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Friday, June 15, 2012

Vagina banned from legislature

This actually happened, yesterday. Why are these guys so scared of the word "vagina?" After all, they're always trying to control what women do with their vaginas, they should at least have the decency to say the word. 
Two Democratic women in the Michigan House of Representatives, who used the words “vagina” and “vasectomy” in debating an abortion bill, had their privilege to speak withdrawn for a day on Thursday.

State Rep. Lisa Brown triggered the silencing when she ended a speech with the words, “Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no’.”
The Legislature is considering legislation that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, unless a pregnant woman’s life is in danger.

State Rep. Barb Byrum was silenced after she tried to introduce an amendment requiring men to prove that their life is in danger before being allowed to receive a vasectomy.”
House Speaker James Bolger declared in a statement that Brown and Byrum could not speak on a school employees retirement bill.

Bolger added that they “will not be recognized to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives.”

As a press conference where she could speak, Rep. Brown declared:  “I am outraged that this legislative body not only wants to dictate what women do, but what we can say.”

Sources: Seattle PI,  AP, (video),,

Xbox launching interactive ads with Toyota, Unilever, Samsung

Microsoft's booth at E3 2012
Microsoft has signed up advertisers for a new interactive ad format on its Xbox 360 console. (Kevork Djansezian / June 13, 2012
Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 video game console will launch interactive ads on TV this fall in a bid to steal more business away from television networks.
The tech giant has signed Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile to its offering, called NUads, which will debut this fall. People who use the Xbox to watch video via apps from Microsoft partners -- including ESPN, TMZ, NBC News and the UFC -- will see the new ad formats.

In their first iteration, the NUads will let users vote in response to questions asked in the ads. Toyota's spots, for instance, will ask users what other devices they would like to see "reinvented" the way the company has "reinvented" some of its auto models.

Users can vote by clicking a button on a controller or speaking or gesturing with their hands when using the Xbox 360 add-on called Kinect that includes a camera and microphone.

Toyota will then have access to the data on how people voted and demographic information on the voting blocs.

Microsoft is aiming to charge what Ross Honey, general manager of entertainment and advertising for the Xbox Live online service, called a "premium" compared with typical commercial rates.

"There have been interactive ads on the Web before, but the beauty of it is that we're bringing that to the TV," he said. "It's a substantially more valuable ad product."

Unilever plans to use NUads to promote its Axe body spray line.

Stealing a significant chunk of the $68 billion U.S. TV advertising business will be a huge challenge, given the sizable audiences that can be aggregated at a single time on traditional TV, not to mention major advertisers' conservative tendencies.

But as more marketing executives become comfortable spending big money online, Microsoft hopes it offers an attractive middle ground by putting the benefits of the Web on a TV screen.

It's part of a larger move by Microsoft to take viewing time away from cable and satellite services by making the Xbox 360 the most popular device for getting video into the living room from the Internet. The strategy was a primary focus of the company's news conference at the E3 industry event last week, at which it premiered new partnerships with Univision and the NBA, among others.

Microsoft's ad revenue on the Xbox 360 has grown 140% from the same period in 2010, Honey said, though he declined to specify the total amount. "It's small for us but in the context of most companies it's substantial," he stated. "We're well ahead of just a few million dollars a year."

Xbox Live has more than 40 million subscribers. Microsoft has not specified how many use the video services that are part of NUads, but has disclosed that its online users spend more than half their time streaming video and music rather than playing games.

E3 2012: Not just for games
Microsoft adds ESPN, NBA, Nickelodeon, Univision to Xbox Live
Xbox Live now used more for online entertainment than games

It's Not About News...It's about Ratings

King is gone. News anchor John King is the latest casualty at CNN as the cable news network is pulling the plug on his low-rated 6 p.m. show. CNN's quick fix will be to extend Wolf Blitzer's show "The Situation Room" by another hour. CNN is under pressure from its bosses at Turner Broadcasting to boost its numbers. Coverage from the New York Times.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog

Erin Griffin, Chief Information Officer for SAG-AFTRA Honored with the Los Angeles Business Journal CIO of the Year Award, Non-Profit Sector

LOS ANGELES (June 15, 2012) — — Erin Griffin, chief information officer for SAG-AFTRA, was named CIO of the Year, Non-profit sector in the inaugural The Los Angeles Business Journal CIO/CTO Awards. The 2012 CIO Awards recognize the impact that Chief Information Officers' (CIOs) have on all aspects of business. In their first year, The CIO Awards recognized Chief Information Officers and those in top information technology position in the categories of: Emerging Business, Corporate, Enterprise, Nonprofit/Government/Institution/Public, IT Team (internal), IT Service Partner (external) and Lifetime Achievement. The awards were presented Thursday, June 14, in Los Angeles.

Honored under the category of Nonprofit Organization, Griffin’s career is marked by both technology innovation and transformation. Prior to her position with the newly merged SAG-AFTRA, Erin was CIO of Screen Actors Guild. She served on the strategic senior management team as well as overseeing the Guild’s technology-related operations. From 2004-2007, Griffin was vice president of IT and CIO for Loyola Marymount University. Other career highlights include delivery of stellar results for St. John’s College and the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as for U.S. Naval Hospitals both in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, Griffin was the driving force behind numerous mission-critical IT developments, deployment and reengineering projects.

This award from The Los Angeles Business Journal follows several prestigious awards and recognitions, including the CIO 100 Award and CIO Decisions Leadership Awards. Griffin is the chair of the Southern California chapter of SIM International and serves on the Board of Directors for the UCLA Alumni Association. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA, her MBA from Loyola Marymount University, has multi-lingual skills, and 10 years of overseas experience in professional and diplomatic assignments.       

“This tremendous honor for Erin only underscores what we have known for years, that she brings outstanding talent and management experience to our team, and that her excellent performance has been key to our ability to innovate in all areas of our operations.  We offer our hearty congratulations to her for this well-deserved award,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White.

On receiving the award, Griffin stated, “I am so honored to receive this award - especially given the great respect I have for my fellow nominees. I’d like to thank The Los Angeles Business Journal for recognizing the significant contributions of the IT community here in Los Angeles.”