Heritage reaches $46.7m in education funds

Education fund experts: Gerry Swan and Charles Jeffers of Heritage Agency (Bermuda) Ltd

Heritage Education Funds International has paid out a total of $46.7 million to families in Bermuda to fund their educational needs.

The organisation, which runs savings plans aimed at helping with the costs of postsecondary education, added that it has paid out $2.88 million in Bermuda in the first nine months of this year alone.

And during the past three years, the company has paid out more than $8.8 million to families on the island in savings and Educational Assistance Payments, commonly known as “scholarships”.

HEFI, which has offered its services on the island for more than three decades, stressed that with tuition costs for postsecondary education continuing to rise at an average of 5 per cent annually, saving for education is especially important.

If this trend continues, tuition for a four-year degree programme could exceed $160,000 in ten years, depending on the programme of study and the location, HEFI estimates.

Gerry Swan, HEFI’s director of Heritage Agency (Bermuda) Ltd, said: “We recommend parents start saving for their children’s college or university education as soon as they are born.

“Using a conservative 5 per cent rate of appreciation, parents may need more than $350,000 for a child born this year, to pursue a four-year degree programme in the US.

“The Heritage Plan is designed to encourage parents to save as much as they can comfortably afford now to reduce that financial burden when the time comes.”

He said his team was working to broaden HEFI’s reach across the island.

“We want more families to be aware of the Heritage International Scholarship Trust Plan and, more importantly, we want to make our education savings plan available to more parents and grandparents allowing them the comfort of knowing that through proper planning and prudent investing, funds will be there when they need it most.”

Student participants in the Heritage Education Savings Plan, who received their third and final EAP this year, benefited from a return of 6.4 per cent per annum.

The Heritage Plan is a US-dollar denominated savings plan which has, to date, benefited thousands of students from Bermuda attending postsecondary institutions at home, in the USA, Canada, the UK and other parts of the world.

Jason Maguire, president and chief executive officer of HEFI, said: “We are very proud of these numbers as they indicate that more families in Bermuda than ever before have been using our ESP to help fund postsecondary studies for their children and grandchildren.

“Year after year, HEFI continues to reach important milestones and exceed expectations.

“This is due, in no small part, to all of the Bermudian families and friends who want a better world for their children — one where their academic success isn’t limited by the price tag on education.”

Source:-royalgazette

Google’s cord cutter app YouTube TV reaches 2 million downloads

Approximately 2 million people have installed the YouTube TV app, Google’s live TV service aimed at a younger generation of cord cutters, as well as those who never signed up for traditional pay TV in the first place. That download figure comes from app store analytics firms Sensor Tower and App Annie, which both also noted that installs are evenly split between iOS and Android devices.

Of course, 2 million downloads doesn’t necessarily translate into subscribers — many users may have simply installed the app out of curiosity; others could be on free trials that never convert to paid subscriptions.

Still, it’s a number that should give YouTube TV competitors — in particular, telco rivals — pause. YouTube TV is the youngest arrival in the over-the-top live TV space, and it’s growing rapidly.

Sensor Tower said that YouTube TV added about 700,000 new installs of its app since its announcement last week that it was entering several new U.S. markets, tripling its footprint.

Yes, that’s right — YouTube TV has 2 million installs and isn’t even available across all of the U.S. at this point.

That’s a promising start for a newcomer in this race, even if many of those are still trial customers.

That’s not to say YouTube TV is without serious competition.

This April, YouTube TV entered a crowded market, where numerous services compete to deliver live TV to consumers over the internet. Before YouTube TV arrived, Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and AT&T’s DirecTV Now were battling for cord cutters’ attention. Following the launch of YouTube TV, Hulu rolled out its own Live TV service. And this week, Comcast said its Xfinity Instant TV service could hit the U.S. before the end of the year.

The live TV rivals

Dish’s Sling TV live TV service has been around the longest, allowing it to move quickly into new areas — as it recently did with pay-per-view. Its service has more than 2 million subscribers, according to comScore’s latest report, released last month.

AT&T, meanwhile, can push DirecTV Now on its wireless customers by offering deals, and Sony can market Vue to its millions of PlayStation users. But Vue and DirecTV Now combined only have 1.1 million subscribers, says comScore. (Separately, AT&T announced this week DirecTV Now was nearing half a million subscribers.)

Then there’s Hulu, whose brand is well-known to consumers who think of it as a place to watch the broadcast and cable TV shows Netflix doesn’t offer. Hulu can upsell live TV to its existing customers. While the company doesn’t release subscriber figures, it said in May it had 47 million total unique viewers. (comScore didn’t release numbers for Hulu, YouTube TV or FuboTV.)

YouTube TV’s advantages

For the telcos, in particular, the streaming market is a tough business. As AT&T and Dish’s earnings have revealed, these newer internet TV services aren’t able to onboard customers fast enough to offset the losses from those dropping residential pay TV subscriptions.

For instance, AT&T in its most recent quarter lost a record number of traditional TV subscribers, and while DirecTV Now “helped” offset those losses, it couldn’t close the gap.

But for YouTube, there’s no legacy TV biz to shore up. It can move into the space freely, without worrying much about the slim margins of its low-cost $35 per month subscription offering. And its margins could be very slim, indeed. One analyst had estimated that $29 per month of affiliate fees would eat up the $35 subscription, before regional sports networks came in, adding $4 to $5 more.

Or, in other words, YouTube TV would be an ad-supported business.

Good thing for YouTube, then, that its user base grew up watching ads alongside their videos.

Though an optional YouTube Red subscription can remove those ads across regular YouTube, the mere existence of ads on YouTube TV — (and they’re everywhere — live, on-demand, DVR, etc.) — won’t necessarily be a deal breaker for the live TV service’s subscribers.

YouTube also has the benefit of selling TV to an existing and massive user base. The company announced in June it had grown to 1.5 billion logged-in monthly viewers. (YouTube doesn’t break out its U.S. monthly viewer numbers, but eMarketer says 185.9 million.)

Plus, YouTube TV has original content of its own, catering to its young viewers. Its 37 original programs, which are included with both YouTube TV and the ad-free paid subscription, YouTube Red, have now generated nearly 250 million views.

Also worth noting, YouTube itself appeals to the next generation of “TV” viewers — the kids who know their favorite YouTube stars better than they do Hollywood A-listers.

YouTube doesn’t have to convince these kids to cut the cord in favor of YouTube — they never planned to buy the cord in the first place.

Sensor Tower’s figures for YouTube TV — 2 million downloads, 50/50 split — were also confirmed by App Annie, which added that if time spent in the YouTube Kids app is any indication, then YouTube TV should do well among streaming apps for user engagement. YouTube TV may be in its infancy, but its download levels show significant traction, App Annie said.

YouTube Kids launched in 2015 and now ranks No. 7 by total time spent among Entertainment apps, as of June 2017 on Android phones in the U.S., behind giants like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Meanwhile, YouTube itself is No. 3 out of overall apps for time spent on Android phones in the U.S. — or nearly 17 times the average total time spent of the next three highest ranking video streaming apps, said App Annie.

Reached for comment, YouTube declined to confirm the new download numbers.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

WordPress 4.7 Reaches 10 Million Downloads, Releases New Security and Maintenance Update

The latest version of WordPress is proving to be a hit with users. At over 10 million, the WordPress download numbers has broken a new milestone.

Just a little over a month after its release, WordPress version 4.7 has been downloaded over 10 million times, according to the official WordPress.org blog. WordPress Version 4.7 was released to the public on December 6, 2016.

WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan”

WordPress 4.7, nick-named “Vaughan” in honor of legendary American jazz vocalist Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan, made significant improvements to previous versions of the popular blogging platform.

According to WordPress.org, Vaughan brings your site to life with immersive featured images and video headers in a brand new default theme dubbed “Twenty Seventeen.” Twenty Seventeen focuses on business sites and features a customizable front page with multiple sections.

You can personalize the default theme with widgets, navigation, social menus, a logo, custom colors and more.

“Our default theme for 2017 works great in many languages, on any device, and for a wide range of users,” writes WordPress lead developer Helen Hou-Sandi in a post announcing the release of Vaughan on the official WordPress.org blog.

Check out the video below for key features of WordPress 4.7:

WordPress 4.7.1 Security Update Available

While Vaughan has been enthusiastically received since its release in December, developers say versions 4.7 and earlier are affected by at least eight security issues and a number of bugs. To fix these issues, WordPress developers this week announced the immediate availability of WordPress 4.7.1 security and maintenance updates. WordPress 4.7.1 also fixes 62 bugs from 4.7.

Websites that support automatic background updates are reportedly already beginning to update to WordPress 4.7.1. If your business website has not automatically updated, you can download WordPress 4.7.1 or head over to Dashboard -> Updates and simply click “Update Now.”

“This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately,” explains WordPress Core Contributor Aaron Campbell in a recent post announcing the release of WordPress 4.7.1.

Image: WordPress.org

More in: WordPress

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

WordPress 4.7 Reaches 10 Million Downloads, Releases New Security and Maintenance Update

The latest version of WordPress is proving to be a hit with users. At over 10 million, the WordPress download numbers has broken a new milestone.

Just a little over a month after its release, WordPress version 4.7 has been downloaded over 10 million times, according to the official WordPress.org blog. WordPress Version 4.7 was released to the public on December 6, 2016.

WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan”

WordPress 4.7, nick-named “Vaughan” in honor of legendary American jazz vocalist Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan, made significant improvements to previous versions of the popular blogging platform.

According to WordPress.org, Vaughan brings your site to life with immersive featured images and video headers in a brand new default theme dubbed “Twenty Seventeen.” Twenty Seventeen focuses on business sites and features a customizable front page with multiple sections.

You can personalize the default theme with widgets, navigation, social menus, a logo, custom colors and more.

“Our default theme for 2017 works great in many languages, on any device, and for a wide range of users,” writes WordPress lead developer Helen Hou-Sandi in a post announcing the release of Vaughan on the official WordPress.org blog.

Check out the video below for key features of WordPress 4.7:

WordPress 4.7.1 Security Update Available

While Vaughan has been enthusiastically received since its release in December, developers say versions 4.7 and earlier are affected by at least eight security issues and a number of bugs. To fix these issues, WordPress developers this week announced the immediate availability of WordPress 4.7.1 security and maintenance updates. WordPress 4.7.1 also fixes 62 bugs from 4.7.

Websites that support automatic background updates are reportedly already beginning to update to WordPress 4.7.1. If your business website has not automatically updated, you can download WordPress 4.7.1 or head over to Dashboard -> Updates and simply click “Update Now.”

“This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately,” explains WordPress Core Contributor Aaron Campbell in a recent post announcing the release of WordPress 4.7.1.

Image: WordPress.org

More in: WordPress

[“source-ndtv”]