Archive for September, 2012

‘Hotel Transylvania’ sets record for Sept. bow with $43 mil; ‘Looper’ overperforms with $21.2 mil

September 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Box Office News: Sony films beat expectations to help end four-week B.O. slump

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Instagram Co-Founder Kevin Systrom’s Other Gig: Spinning DJ Sets

September 29, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Obviously, Kevin Systrom is something of a shutterbug — he made hundreds of millions creating the perfect mobile photo-sharing app. But you may not know about one of his other talents: Droppin’ fat beats on the dance floor. You think I jest, but on Saturday evening, Systrom — aka DJ Systomatic on the turntables — will take the stage once again. And he’s got a pretty sweet gig, doing his thing at the Rain night club at the Palms Hotel, Las Vegas. The Instagram co-founder has long been a music geek, spinning sets since back in his early days at Stanford where he received his B.S. in Engineering. Before that, when he was a teenager in Boston, he worked in a record store selling LPs to big names on the DJ scene (Paul Oakenfold, anyone?), essentially growing up on electronic music. (For better background on this, read Vegas Seven’s nice one-on-one write up with Systrom, here .) It’s probably nice to take a quick party break to Vegas after quite a big year. The Facebook deal finally closed at the beginning of September , and Systrom and his team of 14 or so engineers recently started their first few weeks at their new digs in Menlo Park, inside Facebook HQ. Well, it’s not a total getaway . Systrom will bring his work with him, if you will. He sent out Facebook invitations to a few hundred techies in the Bay Area, and at least 100 of them have RSVP’d an emphatic “yes” to join him in Vegas. Earlier this week, I spoke to a few people who are attending and they tell me that not only is it a fun Vegas road trip, but that Systrom is a legitimately talented DJ. Back in the Stanford days he put on some great shows, these folks say — he’s not just some poseur

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Mega-Multitasker Jack Dorsey Finds Time to Tout Candy

September 29, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

You might think Jack Dorsey would be a bit too busy with his two day jobs to be doing commercials. And you’d be wrong. The Twitter and Square executive is among those endorsing Unreal . He joins actor Matt Damon, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and quarterback Tom Brady in a video ad for the candy . While not pitching its chocolates and candies as healthy food, Boston-based Unreal focuses on the fact that its products use “real ingredients” rather than the corn syrup, hydrogenated oil and preservatives found in rival sugary treats. “It’s amazing,” Dorsey says in the commercial. “It tastes just like you are four years old.” Here’s the full spot:

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Groupon Names New Head of North American Sales

September 29, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In a further reshaping of its sales force at the executive level , Groupon has named Rob Kilgarriff as VP of North American sales. Kilgarriff will report to Kal Raman, the Chicago-based company’s senior VP of global sales and operations.

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Neil Young Still Singing the Praises of Better Quality Digital Music

September 29, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It seems like an uphill battle — convincing a generation of people that grew up with white earbuds and MP3 files to pay more for better sound. But Neil Young knows a thing or two about trying to run counter to the popular culture. Young, who discussed his quest for better-quality digital audio at D: Dive Into Media , is moving ahead with Pono, which plans to offer a combination of players and music starting early next year. The effort, according to Rolling Stone , has the interest of both record labels and artists. Warner Music has converted its library of 8,000 albums, the magazine reports, while musician Flea raves about the improved quality: “It’s not like some vague thing that you need dogs’ ears to hear. It’s a drastic difference.” Of course, all that uncompressed audio comes at a cost, both monetarily as well as in the time it takes to download the files and the space that the music then takes up. It’s worth hearing Young talk about the matter. If you haven’t watched it–or haven’t watched it recently–here’s the full video of Young’s January talk at Dive Into Media . [ See post to watch video ]

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Oracle Looks to Conquer the Cloud as OpenWorld Conference Gets Underway

September 29, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As conferences go, Oracle’s OpenWorld is pretty big. It literally stops traffic. It’s one of a handful of events that not only fills San Francisco’s Moscone convention center but actually spills into the streets, blocking downtown’s Howard Street and earning the ire of the local drivers. The company says it expects to see 50,000 attendees this year, and is presenting more than 2,500 sessions presented by more than 3,500 speakers across 14 individual venues. And forget about booking a hotel room in San Francisco this week: People attending OpenWorld have booked nearly 98,000 hotel nights. So what’s on the agenda ? Expect to hear a lot about the cloud. Oracle’s latest update to its core database software, known as 12c will be unveiled. It’s the first major revision to Oracle’s database software in about five years. The “c” naturally stands for cloud, which Oracle is going to be embracing in a significant way at this event. The speeches kick off Sunday night with the first of two keynotes from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Co-President and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd is speaking twice as well, once on Monday and again on Thursday. Oracle is likely to continue to challenge the notion that it’s on the defensive from companies like Salesforce.com. Ellison has publicly disparaged Salesforce and another cloud-based software company Workday, both of which compete with directly with Oracle. Salesforce (whose recent Dreamforce conference also blocked traffic) has built what’s forecast to be a $3 billion annual business selling customer relationship software that runs in the cloud, and its CEO Marc Benioff is a former Oracle exec and Ellison protégé. Workday, due for a $400 initial public offering soon , is run by Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield, the founders of PeopleSoft, a company Oracle acquired in a hostile takeover. It offers a breed of software known as human capital management software used by HR departments at big companies

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Ozon’s ‘House’ tops San Sebastian

September 29, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: 'Blancanieves' takes Jury Prize, Trueba best director

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Sluggish start for CBS rookie ‘Jersey’

September 29, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Friday drama sags between the net's vet crime shows

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Arthur Ochs Sulzberger dies at 86

September 29, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Top News: Former New York Times publisher led newspaper to new heights

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Latvia selects ‘Gulf Stream’ for Oscar nom

September 29, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Award Central: Winner of Latvian national awards entered for best foreign language film

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