Archive for August, 2011

Technology: High-Tech Product, Low-Tech Pitch (NYT)

Pitching
August 22, 2011  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Zero percent financing on a new car. A mattress sale blowout. Storewide discounts at the local hardware. These are the types of pitches that people expect to hear on the radio.

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Alexandra Maria Lara to star in ‘Rush’

August 22, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Thesp joins Hemsworth in Ron Howard pic -- German thesp Alexandra Maria Lara ("Downfall") has landed the female lead in Ron Howard's Formula One pic "Rush."

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Best Buy Serving up iPhone 3GS for Free on Monday

August 22, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Best Buy said that it plans to offer Apple’s 8GB iPhone 3GS for free on Monday for customers that sign or upgrade with a new two-year AT&T contract. The deal is valid in-store only at Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile.

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Dominican Republic bows film commission

August 22, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Ellis Perez tapped as director general -- The Dominican Republic has launched a film commission, tapping Ellis Perez as director general of cinematography.

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Japanese fund to launch entertainment company

August 22, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News: INCJ will invest $78 million in startup -- The Innovation Network Corp. of Japan investment fund is launching a start-up for adapting Japanese content for the global market.

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Showtime greenlights three pilots

August 22, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Pay cabler orders Andrew Gurland comedy and two dramas -- Showtime is ramping up its development for the coming year, giving pilot orders to a half-hour toplined by Andrew Gurland and two dramas, one based on the lives of famed sex researchers Masters and Johnson.

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Hulu Ponders Its Next Move

August 22, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The companies trying to sell Hulu LLC are beginning a big game of chess that could lead them to redefine the popular video service once again. Initial bids are due by Wednesday, with suitors expected to submit proposals with wide price ranges based on what types of television shows Hulu would license, when those shows would become available on Hulu and how long the agreements would stretch, people familiar with the matter said. Some bidders are likely to indicate a range of about $500 million to $2 billion, according to one of the people. Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and DirecTV are among the companies expected to bid, other people said. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Zynga Officially Snags EA’s Jeff Karp as Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer

August 21, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Social games-maker Zynga has officially hired Jeff Karp as Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer to manage marketing and communications, international sales, and in-game revenue. Previously, Karp held multiple roles at Electronic Arts, including his most recent role as EVP at EA Play. Karp’s departure was reported earlier this month by Develop , a game design blog. Zynga has hired many other EA execs, including former COO John Schappert .

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Best Buy Will Sell You HP’s TouchPad at Your Own Risk

August 21, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Best Buy has resumed sales of the HP TouchPad after getting the message loud and clear that consumers believe the price is right, even if the tablet has been discontinued and its operating system is uncertain. Over the weekend, HP marked down the 16GB version to $99 and the 32 GB version to $149, representing a price cut of $300 or more. By Saturday morning, inventory on HP’s online store quickly ran out and other retailers were scrambling to keep up with terms of the fire sale. Best Buy previously had declined to sell the devices, but by today, the big box retailer reversed that decision with a number of caveats. “Due to HP’s decision to discontinue its TouchPad product, Best Buy® will now provide clearance pricing for all TouchPad 16GB and 32GB models (SKUs 2842056, 2842092) regardless of previously advertised prices or promotions,” according to Best Buy . Best Buy has been the most transparent through this whole situation, providing updates on the TouchPad’s product page. Press representatives from HP and Palm did not reply immediately to emails for comment. UPDATE: A Palm representative has gotten back to me with a number of updates, including comments about support for the platform going forward. “HP is fully committed to the ongoing support and service of customers who purchased webOS devices.” Yesterday, customers, who bought the TouchPad at full price, were particularly peeved that the device and accessories they paid hundreds of dollars for were marked down so aggressively and discontinued only a couple of months later. Now HP appears to rectifying that, according to Best Buy. It will be give customers a full refund, or check for the difference in price that they paid and the clearance price. It’s still unclear what kind of support customers will be able to receive from HP in the future, or whether the device will be limited to a Web browser or glorified picture viewer. While HP has been clear it is discontinuing hardware, it’s less certain what the future of the operating system is and whether there will be any new apps or cloud services. In a statement, an HP spokesperson, said that all prices are final, but that “it will honor our product warranties and will continue to provide market leading support via services such as webOS Butler, our free setup support service available to all purchasers of HP webOS products for the first 90 days after purchase.” In regards to future applications, it says there will be an over-the-air update that will add functionality, and that they plan to investigate the “best ways to leverage webOS software and grow the applications.” Retailers are allowed to make their own decision on accepting returns from customers. Here’s the conditions of sales as posted by Best Buy: Best Buy will not accept customer returns or exchanges on clearance-priced TouchPads bought through any Best Buy channel. Customers purchasing a TouchPad at clearance pricing will have a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, fulfilled directly through HP, not Best Buy. Customers who purchased the 16GB or 32GB TouchPad after June 19 may come into the store to get either a full refund or a refund of the difference between the price they paid and the clearance price. Quantities are strictly limited. Limit 1 per customer. Best Buy cannot guarantee availability of inventory at this pricing at any particular Best Buy location or channel.

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‘Help’ tops weekend B.O.

August 21, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Newcomers struggle against holdovers -- It was a tough weekend mostly for newcomers, as holdovers like "The Help," with an estimated $20.5 million, and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," at $16.3 million, dominated Stateside plexes.

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