Telecommunications Costs Likely To Increase With Scottish ‘Yes’ Vote

There are many questions that continue to be asked about Scotland regarding their potential secession from the United Kingdom, plenty of them without a definitive answer, and almost all turning hypothetical if the result is a ‘No’ on 18 September, but the major telecommunications companies of the region have banded together to try and explain what their reaction will be in the instance of Scottish independence.

scotland's_future_white_paper_logoThe answer is essentially one that ‘Yes’ campaigners will not want to hear, in that services will become more expensive. This is according to the chief executives of BT, EE, TalkTalk, Telefonica (owners of O2), Three, and Vodafone, who recently released an open letter discussing the possible situation and highlighting the ‘risk’ to consumers in Scotland should they become a fully-independent nation.

Their joint letter cites the need to assess a number of possible ‘strategic and operational factors’ regarding separation, with potential consequences such as network modification and slower rollout of high-speed broadband likely to occur given a new national status for Scotland.

The letter noted: “Specifically, we would need to know how a Scottish telecoms industry would be regulated. Would there be continuity with the current European Union regulatory framework so that we would continue to operate across the border with common infrastructure under a single set of rules? What approach would the government of an independent Scotland take to the radio spectrum – currently licensed on a UK-wide basis – without which mobile networks cannot operate? We may also need to modify our networks to reflect the reality of an independent Scotland; and we may need to consider whether to modify the services offered in Scotland, given its relatively demanding topography and relatively low population density. Any of these factors could lead to increased industry costs.”

Whilst the UK’s telecommunications industry claim they will remain ‘fully committed’ to Scottish services regardless of any outcome in the vote, there is no doubt that ‘Yes’ would make life at home a little more difficult as far as phone/internet service is concerned… what will be needed in such an instance is a strong national leader to take charge of the situation:

Doesn’t Take A Genius To Mock Apple

The fact that they are set to have a huge release of their new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus products (which some… people in major cities have already started camping out for) and probably manage to make more money than competitors does not change the fact that it is almost too easy to find things that Apple can be mocked for, as demonstrated recently with a new Samsung advertising campaign.

apple_mocking_timeThe South Korean company, generally Apple’s biggest rivals when it comes to manufacturing products and going to war over patents with, have unveiled a pack of 6 short episodes showing the adventures of two of their technology developers, who spend most of their time delivering meta jokes about Apple’s products.

Amongst the topics covered in the short pieces were Apple’s error-laden ‘external live stream’ at their official press event for the iPhone 6 on 9 September, their approach towards wearable technology, and the idea that increasing the screen size makes for a unique new product.

All six of the clips in question can be viewed below, and while some critics point out that Samsung make a lot of the same mistakes in real-life as well as the sketches, they are still points that Apple can be called out on:

Doctor Who Horror Deal In Place For Classic Episodes

The efforts to recover all lost episodes of Doctor Who‘s vast archive remain ongoing, but some of the ones that have been found are at least getting a treatment that many fans of historic content will feel is deserved, as the Horror Channel confirm plans to give a number of uncovered episodes their first airing on TV.

doctor_who_time_warriorThe network is set to carry no less than 17 ‘new’ remastered episodes for television premiere starting on 13 October, aiming to add to their ‘Who on Horror‘ programming block that has racked up over 3.8m views since launching this April.

After a release on DVD from BBC Worldwide last year as part of the show’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the episodes featured on Horror Channel will primarily focus on storylines from Jon Pertwee’s role as the ‘Third Doctor’ (1970-1974) including the ‘Doctor Who and The Silurians’ serial, starting a run of weekday double-bills in both daytime and evening slots on the network. Other stories to be seen in the October schedule will include ‘The Time Warrior’, ‘Inferno’, ‘Carnival of Monsters’, ‘The Sontaran Experiment’, ‘The Sunmakers’, and ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’.

Alina Florea, Horror Channel’s director of programming, stated: “It’s been great to be able to offer our regular fans the classic Doctor Who content, but it’s equally exciting to see Time Lord devotees flock to Horror Channel in greater number and take part in the various on and off air activities that resulted in a surge in viewership and social media interaction. With the newer batch of remastered episodes, there will be even more reasons for our viewers to tune in and stick around for more fright, thrill and shock.”

While it won’t quite be as impactful as the new Peter Capaldi-starring episodes BBC have at their disposal across the time period, will retro installments cause people to flock to Who on Horror next month? Those wanting to watch may wish to acquaint themselves with some of Pertwee’s… later work:

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The Simpsons Finally Accepted In China

It is well-known that a number of places aren’t entirely keen on the ‘adult animated comedy’ genre, and China has for a long time been one of the biggest challenges in this department due to a high level of censorship and wariness over importing too much foreign content. However, it appears as though the Asian nation are now content with the biggest name in the animated comedy genre, The Simpsons, and it only took them around 26 years to get there.

the_simpsons_selma_and_lingBelieved to be the first occasion in which the show is ‘officially’ available in China, it has been confirmed that the upcoming 26th season will premiere locally on Sohu, a search engine, mobile service group, and online streaming provider.

The new deal will not be one of full-fledged dubbing, though, with it being announced that the English-language version of the series with Mandarin subtitles will be shown after an unspecified amount of time following American premiere on Fox, though it is currently unclear as to whether a deal has been struck by Sohu for anything before or after season 26.

The Simpsons‘ executive producer Al Jean stated: “Woo hoo! Now we can reveal Springfield is actually in Guangdong province.”

Taking the deal a little more seriously was Sohu’s chairman/CEO Dr. Charles Zhang, who added: “This deal once again demonstrated our commitment in bringing the best experience to our users and tireless efforts to enhance our competitive edges in the industry.”

Twentieth Century Fox’s television distribution president Mark Kaner summarised: “The Simpsons is a unique television property, which has the ability to transcend worldwide cultural boundaries and has the capability to easily translate into any language. We are excited to expand our existing and long-standing partnership with Sohu to allow audiences in China to watch one of the greatest TV shows ever made.”

Arriving in China for the first time since becoming a full series in 1989, whilst adding 1 to its total number of ‘territories covered’ (currently over 180), and potentially many more to their official count of ‘over 190 million weekly viewers’, will The Simpsons‘ expansion into the country help start to tear down their great wall of content limitation?

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James Corden Confirmed For Late Late Job

Cementing previous rumours surrounding the show, it has now been confirmed that English comedian James Corden will be the face of CBS‘s The Late Late Show as of 2015.

james_cordenOutgoing host Craig Ferguson is to depart from his duties in December to reportedly move into a new ‘syndicated chatshow’ of his own, leaving a vacancy for the fairly surprising choice of Corden to fill, given he is currently an unknown quantity in the USA aside from cult viewers of British TV shows and his Broadway stage performances.

Corden said of the news: “I can’t describe how thrilled and honoured I am to be taking over from the brilliant Craig Ferguson. To be asked to host such a prestigious show on America’s #1 network is hugely exciting. I can’t wait to get started, and will do my very best to make a show America will enjoy.”

Nina Tassler, CBS Entertainment chairwoman, added: “James Corden is a rare entertainment force who combines irresistible charm, warmth and originality with a diverse range of creative instincts and performance talent. He is the ultimate multi-hyphenate – a writer, creator and performer who is loved and respected in every medium he touches, including theatre, comedy, music, film and television. James is already a big star in the UK and he’s wowed American audiences on Broadway; we’re very excited to introduce his considerable and very unique talents to our network television audience on a daily basis.”

The man Corden is replacing, Craig Ferguson, added of the confirmation via Twitter: “Congratulations to the spectacularly talented James Corden who will take over the LLS after me. Great choice. I heartily endorse & approve.”

Having made it to a bigger network than former CNN chatshow presenter employee Piers Morgan, will James Corden follow in the path of his countryman, or become beloved by the American prime-time talkshow crowd?

Sky News Makes American Expansion Through Xbox Live

In an attempt to expand the brand beyond its native territories in which “Sky” is a popular thing, Sky News are focusing primarily on its level of notability in the American market, announcing a release of their official app for Xbox Live.

sky_news_logoSurprisingly, this new release is for the Xbox 360 rather than the more modern Xbox One games console, though the still-high user numbers of the older product probably factor into the decision. The download is noted as offering American users on Xbox 360 the opportunity to view live streaming of the network’s 24-hour news coverage, along with the chance to read the most popular on-demand stories of the day updated with regularity.

Andrew Hawken, the head of Sky News Digital, said of the release: “Sky News is consistently exploring opportunities to expand our global reach. Making Sky News available on Xbox was an ideal way to achieve this. With a growing US footprint of a million users and a US news team, we’re thrilled that our coverage will be showcased to millions of Xbox customers.”

Looking to join versions of the app seen on Apple TV and Roku (amongst others), Sky’s fledgling efforts to ‘make it in America’ will naturally not have the same impact without the support structure of a native same-brand pay-TV service behind it, but will the Murdoch factor be able to push them a little higher than most would normally expect? Viewers would at least enjoy some relative neutrality compared with the reputation of News Corp.’s biggest news station in the USA: