Archive for June 16th, 2011

Rose (Roza)

June 16, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film Reviews: Almost unbearably brutal yet hauntingly romantic, helmer Wojtek Smarzowski's riveting period drama "Rose" reveals a little-known chapter of Polish history: the post-WWII persecution of the Mazurians, indigenous residents of what is now northeastern Poland.

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Video: An IBM Film About Chocolate and Babies and Ducks

June 16, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As part of its 100th anniversary observance, IBM has produced a handful of videos meant to bring to life the usually complicated message that results from explaining the work it does. The first was this fascinating clip it released in February, encapsulating its century of corporate history in 13 minutes . The film below lasts about 15 minutes and tells some of the stories that IBM Fellow Bernie Meyerson discussed in my conversation with him from earlier today. For one, you’ll meet Dr. Carolyn McGregor, who led IBM’s efforts to bring to bear the field data analytics to help treat premature infants in Toronto. This is, of course, a story that IBM has been telling for the better part of three years , but it’s one that for me never gets old. Who doesn’t like heart-warming stories about babies saved from preventable infections? And who doesn’t like chocolate? Did you know that IBM saved the world’s chocolate supply? Well, I exaggerate there, but only a little. And while it’s another story that IBM has been telling for a few years , it only gets more interesting with time, especially after you meet Howard-Yana Shapiro, the global director of plant science for chocolate giant Mars, who a few years back committed that company to buying cocoa beans from suppliers who grow their crop sustainably. But first there was the problem of fighting off a virus that was destroying the world’s cocoa supplies, which first required sequencing the genome of the cacao tree from which cocoa comes. That’s where IBM came in. Also there’s some stuff on Sunil Mitall, the Indian billionaire whose Bharti Group sells mobile phones in India, the growth of Dubai and a wild duck who got too fat to fly. That last item is linked to a saying of founding President Thomas J. Watson that goes like this: “You can make wild ducks tame, but you can never make a tame duck wild again.” What does that have to do with computing? Watch and find out.

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NBC’s Norah O’Donnell Jumps Ship to CBS News

June 16, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC’s chief Washington correspondent and commentator for NBC’s “Today,” will be switching networks to become CBS News’ new chief White House correspondent, CBS announced. The news was first reported by Politico’s Mike Allen, who called the move “a stunning shakeup for both the front row of the White House briefing room and for Washington’s intensely competitive network news bureaus.” CBS said that O’Donnell will also be the principal substitute anchor for Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” and will report for all CBS News broadcasts, including “60 Minutes.” O’Donnell first joined NBC News in 1999; she'd been a staff reporter at Roll Call and MSNBC contributor. “Norah’s experience on Washington’s top beats—at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Pentagon—will make her a great addition to our growing Washington bureau,” said CBS News president David Rhodes. “At the White House, on the campaign trail with the President, at the Conventions and into Election Night, we will be even more competitive in our reporting with Norah on board.” Additionally, CBS News’ current chief White House correspondent, Chip Reid, will become a D.C.-based national correspondent “with greater editorial range,” said CBS.

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‘Nice Work’ for Broadway

June 16, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Legit News: Marshall to direct Broderick in musical -- Gershwin songbook musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It" has targeted a spring 2012 berth on Broadway, in a production to be directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and starring Matthew Broderick.

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Andrew Morse Named Head of Bloomberg TV

June 16, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Bloomberg announced Thursday that Andrew Morse, the executive producer of innovation and integration for ABC News Digital, has been named the new head of the 24-hour business news network Bloomberg Television in the U.S. Morse’s appointment plays a part in the company’s larger expansion strategy, which has included the addition of new properties like Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and Bloomberg Government over the past few years. According to a press release, Morse will oversee U.S. editorial, programming, development, and operations for Bloomberg TV. “In addition, he will work across Bloomberg's print, radio, mobile, and digital media properties to further the company's strategy of delivering news, business intelligence, market information and critical data to the world's most influential business news consumers across a variety of real-time platforms,” said the release. At ABC, Morse oversaw ABC News' digital portfolio, which includes ABCNews.com, the network’s 24-hour broadband channel ABC News Now, and digital platforms like ABC’s iPhone and iPad apps. He began his career as a desk assistant at ABC’s Washington Bureau before becoming one of the original staffers of ABCNews.com. Since then, he’s held positions at ABC including London Bureau chief and executive producer of Good Morning America Weekend, and led ABC’s first media partnership with Facebook prior to the 2008 election.

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Federal CIO Kundra Decamps for Green Pastures of Harvard

June 16, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In 2009, the appointment of Vivek Kundra as the first chief information officer of the United State sent a fundamental signal about the values of the then-incoming administration of Barack Obama. As economic and financial crises loomed on every side, America’s technological wizardry, which had made its private sector the envy of the world, would be thoughtfully brought to bear on the grinding, inefficient machinery of government as a way of solving some of the wider problems then coming into focus. Kundra carried a bit of reputation as a wunderkind. Born in New Delhi, reared in Tanzania before moving to the Washington D.C., area, and, fluent in Swahili, Hindi and English, he hit perfectly the mold of the bright young minds marching into Washington after the 2008 election, seeking to cast out the crusty defenders of the seemingly incurable institutional inertia for which the nation’s capital is infamous and leave in its place a government whose parts looked shiny and new. A big problem with the federal government, he said in the final days of the Bush-to-Obama transition, was that “process had trumped outcome.” Complying with the rules made it near-impossible to spur innovation within the halls of government. His brief as he assumed office in early 2009 was to change that. Today he announced plans to step down and take a position at Harvard University, where he will be a joint fellow at at the John F

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Newt Gingrich Thinks NBC Should Apologize to His Wife

June 16, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last week, after 16 aides and advisers quit Newt Gingrich's campaign en masse, the presidential hopeful’s Tiffany-loving wife Callista came under scrutiny as a possible cause of the staff revolt. NBC reported on the rumors in segments on "The Today Show" and then MSNBC Wednesday, quoting anonymous former staff members who criticized Callista Gingrich's role in the campaign. Appearing on Fox News' “On The Record with Greta van Susteren,” Wednesday night Gingrich condemned the NBC reports and the “cowardly people who, frankly, lied about my wife,” and demanded that NBC apologize. “I think the program this morning was totally irresponsible… and the kind of thing that makes it hard to make decent people run for public office,” Gingrich said, later adding, “NBC is supposed to be a responsible news organization, and I think that for them to attack somebody’s wife is utterly reprehensible.” As for the “backstabbing” former staffers who spoke anonymously with NBC, Gingrich claimed that their departure was good riddance to bad rubbish. “We had several people who quit who had failed totally in their professional duties who, for the last month, had not been doing their jobs,” he told van Susteren. Gingrich said that his and Callista’s partnership, which he compared to Nancy and Ronald Reagan’s, had “unnerved some of the consultants… and they resented the idea that they had to have the two of us talk to them about things like our schedules.”

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Shows elevate when ensembles gel

June 16, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Emmy Features: Chemistry is mysterious but key to a winning cast -- It's somewhat curious that among the scores of Emmys handed out, there's no category for top ensemble. As opposed to individual acting kudos, it's a nod to a group of actors all working in tandem with one another to produce a resonant and organic piece of entertainment.

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Kinect Not Just for Gamers — Microsoft Wants Geeks to Play With It, Too

June 16, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Almost from the moment Microsoft released the Kinect add-on for the Xbox, developers have been finding other ways to use the device and its depth-sensing camera. Hackers quickly created their own set of tools to access the Kinect, and it soon found uses well beyond the game console. Nordstrom, for example, used it in a window display . Indeed, there is a whole Web site devoted to Kinect-related hacks . Recognizing the interest, Microsoft promised back in February it would come out with tools to allow programmers deeper and more versatile access to the Kinect.

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NBCU and NHL Play Superheroes

June 16, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Comcast’s NBCUniversal recently managed to extend its deal for TV rights to National Hockey League games. Now, it’s getting involved with the NHL’s (rather head-scratching) new venture: superheroes. The Los Angeles Times reports that NBCU has struck a deal with Guardian Media Entertainment, which owns the Guardian Project, a new superhero franchise created by Stan Lee and the NHL. The hockey-inspired crime fighters were first unveiled during the NHL All-Star Game, which was carried by NBCU’s Versus channel (soon to be renamed). As part of the deal, NBCU will promote the Guardian Project on its media platforms, and in return, receive an equity stake in Guardian Media Entertainment. The partnership could spawn TV series, movies, and graphic novels featuring Lee’s new NHL-themed superheroes, all of whom have “incredible powers derived from the teams and cities they represent.” So bad guys had better prepare to watch out because thanks to NBCU, they'll soon be facing a crew of fierce warriors like Duck (“Rebel with a trust fund”), Shark (“A technological genius and software empath”), and the most terrifying of them all, Canadien (“Legendary protector of the province of Quebec”).

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