The Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER) announced that it will buy eight new trains from CRRC Quingdao Sifang Co. Ltd, a Chinese company dedicated to researching, developing and manufacturing railway locomotives and rolling stock products. The announcement, made Dec. 3, detailed that each 38-meter train consist of two Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) —train cars with onboard diesel engines— and can hold 372 passengers. The engines are being made to INCOFER specifications and will have noise reduction technology and comply with EU STAGE IIIA environmental standards, according to a press release from the Casa Presidencial.“We have the obligation to modernize our railway system to guarantee sustainable, efficient and quality transportation for our population,” said First Lady Claudia Dobles, an architect and urban planner whose taken on urban mobility as a cause.“Our medium-term goal is the electric train, and in the short term it’s essential to renovate our current rolling stock, which is exactly what INCOFER is announcing today.” Compare prices on flights with SkyscannerThe project will cost $32.7 million and includes maintenance equipment, workshops, spare parts and training for INCOFER employees.“The technical proposal by CRRC Quingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. is serious and it complies with the technical parameters required by INCOFER during the bidding process,” said Elizabeth Briceño, executive president of INCOFER.The trains, which are said to have a 30-year lifespan and include LED screens with information for passengers, air conditioning and space for two wheelchairs each, are expected to be delivered 18 months after the contract is signed. Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years. Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Train service in Costa Rica resumes Wednesday following strike Legislative Assembly passes bill to jumpstart electric train system Lawmaker proposes suspending permits of motorists who crash into trains Costa Rica announces charging grid for electric vehicles
Members of the crime prevention department seized a large quantity of cigarettes and tobacco on Wednesday evening in the Nicosia district.They had been illegally imported via the north.In total, they found 78 cartons of cigarettes containing 200 cigarettes each and 120 packets of tobacco of 50 grammes.Customs officers summoned to the scene calculated the duty for the products due was €4,172.The driver of the vehicle was arrested but later released after an out-of-court settlement was accepted by the customs director.He paid a total of €8.500 before he was allowed to leave in his car.You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndoLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
Tags: #SB, budget, Jacobsen Categories: Featured news,News 28Apr Michigan State Budget: State Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford
State Rep. Jeff Noble of Plymouth has scheduled a consumer education event on identity theft on Tuesday, Aug. 15, in partnership with the Michigan Attorney General’s office.The presentation will feature information on how to protect against identity theft and what steps to take in the event you become a victim of this crime.“Identity theft is a serious issue that can negatively impact your credit and pocketbook,” Rep. Noble said. “I want to provide this opportunity for residents to learn how to protect their personal information, both on and offline. The presentation will focus on best practices, how to recognize common warning signs of identity theft scams, and offer helpful resources should you need assistance.”There is no charge to attend. The event starts at 1 p.m. at the Plymouth District Library, 223 S. Main St. in Plymouth. Individuals looking for more information may contact Rep. Noble’s office at (517) 373-3816 or by emailing email@example.com. Categories: Noble News 04Aug Rep. Noble to host consumer education forum on identity theft
Share7TweetShare4Email11 SharesFebruary 28, 2017; U.S. News & World ReportThe South Dakota Senate effectively killed two GOP-introduced campaign finance bills this week that were designed to reduce the influence and increase the accountability of independent expenditure groups participating in the state’s initiative and referendum process. The rationale and timeline may be instructive for other states considering similar reforms.South Dakota Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson is upset about unaccountable out-of-state political contributions and activity influencing the state’s ballot initiative and referendum process. He introduced HB 1200, a measure “to impose the [major donor disclosure] requirement on advocacy groups that spend more than $25,000 on independent expenditures within a year. Under the bill, if a top-50 contributor is an advocacy group, that organization would have to share its 50 largest donors.” For-profit corporations, 501(c)(3) charities, and donors who give less than $5,000 were excluded from the bill’s disclosure requirements. Mickelson also cosponsored and promoted HB 1074, which would limit out-of-state contributions to a ballot question committee to $100,000.Under current law, ballot question committees must disclose their donors, but independent expenditure groups that contribute to those committees do not.In 2016, the state’s voters were presented with ten separate initiatives and referenda, with most of the contentious campaigns being funded overwhelmingly by out-of-state organizations and donors.After gaining statehood in 1889, Civil War veterans and immigrant farmers settled in South Dakota. Our South Dakota founders did not trust our local government officials completely, as they were afraid they could succumb to the far-away railroad titans to effectively “buy” our government. As a protection against this measure, South Dakota became the first state in the nation to fully embrace a citizen’s right to petition its government.[…]The very system created to protect us against the influence of big money from outside the state has been hijacked by out of state special interests.As NPQ reported last August, South Dakota’s relatively easy ballot access and relatively-low-cost media markets make it attractive for national (read: out-of-state) interests to use the state as a “prairie playground“ for testing their issues and ballot approaches.One thing that makes Mickelson’s and South Dakota’s interest in campaign finance intriguing is that Mickelson, the son and grandson of South Dakota governors, is a Republican in a state with a Republican governor and GOP supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. Generally, campaign finance limitations are proposed by Democrats and liberal interests. Paul S. Ryan, a vice president of Common Cause, said of the bill, “We need better disclosure of the donors, the true donors who are giving that money to the nonprofits to influence voters on Election Day. […] [South Dakota’s bill is] on the cutting edge of disclosure policy and law.”Ultimately, powerful lobbying groups associated with Republican and conservative causes—the state’s Chamber of Commerce, the NRA, and the Koch brothers-supported Americans for Prosperity—lobbied to have the two GOP-sponsored bills defeated in state senate committees after they had already passed the state house. The NRA said HB 1200 “seeks to limit the free speech of organizations like the NRA unless they first disclose their members’ private information in the process.” Ben Lee, South Dakota state director for Americans for Prosperity, put his organization’s opposition this way: “Transparency is for the government, and private citizens deserve privacy.”South Dakota’s attempt at limited campaign finance reform shows how difficult the politics can be, even when the interests of politicians and lobbying groups are usually in alignment.—Michael WylandShare7TweetShare4Email11 Shares
Share9TweetShare2Email11 Shares“Ecology” by Lisa PadillaMarch 10, 2017; San Diego Union-TribuneCalifornians are well known for their liberal-leaning largesse, acting the part of heroic social justice warriors in favor of equal economic, social, and political rights and clean air for everyone. Half-jokes about seceding from the Union circulate in part because California’s staunch progressiveness stands in stark contrast to the more conservative views of much of the polity surrounding the Golden State. But when their personal lifestyles and their gold are on the line, what do Californians actually do to help Mother Nature? Choose pro-environment policies, or maintain the preservation of their very expensive personal space? California’s desperate housing crisis is proving to be the fault line in the public crusade for natural preservation, leading to the highest poverty rate in the nation and to a missed opportunity to put a big dent in pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions, to aid the state’s official drive to reduce this ozone-depleting factor to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.The City of Angels is a prime example of this clashing conundrum. On average, Los Angeles renters dedicate 49 percent of their income to shelter, paying an average of $2,700 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. As of last June, San Francisco to the north is the most expensive rental market in the country, where the median one-bedroom apartment goes for $3,500 per month. According to a recent Sacramento Bee report based on analysis of U.S. Census data, the poverty-generating housing market swaps out the poor for the wealthy, as 2.5 million lower- and middle-income residents sought refuge in other states between 2005 and 2015 while new residents with more income moved in and put even further pressure on housing costs.The state has tried to promote efforts to grow housing stock, but they have been largely muted by public opposition and pressure put on local government, which would be the prime movers for this cause. Such humanitarian efforts directly impact and demand personal sacrifice from the privileged and powerful, who are shielded from the brunt of this crisis and are uninspired to accept more housing development, and their representatives thus have no political capital to lead the charge. The shame is that it is logistically easy to mitigate the housing and environmental crises in one swoop: Build more housing for all economic classes and concentrate it in proximity to dense zones of employment and commerce, reducing travel and depletion of natural resources.Mac Taylor of the California legislature’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office frames the problem as convincing more people that increased housing is in this way in their best interest. “Unless Californians are convinced of the benefits of significantly more home building—targeted at meeting housing demand at every income level—no state intervention is likely to make significant progress on addressing the state’s housing challenges,” Taylor wrote in his office’s new report, “Do Communities Adequately Plan for Housing?”Connecting the dots for people who claim allegiance to environmental causes may help open up their hearts and consciences to providing more housing for the less privileged. Otherwise, the center will not hold for California, as the people endure continued degradation of the environment and their economy falters due to the continued exodus of the labor and youth that historically drove their engine of wealth.—Louis AltmanShare9TweetShare2Email11 Shares
Share13Tweet9Share4Email26 Shares“Harris to Booker Save Our Care Rally U.S. Capitol” by Mobilus In Mobili.October 24, 2017; New York TimesBlack corporate executives have been meeting since July to explore a PAC that advances their political and social agenda. One of the main organizers, Charles Phillips, chief executive of the software company Infor, said, “What we’ve been doing is just writing checks for years, and we don’t know what happened” once the money was received. “We’ve got to learn from the Koch brothers, do what they do, have them sign pledges.”According to a recent article in the New York Times, the black executives have been meeting with politicians of color, including Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, and former attorney general Eric H. Holder, Jr., as well as think tanks to refine their position.New York Times’ Kate Kelly wrote about the initial meeting in July.It was a crystallizing moment. Many attendees had long been part of an informal group of friends and associates who raised money for philanthropies or policy issues on an ad hoc basis. At the dinner, they decided it was time to use their wealth and stature in a more formal way.Over the last two years, the group has increasingly stepped into national debates about race and equity. In response to police shootings of black people, “the group raised $1 million in 48 hours to fund a police reform initiative.” They also supported Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier this year after Trump criticized him for stepping down from his American Manufacturing Council in response to the president’s comments after the white supremacist riot in Charlottesville, Virginia. While the number of black senior executives is relatively small, the group is “adept at mobilizing money and support for causes dear to them.”Though the group is still forming and many do not see their mandate as one that narrows down to race, participants are focused on access to education and employment and voter participation.Marva Smalls, global head of inclusion strategy for Viacom and one of the main organizers, notes that the election of Trump as president was an “inflection point.” She said, “We have now entered more the ranks of corporate America with the financial wherewithal, with the thought leadership, to now engage around the issues.” The work now is “defining a narrative, politically, that matters to our community.”The core organizers, about 10, meet every other Sunday in Manhattan. “They plan to create three structures: a ‘super PAC’ to run political ads or host events; a federal PAC to support candidates; and a 501(c)(4) group, or social welfare nonprofit, that will do a mix of the two.”As the group doesn’t plan to be narrowed down to race, it also does not pledge loyalty to any particular political party. Instead, it will support candidates who advance its agenda. It plans to reach out to about 100 “black executives, lawyers and other professionals who attended the July dinner.”The group is currently hashing out priorities, differences, and best legal structure, and plans to launch in 2018, “creating a new fund-raising model for corporate executives of color.”Tony Coles, head of the biotech firm Yumanity Therapeutics, said, “As African Americans have advanced in business, and assumed important positions across the board. I think we are finding our way to adding to or extending what many of our forebears have done. And in a sense, it’s our turn now, to contribute to this kind of leadership.”—Cyndi SuarezShare13Tweet9Share4Email26 Shares
Discovery is launching its female-skewed lifestyle channel TLC in Denmark, Finland and Portugal, helping it to achieve its stated ambition of reaching 100 million homes before end-2011. Discovery started rolling out TLC internationally in March 2010 and originally said that the channel would be in 100 million homes by spring 2011, a target later pushed back to end-2011. The channel will roll out in Finland on November 1 and Portugal on November 2. A Latin American launch will take place at the same time and earlier this month it launched across Africa and in Denmark.Reaching the 100 million mark for the international channel means it will reach the same number of homes as its domestic counterpart, which has full distribution in the US.Mark Hollinger, president and CEO, Discovery Networks International said: “TLC’s brand strength and programming diversity has become a powerful complement to the Discovery Channel brand – and the strong ratings generated by both TLC programming from the United States and original series created by DNI’s production team are already attracting loyal audiences in multiple markets around the world.”
Revenues from video-on-demand services will reach US$6 billion (€4.9 billion) in 2017, according to new forecasts.Digital TV Research says that two thirds of the revenue will come from North America and western Europe with the US and Italy the largest single revenue-generating territories. However, Asia will register faster growth, with VOD revenues up 146% in the next five years with China accounting for much of the increase.The US$6 billion figure compares with US$3.9 billion recorded last year. Cable services will account for US$2.74 billion of the 2017 total, DTH US$1.7 billion and IPTV US$946 million.The top ten VOD revenue generating countries by 2017, in order, will be: the US; Italy; China; Japan; the UK; Germany; France; Canada; India; and Russia.
About 40% of US consumers with an internet connected TV were watching Netflix in the fourth quarter of last year, according to research by NPD.According to NPD, 22% of connected TV owners had migrated entirely from using over-the-top video services on their computers to watching on the TV instead.Over half of consumers aged 18-24 with a TV connected to the web used it to watch Netflix, said NPD.“The inherent success of Netflix streaming can be attributed to its content library and TV centric strategy initiated in part by the Roku launch in 2008,” said John Buffone, NPD’s director, devices.He added: “Three drivers of growth come to mind when considering if and how OTT video will surpass linear TV viewing. That is, more TVs being connected to the Internet, further increasing awareness for the devices that deliver OTT video, and consumer recommendations.”
Simon Frost of Ericsson explains the implications of LTE broadcast technology and the role of the access network CDN.
The number of households in Hungary with digital TV subscriptions climbed 1.7% year-on-year in March, according to data released by Hungary’s Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH).Subscription figures climbed from 1.863 million households in March 2012 to 1.895 million in March this year, said NMHH.Satellite subscribers accounted for 915,895 of the digital total with cable and IPTV accounting for 891,314. Antenna Hungaria’s MinDig TV Extra pay-DTT service made up the remaining 87,991.
The EBU has collaborated with Sweden’s SVT, Germany’s NDR and the Netherlands’ TROS to develop a second screen app for the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in Sweden later this month.The app, which is available for iOS and Android users, provides news updates, photos and videos 365 days a year, and allows users to download their favourite songs from this year’s contest.Second-screen functionality offers viewers live updates during the shows about the contestants, their songs, opening and interval acts, as well as the results.The app also allows viewers to vote in the competition. Votes registered via the official app will be rewarded with a video response message from the contestant backstage.The app will be available in English, Swedish, German and Dutch.
BSkyB’s Sky Sports unit has secured rights to women’s golf for a further two years after renewing a deal with the Ladies Professional Golf Association.According to Sky, the deal offers Sky Sports viewers exclusive live coverage of three women’s Majors played in the US, plus at least four LPGA Tour events each summer. Tournaments covered include the PGA European Tour, US PGA Tour, World Golf Championship events and this September’s Ryder Cup.Sky Sports will show the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Wegmans LPGA Championship and Evian Championship, as well as live coverage of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Kingsmill Championship, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, CME Group Tour Championship and the HSBC Women’s Champions.“Over the past 5-10 years, the LPGA has seen its popularity grow around the world at a rate that few could have predicted. The secret to the LPGA’s success is that the absolute best players in the world come from all over the world to compete on this tour,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan.“With the expansion of our player base, has been the expansion of television coverage – and we now average nearly 150 countries watching the LPGA per week. I have consistently heard from fans in the UK about their desire to see more LPGA coverage on television and this new deal with Sky Sports helps to deliver that.”
Vice Media has launched Vice News, its latest youth-skewing web video initiative that it says will deliver “hundreds of hours of provocative, immersive news programming from around the world.”The online news channel will supplement Vice’s existing output on Vice.com, through the Vice series on HBO, and on YouTube. The new content will be available on vicenews.com and a dedicated Vice News YouTube channel.“The channel will fill a void left by mainstream media and news aggregation websites struggling to engage youth audiences and offer high-quality compelling digital programming,” the firm said.Vice now claims to have 35 foreign bureaus and more than 4,000 contributors around the world.
Martin BouyguesThe war of words between Vivendi and Bouygues proprietor Martin Bouygues over the former’s decision to sell SFR to Numericable owner Altice has moved to a new stage following an interview given by Bouygues to Le Figaro in which he attacked Vivendi CEO Jean-René Fourtou and accused him of changing his mind about Bouygues’ offer suddenly and without explanation.Bouygues said that Fourtou had convinced him in January to make an offer for SFR and had persuaded him of the feasibility of the plan, but had then “totally changed his attitude” just before Bouygues submitted its first formal proposal.Bouygues also accused Vivendi’s management of using the possibility of a rejection of the plan by the French competition regulator as a pretext for choosing Altice when no real threat of a regulatory veto existed.Vivendi issued a statement saying that the procedures that led to its choice of Altice were wholly transparent and that the decision had been taken with the interests of employees and shareholders constantly in mind, despite the teams involved in the negotiations being subject to constant pressure and negative campaigning.The group said it declined to enter into a public argument with Bouygues but hinted at the possibility of further action by noting that it “reserves all its rights”.
Jay FulcherVideo streaming and analytics provider Ooyala has entered a definitive agreement to buy video ad firm Videoplaza, as it aims to “build out a new business dimension in advertising.”Ooyala said that the deal marks the first stage of a multi-step strategy aimed at establishing “global leadership in personalised cloud TV and video,” following Telstra’s buyout of Ooyala in August.Videoplaza operates a premium video ad-serving platform and programmatic trading solutions, delivering adverts to viewers across all devices.Broadcasters and media companies in Europe and Asia Pacific already use Videoplaza’s platform. Ooyala said that through its buyout, Videoplaza will also be able to rapidly expand into the US.“Ooyala helps media companies build the largest possible audiences online, while Videoplaza helps them extract as much value as possible from that audience. Our combined platforms will offer a more holistic view of content and ad performance across a broadcaster’s entire business, including granular data on not only what, how and where people are watching, but also where and how they can make the most money,” said Ooyala CEO, Jay Fulcher.Videoplaza founder and CEO, Sorosh Tavakoli, added: “We are excited to join forces with Ooyala and Telstra. We share their vision and believe their strong appetite to invest for the long term in building a global market leader will set us apart. This acquisition will allow us to expand our mission in helping broadcasters and premium publishers build highly profitable and sustainable businesses.”Videoplaza’s client base includes affiliates of the RTL Group such as M6 in France and IP Deutschland in Germany, as well as members of the Bonnier Group such as TV4 in Sweden and Mediaset in Spain. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BK Yoon at CESSamsung Electronics president and CEO BK Yoon has called for more openness and collaboration across industries to unlock the potential of the ‘Internet of Things’.Delivering the opening keynote at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Yoon said that the Internet of Things has “the potential to transform our society, economy and how we live our lives” but warned that different industry sectors must pull together to realise this promise.Outlining Samsung’s commitment to the Internet of Things (IoT), Yoon said that by 2017 all Samsung televisions will be IoT devices and that in five years all Samsung hardware will be IoT-ready.He also highlighted the importance of developers in the development of the Internet of Things and announced that Samsung will invest more than US$100 million (€84 million) in its developer community in 2015.At CES, Samsung also showcased its next generation of devices and services, led by an 88-inch SUHD TV, setting its focus on “smarter living.”The 88-inch JS9500 TV is designed to offer superior picture quality, features a nano-crystal semiconductor, with Samsung claiming that it offers 64 times more colour expression than conventional TVs.Samsung also said that from 2015 all of its smart TVs will be powered by the Tizen operating system, which it said offers better connectivity and gives developers a “more robust and easier platform for which to create new applications.”“Most importantly, it ensures that consumers will have access to a much broader range of Smart TV content and services than ever before,” said Samsung.
Gunther OettingerGunther Oettinger used his keynote speech at the ANGA COM event in Cologne this morning to call for spectrum harmonisation and accessibility of online services across national boundaries.However, the EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda stopped short of expressing a position on copyright reform, which is subject to a review by the Commission this autumn.Oettinger said that the rollout of high-speed mobile networks in Europe has been extremely slow to date.“Connectivity must be across boundaries,” he said. “I appeal to states to support our spectrum policy at European level. If things are not harmonised they will be irrelevant.”Oettinger said that the EC would look at copyright in the autumn with a view to strengthening the digital single market. He said that the Commission need the advice of the industry in setting out its objectives.Oettinger also said that structural investment programmes would support investment in telecom networks. Funding broadband investment at national level is still “chaotic”, he said.Hundreds of millions of euros would be required to create the networks to support the explosion in demand for connectivity, according to Oettinger.He said that fair competition meant that online services should be accessible across borders, and added that regulators were looking into whether vectoring – the noise cancellation technology that can increase broadband speeds over existing copper networks – would be positive. Vectoring would be “a good technology” provided it doesn’t prevent competition or hinder investment in fibre, he said.“The Gigabit society is not a faraway vision but a reality for the next decade. The value of land will be determined by whether it is online or offline…by connectivity.”
Kids educational and entertainment app provider Hopster is launching a channel on the Roku streaming platform in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland and France.Hopster is launching a localised French language app in France. Hopster is available on Roku streaming players in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland, and France, and is also available on Roku TVs in the US and Canada.The channel is free to download from the Roku Channel store and after a complimentary one-week trial.The regular cost of a Hopster subscription is US$5.99 in the US, £3.99 in the UK, and €4.99 in Ireland and France.The service features shows including Peppa Pig, Super Why!, Teletubbies, Reading Rainbow and Monster Math Squad.Nick Walters, CEO at Hopster, said: “Roku has been taking the streaming media market by storm with its great quality and affordable devices. So we are delighted to be launching on the platform. We believe that it’s important that kids can have access to a reliable, safe and ad-free app where they will only ever see the best learning content. We hope that by reaching millions of families via the Roku platform, we will help parents relax guilt-free, knowing when on Hopster, their little ones will always learn and discover something new.”Ed Lee, vice-president of content acquisition at Roku, said: “Hopster is a great addition to our streaming line-up, offering a wide variety of streaming entertainment for kids; from classic nursery rhymes, to Bob the Builder and Caillou. By choosing Hopster, parents can assure their little ones get to watch entertainment that they approve.”