Wide receiver was an area of need for the Arizona Cardinals. ButCardinals’ brass has been touting all the while that they won’t draftfor need, instead they opt for the best available player.Well, the worlds of need and talent collided in Arizona’s first rounddraft pick when they selected Notre Dame wide receiver MichaelFloyd with the 13th overall selection of the 2012 NFL Draft.“We got a player who can change field position very quickly, andwhen you couple that with the guys we already have – Larry, Andreand Early – we feel like it gives us a very good receiving corps,”Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Thursday night. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke 0 Comments Share D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories “There’s been a lot of talk about us needing a number two (receiver)and we’ve said all along that we felt like we’ve had some goodyoung players and we’ve added another player to that mix who’sphysical, fast, big and can make some of those back shouldercatches and red zone plays.”Floyd starred for four years at Notre Dame, and leaves South Bendas the school’s all-time leading receiver with 271 catches. But healso had a tumultuous stay in South Bend that included an arrestfor DUI and a team suspension. Apparently, those did not serve asred flags for the Cardinals’ organization during their pre-draft visitwith Floyd.“One of the things that stood out to me was his honesty,”Whisenhunt said. “We asked him some pretty tough questionsabout his past and he was very honest.“We emphasized the importance to him about some of our playersand how important they are to the community and what types ofrole models they are.”The immediate thought by most Cardinal fans when Floyd’s namewas called was how Floyd would be able to learn from Pro Bowlreceiver Larry Fitzgerald. But Floyd will help Fitz and others as well. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation “It gives us another target, which we think will help take pressureoff the quarterback,” Whisenhunt said. “Obviously, we’re excitedabout potentially taking pressure off of Larry. A lot of defenses arescheming to try and do that.” Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
Lakers-Warriors most-watched NBA preseason game ever on ESPN Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant drives against Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) by The Associated Press Posted Oct 11, 2018 4:17 pm PDT Last Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – LeBron James’ first game against the Warriors as a Laker drew nearly 2 million viewers, making it ESPN’s most-watched preseason game ever.The Lakers’ 123-113 victory Wednesday night in Las Vegas was watched by 1.98 million viewers, the network said Thursday. A spokesman says that is the most viewers for an NBA preseason game on any network since at least 1994, which is as far back as the records go.James developed a rivalry with the Warriors while meeting them in a record four straight NBA Finals while he played in Cleveland. His move to Los Angeles in July put him in the same division as the two-time defending champions.___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
SIXTY-FIVE mini buses were imported into Cyprus and improperly registered as public use minibuses, depriving the state of thousands of euros in tax revenues, an auditor-general report on the road transport department has said.According to the report, the case concerned 65 Mercedes Vitos, which are considered saloon vehicles, or M1, because they have a maximum of nine seats including the driver.Public transport minibuses, M2, should have at least 10 seats including the driver.The audit service found that in most cases the vehicles didn’t have a special approval mandated by EU directives but only certification from a transport department inspector on the registration form that the vehicle was classified as M2.The service found that most of the vehicles it had checked were improperly registered as public minibuses, thus avoiding payment of consumer tax and registration fees, as was the rule between 2004 and 2014.During the same time period, public buses were also exempted from road tax.Sample inspections found that in certain cases the owners of the vehicles also possessed a taxi licence or permit to conduct specific routes occasionally.“It was observed that the department does not carry out checks to confirm proper use of the vehicles, which are possibly used as taxis,” the report said.In certain cases, auditors found that the insurance coverage for the vehicle was for fewer passengers than displayed by the certificate. In one case the coverage included a higher number of passengers than the car was supposed to carry.Two of the vehicles classified as public buses had passed a road worthiness inspection as private saloon cars, M1 category.One of the two vehicles, the auditor said, has also been included in the fleet of the Limassol bus company.The auditor said it had only received the files for 55 of the 65 vehicles during the inspections, warning road transport department officials that it was an offence to refuse or obstruct access to the files.The auditor said a probe must be conducted to determine who was to blame for the affair and those responsible be forced to cover the loss incurred by the state. An investigation must also be carried out into the missing files, the auditor said.The transport ministry told the service in December 2017 that it was looking into the case.You May LikeScreenKleanThis Carbon Smart-Molecular Cleaning Technology is Amazing!ScreenKleanUndoScienceIntroMan Spots A Bump In The Floor Of His New Home, Turns Out To Be An Ancient WellScienceIntroUndoAuto OverloadThe Most Expensive Celebrity Mega Yachts From Around The WorldAuto OverloadUndo Urgent work planned on collapsed section of Nicosia wallsUndoBale’s China move called off by Real MadridUndoMayors lobbying president to prevent local govt mergersUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
CYPRUS has the fifth highest birth rate in the EU according to statistics released by Eurostat.Last year 11.8 births per 1,000 people were recorded on the island, putting Cyprus in fifth position in the EU for births.Ireland was first with 15.7 per thousand, next came the UK with 13.7, France in third with 12.6, Sweden in fourth with 11.9 followed by Cyprus with 11.8.At the other end of the scale was Germany with 8.4 births per 1000 people, followed by Portugal with 8.5, Greece and Italy with nine and Hungary with 9.1 according to Eurostat.The countries with the largest natural population growth were Ireland with 9.5 per 1,000 people, followed by Cyprus with 5.2, Luxembourg with four and France and the UK with 3.8.Natural population growth happens as people are born into a country, and decrease as people die.On January 1 of this year the population of the 28 nations in the EU came to 505.7 million while in Cyprus it was 865,900 and in Greece eleven million.Last year the number of foreign national from third countries within the EU increased by 882,200. Their numbers decreased in Greece by 44,200 and in Cyprus by 600. The largest increase in population were recorded in Germany which saw 391,000 foreign nationals arrive, second was Italy with 369,700 and third the UK with 148,700.On January 1 of this year the country with the largest population in the EU was Germany with 80.5 million, France in second with 65.6 million, the UK was third with 63.9 million and Italy in fourth with 59.6 million. The countries with the smallest population were Malta with 421,400, Luxembourg with 537,000 and Cyprus 865,900. You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
State Rep. Mike McCready today announced he will host office hours this month in Bloomfield Township and Birmingham.McCready invites residents to meet with him to share their perspectives and ask questions at the following locations and times:Bloomfield Township: Monday, May 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Bagger Dave’s, 6608 Telegraph Road.Birmingham: Tuesday, May 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Baldwin Public Library in the board room, 300 W. Merrill St.Appointments are not necessary for office hours. Residents who are unable to meet can contact McCready’s office to schedule an appointment.#### Categories: McCready News 02May McCready announces May office hours
Bipartisan bills implement civil asset forfeiture protectionsMichigan residents will be better protected from the improper seizure of their property by police agencies under a bipartisan legislative package introduced today that reforms state civil asset forfeiture laws.The package includes state Rep. Gary Glenn’s House Bill 4499, a bill that toughens the standard for private property to be declared a public nuisance, which could result in the property being forfeited to the state. Under Glenn’s legislation, prosecutors would have to prove that property is a nuisance by “clear and convincing evidence” instead of the much lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard.Under current law, police are able to seize cash, cars, homes and other property during raids, which can then be auctioned off to supplement law enforcement budgets even though charges may never be filed against the alleged perpetrators.“Michigan’s public nuisance law provides a standard requiring only that it be more likely than not that the property is connected to criminal activity, so that’s like having a 51-percent chance of being correct,” said Rep. Glenn, R-Larkin Township. “My bill moves the needle to the highest evidentiary standard there is in civil court, so the case against a citizen will have to be much stronger to seize property.”Other legislation in the package, House Bills 4503-4508 and 4500, will increase transparency in Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture system and protect innocent citizens from indiscriminate police seizure of the property by imposing reporting requirements on law enforcement agencies and narrowing the scope of drug forfeiture laws to exclude low-level, personal-use and medical marijuana crimes from forfeiture.“We need a balanced policy that protects individual rights and allows property to be reclaimed when innocent, but one that also allows law enforcement officers to effectively do their job of protecting our communities,” Rep. Glenn said.The legislation is now before the House Committee on Judiciary for review. Categories: Glenn News 22Apr Rep. Glenn sponsors property rights legislation
Categories: Crawford News,K-Crawford Photos 02Jun Rep. Crawford’s resolution names June 2 as Older Michiganian’s Day Legislator one of the key note speakers at Older Americans Capitol eventState Rep. Kathy Crawford introduced a resolution that named June 2 as Older Michiganian’s Day in conjunction with Older Americans Day across the country.“As a life-long advocate for older Americans, I am thrilled to be able to recognize Michigan’s older adults immense contributions to our state,” said Rep. Crawford, R-Novi. “Michigan’s senior population is growing, and they are a part of the foundation of our state both culturally and economically. This resolution is just a small way to show our utmost respect for their contributions.”Rep. Crawford acted as one of the keynote speakers at the Older Americans Day Capitol Luncheon in Lansing.“I was honored to be asked to speak at this event. As an older Michiganian myself, I am lucky to have the opportunity to be a voice for the aging,” Rep. Crawford said. “Looking back on the past few decades services for the aging have improved immensely. Fifty years ago there were no senior transportation services, senior centers or meals on wheels and while these have made great strides in supporting independent seniors there is more that can be done and I am happy to continue being an advocate for them.”
28Nov Rep. Cole supports bill utilizing public-private partnerships for Michigan Categories: Cole News Legislation enhances alternative to building better infrastructureState Rep. Triston Cole, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, held a vote today and voted to approve a bill to regulate and oversee public-private partnerships in Michigan.The bill provides for the state of Michigan to more effectively utilize public-private partnerships (P3s) for large transportation projects and save taxpayers money.P3s are partnerships where a private company assumes the risk of a project that would be otherwise done by the department.The P3 concept is not new; the State of Michigan has been entering into these agreements for some time. Most noticeably the freeway lighting project on I-94.“This legislation provides transparency to an existing Design, Build, Operate and Maintain (DBOM) program to rebuild and modernize the infrastructure in our great state,” said Cole, of Mancelona. “Under this legislation, the Legislature will know what projects are being put forward and have input throughout the entire process.”A three-person advisory board will be appointed by the governor. The speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader will each select one member.The board’s primary purpose is to:· Review P3 projects;· Report to the Legislature within 30 days before the project is created;· Provide a biannual report of progress and activity of ongoing P3 project in the past two fiscal years; andThirty-three states have authorized some version of P3 contracting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.Senate Bill 97 moves to the full House for consideration.###
State Rep. Brandt Iden today announced plans to meet with residents of Southwest Michigan during local coffee hours in April.“Getting feedback from my community is a crucial aspect of being a representative,” Iden said. “I look forward to hearing what is on people’s minds, and am grateful for those who take the time to share what is most important to them.”The coffee hours take place at the following times and locations:Friday, April 13 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Feed the World Café, 7000 Stadium Dr. in Kalamazoo; andFriday, April 20 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, 6800 S. Westnedge Ave. in Portage.No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend are invited to contact Rep. Iden’s Lansing office at 517-373-1774 or at BrandtIden@house.mi.gov. Coffee hours are subject to change, please call the office for the most up to date information. Categories: Iden News,News 02Apr Rep. Iden announces coffee hours
Categories: VanderWall News 02May House approves Rep. VanderWall bill to address electric skateboards as new transportation option The Michigan House this week approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Curt VanderWall to define electric skateboards and how they operate on local streets.VanderWall’s bill creates the definition of an electric skateboard, allows their use on local streets, limits them to a speed of 25 miles per hour and restricts their use to roads with a 25 mile per hour speed limit or lower. Very few states have enacted legislation to address this growing mode of transportation, putting Michigan on the front edge of defining e-skateboards.“Electric skateboards are one of the newest technological trends people use as a hobby or to travel to and from work,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “Electric skateboards are designed to ride on the same surfaces as bikes and cars. This legislation allows for electric skateboards to be used the right way and safe way.”Under this legislation, electric skateboards will be required to yield to pedestrians, be operated on the far right side of the road, and be equipped with front lighting and rear reflector for evening operations. Riders under 19 years old will be required to wear a helmet.These types of skateboards have electric drive and braking components. Speed is controlled by a hand-held throttle or weight-sensor control.The House vote was 96-13. House Bill 5391 advances to the Senate for consideration.###
Share7TweetShareEmail7 SharesOctober 28, 2015; Washington Post and New York TimesLast week, the U.S. Department of Education released results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often described as the nation’s educational score card. Schoolchildren in the U.S. have taken the NAEP every two years since the early 1990s, and that legacy of consistency and longevity has given it a reputation as “the country’s most consistent measure of K-12 progress […] because it has been in place for so long, it can offer insight into the effects of demographic and policy changes.”NAEP’s methodology has kept it above the controversies that have flared over many of the nation’s standardized tests, and it is often seen as the best way to understand how our nation’s schools are progressing. So when the 2015 results give little evidence that the “reform” agendas of the Bush and Obama administrations are bringing the improvements promised, it adds fuel to the debate over whether those approaches need to be changed.2015 Math Results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress Created by the Washington Post, 10/28/2015 The New York Times summarized the NAEP’s unsettling results:For the first time since 1990, the mathematical skills of American students have dropped, according to results of a nationwide test released by the Education Department on Wednesday. […] Progress in reading, which has been generally more muted than in math for decades, also stalled this year as scores among fourth graders flat-lined and eighth-grade scores decreased.The Washington Post pointed to another area where results were disappointing:Tests again show large achievement gaps between the nation’s white and minority students as well as between poor and affluent children, an indication that the nation’s disadvantaged students are not gaining ground despite more than a decade of federal law designed to boost their achievement.Supporters of the Bush/Obama strategy looked for ways to place the result in a context that saw more reason to stay the course. Michael J. Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a strong supporter of many elements of the reform strategy, told the New York Times, “It’s obviously bad news. We don’t want to see scores going in this direction. That doesn’t mean we should completely freak out. This could be a one-time variation, and maybe we’ll see things come back next time. But if it were the beginning of a new trend, it would be quite disappointing and disturbing.”Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had previously cited NAEP scores to support key elements of his education efforts. Two years ago, with the 2013 results in hand, he said, “All eight states that had implemented the state-crafted Common Core State Standards at the time of the 2013 NAEP assessment showed improvement in at least one of the Reading and/or Mathematics assessments from 2009 to 2013—and none of the eight states had a decline in scores.” Valerie Strauss reported in the Washington Post that he “defended those policies in a call with reporters Tuesday, saying that massive changes in schools often lead to a temporary drop in test scores while teachers and students adjust. But the new standards and other policies, Duncan said, are poised to improve student achievement—and students’ lives—in the long term.”Critics of the current national educational strategy, like Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, saw these results as a validation of their position. “Of course we are disappointed” with the scores, she said. “But they should give pause to anyone who still wishes to double down on austerity and make competition, scapegoating teachers, closing rather than fixing schools, driving fear, and testing and sanctioning the dominant education strategies.”Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education at New York University, was even harsher:For nearly 15 years, Presidents Bush and Obama and the Congress have bet billions of dollars—both federal and state—on a strategy of testing, accountability, and choice. They believed that if every student was tested in reading and mathematics every year from grades 3 to 8, test scores would go up and up. In those schools where test scores did not go up, the principals and teachers would be fired and replaced. Where scores didn’t go up for five years in a row, the schools would be closed. Thousands of educators were fired, and thousands of public schools were closed, based on the theory that sticks and carrots, rewards and punishments, would improve education. But the 2015 NAEP scores released today by the National Assessment Governing Board (a federal agency) showed that Arne Duncan’s $4.35 billion Race to the Top program had flopped. It also showed that George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind was as phony as the “Texas education miracle” of 2000, which Bush touted as proof of his education credentials.Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Jenn Hatfield, a research assistant at AEI, described the results as a “train wreck” but questioned whether they would actually cause a rethinking of federal directions.While the administration is self-avowedly “data-driven” and convinced that it knows “what works,” it’s not clear what, if anything, might persuade Duncan to rethink his push to federalize school reform or his cheerleading for the Common Core. Happy results are vindication, and poor results are just a sign that change is hard.Are these results just a “blip,” and not an indicator of real problems? Or are they signs of real weaknesses in our national strategy? As the results are reviewed and further analyzed, these are the questions to keep our eyes on and that policy makers will be challenged to tackle.—Martin LevineShare7TweetShareEmail7 Shares
Share76Tweet2Share1Email79 Shares“No more deaths.” Credit: benketaroJune 20, 2017; ReasonLast Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), also called the Border Patrol, surrounded an Arizona facility with 15 trucks, 30 agents, and a helicopter, and arrested four migrants. The building they raided belongs to No More Deaths, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide water and medical aid to migrants crossing the desert.NMD called the raid an “unprecedented show of force” and “a break in our good-faith agreements with Border Patrol to respect the critical work of No More Deaths.”The nonprofit had an agreement with CBP that was supposed to allow them to work side by side in the same area. NMD does not assist migrants with transportation or logistics or try to influence which direction they go once they leave the medical facility; their mission is “to end death and suffering in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands through civil initiative.” They leave food, water, and supplies on migrant paths, provide emergency first aid, document abuse of detainees, help detainees through the court process, and help find missing migrants and their belongings.John Fife, one of the founders of No More Deaths, commented,Since 2013 the Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol has had a written agreement with No More Deaths (NMD) that they will respect the NMD camp as a medical facility under the International Red Cross standards, which prohibit government interference with humanitarian-aid centers. That agreement now has been violated by the Border Patrol under the most suspicious circumstances. The Border Patrol acknowledged that they tracked a group for 18 miles, but only after the migrants sought medical treatment did the Border Patrol seek to arrest them. The choice to interdict these people only after they entered the No More Deaths camp is direct evidence that this was a direct attack on humanitarian aid. At the same time, the weather forecast is for record-setting deadly temperatures.Since the 9/11 attack on the United States, the U.S. border patrol has intensified dramatically. The number of agents has more than doubled, and the border fence has grown from 60 miles to 700 miles long. President Trump, a well-documented opponent of immigration reform, illegal immigration, and Mexican or South American immigrants entering or remaining in the country without legal status, has attempted to both lengthen the fence and add 15,000 more agents, which would bring the total to over 35,000.David Bier of the Cato Institute pointed out that “one byproduct of making it harder to enter is that people will choose to cross in increasingly dangerous points along the border.” Migrant deaths have increased 340 percent since 2000, to a ratio of one death per 1,269 apprehensions.Vicente Paco, a Border Patrol agent and a naturalized U.S. citizen who emigrated from Mexico, told the Guardian, “We often become first responders. It shouldn’t be a death sentence to come across the border.”Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) commented,By attempting to fix [immigration] through the building of an offensive and divisive wall, ramping up detention, threatening to ban refugees fleeing horrific violence, entangling local law enforcement in immigration matters, and creating deportation forces that will separate families who are part of our communities, President Trump is only cementing his place on the wrong side of common-sense, political realism and our American history.CBP had a warrant for their search of NMD facilities, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC noted, “A doctor working with NMD had advised that the men needed at least one more day of rest before returning to the brutal, triple-digit heat which is the norm this time of year in Arizona,” but CBP contended that “the arrestees initially were found to be ‘in good health,’ and that professional medical staff at a local hospital later determined that the men ‘did not require further medical attention.’”According to the New York Times, CBP also identified one of the detainees as “Lucindo Díaz-Hernández, who had a prior felony conviction for drug possession and had spent five years in prison in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, for drug trafficking. He also had been previously deported.”The Guardian pointed out that “cartels have also muscled out the mom-and-pop coyote operations which used to spirit people across the border. They charge would-be crossers thousands of dollars or force them to haul drug-filled backpacks.”The increased necessity of guides from coyotes or cartels and the extreme terrain that migrants attempt to cross is a direct result of more aggressive border control in safer areas and a failure of policies to stimulate safety and economic growth south of the U.S. border. By forcing people to make a dangerous crossing and then harassing the volunteers that help them survive it, CBP makes themselves complicit in the suffering of would-be migrants. Whatever one’s position on immigration might be, humanitarian organizations are supposed to be exempt from political skirmishes, and the raid last week reflects poorly on the American government.—Erin RubinShare76Tweet2Share1Email79 Shares
Cable industry body Cable Europe has criticised the European Commission’s latest Radio Spectrum Policy Programme text as falling short setting clear rules where new wireless services cause interference with existing services, including cable TV reception.“We are encouraged to see that coexistence of new and existing services is regarded as important in the latest text agreed on EU spectrum policy. Promoting competition, investment and the efficient use of spectrum are also key achievements in future-proofing this policy area. But we are disappointed to see that the new rules fall short of answering the simple question of what the European consumer is supposed to do if a new device interferes with their television, internet connection or any other consumer equipment operating on the same frequency,” said Cable Europe managing director Caroline Van Weede.Cable Europe said the latest developments gave room for hope that the EC wished to promote the efficient use of spectrum and competition, but also hailed the example set by the Netherlands, which has made commercial agreements on interference a pre-condition of spectrum acquisition.
Canal Plus says it has 11.2 million Facebook fans for its programmes, an increase of 45% in a year.According to the French pay TV operator, some 80% of fans come back to its pages each month. Five of the hundred or so pages related to Canal Plus channels are in the top 10 Facebook pages dedicated to TV programmes – Sav with three million fans, Bref with 1.7 million and Le Canal Football Club with 1.2 million fans.The operator has also developed a number video and games applications delivered via Facebook, including access to episode of series including Borgia and Braquo and games including Les Gniark and Borgia the Game. According to Canal Plus, 20% of traffic to its Canalplus.fr website comes via social networks.
Motorola Mobility shipped 6% more set-tops in 2011 than the previous year.Announcing fourth quarter and full-year results, the company said it saw a decline in set-top shipments during the fourth quarter, with figures down 3% year-on-year.Motorola’s set-top business falls within its Home segment, which reported fourth quarter revenues down 11% to US$897 million (€684 million). Full year revenues were down slightly to US$3.5 billion from US$3.6 billion.Motorola Mobility’s full year revenues for its entire business, which includes mobile devices, were up 14% to US$13.1 billion.Motorola Mobility is in the process of being acquired by Google. It said it expects the deal to close in early 2012.
Floreta ZhulaliAlbanian service provider ALBtelecom has chosen Amino to provide set-top boxes for an IPTV service that is currently being rolled out across the country.ALBtelecom will deploy Amino’s HD set-tops as part of a – package that is being rolled out initially to Korçë and Pogradec in south-eastern Albania. The service will be rolled out across the whole country via ALBtelecom’s fibre and DSL network over the remainder of the summer.ALBtv is offering a multiscreen service with a range of popular news, sport and entertainment content distributed to TVs, tablets and smartphones, plus a video-on-demand service.ALBtelecom serves around 230,000 subscribers, with an 80% share of the country’s fixed-line market. Over the last five years the company has invested over €150 million in building out a fibre backbone. ALBtelecom is offering four bundled packages, including between 50-100 channels and 1Mbps to 8Mbps internet access for between ALL1,300-4,000 (€9-28).“We will always bring to the Albanian market the best service and latest technology, and in our effort to successfully launch IPTV, Amino has been instrumental in securing reliable and top quality products,” said ALBtelecom chief marketing officer Floreta Zhulali.“We’re delighted to secure this strategic and important contract with one of eastern Europe’s most vibrant IPTV service providers. The combination of Amino’s award winning technology and ALBtelecom’s future thinking philosophy is a compelling proposition and we look forward to supporting their service rollout,” said Amino CEO Donald McGarva.
Bosnia and Herzegovina-based telco BH Telecom has extended its relationship with security specialist Verimatrix. BH Telecom has now deployed Vertimatrix’s Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for Internet TV to secure the revenues for its Moja TV service.The solutions is integrated with the Beenius interactive TV platform for secure delivery to a range of devices, including set top boxes, PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices.Moja TV gives subscribers access to more than 130 channels, as well as video-on-demand (VoD) and video recording capabilities. Beenius is the systems integrator for the project and Oracle, Harmonic, Edgeware, and HP are also part of the vendor ecosystem.
Liberty Global-owned UPC Poland has named Tomasz Izydorczyk as marketing director, responsible for the creation, development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy.He was previously marketing director for B2B activities at Orange Poland, having previously served as strategy and marketing communications director. He has also worked for The Boston Consulting Group and previously served as operations director at Polish cable operator Vectra.Separately, UPC Poland has added female-focused channel Romance TV to its line-up.The channel will be available in the Max package and subscribers to the My Prime on-demand service will have access to movies and series that air on the channel.Romance TV airs a mix of romantic films and series including adaptations of the works by the likes of Rosamunde Pilcher, Inga Lindstrom and Barbara Wood.
Canal+-owned thematic channels producer Thema has launched seven channels from Africa in the Canadian market.Le Bouquet Africain, which is available on Bell Canada’s Fibe TV service, features channels 2STV, RTS, RTG, RTI1, Canal 2 International, CRTV and RTNC.All Fibe TV subscribers can access these TV channels for free until December 15, and will then be able to access Le Bouquet African as part of an optional package for C$15 a month.Thema is targeting the large French-speaking African community in Montreal with the package, which is currently available in France and across Europe.
Sky’s new advanced set-top box and entertainment platform, Sky Q, is “long overdue” but “will not disappoint”, according to CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore.Commenting ahead of the release of Sky Q, which Sky first unveiled in November, CCS’s director of multiplay and media said that Sky’s new device “could be the most impressive set-top box we’ve seen to date, stuffed with hardware, software features underpinned by a cloud-based architecture.”However, Pescatore added that shortcomings and obstacles still remain, including the inability for Sky customers to take recordings from their existing box to the new one, and no voice-controls or Ultra HD 4K content from day – although both will be supported.“Overall, Sky must be applauded for bringing a best in class box and service to market. By opening up the Sky platform to third parties, Sky will position Sky Q as a broad entertainment service for the entire household,” said Pescatore.Separately, Strategy Analytics analyst David Mercer said: “SkyQ is Sky’s main weapon in seeing off the threat from BT and Netflix to its market leadership over the next decade. Sky Q’s improved functionality shows that multi-screen viewing and fast access to video-on-demand content are seen as the key battles to win.”