly deal was agreed for undisclosed terms.last_img read more

By 2020 mobile video will represent 75 of global

first_imgBy 2020, mobile video will represent 75% of global mobile data traffic, up from 55% in 2015, according to new research by Cisco.The Cisco Visual Networking Index report claims that mobile video will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application and by 2020, and will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 62% between 2015 and 2020.“Because mobile video content has much higher bit rates than other mobile content types, mobile video will generate much of the mobile traffic growth through 2020,” according to the Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update.“Of the 30.6 exabytes per month crossing the mobile network by 2020, 23.0 exabytes will be due to video.”Cisco said that this growth in video will result in an acceleration of busy-hour traffic in relation to average traffic growth, as video use tends to occur during evening hours and has a “prime time,” unlike general web use.“The shift toward on-demand video will affect mobile networks as much as it will affect fixed networks. Traffic can increase dramatically, even while the total amount of time spent watching video remains relatively constant,” said Cisco.Overall, the study said that global mobile data traffic will reach 30.6 exabytes per month in 2020, up from 3.7 exabytes in 2015. Per-year, it will reach 366.8 exabytes — up from 44.2 exabytes in 2015.This forecast annual run rate of 366.8 exabytes of mobile data traffic for 2020 is equivalent to 7 trillion video clips and is 120-times more than all the global mobile traffic generated in 2010, according to the research.last_img read more

Sky has launched the Sky Kids App a new service t

first_imgSky has launched the Sky Kids App, a new service that allows younger viewers in Sky homes to stream series from Cartoon Network, Disney, CBeebies, CiTV, Nickelodeon and Milkshake.The UK pay TV operator is also moving into original children’s commissioning and it is working with prodco Aardman on a new version of Morph – Sky’s first kids original.The iconic claymation series was rebooted by CBBC last year and Sky said it has ordered new episodes for later this year.Alix Wiseman, head of sales and acquisitions & executive producer, Aardman commented: “Morph is very dear to our hearts and we hope that he and his mate Chas will entertain a brand new generation of viewers on this platform, as they have their loyal fan-base over the past four decades.”There will also be a live-action series, showing kids how to make and animate plasticine characters.Sky launched the app this morning, saying it is targeting preschoolers through to nine-year-olds. It allows kids to create a profile and view shows from a 4,000-strong line-up. They can stream the series on smart TVs and connected devices and there are age-related parental controls.Parents can set up to ten profiles for kids. The app is free to existing Sky subs on the Variety package and above.Sky’s move will be welcome news for indies, as the BBC has for some time been the only regular UK commissioner of scale in terms of kids content.Lucy Murphy, Head of Kids Content, Sky said: “We have worked really closely with lots of children and their parents to design the new Sky Kids app. It means they can watch all their favourite shows in a really engaging way designed just for them. Safety is of fundamental importance so parents will be able to filter what their child watches according to their age.She added: “Around a quarter of Sky households have children so we know how important it is we give them the very best kids entertainment. That is why we are investing in exclusive new programming starting with family favourite Morph as well as developing future enhancements for the app including even more safety features, live channels and offline viewing.”last_img read more

Michael Inouye China remains the largest single ma

first_imgMichael InouyeChina remains the largest single market for streaming media adapters, even though restrictions on some domestic content and services have impacted growth. According to ABI Research, streaming sticks in China are less popular than streaming boxes or pucks because the pricing of these device types is relatively similar.The research firm also said that even though a ban on console gaming was recently lifted in China, PC, online and mobile gaming will remain more popular, making it difficult for these streaming platforms to differentiate themselves.“While gaming is challenging, 4K is becoming an easy way for competitors to differentiate their offerings and to create pricing tiers within the companies’ product portfolios,” said ABI Research principal analyst, Michael Inouye.“China again leads the 4K market in this regard, with Roku, Amazon, and Nvidia all adding 4K boxes to their product portfolios. Future applications like smart home integration could expand the market’s potential, but there will continue to be strong competition from existing connected devices.”last_img read more

Balan Nair Liberty Global plans to invest in RDKB

first_imgBalan NairLiberty Global plans to invest in RDK-B-based gateway devices and the in-home network in preparation for anticipated  growth in demand for Internet of Things applications as well as growing demand for the delivery of video to multiple devices, according to Balan Nair, EVP and CTO of Liberty Global.Interviewed on stage at Cable Congress in Warsaw by CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney yesterday, Nair said RDK-B – the broadband version of the standard cable platform developed by Comcast and others,originally for TV set-top boxes – is a critical component of the stack the company is building for broadband access products. “We plan to innovate on that stack,” he said. “Middleware is powerful if you use it properly. We need intelligence on these devices because IoT is coming.”Nair said Liberty planned its future in three year cycles. In terms of applications and services, Nair said the company would focus on mobile and B2B in the current cycle. Further out, he said Liberty aimed to be “a big player in IoT” and would also think about its potential involvement in 5G mobile and artificial intelligence, “which will be a big part of what we do”.In the next three years, the company will “harmonise” its back-office systems as well as invest in new-build networks, with 1.6 million homes to be built out this year and up to seven million over the full three-year period.More generally, Nair said that Liberty Global sees that competitors across Europe have “woken up” and are doing a lot of the right things, while a number of new entrants are also disrupting the industry.Liberty’s best response, he said, is to focus on its bundle of products. He said that consumers like bundling and are interested in video and increased bandwidth, all at a low price. “You’ve got to figure out how to do this in a very cost-efficient way,” he said. “I’m a big believer in the quad-play.”Mobile services will be a big part of this, and the company has adopted three broad approaches – the acquisition of a full MNO, as in Belgium, the launch of a full MVNO and the introduction of services through a light MVNO.With regard to the first of these, Nair said that Liberty’s acquisition of BASE Company in Belgium was “a no-brainer”, while the company is creating a full MVNO in other markets. Other territories have been targeted with light MVNOs.He said that Liberty would invest in broadband and LTE as well as video in the Caribbean region following its acquisition of local operator Cable & Wireless Communications. “We are very bullish about it,” he said.last_img read more

Hugues Foulon Orange has named Hugues Foulon as he

first_imgHugues FoulonOrange has named Hugues Foulon as head of the chairman and CEO’s office and secretary of the group’s executive committee.Foulon, who will report direct to chairman and CEO Stéphane Richard, was previously chief financial officer of Orange Middle East and Africa.Foulon began his career with Générale des Eaux (now Veolia), becoming director of the Monagesque Cable TV and Monagesque des Eaux group of subsidiaries, before joining Vivendi-owned Monaco Telecom as deputy CEO. He joined Orange as finance director for the consumer marketing segment in 2005, subsequently returning to Vivendi in a finance role before rejoining Orange as director of of financial control, marketing and innovation in 2009.last_img read more

The augmented and mixed reality market is tipped t

first_imgThe augmented and mixed reality market is tipped to soar in value to US$14.1 billion (€12.1 billion) by the end of 2021, despite contracting in size this year.Pokemon GoFuturesource Consulting estimates that the value of the overall consumer mobile AR/MR market reached US$1.7 billion in 2016, driven by applications like Snapchat and Pokémon Go.The latter’s rapid short-term success and subsequent loss of momentum has “overinflated” the market, which will dip to US$1.4 billion this year. However, this won’t harm its long-term potential, according to the research.“The longer-term outlook is for a startling 77% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2017-2021, with mobile AR/MR soaring to US$14.1 billion market valuation by the end of 2021,” according to the report.While Futuresource concedes that AR/MR technologies are still a long-way from being “an everyday feature of consumers’ lives”, it predicts social media networks will play a major part in their growth.“Although the mobile AR/MR proposition is very much in its infancy today, the end-game is clear for Facebook, Apple, Google, SnapChat, Microsoft et al,” said Futuresource Consulting market analyst, Michael Boreham.“AR/MR is considered to be the next major computing platform, offering a revolutionary technological leap that has the potential to evolve and enhance our digital interaction across industries such as communication, utilities, entertainment and e-commerce.“In reality, it may be the best part of a decade before the emergence of a killer AR/MR app appears. However, as technology develops and affordable devices come to market, AR/MR will be pushed into the mainstream for everyday use, especially for entertainment and utility tasks.”last_img read more

Eleven Sports and MMA franchise UFC have unveiled

first_imgEleven Sports and MMA franchise UFC have unveiled a new broadcast partnership for the UK and Ireland, starting in January 2019.Danny MenkenUnder the terms of the deal, Eleven has secured the rights to 42 live UFC events in 2019, as well as 150 hours of UFC original and archive programming.UFC Fight Nights will be shown live on Eleven Sports, though Eleven also has the option to make some events available in partnership with other broadcast platforms.Danny Menken, group MD, Eleven Sports, said: “UFC is a perfect fit for our fan centric strategy. We are a big supporter of combat sports across our markets and the approach that we have taken with our properties has been very successful.”UFC SVP international and content David Shaw added: “We have worked successfully with Eleven Sports in Belgium and Luxembourg and we are looking forward to extending our partnership. The UK and Ireland are among UFC’s strongest markets globally and it made perfect sense to partner with them to showcase our product to fans.”UFC is the latest major property acquired by Eleven Sports, following the addition of LaLiga (Spain), Serie A (Italy) and Eredivisie (Netherlands) among others.All the action will be distributed on Eleven’s subscription-based streaming platform via www.elevensports.uk, and iOS and Android mobile and tablet apps.Eleven is also in discussion with broadcast platforms, third party streaming services and smart TV manufacturers to offer the widest possible access to UFC, in line with its platform agnostic approach.last_img read more

Companion devices have the power to transform the

first_imgCompanion devices have the power to transform the TV experience, but the TV ecosystem will need to evolve to meet the challenge, writes Simon Woodward.It’s hard to imagine a world without our mobile devices – handsets, smartphones and tablets are now run of the mill tools that we rely upon, connecting and interacting with one another via social networks and other communication platforms. This move towards a more interactive world isn’t just having an impact on our communications when we’re on the go; it’s in our homes too.The living room experience of 2011 is a far cry from 10, or even five years ago. For consumers, it means interacting with multiple devices all at once – a television, laptop, a mobile phone, a tablet. It increasingly means that TV services are no longer confined to the living room, with the potential for content to move beyond the main TV screen, driven by the consumer.The chance to reach a viewer whilst they’re on the move through flexible, personalised content and on-demand features means that broadcasters have an opportunity to engage and connect with their audiences at a more in-depth level. The TV has now fully evolved from a ‘loudspeaker’ role (a box transmitting content controlled by someone else). Today, the consumer is firmly in the driving seat, selecting from a vast range of content to shape their own viewing experience fitted around their own schedule.With personalisation fully ingrained in our ‘traditional’ TV viewing behaviour – arguably many of us take for granted today the ease with which we can pick and choose what we want to watch and when we want to watch it – it’s time for us to really contemplate what the rise of the companion device world means for the future of TV.A recent industry study revealed that 70% of portable device owners use their devices whilst watching TV. For the broadcaster, the content provider and the advertiser, this is an engagement opportunity not to be missed. By taking online connectivity to the next level, there’s scope to examine a huge array of benefits – both for consumers and service providers.Companion devices form part of a chain of connectivity leading to the convergence of media content and interactive services. The opportunity to move content from the TV to a companion device and vice versa provides consumers with a new level of flexibility, enhancing the viewing experience.Touch screen user interfaces, a standard feature on today’s tablets and smartphones, create an opportunity to provide new search, navigation and control functions for the main screen TV. The impact of moving content across different devices must be considered when designing the user interface and the different functions of each device must be taken into account. And, it’s not just a challenge for broadcasters and content providers.Device manufacturers also have a growing challenge on their hands – after all, these are the organisations that consumers are going to turn to when it comes to making this interactive experience a reality, companion device functionality offers an opportunity to differentiate.Simple search and navigation and a slick user interface are just the first in a line of things that must be considered. Consumers don’t want purchase a new set-top box every time a new application or service hits the market. In order to make their products as agile as the marketplace, they need the right technology in place that will enable these new companion services to grow with demands – enabling them to deliver consumers with fresh content and new features, as they become available.TV applications and services in the connected home have the potential deliver a step change in the TV experience. However, to fully fulfil this promise and deliver a seamless, intuitive, interactive TV experience, the whole TV ecosystem will need to embrace it.Simon Woodward is CEO of ANT Software.last_img read more

Britta Reinhardt chief commercial officer – consu

first_imgBritta Reinhardt, chief commercial officer – consumer, for C&W CommunicationsEnglish Premier League rights holder RUSH has launched on Flow TV in the Carribbean.Announced on July 15, the launch of RUSH on the TV offer will provide viewers with live coverage all 380 matches per season for the next three years in addition to team highlights, special studio and magazine programmes.Flow offers cable TV to Barbados, Curaçao, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent.Britta Reinhardt, chief commercial officer – consumer, for C&W Communications (C&W), operator of the consumer brands Flow, BTC and UTS in the Caribbean, said: “This is a huge win for all football fans across the region. As we continue to place our customers at the heart of everything we do, our priority is to provide them with exciting and fun access to premium sports. Adding the RUSH channel to our lineup was an easy decision in that it gives our customers the access they deserve.Flow will replace its current Flow Sports Premier channel with RUSH. RUSH will be available in all Flow TV markets on the same channel number that Flow Sports Premier previously used.Reinhardt added: “This means that Flow customers who are die-hard fans of the Premier League will continue to tune in to Flow TV to enjoy riveting football action in real time and have 24/7 access to all of the Premier League coverage they desire.” RUSH will broadcast the excitement of all 380 Premier League matches in each of the next 3 seasons via programming that will include team highlights, special studio and magazine programmes.last_img read more

DONEYBREWER BUTLERMAYOR HILARY MCCLINTOCKTAMNAGH F

first_img DONEYBREWER BUTLERMAYOR HILARY MCCLINTOCKTAMNAGH FOODS THE cream of Derry food produce will be tantalising the taste buds of visitors at the BBC Good Food Show this weekend supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council as part of Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016.Award-winning Doneybrewer Butter and Tamnagh Foods are participating in Food NI’s dedicated area showcasing quality local food and drink producers at Belfast Waterfront from October 14th-16th.Mayor of Derry and Strabane district, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said she was delighted that local producers were representing the council area at the first ever BBC Good Food Show in Belfast which is also being attended by representatives from the Visit Derry team.Mayor McClintock said: “We are extremely proud of our local food producers for showcasing the best of our local produce, and picking up so many awards on the way. The sea-salted butter is formed into a distinctive hexagonal shape, to reflect the stones of the Giant’s Causeway, before being packaged in wax paper.Donnybrewer Wild Garlic and Chive Butter also won Gold at the recent 2016 Blas na hEireann Irish food awards held in Dingle, Co. Kerry.Tamnagh Foods, which is run by husband and wife team Kevin and Julie Hickey located at Park in the Sperrins, will be displaying their full range of award-winning cheeses including Banagher Bold which won a Great Taste Star 2016, and is rind washed using No.26 Pale Ale made by Northbound Brewery in Derry. All of their Dart Mountain brand cheeses have now won awards.Donnybrewer Butter are exhibiting at the BBC Good Food Show today (Friday), while Tamnagh Foods will be showcasing their products on Sunday, October 16th. Visitors can find both local producers in Hall 2 – location E4.BBC Good Food Show Northern Ireland will host live cookery demonstrations in the Waterfront auditorium, from TV favourites Paul Hollywood, The Hairy Bikers, John Torode and James Martin, while local star Paul Rankin will be leading Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink sessions.Celebrity chefs and local faces including award-winning Derry chefs Emmett McCourt (Feast or Famine) and Ian Orr (Browns restaurants) will also make an appearance on the Interview Stage.For more information visitwww.bbcgoodfoodshownorthernireland.com/ and www.derrystrabane.com/foodCREAM OF DERRY PRODUCE AT BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW was last modified: October 14th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet “The BBC Good Food Show is yet another excellent platform to promote our city and district as a rising international food tourism destination.”Mary Blake, Head of Tourism with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said she was also delighted that Council was supporting local producers at the BBC Good Food Show and congratulated both Doneybrewer Butter and Tamnagh Foods on their most recent awards, adding to Derry’s well established reputation as Ireland’s second top Foodie Destination during both 2015 and 2016.Donnybrewer Butter, based in Eglinton and run by husband and wife team Richard and Alison Leighton, won the top title at the Henderson Foodservice Flavour of the North final earlier this week.The judges said they were highly impressed by the product which is churned in small batches with the freshest cream available.last_img read more