August 14, 2015Here is a group photo of the Cosanti Foundation Strategic Plan Steering Committee taken on 6/21/2015 during their quarterly meeting at Arcosanti.upper row from left: Colleen Reckow; Neil Urban, Monique De Los Rios-Urban, Jim Caid, Jeff Stein, Anthony Floyd, Roger Tomalty, Jeff Zucker, Scott Riley, Ruth Rae, Tomiaki Tamura and Peter Scaglione.front row from left: Russel Ferguson, Steven Hall, Jim Anaston-Karas, Cosanti Foundation legal counsel Scott DeWald, George Kosmides and Mary Hoadley.
UAE service provider Etisalat has launched 3D channel High TV on its eLive TV service.The launch is the first 3D service to be made available in the UAE, according to Etisalat. US-based High TV offers a range of entertainment programming, promising over 100 new shows and 400 new hours of 3D content each year.Rashed Alabbar, vice-president, home product marketing of Etisalat said: “We are very pleased to add High TV 3D channel to the rich bouquet of content for our eLife TV viewers. As leaders in home entertainment, Etisalat was the first in the UAE and the region to bring 3D to our customers with the broadcast of 2010 FIFA World Cup. Today, we once again become the first to launch a 24/7, dedicated 3D entertainment and lifestyle channel. Our customers will love the experience of viewing 3D TV from the comforts of their living rooms. The addition of the 3D channel strengthens our repertoire of entertainment options provided to our customers. It also substantiates our commitment to offer the best-in-class TV entertainment to our viewers.”
Sascha PruterPay TV operators will be best placed to manage the smart home on behalf of consumers, according to Sascha Pruter, head of Android TV programme management at Google.Speaking at the Multi-Network Solutions in the Real World Forum organised by content security provider Verimatrix at IBC, Pruter said the pay TV operators were best placed to expand their services beyond TV to “taking control of the house” because they have the customer relationship and can provide customers with a single number to call. “I think branding of pay TV operators will go towards a household brand rather than just a video brand,” he said.Addressing Google’s relationship with pay TV operators, Pruter said the first pay operators using Google TV as their platform of choice had launched Google Play stores on their TV services. “If we can come up with the right revenue model, [operators] can give consumers what they want while maintaining [their] own brand. For Google this is a partnership opportunity. Operators approach us and want to talk about these partnership opportunities,” he said.Pruter said that the user expectation had changed and consumers were used to going to app stores and getting things quickly. He said that one of the key requirements for operators is to be able to react quickly to trends. “The industry now seems to realise that reacting to changes has to happen fast to compete with the web and mobile,” he said.However, TV is still distinct from mobile, he added: “I don’t think all the principles from mobile apply to TV. Expectations of quality are very different. I’m much less tolerant of jitter on TV than when watching a YouTube clip while waiting for a bus.”Pruter said content regulations as well as rights issues needed to be challenged in many cases. “On the content side, yes, it take time to get rights but content owners are getting more used to things. They are realising that things in the way of consumers getting the content are harming them,” he said.Also participating in the session, Verimatrix CEO Tom Munro said that “one thing the operators can sell is trust” and that this would give them a role even in an app-centric world.Munro said that “the cord would become more difficult to cut” as operators move beyond video to applications such as home security.Speaking on the same panel, Francisco Saez Arance, service development director, global video unit Telefonica, agreed that OTT technology is enabling operators to innovate faster while maintaining the value of pay TV through legacy technologies. “We have to deal with complexity in the most open way that’s available,” he said. “As a pay TV operator with different operations, we are trying to leverage the existing assets and provide some unified layers that we brought from the OTT arena to provide unified experiences.” Saez said that the operator had “enough magical glue” coming from the OTT world to enable it to deliver consistent experiences.Saez said that Telefonica was leveraging cloud technologies to enable viewers to consume linear content in a non-linear way through features enabled by the cloud such as DVR and pause, leading him to use the phrase “flexilinear” to describe what is happening. He said that commercial agreements and contract rights are more challenging than technology restrictions in enabling all this to take place.Saez said that there is an issue about who controls user data and provides the user experience, including content search and discovery.“Some content providers are only providing access to services in a not very integrated way, but we are always looking to provide more value and looking at how to gather knowledge of their content assets and how to provide better recommendations. We integrate third party portals and their catalogues to provide value to their customers and it’s a question of the willingness of the content owners,” he said.
Vincent Bolloré has been held in custody by French police in relation to a corruption enquiry concerning container terminals operated by Bolloré Group in Togo and Guinea, according to press reports.Vincent BolloréAccording to Le Monde, Nanterre judicial police have taken the billionaire businessman and former Vivendi chairman into custody in relation to an enquiry into the alleged corruption of foreign public officials. The investigation concerns contracts awarded to Bolloré Group to operate container terminals in Lomé, Togo, and Conakry, Guinea, in 2010.According to the report, officials suspect that Bolloré Group managers used advertising subsidiary Havas – now owned by Vivendi – to help secure the election of officials by providing assistance at a discounted rate.Other executives have been also taken into custody, including Bolloré CEO Gilles Alix and Jean-Philippe Dorent, responsible for Havas’ international operations, according to Le Monde.Dorent was reportedly involved in the 2010 Guinean presidential campaign of Alpha Condé, a one-time exile in France and acquaintance of Vincent Bolloré. Condé is alleged to have been instrumental in helping Bolloré Group secure the Conakry contract.Bolloré’s winning of the contract led to legal action by French group Necotrans, which previously held the concession. Necotrans subsequently dropped the action after striking a deal to sell its Gabon operation to Bolloré.According to Challenges.fr, police have also held Francis Pérez, the head of Spanish firm Pefaco, which operates a number of hotels and casinos in Africa, and an acquaintance of Dorent.Bolloré Group issued a statement denying that its affiliate SDV Afrique had been involved in any irregularities and said that the questioning of its executives would substantiate this. It said that the issues raised had already been the subject of an independent audit that had concluded all operations had been regular.The group said that it was a long-term investor in Africa. It said that it had obtained the Togo concession in 2001, before it acquired a stake in Havas, and that its winning of the Guinea contract followed the failure of the group that initially placed the highest bid, which had occurred before the election of Condé.The news comes after Bolloré recently announced that he was stepping down as Vivendi chairman and handing the reins over to his son Yannick, chairman and CEO of Havas.