CPI(M) alleges attack on leader during Tripura civic bypolls

first_imgThe Tripura CPI(M) alleged that its senior leader and former Finance Minister Bhanu Lal Saha and scores of party workers were attacked during the by-elections to vacant seats in nine municipal bodies in the State on Thursday. The party withdrew its candidates competing in four wards of Agartala Municipal Corporation alleging threats and intimidation. Supporters of the CPI(M), led by senior leaders Pabtra Kar and Manik Dey, staged a protest outside the State Election Commission office here claiming failure of administration in conducting free and fair bypolls. Mr. Kar complained that the Election Commission remained unmoved despite several complaints filed by them. By-elections were held in 67 seats under different municipal bodies, including the AMC. A total of 174 candidates from different parties are contesting the bypolls. The counting of votes will take place on Friday. The BJP denied the allegations of attacks and threats on political rivals anywhere. “The CPI(M) has lost the support of people, so they are putting false blame on us to find a route to escape the polls,” BJP State vice-president Ashish Saha said.The CPI(M) claimed seven of its supporters were injured in an attack by BJP workers at Salema in Unakoti district on Wednesday evening. The attack reportedly occurred after the CPI(M) reopened its office in the area.It said party leaders and cadres again came under attacks during the municipal bypolls on Thursday. Mr. Kar said the attacks took place in Agartala, Bishalgarh, Belonia and Santirbazar.last_img read more

San Beda barges into 12th straight Finals, ousts San Sebastian

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Volleyball star Denden Lazaro declines fan who attempts ‘akbay,’ stands up to ‘suplada’ comments QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Next The best-of-three championship series between Lyceum and San Beda begins on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.David paced San Sebastian with 16 points and seven rebounds, Ryan Costelo got 15 markers, three boards, and three assists, and Calisaan had 10 points and nine rebounds in the losing effort.The Golden Stags may have gone down but not without a fight, slicing the lead down to five, 67-62 with 5:02 remaining.Unfortunately, Justine Mercado and Costelo were both meted with unsportsmanlike fouls in a span of a minute and the momentum went back the Red Lions’ way, allowing them to bring the lead back to 10, 72-62, with 3:41 left to play.San Beda also made a living from the charity stripe, going 25-of-36 from the free throw line against San Sebastian’s 3-of-6.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 The Scores:SAN BEDA 76 – Mocon 23, Bolick 21, Tankoua 13, Soberano 9, Potts 6, Presbitero 4, Abuda 0, Cariño 0, Doliguez 0, Noah 0, Tongco 0.SAN SEBASTIAN 71 – David 16, Costelo 15, Calisaan 10, Capobres 7, Calma 6, Gayosa 6, Bulanadi 4, Navarro 3, Ilagan 2, Mercado 2, Baetiong 0, Valdez 0.Quarters: 26-11, 44-31, 57-51, 76-71. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9300:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gamescenter_img Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Beda powered its way to the NCAA Season 93 Finals with a 76-71 victory over San Sebastian in the stepladder semis Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena and book its ticket to its 12th straight Finals appearance.Javee Mocon pumped in 23 points, 22 rebounds, and five blocks, while Robert Bolick drained 21 points on a 5-of-8 shooting from threw, on top of four boards and four assists as the two carried the Red Lions to the championship series once again.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Showing no signs of rust from their 19-day layoff, the Red Lions started the game like a house on fire with a 10-2 opening blast and went on to establish an 18-point lead, 32-14, after Bolick and AC Soberano drilled back-to-back threes with 8:51 remaining in the second quarter.But the Golden Stags bounced back, relying on the duo of Michael Calisaan and Jayson David to inch closer and cut the deficit to as low as four, 52-48, late in the third.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHowever, San Beda’s poise prevailed in the end as Mocon and Bolick put on the finishing touches to claim the win.“19 days off is really tough. But I give full credit to my players. They sacrificed a lot in preparation for this game,” said coach Boyet Fernandez. “We lost against Lyceum and I know people have been doubting us, but the players believed in themselves. I gave them my trust and they gave me this day.” MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Sammy wins toss, elects to bat against India in 1st ODI

first_imgWest Indies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to bat against India in the first One-day International at Queen’s Park Oval here today.India have not included off-spinner R Ashwin, opting to go with leg-spinner Amit Mishra.West Indies have left out big-hitting Kieron Pollard and all-rounder Andre Russell.Teams:India: Suresh Raina (c), S Badrinath, Parthiv Patel, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel and Yusuf Pathan.West Indies: Darren Sammy (c), Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Marlon Samuels, Carlton Baugh, Devedra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Anthony Martin, and Ravi Rampaul.– With PTI inputslast_img

This is why Touch is excited about the new NRL women’s program

first_imgNRL CEO Todd Greenberg said that, for the first time, a Women’s Premiership will be held in 2018, featuring up to six teams aligned with NRL Clubs.Why is this a good thing for NRL Touch Football? It provides our female athletes with yet another pathway. Touch Football’s origins are in rugby league, and now, female Touch Footy players not only have the opportunity to play Touch Football at the top level – through the Elite 8, State of Origin, Trans Tasman, World Cup, etc – but also opportunities to play rugby league at the highest level if they wish.The NRL and Touch Football Australia formed a partnership back in 2013, and NRL Touch Football CEO Steve Mitchell is excited about the ever increasing opportunities for female Touch players with our partner sport.“We know that a lot of our Touchies have an interest in both our game and rugby league. Many of them follow both, some of them play both..We also know that some girls start out in Touch Football, eventually start playing rugby league, then return to Touch Football, since Touch is a lifetime sport that some play into their sixties and beyond.”There are so many former Touch Football players that play in the men’s NRL comp. And many World Cup-winning Jillaroos superstars – including Caitlin Moran, Maddie Studdon, Ali Brigginshaw, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Isabelle Kelly and Sam Bremner – either still participate in Touch Football or came through that pathway.Let’s hope we see plenty of Touch Footy athletes make it into the brand new NRL women’s program.In case you missed it, Mr Greenberg said the new NRL women’s program will feature:The Premiership, scheduled to be played as ‘double-headers’ in the lead up to and during NRL Finals matches;A stand-alone State of Origin match (formerly known as the Interstate Challenge) between New South Wales and Queensland, played during the NRL’s representative weekend in mid-June;State League competitions, with Grand Finals to be played as double-headers prior to Women In League Round matches;A National Championships Carnival and Talent Combine, congregating the best state talent on a national stage and providing a sequential pathway for female players to progress to the elite level;The Harvey Norman Jillaroos playing international matches in the Pacific and New Zealand;The Jillaroos competing in the Commonwealth Games Championship in Redcliffe, ahead of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games;In addition, Mr Greenberg said an initial 40 players would receive Jillaroos contracts, which would include payments for matches and participating in a series of high performance camps, as well as access to high performance staff and elite athlete training programs year-round. This month the NRL unveiled a new era in rugby league for women – a program of events covering everything from an NRL Women’s Premiership to a stand-alone State of Origin match and Jillaroos international matches.last_img read more

6 days agoAston Villa striker Wesley: Being father at 14 forced me to chase Euro career

first_imgAston Villa striker Wesley: Being father at 14 forced me to chase Euro careerby Paul Vegas6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa striker Wesley has spoken of becoming a father at the age of 14.The Brazilian signed for the midlands club in the summer in a £22.5 million transfer from Club Brugge”I had my first child when I was 14 years old,” Wesley told Sky Sports. “It was difficult because it was during this time that I started to try and play football professionally.”I had to work in the day and then go to training in the evening.”I was 14 when I had my first kid, and 16 when I had my second. When I had my children, I told myself I had to do everything to be a football player.”Despite having two children to care for, Wesley went for broke when he was 17, embarking on a six-month trip to Spain for a trial with Atletico Madrid. It proved unsuccessful, but Wesley hailed the experience as “amazing” before heading to France, and then eventually ending up back in Brazil working in a factory where reality began to hit.”I had to get money for my kids. I would go to a team and every team said no,” Wesley added, before revealing how he ended up with AC Trencin. “I went to six teams before going to Slovakia.”When I went to the sixth team, I thought I didn’t want to play football anymore. I thought it was finished for me. Then I got a chance.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Draymond Green Screams: “They Told Me I Can’t Play In This League” After Winning Title

first_imgDraymond Green celebrates a championship win.Draymond Green Michigan StateFormer Michigan State forward Draymond Green was certainly a force during his college days, but the Spartans star wasn’t looked at as one of the best players in the 2012 NBA Draft – mostly because teams couldn’t figure out what his natural position on the floor would be. Turns out most of those teams are now regretting passing on him. The Warriors star, who was eventually selected with the No. 35 overall pick, won a title last night after putting up a triple-double in game six of the NBA Finals. He’s one of the most versatile players in the NBA, too.After the game, Green, in celebration, was seen screaming to his mother “they told me I can’t play in this league.” It was a great redemption moment.Green is set to make some serious money this offseason. Apparently, he can play in this league.last_img read more

Koen Verwee vicepresident of marketing and produ

first_imgKoen Verwee, vice-president of marketing and products at Liberty Global-owned Swiss cable operator UPC Cablecom is to leave the company after three years. Verwee, who previously worked at Telenet, is to take up a new role in his home country of Belgium outside the telecom sector.UPC Cablecom is also merging its IT and network services businesses into a new technology business unit to reflect the convergence of network infrastructure and IT. The new unit will be haded by former vice-president of network services Alexander Lorenz, who is promoted to senior vice-president.last_img

Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners EdRIP h

first_imgEdmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP) has entered into exclusive negotiations about taking an equity stake in Thomson Video Networks.The private equity firm is in talks with Fonds de Consolidation & Développement des Entreprises (FCDE), a firm that specialises in growth capital investments and counts Thomson among its portfolio of companies.EdRIP is in talks about taking a stake in Thomson in partnership with the company’s management and said it is dedicated to minority investments in privately owned companies.“The proposed investment by EdRIP in partnership with the management team would mark a new milestone in our company’s history,” said Thomson Video Networks president, Christophe Delahousse, thanking FCDE for its “outstanding partnership.”“We would be delighted to work with this new partner to continue advancing state-of-the-art broadcast and multi-screen OTT services and driving the compression and video quality requirements of every device — today and tomorrow.”Thomson Video Networks offers video delivery solutions targeted at media companies, video service providers, and broadcasters.Sylvain Charignon, a partner at EdRIP, said: “Thomson Video Networks already occupies a solid position in the market, and we see strong potential for additional growth and opportunities in both current and new markets. The company would be an ideal addition to our portfolio as we continue to expand our strategy for sustained investment in global-growth enterprises.”FCDE partner, Amélie Brossier, added: “Thomson Video Networks is now poised to enter a new period of growth building on its innovative products, international reach and quality management.”last_img read more

As operators recognise the limitations of traditio

first_imgAs operators recognise the limitations of traditional in-home service provision we are starting to see a steady rise in cloud technology adoption. Adrian Pennington looks at the development of three key cloud TV applications.In order to match the heightened consumer expectation for TV everywhere, all service providers have cloud technologies on their roadmap. Rollout is hampered in many cases by existing investments in legacy on-premises equipment, copyright and legislative issues and some technical nuts that have yet to be cracked.The benefits, though, of a shift to the cloud are widely understood. As John Carlucci, president and chief technology officer, Alticast, says: “What’s important about cloud is how it helps operators to break free from the bounds of the set-top box and use DevOps models and ubiquitous IT tools like HTML5 and JavaScript for app development.”It’s also worth observing that cloud tech promises to revolutionise business models even further. “The next big step is providing events-based channels and disaster recovery capability and ultimately doing full linear playout of sophisticated channels in the cloud,” says James Gilbert, co-founder, Pixel Power. “In that light, cloud DVR and ad insertion are good tests of the infrastructure, but in terms of the future, the cloud is about much more.”Cloud DVRSome reflection of this shift in thinking is in the terminology which, in relation to DVR services, has shifted from RS-DVR to nDVR to cDVR. However, while cloud-based DVR is being deployed, “there’s no big bang shift in behaviour” according to Accedo’s EMEA vice-president Adam Nightingale.Accedo expect over 50% of cDVR penetration to have occurred by 2022, roughly the timeframe that Ericsson also forecasts. Parks Associates research predicts cDVR subscribers worldwide will total 24 million by 2018.Nokia, which recently took over Alcatel Lucent, says it has nine deployments for cDVR including Liberty Global, Telefónica, Numericable and Vodafone Portugal.South Korea’s KT Skylife is among those using software specialist Alticast’s solutions to deliver either cDVR or hybrid systems that leverage the set-top box and cloud. Spanish cable service provider Euskaltel meanwhile launched cDVR last year using a Nagra solution to offer a multiscreen service on legacy set-top boxes and OTT to connected devices.The upsides are numerous. For end users, content deployed in the cloud enables multiscreen access and recording of multiple simultaneous shows.  Without the limit of a 500GB hard disk, storage capacity is dynamically allocated. In addition, the relatively high failure rate of set-top disks and the consequent loss of personalised content can be mitigated. Customers can also retain recordings when they upgrade to new devices.For the service provider there are capital savings from using shared and scaleable storage, and theoretically fewer service issue call outs. Ericsson says a typical truck roll costs US$75 (E67) per subscriber. This was the main driver for the deployment of cDVR by operators such as Cablevision in the US and KPN in the Netherlands, it suggests. “Associated costs quickly add up given that approximately 5% of hard drives fail per year and new features and upgrades require hardware replacement,” says Itai Tomer, head of cloud DVR, Ericsson. “A centralised network is more reliable than distributed drives.”More importantly, cDVR delivers a greater degree of control over content for customer, service provider and advertiser alike.“A content provider can assign rules around which content can be recorded and for what period,” says Roland Mestric, Nokia’s head of video marketing. “Such data can be used by advertisers who can place relevant ads around content when it is actually watched. You can also ensure the ads aren’t skipped.”However, technical and licensing challenges are still hampering rapid advancement of this kind of service. Negotiated rights vary from programme to programme and country to country, with the pivotal issue being whether a unique copy is required for every subscriber. Each deployment has its own challenges and operators must ultimately decide between a private, shared, or hybrid architecture.“In the US for instance, the landmark [2008] Cablevision decision deemed a unique copy saved per user as the standard, although we are still seeing MSOs looking to redress that decision independently,” says Tomer. “In Europe it varies according to region with issues ranging from high costs [of deploying a private copy solution], to securing the rights to content and consolidating within a variety of regions with different regulations.”Matters are evolving, at least in some markets. For example, new legislation before the French Senate should provide a legal framework encouraging the deployment of cDVR solutions in France.Private copy deployments are extremely costly. Tomer says, “A private copy system requires a unique copy of a programme to be saved for every subscriber that requests it, meaning recordings cannot be shared. Each single, unique copy of the programme has to be saved for each user, which requires a huge, growing volume of storage, very high recording and playout concurrency and that can be problematic to sustain.”This plays into the three main technical challenges: scalability, flexibility and reliability. Regarding the first, says Mestric, “We need storage that can scale from a few TB to tens of petabytes. We need to ensure the platform can ramp from start to full deployment.”More flexibility in the system is vital to make sure the service is optimised based on service or use case requirements. “With cDVR you can deploy a number of end user services like live restart or catch-up,” says Mestric. “The characteristics of a system for live are, however, not the same as for VoD or catch-up, so based on the requirements of operators a system has to have the flexibility to be optimised. Moreover, if an operator starts with catch-up they need to be able to add full cDVR as it negotiates rights with content providers.” Platform robustness ensures consumers have access to content and don’t lose it. “If a hard disk fails it needs to be recovered very quickly. Performance and speed is the key criteria,” he says.At the network level the technology is now available from streaming and content delivery network vendors such as Harmonic or Edgeware, enabling robust solutions to be deployed. Of course, ‘cloud’ in cDVR doesn’t mean a ‘public’ cloud. “Operators are, for the most part, still skittish about public cloud due to concerns about security, quality of service, and control. So these cDVR deployments are happening on private clouds,” says Yuval Fisher, CTO, MVPD, Imagine Communications. “The general view is that a cloud is an infinitely scalable and fungible collection of resources. But the reality for cDVR is that this doesn’t scale. As a result, cDVR deployments require specialised clouds, and this is something the industry is just now digesting.”The verdict on cDVR is that it confers benefits to operators and users by enabling the delivery of content to multiple screens. “Rights holders are also starting to realise that cDVR actually offers new opportunities to monetise content with services that appeal to a new generation of multiscreen TV viewers that value convenience and flexibility more than any other market segment before,” says Simon Trudelle, senior director, product marketing, Nagra.However, says Tomer, “cDVR isn’t a trivial deployment and legal issues, storage concerns and performance requirements must be considered.”Cloud ad insertionAd insertion has long been seen as another central application of cloud technology. However, generally speaking, operators are yet to fully embrace the cloud to deliver ad insertion across live and on-demand services.According to Thinkbox, citing 2015 figures, linear still accounts for 81% of all TV broadcaster viewing in an advanced market like the UK.  As overall cloud-based on-demand TV consumption increases, the value in managing addressable ads delivered to personalised, connected screens will become more transparent to broadcasters, brand advertisers, and measurement firms.“The deployment of next generation fully connected set-top boxes, complemented by other screens, is clearly the enabler that will drive demand,” says Trudelle.While early adopters are beginning to implement ad insertion technologies, others are in wait and see mode. “It’s early days,” says Tomer. “One thing is clear: operators agree that changing viewing habits combined with OTT video and innovation in cDVR technology have changed the game for advertising.”The promise of cloud-based delivery in relation to advertising is that it can help enable a much more effective and deeper degree of targeting than has hitherto been possible.“The real value of the cloud here is targeting,” says Imagine’s Fisher. “A different way to look at this is that as advertising moves towards impression-based targeting, it is also moving toward software and cloud deployment as a natural evolution in how solutions are packaged.”Cloud enables scaling – the ability to utilise more ad insertion resources when needed, such as at prime time. This is “basically a cost saving feature” for Fisher. “So it’s not really a benefit as much as a mitigation of the extra cost associated with deploying full targeting capability. More important, new ad insertion mechanisms are based on software, and that brings significant operational simplicity.”Cloud ad insertion also overcomes key problems with ad blockers, so operators can increase revenue from ads, although it won’t totally eradicate blocking.“Generally the user experience is better with cloud ad insertions but probably the most important advantage is that an operator is in control of the ads, rather than having to rely on the platform owner,” says Accedo’s Nightingale.Whether server-side or client side, ad insertion is now well defined from a technology standpoint. Client side solutions include using one player to play the main content while a second is used to play ads. Nightingale says this solution “permits the app to initialise the players ahead of playing the content and then switches players [brings a player to the foreground] when required.” He says the customer doesn’t see any buffering or delays between the main content and ads. “This solution generally works well but it does require a lot more memory on the client device.”Alternatively, client-stitching applications make use of one player, and while playing either the ad or the main content, are able to buffer the other content for the next item ready to be played when required. “No buffering is seen by the customer and the UX is seamless,” he says. The player can also be given a playlist of assets that play sequentially one after another.Dynamic stream stitching, sometimes called manifest manipulation, is performed on the server side and requires very little customisation of the client side player.Nightingale says: “The client tells the server what content the customer wants to play and any ad requirements and the server makes the calls to the ad server. The ads are stitched into the main content and delivered to the client.”While cloud ad insertion requires greater pre-processing of ad content in terms of the use of adaptive bit-rate, video quality, sound codecs and so on, the challenge service providers face is often more on the business front.“With the exception of the US market, where MVPDs actively manage some of the advertising space on behalf of broadcast networks, demand for addressable ad insertion remains low as the ad space is managed by broadcasters,” says Trudelle.For scenarios where set-top box connectivity and interactivity are not guaranteed or are limited to a subset of the subscriber base, the cloud may not achieve value in the short-term.“It really means that service providers should have a plan to go ‘fully connected’ before envisioning deploying cloud ad insertion,” says Tomer.  “Those who can move fast will clearly reap the benefits of this new technology.”Cloud TV UXTransplanting user experiences to the cloud offer many of the same advantages to operators, notably the ability to change the UX rapidly and at scale, rather than rewriting UXs for every make and model of set-top box, and enabling an operator to tailor personalised UIs.“The always-on nature of the cable network enables the cloud to be harnessed so that operators can deliver advanced user experiences – such as Millennial navigation, kids’ modes and sports zones – that are not capable of being supported by the set-top box alone,” says Alticast’s Carlucci. “Since UXs no longer need to be resident on the set-top box, operators – and customers – can have an infinite number of UX variations.”With Accedo AppGrid, users can update applications in real-time across platforms and control it per user, country or time of day without redeploying and submitting applications. “Being cloud-based means providers can easily engage with viewers, for example through in-app notifications,” says Nightingale.UXs delivered as streams to every set-top box enable operators efficiently to deploy services “that are equal to – or better than – experiences that run on the box itself,” says Murali Nemani, CMO, product management and marketing, ActiveVideo.There are a number of instances illustrating how Cloud UIs can bring a diversity of advanced UXs to existing set-top boxes: VoD and catch-up services with Ziggo in the Netherlands; trend-driven UIs with multiple tiles of live video on single tuner set-tops with Liberty Puerto Rico; and the complete YouTube experience to upwards of 500,000 existing STBs at UPC Hungary – all of which are ActiveVideo deployments. Similar innovation is taking place in the US, where Cablevision was the first to make the full Hulu experience available on all its current-generation boxes.Cloud-based and set-top strategies are not mutually exclusive. “You’ll see the industry continue to use the cloud to deliver TV UXs even as boxes become more capable,” says Carlucci. “We will leverage what the improved STB can do but we also will continue to see the cloud and the network evolve.”There’s a similar strategy at ActiveVideo which offers GuideCast and StreamCast products to ensure that next-generation services can be delivered at scale to set-top boxes already in customer homes, as well as to new devices coming to market.“Some [operators] are streaming the entire UX from the cloud; some are using cloud resources to complement a next-gen device strategy,” says Nemani.US cable company Charter has moved to stream its entire UX from the cloud beginning with its Spectrum Guide. Tom Rutledge, Charter president and CEO, speaking at CES last year, said: “We’re taking the intelligence out of the box and putting it into the network and making the box a thin client box so that the processing power of the box is no longer a relevant issue; the processing power moves to the network. That’s a breakthrough.”Craig Moffett, partner and senior analyst at MoffettNathanson Research, estimates that Charter will spend US$2 billion (e1.8 billion) over five years for its cloud-based guide build compared to US$8.4 billion for IP-enabled boxes – a 77% capex saving.However, some industry participants express caution. While agreeing that cloud UXs can tap “virtually unlimited back-office CPU power” Nagra believes this is “driving the industry to a position of compromise” because the functionality of a native UI/UX “cannot be replicated with today’s cloud UI offering.”Anthony Smith-Chaigneau, senior director, product marketing at Nagra, says: “Cloud UX deployment has its share of technology challenges. These include the latency of the remote control, as each action of the remote has to be transmitted to the cloud for processing. If network resources are limited it is difficult to anticipate the actual load of the network. This is the case in particular for live/linear services where each video stream is unicast.” There’s a real question about the simplicity of the set-top/CPE client, he suggests. “Both video and audio still need to be decoded, taking into account the numerous compression and transport formats, this requires a variety of computing power requirements.” Smith-Chaigneau also asks how providers like Netflix or YouTube will react to being “proxied” by a cloud infrastructure. Currently they have their UI implemented in the client device.“Ironically TV everywhere is addressing laptops, smartphones and tablets that have enormous computing power,” he says. “So with a cloud UI-UX are we just talking about the issue of ‘incapable’ set-top boxes/CPEs in the field? Is that the problem that we are addressing with this solution?” He answers his own question: “It may well be that the cloud UX is the solution for small and medium operators that want to deploy advanced services and an advanced UX without having to bear the cost of implementing a middleware in the client set-top box/CPE. It could at least support a middleware that provides mainly the video and audio rendering without a PVR, video gateway or home network. Network bandwidth still remains a challenge, but there might be fewer problems as these operators have to serve smaller number of clients.”last_img read more

Cereset technology reduces symptoms of militaryrelated traumatic stress study shows

first_img Source:https://cereset.com/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 26 2018A new clinical study conducted by Wake Forest School of Medicine shows that use of a new non-invasive technology from the creators of Cereset not only reduces symptoms of military-related traumatic stress but also improves brain function.Cereset® is the global technology leader in brain self-restoration and optimization with franchise facilities across the United States. The clinical study, conducted by the Department of Neurology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina used Cereset’s underlying HIRREM® technology. Study participants showed significantly different network connectivity on MRI brain scans after using HIRREM. This was in addition to previously reported significant reductions in symptoms of post-traumatic stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety, with reduced symptoms lasting at least 6-months.This is the first study using functional MRI (fMRI) brain imagery to demonstrate such changes with use of a noninvasive intervention for PTSD, which also reduced symptoms, and showed benefits persisting for six months. The full clinical investigative study was published in the Journal of Neuroimaging on October 10, 2018.Led by Dr. Charles H. Tegeler, McKinney-Avant Professor of Neurology, of Wake Forest School of Medicine, the study was conducted over a 12-day period with active duty and veteran U.S. military personnel with symptoms of post-traumatic stress.”Post-traumatic stress disorder affects millions of individuals around the world, not just the military participants studied in this clinical trial,” said Dr. Charles Tegeler, Neurologist at Wake Forest School of Medicine and lead researcher and co-author of this paper. “After a 12-day process, fMRI scans of the brain showed significant changes in connectivity that are consistent with the observed reduction in PTSD symptoms. The fact that this technology is non-invasive, is a non-pharmacological intervention, and does not require that the recipients ‘do anything’ other than let the brain repair itself, is very exciting.”Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceCereset’s patented BrainEcho™ technology uses sensors to detect brain rhythms and proprietary algorithms that correlate those rhythms with musical tones played back to the client. The brain hears itself then naturally rebalances and repairs itself without outside intervention, stimulus or medication.”There have been several studies in the past proving the benefits of Cereset’s technology and its promoting more restful sleep, but this is the most conclusive study to date related to PTSD and our military,” said Lee Gerdes, Founder of Cereset and creator of the HIRREM technology. “Not only did symptoms improve, and the brain scans change significantly after Cereset, the benefits persisted for six months following Cereset. Over the past 15 years, more than 130,000 people have used our technology to reduce stress and improve restful sleep. I’m thrilled that this new study further validates the technology as safe and effective, exposing it to even more people seeking natural, non-pharmaceutical solutions.”last_img read more

Virus killing protein could be the real antiviral hero finds study

first_imgSingle strand ribonucleic acid, 3d illustration – Credit: nobeastsofierce / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 9 2019Researchers have identified a protein that can kill viruses and it forms the missing clue to the natural antiviral mechanism of the body that can target the viruses based on their genetic patterns. This newly identified protein is called KHNYN.The results of the new study from the researchers at the King’s College and University College, London, have been published in the journal eLife. The study is titled, “KHNYN is essential for the zinc-finger antiviral protein to restrict HIV-1 containing clustered CpG dinucleotides.”The team of researchers explain that antiviral mechanisms of the body are a vital area of study because it can help develop not only vaccines against these viruses but also drugs to treat them as well as anticancer drugs. They discovered that the genetic basis of a virus particle is its RNA. They have earlier found that a protein called ZAP (Zinc finger activated protein) can bind to special place on the RNA nucleotides of the virus and the protein is often sandwiched between a cytosine and a guanosine amino acid (CpG). Inhibition of a viruses by ZAP depends on the number of CpG on its RNA. There has been research to show that the HIV1 virus has fewer CpG in its genome. This helps the virus escape the ZAP. The team explained that presence of the number of CpG on the HIV1 viruses determined how fast and effectively the virus would multiply. When the team could successfully insert a few CpGs in its genomic sequence, ZAP could easily finish off the HIV1 viruses, the researchers explained. The next question was how to make the ZAP break down the RNA of the virus all on its own.First author of this study, Mattia Ficarelli, a PhD student in Chad Swanson’s Lab, Department of Infectious Diseases, King’s College London, said, “As ZAP can’t degrade RNA on its own, we believed that it must recruit other proteins to the viral RNA to destroy it. So, in the current study, we set out to identify new human proteins that are essential for ZAP to target viral RNAs for destruction.”Related StoriesRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalSorting protein in neurons protects against neurodegenerative disordersScientists discover hundreds of protein-pairs through coevolution studyAs a result of their investigation, the team came up with KHNYN protein that interacts with ZAP. They increased the amount of this newly found protein in the cells that had been infected with HIV1 virus with smaller number of CpGs. As a comparison they also took cells infected with HIV1 that was genetically engineered to contain more number of CpGs. Results revealed that when the HIV1 had fewer CpGs, their ability to multiply was more and addition of KHNYN reduced this ability by five times. On the other hand the capability of multiplication of genetically engineered HIV1 with more CpG was reduced by up to 400 times by the addition of KHNYN.To further their experiment the team then looked at the collaboration between ZAP and KHNYN. They tool cells without ZAP and infected them with HIV1. Addition of the protein KHNYN to these cells failed to kill them effectively despite the fact that the HIV1 viruses in the cells were rich in CpG (a factor that made them more susceptible to ZAP inhibition). On the other hand they took cells infected with HIV and a mouse leukemia virus with many CpGs in them and removed KHNYN from them. Results showed that the ZAP was unable to kill these viruses.Thus both sets of experiments proved that both ZAP and KHNYN were working in tandem to kill the virus particles and further virus particles with more CpGs were more susceptible to these virus killing mechanisms.Professor Stuart Neil, Department of Infectious Diseases, King’s College London, and correspondent author of the study said, “We have identified that KHNYN is required for ZAP to prevent HIV from multiplying when it is enriched for CpGs.” He explained that this newly found protein KHNYN was mostly likely to be an enzyme that helps to cut up the virus RNA after ZAP is bound to it.Lead author lecturer Chad Swanson, from the Department of Infectious Diseases, King’s College London added, “An interesting potential application of this work is to make new vaccines or treat cancer. Since some cancer cells have low levels of ZAP, it may be possible to develop CpG-enriched, cancer-killing viruses that would not harm healthy cells. But much more research is necessary to learn more about how ZAP and KHNYN recognise and destroy viral RNA before we can move on to explore such applications.” Journal reference:Mattia Ficarelli, Harry Wilson, Rui Pedro Galão, Michela Mazzon, Irati Antzin-Anduetza, Mark Marsh, Stuart JD Neil, Chad M Swanson, ‘KHNYN is essential for the zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP) to restrict HIV-1 containing clustered CpG dinucleotides’, eLife 2019;8:e46767 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.46767, https://elifesciences.org/articles/46767last_img read more

New network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks

first_imgCYSHCNet has relationships with Family Voices, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), American Academy of Pediatrics (APA), state Medicaid programs, and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), as well as research networks working in other areas of child and adolescent health. These stakeholders and others have collaborated to create a national research agenda for CYSHCN, which will be published later this year. In collaboration with CHA, the network hosts teams working on secondary database projects related to important health system topics for CYSHCN, including emergency and urgent care, transition to adulthood, disability and Social Security Income, multimorbidity, neonatal care, post-acute care, and chronic medication use.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationResearchers develop new technique to accurately detect ASD in childrenWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenThe first of these secondary database projects, led by Dr. James Feinstein (University of Colorado) and Dr. Berry, focusing on opioid exposure in CYSHCN, has been published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Study findings will heighten parental and clinician awareness about choosing whether to prescribe opioids to CYSHCN and, if so, when and how follow-up should occur. Findings will also inform opioid prescribing guidelines and policies for CYSHCN at the hospital and governmental levels such as Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees to ensure the safety of opioid use in CYSHCN. A second completed study on polypharmacy in CYSHCN has also recently been published in the Journal of Pediatrics.”The secondary data and analytics core of the network is thriving,” said Dr. Berry. “Over time, the core will fuel a portfolio of impactful health systems research on CYSHCN.”Prospective network projects underway include assessing factors that boost parents’ confidence in caring for their children during times of stress; models of collaboration between academic medical centers and community clinicians for children with medical complexity; and a peer mentoring program to help youth with special health care needs transition from pediatric to adult health care. Source:Children’s Hospital Colorado We are very proud to lead the new network. It will be a ‘big tent’ for child health research across the United States, where researchers practice, and policy groups, and patient and family groups can work together. We are kicking it off with 11 major institutions and partners, and eventually will include even more. The more diversity in the network, the better information we will get to help improve health care for children with special needs throughout the country.”Christopher Stille, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 12 2019A new research network for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCNet), led by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Boston Children’s Hospital, will lead, promote and coordinate national research activities to improve their systems of care.Funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the 11-site research network will lead, coordinate and promote health systems research for CYSHCN. The network’s work will strengthen the base of evidence related to key components of a comprehensive, high-quality system of care for CYSHCN. It will respond to a need among CYSHCN and their families for evidence about how best to deliver and coordinate care for their conditions.The new network is led by Christopher Stille, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado; Jay Berry, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital; and Charlene Shelton, RN, PhD, program manager at the University of Colorado Denver.last_img read more

Germany okays classaction suits before diesel deadline

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further The German government on Wednesday approved a draft law allowing US-style class action lawsuits, opening the door for drivers to seek compensation over Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scam before the case expires. Citation: Germany okays class-action suits before diesel deadline (2018, May 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-germany-okays-class-action-diesel-deadline.html Volkswagen in UK court over ‘dieselgate’ © 2018 AFP Justice Minister Katarina Barley said she expected the law, which still needs to be approved by parliament, to take effect on November 1—just ahead of the year-end statute of limitations for claims against German car giant VW.”There are estimates that some two million diesel owners could benefit from this,” Barley said.Very common in the United States, class action lawsuits allow large numbers of plaintiffs with a similar complaint to sue a defending party together, sparing them the time and cost of arguing their cases individually.In one of the largest class-action settlements to date, Volkswagen in 2016 agreed to pay out some $10 billion in buybacks and compensation to 475,000 US car owners after it admitted to equipping millions of vehicles worldwide with software designed to dupe pollution tests.The massive payout angered drivers in Europe where far more cars were rigged but who have so far only been offered software updates.German driver Beate Berger, whose VW Tiguan has had engine problems since the software fix, said she wanted justice.”We want to join a class action suit and hope that we finally get at least some compensation for the problems we’ve had with this car,” she told public broadcaster ZDF’s morning talk show.The head of Germany’s VZBV Federation of Consumer Organisations, Klaus Mueller, called the government’s draft law “a milestone for consumer protection”, arguing that it wasn’t feasible for each driver to take on VW alone.The German version of a class-action suit comes with several hurdles however.Under the draft law, claims may only be filed by established consumer protection groups representing a minimum of 50 plaintiffs.If the case is deemed admissable, a judge would rule on whether damages should be awarded, without determining the amount.It would then fall to each plaintiff individually to agree on a compensation figure with the defendant, a step critics say still makes the process too complicated.Almost three years after the “dieselgate” scandal erupted, the Volkswagen group remains mired in legal woes around the world.Over 50,000 British drivers started a collective lawsuit against the car giant in March, while a class action lawsuit is also under way in Australia. The change will make it easier for German VW owners to seek compensation read more

Green energy is the future according to new report

first_img The National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) is the first long term view of the UK’s infrastructure needs, and is underpinned by analysis produced by a consortium of the UK’s leading universities, including Oxford University, who led on the work.The report calls for a more joined up view of infrastructure, with significant investments to tackle road congestion, deal with water shortages and provide secure low-carbon energy supplies. It proposes ways of promoting greater innovation, for example through the roll-out of 5G mobile services and the uptake of autonomous vehicles.The move to renewables has long been framed to be an expensive one, however, the report highlights renewable energy as being a “golden opportunity” to make the UK greener and make energy in general more affordable.The academic research that informed the report’s development includes advanced modelling and analysis which scenarios of the future. This adopted methodology has been proposed by the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, a consortium of seven of the UK’s leading universities, led from the University of Oxford. The ITRC has developed the UK’s first National Infrastructure Model (NISMOD) which was used by the National Infrastructure Commission to conduct the National Infrastructure Assessment.NISMOD was used to model the changing demand for infrastructure services, including energy and water. The NIC used NISMOD to explore options for provision of secure water supplies in the face of growing water use and uncertain climatic changes. The NISMOD analysis demonstrated that secure water supplies can be provided in future, but doing so requires action to reduce leakage and manage water demand, as well as investment in strategic water supply infrastructure, including pipes and canals to transfer water around the country.Prof Jim Hall, who leads the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium and is Director, Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, said: ‘We are very pleased to see the models that we have developed being taken up by the National Infrastructure Commission to conduct the National Infrastructure Assessment. NISMOD has taken us several years to develop, but it now provides a unique capability to simulate Britain’s national infrastructure in the future and to inform the difficult choices that the National Infrastructure Commission is having to make.’The report calls on government ministers to set out a low-carbon route for the economy after previous reports from the Committee on Climate Change warned that it is set to miss its climate targets, despite multi-billion pound efforts to clean up the power sector.It also cautions that low-cost renewables will only be possible if the right decisions are taken now by government, such as continuing to invest in wind and solar resources, ramping up efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the U.K.’s buildings and enabling a rapid switch to electric vehicles. Citation: Green energy is the future, according to new report (2018, July 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-green-energy-future.html Postponing Day Zero: Investment in water efficiency will keep taps running Explore further Provided by University of Oxfordcenter_img The UK should seize a ‘golden opportunity’ to move away from fossil fuels, towards cheaper, greener energy sources, according to a new report, published by the National Infrastructure Commission. The UK should move away from fossil fuels, towards cheaper, greener energy sources, according to report launched this week, published by the National Infrastructure Commission. Credit: Shutterstock This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Azman We dont pay too much for maintenance

first_img {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related News PLUS in 2017 had a revenue of RM3.8bil and generated an operating cashflow of RM2.6bil. After paying for its operations and debt-holders, it still had RM800mil cash to distribute to shareholders.What the takeover proposals also talk about, according to reports, is the maintenance fees that PLUS spends to keep the NSE in prime condition. There have been suggestions that PLUS pays too much to keep its highways running in proper condition, but that, according to Datuk Azman Ismail (pic), PLUS Malaysia’s managing director and chief executive officer, is a fallacy.“We do benchmarking and have looked at where we are in terms of domestic peers and we found ourselves, on average, to be within the domestic peers in terms of millions per km. “We are at RM1.3mil per km and our domestic average is on that number as well,” he tells StarBizWeek in an interview.The emphasis on maintenance is also important, as road safety is of paramount importance to the highway operator. Azman says that its upkeep of the highways is to ensure that accidents among road users is kept low. “For PLUS, we have one of the lowest road accident rates per 100,000km travelled.”What Azman says is that the scope of work for PLUS is large in order to maintain the highway.PLUS Malaysia maintains about 1,170km of roads, more than 8,300 slopes, two major tunnels, 741 bridges (including the link to Singapore) and over 6,000 culverts. It does over 10,000 slope inspections on an annual basis. “That is the kind of dimension we are talking about. Some of our roads are built over swamp land and peat soil, which means in terms of pavement condition, it has to be looked at,” he says. The annual budget for pavement maintenance is RM300mil.The toll compensation is something PLUS has to deal with and it is audited. There is, however, a one-year delay before it receives compensation from the government to keep toll rates static.Toll charges have not gone up for the past 14 years since 2015 and to maintain the same toll rate continuously over the next five years is a tall order for PLUS.Its principal repayment of the Islamic sukuk is going to increase substantially in the next couple of years, while its operating and maintenance cost is constantly rising.The toll collection is substantially spent for loan repayments, operations and maintenance, and continuous upgrading and improvement of facilities at its highways.In terms of breakdown, 36% of toll collection is used for operations and maintenance, 7% for new interchanges, upgrading and widening works, and capex, 47% for loan repayments and 10% for distribution to shareholders.Streamlining toll ratesWith maintenance cost an ongoing issue when it comes to the NSE, sources say the government is looking at compelling all highway concessionaires to put up a competitive tender for the maintenance of the highways.Sources say this is part of the initiatives taken to streamline toll rates among concessionaires, as the bulk of their cost comes from maintaining the highways.According to a source, the initiative is headed by the Finance Ministry that indirectly controls PLUS Expressways, which is the biggest concessionaire in the country.PLUS is owned by UEM Group and the EPF. UEM Group, in turn, is controlled by Khazanah Nasional Bhd that is under the ambit of the Finance Ministry.Another ministry that is also looking at streamlining and reducing toll rates is the Works Ministry under Baru Bian.In respect to the toll rates, the Malaysian Highway Authority has been collecting data on the maintenance cost incurred by concessionaires for their toll highways.The cost differs between a normal highway and an elevated structure. The cost is higher for a highway that is built on an elevated structure compared with a normal highway. An elevated structure includes the cost of maintaining the pillars that the highway is constructed on.As for the normal highway, the cost is mainly on resurfacing the pavement and building and maintaining the rest areas. The more rest areas a highway has, the higher the cost will be. According to an industry player, the cost for maintaining the pavement for a normal highway is about RM600,000 per km per annum, while the amount is almost double for an elevated highway.The other cost incurred are for items such as cutting the grass and maintaining the facilities at the rest areas.“At the moment, almost all the concessionaires undertake the maintenance cost themselves. There are hardly any competitive tenders for the maintenance work. If there is better transparency in the award of the work, the toll rates can be brought down,” says the official.Dealing with concerns For Azman, he is not resting on what PLUS is doing with its highways. The company is looking at using newer and cheaper materials on maintenance while not sacrificing on quality.“We want our (cost) benchmark to go even lower than our domestic peers,” he says.“This is an efficiency cycle we are always on in terms of operation as well as maintenance.“The cost goes up and today, if you don’t find other materials, it is going to go up.”Another hurdle for PLUS is when the West Coast Expressway (WCE) opens up. It is a highway that is closer to the west coast of the peninsula but runs parallel to the NSE.PLUS feels that with the opening of WCE, road users will have more choices in terms of road networks (toll and non-toll roads) to choose from. These are complementary factors that would enhance the value proposition of a road network vs an alternative mode of transport. Azman feels that while traffic volume on PLUS will be affected by 5%, the company welcomes the WCE, as it provides Malaysians who are more inclined to travel along their coastal destinations a choice that befits their needs.The overall impact on the reduction of traffic volume is less than 5% because road users who travel by car from Kuala Kangsar to Tanjung Malim will still take the NSE.Digital transformationTraveling by road allows road users to do discretionary travel, which does not need to book flight or train tickets or are compelled to follow scheduled time journey as offered by the public transport system. From studies conducted by PLUS, there will be some loss in revenue for the company when WCE starts to be fully operational. Most notably from the heavy vehicle segment, as the WCE is built on flatter coastal land which can contribute to lesser fuel consumption for heavy vehicles. Similarly, with the present public transportation choices of the ETS, for example, those who wish not to drive can do so, says PLUS.“We also see an impact when a competing infrastructure scheme is opened to the public, such as the Guthrie Corridor Expressway and LEKAS, as well as other rail transportation systems like the ETS and MRT. When there is a parallel infrastructure development to the highway corridor, the demand will react for or against it, depending on the scheme that will give the better value of time and value of money to the people,” says PLUS.Simultaneously, PLUS says it is already taking the initiatives to compete with the emergence of new highways and fulfill today’s customer expectations by embarking on digital transformation and elevating customer’s experience.PLUS is embarking on its digital transformation via a partnership with Microsoft (Malaysia) to integrate Microsoft’s Azure cloud system into its highway toll, and leverage on Microsoft’s future-ready technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics. The challenge is the will to invest in creating the data for better visibility of the future, says PLUS.It has also embarked on its digital transformation journey. Digitalisation is always the very first step before it can leap over to IR4.0. PLUS says it is currently leveraging on technology, especially on data and AI, to improve operational efficiency and strategic planning.Click here for related stories:PLUS turns to new technology to help its traffic controllersLeave PLUS alone!Related story:PLUS turns to new technology to help its traffic controllers Corporate News Tags / Keywords: Paramount importance: Traffic is smooth along North-South Expressway near Ipoh. PLUS says road safety is of paramount importance. The North-South Expressway (NSE) is an undoubted jewel in corporate Malaysia. Since construction started in the 1980s, the continued expansion of the NSE has seen its reach expand, and in the process, its toll collection balloon.The highway was a centrepiece for the Renong Group, where its financial muscle was used to buffer the sustainability concerns of its then-parent. Its huge free cashflow also subjected it to takeover proposals until it was finally bought up by UEM Group Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in 2012 in what was the largest corporate deal in Malaysia.The lucrativeness of the NSE and its parent company – PLUS Malaysia Bhd – has not stopped prying eyes envious of its cashflow, and now, there are moves to buy over the lucrative highway.But what is the attraction of PLUS? Related News Nation 28 Apr 2019 More eyes on the road soon Nation 16 May 2019 11 more Awas cameras for North-South Expressway Nation 09 Jul 2019 LGE: Proposed takeover of four highways will see motorists paying less for tolllast_img read more