Nebraska Releases Spring Offense Highlight Video

first_imgnebraska spring offense.nebraska spring offense highlight videoNebraska had a disappointing 2015 season, but after an impressive victory over UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl, there is hope in Lincoln. Thursday, the program gave fans an interesting inside look at how the team’s offense is progressing this spring.In the below clip, head coach Mike Riley makes it clear that everyone – including the players and the members of his staff – is more comfortable with the team’s scheme in year two of his tenure. He talks about “continuity” being a great thing for the development of football players.O-Blockhttps://t.co/T8YWLlsKCG— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) April 7, 2016Nebraska actually finished 34th overall in total offense in the FBS in 2015. It’s the defensive side of the ball that the team must improve upon in 2016 if it wants to take the next step.last_img read more

Read more

2019-10-27

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Triyards Loses USD 51 Mn Chemical Tanker Order

first_imgzoom Singapore-listed Triyards Holdings Limited has received termination notices for design and construction deals related to two chemical tankers.The shipbuilding contracts, dated June 26, 2015 and the addendum dated May 10, 2017, had an aggregate contract value of USD 51 million.The buyer of the chemical tankers, which delivered the notices of termination to Triyards’ subsidiary, Saigon Offshore Fabrication and Engineering Limited (SOFEL), has claimed for the reimbursement of all sums paid in advance on account of the contracts, amounting to USD 10.2 million.Separately, Triyards released its financial report for the full year ended August 31, 2017. The company informed that it ended the year with a loss of USD 162.5 million, compared to a profit of USD 17.8 million reported a year earlier.The company’s revenue for the period plunged by 64 percent to USD 116.2 million from USD 324.9 million seen in the twelve months ended August 31, 2016.last_img read more

Read more

2019-10-23

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

US newvehicle sales in 2018 rise slightly to 1727 million

first_imgDETROIT — Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. rose slightly in 2018, defying predictions and highlighting a strong economy.Automakers reported an increase of 0.3 per cent over a year ago to 17.27 million vehicles.The increase came despite rising interest rates, a volatile stock market, and rising car and truck prices that pushed some buyers out of the new-vehicle market.Industry analysts and automakers said strong economic fundamentals pushed up the sales and should keep them near historic highs in 2019.Tom Krisher, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Read more

2019-10-13

Tags: , , , ,

Pak HC forms panel to probe Hindu sisters forced conversion marriage

first_imgIslamabad: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday formed an independent five-member commission to probe the alleged abduction, forced conversion and marriage of two teenage Hindu girls in Sindh province that led to massive protests by the minority community in the country. A high court bench led by Chief Justice of IHC Athar Minallah heard the petition filed by the two sisters — Reena, Raveena — and their alleged spouses, Safdar Ali and Barkat Ali, to seek protection. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIn their plea, the girls claimed that they belong to a Hindu family of Ghotki, Sindh but converted willfully as they were impressed by Islamic teaching. The counsel for the girls’ parents, however, asserted that the case pertained to forced conversion. Their father on Monday also filed a petition in the IHC for a medical board to determine the exact ages of the two sisters as well as to test the girls for Stockholm Syndrome, a state of mind when a victim develops trust or affection for kidnappers. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsJustice Minallah said the matter requires transparent inquiry and it is the government’s job to conduct probes not the judiciary’s. The chief justice said the court had to ensure that there was no forced conversion. The bench formed a five-member commission to probe the matter. The commission includes Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Mehdi Hasan, National Commission on the Status of Women Chairperson Khawar Mumtaz, veteran human rights activist I A Rehman and renowned Islamic scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani. The federal government has been tasked to organise meeting of the commission. The incident came to light when a video surfaced online showing the teenagers’ father and brother claiming the girls were abducted and forcefully converted. It was followed by another video snippet in which the two girls claimed that they had converted to Islam. Amid the uproar, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed Sindh and Punjab to investigate the matter and recover the girls if the forceful conversion allegation was correct. Chief Justice Minallah also ordered that a medical board be constituted to determine the age of the girls. The court ordered the medical board to submit its report at the next hearing on April 11. Earlier, a medical report by Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences stated that the girls were not minors at the time of their marriages. The report was dismissed by the family of the girls as well as opposition lawmaker from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Darshan Punshi, who belongs to the Hindu community. Both the family and the lawmaker demanded an independent medical board to determine the age.last_img read more

Read more

2019-10-12

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tierney Celtics win over Leipzig a big boost for Europa League

first_imgCeltic defender Kieran Tierney believes they now have a realistic chance of reaching the Europa League knock-out phraseThe Scottish champions secured a vital 2-1 win over RB Leipzig at Celtic Park on Thursday following goals from Tierney and Odsonne Edouard.The result leaves Celtic tied with second-place Leipzig on six points with two games left, albeit behind on goal difference.“We have given ourselves a fighting chance going into the last couple of games,” Tierney told Sky Sports.RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, Robert LewadowskiMatch Preview: RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 RB Leipzig will have the chance to prove their title-winning capabilities when they host Bayern Munich today at 18:30 (CET).“They are still favourites going into the last couple of games. It’s a fighting chance and that is all we can do now – just take it game by game.”Celtic will travel to Norway to face Rosenberg BK on November 29 in their next Europa League fixture.However, Brendon Rodgers’ side will now turn their focus to Sunday’s SPL game against Livingston.last_img read more

Read more

2019-09-18

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bahamas PM Minnis Officially Welcomes SLS Brand to The Bahamas

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 20, 2017 – Nassau – Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis officially welcomed the SLS Brand to The Bahamas during the Official Opening of the SLS Baha Mar, Friday night.   SLS adds to the collection of global brands at Baha Mar, including the Grand Hyatt and Rosewood brands, in addition to the presence of 30 luxury retail outlets.  Approximately 300 Bahamians are employed at the hotel, “with many more to come on stream at Baha Mar.”Prime Minister Minnis said he looked forward to more Bahamians advancing at the resort in various areas — including management — through mentoring, ongoing training and other opportunities for advancement.   The Prime Minister also took the time to applaud officials at Baha Mar for the launch of its global marketing campaign “Life Spectacular” in early November (2017).“Baha Mar is getting set to welcome the world to a new Cable Beach,” Prime Minister Minnis said.The Opening of SLS Baha Mar is another major milestone for the Baha Mar brand in The Bahamas.   The resort is expected to celebrate its Grand Opening next spring with the opening of the Rosewood Baha Mar which, when combined with the rooms available at Melia resort, will give Bah Mar a room capacity of 3,100.“Today, we celebrate the Official Opening of SLS Baha Mar, a signature world-class destination that will welcome luxury travellers to The Bahamas to enjoy our natural and cultural heritage as part of their visitor experience,” Prime Minister Minnis said.“We welcome their presence in The Bahamas as they blend their hospitality and visitor experience vision with the Bahamian experience at Baha Mar.   On behalf of the Government of The Bahamas, I congratulate all those involved in today’s opening.“I wish to recognize Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited and all others instrumental in making today possible, including Baha Mar President, Graeme Davis, his management team and the staff at the resort.   I also recognize Sam Nazarian, the CEO and Founder of the global brand and leading lifestyle hospitality company, SBE Entertainment Group, which is committed to the principles of extraordinary service, world-class cuisine and design,” Prime Minister Minnis added.(SBE manages and operates hotels, residences, restaurants and nightclubs around the world. SLS Baha Mar was realized through Dakota Development, a real estate development of SBE.)The SLS Brand has been a leader and pioneer in luxury lifestyle hospitality for more than a decade. The brand seeks to create spaces and experiences that offer “enchantment, delight and elegance.”Prime Minister Minnis said the government is committed to doing its part to improve the visitor experience to The Bahamas.“This includes improvements and signage for our Heritage sites, many of which need to be made more visitor friendly in terms of amenities.   Many of you will already notice various efforts, including better maintenance of public spaces like parks, roadways and verges.   New signs have been placed at popular beaches.”Prime Minister Minnis said the Government hopes to build a Native Food Market “in time” to further advance the Bahamian experience.“A Native Food Market will welcome scores of Bahamians and tourists and provide business opportunities for many Bahamians to sell their goods and products.   The Native Food Market will have a variety of foods and products for sale from ice cream to potato and cassava breads, tamarind sauce and other Bahamian treats,” Prime Minister Minnis added.By: Matt Maura (BIS)Photo caption: Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis and Mrs. Minnis (centre) celebrate the Official Opening of SLS Baha Mar with the cutting of the ribbon, November 17, 2017.  From left: Mrs. Nazarian and SBE/SLS Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian; Prime Minister and Mrs. Minnis; Baha Mar President Graeme Davis; and Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar and Mrs. D’Aguilar.(BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay) Related Items:last_img read more

Read more

2019-09-17

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Arrest Made In Connection With Alleged Duck Inn Kidnapping

first_imgBongolan was arrested for the active warrant and transported to the Wildwood Pretrial Facility where he was held on $2500.00 bail. Bongolan as well as Rachelle B. Brown, 27, Clinton D. Starnes, 28, Robert C. Dedrick, 30, and Joshua S. Tisdale, 25, are facing multiple felony charges, including kidnapping, robbery, assault, vehicle theft and burglary for an alleged incident in which several people were held hostage at a room in the Duck Inn., in Soldotna. On April 10th, the Alaska State Troopers responded to a residence on Hakala Road, Soldotna for an investigation. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A fifth person has been arrested on an active felony warrant in connection with an incident that occured at the Duck Inn on January 30. Upon arrival Troopers made contact with Rudy Bongolan, age 44 of Kenai, who had an active felony arrest warrant.last_img read more

Read more

2019-09-14

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Protest In Soldotna Due To Satanic Invocation

first_imgWilliam Siebenmorgen, who flew from Pennsylvania to protest the prayer vigil: “These are just a few of the instances where God has defeated Satan. Whatever the results of the June 18 Rally of Reparation, God will be pleased with our public prayers of reparation. We want God’s blessings on America, not Satan’s curses. Lucifer is the eternal loser. Let’s keep him out.” Roughly 40 people held signs reading “reject Satan and his works” and “know Jesus and his love,”  outside the borough building. The borough then passed a resolution to amend their policy at their meeting on November 20 to broaden the scope of eligible invocation providers to better reflect the diversity of beliefs in the borough. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on June 21st, 2019 at 02:55 pmMany were shocked when they heard that a Satanic invocation would officially open the meeting at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday. Onlookers protested outside the borough building prior to the invocation at the assembly meeting. A member of the Satanic Temple, Iris Fontana, offered the invocation prompting walkouts by nearly a dozen people.center_img Fontana: “Let’s us cast aside our differences to use reason, logic, science and compassion to create solutions for the greater good for our community. It is done, hail Satan.” In October, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the borough’s previous prayer policy violated the State Constitution. The lawsuit was brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska. The previous policy only allowed certain groups to deliver the invocation. Catholics from seven states flew to the Kenai Peninsula to pray a Rosary of reparation and protest against this public Satanic prayer.last_img read more

Read more

2019-09-14

Tags: , , , , , ,

Taylor Swift Leads 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards Nominations

first_imgNETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO May 15, 2017 – 1:50 am Taylor Swift; Album Of The Year speech for ‘1989’ Twitter 2017 MTV EMAs: Taylor Swift Leads Nominations taylor-swift-leads-2017-mtv-europe-music-awards-nominations Facebook Email The GRAMMY winner earned six EMA nods, including for Best Artist, Best Look, Best Pop, and Best Video for “Look What You Made Me Do.” She’s also up for Biggest Fans, thanks to her dedicated Swifties.Singer Shawn Mendes earned the second-most nominations with five, with recognition for Best Artist, Best Pop and Best Song for his hit “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.”GRAMMY winners Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar each earned four nods. Sheeran is up for Best Song for his smash “Shape Of You,” while Lamar has earned a nomination for Best Video for “HUMBLE.” Rita Ora will serve as EMAs host. The show will air live from London’s SSE Arena on Nov. 12. Fans can vote for their favorite artists via the MTV EMA website.”TRL” Returns: MTV Giving Away Ed Sheeran 2018 Tour TicketsRead more Shawn Mendes earns second-most nominations; MTV EMAs to air Nov. 12 from London Renée FabianGRAMMYs Oct 4, 2017 – 11:48 am Taylor Swift has come out on top for the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards nominations, which were announced Oct. 4. News Taylor Swift Leads 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards Nominations last_img read more

Read more

2019-09-12

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Infosys new CEO Salil Parekh will be earning just 25 of Vishal

first_imgSalil Parekh took charge as managing director and chief executive of IT major Infosys.Twitter InfosysThe newly inducted Infosys chief executive officer (CEO), Salil Parekh will earn only a quarter (25 percent) of the salary package given to his predecessor Vishal Sikka. Parekh will be receiving Rs 16.2 crore annually, according to the company postal ballot filed in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).Parekh’s salary is way short of what Vishal Sikka drew in fiscal 2017. In the last one year Sikka earned Rs 45.1 crore before he quit in August after a yearlong battle between co-founders and management.The company has also given the details of severance pay terms; as severance pay, Parekh will be getting half his compensation of the previous 12 months and vesting of outstanding stock options till that period.This is in line with the fundamental ideas set forth by the co-founders of the IT major. N R Narayana Murthy had flagged the issue of higher salaries the top executives were getting.Another co-founder, now the non-executive chairman, Nandan Nilekani had also said earlier that he would like see a low profile senior executive to execute a vision of focused delivery for customers.According to the company’s postal ballot, Parekh will get an annual fixed salary of Rs 65 lakh and variable pay of Rs 97.5 lakh that would be compensated based on achieving metrics set by the company. The Bengaluru-based IT exporter has also offered stock options worth Rs 97.5 lakh that would be vested over two years.With Parekh taking over as the head of India’s second largest software exporter, interim CEO Pravin Rao has been redesignated as chief operating officer (COO).On January 2, Parekh was inducted in a low-key manner with hardly any of the top executives or founders present in company’s Bengaluru headquarter.Speaking to employees in video call, the new CEO said that he is delighted to lead the company and excited to lead the company at a time when technology is changing at a fast and disruptive pace.last_img read more

Read more

2019-09-05

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

New Texas Southern University President Has Plan To Increase Enrollment

first_img Share Brien StrawSigning AgreementTexas Southern University and Lone Star College are teaming up to streamline the transition for students to move from one school to the other.Brien StrawTSU President Dr. Austin LaneThe new president at TSU wants to increase enrollment. Dr. Austin Lane sees Lone Star campuses in north Harris County as an opportunity to do just that.“We’re becoming more and more diverse with African-American and Hispanic students, and so, it just seems to be a really fit for those students wanting to transfer,” Lane says.Currently Lone Star has partnerships with more than 30 universities, but the difference with this agreement is that it includes a long-term goal of bringing a TSU satellite campus to Lone Star’s Victory Center campus. Brien StrawDr. Stephen Head is the chancellor of Lone Star CollegeDr. Stephen Head is the chancellor of Lone Star College. He says the room to build is already set aside.“This is a little different relationship we have,” Head says. “We want them to be located on our property, and share facilities with us.”Building the satellite campus is expected to begin in two-to-three years.last_img read more

Read more

2019-09-02

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

IITKGP expresses interest in Kanyashree project willing to work with government

first_imgKolkata: IIT Kharagpur is willing to work with the Bengal government on its Kanyashree project and provide technological upgradation for further enhancement of the quality of learning for girls.”We have developed National Digital Library of India (NDLI) where all types of books are available in a single platform. If we can integrate this digital library with the Kanyashree project, we will be able to assess the progress of education of girls and accordingly provide them with the correct input to enhance their education level,” IIT Kharagpur director Dr Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHe further maintained that IIT KGP has come up with a research centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) on its Kharagpur campus and is coming up with another centre for emerging technologies like AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning at Rajarhat.”Emerging technologies like AI can be used in Kanyashree project and this will improve learning, hence, contribute to the development of a girl child in the real sense of the term. We want to contribute in a big way to this development so we are looking forward to work with the Bengal government,” Chakrabarti said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe project, which was rolled out in March 2013, presently has 4,84,8970 beneficiaries. IIT Kharagpur had once extended their help when there was a problem in the smooth functioning of the project.Kanyashree is the pet project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the upliftment of girls from the poor families and enables them to pursue higher studies, which they are unable to do due to economic constraints. It is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and other educational institutions. It also aims towards skill development and prevent child marriage. The United Nations in June last year awarded the Bengal government for its “Kanyashree” scheme.The project won the first place for Public Service at the World Forum out of a total of 552 projects from 62 countries, which were nominated for the award.last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-31

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ballot over bullet

first_imgWhat/who inspired you to write the book? Please quote personal instances, if any. Parliament of India has almost an infinite canvas to work on, domestically and internationally. While, what it does within its magnificent red stone building always gets much talked about, little is known of its performance in the international arena. Many people do not know that our Parliament, which is the nerve centre of the largest democracy in the world, is highly admired by other Parliaments. I have personal experience of many speakers, including those of advanced countries, coming to me to enquire what stand I was taking on a particular issue or who I was voting for so that they could do the same. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Although, our Parliamentary system is based on the Westminster model of U.K, yet over the years it has evolved so much that speakers of several Commonwealth counties have told me that in a difficult situation they invariably study the rulings given by the Indian speakers to find a solution. Such is the stature of our Speaker and our Parliament. Needless-to-say, a great deal of hard work goes into achieving and maintaining this position of eminence. I therefore felt the need to write this book and give a glimpse of how it is done. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHow do you define Parliamentary diplomacy? What role does it play in improving foreign relations?Parliamentary diplomacy is the fine art of a parliament engaging fruitfully with other parliaments. It has come of age the world over. In India too it is increasingly becoming an effective instrument of state craft. It is conducted by the Speaker who represents our Parliament in bilateral and multilateral forums, accompanied by members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The discussions are not only on parliamentary affairs but also, in fact and more, on bilateral, regional and global issues. It is a parallel function of the Speaker to strengthen our relationship with the world. The foreign policy pronouncements of our Speaker are the same as that of the Prime Minister, but the style and channels used are different. Parliamentary diplomacy, on its own, has the potential to generate abundant international goodwill. Do you think our Parliamentarian have broader understating of global concerns?Yes. The Constitution of India has empowered our Parliament to enact laws regarding our relation with any foreign country. Our parliamentarians therefore, have to be aware all the time, of international developments.  Personally, I find that many of our members have a sound knowledge of the intricacies of foreign affairs.The decorum in the Indian Parliament is generally questioned by many. As a former speaker, don’t you think there needs to be some sort of moral conduct while discussing important issues like terrorism, internal security etc?There are rules in this regard but rules cannot always be effective. Member of Lok Sabha are elected representatives and, I am sure, most of them would want to get re-elected. Since the proceedings of the House are directly telecast, it is most likely that the members would do what their voters want.  In my view, the demand for decorum, to be effective, should also come from the voters.Shouldn’t there be healthy meeting of minds when it comes to dealing with such important issues?Parliament of India has many beautiful traditions. One of them is that the political parties or independent members in both the Houses of Parliament never ever differ on foreign policy.  This key institution of our polity firmly projects its view of the world in one voice.As the first women speaker of India and as an ex- IFS, how do you think India fares globally?As the first women Speaker of India I attended the 6th conference of the women speakers of the world in Berne and hosted the 7th conference in our Parliament. My interactions in a forum where my predecessors could not participate had its benefits. However, the fact remains that the work of a speaker is gender neutral. As a former foreign service officer who has worked at many levels to formulate the foreign policy, I think India commands respect globally and the Parliament is definitely looked up to.Beyond being an avenue for discussion, such networks can have a long-term impact on the avoidance of conflict. Do you agree?Certainly. Democracy and democratic temper always help in minimising conflict. Power of the ballot is far more than that of the bullet. Our commitment, tenacity and enduring faith in the sublime process of democracy contribute in no small measure to conflict avoidance and world peace.last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-31

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be a headturner this festive season

first_imgYou can make heads turn this festive season by donning a maxi skirt with ganji or sporting a denim look, says an expert.Carlton D’Souza, Myntra LookGood Advisor, has shared some innovative styling tips:* Try the Boho look: Pair your tube top with a mirror-work jacket. To glam it up, wear it with dhoti pants. * Go with denim: You can draw even more attention to your style by wearing a kamarband on your waist. The fusion of Indo-western is sure to make you stand apart from the crowd. A tight high bun and bright red lipstick would add to the look.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’* Play with palazzos: Remember those palazzo pants that have come to your rescue so many times? Time to sway in them yet again with another look. Use your colourful bandhani dupatta as a tube top. Wear chunky costume jewellery and look your stylish best.* Sport maxi skirt and ganji: You can even flaunt your skirts with a funky ganji or racerback top. * Opt for sarongs: Wear it as a tube dress and jazz it up with high heels.last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-31

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Society is afraid of womens sexuality

first_imgAll hail the queen of drama, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, as she arrives in the Capital for the first time to take us on a roller-coaster ride that is her life. ‘Drama Queen’ – an honest biographical play – based on her book of the same name – will make you laugh, cry and look at the modern Indian woman in a whole new light with all her vulnerabilities and strengths.After a decade long hiatus, Suchitra says that as her daughter is all grown-up now, she has decided to get more active. “Being a single mother is extremely demanding on your time as you don’t have the liberty of just taking off to somewhere. So, I made a choice of staying at home and look over my newborn daughter. And now that she can take care of herself, I decided to get back to being more active,” said the actor with an impressive filmography. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDirected by Inaayat Ali Sami and presented by AGP world, the play on October 6 at the India Habitat Centre, will show her in a never seen before avatar for the first time, as we witness the drama queen, looking for the perfect life partner. “It is almost impossible to enact the whole book, so, for the play, I chose the part where I go around proposing marriage to my friends, how my family reacts to it and the events that unfold due to those incidents.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSuchitra shares, “In the book, you won’t know where the fact ends and fiction starts; my life is much vast than that. The play and the book are all about how things unfold in my life – in a highly dramatised manner. I did take some vulnerable moments of my life for the performance and tried to play the character with a lot of humour and fun.” In her candid, wacky, madcap biography, Suchitra takes us on a hormone-driven period of her life five years post-divorce with actor-director Shekhar Kapur; fame and everything that a good girl from a ‘decent’ Indian family would want. But who is a ‘good girl’ from a ‘decent’ family? “In my book, I was talking about the kind of society that we live in; a society with a typical middle-class environment. A girl has to adhere by so many do’s and don’ts; you are not supposed to talk or dress in a certain way; don’t date men, and be confined to what the family wants from you. I think that pressure is too much and in my own way, I was trying to break out of that and say, that I am as much of a good girl even if I don’t adhere to it. Parental and family pressure, society rules, and log kya kahenge is something we are all trapped in to a certain extent and I never understood the hypocrisy or brushing things under the carpet. I have never understood why people in India don’t talk about sex or going to a shrink. These things should be very normal,” said the unabashed actor, writer and singer. Suchitra has never shied away from calling a spade a spade even if it dismays the society and that’s what one can expect from her play. “I think society is very afraid of women’s sexuality, and their freedom. And that’s something which comes from patriarchy. It is a patriarchy that has trickled down even to women in the way they are conditioned. I frankly don’t take much heed towards what people say about me, how they judge me or how they see me. I think everyone should concentrate all their energy on their own life and try to make their own life better.”Suchitra has seen the industry up-close and said a big no to a favour in exchange for sex. She says that if an adult woman has consensual sex with a man 10 times then she cannot cry rape, as we see this happening nowadays. “I think it is a pure exploitation of the law and a lot of women are misusing the law. There is something very convoluted and opportunistic about that. Yes, women should be protected but women can also use the law wrongly and I think that’s happening in many instances. Women should also have the guts to have sex for the sake of sex or advancement, and not play helpless victims when things go wrong.” A single mother, stuck in the quagmire of her strict middle-class moral upbringing, Suchitra hurtles, chugs and somersaults on a rollercoaster journey in a desperate bid to find security and true love. This play will teach you ‘the freedom to be’ or as Suchitra says, “It is perfectly okay to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, to express yourself and it’s okay to be yourself.”last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-31

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Snapchats CoFounder Completely Crazy for Turning Down 3 Billion From Facebook

first_img Is Snapchat’s co-founder crazy for not taking $3 billion?Crazy doesn’t begin to describe how nutty this is. He’ll never see that kind of dough again.Uh, hello. Would you want to work with Mark Zuckerberg?Snapchat is the next big thing. He’s smart for holding out for a better offer.He comes from a privileged family. He doesn’t need the money anyway.I say Evan Spiegel is crazy smart. He clearly has a bigger vision for Snapchat.VoteView ResultsCrowdsignal.comIs Snapchat’s co-founder crazy for not taking $3 billion? Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global November 14, 2013 The internet has been a-buzz since news broke yesterday that 23-year-old Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and chief executive of messaging service Snapchat, turned down a $3 billion offer to be acquired by Facebook.Three billion dollars ain’t chump change. Especially for an app that so far isn’t generating revenue.So is Spiegel crazy or crazy smart for not taking all that money? Let us know what you think by taking the poll below.Related: This Is the 23-Year-Old Entrepreneur Who Just Turned Down $3 Billion From Facebook 1 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-30

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sandals promotes social groups with new booking option for agents perks for

first_imgSandals promotes social groups with new booking option for agents, perks for clients Share Posted by Thursday, January 17, 2019 Vawn Himmelsbach Tags: Montego Bay, Perks, Sandals Resorts MONTEGO BAY — Agents now have more options for booking groups — including social groups — with Sandals Resorts, thanks to a group code option, expanded meeting spaces and perks for clients.While couples-only Sandals is known for romance, the company is also promoting its properties for meetings and social groups, along with weddings.A ‘social group’ is any group that doesn’t qualify as a wedding or corporate incentive. This could range from sports (tennis, golf or scuba diving) and themed trips (culinary, wine or spa), to birthdays, reunions or groups of friends travelling together, according to Grant Lawlor, National Groups Manager with Unique Vacations (Canada), the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts.Grant Lawlor, National Groups, Sandals Resorts (Credit: Vawn Himmelsbach)And now there are two ways an agent can book a group: a contracted group, or a group code. “The traditional way in Canada is contracted groups through a tour operator,” said Lawlor. “We have a new way to book groups that’s really catching on, and it’s called a group code. Basically, it’s taking individual FIT bookings and we link them together to create a group, so there’s no commitment to a contract, no deposit down, no risk for an agent.”With group code, room blocks are not held; space and rates are not guaranteed until booked and deposited (and it’s not applicable to incentive groups). A contract guarantees the rooms are held out of inventory and the room rate is guaranteed once booked. However, if an agent wants a contract for five rooms, Sandals requires a 10% deposit (and a tour operator requires a non-refundable deposit for every room).“So there’s a risk involved,” said Lawlor. “With group code, you just book one couple today and if they think they can bring a bunch of friends we can issue a code — there’s no commitment, no money tied to it, and if they reach five rooms, the code goes into effect and it becomes a group.”While group code is a fairly new concept in Canada, it’s already popular in the U.S. “You get the same benefits without the risk, and you can book direct with us or through tour operators or a combination,” said Lawlor. “It applies to weddings too, but we see the most success with this in Canada on the social group side because our tour operators for weddings offer 90-day, no-deposit weddings, so that’s extremely popular.”With social groups, the magic numbers are five and three: a five room minimum and three-night minimum stay. The group must overlap for three nights, but some can come early or stay longer.This option can help an agent “look like a hero to their clients,” said Lawlor.Social groups receive a private complimentary group dinner, a private complimentary group cocktail reception with hor d’oeuvres, and a group portrait session (however, only meeting and incentive groups have access to private group check-in). Always included is access to a guest arrival lounge at select airports, unlimited spirits and wine, resort-wide Wi-Fi and golf at select resorts with complimentary green fees (ideal for golf groups).Social groups also qualify for Sandals’ free room offer — the sixth room is free from September to Dec. 24, and the 12th room is free from January to August.A social group can divide the savings amongst themselves, but Lawlor also suggests agents organize hosted trips. For example, an agent can approach their local golf course and team up with a golf pro to accompany participants on the trip (and the golf pro gets the complimentary room). Or, a yoga instructor or chef can promote the trip to their clientele, and once five rooms are booked, the organizer stays for free.At Sandals, up to 20% of a social group could be made up of singles (so if 10 rooms are booked, two could be singles). “There’s definitely a market out there and a lot of groups will have one or two singles, whether it’s wedding or social,” said Lawlor. For family reunions, multigenerational groups or social groups with a lot of singles (say, a girls’ getaway), a group code could be applied at Beaches Resorts.Sandals has plenty of options for booking groups, with 15 Luxury Included properties throughout the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Grenada and Barbados. Customizable meeting and function spaces range from 500 to 10,000 square feet, and assistance can be provided for on-site activities, special group functions and team-building activities.For weddings, clients receive a certain number of bells and whistles depending on how many rooms they book. But clients can now choose which concession they’d like, rather than being told which concession they qualify for, “so it’s more freedom for the bride and groom to customize their wedding,” said Lawlor.While Sandals has multiple properties in Jamaica, two have new offerings ideal for weddings and social groups.Sandals Montego Bay features a new weddings lounge with a bridal suite, newly renovated non-denominational chapel, and new beachfront swim-up honeymoon butler suites in the renovated Seagrapes building, as well as a new high-tech conference centre.Sandals Montego Bay’s Conference CentreAnd Sandals South Coast features over-the-water honeymoon butler suites on Jamaica’s lush South Coast within a 500-acre wilderness preserve. Each room and suite overlooks the two-mile beach, and the resort offers 14,000 square feet of meeting and convention space including a three-level theatre and new Latitudes over-the-water bar.Latitudes Overwater Bar, Sandals South CoastFor agents, group code can make it easier to start booking social groups and even weddings. “Some of Sandals most successful agents — our Chairman’s Royal Club members — do groups,” said Lawlor, “so it’s extremely lucrative.” << Previous PostNext Post >> About Latest Posts Vawn HimmelsbachContributor at TravelweekVawn Himmelsbach has been writing about travel for more than a decade for media outlets such as CBC.ca, Metro News, Flare, Sweet Travel, PlanetEye Traveler and Hotelier, among others. She is co-founder of Chic Savvy Travels, a travel website for women, has contributed to a guidebook on China, and has been published in a book of non-fiction, called Emails from India. She has spent more than three years working and traveling abroad in Asia and Latin America. Latest posts by Vawn Himmelsbach (see all) More storefronts, new zero interest payment option for The Travel Agent Next Door – May 7, 2019 Smooth sailing onboard Uniworld’s newest super ship in Bordeaux – April 24, 2019 Sandals promotes social groups with new booking option for agents, perks for clients – January 17, 2019last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-19

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Debut for Star Wars Galaxys Edge May 31 at Disneyland Aug 29

first_img BURBANK — Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open ahead of schedule at Disneyland Park in California on May 31 and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on Aug. 29.Guests planning to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park between May 31 and June 23, 2019, will need valid theme park admission and will be required to make a no-cost reservation, subject to availability, to access the land.Information on how to make a reservation will be available at a later date on Disneyland.com and the Disney Parks Blog. Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during these dates will receive a designated reservation to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their stay (one reservation per registered guest); valid theme park admission is required.On opening day for Phase One, guests will be transported to the remote planet of Batuu where guests can become part of the story as they sample galactic food and beverages, explore merchant shops and take the controls of the most famous ship in the galaxy aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.Phase Two, opening later this year, will be Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which Disney promises will be “the most ambitious, immersive and advanced attraction ever imagined”, which will place guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance “and will blur the lines between fantasy and reality”.The decision to open the new attractions in phases was made “in light of tremendous demand”.The depth of storytelling is part of the total immersion that will distinguish the two, 14-acre lands – the largest and most technologically advanced single-themed land expansions ever in a Disney park – from any other themed land in history.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upDisney says the new lands build off decades of collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm Ltd., a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production, including the Star Wars franchise. The work on Star Wars dates back to 1987, when the groundbreaking Star Tours attraction opened at Disneyland Park in California.Here’s a look at the highlights… Tags: Disney, Openings & Renovations, Star Wars Travelweek Group Friday, March 8, 2019 Opening later this year, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance places guests right in the middle of the Rebellion and gives them an active role in the fight against the First Order, including a faceoff with Kylo Ren. Their journey takes them inside a full-size starship and aboard a nearby Star Destroyer.What does Blue Milk actually taste like? That question and more will be answered when guests visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and experience the new land’s expansive array of food and beverages. Guests will walk through a bustling street market, where vendors offer various local delicacies, including an Outpost Mix of uniquely flavored popped grains from Kat Saka’s Kettle, a unique popcorn snack with a combination of sweet, savory and spicy flavors.Oga’s Cantina offers exotic beverages served in unique vessels and spirited musical entertainment provided by DJ R-3X, otherwise known as Rex, the former Starspeeder 3000 pilot droid from the original Star Tours. Rex reinvents himself as the cantina’s DJ.Ogas CantinaA multi-purpose transport shuttle docked on top of a large hangar will beckon guests into Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, a designated location for traveling food shuttles. In the Black Spire Outpost market, Ronto Roasters will draw attention from passersby with its large podracing engine firing up a barbecue pit for mouth-watering Ronto Wraps.Ronto RoastersThe lively market of Black Spire Outpost includes merchant shops and stalls filled with authentic Star Wars creations. At Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers, guests will have the opportunity to customize and craft their very own lightsabers. Inside Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, guests will find a selection of rare items for sale representing different eras of the Star Wars galaxy, including holocrons, ancient Jedi and Sith artifacts, lightsabers and more. The Black Spire Outpost market will also feature the Creature Stall. Guests will also find the Toydarian Toymaker.Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the first land within a Disney park designed to integrate with the Play Disney Parks mobile app, which debuted last year and offers interactive adventures and experiences that bring surrounding environments to life at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. When guests use the app, it will provide new opportunities for them to engage with the land, such as translating a galactic language, learning what’s hidden inside crates and containers, or accomplishing certain tasks by participating in missions. Guests also can use the Play Disney Parks app to interact with a variety of elements in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, such as droids, ships, media screens, door panels and antenna arrays. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Set to open at Disneyland Resort on May 31 and at Walt Disney World Resort on Aug. 29, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, will take guests into the cockpit of “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.” They will take the controls of the Falcon in one of three unique and critical roles as the ship hurtles through space. Share Debut for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge May 31 at Disneyland, Aug. 29 at WDW Posted bylast_img read more

Read more

2019-08-19

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

April 11 2008 CANNONFIRE Jazz Showcase brings

first_imgApril 11, 2008 CANNON-FIRE Jazz Showcase brings a series of monthly dinner-show performances for presenting regional, national, and international artists. The programs offer quality weekend opportunities for family enjoyment. The ‘artists’ will appear each ‘Second Sunday’ of the month, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm on the Colly Soleri Amphitheater stage at Arcosanti. The April 13. schedule presents Cannon Fire Showcase Review with THE CUNNINGHAM’S. [photo of the Cunninghams during their dynamic performance at the 2007 Juneteenth festival at Arcosanti]. [Photo: tt & text: sa] A crew of staff and volunteers gets the theater ready for the first out-door performance of this season. [Photo & text: sa] A new canopy is in the design stage. For this event a small parachut will keep the stage shaded. Show only $20.00 pp Dinner and show $35.00 pp VIP weekend retreats are available and include dinner & show, overnight stay, continental breakfast and the official tour of Arcosanti. For reservations call [928] 237-7908 or [928] 632-1735 [Photo & text: sa]last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-10

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Pay TV operators are using personalisation as a ke

first_imgPay TV operators are using personalisation as a key weapon in the fight to attract and retain customers. Graham Pomphrey reports on the latest technologies and business models available to them.The average pay TV viewer is faced with a bewildering choice of content. Three hundred linear channels is not uncommon. Neither is a VOD catalogue running into thousands of hours of content. Add a few broadcaster catch-up platforms and some OTT video content and the options available to the consumer are staggering.With this in mind, how can operators ensure that their customers are getting the content and services they want? It’s becoming a key issue in the battleground for customers. Those operators that can best tailor the service towards individual customers are most likely to keep hold of existing subscribers and attract new ones.Starting pointPersonalising TV services is not something new – operators have for years offered packages of channels, usually based around general areas of interest like sport, music and entertainment. Another basic step taken by some operators is to allow customers to create a list of favourite channels, saving them from having to scroll through the EPG to find relevant channels. But the advent of broadband-connected networks means the options available to service providers have suddenly increased.In the face of competition from newer entrants, especially innovative IPTV operators, more established players have begun rolling out advanced platforms with IP connectivity to offer greater interactivity, using the internet to not only deliver content and ads, but also to glean data about how people are using the services. In the UK, Virgin Media recently rolled out an advanced OTT DVR platform powered by TiVo.“Content online, on TVs, on mobile and on-demand is hugely exciting but consumers are facing increasingly complex choices and it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for,” says Virgin Media’s executive director, commercial, TV and online, Alex Green. Which is perhaps why the top five channels on the cabler’s EPG – BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Five – take 56% of viewing share. But with TiVo, Virgin Media is likely to see this figure change as consumers become accustomed to the platform’s search and recommendation engines. Alongside recommending content based on viewing preferences, viewers can search across TV listings, seven-day catch-up, on-demand, favourite actors, future shows and online content all with one simple search.“With rich programme details our TV customers can discover great new content based on their favourite actors, directors and more, and we’re able to deliver all of this through a seamless, easy-to-use interface,” says Green. “The service also features editorial collections, allowing customers to browse themed or seasonal programming according to their mood.”Virgin Media TiVo can recommend content based on individual viewing habits. The system works by enabling users to give programmes one, two or three ‘thumbs up’, or a ‘thumbs down’ if they don’t like it. Over time, the set-top box will begin to understand the type of shows the user enjoys the most. “It’s this ability to understand individual preferences and personalise the viewing experience that will enable viewers to make the most of the new digital world,” says Green.Twitter doesn’t just bring up the most obvious shows so it tends to pull people further down the EPG.Tom Weiss, TV GeniusIt’s still early days to ascertain just how customers will embrace these types of services, but there is some recent evidence to indicate that they are being well received. Virgin Media revealed that one in every four views of a TV channel on TiVo comes from a source other than the EPG – a sure sign that the search and recommendation engines are proving popular. Customers have also been embracing apps, with almost 80% of households having used the platform to access an app, with each box launching an average of 4.5 apps each week.While Virgin Media and TiVo is a good example of an established pay TV operator using advanced technologies, and most importantly an IP return path, to enable customers to personalise the service to a greater extent, it is newer entrants that are not shackled by legacy networks and set-top boxes who are using that advantage to launch these kinds of services.IPTV operators in particular have been keen to embrace advanced user interfaces and that makes personalising the service for customers much more achievable. And for newer operators, being able to differentiate the service can be crucial if they are to have a serious go at taking on much larger and more established providers. In the UK, IP Vision’s DTT/IP hybrid service Fetch TV launched in 2009. As well as offering the 50 channels available on the country’s Freeview platform, it aggregates in excess of 3,000 hours of on-demand content, as well as offering the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service and pay TV operator BSkyB’s Sky Go multiscreen service. Commercial director David Bloom says that while IP Vision might not have the marketing budget or customer base of established pay TV operators, it has always had more flexibility in terms of being able to offer its customers as much choice as possible.“To tell someone that you can choose an individual channel, or a package of channels for 30 days and then drop it, like we did from the start, was quite advanced. It is an early example of how we personalised the service,” he says. “Also, with the user interface effectively being delivered from the browser side of the service, we were able to see exactly what our customers were watching, which meant we could serve up our own promotions in the EPG or in the mini menus that could be targeted around the time of day, for example.”Bloom says the company is starting to experiment with targeting content towards more defined segments like serving up pre- and post-roll adverts for videos based on the genre of the selcted content. The company is aiming to strike a balance between handing a degree of control to the user “in an intelligent and subtle way” whilst also building profiles around users to better target content to them. “Its about getting close to the customer but not too close,” he says. “We’ve been brought up on the idea that we are scheduled to so we need an evolution of that, which means giving our customers a bit more flexibility but within a structure. I think that’s where the newer players in the market have an advantage because traditional pay TV operators have less flexibility to really try things out. They feel under pressure to get it right first time and they don’t want disgruntled customers if they don’t get it right.”Technology choicesWhile technology vendors have developed a range of solutions to help operators to deliver more personalised experiences, especially in the field of advanced search and recommendation platforms, operators are in many cases still wrestling with business models. “It’s about money at the end of the day,” says Matthew Huntington, vice-president, product marketing for TV technology company Nagravision. “Operators are trying to personalise services to retain customers or increase APRU and margin. When a piece of content is early in its release window, studios will generally take a 60-80% cut but that will reduce to around 40% over time. Through better recommendation and personalisation, operators can drive consumers to longer tail content further down the release window and therefore make better margin out of it. People are only going to find that content if it is promoted to them either through consumers searching for it or service providers making recommendations to them.”TV is also unavoidably affected by the impact the internet is having on the way we consume media. In a world where we can pick and choose who to follow on Twitter, who to be friends with on Facebook and which music and videos we have on our iPods, TV viewers are likely to become more discerning in what they see on the screen and how it is displayed to them.“We have an expectation now of being able to personalise our interactions with our electronic devices and internet services, even if it’s something as simple as being able to change a colour scheme,” says John Griffiths, solutions marketing manager at NDS. “With the internet, you get to see exactly what you want. Why must the TV be any different? The technology and power inside set-top boxes is there and we are increasingly living a connected TV world that means we are capable of fully personalising the service.”Griffiths sounds a note of caution about using the internet as the basis of attempts to personalise the TV experience, however. “In reality, is there any value in being able to change the colour of the UI? Not really. The TV is a different experience to the web. It isn’t instinctively as interactive for a start.” But, he says, get the user experience right and operators could find ARPU increasing along with brand loyalty.According to SeaChange’s senior vice-president of advanced technology Steve Davi, in order to get the most of the content assets available to an operator, they need to enhance the way they promote that content, improve the advertising models around it and offer customers the chance to better personalise the service.[icitspot id=”16508″ template=”box-story”]In terms of personalisation, SeaChange has developed Nitro, a user experience product based on HTML5 that be used across multiple platforms. As well as integrating with recommendation engines, it also allows subscribers to develop favourite channels made up of personally selected content and then share it with their friends via social media networks. At IBC, the company plans to demonstrate its ‘virtual party’ – the ability for a user to set up an ‘event’ on Facebook based around an on-demand title from their pay TV operator’s platform, invite friends to the event and control when the content starts and stops.Davi believes the future of personalisation will lie in companion devices, the main benefit being the ability to personalise down to the individual user rather than a household:  “Tablet devices and smartphones offer many capabilities for operators – they are personal devices that are designed to be interacted with. It means operators can target more effectively and get better feedback from their customers. They can also target advertising more effectively. A tablet will change the way we watch TV and I think that this is how people will browse what to watch on the main screen.”According to David Allred, chief marketing officer of Sezmi, a US-based hybrid TV technology company, operators that are offering TV Everywhere services need to ensure a consistent user experience on each device and for each content source: “Advanced personalisation is more than set of isolated recommendations; it drives the entire user experience. Key elements for personalisation that need to be present in next generation platforms include providing a consistent experience across multiple devices and across multiple content sources.” And Allred said this means using a cloud-based architecture. Consumers, he says also want to be able to use the same user interface to search and browse all of their content regardless of source. “A return path is also a critical element of advanced personalisation. With no feedback loop, the operator can’t deliver individualised recommendations,” he says.Search & recommendationVirgin Media’s statistics are clear evidence of the growing role search and recommendation engines will play in enabling customers to discover relevant content.From a technology point of view, basic search functionality is fairly undemanding to implement, says NDS’s Griffiths, especially when it is confined to the operator’s EPG and VOD catalogues. “Search is pretty straightforward. There are clients within our middleware that means we can do it in the set-top, and using the headend we can search across the whole linear and on-demand catalogue, and potentially to external sources in order to provide search results.”TV Genius, a company that specialises in search and recommendation, counts companies including BSkyB, ITV and Freeview amongst its customers. According to CEO Tom Weiss, search is becoming much more complex, with the advent of HD channels, time-shifted channels and catch-up services. When someone launches a search it is becoming increasingly complex to establish which content they are actually looking for. “People are searching more for multichannel content than they were previously and it is hard to predict the shows people are looking for. We have to deal with the same show being available on multiple channels, and broadcasters airing repeats. If someone searches for a soap, for example, there is the catch-up from the previous night, tomorrow’s episode, not to mention re-runs on other channels in the afternoon and so on. We have to be able to bring the right results to the top.”Weiss says TV Genius’s algorithm can take between 20 to 30 different factors into account, including how many people have watched a piece of content, when it was broadcast and on which channel it was originally aired.The company was recently acquired by broadcast services provider Red Bee Media, which has a rich heritage in providing metadata services to broadcasters and pay TV operators. The deal will see Red Bee combine its data services with TV Genius’s search and recommendation.“We see a lot of content from lots of different sources trying to compete with each other. We know from experience that people tend to like some form of curated viewing experience. Using technology to take the strain from the end user to find something interesting amongst all this content is important for service providers,” says Red Bee Media’s director, technology and innovation Steve Plunkett.The company provides broadcast representation, meaning it writes descriptions that appear in EPGs and print publications. “It’s a means of promotion and signposting users to content they might be interested in, and that is an early precursor to what we’re seeing now from an algorithmic perspective in terms of recommendation. As technology plays a bigger part in that process we felt we needed to have a recommendation engine and a TV-centric search facility and something that understands where newer influences are coming from, such as social networks,” says Plunkett.TV Genius is playing an active role in using the influence of social networks to enhance its recommendation capabilities. It recently launched a TV guide that integrates with social network site Facebook. The new solution uses the company’s content discovery platform to personalise TV guides – when a user logs into the EPG with Facebook Connect, all the shows their friends like are highlighted in the grid. The cloud-based solution means the Facebook-integrated EPGs can de deployed on the web, connected TVs, smartphones and tablets.“The average person on Facebook has ‘liked’ four TV shows and has an average of about 140 Facebook friends. That’s over 400 TV ‘likes’ for most people. We can use this data to highlight the shows in an EPG that your friends are watching. From an operator perspective, it gives them loads of additional data about that user and what they might like,” says Weiss. He says the company can also scan Twitter to see what TV shows people are talking about. “The nice thing about Twitter is that it doesn’t just bring up the most obvious shows and therefore tends to pull people further down the EPG, which is great for operators.”Most in the industry agree that the real future of personalisation will come in the form of recommendation. Providing viewers with the content they want with very little effort on their part is seen as the key to retaining customers and tempting them to pay for additional content. While the aim is to keep the process as simple as possible for the end user, the technology behind it can be complicated and fraught with potential pitfalls.One company specialising in recommendation is Aprico. The Philips-backed company has developed technology that can find, recommend and target content from various sources, including linear broadcast, video-on-demand, web video and targeted advertising. According to Thomas Dvorak, Aprico’s chief marketing officer, operators are initially looking at deploying recommendations based on their own VOD library in an attempt to increase on-demand sales: “The main activity in the MSO field is to use content discovery for finding content in their own VOD libraries. The first step is to make people more aware of the latest movies in their libraries.”He says that some service providers, particularly IPTV operators with green-field deployments, are starting to take a real interest in redeveloping the EPG towards a user interface that embraces recommendation results. However, other operators, particularly more established players with large customer bases and legacy infrastructure are taking a more cautious approach.One of the main issues in the area of recommendation is that operators can’t be sure who is watching the TV at any time and so targeting individuals becomes problematic. It is unlikely that children will have the same tastes as their parents, and even amongst children of a similar age there can be great variations in viewing preferences. Some technology vendors have developed systems that involve TV viewers logging into the platform so that operators know who is watching the TV and can therefore target content very specifically. But IP Vision’s Bloom is adamant that customers will not warm to such services. “These options verge from the intrusive to the impractical,” he says.However, algorithms are becoming so sophisticated that recommendation companies are confident that they can be accurate in the majority of instances. Dvorak claims that Aprico’s trials indicate that its technology achieves an average accuracy rate of 80-90%, meaning that between eight and nine recommendations out of 10 make sense to the user.  So what about that final 10-20%? Dvorak says it is within the operator’s interest to offer a “surprise factor” to help users discover new content. “This is in the interest of user’s changing viewing habits and the fact that we want to help users find new content. You need the right balance of accuracy and surprise; that is what good recommendation engines do.”last_img read more

Read more

2019-08-06

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,