Posted by LONDON — Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise review site and online cruise community, has announced the winners of the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. The awards name the best cruise destinations of the year – across 15 regions around the world – based entirely on reviews posted to the Cruise Critic website.Popular ports include the Caribbean’s St. Maarten, which receives visits from lines including P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, and Alaska’s Glacier Bay which is visited by a number of cruise lines including Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line.For the British Isles and Western Europe awards, Amsterdam, which sees calls from the likes of Regent Seven Seas and Azamara Club Cruises was rated top, while Cork’s Cobh and Glasgow’s Greenock ranked second and third respectively.UK travellers rated Baltic destinations in their top three, with Stockholm first, followed by Tallinn and Copenhagen.Here’s a list of First Place Cruise Destinations:More news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedTop-Rated British Isles and Western Europe Port: AmsterdamTop-Rated Alaska Port: Glacier BayTop-Rated Asia & South Pacific Port: Mystery IslandTop-Rated Australia & New Zealand Port: SydneyTop-Rated Private Islands Port: Castaway CayTop-Rated Baltic & Scandinavia Port: St. PetersburgTop-Rated Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda Port: St. MaartenTop-Rated Southern Caribbean Port: BonaireTop-Rated Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya Port: CozumelTop-Rated Eastern Mediterranean Port: VeniceTop Rated European River Port: ParisTop Rated Western Mediterranean Port: BarcelonaTop-Rated Hawaii Port: KauaiTop-Rated Mexican Riviera & South America Port: Puerto VallartaTop-Rated US & Canada Port: San FranciscoFor the full list of winners, go to cruisecritic.co.uk/memberreviews/destination-awards/. Wednesday, September 14, 2016 What are the world’s top cruise destinations? Cruise Critic says Amsterdam, St. Maarten & more << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Michael Smith
Lawmaker, AG’s office to present onphone and mail scams, identity theftState Rep. Jason Sheppard invites residents to join him this month and next for two informative Senior Brigade presentations.“Personal scams are a blight on our community and across the state, but we can help protect ourselves by getting the facts and knowing how to recognize criminal activity in our lives,” Rep. Sheppard, R-Temperance, said. “I’ll be visiting local community centers to share critical information about how you and your loved ones can defend against phone and mail scams, as well as identity theft.”The first Senior Brigade will cover phone and mail scams at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 22, at the Bedford Community Education and Senior Center, located at 1623 W. Sterns Road in Temperance. The presentation will coincide with lunch.The second Senior Brigade will cover identity theft scams at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 6, at the Monroe Center for Healthy Aging, located at 15275 S. Dixie Hwy. in Monroe.The southeast Michigan legislator will join a representative from the Attorney General’s office for both presentations, which will run approximately 45 minutes each. For those unable to attend, helpful handouts from the presentations are available online at MI.gov/SeniorBrigade.Questions may be directed to Rep. Sheppard’s legislative office at any time by phone at 517-373-2617, by email at JasonSheppard@house.mi.gov and online at RepJasonSheppard.com. 15May Rep. Sheppard hosts Senior Brigades to inform local residents Categories: Sheppard News
Categories: LaFave News State Rep. Beau LaFave joined the Michigan House of Representatives Wednesday in approving legislation encouraging Michigan counties to establish and maintain veteran service offices through a new grant program.Under the legislation LaFave is helping sponsor, each county with a veteran service office that satisfies pre-approved requirements will receive $25,000, plus an additional amount based on the number of veterans in the county. To continue receiving the grant, an established county veteran service office must meet benchmarks for staff performance and reporting while maintaining the previous year’s funding level.“There are many veterans in the Upper Peninsula who have to drive to an outside county to see an accredited Veteran Service Officer and there are many others who are not even aware of the services available in their county’s veteran services department,” said LaFave of Iron Mountain. “I cannot stress enough how vital this grant is for local veterans. We need to improve access to these services for all our heroes residing in the rural areas across the state.”Depending on the county, a Veteran Service Officer may only be available for a few hours each month at a single location. There are 11 Michigan counties currently without a county veteran services department. LaFave said this could be due to a number of issues – including lack of funding – and how this legislation will address the stagnant funds occurring in all parts of the state.House Bill 5536 now advances to the Senate for further consideration. 15Mar LaFave votes to invest in local veteran services
Legislator testifies in support of planState Rep. Greg Markkanen today testified before the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee in support of his plan to expand scholarship opportunities for students who have been in foster care. Markannen’s plan would add students attending a skilled trades institution to the list of those eligible for the scholarship.Currently, Michigan students must attend a university, four-year college or a community college at least half the time to be eligible for the Fostering Future Scholarship.“As a former teacher, I know all students should have the opportunity to succeed. Giving students another option to pursue a career in the skilled trades will help them build a brighter future,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “This plan gives foster care youth the resources to help support themselves and helps those that need it most.”The Fostering Future Scholarship provides eligible foster youth with funds for tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies required for enrollment.House Bill 4406 remains under consideration by the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee.#### 15May Rep. Markkanen: Foster care students pursuing skilled trades to receive help Categories: Markkanen News
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 12, 2014;Pew ResearchIn October, the Pew Research Center released a report about political coverage in social media; specifically, the venerable nonpartisan self-styled “fact tank” pitted the short-form Twitter against the relatively encyclopedic and perpetual scroll of dog-skateboarding videos, personal activities, and political potshots called Facebook.Pew presented the tale of the tape of the frequency of political information that users of both platforms see in their respective feeds. At the outset, keep in mind that it was Twitter, not Facebook or a neutral media outlet, which posted the revealing bar graph and article discussing the Pew Center report, so it is prudent to acknowledge the subjectivity of the packaging of the statistical comparisons.And lest anyone think that Facebook and Twitter are fertile loam for democracy through diversity of opinion and free expression, Pew Research Center again found that “a spiral of silence” chokes off debate on the Internet, including popular social media; The Hartford Courantwrote in the beginning of September about a joint study of Pew and Rutgers University, which concluded that “social media tools may actually depress debate about public affairs and limit the diversity of opinion that is often thought to thrive on Internet forums.” This could be due to the relative anonymity and amateurism of social media discussion regarding matters of public interest, but regardless, the study’s findings buck the conventional wisdom. The Pew Facebook-Twitter study itself reveals that nearly half—48 percent—of adult web surfers consult Facebook for their news on a weekly basis. (That’s a population—often including this writer—the equivalent of Texas, California and Florida combined.) Facebook towers over Twitter audience-wise, drawing in 77 percent of Internet users to Twitter’s 22 percent, or a 350-percent greater base of total followers. So, in raw numbers at least, Facebook has more political activity.As you can see from the bar graph, though, Twitter wins the battle for wonky followers proportionally: 24 percent of Twitter users say that political posts comprise half or more of all the posts they see, compared to 19 percent of their Facebook counterparts. When asked if they see any political content at all, the scale tilts towards Facebook, with 86 percent of users responding in the affirmative, to 77 percent of Twitter practitioners.The statistical significance of these close variants is debatable and may not be rooted in any difference in the dispositions of users of both major services. Facebook may focus on a broader spectrum of social content, and its algorithms may differ enough from Twitter’s to skew the frequency of political posts. And neither service is likely to shed any light on this discussion and risk disclosure of trade secrets and revelation of their proprietary mathematical formulas.The closeness of the numbers is not surprising, as Pew reported in a summer 2013 Internet tracking survey that while only 22 percent of Facebook users also enjoy the rapid-fire experience of Twitter, a full 90 percent of Twitter users admit to using Facebook on a regular basis. Social media matrix: User overlap between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin (http://t.co/VC2eVPPLMK) pic.twitter.com/BpV9hciTh4— Sean Gardner (@2morrowknight) December 31, 2013 So just because a Facebook user may quack, it doesn’t mean she’s a Twitter fan, but most likely a Twitternik enjoys all those pipelining dogs and looks to Facebook as well to see whether a friend of a friend of a friend brushed their teeth last night. In all seriousness, though, the most salient number is that first figure—that 48% of adult websurfers get their news at least in part from their Facebook feeds. It seems likely that, as with others who get their red- or blue-state fix from Twitter, much more than half of connected adults lack the patience for traditional, longer-form news sources or, for whatever reason, trust memes and 140-character exposés as a reliable source of information. So anyone who made it to the end of this newswire is in the minority. Kudos.—Louis Altman ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share18TweetShareEmail18 SharesOctober 8, 2015; Cleveland Plain DealerIn the first of eight planned blessings at abortion clinics in Ohio, an interfaith group of clergy assembled on Thursday of last week to show solidarity for the staff and patients of the Preterm abortion clinic in Cleveland’s East Side. Fifteen rabbis, ministers, and holy people led a half-hour service, at the end linking hands and singing “Amen.”“It’s not often that I see this many clergy on our front lawn supporting us,” said Chrisse France, the executive director of the clinic. “We are so thankful to be surrounded by all of you here today as you share your powerful voices to say no to the shame.”The Rev. Laura Young, a United Methodist minister, who serves as the executive director of the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, organized the blessing. Speaking to the need for religious individuals to show solidarity with women seeking abortions, Young said, “We’re doing this because too many religious people are hurling shame and hate at women seeking abortion, when we should be offering compassion, care, and spiritual healing.”In a similar sentiment, the Rev. Harry Knox, president of the national Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said the service was spurred by “renewed attacks on reproductive health rights.”While anti-abortion legislation is proliferating throughout the nation, Ohio is especially threatened by measured that could “regulate abortion out of existence,” according to pro-choice groups within Ohio, including Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.The Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice hopes that the blessing will help to protect the facility against abuse from protesters, and also help to encourage bravery and strength in those providing and receiving the clinics services.“We gather here today to say no to this shame,” said Knox. “As people of faith, we know that God’s love is constant when a woman is deciding to have an abortion. God’s love is with her the entire time.”—Kathleen EbbittShare18TweetShareEmail18 Shares
French cable operator Numericable has launched a new integrated set-top box and cable modem.Numericable’s One Box will be on sale from January 16. The operator said that it would deliver internet speeds of up to 200Mbps in certain districts of Paris as well as access to the operator’s digital TV services. The box will be available for a monthly subscription of €59.90, including access to 300 TV channels, the internet and unlimited calls to fixed and mobile numbers.The box features four tuners, a Blu-ray player, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a removable 40-500GB hard drive and two phone lines. It also includes access to social networking features such as Facebook on TV and a video-on-demand price comparison engine and intelligent content search.Numericable’s announcement was somewhat overshadowed by rival ISP Free’s launch of its 3G mobile phone service on the same day. The operator is providing a bundle of unlimited calls within France and 40 international destinations, texts and multimedia messages and internet access for €19.99, which it says is two and half times cheaper than the nearest rival. It is also offering a bundle of 60 minutes of calls and 60 texts for €2, which it says is four times cheaper than the nearest rival. These offers are available for €15.99 and no charge respectively to existing Freebox customers.
Almost half of all devices that receive TV services from the largest global pay TV service providers by 2015 will be PCs, smartphones, tablets and other multiscreen devices, according to the latest report from IHS Screen Digest.IHS predicts that the top 43 global pay TV operators will supply TV services to 310 million active multiscreen devices by 2015, compared with 322 million set-top boxes. Set-tops will account for 51% of receiving devices, down from 82% today, according to the report.The global set-top box base from multiscreen operators is expected to grow by 17% between 2011 and 2015, compared with 400% growth for multiscreen devices receiving pay TV services. However, multiscreen operators will account for only about a third of all set-tops installed globally by 2015, compared with about half of all set-tops today, meaning that globally, set-tops will still account for the majority of pay TV screens.
LoveFilm has sealed a UK programming deal with NBC Universal that gives the Amazon-owned streaming service a raft of the studio’s catalogue and current TV series.The agreement, with NBC Universal International TV, covers scripted shows including 30 Rock, Knight Rider, Warehouse 13 and the US version of The Office.LoveFilm said it covered hundreds of hours of NBC Universal programming and told DTVE sister publication TBI that it included 20 series in all.The company already has a content deal with Disney and UK-based distributors BBC Worldwide and ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
News Corp’s board has approved the company’s split into separate media and publishing businesses and has named the boards of the new media company, 21st Century Fox, and the new News Corp publishing business.The formal separation of the companies is expected to take place on June 28. News Corp’s board has approved the distribution of all shares of the new News Corp to the company’s stockholders in a ratio of one share of the new News Corporation for every four shares of News Corp.The board also authorized a US$500 million (€390 million) stock repurchase programme for the new News Corp following completion of the separation.The 21st Century Fox board will comprise Rupert Murdoch, James Breyer, Chase Carey, David DeVoe, Viet Dinh, Sir Roderick Eddington, James Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and Álvaro Uribe as well as new additions Delphine Arnault, director of Christian Dior, Jacques Nasser, a non-executive advisory partner of One Equity Partners and Robert Silberman, the executive chairman of Strayer Education.The new News Corp board will comprise Rupert Murdoch, José Maria Aznar, Natalie Bancroft, Peter Barnes, Elaine Chao, Joel Klein, James Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and new additions John Elkann, Ana Paula Pessoa, Masroor Siddiqui and Robert Thomson.
The majority of BBC staff are now based outside of London for the first time in the corporation’s history, with the shift to the regions occurring one year ahead of target. The BBC set a 12-year target in 2004 to have half its staff working in regional offices, with staff moves to Media City in Salford and Pacific Quay in Glasgow, as well as the closure of TV Centre and other London premises, designed to change the geographical bias of the BBC and make it more representative of the UK as a whole.Announcing the milestone, the BBC said that In 2007 London accounted for 58% of BBC staff, whereas now this figure has fallen to 49%.Of the non-London based staff, 17% of the corporation’s workforce is now in Salford. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland account for a further 18%, while 15% are spread throughout the rest of England.“We have sold off costly London buildings like Television Centre and moved more of our staff and programmes into the regions. It is all part of our plan to make the BBC ever more efficient and reflective of the country, with more than half our staff based outside London. The savings we are making mean more of the licence fee than ever is going on producing the best quality shows,” said Anne Bulford, the BBC’s managing director of finance and operations.
Edge: The LonerAmazon Prime Instant Video has unveiled its autumn pilot season line-up, which includes a violent Western and a show about the Jazz Age’s original flapper.Namely, the Amazon Studios-produced pilots are Western Edge: The Loner, late-Sixties-set Good Girls Revolt, comedy Highston, FX Productions copro One Mississippi, political thriller Patriot, and Z, which looks into the life of Jazz Age icon Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.Amazon will debut the pilots to susbcribers in the UK, US and Germany later this year, and in part use the subsequent feedback to decide which to take to series.Edge: The Loner, which Lethal Weapon’s Shane Black developed, is based on George G. Gilman’s book series of the same name, which Amazon says has been described as ‘the most violent Western in print”. Set in 1868, it will follow the titular character, Josiah ‘Edge’ Hedges, a Union officer-turned-cowboy.Black, Fred Dekker (Tales From the Crypt), Narry Josephson (Bones) and David Greenblatt (Battle Los Angeles) executive produce.Z is based on the life of Zelda Sayre, a Southern Belle who married writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. It will begin before she meets the Great Gatsby writer, documenting their subsequent life in the decadent jazz era and later mental health troubles. Christina Ricci plays Zelda, with Gavin Stenhouse playing her husband.Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin (both The Killing) are attached to write, with Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon of Killer Films and Ricci executive producing.Good Girls Revolt follows a group of young female researchers seeking fair treatment in a 1969 newsroom. Amazon Studios is coproducing with TriStar Television, with Dana Calvo creator andwriter. The show is based on landmark sexual discrimination cases chronicled in a Lynn Povich book.Calvo is also executive producer along with Lynda (Interstellar), Darlene Hunt (The Big C), Don Kurt (Justified) and Jeff Orkin (Dark Skies).Highston, meanwhile, follows a 19-year-old with a group a celebrity friends that only he can see. Bob Nelson (Nebraska) is writer, with Sacha Baron Cohen (Bruno, The Dictator), Todd Hoffman, (Love Stinks), Nelson and Todd Schulman (Bruno) executive producing.Dark comedy One Mississippi is loosely based on Tig Notaro’s life, and follows a woman’s struggle to deal with the unexpected death of her mother and her complex re-entry into her childhood town.Coproduced with FX Productions, Notaro is writing and executive producing with Juno’s Diablo Cody, with Louis CK (Louie), Blair Breard (Louie) and Dave Becky (Everybody Hates Chris) executive producing.Patriot is a political thriller about the life of intelligence officer John Tavner, whose assignment to prevent Iran going nuclear means he must forgo all safety nets and assume a ‘non-official cover’ of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping farm.Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) is writer and director, as well as an executive producer along with Gil Bellows (Temple Grandin), Glen Ficarra (Focus), Charlie Gogolak (Focus) and John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love).“Our latest pilot season brings together a diverse group of shows that we think customers will really enjoy,” said Roy Price, VP, Amazon Studios. “We have something for everyone in this season and I am excited to see which shows spark conversation amongst our customers and what they want to be made into series.”
The BBC has announced plans to move “beyond legacy MHEG technology” to industry-wide adoption of HbbTV 2.0.1.The UK public broadcaster said it plans to adopt HbbTV 2.0.1 in time for equipment manufacturers to build HbbTV into 2018 product cycles and will remove the MHEG requirement from the ‘BBC Interactive HTML application’ specification.It also said it will work with industry partners to align other specifications such as the DTG’s D-Book, the Freeview Play specification, and Trade Mark Licence framework managed by Digital UK and Freeview.“The BBC, working in collaboration with Freeview, DUK and the DTG, intends to accelerate the adoption of international standards around interactive TV in the UK market,” the BBC said in a statement.“Working in close consultation with manufacturers and other affected parties, a plan will be developed by the BBC, Freeview, Digital UK and the DTG by September 2016. It will then be shared publicly in relevant industry forums.” The BBC said the plan will include the development and sharing of test applications to allow manufacturers to ensure correct behaviour of new HbbTV-based services. It claimed this addresses feedback received from manufacturers while balancing the needs of audiences to “drive the industry forwards and provide a better environment for UK free-to-air services”.In a statement the DTG said it welcomes the BBC’s plan, with DTG CEO Richard Lindsay-Davies commenting that it is working on a plan with the BBC, Freeview, DUK and DTG Members to deliver a solution that “works for both the industry and consumers with their varied viewing preferences”.“We are all supportive of a well-managed migration from MHEG to HbbTV and as the only mechanism that has successfully universally deployed, interoperable, interactive television services, the D-Book continues to lead the way forward in helping the industry deliver television to viewers.”
Samsung has launched what it described as its “smartest TV ever” ahead of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.The new QLED TV series – Q9, Q8, and Q7 – is designed to let users control “most connected TV devices” from a single source, with the Samsung Smart Remote.Viewers can also use their mobile device to select and start live TV programs and video-on-demand services using Samsung’s Smart View mobile app.“In 2017, Samsung is focused on the continued evolution of its much lauded Smart TV offering, giving people the simple, unified user experience they want for all their entertainment content,” said the company.Samsung claimed that the QLED TVs offer “dramatically improved colour performance” and are capable of reproducing “100% colour volume”.HyunSuk Kim unveils the new line“With the advent of QLED TV, we provide the most true-to-life picture on screen,” said HyunSuk Kim, president of the visual display business at Samsung Electronics.Other new design features include a single, transparent ‘invisible connection’ cable, through which all peripheral devices can be gathered and connected to the TV.The news comes after Samsung announced it would introduce new smart TV services at CES this week, including personalised Sports and Music offerings.
Liberty Latin America has completed its split-off from Liberty Global, establishing it as an independent publicly-traded company.Liberty Latin America president and CEO, Balan NairThe completion of the previously announced split-off establishes Liberty Latin America a ‘pure play’ independent telecoms company focused on Latin America and the Caribbean with 6.4 million homes passed, serving 5.3 million revenue generating units and 3.7 million mobile subscribers.Liberty Latin America’s businesses include: Cable & Wireless Communications (C&W), which operates in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Seychelles; VTR in Chile; and Liberty Cablevision in Puerto Rico.“The split-off of our Latin American and Caribbean operations from Liberty Global will ensure that this new company will have access to the capital and resources necessary to achieve superior financial and strategic growth,” said Liberty Global CEO and Liberty Latin America executive chairman, Mike Fries.“The launch of Liberty Latin America is an exciting moment for all shareholders and a clear confirmation of the opportunity for value creation in the Latin American and Caribbean region.”Liberty Latin America president and CEO Balan Nair said: “Today marks an important milestone for Liberty Latin America as we begin the path forward as an independent company focused squarely on the region.“I see tremendous opportunity to bring world-class technology, innovation and scale to our operations, expand our network coverage, and deploy exciting new service offerings to our residential and business customers.”With the split-off, Liberty Latin America Class A and Class C common shares are now trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols “LILA” and “LILAK,” respectively, and the Class B common shares are quoted on the OTC Markets under the symbol “LILAB”.
US TV network NBC is to provide over 50 hours of live virtual reality coverage of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in partnership with Intel.NBC will use Intel’s True VR technology to deliver VR coverage of the games to authenticated users with Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Samsung Gear VR, and both Google Cardboard and Google Daydream, with compatible iOS or Android devices via the NBC Sports VR app.According to NBC, this will be the first time that Olympic VR programming will be available live in the US on siuch a wide range of devices and platforms.The 50 hours of live VR programming, which will be supplied to the broadcaster by Olympic Broadcasting Services, will include the opening and closing ceremonies as well as coverage of alpine skiing, curling, snowboarding, skeleton, figure skating, short track, ski jumping, ice hockey and big air.NBC will also provide VR replays of previously live-streamed events, one daily 360° degree video of a sport not available in VR the previous day and packaged highlights from the previous cay’s events.Intel’s True VR technology employs multiple camera pods at each event to create interactive 360° virtual reality environments. Viewers will be able to customise their experience by switching between multiple vantange points, hear natural sound captured at each camera location to provide a truly immersive experience, and enjoy real-time stats, leaderboards and post-event results.“The Olympics have long been an opportunity to showcase emerging media technology. With the help of Intel’s industry-leading virtual reality technology, NBC Olympics will deliver a transformative experience that will bring to Olympic fans an entirely new perspective on the speed, thrills, and excitement of an Olympic Winter Games,” said Gary Zenkel, president, NBC Olympics.“The Olympic Games is a unique opportunity to bring people from around the world together to build camaraderie and cheer for their favorite athletes. We are enabling a truly immersive experience, where fans get closer to the action than ever before allowing them feel like they are sitting in the stands for a front and center view of history being made,” said James Carwana, vice president and general manager of Intel Sports Group.
Star Trek: DiscoveryStar Trek: Discovery, the CBS All Access show that is distributed internationally by Netflix, topped Parrot Analytics’ most recent look at trending digital originals in the Irish market.Star Trek: Discovery garnared an average of 313,215 in-demand expressions – Parrot’s measure of how well a show is doing – in Ireland for the week ending February 25.Parrot Analytics analyses the demand for recent popular digital titles across international markets, based on the application of artificial intelligence to expressions of demand across social media, fan sites, peer-to-peer protocols and file-sharing platforms.Netflix began airing the first season of Star Trek: Discovery in February, with a second season promised for next year.Interest in the show placed it well ahead of the number two programme in the Irish list, Amazon Video’s The Grand Tour, with 233,165 expressions.Other than The Grand Tour, Netflix shows dominated the Irish list, with Stranger Things, Altered Carbon and Black Mirror completing the top five.Other shows in the top 10 included The Crown, Orange is The New Black, Narcos and Dark, all Netflix shows. The only other non-Netflix title was number eight placed The Handmaid’s Tale from Hulu, which was aired by public broadcaster RTÉ in Ireland.
Graeme LynchAdvertising technology specialist SpotX has named Graeme Lynch as head of demand.Reporting into Ed Wale, MD of the UK and Spain, he will manage teams working with advertisers, media agencies, brands, demand-side platforms and all other buyers to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of their video advertising campaigns, according to the company.SpotX’s agency development and demand operation teams for the UK will report to Lynch with the responsibility to drive more revenue for the publishers, broadcasters, and app developers using SpotX in the UK. This will include advising buyers on approaches to programmatic video advertising, such as private marketplaces and curated marketplaces, as well as OTT television and mobile video advertising, according to SpotX.Lynch most recently worked at addressable TV specialist Sorenson Media where he developed the EU launch strategy, as well as managing relationships with agencies, broadcasters, and third-party data providers. He previously worked for companies including OMD, Fox Networks, Utarget.FOX, Specific Media and Adobe Ad Cloud, where he served as head of business development EMEA.Wale said: “Graeme Lynch brings many years of programmatic video advertising experience. An industry authority, he has a wealth of senior agency contacts and knowledge that he can tap into to drive more revenue for the media owners using the SpotX platform. As well as sales leadership, he has a strong technical understanding, from the specifics of addressable TV to cross-device planning and agency structures.”Lynch said, “Television and digital media are changing and SpotX is well-placed at the centre of this convergence. The SpotX team has years of programmatic video and digital TV advertising experience, which I saw first-hand at Adobe [formerly TubeMogul]. I look forward to working with the team to develop growth strategies for our clients, and SpotX.”
Social video ad spend in the US will grow 44% between 2019 and 2021 to reach US$14.89 billion, accounting for 30.4% of total video ad spend, according to eMarketer.The research firm estimates that Twitter’s US video ad revenues will pass US$1 billion in 2021, while Snapchat’s US video ad business will grow 19.9% year-over-year in 2021, reaching US$727.4 million.“Video has taken centre stage on social platforms that were once text- or photo-centric – including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, even Pinterest,” said eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna.“Not only do younger users spend growing amounts of time watching video on these platforms, but they also share clips among their followers, potentially amplifying brand messages.”According to eMarketer research conducted in the fourth quarter of 2018, 60% of respondents said they use Facebook to watch digital video, while 35% used Instagram, 21% Twitter and 18% Snapchat to watch video.While YouTube is not included in eMarketer’s social network video ad spending forecast, 90% of respondents said they used the platform to watch video. The research sampled people aged 15 and over who watched digital video in the previous week.
With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passing a recommendation to bomb Syria, including McCain’s amendment to directly support the rebels, we are moving toward a new rise in the war spending trajectory. For a historical perspective, below you see a chart I developed in 2007. It calculates the inflation-adjusted costs of the Vietnam War and estimates that the war with Iraq would cost over $1 trillion or 37% more than the Vietnam War. Expenditures in Vietnam led to a self-reinforcing cycle of higher interest rates and inflation during the 1970s—leading in no small part to Nixon’s decision to remove the $35 per ounce gold exchange rate for the dollar, and to interest rates eventually rising to almost 20%. This article is about why I think interest rates are heading higher, viewed through the context of the politics of the US government’s next war. While I’d prefer to convince the world to change its course toward a more peaceful future, given the futility of trying to do so, I’ll use my time with you today presenting data, analysis, and a few opinions about the economic consequences of the march toward war that US policy is now set upon. The chart below combines defense, veterans benefits, homeland security, the State Department, and defense-related interest payments, to create a more comprehensive picture of our military spending. The chart shows the dollars spent each year; no correction is made for inflation or the relative growth of our economy and population. Such re-jiggering would make World War II and earlier wars appear more dramatic. The key point is that the US is spending a huge amount of money on its international security. With each war, or rumor of war, that came along, military spending increased. Following Iraq, we added another war in Libya and extended the war in Afghanistan far longer than planned. The combined costs, by my calculations, have now reached around $3.4 trillion. My method is simple: I add up the military spending that exceeds the 2002 level for all the years since then. If we hadn’t been facing significant international conflicts, I believe the military spending baseline of $507 billion in 2002 would have remained fairly static. The $3.4 trillion is just the increase over that baseline to date. Using the modest projections from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), my estimate is that by 2018, all future increases combined could easily add up to another $2.5 trillion. It could be much more, and it might even be less, but the most reasonable expectation is that the current crop of politicians will spend at least at that level. Those who want war seem to be able to get war. That is my basic assumption. Along the way, Congress is supposed to deal with its self-imposed ceiling on federal debt, now set at $16.73 trillion. In fact, the operations of government have already exceeded that level, but the federal government is adept at playing Enron-like games. Current Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew says he can hold off hitting the ceiling until mid-October, when the government would hypothetically shut down without Congress’ authorization for a raise. For the record, Newt Gingrich actually forced such a shutdown to happen under the Clinton presidency, which resulted in the government being forced to actually take tangible measures to cut spending at the time. The chart below shows the amount of current outstanding government debt as reported by the Treasury. The flat line at the right of the chart is the suppression of debt financing the government is now undertaking in the attempt to avoid a shutdown. Being completely distracted by the situation in Syria, Congress is not addressing the fiscal issues, and time is running out. The last time this crisis became important was in 2011, when the stock market dropped, our government debt rating was downgraded by S&P, and Congress legislated the sequester on spending that only slowed but certainly didn’t reverse the government’s accumulation of debt. Of course, this debt crisis will be resolved, as it has been in the past, by raising the ceiling. The focus on war probably means that the immigration bill won’t reach final approval, that efforts to derail Obamacare won’t reach political mass, and we already know that gun control has pretty much seen its day and gone away. But war spending and government deficits are here to stay. The attitude of our leaders is clear: they don’t care what the people think, they will be moving ahead with more spending on wars, continuing to worsen the deficit, ultimately leading to further debasement of the currency. That means higher prices, leading to inflation, and higher interest rates. On that last point, as you can see in the chart here, the rate on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury is now just two basis points below 3% and moving higher as I write: There is, of course, much more to this discussion than time and space allow for here. In the next edition of The Casey Report, I’ll go into details on what’s coming and the specific actions you can take to successfully invest in an environment of rising interest rates. As it is standard policy at Casey Research to offer risk-free 3-month trials with money-back guarantee for all our publications, you can sign up to read my deeper research in the next edition of The Casey Report by clicking here.