Archive for October, 2012

Viral Video: "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters"

October 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

How did I miss this one — a new movie called “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” — given it is full of outrageous CGI and a whole lot of exploding witches? Oh, just watch it:

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Shine taps Robinson as COO

October 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Chris Fry to join Shine Oz as head of business

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In hurricane, Twitter proves a lifeline despite pranksters

In hurricane, Twitter proves a lifeline despite pranksters

October 31, 2012  |  Blog  |  No Comments

As Hurricane Sandy pounded the U.S. Atlantic coast on Monday night, knocking out electricity and Internet connections, millions of residents turned to Twitter as a part-newswire, part-911 hotline that hummed through the night even as some websites failed and swathes of Manhattan fell dark. But the social network also became a fertile ground for pranksters who seized the moment to disseminate rumors and Photoshopped images, including a false tweet Monday night that the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange was submerged under several feet of water. The exchange issued a denial, but not before the tweet was circulated by countless

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A Brief History of Stunt Marketing

A Brief History of Stunt Marketing

October 31, 2012  |  Blog  |  No Comments

In the wake of Felix Baumgartner’s excellent Red Bull-sponsored skydive from space, we’re taking a look back at some of the successful and not-so-successful marketing stunts brands have pulled. For more on how brands can create the content their audiences crave, attend the Digiday Brand Summit in Deer Valley, Utah, Dec. 2- 5. Crash at Crush, September 15, 1896: 40,000 people gather in “Crush,” Texas to witness a train wreck staged and promoted by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. The company delivers on its promise and then some. Both trains’ boilers unexpectedly explode, killing three. Tour de France, July 1, 1903: In an attempt

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Africa's apps: farming to gaming

Africa’s apps: farming to gaming

October 31, 2012  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Pesapal While M-Pesa is the dominant form of mobile money in east Africa, accounting for 80% of global mobile transactions, the new PesaPal offers more features and payment options. It uses mobile phones to buy and sell goods, printable receipts, a payment history and email or text notifications when payments are due. Ushahidi Arguably the most famous African app, along with M-Pesa, this app uses mobiles and texts to gather and distribute information. It was built to report violence during the disputed 2008 Kenyan elections. Ushahidi means "witness" in Swahili. Using Google Maps and SMS, the app presented a map of violence hotspots.

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Tim Cook, Pulling in the Reins

October 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

There’s a long-standing pattern of separating watershed products important to the company’s future. The Mac and Apple teams. Mac OS X and Classic. The iPod division. iOS and Mac OS X. Suddenly, Tim Cook has pulled the reins in. Federighi owns software. Ive owns design. Cue owns services. Period

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Sizing Up the New iPad Mini

October 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The iPad has been a true tech phenomenon. Apple has sold 100 million of the tablets in just 2½ years, even though many people doubted they needed a $500 device that’s in between a smartphone and a laptop. No competing model has gained significant traction in the market. [ See post to watch video ] Still, there’s been a problem with the iPad. Though it’s much smaller than a laptop, at just 1.44 pounds, and 0.37 inch thick, it can be too heavy to hold for long periods of time, such as when you’re using it to read an e-book. It typically takes two hands to hold. Its 9.7-inch screen, while a pleasure to use, makes it too large to carry without a thought in many purses. So, on Friday, Apple is introducing a much smaller variant, the iPad Mini, which works exactly like the original and runs all the same apps — the 275,000 tablet-optimized programs plus the rest of the over 700,000 apps available for the iOS operating system the iPad shares with Apple’s iPhone. The iPad mini weighs just less than 11 ounces, and is only 0.28 inch thick

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King.com Bringing Its Largest Social Game to Mobile With Facebook’s Blessing

October 31, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

King.com is announcing that it will release its most popular Facebook game, Candy Crush Saga, on mobile in November. The announcement was expected to be made in conjunction with executives from Facebook at a San Francisco event this evening. The game will fully sync across mobile and social, allowing players to save their scores and any purchases made across both mobile devices and Facebook. It’s the second game that the London-based games company has launched cross-platform, so why the big party to make the announcement? In an interview, Riccardo Zacconi, CEO and co-founder of King.com, explained that this particular game represents a key milestone for the company as it begins to bring all of its games from Facebook to mobile. This summer, it launched its first game, Bubble Witch Saga, across mobile and social. But he is particularly excited about launching Candy Crush Saga, a match-three game, on mobile because of how well it is already doing on Facebook. Today, it is attracting nearly five million daily active players on Facebook, making it the fourth largest game behind three Zynga titles. Even as a mobile game, King will rely heavily on Facebook for distribution — which is probably why Facebook is helping to promote King’s extension from one to the other. For instance, if a user already plays the game online, a link to the game will appear in Facebook’s app in the left-hand navigation on iOS

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Gaumont gets thrills

October 31, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Top News: French mini-major preps 'Mea Culpa'

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As Xiaomi Sells Out of New Flagship Phone, Bin Lin Talks About the Disruptive Chinese Start-Up’s Approach (Video)

October 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Xiaomi co-founder Bin Lin was in many ways the perfect speaker for our Dive Into Mobile conference. Xiaomi is one of the most interesting corporate stories from the transformative global spread of smartphones, but its quick ascent is not widely known about outside of China. The company, which is just two-and-a-half years old but already has sold more than five million phones and employs 1,700 people, has disrupted the Chinese home handset market by making and selling top-of-the-line smartphones direct to consumers for a fraction of the expected price. Today Xiaomi launched its second major phone, known as the Xiaomi Phone 2, or the Mi-2. A run of 50,000 units sold out in two minutes and 51 seconds. While companies might shy away from literally naming one of their phones a “me too,” the new Xiaomi phone has much in common with Apple’s iPhone 5, including the size and shape of the handset, the way application icons tile on the screen in Xiaomi’s modified version of the Android Jelly Bean OS, and the look and feel of the built-in camera application. But Lin was quick to pull his iPhone 5 out and show that the (slightly larger) Mi-2 has a better display — 720 by 1280 with a pixel density of 342 pixels per inch. Sitting on a red couch at the hotel to which we had evacuated for Hurricane Sandy, instead of our signature D conference red chairs , Lin told me about his company’s plans for the Mi-2 launch as well as its long-term strategy. As we spoke on Monday, Lin seemed remarkably unstressed on the eve of his company’s big launch. That’s because Xiaomi phones are offered only online and typically sell out in a matter of minutes to fans who apparently follow the company’s progress like they would a rock band. In fact, last week, a block of 300,000 the older Mi-1s model — that is, a phone that everyone knew was a week away from being outdated — sold out in only four minutes and 15 seconds. Xiaomi released just 50,000 phones for order today and said it would have 250,000 more available in mid-November

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