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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Will Redbox Raise Prices

Redbox is testing higher prices overall and premium prices for select movies in a dozen test markets. Prices could go up from one dollar to a dollar fifty per rental and as high as five dollars on same day as theater releases and premium titles.

Battle against "free" movies and programming on the Internet

Feds, studios join forces against piracy

officials seize domain names of sites offering movies

"There are thousands of these sites. 

This is just a first step." - 
John Morton, assistant secretary of ICE, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The battle against piracy, the theft of creative talents, images, services and rights through "file sharing" is heating up as Hollywood, including the Screen Actors Guild, has put pressure on congress and Federal Authorities. Today (Wednesday) the hatchet came down with swift and sharp action against a segment of oranized distribution of copyrighted material without permission or compensation.

The Hollywood Reporter provides this summary:

Hollywood studio and industry executives have joined with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S, Attorney for the Southern District of New York to launch Operation in our Sites, an initiative aimed at stopping Internet counterfeiting and piracy.

During a news conference Wednesday on a soundstage at Disney Studios, the feds announced that they have kicked off the effort by seizing nine Internet domain names of websites offering first-run movies, often within hours of their release.

ICE investigators and the Department of Homeland Security also have seized assets from 15 banks, PayPal and advertising accounts and moved on four residential search warrants in four states.

The seized domain names are,,,,, and

Undercover agents downloaded newly released movies from the sites to determine they were offering stolen content.

Also seized were the domain names and website content of and, which generated revenue from ads and donations.

Full Story link click here.

Verizon to offer iPhones

Verizon will begin offering iPones next year, but there is no indication if it will be the iPhoneIV, or previous generations already announced to be made available though other carriers. The move will break the AT&T Monopoly.

The reason for a 2011 launch is not only Apple's contract with AT&T but that Apple intends on taking advantage of a new faster cell system being constructed by Verizon that will not be available until mid 1212 at the earliest.

Bloomberg News reports that Verizon is anticipating 12 million iPhone sales in the first year.

AT&T currently has the fastest service, even though it is 3G, due to the technology they use. It, along with other companies, are all working toward the next generation transmission system, both for speed and to decrease the clogged airwaves plaguing carriers, an smart phone use.

Video and additional coverage available at Bloomberg News.

Troubles at CNN

Reported in the Wrap and paraphrased:

Larry King is retiring, sometime prior to November. He will, like Brokaw and others, do specials and reports. He is 77, has young children (he wants to attend their games and school events) and has some other medical and personal issues. He is not leaving over ratings drops or conflicts at CNN..

Anderson Cooper may leave over those last two issues, as even is executive producer cannot stand his ego. Cooper is low in ratings despite high profile and costly attempts to raise it (like going to Haiti or the Gulf). Other host and producers resent his monopoly of stories best covered by full news teams or seasoned professionals focused on location reporting. Most everyone, including Cooper, want King's time slot.

The too deep budget cuts at the network and its losing ratings not just to FOX News but in the key east coast prime time, to MSNBC.

CNN has had trouble since making changes to appeal to a younger audience and responding to FOX News by adding FOX like programing, panels, more talking heads and decreasing international news coverage.

Founder Ted Turner says he wishes them well, but is not pleased with the age, sex and "experience" discrimination he has observed since departing from an active role at CNN and the Time Warner board. He believes his network has lost ist way. It was conceived to be an international live television news service, delivering news faster and more accurately than any other news media.

Living by ratings (never intended prior to the transfer of the network to Time Warnet), the chase for advertisers, a conservative backlash at the same time as a progressive shift at MSNBC, all have harmed the credibility and strength of CNN in Turners view, and in my own (

Sharon Angle and US Senate Race in Nevada

Note that all news and view have multiple viewpoints. The tendency is to accept whatever side you already favor has to say (assimilation in communication speak). What is best is to read opposting views and then check the facts. It would be interesting to check if Sharon Angle has made the claims and supported the policies that "liberal" media now has her hawking.

Guest from: Megan Jones
Friends for Harry Reid

Although you might not know it from the Las Vegas Review-Journal's biased "reporting," Sharron Angle has reiterated her radical, dangerous positions, which are wildly out of step with Nevadans.

Had the Review-Journal reviewed Angle's record, the paper would have noticed that she:
Believes it is wrong and unacceptable for both parents to work;
Thinks abortion causes breast cancer;
Opposes requiring insurance companies to cover mammograms and maternity leave;
Voted against making it easier for women to access their OB-GYN, and;
Wants to eliminate the Department of Education, the agency that distributes financial aid for college and sets standards for education.
(see below for more information)

And that's just scratching the surface.  For example, would Angle have supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act championed by Sen. Reid, which guarantees equal pay regardless of gender?  We don't know because the Review-Journal didn't ask.

What is clear from this exchange is that Sharron Angle's views are a dangerously unacceptable alternative to Senator Reid's work on behalf of Nevada's women and families.

ANGLE: FAMILIES WITH TWO WORKING PARENTS ARE WRONG AND UNACCEPTABLE. In October 2009, Sharron Angle told the Gazette-Journal, "Right now, we say in a traditional home one parent 
stays home with the children and the other provides the financial support for that family. That is the acceptable and right thing to do. If we begin to expand that, not only do we dilute the resources 
that are available, we begin to dilute things like health care, retirement, all the things offered to families that help them be a family." [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/22/09]

Angle Sponsored Legislation Associating Abortion With Breast Cancer. In 1999, the Associated Press reported Angle proposed a bill that "would have required doctors to inform women 
seeking abortions about a controversial theory linking an increased risk of breast cancer with abortion." Angle said she was pro-life and would like to see Nevada's abortion law overturned. When 
Angle introduced the legislation again in 2001, the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote that critics responded by saying the alleged link was not supported by scientific evidence, calling the bill a 
"scare tactic." [Associated Press, 4/10/1999; Las Vegas Review Journal, 2/16/2001]

Angle Would Eliminate Departments Of Education And Energy. In a March 2010 e-interview with the conservative website Nevada News and Views, Sharron Angle told the site her 
proposed federal cuts "Should include the Department of Education, Department of Energy ...I include these cuts in my economic policy for taking back our government." [Nevada News and Views, 3/22/2010]

ANGLE VOTED AGAINST COVERING CONTRACEPTION AND HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY FOR WOMEN. Angle in 1999 opposed AB 60, which required health insurance companies to cover prescription drugs and devices relating to contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. AB 60 passed the Assembly on a 38-4 vote. [AB 60, 4/16/99]

Landra Reid Testified Legislation Would Reduce "Unintended Pregnancies And Abortions." According to a February 1999 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Landra Reid testified before two legislative hearings on bills that would require both the state and private insurance companies to cover prescription contraceptives used by their policyholders. The bills are patterned after federal legislation sponsored by her husband. 'If men had to buy contraceptive drugs and devices, the insurance industry would cover them,' Landra Reid testified. 'The health industry has done a poor job of responding to women's health needs.' She said the proposals would reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions." [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/16/99]

Angle Said State Shouldn't Require Coverage Of Contraception And Hormone Replacement Therapy. In April 1999 the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote, "Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, R-Reno, blasted the bill, saying it only would lead to higher costs for insurance and the state should not mandate additional coverage." [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/16/99]

ANGLE VOTED AGAINST MAKING IT EASIER FOR WOMEN TO ACCESS THEIR OB-GYN. Angle in 1999 was one of only two votes in the Assembly opposing legislation that prohibited health insurers from requiring women to receive authorization from their primary care physicians before they receive gynecological or obstetrical services from another physician. AB 515 was adopted by the Assembly on a 40-2 vote. [AB 515, 4/19/99]

Do you Hulu?

Hulu has launched a $9.95 a month subsription service and pay per view options in addition to the "free"service. The official explanation, announcement and hype can be found on their web site blog:

Hulu is owned and operated by most of the major networks that employ actors, plus a few other key corporate investors. It was designed to make money, but is only now moving into revenue beyond the already "limited" commercials in most Hulu content.

If you have never used Hulu, investigate the site. Current and archived television and other video content may surprise you. Quality varies, but HD is available.

Meanwhile Google's You Tube is adding subscription services, movies on demand and more over a phased business plan model. 

Most networks and major film distribution companies (Disney, MGM, etc.) also have content on their home web sites. 

Most all content is available for computers, televisions and mobile distribution. Hulu's plan includes an ambitious reach into the direct to your television market and mobile phone distribution on content.

So, do you Hulu? As a college student do you have the time?

After reading a story on how "Chuck" had done poorly in the reatings, I walked through the CSN computer lab, just to grab a coffee.  Five of the students were using Hulu and the lab to watch "Chuck" the day after its braodcast pulled poor ratings.

The shape of television has changed forever.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Obama offers a 4-point plan for wireless bandwidth

"The president supports a voluntary approach, one in which people are only giving up the amount of spectrum they are using if it is something they want to do based on the compensation they are getting ... [the memorandum] is not endorsing mandatory. The whole philosophy is win-win-win." The official said the administration is confident sufficient spectrum can be obtained voluntarily.

The White House on Monday gave its endorsement to an FCC proposal that would open up 500 MHz of underused spectrum owned by the government and commercial companies. Suggestions about what spectrum should be freed up are due by October 2010. "CEA applauds the president's plan to liberate underutilized broadcast spectrum as part of an overall goal of deploying 500 MHz of spectrum to solve our nation's broadband crisis," CEA President Gary Shapiro said of the government's decision to speed up the process. Broadcasting & Cable (6/28) , Multichannel News 

Disaster Emergency Drill Needs Actors: Help Your Community

This will be fun, memorable, a chance to meet people and a way to help make our communities safe.

The Las Vegas and North Las Vegas Fire Detartments are having a major "Mass Casualty Drill" with the city Fire Dept. It's July 6, 7, 8, 12, 21 & 22 from 830pm to midnight each night.

The city is looking for volunteers, ages 18+ (people who will "emote" and help fulfill the demands of the drill) who would be willing to portray VICTIMS in the drill.

This really helps benefit the Fire Dept. in case of a real disaster.

If you are interested, or if you would like more information on how you can volunteer for this project, please contact:

CHIEF TAYLOR at (Office 633-2250), (Cell 325-7685),


CAPTAIN WARD at (Office 633-1120), (Cell 237-1830), email:

PLEASE FORWARD THIS INFO to anyone you think might be interested.

Thanks for the consideration and the City of Las Vegas thanks you as well.

Oil corruption should be checked

Guest Editorial by Warren Hale, former CSN student now University of Nebraska journalist, reprinted from Daily Nebraskan:

Crude oil is gushing into the Gulf of Mexico at a consistently alarming and under-inflated rate; one of the worst environmental catastrophes in American history which exacerbates the nation and the world. And with the repeated ham-fisted failure of those responsible for insuring that the damage to the coast is minimized, American anger festers.

Big Oil—in damage control mode—has launched a blitzkrieg of AM radio commercials to remind Americans not to fret about this one-in-a-million blunder and, more importantly, not to retire their car keys and discontinue driving. BP has promised to do all in its financial might to right what went wrong — and we are, of course, supposed to take them at their word even though they have been lying from the get-go of this crisis. President Barack Obama has demanded and received “collateral” in the form of a $20 billion escrow account for the initial loss of earnings to local area businesses and employees—much to the odd and predictable chagrin of the far right. And cue Congress; always sternly present after a crisis like a wrinkled shark who has just smelled blood, eager to cast blame upon everyone and everything but themselves. The inevitable whack-a-mole knee-jerk by Congress ought to focus on two things: regulation and corruption.

Monday, June 28, 2010

10 alleged Russian secret agents arrested in United States

Shades of the Cold War

WASHINGTON (Las Vegas Review Journal, full story at RJ site) -- The FBI has arrested 10 people for allegedly serving for years as secret agents of Russia's intelligence organ, the SVR, with the goal of penetrating U.S. government policymaking circles. According to court papers unsealed Monday, the FBI intercepted a message from SVR headquarters, Moscow Center, to two of the defendants describing their main mission as "to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US." Intercepted messages showed they were asked to learn about a broad swath of topics including nuclear weapons, U.S. arms control positions, Iran, White House rumors, CIA leadership turnover, the last presidential election, the Congress and political parties.

Baby Boomer Icons

If you remember all of these you are a Baby Boomer.

 45 spindle              Green Stamps              Metal Ice cube trays
Beanie and Cecil           Roller-skate keys             Cork pop guns

Marlin  Perkins           Drive in   Movies              Drive  in restaurants

           Car Hops                             Studebakers                         Topo Gigio
Washtub wringers      The Fuller Brush Man    Clem Kadidahopper    Sky King    Reel-To-Reel Recorders

Tinkertoys          Erector Sets              Lincoln Logs

15 cent hamburgers                  5 cent packs of baseball cards                   Mr Cub         Penny candy

15 cent a gallon gasoline           Jiffy Pop popcorn       5 cent stamps

Gum wrapper chains                        Chatty Cathy dolls                    

5 cent Cokes

Speedy Alka-Seltzer                                  

Cigarettes for Christmas            
Falstaff Beer

Burma Shave signs            
Brownie camera                                    
Flash bulbs

Black and white TV & Test patterns                                        
Old Yeller                          
Chef Boy-AR-dee

Fire escape tubes                                  
Timmy and Lassie                    

Ding Dong Avon calling

Aluminum Christmas Trees

McHales Navy

Roy Rogers

Kula, Fran and Ollie

Project Gemini