Leopards on the prowl for GOtv, Top 8 glory

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards Bernard Mang’oli (centre) celebrates his goal against KCB at Nyayo Stadium on July 8. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, September 9 –Cash-strapped domestic giants, AFC Leopards, skipper, Jackson Saleh believes the management circus revolving around the Den will not distract them from reclaiming the GOtv Shield.Saleh, who is set to return to action on Saturday during their Sportpesa Premier League clash against Western Stima underscored they are now focused on securing a ticket to next season’s CAF Confederations Cup qualification by winning the Shield as arch rivals, Gor Mahia, are on the verge of retaining the league for a third season in a row. The club will play the first of two league matches behind closed doors on Saturday under a cloud of uncertainty after the Ministry of Sports recognized the Mathew Opwora-led faction as the legal office bearers on Tuesday.That prompted the resignation of interim chairman, Walter Onyino but his Secretary General; Professor Asava Kadima, intends to take legal action against their rivals for falsifying documents and bringing disrepute in the club.Already the Opwora team has sued current office holders for being in power illegally with the matter pending at Nairobi’s Milimani Law Court.But Saleh, one of the few players who remained in the team after mid season’s mass exodus, declared they are going for maximum points against his former club, Stima to avoid dropping off the Top 8.“We have prepared well and our target is to beat Stima because they won the first leg and they are always a tough side. Despite problems we are undergoing, Saturday’s match is a must win because if we lose we will drop to ninth.“We are eying Top 8 and GOtv and I’m sure we will win one or take both because the league is already gone with Gor,” Saleh who returns from a one-match suspension after collecting five yellow cards, stated.Troubled Leopards, who have gone six matches without victory, open their KPL Top 8 campaign against defending champions Tusker FC in the highlight tie of the knockout competition’s quarter-finals pending the draw for the GOtv Shield.With head coach, Zdravko Logarusic set to miss the match after travelling to his native Croatia, his assistant, Ezekiel Akwana was upbeat they will finish amongst the top five as the league enters its home stretch with five matches to go.Against Stima, Leopards will be without goal keeper; Lucas Indeche who has a bacterial infection while winger, Timonah Wanyonyi is suffering from knee injury.“The players are ready to tackle Saturday match with a difference. We had a crisis meeting with the players and they decided to give it their all against Stima. After that, we will try and see how to approach Sofapaka in our next match and then Tusker in Top 8. We take each match at a time.“We will finish top five, that I can promise our fans because sincerely, Gor has won the league,” Akwana added.Ingwe last won the GOtv Shield in 2013 in the season where they finished runner-ups to K’Ogalo who were crowned champions for the first time in 18 years.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Maradona backs 48-team World Cup ahead of crunch FIFA meeting

first_img0Shares0000Argentine football legend Diego Maradona on Monday backed controversial plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams © AFP/File / Filippo MonteforteZURICH, Switzerland, Jan 9 – Diego Maradona on Monday backed controversial plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams, a day before world football’s powerful governing council faces a key decision on the issue.“It sounds like a fantastic idea to me,” the 56-year-old, who inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, told reporters at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters. “This will give more possibilities to countries that have never reached that level of competition.”FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who took charge of the scandal-tainted world body last year, has made expanding the World Cup from the current 32 teams the centrepiece of his administration.But his plans have faced criticism including warnings that it will dilute the quality at football’s showcase event.“The quality will not fall,” said Maradona, dripping with sweat after rumbling his way through a mini tournament of former football greats and current executives.Infantino has been courting support from the game’s most powerful figures ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.Among those playing on the snow-lined pitch Monday was UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin, who has voiced scepticism towards expansion, and CONCACAF chief Victor Montagliani, who is open to a bigger tournament.Former French international David Trezeguet said more World Cup berths could give “possibilities to countries and especially players who have never experienced this beautiful competition”, while acknowledging that details still needed to be worked out.Among the major concerns from critics is that a longer tournament would increase pressure on an already strained club schedule.The influential European Clubs Association, led by German great Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has come out against an enlarged World cup, citing football’s overloaded calendar.Infantino says that money should not drive any decision, but a confidential FIFA report seen by AFP projects that a 48-team tournament would bring a cash boost of $640 million (605 million euros) above projected revenues for next year’s finals in Russia.The influential council will review five proposals on Tuesday: leaving the World Cup unchanged at 32 teams, two proposals for a 40-team competition and two 48-team scenarios.Infantino is said to be backing a 48-team option with 16 groups of three, which would come into effect for the 2026 competition.Any decision made Tuesday will have to be approved by FIFA’s full 211 members at the body’s next congress.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Eden Hazard IS committed to Chelsea and he proved it against PSG, says Ivanovic

first_img Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic 1 Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has leapt to the defence of Eden Hazard.The Belgian has suffered a dramatic dip in form this season and was booed by supporters after limping off late on in Wednesday night’s Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.Fans were annoyed by the sight of the playmaker swapping shirts with Angel di Maria at half-time of such a crucial clash, while his commitment to the club has been questioned given his recent admission that he would find it hard to turn down a move to PSG.But Hazard has the support of his Chelsea teammates, with Ivanovic claiming the 25-year-old played through the pain against the French champions and hailing his performance as one of the best he has given this season.“It’s not an excuse, but people have to think about the fact he started the game injured,” Ivanovic said in the Evening Standard.“Did that show how committed he is? Yes. Of course when you lose a game the fans are not happy and they have to be like that.“But in my opinion it was one of his best performances so far. He was very strong and quick. He wanted to score and had a couple of actions where he looked like last season.”Next season appears almost certain to be Chelsea’s first without Champions League football under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, who took over in 2003. Their most recent season without top-level European competition was in 2002-03, when they played in the UEFA Cup.Chelsea are well adrift of qualifying through the Premier League – the Blues are 10th, 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with nine games remaining – 10 months after winning the title.And the competitive nature of the Premier League means there are no guarantees of a swift return to Europe’s top table.Ivanovic said: “I will really miss playing in the Champions League a lot. All of the players dream to play in the Champions League – we live for the competition and the games. It’s going to be very disappointing to not be in it next season.“There are great teams and you have to concentrate all of the season to be in the top four. It’s very difficult to be at that level all season.“But this team has the character to grow and finish in the top four next season. We can fight for the title. We can come back stronger for the Champions League.”The immediate focus is Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.Gary Cahill said on chelseafc.com: “We need to refocus as we have one big chance to do something this season and the first hurdle is at the weekend.”Like Hazard, Diego Costa departed injured and is a doubt for the trip to Goodison Park.Costa had been a nuisance to PSG in the hour he was on the field and cancelled out Adrien Rabiot’s opener before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the visitors’ second to end the tie.Ibrahimovic hopes the Ligue 1 leaders can match their performances against Chelsea in their fourth successive season in the last eight. They were knocked out by Barcelona in 2013 and 2015, either side of a defeat to Chelsea.“In France we are doing the maximum we can do – we can’t do any better than that – but the Champions League is the next step for us,” Ibrahimovic said on uefa.com.“We did great, but can we repeat the good things we did against Chelsea? If we can then things are looking good.”last_img read more

BRENDAN GOES ‘QUIETLY’ BACK TO THE ’90s WITH HIS TEA AND COFFEE PRICES!

first_imgThe Quiet Moment Tearooms back in the day!Over the past two decades a lot has changed on Letterkenny’s Main Street.Many familiar faces and businesses have gone their various ways.And although it may also have changed its guise, the Quiet Moment Tearooms has ben serving customers and continues to do so in those twenty years. Reeling in the years…..!The premises celebrates its 20th anniversary this Saturday, July 19th.And to mark the occasion, owner and well-knwon local businessman Brendan McGlynn is revisiting the very day he opened the restaurant.As well as face-painting and music, the Quiet Moment will be offering teas and coffees at 1994 prices – which is about 50 cent per cup!We can’t guarantee that Brendan will be wearing the same suit he wore back in 1994 but he will certainly have that all familiar welcome and chat for customers. Why not pop in and say hello and get the cheapest cup of tea or coffee in town – all the way from 1994.If you need any further info there is some on our websitehttp://www.quietmoment.ie/about.htmlThe Quiet Moment Tearooms as they stand proudly today.  BRENDAN GOES ‘QUIETLY’ BACK TO THE ’90s WITH HIS TEA AND COFFEE PRICES! was last modified: July 15th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brendan McGlynndonegalletterkennyThe Quiet MOment Tearoomslast_img read more

Candidates fail to deliver blows

first_imgSteve Frank, a Simi Valley-based publisher of the conservative e-newsletter California Political News & Views, said he was unimpressed by the performance of either candidate. The reality here is no new ground was broken, Frank said. No interesting information or positions were given. The people of California got two stump speeches. And neither won style points in Frank s view. Angelides, he said, at times looked uncomfortable and at least once looked at the wrong camera. But the governor looked maybe too comfortable. With his tanned face, he was Hollywood personified, Frank said.The debate covered a range of subjects, including taxes, immigration, the economy, transportation and gas prices.Angelides at times tried to compare Schwarzenegger to national Republican figures, whom polls have shown are unpopular in California.Schwarzenegger ads alleging that Angelides wants to raise taxes further are weapons of mass deception, the treasurer said. When you speak like this, you sound just like \[former Speaker\] Newt Gingrich, you sound like Speaker Hastert, you sound like George Bush, attacking me and attacking me, Angelides said.He went on to claim that Schwarzenegger had raised taxes on the middle class by hiking college tuition and fees. I think that it is very clear, I can tell from the joy that you see in the eyes when you talk about taxes. You just love to increase taxes, the governor parried. Look out there right now and say, I love increasing taxes. The audience of about 300 laughed hard.Even before the main event, operatives for both campaigns began spinning. The Schwarzenegger camp e-mailed out a list of what they consider shady acts by Angelides. The treasurer s camp distributed an Arnold translator to help journalists suss out what the governor really intended to say. By night s end, both sides had distributed a small avalanche of fact checks to assembled journalists.Schwarzenegger, a former actor, frequently spoke directly to the camera. Angelides was shown in profile more, perhaps because he was looking at the moderator and the governor.True to form, Schwarzenegger mostly stayed genial and at times seemed to be trying to run down the clock by reciting past accomplishments. Even his zingers were delivered with smiles. Meanwhile, a policy wonk to his marrow, Angelides crammed his answers with statistics and pitched new proposals. But he warmed up some talking about his family members who immigrated from Greece.The governor joked that spending time with the liberal Angelides was like dinner with Uncle Teddy at Thanksgiving, a reference to U.S. Sen Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. He s a great man, Angelides said. Thank you so much. The most pointed exchange came toward the end, when moderator Stan Statham of the California Broadcasters Association asked about how the candidates would keep California a leader in the global economy.Addressing Angelides, the governor said, You ve got to let the people know during the most incredible decline of our economy just a few years ago, you were part of that. Angelides interjected, Well, your policies were Bush policies. And I prefer Clinton to Bush any day. Schwarzenegger shot back: No, no, don t talk about Bush. Because if you want to do that, go to Iowa \[as a presidential aspirant\]. You went to Ohio, governor, I didn t. You stood with President Bush and you helped him get re-elected. And we didn t even get a T-shirt, Angelides retorted to laughter.165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsAngelides retorted: My position is clear in this campaign: I m going to cut taxes for people making under $100,000. I m going to close corporate tax loopholes. I m going to ask multimillionaires to help balance the budget.The conversational debate as it was dubbed, occurred on the third anniversary of the 2003 recall election. But it also came on a Saturday — traditionally a low-viewership night — and also ran opposite the same time as the baseball playoffs and college football.Ultimately, observers said the debate results were unlikely to cause any big swings in the campaign — and that is favorable to Schwarzenegger who is enjoying a comfortable lead in the polls. Angelides lost by not winning, said Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College. He did a pretty good job in the debate, he got his points across. But he needed to force a major error by Schwarzenegger, and that didn t happen. The governor, meanwhile, kept his cool and at times showed aggression on issues such as taxes. In their only head-to-head confrontation before the November election, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Treasurer Phil Angelides sparred over taxes and trust Saturday but failed to land any direct hits in an hourlong debate devoid of defining moments.The debate was widely seen as a crucial moment for Democrat Angelides — who is trailing in public opinion polls and scrounging for funds — to finally make a significant impression on voters, many of whom only know him from Schwarzenegger ads.For Schwarzenegger, the goal was to remain genial and avoid making any gaffes that Angelides could exploit as he hammered home his campaign theme that Angelides is addicted to higher taxes. You have been so far for every single tax increase since you ve been in office, Schwarzenegger said, rattling off every tax-increase proposal Angelides has ever spoken of favorably, from sales taxes to higher taxes on farm equipment.last_img read more

Shelley Kerr: ‘Scotland denied penalty in Japan defeat’

first_imgScotland boss Shelley Kerr felt her side should have been awarded a penalty in the 2-1 Women’s World Cup loss to Japan in Rennes. As the Scots applied pressure late on, Erin Cuthbert appealed that Risa Shimizu had handled in the box but no spot-kick was given. When asked about the incident, Kerr said in her post-match press conference: “It’s not a hard luck story but I’ve actually watched it back three times, and it’s a penalty. “There’s no other comments to make on it, it’s a penalty.” Scotland’s second defeat in Group D followed a similar pattern to their first – the 2-1 loss to to England five days earlier – with them going 2-0 down in the first half before improving after the break and pulling a goal back in the closing stages of the game. Japan, the 2011 winners and 2015 runners-up who had been held to a 0-0 draw by Argentina in their opening game, took the lead in the 23rd minute at Roazhon Park via a Mana Iwabuchi strike as an error by Scotland captain Rachel Corsie was punished. The advantage was then extended in the 37th by a penalty won and converted by Yuika Sugasawa, who went down in the box when Corsie put her hand on her shoulder. Scotland’s subsequent rally saw Cuthbert hit a post in the 78th minute, then have two penalty claims turned down before substitute Lana Clelland’s fine strike made it 2-1 with two minutes of normal time remaining. Scotland, who are at a Women’s Word Cup finals for the first time, need to beat Argentina in their final group game on Wednesday to have a chance of progressing into the last 16. Kerr said: “We obviously conceded two bad goals, mistakes. Take that out of the game and it’s much closer. “Huge credit to Japan. I think we saw the real Japan today, their movement was incredible. “We knew it would be, we tried to set up in a way to stop them and in spells of the game we didn’t do that, which sometimes can be understandable because you’re playing against world-class players. “But I thought in the second half, for most of it we were terrific, and we finished really strongly. “I’m immensely proud of the players, because it’s their first World Cup and playing against England first and then Japan and you narrowly lose to both. “We need to build on it, we need to rest again and get ready for a big game against Argentina.” Japan boss Asako Takakura said in quotes reported on FIFA’s official website: “It was a must-win game and, although there were tough moments, we’re very happy to get the win. “We had to be aggressive and score goals, and that’s what we did. We didn’t show our true selves in the first game at this tournament but this was a lot more like the true Japan. “I expect a lot of my players and today we managed to win against a wonderful Scottish team. But at the same time, we can still improve certain aspects of our game and we will keep discussing how to do that.”last_img read more

Public service fraud crackdown

first_img6 April 2005About 37 000 public servants are being probed for allegedly acquiring state social grants fraudulently, either individually or through syndicates.This follows a successful campaign which saw about 30 000 ordinary South Africans owning up to receiving grants they were not entitled to – translating into about R120-million a year in savings for the state.State targets social grant fraud – Starting from 1 April, all South Africans receiving social grants will have to verify their eligibility to receive a grant.Speaking to journalists in Cape Town on Tuesday, Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya said drastic measures would be taken to smash syndicates and bring public servants guilty of fraud to book.“We are currently working closely with various law enforcement agencies such as the Special Investigations Unit, the Scorpions and the SAPS to investigate fraud and corruption related to public servants and syndicates”, Skweyiya said.Since the government announced an amnesty for illegal recipients of social grants in December 2004, approximately 30 000 people came forward to request indemnity from prosecution; many others stopped claiming grants without applying for indemnity. The amnesty period ended on 31 March.Taking into account only those who applied for indemnity, Skweyiya estimated that the campaign would save the state in the region of R120-million a year.The amnesty excluded public servants and syndicates. “The syndicates and public servants will just have to bring back our money”, Skweyiya said.It is estimated that the government loses more than R1.5-billion a year due to fraud and corruption in the process of delivering social grants.The state pays out more than R50-billion a year in basic social protection to more than nine million South Africans.Reducing dependency levelsTabling his department’s budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday, Skweyiya said that South Africa had made significant progress towards alleviating poverty and enhancing social cohesion.However, more still needed to be done, he said, to develop South Africa’s economy and reduce the level of dependency on social grants.“One of the most significant achievements we have made was the reduction of poverty through the provision of social assistance to the most vulnerable sectors of society – the elderly, people with disabilities and, most importantly, children”, the minister said.Over 5.5-million South African children currently benefit from social grants. Child support grants have now been extended to 1.9-million children under 11 years, and an estimated 1.2-million children between 11 and 14 years will be registered for grants by March 2006. R6.4-billion has been set aside for this purpose.“As we register these children, we will pay even more attention on ensuring that children who receive social grants attend school”, Skweyiya said.“We will be working closely with the Department of Education and the education fraternity in this regard.”As April, all categories of social grants have been increased above the inflation rate.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Investing in African Mining Indaba 2015

first_imgThe annual Investing in African Mining Indaba makes a compelling business case for why global investors should consider South Africa – and the continent as a whole – an important trade and investment destination. Mining’s contribution to South Africa’s global competitiveness9 February 2015 – At the 2015 Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town from 9 to 12 February, the Department of Trade and Industry will emphasise the government’s strategic focus on industrialisation and improving connections between mining and the rest of the economy, writes DTI Minister RobDavies. MORE > Infographic: Mining robot can save lives5 February 2015 – Safety in mines is a big issue in South Africa, and robots produced by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research present the perfect solution. Its Mobile Intelligence Autonomous Systems group created and tested robots that can monitor the safety of mines after blasting. MORE > Infographic: Mining in South Africa4 February 2015 – South Africa’s Mining Indaba, set to run from 9 to 12 February in Cape Town, is Africa’s – and the world’s – largest mining investment gathering. To preview the event, we bring you facts and figures about the mining industry in South Africa. MORE > Mining groups invested in South Africa3 February 2015 – No longer simply the exploiters of resources and people, the mining industry in South Africa today invests R3.9-billion a year in corporate social investment projects, more than any other sector on the stock exchange. Most of this investment is in communities around the mines’ operations. MORE > Machel, Blair head to South Africa for Mining Indaba30 January 2015 – Graça Machel and Tony Blair are the keynote speakers at the Investing in African Mining Indaba, now in its 20th year. As head of the Foundation for Community Development, Machel leads the sustainable development sessions. A host of other global mining leaders and economists are scheduled to speak. MORE > Licensing reform to lift competiveness of South African mining22 January 2015 – South Africa’s mining sector contributes 9% of GDP directly and over 30% in foreign exchange earnings, writes Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Now new regulatory reforms are set to boost this contribution even further. MORE >last_img read more

The Remaking of ZohoCRM

first_imgToday Zoho announced a makeover for its venerable (my, how time flies) CRM SaaS service, including new features and a new UI. The company also stated that its software is used by 5.5 million users and has 25,000 CRM customers. The features are all available immediately and the existing pricing remains the same. First is the UI makeover. You can see the setup screen below, it is more organized and more visually appealing. (A comparison between old and new can be found here.)What I liked is that Zoho will offer you a choice of UI for a limited time to aid in your own transition, if you liked the old furniture arrangement. Second are two new social integration features that are all the rage in SaaS products. First is its own social streaming app called Pulse, as you can see it is similar to a variety of streaming features that can be found elsewhere. You can follow fellow employees, post to their stream and so forth. The second social feature is an integration with LinkedIn and this is two way: your updates in Zoho get posted on LinkedIn, and vice-versa. You can link someone in your Zoho contacts or leads databases to their LinkedIn profile. You click on the little LinkedIn box underneath their photo to get into this part of the program. Both Pulse and the LinkedIn integration are free for all users of Zoho.The last two features are only available to enterprise-grade Zoho users. First is a new Creator app that is integrated into the CRM service. With it, you can develop custom CRM modules using a variety of forms and templates, as you see below.If that isn’t enough, Zoho is also assembling a series of Workflow APIs called Webhooks to automate particular processes externally. Again, this is just available to enterprise users. So you could update your Quickbooks accounting system every time you indicate you close a deal in the ZohoCRM module. Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now david strom Tags:#enterprise#news#saas Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Amazon Fire TV Gets USB Support And Travel-Friendly Features

first_img9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Cord-cutters have plenty of streaming-TV options, but Amazon just upped the stakes.The company revealed several new upcoming features for its Fire TV products on Tuesday, including support for external USB storage and the sort of wireless networks found in hotels. The announcements seem strategically designed to set Amazon’s TV devices apart, as few competitors—and none of its top rivals—offer similar options. See also: Amazon’s Fire TV Stick Aims To Compete With ChromecastThe timing is impossible to ignore. The Amazon news lands just after a report claiming that Apple wants to reinvigorate its TV initiatives. But with the iPhone company likely waiting for its Worldwide Developers Conference in June to reveal its intentions, there’s plenty of time for contenders to put up a fierce fight—and Amazon looks like it’s coming out swinging. Amazon Beefs Up Its Streaming PowersCurrently, on the Amazon e-commerce site’s list of bestselling TV products, the company’s own $39 Fire TV stick sits at number one. The small unit wrested the top spot from the $30 Chromecast, which was the reigning champ on and off for more than a year.According to Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon Devices, the company has been working at breakneck speed to satisfy all the demand for both the Fire TV set-top box and the streaming stick. In a press statement, he said Amazon has been “working hard to build more of both as quickly as possible.” But as it lines up its hardware, it’s also clearly pushing to advance the software—primarily by addressing travel, one of the most vexing problems for streaming fans. See also: Have Chromecast, Will Travel … Er, Maybe NotSome customers buy compact TV sticks expressly so they can take them on trips. But none of the most popular streaming devices—specifically Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku—work with complex logins or the multi-screen setups often used in hotels and other public locations. But Amazon’s upcoming update will.Both the $39 Fire TV stick and the squarish $99 set-top box will work with hotel Wi-Fi, airport hotspots, university networks and other “captive portals” requiring secondary authentication or acceptance of other terms. That alone positions Amazon’s Fire TV product line as the only choice for business travelers or vacationers who want to take their Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu or other streams on the go. Amazon’s TV box will also get support for external USB storage, so users can store and play their own games, apps and media, instead of solely relying on streaming. The set-top will soon work with Bluetooth headphones, too, so people who use wireless earbuds with their smartphones can use the same headsets for TV audio. Of the top TV streaming devices, the only other product that offers private listening is Roku, which comes courtesy of a headphone jack in the remote for the Roku 2 and 3. See also: HBO Go Hits Amazon Fire TV, May Bring Cord-Cutting Service TooOther changes coming to both the Fire TV box and stick include hidden PIN code entry, so the numbers won’t show up onscreen when you input them for purchases, new Prime Music playlists and remote control shortcuts. In addition, the company announced that the Fire TV Stick orders will open immediately in the UK and Germany, with a ship date beginning on April 15. Amazon’s new features will arrive as free over-the-air software updates some time in the “coming weeks.” It’s Going To Be A Hot Summer Amazon’s streaming gadgets also likely benefitted from key partnerships—in particular, the company’s latest deal with Sling TV.The service adds live television streaming to Fire TV’s feature list, similar to the new service expected from Apple this summer. Speaking of Apple, its next-generation Apple TV will also reportedly offer voice features. Voice was a distinguishing factor for Amazon’s first Fire TV set-top product when it debuted last year. Though limited, Amazon’s voice search has slowly begun to expand beyond its Instant Watch catalog to include Hulu Plus, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime, among others. Television may only scratch the surface of Apple’s ambitions, but when it comes to standalone TV products, Amazon’s devices could wind up holding their own—partially due to the new additions coming soon, but also because of price. See also: Apple’s Small iOS 8.3 Updates Speak Volumes About Where It’s HeadedAmazon’s compact device is currently the least expensive streaming TV product that offers the combination of live online TV programming, travel-readiness and, at the very least, a foundation for growing voice features. Roku also works with Sling TV, though it offers no voice features and no support for captive portal networks yet. Chromecast, the second most popular option, offers no voice support and does not work with hotel Wi-Fi networks, though it’s capable of some live television streaming through individual third-party services or providers, like ABC. To make its Chromecast more appealing, Google announced several promotions last week for streaming subscriptions and a free Google Play movie rental. But the battle for the living room isn’t over yet. There’s more than two months to go before Apple’s WWDC conference, with Google’s I/O developers conference falling in between, so more announcements are likely on the way. Stay tuned. Amazon Fire TV Stick lead photo and Game Of Thrones photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite; Amazon Fire TV set-top box product shot courtesy of Amazon 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout adriana lee 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Related Posts last_img read more