Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sky and ITV sign a deal for Sky Go and Now TV

COMMERCIAL TV BROADCASTER ITV has announced a four year partnership with pay TV giant British Sky Broadcasting.

At the heart of the agreement that was announced on Wednesday will be the new pay TV channel ITV Encore, which is set to be available across Sky properties including mobile service Sky Go and IPTV ancillary Now TV.

A range of archive shows is also included in the Promo Code, which will be added to Sky's on-demand service. Following the broadcasters' recent spat with mobile TV service TV Catchup that saw them forceably remove their channels, the Sky agreement will also see the ITV channels stream live on Sky Go, joining Channel Four, which had also objected to the TV Catchup service as part of the same legal battle.

ITV Encore will be the first new channel from ITV in eight years and will showcase "quality drama" from the network, with original programming arriving in 2015. This original programming will set ITV Encore ahead of the existing ITV3, which already shows reruns of classic drama series.

With advertising revenues falling in recent years as the number of channels increases, the move towards premium services to provide "quality" programming has gained momentum. The most obvious comparison would be to Sky's own Sky Atlantic, which shows a range of first run US dramas as well as original commissions such as the cult comedy This Is Jinsy. However, unlike their American counterparts HBO and Showtime, these channels do not require additional payment on top of the basic package.

This is not the first time that ITV has joined forces with Sky. In the 1990s the two shared a five channel bouquet known as "Granada Sky Broadcasting", while more recently they were arch-rivals with the failed Ondigital - later ITV Digital - terrestrial service that was forced into administration after a bidding war with Sky over football rights.

ITV boss Adam Crozier said, "The time is absolutely right to build on our successful partnership with Sky with the launch of ITV Encore, which will be an important part of ITV's family of channels, and will complement ITV3, home to our long-running, classic drama series. ITV Encore is right in line with our strategy of growing non advertising revenues while at the same time creating even greater opportunities to showcase new drama."

At present no launch date has been set for the new channel and streaming services, and there is no word as to whether ITV Encore will be a Sky exclusive, leaving cable customers out in the cold. µ

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hey - You People with Self-Control

Tell me NOT to buy the following:

Marble and Block Set (X2)

I might already have two, but the children and I MUST reach new levels of height and complexity. MUST.

TARDIS Bracelet Charm

The future in-laws got me a pandora bracelet for Christmas. It would only be good manners to use it. Thus, I need charms.

Portal Turrets

Look at that Bumblebee one! These come blind boxed, therefore, I must purchase 4 of them at the better to price to improve my chances. It's science.

Wonder Woman Underwear

Do... do I really need to justify this one?

So I should get them all, right? Despite the fact that it WILL cost 30 bucks in shipping plus duty costs at the border?

Apropos of nothing, ThinkGeek is having a buy-one-get-one 50% off sale.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

ElectricCigaretteOffers Is Offering the Best V2 Cigs Coupon Codes for 2014

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Discount retailer Dots to file for bankruptcy - WSJ

Limited-time or "flash" sales on popular websites such as Rue La La and Gilt have eaten into Dots's revenue, which has declined in recent periods, the Journal report said, citing the people.

The retailer, which caters to women aged between 25 and 35 years old and has more than 400 stores across 28 states, has enlisted restructuring advisers at PricewaterhouseCoopers and law firm Lowenstein Sandler LLP, according to the WSJ. ().

Glenwillow, Ohio-based Dots is also in talks with asset management firm Salus Capital Partners for debtor-in-possession financing, sources told the business daily. According to the report, Salus provided Dots with about $50 million in financing about six months ago.

Dots's bankruptcy filing would underscore the retail industry's breakneck move from offline to online, which has significantly hurt brick-and-mortar businesses.

Bronx, New York-based Loehmann's, the 92-year-old Amazon Sales clothing chain, filed for bankruptcy protection for a third time last December.

Dots, owned by Irving Place Capital, a middle-market private equity firm, was not immediately available for comment outside of regular U.S. business hours when reached by Reuters.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Space News from

Tuesday's massive solar flare has forced the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences to postpone the planned launch of a private cargo mission to the International Space Station today. Read the full story here: Huge Solar Flare Delays Private Rocket Launch to Space Station.

A massive solar flare erupted from the sun on Tuesday (Jan. 7), rising up from what appears to be one of the largest sunspot groups seen on the star's surface in a decade, NASA officials say.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a video of the huge solar flare as it developed, showing it as an intense burst of radiation from a colossal sunspot region known as AR1944. The sunspot group - which is currently in the middle of the sun as viewed from Earth - is "one of the largest sunspots seen in the last 10 years," NASA officials wrote in a statement. It is as wide as seven Earths, they added.

Tuesday's big flare was an X1.2-class solar event on the scale used to classify sun storms. It occurred at 1:32 p.m. EST (1832 GMT) and came just hours after an M7.2-class flare.

Space weather channel officials at the the Space Weather Prediction Center overseen by NOAA are expecting the flare to spark geomagnetic storms in Earth's magnetic field when a wave of super-hot solar plasma associated with the flare - known as a coronal mass ejection - reaches Earth in the next few days. [ Photos: The Biggest Solar Flares of 2014]

"This is the first significant flare of 2014, and follows on the heels of mid-level flare earlier in the day," NASA spokeswoman Karen Fox of the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., wrote in a statement.

"Each flare was centered over a different area of a large sunspot group currently situated at the center of the sun, about half way through its 14-day journey across the front of the disk along with the rotation of the sun."

X-class solar flares are the most powerful solar storms on the sun. Mid-level storms are dubbed M-class events and can supercharge Earth's northern lights displays, with weaker C-class flares rounding out the top three.

When aimed directly at Earth, the strongest X-class solar flares can pose a risk to astronauts in orbit and interrupt communications and navigation satellite operations.

Tuesday's solar flare did force the commercial spaceflight company Orbital Sciences to delay the launch of its first Cygnus cargo mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

NASA officials told today that the crew of the International Space Station will not have to take measures to shelter themselves from the solar flare's radiation effects.

There are currently six astronauts living on the station as part of the outpost's Expedition 38 crew. The team includes three Russian cosmonauts, two NASA astronauts and one Japanese astronaut.

The sun is currently in an active phase of its 11-year solar cycle. The current cycle, called Solar Cycle 24, began in 2008.

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 9:26 a.m. EST to include new details about the effects of the solar flare for astronauts on the International Space Station and its delay of an Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo mission to the station from Wallops Island, Va.

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