Archive for December, 2011

‘Catch Me’ tunesmiths on whiplash pace

December 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Music News: Pair up for fast paced demands of TV

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Helmer’s solid look at Solidarity

December 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News:

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Helmer tries to give Putin campaign direction

December 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News: May seem strange to Westerners but creds established in Russia

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Dark movie magic

December 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Filmmakers moved heaven and Earth to enchant auds in 2011

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Verizon: Sorry for the 4G Downtime, But It Really Wasn’t That Bad

December 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the wake of its  third outage this month , Verizon today defended its network performance. The carrier noted its overall 99 percent uptime and characterized the outages as the growing pains that come with the territory as it pioneers a new 4G LTE network. Each of the outages, Verizon said, had distinct causes. Here’s the full release: Statement From Verizon Wireless on 4GLTE Network 12/29/2011 In light of recent events, Verizon Wireless shared the following statement about its 4GLTE Network: The Verizon Wireless 4GLTE Network is BY FAR the largest and the most advanced 4GLTE wireless network in the world. It is available in 190 US markets and covers more than 200 million people, providing the fastest 4G Network in the US. Being a pioneer comes with growing pains. The recent issues that affected our customers’ 4GLTE service were unforeseen despite careful, diligent planning, deployment and ongoing upgrade programs. Problems customers experienced affected connectivity to the 4GLTE Network and data service

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"Uncomfortable Dance": Here’s the Sexual Harassment Letter That Got Mark Hurd Fired

December 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Finally, you can read for yourself about the controversial allegations of sexual harassment that eventually led to the departure of Hewlett-Packard’s CEO Mark Hurd from his job. Here’s the entire letter. Yes, that letter. AllThingsD has finally obtained the June 24, 2010, letter that celebrity attorney Gloria Allred wrote to Hurd, then-CEO of HP, on behalf of Jodie Fisher, the onetime actress and marketing contractor who had worked for HP as a greeter and hostess at company events. It was set to come out soon enough, following a decision earlier today by the Supreme Court of Delaware requiring that its contents be made public. And it is as full of drama as expected. “It is appalling that you would use HP revenues for the purpose of procuring female companionship and romance under the guise of HP business,” reads the letter, in a more sedate part. In reaction to a query from ATD about the missive, Ken Glueck of Oracle, where Hurd now serves as co-president, said: “This letter was recanted by Ms. Fisher. She admitted it was full of inaccuracies.” He-said-she-said aside, as you’ll read below, the letter — copiously and often in soap-operatic terms — details the alleged sexual harassment and other improprieties that ultimately led to Hurd’s resignation from HP in 2010. AllThingsD has also obtained copies of related letters that paint the most complete picture yet of what happened in the days leading up to and following Hurd’s resignation, and his subsequent hiring by rival Oracle later that year. (We’ll post those separately.) But the first letter, which is the most critical and which contains only minor redactions, is where it all started.

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Lowe’s Hardware Remodels Offerings By Acquiring Online Retailer

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In order to expand its offerings online, Lowe’s has acquired ATG Stores, a Kirkland, Wash.-based home improvement retailer that operates more than 500 Web sites, ranging from LightingUniverse.com to HandandPowerToolShop.com . Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lowe’s said the 12-year-old company will continue to maintain separate branding and independent merchandising.

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Designed by Amoeboid Yellow Slime Mold, Assembled in China

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amoeboid yellow slime mold might seem an unlikely network architect, but scientists say the monocellular mass could be a key to designing highly sophisticated biocomputers. Remarkably, the ancient mold — Physarum polycephalum — is capable of navigating mazes in order to reach food, organizing its cells to optimize the route of its growth and “remembering” obstacles so that it can avoid them later. High-end skills for a grape-cluster slime, and abilities that researchers at the Future University Hakodate in Japan say could be leveraged to help design future electrical, data and transportation networks . Someday it might even help create mold-based biocomputers. And if that sounds ludicrous, consider this: Amoeboid yellow slime mold has already been used to nearly recreate a portion of the Tokyo railway system . “Computers are not so good at analysing the best routes that connect many base points because the volume of calculations becomes too large for them,” researcher Toshiyuki Nakagaki told the AFP . “But slime molds, without calculating all the possible options, can flow over areas in an impromptu manner and gradually find the best routes.”

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Exclusive: VFX studio in Taiwan pact

December 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Rhythm & Hues to launch film investment fund, production facilities

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Amazon May Miss Q4 Estimates Despite Selling More Than One Million Kindles a Week

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Since its introduction 13 weeks ago, the Kindle Fire has become the best-selling, most-gifted and most-wished-for product on Amazon. But that could be a problem. The device sells for about the same amount ($199) as it costs to make (about $202). Amazon’s stock fell as much as 4 percent this morning after Goldman Sachs suggested that the Seattle-based company could miss analysts’ sales estimates for the current period. The stock has recovered some since early this morning, and is now trading down 1.6 percent, or $2.74, at $171.15. According to Bloomberg , Goldman analyst Heather Bellini said in a note today that Amazon’s sales may grow 38 percent from a year earlier, to $17.9 billion, which is less than analysts’ average estimate of $18.2 billion. Bellini based her analysis on a comScore report that found online shopping increased 15 percent this year, compared to last year’s holiday season. Since Amazon is the largest e-commerce provider, she reasons that it would be difficult to outperform the average by a wide margin. “While the comScore numbers are just one data point which does not capture international sales or breakout individual companies’ sales, taken alone they seem to suggest the potential for downside risk to consensus forecasts,” Bellini wrote. Ultimately, strong sales of the Kindle Fire could help Amazon hit its sales estimates, since it is counting on the device to serve as a platform for the sale of more content. But in the short term, the Fire could hurt the company’s bottom line, a possibility Bellini did not address in her report. In addition to comScore’s numbers not capturing international sales, its report also does not capture sales from mobile devices. Amazon said the Kindle Fire was the best-selling product on Amazon’s mobile Web site and across all of its mobile applications. In all, Amazon said it sold more than one million Kindles a week in December. Bellini reiterated a “neutral” rating and a price target of $190.

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