The Cardinals’ inactives include:QB Logan ThomasRB Stepfan TaylorLB Desmond BishopLB Thomas KeiserLB Glenn CarsonNT Alameda Ta’amuTE Darren FellsTaylor is sidelined for a second straight week because of a calf injury, while Bishop hurt his hamstring doing extra running post-practice and will be inactive for the fourth time in six games.The other five players are healthy scratches.Stinson made his first career start in Week 6 and has 10 tackles in the last four games.“Pretty much Coach (Todd) Bowles and Coach Buck (Brentson Buckner) putting me in positions where I can make plays and me trying to focus in (and) make sure I do my job well,” he said, explaining his success as of late.Stinson has played in every game this season. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share Top Stories GLENDALE, Ariz. – Though he got hurt late in the week, rookie defensive tackle Ed Stinson will play Sunday when the Arizona Cardinals host the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium.The fifth-round pick from Alabama suffered a groin injury near the end of practice on Friday and showed up on the injury report as questionable.At the time, Stinson didn’t believe the setback was anything serious though it did limit his work and may have an impact on his playing time against a Rams team that has beaten both Seattle and San Francisco in the past three weeks. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Tauck, the respected American family business that launched in 1925, still retains its valued personal touch, but has grown into global travel company that offers an interesting range of escorted travel options to a targeted audience of educated, discriminating people in the 50-plus demographic.Australia is now the fastest growing market for Tauck worldwide.Steve Spivak, Vice President of Global Sales, Tauck, and Andrew Millmore, Managing Director, Tauck Australia, were the hosts at a splendid luncheon at Sydney’s Aria to launch the Tauck programme for 2018.It was a sparkling Sydney autumn day as media guests took their seats at the long dining table with its postcard views of Circular Quay busy with vintage ferries and larger modern craft.Aria’s light but delicious dishes included entrées of colourful beetroot salad, Hiramasa kingfish, and Peking duck soup. Main courses gave guests a difficult choice of roasted brioche chicken or John Dory with cauliflower and pipis or roasted lamb loin with Jerusalem artichoke, elephant garlic and white anchovies.Tauck will double its popular small ship cruising and river cruising capacity in the next four years.In 2018 there will be new river cruises in European countries with some exciting additions to the Small Ship Cruises. There will be new itineraries in the Galapagos and Peru and a Cuban itinerary on three-masted schooner, Le Ponant.There will be two highly qualified Tour Directors on many escorted trips. One will focus on the cultural aspects and the other will be an expert in health, wellness and exercise.The company takes pride in providing cultural and soft adventure experiences across the world that most travellers could not source on their own. All-inclusive costs, including tipping, excursions and beverages also have great appeal for AustraliansIn his informal speech during lunch Steve Spivak tells us that, “After all these years, we never stop listening, we never stop taking care of people and we are still trying to be the best we can.”Lead image: Andrew Millmore, Managing Director, Tauck Australia (left) and Steve Spivak, Vice President of Global Sales, Tauck, hosts of the lunch at Aria
Five persons including former Paphos mayor Fidias Sarikas, jailed for their involvement in the city’s sewerage scandal (Sapa) have appealed both their sentences and convictions, it emerged on Wednesday.A two day court session at the Supreme Court which started on Monday had their legal counsel present their case which will continue on January 29.The case relates to the dealings of the Paphos Sewerage Board, which is administered by the Paphos local authorities. According to investigators, kickbacks were paid out by private contractors to Sapa members in a bid to secure construction and operation waste-management contracts.Sarikas, who was mayor between 1997 and 2002 and then Edek MP in 2006 was found guilty of six charges related to receiving some €40,000 in kickbacks and consequently sentenced to four years in prison.Former Paphos municipal councillors Efstathios Efstathiou and Giorgos Michaelides were sentenced to five and half years after they were found guilty of 14 and 19 charges respectively for receiving bribes and money laundering over €100,000.Vasos Vasiliou, also a former municipal councillor in Paphos was jailed for four years after found guilty of seven charges for being bribed with €60,000.Sitting councillor at the time Giorgos Shailis was sentenced to four and a half years for receiving €27,500 in bribes, totaling six charges.Former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas, and former Sapa director Eftychios Malekides have already pleaded guilty in the same case and are currently doing a six year stretch in jail. Both were used as prosecution witnesses. You May Like2019 Cars | Sponsored LinksThese 2019 Cars Cost Under $20k2019 Cars | Sponsored LinksUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
29Mar Snyder signs Forlini bill to protect digital assets Categories: News New law creates the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Gov. Rick Snyder today signed a measure which creates the Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act to protect people’s digital assets after death or incapacitation.House Bill 5034, now Public Act 59 of 2016, was introduced by Rep. Forlini, gives internet users the power to plan for the management of their digital assets in a process similar to that of their tangible property.“Today we give high priority to our digital assets,” said Rep. Forlini, R-Harrison Township. “Our most precious memories and most important documents are no longer stored in shoeboxes or three-ring binders, but they instead exist digitally in a cloud. When planning for the future, these assets should be given the same protection as their tangible counterparts.“Courts are in uncharted territory on this issue, said Rep. Forlini. Traditional probate law does not currently address digital assets which has left courts, families and technology companies unsure of how to divide and grant access to digital assets and accounts when a loved one dies or becomes incapacitated.“This law will give structure to this process, while clarifying the issue of ownership rights and create a framework to protect our most important information and memories.”###
Categories: Kahle News,News 31May Committee approves Rep. Kahle’s auto insurance claims reform bill The House Insurance Committee has taken the first step towards reforming the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP) by unanimously passing legislation from state Rep. Bronna Kahle.“This is a common-sense reform. People without insurance should be held to the same standards as those paying for private insurance,” Kahle said. “This simply puts all of us on the same playing field.”House Bill 4626 will require that a person making a claim through the MACP must notify the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF) of the claim within a year. This is the same amount of time allowed for someone filing an insurance claim through his or her own insurance company.Kahle’s legislation was part of a four-bill legislative package reforming the MACP, ensuring proper coverage while also providing uniform filing requirements to increase efficiency. Kahle joined fellow Reps. Curt VanderWall, Mary Whiteford and Hank Vaupel in testifying before the committee on May 18.The legislation advances to the House for its consideration.State Rep. Bronna Kahle speaks before the House Insurance Committee on her legislation to reform assigned claim coverage related to automobile insurance in Michigan on Thursday, May 18.
26Feb Rep. Griffin sponsors bill to better protect children from abuse Increases criminal penalties for mandatory reporters, such as coaches and athletic trainers, who fail to report child abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse.The legislation is inspired by the recent sexual assault allegations against former physician Larry Nassar, who has been sentenced to up 175 years in federal and state prison for his crimes against more than 200 victims. Also attending today’s press conference were several of Nassar’s victims.### Multi-bill package announced today in response to recent Nassar scandalState Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, today unveiled her latest legislation to better protect Michigan children from child abuse, neglect and sexual conduct or abuse.The bill, part of a 10-bill legislative package to protect Michigan’s children and survivors of childhood sexual abuse, increases the number of authority figures who must report evidence of abuse. Griffin today helped unveil the bill at a Capitol news conference.Her legislation mandates coaches, assistant coaches and athletic trainers working with youth leagues, K-12 school sports, and college athletic activities to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities, including law enforcement.“As someone who has coached youth sports and was required to be a mandatory reporter as a teacher, I believe that increasing the number of adults who must report abuse or neglect will help keep our children and student athletes safer,” Griffin said. “Coaches and trainers are sometimes in the best position to identify abuse. It is important we require them to report it to provide better protection for children.”The legislative package:Expands the criminal statute of limitations to enable prosecutors to hold offenders accountable;Increases criminal penalties and expands definitions related to the possession of child sexually abusive material;Ends immunity for abusers and enablers of abuse;Preserves anonymity for survivors in civil lawsuits;Expands the civil statute of limitations for survivors; Categories: Griffin News,News
A plan allowing people to receive advance notice of whether or not they will qualify for a state-issued occupational license was unanimously approved with bipartisan support by the Michigan House today.The plan, House Bill 6058, sponsored by state Rep. Scott VanSingel, gives people the option to apply through a state department to learn whether or not their criminal record disqualifies them from obtaining an occupational license before they begin school or before they incur other expenses in furtherance of obtaining a license.Occupational licensing requirements at the state level create unneeded government red tape. It can be costly and time-consuming for those looking to work in these fields and those who do currently. The process is even more restrictive for those convicted of minor felonies.“It’s never a practical system if many people who have committed past mistakes – and paid for those mistakes – dedicate a good deal of time and energy into obtaining an occupational license, just to have their application denied after review,” said VanSingel, of Grant. “There needs to be a procedure in place providing people with a preliminary determination of whether or not they would be accepted a state-issued occupational license.”VanSingel’s plan works in sync with another multi-bill package that moved through the Michigan House making it easier for those with prior, minor criminal convictions to have their applications accepted with the determination they lack good morals.State regulations often refer broadly to “good moral character” as a requirement for holding a license. In practice, this has often led to those on the licensing board to interpret anyone with a criminal record to be ineligible for occupational licensing.“Employers will still hire and interview who they choose, but for some people with criminal convictions that are minor in nature, this extra step will allow them to know well beforehand if they are eligible to pursue a certain occupational career field and ultimately provide for their families,” VanSingel said. “Rather than wasting hundreds of dollars through application fees, education and training just to be turned away, people will now have the ability to be given a green light – which I think is the fairness state occupational licensing needs going forward.”House Bill 6058, now moves to the Senate for consideration. 03Oct Rep. VanSingel: Preliminary green light is the fairness needed in occupational licensing Categories: VanSingel News
State Rep. Douglas Wozniak will host his monthly office hours on Monday, Feb. 4 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Washington Township Activity Center, 57880 Van Dyke Road in Washington.“Hosting regular office hours is one of my top priorities as a legislator,” Rep. Wozniak said. “I always encourage residents to share their thoughts and concerns on matters of state government.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Wozniak at 517-373-0843 or via email at DouglasWozniak@house.mi.gov. 22Jan Local residents can meet with Rep. Wozniak on Feb. 4 Categories: Wozniak News
28Mar Iron County awarded grant money for transportation economic development (PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Eh Photo) Categories: Markkanen News State Rep. Greg Markkanen of Hancock announced today that Bates Township will receive $198,500 to reconstruct Larson Road. Currently, Larson Road is a gravel roadway with seasonal weight restrictions. The roadway is a hub for major businesses in the area such as Willis Lumber Co. and Willis Family Maple Farm.“These companies are an excellent source of good paying, blue collar jobs that the Upper Peninsula prides itself on,” Markkanen said. “This investment will undoubtedly help these businesses for years to come. I look forward to more investments like this coming to the Upper Peninsula to create even more jobs and stimulate our economy.”The money will be used by the Iron County Road Commission to bring the existing gravel road, from US-2 to approximately one-half mile north of US-2, up to all-season standards. Gravel shoulders, drainage improvements and asphalt surfacing will be included in the construction.
Share782Tweet2Share25Email809 Sharesa katz / Shutterstock.comFebruary 9, 2016; MSNBCAt the risk of sounding like a broken record, NPQ is taking another moment to air our concerns about Donald Trump, particularly after he won the New Hampshire primary last night. Again, we worry about how Donald Trump has been using veteran issues and veteran charities to buoy his presidential campaign. If you have been following NPQ’s coverage of veteran charities, our concern is not limited to Trump. Rather, it extends to how often veteran issues and well-meaning donors are easily manipulated for self-serving purposes.Case in point: Trump’s veterans’ fundraiser as an alternative to the GOP debate in Des Moines, Iowa, last month. At the time, we questioned Trump’s motives in planning the event, given how little his nonprofit, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, has given to veterans in recent years. We have also spotlighted his tactics to invite veterans groups to be publically presented with donations from his campaign. Now, as some of the money collected from the fundraiser has been slowly seeping out, it’s interesting to look at where the money is going and where it’s not. According to an MSNBC investigation, some charities located in New Hampshire and Iowa, the two early voting states, have received donations, while charities from some other states have not yet.The fundraiser from last month reportedly raised $6 million to be doled out by the Trump Foundation to 22 lucky recipients. A separate site also allegedly raised another $1.67 million, another impressive number. The list of the 22 recipients was originally on the foundation’s website as early as Tuesday morning, but was removed for most of Tuesday afternoon. NPQ found the list of the charities through searching Google Cache. (UPDATE: the webpage is back online at the time of publication). While we won’t speculate about why the webpage was down, we do find it interesting to see which charities have received part of the $8 million and which have not.MSNBC attempted to contact the 22 recipients and received responses from thirteen. Of those thirteen charities, nine said they had not received any donations yet and most said they have not had contact with the Trump Foundation aside from the initial call asking if they would accept the donation. It’s important to note that MSNBC did not receive responses from every charity and did not report which of the thirteen charities they spoke to had indicated they had not received donations yet. We also don’t know whether the remaining nine charities MSNBC was not able to get in touch with have received a donation.According to the article, three charities in Iowa and one in New Hampshire have received donations raised by the fundraiser. All four charities profiled in MSNBC received $100,000. Representatives from each of these charities from Iowa appeared in public with Trump sometime before the Iowa Caucus last week. From Iowa, these charities are:Projects for Patriots, a recently founded nonprofit in Sioux City, Iowa. (NOTE: apparently the nonprofit is too recently founded to have a GuideStar profile).Puppy Jake, another recent nonprofit that helps veterans with trained service dogs in Davenport, Iowa.Support Siouxland Soldiers, another veteran’s charity in Sioux City, Iowa.From New Hampshire, NPQ wrote about nonprofit Liberty House receiving a donation from Trump but refusing to appear in public with the politician. This was not done in anyway to malign Trump, according to executive director Keith Howard, but rather because he did not want to entangle with politics. Nevertheless, Howard did reportedly receive the donation, and Trump also held a public showing of the $100,000 check being symbolically given to New Hampshire State Representative Al Baldasaro on behalf of Liberty House. Baldasaro has no official connection to the nonprofit.What can we glean from this information? As we mentioned, some portion of the information we need is still missing. However, it would also be a mistake to dismiss that four nonprofits based in important voting states have already received their donations when nonprofits in other states have not. At the very least, the public showings of nonprofit directors and executives appearing in public with Trump in exchange for donations are a cause for concern.However, there has also been an evident lack of transparency about the donations from the Trump Foundation. As indicated by MSNBC, some of the recipients have yet to be informed about any timeline for when they will receive the donation. We also have yet to hear about how these specific nonprofits were chosen or vetted. As with any charity, particularly one that makes high profile promises and commitments as the Trump Foundation, we should expect a more transparent process.—Shafaq HasanShare782Tweet2Share25Email809 Shares
Share2Tweet9Share4Email15 SharesTreinamento Zika vírus / Prefeitura de PaulíniaMarch 9, 2016; Los Angeles TimesSpread through a tiny mosquito bite, the Zika virus is raising fears throughout Latin America. Along with insect bites, infection can be transmitted by sexual contact with male partners, during pregnancy from mother to child, during breastfeeding, and while in labor. Transmission through blood transfusions is also possible, but as of February 2016, there have been no reported cases. Sexual transmissions can occur before symptoms appear, making even those men and women who are cautious at risk for transmission.While some governments are urging women to postpone pregnancy for the next two years, many countries lack the available resources, legislation, and moral convictions to help women gain widespread access to contraceptives. NPQ has recently covered the changing norms and influence surrounding contraceptive use. With limited access to comprehensive family planning, including contraceptives and abortions, women will continue to be the face of poverty in Latin America despite a growing middle class.Chronic and extreme poverty in Latin America is diminishing as the middle class expands and becomes more stable. But the number of people lacking basic access to sanitation, food, and shelter still remains close to 80 million, with many living in the hard-hit Zika outbreak area of Brazil. The poverty rates reflect a disparate impact on women: “In Latin America, on average the poverty rate among women aged 25-49 years is 1.2 times that of men in the same age group.” High poverty rates combined with religious traditions and cultural family norms mean women whose children suffer from the effects of Zika virus will likely pay a higher price.Eighty percent of Latin Americans are Catholic, a fact echoed in many countries’ laws surrounding access to abortion. Seven of 34 countries and territories in Latin America prevent access to abortion on all legal and medical grounds. Cuba, Guyana, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay allow abortions with no restrictions. In Brazil, where rates of Zika have soared, abortion is permitted only if a women’s life is in immediate danger. The United Nations has called for loosening restrictions surrounding abortions, especially with the long-term impacts and the inability for countries to adequately provide healthcare and special education services to children who may suffer severe disabilities. As NPQ has reported, Pope Francis has signaled a willingness to consider situational approaches contrary to Catholic dogma such as artificial contraception to addressing the Zika crisis but steadfastly opposes using abortion as a tactic. As paraphrased in the NPQ article, “Unlike abortion, [Francis] said, ‘avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil’ and in certain circumstances it may be ‘the lesser evil.’”The battle won’t be easy. The speaker of the lower house in Brazil has introduced a bill that would make seeking abortion services after rape significantly harder. The bill comes directly as the Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights & Gender (ANIS), an abortion rights group in Brazil, launched a petition to the Supreme Court asking for a review of the abortion access law.The battle is not about abortion, but rather about the haves and the have-nots. Women living in impoverished areas face a disproportionate impact from Zika, and the financial burden is greater for women already living in poverty. The inability for women living in poverty to access mosquito-free living areas and safe abortions may mean a whole generation of children already lacking services and parity will continue to suffer.With the fear and worry growing from the Zika virus, the response to Zika could finally mean unfettered access to comprehensive family planning for women in Latin America.—Stacey Burton AlcocerShare2Tweet9Share4Email15 Shares
Share32Tweet50Share7Email89 SharesBy NHS Confederation (Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsFebruary 6, 2018; Los Angeles TimesNPQ has written more than once about Patrick Soon-Shiong, reputedly the “richest doctor in the world.” A so-called “philanthropist” with self-dealing tendencies, Soon-Shiong reportedly met several times with President Trump and was campaigning for the position of national “health czar.” It would have been a cultural fit at least, since biomedical magnate Soon-Shiong’s philanthropic activities were revealed to be closely tied to and supportive of his business activities—much like Trump’s were—but in the field of medical research.As Fortune reports:Soon-Shiong has also faced allegations that he has used his philanthropic outfits to feed his own businesses. An investigation last year by Politico found “found that the majority of [Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth Foundation’s expenditures] flow to businesses and not-for-profits controlled by Soon-Shiong himself, and the majority of its grants have gone to entities that have business deals with his for-profit firms.” Soon-Shiong has vehemently denied the accusations and called them…“malicious.”In any case, reports this morning suggest that Soon-Shiong, already a major shareholder in the paper, is nearing a deal with current owner Tronc to buy both the troubled Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune. As Fortune suggests, “It’s unclear whether Soon-Shiong will use his new position as L.A. Times owner to influence coverage, including of his many medical projects and connections with various Los Angeles businesses.”The quality, ethics and credibility of coverage by a major local media source, of course, matter deeply to civil society.—Ruth McCambridgeShare32Tweet50Share7Email89 Shares
Video and broadband technology company Arris is partnering with Polish cable operator Vectra and German video service provider ROPA Television to provide set-top box and transcoder solutions, respectively.The Vectra deal will see the Polish operator deploy Arris’ HMC3021 hybrid HD set-top, in order to transition its analogue subscribers to digital, paving the way for multiscreen and IP-based services.Vectra, Poland’s second largest cable provider by subscriber numbers will deploy the HMC3021 set-tops in customers’ homes by summer 2013, ahead of Poland’s impending analogue switch-off later this year.“We’re seeing unprecedented interest high-quality HD and IP-based services in Poland. Video on demand, in particular, is something our subscribers demand. Our investment in ARRIS’ hybrid set-top allows us to deliver these services today, while preparing for an all-IP future,” said Vectra CEO Tomasz Zuranksi.The ROPA Television agreement will see the German video service provider use Arris’ ST-6000 Series video transcoder to deliver multichannel content to its customers while boosting bandwidth and reducing operational costs through high-channel density and transcoding efficiency, the firm said.The ST-6000 Series became part of the ARRIS portfolio through the company’s acquisition of Motorola Home. It combines solutions for the entire video delivery chain by integrating technologies across the cloud, network and home.ROPA said it would use it to offer a broader range of high-quality video services to support evolving customer needs and headend requirements. “The transcoder achieves this through video delivery in three, six or even 12 channel configurations,” it added. Arris will exhibit at ANGA COM on stand E21, Hall 10.2
The average penetration of multi-play packages in Portugal has now reached 49%, exceeding to EU average of 45%, according to communications regulator Anacom.Triple-play tops the Portuguese list of multi-play options, with a penetration rate of 29%, followed by double-play TV and phone packages with a penetration of 10%.Telephony and internet remain the most popular combination across the EU with a penetration rate of 14%, followed by triple-play with 12% penetration.
Russian VOD service Tvigle is launching on the PlayStation3, bringing shows like zombie drama The Walking Dead to the console.Tvigle’s entire free-to-view library of more than 20,000 films and TV shows are now available for PS3 users. Key Tvigle television titles include The Walking Dead, Misfits, Skins and Luther.The launch means Tvigle becomes the first Russian VOD platform available through the PS3. To this point, only video site YouTube had been piped through the console.“We are proud to be the only online broadcaster in Russia on PS3,” said Egor Yakovlev, Tvigle’s founder and CEO. “Connected devices are growing at an explosive rate in Russia, and tapping into this segment represents an important part of our strategy to grow this market further.”“It is important for us to launch a video service for Russian gamers,” added Sergey Klisho, general manager, PlayStation Russia and CIS.
Anthony RoseFormer BBC iPlayer boss and the co-founder of Beamly, Anthony Rose, has unveiled UTD, a new technology startup he is working on that is designed to “remove the friction in the way that people connect.”Offering a “sneak peek” of the service via a video posted online, Rose said the app will find people nearby or far away with common interests and connect them “for an experience that could last 60 seconds or could last a lifetime.”Using machine learning and advanced algorithms, the service is designed to match people with similar tastes, based on their stated interests – for example things that they’ve posted on social networks.“For us the friction of connecting with other people remains one of the big barriers. Walk into a room, you’re worried: who’s the other person; how do I greet them; what do I say; do we have anything in common? UTD aims to remove the friction from that,” said Rose.“In the future, the vision is that connecting with Google Glass and with your phone camera – you’ll be in a conference, you’ll be in a party, you’ll be out in the park – hold your phone up to somebody, UTD will recognise them and tell you not just about them, but even bring you ice-breaker lines.”Rose is working on the project from offices in central London, and has funding and a small team in place, with UTD now recruiting a chief technology officer, a data scientist, two senior iOS engineers and a Node.js developer.Rose co-founded second screen TV service Zeebox with former EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt back in 2011 and rebranded it to Beamly earlier this year in a change of approach that was designed to “capture the zeitgeist” of Zeebox’s core target audience of 16 to 24 year-old millennials and to break away from its “geeky male audience”.
The man who represented for sale-Network Ten’s largest single shareholder on the broadcaster’s board has resigned, as a deadline for bids for the Australian firm looms large.Paul Mallam, who represented BruceGordon and has sat on the board for four years, unexpectedly announced his resignation via the Australian Stock Exchange.This came as the Australian Financial Review reported Gordon has reversed his opposition to a takeover of struggling Ten by cable giant Discovery and Australian pay TV firm Foxtel.Local reports said Mallam chose toquit after a disagreement over Ten’s future with Gordon, who owns just under 15% of the company.That shareholding means billionaire Gordon, who owns local broadcaster WIN, will have a key say in the future of Ten.Any deal for the firm needs the support of all key shareholders, whom also include Lachlan Murdoch, mining magnate Gina Rinehart and James Packer; and regulator the ACCC.A deadline for initial bids for the company is set for tomorrow, local reports say.Ten, Australia’s third-largest network, has been trailing broadcast rivals Seven and Nine, and was put up for sale after a strategic review by investment bank advisor Citi.Mallam praised the Ten board in a statement to the ASX. “I would like to pay tribute to my fellow directors, who have addressed the issues facing the company in a disciplined and cohesive manner,” he said.“I also have nothing but praise for the focus and commitment of management and staff of Ten. Pleasingly, their efforts have repositioned the network and created a more competitive platform for 2015.”Ten’s executive chairman Hamish McLennan accepted Mallam’s resignation, saying: “Paul’s vast experience as a leading adviser to the media, telecommunications and technology sectors hasenabled him to provide great counsel and assistance to the board and we wish him well in the future.”Turner Broadcasting System has also been linked to a deal, though Discovery and Foxtel are thought to be the front runners.
Belarus is taking a major step towards digital switchover by beginning to shut down analogue transmissions from this Sunday. Transmissions will cease in Volozhin in the Minsk region on Sunday. The next step will see the shutting down of analogue transmissions from Osveja in the Vitebsk region on March 10.A multiplex of DVB-T channels including Belarus 1, ONT, STV and RTR-Belarus is being broadcast in MPEG-4, while state-backed telco Beltelecom is also offering its Zala TV pay TV service in the Volozhin region.
Nordic telco Teliasonera has agreed to invest US$115 million (€102 million) in Spotify in return for a 1.4% stake in the music streaming business. The deal, which values Spotify at US$8.2 billion, will see both companies commit “resources, staff and other assets” to work on joint innovation in areas like media distribution, customer insights, data analytics and advertising.“We’ve set-out to create a new generation telco where innovation is key to our success. Spotify is a great company, loved by customers and with a world class take on innovation I’m excited to join Spotify’s journey as investor and key partner”, said Teliasonera president and CEO, Johan Dennelind.According to a Wall Street Journal report, the cash comes as part of a wider US$526 million funding round by Spotify, with other investment coming from the likes of UK asset managers Baillie Gifford, Landsdowne Partners and Rinkelberg Capital, and Canadian hedge funds Senvest Capital and Discovery Capital Management.
Ken MorsePay TV operators need to simplify the client-side equipment they provide and focus on open-source and cloud-based technologies to achieve the necessary scale and agility to see off OTT competitors, according to Ken Morse, CTO of connected devices at Cisco.Morse also told attendees at the Connected TV World Summit in London yesterday that the distinction between pay TV and OTT would disappear “within two to three years”.Operators “need to own the home” to be successful and need to bring broadband to the consumer to be successful. Satelllite-based players have to either become broadband players themselves or deliver content over broadband to match the changes in train, he said.Morse said that pay TV providers have moved from proprietary solutions to open standards and are now migrating to open-source solutions. They are also moving away from client-led technologies in the shape of the set-top to leverage the cloud and simplify client devices, he said.Morse said operators are also moving from integrated to modular solutions. Finally, they are moving to a ‘dev-opps’ model where new versions of software can be released on demand rather than only once a year, and where releases in the field can also be pulled back quickly if they don’t work. Morse cited Comcast’s practices in the US as an example of this new way of working.Simplification of client devices is key, said Morse. Integrations are easier to manage in the cloud than in set-tops. “Web giants show us this every day and we have to leverage this moving forwards,” he said. Many functions that have until now been performed in set-tops can now be done in the cloud, even if some functions sometimes have to be cached at the client end because of network issues, he said.“Cisco still believes you need some intelligence at the client end,” said Morse, for example in graphics rendering, even if an growing part of this is done in the cloud.Morse said that operators can also now “offload” infrastructure to software-as-a-service models. However, end customers are often unaccustomed to this way of working and need help in making the transformation, he said.Morse said virtualisation is driving economies through use of the likes of Amazon Web Services and OpenStack. Virtualisation also enables better collection of data and analytics. “The power of the cloud enables you to use much richer algorithms,” he said, enabling services such as personalised advertising.Virtualisation will also transform in-home networks, according to Morse. Services providers have limited visibility into the home currently, but technology could allow them to take functions such as parental control and firewalls back into the network and out of the home.Morse said that virtualisation is already having a big impact on the industry. Operators can’t migrate everything to the cloud overnight and migration to the cloud doesn’t work at all stages for everybody, but it does have the power to transform the industry, he said.