An opposition lawmaker used the floor of Parliament yesterday to charge that the State has not been doing enough for sports persons.Everald Warmington claimed that young athletes are only recognised by the Government at the time of their performance or when they return to Jamaica, and are then forgotten.He said that in recognition of the performance of our young athletes, the Government is to establish a special programme geared at providing for the further education and welfare of young athletes.He said in Parliament yesterday that very often, the State only concerns itself with having motorcades and having special holidays for athletes after they have performed well.”Very little is done for them by the Government to help their welfare and education,” he said.The South West St Catherine MP said that if the Government stepped up to the plate, “they would no longer have to be on the streetside selling bananas after they performed exceptionally well for this country”.Cabinet in December approved the establishment of the Jamaican Athletes Insurance Plan to provide group health and life and personal accident insurance for 1,323 athletes.Guardian Life Insurance and Allied Insurance Brokers have been selected to provide coverage for the athletes. The Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan has received funding from the Sports Development Foundation, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the National Health Fund, and the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund.Natalie Neita Headley, minister with responsibility for sports, said at a Jamaica House press briefing last November that the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association and the Sports Development Foundation had been supportive of the athletes’ welfare, and since 2001, the amount spent for the development and welfare of the athletes increased from $670,000 to $9 million in 2013.
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Norwegian maritime technology expert Kongsberg and its compatriot fertilizer producer Yara have teamed up on a project to build world’s first autonomous and zero emissions ship.Named Yara Birkeland, the vessel will be the world’s first fully electric container feeder, the duo claims, adding that the ship would produce zero emissions.Operation is planned to start in the latter half of 2018, shipping products from Yara’s Porsgrunn production plant to Brevik and Larvik in Norway. Yara Birkeland will initially operate as a manned vessel, moving to remote operation in 2019 and expected to be capable of performing fully autonomous operations from 2020.“Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to ports in Brevik and Larvik where we ship products to customers around the world. With this new autonomous battery-driven container vessel we move transport from road to sea and thereby reduce noise and dust emissions, improve the safety of local roads, and reduce NOx and CO2 emissions,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara.Under the partnership, Kongsberg will be in charge of development and delivery of all key enabling technologies on Yara Birkeland including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous operations, in addition to the electric drive, battery and propulsion control systems. According to the company, its integrated control and monitoring systems are already capable of providing technology for remote and unmanned operations.“By moving container transport from land to sea, Yara Birkeland is the start of a major contribution to fulfilling national and international environmental impact goals. The new concept is also a giant step forward towards increased seaborne transportation in general,” says Geir Håøy, President and CEO of Kongsberg.“Developing systems for autonomous operations is a major opening and natural step for Kongsberg, considering our decades of expertise in the development and integration of advanced sensors, control and communication systems for all areas of ship operations. Yara Birkeland will set the benchmark for the application of innovative maritime technology for more efficient and environmentally friendly shipping,” says Håøy.
LG Smart TVDespite having “the wow factor” Ultra High Definition take-up faces a number of challenges, including a slow TV replacement cycle among consumers, according to LG Electronics’ director of EU innovation R&D, Stuart Savage.Speaking at the Digital World Summit in London this week, Savage warned that like HD before it, UHD will take a long time to become a mass-market proposition, and warned that TV buying trends have slipped back into a roughly seven-year cycle.“Taking a step back to look at how HD developed, arguably it took 15 to 20 years from its initial inception before it became a huge mass-market proposition that it is today. Even today there’s still a lot of SD content around. UHD is probably going to take a similar course, so it’s not going to happen instantly, I think we all accept that,” said Savage.“We’re not going to get the perfect storm that we had a few years ago when high definition, analogue switch-off, flat panels, all arrived and there were multiple simultaneous reasons why people wanted to move at a single point. We saw at that point an exponential growth in sales of TVs. That’s now steadied off again and we’re now back into the normal lifecycle of TV purchasing.”Savage added: “UHD certainly has a wow-factor for consumers. Consumers who have seen it love it and say ‘when can I have it, when’s the broadcasting starting?’ Well unfortunately it’s not quite as simple as that.”He said that currently there are lot of challenges and Ultra HD parameters to be worked out, though predicted that the industry will eventually “arrive at the same place.”
UK TV platform Freeview is due to launch a new mobile app on January 22, 2019 that it says will act as a “one-stop-shop” for the nation’s most-watched content.The free-to-use app will let viewers stream live channels from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and access on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and UKTV Play.Further catch up players and live channels have been promised “in due course”, with the app to launch on iOS initially followed by an Android rollout in early 2019.Freeview announced the app at its Outside the Box event at BAFTA in London today, claiming it to be a “significant step” for the platform.The app will allow viewers to watch live Freeview programming without using a TV aerial for the first time, marking a major evolution of the Freeview service in line with changing viewing habits.“In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, the new Freeview mobile app is an excellent example of broadcaster and industry collaboration in action,” said Jonathan Thompson, CEO of Digital UK – the organisation that leads the development of Freeview.“Today’s viewers value having access to their favourite shows when and where they want and the new app provides the aggregated experience that consumers increasingly expect from a TV provider.“We’re putting the best of free-to-air content – public service and commercial – in to one place on mobile just as we have on TV, ensuring that great free tv is available to everyone wherever they are”.The app is the result of a collaboration between Digital UK and Freeview’s common shareholders – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and infrastructure firm Arqiva. The latter led the software build and integrated the app with the content providers’ metadata feeds.News of the app comes after Ofcom CEO Sharon White in March urged the UK’s public service broadcasters to work together in order to compete in an age of changing viewing habits and large digital rivals like Netflix and Amazon.“Our PSBs may increasingly need to join forces to increase their bargaining power, just as they are doing with TV manufacturers. Increasingly, they will need to collaborate to compete,” White told delegates of Deloitte and Enders Analysis’ ‘Media and Telecoms 2018 & Beyond’ conference in London earlier this year.The new Freeview app will replace the current Freeview TV Guide app, which lists what’s on the TV service for the next seven days.
Amazon has added the A+E Networks’ History Play streaming service to its line-up of Prime Video Channels in the UK, Germany and Austria, marking the first time the service has been available in the three countries.Prime members will gain access to History Play with an add -n subscription of £3.99 in the UK and €3.99 per month in Germany and Austria, with a seven-day free trial in the UK and a 14-day free trial in Germany and Austria.The service will be available on smart TVs, iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire tablets and games consoles and through the web.At launch the service will offer UK Prime members shows including Madness front man Suggs who teams up with leading detectorist Stephen Taylor as they unearth secrets from the Second World War inWW2 Treasure Hunters, Hunting Hitler and The Curse of Oak Island.“We’re thrilled to now offer Prime members in the UK, Germany and Austria access to a wide-range of popular documentaries and series for the first time with A+E’s on-demand subscription service, History Play, through Prime Video Channels. History Play adds an incredible line up of ground-breaking stories across different areas of history, to the wide selection of entertainment we offer customers through Prime Video Channels in the UK, Germany and Austria,” said Julian Monaghan, European MD of Channels at Amazon Prime Video. Dean Possenniskie, managing director, A+E Networks EMEA, said: “Launching History Play is a great opportunity to share our quality content with new audiences through Prime Video Channels. With our mix of UK talent-led commissions and our best-in-class factual programming from around the world, History Play will present a unique offering to Prime members.”