Related posts:Arts Festival in Jacó, and other happenings around Costa Rica A jungle concert, St. Paddy’s Day, and other stuff happening in Costa Rica India Fest, San Ramón run and other happenings around Costa Rica Arts and culture in brief: the week ahead in Costa Rica Paddle Fest 2014Have paddle, will travel. Paddle Fest 2014 is a massive tournament for every kind of hand-powered water sport – from sea kayaking to stand-up paddleboarding. Athletes will compete as individuals or in groups, covering the coast of Playa Agujas in watercraft. Sponsored by Kayak Jacó, Paddle Fest is gathering of skilled athletes and a chance for fans to get their feet wet.Paddle Fest takes place May 24 at Playa Agujas, Jacó, Puntarenas. 5:30 a.m. onward. Participants ₡5,000-60,000 ($10-120), spectators free. Info: 2643-1233.Book Sale in San RamónThe Community Action Alliance offers thousands of new and used books to raise money for Tico scholarships.The book sale takes place May 24 & 25, Museo Regional de San Ramón. 9 a.m. To learn more or to donate books, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.Theater: “The Merchant of Venice”A Spanish adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy performs at the National Auditorium. See Shylock’s mischievous plotting in a whole new way.“El Mercader de Venecia” plays through May 25 at the National Auditorium, Children’s Museum, San José. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. General, ₡3,500 ($7); students ₡2,500 ($5). Info: RedCultura site.Music: Selah ReggaeGet down to Caribbean beats in Barrio Amón.Selah Reggae takes place May 23 at El Soltano, Barrio Amón, San José. 9 p.m. ₡2,000-3,000 ($4-6). Info: GAM Cultural site.Music: School for the Arts GalaCatch some of the University of Costa Rica’s finest talent at this free gala.Gala takes place at the National Theater, downtown San José. 7 p.m. Free. Info: GAM Cultural site.Youth Symphony OrchestraA concert by the maestros of tomorrow, performed int he National Theater.El Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil performs July 28 at the National Theater, downtown San José. 7 p.m. ₡7,000 ($14). Info: National Theater website.Music: La Maquina del TiempoHear favorite classic rock covers at JazzCafé.La Maquina del Tiempo performs May 27 at JazzCafé Escazú. 8 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: JazzCafé website.Film: “Through a Glass Darkly”A family drama involving vacation, Schizophrenia, and unraveling relationships, by the inimitable Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.“Como en un Espejo” screens May 24 at the Joaquín García Monge Museum, Desamparados. 6:30 p.m. ₡2,000 ($4). Info: GAMCultural website.Exhibit: “Tintin”A retrospective on the dashing young journalist, his pup Snowy and his friend Captain Haddock. Visit the Alianza Francesa to see the works of Belgian cartoonist Hergé.The Tintin exhibit takes place May 2-31 at the Alianza Francesa, La Sabana. Free. Info: Alianza Francesa website.Art: “Mayo en Verde”Celebrate the coming of the green season with these colorful landscapes, painted by a variety of Costa Rican artists.“Mayo en Verde” takes place at the López Ecarré Gallery, National Theater, downtown San José. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Free. Info: Gallery website.Multimedia: “Micro-Theater” at Casa IberoA series of 15-minute plays, plus a half-dozen other avant-garde activities, take place this weekend at the Casa Ibero artists’ collective.Performances take place May 22-24 at Casa Ibero, Los Yoses. Thu. & Sun., 6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 7 p.m. Info: Casa Ibero website.Art: “A Family Portrait of Helvetica”This dual exhibit features a fascinating exploration on the typeface Helvetica, by artist Mimiam Hsu.“Retrato Familiar en Helvética” and “Ojalá el Sol Me Esconda” display through June 28 TEOR/éTica Gallery, Barrio Amón. Free. Info: TEOR/éTica website.Art: Great Painters ExhibitPaintings by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and Andy Warhol arrive in Costa Rica. Presented by the National Gallery, this collection incorporates 158 artworks and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture, based in the former penitentiary.“Herencia del Arte” takes place April 28–June 28 at the National Gallery in Barrio Mexico. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Info: National Gallery website.Enamorate de tu ciudadYes, you can get gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-long celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check back for games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website. Facebook Comments
The European Commission will warn that schemes in EU states to sell citizenship or residence to wealthy individuals could help foreign organised crime groups infiltrate the bloc and increase the risk of money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.The warnings are included in a draft report, seen by Reuters, that is expected to be published on Wednesday by the European Union’s executive.Although individuals who purchase citizenship and residence in EU states can do it for legitimate reasons, the commission said the schemes posed “risks of infiltration of non-EU organised crime groups in the economy, money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.”Malta, Cyprus, and Bulgaria are the only members of the 28-nation EU which run schemes selling citizenship, while twenty states, including those three, sell residence permits.In the three states rich foreigners can buy passports, which grant them unhindered access to most EU countries, for investments ranging between €1m and €2m.The report said there were shortfalls among all three in checking the origins of wealth of individuals who purchased their citizenship.The countries also did not allow easy identification of those who bought their passports.They also circumvented EU rules that require “effective” residence in an EU state before granting citizenship.The Commission said that EU states’ programmes to sell national residence to foreigners posed similar risks as citizenship schemes.Twenty EU states currently sell residence permits to foreign citizens. Residence is sold against investments that range between less than €15,000 in Croatia to over €5m in Luxembourg and Slovakia, the report said.The Cypriot government has been repeatedly criticised, domestically and overseas, for its citizenship-by-investment scheme.A list of law companies and accounting firms acting on behalf of foreign nationals includes the president’s law firm and other prominent offices.Close to 2,400 applications had been filed from May 2013 until August 2018.Anastasiades maintains that since assuming office he has had nothing to do with the law firm and its business – although the main partners in the company are his daughters.Foreign media outlets, including the Guardian, as well as certain quarters inside the EU have tried to put Cyprus’ feet to the fire over its investment scheme.The matter also came up last early in December during a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.There, Victor Bostinaru, a Romanian politician and member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, harangued Anastasiades over Cyprus’ programme.Addressing Anastasiades, Bostinaru said: “And I think that, looking at the composition of the ones benefiting from this programme, you should work on lowering down [sic] and stop it. And this is not to intervene in any way in your internal decisions.”In his answer, Anastasiades stated: “There is an intense targeting of Cyprus from certain quarters. The total citizenships granted via the scheme from 2013 to August 2018 did not exceed 4,700. This represents just 0.3 per cent of the total citizenships granted by other EU member states.”He added: “I hear some saying that you [Cyprus] are allowing some people to acquire Cypriot citizenship at the expense – supposedly – of the security of the EU. But in Cyprus there has never been any act of terrorism. It is not in my country that acts of terrorism occur.“It is not in my country where most football clubs belong to oligarchs of other countries, non-EU countries. Or that landmarks and large buildings and real estate have come into the hands of either Russian oligarchs or Arab oligarchs or others. Not that there is anything wrong with that.”You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
PHOTO: State Rep. Bronna Kahle, right, welcomed Pastor Jeff Malin, center, from West Rome Baptist Church to the state Capitol to give today’s invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives. House tradition calls for a representative or a clergy member to begin each day’s session with a prayer. Speaker Tom Leonard, left, joined them at the rostrum. Categories: Kahle News,Kahle Photos 06Jun Rep. Kahle welcomes local pastor to lead House invocation
19Oct Farrington part of bipartisan plan to fix the state’s unemployment system Categories: Diana Farrington News State Rep. Diana Farrington, of Utica, today introduced a bill in a bipartisan plan to fix Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).The legislation is based on findings of a workgroup consisting of industry experts and legislators. The plan will provide clarity, restore integrity and improve accountability within the agency and address the faults of the unemployment system.“We have an unemployment system that has been hurting those who have been seeking help,” Farrington said. “These flaws cannot happen any longer. I will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats to make sure these much-needed reforms are passed into law.”The proposal requires claimants filing for unemployment benefits to provide more proof of identification in order to receive benefits and also requires the UIA to verify identities of claimants to the best extent possible before making benefit payments.“The current unemployment system lacks identification of claimants,” Farrington said. “Requiring claimants to present more proof of identification and the agency to verify claimant’s identities will reduce the likelihood of identity theft and other cases of fraud.” The plan will address identity theft claims by creating a “watchdog” position to investigate fraud and make recommendations to improve the system. The legislation also will require claimants to submit more proof to be eligible for unemployment benefits and maintains the nation’s toughest penalties on fraud.The legislation also:Ensures claimants don’t get charged interest on overpayments due to agency failure;Gives those accused of fraud access to an advocacy program;Allows the reopening of a fraud case by the agency within three years with good cause;Improves the process for determining the validity of an unemployment claim; andClarifies the eligibility for hardship waivers and the agency’s process for ruling on applications for a waiver.
Categories: Bellino News,News 25Apr Rep. Bellino votes to ‘Raise the Age’ for juvenile justice in Michigan Legislation ends policy requiring 17-year-olds to be treated as adults in courtState Rep. Joe Bellino today voted to end the policy requiring all 17-year-olds to be treated as adults in Michigan’s criminal justice system.The plan was overwhelmingly approved by the Michigan House and now advances to the Senate for consideration.Michigan is one of just four states still requiring all 17-year-olds to be prosecuted as adults – even those who commit the most minor offenses. Bellino said eliminating this harmful and ineffective practice will help rehabilitate young offenders and reduce the likelihood of them breaking the law again in the future.“We will save taxpayer dollars by focusing on rehabilitating teens rather than subjecting them to the problems associated with living in an adult prison population,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “This plan gives our prosecutors and judges the discretion they need to determine the best path forward for 17-year-old offenders.”Including 17-year-olds in the juvenile system has been shown to reduce reoffending by 34 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control.House Bills 4133-46, 4443 and 4452 would raise the age at which individuals are considered adults for the purposes of prosecuting and adjudicating criminal offenses, allowing 17-year-olds to be treated as minors within the juvenile system in most circumstances beginning Oct. 1, 2021. Prosecutors will continue to have some discretion, allowing them to waive minors who commit violent crimes into the adult system when appropriate.The measure also includes a funding plan to ensure local communities do not incur any additional costs associated with keeping 17-year-old offenders in the juvenile system, which is administered at the local level.Bellino said the reform is expected to improve public safety and save public tax dollars over time. Connecticut, Illinois and Massachusetts are among the states that have experienced millions of dollars in savings, decreases in the number of reoffending youth and declines in judicial costs after raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to 18.
Virgin Media is to add premium sports channel BoxNation to its programming line-up.The channel, created by boxing promoter Frank Warren, will launch on the UK cable operator’s platform on December 1. Subscribers will be able to sign up for the service for £10 (€11.60) a month.Early highlights following the launch on Virgin Media include the WBA Heavyweight Championship of the World fight between Alexander Povetkin and Cedric Boswell, plus British heavyweight Dereck Chisora challenging Robert Helenius for the European title.
Kabel Deutschland is adding RTL Nitro to its digital cable network.From July 3, the channel will replace music network Deluxe Music. The male-skewing channel airs series including Nurse Jackie and Modern Family.
French broadcaster TV5Monde has renewed and expanded its managed services contract with Ericsson.Ericsson has handled production, playout and post-production services for TV5Monde since 2006. The parties have extended the contract to run until 2018 and expanded it to include the integration and operation of a new broadcast platform.Marie-Christine Saragosse, CEO, TV5Monde, said, “We rely on Ericsson’s expertise to design and implement complex systems that allow us to broadcast our programs to 235 million households, representing more than 50 million viewers every week in 200 countries and territories. Outsourcing our operations to Ericsson and handing over the responsibility for quality of service allows us to focus on pursuing our mission of providing the best French-language programming to viewers around the world.”Ericsson will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 1.D61
Jeff HenryFilmFlex, the white label movie streaming service, is eyeing international expansion and expects to sign deals outside the UK next year.The company, which has deals in place with around 30 distributors, including the six Hollywood majors, became the first to launch a movie on demand service on the UK’s 4G network yesterday, via mobile operator EE. It also handles branded online movie services for cable operator Virgin Media, broadcaster Film4 and retailer HMV.According to CEO Jeff Henry, while there is plenty of growth potential left in the UK online movie market, FilmFlex will look internationally for future growth. “We still think there will be great growth in the UK market and we will be targeting a maximum of another two partners in the UK,” he told DTVE. “The next step for us is to look internationally. We can port our platform onto the cloud and so international distribution is a fairly straightforward proposition. In 2013 we will have international territories – we are already pursuing those.”Speaking about the deal with EE that sees FilmFlex operating the mobile operator’s movie streaming platform as well as managing services including movie reviews, recommendations and cinema offers, Henry said both companies will benefit from being first to market with a 4G offering.“The 4G speeds mean the actual viewing experience is improved. More than that, the kind of functionality we have built for EE, like resumptive viewing that lets you watch a movie on one device and finish it on another, will give us a very compelling proposition. For EE, they have a competitive advantage for a period of time. It will be interesting to see how the service develops and what the consumer demand is like.”FilmFlex has recorded over 75 million movie purchases since 2005 and claims to offer more new releases than iTunes, Netflix and Lovefilm. As well as expanding internationally, Henry said the company would consider offering TV series, games and e-books on its platform.It is effectively a platform to deliver digital files,” he said. “We are still investigating that area for our business.”
Russian broadcaster CTC Media has started broadcasting three of its chnnels using the MPEG-4 standard.Channels CTC, Peretz and Domashny have switched from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 broadcasting, the company said in a statement.Sergey Petrov, chief broadcasting officer of CTC Media said, “CTC Media is continuing to follow its strategy as the leader in implementing new technologies. The switch to the new broadcasting format is the next stage after launching our modernised broadcasting playout facility in July last year and provides us with the technological capability to switch to digital broadcasting at anytime if necessary. We were able to complete this project in only four months. During this time, extensive work was carried out, requiring cooperation with our regional stations comprising 154 broadcasting facilities, and our partner network – 281 broadcasting facilities.”
Portugal Telecom has shipped its 500,000th Motorola IPTV set-top box.The telco operates IPTV services under the Meo brand and has around 1.2 million subscribers. Motorola Mobility has supplied set-top boxes to Portugal Telecom since the launch of its TV platform, initially providing VIP1200E and VIP1216E boxes.Since then, Motorola has added the VIP1232 set-top, a HD DVR, and has shipped over half a million boxes to Meo customers.Zeinal Bava, CEO, Portugal Telecom said “Meo is the leader in triple play in Portugal. Our success is due to the future-proof technology we use and interactive services we offer to our customers. Portuguese customers are highly sophisticated and demanding users of technology. This drives our motivation to invest in innovation and cutting-edge technology. Motorola’s set-tops have allowed us to offer the full range of services – from tailored VOD services to time-shift TV – that customers value and see as a clear differentiation from our competitors.”
Second screen TV app Zeebox has launched a new feature called ‘TV Rooms’ that will let TV fans communicate to each other in virtual chatrooms, based around specific shows, characters and themes.Zeebox described TV Rooms, which launches in beta, as a new approach to second screen viewing that will “impact the way fans interact, engage, individualise and experience TV.” It will also allow brands and advertisers to engage with fans in a new way, the firm said.With the launch, Bravo Media has come onboard as the first network to set up an officially sponsored Zeebox TV Room for the show The Real Housewives of Orange County. This launches in tandem with the programme’s 100th episode.“The number one request from consumers has been to further personalise their Zeebox experience. The launch of TV Rooms gives anyone the ability to join and build a range of different communities centred around one or a set of TV shows – a place where they can call the shots, share ideas, conversations and organise affinity groups based on what’s important to them,” said Jason Forbes, executive vice president USA of Zeebox.At launch, the app features more than 4,000 TV Rooms across a two-week viewing schedule, as well as 60 themed TV Rooms ranging from “Reality TV Time” to “Late Night Show Breakdown.” The Top 50 Rooms will be highlighted every week and ranked based on activity and members currently joining.The update is available in the iOS version of the app, with an Android release due in the coming weeks. Zeebox was founded in 2011, is headquartered in London and has offices in New York and Sydney.
Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport has chosen Pace to deliver home media servers and HD set-top boxes to enable it to roll out its service across the Middle East and North Africa. BeIN Sport is offering a range of sports to subscribers in the region, recently adding Formula 1 motorsports to its list of rights in the region.beIN Sport is taking delivery of Pace’s DMS7000NBS home media server, the first deal for this in the region. The device will enable subscribers to watch sports on multiple screens and includes a 1TB hard disk.Pace will also supply its DZS3000NBS HD set-top to beIN Sport in the region.beIN Sport already uses Humax set-top boxes to deliver its services in the region.Roger Hall, managing director of beIN (MENA), said, “Pace’s Home Media Server and HD STB allow us to provide our customers with our latest TV services to every screen within their homes. The Home Media Server gives us a flexible platform to add multiscreen TV applications and services to further cement our position as the leading Pay TV provider in the region.”
A+E Networks has launched dedicated channels for its A&E, History and Lifetime channels on the Apple TV platform in the US.The channels offer a limited selection of content including full-length episodes of shows including Storage Wars, Pawn Stars and Project Runway.While the channels are available to non-pay TV subscribers, the bulk of A+E content on the Apple TV platform will remain available to authenticated subscribers, with DirecTV, Verizon FiOS TV and Cablevision having agreements to make their content available on the platform currently.
Italy’s Mediaset has signed a deal with Cagliari-based broadband service provider Tiscali that will see it offer a selection of TV services in streaming mode on Tiscali’s network.Mediaset content will be offered via the Tiscali.it and Istella.it portals and will be indexed by the Istella.it search engine.Advertising will be handled by Mediamond, a unit of Mediaset-owned Publitalia.The deal follows recent agreements between Mediaset and broadband service providers Vodafone and Telecom Italia.
Apple’s iPhone 6sSmartphone ownership will reach 66.5% and tablet ownership 19.8% in the world’s top 47 digital countries by the end of 2018, according to ZenithOptimedia.The media agency’s New Media Forecasts report claims that smartphone penetration was 49.5% last year and will reach 55.7% this year, while tablet penetration has climbed from just 5.3% in 2012 to 14.8% in 2014.“The rapid spread of mobile technology is transforming media consumption and marketing communication across the world,” said Jonathan Barnard, ZenithOptimedia’s head of forecasting.“For more and more people, their smartphone or tablet is the first place they look for information or entertainment. Marketers need a mobile-first approach to communicate with these people effectively.”The study said that growth of global internet users is slowing down, though the top 47 markets will contain 1.9 billion internet users at the end of 2015 or some 60% of the world’s internet users.“The annual rate of growth has fallen from 7.9% in 2011, when there were 1.5 billion internet users in these markets, and we expect it to drop to 2.5% in 2018, when there will be 2.0 billion users,” said ZenithOptimedia.The top market for internet penetration is South Korea where access is “universal” and has been since 2011, according to the report.The 47 countries covered in the forecast are: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malaysia, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, USA and Venezuela.
Spain’s Mediapro is capitulating to pressure from the country’s competition watchdog and leading service providers and will agree to distribute its BeIN Sports service, which holds key rights to Spanish and European football, to all operators, according to local reports.Leading operator Telefónica and Mediapro recently struck a €2.4 deal to secure Mediapro’s football content for Telefónica’s Movistar TV subscribers after a long delay when the telco was unable to offer a full line-up of football to its customers.The deal immediately led to pressure from rivals on the regulator and Telefónica to ensure that the terms of the deal met commitments made by the country’s largest operator to the regulator, the CNMC, to provide key premium content to rivals as a condition for its takeover of pay TV outfit Canal+ Spain.According to the Sabemos Digital website, citing unnamed sources, Mediapro will distribute beIN Sports, which will air the football, to rival operators including Vodafone, Orange and Telecable. However, the site notes, it remains to be seen how much rival operators will have to pay to enable Mediapro to make back its investment.
UK pubcaster the BBC has had talks with ITV and NBCUniversal about a streaming service that would rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, according to the Guardian.The UK newspaper says the service would be largely built on library content but there would be some originals.Both the BBC and ITV offer content on a 30-day catch-up basis, and NBCUniversal recently announced the launch of Hayu, a reality-programmed streaming service for the UK.Crucially, NBCU controls the rights to Downtown Abbey, and the hit period drama would be a valuable addition to any new streaming service.BBC Worldwide’s top titles include Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear, while ITV Studios has Mr Selfridge and entertainment shows including Come Dine with Me.The BBC also recently launched BBC Store, a download-to-own service that allows consumers to buy its shows.Netflix, the SVOD leader in the UK, also buys content from BBC Worldwode, ITV Studios and the Hollywood studios, of whichNBCU is one.The Guardian says the BBC-ITV-NBCU plans are at an ‘explore and evaluate’ stage.ITV said it didn’t comment on speculation. A spokesperson for BBC Worldwide said: “There is always speculation about what we might or might not do on all sorts of things, but we never comment on such speculation.”
Ericsson has appointed board member and CEO of Patricia Industries, Börje Ekholm, as its next chief executive.He starts in his new role on January 16, replacing interim CEO and chief financial officer Jan Frykhammar. This follows the departure of previous chief executive Hans Vestberg in July.Ekholm joins from his current position at Patricia Industries, a division within Swedish investment company Investor, where he has been since 2015.Prior to this, Ekholm was president and CEO of Investor between 2005 and 2015. He has also served on Ericsson’s board of directors for the past ten years.Ericsson’s chairman of the board, Leif Johansson, said that Ekholm has a “solid understanding of both the technology and businessimplications of the ongoing convergence of telecoms, IT and media”.He added that, having served on the board Ekholm also “has full understanding of the challenges and the opportunities Ericsson currently faces.”“As the networks and applications become even more important in a 5G connected world, our customers, and the industry, look for continuous innovation,” said Ekholm.“I look forward to joining the great team at Ericsson and work closely with existing and new customers around the world in shaping the future of our industry.”Vestberg announced he was stepping down as president, CEO and member of the board of directors at Ericsson in the summer after a 28-year career at Ericsson.Since then, Ericsson announced it was cutting 3,000 jobs in Sweden, reducing its headcount from some 16,000 to 13,000 employees as part of an ongoing “cost and efficiency programme”.This month the company also warned that its third quarter results will be “significantly lower than company expectations”.
Sam BlackmanThe founder of Amazon Web Services-owned Elemental Technologies, Sam Blackman, has died aged 41 of a reported cardiac arrest.New of Blackman’s death was first reported by the local press in Portland, Oregon, where he was a respected member of the local tech scene.A statement issued by the Blackman family said that Sam had died peacefully surrounded by loved ones.“We are thankful to all those who have shared their thoughts and prayers for Sam. We ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grief,” it read.AWS Elemental said in a separate statement that it had lost a “passionate, visionary and humble leader and the world has lost an inspiring human being dedicated to community.”“Sam’s spirit will always be at the core of what we do. Sam loved his work, but his greatest love was for his wife and children. Our thoughts are with his family and all those he touched on his journey.”Oregon governor Kate Brown paid tribute to “a beacon of Oregon’s tech community” and thanked Blackman for the “important contributions he made to the entire state”.“Sam brought energy, innovation, and jobs to an important and fast growing sector of Oregon’s economy. But, more importantly, he did so with a commitment to Oregon’s values,” said Brown.“As CEO of Elemental and later with Amazon, he led the company to grow financially while engaging civically on issues like education, hunger, and the environment.”AWS acquired Elemental in 2015, in a deal that reportedly valued the firm at roughly US$500 million (€450 million).The acquisition was designed to bring together Elemental’s video technologies with the AWS Cloud platform to provide media and entertainment companies with a way to scale their video infrastructure as they move to internet based delivery of services.Elemental started to operate under the AWS Elemental brand and continues to deliver its full range of offerings for pay TV operators, content programmers, broadcasters, governments and enterprise customers.