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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Will we read more with e-readers?

The ABCs of E-Reading

New Devices Are Changing Habits. 

People Are Reading More, 

Even While in a Kayak

A study of 1,200 e-reader owners by Marketing and Research Resources Inc. found that 40% said they now read more than they did with print books. Of those surveyed, 58% said they read about the same as before while 2% said they read less than before. And 55% of the respondents in the May study, paid for by e-reader maker SonyCorp., thought they'd use the device to read even more books in the future. The study looked at owners of three Inc.'s Kindle, Apple Inc.'s iPad and the Sony Reader.
While e-readers are still a niche product just beginning to spread beyond early adopters, these new reading experiences are a big departure from the direction U.S. reading habits have been heading. A 2007 study by the National Endowment for the Arts caused a furor when it reported Americans are spending less time reading books. About half of all Americans ages 18 to 24 read no books for pleasure, it found.

Turn off your cable? Give up satellite? Switch to on-line instead?

The number of people subscribing to cable and satellite TV dropped for the first time last quarter, according to the research firm SNL Kagan. It was a small decline, due mostly to the economy. At some point, the tech talkers insist, there will be so many options for entertainment that people won't want to pay their cable bills anymore, and will be satisfied with all the other options.

Expiration of major discounts used to sell initial subsciption to Direct TV and cable HD services could have some impact on the numbers, but so does the increased access to television and films on-line either free or at low rental or subsciption fees. Increased time on-line for other uses may lead to a natural expansion to using the computer more often for the entertainment traditionally found on television.

For more go to All Things Considered, or click here.

More on plans to bring the computer to your TV set and your TV set to your computer, click here.

Muppets take the Smithsonian

Kermit the Frog, the original as well as 9 other Muppets creations are now being housed in the Smithsonian. Jane Henson, the widow of Jim Henson signed the paperwork and introduced the animals to the Washington D.C. museum today.
It is appropriate that they find a home in Washington DC they began their journey in life in the Washington area. The first show was 5  minutes long and right after the  local news in 1955. 'Sam and Sons' was seen on WRC-TV and developed a following over time.
Their contribution to the non-profit public television station and later programs helped make them an American institution (sorry Sam- the Eagle, you are not alone). Children learned their ABC's while adults joyed in their appearances. on national television variety shows and eventually their own television series. Much to Miss Piggy's pleasure, the team made the successful jump into motion pictures.

I remember their grief at the early death of their creator, Jim Henson.

Eventually they went to work for the Disney corporation, with appearances at Disneyland, and Disney properties around the world.

Do not expect them to gather dust.

But you will be able to see the originals, at least ten of them, at the Smithsonian.

I remember their visit to the Lied Discovery Children's museum, along with many of Henson's other creations for movies and other projects. They make quite a positive impression when you meet them in person. Good people?

For more on the muppets click here.

It Isn't Easy Being Green (You Tube).

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsod

Woody Allen, puppy dogs and lifeguards

Woody Allen says he began shooting movies in European cities because he couldn't afford to do it any more in New York.  The devoted New Yorker may return to NYC if incentives and studios return to what it takes for his style of “independent” film.

In Italy dogs are lifeguards. Italian beaches and seaways are protected by well-trained dogs, who swim from shore, jump from boats or leap from helicopters to rescue humans. For them it is fun and play, as they pull life preservers or even inflatable boats to those in need.

The Age of Internet TV is here!

Apple Inc. reportedly is set to launch a new version of Apple TV it will call iTV next month. Digg founder Kevin Rose reported on his blog that iTV will use the iOS operating system, sell for $99 and run apps. Rose said that the apps for users TVs will include "sharing/streaming/recording apps, interactive news apps, and of course games," reports San Jose Business.

Rose says that Apple will integrate iAds in the product, allowing content producers to directly monetize and distribute content, which he predicts will "eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry."

Apple is expanding it's television inventory with the expected announcement of 99 cent TV program rentals, some the same week as air, from all four major networks and several studios.

Apple may include the use of the new iPods, as well as iPhones to control your television, stereo and perhaps other home entertainment appliances, a "universal" remote taken to the next level.

Apple's TV will also integrate with the internet and broadcast television, although it is unclear how extensively or how much of an overlap there will be with Google or Microsoft.

Apple is also set to release its new generation of iPods in September, adding remote control features, as well as upgrading video recording and other camera features, plus adding full GPS.

Google is planning on launching its own internet-tv-DVR system running on a version of Chrome this fall. The Google system will be built into select Sony televisions and hardware, offered through the Dish Satellite Network and for sale a separate box attachment.

Microsoft's system was "leaked" but has not been announced. It will operate with X-Box, select televisions or through its own set-top controller. They already offer other services both through X-Box and set top boxes, including select web services and e-mail.

For more on Google TV click here.

For more on Apple TV click here.

For more on iPod and cell phone remotes click here.

About the Millennial Generation

Us this link, the links in the story it opens and feel free to Google "Millennial." Remember the genreration is still new by research and history standards, so the studies are ongoing and not conclusive.

Coppola to receive Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor Francis Ford Coppola, veteran actor Eli Wallach, French director Jean-Luc Godard and preservationist Kevin Brownlow at its second annual Governors Awards in November.

Coppola, a five-time Oscar winner for "Patton" and his first two "Godfather" movies, will be the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, given to a producer for his body of work.

The photo is from the Getty Collection. The story above is from the Hollywood Reporter. To read more on this story, or to find additional Hollywood news, please go to the Hollywood Reporter (subscription is recommended). Click here.