June 20, 2016Last week-ends JUNETEENTH Festival took place in record temperatures, Sunday coming up to 110 degree Fahrenheit. Nevertheless, it was a week-end of good music, good food, fun vendors and all around mellow atmosphere.Saturday’s schedule started off with a blessing by reverent Michael Cannon.JONATHAN BEST.[photo by Sue Kirsch]The MUDDBONE TRIO.R.D. OLSEN BANDPianist HAROLD LAND, bassist RAY CARTER, LESLIE DANIELS on drums.The traditional Saturday evening dance party in the Vaults with this years Funk Frequency’s Michael Weight and Trial by Fire’s Carlton Godwin.[photo by Erin O’Loughlin][photo by Erin O’Loughlin]More to come on Friday, June 24. 2016.
Categories: VanderWall News State Rep. Curt VanderWall will host a town hall on Monday, Sept. 25 for residents with questions regarding energy policy and no fault auto reform.“This event will provide an open forum for citizens to express and discuss their concerns regarding energy policy and no fault auto reform,” VanderWall said. “I look forward to having a meaningful conversation with people, and bringing their message back to Lansing.”The town hall will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at Geno’s Sports Bar and Grill, 14848 Thompson Ave. in Thompsonville.Anyone unable to attend during the scheduled time may contact Rep. VanderWall at his office at (517) 373-0825 or CurtVanderWall@house.mi.gov. 19Sep Rep. VanderWall invites residents to town hall event in Thompsonville
Categories: Kahle News,News 31Jan Rep. Kahle details plan to fight tax-related identity theft, fraud State Rep. Bronna Kahle today testified on her legislation to fight tax-related fraud and identity theft by requiring employers to file their employees’ W2 forms with the state one month earlier than under current Michigan law.Kahle, of Adrian, said moving up the date to Jan. 31 will get important information to the state more quickly, helping investigators crack down on fraudulent returns filed by imposters seeking refunds under a real taxpayer’s name. It also will align Michigan’s due date with the federal government’s deadline for similar information.“This legislation creates another tool to fight fraud and help protect Michigan taxpayers,” Kahle said after testifying on her bill for the House Tax Policy Committee. “Tax-related identify theft is a growing problem. I am pleased to offer a plan that will help fight fraud, and also help ‘real’ taxpayers get their refunds in a timely fashion.”Michigan Treasury prevented more than $60 million in tax-related identify theft refunds for 2017. A Treasury official told the committee that Kahle’s legislation would assist efforts to fight fraud.Michigan law requires employers to send W2s to employees by Jan. 31. But employers aren’t required to send copies of those W2s to the state until Feb. 28. The delay gives criminals a head start in trying to file fraudulent returns seeking refunds.Kahle’s bill would require employers to send W2s to the state by Jan. 31 – the same deadline they have to send the forms to their workers and send information to the federal government. Some employers could be required to file information electronically.The state would be able to verify tax withholding amounts and other information more quickly, helping investigators better identify fraudulent refund requests.The majority of states already are moving their filing deadlines to align with the federal government’s Jan. 31 date.“This is a common-sense change to benefit Michigan taxpayers,” Kahle said.Kahle’s bill remains under consideration in the House Tax Policy Committee, of which she is a member.###Kahle’s legislation: House Bill 5091.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 19, 2014; Georgetown Dish NPQ has covered a number of stories lately about nonprofits closing their doors, boards falling down on—or walking out on—the job, and old business models that may no longer be sustainable. So it’s refreshing to find an example of an organization or three with a plan to keep the doors open, actively engage board leaders in a collaborative process and, if all goes well, strengthen the business models of all three institutions over time.This week, the interim director and president of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Peggy Loar, announced a proposed collaboration with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University that would keep the struggling Corcoran in Washington, D.C., where it has been since 1897. While this is not a done deal, the three institutions are far enough along in exploring the plan to make it public and to state that they have entered a working period to hammer out definitive terms.The Corcoran is the nation’s oldest privately supported art museum, and in recent years has faced financial challenges that had its leadership considering a move to the suburbs to cut costs. Under the proposed collaboration, the Corcoran College of Art & Design would operate under the auspices of George Washington University. The university would gain access to the Corcoran, which would offer “unparalleled opportunities for students and scholars,” according to GW president Steven Knapp. In addition to operating the Corcoran College, which would retain its own distinct identity separate from GW, the university would assume ownership of and responsibility for the Corcoran building. The National Gallery of Art would organize and present exhibitions of modern and contemporary art within the building under a new brand, “Corcoran Contemporary, National Gallery of Art.” Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery, notes that the proposed deal “keeps the core collection in the nation’s capital and offers great opportunities for exhibitions of contemporary art and programming.”Loar said, “The collaboration would raise the status of arts education in the District and expand the benefits, services, and interdisciplinary opportunities that both the National Gallery of Art and GW provide to students, museum-goers and the Washington community.” While the boards and staff leadership of these three institutions roll up their collective sleeves to formalize their new working arrangement, it’s worth noting that many other successful nonprofit collaborations have been documented. The Foundation Center has a database of innovative ways nonprofits have found to collaboratively achieve their missions “through mergers, joint programming, and other forms of collaboration.”NPQ would love to hear from you about your experiences in collaborating with other nonprofits—especially those instances where the whole has proven to be greater than the sum of its parts.—Eileen CunniffeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share1TweetShareEmail1 Shares August 15, 2014; YES! MagazineNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with the City Council, have allocated within the 2015 city budget $1.2 million to support worker cooperatives. This is reportedly the largest investment in co-ops made by any U.S. city ever. The funding is to be used to create “234 jobs in worker cooperative businesses, reach 920 cooperative entrepreneurs, provide for the start up of 28 new worker cooperative small businesses and [assist] another 20 existing co-ops.”Maria del Carmen Arroyo is the incoming chair of the City Council’s Community Development Committee. She represents a South Bronx district. In the Bronx, there are already a number of worker-owned co-ops, and when Arroyo convened a hearing on co-ops in February, New Yorkers came out in force, perhaps reflecting not only a new interest, but a strong existing base of local working co-ops.According to the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, only around 300 worker-owned cooperatives exist in the United States, with an average of 11 workers each. New York city is home to 28 co-ops.Cooperative Home Care Associates, founded 29 years ago in the Bronx, is the largest of these and is 90 percent owned by women of color. It has a sophisticated operation that not only provides home healthcare workers, paying them twice the usual wage, but also trains other groups around the country, works on policy that will help co-ops get better rates in contracting, and has developed an entity that helps to funnel a steady stream of work to them. Hilary Abell, author of a new study titled Pathways to Scale, says that co-ops need a mutually supportive ecosystem like that evidently being built in New York in order to thrive. “But the biggest need right now is certainly for larger businesses, capable of hiring 100 workers and up.” She believes that there are opportunities to shift the tide—not necessarily through startups, but through worker takeovers. “There are 200,000 small businesses in the US today, employing half of all America’s workers. Most have no succession plan.”Christopher Michael of the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives, meanwhile, says that in New York City, “we have all the raw ingredients of a successful policy initiative: engaged groups, a bit of a track record and support in the city council.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares
Share94TweetShareEmail94 SharesBy DFID – UK Department for International Development [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia CommonsAugust 27, 2018; VoxAfter several years of escalating ethnic cleansing and violence, including a military “crackdown” that is estimated to have killed “a minimum of 6,700” since last August, as well as driving 688,000 people to abandon Myanmar for Bangladesh, the United Nations has finally issued a report of its own recommending that military officials in Myanmar be investigated and prosecuted for carrying out a genocidal campaign against the Rohingya Muslim people. The report, from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will be formally presented in Geneva in September.For decades, Myanmar has explicitly excluded the Rohingya from citizenship and interfered with their basic human rights to housing, education, safety, and more. NPQ has reported before on this bitter sectarian conflict, which traces some of its origins in sociopolitical divides created or exacerbated by British colonial rule. Myanmar has excluded journalists, aid groups, and human rights monitors, even providers of UN humanitarian assistance, from the country. The report was gathered from interviews with refugees and aid groups in other countries, satellite images, and other research conducted outside Myanmar’s borders.The UN commission’s report explained,Notably, under military rule the concept of “national races” has gradually become the key criterion for membership in Myanmar’s political community, creating a common “other.” […] All others, regardless how many generations have lived in Myanmar, are considered outsiders or immigrants. This includes the Rohingya.The “othering” and exclusion of the Rohingya has been touted by the ruling military officers, known as the Tatmadaw, as an effort to protect national safety and unity. The Tatmadaw have also helped foster violence and distrust between the Rohingya and the Rakhine, another Muslim ethnic group in the country that does not face the same exclusionary attitudes, with whom the Rohingya had previously enjoyed a peaceful relationship.The report explains, “The Rohingya were labelled ‘illegal immigrants,’ ‘terrorists,’ and portrayed as an existential threat that might ‘swallow other races’ with their ‘incontrollable birth rates.’ In November 2012 the [Rakhine Nationalities Development Party] cited Hitler, arguing that ‘inhuman acts’ were sometimes necessary to ‘maintain a race.’”In successive waves going back over a decade, Rohingya have been shot, burned, raped, and tortured, their villages burned and razed, their mosques destroyed. One refugee told the report’s authors, “That day felt like the last day of this world, as if the whole world was collapsing. I thought judgment day had arrived.”These disasters were not unknown to the United Nations. The report states, “Myanmar has been a country of interest to the United Nations for 30 years, with resolutions condemning its human rights situation since 1991. For three decades, successive Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Myanmar concluded that patterns of human rights violations were widespread and systematic, linked to State and military policy.” In at least two places, the report mentions planning and troop placement that conceals a deliberate intent to perpetrate these violent campaigns. Yet so far, no moves of appropriate scale have been made by the Security Council, the International Criminal Court, or other bodies charged with protecting human rights.Alice Cowley and Maung Zarni of the Middle East Institute wrote in 2017,Myanmar’s rights abuses in Rohingya regions of Western Myanmar weren’t seen as something that demanded special attention…As Rohingyas in Northern Rakhine wait and their diasporic relatives post desperate calls for U.N. peacekeepers and intervention on Facebook, “Never again!”—the foundational myth of the United Nations—must sound bitterly hollow.NPQ’s Cyndi Suarez made a similar point in May, saying,It’s interesting, however, that [Kofi] Annan, who has made a career of getting the world to respond to genocides, told the BBC in December 2016, in response to rumors of escalating violence and outright ethnic cleansing and questions of whether we should call what’s happening in Myanmar genocide, “I think there are tensions, there has been fighting, but I wouldn’t put it the way some have done.” The BBC notes that Annan cautioned “observers should be ‘very, very careful’ in using the word genocide.” But why? Are these just the machinations of politics? How does this align with the stance of “No Bystanders”?The word genocide is finally being used, along with “crimes against humanity” and “war crimes,” to describe the Tatmadaw’s campaign.Noor Ilyas, a refugee in a camp in Bangladesh, wrote for the Guardian, “When the brutal military set fire to the villages of Duden and Lambaguna, which are near Singgri Para, we could see the smoke. We finally decided to go to the border. It was a difficult journey.” Noor joined hundreds of thousands of compatriots fleeing the country. At least forty percent of Rohingya villages have been destroyed, with infrastructure or villages for other ethnic groups built on the ruins.The UN report calls out other parties for their role in the terrible violence. The authors criticize Facebook for their role in perpetrating hate speech. A group of civil society organizations in Myanmar published a letter to Mark Zuckerberg in April, saying that hate messages “spread in an unprecedented way, reaching country-wide and causing widespread fear and at least three violent incidents in the process” and Facebook’s responses were inadequate. Additionally, the report criticized State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to use either her government position or her moral authority to stop the violence. NPQ has reported that the Holocaust museum revoked Suu Kyi’s Elie Wiesel award; a petition online to revoke her Nobel Peace Prize has nearly half a million signatures.In May, there was a tentative repatriation agreement for the Rohingya, some of whom said they would not wish to return without a guarantee of full citizenship rights. However, the report pointed out that “while the Government has, in principle, committed to Rohingya repatriation, nothing thus far indicates this will be in a manner ensuring respect for human rights, essential for a safe, dignified and sustainable return….The security forces who perpetrated gross human rights violations, with impunity, would be responsible for ensuring the security of returnees.”In the end, the UN report acknowledges the failure of the agency to respond to the ongoing crisis, saying, “The United Nations as a whole failed to adequately address human rights concerns.” But as we remember Rwanda, Darfur, and other situations in which the UN did not intervene until tens or hundreds of thousands of lives were lost, we are somewhat unimpressed with the gesture in this situation until it is followed by meaningful action. Being among the last to call this square a square when lives are at stake is not a moral victory.—Erin RubinShare94TweetShareEmail94 Shares
French quad-play operator Iliad Telecom has added 93,000 new subscribers to its Free service in the third quarter, which it said was attributable to the success of its advanced combined set-top and gateway, the Freebox Révolution.Iliad said it was achieving ARPU of €38 for Freebox Révolution subscribers, higher than its overall ARPU of €35.50, which was flat quarter-on-quarter.The 93,000 net additions to the Free brand included 20,000 migrations from Iliad’s other service, the former Telecom Italia France-owned Alice. Excluding former Alice subscribers, Free accounted for 27% of new subscribers in the French market in the course of the quarter. Free now counts 4.79 million subscribers, with a further 432,000 subscribers to the Alice brand.Iliad reported third quarter revenues of €537 million, up 5% year-on-year.
Alcatel-Lucent has launched an extended portfolio of software and services designed to improve the experience that consumers have with their smartphones, tablets and other connected devices. The launch is based on Alcatel-Lucent’s 2008 acquisition of Motive and its recent creation of a new customer experience solutions group.The Motive Customer Experience Solutions (CXS) portfolio is designed to proactively address the consumer experience, providing a suite of software and expert services to help communications service providers manage their customer relationships over a wide range of touchpoints, according to Alcatel-Lucent.Motive CX Management is focused on getting new devices, applications and services up and running quickly, while Motive CX Analytics provides monitoring tools that track the performance of the devices, applications and services running on the network, according to the company. Motive CX Optimisation empowers communications service providers to provide their customers with the best service experience possible while making better use of network capacity. Alcatel-Lucent has also launched a consulting group – CX Consulting – comprising of a dedicated tam that will identify opportunities to improve the wide range of customer experience touch points within a service provider organisation, according to the company.
Bridge Technologies has launched the VB273 Intelligent Satellite Redundancy Switch – the first of a new line of products from the company. The VB273 provides redundancy switching for satellite uplinks, with an automated decision-making capability.According to the company, in contrast with the simple ETR alarm analyzers and black box switching solutions that have been deployed to date, the Bridge VB273 system’s analysis capabilities and decision engine make it mor comprehensive and accurate.The company says that by incorporating a full implementation of Bridge Technologies’ advanced ETR analysis engine, the VB273 can use a greater range of criteria, and base decisions on a more nuanced and realistic assessment of the data. Error conditions are evaluated against a set of user-defined rules to determine the appropriate automated action in any operational scenario.The VB273 module works with a VB272 and VB120 in a redundant chassis to monitor two signals from dual production chains and switch to the backup chain if the main chain fails.The VB273 module contains the physical switches and interfaces, with the VB272 module providing dual-channel multi-purpose monitoring of satellite broadcast signals and running the ETR290 analysis and decision engines. The VB272 also includes an RF monitoring module and supports high-throughput 16PSK and 32PSK operation as well as today’s QPSK and 8PSK. The module provides full implementation of DISEqC v1.2 RF switch control, cue tones and a GPI interface, according to Bridge Technologies.In use the VB273 Intelligent Satellite Redundancy Switch integrates readily into the Bridge Technologies monitoring ecosystem, providing exceptional advanced data analysis functions through rich graphical displays, with full reporting capabilities to external network management systems. The data from the system is made available for remote monitoring by the built-in web server so that engineers and maintenance staff can be kept aware of operating status and can interrogate the system from any location.The VB273 has been developed in response to a major operator’s request for a redundancy switching solution, and is already installed by, with general availability to the market from September 2013, according to Bridge Technologies.“Redundancy switching solutions based on relatively crude ETR analysis are a less than perfect answer to the broadcaster’s requirements,” said Simen Frostad, chairman of Bridge Technologies. “They are inflexible, and may even themselves cause problems and increase costs by generating ‘false positives’ or missing complex error conditions. The innovative approach taken in the VB273 is a response to what broadcasters have requested, and it gives greater security and the cost reductions achieved through running a more intelligent solution that can be trusted to operate with a greater degree of autonomy.”Bridge Technologies will exhibit at IBC on stand 1.A30
Streaming and download-to-own service Wuaki has launched on Chromecast devices in Spain. The firm said that its catalogue of 5,000 movie and TV titles can now be accessed through the device, and is offering subscribers the chance to get a Chromecast dongle for as little as €19.99 as part of a promotion offer.Wuaki first confirmed it would launch on Chromecast in March, after Google rolled out the HDMI streaming stick to 11 countries outside of the US – including Spain, the UK, Germany, France and Denmark.Wuaki gave no details about whether it now plans to launch on Chromecast in the UK.
Hungarian music channel Sláger TV is to be made available unencrypted on Antenna Hungária’s MinDig TV Extra digital-terrestrial pay TV platform until November 16.The transmission services provider has struck a deal with Tematik-Kábel, the channel’s owner, to make the channel available free-of-charge for a limited period.Sláger TV, known until September as TV Song, is Hungary’s most popular music channel.
Brian Krzanich unveils Project AlloyIntel CEO Brian Krzanich has used his company’s Developer Forum in San Francisco to unveil a new integrated virtual reality system – Project Alloy – that allows users to untether themselves from computers and other external devices and interact with the real world. Intel has also teamed up with Microsoft to optimise Windows-based content on Intel-based VR devices.Project Alloy will be offered by Intel as an open platform next year, enabling developers to create their own products from the Alloy design.The design demonstrated by Krzanich in San Francisco has computing power located in the head-mounted device, giving users free range of motion across open spaces. The device integrates collision detection and avoidance technology. Intel RealSense cameras attached to the headset take the place of any external sensors or cameras placed around a room.The device allows users to use their hands to interact with elements in the virtual world, creating “merged reality”, in Intel’s parlance.Intel’s collaboration with Microsoft will see the pair work to build a range of devices for the consumer and business markets based on a specification for ‘mixed reality’-ready PCs and head-mounted displays. The pair plan to publicly release version one of the spec at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community conference in Shenzhen, China, in December.Microsoft also plans to release an update of its Windows 10 operating system next year that will enable PCs to run the Windows Holographic shell – a framework that allows for the blending of 2D and 3D apps simultaneously along with mixed reality applications.“Project Alloy takes the cord off the virtual reality headset,” said Krznanic during his keynote. “It is completely contained… It is a completely self contained virtual world all in one package.”He said that the device provided the ability to “merge the physical and virtual world together”.
HTC has announced the global launch of Viveport, taking the virtual reality store out of private beta.VR fans in more than 30 countries will now be able to access the store, after HTC’s teams in San Francisco, Seattle, Taipei, Beijing and London worked with developers and content creators around the world in recent months.“The Viveport app store has been live in China since April, and we are happy to have the opportunity to introduce you to more than a dozen VR titles that, for the first time, are available outside of Asia. And there’s more on the way in the upcoming weeks and months,” said HTC in a post on the Vive blog.Last month HTC, which makes the Vive virtual reality headset, invested US$5 million in Steel Wool, a VR development studio formed by creative veterans of Pixar Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, and Telltale Games.The firm announced the launch of Viveport at Los Angeles virtual reality expo, VRLA, in August, with the store to feature content across new categories for VR – like information, edutainment, social media, 360˚ video, news, sports, health, travel and shopping.
Indian DTH pay TV operator DishTV has tapped technology outfit MediaKind – formerly Ericsson Media Solutions – to provide its AVP 4000 video processing platform to deliver content to DishTV’s over 23.5 million subscribers.The AVP 4000 video processing platform exists within MediaKind’s Aquila family of solutions, which forms part of the wider MediaKind Universe portfolio.According to MediaKind, DishTV has selected its to replace its entire headend infrastructure, which includes existing legacy technology from its D2H brand.Anil DuaDishTV will operate MediaKind’s compression headend technology to deliver both traditional broadcast and multiscreen video from a single platform. That platform, which includes MediaKind’s AVP 4000 System Encoder, allows the operator to serve satellite operations for both of its brands, unifying the control and management of its two headends.Anil Dua, Group CEO, DishTV India Limited, said: “As a leading DTH provider in India, we are always looking for new ways to deliver a high quality viewing experience to our millions of customers. We are delighted to strengthen our longstanding partnership with MediaKind and leverage its compression technology heritage which extends more than 25 years. Through the deployment of MediaKind’s AVP technology, we can enable the highest video quality for our consumers alongside far greater bandwidth efficiencies, thus enabling us to cost-effectively deliver the next generation services to our subscribers.”Angel Ruiz, CEO, MediaKind, said: “The media landscape is constantly shifting and service providers need to continually adapt to deliver the highest quality media experiences for consumers. At the same time, the increased competition from pure-play online providers means it’s necessary to do this as cost-effectively as possible. We are delighted to extend our relationship with DishTV and to continue evolving its service offering in one of the world’s largest video markets. Through the deployment of our state-of-the-art AVP 4000 system, DishTV can potentially benefit from significant cost efficiencies and have the opportunity to launch new and highly compelling viewing experiences.”
US local broadcast giant Sinclair Broadcast Group is to create a joint venture with Korea’s SK Telecom to develop broadcast solutions based on the ATSC 3.0 standard for the US and international markets.SK Telecom and Sinclair sign their JV agreementThe two companies will jointly fund and manage a joint venture company within the first quarter of this year, with the aim of developing products that can be marketed in the US later this year.The joint venture agreement follows last year’s memorandum of understanding signed between SK Telecom and Sinclair at CES 2018 to jointly develop leading technology for ATSC 3.0 broadcasting.The two companies plan to actively provide ATSC 3.0 standards-based solutions to all US broadcasting companies and seek other opportunities globally. ATSC 3.0, which enables data communications in broadcasting bands, supports services such as mobile viewing and 4K UHD TV as well as enabling personalised advertising and in-vehicle terrestrial TV broadcasting and map updates“SK Telecom will work closely with Sinclair Broadcast Group to gain leadership in the next-generation broadcasting solutions market in the US,” said Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom.“Sinclair is excited to partner with SK Telecom, a wireless technology leader, to explore and commercialize solutions that optimize the economic value of our spectrum, our broadcast infrastructure, our programming ventures and our emerging OTT platforms. Bringing these assets together in a converged broadcast/broadband platform environment will be a significant value multiplier,” said Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair.
US broadcast group Sinclair has confirmed the acquisition of 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) and Fox College Sports from Disney in a deal worth US$10.6 billion (€9.6 billion).This portfolio represents the largest collection of RSNs in the US marketplace, and has an extensive footprint which consists of exclusive local rights to 42 professional teams consisting of 14 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, 16 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, and 12 National Hockey League (NHL) teams. This is added to Sinclair’s existing sports business which includes Marquee Sports Network (a recently announced joint venture with the Chicago Cubs), Tennis Channel and Tennis Media Company (dedicated to live tennis events and tennis lifestyle), and Ring of Honor Wrestling.“This is a very exciting transaction for Sinclair to be able to acquire highly complementary assets,” commented Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair. “While consumer viewing habits have shifted, the tradition of watching live sports and news remains ingrained in our culture. As one of the largest local news producers in the country and an experienced producer of sports content, we are ideally positioned to transfer our skills to deliver and expand our focus on greater premium sports programming.”Christine McCarthy, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer at the Walt Disney Company added: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Sinclair for the sale of these 21 RSNs, subject to the conditions of the consent decree with the US Department of Justice.”The other Fox-owned RSN, the YES Network, was sold back to the New York Yankees by Disney in March for US$3.5 billion (€3.13 billion). Disney had previously announced its intention to divest 22 Fox-owned RSNs in order to end the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s investigation into its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
IPTV operators are waking up to the fact that the quality of video being displayed in the homes of TV viewers is becoming an increasingly important factor.While competition remains fierce in the pay-TV market place, quality control is key and service providers are starting to address the issue.For IneoQuest’s (IBC 4.A99) vice-president of strategic solutions Gino Dion, Quality of Experience is becoming an important area of concern for the industry. “Service providers realise this is the key to winning new subscribers and keeping existing ones,” he says. “They have realised that a proactive approach to quality assurance not only saves operating expenses by identifying network trouble spots that could have the potential for impacting video quality but also reduces customer churn by enabling faster repair and response times.”Eric Conley, CEO of digital media monitoring company Mixed Signals (IBC 2.C19) agrees that service providers are likely to invest more into ensuring they provide the best QoE. At IBC, Mixed Signals will demonstrate Sentry, its flagship content monitoring solution that includes new features like the Executive Reporting Package and the Video and Audio QoE Scoring System, which the company claims to be the first solution of its kind that tells service providers precisely how much each video and audio error impacts subscribers. “Simply put, not all errors are created equal, with some causing no significant impact to the subscriber, while others can ruin the viewing experience,” says Conley. “However, first-generation tools that only detect packet loss are unable to provide any distinction, only noting that packet loss has occurred. The result is that headend personnel treat all errors with equal urgency…or lack thereof, which in turn results in subscriber complaints when major issues are not quickly solved.” Mixed Signals addresses this issue with its video and audio QoE scoring system, which enables service providers to gauge how much each video and audio impairment affects subscribers.One concern raised by a Bridge Technologies (IBC 1.A30) spokesperson is that IPTV service providers have sometimes been guilty of having in-depth knowledge of IT but little of broadcasting technology. “The realisation that errors creeping in at one point in the delivery chain can cause problems downstream – and that problems can ‘cross the divide’ between broadcast and IT technologies – has come about only gradually,” says Bridge Technologies. Another issue is that some monitoring systems available on the market only give a view of limited parts of the IPTV delivery chain, and still reflect the divide between broadcast and IT worlds. “Providers have therefore tended to bolt on unrelated monitoring systems in a bits-and-pieces way, without ever getting the overall, end-to-end view of the whole delivery chain,” says the spokesperson.Winfried Schultz, marketing manager of test and measurement company Tektronix (IBC 8.C75) says that service provider requirements will focus more on the video layer going forwards to enable high-quality and high availability services. The company’s technology is script-based, and Schultz says means it can be easily tailored to measure and correlate various kinds of different parameters. “This is an absolute must in the current stage of IPTV rollout, as operators are still encountering technical challenges they did not expect to see,” he says. Tekronix has taken the approach of separating the network into different layers: transport and video. The challenge today, says Schultz is to isolate parameters from different layers, correlate them and then build a trend for each one, which helps to identify issues before they become visible for the viewer.John Williams, director of emerging markets at JDSU’s communications test and measurement business segment says that service providers need to move to a centralised test approach and only dispatch engineers to fix problems, rather than find problems. “To make management of IPTV more accessible to a wider user within the operator, the test systems must have more intelligence built into the system and an intuitive user interface that allows users to quickly isolate and fix IPTV issues,” Williams says. This is an area JDSU has prioritised its IPTV R&D activities.
ShareTweet POLICE have evacuated a number of homes in Derry overnight during a security alert linked to a controversial bonfire.It is understood the alert began after a suspect device was thrown at the Lecky Road flyover, close to the site of the nationalist bonfire.The structure reached 20ft (6m) in height. bogsideCOUNCILLOR JOHN BOYLEHOMES EVACUATED IN SECURITY ALERT LINKED TO MASSIVE DERRY BONFIRELECKY ROAD FLYVOVERPSNISDLP It partially blocked the road leading to complains from local residents of disruption to traffic.Union flags and Sinn Féin election posters were burned on the fire.A last-minute attempt to move the structure from the middle of the road failed on Monday night.Bonfires are traditionally set alight on 15 August in some nationalist areas of Derry to mark the Catholic feast day of the Assumption. The date commemorates the Virgin Mary’s death and assumption into heaven.However, nationalist and republican politicians have criticised the practice, saying it causes disruption to local residents.SDLP councillor John Boyl said “We need to find different ways of celebrating culture.”“If the police or any other statutory agency had attempted to remove the bonfire we may well actually have been looking at something a hell of a lot worse than we’re looking at currently.”HOMES EVACUATED IN SECURITY ALERT LINKED TO MASSIVE DERRY BONFIRE was last modified: August 16th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags:
DERRY City and Strabane District Council’s lunchtime lecture series Island Voices returns to the Tower Museum this autumn to explore the ancient genetic, cultural and linguistic links which exist between Ireland and Scandinavia. ‘Northern Confluence: Where Celtic and Nordic Worlds Meet’ reflects on the shared heritage of Ireland, Iceland and Scandinavia and explores our unique relationships, past and present. This year’s series opens on Friday 22nd September with an hour-long lecture by Professor Dan Bradley from Trinity College, Dublin who will deliver ‘A Tale of Two Islands: Ireland, Iceland and Viking genetic legacy’ – a talk which provides an overview of the genetic legacy that binds the island nations of Ireland Iceland and which tells the story of the Gaelic presence in Iceland and the impact of Norse ancestry in Ireland.Two further lectures are scheduled in the series: ‘Commonalities in the Linguistic Traditions of Ireland and Iceland’ with Dr Nioclás Mac Cathmhaoil which takes place on Friday 20th October 2017, and the closing lecture ‘Voices of the North: The Languages of Northern Europe’ by Professor Séamus Mac Mathúna, which takes place on Friday 17th November.All lectures take place at the Tower Museum, are free of charge and include lunch.Lunch will be from 12:30pm-1:00pm and lectures run from 1:00pm-2:00pm. Island Voices is funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Good Relations Programme.For more information or to book your place please contact the Tower Museum on (028) 7137 2411 or email email@example.com.ISLAND VOICES LECTURE SERIES TO EXPLORE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN IRELAND AND SCANDINAVIA was last modified: September 1st, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet ISLAND VOICES LECTURE SERIES TO EXPLORE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN IRELAND AND SCANDINAVIA
POLICE WARNING: TAX YOUR VEHICLES OR THEY FACE BEING CLAMPED was last modified: January 24th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: “That would be the 29 clamps that were placed on vehicles in the Waterside for No Tax by the DVA who also issued six tickets.“These clamps also come with a large fine that has to be paid immediately should you wish to keep your car and not watch it being removed on a lorry. “A number of other motoring offences were detected and unfortunately for some drivers, some were issued with tickets.“Please take time to make sure your vehicle is taxed, insured, mot’d and roadworthy before any journey.” THE PSNI are warning motorists that untaxed vehicles will be clamped and tickets will be issued to those flouting the law.It follows a crack down by the Drive Vehicle Agency (DVA) in the Waterside area of the city on Tuesday.In message on its Facebook page, PSNI Foyle say: “Whats triangular, yellow and cannot be removed? ShareTweet dvaFacebookPOLICE WARNING: TAX YOUR VEHICLES OR THEY FACE BEING CLAMPEDPSNI FOYLEWaterside