Category: aykpgztr

Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE Egypt Bahrain

Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE Egypt Bahrain

first_img Travelweek Group Tags: Qatar, Qatar Airways Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE, Egypt, Bahrain Tuesday, June 6, 2017 DUBAI — Qatar Airways has canceled flights to Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from Tuesday until further notice, the airline said on its website, a day after it had suspended flights to Saudi Arabia.The airline said passengers holding a confirmed Qatar Airways ticket to any of the four countries between June 5 and July 6 are permitted to rebook their flights up to 30 days after their current departure date.Qatar Airways said its offices will continue to operate as normal in affected countries until further notice.On Monday, EgyptAir, flydubai and Bahrain’s Gulf Air joined Etihad and Emirates in saying they would suspend all flights to and from Doha.The move came after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move, accusing it of support for Islamist militants and Iran.According to the CAPA Center for Aviation, “Losing Saudi, Bahrain and UAE airspace would effectively ground Qatar Airways.”More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksSince Qatar has very little airspace and is largely surrounded by Bahrain, a permanent ban by the aforementioned countries would be devastating for Qatar Airways. As Business Insider reports, losing access to Bahrainian airspace would force the airline to fly through airspace they are now barred from to reach their base in Doha.Credit: Business Insider With file from Reuters Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

A walk in the clouds

A walk in the clouds

first_imgRelated posts:It’s not a proper Costa Rican outdoors adventure unless you’re teetering on a bridge Manuel Antonio’s official greeter Osa acrobatics Three days of mountain biking through Costa Rica From the cloud forest canopy to a sandy beach walk, a Costa Rican weekend holds infinite possibilities. Where will yours take you?Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to kstanley@ticotimes.net. We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Commentslast_img

Cuban govt is expanding WiFi access making it cheaper

first_imgThere have been hints of the government following through slowly on that promise in recent months. The state communications monopoly, ETECSA, has experimented with a temporary price cut to $2, and the artist Kcho garnered much attention by opening a free, government-sanctioned Wi-F connection for the public at his Havana arts center.Making the price cut permanent, and adding dozens of Wi-Fi hotspotx allowing people to use their own smartphones, tablets and laptops at state centers instead of antiquated government computers, would be a notable step in making online life easier in one of the world’s least-connected countries.Many Cubans, particularly young people in the capital, are as technologically adept as their peers in more-connected countries, despite severe limits on their ability to obtain technology. The latest iPhone is a surprisingly common sight in Havana, and there are hundreds of privately run mobile-phone shops where people can buy and repair equipment and get applications installed on their phone directly from technicians’ computers instead of the internet.Outside Havana, the situation is far tougher, with far fewer cellphones in private hands, let alone smartphones, and a mere handful of centers to get online, even in major cities. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall HAVANA (AP) — Cuba says it’s expanding Internet access by adding Wi-Fi capacity to dozens of state-run Internet centers and more than halving the cost that users pay for an hour online.The announcement published in Thursday’s edition of the newspaper Juventud Rebelde is the first significant expansion of the Internet in Cuba since President Barack Obama said on Dec. 17 that the communist government had told him it would give its people more access as part of a historic detente between the Cold War enemies. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Comments   Share   center_img Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories The spokesman for Cuba’s state communications company told the newspaper that 35 government computer centers around the country would have Wi-Fi starting next month, and the price of one hour online would drop to $2 from $4.50 now.That price remains unaffordable for most Cubans but the change would represent a significant improvement in access for many people.Home Internet remains illegal for most of the Cuban population and online access at offices with Internet is highly limited and controlled. Until now, the only Wi-Fi network has been at tourist hotels at hourly prices that represent nearly a quarter of the average monthly salary for Cubans.“The internet space is opening up here and I think this is a significant step,” said Norges Rodriguez, a blogger and telecommunications engineer in Havana. “A year or two ago, we didn’t have anything like this.”Cuba’s lack of internet access remains dire, he pointed out, saying thirty-five new Wi-Fi points would be insignificant in any other country in the hemisphere.Critics say Cuba’s lack of connectivity is due largely to its fear that the internet will catalyze social unrest. The Cuban government blames the U.S. embargo on the island and has publicly expressed its intention to expand access for its citizens. How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Can You Afford It

first_imgCan You Afford It? HOUSING mortgage mortgage servicer Mr Cooper Originations Q3 earnings report 2018-11-08 Scott_Morgan in Daily Dose, Data, Foreclosure, News Sharecenter_img Though there are signs of the housing market leveling off, especially in more expensive metros, Q3 was yet another quarter marked by less affordability than the quarter that preceded it, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.In fact, the report finds that a modest increase in interest rates and the generally consistent uptick in home prices—the U.S. median bumped from $265,000 to $268,000, a new high—kept housing affordability at a 10-year low in the third quarter. In real numbers, that translated into an almost full-point drop in affordability. According to the report, 56.4 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $71,900.“This is down from the 57.1 percent of homes sold in the second quarter that were affordable to median-income earners and the lowest reading since mid-2008,” the report stated. “At the same time, average mortgage rates rose by a nominal 5 basis points in the third quarter to 4.72 percent from 4.67 percent in the second quarter.”And then there is the employment angle.“Continuing home price appreciation and rising interest rates coupled with persistent labor shortages are contributing to housing affordability concerns,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “Builders are increasingly focusing on managing home construction costs so that they do not outpace wage gains.”NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said ongoing job and economic growth do provide a solid backdrop for housing demand amid recent declines in affordability, However, he said, “housing affordability will need to stabilize to keep forward momentum from diminishing as we move into the new year.”As for most affordable markets, Syracuse remained the most affordable major housing market in the country for the second straight quarter. There, 88.2 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the third quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $74,100, the report stated.Scranton-Wilkes Barre-Hazleton, Pa.; Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania; and Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Rounded out the five most affordable major markets of the quarter.Kokomo, Ind., where 93.2 percent of homes sold in the third quarter were affordable to families earning the median income of $64,100, was the country’s most affordable small market. Elmira, New York; Fairbanks, Alaska; Cumberland, Maryland-West Virginia; and Springfield, Ohio, rounded out the five most affordable small metros in Q3.On the other end of the scale, and the country, California remained out of reach to most median buyers. San Francisco was the nation’s least affordable major market in Q3, for the fourth straight quarter, the report stated. A mere 6.4 percent of the homes sold in the third quarter in San Francisco were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $116,400. Los Angeles,-Long Beach-Glendale; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara; and San Diego-Carlsbad were the other top-five least affordable major metros in Q3.All five least affordable small housing markets were also in the Golden State. At the very bottom of the affordability chart was Santa Cruz-Watsonville, where 6.5 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the area’s median income of $81,400.Other small markets at the lowest end of the affordability scale included Salinas; Napa; San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande; and San Rafael, the report found. November 8, 2018 567 Views last_img read more

Rep Graves lauds House passage of 201516 state budget

Rep Graves lauds House passage of 201516 state budget

first_img State Rep. Joseph Graves, R-Argentine Township, issued the following statement after the Michigan House of Representatives approved the 2015-16 budget:I am pleased that the House has once again approved a balanced budget four months ahead of the deadline that sets clear priorities for spending. Not only does this budget invest $400 million into our crumbling transportation system, it also has provisions to continue emphasis on public safety, which will ensure Michigan’s economic growth, leading to more jobs for our citizens.In addition, we are funding education at an unprecedented level in our state’s history. This budget puts more money directly into the classroom for schoolchildren, which is where it should be going. We also are investing more in community colleges, universities, and commercial and technical education. 03Jun Rep. Graves lauds House passage of 2015-16 state budget Categories: Graves Newslast_img read more

Rep Hughes lauds Muskegon Promise Zone in exceeding fundraising goal

Rep Hughes lauds Muskegon Promise Zone in exceeding fundraising goal

first_img Categories: Hughes News,News LANSING – Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, applauded the Muskegon Promise Zone for exceeding its $1,000,000 fund-raising goal to help fund scholarships for students in the Muskegon, Muskegon Heights and Holton school districts.“Scholarships available through the Muskegon Promise Zone program are a game-changer for our Muskegon County kids,” said Rep. Hughes, who is a member of the Muskegon Promise Zone Authority Board. “This is the beginning of the dream of higher education for many kids who may not be able to afford it otherwise. I want to congratulate our scholarship recipients Audrie Daniels, Samuel Butler, Samuel Hansen, Latyria Johnson, Elizabeth Kurdziel, Breeana McGlothin and Caprice Wallace. We are a boot-strap community and because of the generosity of our local people and businesses, we will be able to make a difference for generations to come. It’s an honor to be on this team!”The scholarships, worth up to $4,050 and available by applying to the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD), are accessible to students from the three districts with a minimum 3.5 grade point average. The funds can be used towards tuition, books and fees at Muskegon Community College or Baker College in Muskegon. 15Jan Rep. Hughes lauds Muskegon Promise Zone in exceeding fund-raising goallast_img read more

Rep Garcia invites Ottawa County residents to June 6 office hours

Rep Garcia invites Ottawa County residents to June 6 office hours

first_img31May Rep. Garcia invites Ottawa County residents to June 6 office hours Categories: Garcia News,News State Rep. Daniela R. Garcia is inviting Ottawa County residents to her upcoming district office hours scheduled for Monday, June 6, in Hudsonville, Zeeland and Holland.“Getting feedback from my constituents is crucial for me to be an effective representative in Lansing,” said Rep. Garcia, R-Holland. “Being available and listening to my fellow residents of the 90th District is invaluable, so I hope to see everyone there so we can talk about our state government.”Office hours will take place at the following times and locations:11 a.m.-noon at Gary Byker Memorial Library, 3388 Van Buren St., in Hudsonville;1-2 p.m. at Howard Miller Public Library, 14 S. Church St., in Zeeland; and3-4 p.m. at Herrick District Library, 300 S. River Ave., in Holland.No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Garcia’s office by phone at 517-373-0830 or email at DanielaGarcia@house.mi.gov.last_img read more

Billsigning ceremony held for Rep Lauwers legislation to eliminate tax delays for

Billsigning ceremony held for Rep Lauwers legislation to eliminate tax delays for

first_img State Rep. Dan Lauwers participated in a bill-signing ceremony Tuesday to recognize a new law he sponsored to eliminate delays in the processing of tax credit payments for farmers who participate in Michigan’s Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, often referred to as Public Act 116. Gov. Rick Snyder held the ceremony in Lansing.State Rep. Dan Lauwers, left, joined Gov. Rick Snyder for a bill-signing ceremony Tuesday for legislation to eliminate tax delays for farmers. Also shown are Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski, center, and Rep. Roberts, R-Eaton Township, right.Rep. Lauwers’ bills, now Public Acts 265 and 267 of 2016, streamline the process for registering a PA 116 agreement with the state and hold the Department of Treasury accountable for delays by applying a 3-percent annual interest rate on refunds not issued within 45 days.“Some farmers who have PA 116 agreements reported waiting more than a year for their tax refunds, and I knew those delays had to be eliminated for the PA 116 program to succeed in the future,” said Rep. Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “I’m hopeful these changes to the law will expedite the process and encourage even more people to participate in the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program.” Categories: Lauwers News 11Aug Bill-signing ceremony held for Rep. Lauwers’ legislation to eliminate tax delays for farmerslast_img read more

Rep Theis named chair of House Insurance Committee

Rep Theis named chair of House Insurance Committee

first_img State Rep. Lana Theis, of Brighton, was today appointed to serve as the chair of the House Insurance Committee by Speaker Tom Leonard.“I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve the people of Michigan in this role,” said Rep. Theis. “I will work with my colleagues to create insurance reforms that reflect the needs of Michigan’s people.”The Insurance Committee deliberates on various issues related to insurance, including private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and auto insurance, among other issue areas.Rep. Theis was also appointed to serve as a member of the Regulatory Reform and Law and Justice committees, and will serve as the vice chair of the Judiciary committee.House committees will have their first meetings in the coming weeks.### Categories: Theis News 26Jan Rep. Theis named chair of House Insurance Committeelast_img read more

New laws improve Michigan water beautification programs

New laws improve Michigan water beautification programs

first_img Legislation introduced by Rep. Kim LaSata streamlining rules regulating Michigan’s Adopt-a-River and Adopt-a-Shoreline programs were signed into law by the governor today.Over the years, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) have been separated, combined and separated again through various executive orders. After the most recent split, each department thought the waterway cleanup programs fell within the other’s purview. As a result, the programs remain without administration.“The confusion has resulted in many selfless Michigan residents who want to help clean up our state’s rivers and shorelines with nowhere to turn,” said LaSata, of Bainbridge Township. “We’ve clarified the laws that govern these truly awesome programs so they can be utilized as they were intended.”After working with the DNR and the DEQ to determine a solution, LaSata’s legislation calls on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to administer the programs and offer information to the public about how to become involved.House Bills 5155 and 5156 are now Public Acts 78 and 79 of 2018.### Categories: LaSata News 19Mar New laws improve Michigan water beautification programslast_img read more

House approves Rep Tedders bill to honor Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall

House approves Rep Tedders bill to honor Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall

first_img The Michigan House this week approved state Rep. Jim Tedder’s legislation to name a portion of highway in Oakland County after fallen Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall.Highway M-15 from I-75 in Oakland County to the Genesee County border will be named the Deputy Eric Overall Memorial Highway.“Deputy Eric Overall proudly served with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office for 22 years,” said Rep. Tedder, of Clarkston. “This memorial will honor his courage and compassion for Oakland County.”Tedder said Overall was very compassionate and had a positive impact on the young people in the community.Overall was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 23, 2017, during a police pursuit that originated in Lapeer County.Overall was the first Oakland County deputy sheriff to be killed in the line of duty in 80 years, according to Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.House Bill 5672 advances to the Senate for consideration.### 02May House approves Rep. Tedder’s bill to honor Oakland County Deputy Eric Overall Categories: Tedder Newslast_img read more

Rep LaSata helps Michigan House approve work requirements for Medicaid welfare benefits

Rep LaSata helps Michigan House approve work requirements for Medicaid welfare benefits

first_img06Jun Rep. LaSata helps Michigan House approve work requirements for Medicaid welfare benefits Categories: LaSata News,News State Rep. Kim LaSata today joined the Michigan House in approving a requirement that able-bodied adults be employed, prepare for a job or engage in community service for at least 80 hours a month to retain Medicaid welfare coverage.The requirement generally would apply to able-bodied adults who only became eligible for coverage under the state’s Obamacare-related expansion of the program, called the Healthy Michigan Plan. Some already have jobs and would not need to make changes to continue receiving benefits.“Seeking and securing employment is a major factor in the move toward self-sufficiency and building a better future,” said LaSata, of Bainbridge Township. “Also, it’s reasonable to expect able-bodied adults to either work, train, or give back to society in some way to earn a government benefit like Medicaid. We already have similar requirements for food and cash assistance welfare programs, so this is a logical step. It’s only fair to the taxpayers who are paying the bills for these programs.”The workforce engagement requirements do not affect children, seniors or the disabled. There also are multiple exemptions for able-bodied adults including pregnancy, parents with children under 6, caretakers of a disabled dependent, full-time students and those on unemployment. There also is discretion to grant temporary exemptions for other good causes.Four other states already have added Medicaid work engagement rules and many others are planning to do so.Michigan’s measure also requires able-bodied adults who have been in the Healthy Michigan Plan for more than four years to take steps to improve their own health and contribute financially to their coverage.Senate Bill 897 returns to the Senate for further consideration.####last_img read more

Rep Huizenga Legislature has delivered historic car insurance reforms

Rep Huizenga Legislature has delivered historic car insurance reforms

first_img09May Rep. Huizenga: Legislature has delivered historic car insurance reforms House approves landmark legislation addressing no-fault systemState Rep. Mark Huizenga today voted to bring lower car insurance prices to residents and families in the greater Grand Rapids area, joining House legislators in approving a plan to reform Michigan’s broken no-fault system.The House plan guarantees lower rates for all drivers in Michigan, reducing what currently is the highest average car insurance premium in the nation. The bill also gives drivers a choice on car insurance policies, stops price gouging on medical services for car accident victims and combats fraudulent claims to help lower costs.“Residents in our communities across the state gave us a very clear message going into this legislative term: get Michigan’s out-of-control car insurance rates to an affordable level,” said Huizenga, of Walker. “We prioritized the issue with a special committee and website devoted to input from residents and we are now acting on that work with real reform. This is a great first step in a process to bring real relief to drivers.”Michigan’s costs are high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The House plan allows those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – all while providing more affordable options for individuals and families statewide with a mandatory rate reduction.The sweeping legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration. Categories: Huizenga News,Newslast_img read more

Cole resolution declares July 2019 Wildlife Conservation Month

Cole resolution declares July 2019 Wildlife Conservation Month

first_img Categories: Cole News State Rep. Triston Cole sponsored a plan to declare this July “Wildlife Conservation Month” in Michigan.“As an avid and passionate outdoorsman, I value sharing our state’s wildlife and recreational opportunities with friends and family, and I want to encourage all Michiganders in the month of July to go out and enjoy our state’s natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and plentiful waters,” Cole said.According to a recent study, hunting and angling activity contributes $11.2 billion to Michigan’s economy each year and creates 171,000 jobs. In North Central Michigan – which includes the 105th House District represented by Cole– hunting and fishing activities bring $960 million of economic activity.“This year is the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Michigan Wildlife Council and July 1 marks the 81st anniversary of the effective date for the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which provides funding for wildlife management projects across the nation,” said Cole. “In honor of these important milestones, I am proud to lead my colleagues in recognizing our state’s conservation heritage.”Cole’s proposal declaring July 2019 “Wildlife Conservation Month” is House Resolution 137. 25Jun Cole resolution declares July 2019 ‘Wildlife Conservation Month’last_img read more

Government Surveillance and Nonprofits Time to Focus on the Privacy Concerns of

Government Surveillance and Nonprofits Time to Focus on the Privacy Concerns of

first_imgShare14TweetShare10Email24 SharesSurveillance / Jonathan McIntoshDecember 1, 2016; Boston GlobeThis past Thursday, both the Boston Globe and WBUR’s “On Point” featured journalistic attacks on government surveillance of civilians. Each focused on a single example of what is a global phenomenon, but as the Globe title says, “Surveillance is everywhere now.”The Globe story was written as a reaction to a plan by Boston Police to purchase software that will harvest data from social media. While the Police goal is to track “criminal activity and threats to public safety,” Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham takes exception to this snooping initiative. She asks, “What if I posted on my disgust about the treatment of Muslims? Or my horror at the president-elect? Or my wish to take part in protests? What if I posted these things and I was a Muslim? Or had a Facebook friend who seems suspect? Would I become suspect, too?”At the same time Ms. Abraham’s article appeared, WBUR’s nationally syndicated talk show “On Point” featured heated-up host Tom Ashbrook decrying China’s new social credit system. Calling China’s plan “Orwellian” and something out of “science fiction,” Ashbrook’s outrage was egged on by callers who proclaimed that China’s plan was typical totalitarian behavior. Ironically, none noted the interesting connection to the Boston Police story, which first appeared in print last week. In fact, there was no reference to pervasive surveillance. Mr. Ashbrook was anxious to distinguish China’s social credit score from a credit reporting system because the system scarfs up social behavioral characteristics, not just paying bills. Alas, that distinction was breached in the U.S. a generation ago when credit reporting agencies started to pick up online court filings.It’s too bad that neither news outlet connected the dots. Surveillance abetted by massive data mining is everywhere—in China and the U.S. and around the world. While Boston Police and China’s bureaucrats have differing goals (preventing crime in Boston vs. curbing antisocial behavior in China), the strategy of merging surveillance and data-driven profiling is both pervasive and ubiquitous. Spying on citizens seems good for government, no matter where you live.Consider the Washington Post stories about eavesdropping on public transit or Chicago and Baltimore police surveillance systems. Bloomberg’s overview of the business of databrokers and ProPublica’s exposé of Facebook’s data business make some effort to connect the dots, but the scope and consequences of the government-business surveillance complex is simply hard for most citizens to grasp.Both Ms. Abraham and Mr. Ashbrook seem shocked to learn the scope of government intrusion on individual lives. Mr. Ashbrook repeatedly asks his panelists if the Chinese seem outraged by the audacious announcement of these social credit scores. The panelists repeatedly make the point that ordinary Chinese don’t grasp the implications. In her article about her hometown police, Ms. Abraham captures a sense of her own complicity: “In throwing our lives online, we’ve made freely available information that it might have taken an authoritarian state to extract in an earlier era.”The fact is that the most immediate victims are usually the most marginal members of society, as shown in NPQ’s article on tenant blacklisting and ProPublica’s story on predictive policing, “Machine Bias.” The lowest income people are the most likely to fall victim to a data profile aggregated from public records, aerial and audio surveillance of public spaces, social media postings, and third-party reports of late payments and defaults.Are nonprofits giving enough attention to the privacy risks faced by their program participants? Beyond providing counseling about safe posting practices, nonprofits can do more to protect the privacy of participants. When a person is identified in a “success story” on a nonprofit’s website, is she/he cautioned that this data point may turn up in a profile that a prospective landlord or employer can access? How many charity providers are aware that requiring proof of an impending eviction in order to qualify for emergency assistance could put a tenant on a rental blacklist? With low-income people being most vulnerable to blowback from surveillance and profiling, and with mass media doing little to illuminate the risks, nonprofits need to respond to help protect their constituents.—Spencer WellsShare14TweetShare10Email24 Shareslast_img read more

Spanish cable operator ONO has preregistered 320

Spanish cable operator ONO has preregistered 320

first_imgSpanish cable operator ONO has pre-registered 32,000 customers for its TiVo service, which was soft-launched last month.ONO will roll out the TiVo service across its networks in the coming quarters. The company will be hoping that TiVo will provide a strong marketing tool for its TV services after a difficult third quarter. The company saw a quarter-on-quarter decline of 7,000 residential revenue-generating units for the three months to the end of September, taking its total to 4.245 million. The company’s residential RGU base grew by 2.5% year-on-year.ONO had 1.813 million customers on its fibre network at the end of September, down 0.3% quarter-on-quarter and up 0.2% year-on-year. ARPU per customer grew year-on-year from €50.80 to €51.70 but churn also grew – from 15.1% to 16.7%.Internet customers stood at 1.42 million, up 0.4% quarter-on-quarter and 4.4% year-on-year. TV customers stood at 939,000, down 1.3% quarter-on-quarter and down 0.9% year-on-year.ONO posted revenues of €371 million for the quarter, up 2.5% year-on-year. EBITDA was €191 million, up 2.8%.The company noted that Spain’s telecoms sector had continued to show weakness during the quarter. It said it had achieved a good set of operating results given the very difficult and volatile market environment.last_img read more

Russian IPTV service Beeline TV the brand name of

Russian IPTV service Beeline TV the brand name of

first_imgRussian IPTV service Beeline TV, the brand name of VimpelCom, has passed the milestone of half a million subscribers.Beeline TV was launched in Moscow in 2009 and is now present in 34 cities across Russia, providing linear TV, video-on-demand and other interactive services.last_img

European streaming service and DVD rental company

European streaming service and DVD rental company

first_imgEuropean streaming service and DVD rental company Lovefilm is launching via Microsoft’s Xbox Live service in the UK.The Amazon-owned company will launch a raft of Hollywood movies via the games console on December 6 for £4.99 (€5.80) per month. Movies at launch include The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Gran Torino with films including The Dark Knight, The Hangover and Blue Valentine being made available ahead of Christmas.“It is an exciting day for Lovefilm customers and an auspicious day for the TV entertainment industry as a whole.  Launching Lovefilm Instant on Xbox 360 and Kinect means bringing the service to a million more living rooms – a huge achievement,” said Lovefilm CEO Simon Calver.last_img

SES expects to reach one million paying customers

SES expects to reach one million paying customers

first_imgSES expects to reach one million paying customers for its HD Plus platform in Germany by the end of this year, according to the satellite operator’s CEO, Romain Bausch.Speaking on a conference call on the company’s full-year results, Bausch said that there were currently 2.5 million HD Plus reception cards in the market and 2.3 million active HD Plus homes, of which 1.9 million were still in their free-to-view phase and 400,000 had paid the €50 annual technical service charge. “We think we will have over one million paying customers by the end of this year,” he said. HD Plus currently offers 12 Germany free-to-air channels in HD.The switching off of analogue satellite transmission in the German market this year is having a negative impact on the company’s revenues, and Bausch said that SES’s real growth rate was hidden because of this. The company is expecting top line growth of 2% this year and a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% between 2012-14, but without the impact of analogue switch-off, Bausch said the company would see 9% growth this year and 7.5% CAGR for 2012-14.Bausch said that SES’s focus on emerging markets under its new unified structure was paying dividends. Soft demand in the North American market had allowed it to redeploy its AMC-3 and SES-3 satellites in the high-growth markets of Latin America and Asia respectively. The lack of a need to replace satellites in North America would also mean reduced capex going forwards, he said.The company posted revenues of €0.1% for the full year, down 0.1%, attributed to the decline in the value of the US dollar, while recurring revenue grew by 2.8%. EBITDA was €1.275 billion, down 1.7%, in part due to a one-time reorganization charge of €14.8 million, while recurring revenue was 1.295 billion, up 3.1%. Profit was €6.7.7 million, up 26.8%.SES now has a contract backlog of €7 billion, with €2 billion of renewals and new business signed during the year. The company was hit in 2011 by a series of launch delays, limiting its ability to meet demand on schedule.last_img read more

Among users of Googles new Chromecast internet TV

first_imgAmong users of Google’s new Chromecast internet TV dongle, 43% were found to stream Netflix on a daily basis with 34% streaming Hulu every day, according to a new study by Parks Associates. The research firm said that the findings highlighted the challenges of licensing content in the digital world and “underscores the desire by consumers to watch content on their preferred screen.”“Chromecast is giving people in Hollywood headaches right now. All the wrangling over licensing restrictions doesn’t mean much if consumers can simply circumvent them,” said John Barrett, director of consumer analytics, Parks Associates.While content providers have typically licensed movies and TV programs for viewing on specific screens – such as a TV, computer, tablet, or mobile phone – Google’s screen-shifting device complicates matters by allowing the consumer to move content from one screen to the next, claims the Parks study.Separately, Parks said this week that it was seeing strong demand in western Europe for TV solutions that personalise and prioritise content as services like Netflix gain more traction.It said that 45% of German broadband households with TV services said an EPG that displays a viewer’s favourite channels first would be “highly appealing.” In the UK and Belgium 40% said the same, while 26% of households in France agreed.“The European video market is becoming more competitive, with OTT services, free and paid VoD, and cloud DVR offerings changing the ecosystem dynamics. These offerings are creating new pressure on EPG and content discovery solutions to provide differentiation. European consumers are most interested in features that help them find programming, such as customised channels, keyword programming search, and personalized recommendations,” said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates.last_img read more