Port of Vancouver Presents Two-Day Canada150 Celebration

VANCOUVER, BC—(Marketwired – June 27, 2017) – Canada Place at the Port of Vancouver today released world–class talent performing at this year's two–day celebration at Canada Place. Canada Day at Canada Place festivities will feature five performance stages starring headliner Sam Roberts Band, alongside FEFE, Hey Ocean!, Dragonette, Emerson Drive, Madeline Merlo and The Matinee.

“With an additional day of programming happening this year, Canada150 at Canada Place is set to be the largest Canada Day celebration outside the nation's capital,” said Gillian Behnke, Manager of Community Relations & Communications at Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “We're thrilled to be welcoming so many incredible performers to Vancouver to participate in our events.”

Free and family–friendly programming will happen at Canada Place, Jack Poole Plaza and on the surrounding streets. Programming will include a citizenship ceremony welcoming 150 new Canadians, a Kids' Zone in Harbour Green Park, and unique to this year, special guest, and Hong Kong Airlines Ambassador, Jackie Chan, will be on–site for this year's Canada Day celebration. In addition to musical performances throughout the day, guests can enjoy the North Point Lounge presented by Steam Whistle Brewing serving beer and wine, the Canada150 Zone and the Coast Capital Savings Youth Zone & Stage. The evening will close with a simultaneous two–barge Canada Day Fireworks Show commencing at 10:30 p.m. in Coal Harbour and Dundarave in West Vancouver. Day two, Sunday, July 2, will kick–off with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on the North Point of Canada Place in support of Strathcona Community Centre's Food Security for Children program. Excluding the Main Stage and Kids' Zone, all exhibit zones will be open 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on July 2. The Canada150 celebrations will conclude with the Canada150 Parade at 5:00 p.m. on July 2. The parade will start at the corner of Georgia and Broughton streets and travel eastbound along Georgia.

“It's thanks to our generous sponsors that we're able to offer two days of programming this year,” said Behnke. “We are looking forward to a milestone Canada Day weekend designed to celebrate everything that make us proud to be Canadian.”

The annual Canada Day at Canada Place celebrations are presented by Port of Vancouver and funded in part by the Government of Canada. The event is made possible thanks to the generous support of partners including National Partner CIBC, the Canadian Forces, Coast Capital Savings, Safeway, Air North Yukon's Airline, Hong Kong Airlines, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, City of Vancouver, Parks Canada, Seaspan, Steam Whistle Brewing, West Park, District of West Vancouver, Vancouver Convention Centre, Via Rail Canada, Subway. Media partners include, Global BC, Rock 101, CKNW, CFOX, CTV, Virgin Radio, QMFM, Vancouver Sun, 24HRS Vancouver, CBC, CBC Radio–Canada, JRfm, 102.7 THE PEAK, Virgin Radio, CHMB, and OMNI.

Tickets are now on sale for the Fireworks Viewing Zone along the west promenade of Canada Place, offering premium views of the fireworks show, easy access to inside washrooms and a family–friendly space away from the crowds. Tickets to the Fireworks Viewing Zone are available for purchase at www.ticketstonight.ca. For additional information please visit: www.canadaplace.ca/canadaday

About Canada Place Corporation
Canada Place at the Port of Vancouver is an internationally–recognized landmark and venue for world–class events and inspirationally Canadian experiences. For the last 31 years Canada Place has served as a hub for national celebrations, including the National Aboriginal Celebration and Canada Day at Canada Place.

Canada Place is also homeport to the Vancouver–Alaska cruises, and houses Vancouver Convention Centre East, Pan Pacific Hotel, FlyOver Canada, World Trade Centre and WestPark. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority manages the Port of Vancouver and is the owner and operator of the Canada Place.

USAA, Costco, Virgin America, and YouTube Lead in Customer Loyalty in Satmetrix 2017 NPS(R) Benchmarks

SAN MATEO, CA—(Marketwired – June 27, 2017) – Satmetrix®, the leading global provider of customer experience solutions, today released its annual U.S. Consumer Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) Benchmarks. The 2017 study reveals data–driven insights on brand loyalty and drivers of customer satisfaction for nearly 190 individual brands across 23 U.S. industry sectors, including banking, financial services, insurance, retail, telecommunications, travel and hospitality, and more.

Now in its 16th year, this research draws on the world's most comprehensive repository of customer experience data and provides business leaders with the objective confidence necessary to set performance targets.

“Executives around the world rely on our Net Promoter benchmarks to ground themselves in what best–in–class looks like as they develop short– and long–term business plans,” said Richard Owen, Chief Executive Officer at Satmetrix. “And the more progressive business leaders study the behaviors of top performing customer experience teams outside of their immediate industry to really understand what drives excellence. The most innovative ideas often come from peers that don't look like you at all.”

Benchmark users can review NPS performance and drivers of customer satisfaction for their entire industry or just a select group of their closest competitors, using the intuitive design features of the company's enhanced reporting tool. Users have the flexibility to tailor the type of reporting used – line graphs, bar charts, tables – and export both images and data files for the individual charts. The U.S. Consumer NPS Benchmarks are exclusively available via subscription to Satmetrix Academy & Research, which also includes access to the industry's most respected Net Promoter Certification and an advanced training course in Net Promoter Economics.

Notably, USAA continues its impressive eight–year run at the top of three different industry sectors (auto insurance, banking, and home and contents insurance). In addition, Satmetrix observed a number of interesting shifts in this year's rankings. Some highlights:

  • Costco sits atop the rankings across all industry sectors, regaining its leadership position from Nordstrom after a brief one–year hiatus from the top spot for department and specialty stores. Nordstrom tumbled to the fourth position.
  • Virgin America edged out Jet Blue (last year's leader) and Southwest Airlines (a historical leader) among major airlines.
  • American Express beat out Discover in the credit card category; both are consistent top performers.
  • Publix edged out a crowd of other grocery stores and supermarket chains as it ascended to the top of this year's rankings. The industry has seen four different leaders across the last five years (Publix, H–E–B, Wegmans, and Trader Joe's, twice).
  • YouTube caught up to back–to–back industry leader, Netflix, in the online entertainment industry.
  • Apple regained leadership in the smartphone industry, beating out last year's winner, Samsung, but the company lost its longstanding position atop the tablet industry to Amazon.

Additionally, the following companies retained their leadership position in their respective industries: Vanguard (brokerage and investments), Verizon (cable and satellite TV), Cricket Wireless (cell phone service), Walgreens (drug stores and pharmacies), Kaiser Permanente (health insurance), Ritz Carlton (hotels), Fios Internet (internet service), Apple (laptop computers), Amazon (online shopping), State Farm (life insurance), USPS (shipping services), Turbo Tax (software and apps), and TripAdvisor (travel websites).

The 16th annual Satmetrix Net Promoter Score Benchmarks draw on insights from more than 65,000 brand ratings from more than 20,000 U.S. consumers. NPS has a proven track record as leading indicator of revenue growth, and it is widely acknowledged as the most effective overall metric for managing customer experience. NPS is based on answers to the question “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?” It is calculated as the difference between the percentage of customers who are Promoters, rating the company 9 or 10 on a 0– to 10–point scale, and the percentage who are Detractors, rating 6 or lower. Consumers also rated each brand on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service, and overall value, enabling Satmetrix to identify the key drivers of loyalty and recommendation.

NPS®, Net Promoter® and Net Promoter Score® are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.

About Satmetrix

Satmetrix is the leading global provider of customer experience software for companies who demand differentiated knowledge about their customers. As co–developer of the Net Promoter® methodology, Satmetrix combines unrivaled Net Promoter expertise with its powerful, yet cost–effective NPX product, a complete, always on–customer experience management (CEM) SaaS solution battle tested by the leading NPS–driven, customer–first companies in the world.

Stratfor Forecasts A Reality Check for U.S. Retrenchment on Foreign Policy and Global Trade in the Third-Quarter of 2017

AUSTIN, TX—(Marketwired – June 26, 2017) – The drive toward U.S. retrenchment will face a geopolitical reality check in the third–quarter as underlying constraints push back against protectionist rhetoric according to the latest forecast from Stratfor, the world's leading geopolitical intelligence platform. The 2017 Third–Quarter Forecast, just released on Stratfor Worldview, examines the underlying global trends that will inform and constrain decision makers in the months ahead on issues ranging from global trade and energy markets to foreign policy and national security.

On global trade, “the process of renegotiating NAFTA, which will commence this quarter, will even take on a more moderate tone that emphasizes modernizing – rather than overturning – the agreement,” said Stratfor Vice President of Global Analysis Reva Goujon. That trend will be reflected in broader foreign policy and national security issues as well. Goujon said “while the U.S. will maintain its security alliances abroad, it will also raise enough uncertainty in the third–quarter to drive more unilateral action by partners in the Middle East, Europe and Asia to manage their own neighborhoods.”

Stratfor's proprietary methodology and the study of geopolitics guide the company's forecasting process to deliver independent, research–based analysis free of individual or organizational bias so organizations can anticipate opportunities and mitigate risk. Key global trends included in Stratfor's 2017 Third–Quarter Forecast include:

  • A Reality Check on the “U.S. Retreat” from the Global Stage
  • Next Steps in Trade Battles
  • The Outlook for Global Energy Markets
  • A GCC Crisis and Escalating Proxy Wars in the Middle East
  • China's Balancing Act on North Korea, the U.S. and Economic Reform
  • The Limits of U.S.–Russia Dialogue
  • Europe's Temporary Reprieve

The complete Third Quarter Forecast – along with Stratfor's 2017 Annual Forecast and Decade Forecast – is now available at Worldview.Stratfor.com. Past forecasts have predicted the economic transformation of China, U.S. rapprochement with Iran and the ongoing disintegration of the European Union.

About Stratfor:

As the world's leading geopolitical intelligence platform, Stratfor brings global events into valuable perspective, empowering businesses, governments and individuals to more confidently navigate their way through an increasingly complex international environment. By leveraging a deep understanding of history, politics and geography in conjunction with our unique methodology, Stratfor delivers informed perspectives on today's events and develops a more accurate view of the future. Individual and enterprise subscriptions to Stratfor Worldview are available at Stratfor.com.

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Anki Delivers Powerful Robotics Programming Platform for Kids With Cozmo Code Lab

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—(Marketwired – June 26, 2017) – In a technology–fueled world learning to code has quickly become a cherished skill, empowering kids to become creators of the technology that they use and enjoy. However, the current tools that are meant to inspire robotics programming offer a lackluster and disjointed experience, often lacking access to high–level functionalities that can help transform an aspiring child into a full–fledged programmer. Anki, the consumer robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) company, today announced Cozmo Code Lab. It's a simple and intuitive visual programming language that allows Cozmo owners to easily tap into his advanced robotics technology to program the physical robot. Dragging and dropping blocks into a sequence in Code Lab will trigger related actions from Cozmo in the physical world. Code Lab is available now to all Cozmo owners as a free software update to the Cozmo app.

“Everything we do at Anki is in an effort to advance the state of robotics, whether that is kids learning coding for the first time, or Ph.D. students solving complex computer vision challenges in a lab with Cozmo,” said Boris Sofman, CEO and co–founder at Anki. “With the launch of Code Lab, Cozmo now helps kids develop the logic and reasoning skills that programming requires. Based on the Scratch Blocks project, a collaboration between MIT Media Lab and Google, we now have a powerful tool that gives anyone interested in learning to code a robot the opportunity to unleash their creativity. There's simply no consumer robotics platform available like Cozmo.”

Delightfully Intuitive. Easy to Execute.

Cozmo Code Lab provides opportunities for thoughtful and logic–based play as kids are challenged to approach programming much like a real programmer. Writing sophisticated programs requires a programmer to define a set of rules to solve an issue. Code Lab challenges kids to find a solution to prescribed prompts by moving the blocks into an appropriate sequence. It also allows them to experiment with Cozmo to create whatever content they can imagine. Each block represents a specific action, movement, or animation including:

  • Movement: Make Cozmo drive, from simple forward/backward/turns to intelligent motions like avoiding obstacles
  • Actions: Control his body, from moving his lift and head, to changing lights or having him say short phrases
  • Animations: Access dozens of the animations that make Cozmo's personality, created by a team of film and gaming animators
  • Events: Trigger highly intelligent actions like having Cozmo react to a face, a smile, or a frown, or use his cubes to trigger a reaction

Code Lab for Cozmo is based on Scratch Blocks, a project of the MIT Media Lab, used by millions of people around the world. With Code Lab, Cozmo owners can start out with very simple programs, but then move into extremely sophisticated coding projects like creating entirely new games for the robot.

Check out Cozmo Code Lab Videos Here and Here

About Cozmo

Cozmo refuses to sit tight and wait for the fun to begin. He's ready to play. The more Cozmo gets to know his human friend, the more skilled he becomes as new abilities and upgrades are unlocked. The free–to–download Cozmo app, which runs on compatible iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices, comes packed with gameplay content and constantly introduces new ways to play. Cozmo even brings his own toys to the game — three interactive Power Cubes that he's willing to share. So whether he's playing with his Cubes or challenging his human friend to one of the many games he ships with, he's always ready for action. New Cozmo abilities and game modes are introduced via free software updates, which ensures that the relationship between Cozmo and his human friend stays fresh year–round.

Supporting Resources

About Anki

Anki is harnessing robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver magical experiences that push the boundaries of the human experience. Founded in 2010 by three Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute graduates, Anki creates consumer experiences using cutting–edge technology that was once confined to robotics labs and research institutes. For three years in a row, Fast Company has named Anki one of the top 10 most innovative companies in robotics. Sales of Anki OVERDRIVE and Cozmo have catapulted the company's products into the category of top four best–selling premium toys ($75+) of the 2016 holiday season, according to The NPD Group. For more information, visit www.anki.com.

Anki and Cozmo are trademarks of Anki, Inc.

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Kaltura supports launch of next-generation Vodafone TV service in Italy

NEW YORK, NY—(Marketwired – June 26, 2017) – Kaltura, the leading video technology provider, today announced that its Kaltura OTT TV technology is supporting the launch of Vodafone TV in Italy.

The same Vodafone TV set–top box is already used in Spain and includes an advanced cross–device TV experience, leveraging the Vodafone 4G network, on a new light set–top–box with cloud DVR, and a state of the art user interface.

The new Kaltura powered OTT TV service is a place where truly “content is king”. Subscribers have access to a vast and growing catalog of content from a range of different television and OTT sources, available through live, VOD, catchup, start over, cloud DVR and popular apps. The content libraries of services such as Netflix and Sky Italia Now TV are brought together with all the TV channels users know and love, in a unified and intuitive experience.

Using Kaltura's innovative TV platform, subscribers enjoy a fully personalized live and on–demand TV experience, including advanced content discovery, favorites, cross device interaction and watch lists. Kaltura's advanced business models also make it easy for Vodafone to offer new price plan services. Furthermore, the platform's flexible architecture and services make it easy for Vodafone to continue to expand this service on a regular basis through frequent software updates.

“Vodafone Italy has introduced one of the most ambitious and cutting–edge Pay TV services out there. We are so proud to have a global powerhouse like Vodafone leveraging Kaltura's technology as part of its quad–play strategy,” commented Ron Yekutiel, Kaltura Co–founder, Chairman and CEO. “Kaltura proves yet again its ability to deploy in rapid time a premium pay–TV service for a tier–1 customer.”

Kaltura OTT TV is aimed at operators, broadcasters, media companies and content owners around the world who want to launch an advanced TV service quickly and cost–effectively. Many of these customers are racing to broaden their services and monetize their content on multiple devices.

About Kaltura

Kaltura's mission is to power any video experience. A recognized leader in the OTT TV (Over the Top TV), OVP (Online Video Platform), EdVP (Education Video Platform) and EVP (Enterprise Video Platform) markets, Kaltura has emerged as the fastest growing video platform, and as the one with the widest use–case and appeal. Kaltura is deployed globally in thousands of enterprises, media companies, service providers and educational institutions and engages hundreds of millions of viewers at home, in work, and at school. The company is committed to its core values of openness, flexibility, and collaboration, and is the initiator and backer of the world's leading open–source video–management project, which is home to more than 150,000 community members.

Kaltura OTT TV enables service providers and media companies to quickly launch a comprehensive Pay TV service with advanced monetization, social interaction and personalization tools. Kaltura OTT TV provides a cross–device experience for all content types – live, VOD and catch–up. For more information visit www.kaltura.com.