Archive for April, 2013

Microprocessor Report Chronicles Intel’s Lead in Micro-Server, 3-D Transistors

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Today was a good day for bullish views on Intel. There was Deutsche Bank‘s Ross Seymore writing about the probable rise in the company’s share of tablet computer microprocessors; and there was Wells Fargo‘s David Wong writing that investors don’t fully understand the promise in Intel’s broad line of chips. And from venerable technology newsletter Microprocessor Report, come two intriguing technical articles today discussing some of the technology advantages of the chip giant. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer Won’t Return to Dell’s Board

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Computing company Dell just announced that Jim Breyer, a partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners and a member of Dell’s board of directors, won’t be returning to its board after the next meeting of shareholders this summer. In a very brief press release , Dell said Breyer notified the company that he doesn’t intend to stand for reelection at the meeting. That’s when Dell shareholders will be voting on a controversial $24.4 billion plan hatched by CEO Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake to take the company private in a leveraged buyout. Breyer’s vote on the matter will likely be among his final acts as a Dell director. Breyer had served on Dell’s board since 2009. “Dell and its stockholders have benefitted greatly from the leadership and perspective Jim has provided during his tenure on the Dell board,” Michael Dell said in the statment. “We’re grateful for his guidance and we wish him well in all his future endeavors.” This is Breyer’s third resignation from a high-profile director’s seat in recent days. Only three days ago, Facebook said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Breyer would be stepping down from its board, a position he has held since 2005. And last week, Walmart announced that Breyer would “rotate off the board in accordance with our corporate governance guidelines” after June 7. He still sits on the boards of video company Brightcove and also of News Corp.

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Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Tests Rocket in Flight

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After years of delays and nagging engine problems, Richard Branson’s space tourism venture cleared an important hurdle Monday with the first powered test flight of its SpaceShipTwo craft. Though it lasted only about 16 seconds, the early-morning flight marks a milestone for Virgin Galactic LLC, the high-profile space tourism company that aims to start commercial operations late this year or early 2014. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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ESPN’s Chris Broussard Under Fire Over Homosexuality Comments

April 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

ESPN pro basketball analyst Chris Broussard generated his own controversy with comments on live television Monday that equated homosexuality to sin.

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Clearwire to Take $80 Million Funding Draw From Sprint

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Clearwire Corp. will again tap financing from Sprint Nextel Corp. under their buyout deal, taking a $80 million draw for May that will be the last available before Clearwire shareholders vote on the deal. In December, Sprint offered to buy the rest of Clearwire in a $2.2 billion deal, and provided the wireless broadband operator up to $800 million in financing that it could draw on in installments of $80 million over 10 months. The company didn’t take that funding in January or February, as it was considering an offer from satellite TV company Dish Network Corp., DISH +2.03% but took the cash in March and April. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Weather Channel Aims Twitter-Powered Tornado Winds at Its Helpless Interns

April 29, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Intern abuse is always good fun. The Weather Channel is celebrating the beginning of Tornado Week today by putting its interns in a room and blowing powerful winds at them, with the force of the breeze increasing for every public mention of #TornadoWeek on Twitter. They're broadcasting the whole thing live on YouTube (see below—although for the full experience, click the link above). There have been about around 6,000 mentions so far, and the winds are in the mid-90 mph range. If the tweet count hits 1 million, the channel is vowing to pummel the interns with a "full blown EF-5 tornado." That would mean wind speeds of more than 200 mph. They'd better have a lot of desk fans on hand.

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Where’s Amazon Going With Music, Movies, and TV Shows? Ask Media Boss Bill Carr

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s no secret that Amazon has very big ambitions when it comes to digital media. But the company doesn’t ever say much about them, save for the occasional Jeff Bezos product roll out. But here’s the guy to ask: Bill Carr, who heads up Amazon’s digital music and digital video groups, which now include Amazon Studios, the unit that is going to make original movies and TV shows for the e-commerce giant. Carr doesn’t talk much, but last week I got the chance to sit down with him at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Amazon is as tight-lipped as Apple when it comes to new product discussions — or lots of other stuff you and I would like hear about — so I didn’t even bother asking him about Amazon’s new TV box (Still: count on it ). But if you read between the lines, you should at least be able to get a sense of what Amazon is thinking as it contemplates beefing up its music offerings, and as it goes head-to-head with Netflix (and everyone else) in digital video. Here’s an edited version of our chat: Peter Kafka: A couple years ago, Amazon and Google and Apple were all racing to develop music locker services. But we don’t hear much about them anymore. How is Amazon’s locker working? Bill Carr: The fundamental things about cloud music storage that works for all consumers is that it backs up everything, it’s in a safe place

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‘Family Guy,’ ‘Amazing Race’ Top Quiet Sunday for Big Four

April 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Sunday remains a lackluster night for the broadcast networks this spring as CBS and Fox tied for the evening’s lead among young adults even though they each grabbed just 5% of the available audience. Cable certainly has big draws on Sunday and has divided the viewing pie into slivers, but it’s clear that the Big... Read more

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Pinewood J.V. To Build Studios in Atlanta

April 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — Pinewood Shepperton, Europe’s largest production facilities house, is set to construct a studio facility in the U.S. through a joint venture, Pinewood Atlanta. The j.v. has been set up with River’s Rock, an independently managed trust of the Cathy family. It will develop 288 acres of land south of Atlanta, Georgia, into studio facilities. The land... Read more

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Former Yahoo Exec Rich Riley Is New Shazam CEO: "For Next Stage of Growth and IPO"

April 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Shazam, the music discovery mobile app that is now calling itself a “media engagement” company, said it had hired former top Yahoo exec Rich Riley as its new CEO, with longtime CEO Andrew Fisher moving to executive chairman. The London-based company — which reports that it has 300 million users in 200 countries around the world, including 90 million in the U.S. — said it made these moves to strengthen its leadership team and “position Shazam for next stage of growth and IPO.” Shazam also recently hired the BBC’s Daniel Danker as chief product officer. “I look forward to extending our dominance in media engagement, from our roots in music to our leadership position in second-screen TV and want to ensure that Shazam is the company that helps people recognize and engage with the world around them,” said Riley in a statement. It’s an unusual and interesting career move for Riley, who had been at Yahoo for more than 13 years. He was most recently EVP Americas for Yahoo, its most important unit, and before that was managing director and SVP of the Silicon Valley Internet giant’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. The exec, who will be working out of Shazam’s New York offices, came to Yahoo when it bought a company he co-founded called Log-Me-On.com, which later became the Yahoo Toolbar. This is Riley’s first gig as a CEO, although several sources said he had almost been recruited to be the CEO of performance advertising company Criteo. At Shazam, he will be charged with expanding and turbocharging the fast-growing app’s business from its roots in music to a range of other arenas. As one of the more popular, though less flashy, apps on Apple iOS and Google Android, Shazam says it has more than 60 million monthly active users who install it on their smartphones to identify songs based on how they sound, via tagging of its 27 million tracks. Shazam said that drives $300 million in digital sales annually through affiliate partnerships with Apple iTunes and Amazon. Shazam gets a cut of these sales leads. The company recently launched a TV service, with a companion app that has a range of features such as finding music in the broadcast, providing cast photos and a variety of other show information, and linking to sites with more information or to those with show-branded merchandise, previous episodes or the ability to rent or buy programming. Shazam is also offering a form of “clickable” advertising that links users to rich brand content, and is working on new tablet apps, too. Whether all this activity translates into an IPO is to be determined, but that seems to be the aim. But Shazam is certainly well-funded, having raised $32 million since it was founded in 2002, from investors such as Kleiner Perkins, Institutional Venture Partners, Acacia Capital and DN Capital.

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