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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Redbox presses play on video games rentals across its kiosks

Redbox Games - FamilyRedbox made good on its promise back in April to roll out video game rentals across its network of kiosks, announcing that 21,000 of its 27,000 kiosks nationwide will offer a mix of games and movies starting Friday.
The company, which has rented more than 1 billion movies since introducing its service in 2003, had been testing game rentals for two years at 5,000 of its kiosks. It found that the average revenue of kiosks that rented games as well as movies was 10% to 15% higher than machines that rented only movies.
That's partly because games cost $2 a day to rent, while Blu-ray movies cost $1.50 and regular DVDs are $1. Adding games to the mix also helps Redbox spread its bets. In the fourth quarter last year, the company's operating margins slipped to 14% from 17.6% primarily because of weakness in movie rentals.
Redbox, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., said each kiosk will have 22 to 28 game titles, as well as up to 200 movie titles.
The service, which started in 2003 as vending machines for groceries as well as movies, became the fifth largest DVD rental company by revenue in 2007.
-- Alex Pham

Judy Moreo and Nation Speakers Association

Judi Moreo SpeechCoach
Regardless of the industry or discipline in which your expertise as a speaker falls, people who speak professionally have many things in common. Many are entrepreneurs or small business owners.

Judy Mordeo was the owner and operator of Universal Models and Talent when I came to Las Vegas in 1984. She has since become a major national speaker and worked, among other places, with Nelson Mandella in South Africa. Welcome home Judy!

Senate Committee Approves Bill to Make Illegal Streaming a Felony

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would make illegal online streaming of copyrighted content a felony.
It now goes to the full Senate for a vote. 
Sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn(R-TX), the legislation would eliminate the legal distinction between unauthorized streaming and downloading.
In March, the Office of U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel presented Congress with legislative recommendations to improve IP enforcement efforts, which included clarifying this aspect of intellectual property law.

Charlie Sheen, Hangover II, Bankok, Dave Chappelle, Phones Hacked and Green Lantern

Winning? A Superior Court judge in California kicked Charlie Sheen's S100-million lawsuit against his former "Two and a Half Men" bosses Warner Bros. and co-creator Chuck Lorre to arbitration. Sheen has been fighting arbitration because his legal team thinks his wrongful termination suit will play better in front of a jury than it will an arbitrator. Warner Bros., which fired Sheen in March claiming his lifestyle (run-ins with the law, substance abuse issues) made him unable to perform, has argued that the actor's contract calls for arbitration to resolve any disputes. The studio and Lorre's lawyer both cheered the decision while Sheen's lawyer Martin Singer argued that his client's fight for a trial wasn't dead yet. In the meantime, reports earlier this week that Sheen was in negotiations with a broadcast network for a new show have yet to pan out. Maybe the talks are with My Network TV. Details on the latest in the Sheen case from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
When the walls come crumbling down. Warner Bros.' deal Wednesday with a company called You On Demand (headed by Shane McMahon, son of wrestling impresario Vince McMahon) to pipe its movies and TV shows into China via cable is the latest effort by Hollywood to penetrate China's massive market. The Los Angeles Times looks at what's so appealing about China to Tinseltown and the formidable challenges that lie ahead.
Bangkok blues. Apparently I'm not the only one who didn't like "The Hangover 2." Many residents of Bangkok don't like the way the city was portrayed (Holla! City of squalor!) in the movie. Having only seen the first half of the movie before walking out, I'll say Bangkok looked no worse than New York did in "Taxi Driver." Of course, some local merchants are finding a way to cash in on the movie's success. The Wall Street Journal looks at what one night in Bangkok can do to a city's image.
Chappelle's stream? Dave Chappelle, the comedian who abruptly quit his Comedy Central show just as it was becoming a huge success, is considering a new show that would be streamed on the Internet, according to The Daily, News Corp.'s online tabloid paper.
Now that's just ironic. Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News Corp.'s News International unit and a former editor of its Sun newspaper, appears to have had her own phone hacked by the private investigator who is accused of hacking celebrities' phones and voice mails on behalf of News Corp.'s News of the World paper. Can't wait for the next company retreat. Details from The Independent.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Ryan Reynolds is ready to shine in the "Green Lantern." but are we ready for him? NBCUniversal is getting into the superhero business.
-- Joe Flint
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