Web conferencing helps keep England squad on the ball

June 24, 2010
England’s World Cup team are using MegaMeeting web conferencing software to help manage their World Cup 2010 campaign.

Megameeting UKAs Head of Physiotherapy for the England Football Team, Gary Lewin has a vital role in ensuring players stay in peak condition. Managing injuries and any physiotherapy required is an issue that concerns not just the England team in South Africa but also medical staff from the player’s own clubs across Europe. The internet has become an essential tool in maintaining those lines of communication.

“In preparation for the World Cup, I was constantly attending meetings,” comments Gary, “Sometimes travelling the length and breadth of the country. While a physical attendance at many of these meetings was still necessary, I wanted a way to make life easier for me and my team so this prompted me to look into online conferencing.”

Gary’s search led him to Brighton-based, MegaMeeting UK. MegaMeeting differs from other web conferencing solutions in that it is 100% browser-based, requiring no plug-ins or special hardware. Gary comments, “I was amazed at how easy it was to connect into a meeting and get a session up and running without having to download any software.” Being browser-based, MegaMeeting also avoids the compatibility problems that afflict many of its competitors. “The support and online training from the team at MegaMeeting made it very easy to feel comfortable using the software,” says Gary.

James Salisbury, sales manager for MegaMeeting UK says, “Ease of use and total reliability are MegaMeeting’s strongest features; Not everyone is an IT expert, and nobody wants to waste valuable time trying to get everyone hooked-in to their conferencing solution. With MegaMeeting, you simply click one link and you’re connected.”

Along with built-in VoIP and live video conferencing with up to 16 attendees on screen simultaneously, MegaMeeting also offers the ability to share desktops and applications, conduct live polls, collaborate on documents and many other features normally only found in far more expensive products.

Gary Lewin continues, “MegaMeeting enables me to talk to FA Premiership club medical staff in real time over the internet and allows our team here to keep up to date with any injuries and rehabilitation plans.” Using MegaMeeting, Gary and the team doctor can examine medical records held at player’s clubs for evidence of previous injuries. “We are also using MegaMeeting to keep in touch with members of staff and our families while we are in South Africa."

In celebration of England’s World Cup 2010 campaign, MegaMeeting UK is offering free trials and special discount deals on its software, which – like the Beautiful Game itself – has the power to unite the world. Visit http://www.megameeting.co.uk/ for more details

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Crain’s Manchester Business ends publication

June 23, 2010

From the Press Gazette – 22 June 2010

By Oliver Luft

Crain’s Manchester Business has closed less than three years after the local weekly business newspaper launched.

US parent company Crain Communications said that despite circulation of around 11,500 a week the title had been unable to generate sufficient interest from local advertisers.The last issue of the paper was published yesterday, a statement published on the title’s website confirmed today. It is not yet clear whether there will be job losses.

“Ultimately the limited support from key advertising sectors has made the project unsustainable,” said Chris Crain, senior vice president, Crain Communications and editor-in-chief, Crain’s Manchester Business.

Crain’s Manchester Business, the first European newspaper for Crain Communications, was set up in August 2007 and based on its successful US weekly business publication model. A team of nine journalists, led by editor Steve Brauner formerly of the North West Evening Mail, launched the first print issue of the paper and its accompanying website four months later in December, 2007. The paper hit the ground running when its first major scoop revealed, in January 2008, that the boss of a Salford gallery was paid more than the governor of the Bank of England.

Chris Crain said today that Brauner had managed to create a “highly useful product that was met with great excitement from the Greater Manchester business community” which “captured the must-know news and information for the coming business week”.

Despite this, the regional business title failed to replicate the success of similar titles run by Crain in cities in the US.The closure of the Manchester weekly follows Crain Communications’ closure of Business Insurance Europe, its London-based title, in March last year.

Crain’s Manchester Business ends publication – Business-to-Business B2B Magazines – Press Gazette


Front page blunder highlights newspaper staffing concerns

June 8, 2010

From the Press Gazette – 4 June 2010

By Dominic Ponsford

Free weekly the Bedford Times and Citizen is the latest Johnston Press title to suffer a major production howler on the front page.

In this week’s edition of the paper, out today, the front page carries the words “headline headghgh” with the words “strapline for main story like this if needed”. The paper has a free distribution 58,565 to homes in the Bedfordshire area.

The error comes as journalists across Johnston Press mull group-wide strike action in protest against staffing levels and the introduction of the Atex production system.

Press Gazette understands that Atex, which allows reporters to input stories directly on to page layouts, has been introduced across Johnston Press titles in the south of England.

In April, the NUJ blamed the “rushed” introduction of Atex for a major production error at paid-for daily newspaper the Sheffield Star.

The paper attempted to display a “rogues’ gallery” of a dozen men involved in a train brawl on the front page, but a production problem led to the images being largely blacked out.

At the time there were further reports that the South Yorkshire Times had appeared with blank pages.

Journalists across Johnston Press, which is the UK’s second largest regional newspaper publisher, were due to hold a group-wide strike on 19 May.

But the one-day stoppage was called off after a legal challenge from Johnston Press head office which argued that it does not employ any journalists, saying instead that they were employed by autonomous local companies.

The NUJ balloted some 550 journalists across 50 Johnston Press chapels and 70 per cent of the 60 per cent who voted said yes to industrial action.

Chapel officials are due to meet in Leeds on 19 June to discuss holding a series of individual strike ballots at the various Johnston Press centres.

Johnston Press was for many years the most profitable regional newspaper publisher in the UK, but in recent years has been weighed down by debts accumulated during a period of rapid expansion.

Last month it revealed it was increasing its year-on-year cost-cutting programme by £5m to £15m.

The company made a pre-tax loss of £113.8m in 2009 as it wrote down the value of its assets. It made an operating profit of £71.8m on turnover of £428m. In March, when it announced these results, total debt stood at £422.1m.

A management spokesman for the Bedford Times and Citizen was not available for comment this morning.

Johnston Press weekly has front page production howler – Press Gazette


That’s a wrap

June 2, 2010

From Electronics Manufacture & Test – 27 May 2010

Sony has developed a super-flexible 80µm-thick 4.1in 121ppi 432 x 240 x RGB (FWQVGA) pixels OTFT-driven full colour OLED display that can be wrapped around a pencil.

OTFT-driven OLED display wrapped around a cylinder with a 4mm radiusAn OTFT (Organic Thin-Film Transistor) is a thin-film transistor with organic (carbon-based compound) semiconductor. The OTFT can be directly made on a flexible substrate at low temperature below typically 180°C.
To create the display, Sony developed OTFTs with an original organic semiconductor material (a PXX derivative) with eight times the current modulation of conventional OTFTs. That figure is according to internal comparisons between OTFTs with pentacene (C22H14) and OTFT with a PXX (peri-Xanthenoxanthene) derivative. The OTFT with a PXX derivative shows hole mobility four times higher than an OTFT with pentacene and better switching performance, resulting in current density at a certain gate voltage of eight times higher than conventional pentacene OTFT.

In order to achieve this, it was necessary to develop the integration technologies of OTFTs and OLEDs on an ultra-thin 20μm thick flexible substrate (a flexible on-panel gate-driver circuit with OTFTs which is able to get rid of conventional rigid driver IC chips interfering roll-up of a display) and soft organic insulators for all the insulators in the integration circuit.

OTFT-driven OLED display wrapped around a cylinder with a 4mm radiusBy combining these technologies, Sony successfully demonstrated the world’s first OTFT-driven OLED panel capable of reproducing moving images while being repeatedly rolled-up and stretched around a cylinder with a radius of 4mm. Even after 1000 cycles of repeatedly rolling-up and stretching the display, there was no clear degradation in the display’s ability to reproduce moving images.

Sony has announced that it will proceed with the development of the solution / print based process which manufactures display devices from organic materials that can be dissolved in common solvents. This process requires fewer steps, and consumes materials and energy more efficiently compared to the conventional high temperature vacuum semiconductor process which use inorganic, silicon materials.

Images courtesy of Sony

That’s a wrap