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17/04/08 - 18/04/08

LibertyNewsprint.com U.S. Edition

McCain Releases His Tax Returns, Not Wife's
By Tommy Christopher (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:44:00 AM

Filed under: Republicans, John McCain, Primaries, 2008 President John McCain released his tax returns for 2006 and 2007 in a press release from the McCain campaign, but the candidate fell short of his fellow candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, in the transparency department: Since the beginning of their marriage, Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain have always maintained separate finances. As required by federal law and Senate rules, Mrs. McCain has released significant and extensive financial information through Senate and Presidential disclosure forms. In the interest of protecting the privacy of her children, Mrs. McCain will not be releasing her personal tax returns. The usefulness of tax returns to presidential campaigns is debatable, but if John McCain is going to try to paint Barack Obama as an elitist, perhaps he should follow suit and release the heiress and possible future First Lady's tax returns. What's good for the Obamas and Clintons is apparently not good for McCain. Full text of the press release after the jump. JOHN MCCAIN RELEASES TAX RETURNS For Immediate Release Friday, April 18, 2008 ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, U.S. Senator John McCain's campaign released his tax returns for 2006 and 2007. Senator McCain's tax returns show that he paid

$157,231 in federal taxes for 2006 and 2007. In the past two years, Senator and Mrs. McCain have contributed $340,323 to charitable causes. Below please find summary information about Senator McCain's 2006 and 2007 tax returns. To view the relevant documents, please s e e : http://www.johnmccain.com/mccainfinanci al BACKGROUND ON THE 2006 AND 2007 TAX RETURNS Senator and Mrs. McCain have kept their personal finances separate throughout their 27-year marriage. Accordingly, they have for many years filed separate tax returns. However, their home state of Arizona is a community property jurisdiction. In community property states, individuals maintain a separation of all property brought to the marriage, or inherited during it, but share financial responsibility for other assets acquired through the efforts of each spouse during the marriage. This means that their tax returns report one half of each of their community property income and expenses (such as income each of them earn as salaries, Senator McCain's book royalties, and expenses attributable to both of them such as charitable contributions from community assets). Accordingly, Senator McCain's 2006 and 2007 tax returns contain a detailed "Statement A" showing the allocation of his and Mrs. McCain's community property income and expenses to their respective tax returns (2006 - 2007). John McCain's 2006 and 2007 tax returns, including the community property income and expense allocation, are available for

download below. (2006 - 2007) Publication 555 from the Internal Revenue Service is also available for download below. This publication explains the community property filing rules for various states (including Arizona) and their effects on married taxpayers filing separate returns. SUMMARY OF TAX RETURNS Taxes Paid: For 2006, Senator McCain paid $72,771 in federal income, alternative minimum, and self-employment taxes (LINES 57 and 58) on taxable income of $215,304 (LINE 43), which is a 33.8% tax rate. For 2007, Senator McCain paid $84,460 in federal income, alternative minimum, and self-employment taxes (LINES 57 and 58) on taxable income of $258,800 (LINE

43), which is a 32.6% tax rate. Charitable Contributions: Senator McCain donates his royalties from his books to charitable organizations. This sum has totaled over $1,800,000 since 1998 when he signed his first book deal. Senator McCain's book income of $256,898 for 2006 and 2007 is comprised of earnings for Faith of My Fathers, Worth the Fighting For, Why Courage Matters, Character is Destiny, and Hard Call. Beginning in 1991, Senator McCain has also donated the increase in his Senate salary for that year and each subsequent year to charity because he opposed the Congressional pay increase at that time and pledged not to accept the pay raises. The cumulative total of these donations is over $450,000. 2006 In 2006, Senator and Mrs. McCain donated $129,390 from community assets to charity, of which Senator McCain's onehalf allocation was $64,695. This is 19% of his adjusted gross income. 2007 In 2007, Senator and Mrs. McCain donated $210,933 from community assets to charity, of which Senator McCain's onehalf allocation is $105,467. This is 27.2% of his adjusted gross income for the year. Most of Senator McCain's contributions were made to the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation, which makes direct contributions to charities. The Foundation's tax returns for 2006 and 2007, which include a list of the charities to which Senator and Mrs. McCain contributed through the McCain Family Foundation in 2006 and 2007, are available for download

below. (2006 - 2007) SUMMARY OF SENATOR MCCAIN'S ACTUAL (NOT COMMUNAL) INCOME [FROM STATEMENT A OF TAX RETURN] 2006 2007 Senate Salary: $161,675 $161,708 Book Royalty Income: $80,390 $176,508 Social Security Income: $22,104 $23,157 US Navy Pension*: $56,496 $58,358 * [Non-Taxable and therefore not reported as income on Statement A] Note About Mrs. McCain's Financial Information: Since the beginning of their marriage, Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain have always maintained separate finances. As required by federal law and Senate rules, Mrs. McCain has released significant and extensive financial information through Senate and Presidential disclosure forms. In the interest of protecting the privacy of her children, Mrs. McCain will not be releasing her personal tax returns. Note About Hensley & Company: In her role as Chairman of Hensley & Company, a privately-held business founded by her parents, Mrs. McCain's main areas of responsibility focus on strategic planning and corporate vision. Having served the greater Phoenix area since 1955, Hensley & Company is widely respected as an exemplary corporate citizen, and makes significant charitable contributions of its own. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

Miranda Kerr launches a bra
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 9:06:41 AM

Miranda Kerr attended the launch of

Victoria’s Secret new Angel bra in New York. The Angel bra is VS’s new wireless bra which I guess means something if you’re a woman. For me it’s just another

obstacle I have to maneuver around in

order to touch a girl’s boobies. Related posts • No related posts.



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Border Shooting a 'Black Mark' on Administration
By Liza Porteus Viana (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 3:09:00 AM

Rep. Tancredo Blasts Pope on Immigration
By Liza Porteus Viana (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:20:00 AM

Filed under: Bush Administration, Senate, House, Crime Earlier this month, I told you the story of two former U.S. Border Patrol agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who are serving 11 and 12 years in prison, for shooting a Mexican drug runner in the butt. Well now, that drug runner - whose testimony helped put the agents in prison - may just get his due. Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, 27, yesterday pleaded guilty to federal drug smuggling charges. He admitted that beginning around June 1, 2005, through Nov. 30, 2005, he conspired with others to import and to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana (when he was shot by Ramos and Compean in February 2005, he was trying to bring into this country 700 pounds of pot). Additionally, on Sept. 24, 2005, and then again on Oct. 22 and 23, 2005, Aldrete-Davila admitted to trying to distribute more than 100 kilograms of the stuff. To put this into perspective, AldreteDavila is admitting to running drugs into the U.S. while he was in discussions with the U.S. government on how he would testify against Ramos and Compean to put them behind bars. "Just as Aldrete's illegal conduct did not excuse the crimes committed by Compean and Ramos, likewise, their crimes did not excuse his," said U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who has come under rapid fire for his prosecution of the agents. "Compean and Ramos had their day in court and an El Paso jury convicted them after a two and half week long jury trial. Now, Aldrete has had his day in court and will soon be paying for his crimes." Ramos' father-in-law said that while he doesn't know what impact the plea could have on the pending appeal of his son and Compean, "it proves that the government lied to the jury." With Aldrete-Davila's guilty plea also comes a renewed call from some lawmakers on Capital Hill for President

Bush to pardon the imprisoned agents. "Davila's conviction underscores the travesty of the original decision to prosecute Ramos and Compean," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. "It also shows that trial jury was lied to not only by the drug dealer himself, but by the prosecutors who were intentionally presenting a false image of the smuggler as victim and one time offender. From the president's refusal to pardon or even commute the agents' excessive 10+ year sentences to his protégé, Johnny Sutton's decision to take the word of a now convicted drug smuggler over our brave border defenders, this whole episode has been a black mark on this Administration." U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the plea opens even more questions than it answers, including when Sutton first learn that Davila violated the terms of his immunity

agreement by engaging in drug smuggling, and whether that information was this purposefully withheld from the jury in Ramos' and Compean's trial. "It is incomprehensible to me that an illegal alien drug smuggler was allowed to violate his immunity agreement, perjure himself and be granted a series of unlimited visas to roam free in our country while two border patrol agents were given excessive prison sentences," said Cornyn, R-Texas. "It is well past time for the president to do the right thing and commute their sentences." Aldrete-Davila is in federal custody pending sentencing, scheduled for July 16. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

Filed under: Republicans, Tom Tancredo, Immigration Not too many people are unaware of Rep. Tom Tancredo's stance on illegal immigration. The Colorado Republican was a presidential contender early in the 2008 race, with the touchy subject being his main platform. It's his shtick, so to speak. But now he's taking on someone considered by many to be of a higher authority: The Pope. Tancredo isn't happy with reports that Pope Benedict XVI said the United States must do "everything possible to fight ... all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives." He also accused Pope Benedict XVI of encouraging amnesty for illegal immigrants as a way to bolster the Catholic Church's flagging numbers. Tancredo, by the way, is not alone in that accusation. "I would like to know what part of our lax immigration policy is considered violent," Tancredo said. "I fail to see how accepting more refugees than any other nation - and providing free health care, education, housing and social service benefits to millions of illegal aliens is in any way 'violent' or 'degrading.'" Pope Benedict XVI has a thing for amnesty for illegal immigrants and most likely discussed the issue when he met with President Bush this week. One topic likely to have come up was the raids on meat-packing plants and other businesses around the U.S. where hordes of migrant workers are known to be illegally employed. Adding fuel to the fire was news this week that the Vatican is funding the construction of a shelter in the southern Mexican city of Ixtepec for those trying to illegally cross into the U.S. Immigration reform voices. The Pope is giving Mass on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. Many immigrants hope he will address the politically-charged issue. "I am not taking issue with the Pope's moral authority and respect his views on the threats of Islamic immigration,"

Tancredo said. "However, it is not in his job description to engage in American politics." Tancredo, who used to be Catholic, also cited a recent Pew report indicating that the Catholic Church has been losing as much as one-third of the native-born Catholic population but has gained members among foreign-born residents. While nearly one-in-three Americans (31%) were raised in the Catholic faith, today fewer than one-in-four (24%) describe themselves as Catholic. But among the foreign-born adult population, Catholics outnumber Protestants by nearly a two-to-one margin (46% Catholic vs. 24% Protestant); among native-born Americans, on the other hand, Protestants outnumber Catholics by an even larger margin (55% Protestant vs. 21% Catholic). "I suspect the Pope's immigration comments may have less to do with spreading the gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the church," said Tancredo. "This isn't preaching it is 'faith-based' marketing." Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

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ABC Hunted Down Flag Pin Lady
By Tommy Christopher (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:45:00 AM

Conyers Wants Rove to Testify About Siegelman
By Jay Allbritton (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:44:00 AM

Filed under: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Debates, Media ABC has been the subject of much criticism due to the tone of Wednesday night's debate, particularly for the grilling given to Barack Obama at the spatula of former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos. New revelations, broken by TPM, show that ABC's conduct may have sunk to a level unprecedented in mainstream journalism: Well, it turns out TPM Reader JL did give it some thought. And he came up with something very interesting (see JL's post at the DrexelDems blog). He did a little googling and found out Nash is pretty popular with the traveling press now in Pennsylvania. It turns out McCabe was featured in an April 4th story in the Times which begins like this ... Ask whom she might vote for in the coming presidential primary election and Nash McCabe, 52, seems almost relieved to be able to unpack the dossier she has been collecting in her head. It is not about whom she likes, but more a bill of particulars about why she cannot vote for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. McCabe goes on to discuss her concerns about Senator Obama's pin-wearing habits. The article goes on to say that ABC News specifically tracked her down for the debate, according to McClatchy, although ABC failed to disclose this, or anything else about Ms. Nash, during the debate. As far as the audience knew, she was just a random voter. If this is not a crime, it certainly is a travesty. How far does this scandal go? The debate on ABC was already on shaky ethical grounds, given Stephanopoulos' relationship with Hillary Clinton. CNN had the good sense, earlier this year, to take Clinton loyalists Jim Carville and Paul off the air until after the

election. Additionally, the moderators took the opportunity to inject stories into the debate that they could never have reported as news, not because of a lack of factual basis, but for a lack of news value. The fact that Barack Obama has crossed paths with Wiliam Ayers would get you laughed out of a creative writing course at the Learning Annex, let alone journalism school, but ABC pushes it into the spotlight just by asking about it, and using the rationale that it's news because people are talking about it? So, the question is news? But to seek out a person whom they know is against Barack Obama, to ask a question worthy of Joseph McCarthy, without disclosing that foreknowledge?

Unconscionable. It violates every tenet of journalistic sourcing, and it may run deeper than that. The McClatchy piece doesn't say how McCabe came to the attention of ABC, nor exactly how they tracked her down. This needs to be investigated. Giving Stephanopoulos the benefit of the doubt before was a stretch. Now, this raises all kinds of questions. Who gave the order to find McCabe? Who knew about it and when? What does this news say about the integrity of the rest of the debate? I have contacted both campaigns for comment on this story, and am awaiting a response. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

Filed under: Bush Administration, House, Investigations After his release from prison pending appeal earlier this month, former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (timeline of saga here) told 60 Minutes that the House and Senate Judiciary Committees should get Karl Rove to "put his hand on the Bible and take an oath and give testimony". Despite refusing to testify before a congressional panel about the U.S. Attorney purge, Rove's attorney confidently told MSNBC's Dan Abrams that Rove would testify if subpoenaed. Democratic Representative John Conyers plans to take Rove up on that. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, however, now says that Rove won't testify unless the White House says he can. Robert Luskin also said that MSNBC took the comments out of context.From CNN: WASHINGTON (CNN) - A House committee Thursday asked former White House political adviser Karl Rove to testify about allegations that Bush administration officials pushed for federal prosecutions of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and other Democrats. House Judiciary Committee leaders said it is "imperative" that Rove answer allegations that he pressed the Justice Department to investigate Siegelman, a Democrat who when indicted was preparing a rematch against Alabama's Republican governor in 2006. "We look forward to scheduling an early date for your voluntary appearance," the

committee's Democratic leaders wrote in a letter released Thursday. Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, said Thursday that President Bush's onetime political mastermind "absolutely denies he was in any way involved in the decision to prosecute Don Siegelman." Luskin said he has had no direct communication the the Judiciary Committee's staff or its chairman, Rep. John Conyers, DMichigan, and said the White House would have to decide whether Rove will be able to testify. ( more) The former Alabama governor believes that no matter the outcome of his appeal and public dispute with Rove and Justice Department he is done with politics. "Politics for me, in terms of elected politics, is over. If that's what Karl Rove wanted, he accomplished his goal," Siegelman told 60 Minutes. Air America's Robert Kennedy, Jr. interviewed Siegelman recently on his radios how (video here). Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

Special Interest Attacks McCain
By Greg McNeilly (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 2:47:00 AM

Filed under: Ads, John McCain, 2008 President After a career of standing-up to pork and wasteful government spending, it's no

suprise that special interests have rushed into the fray and are airing attack ads against John McCain. The latest negative spot comes from Progrsesive Media USA and is a :30 second spot titled "Out of Touch." This new Democrat 527 is pledging to

raise $40 million for the anti-McCain effort. The group is lead by exconservative David Brock and is reported by "The Politico" as a "wealthy Democrats." That clearly aims, as its title suggests, to paint the independent Senator as "out-of-

touch." On effect, it's probably good at helping bring Democrats together. But there are few independents, or objective voters, who wouldn't see this type ad for it is - a cynical manipulation of out-ofcontext quotes. It's just another liberal 527 trying to justify to its funders the reason

for existing. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments


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'Weatherman' William Ayers Speaks
By Tommy Christopher (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:23:00 AM

Dean To Superdelegates: Commit Already!
By Christopher Weber (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:18:00 AM

Filed under: Democrats, Barack Obama, Primaries, 2008 President, Media By way of Politico, controversial former Weather Underground member and inexplicable flashpoint in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary, wrote on his personal blog, before the debate, to try and clear some things up. Excerpts below: Regrets. I'm often quoted saying that I have "no regrets." This is not true. For anyone paying attention-and I try to stay wideawake to the world around me all/ways-life brings misgivings, doubts, uncertainty, loss, regret. I'm sometimes asked if I regret anything I did to oppose the war in Viet Nam, and I say "no, I don't regret anything I did to try to stop the slaughter of millions of human beings by my own government." Sometimes I add, "I don't think I did enough." This is then elided: he has no regrets for setting bombs and thinks there should be more bombings. Read the whole thing for yourself if you want, but he goes on to give a definition of terrorism, and argues that the actions of governments can be terrorism, but I don't see where he claims not to be a terrorist. Am I missing something? If you set bombs, and you have no regrets, then you don't regret setting bombs. His students should ask for a refund. Really, who cares what this guy says? Oh, you do? Because somebody brought him up at the debate? I will get deeper into

this in my next story, but let me just say... ...that this Bill Ayers "connection" has been floating around the internet for months, along with every other weak, journalistically unsupported attack you can think of, against both candidates. I've done several stories explaining why real journalists, and even novices like myself, don't report this crap. That ABC News and George Stephanopoulos have now brought their journalistic standards in line with MOJOJOJO et al should disturb you. That Stephanopoulos stacked the deck against Obama is obvious, but it was more than just loaded questions. More to come in my next story. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

Filed under: Democrats, Primaries, 2008 President It's time, Howard Dean is telling the Democratic Superdelegates, to make up your mind. He sent out a memo urging the 320 or so undecideds to decide on Clinton or Obama at least by the time of the final primary in early June. Dean says the party will need the summer months before the national convention for "healing" and to mount an effective campaign against John McCain. Dean underscored his points in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer: Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

The Debate We Deserve
By Brandon Barker (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:30:00 AM

Love and Money [Sponsors]
Submitted at 4/17/2008 11:45:00 PM

Filed under: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Debates, LOLection As the dust settles on Wednesday's live ABC debate between Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and moderated by Charlie Gibson and Debbie Gibson, the bad reviews are coming fast. However, as sincere (and correct) as they may be, they are missing the point: This is the 2008 LOLection(R), people. Brace yourselves for some serious unrelenting silliness. For those who need a little more explanation, here is a brief, multiplechoice question to illustrate the point: Q: Which question would you most like

to ask the next President of the United States? A. Is it possible to pay off the national debt without raising capital gains taxes? B. Would you delay a troop-pullout in Iraq based on a general's advice? C. What is up with the pregnant transvestite that was on Oprah? If you answered "C," you are most likely going to decide the next president of the United States. Which is totally cool. For those who still don't understand, or who didn't even read this post and went right to the video, here you go: B. Brandon Barker is the author of the novel Operation EMU. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

Thanks to this week's sponsors for keeping us in umbrellas on rainy days: Chevy Fuel Solutions, NCTA, Nokia, Toshiba, Toyota Corolla, Unscrew America, and VW. April showers bring May flowers when you advertise on Lifehacker.

Sam Nunn and David Boren Join Obama
By David Knowles (Political Machine)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:59:00 AM

Filed under: Democrats, Barack Obama, Breaking News Maybe Howard Dean's nudging had something to do with it, but two more political big shots, former

Senators Sam Nunn and David Boren, just announced their support for Barack Obama. What's more, both have agreed to advise Obama on matters of national security. Helping others with regards to foreign affairs is nothing new to Nunn. Hell, the guy's got his own department at Georgia

Tech. Former Oklahoma Senator Boren is in

the education game, as well. Currently, he serves as President of the University of Oklahoma. So two more high-profile red state dems for Obama. If you include former Clinton Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, that makes three big fish caught in a single day. Check out the quiz/photo gallery below.

See if you know who is endorsing whom. Permalink| Email this| Linking Blogs| Comments

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Market highlights for next week: HAL, T, LMT and MSFT reporting earnings
By Eric Buscemi (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:31:00 AM

Amazon.com (AMZN) CEO's high on Kindle
By Brent Archer (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:46:00 AM

Filed under: Earnings reports, Conventions and conferences, Annual meetings, Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo! (YHOO), Amazon.com (AMZN), General Motors (GM), AT and T (T), Halliburton (HAL), Bank of America (BAC), Hershey Co (HSY), Mattel, Inc (MAT), Wendy's Intl (WEN), United Parcel'B' (UPS), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Delta Air Lines (DAL) Monday, April 21 • Matte l (NYSE: MAT ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 8:30am. • Halliburton (NYSE: HAL ) reports Q1 earnings; conference call at 9:00am. • Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 9:30am. • Toronto-Dominion (NYSE: TD ) t o hold conference call about the acquisition of Commerce Bancorp (CBH) at 11:00am. Tuesday, April 22

• Wyeth (NYSE: WYE ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 8:00am. • The Federal Reserve to host a meeting regarding the Countrywide Financial (NYSE: CFC ) takeover by Bank of America at 9:30am. • AT&T (NYSE: T) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 10:00am. • Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 11:00am. • Yahoo ( NASDAQ: YHOO ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 5:00pm. Wednesday, April 23 • Biovail (NYSE: BVF ) PDUFA date for NDA of BVF-033 for the treatment of depression. • UPS (NYSE: UPS

) to report quarterly earnings; conference call at 8:30am. • General Motors (NYSE: ) to hold conference call on 1Q08 global sales at 9:00am. • Delta (NYSE: DAL ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 10:00am. • Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 5:00pm. Thursday, April 24 • Hershey (NYSE: HSY ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 8:30am. • Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) to report Q3 earnings; conference call at 5:30pm. Friday, April 25 • Wendy's (NYSE: WEN ) to report Q1 earnings; conference call at 9:00am. Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Major movement, Good news, Amazon.com (AMZN), Options, Technical Analysis, Technology Amazon.com(NASDAQ: AMZN) shares are trading higher after CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos said in a letter to shareholders that he very pleased with AMZN's new electronic book-reader Kindle. He added in the letter that all major publishers have embraced the device, demand for the Kindle has been high, and that shareholders should expect more innovation from AMZN. The Kindle is currently out of stock, but AMZN expects to have more devices in stock next week. If you think that the stock won't fall by too much in the coming months, hen now could be a good time to look at a bullish hedged trade on AMZN. After hitting a one-year low of $44.16 last April, the stock hit a one-year high of $101.09 in October. AMZN opened this morning at $76.48. So far today the stock has hit a low of $76.32 and a high of $80.92. As of 11:55, AMZN is trading at $80.88, up $6.85 (9.3%). The chart for AMZN looks neutral and improving, while S&P gives the stock a neutral 3 STARS (out of 5) hold rating. For a bullish hedged play on this stock, I would consider a May bull-put credit spread below the $60 range. A bull-put credit spread is an options position that

combines the purchase and sale of put options to hedge risk in case the stock doesn't do what you think but still leverage nice returns. For this particular trade, we will make a 4.8% return in just one month as long as AMZN is above $60 at May expiration. Amazon would have to fall by more than 26% before we would start to lose money. Learn more about this type of trade here. AMZN hasn't been below $60 since almost a year ago and has shown support around $70 recently. This trade could be risky if the company's earnings (due out in on 4/23) disappoint, but even if that happens, this position could be protected by the support the stock might find around $62, where it bottomed out in February and March. Brent Archer is an options analyst and writer at Investors Observer. DISCLOSURE: Mr. Archer owns and/or controls diversified portfolios of long and short stock and option positions that may include holdings in companies he writes about. At publication time, Brent neither owns nor controls positions in AMZN. Permalink| Email this| Comments

Goldman Sachs (GS) lifted by Citi earnings
By Brent Archer (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:17:00 AM

Filed under: Major movement, Good news, Industry, Citigroup Inc. (C), Goldman Sachs Group (GS), Options, Technical Analysis Goldman Sachs Group Inc.(NYSE: GS) shares are trading higher after Citigroup(NYSE: C) posted a firstquarter loss that managed to encourage investors. Though C lost $1.02 per share, below estimates of 95 cents per share, revenues came in ahead of targets and

investors seemed to be relieved that C's report did not contain any bad surprises. This could mean that the worst effects of the credit crunch may be behind investment banks like GS and C. If you think that the stock won't fall by too much in the coming months, then now could be a good time to look at a bullish hedged trade on GS. After hitting a one-year high of $250.70 in October, the stock hit a one-year low of $140.27 in March. GS opened this morning at $176.91. So far today the stock has hit a

low of $176.91 and a high of $181.8. As of 12:00, GS is trading at $181.12, up $9.02 (5.2%). The chart for GS looks neutral and improving slightly, while S&P gives the stock a positive 4 STARS (out of 5) buy rating. For a bullish hedged play on this stock, I would consider a July bull-put credit spread below the $130 range. A bull-put credit spread is an options position that combines the purchase and sale of put options to hedge risk in case the stock doesn't do what you think but still leverage

nice returns. For this particular trade, we will make a 4.2% return in just three months as long as GS is above $130 at July expiration. Evergreen would have to fall by more than 28% before we would start to lose money. Learn more about this type of trade here. GS hasn't been below $140 at all in the past year and has shown support around $160 recently. This trade could be risky if the company's earnings (due out in early June) disappoint, but even if that happens, this position could be protected by the

support the stock might find around $140, where it bottomed out in March. Brent Archer is an options analyst and writer at Investors Observer. DISCLOSURE: Mr. Archer owns and/or controls diversified portfolios of long and short stock and option positions that may include holdings in companies he writes about. At publication time, Brent neither owns nor controls positions in GS or C. Permalink| Email this| Comments



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Deere (DE) boosted by CAT earnings
By Brent Archer (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:04:00 AM

Bringing home more than a billion in 2007: Five hedge fund managers rake it in
By Peter Cohan (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:31:00 AM

Venezuela starts collecting new windfall profits tax on oil companies
By Joseph Lazzaro (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:47:00 AM

Filed under: Major movement, Earnings reports, Good news, Caterpillar (CAT), Options, Technical Analysis, Deere and Co (DE) Deere & Co.(NYSE: DE) shares are trading higher after after competitor Caterpillar(NYSE: CAT) posted a firstquarter profit of $922 million, or $1.45 per share, beating analyst estimates of $1.33 per share. This could be a good sign for DE, which reports earnings next month. If you think that the stock won't fall by too much in the coming months, then now could be a good time to look at a bullish hedged trade on DE. After hitting a one-year low of $53.75 last May, the stock hit a one-year high of $94.77 in January. DE opened this morning at $91.00. So far today the stock has hit a low of $91.00 and a high of $94.80. As of 11:40, DE is trading at $94.10, up $4.66 (5.2%). The chart for DE looks neutral and improving, while S&P gives the stock a neutral 3 STARS (out of 5) hold rating. For a bullish hedged play on this stock, I would consider a June bull-put credit spread below the $72.50 range. A bull-put credit spread is an options position that combines the purchase and sale of put options to hedge risk in case the stock

doesn't do what you think but still leverage nice returns. For this particular trade, we will make a 5.3% return in just two months as long as DE is above $72.50 at June expiration. Deere would have to fall by more than 23% before we would start to lose money. Learn more about this type of trade here. DE hasn't been below $75 since November and has shown support around $80 recently. This trade could be risky if energy costs fall off some, since that would lower the demand for agricultural accessories, but even if that happens, this position could be protected by the support the stock might find from its 200 day moving average, which is currently around $77 and rising. Brent Archer is an options analyst and writer at Investors Observer. DISCLOSURE: Mr. Archer owns and/or controls diversified portfolios of long and short stock and option positions that may include holdings in companies he writes about. At publication time, Brent neither owns nor controls positions in DE or CAT. Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Rich in America America touts itself as an egalitarian society. But the way we reward people suggests that while everyone has an equal chance to get rich, only about five people can make more than a billion in a year. The way these five people get there reveals what our society most values -- the ability to help people with huge amounts of money get much richer as quickly and consistently as possible. Wednesday's New York Times listed those five most valuable players. Here are our society's biggest winners, where they work, how much they made in 2007, and how they won: • John Paulson (Paulson & Co.) -- 2007 earnings: $3.7 billion. Beginning in 2005, Paulson made huge bets on the decline in value of securities backed by subprime mortgages • George Soros (Soros Fund Management) -- 2007 earnings: $2.9 billion. Soros' $17 billion flagship Quantum Endowment fund racked up a 31.7% return in 2007, its best annual showing since the high-tech

implosion at the start of this decade. Soros' $2.9 billion payday comes almost entirely from his personal stake in the fund (which he no longer manages). I don't know how he made that 31.7% return. • James Simons (Renaissance Technology) -- 2007 earnings: $2.8 billion. Simons, a mathematician and former Defense Department code breaker, uses complex computer models to trade. Continue reading Bringing home more than a billion in 2007: Five hedge fund managers rake it in Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Venezuela, Commodities, Oil Venezuela has started collecting its new foreign oil companies windfall profits tax, as part of President Hugo Chavez' plan to gain a larger share of oil company profits, The Associated Press reported. The tax is based on the monthly average price of benchmark Brent crude oil. The tax kicks in when the price of benchmark Brent crude sits above $70 per barrel, The Wall Street Journal( subscription required) reported. If oil prices remain above that threshold for one month, the state will take 50% of the difference between this average and the final sale price of every barrel. When Brent crude exceeds the $100-abarrel average, the rate will rises to 60%. '21st-century socialism' President Chavez, a Socialist, has said the tax is necessary to fund key social programs as part of his effort to implement an economic and social system he calls "21st-century socialism." Critics say the tax will slow investment and development in the oil sector, and also discourage other foreign direct investment in Venezuela. Continue reading Venezuela starts collecting new windfall profits tax on oil companies Permalink| Email this| Comments

$4 gasoline? We'll will be lucky if price peaks at 'only' $4 this summer
By Joseph Lazzaro (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:11:00 AM

AgFeed Industries (FEED): Shares cycling in bullish 'flag' pattern
By Larry Schutts (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:50:00 AM

Filed under: International markets, Commodities, Oil In this case, the official, 'worst-case' scenario may not represent the actual worst -case scenario. The U.S. Department of Energy, through its Energy Information Administration unit, has already released its projection for U.S. summer gasoline prices, and it

expects the average U.S. price to peak at $3.60 per gallon by late spring/early summer. The current average is about $3.35-$3.38 per gallon. Meanwhile, oil Friday flirted with yet another all-time high. Oil rose 73 cents to $115.59 per barrel, while wholesale unleaded gasoline gained 1 cent to $2.95 per gallon. On Thursday billionaire investor and oil industry guru T. Boone Pickens told Bloomberg News oil is headed for $125 per barrel. The EIA does not expect much of a price

rise beyond the $3.60 level because it expects U.S. consumers to cutback consumption to contain their transportation

fuel bills amid the record-high prices. And, in fact, there's considerable evidence to support the EIA's demand projection: for the first time in more than a decade, weekly U.S. gasoline sales have declined on a year-over-year basis for more than two months. Continue reading$4 gasoline? We'll will be lucky if price peaks at 'only' $4 this summer Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Good news, Technical Analysis, Stocks to Buy AgFeed Industries(NASDAQ: FEED) is the top premix feed company in China, operating through subsidiaries that develop and manufacture blended feed and feed additives for the Chinese domestic pork husbandry market. One division also makes premixed chicken feed. Products are sold through over 500 independently AGFEED page 7

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ATT to cut about 4,600 jobs as part of streamlining
By Joseph Lazzaro (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:30:00 AM

Option Update: Bank of America volatility falls after Citi EPS
By Paul Foster (BloggingStocks)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:05:00 AM

Filed under: Internet, Competitive strategy, Employees, AT and T (T) AT&T said it will cut about 4,600 jobs, or roughly 1.5% of its work force, as it integrates several businesses and streamlines operations, The Associated Press reported Friday. AT&T(NYSE: T) also said it plans to take a $374 million first quarter, pre-tax charge in connection with the job cuts, The AP reported. The company added that, longer-term, the jobs cuts will be offset by

staff additions as it invests in growth areas. The company had about 309,000 employees as of December 2007. Shares of AT&T rose 31 cents to $37.88 in mid-day Friday trading on the news. AT&T, which posted Q4 2007 EPS of 71 cents, in-line with the Reuters Q4 2007 consensus estimate, has made several acquisitions in recent years, including SBC Communications and BellSouth, as part of its business model revision for the digital age. Continue reading ATT to cut about 4,600 jobs as part of streamlining Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Citigroup Inc. (C), Bank of America (BAC), Options Bank of America(NYSE: BAC) is scheduled to report Q1 EPS on April 21. BAC May option implied volatility of 37 is below a level of 49 from April 15 and is near its 26-week average of 38 according

to Track Data, suggesting decreasing price movement. Volatility Index S&P 500( VIX) falls below 20, suggesting less risk. VIX down 88c to 19.49 according to Track Data. Options Update is provided by Stock Specialist Paul Foster of theflyonthewall.com Permalink| Email this| Comments

Google to the Rescue
(Portfolio.com: News and Markets)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 1:30:00 PM

AGFEED6 continued from page
owned sales agents, concentrated in key agricultural regions across the country. AgFeed also operates its own hog farms. It is currently ranked as the second largest commercial hog producer in the country. The firm pleased investors last week, when it issued FY08 EPS guidance of 96 cents to $1.10. The Street had been expecting 96 cents. Earlier this week, it followed that news with word that it had entered into agreements to acquire majority ownership of several more commercial hog farms in southern China provinces. The deal involved a price less than three times projected 2008 net income for the businesses. Continue reading AgFeed Industries (FEED): Shares cycling in bullish 'flag' pattern Permalink| Email this| Comments

Warner Brothers Hires Lead Police Investigator On The Pirate Bay Lawsuit
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 3:48:00 AM

Stephen Holthaus writes in to point us to a press release from The Pirate Bay about the fact that the chief police inspector who built the case against the Pirate Bay in Sweden has now been hired by Warner Brothers. Unfortunately, it seems like the folks at the Pirate Bay may be overplaying this news, implying that he was employed by Warner Brothers while conducting the investigation. Instead, the details show that he merely switched jobs last month. That's not as scandalous as the Pirate Bay folks make it out to be. While they do have a

point in suggesting that some of his investigative work may have been part of the "job interview," it's not unreasonable that Warner Brothers would decide to hire someone who had the experience this investigator had. After all, the RIAA and all of the major record labels have a history of hiring former law enforcement officials (no matter how pointless their "anti-piracy" efforts are). So, while it may call into question the guy's objectivity during the trial, the guys at the Pirate Bay probably should tone down the moral outrage on this one. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

It's not often that you hear an entire industry give a collective sigh of relief. But it happened for internet advertising Thursday when Google said that—recession or not—it's powering ahead. After the markets closed, Google presented its earnings for the first quarter—a period when investors grew increasingly anxious that a looming recession would halt the robust growth in online ad spending. In the report, Google made its case that it is in fact thriving during these hard times. Investors loved what they heard. Google's stock, which closed Thursday at $449.54, surged as high as $530.56 in after -hours trading once the numbers were disclosed—an 18 percent gain in a matter of minutes. Beating Up on Google Who's duping whom in a fight over the F.C.C.'s recent wireless frequencies auction? Read More C.E.O. Eric Schmidt hammered home the bullish message from the opening words of the conference call. "It's clear to us that we're well positioned for 2008 and beyond, regardless of the business environment we are surrounded by," he said. Google's net revenue, which excludes commissions to advertising partners, grew 46 percent to $3.7 billion. That was $100 million more than analysts were expecting. Net profit excluding items such as stockbased compensation came in at $4.84 a share, or 32 cents above analyst forecasts.

Three months ago, analysts were expecting Google's profit to be $4.87 a share. But then came data from comScore suggesting that paid clicks—the lifeblood of Google's revenue—were dropping. The data spurred a frenzy of bearish stories. Analysts cut estimates and investors sold off shares. Google's stock fell 34 percent from its January high of $685.33. Three months of hand-wringing, it turns out, were largely wasted. "There was a series of negative articles that caused a lot of anxiety and distress for investors," said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein. "But the first quarter was not nearly as bad as feared." Google bulls had argued that, as the broader economy slowed, online ads would benefit at the expense of print and TV ads because they are cheaper and better at targeting shoppers. Google executives noted that some financial, retail, and travel advertisers were postponing some of their spending, but not shutting it off completely. "Generally we're seeing absolute growth even in those areas that are otherwise impacted by adverse macroeconomic conditions," Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's

senior vice president of product development, said on the call. "But on an absolute basis, they are all showing healthy growth in ad revenue." Any slowdown in online ads is more likely to come from display ads, which promote a company's brand, than from the sponsored links that are Google's bread and butter. "Companies are loathe to cut paid-search ads," said Lindsay. "They are as close to the point of sale as you can get. When people click on paid-search ads, they are often looking to buy." Deeper into the numbers, there were some slightly worrying signs. Domestic revenue—which for the first time was less than half of total revenue—totaled $2.54 billion, only 1.2 percent above the previous quarter's figure. Factoring out changes in exchange rates, Google's international sales showed only a 6 percent gain from the previous quarter. While the first quarter is seasonally a slow one, that kind of tepid growth was exactly the kind of metric that in a normal quarter would have gotten investors worried. But this wasn't a normal quarter: All the gloom of the past few months ended up setting the bar so low that Google could nimbly hop over it. In short, Google is doing relatively well in a rough economy. And these days, that's about as good as an investor can hope for. Related Links Google Wins One Google Gets Its Ad Deal. Google's Fortune Cookie Says...


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Knives Out at Citi
(Portfolio.com: News and Markets)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:00:00 AM

Merrill's Mire
The write-downs for the first quarter was not as bad as some estimates, and the loss was smaller than the $10 billion hit in the fourth quarter of 2007. Still, Citigroup's quarter was a complete reversal of a year ago. It reported a loss of $5.1 billion, or $1.02 per share, compared with a profit of $5 billion, or $1.01 per share, in the quarter a year earlier. The loss was wider than analysts' estimates. Revenue slumped 48 percent, to $13.22 billion. The bank took $12.1 billion in writedowns: $6 billion on investments related to subprime mortgages, $3.1 billion on leveraged loans, $1.5 on its exposure to bond insurers, and $1.5 billion on its inventory of auction-rate securities. Citi is also accounting for an increase of $3.1 billion in credit costs tied to consumer lending. "This is the quarter they get to clear the decks," Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co., told Reuters. "Vikram Pandit is coming in and making pretty big changes, and that's what he gets to do. It's a cathartic quarter." Related Links Wall Street Euphemism Watch Good Morning on Wall Street Phibro: Beneficiary of Citi's Benign Neglect

Citigroup is preparing for more surgery as it reports another big quarterly loss and additional write-downs as a result of the credit crunch. On a conference call today, the bank says that it will be cutting an additional 9,000 jobs. Citi has already been cutting jobs—more than 4,000 announced earlier this year—reorganizing businesses and selling some units, like Diners Club. Vikram Pandit, the chief executive of Citi, said that there will be more changes to come. "As we move into the second quarter and beyond, we will continue to divest nonstrategic assets and allocate capital to the products and regions that will drive increased revenues, enhance the value of our franchise, and ultimately, maximize shareholder value," he said. In an interview with the Financial Times, Pandit indicated that deep job cuts are coming. "It is clearly feasible for us to take 10, 15, 20 percent off our cost base, especially in information technology and operations," Pandit told the paper. That would mean tens of thousands of jobs lost worldwide. Wall Street would take the brunt of it.

The financial industry has already been busy retrenching. Lehman Brothers is reducing its workforce by 5 percent, and Morgan Stanley is cutting several thousand jobs. And perhaps as many as two thirds of Bear Stearns' 14,000 employees will lose their jobs when J.P. Morgan Chase completes its takeover of the firm. When there is a freeze on Wall Street jobs, the New York economy—and real estate, art sales, and luxury goods—certainly feel a chill. Although Wall Street accounts for just 5 percent of the jobs in New York, it provides nearly a quarter of all wages in the city. With Citigroup, Pandit is trying to prune a sprawling global giant that was created a decade ago by the merger of Citicorp and Sandy Weill's Travelers. As Jesse Eisinger detailed in Condé Nast Portfolio, the bank has staggered under its own weight, suffering from high costs, a lack of coordination among operations, and underinvestment in technology and businesses. Since taking over in December, Pandit has been reviewing the bank's operations and has already moved to cut back its holdings of leveraged loans and its mortgage exposure. The bank has raised more than $30 billion in capital and has cut its dividend.

(Portfolio.com: News and Markets)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 4:00:00 AM

World Is Their Oyster
(Portfolio.com: News and Markets)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:00:00 AM

Earnings reports from I.B.M., Google, and General Electric have shown that the world economy, particularly in Asian and emerging markets, is still churning ahead—even as the U.S. economy is slowing down. That trend is underscored today by Caterpillar, which sells the tractors, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment used to build infrastructure in rapidly industrializing countries. Its first-quarter earnings rose 13 percent, more than expected, to $922 million, or $1.45 per share, compared with $816 million, or $1.23 per share, in the quarter a earlier. Sales climbed 18 percent, to $11.8 billion. Sales outside North

America—which now account for 58 percent of Caterpillar's business, up from 53 percent a year ago—rose 30 percent. In North America, sales were up just 4 percent. "Even though we're currently weathering a recessionary storm in the United States, we expect the rest of the world to continue to invest in infrastructure growth well into the next decade," Jim Owens, Caterpillar's chief executive, said. Exporters like Caterpillar have also benefited from the weak dollar, which makes their products more competitively priced abroad. Of the increase in sales this quarter, the impact of the dollar added 17 percent. Strong global demand could generate earnings for a number of American companies that will prove stronger than

current forecasts. And that could buoy stocks, notes Tom Lauricella in the Wall Street Journal. And in a reversal from the last downturn, manufacturing may be among the few winners. "Growth in exports...will tend to put the manufacturing sector in better stead than some other parts of the U.S. economy," Richard Fearon, Eaton's chief financial officer, told the Journal."So this is a little bit the opposite of what happened in 2000 and 2001." Related Links Price Restraint Bulls Find a Voice Deeper Hole at Caterpillar

Well, that was ugly. The first quarter was always expected to be a bad one for Merrill Lynch, and the firm did not disappoint: This is its third consecutive quarterly loss—$1.96 billion, larger than forecasts—with more than $9 billion in write-downs. Also on Portfolio.com: Citi at a Crossroads It's Vikram Pandit's bank now. Can he get past an ugly quarter and lead a turnaround? The Taming of Merrill C.E.O. John Thain survived a power struggle at Goldman Sachs and went on to rescue the New York Stock Exchange. The question now is how its new chief executive, John Thain, can revive a firm battered by the subprime crisis. After an ambitious yet ill-timed expansion to be a more aggressive risk taker, Merrill will become a leaner, more cautious firm. Can it return to the moneymaking machine it once was? The firm is taking a big step toward being leaner, announcing that it will cut 4,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of its workforce. Brokers will be excluded from the round of job cuts. The cuts are expected to generate $800 million in annual savings. Merrill reported a loss from continuing operations of $1.97 billion, or $2.20 per share, compared with earnings of $2.03 billion, or $2.12 per share in the quarter a year earlier. Net revenue, or revenue minus interest expenses, fell 69 percent, to $2.9 billion, lower than forecasts. Net revenue was impacted by writedowns of $1.5 billion tied to collateralizeddebt obligations and $3 billion on hedges provided by bond insurers, as well as write -downs on leveraged loans. On its balance sheet, the firm also took

another $3.1 billion in write-downs on securities tied to Alt-A residential mortgage securities, the next step up from subprime. Merrill Lynch recorded some $25 billion of write-downs last year, and Thain's first task was to scramble to raise more than $12 billion in new capital. "Despite this quarter's loss, Merrill Lynch's underlying businesses produced solid results in a difficult market environment," Thain said in a statement. "The firm's $82 billion excess liquidity pool has increased from year-end levels, and we remain well-capitalized." Still, because of the missteps it took in buying and securitizing mortgages, "Mother Merrill" has become the weak old lady of Wall Street. Can Thain revive her? Gary Weiss in Condé Nast Portfolio notes, "Thain is no stranger to either the intricacies of mortgage bonds or the delicate job of extricating firms from selfcreated trading fiascoes." "The firm is fixable—if. And the ifs pile up on one another. If Thain can salvage Merrill's reputation amid the multiple investigations, including a criminal probe by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. If the credit crunch doesn't worsen, turning the firm's billions of dollars in derivatives exposure into a time bomb. If Thain can nurture Merrill's cash cows—its brokers and investment bankers—in a murderous economy. And last and most delicate, if he can foster a climate of trust and respect in a company with more than its share of sensitive egos." Related Links The Taming of Merrill Lynch When Banks Don't Manage Their Bankers' Risks Broker Defense: If It Ain't Broke, We're Not Liable

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Cuomo Dusts Off the Spitzer Playbook
(Portfolio.com: News and Markets)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 1:30:00 PM

Thank Google!
(Portfolio.com: News and Markets)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 1:30:00 PM

Wall Street might want to quiet its chortling over former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's recent turn of events. His prosecutorial legacy appears to be alive and well in the form of Andrew Cuomo. Current New York Attorney General Cuomo has sent subpoenas to 18 banks to find out more about how they sold auctionrate securities, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. And even more subpoenas are in the works. Auction-rate securities are long-term municipal bonds that were widely considered to be like cashlike, liquid investments until their market froze in February due to a lack of buyers. Because the bonds' rates reset at auction every week or month, corporate and individual investors used them as a place to park their money. But now they can't access that money since they can't sell the securities.

Cuomo is allegedly looking at how the banks, including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and UBS, marketed the securities to investors, as well as how they pitched them to municipalities as a way to help them raise money. The municipalities, such as cities, schools, and transportation agencies, are often stuck paying high rates on the bonds when their auctions fail. Separately, regulators from nine states announced today that they have joined forces to investigate the collapse of the auction-rate securities market. "We're all getting complaints on a daily basis from retail investors and they all have the same the story: They were told by their brokers these were as safe as cash and they're not," Bryan Lantagne, the securities division director for Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin, told Bloomberg News. But, echoing the prosecutorial style of his predecessor Spitzer, Cuomo isn't part of the group effort. New York is the only state that grants its attorney general the privilege of bringing criminal charges

related to securities cases, thanks to a law called the Martin Act. His counterparts in other states have civil authority in such matters. Spitzer used his criminal authority (and headline-making powers) to skewer Wall Street banks and their research practices after the dotcom bubble burst. He also went after them for their trading practices in mutual funds. This latest matter provides one more example of how tough times for Wall Street often end up being lucrative times for Wall Street lawyers. The banks are already facing a plethora of investigations and class-action lawsuits related to many of the toxic securities that have led to funds collapsing and the fire sale of Bear Stearns. Related Links Cuomo the Cop Cuomo Stalks Wall Street, Mortgage Edition Wall Street on Spitzer

Gray Lady in the Red
(Portfolio.com: News and Markets)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 6:00:00 AM

Now we know. Google is good to go, go, go. The internet advertising giant shredded worries about a decline in the number of people clicking on its text ads by posting a 42 percent jump in revenue in the first three months of the year compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue in the first quarter of 2008 rose 7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007, the company said. Earnings climbed more than 8 percent over that period. Beating Up on Google Who's duping whom in a fight over the F.C.C.'s recent wireless frequencies auction? Read More Earnings per share climbed to $4.12 from $3.18 in the same period a year earlier. Excluding special items, earnings per share came in at $4.84, compared with $4.43 in the fourth quarter of 2007. That $4.84 hit targets that analysts had set in January, before news of slower clickthrough growth led them to cut their estimates to $4.52 this week, according to

Thomson Financial. Google shares rocketed by 10 percent in the minutes after the better-than-expected results were released. Google reported revenue of $5.19 billion for the quarter ended March 31. Net income rose to $1.31 billion in the quarter from $1.21 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007. Aggregate paid clicks increased about 20 percent over the first quarter of 2007 and roughly 4 percent over the fourth quarter of 2007, Google said. Related Links How Now Dow? Google Surges, but Comes Up Shy EBay Beats Estimates, Lifts Outlook

Things have officially gone from bad to worse at the New York Times Co. A weak advertising market drove the media company to swing into the red during the first quarter. It reported a loss of $335,000 versus earnings of $26.9 million during the same period last year. Excluding special charges, it earned $0.04 cents per share, which is well below Wall Street's $0.14 per share expectation. Revenue fell 5 percent to $748 million. "Advertising revenues decreased in the quarter as weaker economic conditions compounded the effects of secular change in our business," said chief executive Janet Robinson in a statement. Also on Portfolio.com: Troubled Times Full coverage of the

battle for the board of America's most influential newspaper. There were a few positive numbers, however. Online advertising rose 16 percent in the quarter, and circulation managed to eke out a 2 percent gain. But total advertising revenues fell more than 9 percent. Operating profits at its newsmedia group plunged 78 percent. Earlier this week, the New York Times said it expects to lay off some of its newsroom staff as part of a cost-cutting effort. It first offered buyouts to employees, but it failed to get enough volunteers to reach the head count it needs to reduce. During the quarter, the company avoided a proxy fight with an investor group led by activist investor Scott Galloway and the hedge fund Harbinger Capital. The New York Times agreed to add two board seats

to accommodate two of the investor nominations. Shareholders will vote on the board at the company's annual meeting next week. The company expects the advertising slump to continue, and it anticipates reporting a decline in the "mid-single digits" for April, according to Robinson. "During the balance of the year, we plan to stay focused on what we do best—producing high-quality journalism, introducing new products in print and online, and stringently managing our costs.” Related Links Sulzberger Strikes Back Funds Put the Screws to Stubborn 'Times' Hoping for a Fed Encore

TV Stations About To Make A Bad Bet On Mobile Broadcast TV
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 7:34:00 PM

Every few months over the past few years, we've heard stories about how some companies somewhere were betting on people watching broadcast television on their mobiles. The problem, however, is that it's always been companies betting on the phenomenon -- and not users clamoring for it. And, despite wild predictions from analyst firms who sell their reports to eager companies who want to convince their investors that something big is coming, almost every real world test has shown that people just aren't that interested in watching broadcast TV on their mobile phones. Sure, there are some people who will watch it, but two things that don't

seem to go together all that well are "broadcast television" and "being mobile." Broadcast television is a "lean back" technology that you watch when you can sit back and relax. That generally doesn't fit with being mobile. Yet, despite all of these problems, it seems that a bunch of television networks are, once again, betting that people will want to access broadcast television from their mobile phones, despite little evidence to support that notion. A lot of money is going to get spent (and lost) before all of these companies realize they should have focused on offering something that people actually want. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story



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Tools For Your Video Career
By Duncan Riley (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 9:07:07 PM

Very few would argue with the statement that video is hot right now. From the cultural phenomenon of YouTube, through to the rise of live streaming services, money is pouring into startups from content creators through to service providers. Getting into video isn’t as easy as setting up a blog, so here’s some advice of which direction to head in. The basics Obviously you’ll need a camera to get started in video; if you’re a Mac user you might have a cam built in, but if not web cam’s are fairly cheap. Alternatively people like Chris Pirillo stream from a professional video camera, but even a second hand older model can also work, for both live and recorded shows to computer. For camera effects, CamTwist for the Mac is free and fully featured with effects such as text, clocks, image overlays, Picture in Picture, and much more. Fix8(our coverage here) offers cartoon style overlays if animation or funny faces are more your thing. Recording You’ll have two ways of recording a video: local or to the web. Local could directly on to a camcorder through to Quicktime or something in-between. Quicktime Pro (between $30-$45) does the recording and it’s a quick and easy solution. To the web means recording your video directly to a website; the advantages are that you don’t have to upload it and it’s available immediately, however depending on your internet connection the recording quality can be significantly poorer than recording a video locally and uploading it. YouTube offers the direct recording option and is an obvious candidate, but the Live streaming services also allow you to record to their services and even distribute your

video out to sites like YouTube later. I’ve also found that the quality of the live stream services can often be higher in recording than YouTube. Streaming Live Live in the newest sector in online video with venture capital being spread around a range of services. Live offers some advantages over doing recorded video alone (although they are not mutually exclusive); streaming live means you can interact with and network with your audience while creating archive footage than can be distributed later. Companies in this space include Justin.tv, Ustream.tv, Mogulus, BlogTV, Stickam and others. All of the services have strengths and weaknesses and you should explore each one, but if you haven’t got time for that I’d recommend Justin.tv or Ustream.tv. Ustream.tv is attracting the professional, higher quality streaming shows so if you want to be in that space, you’ll be well positioned. Their tool set including full video conversion makes for a solid product. Justin.tv has a slant towards a younger, Gen Y audience, and if you’re pitching more to that audience it’s the better place to be. I also found when testing both that Justin.tv was more reliable for streaming quality from outside of the United States, and at times Ustream.tv was unusable for me, even on a 14mb down, 1mb up ADSL2 connection; you wouldn’t experience this in the US however. Of the others, Mogulus has a stronger emphasis on professional video and doesn’t have the strong community yet, BlogTV has a lot of potential, and Stickam seems to be dominated by soft porn, at least when I visited it. Distribution I asked Chris Pirillo for some tips for this post and one of his key points was simply: “you must understand that (a) It’s all about YouTube, and (b) It’s all about YouTube.”

Like it or not YouTube dominates online video today more than Google dominates search in the United States. Other video bloggers I’ve spoken to suggest distribution to many sites, but always making sure YouTube is top of the list. TubeMogul is one the oldest of the video distribution sites, and is simple to use and free. You upload your video to their servers, enter you user name and password for a list of sites (first time only) then press the button and off they go. TubeMogul also tracks traffic statistics from each site so you can see which videos are being watched there. An alternative service is Hey!Spread(our review here). The other consideration in distribution is getting your video onto other devices, like iPods. The key is to provide the correct file type and feed for services such as iTunes. You can do it manually with a WordPress plugin and by making sure the file is available on your server in the correct format, or you can use Blip.tv. We’ve covered the occasional content deal on Blip.tv but we’ve never seriously looked at their distribution platform, and it’s the reason shows like Rocketboom, Mahalo Daily and Moblogic are using Blip.tv. On top of the obvious video hosting everyone in this space provides, Blip.tv also offers distribution to external blogs (including an automatic option), the Internet Archive, de.licio.us (links), Flickr (pics from the video), Adobe Media Player, MySpace, Twitter (text alerts), Facebook, Yahoo Video, AOL Video, Akimbo, Lycos Mix, MeeVee, MeFeedia, Meebo, Blinkx, Splashcast, Pando and the

most important one of all: iTunes. Blip.tv offers an iTunes subscription feed and file conversion service; users do have to manually go to the dashboard within Blip.tv and request the file conversion on a free account, but with a premium account ($8/ mth or $80/ yr) get the conversion done automatically. A premium account also has other benefits, such as priority file transcoding that in my testing made it the quickest service available (that is time from when the video was uploaded until it was ready to view). There was an argument between Ze Frank and Rocketboom a year or two back where Ze Frank disputed Rocketboom’s viewer numbers as they were reporting 10x the traffic of Ze’s The Show. The key to Rocketboom’s success has always been distribution, and for a long time you couldn’t open a media player without seeing Rocketboom pre-loaded. Distribution is key, and combining services like TubeMogul and Blip.tv make it a lot easier. Content Chris Pirillo told me that the key is to make sure every video has something different, and that you should use supportive text with each video posted as Google loves text. Ultimately what you decide to create is up to you: it may be something simple like a web cam chat, or you may want to get more creative. We cant tell you what will work for you, but the easiest way to start is to get on YouTube and just see what different people are doing, you’re sure to find something to inspire you. Crunch Network: MobileCrunch Mobile Gadgets and Applications, Delivered Daily.

German Startup Nails Pre-Launch Marketing Gimmick
By Michael Arrington (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:01:06 AM

Giving Away Spoilers Isn't Copyright Infringement
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 10:11:00 PM

We pointed to some of JK Rowling's questionable testimony in the case against a publisher of a guide book to the Harry Potter universe -- where she made a bunch of emotional claims that had little to do

with copyright. In wrapping up the case, she again made contradictory claims, backing away from earlier claims of the book being "wholesale theft" to saying that she wasn't so against the book if it only didn't quote so much of the book. But the much odder part of the case was the closing testimony from the lawyer

representing Warner Brothers (who owns the Harry Potter IP rights), claiming that the real harm was that the Harry Potter Lexicon gives away spoilers and that people might say: "You know what? I guess I don't really need the rest of the Harry Potter books because I just read the big giveaways." First of all, that seems

unlikely -- but more importantly, giving away spoilers is not copyright infringement. Once again, it seems like WB/Rowling keep appealing to emotional arguments rather than anything having to do with the actual law. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

No one knows much about what German startup Popula is building. But German tech blogs can’t stop writing about their pre-launch video marketing gimmick. The Popula home page says (in German) only“Popula is an event calendar of all for all. Whether party, concert or children’s birthday. Here you will find what you are interested. Register now and test!” People who’ve email them for more information hear nothing back. All visitors can do is enter their email address and wait for more information. Or, they can read the Popula blog, which has just three entries. Two of those three are the videos linked above, titled The Early Adopter Song! (Part 1) and The Early Adopter Song! (Part 2), featuring songs about early adopters and beta testers, along with images of bloggers, entrepreneurs and other people in the startup community. German bloggers can’t stop posting the videos and speculating about what the service might be. And all those links are creating enough buzz and driving enough traffic to the unlaunched site that it’s almost as large as some competitive startups ( Alexa thinks it has a larger reach than Socializr, for example). And since the company won’t respond to email inquiries, the speculation grows. Would the same gimmick work in the U.S.? No - people might think it was entertaining but it likely would be drowned out in the noise of startup news (I think it would have worked in 2005 though). But in Germany, a which has a much smaller tech startup community and an odd taste when it comes to entertainment, it seems to have hit a nerve. Thanks to Jessica Neuhaus for the tip. CrunchBase Information Popula Information provided by CrunchBase Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.

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Tech* Gossip*


Yahoo Tweaks Its (Advertising) Algorithm
By Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:53:58 AM

Did Yahoo just raise its prices for search ads? Yesterday, Yahoo made a significant change to its advertising bidding system by removing the minimum bid for sponsored search keywords. The minimum bid used to be $0.10 per keyword. Now, the minimum bid will be set more dynamically based on two factors: the quality of the advertiser and the value of the keyword. In theory, advertisers whose ads are clicked on more often will be rewarded with lower minimum bid requirements. But the past popularity of a keyword also goes into the equation, so a keyword that has been bid up in the past could also result in a higher minimum bid. So minimum bids have now become dynamic, and no single advertiser really knows what they are until they put in their bid for a specific keyword. Already some search advertisers are complaining that their minimum bids have gone up 2X to 4X overnight. At this point, that is just anecdotal evidence. We will have to wait until the end of this quarter to

see if the change has had any material impact on Yahoo’s revenues. What is curious about this move is that it suggests that many keywords on Yahoo get bought at the minimum price, without any real competitive bidding going on. After all, if at least two advertisers are bidding for a keyword that means the minimum bid is no longer an issue. So it makes you wonder how effective Yahoo ad auction system is as a market. For a market to exist, there needs to be at least two bidders. Conversely, the advertisers with the highest click through rates will now be in a position to buy up keywords below the point where lesser advertisers even hit their minimum bid. And that is not really a market either. For instance, if TechCrunch is awarded a minimum bid of $0.06 for the term “startup” and a Silicon Valley law firm needs to pay $0.15 for the same term (I am just making these up), TechCrunch

could buy up the term all day at $0.06 if the law firm does not bid its $0.15. In that scenario, there would be even less competition than if everyone had the same minimum bid. But maybe Yahoo does not care so much about creating a market as it does about improving the quality of the ads on Yahoo search. Any Yahoo advertisers out there seeing their prices go up? Any seeing their prices go down? Is this a good move for Yahoo ora bad one? Please share in comments. Yahoo's new minimum bid policy for search ads will . . . • Amounts to a price increase across the board • Result in more relevant ads, but revenue impact will be a wash • Will result in lower ad revenues for Yahoo View Results CrunchBase Information Yahoo! Information provided by CrunchBase Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.

Turns Out It's The Kids Who Don't Play Video Games Who Are Most At Risk
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:01:04 AM

Time and time again we see headlines blaring out about how dangerous violent video games are, with politicians insisting they need to do something to "protect the children." However, every time you look closely at the research, you discover there's no real evidence that violent video games lead to violent behavior. At best, the research appears to show that violent video games makes kids emotional and excited (which... er... is what they're supposed to do) and that might lead to very slightly more aggressive behavior for a very short time. And, of course, the most damning evidence against the claim that violent video games leads to more violence is that violent crimes keep dropping as violent video games get more popular. Video gaming site Kotaku is highlighting a video interview of two Harvard professors who

have written a book called Grand Theft Childhood that reviews plenty of the previously done research, as well as contributes additional research. Most of their findings support exactly what we've noticed. The previous studies don't really show an impact. But, the most interesting point is made towards the end of the video interview. In looking at boys who are more "at risk" of getting into trouble, it's the ones who don't play video games at all who show a statistically significant greater likelihood of getting into trouble, suggesting that playing video games is part of a boy's normal social setting. To be fair, the study also found that kids who played almost exclusively violent or mature video games for very long periods of time were also more at risk -- though, with no evidence of causality. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

Pageflakes Acquisition Confirmed
By Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:58:20 AM

Geraldo is Not Funny
share percentages. I do think that the number of traditional personalized start pages that can co-exist as standalone sites (not affiliated with a distribution network) is pretty small. In other words, maybe he should have stayed at Yahoo—or Google (where he also worked briefly). The other thing you’ve got to wonder is: What will the half -life of start pages be in a Friendfeed world? CrunchBase Information LiveUniverse Pageflakes Netvibes Dan Cohen Brad Greenspan Information provided by CrunchBase Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

The personalized start page is dead. Long live the personalized start page. Pageflakes, a nice-looking but perennial also-ran in the world of start-page startups, has been officially acquired by Brad Greenspan’s Live Universe, a deal we reported earlier this week. Terms were not disclosed, but it was a combination of cash and stock. Pageflakes CEO Dan Cohen will remain in charge of the business and help to integrate it into LiveVideo, as well as continue to maintain it as a separate site. Despite its easy of use and appealing UI, Pageflakes never really took off. ComScore measured only 50,000 unique U.S. visitors in March, compared to 1.4

million for competitor Netvibes. (And 191,000 uniques worldwide in February, versus 2.4 million for Netvibes). iGoogle had 7.4 million U.S. visitors in March, and My Yahoo had 19 million. But Cohen, who used to run My Yahoo, argues that the difference has more to do with distribution deals than organic growth and that linking up with Live Universe will give Pageflakes the distribution it needs. Says Cohen: A lot of the growth in the personalized start page category has historically been kickstarted and is still derived from internal and external distribution deals, not organic or viral growth. The original My Yahoo of ten years ago received an incredible amount of traffic from the main Yahoo.com portal (and it still does), and the same went for iGoogle when it

By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:13:10 PM

launched in 2005 - that little “iGoogle” link in the upper right hand corner of the standard Google.com page was the engine that drove (and continues to drive) traffic to the site. Comscore shows that even our friends at Netvibes derive most of their current traffic from one deal, the my.alot.com white-label page they did with MIVA, and didn’t experience any growth until that deal occurred last fall. In short, to really thrive in this category, you need big distribution deals with generous revenue

Geraldo Rivera sat in on Fox and Friends, but probably won’t be back. Geraldo can’t hide his hatred for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Everyone on the set looked highly uncomfortable. Kind of like when someone lets a really smelly fart, and it’s so bad they are the only one who thinks its funny. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 20062008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • Arnold Schwarzenegger Replaces Eastwood and Shriver • Arnold Schwarzenegger Frozen Expression • Arnold Schwarzenegger Breaks Down • Eunice Kennedy Shriver Hospitalized • Arnold Schwarzenegger Says Marijuana is Not a Drug



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Austrian City Demands YouFig Community People Switch Phones To Collaboration Tools Enter Silent Mode On Public Transit Public Beta
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 1:33:01 PM

FTC May Get Involved In Patent Dispute Over Digital TV
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 11:46:03 AM

It looks like politicians worldwide have decided to step in to try to stop rude mobile phone behavior. Just after we pointed to US politicians looking to ban the (already banned) use of mobile phones on airplanes, the mayor of the Austrian city of Graz, has said that commuters must switch their mobile phones to silent mode on public transportation. From the sound of it, this isn't so much a law, as a voluntary suggestion. The mayor says that police won't be going after anyone who fails to follow the rule. It's a little unclear from the AP article whether or not this is only supposed to prevent phones from ringing or if it's also meant to keep people from talking on the phone as well. Either way, it's unlikely to work. As the article also notes, Sweden recently did away with special "cell phone free" zones on public transportation because "it didn't really work." Meanwhile, New York City had pushed for mobile phone etiquette laws years ago, but it's not clear if it's ever enforced. This does raise some interesting questions. Clearly, plenty of people are

quite annoyed by the way others use mobile phones in public. In fact, there was an amusing study a few years back that showed nearly everyone gets annoyed at others for rude phone behavior, but when asked about their own behavior insist that they are never a problem. However, it does seem that even when people recognize the rudeness of others on mobile phones, if they're told to stop using their own mobile phone, it sets off a bit of mobile rage from people who feel unfairly restricted. I used to think that rude behavior on mobile phones was mostly due to people who were mobile phone "newbies" and didn't quite realize that there were better ways to use the phone, but that doesn't seem to be the case either. So, is there a solution? Do we need laws to stop people from "rude" mobile phone behavior? Would they even work? Would education about mobile phone etiquette work instead? Or, should we all just learn to deal with the fact that sometimes, when we go out, there will be mobile phones ringing and people talking on them? My guess is that that last scenario (i.e., we just get used to the way it is) is most likely. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

By Jason Kincaid (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 7:30:16 PM

YouFig is a free social platform for collaboration that just entered public beta. During its closed beta period, which started in January, it saw activity in over sixty communities including one used by an internal Cisco team. While there are a number of similar (and more feature complete) competitors already available, YouFig hopes to set itself apart by emphasizing security and an improved social networking experience. YouFig centers on small, quick widgets that can be manipulated in realtime alongside a user list and chat window. So far the site’s widgets include editable documents, file downloads, and games. YouFig’s API allows developers to design their own widgets, which can be used on and off the site. While it’s good that there’s an API, YouFig is currently notably lacking in several features that can already be found on competitors’ sites, such as spreadsheets and calendars (though both, we’re told, will be implemented soon). In catering toward large corporations and universities, YouFig has included support for a matchmaking system that analyzes usage behavior and recommends possible

co-workers for collaboration. They have placed a heavy emphasis on privacy and security, using proxies to help secure widgets that interact with external sites such as YouTube. In practice, the site’s widgets seem to work well, though it is difficult to tell how useful they will be in a work environment many may choose to use more robust editors like those included on Google Documents. That said, the community features have been thought through and the site’s accessible design could help it gain a following outside of the corporate world. YouFig sees its greatest competition in Jive Software and 37 Signals. The Israeli company has raised $268k in funding, the majority of which has come from ICQ founding investor Yossi Vardi. CrunchBase Information YouFig 37signals Jive Software Information provided by CrunchBase Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.

Back in February we wrote about a patent holding firm called Rembrandt (a nod, I'm sure, to the book "Rembrandts in the Attic," which many say kicked off this decade's patent problems) that was suing basically everyone in the TV business, claiming to hold patents on digital television. This was problematic for a few reasons. First, since the FCC is mandating that everyone switch to fully digital TV systems by next year, broadcasters have little choice but to offer digital TV. Second, Rembrandt bought the patent from AT&T who had already promised to license it under RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms which Rembrandt is ignoring. Since the FTC recently smacked down another patent holder for doing the same thing, an advocacy group is now appealing to the FTC to smack down Rembrandt as well, claiming that the company is "violating antitrust and fair competition laws by abusing the monopoly provided by its patent" in order to collect "a massive tax... on the transition to digital TV." Indeed. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

Secret Merger Talks Between Technorati And b5media Blow Up
By Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:06:19 AM

Blog search engine Technorati was days away from merging with blog network b5media when the whole deal blew up earlier this week, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Technorati has been searching for a new strategy ever since it appointed CEO Richard Jalichandra last October. It was recently trying to raise an additional round of financing, and pitching venture capitalists that it could turn itself into a

blog advertising network and/or even pursue a blog roll-up strategy. The talks with Toronto-based b5media (they’re big in Canada) indicate that it is taking the blog roll-up idea more seriously than we previously thought. If the merger with b5media had gone through, Technorati would have gained a network of 340 blogs. One of the slides in the pitch deck Technorati was showing potential investors (shown above) outlines how a roll-up strategy could be combined with an ad network. Technorati would use its search engine to promote owned-and-

operated blogs. It would sell ads using its own sales force instead of third-party ad

networks for an “immediate 30-50% revenue bump” and sell across its network. According to our source, the deal with b5media never went through, though, because of personality conflicts between the CEOs and a lack of transparency on Technorati’s part during due diligence. At least that is how the b5media side sees it. Prior to its dalliance with Technorati, b5media was itself trying to raise another venture round that would put a $20 million valuation on the company. But there were no takers. So b5media started talking to potential merger partners or acquirers

(including at one point Federated Media Publishing). A combination with Technorati could have made both Technorati and b5media more appealing to later-stage venture investors. But now the two need to keep looking for other options before their time (and cash) runs out. CrunchBase Information Technorati b5media Information provided by CrunchBase Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.

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Tech* Tech Tips*


Judge Decides That Grand Blockbuster Sued For Theft Auto's Hot Coffee Mod Revealing Movie Rental Info To Facebook's Beacon Didn't Deceive Shareholders
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 10:00:05 AM

MPAA Decides Pullmylink.com Doesn't Have Enough Publicity
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:35:00 AM

There was plenty of people upset by Facebook's original "Beacon" advertising system, that automatically connected information on purchases to your "news feed" and broadcasted them to all your Facebook friends -- but now we'll find out if some of that activity was illegal. One of the initial participating companies was Blockbuster, who automatically fed information to Facebook about what movies you had rented. It turns out that there's a specific federal law against revealing info about movie rentals (who knew?). The Videotape Privacy Protection Act was apparently passed by Congress after Supreme Court Appointee Robert Bork's videotape rentals were revealed

while he was being reviewed by Congress. While plenty of folks don't know about this law, you would think that it would be pretty near the top of the list of laws that a company like Blockbuster would be familiar with. Yet, it seems to not have occurred to anyone there that automatically feeding movie rental info to Facebook might violate that law. However, it appears someone else did recognize this and has now sued Blockbuster for violating the law. Not surprisingly, the plan is to turn this into a class action lawsuit. Thanks to the specifics of this particular law, it's unlikely that other Beacon participants violated this law, but it's only a matter of time until class action lawyers figure out some other law they probably violated. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 2:16:00 AM

Hidden " easter eggs" are quite common. These are little things hidden within software, often for the amusement of the programmers. In video games, it's often fun to try to find these hidden parts. It's really kind of a tradition for some. However, folks who didn't quite understand this freaked out a few years back, when the "Hot Coffee" mod/hidden content was revealed within the game Grand Theft Auto. This was a special modification to the game that would unlock a hidden part of the game allowing players to (gasp!) participate in consensual intercourse. It was such a big deal that various Senators proposed laws to prevent

such a thing from ever happening again. And, there was even a class action for all those people"damaged" by this mod. And, because no moral outrage directed at companies is complete without a shareholder class action lawsuit, there was one of those as well -- accusing the company of somehow "misleading shareholders" with Hot Coffee. Luckily a judge has realized how ridiculous this is and has dismissed that particular claim in the shareholder lawsuit. Phew. Now software developers will be able to keep adding easter eggs and hidden content without a special explanation for all shareholders. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

ChunkIt—Yet Another Search Plug-In. Yawn.
By Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 11:33:35 AM

Facebook Rewords Mini-Feed Notification, Privacy Issue Remains
By Jason Kincaid (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 10:10:44 AM

The MPAA really is somewhat dense sometimes, isn't it? Despite the fact that every time it sues some website for linking to unauthorized content, that site ends up with a ton more traffic, the MPAA keeps on suing. These lawsuits don't slow the pace of unauthorized sharing one bit, but they do generate a ton of publicity for the activity the MPAA thinks it's "cracking down" on. The latest is Pullmylink.com. It's a site I've never heard of, but thanks to a brand new lawsuit from the MPAA, plenty of people are learning all about the site. Even worse, like some of its ilk, Pullmylink appears not to actually host any infringing content. It merely links to it -which makes the claims of copyright infringement even more questionable. Surprisingly, even the Reuters report notes how questionable this is, quoting people pointing out that making linking illegal has all sorts of unintended consequences. In the meantime, the folks at Pullmylink should be happy. They're about to get a ton more traffic. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

I am sorry, but making search better does not entail making me do more work. That seems to be the philosophy behind ChunkIt, a browser-plug-in that enhances your searches on Google, Yahoo, and other engines. It opens up a new pane that takes up half your screen and gives you a preview of the page behind each link, with a text summary (AKA “chunk”) and your keyword and similar concepts highlighted. It takes the idea of the visual preview that you see on Snap, SearchMe, or ManagedQ and replaces it with a text-heavy preview that forces you to skim through the chunk to see if the link is relevant. For my money, an actual image of what the page looks like usually conveys more information at a glance than a summary of

the text. ChunkIt debuts today in private beta as the latest product from TigerLogic,previously known as Raining Data Corporation, a money-losing enterprise data management software company. Check out the beta of ChunkIt and let us know what you think, but don’t expect it to redefine search as we know it. CrunchBase Information TigerLogic Chunkit SearchMe ManagedQ Information provided by CrunchBase Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

Facebook has reworded the notification that appears when a user hits the ‘x’ associated with stories in their Mini-Feed. The dialog box now simply reads, “Hiding will remove the story from your MiniFeed.” The change comes four days after we reported on the misleading nature of the old dialog box. Previously, the box stated that by removing a story, users would “prevent anyone from seeing it”. Most people assumed this applied both to the Mini-Feed tied to their profile and to the stories that would be sent to their friends, but this was not the case.

Customize Your Outlook Today Pane with Cut-andPaste HTML [Microsoft Outlook Tip]
By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:09:00 AM

This change is clearly a quick fix on Facebook’s part, and it does little to alleviate the real issue at hand. The new notification box may be less misleading, but Facebook users are still left without a way to control which stories are being sent to their friends. CrunchBase Information Facebook Information provided by CrunchBase Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

Your plain vanilla "Outlook Today" screen could be doing a whole lot more for you, especially if you aren't afraid of a little HTML or can get handy with a free page creator. Even if hand-coding's not your thing, the Tech-Recipes blog offers the big blocks of dense code that let you put your inbox, calendar, tasks, and whatever else anywhere you want on a page, leaving room for other stuff you might find useful. Feel free to mess around to your heart's content, because it's also undoable with less than two clicks. Creating Your Own Outlook Today Page[Tech-Recipes.com]


Tech* Gadgets*

Daily -Click and Print- Newspaper

Growing Number Of ISPs Injecting Own Content Into Websites
By Michael Masnick (Techdirt)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 4:48:03 PM

With growing concerns over companies like Phorm and NebuAd enabling ISPs to insert their own ads into your web surfing, some researchers decided to see if this is already happening -- and were surprised to find it more prevalent than they expected. It's still not a huge number, but in tests, they found that there definitely are some ISPs already using such technology to

inject ads, though they tend to be smaller "no name" ISPs. The one big exception was XO Communications -- though XO claims that any ad injections must be done by downstream resellers of its wholesale service. Either way, this ought to raise some questions about what rights ISPs have to get in the middle and alter the data that you requested and which was served by a third party. Permalink| Comments| Email This Story

Holy Facebook, Batman! Let’s fight crime in Manchester, England!
By Mike Butcher (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:01:30 AM

Mark Zuckerburg’s creation has a new role. Fighting crime in Manchester, England. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) (reports TechCrunch UK) has launched a Facebook application which adds local crime alerts to your profile and news feed, getting the news about crime incidents out there to more youthful users

of the Net than is normal for most police operations. Users can submit items via links to GMP on the application, and as

well as news items, and even get GMP’s YouTube videos. The application appears to be the first of its type in the UK (I’m not sure about the world, but it could be a contender for that title). Quite who developed the app is as yet uknown, but I’ll update when I find out. Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

The Brooklyn Museum Lets the Crowd Curate a Show
By Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 10:59:22 AM

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3000 lands in Toshiba Satellite P305, ASUS M50 laptops
By Donald Melanson (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:59:00 AM

These days everyone is a curator. If you talk to any social media entrepreneurs, chances are they will go on and on about how their Website is all about letting people “curate” the Web, whether that’s photos, videos, or news stories. It is usually code for:”Most people are too lazy to actually produce anything, but we let them organize and remix what other people have produced.” Who doesn’t love to remix? Well, now you can actually do some real

curating over the Web. The Brooklyn Museum is putting together a photography exhibit called Click, based on how people evaluate the submissions online. There was an open call for photographs of Brooklyn through March, and now through May 23 anyone can register and vote on the entries. The photos that get the most votes will be shown in an actual exhibit this summer—when the actual curators are at the beach. Crunch Network: CrunchBoard because it’s time for you to find a new Job2.0

Filed under: Laptops AMD wasn't exactly all that specific about exactly when its new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3000 series graphics chips would actually find their way into some laptops when it announced them earlier this year, but it looks like they're now finally starting to trickle out, with new laptops from Toshiba and ASUS now each receiving a boost from 'em. For Toshiba's part, it's squeezed the lower-end ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 into its 17inch Satellite P305 and P305D laptops (pictured at right), with other "select" P305

models also getting the more powerful Mobility Radeon HD 3650 model, which boasts 120 stream processors, a 128-bit memory interface, and 512MB or 1GB of

VRAM depending on the system. ASUS also opted for the higher-end HD 3650, with it landing in the company's 15.4-inch M50 Series M50Sa laptop. Needless to say, however, those aren't the only models in the 3000 series, with the even higherend Radeon HD 3850 and 3870, and 3850 X2 and 3870 X2 dual-core models, apparently also on track, though there doesn't seem to be any word on a release for those just yet. [Thanks, Husar] Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

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LG said to be prepping 16:9 LCD panels for low-cost laptops
By Donald Melanson (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:59:00 AM

NextComputing's rugged Vigor Evo HD flextop has an LCD on its side
By Darren Murph (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:07:00 AM

Dell's 22-inch Crystal LCD monitor gets reviewed, panned
By Darren Murph (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 3:13:00 AM

Filed under: Desktops Under most circumstances, we too would take one glance at the monolith pictured above and scream in horror. But of course, we're entirely sure you're familiar with the wacky machines emerging from NextComputing. The ultra-tough Vigor Evo HD is hailed as the company's "highest performance rugged workstation," and besides offering up a floating chassis which absorbs all sorts of bumps and shocks, it also comes with a 17-inch LCD plastered right on the side. Said panel is

covered with a hard-coated protective screen, and sitting just beneath that is your choice of AMD / Intel processors, up to four PCIe or PCI-X 64-bit slots, a duallayer DVD writer, up to 3TB of internal HDD space and most everything else you'd find in a pre-fab desktop. Of course, it loses the vast majority of its intimidation factor when equipped with the optional wheels / telescoping handle package, but we won't tell anyone if you're not man / woman enough to lug it over your shoulder. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Displays It seems as if Dell reckoned that the Crystal's boyish good looks would be enough to push it into the hands of styleobsessed nationals everywhere, as a scalding review over at Maximum PC asserts that little else beyond that is actually going for it. Said to have exhibited "absurd glare, low grayscale range and fussy touch-buttons" the 22-inch stunner frustrated critics beyond the point of forgiveness. More specifically, the glare

was said to be so bad while watching dark scenes in a film that it "destroyed the picture." To its credit, it did manage to present ultra-vivid colors and an accurate dynamic contrast, but those two bright spots were far from being enough to overcome the negatives. Needless to say, the unit did well to fetch the 5 out of 10 score that was bestowed upon it, and based upon what we're hearing, we'd highly recommend checking one of these out in person before buying this thing on appearances alone. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Laptops 16:9 LCD panels designed for computer use aren't exactly all that uncommon, but this latest batch announced by LG will likely generate a bit more interest than most, especially given that they're apparently intended specifically for use in low-cost laptops. According to DigiTimes, LG will first roll out a standard 16:10 aspect ratio, 8.9-inch panel with a resolution of 1024 x 600 in August, which will then be followed by a 16:9, 10.1-inch panel with a 1024 x 576 resolution in October, and finally a 9.4inch panel of unspecified resolution in April of 2009. Making things even more interesting is that some unspecified "industry sources" say the panels are "expected" to be adopted by Acer and HP for use with their low-cost laptops, and possibly Asustek as well, which will no doubt add plenty of fuel to the next round of Eee PC rumors. [Via Electronista] Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments


Gadgets* Tech Tips*

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Bypass YouTube Restrictions with a URL Hack [Video]
By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 10:00:00 PM

Eee PC-like Deep Blue H1 mini laptop hits the Philippines
By Donald Melanson (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:18:00 AM

Video: Hands-on Samsung's 10 megapixel / 720p NV24HD shooter
By Thomas Ricker (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 3:33:00 AM

Filed under: Digital Cameras Samsung and pretty much everyone else is taking a long hard look at their clumsy UIs as consumer electronics continue to commodify. We've certainly seen that demonstrated with striking effect with the Samsung F480's unfortunately named TouchWiz interface. Now take a look at the UI for Samsung's NV24HD. Besides shooting 720p video, this 10.2 megapixel shooter with 24-mm ultra-wide angle lens

features a series of touch-sensitive buttons surrounding a brilliant 2.5-inch AMOLED display. An interesting twist on the lifeless touch-screens we've seen on other cameras. However, it does so at the expense of screen size on a crowded back panel. Still, we're a bit smitten by the user experience which we quickly got the hang of. See for yourself in the video after the break. Continue reading Video: Hands-on Samsung's 10 megapixel / 720p NV24HD shooter Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Laptops There's certainly no shortage of Eee PC competitors these days, and it looks like another one recently snuck its way into the Philippines, where Blue Digital's diminutive Deep Blue H1 is apparently now on sale. Unlike the Eee PC, this one packs a 1.0GHz VIA Esther processor, though it boasts a similar 7-inch 800 x 480 display, along with 1GB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, and the LinPus

Linux distro as the standard OS, with Windows XP available as an option. Our tipster in Manilla also informs us that while it's only available in basic black at the moment, you'll apparently soon be able to get your choice of white or sky blue models as well. No word on a release anywhere else, unfortunately, but those in the Philippines can snag one for Php 16,995, or just over $400. [Thanks, Alan] Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Find yourself on the wrong side of the ocean (or border) from a U.S.-only YouTube video? Don't want to log in to glimpse a clip that might have content that's "inappropriate for some users"? Both are fairly easy to get around by slightly altering the video's URL, according to the Google Operating System Blog. Most YouTube URLs take the form of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIDEO ID Note the 11-character code at the end, and place it like so: http://www.youtube.com/v/VIDEOID The swift move brings up the widget normally used to play embedded videos—a bit oversized, sometimes, but nicely distractionfree as well. Watch restricted YouTube Videos[Google Operating System]

Enterprising youngster gets himself stuck in a claw machine
By Paul Miller (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:04:00 AM

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets This little kid is on to those scammy claw machines, and decided to take prize collection into his own hands. Unfortunately, he didn't plan that escape route well enough, and ended up stuck

among the machine's bountiful goodies. Words of him meeting a claw-worshiping

alien cult, followed by wild 3D hijinks set to the musical stylings of Randy Newman are totally unfounded. Video is after the break. [Via Tech Digest] Continue reading Enterprising youngster gets himself stuck in a claw machine Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Video: Hands-on Panasonic's DMC-FX500 with 3-inch touchscreen and 720p video
By Thomas Ricker (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:32:00 AM

Filed under: Digital Cameras No doubt, we liked Samsung's 10 megapixel NV24HD camera with 720p video. But we loves us some Panasonic DMC-FX500. It shoots 720p video and 10

megapixel stills just like its Korean competitor only with a 5x, 25-mm wideangle Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens instead of the 24-mm 3.6x zoomer found on the Sammy. Oh, and it brings a bigger 3.0-inch touchscreen too. With the unit already making its way out the door in the US for about $400, we're just waiting to hear

somebody... Bueller? Video hands-on after the break. Continue reading Video: Hands-on Panasonic's DMC-FX500 with 3-inch touchscreen and 720p video Permalink| Email this| Comments about the image quality before grabbing one for ourselves. Reviews please,

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Gadgets* Web 2.0


Get in Free to Mashable and Chi.mp’s Evolve Web 2.0 After Party
By Adam Hirsch (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 10:00:35 AM

Preliminary benchmarks have VIA's Isaiah besting Intel's Atom

AT&T slashing 1.5 percent of workforce
By Paul Miller (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 3:54:00 AM

By Paul Miller (Engadget)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:34:00 AM

Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Networking Facing down a "sluggish" economy and in light of some recent regional acquisitions, AT&T announced today that it'll be cutting about 1.5 percent of its workforce, primarily concentrating on management. The company calls it the

"next step in streamlining its operations," and will shelling out about $375 million in Q1 to make the layoffs happen. According to some dubious maths perpetrated by the Engadget staff, 1.5 percent of AT&T's workforce is about 4,635.75 humans, not a minuscule cut by a long shot. We'd certainly hate to be in Mr. 75 percent's shoes right now. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Laptops You knew this day would come: Intel positioned Atom perfectly to compete with VIA's low-power offerings, and VIA is trying to stay one step ahead in the low power game with its Isaiah processor. Who will be the winner? Well, we'd say it's still

a little early to call it, but German site Eee PC News did some quick and dirty benchmarks that show Isaiah on top by a decent margin. At this point the numbers are just in "ALU" and "FPU," but hopefully some real world benchmarks from some retail products can clear this up before long. Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

YouTube Announces Enforcement Policy Changes
By Sean P. Aune (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 9:36:03 AM

YouTube is updating their policies regarding site violations, and they seem fairly level headed. First up is a change to how long strikes last on your account for violations of community guidelines. Under the old system, someone getting two strikes over the course of a year, and were facing a third, carried the same weight as someone getting those same three strikes in one week. The policy is not that your strikes roll off of your account after six months, allowing for more “human error” type

occurrences. Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes, but if you do them in rapid succession, more than likely it was intentional. Accounts that had two warnings as of April 16th, 2008 have had those strikes erased and will now fall under the new policy. Two other changes they’ve set up include you will now be notified of video removals upon logging in to the site as well as receiving an email. YouTube realizes their notifications sometimes get caught caught in spam filters, so they are hoping this will rectify that problem some. Also, users who get two strikes in a sixmonth period for community violations

will also now be “muted” for two-weeks. You will still be able to use the site to watch videos, but you will not be able to upload new content during your muting. As with any large site’s policy changes, there are sure to be those who don’t feel the new ones are fair, so they are encouraging the community to give them feedback on these new rules. Personally, I think they sound pretty fair and even handed, especially the rolling system for strikes. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Google’s Latest Blog Addresses Public

Policy Issues RCMP Says: Piracy OK (for Personal Use) Google Will Now Remove Street Views Maps Photos with Your Face First Round of Upgrades for GoogleAcquired Postini Highlights from CNN/YouTube Debates FBI to Create International Cyber-Law Enforcement Agency Breasts on YouTube, Archive.org Sued, Ask Turns Evil

Mashable and Chi.mp’s Evolve, the “official” Web 2.0 Expo after party on April 23rd, 2008 at Mighty in San Francisco is only a few days away. This is the last chance we’ll be offering to get into the party for free. What: Evolve: Web 2.0 Expo After Party Who: Co-hosted by Chi.mp and Mashable Where: Mighty, 119 Utah Street, San Francisco When: 7:00 - 10:00 PM, Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 (Open to all Conference Badge Holders after 10pm) RSVP?: Tickets are on sale at $10/ticket, however, as a final offer to our readers, the first 150 users to use the code “ChimpMash” will pay nothing! Register here./strong> Mashable is proud to announce a media sponsorship for the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco from April 22-25, 2008. Mashable readers can take $100 off the pass by registering with coupon code “websf08ob16. See our post for more information… --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Evolve Announcing Evolve: Mashable and Chi.mp’s Web 2.0 Expo After Party Web 2.0 Expo Ticket Giveaway San Francisco Reporter Wanted Kaneva’s Virtual Dance Party Starts Tonight MyPunchbowl Adds Halloween-Inspired Features, Launches Facebook App RSS Reader NewsFire Goes Free


Web 2.0 Tech Tips*

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12 Things Not to Do When Pitching a Story to Mashable
By Adam Ostrow (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 10:28:38 AM

Last Friday, I posted “ 12 Tips For Getting Your Startup Featured on Mashable,” which, based on most of the comments, I think opened a very constructive dialogue with those seeking coverage on our blog. I also noticed a big uptick in the number of new submissions, which, hopefully reflected in some of our posts this week about new startups. In any event, after receiving an exceedingly bad pitch yesterday, I halfjokingly tweeted that I thought I might do a “12 Tips for How NOT to Seek Coverage on Mashable,” and received an overwhelming response, so, I decided to whip something together. Unlike the the tip in my previous article which I think are probably fairly generic ideas, some of these might sound more like personal pet peeves (and are labeled as such), but trust me, they’ll make both of our lives just a little bit easier. Bottom line: You’re busy, we’re busy, so let’s work together to do a better job and save a few precious minutes of everyone’s time per day, shall we? Legitimate Issues That Create Problems 1. Sending an Invite from Your App – This is a big no-no. The main problem with sending us an invite via your app is there is a good chance we won’t see it. We’ve signed up for hundreds of different applications through the years, and we have filters designed to keep the notifications (BACN) that most of these apps send out of our main mailbox. 2. Referencing Your Media Coverage on Mashable Competitors X, Y, and Z – We have a good relationship with most of our “competitors” and will link to their coverage when they have something interesting or a juicy piece of breaking news. However, if you’re a startup with Launch Date X, we’d like to know about it beforehand, not after it has already been covered by a half dozen other blogs. We will honor all embargos if you would like to do it this way.

3. Private Message on Social Network – We get A LOT of application invites and messages on Facebook. We don’t really mind it, but again, you’re lowering your chances of actually getting your pitch seen, since we spend a lot more time in our main mailbox (the news@mashable.com email) than the 38 different private message systems we have via different social networks. 4. Trying a Backdoor – We love establishing quality relationships with sources. Unfortunately, we actually do sleep, which means if you send a message to one of our writers at 4am, they may not get it to it in a timely fashion. However, our news@mashable.com address is monitored just about 24×7 these days and we all see what comes in, so this is the best way to reach us. 5. Contacting Pete – While he is a Forbes 25 Web Celeb, a Valleywag regular, and would love to check out your startup at some point, Mashable founder Pete Cashmore is also insanely busy with things beyond editorial. Much like some of the other less efficient modes of pitching us, if you contact Pete directly, there is a good chance he won’t see it and get it to our editorial team on time. 6. Unsolicited Phone Calls – Most of our phone numbers are private, but nonetheless, some sleuths are able to find them and cold call us. While we love setting up a time to chat with you and demo your product, unsolicited calls during our workday are a huge distraction. Pet Peeves 7. USING ALL CAPS – It baffles me

that people write subject lines in ALL CAPS. For one, this means that less of your subject line shows up in the preview screen in Gmail, meaning you have fewer words to convince us that your story is worth covering. Second - and this is like mid 90s Internet etiquette - it’s considered SHOUTING. Finally, it also seems that ALL CAPS is at least one red flag for spam filters, so if you use them, your message might not even get through to us at all. 8. Misspelling Our Names – Kristen Nicole’s name is Kristen, not Nicole. And not “Kristin” either. Sean is Sean, not Shawn. And if you can’t spell Adam, Mark, Paul, or Stan, then God help you. We’re not vindictive people, but, when you mess up our names, it makes us think you don’t really read our blog, which hurts our feelings (not really, but come on, this should be easy). 9. Trying to Setup a Lunch – While we would love to go sit down to a fine meal with you, unfortunately, I don’t think a Mashable staffer on the editorial side has been “out to lunch” since Pete started this whole thing a few years ago. The blogger lifestyle isn’t for everyone of course, but the fact of the matter is we generally don’t take more than a 10 minute break during our workday, let alone a couple hours to enjoy a three course meal. You Have To Be Kidding Me? 10. Not Including a URL – This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised. In reality, the most important part of any pitch (for new startups anyhow) is your site, and without including a URL, you’re

screwed. 11. Not Offering a Preview of Your Private Beta – While it’s great to learn about “stealth” startups, there is a limit to just how “stealth” you can be before receiving coverage. For example, I wouldn’t have covered TheBlackApp yesterday unless I was able to uncover some details beyond what was on their landing page. 12. Pitching Old News – Sending us an old press release is a lose-lose. For starters, if we research it and see it has been covered a dozen times elsewhere, we probably won’t cover it. Additionally, if we research it and see it hasn’t been covered anywhere, it makes us question if maybe the story just wasn’t newsworthy in the first place and now you’re just “working your way down a list.” However, if you’re pitching a new story and want to include old news as a frame of reference, that can be useful. Like I said last week, we depend on you just as much as you depend on us, so, I think it’s constructive to engage in these types of discussions about PR/startupblogger relations. If you have any specific questions on how to best work with us, I’m happy to answer them adamo@mashable.com. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: YourPitch on Mashable Fanista - Bringing Amway into the 21st Century BusinessWeek May Add “YouTube” for Business. Looks Like Vator.tv Vator.tv Partners with the CGA and Pequot Ventures to Find New Talent Attend SMX Social Media Marketing: Mashable Readers Save 15% SecureWorks: Ron Paul Probably Not a Spammer edopter Gives User Stats on Market Trends [The Startup Review]

Web 2.0 Marketplace Listings for April 18th, 2008
By Pete Cashmore (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 2:48:44 AM

The Web 2.0 Marketplace is a place to list Web 2.0 and “New Media” websites for sale, job offers, consulting services, Facebook development services and more. (more…) --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Web 2.0 Marketplace Listings for April 8th, 2008 Web 2.0 Marketplace Listings for April 14th, 2008 Web 2.0 Marketplace Listings for April 4th, 2008 Web 2.0 Marketplace Listings for September 18th, 2007 Web 2.0 Marketplace: Your Feedback Please Web 2.0 Marketplace Listings for March 31st, 2008 Web 2.0 Marketplace Listings for March 28th, 2008

BananaSplit Divides AVI Videos for Easy Sharing [Featured Download]
By Adam Pash (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 8:00:00 AM

Windows/Mac/Linux: Free, open source application BananaSplit divides DivX or Xvid AVI videos into user-defined chunks. There are plenty of reasons you might want to split a video using this app, but the two most obvious that come to mind are to highlight a small section of a long video or to share a large video over the internet when you're limited by filesize constraints. BananaSplit is free, cross-platform, requires Java. For a quick howto, head over to Simplehelp's step-by-step tutorial for BananaSplit. BananaSplitter[via Simplehelp]

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Web 2.0 TV*


Thanks to Our Sponsors
By Tamar Weinberg (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:00:16 AM

This week, Mashable would like to thank our sponsors: EdgeCast Networks, ShareThis, IDrive, and andUNITE. EdgeCast Networks offers a superior, cost-effective, global content delivery service that gives our customers competitive advantage in the delivery of digital media. Our world-class content delivery platform provides customers the cost benefits and flexibility of controlling their own content delivery network while liberating them from ISP contracts, capital investments and operational hassles. ShareThis: It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the growing number of web sites and social web communities. ShareThis lets you instantly access all of your profiles, blogs, friends, and contacts for easy sharing and updating. We think users should be in control of their online world. IDrive is a leading Consumer and Small Business focused Online Backup service. IDrive is a simple and safe way to back up all the important stuff on your computer. A copy of user data is stored in a secure, remote location for safekeeping, so that in the event of disaster user data is retrievable from anywhere via Internet. IDrive’s features include automated critical data selection and scheduling via web as well as desktop agent, fast search to backup data, central console to manage multiple accounts, Continuous Data Backup, Open File and Locked file backup, Virtual Drive access and many more. andUNITE turns search engines into meeting places. By using andUNITE.com you will be able to see immediately during your normal Internet search at Google & Co. who else searched for the same search

terms as you did – no extra steps needed! By this, other users can help you directly if the search engine results are of no help to you – or you can help others. andUNITE.com is a unique, award winning Web service where you can find people with similar interests based on search terms. You can sign up anonymously and you always have full control of the privacy status of all of your search terms. andUNITE.com is already fun with only two people and you don’t have to fill in just another profile page since the profile is created automatically by collecting your search terms. Add andUNITE to your browser search box or install the toolbar for the full functionality including the “social layer” on top of the search result pages and see how exciting it can be to share your search terms with

friends or anybody. We acknowledge ConVerdge for implementing our My Mashable social network and W3 MARKUP for the development and maintenance of Mashable.com. We’d also like to thank Sun Startup Essentials for sponsoring Startup Review. Now, it pays even more to be faster than everyone else. Turn cost savings and shortened development cycles into a competitive edge with the Sun Startup Essentials program. Time to market is critical to the success of any new business. The Sun Startup Essentials program is specifically designed to help you get your startup business off the ground in record time, by providing you with the expertise and services you need to get up and running fast. When you join the Sun Startup Essentials program, you gain

access to industry-leading systems at deep discounts, free world-class software and web-based training, discounts on partner hosting services, and more! Conserve your cash and get ready for wild success with Sun. Want to get noticed? Advertise with us. If you’d like to help support our growth, development, and great content, contact us for more information. Alternatively, visit our advertise section for more details about: -Competitive direct ad sales -Sponsorship Opportunities for Events, The Daily Poll, and other channels -Sponsored giveaways and contests -Custom ad deals and partnerships CPM-based advertising is available through our partner, Federated Media. Interested in our new ad offering? We have brand new 125×125 ads on our right h a n d s i d e b a r ! E m a i l advertising@mashable.com now for more information. For any of these opportunities, contact us directly competitive rates that can’t be beat and a feature on our weekly “sponsor thanks” page. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Meebo’s Custom Chat Rooms for New Advertising Options Meebo Hyping Kanye West Listening Party Tonight Open Web Awards Voting Has Ended Final Winners Announced Tomorrow Happy New Year! Rocketboom’s New Sponsorship Program Launches with YouTube Another Googler Moves On Open Web Awards: Get Tickets to the Live Event

TV 101: Five VERY SPECIAL EPISODES that saved society - VIDEOS
By Jay Black (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 3:58:00 AM

Filed under: OpEd, TV 101, TV Squad Lists, Reality-Free There's no denying it: we're currently living in a utopia. Not a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars that I get to live in the greatest country on earth during the greatest time to be alive. I think even the harshest critic of the current world order would agree with me when I say that there's not a single problem anywhere in the world that anyone is dealing with. But how did we get here? What was the spark that spurred us from barely cognizant man-apes into the enlightened, elegant creatures that we are today? Look no further than that great black monolith sitting in your living room: your TV. Five VERY SPECIAL EPISODES that saved society after the jump... Continue reading TV 101: Five VERY SPECIAL EPISODES that saved society VIDEOS Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Is Deadliest Catch doing some creative editing?
By Bob Sassone (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:30:00 AM

Filed under: Other Reality Shows, Programming Even fish-based television shows aren't exempt from the reality show controversy parade. The Discovery Channel's increasingly

popular show The Deadliest Catch is getting some fire for some creative editing they did on the season premiere. They showed a dangerous storm (not sure if it was "perfect," but it was bad) in the Bering Sea, and the fight the crew had to keep the boat afloat and stay alive. Now comes word that the storm footage was from October, the flooding of the boat happened

in September, and extra footage was shot to tie the scenes together to make it look

like everything happened around the same time. The Hollywood Reporter did some detective work and found the production outline for the episode, and things just don't add up. They've placed video of the episode on their web site. For the record, producers of the show say the outline was only an early draft and they don't do

reenactments (though they also say that footage from different days is sometimes used). [via Mediabistro] Permalink| Email this| | Comments


Web 2.0 Tech Tips*

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WWE Smackdown Gets a Social Network
By Kristen Nicole (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:15:53 PM

LiveUniverse Officially Acquires Pageflakes
By Stan Schroeder (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:02:40 AM

Personalized portal Netvibes was one of the first applications that got me hooked on web apps in general. It was really useful, it had great community support, and it was always one step ahead of its competition. Pageflakes is a very similar (and also very good) application, but unfortunately being one little step behind Netvibes has took a toll on its traffic and its future prospects. Now, after speculations about financial problems and acquisition, Pageflakes has officially announced they’ve been acquired by Brad Greenspan’s LiveUniverse. The transaction was a combination of cash and stock, however the precise terms of the deal remain undisclosed. According to the press release, Pageflakes will initially be integrated with LiveUniverse’s video entertainment network LiveVideo, where users will get the ability to “ remix and mashup their LiveVideo videos, photos, music, blogs and LiveShows with compelling interactive content from their favorite sites on the Web on their own “My LiveVideo” personalized page,” which they can then “pagecast” within their LiveVideo network or to the entire web. Advertisers will be able to use the new platform for promoting brands, celebs and events by creating unique, interactive sites. This move might also be partially

spurred by Greenspan’s headhunting ambitions, as he’s got quite a team now. Besides him, it includes Dan Cohen who worked at both Google and Yahoo, Toan Nguyen who helped build MySpace, and Pageflakes co-founder Omar Al-Zabir. All this doesn’t sound bad for LiveUniverse, but Pageflakes has probably fallen way short of their initial intentions. It’s doubtful whether the personalized portal can exist on its own; the popular ones - Google’s iGoogle and Yahoo’s My.Yahoo, for example - are all tied to a bigger site, with the exception of the aforementioned Netvibes. Now, Netvibes still has an upward traffic trajectory that makes its price higher than anyone is willing to bid; we’ll see if they have the strength to go it alone or is their acquisition, too, just a matter of time. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Pageflakes Adds Celebrity Pixsy Widget LiveUniverse Launches Hostile Bid to Acquire and Save Stage6 Webwag Acquires Mobease Get the Mashable Pagecast for Pageflakes! LiveUniverse Buys Revver For More Than $500,000 Pageflakes Prepares “Blizzard”, Becoming A Social Network MySpace Founder Acquires Flurl.com

World Wrestling Entertainment has a pretty large fan base, and the sports entertainment company is hoping to leverage its loyal fans in the online sense as well. The official site of WWE has been around for some time, but after a few fan sites on other networks like MySpace and Facebook managed to gain a good number of users, WWE was further encouraged to add a community onto its own website. The new community is an extension of the WWE Fan Nation, and lets you view fan profiles, stay updated with wrestlers’ activity, write blogs and share pictures. Nothing out of the ordinary here–it’s your run of the mill corporate-run social network. But having already gained a bit of traction from fan groups on Facebook, MySpace and its dedicated YouTube channel, it’s clear that a centralized place for WWE fans to network could be useful. So given WWE’s existing traction on other social and media-sharing networks, I wish that the new WWE community were integrated with all these other networks. The users are already on Facebook and

MySpace, so why not pull in or push out some of the activity and sharing that’s already going on? The ability to communicate news and updates is still just as effective with an integrated, crossnetwork approach. I know that corporate run social networks are considered necessary for market research, advertising and feedback mechanisms that go towards branding purposes, but as brands also embrace the commercial promotion on social networking fan pages, I’d like to see some more effective integration across the board. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Mashable Readers Discount for Seattle Facebook Event YouTube Creates Community Council New Wikia Communities Launch Clearspring Opens Community Platform for Developers Iloho Launches Community for Airfare Search and Travel Reviews DOmedia’s Alternative Media Network Comcast Acquires TV Community BuddyTV

HotKeyBind Sets Keyboard Shortcuts for Any Windows Task [Featured Windows Download]
By Adam Pash (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:00:00 AM

Windows only: Free, open source application HotKeyBind creates keyboard shortcuts for common Windows actions, from launching applications and opening files to searching the web and shutting down your computer. HotKeyBind is even useful for Windows actions that already have shortcuts of their own or can be assigned shortcuts, because HotKeyBind provides a universal interface for creating and managing all your custom keyboard shortcuts and existing Windows shortcuts across your system. HotKeyBind is impressively robust on features, including text-replacement (though we still heartily recommend Texter for that), making it a must-have for the keyboard junkie. HotKeyBind is free, Windows only. HotKeyBind[SourceForge via the HowTo Geek]

China Not So Hot on CNN Either
By Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 11:41:04 PM

It isn’t surprising to us that China is censoring something. A quick scroll through the Mashable story archives will find more instances of censorship than you can shake a stick at. Therefore it only comes as a mild shock that the country has gone back on it’s word to bring down the great firewall of China. Word comes from Kenneth Tan at the Shanghaiist that “[t]wo days after Danwei reported the unblocking of Blogspot,” China has decided to block CNN. He reports that several of his readers, one at China Netcom in particular, have been

getting connection reset, a tell-tale sign of China’s decision to block a site. Kenneth theorizes that it’s a result of the recent saga of Jack Cafferty, and his perceived biased reporting on the part of CNN. In fact, the reporting isn’t particularly biased, but the commentary definitely has an anti-China bent to it. In a press conference on Tuesday, Cafferty more or less besmirched the entire country, saying ” I think they’re basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.”

CNN later issued a formal apology, but apparently, China is still not amused. BBC, Wikipedia and Blogspot continue to be unblocked for now. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: In China, MySpace and MSN Make Unlikely Friends China Blocks RSS Feeds China’s Evil Censorship Continues: Bans LiveJournal iPhone Coming to China Mobile? MySpace China Next Week - How Much Censorship? Yahoo China Launches a MySpace Clone MySpace.cn is Live

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Web 2.0 TV* Gossip*


Magnify Finally Adds Video Embeds (They’re Social, Too)
By Kristen Nicole (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 9:00:52 AM

Google Stock Soars Amidst Recession
By Stan Schroeder (Mashable!)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:53:37 AM

Magnify has an embeddable video player. About time. While Magnify has done a good job of creating easily-formed groups around certain content, and has spent the past few months extending the ability to better customize and skin your own Magnify network, the embeddable video player is probably one of the best new features Magnify has had in the past few months. Now, user-curated content can be spread across the web. Other aggregation tools have provided portable widgets tat go along with custom playlists, but few have been as involved and integrated with the rest of the magnify features. Of course, an embeddable player makes it easier for end users and visitors to share video content across the web, and a branded player that actually acts as a pretty natural extension from Magnify’s core service make its embeddable capabilities all the more important and necessary. What’s more, is the social features are included in the video widget as well. It’s likely that Magnify, already focused on the social aspect of collecting video content around a network, waited until a comprehensive, socially adept widget could be perfected prior to launch, but

perhaps it was worth the wait. There are still the same ways in which users can grab videos from across the web from a variety of sites and versatile without giving it a second thought. Better advertising, better adoption rate for users seeking a simple extension of a Magnify network, and better features to pass on to end users as well. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Magnify.net Eyes the Enterprise: Chat with CEO Steve Rosenbaum Magnify’s Custom Options Increase for

Video-Sharing Channels Magnify Releases Ad Share Platform & New Features Magnify.net Growing Fast with 1.2M Videos Magnify.net Reports Big Growth, Eyes the Upper Tier of Video Sites Magnify’s Public Launch Of Webcam Vlogging Network Magnify.net Funded

All the naysayers and unbelievers, time to eat your words! Google claimed that the US recession(ok, ok, some may not call it that, and things aren’t looking as grim as they did at one point, but the fact is the US economy still has its share of trials and tribulations ahead) doesn’t hurt them one bit, and it turns out they were right, because GOOG is currently at 535, 19% up from yesterday’s price of 449. Of course, it’s no surprise to see Google’s shares soar up after a (good) quarterly report, but this time it’s a bit different because almost everyone (following comScore’s reports) expected Google to go down. Instead, a new wave of optimism has propelled the share into a higher orbit (note my subtle knowledge of the intricate phrases used by financial journalists). As our own Paul said, there’s still good green left in GOOG, and it continues to amaze everyone and annoy those who sold their shares expecting a

further drop. BTW, congratulations to those of you (52%) who were bullish on Google in our recent poll. --Related Articles at Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: Google Stock Reaches $600 Mark Google Shares Pass Another (Mostly) Meaningless Milestone: $700 Facebook Too Pricey for its Own Good? Elliott Back Launches Stock Quotes App for Facebook Google Buying Yell: The Rumors Resurface Google Stock Price Soars at $560.70 Wizzard Media Publicly Traded on AMEX

The fashion of Gossip Girl
By Isabelle Carreau (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:10:00 AM

Filed under: Other Drama Shows, Watercooler Talk, Reality-Free Every TV season, there is at least one scripted show in which clothes characters wear almost become as important as the characters themselves. I remember when Sex and the City was still offering fresh episodes and I was writing spoilers about

the series, some of my readers emailed me asking for information and set pictures of what the ladies would be wearing in upcoming episodes. I received the same type of emails when The O.C. was on the air: fans wanted to know what Marissa and Summer would be wearing so they could try to find the clothes in stores. That information was almost as critical to them as knowing if Marissa and Ryan would hook/break up!

This year, a few series tried to be fashionable such as Lipstick Jungle, which

had a partnership with Maybelline and even offered fashion tips during commercial breaks and on the show's website. However, when I surf the web on general TV websites and boards, the fashion talks seem to be directed more towards one show: Gossip Girl. Continue reading The fashion of Gossip Girl Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Mariah Carey Does Glitter 2
By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/17/2008 6:46:28 PM

Mariah Carey will appear in the movie

Tennessee, which will be show at the Tribeca Film Festival next weekend. Click here to see a preview. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 2006-

2008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts:

• Mariah Carey is Not Wanted Here • Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Get Cozy • Mariah Carey Performs Migrate on SNL

• Mariah Carey Upsets NBC • Mariah Carey - Touch My Body - Video



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How to speak Paula, or The Abdul-to-English Dictionary
By Jason Hughes (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:41:00 AM

Maude, Merv & M*A*S*H man entering Emmy Hall of Fame
By Allison Waldman (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:20:00 AM

Filed under: OpEd, American Idol, Watercooler Talk, Judges It's become a Tuesday night staple in this country. We all pop some corn, snuggle into our afghan blankets and huddle en masse around our tubages of boobages just to watch the litany of lyrical losers parading across our flashing screens. We cheer early on as they rant and roar, calling foul and blaming the judges and camera crews for the fact that they just plain suck. And we eat it up like candy. But once it all settles down and we're left with only those singers with real talent, where can we go for our weekly dose of crazy? Yes, this is something that is an important part of the American Idol experience. The producers aren't stupid. They know that once the crazy contestants are flushed away they risk the chance of losing the'slow down to look at an accident and I better see a body if I had to sit in

traffic for more than ten minutes for this or at least a severed limb' crowd. And that, my friends, is why I bring you 'Exhibit A': Ms. Paula Abdul. Continue reading How to speak Paula, or The Abdul-to-English Dictionary Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Filed under: Awards, Reality-Free Each year, the Emmys honor the best in current TV. They also recognize the all-time greats. This year Bea Arthur, Larry Gelbart, Merv Griffin, Daniel Burke, Tom Murphy and Sherwood Schwartz will be entering the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Hall of Fame. Grand choices, in my opinion, with only a minor quibble which I'll mention later. According to ATAS chairman and CEO John Shaffner , "The Hall of Fame is a special recognition for those who have made significant contributions and have left an indelible mark on the television business." As Maude in the 1970's and Dorothy on The Golden Girls in the 1980's (into the '90s) Beatrice Arthur, made her mark. She was more effective on TV than she was in the theater, and she was a

Did NBC go too far with MILF, and what is the family hour anyway?
dynamo on stage. Gallery: ATAS Hall of Fame 2008 Continue reading Maude, Merv & M*A*S*H man entering Emmy Hall of Fame Permalink| Email this| | Comments

By Allison Waldman (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:02:00 AM

An extra gives tidbits on Lost
By Isabelle Carreau (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:21:00 AM

Something about last night's Office felt very British-y - VIDEOS
By Joel Keller (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:03:00 AM

Filed under: Lost, Spoilers Anonymous, Reality-Free Lost spoilers are serious business. I know what I'm talking about since I've been roaming the web and poking my sources for spoilers about the ABC series even before it premiered on September 22, 2004. Information about upcoming episodes was rather easy to find the first two years of the hit series. But as Lost got more popular and the mysteries more and more important and... mysterious, security around the show got tighter in order to keep spoilers leakage to a minimum. Luckily for us, extras always delivered the goods. This week, Whitney Matheson, who writes the "Pop Candy" column at USA Today, relays information an extra sent about her experience on the

set and the episode she will appear in. S poilers ahead! Gallery: Lost Season Four Continue reading An extra gives tidbits on Lost Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Filed under: Video, Web, Watercooler Talk, The Office, Reality-Free It's been a number of years since I've seen the original version of The Office, but a certain scene from last night's episode of the American version immediately reminded me of Ricky Gervais' classic. Remember that last night Pam, out of pity for Michael, set him up on a coffee date with her landlord, who she thinks is really nice. So when the landlord -- who Jay called " a stunningly plain woman" in his review of the episode -- showed up, Michael let out a disappointed groan. A huge feeling of déjà vu came over me, and I realized something: this was the same

reaction David Brent had to his stunningly plain date on the British version. Now I just had to find out in which episode this happened. Continue reading Something about last night's Office felt very British-y - VIDEOS Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Filed under: Industry, Programming, OpEd, Watercooler Talk, Reality-Free Edward Wyatt's New York TImes piece questioned whether NBC crossed the line by broadcasting racy material in the "family hour." On both 30 Rock and The Office, the writers let loose, basically presenting what you might call adult rated moments in what NBC asserts is family time. All I have to say to that is, "What? There's a family hour? Since when?" Apparently, I wasn't the only one caught off guard by the raunchiness of the family hour. The Parents Television Council just today rescinded their praise for NBC's claim that programs in the 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. time period would target families. PTC is calling NBC's pledge "hypocritical." Gallery: Family Hour? Continue reading Did NBC go too far with MILF, and what is the family hour anyway? Permalink| Email this| | Comments

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TV* Movies*


Reality Show casting calls
By Paul Goebel (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:25:00 AM

Filed under: Other Reality Shows, Casting A day hasn't gone by where we haven't received some sort of tip or email asking us, the TV Squad, how to get on [insert reality show here]. Unfortunately no, Simon Cowell does not work for us, and Donald Trump isn't my BFF, so we really can't help all that much. The folks at RealityWanted.com often send us a list of new and existing reality shows that are looking for new, er, talent, and they've given us permission to make mention of them here. We'll try to make this a regular feature as often as we get a new list. This time we have Styledome, High

Jeffrey M. Anderson's 400 Screens, 400 Blows - His Blueberry Nights
By Jeffrey M. Anderson (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:02:00 AM

School Musical: Summer Session and other new shows. Continue reading Reality Show casting calls Permalink| Email this| | Comments

MythBusters fans want to bust the Ereader
By Keith McDuffee (TV Squad)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:20:00 AM

Filed under: Other Reality Shows Something tells me this isn't going to happen, but you can be sure plenty of us would tune in if it did. Over on Discovery's MythBusters forums-- where fans regularly congregate to discuss previous episodes, disagree with Adam and Jamie's conclusions and offer suggestions for future myth-busting -someone has made the suggestion that the MB's take on the task of not only obtaining but also fully testing the capabilities of one of Scientology's most exclusive devices:

the E-meter. Continue reading MythBusters fans want to bust the E-reader Permalink| Email this| | Comments

Filed under: Columns, 400 Screens, 400 Blows (ed. note: This post was accidentally published at 1AM, instead of 1PM, so we're re-publishing it at the correct time.) I've been thinking about the largely negative response to Wong Kar-wai's My Blueberry Nights(6 screens), a film I quite liked. As of today it's at 43% on Rotten Tomatoes, though it opens wider this weekend (including here in the Bay Area) and more reviews are surely coming in. Most critics I've spoken with around here likewise didn't think much of it. What are the reasons for all this disappointment? The main reason has to do with its weight. It's a lightweight movie, a trifle, flimsy, vapid, thin, etc. Wong is considered one of the world's greatest filmmakers, a maker of "weighty" works of art, and so this "lighter" film is beneath him. It's a letdown, a step backward. Well, I say that's nonsense. Many great filmmakers dallied in lightweight, lesser trifles during their careers, and it didn't make them any less great. Martin Scorsese has made lots of them. After Hours(1985) and The Color of Money(1986) may not pack the punch of Raging Bull, but they

are quite enjoyable, and pure Scorsese. (His current Shine a Light, 277 screens, feels like a trifle.) Fritz Lang came to the United States from a position of great power and unlimited resources in Germany and found himself assigned cheap crime pictures. Yet few critics today would complain about the "lightness" of The Big Heat or Scarlet Street. Max Ophuls also made crime films in Hollywood ( Caught and The Reckless Moment), and his reputation remains intact. Some consider John Ford the greatest American director of all time, and even though his goofball

Donovan's Reef(1963) isn't counted among his classics, I love it just as much. It has moments of great beauty that reflect its maker's personality. My Blueberry Nights may not stand up to In the Mood for Love, but it's unquestionably a Wong Kar-wai film. Continue reading Jeffrey M. Anderson's 400 Screens, 400 Blows - His Blueberry Nights Permalink| Email this| Comments

Harrison Ford Wanted to Kill Han Solo!
By Erik Davis (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:32:00 AM

Filed under: Action, Fandom, DIY/Filmmaking, Movie Marketing, Remakes and Sequels Say it ain't so, Dr. Jones! Entertainment Weekly continues their coverage of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with a very in-depth fourpage spread on the film; including

interviews with most of the cast, as well as this little nugget from Harrison Ford with regards to the death of Indiana Jones: "A death scene for Dr. Jones? That would never happen, Harrison Ford assures us. He remembers trying to persuade Lucas to kill off his Han Solo character in the second or third initial Star Wars movie, insisting it'd make for a better story. ''You don't need him,'' says Ford. ''He's got no mama, got no papa - out there all by

himself. He's a piece you can move around or get rid of. But I couldn't get George to

go along with that. He didn't want to stop making the toys.'' George didn't want to stop making the toys. I love it! In addition to fun little facts like that, EW has revealed two new photos from the film (included in the gallery below). The entire article is definitely worth a read, though Lucas still sounds like an old bitter dude when it comes to films that are overly-hyped: "All I'm saying is, I have been there, and I have

walked through the valley of death on highly anticipated sequels." Always the negative one ... May 22. Indiana Jones. Are you there opening night ... or what? Gallery: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Permalink| Email this| Comments


Movies* Tech Tips*

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Scott Weinberg Weeps Openly as Brett Ratner Snags 'Shrinking Man' Gig
By Scott Weinberg (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:02:00 AM

Filed under: Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Universal, Remakes and Sequels I absolutely adore Jack Arnold's The Incredible Shrinking Man. I think it's without question one of the finest science fiction movies ever made. Not only does it have an endlessly fascinating story, but the 1957 film is also smart, sad and scary ... plus it has one of the most wonderfully thought-provoking endings I've ever seen. And since I love this movie so darn much, I couldn't stop weeping as I read this recent news piece at The Hollywood Reporter... Not only is Universal (stupidly) intent on turning The Incredible Shrinking Man into a comedy (because that worked so damn well on The Stepford Wives), and not only are they planning to give the lead role to Eddie Murphy... but things just got a whole lot worse. First off, the newest screenwriters to climb on board are Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant, two guys who proved their comedy chops on The State and Reno 911-- and then obliterated those chops by writing the screenplays for Herbie: Fully Loaded, Taxi, Balls of Fury, Night at the Museum, The Pacifier and Let's Go to Prison. Surely these are the men who should re-write one of the best sci-fi movies ever made. Oh, but it gets even better! Although

Four New 'Indiana Jones' Pictures!
By Elisabeth Rappe (Cinematical)
Keenan Ivory Wayans and Pete Segal had been attached to the project at one point or another, it looks like Universal now wants Brett Ratner to direct this horrid idea. Now, I'm not one of those film nerds who thinks that Brett Ratner is the worst director ever born (far from it, actually), but nor do I think he's all that exciting of a filmmaker. I just can't believe that such a beautiful little sci-fi gem is being morphed into this sort of misguided train wreck. Continue reading Scott Weinberg Weeps Openly as Brett Ratner Snags 'Shrinking Man' Gig Read| Permalink| Email this| Comments

Discuss: Movie Marketing Gone Wild!
By Erik Davis (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 5:25:00 AM

Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:32:00 AM

NewsGator Inbox Integrates RSS with Outlook [Featured Windows Download]
By Adam Pash (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 6:00:00 AM

Windows only: Freeware Microsoft Outlook add-on Newsgator Inbox delivers RSS feeds directly to your Outlook inbox. NewsGator Inbox isn't new, but this latest release is the first time we've featured it. Aside from the Outlook integration, NewsGator Inbox synchronizes with all the other NewsGator readers, like its popular

FeedDemon and NetNewsWire. Best of all, they're all freeware. NewsGator Inbox is Windows only, requires .NET 2.0. If you've considered making the jump from web- to desktop-based newsreaders, NewsGator Inbox or one of the other NewGator solutions are all excellent choices. NewsGator Inbox 3.0 for Microsoft Outlook[NewsGator]

Filed under: Fandom, Movie Marketing So who watched South Park the other night? In the episode, internet goes down and the citizens of South Park (as well as other places throughout the country) are forced to live their lives without online access. Of course, in true South Park fashion, everyone winds up in an internet camp, sleeping on cots -- all dirty and disheveled -- as they fight over the 40 seconds of internet each person gets per day. Not only was it hysterical to watch, but it also opened my eyes to the fact that it's becoming difficult to remember how things were prior to the internet, especially for people 30 years of age and younger. It's almost hard to imagine those days when we wouldn't find out a certain movie existed until the trailer played in a theater,

or during the Super Bowl. Now we get teaser posters before the film even goes into production. Remember when a movie only got one poster? To date, we've seen 10, 11 Iron Man posters alone. Posters! As movie marketing has moved online, everything's grown larger -- more trailers, more images, more games, more contests. Now there are entire websites devoted to one movie's viral marketing campaign. It's pretty insane, and even though I do this for a living, it's still real hard for me to keep up with it all. (I'm still waiting for the day when a particular viral campaign is blamed for the unfortunate death of a teenager. C'mon, you know it's gonna happen eventually ...) Continue reading Discuss: Movie Marketing Gone Wild! Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Action, Classics, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Thrillers, Paramount, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Remakes and Sequels, Images I think this photo is officially the funniest still I have seen from a movie, ever. IESB.net was sent four photos from Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull from an unknown source. They are quite grainy, so I bet they were scanned in from some kind of companion book. There's a very classic and iconic one of Indy cracking his bullwhip -- and I very nearly posted it, but we've seen that before. What we've never seen is a Russian Cate Blanchett getting sucker punched ... by Shia LaBeouf! It's like the entire Cold War boiled down to one single image -- you're going down, Communism! But if Irina Spalko is the uber-villain Lucas and Spielberg say she is, there's no way she's going to take that from Mutt Williams. (Then again, if Rocky IV taught us anything, it's that Russians can be beaten by much weaker opponents.) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(sucker) punches its way into theaters on May 22. Permalink| Email this| Comments

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Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone Meagan Good Joins 'Saw and 50 Cent Walk Into a V' Bar ...
By Peter Martin (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 6:32:00 AM

Tribeca Watch: 'Blair Witch' Director Back with 'The Objective'
By Erik Davis (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:02:00 AM

By Erik Davis (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:02:00 AM

Filed under: Drama, Casting, Deals, Newsstand... and they say to the bartender, "Bet you never expected the three of us would team up on a film?" The bartender takes a good look at the three, goes back to cleaning a glass and replies, "Nah, I kinda expected it." Then Dylan McDermott, Brian Presley and Charles Winkler(son of Irwin Winkler) walk into the bar, and go, "Now what if we told you the three of us were involved too -- with Charles directing! And it's called Streets of Blood!" The bartender, tending to his glass, simply replies, "Nah, expected it." Fed up, Charles Winkler throws down his fist and shouts, "And it's gonna be a damn good film too!" Bartender drops his glass in a fit of laughter, looks up and cries, "Now THAT'S something I did not expect!" Everyone laughs and Erik will never become a comedian. The end. Variety tells us the film centers on two cops dealing with "the lawlessness of New Orleans in the post-Katrina environment." Production begins next month. Another post-Katrina story, huh? Is it just me or is Hollywood really milking Hurricane Katrina? Perhaps I see more of it because I

attend a lot of film festivals, and currently there are tons of Katrina docs and narratives on the fest circuit. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you, it just seems like a lot and we're getting close to overkill. This one, however, does sound like it has promise. Plus I've always wanted to see Kilmer, 50 Cent and Stone together in one film. Why not, right? Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Horror, Casting, Lionsgate Films, Remakes and Sequels What's Halloween in the 00's without a new Saw to dissect? We've received word from Lionsgate that Meagan Good will be featured in a supporting role in the upcoming Saw V as Luba, "a city planner who comes from a very wealthy family." That is good news indeed (sorry, couldn't resist ) for fans of the very attractive Ms. Good. I noticed her when she appeared as a tattoo artist in Biker Boyz five years ago, but she first made an impression in Eve's Bayou in 1997. Recently she's had substantial parts in Waist Deep and Stomp the Yard. As far as her horror credentials, she was all too briefly in One Missed Call- I was disappointed she didn't survive her big dramatic moment -- and was also in the little seen Venom. Monika told us last month that Julie Benz was cast in a starring role as a proper and elegant Brit, so it sounds like Jigsaw is planning to bring justice to the upper crust in this edition. That might help answer the question: Where do you go with a horror sequel when the arch-villain has already been sliced open on an autopsy table? If you caught Saw IV, you know that

screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan came up with a solution to that quandary. I wasn't entirely convinced, and the story as a whole felt too schematic and perfunctory to be fully satisfying, but I remain eternally optimistic. David Hackl is directing from a script by Melton and Dunstan. Saw V is set to open on October 24. Permalink| Email this| Comments

Filed under: Drama, Horror, Tribeca, Festival Reports, Fandom, Trailers and Clips Continuing along with our pre-coverage of the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, above is the trailer for The Objective; directed by Daniel Myrick (co-director of The Blair Witch Project). This one has a very strange vibe to it; it's set in Afghanistan three days after 9/11 and it revolves around a group of Special-Ops soldiers and one reporter on a mission for Al Qaeda weapons when they "find themselves lost in a Middle Eastern 'Bermuda Triangle' of Ancient Evil," so says the synopsis on YouTube. From the looks of the trailer, it has a Predator meets Blair Witch Project in Afghanistan feel -which, honestly, is pretty damn cool. Karina over at Spout says, "... it looks like Myrick has dropped the shaky-cam, subjects-as-spectactors-as-hunted fauxdocumentary thing in favor of stable cameras and polished HD." No snot or motion sickness? We're SO there! For more on The Objective, check out the film's official Tribeca Fest page. Permalink| Email this| Comments

Rudy Huxtable Becomes a Hooker
By Monika Bartyzel (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:32:00 AM

Filed under: Comedy, Casting It's funny ... two days ago, I happened upon old gossip about Keshia Knight Pulliam and wondered what ol' Rudy Huxtable was up to these days. Now Tyler Perry gives her a job. But there's still that whole issue that although she has a handful of post-Cosby work, everyone still sees her as Rudy. What seems to be the only way to fix this

problem in Hollywood? Get naked, or take on a role where your character does. Yes, The Hollywood Reporter posts that the now 29-year-old actress is going to play a hooker in Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. She'll play Candy, a prostitute in prison who has become the unfortunate focus of a large fellow inmate named Big Sal. When Madea gets herself thrown in jail, she comes to Candy's rescue. Meanwhile, Derek Luke( Lions for Lambs) will play

Joshua, a lawyer who "has a past" with Candy. Filming will begin next month in

Atlanta, with release in early 2009. Well, the days of young Rudy, Peter, and Bud are long gone, so now we get prostitutes. Really, I shouldn't be surprised. It's not like she hasn't posed for saucy photos before, in that classic attempt to prove she's grown up. But what about you? Are you ready for Rudy, the imprisoned prostitute? Permalink| Email this| Comments


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Britney doesn’t work out, she wheezes
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 4:42:06 PM

More 'G.I. Joe' Cast Revealed in New Photos!
By Erik Davis (Cinematical)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 4:35:00 AM

Filed under: Action, RumorMonger, Fandom, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Images Above: Ray Park as Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe [Note: Other images removed at the request of the studio ... but picture a bunch of actors wearing black and looking tough.] We're not sure if they were hoping to release these one at a time, but the website [Bad People Who Leak Photos Online] has gotten their hands on the entire batch of character photos from the upcoming live-

action G.I. Joe flick. Included in the images are Channing Tatum (as Duke), Karolina Kurkova (as Cover Girl), Marlon Wayans (as Ripcord), Sienna Miller (as Baroness), Ray Park (as Snake Eyes), Rachel Nichols (as Scarlett) and Dennis Quaid (as Hawk). Almost all of them are wearing this same black, special-ops outfit, which leads us to believe they won't be showin' off the color when it's time to do battle. G.I. Joe arrives in theaters on August 7, 2009. Permalink| Email this| Comments

Afternoon time wasters
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 1:16:06 PM

Google Maps Predicts Traffic Conditions for Your Travel Time [Google Maps]
By Adam Pash (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 7:00:00 AM

Hot on the heels of Windows Live Maps' traffic-based directions, Google Maps unleashes its own traffic predictions. To use it, just click the Traffic button on the top of a map and then click the change link to switch between live traffic conditions and traffic predictions. The predictions are

based on past traffic at those times, similar to Windows Live Maps, but the option to choose your travel time and get predictions based on when you're heading out put Google Maps' traffic predictions one up on Windows Live Maps. Google Maps[via Google Operating System]

• Bastardly : Shannon Doherty shows off her regrettable ankle tat • Drunken Stepfather : Fergie breaks ears on Regis and Kelly • CityRag : Lindsay Oldhan • Bossip : Surprise! Serena is someone’s dream girl • FHM : Fake video from Forgetting Sarah Marshall • Celebslam : Nick Lachey is probably cheating • Celebitchy : George Clooney uses Jolie-Pitt clan as contraceptive • College Humor : This is what you get when you meet up with guys on MySpace. In da butt! • ASL : Kristy Lee Cook is off the show

• Dlisted : The Simpsons return to Venezuela • SOW : Smallville is still going on? • CS : Hilary Duff neighs and neighs • INO : Keanu Reeves has nightmares about Bill and Ted • DH : DMX’s wife? Related posts • Lindsay’s a comedian and afternoon time wasters (0) • Stuff you probably don’t care about (4) • Afternoon time wasters (1) • Morning news (0) • In other news (2)

If everything works out as planned, you may soon see Britney Spears as the face of Bally Total Fitness. The unlikely pairing came about because Larry Rudolph, who recently returned as Britney’s manager, has close ties with John Wildman, the Chief Marketing Officer of the gym. Currently, no deal has been set, but during ongoing negotiations Britney’s been working out there at least once a day and up to three times a day for free. TMZ reports, She’s training with two of the company’s top personal trainers — we’re guessing one for the front and one for the back. She’s also working with the company’s nutritionist, who has put Britney on five to six quality meals a day. The trainers had a hard time getting Britney motivated until they tied a Frappuccino to a stick and attached it to her head. Word is she’s been on the bicycle for the past five hours trying to take one sip. Related posts • Britney discovers sarcasm (2) • Britney breast-fed drunk (1) • James Spears makes bank (0) • Britney to adopt Chinese twins (0) • Britney had a reason (0)

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The Kids in the Hall are back and time wasters
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 9:15:43 AM

Is anorexia supposed to turn me on?
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:01:40 AM

Akon is faking it
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 10:11:41 AM

Anorexia has become an increasingly common issue among young women in Hollywood as well as regular folk. In the latest issue of CosmoGIRL!, Brittany Snow reveals that she too suffered from it and credits best friend Sophia Bush for helping her beat a nine year battle with the disorder. “Sophia gives really, really good advice,” Snow, 22, reveals in the May issue of CosmoGIRL!. “I was going through a difficult time, and she was going through a difficult time figuring out the whole Chad [Michael Murray split] thing. “We had so many slumber parties where she held my hand [as we worked] through a lot of different things,” Snow goes on. “When somebody can be there through something like that, they’re a friend forever.” Brittany and Sophia had “so many slumber parties” where they “worked

through a lot of different things.”So, does that mean they, like, made out? With tongue? And did they strip naked and pillow fight while feathers rained down around them? And did they finish the evening by going down on each other? Because clinical psychologists agree that this is a great way to battle anorexia. Rawr. I didn’t know eating disorders could sound this erotic. Usually when people talk to me about anorexia, it’s about how they took a dump in a plastic container and weighed it. Related posts • Sophia Bush hits TRL (3) • Sophia Bush walks her dog (0) • Too much hotness (0) • More Teen Choice Awards pictures (0) • Kristen Bell, Hayden Panettiere, Sophia Bush all in one (0)

In interviews, Akon has consistently claimed that he was in prison for four and a half years for his role as the ringleader of a “notorious car theft operation.” He says he’s escaped cops in numerous high-speed pursuits and went down only because his underlings betrayed him. Inside the “joint,” 150-pound Akon “fought almost every day for two years,” defeating inmates of varying sizes to become a champion among inmates. According to him, “I knew where to hit you to knock you out, so I didn’t fear you.” Amazing, right? Wrong. The Smoking Gun did some digging into Akon’s past and pretty much disputes all of his wild stories. He was never part of a notorious car theft operation and the only time he was connected to a car at all was when he was driving a stolen BMW. He spent several months in jail (far less than the four and a

half years) for that until charges were dropped. The only felony he’s ever been convicted of is gun possession which earned him three years probation. The Smoking Gun has more details. It’s a long, but interesting read. To sum it up, even I have more street cred than Akon. For instance, one time I held my penis sideways and shot a girl in the face with it. “Blamo, blamo, blamo!,” I said. Uh huh. That’s how we do. Related posts • The cops are on to you Akon (0) • Pastor Dave Alleyne defends his daughter (84) • The Akon underage dry humping video is back (72) • Akon has been charged (0) • Akon simulates sex with a young fan (81)

• Pajiba : 88 Minutes in 88 words • Hollywood Rag : 50 layers of makeup and a nipple slip • Yeeeah : Everyone hates Mariah • WIMB : Haha, look at those clown feet • Hollywood Tuna : Porn stars bowl too • Celebparasite : Lori Loughlin could be a cougar • EB : Cynthia Nixon didn’t say that • TC : Pamela Anderson can read Related posts • TMZ failed and morning time wasters (0) • Donnie Yen breakdances and time wasters (0) • Weekend time wasters (0) • Time wasters (0) • Time wasters (1)



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Heidi and Spencer want their own show
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:42:27 PM

The two most imbecilic people on reality tv and in real life, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, may have their own spin-off on MTV if they get their way. Spencer, now acting as Heidi’s manager, was overheard at Kobe Club pitching a reality show based solely on their engagement and upcoming marriage. It’s described as a cross between The Hills and Newlyweds. Basically, it’ll be a show more retarded than previously thought possible. “Spencer was saying, ‘I want the world to see the real Heidi and Spencer,’ and was emphasizing that the show would be just about them. No Lauren Conrad,” we’re told. According to our source, Pratt was “suggesting the show go through the whole lead-up to the wedding . . . finding a wedding planner, hunting for a dress designer, and all the drama that would be

part of their wedding plans.” Spencer Pratt is a sore on the scrotum of society. His greatest achievement is parasitically latching onto Heidi Montag’s dumb ass and whoring her out. His next greatest achievement is a tie between remembering to take the plastic wrap off a peppermint before eating it and figuring out that when his hand falls asleep, he can masturbate with it and it’ll feel like someone else is jerking him off. Related posts • How wonderful (2) • Heidi Montag has a new single (1) • John McCain responds to Heidi Montag’s endorsement (1) • Heidi Montag will have a video game (5) • Everyone knows “The Hills” is fake (0)

People pay money for this
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 8:26:36 AM

Hate your life? Then treat yourself to an Avril Lavigne concert. They seem wonderful. In fact, it might just give you the motivation you need to kill yourself. The Washington Post reviewed Avril’s last concert and describes it as “all about her.” But now 23 and married, she pulls off the act, if it is an act, with wondrous believability. During “I Don’t Have to Try,” she screamed, “It’s all about me!” and the girls in the grandstand screamed with her. “How many girls out there always get what they want?” she said

before playing the garagey, Joan Jett-ish “I Always Get What I Want.” Changing from a black outfit to a blacker outfit every several songs, she turned the narcissism knob up to 11 for “The Best Damn Thing.” She brought out a group of dancers dressed as cheerleaders and carrying large placards, and forced the troupe to lead the crowd in spelling out AV-R-I-L and to yell her name. If I was one of the cheerleaders, I would have done three back flips into a standing double flip in front of Avril and kicked her in the vagina. Alas, I’m neither that athletic nor that gay so you’d have to settle for me kicking Avril in the vagina without

all that flash. If it makes you happy, I can sort of do a little shuffle with my feet while she’s keeled over in pain. Related posts • Avril Lavigne is a good performer (1) • Avril Lavigne topless in Blender (4) • Avril Lavigne isn’t pregnant (6) • Avril Lavigne does the bikini thing (4) • Avril Lavigne is really modest (2)

Daily -Click and Print- Newspaper



Do Not Feed the Animal
By Hollywood Grind

Jay-Z is mean
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 11:45:40 AM

Not even 14 days of marriage and Jay-Z and Beyonce are already fighting. The newlyweds were at the Hollywood Bowl in LA showing off their matching IV tats. The DJ began playing Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” when Jay-Z rushed the stage and yelled, “F*** that. Sorry Bey but f*** that - let’s play something else.” Naturally, Beyonce was pissed and walked off. Jay-Z said it was a joke and groveled until she forgave him. “Beyonce had been side stage for most of the night, dancing and singing along,” says a fellow reveller. But when Jay-Z got the song pulled, her mood soured. He meant it as a joke, but Beyonce didn’t take it that way. “After he came off stage, she confronted him, demanding to know what the hell his comments had been about. She was

gesturing wildly and not looking happy. Typically I like to wait at least two months until I publicly humiliate my wife. But that’s just me. I’m not a big rap superstar like Jay-Z. Although, for his next joke, he should really consider pantsying Beyonce on stage and then pushing her over. It’ll be hilarious. Because it was a goof! Get it?! Related posts • They served caviar and Popeye’s Chicken (0) • Beyonce and Jay-Z are engaged (0) • Jay-Z got a special gift (2) • Jay-Z bans Cristal (2) • Beyonce and Jay-Z aren’t getting married (0)

Jessica Simpson likes her alcohol hard
By The Blemish (The Blemish)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 10:42:23 AM

Submitted at 4/17/2008 6:23:33 PM

A while ago, Jessica Simpson was admitted to the hospital for a kidney infection. Star is now reporting it was much more serious than that. They say she was treated for a kidney infection, a bladder infection and a urinary tract infection. All of which were “brought on by drinking an obscene amount of alcohol.” “She used to keep her drinks to a minimum, because she’s very conscientious about the calories,” says a source. “But Tony and his buddies really party hard, and I think they expect Jessica to keep up with them. But she is like a third of their weight and just can’t hold as much as they can.” Sober girls complain a lot. “Can we leave now?” “I don’t want to touch it!”

“Can you not pee on my face?” Drunk girls are fun. They dance on tables and show everyone their tits and when you try to stick it in their butt, they’re pretty agreeable. My point is if you’re a sober girl, stay home. I don’t want to hear how you got a promotion without having to sleep with your boss. That’s boring and does nothing for my penis. Related posts • Jessica Simpson and John Mayer are together again (0) • Jessica Simpson is still talking about Nick (0) • Jessica Simpson is a giver (3) • Jessica Simpson has saggy boobs (3) • Jessica Simpson is a tabloid slut (2)

This well endowed kitty cat is Orazi. He weighs 35 lb. (16 kg). Orazi’s owner Laura Santarelli of Eupilio, Italy, says she has a lot of trouble picking up her best friend. My blogging will be slow today. Earlier this week all my friends and family caught the flu, and I thought I was the lucky one this year, but as it turns out I finally caught it. I’ve been spending a lot of time in bed, taking medication, and with my head in the toilet. At the moment my stomach has calmed down a little, so I’m going to try some updates. I think of all of you like my second family, which is why I’m dragging myself to the computer to keep you updated with the lastest gossip. Thank you for reading HG. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 20062008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • My Beautiful Mommy • Hell’s Kitchen is Too Cold and Too Hot • Diane Neal is Leaving Law and Order • Emma Watson is 18 Today • Who’s Your Daddy



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Hayden Christensen on the Set of His Next Movie Bomb

My Beautiful Mommy
By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/17/2008 3:47:56 AM

By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/17/2008 4:04:12 AM

There is a new book coming out called My Beautiful Mommy. The bok helps moms who undergo plastic surgery to explain to their children, that mommy will be prettier after the bandages come off. One woman said: When she was pregnant with her son Junior, who turns nine this month, Gabriela Acosta ballooned from 115 pounds to 196. Acosta lost the weight but wound up with stretched, saggy skin. Even her son noticed

it. He told her that her stomach looked "pruney," the result, he thought, of staying in the shower too long. There’s a baby boom in Hollywood right now, but mommies will have to wait until after it goes on sale on Mother’s day. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 20062008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • Do Not Feed the Animal • Hell’s Kitchen is Too Cold and Too Hot • Diane Neal is Leaving Law and Order • Emma Watson is 18 Today • Who’s Your Daddy

Gary Busey Evicted
By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:32:06 PM

Gary Busey has just been evicted from his home in Malibu that he rents. Busey currently owes $50,000 in back rent, and refuses to pay because he claims the "unclean air conditioning vents" were a health risk to him. Tonight he will appear on Access Hollywood to make his case. There are cries for help, and cries for attention. This is the latter. Remember when Busey interrupted Ryan Seacrest during an interview on the red carpet. Look

at me Ryan, look at me! In the video below however, Busey denies he owes $50,000, and says there is no air-conditioning in the house he lived in for 17 years. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 20062008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • Do Not Feed the Animal • My Beautiful Mommy • Hell’s Kitchen is Too Cold and Too Hot • Diane Neal is Leaving Law and Order • Emma Watson is 18 Today

I really want to believe that former Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen will someday make a blockbuster movie, but until then he needs to get some acting lessons. The same goes for his co-star Rachel Bilson. The pair are teaming up for a new movie called New York, I Love You, which is already on my list of movies to avoid simply because these two are in it. Sad, but true. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 20062008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • Hayden Panettiere Appeals to the Dark Side • Jessica Alba in Awake • Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson Are Dating • Rachel Bilson Gets Kinky with Whips and… • Sienna Miller Real Sex Scene in Factory Girl?

Tori Spelling Rides the Rainbow
By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/17/2008 3:56:27 AM

Tori Spelling told Reuters: "I’m a huge fan of gays. They love me. I

love them. They consider me kind of a gay icon, which they’ve labeled me as." She wishes. If drags queens aren’t dressing like you, then honey, you are NOT a gay icon.

© Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 2006-

2008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • Tori Spelling Almost Went Broke • Tori Spelling is Pregnant Again • Tori Spelling is a Scary Clown • Dancing With the Stars Contestants

Leaked • Tori Spelling – Gay Marriage Minister

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Gossip* Tech Tips* Food*


Thank You for Your Support
By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:22:11 PM

As regular HG readers know, I came down with the flu yesterday, and I’ve been really sick. Over the past 24 hours my email has been flooded with "get well soon" messages. I can’t begin to tell you all how much your support means to me. I am so very humbled. Today I will be doing my best to keep Hollywoodgrind.com updated. Your emails have really helped me feel better, and might even be curing me from the flu. THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 20062008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts:

Avoid Ten Typos (Almost) Everybody Makes [Writing]
By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 12:15:00 AM

• Do Not Feed the Animal • My Beautiful Mommy • Hell’s Kitchen is Too Cold and Too Hot • Diane Neal is Leaving Law and Order • Emma Watson is 18 Today

Kathy Hilton to Appear in a Soap Opera
By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/18/2008 7:13:58 PM

Being on top of your grammar is a skill that takes years of practice to refine into unthinking craft, but even the most wordminded among us can trip up when it comes how keyboards transpose our thoughts. Blogger Christopher Phin releases his inner copy editor and points out 10 errors one sees everywhere in digital writing, mostly due to not knowing what characters go exactly where. As someone who over-uses the "m-dash" a bit, I was glad to get schooling in the finer points of horizontal lines: A hyphen ... should really only be used when linking words such as ready-made. It shouldn't even be used mathematically to

represent a minus, as there's a dedicated character for that, too [thanks, Dash Nazi!]. Most other uses mandate an en dash - as here, for example - or when planning meetings from 1-2. Changing fashions mean the the long dash—this one, called an em dash—is rarely seen, but where it is, it's usual to render it without the spaces on either side or with special hairline spaces instead. THE FIX: althyphen for an en dash, alt-shift-hyphen for the em. What typos perenially haunt your keystrokes, and how do you keep them at bay? Share the scribe suggestions in the comments. Ten typographic mistakes everyone makes[Receding Hairline via 43 Folders]

Taboo Remembers Tabs So You Don't Have To [Featured Firefox Extension]
By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/17/2008 11:10:00 PM

Paris Hilton’s mom, Kathy Hilton, will make an appearance on the Young and the Restless. All celebrity moms want to be stars themselves. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 20062008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • Paris Hilton Likes Pussy • Paris Hilton Fell on Her Face • Paris Hilton Has Clown Feet • Paris Hilton Belly Dances in Turkey • Paris Hilton Knows Geography

Windows/Mac/Linux (Firefox): Firefox makes it pretty easy to save all your open tabs into a bookmark folder, but Taboo makes it really simple to keep everything, including form text and scroll position, in an unseen memory bank. Installing Taboo adds two buttons to your browser, one to mark and another to call up Expose-like

thumbnails of what you've tagged, with quick-elimination searching and calendar or grid views. For projects involving a lot of info-juggling or preventing a cool bookmark from falling from memory, Taboo is like having someone take dictation on what you've found on the web. Taboo is a free download, works wherever Firefox does. Taboo[via Download Squad]

Paw Paw Goes to Doggy Heaven
By Hollywood Grind
Submitted at 4/17/2008 6:47:42 PM

Paw Paw, Martha Stewart’s 13 year-old best friend, died on Saturday of renal (kidney) failure. In true Martha style, she wrapped up her Paw Paw with a bow, and scented wrapping. Imagine what Martha’s funeral will look like. © Copyright HollywoodGrind.com 2006-

2008. All Rights Reserved. Related posts: • Paris Hilton Loves Poon • Martha Stewart Built Nativity Scene in Prison • Martha Stewart Wishes Trump was Dead • Martha Stewart’s Mother has Died • Naomi Campbell Goes Dunkin Donuts Crazy

Curried Potato and Vegetable Soup
By Elise
Submitted at 4/17/2008 5:00:21 PM

In honor of my friend Barbara and her efforts with the food blogger Taste of Yellow event raising awareness for Lance Armstrong's LiveSTRONG Day, I set out to make a vibrant, yellow soup. This curried potato soup is filled with Yukon Gold yellow potatoes, cauliflower, yellow bell peppers, yellow onions, corn, and yellow summer squash. Can one possibly

get more yellow than that? Wait, the butter is yellow too, and turmeric stains everything it touches yellow. This recipe

uses a couple summer seasonal ingredients - the corn and squash - but you could easily substitute a sweet potato (put it in early with the Yukon Golds). My mother and I both loved it, especially with some cilantro mixed in. My father doesn't like curry so his vote doesn't count. Continue reading "Curried Potato and Vegetable Soup" »


Tech Tips* Food*

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Control and Grab Your Torrents From Anywhere with TorrentFlux [Feature]
By Kevin Purdy (Lifehacker)
Submitted at 4/18/2008 2:00:00 AM

You're at a friends house, extolling the virtues of your latest TV obsession or music kick, and you can't wait to get them into it as well. Usually, this conversation ends with a promise of burned CDs—but why not offer them what you've already grabbed from BitTorrent, or give them a user name and password to get what you're about to start downloading? TorrentFlux, a free, open-source, server-based BitTorrent manager, can do all those things. If you've got a Windows or Linux computer you keep on most of the time, a home server, or even hosted space, you can take control your downloads. Follow through the jump for a tutorial on getting started with TorrentFlux. Windows Users: Install WAMP Windows users who have undertaken any one of web serving serving projects should be familiar with WAMP, the all-in-one package that sets up the Apache web server, a mySQL database and PHP functionality. WAMP's been updated since we last linked to it, but the easy setup remains. Follow the first two in this step-by-step guide exactly, but create a database named "torrentflux" at the third step. Grab a copy of the stable Windows release, unzip it and open the file named "torrentflux.sql" with Notepad or another editor, and copy all the text inside to your clipboard. Head back to phpMyAdmin, click the "SQL" tab, then enter the copied text and hit go. A few more file shifts, and we'll have TorrentFlux up and running. Set up TorrentFlux Create a new directory somewhere you have access—I made a folder named "tfdownloads" right at my hard drive's base c:\ section—and right-click on it. You're going to give full control of the folder to administrators and users, so make sure it's not somewhere you also place sensitive files. Inside the TorrentFlux folder, unzip the "binaries" file, then copy all of the resulting folder's files inside your WAMP folder—I like to make a new "torrentflux" folder inside the "bins" directory and paste them all inside. Now copy all the files

inside the "html" folder, create a "torrentflux" directory in your published documents folder ("www" inside the wamp folder, in most cases), and past all those files in there. Now open up the "config.inc.php" file you just pasted with a text editor. At the line starting with$cfg["db_user"], fill in the username (root) and password you gave your database. Scroll down and change "C:/binaries" to wherever you stashed the binaries folder (making sure to use forward-slashes), and change the downloads directory to the folder you enabled earlier (again, using forward-slashes). Once that's set up, head to localhost/torrentflux in a browser, and you'll be prompted twice for a username and password. Whatever you put in will be what protects your files from peering eyes, so choose something secure. Now you're in, and you can start poking around. Starting a download is as easy as pasting a link in the "URL" field and hitting the green "Start" button—unfortunately, the stable Windows version lacks the ability to individually throttle torrents, but you can set a general upload cap (which usually equates to downstream traffic) in the config file. You can can change the themed skin of the page, set up user accounts for friends, see your server stats and hit "directory list" to see your collected files, but you can't download them—not yet, anyways. If you're feeling hacker-ish and want to code download links yourself, you can take , one forum member's suggestions and run with them, but I've put together a single file replacement that should enable direct downloads: dir.php replacement Simply grab that file and drop it into the folder where you stashed TorrentFlux's web files (\wamp\www\torrentflux, most likely). You should now see download links in the right-hand columns for every file, finished or not. Installing TorrentFlux in Linux TorrentFlux is one of the few crossplatform apps you'll find that's easier, and more advance, in its Linux installation than

Windows. If you want to set up a system with full file-sharing (Samba), we've previously posted a guide to creating an $80 file server that features TorrentFlux. Otherwise, the steps are very similar to the Windows installation, with a few command-line differences: • Installing LAMP : This will vary by distribution a bit, but the basics of setting up Apache, mySQL and PHP are cover in this HowtoForge guide for Ubuntu . • Installing phpMyAdmin : Your repository should have an autosetup package for it, and changing passwords is the same as with Windows. • Setting up TorrentFlux : If your distribution has a package, all the better. If not, grab the latest version and follow the installation instructions included—though they should be the same as Windows. • That's it : Direct downloads, per-file throttling and other extras are enabled by default in the latest Linux packages. Open it up Finally, to make your torrents controllable and accessible from the big world out there, you'll need to open up a port for web access and find a way to get to it. Luckily, Gina's written up great guides to getting past your router/firewall and giving it a constant home with DynDNS. Follow those guides for the Apache module, and you'll be sharing videos, tunes and other gear with friends in no time. Like anything about TorrentFlux I didn't mention? Found an easier way to make your files accessible from outside your home network? Share your thoughts, takes, and questions in the comments. Kevin Purdy, associate editor at Lifehacker, is psyched about starting torrent downloads from the line at the coffee shop. His weekly feature, Open Sourcery, appears every Friday on Lifehacker.

Spinach and Orzo Salad
By Elise
Submitted at 4/17/2008 5:58:14 AM

"Needs more cheese." "Needs more vinegar." "Needs fewer olives." "You could add more spinach." My parents love it when I cook for them, especially when it's a new recipe and they get to be the taste testers. They happily put up with the delays to the meal due to my tweaking the dish as they "dish out" their suggestions. And with the delays that come from my attempts to take the perfect photo ("Don't touch that, I still haven't shot it!"). I love their input, as they know much more

about food than I do, and their suggestions almost always result in something better. This spinach, orzo, and feta salad recipe comes from our happy family collaboration. Feel free to experiment with the proportions. Many recipes I've found online call for twice as much orzo to the other ingredients than I've listed here. I think there is a lot of room for maneuvering when you are working with great ingredients like these. Continue reading "Spinach and Orzo Salad" »