MediaKind – formerly Ericsson Media Solutions – is participating in the IP Showcase at IBC this year. The MediaKind AVP Contribution Encoder and Content Processing Integrated Receiver-Decoder will be part of the multi-vendor Live Production use case and Traffic Shaping demonstrations, showcasing the All-IP protocols of SMPTE ST 2110, AES67, and AMWA NMOS IS-04, according to the company.The IP Showcase has been a feature at industry trade shows since IBC 2016 and has been instrumental in helping the industry to galvanise behind the standards-based approach to IP. The event is hosted by major technical and standards organisations within the broadcast industry – the Audio Engineering Society (AES), Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), Advanced Media Workflow Association (AMWA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), and Video Services Forum (VSF).Industry-leading vendors and broadcasters are gathering at this year’s showcase to provide instructional and case-study presentations and an array of IP-based product demonstrations highlighting the benefits of, and momentum behind, the broadcast industry’s move to standards-based IP infrastructure for real-time professional media applications.The IP Showcase will feature equipment displays and product demonstrations that emphasise everything industry vendors have achieved in support of IP standards and specifications. Meanwhile, the IP Showcase Theatre will be the destination for educational presentations, a vital element as the industry progresses through the phases of IP adoption.“The IP Showcase provides the industry with an excellent opportunity to witness the benefits of interoperable, multi-vendor solutions for real-time professional media over IP. MediaKind is pleased to participate in the IP Showcase and to have contributed to the development of the foundation SMPTE standards and AMWA and VSF specifications”, said Mark Russell, CTO and head of strategy for MediaKind.“The transition to IP is underway, and the progress we’ve made toward standardising IP infrastructure and operations in the media industry has only happened because so many organisations have come together and devoted time and effort to the cause. The IP Showcase is a physical manifestation of that progress, and we’re thrilled to see all the companies that have embraced IP technology and chosen to put their efforts on show for IBC visitors to experience,” said Michael Cronk, AIMS board chair.The IP Showcase will take place in rooms E106 and E107 at the RAI Amsterdam during IBC. More information about the IP Showcase at is available at www.ipshowcase.org.
Crime drama channel Alibi has commissioned its first scripted drama with six-part series Traces.The 6 x 60-minute drama, written by Amelia Bullmore and produced by Studiocanal-backed Red, is based on an original idea by crime writer Val McDermid.The crime thriller is set in Scotland and follows three women who must use the rigors of forensics to uncover the truth about an unsolved murder case. BBC Studios will distribute the series internationally.Casting will be announced over the coming months, with the series due to air on Alibi in late 2019. The drama was commissioned by Philippa Collie-Cousins with head of scripted Pete Thornton, and ordered by Richard Watsham, director of commissioning, with Adrian Willis, GM for drama and lifestyle.Exec producers include Red’s Nicola Shindler, Philippa Collie-Cousins for UKTV and Liam Keelan for BBC Studios.The project joins UKTV’s growing slate of scripted dramas, which includes W’s Women on the Verge, co-written by Sharon Horgan and Lorna Martin, and the Anna Paquin-fronted Flack.UKTV drama commissioner Cousins said: “When the idea came over from Red it genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The fantastic writing talent in Amelia Bullmore coupled with Nicola Shindler and the team at Red will make Alibi’s first ever drama commission something really quite special. With strong female characters this is Happy Valley meets Silent Witness, a dark and exciting show that I can’t wait for us to get cracking on.”Alibi channel director Emma Ayech added: “Alibi has an incredibly engaged audience of passionate crime drama fans. It’s the perfect opportunity to grow our slate of scripted shows and give our viewers a brand-new UKTV Original series that we hope they will love.” read more
How to Get There and Where to StayWhen I visited Cuba in 2013, it took me 23 hours to get there from Florida. First, I flew to Cancun. I went to the Cubana airline travel counter to buy a ticket from there to Havana, but the flight was full. I had to buy a ticket to Panama, and then another ticket to Havana.This trip was much easier. I flew from Tampa, Florida to Havana on Southwest Airlines in under an hour. The flight cost me about $200. I booked it right on the Southwest website with my credit card. I even collected frequent flyer points for the flight. None of this was possible five years ago.When you buy your ticket, Southwest will send you a scary email warning you about traveling to Cuba. Don’t worry about this. As long as you adhere to the rules—which are intentionally confusing—you’ll be fine.The first thing you need is a visa. I bought one at a Cuban travel store in West Tampa for $80. You can also get them at most Florida airports that offer flights. The problem is that they sometimes run out, so it’s safer to get one ahead of time. A handwritten Cuban travel visa cost me $80When you arrive in Cuba, you’ll need local currency. They use a two-tier currency system. The locals use pesos. The gringos use CUC, or Cuban convertible pesos. The CUC is par with the U.S. dollar, but you’ll lose 13% on the conversion.Keep in mind that it’s technically illegal to change money outside of a licensed vendor. You’ll find people offering change around the airport, and you might have to take it because U.S. dollars are useless to the taxi drivers. Line of taxis for hire in Old HavanaOnce in town, ask your host for directions to a casa de cambio, where you can change money with your passport. Remember your credit cards, debit cards, ATM cards, checks, and traveler’s checks are all useless in Cuba. Make sure you bring new, crisp, blue $100 bills with you. They want nothing to do with mangy bank notes.During this trip, I stayed at a magnificent B&B called Hotel Le Petit Mistinguett. The owner Pilar is Spanish. She has every room decked out with beautiful art, photographs, rugs, and ashtrays (because you can smoke freely, 24 hours a day). In fact, I had a Montecristo Petit #2 with breakfast every day, which is something I can’t do at home.Pilar’s home is about a 15-minute cab ride from downtown Old Havana. She can tell you how to get there and what it should cost. She’ll also call you a cab and tell the driver where to take you. I had the benefit of a set of wheels since my friend Fadi from the picture above is a local.Getting around is a big hassle in Havana. In fact, everything in Havana is a hassle. If you decide to make the trip, which I strongly encourage, you’ll need to completely abandon any hope of keeping a schedule. Since your U.S. cell phone won’t work, it’s pretty easy to acclimate.The right trip for a beginner is three nights with two full days in Havana. Of course, there’s more to see, but the first trip tackling Havana is enough. Once you know what you’re getting into, you can set up a longer trip in the future. Recommended Link Visit Cuba… Just Don’t Tell Anyone You’re GoingI did take off for Havana the next morning. Fidelity eventually managed to fix the settlement problem that it created. When I got home, I had to visit its local office in person with my passport. Once the compliance department was satisfied that I was physically in the U.S., it unfroze my accounts.I’m still not sure why my mention of traveling to Havana triggered such an overreaction. I have no idea how a terrorist group or rogue regime could possibly benefit from anything I do in my brokerage account.To me, this whole incident is more proof that the U.S. is a full-scale police state. We have hundreds of thousands of mindless enforcers—from TSA officers to overzealous call center supervisors at Fidelity. They follow orders without ever questioning them. They’re as dangerous as Nazi railroad engineers who never questioned why the trains were only full on the outbound trips.Traveling to Cuba is actually not against the law. However, the law is extremely complicated. You can visit, but you can’t stay in hotels, for instance. Americans can only transact business with Cuban people. This means staying in a casa particular (private home) and dining at privately owned restaurants… of which there aren’t many. I’ll give you the details on the B&B I stayed in which qualifies.This was my second trip to Havana. The first was in late 2013. My local Cuban friends told me I missed the boom.After my last trip, cash flooded into Cuba, expecting things to open up. 2015 and 2016 were boom years in Havana. I saw several buildings that were dilapidated on my first trip that were fully refurbished this time.One of them went from ruins to a brand-new, five-star, Kempinski-brand hotel. We stopped in for a cigar and were the only two people in the entire lounge. We were outnumbered by staff five-to-one. E.B. with good Cuban friend Fadi Garcia overlooking Parque Central and The CapitolI attended a friend’s birthday dinner and sat next to a guy named Jose who is president of Spanish bank Banco Sabadell’s Cuban joint venture. He told me that his friend manages the Kempinski property in Old Havana. He said that getting supplies to run a hotel is a nightmare. Sometimes, there’s just no lettuce… for a week. That’s how things go in Cuba.From what I hear, the Cuban military owns some of these new luxury hotels in Old Havana. They negotiate long-term operating leases with companies like Kempinski. Americans can’t stay there because allegedly, it’s a backdoor way of funneling money to the military sector. Day 4 – Departure day. The airport is a nightmare. There’s a 1% chance that your flight leaves on time. Plan to sit around for a while. On the way, have your taxi driver take you by La Casa del Habano, a store in the lobby of the Meliá Hotel on 3rd Avenue, if you need to stock up on cigars. If you can manage it, ask him to drive you through the Cubanacán neighborhood on the way to the airport. Specifically, check out the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. It’s a mansion on five acres. You won’t believe it. The neighborhood was Country Club Park before the revolution. Day 3 – Taxi to the El Morro Castle on the east bank of the entrance to the Havana harbor. Make sure to pay for a round trip. If you don’t, you’ll have a hard time getting back to the city. Once there, walk around the grounds and enjoy the view. On the way back, stop for a drink at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which opened in 1930. It’s where Lansky, Luciano, Trafficante, and Costello met in 1946. Have dinner at El Cocinero on Calle 26. The restaurant looks like an old power plant with a brick smokestack, so it’s easy to locate. The food meets Miami or New York City standards. Have your B&B host make a reservation. Recommended Link Day 2 – Taxi to Old Havana. Ask the driver to take you down the Malecón, which hugs the water and passes the strange, empty U.S. Embassy. Visit El Floridita, which has a statue of Hemingway at the end of the bar. Have a cigar at the Kempinski’s second-floor lounge. — Day 1 – Arrive, change money, relax. Announcing The $250,000 Challenge. Do you have the courage to accept it?Here’s the Challenge: This simple stock selection system – to be revealed on June 14th – produced a track record that will show you how to make $250,000 in profits. It’s straightforward, simple, and audacious. Here’s how to accept The $250,000 Challenge right now… Justin’s note: Today, I’m sharing a special piece from Strategic Investor editor E.B. Tucker, who just got back from a trip to Havana, Cuba. Below, E.B. shares what he learned and explains why you should plan a trip there soon. He even lays out a helpful guide for beginners.While this is different from our usual fare, I think you’ll find it enjoyable… By E.B. Tucker, editor, Strategic InvestorLast week, I managed to trigger a U.S. Treasury Department OFAC “complete freeze” of my brokerage account. The push of one button blocked me from any action in all four accounts I hold at Fidelity.OFAC is the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. Its mission is to prevent funds from flowing to any entity under U.S. sanctions. That means terrorist groups and rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran, and Cuba.My problem started when a Fidelity supervisor called me to say they’d made an error in my account the prior day. I participate in a lot of private placement and off-market transactions. Most of the stock I end up with in these deals carry a date restriction. That means I can’t sell it before a certain date. It’s essentially restricted stock.Fidelity has a special department that deals with restricted stock. The day before the U.S. Treasury freeze, I got an email from Fidelity’s restricted stock department saying that it had cleared one of my holdings and I was free to trade it. I sold it later that day.Turns out they jumped the gun. Some of their internal back-office paper shuffling hadn’t finished processing. This isn’t really my problem, but according to the supervisor, I needed to wire them funds equivalent to the value of my trade immediately. They’d hold these cleared funds separate from my account and release them when the paperwork tied to their mistake settled.I sent the wire. It bounced back… internal error was the reason code. When they called to ask for another wire, I mistakenly told the supervisor, “Look, man… I’m taking off for Cuba tomorrow, and I won’t be able to—”He cut me off. — Here’s a List of Companies Doomed by Rising Interest RatesThe Fed has hiked rates six times since 2008 — and during an expected August 1st meeting, we believe they’ll try to do it again. That’s why you’ve got to exit high-debt, interest-rate sensitive stocks now. Check this list of 277 companies to see if you own any and the steps you need to take to secure your retirement. Click here for all the details. Regarding cigars, don’t just buy them anywhere. Fake cigars are big business in Havana. Don’t buy any from people on the street. Make sure you visit a licensed store. I like the shop at the Meliá Hotel. The prices are great and the staff is helpful. If you’re not an aficionado, feel free to buy cheap cigars in the market. They’re actually great. They’re also dirt cheap. The name brands are what people take the time to fake.You can bring back two boxes of cigars (50 cigars total) right now. Make sure you declare them with customs, or you’ll be sent to secondary screening and lose the cigars.I hope you’ll take a trip to Cuba while you can. Things appear to be getting worse. The tail end of Obama’s term offered some hope of opening up, but that’s over now. Things are back to crumbling.While Cuba is a complicated place, life there is simple. That’s why I enjoy visiting.Regards,E.B. Tucker Editor, Strategic InvestorJustin’s note: E.B. says “What happens away from the desk has a big effect on the quality of your thinking. It’s what separates the excellent from the average…” It’s why he writes about his travels every month—and other stories outside the stock market—at the end of every Strategic Investor issue.As a subscriber to Strategic Investor, you’ll also have access to E.B.’s top recommendations… from world-class companies trading at bargain prices to the tiny, explosive resource speculations most people are completely overlooking right now. You can take a risk-free trial right here.In Case You Missed It…Who is the “Billionaire Broker”?For years, he was a high-profile Wall Street executive. He handled massive trades for billionaires and sovereign wealth funds. But now, he’s left all that behind.On Thursday, he’ll reveal one of Wall Street’s best-kept secrets: why the insiders always seem to be in the right place at the right time just before a stock soars. And he’ll show how you can be, too. Details here. read more
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 17 2019Republican and Democratic governors have strikingly different visions for the future of health care, according to a new analysis published in the American Journal of Public Health. While Republican leaders favor maintaining or shrinking public health insurance programs, Democratic leaders are advancing several new proposals to expand public coverage, including “public option” and single-payer health reforms.Researchers analyzed the health care platforms of the 72 Republican and Democratic nominees running for governor in the 2018 election, examining position statements posted on campaign websites. They identified four major health care reform proposals advanced by gubernatorial candidates: introducing work requirements for Medicaid, expanding Medicaid in states that have not yet done so, creating a public insurance option, and transitioning to a state-based single-payer system.Related StoriesJohns Hopkins experts release digital health roadmapFirst smartphone app to detect childhood ear infectionGovernment policy and infrastructure have substantial impact on hospitalization of seniorsFive Republican nominees proposed adding work requirements for their state’s Medicaid program, of whom one was elected (in Ohio). In the 22 states that had previously expanded Medicaid, no candidate from either party proposed rolling back coverage.Six Democratic nominees proposed creating a new public insurance option to compete alongside private plans, of whom five were elected. Importantly, a public option was proposed by newly elected governors in Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and Maine who will be working with Democratic state legislatures, bolstering the political viability of reform. Seven Democratic nominees proposed single-payer health care plans, of whom three were elected. These newly elected governors–in California, Colorado, and New Mexico–will all be working with Democratic-controlled state legislatures.All Democratic nominees included health care platforms on their campaign websites, but only half of Republican nominees did so. Their omission did not appear to have electoral consequences: 13 of the 18 Republicans offering no health care platform won their elections.According to Micah Johnson, an author of the AJPH article and M.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School, “With a divided government in Washington, states have an opening to provide leadership on health reform in the next two years. State efforts to expand public coverage could serve as a model for future national reform, much as the Massachusetts health reform plan in 2006 provided the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act.”Sanjay Kishore, an author of the article and M.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School, said, “At a time when many voters consider health care their top priority, it’s remarkable that ten candidates for governor led with a platform of single-payer or a public option, reforms never achieved anywhere in the U.S. This may signal a desire for more progressive health policy.””Laboratories of Democracy: Health Care Reform Platforms in the 2018 Governor Elections.” Micah Johnson and Sanjay Kishore. American Journal of Public Health, Jan. 16, 2019. Source:http://www.pnhp.org/ read more