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ON Telecoms Launches IPTV in Greece March 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Telecoms.
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Greek operator, ON Telecoms, which launched the first IPTV services in Athens in late January, has selected BitBand for the deployment.

ON Telecoms operates a metropolitan fiber network in the Athens area, on which advanced triple play services are delivered. On Telecoms completed the initial phase of a fully owned metropolitan fibre network in Attica of more than 170km. On Telcoms services are available today for 40% of households and businesses and will reach 80% by March 2007. Within the triple play offering, ON Telecoms’ aim is to introduce next generation TV and video services, offering its customers a array of entertainment packages.

ON Telecoms will utilize BitBand’s solution to deliver Catch-up TV, NPVR, VOD and other On Demand services, including BitBand’s Maestro Content Distribution and Management suite and the BitBand Vision servers streaming the video content on demand to subscribers.

On Telecoms is the first operator to utilize BitBand’s ISIS solution, offering new video technology that combines BitBand X-Stream, RAM and disk very high video streaming performance, as well as BitBand’s Auto-CDN, an Automatic Content Distribution Platform. This technology performs dynamic placement of content in the proper network location according to subscribers’ actual demand. It enables significant reduction in Operator investments, both in terms of storage allocation and core network utilization.

Related Links > http://www.ontelecoms.com



Explore the literature of Greece March 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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This spring, the William Stafford Center at Lewis & Clark College’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling presents a series of workshops that will provide literary adventures for all travelers, actual and armchair.

In these workshops, participants explore the cultures of England, Mexico, Greece, and Ireland through selected writers and their work. The third workshop, which focuses on Greece, is March 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Literature is an amazing lens for viewing another culture, but it can be daunting to tackle an entire literature on your own,” said Joanne Mulcahy, assistant professor at the Northwest Writing Institute. “In these workshops, local writers will offer participants a sample of a particular cultures and their literatures.”

Paul Merchant is director of the William Stafford Archives. Merchant served as a Greek Government Scholar at the University of Athens in 1966-67, and has published two volumes of translations from modern Greek. He is the author of a study of epic literature, and has also edited books of Elizabethan drama.

Greek poets have one of the oldest continuous poetic traditions in the world, stretching from the birth of European poetry to the current generation with its two recent Nobel prizewinners. According to Merchant, contemporary poets are deeply aware of this tradition and are always conscious of their predecessors. In the spirit of this tradition, the workshop will spend the first half of the day reading and discussing samples of classics from ancient Greek literature. In the afternoon, the class will briefly consider medieval Greek folk lyrics. Participants will then concentrate on the giants of modern Greek poetry, including Nobel Prize winners Giorgos Seferis and Odysseus Elytis.

The workshops are open to the public. Participants may sign up for single events for a fee of $80.

For more information, visit http://graduate.lclark.edu/dept/wilstaff/readingcult.html or call 503-768-6160. Lewis & Clark College is located at 0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd. Parking at the college is free on weekends.

Crete > Greece’s overseas property hotspot March 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Tourism.
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Crete has the potential of becoming Greece’s property investment hotspot, experts from the Homebuyer Show are predicting.

Brits buying a holiday home benefit from sunshine almost all through the year, good beaches and a dramatic coastline with strong capital growth of 15 per cent year on year since 2000.

An alternative location to buy to the many Costas, Crete is one of the largest of Greece’s islands and offers a diverse range of properties from those close to developed tourist-orientated areas to more rural locations such as mountains villages. Combined with property prices 30 to 40 per cent lower than the UK’s, a stable economy and high standard of living Crete makes a good location for an overseas property investment.

“Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, Europe’s most southern island offers one of the best climates on the continent with 300 days of sunshine every year. The island has much to offer from quiet mountain villages, long sandy beaches, rocky bays and an abundance of flora and fauna,” explained Susan Peters, sales and marketing manager of Cybarco (UK) Limited, who are exhibiting Homebuyer Show.

She added: “Crete is an island of wonderful contrasts, which offers buyers a real opportunity for property investment by way of its inexpensive prices, prospects for future capital growth and secure freehold ownership unattached from expiry dates, which means that the investment can be passed on to descendants.”

One of the developments Cybarco, which is a Cyprus based company, are marketing at the show is Maleme Project, a beach-front complex of 16 apartments and eight maisonettes with access to a communal pool and gardens with prices from £98,530 (€147,000) for a two-bedroom property.

Greek Church condemns Titanic director’s Jesus film March 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek, Religion & Faith.
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Greece’s powerful Orthodox Church on Thursday accused the director of the movie “Titanic” of historical ignorance and of trying to damage the Christian faith for claiming he discovered the tomb of Jesus Christ.

Last month filmmaker James Cameron and a team of scholars showed two stone ossuaries, or bone boxes, that he said might have once contained the bones of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The findings are the subject of a documentary he produced called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” and a book “The Jesus Family Tomb.”

“We express our sorrow over the historical ignorance, lack of scientific base and evidence of this case, whose purpose is to strike at … what constitutes our faith,” the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece said in a statement.

Discovering the tomb of Jesus would challenge Christianity’s belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven. The Holy Synod said it was no accident the claims were made just before Easter, celebrated this year by all Christians on April 8.

“Profiteering and irreverence will not succeed in striking at the spiritual advance of our faithful toward Easter and the resurrection of our Lord, no matter how many stories they invent,” the Church said.

Scholars have greeted the case with skepticism, some dismissing it as a publicity stunt. The caskets found in 1980 in a 2,000 year old cave could belong to a family whose names are similar to Jesus and his relatives, they said.

The Orthodox and Western Churches split in the schism of 1054. In the latest census, 98 percent of Greeks were Orthodox.

Check the movie site:  http://www.jesusfamilytomb.com

In Greece: Learning is seldom this much fun March 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Testimonials.
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Athens, Greece is one of the oldest cities in the world with a recorded history that dates back at least 3,000 years. Many refer to Greece as the cradle of civilization. For visitors, like Sally Hayes of Mt. Pleasant, a trip to the Mediterranean country was an unforgettable and inspirational experience.

Hayes, a freshman at Monmouth College with a triple major in classics, history, and philosophy, was one of 24 members of the Illinois college to visit Greece in early January. 

“I found the trip to Greece incredibly educational and fun,” she said. “Athens was a great place to see, such a connection of times, where the old world is completely embraced by the modern world.”

Hayes traveled with faculty members Cheryl Meeker and Tom Sienkewicz and 21 other students on what was dubbed an “immersion learning course.” The group visited the Acropolis, the Athenian Agora, the National Museum in Athens, as well as ancient Corinth, Mycenae, Delphi, and the temple of Aphaia on the island of Aegina.

“I think the trip gave me a good starting block for my education,” she confided. As a result of the trip, the college recently notified her that she had successfully completed the requirements for a classics minor.

After a 10-hour flight onboard one of the new, double-decker Airbus planes, Hayes and her group settled into their hotel in downtown Athens. Even though the extended urban area has a population of over 3 million people, it still maintains its historical integrity.
“Everywhere you looked it was just littered with columns and pieces of marble,” she said. “We could even see the Parthenon from our hotel balcony.”

Despite its ancient roots, Athens’ location between the sea and the mountains causes it to have air-quality problems much like those experienced in Los Angeles. “It’s crowded yet really clean,” Hayes said. “But it’s smoggy because of all the people and cars.”

To help control some of the pollution, she said many people walk, ride motorbikes, or drive one of the new Smart cars that currently are only available in Europe. The two-seat vehicle is very small and energy efficient, Hayes said, and can easily maneuver in the narrow city streets.

In the city they often rode the Metro train, for long trips they rode in a tour bus. “It was like a Greyhound,” she noted, “but it was scary taking that bus down through the streets, especially in the mountains. In some parts I thought the bus was going to tip over.” The highlight of the trip, she said, “was the day we spent at Delphi, just because its so historical… so many artifacts and pretty much untouched.”

Hayes said the language wasn’t much of a problem since most people spoke English. Signs were written in Greek, French and English. The food, of course, was phenomenal. “The food was fabulous,” she said. “When I came back to the school cafeteria I realized how much I had enjoyed the food.” Some of her favorites were a baked casserole dish called Moussaka that’s traditionally made with eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, and beef or lamb; a flaky pastry dessert called Baklava, and anything with seafood. “The seafood is really good because you’re so close to the sea.”

An unexpected experience during the trip was when the group spent the afternoon watching the changing of the guard at the Parliament building. 

Read the article > Sally Hayes in Greece: Learning is seldom this much fun