Over 75 owners and key senior supplier management attended CT Partners’ annual three day conference this week, held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.This year’s event theme focused on ‘The Value of Human Interaction’ and included keynote speaker, UK entrepreneur and branding expert BJ Cunningham, who gave a thought-provoking address on engaging customers and entrenching brand loyalty.The Great Debate on balancing the use of Artificial Intelligence in providing personalisation to add value for consumers was moderated by Ranjan Goswami, VP Los Angeles and Sales – West for Delta Air Lines.“With our annual revenue now at $1.7billion and climbing, this is another year for us to celebrate together with our supplier partners,” said CT Partners Chairman Grant Wilson. “Our members are exceptional and the power, ideas and strategy that result from bringing everyone together is a significant advantage.”Travelport Pacific was this year’s Gold Sponsor. conferenceCT Partnersevent
January 1, 2018Happy New Year Everyone! On this cloudy day in the desert, we hope you all brought in the new year with friends, family, and good wishes. This is a picture from Arcosanti looking out into the Northern Desert. If you look close you’ll notice the old cement mixer that’s been morphed over the years into an iconic art piece in the Minds Garden.(Photo by Denise Aimar, text by Shannon Mackenzie)
Categories: News,Photos State Rep. Mike Callton was sworn in today for his third term as representative of Michigan’s 87th House District, which includes all of Barry County and part of Ionia County including the townships of Boston, Campbell, Danby, Keene, Lyons, North Plains, Odessa, Orange, Portland, Ronald, Sebewa, part of Berlin township and the city of Portland.The Nashville Republican took the oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. and joined 108 of his colleagues in unanimously electing Kevin Cotter of Mount Pleasant as Speaker of the House.The staff of the 87th House District remains the same as the last four years, with Alan Klein serving as constituent relations director and Nick Wake serving as legislative director. Klein resides in Hastings and serves on the Hastings City Council. Wake is a lifelong resident of Middleville and a trustee for Thornapple Township.Callton resides in Nashville with his wife, Shelly, and in addition to his responsibilities as state representative continues to own and operate his chiropractic practice in downtown Nashville.State Rep. Mike Callton of Nashville is sworn into office for his third term by Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. on Jan. 14, 2015. Pictured behind them are 87th District staffers Alan Klein of Hastings and Nick Wake of Middleville. 14Jan Rep. Mike Callton sworn in for third term as state representative
02Sep Rep. Iden encourages residents to attend September office hours State Rep. Brandt Iden will host his regularly scheduled coffee hours in Kalamazoo County on Sept. 9 and Sept. 16.“The monthly office hours really help me be the best possible representative for the 61st District,” said Rep. Iden, R-Oshtemo. “These events help keep us connected, so I hope local residents will join me to share any questions or concerns they have about our state government. I look forward to seeing everyone at Feed The World Café in Oshtemo and Rise N’ Dine in Vickburg.”Rep. Iden’s first coffee hour session is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, 9-10:30 a.m. at Feed The World Café, 7000 Stadium Drive #201, in Kalamazoo. He will also be available Friday, Sept. 16, 10-11:30 a.m. at Rise N Dine, 121 South Main St., in Vicksburg.Residents who are unable to attend the coffee hours are invited to contact Rep. Iden’s office at (517) 373-1774, by email at BrandtIden@house.mi.gov or online at RepBrandtIden.com. Categories: Iden News,News
State Rep. Bronna Kahle of Adrian welcomed students from Madison Middle School and Lincoln Elementary to the state Capitol on Tuesday. The two groups of students took part in the 17th Annual Student Technology Showcase, where student teams from around the state demonstrate how technology can enhance teaching and learning for Michigan students.“This is a great example of what can be achieved by our young and innovative students when given the opportunity to explore their interests,” Rep. Kahle said. “It is encouraging to see the commitment and interest demonstrated by these kids. Our community clearly has a bright future ahead.”The event allowed lawmakers, business leaders and other citizens to see first-hand how technology is being utilized in classrooms across Michigan. Categories: Kahle News,Kahle Photos 07Dec Rep. Kahle greets Lenawee students at Student Technology Showcase PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Bronna Kahle visits with Madison Middle School (top) and Lincoln Elementary School in Adrian (below) students during the Student Technology Showcase at the state Capitol.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Williams Township), chair of the House Energy Policy Committee, discusses the bipartisan Energy Freedom legislation during a Tuesday news conference in the Capitol building. Rep. Glenn’s legislation, House Bill 5861, is the main bill to allow homeowners, farmers and businesses the freedom to use renewable energy sources without paying unreasonable tariffs set by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Glenn’s bill will allow more innovative and diverse methods to power buildings while lowering electric bills. Rep. Glenn is joined at the news conference by other sponsors (from right) Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland), Rep. Glenn, Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), Rep. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) and Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet). Rep. Glenn plans to have committee hearings on the bill in coming weeks.#### Categories: Glenn News,News Bipartisan bills to get committee hearing in coming weeks 03May Rep. Glenn leads news conference unveiling Energy Freedom plan
Share4TweetShareEmail4 SharesAVN Photo Lab / Shutterstock.comOctober 8, 2015; NPR, “The Two-Way”Charles Warner was executed by Oklahoma back in January earlier this year. He had been convicted of raping and killing an 11-month-old child, and was originally scheduled for execution back in 2014, the same night as Clayton D. Lockett, whose botched execution was one of the several cases that led to questioning the changing form of the three-part lethal injection drug cocktail.Now, months later, The Oklahoman has found a discrepancy between the execution logs and the autopsy report that was conducted after Warner’s execution. According to the autopsy report, the syringes used to administer the drug were labeled “120 mEq Potassium Chloride” while the drug vials were labeled “20mL single dose Potassium Acetate Injection, USP 40 mEq\2mEq\mL.” While the execution logs had recorded that Warner received potassium chloride, a drug to stop the heart, the report apparently reveals he was given the drug potassium acetate instead.In September, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin delayed Richard Glossip’s execution because the state had received potassium acetate, instead of the normally used potassium chloride. However, yesterday, Fallin expressed that the doctor and pharmacist working with the Department of Corrections said the “two drugs are medically interchangeable.”According to the Associated Press, Oklahoma does have some leeway in the drugs it uses as part of its lethal cocktail should one of the standard three elements be unavailable. However, the inmate must be informed beforehand of the drug cocktail to be administered, before he or she is executed. In the letter from Assistant Attorney General John D. Hadden to Warner’s attorney in November 2014 prior to the execution, Hadden wrote that Warner would be administered a cocktail of midazolam, rocuronium bromide, and potassium chloride.Glossip and his attorneys, whose execution was rescheduled to the beginning of November, are using the major discrepancy as a point of further concern over Oklahoma’s ability to carry out executions legally.“The State’s disclosure that it used potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride during the execution of Charles Warner yet again raises serious questions about the ability of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to carry out executions,” said Dale Baich, Glossip’s attorney. “The execution logs for Charles Warner say that he was administered potassium chloride, but now the State says potassium acetate was used. We will explore this in detail through the discovery process in the federal litigation.”Fallin said the attorney general’s office is conducting an investigation into Warner’s execution and that she will cooperate fully, including delaying any future executions.—Shafaq HasanShare4TweetShareEmail4 Shares
TV technology group Kudelski has named Joe Chernesky as senior vice-president of intellectual property.Chernesky will report directly to chairman and CEO André Kudelski and will lead the worldwide intellectual property business unit and related activities for the group.Chernesky was previously vice-president and general manager of global licensing sales at Intellectual Ventures, a global invention capital company.
Eurosport has acquired rights to show home qualifier and friendly matches of the German under-21 football team.Under its deal with the German football league, the DFB, Eurosport will become the official broadcaster of the German under-21, under-20 and under-19 national men’s teams, with exclusive Live rights to all home qualifier and friendly matches from the 2012-13 season through to 2014-15.The deal covers both German and Pan-European exploitation and will include the qualifying matches of the 2013 and 2015 under-21 European Championships and UEFA under-19 competitions. All matches will be shown in Germany, with selected games broadcast on a pan-Euro basis.
Poland’s leading pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat recorded an increase in profit during the second quarter of the year, while an increasingly saturated pay market meant subscriber numbers remained flat.The operator, which recently acquired broadcaster Polsat, saw a 43% increase in net profit during the quarter to PLN 99.5 million (€24 million). Revnenues increased to PLN714 million from PLN628 million a year earlier. Polsat said it has paid back PLN200 million out of its total debt value of PLN1.4 billion.The operator ended June with 3,553,473 pay digital TV subscribers, 99,069 users of broadband internet service and 141,161 mobile telephony customers.
Russian service provider TransTeleCom, owned by the Russian state railways, now has a TV subscriber base of over 100,000, according to local reports.According to head of access Svetlana Shamzon, the operator now has a TV base of over 100,000 out of an overall broadband base of about one million. The company offers TV services primarily in small and medium sized regional towns. TransTeleCom plans to triple the number of cities in which it is offers services this year and increase its TV base to about 300,000.
Arūnas Šikšta, the CEO of Lithuanian service provider Teo, is to leave the company.Šikšta, who has led Teo since 2004, will be replaced on an interim basis by chief financial officer Giedrius Vegys. Antanas Poška, currently director of Teo’s accounting department, will temporarily act as chief financial officer.“Teo proved its success for many years and managed to maintain its leading positions on the market. Teo currently is a strong company and I believe that Giedrius Vegys will lead a smooth transition until appointment of new General Manager. I have a strong confidence that Teo will continue to create a high value for its customers, employees and shareholders,” said Malin Frenning, the chairwoman of Teo’s board.“During the last nine years Teo became one of the largest telecommunication companies in the Baltic States, providing universal communication, data transmission, TV and IT services. I am especially proud that together with the one of the most professional team in Lithuania we managed to ensure not only a high profitability but also high confidence of the customers. After implementing those objectives I am ready for new professional activities,” said Šikšta.
Online video platform provider Kaltura has raised US$47 million (€34 million) in funding, which it will use to “accelerate product development” and to expand into Brazil, Mexico, China, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and Korea.The new funding round was led new investors SAP Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Commonfund Capital, and Brazil-based Gera Ventures. Return backers .406 Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Mitsui & Co Global Investment and Silicon Valley Bank also contributed.“Following our success in North America and Europe, we started addressing Asia Pacific and Latin America and were met by explosive demand. We will continue to grow our operations in all four regions this year, as well as further accelerate our product development,” said Kaltura chairman and CEO Ron Yekutiel.“Upcoming releases include advanced live, OTT, analytics, and monetization solutions for media companies and service providers; webcasting capabilities for enterprises; and lecture capture capabilities for educational institutions.”Kaltura said the new funding comes on the back of “massive growth” and that its customers include leading media companies like HBO, ABC, Warner Brothers, Paramount, DirecTV, Turner, and Wikipedia.
Bloomberg Media Group has named Adam Freeman as the first managing director for its EMEA operation.Freeman will be responsible for leading Bloomberg’s multi-platform media operation – web, mobile, television, digital video, print magazines and live events – across the EMEA region.According to Bloomberg the appointment reflects its strategy of expanding its global media footprint beyond television to multiple media platforms across European, Middle Eastern and African markets.Freeman, who will be based in London, was executive director of Guardian News and Media until last year.“With bureaus in 72 countries, Bloomberg’s global presence is unrivalled in the consumer media industry. Adam’s appointment is a statement of our ambition to develop the world’s leading next-generation global business media company,” said Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith.“We will be investing across every platform – web, mobile, TV, digital video, print, live events – with a powerful focus on new digital channels and audiences. Adam has a clear track record of leading digital transformations and successfully building the types of teams and cultures required for media innovation. He is going to take our operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the next level.”
Adam ThomasMajor African territories such as South Africa and Nigeria are set to miss a deadline to switch off analogue television signals, according to new research.“Most” sub-Saharan countries in Africa fail to meet the 2015 deadline, according to Ovum, which is part of DTVE publisher Informa Telecoms & Media.However, determination among regulators and governments across the continent mean some are considering switching off their signals before the transition to digital, Ovum reported.The mindset, it claimed, was “that the deadline must be met at all costs”.This would lead to many homes losing TV reception, advertisers moving away from television in turn, and a subsequent decline to revenues at affected channels.“In Tanzania, the switchover process was pushed through recklessly, with damaging results,” said Adam Thomas, Ovum’s lead analyst for global TV markets. “Thousands of homes lost their ability to watch TV and advertising revenue suffered as a result. But this mentality to rush the process persists, not least in Kenya which seems intent on repeating the same mistakes.”Ovum said inadequate government funding on digital TV infrastructure, insufficient supplies of set-top boxes and a general lack of awareness over switch-over were key reasons behind the impending failure.“African governments and regulators need to accept that the 2015 deadline will be missed and shift their focus on to getting the process completed as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Ovum’s Ismail Patel, who tracks media and entertainment across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. “Ovum believes that forcing through analog switch-off is ultimately counter-productive.”
Sky Deutschland has secured the live broadcasting rights for the UEFA Europa League up to and including the 2017/18 season.The new rights deal becomes effective as of the 2015/16 season and includes TV broadcasting rights, as well as the rights for internet, IPTV, and mobile use in Germany and Austria.Sky Deutschland also has the rights for UEFA Champions League and will continue to exclusively show all the matches of the German and Austrian football teams.“We are convinced that the recent great results of the German teams in the international club competitions will further increase the attractiveness of the UEFA Europa League. With the long-term extension of the rights, football fans in Germany and Austria can rely on Sky remaining the Home of European top football in future,” said Carsten Schmidt, Sky Deutschland’s chief officer sports, advertising sales and internet.
Ted SarandosTV series, including Netflix’s own original productions, now account for two thirds of viewing time on the SVOD service, according to Ted Sarandos.Speaking at the RTS London Conference yesterday, Netflix’s chief content officer, said it is more efficient to spend money on originals than on licensing high profile content, and defended making both TV shows and films – despite more watch-time going on series.“With all the success of the ‘golden age of television’, and all the success that we’ve had in this period of time, about a third of the watching on Netflix is still movies. Keep in mind this is two hour movies versus 13 hour shows,” said Sarandos.He claimed that the way movies are licensed to pay TV services today is “probably the most out-of-step licensing window” and that making people wait to watch movies online means that they don’t “assign a lot of subscription value to that”.“To have people wait seven to 10 months in the internet age doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think what you end up with in these pay deals is movies that either people saw already, because they were excited about them, or they made a conscious decision not to see them.”“We’re investing in films so that we can more aggressively give the consumer what they’re telling us they want, which is the movies when they open.”Discussing Netflix’s original series plans, Sarandos echoed recent claims by Netflix’s chief finance officer, David Wells, that the company aims to move to a 50-50 split between licensed and original content.“That’s where it’s heading and that’s what we set out to do many years ago,” said Sarandos. “If we get to a place where we’re missing more than we’re hitting or that efficiency metric goes the other way, we may revisit that number, but that’s our intent – to do most of our programming.”In terms of the type of content that Netflix is focused on, Sarandos said that its originals should be “brand-defining, tent pole shows”. He stressed that each programme should stand out under the wider Netflix umbrella and that the company is not trying to “do everything that feels or looks the same”.He also said that Netflix likes to work with film makers as they enter the television world, because big films have historically “been more global than television” – a direction that he sees TV content moving in. This follows Netflix’s recent launch of the Baz Luhrman-created musical drama The Get Down.Sarandos claimed that doing original series makes sense not only in terms of spending efficiency but also in distinguishing Netflix as a destination, rather than an outlet for programming that other services also carry.
Sony has added 3D movie support to PlayStation VR in the latest software update for its PlayStation 4 games console.Sony said in a blog post that version 4.50 of the PS4 system software will let users watch 3D Blu-rays via PlayStation VR, with the addition of stereoscopic 3D support.The update also adds external hard disk drive (HDD) support to the console, so that users can plug USB 3.0 HDDs of up to 8TB in size into their PS4 to store additional content.
European and US telcos are experiencing contrasting fortunes, with Europe’s players seeing prices rising thanks to their ability to sell converged bundles of TV, broadband and telephony while US operators suffer from increasing wireless competition, according to credit ratings agency Moody’s.According to a report on the sector by Moody’s US telcos’ revenue growth will slow and free cash flow will decline this year, while European telcos will see sustained growth after a period of decline.“US telcos’ revenue growth will slow and free cash flow drop by 2% in 2017 as price pressures intensify with the proliferation of wireless unlimited price plans and ongoing challenges in the wireline segment. In Europe, however, telcos look set to enjoy a sustained period of growth into 2018 after several years of decline with revenues expected to climb by up to 1.5% as consumer spending strengthens and high-speed data demand grows,” said Carlos Winzer, senior vice-president at Moody’s.According to the report, Telecommunications – Europe and US: Divided by an Ocean and a Cycle, market consolidation is likely to happen both in the US and Europe as players seek to consolidate or diversify to secure cash-flow growth in a mature market. Moody’s predicts consolidation between wireless, wireline and cable operators in Europe, but points out that this will take time due to regulatory constraints and limited financial strength.While European telcos need to prioritise paying down their debts in the wake of the downturn, US telcos have also accumulated large debts after a period of easy credit and are likely to enter a phase of prolonged contraction in cash flow and deteriorating credit metrics, according to the report.
Pluto TV has rolled out on Roku in the UK, with the expansion coming just days it made its European debut by launching on Sky’s Now TV platform – also in the UK.The US over-the-top television service, which has a European headquarters in Berlin, will offer more than a dozen channels and a range of entertainment in the UK market.“Right after our European launch it’s now important to connect Pluto TV increasingly to users,” said Olivier Jollet, managing director, Europe, for Pluto TV.“Streaming devices such as Roku players are key to generating instant reach, so we’re thrilled to now offer Pluto TV to Roku users in Great Britain.”“Pluto TV does things a bit differently than other streaming TV services by curating handmade channels for content lovers, once you start to dig around, there’s plenty to discover.”