BMX War JamYou don’t hear the word “war” very often in Costa Rica, but this is the best kind of conflict: Freestyle cyclists show off their mad skills this weekend, including wheelies, jumps, and whirls. See international notables like Costa Rica’s Kenneth Tencio and France’s Alain Massabova, plus a revue of BMXers-in-training.BMX War Jam takes place Feb. 22 in the sports center of Nicoya. Free to attend, ₡5,000 ($10) to participate. Info: Flat Matters website.TEDx PuraVidaThe super-hip lecture series returns to Costa Rica for a day of education, enlightenment, and exemplary ancedotes.TEDx PuraVida takes place Feb. 26 at the National Auditorium, Children’s Museum, San José. 8 a.m. onward. $150. Info: TEDx PuraVida website.Envision FestivalThe massive concert, art show, yoga retreat, and spiritual haven returns to Playa Uvita for a long weekend of love and enlightenment.Envision takes place Feb. 21 – March 1 in Playa Uvita, Puntarenas province. $80 (Sunday only) to $300. Info: Envision Festival website. Music: Amarillo Cian y MagentaJust try not to dance during the Latin Jazz sessions by Amarillo Cian y Magenta (Yellow, Cyan and Magenta) at Mundoloco.Concert takes place Feb. 21 at Mundoloco El Chante, San Pedro. 9:30 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: Mundoloco Facebook page.Music: “Loud Sessions”Loud, rhythmic, intense – Science of Sensations, Abya Laya, and Mimayato y Apolo bring their diverse progressive rock sounds to Jazz Café.Concert takes place Feb. 25 at Jazz Café San Pedro. 7 p.m. ₡4,000-5,000 ($8-10). Info: Jazz Café website.Art: Painting and Photography in San RamónCatch two different exhibits this Saturday in San Ramón: “Transformación,” a series of paintings by artist Jorge Luis Capezas and “Liquors Were Your Origin, Culture is Your Destiny,” a collection of antique photos from theOpening Feb. 21, 4 p.m. Both exhibits will be displayed through March 21 at the José Figueres Cultural Center, San Ramón, Alajuela. Info: Cultural Center website.Theater: “Journey to Xibalbá”Costa Rica’s most inventive black-light theater troupe presents its adaptation of a mythic Mayan story.“Viaje al Xibalbá” will be performed Feb. 20-22 at the Teatro de la Danza, San José. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. ₡2,500-5,000. Info: RedCultura. Film: “Festival Under the Stars”This outdoor film festival celebrates two Costa Rican films, including the site-specific drama, “Puerto Padre.” It’s the perfect excuse to spend some time in Costa Rica’s biggest Pacific port.Film festival takes place Feb. 21 & 22 in Puntarenas, in front of the main dock. Sat. & Sun., 7 p.m. Free. Info: Festival website.Art: Albrecht Dürer, Renaissance GeniusClassical German printer Albrecht Dürer receives a stunning retrospective at the Central Bank Museums.“Alberto Durero: Genio del Renacimiento” displays through April 26 at the Central Bank Museums, downtown San José. Daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ₡5,500 ($11). Info: Museum website.Theater: “I’m Not Going to Carry This Corpse”Teatro Arlequín presents a deadly new comedy of errors, written by Luis Daell Barth.“Este Muerto no lo Cargo Yo” continues through March 22 at Teatro Arlequín, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m; Sun., 6 p.m. ₡5,000 ($10). Info: Theater Facebook page.Art: “Ricardo Ávila: Urban Observer”See city life in a whole new way through Ricardo Ávila’s unique landscapes.“Ricardo Ávila: Observador Urbano” continues through March 29 at the Museum of Costa Rican Art, La Sabana. Wed.-Sun., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Info: Museum website. Facebook Comments Film: “By the Feathers”Catch this surreal Costa Rican comedy about one man, one bird, and the strange relationships that evolve in the campo. This outdoor screening takes place in beautiful Liberty Park.“Por las Plumas” screens Feb. 21 in Parque La Libertad, Desamparados. 7 p.m. Free. Info: Park website. Related posts:Cowboys, coffee, and other happenings around Costa Rica Art fair, Renaissance artist, and other happenings around Costa Rica Design Festival, Marine Corps picnic, and other happenings around Costa Rica Shakespearean ballet, outdoor tango, and other happenings around Costa Rica
Winter tourists strain accommodation supplyOne of New Zealand’s most popular winter tourist destinations has mobilised more than 300 campervans, creating 1200 new tourist beds to help meet accommodation shortfalls as it heads into its peak season.Ohakune which has a population of just over 1,000, swells tenfold to in excess of 10,000 during winter events such as Mardi Gras with many tourists unable to find beds inside the township or surrounding areas.While the event has grown in recent years to become one of New Zealand’s most popular street parties, tourists struggle to find accommodation, leaving Ohakune, National Park, Ratehi and Rangatua, bursting at the seams.Event organisers desperate to accommodate the local and international tourists who flock to the area have now looked for innovative ways to increase bed numbers and tourist infrastructure outside of permanent hotels, backpackers and hostels.With the Mardi Gras just weeks away local rental firm JUCY has been called in to supply over 300 campervans as required at discounted rates for tourists to ensure the ongoing success of the event, says JUCY CEO Tim Alpe.“The vehicle mobilisation is the largest of its kind in New Zealand and represents a shift in the accommodation model away from the provision of permanent facilities which aren’t fully utilised during the off season.“It’s wonderful to see how successful the Ohakune Mardi Gras has become and the huge number of tourists it attracts to the area. We want to make sure that those tourists have the best experience possible to reflect positively on New Zealand’s winter destination brand,” he says.Alpe says as part of the temporary infrastructure upgrade there will be a campground for JUCY customers to use free of charge.JUCY Rentals Source = JUCY Rentals
In 2017, PATA will be holding its Annual Summit in Negombo, Sri Lanka, in recognition of the importance of the country in Asian tourism. The winning bid was submitted by the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau. The announcement was made formally at the PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore, where Sri Lanka was also present to promote its latest tourism and MICE destinations.Negombo is located about 20 miles north of Colombo, the island’s commercial capital, and only three miles from Bandaranaike International Airport. Negombo was chosen out of the four options given – Negombo, the Cultural Triangle, Kandy and Bentota / Beruwala. Due to the destination’s rich and colourful history, the proximity to the airport, the event will be held at Jetwing Hotels; the single largest accommodation provider in Negombo.The Annual Summit is a 3-4 day programme consisting of the association’s executive and advisory board meetings; annual general meeting; PATA Foundation charity and gala dinner. The one-day conference agenda addresses major relevant issues impacting travel and tourism business environment and preludes with the PATA chapter meetings. The Annual Summit, previously held in exotic locations and to be held in Guam in 2016, sees travel and hospitality professionals from all over the globe gather together.Former PATA Chairman and current Jetwing Chairman, Hiran Cooray welcomed the announcement stating, “Sri Lanka and Jetwing will welcome the delegates of the PATA Annual Summit with open arms in keeping with our reputation of being the heart and home of Sri Lankan hospitality. Our contribution to South Asian tourism is growing steadily, as our destination is truly unique with plenty to offer everyone. We look forward to a successful summit, with the participation and support of all stakeholders to further expose Negombo and Sri Lanka as unique destinations.”
Related6 hidden in-flight extras that airlines want to keep a secretFrom extra grub to cockpit tours, kid-friendly games to first class treats, cabin crew reveal just what politeness can get you on a flight.Winner of £1000 flights competition announcedDid you get lucky and win a pair of return flights worth up to £1000? Find out…Cabin Crew Interview: life of a flight attendantCabin Crew Interview: life of a flight attendant Malaysia Airlines has banned children from first class sections of its Boeing 747-400 jets.Do you agree with this move?Take our quick three-question survey now for the chance to win either Bose noise cancelling headphones or a portable DVD player!ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
A Michigan House committee today approved Rep. Peter Lucido’s legislation helping seniors recuperating at assisted living facilities or other locations keep a key property tax exemption.The bill would ensure these seniors keep the principal residence exemption for their own homes in certain situations, even if the home is temporarily occupied by a relative or caretaker.“Let’s say a grandmother falls, breaks her hip and has to go to an assisted living facility,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township, after the Tax Policy Committee approved his bill. “She continues to own her home. She plans on getting better and moving back home. But in the meantime, she wants her grandchild to stay at the house to care for a family pet and make sure the water keeps running. She should be able to keep her principal residence exemption.”The exemption would not continue in cases where the home is sold, rented or used for a commercial purpose.Current Michigan law states a home must remain unoccupied to retain the exemption for owners who are in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Lucido’s bill removes the “must remain unoccupied” provision.Lucido’s bill also makes clear seniors would retain their principal residence exception if they move into their child’s home or another location solely for the purpose of convalescence.Lucido said the switch also will make it easier to maintain home insurance and deal with legal issues related to residences owned by people in assisted living centers.“This change will give seniors who are recuperating some peace of mind as they work their way back home,” Lucido said.###The legislation is House Bill 4905. 29Nov Rep. Lucido: Bill helps recuperating seniors with property taxes Categories: Lucido News,News
06Sep Rep. Webber joined by Rochester Hills first responder for Sept. 11 Memorial Ceremony PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Michael Webber (left), of Rochester Hills, hosted Rochester Hills Fire Capt. Larry Gambotto as his guest for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The Service remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year. Categories: Webber News
07May Chairman Wentworth responds to Senate car insurance plan Categories: Wentworth News State Rep. Jason Wentworth, chair of the House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates, today issued the following statement in response to the Michigan Senate approving no-fault car insurance reform:“I appreciate our partners in the Senate making progress toward fixing our state’s broken no-fault car insurance system. The Michigan House shares this priority, which is why our special committee has spent the past 15 weeks hearing testimony, taking public comment and meeting repeatedly with every group working on this issue to find a genuine solution that lowers car insurance rates for Michigan families. We are going to combine our findings with the Senate’s plan and use the ideas we believe create the best way forward for all Michigan drivers. Michiganders want a real, long-lasting solution, and we are going to deliver results together very soon.”
Categories: Kahle News Michigan schools could see cost savings under a plan authored by state Rep. Bronna Kahle exempting outside viewing areas, such as athletic field press boxes, from unnecessary heating requirements.Kahle, of Adrian, today testified before the House Regulatory Reform Committee in support of her legislation removing the state construction code requirement that outdoor sporting event viewing areas include heating systems.Press boxes are becoming more popular at school sporting events across Michigan, helping shelter media equipment from unpredictable weather and giving coaches an additional viewing angle. Press boxes are currently classified as “A-5 structures,” requiring them to have heating structures capable of keeping the interior temperature at 68 degrees.Kahle said this burdensome regulation creates cost-prohibitive problems for many schools across the state, including Madison School District in Adrian.“The state’s requirement to put a heating system into a seasonal press box for schools is an overreach and adds unnecessary construction costs to these types of projects”, Kahle said. “This bill is a common-sense solution that clarifies the building code and helps our schools and local communities save money by eliminating needless regulations.”Kahle invited Madison School District Superintendent Ryan Rowe to testify about the district’s current football stadium renovation, and how they are running into hurdles regarding the installation of a heating system.Rowe said the project to install a heating system in the stadium’s press box would cost the district an estimated $250,000.House Bill 4548 remains under consideration in the House Regulatory Reform Committee.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Bronna Kahle and Madison School District Superintendent Ryan Rowe testify before the House Regulatory Reform Committee about the district’s current football stadium renovation. 21May Hot off the press: Kahle plan exempts press boxes from school heating requirements
Share29Tweet5ShareEmail34 Shares“Overcoming obstacles,” U.S. ArmyDecember 13, 2018; The Independent (Livermore, California)In theory, although rarely in practice, the incarceration system is supposed to rehabilitate. Just how far we are from those ideals is demonstrated by the fact that “the average adult on probation in Alameda County has faced over $6,000 in fees.” In other words, after serving time during which a prisoner may have been paid $1 an hour to fight California’s fires, there were more fees to pay after release. Is it any wonder that the recidivism rate in Alameda County—home to Oakland and with a total population of 1.663 million—has been close to 60 percent?The good news is that on December 4th, Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors voted to end these fees. Probation fees had been assessed “for probation supervision, investigation reports, participation in the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, and many more fees that extract wealth from low-income communities of color,” notes the Independent. The new policy and debt discharge will go into effect on January 4, 2019. In sum, the parolee debt, which will now be wiped clean, totaled $26 million countywide.Up until now, explains the nonprofit East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) in a white paper released last month, the average parolee would have to pay a $90 a month fee to Alameda County for their supervision for an average of 60 months, plus $710 for a case investigation report, an amount that totals $6,110. According to EBCLC, in Alameda County 47 percent of parolees are Black in a county where 11.3 percent of residents are Black.The vote in Alameda County follows a similar action in San Francisco last summer. In San Francisco, there was a two-step process, with the Board of Supervisors banning fees through legislation, followed by a Court order to wipe out the fee backlog in August. In San Francisco, at the time of the Superior Court order to forgive the fees, 21,000 parolees owed a total of $32 million.Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Trisha Thadani profiled the case of David Ladd, age 57:It had been seven years since he was released from San Francisco County Jail, where he had served time for a felony, and he thought he could continue with his life. But then, out of nowhere, he said, he got a bill from San Francisco Superior Court for $2,725 in administrative fees: a $135 booking fee, a $240 restitution fine, $1,800 in probation costs and so on.“I was thinking, ‘Oh, my God,’ I’m going to have to cut back on a few things,” Ladd, 57, said. “That’s a whole month’s rent.”At the time that the fees were forgiven in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed remarked, “We should be actively helping people to get their lives back on track after they have paid their debt to society. Garnishing the wages of people facing the challenging task of securing employment and housing can make that impossible.”Theresa Zhen, supervising attorney at EBCLC, notes that she has “worked with far too many clients whose life savings were wiped out by criminal justice debt.” The EBCLC white paper itself tells many stories of these clients. For example, one story the paper profiles is of M.B., a recipient of food stamps and Social Security “who was living in a sober living facility when the Franchise Tax Board levied the entirety of her bank account to satisfy criminal justice debt in the amount of over $1,800. This sum had taken her months to save up from her public assistance dollars and help from family and friends. She had been planning to find a place of her own after becoming sober.”These practices extend beyond California, however. In Massachusetts, for example, “With an average probation sentence of 17-20 months, a Massachusetts resident sentenced to probation is charged between $850-$1,300 in monthly probation service fees alone—on top of many other court fines and fees,” reports the Prison Policy Institute. A national report from the Brennan Center for Justice, issued back in 2010 and titled Criminal Justice Debt: A Barrier to Reentry, found similar practices in 15 states representing 60 percent of all state criminal findings.There remains, in short, a lot to be done, but the policy changes enacted in San Francisco and Alameda County are a start. “The elimination of these fees is a step toward ending the cycles of poverty and incarceration,” remarks Eric Henderson, Policy Associate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. “These fees impact families and low-income communities in ways that take generations to recover from.”—Steve DubbShare29Tweet5ShareEmail34 Shares
French public broadcaster France Télévisions has decided against offering films free of charge on its catch-up TV service Pluzz, according to local reports.The broadcaster had announced its intention to add films to the service a year ago, but failed to strike a deal with rights organisations.Separately, Jean Réveillon has been named head of France 2, replacing Bertrand Mosca, who is leaving his post for health reasons.Réveillon, who had previously served as deputy director at France 3, rejoined France Télévisions in 2010 as special adviser to director-general Rémy Pflimlin after a period with the European Broadcasting Union.
Czech public broadcaster Česká Televize has launched the second phase of an HbbTV pilot project by making 70,000 hours of content available to smart TVs.The broadcaster’s digital archive, iVysílani, will now be available via TV as well as desktop, tablet and smartphone.Česká Televize initially launched HbbTV applications a year ago with Superteletext and apps for the Ice Hockey World Championship, the Euro 2012 football championships and the London Olympic Games, as well as an EPG. The new TV app fatures catch-up TV and video-on-demand.According to the broadcaster, 90,000 devices accessed its HbbTV service in June.Česká Televize’s new media division executive director Pavlina Kvapilova said: “Modern audiences love to use iVysilani. If they miss something, they can find their favourite show later. It only takes a few seconds with a remote control to get the menu, directly from one of our programmes.”
Liberty Global’s HorizonLiberty Global CEO Mike Fries has said that the company is working to introduce improvements to its Horizon next-generation TV service every quarter and is gearing up to launch a cloud-based version of the service.Speaking on the Liberty earnings call on Friday, Fries said that Liberty had worked to address complaints about the service in Horizon’s launch markets of the Netherlands and Switzerland, with forthcoming releases of the product in Germany and Ireland to include these enhancements.Referring to the Horizon launches to date, Fries said that “as with any innovative new product on the marketplace, you have bumps on the road,” but claimed that a code update in Swtizerland and the Netherlands had “dramatically improved” the service.This update included a more effective internet interface, simplified menu options, while a new remote with a keyboard has a “much better look and feel.”“Lots of the things that we intended the product to be ultimately are rapidly being introduced, so you can expect that every quarter we’ll be improving our Horizon product. Every market where it launches down the road we’ll have a better Horizon product launch,” said Fries.He added that a cloud-based version of Horizon user-interface was demoed to the board the week earlier. He claimed this was now ready to launch and would make future releases of the service simpler and more cost-effective.In total, Liberty said that it’s next-generation web-connected TV service, Horizon TV, had more than 270,000 subscribers as of the end of July – 185,000 in the Netherlands and 85,000 in Switzerland. On the earnings call, Fries said that a German launch is planned for “early September” with an Irish rollout also imminent.
Russian broadcaster CTC Media reached its highest third quarter profitability level since 2009, with TV ad revenues climbing and two of its three Russian channels gaining market share.Announcing its third quarter results, CTC Media said that its CTC channel had now completed its shift to the older adult segment of the 10-45 year-olds and that audience share gains in the third quarter helped the channel’s ad revenues grew by 11% year-on-year in ruble terms, surpassing the market growth rate. The CTC channel was the second most-watched broadcaster in Russia in the third quarter of 2013, it said.CTC Media’s female-skewing lifestyle channel Domashny also saw its ad sales grow by 11% in the quarter, with audience share gains attributed to both acquired foreign series and locally produced shows.Elsewhere, CTC’s Kazakh network Channel 31 increased its revenues by 28% in dollar terms year-on-year, while the firm said that its digital businesses now reach 18% of Russian internet users with revenue growing 85% in ruble terms in the quarter compared to last year.Only CTC’s Peretz channel saw revenues dip in the quarter, which it attributed to a decrease in audience share of 21% due to “underperformance of certain programming” and increased competition from other channels.“The Company’s overall revenues in the third quarter grew by 9% in ruble terms compared to last year, while our Russian television advertising revenues grew by 8%. This is in line with the growth dynamics of the overall Russian television advertising market,” said CTC Media’s Chief Executive Officer, Yuliana Slashcheva.“Two of our three Russian channels took market share in the third quarter. At the same time, we carefully managed our costs, which allowed us to significantly expand our OIBDA margin by almost four percentage points year-on-year to 30.6%, which is the highest third quarter profitability level since 2009.”Overall in the quarter, the firm reported total operating revenues of US$171 million (€128 million), of which 98% came from advertising. Adjusted OIBDA came in at US$52.2 million while net income was US$46.7 million.
Russia’s Consumer Rights Protection Society (OZPP) has filed a lawsuit against four pay TV operators – Tricolor TV, Akado, NTV+ and VimpelCom – alleging that they violated the rights of consumers by dropping the Dozhd channel from their programming line-ups without warning.The OZPP has filed a suit with the Ostankino district court in Moscow after receiving numerous complaints about the decision of the operators to switch off the channel.According to the OZPP filing, the exclusion of Dozhd violated the rights of consumers by breaking the terms of their subscription agreements with providers, citing Article 4 of the country’s consumer rights protection law.Russian operators moved swiftly to remove Dozhd from their programming line-ups after a political furore surrounding the channel’s posting of a survey asking whether lives could have been saved had the city of Leningrad – now St Petersburg – surrendered to Axis forces during World War II rather than withstanding a costly three-year siege. The channel is seen as one of the few media outlets to give airtime to opposition figures and voices critical of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
Russian service provider MTS is tapping Ericsson’s hybrid TV platform to build out a combined cable and internet TV service, initially in Moscow, according to local reports.According to the Digit.ru agency, MTS will roll out the platform over the MGTS network in Moscow before deploying it in networks covering 160 cities over the next two years.The new service reports that the company’s contract with Ericsson runs to about RUB400 million, initially covering 15 cities.The deployment is designed to combine DVB-C, IPTV and the Stream OTT service through the TV screen with additional interactive services.
Rona FairheadBBC Trust chairman Rona Fairhead has called for a “proper public debate” over the future, size and shape of the BBC as part of the corporation’s next charter review.In a speech to the Royal Television Society, Fairhead said that the Trust should be at the heart of the charter review debate and should not be conducted by a “small elite.”“Everyone – and I include in that every organisation – needs to challenge itself from time to time. And because the BBC is paid for by the public, that challenge needs to take the form of a wider debate,” said Fairhead.The former Financial Times Group CEO said that she should not be seen as a “cheerleader” for the BBC having spent much of her working life competing against the corporation.“I’m not someone to gloss over the BBC’s faults, problems or challenges – I see it as part of my job to identify and pursue them. I also believe the debate must include the voices of all the people out there who pay for the BBC, who love its programmes, who are its true owners,” she said.Setting out goals for the BBC Trust, Fairhead said it aimed to: make the public voice heard; refine or change the broader public purposes of the BBC as they are set out in the BBC charter; and preserve the BBC’s independence, as it is “not owned by the government or the state.”Naming some of the challenges that currently face the BBC, Fairhead cited the “new competitive environment” of the production sector, including consolidation among ‘super-indies’ and new competition from the likes of Google and Amazon.She also said the future challenge is to continue serving all audiences in a constantly evolving world, where media habits, particularly among young people, are diversifying.The Royal Charter is the constitutional basis for the BBC. It sets out the public purposes of the BBC, guarantees its independence, and outlines the duties of the Trust and the Executive Board. The current charter runs until 31 December 2016, with the charter review due to fall after the general election in May.
Mediaset Premium, the pay TV unit of Italian broadcaster Mediaset, passed the milestone of two million subscribers at the end of 2015, according to CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi, speaking on the fringes of a presentation on non-profit initiative La Fabbrica Del Sorriso at Mediaset’s HQ last week.Berlusconi said that ARPU for Mediaset Premium was up, despite a decline elsewhere in the pay TV market, according to press reports.Berlusconi said Mediaset had a strong relationship with Vivendi. Asked about a possible deal with the French media giant, he said that “everything is possible”, echoing statements made by Vivendi chief Vincent Bolloré.Berlusconi said that there were no significant talks underway with rival pay TV service Sky over a potential deal between the two pay TV groups.
Virgin Media is offering customers a free upgrade to its high-end V6 set-top box in what it described as one of the largest customer upgrade programmes ever carried out in the UK.The V6 and remoteThe V6 is Virgin’s premium 4K-ready set-top box that allows users to record up to six programmes while watching a seventh recording or stream.Liberty Global-owed Virgin said the upgrade scheme will accelerate the device’s rollout and that it expects that the majority of its TV customers will have a V6 box by the end of the year. Currently one in four Virgin TV customers have a V6 box.The move comes as Virgin said it had installed its millionth V6 TV customer, a little over a year after it first introduced the set-top box.“We believe that our finest kit shouldn’t just be for new customers,” said David Bouchier, chief digital entertainment officer at Virgin Media.“Our customers tell us how much they love using the V6 box and watch more TV when they have one. As a central entertainment hub, fired by our superior ultrafast broadband, the V6 is built for apps and the best on-demand TV experience – whether its iPlayer, Netflix or thousands of box sets.”Virgin claims that the V6 is ten-times as powerful as its previous TiVo set-top box, and said that customers with this device spend on average two hours longer each week watching TV and are more than twice as likely to watch a box set.“This is great news for consumers and you have to give Virgin Media a lot of credit – until the launch of the V6 set-top-box, it was losing TV subscribers. Since its introduction, the box has turnaround its fortunes in a cut-throat market,” said Paolo Pescatore, vice president of multiplay and media at CCS Insight.“Beyond the slew of features that the V6 box offers, Virgin Media is well positioned to aggregate all of the OTT video services that are rapidly emerging in the UK. With this in mind the company should be more aggressive in securing more content with OTT providers to further strengthen its overall offering and complement its extensive cable broadband network.”Virgin customers who take a TV and broadband bundle will be able to upgrade their older set-top box for a V6 at no additional cost and with no re-contract requirements. Eligible customers will be contacted in the coming weeks with details of how they can upgrade.Virgin Media unveiled its V6 box in November 2016 along with three new innovations – a download-to-own store, a kids app and an own-branded large-format table companion screen, dubbed the TellyTablet.In March last year the operator revamped its internet bundles and claimed it was the first UK broadband provider to offer 100Mbps and above speeds “as standard”.
Sony Corporation CEO Kazuo Hirai is due to step down in April after six years in charge of company, to be replaced by chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida.Kazuo HiraiHirai, who as overseen a period of growth at the firm, will step down on April 1, at which point he will stay on at the company as chairman.He has been president and chief executive since April 2012 and worked alongside his successor Yoshida since he returned to Sony in December 2013.“I have dedicated myself to transforming the company and enhancing its profitability, and am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current mid-range corporate plan, we are expecting to exceed our financial targets,” said Hirai.“As the company approaches a crucial juncture, when we will embark on a new mid-range plan, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony and also for myself to embark on a new chapter in my life.”Yoshida said he will aim to build on the business foundations put in place by Hirai and make further reforms to enhance Sony’s competitiveness as a global enterprise and enable it to realise long-term profit growth.“My first priority will be to finalise our next mid-range corporate plan starting in April, together with our immediate business plan for the fiscal year 2018, and then move ahead swiftly with implementation,” said Yoshida.“This is a hugely exciting time at Sony as we look to our future, and together with my management team I intend to determine the best path for us to move forward, and devote my full effort to creating a better Sony that captures the imagination of our many stakeholders around the world.”Sony’s chairman of the board Osamu Nagayama paid tribute to Hirai for “making great progress in revitalising Sony’s business”. He said that while the company was initially surprised by his proposal to step down, it had agreed that Yoshida would be the ideal candidate to succeed him.
It is understood a huge headline will be unveiled within a fortnight.Then there will be a mad rush for fans to snap up the tickets.A spokesperson for organisers Legacy Promotions Iona Ltd said tonight.“MTV has developed a great relationship with Derry and they are looking forward to coming back again in 2016“We are currently in talks with several big names and we are sure that tickets will go like hot cakes when they go on release. “If everything goes according to plan the Club MTV event will be MTV’s biggest DJ event this year.A host of names are being linked to this year’s gig including Martin Garrix, Steve Angello, Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero.Added the spokesperson: “We can’t go into details at the minute but one thing is for sure, the act that will be headlining this concert will draw music fans from all over Ireland.”This will be the third year MTV have put Derry on the music map around the world.The first concert was held in 2014 when it hosted the MTV Crashes Derry Event.And they returned to the city last year to stage a Club MTV concert. ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: CLUB MTV COMING BACK TO DERRY IN 2016 ENTERTAINMENT NEWS: CLUB MTV COMING BACK TO DERRY IN 2016 was last modified: February 1st, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet CLUB MTV just can’t get enough of Derry.Now they are returning for another massive gig later this year – and it could even take place over two days.And the thousands of fans who Club MTV last year won’t be left disappointed as organisers hope to have great acts to get the fans dancing in Ebrington Square in 2016.