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Thursday, May 31, 2012

A "Brave" New Annimated World. Call of Duty Suit Settled. Tough on Piracy. Dish files first blow to protect ad skipping technology. 'Battleship' avoids scrutiny. Disney blames FOX for high cost of sports programming passed to consumers. Cable news ratings slip. New Disney Movie Head.

Jason West and Vincent Zampella at their new game development studio, Respawn.

Jason West and Vincent Zampella at their new game development studio, Respawn. (Mel Melcon / May 30, 2012)

 Activision settles Call of Duty lawsuits

A day before a bitterly contested set of lawsuits was set to begin trial, Activision Blizzard Inc. on Thursday settled the case with the original creators of its blockbuster Call of Duty game franchise.
The last-minute agreement ends two years of acrimonious litigation that ensued after the Santa Monica game publisher fired Jason West and Vincent Zampella, developers of the multibillion-dollar shooter franchise. West and Zampella sued Activision after they were let go in March 2010, claiming wrongful termination. Activision countersued, accusing the developers of being disloyal. To continue reading click on More.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for the latest industry news.  
 

After the coffee. Before jumping on the Kings bandwagon. 

The Skinny: I'm debating whether it is time for an iPhone but the keypad scares me. I'm open to advice. Thursday's headlines include a look at why Universal's summer bomb "Battleship" has avoided the tar-and-feathering that Disney's "John Carter" received. Also, CBS has sold more than half of the ads available for next season's Super Bowl broadcast, and cable news ratings tumbled in May.

Daily Dose: One way for companies to get around commercial skipping is to create their own shows. AT&T is doing that with a Web show that is a spinoff of the Fox drama "Touch," which is about a boy with emotional issues who is able to see connections between people around the world that others can't. Created by Tim Kring, the man behind NBC's "Heroes," it will feature "Touch"-like plots but also be a showcase for AT&T products.



Alan Horn
Alan Horn (pictured in 2006) has been named chairman of Walt Disney Studios. (Los Angeles Times / May 31, 2012)


The Walt Disney Co. has named Hollywood veteran Alan Horn chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. He'll take the reins of the Burbank entertainment giant's struggling movie operation after the rocky tenure of ousted chief Rich Ross.

Horn assumes the helm on June 11, with responsibilities to oversee production, distribution and marketing of live-action and animated films from Disney and its units Pixar Animation Studios and Marvel. Horn is a seasoned and well-regarded executive, who as president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Entertainment oversaw such successful recent film franchises as Harry Potter and Batman.

“Alan not only has an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the business, he has a true appreciation of movie making as both an art and a business,”Walt Disney Co.Chief Executive Robert A. Iger said in a statement. “He’s earned the respect of the industry for driving tremendous, sustained creative and financial success, and is also known and admired for his impeccable taste and integrity.”

Horn will be under enormous pressure to bring stability back to Disney Studios, which was roiled by management upheaval and box-office troubles under Ross. Under his tenure, the studio took a $200-million write-down on the costly sci-fi adventure film"John Carter."

“I’m incredibly excited about joining The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic and beloved entertainment companies in the world,” Horn said in a statement. To continue with this story click on More..


William Morris Endeaver Entertainment's Ari Emanuel tackles online piracy at All Things Digital conference.
William Morris Endeavor co-chief executive Ari Emanuel called on technology companies to do a better job combating online piracy. (Asa Mathat / All Things Digital / May 30, 2012)




Put that copyrighted material down! Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel of WME went to the tech-filled, Wall Street Journal-backed conference All Things D with a simple message: Tell Silicon Valley to stop condoning piracy. Deadline Hollywood quotes Emanuel telling attendees, “We need Northern California to figure out how to keep our intellectual property from being stolen."

William Morris Endeavor Entertainment co-chief executive Ari Emanuel used the platform of the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital Conference to call on Silicon Valley and Hollywood to work together to curb Internet piracy -- in his own provocative style.

"I'm going to get a lot of people [angry]," Emanuel said at the onset of his remarks, noting that Southern California's entertainment industry "probably screwed this up" and contributed to an impasse by pressing Congress to adopt the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act. The measure flatlined earlier this year amid fierce opposition from some of the largest Web companies and civil liberties groups.

Northern California's technology companies, meanwhile, have failed to do their part to curb rampant online piracy of movies and TV shows, which threatens the economic underpinnings of the entertainment industry, Emanuel said.

"We should be able to figure this out together," said Emanuel. "I actually don't think Northern California wants to do it."

Emanuel called on search giant Google Inc.and video distributors such as AT&T and Verizon to block access to pirated content in the same way they do for other objectionable material, such as child pornography.

The conversation about online piracy ultimately will take place, Emanuel predicted, when these Internet players realize that they need the high-quality content created by his clients, which include "The Social Network"writer Aaron Sorkin, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" creator Larry David and "Family Guy" animator Seth MacFarlane.

"Eventually, I think people are going to pay for not two cats on a couch, they’re going to pay lot more money for  Aaron Sorkin,  they’re going to pay a lot more money for Seth MacFarlane.  Eventually, this conversation has got to happen."

William Morris Endeavor, meanwhile, has been investing in digital startups that play at the intersection of technology and entertainment.

The agency acquired a minority stake in online and mobile marketing firm Red Interactive Agency in Santa Monica, funded a social publishing group called "The Audience" and backed a Los Angeles-based visual effects company called OToy Inc.

Indeed, convergence has been a major new focus for the agency since the venerable William Morris Agency merged with Emanuel's Endeavor.  And it attracted investment from Silver Lake, a private equity firm with stakes in Groupon, Skype and Zynga.

"We spent a lot of time in Silicon Valley, kind of figuring out how we could start coming together with what we do and what Silicon Valley does," Emanuel said.

Indeed, Emanuel talked about potentially capitalizing on the latest fund-raising craze, crowd sourcing, to raise money for a new film, inspired by the critically acclaimed television series about football in Texas, "Friday Night Lights."  He said the project could draw contributions from the show's million-plus Facebook fans, or spark interest by posting story-boards on the photo sharing social network site Pinterest.

"I could go the traditional route, put the cast together and have a conversation with the studio, or I could go back to the studio and say I have X-amount of money," Emanuel said. "I would like to figure out if we could do that, change paradigms."

From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for the latest industry news.

Brave
A scene from the movie "Brave." (Disney / Pixar / May 30, 2012)

Pixar and Disney animation president Ed Catmull discusses "Brave"

The lush, verdant look of the Scottish highlands that serve as the backdrop for Pixar Animation Studio's forthcoming release, "Brave," was powered by new technology.

But it also came with a heftier price tag than Pixar's 2010 box office smash, "Toy Story 3," Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, said Wednesday at the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital conference.

"'Toy Story 3' was actually the lowest cost among several Pixar films, but 'Brave' is higher,'" Catmull said without divulging the picture's production budget. "The primary reason is we adopted a new technology. There was a tax for adopting a new technology."

Pixar, which revolutionized computer animation, continues to push technological boundaries so it can continue to stretch creatively and achieve greater diversity in the look of its films. The new software, known as Presto, marks the first such overhaul since the animation studio's first theatrical release, "Toy Story" in 1995.

"If you look at 'Brave," it has a lush, rich look to it, a very different look," Catmull said. "Much of the technology is to allow for new kinds of imagery to come into the screen and stimulate the creative process."

Catmull identified achieving visual diversity on screen -- and managing costs -- as the two major challenges facing animation companies.

"Our expectations internally are high, but the business is going through changes," Catmull said, referring to difficult film industry economics. "Animation fortunately has succeeded best (amid) these changes because of the nature of its broad viewing. But the reality is, there’s this continuing pressure there."

Catmull talked about transformation of a different sort at Walt Disney Animation, which had struggled for a decade before he and Pixar creative guru John Lasseter assumed oversight of the studio after it acquired Pixar in 2006.

The turnaround, which Disney achieved with the 2010 animated film "Tangled," came when the studio took ownership of their creative process, Catmull said.
"We don’t say Pixar does one kind of film and Disney does another, but they do have different cultures," Catmull said. "So we set it up so that if one [studio] gets in trouble, then the other studio can’t help them.

"In the end, when Disney made 'Tangled,' they made it. Nobody bailed them out. It was their film."


Menu for Dish's AutoHop feature
The menu for Dish Network's AutoHop commercial-skipping feature. (Associated Press / May 30, 2012)


Dish Networks landed the first punch in its fight against broadcasters ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC over whether its new ad-skipping feature called AutoHop is legal.

Wednesday, a federal court judge in New York granted Dish Network's request for a temporary restraining order preventing Fox and other networks from trying to advance their claims against the satellite television provider in lawsuits that were separately filed last week in Los Angeles.

Dish, which had filed its own suit hours earlier in New York, asked that the networks be prevented from separately pursuing their litigation in California until U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain decides whether all of the court cases should be consolidated.

Swain scheduled a hearing for July 2 to consider that request.

Dish also asked the judge to slap Fox, the first network to file suit, with a temporary restraining order because the News Corp.-owned network had petitioned the courts for "extraordinary relief" so the case would be heard in California.

"This dispute belongs in New York," Dish said in its filing. Click here to read More...

"Battleship" has avoided the scrutiny that "John Carter" received.
"Battleship" has avoided the scrutiny that "John Carter" received. (Universal Pictures)

Free pass? It's been one of the early summer's big disappointments, yet Universal's "Battleship" has avoided the scrutiny and second-guessing that followed the release of Disney's big flop, "John Carter." One likely reason was that there were already a lot of doubts about the management at Disney's studio prior to the release of "John Carter." In other words, there was blood in the water. The Los Angeles Times looks at why one bomb got pounded by the press while the other got mostly kid glove treatment.

It's not us, it's them. Walt Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger is getting tired of people griping at how expensive its sports cable channel ESPN is for cable and satellite operators. Speaking to analysts, Iger said the real offenders are regional sports networks (such as Fox Sports West in Los Angeles or MSG in New York). “If you look at the cost of those channels versus the ratings they deliver, it’s not even close [to ESPN]," Iger said, according to the New York Post.

Better buy now. The Super Bowl is more than six months away but CBS, which carries the big game next season, has already sold more than half of the available commercial inventory. That comes despite the decision of auto manufacturer General Motors to abandon the Super Bowl because of cost. Spots during the game cost well over $3 million. More on the early ad sales from Advertising Age.

Tuning out. With a presidential election just months away, you might think ratings would be up at the cable news channels. Instead the numbers are down, across the board. CNN had its usual struggles, but Fox News and MSNBC were also off in May, compared with May of last year. Maybe some folks are getting tired of all the yelling. Details on the numbers from the New York Times.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Lions Gate took a loss in part because of marketing costs for "The Hunger Games." As reported above, satellite broadcaster Dish Network landed the first blow in its fight with the broadcast networks over its new commercial skipping feature called the AutoHop.

Follow me on Twitter. I'm a cure for June gloom. Twitter.com/JBFlint

From the LA Times Company Town Blog, click here for the latest industry news.

Obama's Own Story Defines His American Dream


President Obama greets diners at Reid's House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., last fall. While there, he talked to a college student about the importance of education — one of the ideas Obama comes back to often.
Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images President Obama greets diners at Reid's House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., last fall. While there, he talked to a college student about the importance of education — one of the ideas Obama comes back to often.

NPR is examining what the American dream means to our culture, our economy and our politics. On Morning Edition, we'll explore what Republicans think of the American dream. In this installment, the view from President Obama.

The American dream — the idea that in this country anyone can rise from humble beginnings and succeed — is deeply woven into our national psyche. It's a promise that draws immigrants to our shores. And it's a staple on the campaign trail.

On a campaign-style bus tour last fall, rolling through cotton fields and tobacco farms, President Obama stopped for a cheeseburger and sweet tea in the town of Reidsville, N.C. Shaking hands with a crowd outside the restaurant, Obama paused to offer some fatherly advice to college student Desmond McCowan.

"Basically, he told me, be sure I graduated. Stay in school and be sure I graduated," McCowan said. "It's one thing when your parents tell you, but when the president tells you ... I'm touched. I'm touched right now."

"Study hard," said the president, whose own mother used to wake him up early to do just that. The idea that hard work and education pays off is one that Obama often conveys, in words and through his own biography.

A Living Example

From the moment he burst on the national scene at the 2004 Democratic convention, Obama has served as a living example of the American dream — proof that in this country anyone can succeed, even a skinny black kid with a funny name.

"I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story. That I owe a debt to all of those who came before me," he said. "And that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible."

Obama was quick to add that his story is not one of solo success.

"Alongside our famous individualism," he said, "there's another ingredient in the American saga — a belief that we're all connected as one people."

He made that point again this year in a speech at the University of Michigan. "Everybody here is only here because somebody somewhere down the road decided, we're going to think not just about ourselves but about the future. We've got responsibilities — yes to ourselves, but also to each other."

The Role Of Government

This idea of the American dream as a collective enterprise is what sets Democrats apart from Republicans.

"If you look at three basic values that underpin the American dream," says John Kenneth White, a political scientist and editor of The American Dream in the 21st Century, "they really are freedom, individual rights — which are closely tied to that — and equality of opportunity."

Republicans typically stress freedom, White says, and they tend to see government as a likely impediment.

Democrats like Obama focus on opportunity, and they see a vital role for government.

"Somebody who has a great idea in selling a great product or service, we want them to get rich. That's great. But we also want to make sure that we as a society are investing in that young kid who comes from a poor family who has incredible talent and might be able to get rich as well," Obama has said. "And that means we've got to build good schools. And we've got to make sure that that child can go to college."

Obama argues that by training workers, building highways and creating a safety net that enables risk-taking, government helps the free market work.

'Opportunity To Everybody'

Letreace Grisby, who attended an Obama rally in Virginia this month, likes the idea of the American dream as a cooperative effort.

"I don't believe anyone is self-made. God put us here. Why not teach, especially these young people, how they can make a better life for themselves?" she says. "Especially if they were not born in the 1 percent."

Obama seems mindful that his own story could have turned out differently, and he's been determined to hold doors open for others. He says doing so is good for the country.

"I think the history of the United States, the reason we became an economic superpower is because, not always perfectly, not always consistently, but better than any other country on Earth, we were able to give opportunity to everybody," he said. "That's what the American dream was all about."

Obama says preserving that dream requires a balancing act between self-interest and community. Success is not an entitlement in his book. But neither is it a reward for individual effort alone.

To read more, listen to other stories in this series or link to this story, click "read more" below.

Fallacies of Argumentation

Fallacies
An error in reasoning

For a list and summary of the major fallacies of argumentation click on 'read more' below.

What Is Ethics? Lecture (slow)

The Internet: A Series Of 'Tubes' (And Then Some)

Tubes
Tubes
A Journey to the Center of the Internet
Hardcover, 294 pages | purchase

Increasingly, Internet users are working "in the cloud" — creating and sending data that isn't stored on local hard drives. It's easy to imagine our emails and photos swirling around in cyberspace without a physical home — but that's not really how it works. Those files are still stored somewhere, but you can only find them if you know where to look.

In Tubes, journalist Andrew Blum goes on a journey inside the Internet's physical infrastructure to uncover the buildings and compounds where our data is stored and transmitted. Along the way, he documents the spaces where the Internet first started, and the people who've been working to make the Web what it is today.

Blum tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Internet can be thought of as three separate entities: data centers that store information, Internet exchange points where networks meet to exchange data with each other, and fiber-optic cables that connect all of the information traveling between cities and continents.

Blum calls these fiber-optic cables, many of which traverse the ocean bottom, the "most poetic places of the Internet."

"They're about the thickness of a garden hose, and they're filled with a handful of strands of fiber-optic cable," he says. "And light goes in one end of the ocean and out the other end of the ocean. And that light is accelerated along its journey by repeaters that look like bluefin tuna underwater."

The repeaters and the fiber-optic cables extend for thousands of miles below the ocean's surface, along the same routes where other telecommunication cables have been placed for decades. Blum, who watched one of the fiber-optic cables emerge from the sea in Lisbon, says the process hasn't changed much over the decades.

"I saw pictures from [a telegraph] museum in England where the pictures from 100 years earlier looked exactly the same," he says. "The Englishmen in their hats were watching the laborers digging in the wet trench, pulling the cables up. So the technology has changed but the culture hasn't changed, and the points being connected haven't changed much."
Journalist Andrew Blum writes about architecture, design, technology, urbanism, art and travel. He lives in New York City.
Courtesy Andrew Blum  Journalist Andrew Blum writes about architecture, design, technology, urbanism, art and travel. He lives in New York City.

In the States, many of the trans-Atlantic cables coming from Europe terminate in an art deco-style office building at 60 Hudson St. in New York City. More than 100 telecommunications companies have offices in the building, which contains more than 70 million feet of cable wire.

"It's essentially a building-sized jumble of wires," says Blum. "It's been [a very important building] for the telephone as well. So there's this mix of very high-tech, high-capacity, brand-new machines, and then these old banks of copper wires and switches. ... And the contrast is incredible. It's amazing that we think of the Internet as a high-tech, sterile place, and this place is the complete opposite."

In fact, Manhattan is full of buildings containing key parts of the Internet, says Blum. In 2010, Google acquired 111 8th Ave., a block-long building in Chelsea that sits almost directly on top of large bundles of fiber-optic cables. The building is designed to allow tenants to connect to these fiber-optic lines directly.

"It's that autonomy to connect — to do whatever they want and to make their own decisions about how they're connecting to other networks that allows the Internet to be both robust and cheap," says Blum.

Even though there's some potential risk involved, Blum believes the locations of these data centers will never become secret.

"The Internet is all about one network connecting to another network. It's the space in between that makes it come alive," he says. "And if you're secret — if you try to hide where you are — then you essentially can't function as a network on the Internet because nobody knows where you are. And if you're in the business of selling your connection, then you have no business at all if you won't tell anyone where it is."

Interview Highlights

On the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens saying the Internet is made up of "a series of tubes."


"He's not wrong. The Internet is absolutely made of tubes. What else could it be made of? It's many other things — these protocols and languages and machines and a whole set of fantastically complex layers and layers of computing power that feeds the Internet every day. But if you think of the world in physical terms, and you're trying to be as reductive as possible and try to understand what this is, there's no way around it — these are tubes. And from the very first moment, from the basement of a building in Milwaukee to Facebook's high-tech, brand-new data center, and along the ceiling and the walls, are these steel conduits. But I know a tube when I see one."

On the makeup of the Internet

"The Internet has parts and pieces. We think of it as this singular whole, and we use the word 'cloud' as a crutch to avoid thinking about the specific parts; but, in fact, it is as singular as anything else."

On visiting Facebook's data center, located in central Oregon

"It was an interesting place to be because I realized that this was a place that was connected to some of the most important moments of my friends' lives. This was the place from which announcements of weddings and family members' deaths and new jobs and new babies came from, so there was a real disconnect between the sense of it being a building full of machines and the emotional importance that it had on my life."

On replacing existing infrastructure 

"Because fiber-optics cables are essentially glass tubes, you can replace the flashlight on the end with a newer model, and that will transmit more data. So you can keep the same actual fiber, replace the equipment on either end, and suddenly you've increased the capacity by an order or even two orders of magnitude. So that's a start. That will get us a few years down the road. But then it's a constant gardening process. It's replacing the old ones and putting in new ones."

On researching Google and Facebook

"Out of all of the companies I spoke with, Google was the one that shared the least. Facebook, in contrast, was the opposite. They believed that this was your data. You, the public, had a right to understand where it was and what they did with it."

For similar stories and links click on "read more" below.

What is critical thinking?

Critical Thinking




In the late 1980s, the American Philosophical Association commissioned a study to better define the concept of critical thinking and how it can be recognized, taught, and assessed. Forty-six internationally recognized thinkers participated in the study through a two-year, qualitative research process known as the “Delphi method.” The panel, led by Dr. Peter Facione, published a report called “Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction;” this is often referred to as “The Delphi Report.”

The following definition of critical thinking is quoted from the Executive Summary of that report (Facione, 1990):
CONSENSUS STATEMENT REGARDING CRITICAL THINKING AND THE IDEAL CRITICAL THINKER
We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based. CT is essential as a tool of inquiry. As such, CT is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one's personal and civic life. While not synonymous with good thinking, CT is a pervasive and self-rectifying human phenomenon. The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal. It combines developing CT skills with nurturing those dispositions which consistently yield useful insights and which are the basis of a rational and democratic society.

Reference

Facione, P. A. (1990). Executive summary: Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction. Millbrae, CA: The California Academic Press. Electronic version retrieved May 1, 2009 fromhttp://www.insightassessment.com/pdf_files/DEXadobe.PDF

Communication Lab Fall Hours 2012


Below are the hours of operation for the Communication Labs for the fall 2012 semester.

Cheyenne
M 9:00-1:00; 2:00-6:00 p.m.
T 9:00-3:00; 3:30-6:00 p.m.
W 9:00-3:00; 3:30-6:00 p.m.
R 9:00-3:00; 3:30-6:00 p.m.
F 9:00-2:00 p.m.

Henderson
M 8:00-2:00; 2:30-5:30 p.m.
T 8:00-2:00; 2:30-5:30 p.m.
W 8:00-2:00; 2:30-5:30 p.m.
R 8:00-2:00; 2:30-5:30 p.m.
F 9:00-2:00 p.m.

West Charleston
M 8:00-6:00 p.m.
T 8:30-10:45; 11:30-2:00; 2:30-6:00 p.m.
W 8:00-6:00 p.m.
R 8:30-7:00 p.m.
F 9:00-2:30 p.m.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Thanks.



Luke LeFebvre
--
Luke LeFebvre, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Communication Labs
Department of Communication
College of Southern Nevada
Charleston Campus, C-151 C
6375 West Charleston Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89146-1164

phone: (702) 651-5073

Toddler Sings in Church 'Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It to Heaven'

A child's anti-gay song in a US church is going viral on the internet.





The congregation in the church, which has been identified as the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Indiana, gives a standing ovation after the child sings, "The Bible's right, somebody's wrong. The Bible's right, somebody's wrong. Romans one, twenty six and twenty seven; Ain't no homos gonna make it to Heaven."

A man who appears to be the Church's pastor Jeff Sangl, can be see standing behind the child smiling as he listens to the performance while a person in the congregation can be heard calling "that's my boy".

Many comments across the internet have claimed the child has obviously been coached what to sing.
On its website the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle says "our doors are open to you regardless of your background or where you are on your spiritual journey".

"Hatfield and MCCoys" music error and foreign location "authentic" scenery


 Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy in "Hatfield's and McCoys" History Channel Mini-series
Catching up on chapter 1 of "Hatfield's & McCoys." I caught the country congregation singing a hymn that wasn't published until 20 years after the story took place.
 Photo: Real life Hatfield Clan Photo from the 1880's.

Larry Shackley I have also noted how many British actors there are on the show. Kevin Costner's wife, the smarmy lawyer, and the preacher are all from the UK. (The preacher was on the Tudors and the lawyer was on the Borgias. The wife was in "Pillars of the Earth.") There are loads of Romanian extras because they shot the whole thing over there.

 Keven Costner, producer and playing the role of "Devil" Anse Hatfield in "Hatfield's sand McCoy's"

TV Networks Experimenting With Bilingual Shows


Bilingual TV shows and networks have just begun popping up in the past few years. For some, it's important to serve the bilingual audience. For others, it seems unnecessary because bilingual people can already enjoy both Spanish and English-language shows. Listen to the show and read a partial transcript, click here.

Do you listen to the Internet in your car?

Internet radio streaming in vehicles is on the rise, researchers say

More U.S. adults and teenagers are leveraging their cellphones to stream
50 percent more U.S. adults and teens are listening to online radio streamed in their cars by connecting their phone to the radio, compared to last year, said a new report from Arbitron and Edison Research.
17 percent of all cellphone owners have listened to online radio streamed in their cars this year through a connection to the radio, compared to 11 percent last year.
Dual XDMA6540 CD Receiver
Overall online radio listening (be it from a PC, car or portable) has now reached about 30 percent of U.S. adults and teens.   An estimated 76 million Americans age 12 and older are listening to online radio, up over 30 percent from a year ago.

“We’ve been tracking the usage of online radio in this series since 1998, and this year’s increase in weekly usage is the largest year-over-year jump we’ve ever recorded,” said Bill Rose, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arbitron Inc.

The findings were announced as another report from Triton Digital found that both Pandora and ClearChannel Radio audiences surged this February, compared to a year ago.

Pandora’s audience in February was up 115 percent over last year and ClearChannel’s audience was up 92 percent.  Other leading online services also showed gains including Slacker, which was up 36 percent, according to Triton Digital’s new Webcast Metrics report, said the Radio and Internet 

From CEO Outlook
Newsletter (RAIN).
Source: Edison Research, RAIN

Why the blog changed appearance

Apparently some Microsoft versions did no display the words on the blog, only the images. Most did. I found this out when the Phoenix computers did not display the words. Since I teach at the University of Phoenix as well as the college of Southern Nevada, I had to change, or now.

This is one of many reasons I do not like Microsoft.

It would not happen if the world were Apple!

Are we turning poltiics into war, and forgetting what America is about?

Here are Senate Republicans, demonstrating what really is our country's biggest problem: the number of Republicans across America who lack either the wisdom or courage to realize that their party is anti-American, and that their votes encourage the enemy.

www.nytimes.com
After a nominee for an ambassador’s post was grilled over a boyfriend she had lived with almost 20 years ago, it might be time to adopt a statute of limitations on this sort of thing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Urban by Art Lynch

Older Posts are not old...

Do no forget to look at older post (button at bottom of column) going back to earlier today and the past few days...
When a television show has a small, loyal cult following but suffers from comparatively low ratings, networks can find themselves fielding a barrage of attention from these loyal viewers when they move to cancel the show. There are times when the concerted efforts of these groups have actually led to the show being saved, even after the fact. So if your favorite program has been canceled, here are a few things you can do.
  1. Set the Web A-Twitter – Don’t underestimate the power of the hashtag. Twitter can be a very powerful weapon when it comes to networking with other dedicated viewers and raising awareness for the canceled show’s plight.
  2. Join (Or Start) a Grassroots “Save Our Show” Campaign – There’s definitely truth to the old adage about power in numbers. Try to find a grassroots campaign dedicated to reviving the show; if there’s not one, start it yourself.
  3. Build a Dedicated Social Networking Page – Starting a Twitter account dedicated to saving the show and then linking it to a Facebook fan page is another great way to get the word out; Facebook can be your friend in this situation. Find others who run Facebook fan pages for your show and then network with them so that you can strengthen your group.
  4. Visit Show-Specific Fan Forums – There are message boards and discussion forums dedicated to almost any subject one can imagine. Sign up for a few that are dedicated to your show, and post religiously. Use message board etiquette though, and avoid the temptation to attempt a takeover. If there’s already a movement to save the show in the works, joining the existing group is likely to be more effective that starting your own.
  5. Write Letters – While emails and online petitions have plenty of pull, there’s something to be said for a tangible, written letter. A physical mountain of fan mail is much easier to quantify than an intangible email inbox.
  6. Come Up With a Cohesive Plan – When a group works together, their efforts are almost always more effective. A coordinated, cohesive plan to flood network execs in a specific manner is one of the best ways to get the attention of the higher-ups.
  7. Start a Petition for a Film – Though the outright revival of a canceled show is relatively rare, the motion picture follow-up is a bit more common. When networks opt not to pick up a show for another season after a cliffhanger ending, the film version usually comes along to tie up loose ends and give the show a bit of closure. Campaigning for a film can be a more effective use of your energy than pushing for a prime-time revival.
  8. Create a Website – A well-designed website can serve as a community hub, especially for newcomers to the cause. Creating an easy-to-find and easy-to-navigate page with show information and links to related sites and message boards across the web might be a good idea.
  9. Look For Tie-Ins – When CBS made the cancellation call for fan-favorite Jericho in 2007, the fan base took the character Jake Green’s catchphrase “Nuts!” very seriously: network executives found themselves in a 20 ton deluge of peanuts. The tie-in to the show was a success, and fans were rewarded with a mid-season replacement of seven more episodes.
  10. Subscribe to Netflix – The DVD-by-mail and streaming entertainment giant Netflix made major waves in late 2011, when they announced that they would be reviving the much-beloved, but long-canceled series, Arrested Development. If the experiment proves successful, this may be only the beginning of Netflix-rescued cult hits.
Of course, another alternative would be to turn off the TV and pick up a good book, spend some time with your soul mate or partake in another worthwhile but neglected activity, but what’s the fun in that when you could be crusading for such a worthy cause!

From Cable TV Providers Blog (click here)

Hollywood Company Town News

History makes history. USS Iowa invades L.A. Will Nets Youth Drive Kill Network TV? Avengers creeps up on Titanic and Avatar. What inspires Apple's CEO? Warner Brothers Exec Jim Paratore RIP at 58.

By Joe Flynt and the LA Times Company Town Blog. Click here for the latest news.

After the coffee. Before making sure that AARP mailer was sent to the wrong address.

The Skinny: Wednesday's headlines include a look at Hollywood's newest neighbor -- the battleship USS Iowa. Also, CNN's latest efforts to get something cooking and the surprising popularity of History Channel's "The Hatfields & the McCoys" miniseries.

Daily Dose: The success of History Channel's "The Hatfields & the McCoys" miniseries (see below) should make the broadcast networks rethink their resistance to the genre. The broadcast networks got out of the miniseries business because of cost and a diminishing rerun value, but the success of "The Hatfields & the McCoys" shows that these programs -- if well made -- can still get numbers any network would love to have as well as serving as a great promotional platform.

Too Old for CBS? Ignore at your peril. NBC canceled "Harry's Law" and CBS said it was discontinuing its Jesse Stone TV movie franchise. Both drew respectable audiences for their respective networks but most of those viewers were over the age of 50. But is television becoming too obsessed with reaching younger viewers, especially when so many of them are now sponging off their parents anyway or struggling to pay back college loans and thus lacking lots of walking around money to splurge on new cars and gadgets? Variety looks at whether the networks are being short-sighted in their obsession to drink from the fountain of youth.

Bill Paxton in "The Hatfields and the McCoys."
Bill Paxton in "The Hatfields and the McCoys." (History Channel / May 30, 2012)



Big ratings. The first episode of History Channel's miniseries "The Hatfields & the McCoys" starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton drew 13.9 million viewers, a huge number for a non-sports program on a commercial cable network. In fact that number is better than most shows that air on NBC. The most-watched non-sports event on cable remains Disney Channel's movie "High School Musical 2," which averaged more than 17 million viewers. More on the performance of "Hatfields & McCoys" from Bloomberg.

Comeback? Arsenio Hall, who had a solid run as a late-night TV host in the 1990s, is near a deal for a comeback. Broadcasting & Cable reports CBS and Tribune are partnering on a production and distribution deal for Hall for a new show that would air on local TV stations.


Welcome to Hollywood. The battleship Iowa, which did service in World War II and once carried Franklin Roosevelt to a summit with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin, is now parked at the Port of Los Angeles and open for business. Already location managers are calling to see about using the ship for shoots. More on the Iowa and whether it will need an agent from the Los Angeles Times.



What's cooking? In its latest effort to jump start ratings, cable news channel CNN has hired famous chief Anthony Bourdain to host a Sunday night show about cooking and travel. Bourdain is no stranger to television, having starred in shows for the Food Network and Travel Channel (as well as being the inspiration for the short-lived and underappreciated Fox sitcom "Kitchen Confidential," based on his book of that name and starring a then-unknown Bradley Cooper). The hiring of Bourdain by a news network will no doubt again have people wondering whether CNN is just throwing pasta at the wall hoping something sticks. More on the move from the Associated Press.


Unstoppable. Although it got knocked out of the top spot by "Men in Black 3," "The Avengers" is still raking in the bucks and making a dent in the history books. Right now, the film is the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time, behind "The Dark Knight," "Titanic" and "Avatar." While director Jim Cameron's "Avatar" and "Titanic" may be safe, "The Dark Knight" is looking over its shoulder. More on "The Avengers" performance from USA Today.

Apple CEO Tim Cook at AllThingsDigital Conference

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook responds to questions posed by Wall Street Journal personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg. (Asa Mathat | All Things Digital / May 30, 2012)

Steve Jobs had another iconic business leader in mind as he contemplated turning over the reins of Apple Inc. to his successor, Tim Cook.

When Apple's ailing chief executive and co-founder called Cook to his home to discuss the leadership transition that took place in August 2011, Jobs talked about the executive paralysis at theWalt Disney Co.after the death of the studio's revered founder.

"He said that people would go to meetings and conference rooms, and they would all sit around and talk about what would Walt have done? What decision would Walt make?" Cook recalled Tuesday in an interview during the Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital Conference. "He looked at me with those intense eyes that only he had, and he told me to never do that, to never ask what he would do. Just do what’s right."

Pressed to describe how Apple thinks differently under his leadership, Cook talked about the decision to pay shareholders dividends for the first time in the company's history -- and the start of corporate philanthropy program, in which the company matches employee donations.

"The Kennedys used to say this, and I believe it strongly in my heart, 'To whom much is given much is expected,'' recalled Cook, who said he counts Bobby Kennedy as one of his heroes.

Cook said he also has pressed for greater transparency about Apple's factory operations -- disclosing the names of its suppliers and posting regular reports on the hours worked at manufacturing plants in China. Apple has been workng aggressively to reduce overtime, he said. The actions came in the wake of a New York Times investigation of the harsh working conditions inside these plants.

Asked whether Cook foresaw a time when Apple -- which once boasted its products were made in America -- would return manufacturing operations to the U.S., he responded, "I want there to be."
Wall Street Journal personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg and AllThingsD's Kara Swisher tried, without success, to get Cook to leak product news. Instead, he vowed that one of the hallmarks of Apple under his stewardship is to be even more secretive than under his notoriously tight-lipped predecessor, Jobs.

However, changes in how people consume entertainment in the home is clearly on Cook's mind.
AppleTV, a set-top box that allows consumers to watch movies and TV shows delivered via the Internet to their TV screen, has been less of a success than Apple's other recent product innovations, such as the iPad or iPhone.

But Cook said the television experience -- and changes in home entertainment -- are "an area of intense interest" for Apple.

"For many of us, the TV that we do watch is almost exclusively online," Cook said. "So, we’re going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us. "
Cook stopped short, however, of confirming speculation that Apple is developing its own television set. "I'm not going to tell you," he said.

Apple enjoys good relationships with Hollywood, Cook said, relationships that were enhanced by Jobs' stake in Pixar Animation Studios, which was sold to Disney in 2006.

"We have great respect for the content owners. We don’t want their stuff to be ripped off," Cook said. "This is the way we felt about music. We love music, and we wanted to provide a simple and elegant way for people to buy, because we felt the vast majority of people were honest."

Cook said he had met recently with several executives in the content industry -- but offered no details of the nature of those discussions.

"There were great conversations, because they were talking about what more we could do together," Cook said.


Jim Paratore
Jim Paratore spent much of his career at Warner Bros. Television. (Warner Bros. / May 29, 2012)

RIP. Jim Paratore, a well-regarded televison producer and executive, died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack while cycling in France.

Paratore, 58, spent much of his career atWarner Bros.Television and was still associated with the Burbank studio, where his production outlet paraMedia had an exclusive deal.

“TheWarner Bros.Television family has lost an incredibly talented and creative friend and colleague in Jim,” said Bruce Rosenblum, president,Warner Bros.Television Group.  “He has left an indelible mark not only on our company’s success but on each of us who worked with him during the past 26 years. Jim had a passion for life, both inside and outside the entertainment industry, and he will truly be missed.”

Paratore was president of Telepictures, a production arm of Warner Bros. Television, from 1992 through 2006. During that time he was heavily involved with the creation and launching of"The Ellen DeGeneres Show,""The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and "The Bachelor." He continued as an executive producer of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" after leaving Telepictures.

Prior to joining Telepictures, Paratore worked in local television as a programming director at several Florida stations.

Paratore is survived by his wife, Jill Wickert, and his daughter, Martinique.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Kings are in the Stanley Cup Final, but fans will have to make do without their favorite home team announcer, as well as having to figure out which channel NBC will be airing games on. Veteran television executive Jim Paratore, who was instrumental in the creation of talk shows for Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie O'Donnell, died at the age of 58.

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