Saturday, December 23, 2006
A prime time newscast and a news and current affairs program of ABS-CBN have been chosen as finalists and are vying for top awards in the prestigious New York Festivals International Television Programming and Promotions Awards, ABS-CBN News reported Friday.
Reports said that TV Patrol World and The Correspondent were chosen as finalists in their respective categories for television programs worldwide in the 2007 TV Programming and Promotion competition.
ABS-CBN News learned that TV Patrol World and The Correspondents episode "Rugby" are strong contenders to be among the medallists for the best newscast and best news magazine category respectively.
The annual TV Programming and Promotion competition bestows Grand Awards and gold, silver and bronze worldmedals for different categories.
It was learned that the Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition is also a finalist in the news promotion category.
The awards give recognition to the world's best work in news, documentary, information and entertainment programming.
Now on its 48th year, the group also gives credit to music videos, infomercials, promotion spots, openings and IDs.
TV Programming and Promotion entries were judged by hundreds of producers, directors, writers and other media professionals in the US while programming entries were reviewed live by panels of industry experts in New York City and TV stations around the world and promotional entries. Promotional entries, on the other hand, were judged online.
Winners of the competition will be announced at the awarding ceremony to be held on February 2, 2007 at the Downtown Auditorium located at Lower Manhattan's Financial District at No. 41 Broad Street and Exchange Street in New York City.
By Heherson U. Butac
Last updated 02:36am (Mla time) 12/23/2006
Published on Page A13 of the December 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
DEAR PUBLIC SERVANTS (A.K.A. POLITICIANS):
Before anything else, let me greet you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I would like to return the favor of being greeted by your colorful posters and streamers every morning as I pass by the streets of your respective districts. As early as the first week of December, I could already feel the spirit of Christmas because of your Christmas greetings and wishes for peace and goodwill, not to mention your "star-struck" smiles which never fail to put a smile on my face.
Your posters seem to be a common sight this season. They are in public places and even pasted on private walls. They are nailed to trees and electric posts.
I think every street already has some kind of greetings from you. I remember seeing posters and streamers similar to these Christmas posters, but with different greetings, such as "Happy Fiesta," "Happy Halloween," "Congratulations Graduates," etc. These greetings come from the same people. Similar faces, similar smiles, similar names are on those posters containing different greetings. I suppose the pictures on your posters are your best or perhaps you do not have any other picture, because every year I am being greeted by the same face, the same hairstyle, the same dress, the same posture.
Some of you have become so creative in designing streamers so that only the greetings need to be changed to fit the occasion, be it a fiesta, graduation, Easter, Christmas, etc. Of course that is an economical way to do it, but there is always the risk that others will notice it and think you are insincere.
I keep trying to convince myself all this exposure is in fulfillment of your obligation as public servants to reach out to your constituents. The people need to feel that their leaders care for them and so they are present at every celebration that is significant to them.
But more often, I am skeptical about the purpose of your posters and streamers. Are they really intended to spread the spirit of Christmas in its meaningful sense or are they part of your publicity campaign for the next elections?
Correct me if I am wrong, but I have noticed some kind of pattern in the contents of your posters and streamers. They always carry your close-up pictures in which you are either smiling or grinning like a show-biz personality and your greetings and of course your name in big letters.
I have also observed that your pictures and names practically crowd out your messages. In fact, they give me the impression that your names and faces are the only things you want the people to see and read—not your greetings. If the purpose of your posters and streamers are to greet your constituents on special occasions, is it not logical that the greetings should be larger than your names?
Assuming you are sincere in wishing everyone will be happy during this Christmas season or on any other occasion, is it absolutely essential that they be reminded of how you look like and that the greetings come from you? The public just might wonder why their public servants are like show-biz personalities competing for exposure. Your posters even compete for attention with other billboards along the highways as if you are endorsing some products.
Do you really think that people will believe that you are serving them well with your greetings pasted on posters and streamers? It is quite obvious that their purpose is political. They are not much different from the campaign posters scatted all over the land when elections are approaching. In fact, when such greetings appear in profusion, I am reminded that the next elections are only a few months away.
Have you ever paused to consider if your posters and streamers benefit the majority of our people in any way? Most people I know think they are a waste of paper and ink and money. What our people need are projects that help lift them out of poverty or improve their standard of living.
I do not mean to tell you how to spend your own money, but something tells me you are not using your money to put up all those posters and streamers. And considering how much your colorful posters and streamers must have cost, I can think of more than a dozen ways it could be better spent, like buying food and other basic necessities and distributing them to our less fortunate countrymen as gifts for Christmas. I know that most of you already have programs to distribute relief goods to some depressed areas in your towns or districts. But you could have reached more people if you had used the money for your posters and streamers to buy more essential items for your constituents.
I have also noticed that when you distribute goods to the poor, you don't forget to put your smiling pictures and your names on the plastic bags. Can you not give away anything without forcing others to know it came from you and therefore they should be grateful to you? Can you not give anymore without expecting something in return? Jesus gave his life to save sinners, but He never asked anyone to put up a sign saying, "I saved this soul—Jesus Christ." Can you no longer give for the sake of giving? I know that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but can you not make an exception of this holy season?
My dear public servants, please pardon my naivete or lack of understanding of "political realities." I just thought you might need something to reflect upon during the holidays. May the true spirit of Christmas be with you all!
Heherson U. Butac, 20, is a fourth year accounting student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
Copyright 2006 Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Zudeo users will be able to download copies of Red Dwarf
The move follows a deal between the commercial arm of the organisation, BBC Worldwide, and technology firm Azureus.
The agreement means that users of Azureus' Zudeo software in the US can download titles such as Little Britain.
Until now, most BBC programmes found on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks have been illegal copies.
Beth Clearfield, vice president of program management and digital media at BBC Worldwide, said that the agreement was part of a drive to reach the largest audience possible.
"We are very excited to partner with Azureus and make our content available through this revolutionary distribution model," she said.
Azureus is best known for developing a BitTorrent client, or program, that allows large media files to be easily shared over the internet. The program has been downloaded more than 130 million times.
Earlier this month the company launched a video sharing site similar to YouTube, codenamed Zudeo. The site allows users to upload and view content.
However, in contrast to most video sharing sites, Zudeo offers high definition videos. Users must also download a program to access and upload content.
The new deal means that users of the software will be able to download high-quality versions of BBC programmes, including Red Dwarf, Doctor Who and the League of Gentleman. Classic series such as Fawlty Towers will also be available through a BBC "channel".
The titles will be protected by digital rights management software to prevent the programmes being traded illegally on the internet.
"This will be a very different experience from traditional file-sharing networks," said Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Azureus.
Users will also be able to link to programmes from blogs, social networks and fansites.
"If you have Zudeo running it will take you to that programme; and if you don't, it will suggest you install it, like the first time you download a flash movie," said Mr BianRosa.
"Once you have watched a show, you can rate it, comment on it and recommend it to a friend."
Mr BianRosa believes the cult status of many BBC programmes will make these features appealing to Zudeo users.
File-sharing is often associated with illegal distribution of copyrighted content. But in recent months a number of networks have tried to shake off this old image.
BitTorrent, the company behind the original file-sharing software of the same name, has recently signed a number of deals with content providers, such as 20th Century Fox, in a bid to become a legitimate download service.
Earlier this year, Sharman Networks, the owners of Kazaa, did similar deals. Kazaa uses advertising to provide content for free.
No pricing structure for the BBC content on Zudeo has been revealed.
Azureus is expected to announce other partnerships in the New Year.
Most of the permits will be issued to airlines for nothing
Commissioners called on the industry to make a "fair contribution" to the fight against climate change.
But environmentalists said the measures were too weak to make much difference.
The commissioners' idea is to bring internal EU flights inside the bloc's emissions trading scheme from 2011, with other flights following in 2012.
The aviation industry generally welcomed the plan.
"Aviation emissions need to be brought under control, because they are rising very fast," said Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.
"Since 1990, they have gone up about 90% and, by 2020, they are going to be doubled, if business continues as usual."
The commission says 46% of this expected growth in aviation emissions - or 183 tonnes of CO2 per year - would be saved if its plan was implemented in full.
However, a large part of the saving would be achieved by other participants in the emissions trading scheme (ETS), which would sell emission allowances to the airlines.
The plan would work by issuing airlines with emissions allowances, mostly free of charge, based on their average carbon use between 2004 and 2006.
An airline that cut its emissions would be able to sell its surplus permits, while one that increased emissions would have to buy extra permits from industry or from other airlines.
Environmentalists say Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas wanted tougher action against airlines' emissions, but lost an internal battle following a huge lobbying campaign by industry.
"They have escaped with most of their privileged tax-free status intact. And perhaps most seriously, they don't have to account for emissions of other greenhouse gases, probably three times more powerful than CO2, that happen not to be included in the trading scheme," he says.
The European Commission said it expected short-haul air tickets to rise by 1.8 euros (£1.20) to 9 euros each by 2020 - too little, environmentalists said, to deter people flying.
But the Association of European Airlines (AEA), representing big carriers such as British Airways, Air France KLM and Lufthansa, said the proposals would force its members to buy emission permits.
"It will be a burden and it might be a heavy burden," said AEA spokeswoman Francoise Humbert.
Ms Sujatha is only the second recipient of the prize
Ramdorai Sujatha, from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, picked up up the award at a ceremony in Trieste, Italy.
The prize was set up last year, so 44-year-old Professor Sujatha is the second recipient of the $10,000 award.
The award is named after the Indian mathematics genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.
It is to be awarded annually to a mathematician under 45 from a developing country.
This year's recipient was honoured for her work on the "arithmetic of algebraic varieties" and her substantial contributions to a mathematical framework known as Iwasawa theory.
"In the last few years there have been a flurry of various prizes instituted for mathematical research, but none that was addressed to support mathematics in developing nations," said Professor Sujatha.
"It is an important recognition and serves well to integrate mathematics globally. It will certainly inspire working mathematicians in the developing nations."
She said that women in developing countries could face career obstacles, but that she had encountered none herself.
But she added: "It is true that the scientific policies could be shaped towards making them sensitive to the problems of women and this is happening to a certain extent."
She was presented with the prize by Professor Lennart Carleson in a ceremony at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy.
Professor Carleson, of the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, was this year's winner of the Abel Prize, which has been dubbed the "Nobel prize for maths".
The Nobel Foundation currently has no award for mathematics, and the Abel Prize was set up to fill this vacuum.
The Ramanujan prize, meanwhile, was established by the ICTP as part of its mandate to strengthen science in developing countries.
"Scientific development is part of the overall development and the increased interconnectedness of the world today implies that it is dangerous for all of us to leave any part of it too far behind," said KR Sreenivasan, the ICTP's director.The ICTP operates under the aegis of two UN agencies: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Monday, December 18, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
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