April 4, 2002 This series of photosdepict the recent mammoth pour. Our construction team poured 112 tonsof concrete, which came to about 58 cubic yards delivered in 6 trucks.Remember this shot from the posting on March 26? This is the secondfloor of Unit 6 and 7 of the East Crescent showing the rebar cage before the pour.[Photo: David Tollas &text: Sue Anaya] On the morning of thepour construction manager Spencer Marrese-Atom is talkingthrough the expected chain of events with his crew in the classroom.[Photo: Ray Lam & text: SA] The first concretetruck is pulling up to the boom pump. [Photo & text: SA] Volunteer AndyBradshaw is stuffing a test cylinder with a sample from the first batchof concrete. The tubes are sent to a lab for compression strength.[Photo & text: SA] Workshopper SorenManillen is wetting down the forms before the pour. [Photo & text: SA] The pour starts atthe southwest corner of unit 6. [Photo: RL & text: SA] Constructionsupervisor Ray Shong is guiding the vibrating screed while Scott Reillyis smoothing out the surface with a giant bullfloat. [Photo: RL & text:SA] The pour in progress.[Photo: RL & text: SA] A view from the 3rdfloor of the 5th unit of the progress of the pour. [Photo: RL & text:SA] Our welding man RonChandler is guiding the pump hose. [Photo: Nadia Begin & text: SA] A view from thesky-suite onto the almost completed pour. [Photo: Nadia Begin & text:SA] With the pourcomplete there is still a lot of detail work to be done. [Photo & text:SA] Volunteer JunkoKobayashi is doing some of the edgework. Junko has gone back to Japan.[Photo & text: SA] Monster pourcomplete.
Bouygues Telecom overtook Numericable in June to become the fastest internet service provider in France, according to Netflix’s latest ISP Speed Index.Bouygues took the top spot with an average speed of 3.86 Megabits per second (Mbps), leapfrogging Numericable with a speed of 3.84 Mbps, while Orange remained in third place with an average speed of 3.52 Mbps.In Belgium there was also change among the fastest ISPs, with Proximus taking the top spot from Voo with an average speed of 4.20 Mbps and Numericable jumping from fourth to third place, putting Telenet in fourth place.In Germany, Unitymedia KabelBW remained the fastest ranked ISP with an average speed of 4.16 Mbps, but Kabel Deutschland dropped from second to third place, overtaken by Quix – Inexio.Similarly, in Luxembourg Numericable continued to hold the number one spot, while Visual Online took second place with an average speed of 4.18 Mbps, ahead of Lux Online which dropped into third.There was no change in the ranking of the top ISPs in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK in June, according to the research.Over in the US, Netflix recorded “much movement in the index, with Cox moving to the top spot with an average speed of 3.58 Mbps and Verizon FiOS slipped to number three with an average speed of 3.43 Mbps.“Cablevision came in second, with an average speed of 3.57 Mbps. Bright House and Time Warner Cable also slipped in the rankings, dropping three and two spots, respectively,” said Netflix.The firm claims that the Netflix ISP Speed Index is a measure of primetime Netflix performance on a particular ISP and not a measure of overall performance for other services and data for that service provider.
Sky has agreed to sell its 20% stake in the online betting and gaming business, Sky Betting & Gaming, to Canadian online gaming firm The Stars Group.Sky CEO Jeremy DarrochThe deal will see Sky receive roughly £425 million cash and 7.6 million newly issued shares – approximately 3% of The Stars Group – post-completion of the deal, worth approximately £145 million.Sky said it will use the proceeds to reduce debt and reinvest in further growth opportunities.“We are proud of what we have achieved from a standing start with Sky Betting & Gaming, crystallising over £1 billion in value for shareholders,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch.“The ability to create innovative products and successfully challenge for share in completely new markets has become a pattern at Sky and gives us the continued confidence to open up new opportunities and invest for future growth.”The disposal follows Sky’s initial sale of an 80% majority stake in Sky Betting & Gaming to CVC Capital Partners in 2015. Taken together, Sky said it will generate total value of some £1.2 billion for Sky shareholders.
Mark Errington, CEO at OASYS, looks at factors behind the likely success or failure of UK local TV.The UK’s major broadcasters have been unable to exploit the opportunity that local public service broadcasting has to offer for a number of years now. So when then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt essentially gave ITV the green light to pull out of regional news altogether in 2011, the commercial broadcaster happily agreed to give up the field to new plans to create a network of TV stations to better service communities, now known to us all as ‘Local TV’.This new service has created an opportunity for innovation in the way we deliver localised TV content to viewers and last year saw the plan taking its first steps with the official launch of the Comux Network and the first of these channels (Estuary TV) going on air.In practice, however, there are still questions around how these channels will get up and running, how they will generate enough interesting and relevant content, how local they can ever truly be, whether there is a successful business model to be found, and ultimately whether there is even an audience for local TV.The technology is ready and waitingWhen it comes to the technology, from the first announcement of a local TV service and Comux being appointed as infrastructure provider there has been confusion about how channels will set up their playout to actually get on air. Comux is certainly one option and provides a centralised infrastructure that takes many of the technical challenges off the shoulders of a new broadcaster, but it’s not the only route available. There are also other distribution channels available other than Freeview. In fact, it’s not really the technology that is the challenge to the success of these channels, as there are a host of alternatives that offer equally fast and cost-effective ways to launch a new channel.However, by its own admission, the Comux business model also relies on the successful sale of additional national commercial channels, with “the profits made by the sale of this capacity [being] used to fund the services for local television”. Questions remain as to who will actually buy these channels. Whether for the local TV channel itself or the additional channels Comux is trying to sell, the key to success will lie in developing engaged communities around these channels and new business models that make them commercially sustainable.Advertisers – big and smallThe next local TV channel set to launch later this month is London Live, which offers an example of how these new services can work together with their other media counterparts. London Live is set to be the first 24-hour channel devoted to the capital and is expected to work closely with its sister-organisations the Evening Standard and Independent, with news and current affairs programming able to draw on the over 35 journalists and existing editorial resources at the papers. Existing local newspapers offer an interesting opportunity for these new TV channels to tap into existing communities through cross-platform advertising and promotions.Tie-ups with existing local media organisations also offer the potential for new advertising models to allow channels to generate income, as well as provide a service to the local community. For example, a local restaurant can advertise alongside a weekly cooking show, with the TV station also able to offer the equipment to film a brief advert for them. The ability to target on a more local basis is also something that big brands may well be interested in pursuing and one that many brands may be interested.Neil Simpson, founding partner at ad agency The Corner and a former senior marketer at Coke and Adidas, said of London Live: “A lot of product launches like to nail London first before they roll out nationally, and London Live will help them reach critical mass quicker. It clearly appeals to London-centric brands who would not normally consider TV, but it also offers a London up-weight option for a national buy.”There are certainly challenges ahead for local TV channels – whether it’s finding the right business model, generating great content, or partnering with another local media company. But the one thing that these new broadcasters don’t have to worry so much about is the technology, with plenty of options available to help them get on air quickly and cost-effectively.It is clear, with London Live due to launch this month and another 17 stations expected to launch this year, 2014 will be the year that TV tries to go local.