Archive for June, 2011

FTC Makes Twitter Inquiries

June 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Internet messaging-service Twitter Inc. and its interactions with at least one other company that build programs using Twitter data, according to a person familiar with the matter. The precise focus of the review is not clear, but representatives of the FTC’s antitrust arm have requested information from a company called UberMedia Inc., which owns applications that let people read and send “tweets,” or messages, broadcast by Twitter users, this person said. Twitter considers UberMedia to be a potential competitor, people familiar with the matter have said. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Subscription ticket venture MoviePass DOA

June 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: $50-per-month service suspends beta test after exhibs squawk -- By the time the dust settled on the planned weekend launch of Movie-Pass -- a $50-per-month service that would have allowed subscribers unlimited access to theaters using their smartphones as tickets -- the AOL-backed venture had given up the fight … for now, at least.

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Monte Carlo

June 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film Reviews: Ask any tween girl to name her interests, and the list will almost invariably include fashion, adventure and hanging with her BFFs. Add glorious Euro scenery, mistaken identity, horses, and Selena Gomez, and you've got "Monte Carlo," which scores a direct hit with its target demo.

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Kodak Patent Fight With Apple, RIM Remains Unresolved

June 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Looks like Kodak CEO Antonio Perez will have to wait a while longer before he knows if he’s in for a big patent infringement payday . The U.S. International Trade Commission issued a split ruling today on Kodak’s suit charging that Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry violate its patent on an image-preview function in smartphones. The commission did some upholding, some modifying and some clarifying (mostly not helpful to Kodak’s cause) and ultimately sent the preliminary findings back to the administrative law judge for further review. The commission’s new target date is Aug. 30 — unless the judge sees the need for more time. Kodak looked for the brightest spot it could find in the news and expressed continued confidence. After-hours investors, not so much .

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NBC stations targeted over ‘Playboy’

June 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Morality in Media calls on affils to drop series -- A media watchdog group is stepping up its efforts against the NBC drama "The Playboy Club," pledging Thursday to pressure the network's affiliates to drop the series.

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USA ‘Roughs Up’ the Competition With Summer Premiere

June 30, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

USA Network’s second major summer series launch all but replicated the solid performance of the first. The new original drama Necessary Roughness drew 4.67 million viewers. The show, which stars Callie Thorne ( Rescue Me ) as a tough-cookie divorc

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LAL Raises $5M Led by New Andreessen Horowitz Partner Jeff Jordan

June 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

LAL (a.k.a. LikeALittle), the service that originated with flirting on college campuses and is now trying to enable connections with any nearby people, has raised a $5 million Series A round led by its seed investor Andreessen Horowitz. One interesting aspect of the funding is that it was led by Jeff Jordan, the former OpenTable CEO who has now officially joined Andreessen Horowitz as its fifth general partner ( as AllThingsD had first reported ). In explaining the LAL investment, his first for AH, Jordan said, “The central theme is connecting with people around you and enabling seamless communication with them.” He also said he liked LAL CEO Evan Reas’ product sense and his team’s speed of innovation. The Series A round includes angel investors such as TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. Andreessen Horowitz’s Marc Andreessen, meanwhile, jumped in to answer my questions about how LAL compares to the competition and AH’s other investments.

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Memo to the Vanderhook Clan: Stunt Casting Justin Timberlake Isn’t Going to Get Myspace’s SexyBack

June 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Oh dear, oh my — with the first move that the new owners of Myspace have made, it’s pretty clear they are taking the worrisome look-at-the-shiny-celebrity approach. The trio of Vanderhook brothers who run Specific Media, which paid $35 million to buy the News Corp.-owned music-focused social networking site, loudly added Justin Timberlake as an investor in the deal yesterday and then gave a lot of interviews around it. In its press release, Specific Media said Timberlake would “play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward” and focus on being a premier original content destination. “There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. Myspace has the potential to be that place,” Timberlake said in the release. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.” Sounds good, I suppose, but maybe they should focus on making products the star first. Nope, the star is the star first, even though swanning around the appealing singer and actor’s name felt a lot like shilling him. Justin has a vision! Justin will have a team of creatives around him! Justin is being ironic, having played a techie and now being one! Justin will even be in the office! Um, sometimes ! Well, whatev , since I have been to these celebrity-meets-the-Internet rodeos before, and they have mostly ended in tears in terms of creating any kind of real Web property. Remember Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and their LivePlanet fiasco back in Web 1.0? Wasn’t RuPaul around then helping WebEx? Didn’t the much-hyped MC Hammer dance site called DanceJam get sold off in 2009

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Actvila inks 3D pact with Sky Perfectv

June 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Technology News: Smartphone deal is first of its kind in Japan -- TOKYO -- Video streaming portal Actvila is partnering with satellite broadcasting platform Sky Perfectv to provide a new 3D VOD service for smartphone users, the Nikkei newspaper revealed on Wednesday. The service will be the first of its kind in Japan.

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MSNBC Suspends Mark Halperin for Calling Obama a ‘Dick’

June 30, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Time magazine’s Mark Halperin has been indefinitely suspended as an MSNBC analyst after he called President Obama a “dick” on this Thursday’s Morning Joe . “Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the president, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst,” MSNBC said in a statement. Halperin, in his own statement, said, “I completely agree with everything in MSNBC’s statement about my remark. I believe that the step they are taking in response is totally appropriate. Again, I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the president, to my MSNBC colleagues, and to the viewers. My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it.” Time magazine also voiced its disapproval in a statement, but stopped short of punishing Halperin: "Mark Halperin’s comments on air this morning were inappropriate and in no way reflective of Time ’s views. We have issued a warning to him that such behavior is unacceptable. Mark has appropriately apologized on air, via Twitter, and on The Page." The offending remark was uttered during a discussion of the president’s conduct at a press conference.

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