Go back to the e-newsletterSingita has announced the opening of Kwitonda Lodge in late 2019 on 70 hectares on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, where more than one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in the high-altitude cloud forests.The presence of Singita Kwitonda Lodge on the park border will help to create a natural space between agricultural plots and the habitat of the estimated 320 mountain gorillas that find sanctuary here. From a guest perspective, the opening of the new property puts gorilla trekking within easy reach and in combination with a classic safari at Singita’s private concessions on the Serengeti plains in Tanzania. Besides gorillas, there is much to see and explore, from the Afro montane forests of Nyungwe National Park to the vibrant and sophisticated capital city, Kigali.Working in close partnership with the Rwandan Development Board and local communities, Singita will be taking a measured, long-term approach to conservation on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, in line with the company’s established 100-year vision to build sustainable revenue streams to fund the preservation of African wilderness for future generations. Reforestation of land heavily impacted by farming is vital, and will initially include the establishment of a nursery and the planting of over 60,000 tree saplings in and around the new lodge. Ultimately, Singita hopes to be able to support the Rwandan government in finding ways to increase gorilla habitat while remaining sensitive in assisting neighbouring communities to thrive economically and socially.Singita Kwitonda Lodge will be built to embody the spirit of Rwanda and offer a tribute to the lodge’s namesake – Kwitonda – a great silverback gorilla whose legend lives on in Rwanda and was known for his humility and gentleness. Fundamental to the design is treading lightly on the land. Singita Kwitonda will offer eight suites and a villa with magnificent views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes and sustainability is at the core of the construction project. Luke Bailes, Founder of Singita, states that an extensive sustainability framework was compiled in the design stage to ensure design efficiency throughout the project. The architects and interior designers are selecting locally sourced and produced materials for walling, ceilings and surface finishing. The local community has been engaged in building traditional dry stone walling on site for specialist areas within the landscape. ‘We believe this project will set a new standard for construction and landscape design in Rwanda’ notes Bailes.Rates for suites range between $1500 – $1750 per person per night, fully inclusive but excluding gorilla trekking permits. Reservations are now open.Go back to the e-newsletter
14Jun House concurs with Rep. LaFave: Essential Air Services should continue The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday adopted a resolution introduced by state Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain that would urge the president and Congress to continue fully funding the Essential Air Services program.The Essential Air Services program provides smaller communities around the country with commercial airline services. President Trump has recommended cuts to the program’s budget, which would affect regional airports across the state, including five in the Upper Peninsula.LaFave calls the program essential for the region’s economy.“Failing to fund Essential Air Services in these communities would increase ticket prices immediately,” LaFave said. “The flights funded by this program help keep our state and its residents connected, and cuts would negatively impact jobs and tourism.”The Airline Deregulation Act, passed by the federal government in 1978, gave airlines freedom to select which markets to serve.Congress created the Essential Air Services Program as a response to ensure that smaller communities would not lose commercial airline services. Categories: LaFave News,News
Today, the Michigan House voted to eliminate and forgive outstanding debt related to driver responsibility fees. Included in the package is a bill sponsored by state Rep. Steve Marino, of Harrison Township, that helps people regain their driver’s licenses.Marino’s legislation waives the fees for people who successfully complete a DUI/sobriety court program, which would also make them eligible to obtain driving privileges.Driver responsibility fees became law in 2003 when a previous administration was facing a budget hole and needed an infusion of funds. In the ensuing 14 years, the fees have done nothing to make the people paying them better drivers.“These fees have only created another problem by holding people back and stifling their potential by keeping them in deep debt, and in many instances, placing them in a perpetual state of unemployment,” Marino said. “This bipartisan legislative package will help people get back on their feet, back into the workforce, and back to providing more for their families.”While the fees will remain in effect until Oct. 1, 2018, people who owe them will be able to fulfill their obligations by participating in workforce development programs or community service projects. The legislation also forgives all outstanding debt.The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.#####The bills are House Bills 5040-5046, 5079 and 5080. 02Nov House OKs Rep. Marino bill waiving driver responsibility fees on completion of DUI court program Measure part of bipartisan package to eliminate fees Categories: Marino News,News
The state House today approved state Rep. Ben Frederick’s legislation to better inform Michigan’s high school students on college level courses and testing options.The plan calls more information to be shared with students on the eligibility and registration for college level equivalent credit examinations and courses. Frederick developed the bill from his own experience, completing 10 examinations to help speed his pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.“There are many paths to a college degree and we should let our high school students know what their opportunities are,” said Frederick, chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee. “Advanced placement coursework and the College Level Examination Testing and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) programs are great options. If students can achieve their goals faster with less cost, why not let them know of these opportunities?”During committee testimony, Frederick invited Ty Krauss, a member of the Owosso Public Schools Board of Education and a business services manager with Michigan Works, to speak on the plan. He described the bill as a path to start a college education quickly, while allowing students to pursue advanced courses immediately after arriving on campus.“If we can help students get into their major coursework faster and complete their degree in four years or even less, it’s better for the student’s career and their wallet,” Frederick said. “Approximately 52 percent of college students in 2016 received their degree in four years. This bill has the benefit of giving students a jumpstart on their education after high school, while also having the chance to limit any personal debt as student debt nears $1.5 trillion nationally.”House Bill 5907, which received unanimous support in committee, advances to the Senate for consideration.##### 30May House votes for Frederick plan to give high school students advanced education options Categories: Frederick News,News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares July 25, 2014;International Business TimesThe recent offer by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) purportedly to help water customers in Detroit may be the rock bottom of disrespect for poor people. PETA has offered to pay the water bills of 10 families in Detroit in return for their adopting a vegan lifestyle for one month.Offensive? It is hard to imagine what would make one’s blood boil more than the elitism and arrogance of PETA, knowing that there are many more than 10 families among the 80,000 or more with water bill delinquencies that might be desperate and vulnerable enough to make them accept the PETA deal.According to IBT, PETA spokesperson Linday Rajt said that the idea and the money came from a Detroit-area PETA member who declined to be named. In addition to money for the delinquent water bills, PETA is offering these desperate families a “basket of vegan foods” and recipes to help them along in their adoption of the vegan lifestyle.As IBT notes, PETA has used plenty of in-your-face campaigns in the past that have alienated multiple constituencies, noting its “Got Autism” campaign that linked autism with dairy products. In most of those other campaigns, PETA attracted opposition from groups that told off the organization in no uncertain terms, but in this case of Detroit’s water customers, PETA is preying on poor people people in desperate circumstances.An ostensibly non-abusive charitable effort to help low-income Detroiters pay their delinquent water bills and avoid shutoffs is the Detroit Water Project, an online platform created by two Twitter users. The latest information posted by the Detroit Water Project suggests that the site has attracted over 4,000 donors who will pay specific water customers’ bills directly, as opposed to making contributions to a 501(c)(3) charity that would gather the money and make the payments. According to the project’s website, accessed on July 27th, the program works as follows:“We match you to a Detroit resident you can help directly by submitting a payment to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department on their behalf. You will receive the following information for a Detroit resident you can help with their water bill:Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD) account numberPast due amountDirections on how to use the DWSD website to pay a water bill”While kinder than PETA’s heavy-handed approach, the Detroit Water Project idea does give some cause for concern. Scholar and blogger Lucy Bernholz addressed a number of serious and troubling questions to the Detroit Water Project designers about their methods:“You mention in the privacy section that Detroit Water might identify residents. How likely is this, how would it happen, has it happened?What kind of permission did you need to get from Detroit Water Authority to use this info? How did you get the info?Are residents opting in or opting out of this? Who is deciding and how are they deciding who’s bills get paid?Where is transaction data being stored? How secure is it?Is CFA [Code for America] involved in this (one of the founders has a CFA email address)? Did you create this totally on your own? Others who helped? How long did it take?”Interestingly, Code for America describes itself as a 501(c)(3) “that helps residents and governments harness and technology to solve community problems” in part by “encourag[ing] and empower[ing] residents to take an active role in their community,” but the two Twitter users who created the Detroit Water Board are not Detroiters. (The Washington Post identifies Tiffany Bell as in Oakland, California, and Kristy Tillman in Boston.) The government role in this situation seems to be the willingness of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to provide account information on residential customers—at a minimum, account information without customers’ names, but potentially their names as well, both disclosures potentially in violation of the water customers’ privacy rights. Hopefully, Bell and Tillman will answer Bernholz’s legitimate questions.Our concerns about the Detroit Water Project resemble the issues surrounding the PETA strategy: Poor people facing the loss of running water are vulnerable to ploys that might sound helpful but end up sacrificing some of their rights. With the Detroit Water Project, an Internet platform is somehow able to get account information from a public agency without the approval of the customers themselves, simply because the agency decides to do so. In a way, PETA’s disrespect for the water customers, trading running water for a month-long commitment to veganism, is comparable to the disrespect accorded by the Water Department itself to these vulnerable Detroiters.While we wait to hear what Lucy Bernholz has learned, we have a recommendation to the Detroit residential water customers who might be interested in taking advantage of the PETA offer. A PETA spokesperson says the organization will rely on the “honor system” and not police customers’ pledges to go vegan. Remember that Detroit is a city of 700,000 often described as a “food desert,” where Whole Foods last year was the first national supermarket chain to open a store in the city in more than a decade, making, we would guess, the ability of many Detroiters to follow a vegan lifestyle somewhat challenging. Our suggestion for Detroit water customers? Say yes, take the PETA money, and don’t worry about the PETA pledge.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesNovember 13, 2014; Chicago TribuneGeorge Lucas and his eclectic museum of Star Wars memorabilia and other artifacts may still be a few parsecs away from a landing in the lakefront area of Chicago’s Park District, even though powerful mayor Rahm Emanuel is a staunch booster of the planned project.Lucas’ first-choice locale was in the Presidio waterfront area of San Francisco, but that city rejected his proposal. He then decamped from the West Coast and chose Chicago for his tribute to his own legacy, ready to stock the museum with the many thousands of items from his signature creation and art he has collected over the years. The mockup of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art even resembles a taffy-pulled version of the Millennium Falcon, and for Chicago lakefront preservation (“open space”) activists, the debatable aesthetic value of the project is but another foothold in their uphill battle to stop the construction of the museum.Friends of the Parks (FOP), one of the leading local preservation organizations, lived up to their promise to file a federal lawsuit, submitting their papers last Thursday, November 13th, in federal district court. Their central argument is that by remitting the lakefront property (including two large parking lots south of Soldier Field) to private hands, the City would be violating the longstanding public trust doctrine. Friends of the Park presents the claim in its federal complaint:“The local governmental defendants (the city and Chicago Park District)…have no legal authority under state law or otherwise to convey any interest in or right of control of such trust property to a private individual or a private organization…as a free and open space accessible for navigation, fishing, boating and commercial activities on Lake Michigan.”The property in question is asserted under this doctrine to be held in trust for all of Illinois and that transfer to Lucas would require approval of the state government. Chicago Business reporter Greg Hinz posits that by supporting their case with a state-federal legal construct, the plaintiffs sidestep the allegedly cozy Chicago political machine led by Emanuel.The defendants and their allies have already asserted that the property is not changing to private hands; the City entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Lucas group under which technically Chicago would maintain ownership of the land while Lucas would fully finance construction of his long-planned project. However, Lucas would have full control of the property in perpetuity so long as the museum continues operation. Thus, anti-museum advocates are suspect of the City’s sleight-of-hand with their concept of land ownership. Prior to filing federal suit, the plaintiffs’ original claim under the local Lakefront Protection Ordinance was viewed as a bad hand by many local pundits because it would have been adjudicated by a city board effectively controlled by the mayor through his several appointees.The City, through its Law Department, has responded to the FOP lawsuit in federal court, saying that the suit is “legally baseless and defective on multiple grounds, which we intend to raise in a motion to dismiss.” In what amounts as more a press release than a legal argument, the City’s Law Department further extolled the controversial project:“This museum is a substantial investment in Chicago’s cultural scene that will create green space, billions of dollars in local economic impact and hundreds of construction and permanent jobs.”On the surface, the Lucas museum debate is an internecine tussle over a tranche of the local natural and manmade environment, pitting the Emanuel administration, Lucas, and some other Chicagoans against their brethren who disagree over the priorities embodied in this project meant to add to the existing lakefront cultural campus.The current U.S. Supreme Court is no help to nature, either. Keep in mind their landmark 2005 decision in Kelo v. City of New London. By a 5-4 vote, they ruled that in some instances private developers could obtain use and control over land through eminent domain under which real property is seized by government, traditionally for the public good. The Court legitimized this practice as a “fair use” under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, stating that economic development is itself a public good. Some view this pro-development trend as a conservative distortion of what this country views as “in the public good” through the prism of powerful political and business interests. Against the relatively limited resources and political clout of preservationists and individuals who simply want to limit human destruction of nature, economic forces may seem simply relentless and unlimited.On such a roiling issue, this is not a recipe for Kumbaya in the Windy City no matter how the sides end up faring in court and on the ground. Beyond those people who seek to protect and maintain the lakefront as-is and limit further construction, many of the famously avid Chicago Bears football fans are exploding over the potential loss of their coveted tailgating turf in the targeted parking lots the museum would be built over. So, are George Lucas and the mayor on the Dark Side of the Force or master Jedi warriors bent on providing the Windy City a cultural boost?—Louis AltmanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share12TweetShare3Email15 SharesFebruary 23, 2017; Examiner (Beaumont, TX)“We spend too much!” “We need more money!” Every discussion of public education policy quickly gets to the question of money. President Trump bluntly asserted that more money wasn’t needed to improve our schools when he framed his education policies by describing our public schools as “flush with cash.” To make any discussion of funding education more than a tug-of-war requires going deeper into education economics. Beyond looking at what we spend as a nation or even as states, we need a more granular perspective, which moves our attention down to the level of funding for individual school districts and the real-world challenges they face.The Education Law Center and Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education has just published “Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card” and a companion study, “Is School Funding Fair? America’s Most Fiscally Disadvantaged School Districts.” Together, they analyze school funding using recent U.S. Census data on school funding along with broader economic data to depict how current state funding formulae meet the needs of our children.The value of any given level of education funding, in any given location, is relative. While all districts need a level of funding that is sufficient to meet the needs of their students, relative funding levels are also consequential. How a district’s funding compares to that of other districts operating in the same regional labor market, and, in addition, how that money relates to other conditions in the regional labor market, affects a district’s ability to compete.Public education is supported by a mix of federal, state, and local funds that has remained relatively flat for the past decade. With federal funding making up only around 10 percent of the total, the actual funding level per pupil results from a combination of state and local funds that depends heavily on the approach taken at a state level. According to Education Dive, the data show that not all states are effective at ensuring education funds get to the children with the greatest needs. Only “Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Ohio are all taking spending on low-income students seriously, while most other states are not. In those five states, which all have what the report calls ‘generally high’ funding levels, significantly more money is funneled to districts with high levels of student poverty.”ELC’s work gives us a look at how current state funding formulae respond to the unique challenges of local schools by combining the specifics of who they teach with the cost of “doing business” in their locale. This approach gives us a real-time measure of how actual per-pupil spending compares with the funding needed for educating their student body.Put simply, districts with higher student needs than surrounding districts in the same labor market don’t require the same total revenue per pupil to get the job done. They require more. Higher need districts require more money for higher salaries to recruit and retain similar quantities (per pupil) of similar quality teachers. In addition, higher need districts must be able to provide the additional programs, services and supports (including smaller classes and early childhood education) necessary to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds, while still maintaining advanced and enriched course options.Through this lens, ELC evaluated 55 districts in 20 states and found 1.5 million students where funding is significantly below the level needed. “Not surprisingly, many of the most disadvantaged districts are in states with highly regressive funding distribution systems, such as Arizona and Illinois, but they also are found in states with flat (e.g., California) and more progressive systems (e.g., Georgia, Massachusetts, Ohio and Utah).”ELC Executive Director David Sciarra described the challenge as the two studies were being released:Lawmakers in states with deeply regressive and flat funding, like Illinois, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Arizona, urgently need to overhaul their finance systems to give students a meaningful opportunity to succeed in school. Even states with higher funding levels, such as Ohio and Maine, need to do more to ensure fair funding for each and every student. President Trump is flatly wrong when he says our schools are flush with cash. In fact, for students in many states and entire regions, their schools are woefully underfunded, depriving them of the qualified teachers, support staff, reasonable class sizes and other interventions they must have to succeed in school. It’s time to put fair school funding at the top of the nation’s education reform agenda.The effectiveness of public education will be determined much less by what occurs in Washington than in the halls of 50 state governments where decisions on how to change funding structures must be made. The political barrier to be overcome may not be the usual battle over taxation but one over shifting resources from one part of a state to another, from richer, whiter school communities where the educational need is lower to poor districts with greater numbers of children of color. If the apparent consensus that all children are entitled to a quality education is real, politicians will need to be brave enough to act with bravery.—Martin LevineShare12TweetShare3Email15 Shares
Sky Italia has launched a new HD user interface available to users of its MySky HD set-top boxes.The pay TV broadcaster has begun the process of downloading the new guide to its hybrid boxes within the last few days. The guide is designed to give easy and intuitive access to HD and 3D services, interactive applications and digital-terrestrial channels. It includes functionality allowing users to surf channels while continuing to watch TV on the main screen, a search engine and parental control capabilities.A new dynamic banner feature on the guide allows the viewer to see the next three successive programmes. Sky has also added series link functionality to its DVR service.The software download will also enable the MySky HD set-tops to receive content via the Ethernet port on the box, enabling Sky to deliver additional services via broadband.
Swiss telco Sunrise said it had signed up “several ten thousand” customers to its IPTV offering by the end of September, without giving a precise figure.The company said that its IPTV customers “do not yet play a significant role in the interim condensed consolidated financial statements” for the three quarters to the end of September.Sunrise said that its total fixed internet subscriber base had increased by 600 subscribers year-on-year to 371,500, with broadband subscribers increasing from 365,900 to 368,700.
Belarusian IPTV provider Beltelecom has added three new channels to the programming line-up on its Zala TV service.Beltelecom has added TPO, focusing on political, social and cultural issues, Russian Orthodox Church-backed channel Soyuz and Zhest, a channel aimed at the hearing impaired, to its line-up.The channels are currently being aired on a trial basis and are available as part of the Zala basic package.
French service provider SFR has added radio apps for RTL, NRJ and Europe 1 to its radio on-demand service, available to ADSL and fibre subscribers.SFR makes over 300 radio services available live, plus over 100,000 podcasts and 500 video clips as part of the same service.
Media services provider Globecast has chosen technology provider Anevia to support its new over-the-top TV platform.Globecast has tapped Anevia’s ViaMotion solutions suite – Packager, Origin and Edge – to provide OTT solutions to third-party providers.According to Anevia, its ViaMotion Plus technology was chosen because it supports multiple transcoders and delivered scalability and support for formats including MPEG-DASH.Globecast used the recent NAB Show to unveil its new OTT offering, encompassing live, VoD and catch-up programming.Globecast has partnered with Akamai as its preferred CDN supplier, while Kaltura is supplying its online video platform and app technologies as well as providing the video management layer.“Anevia precisely understood our OTT vision and it provided a comprehensive suite of solutions required to make it come true,” said Sonia Missul, OTT product manager at Globecast.“With ViaMotion on board, we are now well positioned to deliver innovation to broadcasters and pay-TV operators for years to come without being hindered by performance limitations.”
Severina PascuLiberty Global has appointed the current CEO of UPC Romania and Hungary, Severina Pascu, as managing director for the entire central and eastern Europe region, replacing Betzalel Kengstein, who has been named as president and chief operating officer of Liberty’s operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.Pascu, who replaced Kenigstein as managing director of UPC Hungary role in 2013, adding the Hungarian operation to her existing responsibility for Romania, will take up her new role from tomorrow. She will be replaced as UPC Romania managing director by Robert Redeleanu, currently chief marketing officer.
Director generals from the Nordic region’s public broadcasters have warned the British government not to weaken the UK’s BBC, claiming there is “a growing need for public service broadcasting”.In an open letter to the government published by The Guardian, the signees said the BBC had shown “an amazing ability to adapt” to the changing world.“Looking at the world today, we see a growing need for public service broadcasting,” the letter read. “In times of global crisis, both economic and humanitarian, a trusted, impartial media company like the BBC is a vital element of the democratic infrastructure, informing and educating people.”The letter came soon after the British Conservative government announced a review how the BBC is operated, funded and managed. There has been intense debate over the future of the BBC this year, with many in the media convinced the pro-market government is intent on reducing the BBC’s reach and standing.The recent Charter renewal agreement, which dictates how the BBC is funded for five year periods, saw the government order the BBC to pick up the tab for licence fees for people aged over 75.“The BBC’s independence comes from its institutional history and culture as well as its regulatory structure, including how remit and funding decisions are made,” the letter from the Nordic chiefs read.“Changes to the system should serve to strengthen the independence of the broadcaster, not weaken it. This is especially important in the case of the UK, as the British model is often viewed as a model for how the media should be organised in new democracies.”They added the Corporation had served as a blueprint for other public organisations. “The BBC has always been able to redefine itself in the face of… changes.“At the same time, it has stayed true to its fundamental purposes and values: quality, distinctiveness, diversity, universality and not least, independence. In doing so, the BBC has served as a model for our companies, inspiring us and other public service broadcasters around the world.”The signees urged the government to “take into account the BBC’s international role. It is something to be proud of”.Maria Rørbye Rønn from DR in Denmark, Magnús Geir Þórðarson from RUV in Iceland and Lauri Kivinen from YLE in Finland all signed the note, along with Cilla Benkö, Hanna Stjärne and Christel Tholse Willers, who run UR, SVT and UR in Sweden, respectively.
Polish pay and free TV broadcaster Polsat Group has selected the first four film and TV original projects to come out of its Cyfrowa Strefa Twórców (Digital Zone) project.Polsat said it that over 250 pitches for films and TV series had been made under the Cyfrowa Strefa Twórców initiative, a digital platform designed and launched four months ago for content creators and producers to pitch projects – including for cinema release as well as TV – that Polsat Group would support, alone or in partnership with co-producers. The broadcaster committed to provide financial backing for development and longer-term support in the shape of joint sales activities, including international sales, as well as looking after copyright protection.The first projects selected for Polsat’s support under the scheme are Podwójny Ironman, a film based on the life of triathlete Jerzy Górski, directed by Łukasz Palkowski, which will be released in the fourth quarter of next year, Brawo My!, a romantic comedy to be released in 2018, directed by Bartosz Prokopowicz, Gwiazda, a biography of actress Anna Przybylska directed by Radosław Piwowarski, and Wilq Superbohater, a 13-episode animated TV series based on the cult comic book of the same name, directed by Bartosz Minkiewicz and Leszek Nowicki, which will be distributed via TV and online in 2017.Aleksander Myszka, member of the supervisory board of pay TV unit Cyfrowy Polsat, mobile arm Polkomtel and Polsat, said that the group intended to use the platform to invest in further projects of interest, adding that the Cyfrowa Strefa Twórców project would enable fast and efficient selection of projects based on criteria set by the broadcaster to the mutual benefit of all parties.Agnieszka Odorowicz, member of the board of Cyfrowy Polsat, said that more titles would be announced in December, which will be developed over the course of next year and produced in 2018.
Japan-based patent licensing pool ULDAGE has announced terms and begun licensing patents that it says are essential for UHD TV satellite broadcast.The pool comprises 16 companies and other entities with patents that the Japan Intellectual Property Arbitration Centre holds to be essential to meeting UHD TV satellite broadcasting standards.The group comprises Dolby Laboratories, Fujitsu, Hitachi Maxell, JVC Kenwood Corporation, LG Electronics., Masproh Denkoh, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, NHK, Orange, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Columbia University, Thomson and Toshiba.ULDAGE currently licenses patents for high-definition terrestrial digital broadcasting, high definition satellite digital broadcasting, and high definition digital cable broadcasting.Broadcasters are receiver manufacturers will now receive a licence for a bundle of UHD TV patents at what ULDAGE describes as “very reasonable conditions”. Makers of narrowband CS UHD TV receivers will pay ¥100 per unit, while wideband UHD TV receiver manufacturers will pay ¥200.A combined licence for both narrowband CS UHD TV units and wideband units will cost ¥300.For UHD TV satellite broadcasting services, royalties will be charged as a rate of 1% of revenues.According to the group, the terms will take into account the development of the market going forward.The group plans to hold discussions about the licensing terms and conditions for cable and terrestrial UHD TV broadcasting “once the holders of those patents have been determined”.
Jonas EngwallIflix has appointed the founding CEO of RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network, Jonas Engwall, as its new head of Asia.Engwall takes over from the emerging market SVOD service’s previous Asia boss, David Goldstein, who moves to a new role as non-executive chairman of Iflix Asia.He brings more than 14 years of broadcasting and TV experience to the role, most recently as the head of RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network where he oversaw the launch of two of the company’s channels across 19 Asian markets.Prior to this Engwall was vice president of RTL Group Asia, where he led the group’s expansion into India and Asia.Earlier in his career he worked at Modern Times Group and helped to expand MTG’s free-to-air television business into emerging markets in Eastern Europe.“This is an incredibly exciting time as Iflix continues to consolidate its lead position as the preferred entertainment platform across emerging markets globally,” said Iflix co-founder and group CEO, Mark Britt.“We love Jonas’ reputation in the industry as both a disruptor and innovator. He will be critical to deepening our distribution relationships and continuing to evolve our product through Asia.’’Engwall said: “The team has done an exceptional job over the last two and half years to establish the company’s leadership position throughout the region.“I am thrilled to join Iflix as we enter the next stage of growth and transformation, with a focus on innovating the Iflix service, drawing from the best of both video-on-demand and linear television in its evolution as the future of pay TV.”Iflixa is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and first went live in Asia in May 2015. It has since expanded to 21 territories across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.The company is currently available to viewers in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Maldives, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Cambodia, Nigeria and Kenya.
The long-delayed digital switchover in South Africa will now take place by July 2020 at the latest following the implementation of a “revised delivery model”, according to communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane.Nomvula MokonyaneSpeaking at a media briefing on DSO alongside Free State premier Sis Ntombela, Mokonyane said that the government was committed to getting the project “back on track” following years of delays and infighting over the technology to be deployed in set-top boxes.The Free State will become the first of South Africa’s states to switch off analogue transmissions, with the project scheduled to be complete by the end of this year, followed by the Northern Cape in March.Mokonyane said that the original model adopted by the country was “expensive by any country’s standard” and “cumbersome, with multiple risks carried by the government”. She said that the technological landscape had changed in the 11 years since the project was initiated and that revising this model was “inevitable”, despite local opposition.Mokonyane’s speech followed a decision two weeks ago to cease purchasing set-tops for the migration project in favour of a market-driven approach. The government will now no longer be involved in procurement and distribution of boxes. The original policy had been established with the goal of ensuring that poorer South Africans were not excluded, but escalating costs and corruption scandals have bedeviled the implementation of the plan.Mokonyane said that far from penalising South African box makers, the new model would “allow more participation by all the industry players instead of the selected few participating through the government procurement system”.Poorer South Africans will now be issued with a voucher that they can exchange for boxes of their choice. Mokonyane said that “the price of the appliances will be affordable as the various retailers will compete on the basis of the price instead of the one set by government”.She said that the government would “move swiftly” to clear the stock of set-tops already procured in the Free State and Northern Cape based on the existing subsidy model, giving the government some time to prepare for the implementation of its new market-driven strategy. Mokonyane said there were currently over 390,000 boxes sitting in warehouses ready to be distributed.The ITU deadline for switchover in South Africa passed in June 2015, with other countries in the telecommunication body’s Region 1 such as Zambia, Kenya, Malawi and Rwanda now having completed the process.
In what has become something of an annual tradition, Netflix has published its recommended list of TVs that provide the best experience of the streamer. For a set to receive the “Netflix Recommended TV” accreditation, the company says it must pass rigorous testing to “ensure great performance and easy access to Netflix and other services”.The company sets out seven criteria that it defines a good set by, with at least five required to get the accreditation. These criteria are: TV instant on; fast app launch; a dedicated Netflix button; easy Netflix icon access; background refreshing for the Netflix app; high-resolution Netflix interface; and, the latest version of Netflix.With that in mind, the following sets passed at least five of the criteria, therefore being deemed worth of Netflix recommendation:Panasonic VIERA:GX920 | GXW945 | GX942E | GXW904 | GXT936 | GXF937 | GXN938 | GXX939 | GXR900 | GXT886 | GXF887 | GXN888 | GXX889 | GXW804 | GXM835 | GX800E | GX810E | GX820E | GX830E | GX800B | GX820BSamsung:QLED 8K / QLED 4K / Premium UHD / Lifestyle TVsQ950R | Q90R | Q80R/Q85R | Q70R | Q60R | The Frame (2019) | The Serif (2019) | RU8000Sony Bravia:A9G/AG9 | X95G/XG95 | X85G/XG85
THOUSANDS ENJOY COLOURFUL ST PATRICK’S DAY PARADE IN DERRY Crowds also flocked the Guildhall Square where the Spring Carnival Festival Marquee which hosted live music and entertainment throughout the day from 12 noon.Activities were also taking place in the Peace Garden in Foyle Street and the Craft Village.In Strabane there were restrictions in place on Market Street from 1.30 pm – 4.00 pm to accommodate crowds attending the parade.The parade started at 2 pm and proceeded along the Melmount Road via Bridge Street, Market Street, Abercorn Square and Railway Street finishing up at the Score Site in Dock Street.Strabane Radio Online were on stage with local talent performing live to the assembled crowd, and Market Street was closed off to all vehicular traffic. ST Patrick turned the stone and brought the sun on across Derry for the colourful St Patrick’s Day parade.Several thousand people took to the streets to celebrate the Patron Saint of Ireland.The Spring Carnival Parade snaked its way through the city with colourful costumes and floats on show. ShareTweet THOUSANDS ENJOY COLOURFUL ST PATRICK’S DAY PARADE IN DERRY was last modified: March 17th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: Police had advised motorists in advance to expect delays and plan their journeys.And they also advised drivers that if they were going to drink then not to drive their cars.Crowds thronged the main route ahead of the carnival parade which started its journey from Queen’s Quay car park at 2pm.From there it turned up Boating Club Lane and proceed along the Strand Road and around the Harbour Square roundabout, before returning back to the Queen’s Quay car park along the Queen’s Quay, where it will end at around 3pm.