Mark Ronson Is Being Sued For Allegedly Ripping Off Zapp On “Uptown Funk”

[H/T TMZ] Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars was one of the biggest pop songs of 2014, with the number going platinum eleven times and having been streamed literally billions of times. In 2015, The Gap Band was eventually awarded songwriting credit on “Uptown Funk” after they called out the similarities between the song and their own 1979 hit, “Oops Upside Your Head.” Now, another band is entering the fray, with the American funk band Zapp suing Mark Ronson, other producers on the track (besides Bruno Mars, who was left off the suit), Apple, and Spotify.The lawsuit has been filed by Lastrada Entertainment, a licensing company and owner of the rights to Zapp’s music. In the lawsuit against Ronson and company, Lastrada Entertainment alleges that Mark Ronson’s megahit sounds eerily similar to Zapp’s 1980 hit “More Bounce To The Ounce,” specifically calling out the first 48 seconds of “Uptown Funk” for plagiarism. You can take a listen to Zapp’s “More Bounce To The Ounce” and to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars below. One thing that’s for sure is that this lawsuit is sure to be costly for both parties, with such suits frequently costing into the millions and spanning years and multiple appeals.Zapp & Roger, “More Bounce To The Ounce” Mark Ronson, “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars read more

US Mounting First Test of Cyber-Blitz Response Plan

first_imgBy Dialogo September 30, 2010 The United States is launching its first test of a new plan for responding to an enemy cyber-blitz, including any attack aimed at vital services such as power, water and banks. Thousands of cyber-security personnel from across the government and industry are taking part in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Storm III, a three- to four-day drill which started on September 28. The goals are to boost preparedness; examine incident response and enhance information-sharing among federal, state, international and private-sector partners. “At its core, the exercise is about resiliency — testing the nation’s ability to cope with the loss or damage to basic aspects of modern life,” said a release made available at DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington. The simulation tests the newly developed National Cyber Incident Response Plan, a coordinated framework ordered by President Barack Obama. The plan is designed to be flexible and adaptable enough to mesh responders’ efforts across jurisdictional lines. Refinements may be made after the exercise, DHS officials said. The test involves 11 states, 12 foreign countries 60 private companies. Cyber Storm III takes place amid mounting signs that bits and bytes of malicious computer code could soon be as central to 21st-century conflict as bullets and bombs. “There is a real probability that in the future, this country will get hit with a destructive attack and we need to be ready for it,” U.S. Army General Keith Alexander, the head of a new military cyber-warfare unit, told reporters last week, referring to computer-launched operations. Cyber Storm III involves simulated harm only, not real impact on any network, said Brett Lambo, the exercise director. In the drill, mock foes hijack Web security infrastructure used by businesses, government and consumers to verify and authenticate online transactions. In so doing, they upend Internet reliability and relationships before launching major attacks against the government, certain critical infrastructure, public sector enterprises and international counterparts. Officials did not spell out the scenario’s details to preserve the surprise of exercise play.last_img read more

Gloucestershire’s Alison wins inaugural senior title

first_img Gloucestershire’s Alison Kelly came from four shots off the pace to become the first winner of the England Senior Women’s County Champion of Champions’ title.Kelly, from Cirencester, finished the 36-hole event at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire, on six-over par and won by two from Cheshire’s Barbara Jamieson (Heswall.)She was delighted to win the inaugural competition, commenting: “I didn’t know when I entered the senior championship in Gloucestershire that this would happen so it was a real bonus.“I don’t usually play in the bigger senior events because I’m a teacher and they’re usually during term-time.” Kelly takes specialist workshops in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – in Gloucestershire primary schools.Her win was made even more special because it was at Frilford Heath – where Kelly’s parents were members until recently – and because the trophy was presented by England Golf President-elect Jenny Clink, a stalwart of Gloucestershire women’s golf.After yesterday’s first round Kelly was four behind Jamieson, who posted an opening score of level par 70 on the Green course.Today Kelly’s plan was simple: “I just went out to have a reasonable game, I wasn’t thinking of winning particularly, but of having a tidy round.” She did exactly that, going round in two-over 72 to overtake Jamieson, who finished on eight-over. Third place went to Dorset’s Jane Southcombe (Yeovil) who finished on 10-over (77, 73).Kelly took up golf as a girl and has played in Kent, Oxfordshire – where she was runner-up five times in the county championship – and Gloucestershire. This is her third spell as senior county champion and she has also been county junior organiser and a long-standing member of the women’s team.She insists she has retired from county golf although she is planning to support the team at Women’s County Finals at Royal North Devon, later this month, when Gloucestershire will be aiming to win back the title.Click here for full resultsImage copyright Leaderboard Photography 9 Sep 2018 Gloucestershire’s Alison wins inaugural senior title Tags: Alison Kelly, Champion of Champions, County, Senior, Womenlast_img read more

No Goal, Rangers Lose to Pens, 3-2

first_imgPITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins were given a second chance for a win — and they quickly made the most of it.Brandon Sutter scored in the fourth round of the shootout, after the Rangers thought they had won it, and Pittsburgh escaped with a wild 3-2 victory against New York on Nov. 15.“I never saw anything like it,” Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. “Most of the players didn’t see it as we were coming into the room, so then we had to scramble to get guys back on the bench.”Dan Boyle appeared to win it for the Rangers in the third round, but his goal was then disallowed after a video review showed he hit the puck a second time on a rebound.“I know I tried to stuff it between the post and his skate,” Boyle said. “I haven’t seen the replay yet. I have no idea what happened, but it’s a high to a low in a hurry.”After both teams returned from the dressing rooms, Sutter beat Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist shot. Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury then stopped Rick Nash — tied for the NHL lead with 12 goals — to end the game for good.“Sutter was the next guy, so he was ready, but (Fleury), I give him a lot of credit because he has to come in after thinking he had lost the game,” Johnston said. “That’s tough to do, and he went out there and stopped one of the best shooters in the league.”Sidney Crosby failed to record a point in his fifth straight game against New York, but scored in the shootout. Derek Stepan had the lone shootout goal for the Rangers, but it didn’t erase the sting of the loss.“Half the guys had their sweaters off, half the sticks were packed, and it wasn’t a good goal,” Rangers’ coach Alain Vigneault said. “It was the right call. We had to come back, and they won it.”Evgeni Malkin scored his seventh goal, and Blake Comeau added his fourth in regulation for Pittsburgh, which has won nine of 10. The Penguins beat the Rangers five days after losing 5-0 in New York.“That was definitely our worst game, so far,” Johnston said. “It’s important to rebound when you have a tough night.”Fleury stopped 29 shots to defeat the Rangers for the first time in five games.Martin St. Louis and Lee Stempniak had goals for New York. Nash played in his 800th career game and recorded his 100th point with the Rangers, who have lost the past two games in shootouts.Lundqvist made 36 saves. He had won the previous four against the Penguins, including the final three of last season’s second-round playoff series when the Rangers rallied from a 3-1 hole to advance.Lundqvist stopped two breakaways in overtime. The first came against Crosby, a blocker save 20 seconds in. He turned aside Kris Letang in the final 5 seconds.The Rangers went on a 4-on-3 power play with 1:42 remaining when Rob Scuderi tripped Chris Kreider.Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi left with 6:13 remaining in the scoreless third period after a check by Malkin behind the net. He returned in overtime.“That’s the best thing to take out of this game, that (Girardi) came back,” Lundqvist said. “I was really worried that he was going to be out for a while.”The Rangers have lost six of eight — four of the losses in shootouts.“I feel like I played a really solid game and did some good things out there, but in the end, come up short in the shootout,” Lundqvist said. “There are no excuses, but it’s tough. You have to regroup.”The teams struck 15 seconds apart in the first period, Comeau opening the scoring at 14:12 with a shot that caromed in off Lundqvist’s arm. Stempniak answered when he put a bouncing rebound off Girardi’s point shot past Fleury.The Rangers took the lead less than two minutes later on St. Louis’ power-play goal.Malkin tied it at 8:09 of the second, a play that started when Nick Spaling intercepted an outlet pass in the Rangers zone. Malkin’s one-timer bounced in off Lundqvist.That tying goal set up the shootout dramatics.“You think you have two points, and you relax, but have to go back out there,” Lundqvist said. “Obviously, you have everything to lose and they have everything to win in that situation.”(DAN SCIFO)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Now gas crisis hits Chattogram hard

first_imgGas crisis. File PhotoMusa Hawlader, a resident of Askar Dighi area in the port city, now has to buy Iftar items from hotels and restaurants as there is no gas supply to cook those at home.“I know, these Iftar items which I buy from restaurants is unhealthy but I’ve no other option…we’ve been suffering a lot for the last several weeks due to inadequate supply of gas,” he said.Residents of Momin Road, Jamalkhan, Rahamatganj, Andarkilla, Pathorghata, Kazirdeuri, Muradpur, Bibirhat, Hamzarbagh, Hillview, Agrabad, Chowmuhoni, Madhyam Halishohor, Mirzapul, Chandgaon, Faridarpara, Bottol Mazar Gate, Ghat Farhad Begh, Bou Bazar, DC Road, Chawkbazar, Boro Miah Mosque, Kapashgola, KB Aman Ali road and other areas in the port city have been going through the same problem.Residents of 30 wards out of 41 of the Chattogram City Corporation are the worst sufferers.Read More: Gas crisis halts production at Shahjalal fertiliser factoryThe gas crisis turns acute from 5:00pm to 7:00pm which is the time for preparing meals for Iftar, said Roksana Begum, a resident of Jamalkhan area.Officials at Karnaphuli Gas Distribution Company Limited (KGDCL) said the number of residential clients in the port city is around 400,000. Besides, there are about 3,000 industrial clients in factories and industries.The total demand of gas in the city is 550 million cubic feet while the supply is only 250 million cubic feet, which is half of the demand, the officials said.They said the gas supply from national grid has declined, aggravating the gas crisis in the city.It was supposed to supply LNG gas, imported from Qatar, in the city from the floating plant through a pipeline. But the supply process has been deferred as fault was detected in the pipeline, said the officials adding that if the supply starts within a month then there will be no gas crisis.Ismail Hossain, a resident of Jamal Khan area, said,” We often hear that the crisis will be over within a month after the import of LNG gas. But days are passing by without a solution in sight.”Read More: Gas crisis during RamadanKGDCL managing director engineer Khayez Ahmed said the crisis has intensified from the beginning of Ramadan.Before Ramadan, the gas stations of the city remained closed from 3:00pm but during Ramadan the pumps are closed at 5:00pm.The residential clients have been suffering for the growing demand.“A letter has been sent to Petrobangla seeking a solution to the gas crisis,” he added.last_img read more

Teenager Aims To Improve Breast Cancer Diagnosis In Poor Countries

first_img Share Robert Barker/Cornell UniversityAbu Qader, 18, came to the U.S. from Afghanistan as a baby. Now a freshman at Cornell University, he has founded a medical technology company with the goal of improving diagnosis of breast cancer in poor countries.After a family trip to Afghanistan when he was 15, Chicagoan Abu Qader decided he wanted to do something to improve the country’s medical care. “I knew and saw people and friends and relatives in Afghanistan whose breast cancer wasn’t diagnosed, and it was fatal,” he said. He further noted that the country’s health care system is weak, with a high prevalence of breast cancer and limited options for care. He decided, “I wanted to build something that would help.”Now 18, a Cornell University freshman, and co-founder of the medical-technology company GliaLab, he is seeking to fulfill that ambition.What Qader has built is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence, reams of biomedical data and various algorithms to essentially “read” mammogram images, spotting and diagnosing abnormalities quickly and at low cost — a potential boon to developing countries, where access to doctors and health care can be limited. The technology is still in the testing stage, says Qader.Qader acknowledges that interpreting mammograms is usually the task of radiologists, but his goal is not to replace human physicians, he says, but to help them — particularly in areas, often in low-income countries like Afghanistan, where trained physicians can be scarce. Qader believes his technology can aid doctors by quickly pinpointing diagnoses to allow for earlier and better care. Although there are mammogram machines in Afghanistan there are not enough skilled doctors to read the results, he says. “They have the hardware — it’s only getting cheaper — but not the manpower.”“Abu’s project uses machine learning technologies to make computers recognize patterns in the imaging data that have diagnostic value,” explains Mert Sabuncu, assistant professor at Cornell’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, in an email. “He achieves this by showing the algorithms a lot of examples of cases where a diagnosis has been confirmed … I think this direction has a great potential and I’m confident Abu and his team can make an impact.”He’s not the only one who thinks so. After meeting Qader at Google’s I/O developer conference in May 2017, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and chairman Eric Schmidt sent him Twitter shout-outs.Qader also presented a TEDxTeen talk in London about his quest to apply machine-learning technology to health care in the developing world: “How I Searched My Way to a Cure.”Dr. Susan Harvey, director of breast imaging at Johns Hopkins Medicine, says that, “Based on my knowledge of the research, this is very exciting and it sounds like it’s possible.”But she adds a cautionary note: “Like when NASA said we’re going to get to the moon, it didn’t happen overnight, it took a decade. The same for this, it looks feasible but it won’t happen tomorrow.”In addition, she says, when trying to introduce such projects in a low-resource country, it’s important to “make sure that the technology can be successfully implemented, that there is a match-up between the resources available and the technologies proposed.”Even though his project has received a lot of attention, Qader is still a “regular guy,” says his Cornell classmate Ella King, a freshman from Lenox, Massachusetts. “He doesn’t just work and study all the time. Sometimes we like to take a break and take a walk” and engage in conversations that range from the “science-y” to philosophy,” says King.“He’s pretty much authentic as they come,” says Jess Teutonico, executive director of the We Are Family Foundation, the nonprofit that sponsors the TEDxTeen program. “He’s super-smart, but if you peel back another layer you see the story of his family.”It’s the story of an immigrant family seeking the American dream and of a kid whose curiosity led him to become a budding entrepreneur. Qader was born in Afghanistan in 1999 and came to Chicago with his parents when he was only a few months old. He grew up surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins, all of them, he says, “trying to figure out” how to make new lives in their new country. A key ingredient, his family taught him, was helping people: “If we were in the position that we could help ourselves, we could help others. That is the philosophy I grew up with and that has always helped me.”“This is how he is,” says his mother, Roya Qader. He returned from their family trip to Afghanistan asking, “Why people there don’t have the opportunities that he had to study. And what could he do to help people there?”Helping people has become his guiding principle, he says. In addition to his work on breast cancer diagnosis, he’s part of an engineering project team at Cornell centered on building self-flying airplanes. The project attracted him, he says, “because this can be applied to help people” by dousing forest fires from above, for example, as opposed to sending firefighters into dangerous conflagrations.Plus, he admits, things that fly have always attracted him — an observation his mother can attest to. “He always had helicopter sets, and all the toys I bought for him he would unscrew them to see what’s inside, how do they work,” she says. “I would ask, how come you broke this apart? And he would say, I just wanted to see how it was made!”At around the same time — about age 7 — Qader set out to read the first volumes of a Scholastic encyclopedia set. “It was Google before I knew what that was! I thought if I read it all I would know everything,” he says.His achievements to the contrary, he denies that he’s a genius. “I try to peer into things and figure out how they work and visualize the connections,” he says. That’s how he went about developing the software for his breast cancer diagnosis project. His first step was looking up the phrase “machine learning” online and proceeding to teach himself everything he could about artificial intelligence.“And,” he says, “I’m still learning.”Diane Cole writes for many publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Jewish Week, and is book columnist for The Psychotherapy Networker. She is the author of the memoir After Great Pain: A New Life Emerges. Her website is dianejcole.com.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Build a foodie bot with JavaScript

first_imgToday, we are going to build a chatbot that can search for restaurants based on user goals and preferences. Let us begin by building Node.js modules to get data from Zomato based on user preferences. Create a file called zomato.js. Add a request module to the Node.js libraries using the following command in the console: This tutorial has been taken from Hands-On Chatbots and Conversational UI Development. > npm install request –save In zomato.js, add the following code to begin with: var request = require(‘request’);var baseURL = ‘https://developers.zomato.com/api/v2.1/’;var apiKey = ‘YOUR_API_KEY’;var catergories = null;var cuisines = null;getCategories();getCuisines(76); Replace YOUR_API_KEY with your Zomato key. Let’s build functions to get the list of categories and cuisines at startup. These queries need not be run when the user asks for a restaurant search because this information is pretty much static: function getCuisines(cityId){var options = {uri: baseURL + ‘cuisines’,headers: {‘user-key’: apiKey},qs: {‘city_id’:cityId},method: ‘GET’}var callback = function(error, response, body) {if (error) {console.log(‘Error sending messages: ‘, error)} else if (response.body.error) {console.log(‘Error: ‘, response.body.error)} else {console.log(body);cuisines = JSON.parse(body).cuisines;}}request(options,callback);} The preceding code will fetch a list of cuisines available in a particular city (identified by a Zomato city ID). Let us add the code for identifying the list of categories: function getCategories(){var options = {uri: baseURL + ‘categories’,headers: {‘user-key’: apiKey},qs: {},method: ‘GET’}var callback = function(error, response, body) {if (error) {console.log(‘Error sending messages: ‘, error)} else if (response.body.error) {console.log(‘Error: ‘, response.body.error)} else {categories = JSON.parse(body).categories;}}request(options,callback);} Now that we have the basic functions out of our way, let us code in the restaurant search code: function getRestaurant(cuisine, location, category){var cuisineId = getCuisineId(cuisine);var categoryId = getCategoryId(category);var options = {uri: baseURL + ‘locations’,headers: {‘user-key’: apiKey},qs: {‘query’:location},method: ‘GET’}var callback = function(error, response, body) {if (error) {console.log(‘Error sending messages: ‘, error)} else if (response.body.error) {console.log(‘Error: ‘, response.body.error)} else {console.log(body);locationInfo = JSON.parse(body).location_suggestions;search(locationInfo[0], cuisineId, categoryId);}}request(options,callback);}function search(location, cuisineId, categoryId){var options = {uri: baseURL + ‘search’,headers: {‘user-key’: apiKey},qs: {‘entity_id’: location.entity_id,’entity_type’: location.entity_type,’cuisines’: [cuisineId],’categories’: [categoryId]},method: ‘GET’}var callback = function(error, response, body) {if (error) {console.log(‘Error sending messages: ‘, error)} else if (response.body.error) {console.log(‘Error: ‘, response.body.error)} else {console.log(‘Found restaurants:’)var results = JSON.parse(body).restaurants;console.log(results);}}request(options,callback);} The preceding code will look for restaurants in a given location, cuisine, and category. For instance, you can search for a list of Indian restaurants in Newington, Edinburgh that do delivery. We now need to integrate this with the chatbot code. Let us create a separate file called index.js. Let us begin with the basics: var restify = require(‘restify’);var builder = require(‘botbuilder’);var request = require(‘request’);var baseURL = ‘https://developers.zomato.com/api/v2.1/’;var apiKey = ‘YOUR_API_KEY’;var catergories = null;var cuisines = null;Chapter 6[ 247 ]getCategories();//setTimeout(function(){getCategoryId(‘Delivery’)}, 10000);getCuisines(76);//setTimeout(function(){getCuisineId(‘European’)}, 10000);// Setup Restify Servervar server = restify.createServer();server.listen(process.env.port || process.env.PORT || 3978, function () {console.log(‘%s listening to %s’, server.name, server.url);});// Create chat connector for communicating with// the Bot Framework Servicevar connector = new builder.ChatConnector({appId: process.env.MICROSOFT_APP_ID,appPassword: process.env.MICROSOFT_APP_PASSWORD});// Listen for messages from usersserver.post(‘/foodiebot’, connector.listen()); Add the bot dialog code to carry out the restaurant search. Let us design the bot to ask for cuisine, category, and location before proceeding to the restaurant search: var bot = new builder.UniversalBot(connector, [function (session) {session.send(“Hi there! Hungry? Looking for a restaurant?”);session.send(“Say ‘search restaurant’ to start searching.”);session.endDialog();}]);// Search for a restaurantbot.dialog(‘searchRestaurant’, [function (session) {session.send(‘Ok. Searching for a restaurant!’);builder.Prompts.text(session, ‘Where?’);},function (session, results) {session.conversationData.searchLocation = results.response;builder.Prompts.text(session, ‘Cuisine? Indian,Italian, or anything else?’);},function (session, results) {session.conversationData.searchCuisine = results.response; builder.Prompts.text(session, ‘Delivery or Dine-in?’);},function (session, results) {session.conversationData.searchCategory = results.response;session.send(‘Ok. Looking for restaurants..’);getRestaurant(session.conversationData.searchCuisine,session.conversationData.searchLocation,session.conversationData.searchCategory,session);}]).triggerAction({matches: /^search restaurant$/i,confirmPrompt: ‘Your restaurant search task will be abandoned.Are you sure?’}); Notice that we are calling the getRestaurant() function with four parameters. Three of these are ones that we have already defined: cuisine, location, and category. To these, we have to add another: session. This passes the session pointer that can be used to send messages to the emulator when the data is ready. Notice how this changes the getRestaurant() and search() functions: function getRestaurant(cuisine, location, category, session){var cuisineId = getCuisineId(cuisine);var categoryId = getCategoryId(category);var options = {uri: baseURL + ‘locations’,headers: {‘user-key’: apiKey},qs: {‘query’:location},method: ‘GET’}var callback = function(error, response, body) {if (error) {console.log(‘Error sending messages: ‘, error)} else if (response.body.error) {console.log(‘Error: ‘, response.body.error)} else {console.log(body);locationInfo = JSON.parse(body).location_suggestions;search(locationInfo[0], cuisineId,categoryId, session);}}request(options,callback);}function search(location, cuisineId, categoryId, session){var options = {uri: baseURL + ‘search’,headers: {‘user-key’: apiKey},qs: {‘entity_id’: location.entity_id,’entity_type’: location.entity_type,’cuisines’: [cuisineId],’category’: categoryId},method: ‘GET’}var callback = function(error, response, body) {if (error) {console.log(‘Error sending messages: ‘, error)} else if (response.body.error) {console.log(‘Error: ‘, response.body.error)} else {console.log(‘Found restaurants:’)console.log(body);//var results = JSON.parse(body).restaurants;//console.log(results);var resultsCount = JSON.parse(body).results_found;console.log(‘Found:’ + resultsCount);session.send(‘I have found ‘ + resultsCount +’ restaurants for you!’);session.endDialog();}}request(options,callback);} Once the results are obtained, the bot responds using session.send() and ends the dialog: Now that we have the results, let’s present them in a more visually appealing way using cards. To do this, we need a function that can take the results of the search and turn them into an array of cards: function presentInCards(session, results){var msg = new builder.Message(session);msg.attachmentLayout(builder.AttachmentLayout.carousel)var heroCardArray = [];var l = results.length;if (results.length > 10){l = 10;}for (var i = 0; i And we call this function from the search() function: function search(location, cuisineId, categoryId, session){var options = {uri: baseURL + ‘search’,headers: {‘user-key’: apiKey},qs: {‘entity_id’: location.entity_id,’entity_type’: location.entity_type,’cuisines’: [cuisineId],’category’: categoryId},method: ‘GET’}var callback = function(error, response, body) {if (error) {console.log(‘Error sending messages: ‘, error)} else if (response.body.error) {console.log(‘Error: ‘, response.body.error)} else {console.log(‘Found restaurants:’)console.log(body);var results = JSON.parse(body).restaurants;var msg = presentInCards(session, results);session.send(msg);session.endDialog();}}request(options,callback);} Here is how it looks: We saw how to build a restaurant search bot, that gives you restaurant suggestions as per your preference. If you found our post useful check out Chatbots and Conversational UI Development. Read Next Top 4 chatbot development frameworks for developers How to create a conversational assistant using Python My friend, the robot: Artificial Intelligence needs Emotional Intelligencelast_img read more

Spend from this market is down but Brand USA is still banking

first_img Friday, February 16, 2018 Share TORONTO — Brand USA’s outreach to the travel trade for 2018 will include more MegaFams, open to 60 – 100 travel agents per fam and now with nine airline partners on board, as well as more co-op marketing programs, says Karly Melo, Brand USA’s new Regional Director for Canada.Speaking at yesterday’s Discover America Canada Committee AGM at the Royal Canadian Military Institute in Toronto, Melo said Brand USA will also push ahead with its USA Discovery Program for the trade, offering specialist badges and perks including MegaFam opportunities to travel agents who complete the USA Discovery Program’s online destination training courses at USADiscoveryProgram.com.Brand USA also launched a new travel trade microsite in January, at VisitTheUSA.com/TravelTrade, with trade resources and sales tools including free videos from Brand USA’s YouTube channel for travel agency and tour operator marketing initiatives.“We want to work with the trade to let them know we are here to answer questions and promote product,” said Melo. “We want to set you up for success any way we can.”Canada is the number one market for inbound visitation to the United States. In a January 2017 interview with Travelweek, Tom Garzilli, Brand USA’s Chief Marketing Officer, said Brand USA will maintain its marketing efforts in the Canadian market in 2018 and beyond, with initiatives including the appointment of Melo to the Regional Director, Canada post.The latest Brand USA statistics show that Canada has dropped to 11th spot when it comes to travel spend in the U.S., for an annual total of US$46 million. Some 88% of Canadians travelling to the U.S. are repeat visitors.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesWhile spend is down, “Canadians are still travelling to the U.S. more than any other international destination,” says Melo.In addition to MegaFams, online training and co-op marketing, Brand USA is also doing a blitz of sales calls to the Canadian travel trade and taking part in trade shows and conferences.A complete audit of bookable / sellable product to the U.S. from the Canadian market is currently underway, says Melo.Meanwhile Brand USA’s ‘America’s Musical Journey’ movie from MacGillivray Freeman Films and narrated by Morgan Freeman just had its world premiere at Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum yesterday and at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History today. The film rolls out to theatres globally today as well, including several in Canada.Brand USA’s first film project, the 45-minute ‘National Parks Adventure’, has been seen by 7 million people, says Melo. It’s now on Netflix.Last week Brand USA launched GoUSA TV, a first-of-its kind connected TV network, featuring created, curated and licensed video content “to inspire, invite and welcome travellers to visit the USA”. The service is now available on Apple TV, Roku and Amazon. Partnering with Brand USA with a spot on GoUSA TV “is a chance to get your product in front of viewers at home as they’re watching TV online,” says Melo.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Yesterday’s Discover America Canada Committee AGM also included some quick-hit Canadian market travel stats from Raina Williams, Senior Account Executive for Expedia – Canada.Comparing Canadian travellers with their American counterparts, Williams says Canadians don’t take as many annual trips as Americans (2.8 vs. 4.4), but when Canadians do travel, they travel for longer, at 8.7 days compared to 6.7 days for Americans.Not surprisingly Canadians are far more likely to travel outside their own country (59% versus 18% for Americans). The study also showed that 68% of Canadian travellers say they may be looking for help or inspiration when it comes to making travel plans and bookings, and 54% said they’re typically deciding between two or more destinations.There was a strong turnout for yesterday’s Discover America Canada Committee AGM and the event included voting for four new board members: Cynthia Farrill, Visit Florida – Canada; Denise Graham, Experience Kissimmee / VoX International; Annika Klint, KAI / Colorado Tourism Office; and Susan Webb, VoX International.Membership was at 50 for 2017, a net loss of 3 from 2016. Upcoming events include IPW 2018, taking place May 19 – 23 in Denver, and the Discover America Canada Day Oct. 1, 2018 at Toronto’s Arcadian Court venue. Registration packages will be going out in early March. Travelweek Group Tags: Brand USAcenter_img Spend from this market is down but Brand USA is still banking on Canada Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Jetlines says it will operate 1000 flights in first season

first_img Travelweek Group Share Tags: Jetlines, YVR Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Posted bycenter_img VANCOUVER — Jetlines has secured its slots at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in anticipation of its inaugural winter season, set to launch Dec. 17.Earlier this year Jetlines announced that it will use YVR as its home airport and primary base of operations.The carrier aims to operate up to 10 flights per day and over 1,000 flights during the first winter season from Dec. 17, 2019 to March 28, 2020. The initial two Airbus A320 aircraft that Jetlines secured through its partnership with SmartLynx will be parked at YVR nightly.Jetlines CEO Javier Suarez says: “I am excited to share that all slots to operate our winter schedule have been awarded. It is significant for Jetlines as we work to commence operations out of Vancouver International Airport. The Airport operates at a very high capacity in the winter season, as travellers plan trips to see family and friends, or to go on a vacation. These slots will allow us to fly our first passengers for these special occasions at incredibly low fares – at a price point that most Canadians have not had the opportunity to fly at.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upJetlines has had its eye on a December launch since April 2019. The launch of the ultra low-cost carrier has been a long time in the works and the airline faces tough competition from LCCs and ULCCs already in the market, including Air Canada Rouge, Swoop and Flair.Back in 2015 Jetlines was aiming to start service in Western Canada. A couple of years later it was touting June 2018 as the start date.Suarez says Jetlines’ ability to sell tickets and launch airline service remains subject to the completion of the airline licensing process, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the completion of financing. << Previous PostNext Post >> Jetlines says it will operate 1,000+ flights in first seasonlast_img read more