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October 15, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Facebook TORONTO — A Canadian filmmaker who released a 2011 documentary on Harvey Weinstein is now working on a new big-screen project that would tackle the allegations of sexual harassment and assault levelled against the fallen movie mogul and others.Montreal-born Barry Avrich says he wants to look at the accusations that he didn’t know about when he wrote, directed and produced “Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project.”He also wants to examine Hollywood culture and look at sexual misconduct outside of the entertainment industry. Advertisement “At the end of the day, I feel that I made a film about a man that I found incredibly passionate, fascinating and intriguing — and I didn’t get the whole story and I feel cheated,” Avrich said in an interview.“I knew there was a dark side. I didn’t know there was that dark side, and I feel that it’s important to tell the whole story. It’s an incomplete story for me, an incomplete narrative.”Avrich said he wants to make the new documentary quickly, “long before” the next Toronto International Film Festival in September.He’s already started filming and is set to travel to New York, Los Angeles and London.Avrich said he worries that the plethora of headlines surrounding sexual misconduct allegations “desensitizes the situation.” A film would help preserve such stories and “perpetuate the momentum so that this doesn’t become a movement du jour.”“I just think we live in the decade of distraction now where stories that are posted in social media — and there are so many headlines — the accusers, the victims become, at some point, wallpaper, and I don’t want that to happen,” said Avrich, whose other films include “The Last Mogul,” about legendary agent Lew Wasserman, and “Filthy Gorgeous,” about Penthouse founder Bob Guccione.Avrich said he’s already spoken with some victims and has taken out an ad in Hollywood trade magazines asking more to come forward to be interviewed for his new doc.“What I’m saying to them is that a social media posting on your experience is not enough. Why? Because it fades and evaporates instantly after somebody has read it,” he said.“Film lasts forever, and I think the only way we’re going to get change is if these stories are immortalized.”Avrich said he also wants such stories to serve as a possible deterrent and “a warning for the next generation of artists going into this industry, of what they need to know.”“I’m not looking for victims to come on camera and tell me bathrobe stories. We’ve all heard them,” Avrich said.“I’m interested in what they’ve learned, what their advice is in protecting artists going forward, what else they think they can do in terms of changing the culture, do they believe the cultural change?”Avrich said he’ll probably ask Weinstein to be interviewed for this film, but doubts it would happen.“Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project” addresses the producer’s notorious reputation as a hot-headed micro-manager, but it doesn’t mention any sexual misconduct allegations, which came to light in October.Avrich said he had no relationship with Weinstein prior to making the doc, and the producer went at him “very aggressively” with “all kinds of promises, payoffs in terms of other film deals” to try to put an end to the film.Avrich assured Weinstein he would make a “balanced film” about his life, he said, but nobody within the mogul’s stable of artists would speak with him.“Had I known those things, I absolutely would have been there,” said Avrich of the torrent of allegations that have been made.“But at the same time, I can honestly tell you that I know I would have had doors slammed in my face.”Two weeks before the Weinstein story broke, the film studio he founded bought the rights to Avrich’s upcoming documentary on Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz. Avrich said they’ve since given the film back to him.IFC, meanwhile, owns the rights to “Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project.” Avrich said IFC insisted on edits to the doc, including softening the characterization of Weinstein as a bully.Avrich said he felt he had a moral obligation to make changes to the documentary when the Weinstein allegations emerged and asked IFC if he could buy back the rights and re-do the ending.He said he wrote to Jonathan Sehring, co-president of IFC Films and Sundance Selects, who told him that they don’t sell films back to filmmakers and that they were “going to take the high road.”IFC did not immediately respond to an email request for comment Wednesday.“At the end of the day, there are certain things I could do, but I said to myself, as the whole story started to expand beyond Harvey, headline after headline after headline … I said, ‘This is a bigger story and I need to look at Hollywood as the entire culture and see whether or not things will ever change,”‘ Avrich said.“Where did it start, where is it going to end? I need to get different perspectives on it and I think it’s important to make that kind of film.”VICTORIA AHEARN / THE CANADIAN PRESS Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

October 14, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgDanielle Rochette APTN NewsAt the time, Alexis Joveneau was highly regarded in the Innu community of Pakuashipi and La Romaine (Unamen Shipu). The missionary from Belgium had such an effect on the Innu that for years they kept their silence about what he was doing.Joveneau didn’t just have a hold on the Innu – Canada and the province of Quebec threatened to pull all subsidies from the community if they didn’t follow his plan. But as it turned out, Joveneau was a sexual predator.Simone Bellefleur was nine years old when she was abused for the first time by Joveneau. “Now I notice things what this priest put us through I always felt anger,” said Simone Bellefleur who was nine years old when she was first abused by Joveneau. He harassed and molested many young Innu girls and women during his years along the northern shores of the St. Lawrence river – with impunity. Joveneau first arrived in Unamen Shipu in 1953.The missionary (Oblate) learned the Innu language and translated religious courses and the mass in Innu.He stayed 39 years and died in 1992.(Alexis Joveneau in an undated photo)He is buried in Unamen Shipu. The government gave him control of the welfare cheques to distribute to the Innu.Hi plan was to move the Innu of Pakuashipi to Unamen Shipu, 300 km west along the St. Lawrence River.“I was carrying this anger within me,” Bellefleur told the commissioners. “What frustrated me and angers me today I am a mother I always want to be violent against my daughter.”Catholicism is still being practiced by many Innu communities today. But Bellefleur said she decided to take another path after attending a Sundance Ceremony a decade ago. “That is where I saw the faith of my ancestors my grandparents, grandfathers, grandmothers,” she said. “And now I live my life with these aboriginal beliefs they are part of my life and it has been some ten years that I am following a spiritual path.”As part of her healing, she also made recommendations to the inquiry. “I made my recommendation for us to receive a camp with a therapy centre because everyone needs it,” she said.last_img read more

September 11, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington).#9) Last year, there was a controversial bill in which members of the state legislature voted to give themselves large raises (up to to 45% in some cases), and included judicial raises in the bill so that the voters couldn’t potentially override the bill in a ballot question. The salary increases for elected officials came at a time where taxes were increasing and certain services were being cut. As state representative, how would you vote on such a matter? (Mind you, members of the New Hampshire state legislature earn only $200 per year.) Additionally, if elected, do you intend on working a second job or will you focus fully on your legislator position?I am running for this seat to make a real impact in the lives of current and future generations of Wilmington and Tewksbury residents, not for the money. If elected, I will focus fully on my legislator position.Frankly, it was underhanded how the Legislature handled the $12-18 million pay raise package that included raises for lawmakers, judges and constitutional officers. While I do believe that Legislators should be paid enough that they can fully focus on fighting for their communities and not worrying about how they are going to pay for their utility bills. Elected officials work for their constituents, therefore their constituents should decide if they get a raise through a ballot initiative rather than a vote in self-interest. I also want to point out that the legislature passed their own pay raise before voting on paid family leave and raising the minimum wage, putting themselves before their constituents.It is also important to note, surrounding states such as New Hampshire and Rhode Island have part-time legislatures where lawmakers receive a small stipend that is supposed to help with travel expenses while continuing their day-to-day whether it be a job, retirement etc. Massachusetts is one of only about a dozen states that have full-time legislatures where elected officials work year-round. The National Conference of State Legislatures averages the pay in all the full-time states to $81,000 where Massachusetts has a starting pay of $62,500.(https://www.wgbh.org/news/2017/02/02/politics-government/legislative-pay-raises-what-you-need-know)#10) The late Representative Miceli fought hard on environmental issues. Even though the Olin Superfund site, the Maple Meadow Landfill, and the New England Transrail project were not in his district, he went to bat for the Wilmington residents to help in the detrimental impacts from these sites. Do you have a clear knowledge of the threats from these sites and even though not in your district, will you fight for the residents of Wilmington like Jim Miceli did?I am well aware of these sites and even though they’re not in the district, will still be spots that I fight to be sure all Wilmington and Tewksbury residents are safe, see minimal impact from these sites and any other that may potentially arise. It is important to keep in mind that while serving as State Representative, your district comes first, but especially in Wilmington and Tewksbury’s case where you have a majority of each town, every decision you make not only impacts your district but the other precincts not to mention the Commonwealth as a whole.I attended the community meeting regarding Transrail and have been keeping up with anything coming out of the Surface Transportation Board regarding the site. If Transrail is approved, this will be detrimental to our community both for residents and the environment. This project would have hundreds of trucks driving large loads of trash through Wilmington daily, it will be situated on the Olin Superfund Site (which is has been vacant for years) with the very real possibility of unearthing chemicals and other toxic agents back into the air and soil. It will have a negative impact on the daily lives of residents especially those living on Eames Street and surrounding neighborhoods.As State Representative, I will fight for all Tewksbury and Wilmington residents and take a strong stand to protect our environment.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Voting Records Show Prinzivalli Voted Only Once Before Launching Candidacy; Campaign DisputesIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Judy O’Connell Discusses State Rep Pay, Environmental IssuesIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Candidate Erika Johnson Discusses Her Campaign For State Rep With ‘Your Tewksbury Today’In “Government”last_img read more

September 10, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img • Now playing: Watch this: Apple Mike Tetley, a warehouse worker, checks labels on boxes in March at an Amazon fulfillment center in Thornton, Colorado. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images For a lot of people, Amazon’s Prime Day started in 2015 as a punchline, described as a garage sale for the company’s leftover LED toilet night lights and 55-gallon tubs of lube. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, at least for now, is having the last laugh. Heading into its fifth year this Monday, Prime Day has never seemed stronger or more influential. Even Taylor Swift got in on the action, headlining an early Prime Day concert on Wednesday. And the deals (oh, the deals!) — a million baubles and gizmos as far as the eye can see, slashed to Black Friday prices and offered from Paris to Tokyo to Abu Dhabi.There’s now clear proof that Prime Day has markedly changed consumer spending behavior and forced other retailers to march to the beat of Amazon (yet again), lest they miss a rare opportunity to catch shoppers shopping during the typically slow beach-read season. During the first Prime Day, just seven retailers offered deals. This year, RetailMeNot predicts 250 will take part, including Walmart, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Macy’s.”Let’s face it, Prime Day is a thing. It’s become as important to American shoppers as Black Friday,” said Steven Barr, a retail analyst for PwC. “So to compete, retailers have had to step up with bigger and better deals to capture their share of attention.” Share your voice See It Competing retailers are also looking to emphasize Amazon’s weaknesses to lure in shoppers, like pointing out that Prime Day is only available for folks who pay for Prime, a $119-a-year membership. Others are highlighting the ability to pick up in stores and not wait for deliveries. eBay is poking at Amazon by offering a “Crash Sale,” noting that Amazon’s site and mobile app melted down for hours at the start of last year’s Prime Day.”It would be silly for other retailers, considering what Prime Day has turned into, to not try to get some of that Prime Day pie,” Sheehy said.Consumers have changed their shopping habits due to Prime Day too, Barr said. Anticipation for Prime Day deals has caused 52% of shoppers to hold off on purchases until then, according to a PwC survey. Plus, the consultant firm’s research found that spending on back-to-school and holiday have been pulled forward in the calendar, as more folks are buying on Prime Day instead, he added. For customers, the obvious benefit is all these retailers have now come together for another big shopping day to offer lots of sales and fall over each other to get you to buy.”All this competition, whether it’s good for other retailers or not, is great for consumers,” said Kelsey Sheehy, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet.The game has changed Amazon announced Prime Day will run for this year for 48 hours, starting at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday. The sale, available to the company’s over 100 million Prime members worldwide, has fallen in mid-July every year, but Amazon has shifted around the day, so it’s been as early as July 10 (in 2017) and run as late as July 17 (in 2018).”We’re confident that there’s a great experience waiting for each and every Prime member this year,” Cem Sibay, vice president of Prime, told CNET in an interview last month.The day often breaks sales records for Amazon and has become so big that it helps spike online traffic for other sites, too. Costco’s traffic jumped 27% last Prime Day from the day earlier, followed by 22% for Apple and 13% for Best Buy, according to PwC. Amazon saw a bigger bump, at 45%.US-LABOUR-PROTEST-AMAZONDemonstrators protested at the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, in December. Workers there are planning another strike on Prime Day. Kerem Yucel / AFP/Getty Images While other retailers get to ride the Prime Day wave, they are still stuck playing a game in which their biggest competitor is calling the shots and holds an unfair advantage. Amazon dictates the dates, how long the sale goes on and, of course, name of the day.Prime Day serves as another example of Amazon putting its rivals on the defensive and forcing them to spend more money to compete, said Jon Reily,  executive vice president of retail and e-commerce at consultancy Publicis Sapient. He said the company already did that by raising its minimum wage to $15 and by offering one-day Prime shipping, putting more pressure especially on Walmart.All this attention isn’t always a positive for Amazon. Workers in Minnesota are planning a strike on Prime Day this year to highlight their concerns about working conditions. Also, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a regular critic of Amazon, raised concerns about overworking warehouse employees due to the longer sale and faster one-day shipping times.”This year, the toll on Amazon’s workers will be considerably worse,” union President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. It absolutely causes people to buy more stuff that they don’t actually need. Jon Reily,  Publicis Sapient $144 See It Tags Experts say these deals can be a boon for disciplined shoppers and folks who’ve been waiting to buy big-ticket items that usually go on sale during Prime Day, like TVs. But these sales are certain to encourage lots of impulse buys, too, as people chase eye-popping deals for Instant Pots, Fingerling toys and Whole Foods’ organic air-chilled, no-antibiotics-ever whole chickens.Sheehy mentioned how she had bought resistance bands for exercise during some past Prime Day that are still in their packaging. At least they were really cheap.”It absolutely causes people to buy more stuff that they don’t actually need,” Reily said.Don’t stop shoppingSo, will Prime Day last? Well, it depends who you ask.”I’d be really surprised if Prime Day disappeared,” NerdWallet’s Sheehy said. “This is a huge sales day for Amazon.”Barr agreed that Prime Day has become a part of the consumer spending calendar, along with the holiday season and back-to-school, ensuring its existence as a shopping institution for the foreseeable future.Reily, though, had a different perspective. Prime Day, he said, has only existed during good economic times, with low unemployment, rising wages and a soaring stock market. And even during these good times, Amazon keeps having to add more stuff to Prime Day — like that Taylor Swift concert — to maintain the public’s attention, he said.Will people still want to open their wallets for a made-up shopping holiday during the next recession? Reily doubts it.”Over a longer time,” he said, “it’s not sustainable.” $144 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it See it 1:43 50 Photos See It Mentioned Above Apple AirPods 2019 (Charging Case) Best Prime Day deals: Instant Pot, Recast DVR, a free Echo, iPads, AirPods, Marvel movies and more Every Amazon device Prime Day deal: $15 Fire TV Stick, $85 Kindle Paperwhite and more Best Prime Day deals on TVs and media streamers Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? $159center_img Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Smart Home Mobile See All Apple AirPods 2019 Comments reading • Amazon Prime Day evolves from goofy sideshow to Black Friday-esque phenom Amazon Prime Day 2019: Everything to know The 50 weirdest Amazon Prime Day deals ever CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Prime Day 2019 deals Aug 31 • Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint: Choose the best 5G carrier Apple Best Buy $144 36 Amazon Prime Day now offers another sign of Amazon’s growing retail dominance, with the world’s biggest online store controlling nearly 40% of US e-commerce sales, according to researcher eMarketer. Rival retailers will need to figure out ways to keep up with its ever-faster deliveries, growing assortment and invented shopping holidays if they want to hold onto your business. Prime Day also has managed to create a Christmas in July shopping day long sought by retailers desperate to fill the void between grads-and-dads season and back-to-school. Amazon Prime Day Review • AirPods 2019 review: King of truly wireless earphones crowned with small enhancements Walmart Amazon Prime E-commerce Amazon Best Buy eBay Applelast_img read more

September 3, 2019 | | Post a Comment
first_imgTear gas is seen while police take their position in the street of Dhaka on 8 February 2018. Photo: Reuters Dhaka fails to respond to UN`s rights concerns: HRWThe Bangladesh delegation to the United Nation’s ‘Universal Periodic Review (UPR)’ in Geneva on 14 May, failed to respond to pressing human rights concerns in the country, according to Human Rights Watch.The New York-based rights group insisted that the Bangladesh government should use the UPR at the UN Human Rights Council as a “time for reflection, not self-congratulation”.Instead, HRW said, the law minister, Anisul Huq, speaking for the government, highlighted only what their administration considered to be positive steps.The minister had just glossed over concerns about critical issues such as enforced disappearances, secret and arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killings, and a crackdown on freedom of speech and association, HRW said in report ” Bangladesh: Skirting the Issues at the UN” issued on Wednesday.It recommended that Bangladesh should show its commitment to human rights by giving full consideration to recommendations from other countries and accepting those that would significantly improve its compliance with international human rights standards.Read more: UN calls for criminalising enforced disappearance in Bangladesh“Bangladesh needs to stop ignoring and start addressing serious human rights violations, such as when its security forces engage in enforced disappearances, killings, torture, and arbitrary arrests, many of them politically motivated,” said HRW Asia director Brad Adams.The report, however, mentioned that a number of member countries rightly praised the government’s willingness to open the Bangladesh border and provide aid to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing atrocities by the Myanmar military.The Bangladesh delegation spoke at length about the progress on handling the influx of the Rohingya refugees but responded with silence and denial to questions and recommendations by several countries, including concerns about extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and attacks on human rights defenders, the report pointed out.“Bangladesh says it remains committed to doing right by the Rohingya refugees, but it should embrace that same principle towards its own citizens,” Adams said.“With national elections next [this] year, it is essential for the government to expand democratic space and provide room for debate and dissent.”Human Rights Watch and other groups have reported for many years about human rights concerns in Bangladesh, and many of these concerns were simply not addressed adequately by Bangladesh in the hearing., the report said.It recalled that the government pledged during the previous periodic review in 2013 to thoroughly and impartially investigate and prosecute all allegations of human rights violations, in particular by the security forces.”But it has ignored and denied reports of violations since then, including about violence by the security forces during the 2014 elections and against people who protested the conduct of the elections. The government delegation claimed that it is taking action against those responsible for abuse, but there is little evidence or transparency on this,” the HRW report observed.It said Human Rights Watch has also documented several cases in which members of the political opposition have been forcibly disappeared or secretly detained without charge. “Scores of Bangladesh National Party (BNP) supporters were unlawfully detained and several remains disappeared.”Another key concern to which the government delegation responded inadequately is attacks against critical media and nongovernmental organisations, HRW pointed out.Many people have been and continue to be jailed or charged under section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, which includes “vague and overbroad provisions to target free speech”. Section 57 has also been used to target key civil society leaders and institutions, the report added.”The government has also been using sedition and other criminal laws to target free speech.”last_img
September 3, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgA cloud of smoke is seen after an explosion in Kandahar, Afghanistan on 22 May 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. — ReutersA minibus packed with explosives blew up in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Tuesday causing dozens of casualties, officials said, as fighting continued across the country during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.The blast, near one of the city’s main markets, sent a huge cloud of dust and smoke into the air.Nematullah Barak, head of Mirwais hospital in Kandahar, said six dead and more 30 wounded, including several children, had been brought in.A statement from the NDS intelligence service said the minibus, packed with explosives, was discovered in a large open yard of mechanics workshops but blew up before it could be defused.There was no immediate claim of responsibility.Hundreds of people have been killed or wounded in high-profile bomb attacks since the beginning of the year, many in the capital Kabul, but provincial cities have also been hit as the Taliban, seeking to reimpose hardline Islamic rule, have stepped up fighting across the country.Kandahar province, on the border with Pakistan, is a major center of opium cultivation and a stronghold of the Taliban but the city has recently been relatively secure.Tuesday’s explosion came as the Taliban pushed ahead with their spring offensive, launched last month, with fighting in other areas of the country.As many as seven police were killed in clashes on Monday night between security forces and the Taliban in the southwest province of Ghazni, where the insurgents have cut a key highway with the neighboring province of Paktika, officials said.Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said a large Taliban force, armed with heavy weapons, attacked government positions in five districts of the province late on Monday, with fighting continuing until dawn.Insurgents burned down the police headquarters in Jaghato district, he said.The latest fighting coincided with a US government report that found few signs of progress so far this year, with fighting spreading across the country and hundreds of casualties from high profile attacks in Kabul and other cities.Security officials say violence is expected to pick up as preparations continue for parliamentary elections scheduled for October.last_img read more

August 31, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgA British MP has been suspended by the Opposition Labour party after allegations that he sent explicit text messages to a teenager. Simon Danczuk, who represents Rochdale in north west England, allegedly exchanged explicit text messages with the 17-year-old girl.The pair contacted each other over a period of months after the girl, now 18, contacted the 49-year-old lawmaker about a job in his constituency office.Danczuk then sent the student a number of flirty messages. Detectives from Greater Manchester Police investigated the case to ensure that the student was not being ‘harassed’.“On 29 December, Greater Manchester Police received a report from a member of the public that a man from the Rochdale area had been communicating inappropriately with a teenage girl. The matter was looked into and it has been determined that no offences have been committed,” a spokesperson said.last_img read more

August 30, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. January 14, 2014 GameStop shares were down as much as 20 percent Tuesday morning as the company issued a weaker-than-expected forecast for the fourth quarter and full year due to declines in video game sales.The world’s largest video game retailer lowered its fourth-quarter earnings expectations of $1.85 to $1.95 a share from a previously set range of $1.97 to $2.14 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were anticipating earnings of $2.14 a share.The company also revised its full-year earnings to a range of $2.96 to $3.06 per share. Interestingly, the company had raised its full-year guidance in November to $3.08 to $3.25.GameStop’s holiday sales period was marred by a 22.5 percent decline in software sales as consumers shied away from games for former generation consoles, such as the Xbox 360 and PS3.Related: Crocodile Tears? Crocs Blames Earnings Drop on the WeatherWhile software sales were down, the release of several blockbuster consoles over the holidays — including the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 — resulted in a 99.8 percent increase in hardware sales during the period.”The higher percentage of sales in the hardware category resulted in better than expected comps, but lower gross margin dollars during the holiday selling period,” said GameStop’s chief financial officer, Rob Lloyd. “In addition, new software sales came in below our expectations.”GameStop’s total global sales for the nine-week period ended Jan. 4 were $3.15 billion — a 9.3 percent increase over last year. Total comparable sales also increased 10.2 percent. The gaming giant also announced that during the holiday period, it repurchased 800,500 shares of stock at an average price of $49.39 for a total of $39.5 million. Related: Game On: China Lifts 14-Year Ban on Video Game Consoles Register Now »center_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 2 min readlast_img read more

August 30, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_img 3 min read January 4, 2017 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img Enroll Now for Free Since its launch in 2014, transportation startup Faraday Future has been known mostly for stealth and mystery.At CES 2016, the electric car maker rolled out its concept car, the FFZero1. This year, the company returned to Las Vegas to unveil its first vehicle that will be available for purchase, the FF 91 — which you can reserve now if you happen to have a spare $5,000 lying around.The company says that the battery-operated car has 12 sensors, 10 HD cameras and can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.39 seconds. It boasts features such as facial recognition, keyless entry, zero-gravity seats, high-speed internet and the ability to park itself. But that last one caused some trouble at Faraday’s big CES presentation this week.Related: Faraday Future Shows Off Its Wild Electric Car ConceptHalfway through the hour presentation, Hong Bae, Faraday Future’s director of ADAS (advanced driving assistance systems) and self-driving took to the stage to demonstrate the FF 91’s driverless valet feature, with a backdrop behind him that said “never worry about parking again.”“Imagine you have a very important meeting to go to and you are running late. You rush to the office and the parking lot looks full. You don’t have 10, 15 minutes to look for a space,” Bae said, setting the scene. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could just come out of the car, bring your phone out, activate self-parking and the vehicle starts driving itself and looking for a parking spot?”Related: Tesla Rival Faraday Approved to Test Self-Driving Cars on California RoadsIn the parking lot, the car’s performance was a little plodding, but it successfully backed into the spot selected by John Jay Lee, the mayor of North Las Vegas who was on hand to help do the honors.However, the car’s big reveal onstage left a little to be desired. Jia Yueting, a Chinese billionaire who is Faraday’s main investor, drove up amid music and flashing lights. When Yueting hopped out of the car, Nick Sampson, the company’s senior vice president of research and development, prompted him to press the button that would initiate the car’s self-parking feature.And then nothing happened.The mishap was certainly embarrassing, especially given all the hype leading up to the big moment. Faraday has designs on rivaling Tesla, right down to poaching that company’s former employees. It also was in the news this fall when work had to be stopped on its $1 billion factory in Nevada (though construction is slated to commence again this year).Sometimes glitches and mistakes happen, but the Faraday leaders remained composed, kept things moving and said what they wanted to say, even though the outcome wasn’t ideal.last_img read more

August 7, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgAhead of next month’s ANGA COM in Cologne, Simone Sassoli, vice-president, marketing and business development, RGB Networks, talks about how cable operators can address multiple screens.What are the current top priorities for cable operators in relation to investing in video processing?

Everyone is now looking at multiscreen, and with many of the largest operators already deployed on a small scale, we’re seeing those customers now looking to expand distribution to more subscribers, add channels, reach more devices, and most importantly, add capabilities that generate revenues from their TV Everywhere service, such as multiscreen network-based DVR and ad insertion. As they undertake this next phase, the earliest adopters are finding that some of the original technology deployed for small trials doesn’t scale well. For example, stacking box after box of first-generation software transcoders to grow a multiscreen service not only requires a substantial capital investment, but also adds operational and maintenance complexity, with rack space and power being a significant component of the total cost of ownership.As we see the next wave of multiscreen deployments taking shape, operators are looking for next-generation solutions that help to streamline their operations and that bring in a monetisation component.What needs to be put in place to manage the deployment of multiscreen video as cost-effectively as possible, given that it’s complex and that incremental revenue is currently limited?

The multiscreen environment is indeed complex, but with the right tools, technology partners and expertise, operators can meet their budget and project timelines as they deploy new IP video technology.

Most importantly, operators new to multiscreen should take advantage of the lessons learned from those who have gone before them. Having worked with many of the top operators around the globe on trials and early deployments, RGB has applied these lessons to our ‘Multiscreen 2.0’ solutions. These next-gen offerings including four things that we think are critical to taking multiscreen deployments to the next phase:•    A modular and very high density transcoding platform to address issues of scalability and efficiency of space, power and other resources•    Highly flexible packaging technology that can streamline your architecture, performing functions in real time, on demand or “just-in-time” for live, VOD and time-shifted applications•    An ABR ad insertion system for generating new revenues through hyper-targeted advertising, backed by extensive ad insertion expertise•    Pre-integration with leading DRM vendors and CDN solutions for live, VOD and nDVR componentsBeyond technology, partnerships are very important. In a complex ecosystem, proven integration of best-of-breed components is critical.To what extent do you expect multiscreen deployments to be simplified by the acceptance of common standards, or are they likely to remain complex and fragmented for the foreseeable future?

An eventual set of common multiscreen standards will certainly simplify deployments, as they’ve done in the traditional cable environment, however we’re still in the early stages and a well-accepted set of standards is still being debated.HDS, Smooth Streaming, HLS and MPEG DASH continue to battle it out for domination of the adaptive streaming environment, while HEVC tries to make inroads in a world still dominated by MPEG-2 and H.264. Ad insertion standards for ABR are likely the closest to adoption by leveraging existing standards such as SCTE 130, VAST or DART, but it will still take time. In the meantime, operators need to make sure that they choose flexible solutions that can deal with a multitude of interim “standards” and adapt as true standards emerge.What technology challenges are pay TV operators likely to face as they seek to further monetize TV Everywhere services – for example through advertising – and what solutions are available?

The biggest challenge remains content rights – who can stream what to where and what advertising can be replaced and by whom. Content is still king and content owners often stand in the way of making great technology available for the consumers.Beyond right issues, as discussed previously, standards continue to be a challenge while the multiscreen environment is still maturing. Until firm standards are established, solutions will be required that can help simplify the array of standards.Due to the unicast nature of the IP video delivery environment, hyper-targeting of ads can finally be accomplished, giving operators the long-promised benefits of personalized advertising. RGB’s AIM ad insertion solution is a key component of the only complete end-to-end IP-based video processing ecosystem. RGB’s unmatched understanding of ad insertion protocols, stream conditioning and emerging standards, combined with integration with industry-leading ad management systems, provide a powerful monetization platform.Another potential source of revenue comes from nDVR services. The key to streamlined delivery of time-shifted services in the TV Everywhere environment is efficient packaging of streams into all of the required formats, spanning a number of standards. RGB is the pioneer of just-in-time packaging, an “on-the-fly” technology that saves operators considerable storage costs and bandwidth headaches when delivering to multiple devices.  The ability to package on demand also provides operational efficiencies where content cached in the network does not have to be refreshed if there is an evolution of the streaming standard, for example from one HLS version to a newer one. Even better, both versions can co-exist so that legacy devices can be supported without upgrade costs.To what extent can IP-based video services such as multiscreen be integrated with legacy DVB-C video services?

The first place is going to be for VOD delivery, where you can deliver an adaptive format to the set-top box over the DOCSIS channel. It already happens in home gateways, where you can get some of the content from the Internet and other content from your cable provider. VOD is ideal because of the unicast nature of adaptive bitrate delivery. It is more challenging for live broadcast, where each channel becomes a session – the economics are not quite there yet.What are you planning to highlight at ANGA COM and what are your expectations of the show?

We’re excited about the upcoming ANGA COM show and the opportunity to highlight our latest ‘Multiscreen 2.0’ solutions. Last month we announced our second generation transcoding platform – VMG Gen 2 – and we know that European operators will be very impressed with the exceptional video quality that it delivers, as well as the flexibility and scalability that it offers to future-proof their networks. We will also highlight tools for monetizing multiscreen services, including next-generation ad insertion and nDVR solutions. Stop by and see us at stand #10.1/V18.last_img read more