Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holy Grim Reaper Batman!



Rumor has it that in the next issue of Batman, scheduled to come out today, Bruce Wayne, the alter ego of Batman, may either retire from his duties or be killed by a mystery villain...holy RIP! The caped crusader's alter ego Bruce Wayne has reached the end of the line, according to an interview in Comic Book Resources (CBR)with writer Grant Morrison.

In the controversial latest issue of the Batman story, written by Morrison, Wayne is rumoured to either die, or give up being Batman because he is so shaken up by a secret from his past, necessitating a hunt for a replacement.

Key contenders to take up the cape include Dick Grayson, the original Robin who now protects Gotham City as Nightwing, Batman's son Damian and the current Boy Wonder, Tim Drake.

Obama Swag Moves Beyond the Streets to the Small Screen TV

video

From Ojamas to Commemorative Plates - Brand Obama Is The Gift That Keeps on giving...and giving...and giving...

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Power of President-elect Obama


U.S. Stocks Rally as Obama Picks Tim Geithner to Head Treasury

President-elect Barack Obama picked Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to be his Treasury secretary, with Lawrence Summers getting a senior White House role. Obama is also likely to nominate New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary, and Arizona's Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano to serve as the next head of the Department of Homeland Security. Reports have it that Obama plans to announce his picks on Nov. 24. Despite conflicting reports from the NY Times, Sen Hillary Clinton is not yet poised to accept the Secretary of State position. That said, stocks have rebounded sharply on the news of the Treasury pick. The benefit of choosing Geithner is that he has been intimately involved with the current financial crisis from the begining, so he brings continuity with little need for any major transitions.

Campbell's Soup is “Fond de Cuisine” For Americans During Tough Times...




You may not "see" the lines of starving Americans outside waiting for bowls of free soup the way we did during the Great Depression, but make no mistake, the proof is in the "stock" - as in Campbell's Soup stock, which has led the Standard & Poor Packaged Foods Index over the past three months, and as recently as Sept. was the lone stock beat the S&P 500 (the remaining 499) by almost 48 percentage points. Shares of the venerable company fell today in response to an analyst downgrading it to "Neutral" from "Buy," but regardless, recent data shows Campbell's soup sales were up 14 percent in the latest four-week period in October, a pretty clear indicator of how priorities have shifted for American consumers. Let them eat soup...!

Did you know that Campbell's has survived 28 recessions, two world wars and the Great Depression over its 139-year existence?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CitySearch Takes off The Gloves


After almost a solid year of heavy competition from Yelp, CitySearch is unveiling a test version of its new site today, the most exciting new feature involves integrating your Facebook account into Citysearch. When you browse the site, Citysearch can prioritize content written by your Facebook friends; you can import your Facebook profile into Citysearch; and you can also share your Citysearch reviews on Facebook and have them show up in your news feed. Citysearch will also try to provide more relevant information by focusing on individual neighborhoods, rather than entire cities. This leads to a huge increase in Citysearch pages, from 140 city guides to a combined 70,000 city and neighborhood guides. Pretty cool...

Obama Picks First Potential African-American Attorney General



President-elect Barack Obama has picked Eric Holder to be his attorney general; if approved Holder would be the first African-American attorney general in US history.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Day 2008: A Change Is Gonna Come...
























We are on the cusp of one of the most profound moments in this young nation's 232-year history. The first African-American US President...words simply cannot express the emotions, so I hope these images serve as a reminder of where we came from, where we are, and where we're going.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Lots To Catch Up On...Coldplay, Google Books, Economy...

So I took a bit of a hiatus after a weekend away in the backwoods of upstate Pennsylvania (Potter County, aka: God's Country - Beautiful Mountains, Nice But Ass-Backwards Peeps, Great Fishing, Hunting), but time to get back to it...

COLDPLAY
I went to the Colplay concert this past Monday at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ (right next to Giants Stadium); really good concert which I saw from a luxury skybox; glad I went (especially because it was free and I was with friends), but would never pay for the skybox experience and would be hesitant to do that again; concerts are supposed to be a visceral experience, an assault on the senses, and the box literally and figuratively puts a barrier up between that. That said, I had a great time, and I thank the peeps who invited me to attend...here's some video footage from the concert...enjoy.


video




The Economy
Can we finally acknowledge that we are in fact in a RE-CES-SION? Not only did the U.S. economy shrank by 0.3 percent during the third quarter, but there was a 3.1 percent decline in consumer spending, the sharpest drop since 1980. And with the Holiday season right around the corner, it doesn't take a genius to see the writing on the wall that the upcoming holiday sales be one of the worst ever, further cementing the fact that we are indeed in a recession (despite The National Bureau of Economic Research still not officially labeling it as such).

THE GREAT DEPRESSION, PART DEUX
This week marked the anniversary of the market crash of 1929, which triggered the Great Depression; the irony is clearly not lost on any of us, and frankly a bit eerie; let's hope it doesn't ever get to the point as it did in the photo below...



GOOGLE BOOKS?
This past week Google settled two copyright suits brought by book publishers and authors in a landmark legal case that allows them to continue to scan books and make them available on the Internet. The deal will make it easier for Google, publishers and authors to profit from the digital versions of printed books.

Since Google announced this project four years ago, they've been working with the likes of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford as well as The New York Public Library to digitally scan books from their collections; Google has already scanned 7 million texts, including everything from classics to textbooks and how-to books. It will be interesting to see how this changes the publishing landscape as a whole, in addition to how this will affect Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Boarders, not to mention the longtail affect on technology gadgets (iphone, iTouch, Blackberry, etc.).



and finally...THE ELECTION

Yes, I had to save the best for last. With four days until election day, there's not much to say that hasn't been said to-date. Regardless of who you're voting for, the most important thing to remember come election day is this...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Clash of the Financial Titans



Looking to stabilize the economy and drum-up confidence, the treasury will be meeting with the big banks today to discuss the direct investment of $125 billion from the gov't in nine of the biggest U.S. banks. Led by Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the meeting - to be held at 3PM this afternoon - includes the likes of Ken Lewis, chief executive of BOA, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroup, Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Robert Kelly, CEO of New York Mellon. Hmmm...how many bank CEO's does it take to fix a financial crisis?



Monday, October 13, 2008

Warner Bros to release films online before DVD's...in S. Korea

Warner Brothers Entertainment has taken the first step towards what many think will be the future of the entertainment industry by releasing its films online in South Korea before they are released in the country on DVD. Why South Korea? Not only does S. Korea have a high percentage of broadband penetration, but it's also one of the global leaders in DVD piracy, lagging only behind China.

Warner Bros is expected to reap the financial benefits by bringing forward the release of films online. Traditionally, DVD sales generate about $12bn a year, while rentals generate $7bn; the wrinkle is that studios take 20-25 per cent of the money from a rental but if the film is rented in digital form the share is closer to 70 per cent. Not too shabby...

What are the chances of this happening in the US? Not anytime soon, as 55% of all adult Americans now have a high-speed internet connection at home, according to a May 2008 survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. While this is roughly 17% more than 2007, the US still lags behind 24 other countries worldwide when it comes to broadband penetration.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday on Wall St.





And the hits just keep on comin'...the weekly sh*t-astic Monday financial news continues to suck as today stocks tumbled around the world, the Dow dropped below 10,000 for first time since 2004, the euro fell the most against the yen since its debut, oil dropped below $90 a barrel, and the US is still reeling from the news that the American economy lost 159,000 jobs in September, the worst month in five years. Oh yeah, and that Citi/Wachovia deal - fuhgetaboutit - Citigroup has sued Wells Fargo and its takeover target Wachovia for $60 billion (peanuts right?), citing "the unlawful conduct of Wachovia, Wells Fargo, and their officers and directors and outside advisers." So much for shoring up consumer confidence with the financial crisis...great timing boys.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Pew Poll Shows Obama Lead Growing




I'll caveat this post by saying that I'm not a real big believer in political polls. That said, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has gained a 7-point lead over Republican rival John McCain in the wake of their first presidential debate. Pew cites several factors for what it calls Obama's "significant lead" over McCain, including Obama's performance in the first presidential debate, as well as voter confidence in Obama's ability to deal with the financial crisis.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cow Patties & Marshmallows...M-Mm Good!

video

Here's the clip in its entirety...


I actually agree with Rep. Paul Broun, (R) Georgia...but they still should've passed the bill.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Just a Bill, Yes I'm Only a $700 Billion Bill, and I'm Sittin' Here On Capitol Hill

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke say that a recession is "unavoidable" if the Wall St. bailout bill isn't passed, while the Senate Banking Committee calls the proposed $700 billion plan "unacceptable." As a refresher, let's review one of my all-time favorite School House Rock segments on how exactly a bill is passed...

Nancy Hicks Maynard, Pioneer for Newsroom Diversity, Dies at 61




Veteran journalist and author Nancy Hicks Maynard died this past Sunday after a long illness. Maynard was a staunch advocate for newsroom diversity. In 1968 at the age of 23, she became one of the youngest reporters and the first black woman to report for the Metropolitan staff for the New York Times, and went on to a life of outstanding and distinguished work for the Times, New York Post, and occasionally the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, before co-founding The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Wall St. Meltdown...Greed is Good?




Let's just recap the timeline of events from this year on Wall St.:

- February 2008: The U.S. Congress approves a 150-billion-dollar spending package to stimulate the economy.

- March 2008: On the verge of collapse and under pressure by the Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank, Bear Stears is forced to accept a buyout by U.S. investment bank JPMorgan Chase at a fire-sale price. The deal shakes confidence and sends seismic ripple effects throughout global financial markets.

- July 2008: The California mortgage lender IndyMac collapses.

- September 2008: The U.S. government takes over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The crisis at U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers deepens. Stock prices of other financial institutions also fall sharply, including those of the U.S. investment bank Merrill Lynch, the insurance giant American International Group (AIG), and Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings and loan bank.

- September 15, 2008, 'Black Monday': The investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after 158 years in business; Merrill Lynch, the world's largest stock broker agreed to be bought by Bank of America (BoA) for $50 BILLION. And finally, AIG, the world's largest insurance company, searched for ways of raising $40 billion in cash from the FED. Oh, and the Dow closed 500 points lower for the worst point drop in more than seven years...

FLASHBACK:

On the original "Black Monday" (October 19, 1987), the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 508 points, losing 22.6% of its total value. The S&P 500 dropped 20.4%. This was the greatest loss Wall Street ever suffered in a single day.

FLASHFORWARD:
...it's only Monday folks. Strap on your seatbelts 'cause it's going to be a bumpy ride. Next on the docket: stocks continue to fall (investors continue to dump due to a lack of confidence in the market); Washington Mutual and Wachovia, the clock is ticking and more than likely either JP Morgan or Goldman will snatch them.

On the flip side, the price of oil finished below $100 a barrel for the first time in six months...buuut gas prices rose to $4 a gallon in large parts of the South affected by Hurricane Ike.

This is a tragic day folks, and not only will it get worse, but the recession (yes, we are in one) will get deeper and last for the next year. This is what the next President will inherit...think about that this November 4th when you cast your vote.

UPDATE: So according to The Hollywood Reporter, "Fox is ready to revisit if greed is indeed good by pushing anew with its "Wall Street" sequel, titled "Money Never Sleeps."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Palin and Clinton on SNL

Great skit from SNL this past Saturday where Tina Fey returned to play non other than her twin, Sarah Palin alongside Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gina Girshon Spoofs Palin...

See more Gina Gershon videos at Funny or Die



Gina "Bound" Gershon does some of her best acting in years in this Palin spoof on FunnyorDie.com...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Google Crawler + Human Error = United Airlines Stock Frenzy on Wall St.




Back in 1994, a computer "hiccup" disrupted Nasdaq trades for 2 1/2 hours and caused a slight panic amongst traders. Having interned on Wall St. back in the day for two summers (ForEx, Swiss Francs), I can unequivocally attest to the fact that computers are the heart and soul of Nasdaq and Wall St. by allowing buyers and sellers to post prices and execute trades; billions of dollars are exchanged daily and every second counts. That particular day of computer malfunctions reduced the day's brokerage commissions (and put-off buying that yacht by a week), but fortunately not much else.

Fast-forward 14 years - computers are still wreaking havoc on Wall St. This past Monday (Sept. 8th), an article popped-up on the web that declared that United Airlines had announced that it was filing for bankruptcy and, taken as gospel, sparked a mass frenzy of selling/dumping of UA stock on Wall Street. The problem is, the story was false.

Why or how did this happen? Simple answer: Google search. Google discovered a six-year-old story on the Web site of a South Florida newspaper that did not have a date on it.

When Google found the article via its crawler, it applied the date of the search on that story and posted it on Google news. A reporter for a securities investment firm saw it, took it as being a new story, "United Declares Bankruptcy," punched it into Bloomberg, and it hit Wall Street like a tsunami where within a matter of minutes, more than 15 million shares had traded and United Airlines had lost 75 percent of its value.

Fortunes have been made and lost from rumors on Wall St. for longer than I've been alive, so that in itself is nothing new. What IS new is that these rumors can now be ignited and posted by anyone with a working knowledge of search and/or SEO, and Wall St. Now granted, this had a lot to do with human error, so the fault lies not just on Google; but realist that I am, I have to wonder if this could possibly serve as a blueprint for some unscrupulous bloke who wants to manipulate the system and short a stock (betting that it will go down) by planting a fake story that would cause the stock to crash. And if you had shorted that stock, you could stand to make a lot of money.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Obama Continues To Leverage Digital to Fuel WOM , Reaps Media Dividends






While the BIG news that the traditional political networks and rags were talking about over the weekend was dominated by the Sen. Obama's choice for VP, Sen. Joe Biden, one of the interesting underlying stories is the role that digital continues to play in this election, and specifically by camp Obama. Yes, the blogosphere was all a-Twitter with conspiracy theories that Sen. Obama chose to notify both the media and consumers about his VP choice starting at 3AM on Saturday morning as a last "slap-in-the-face" response to not only NOT picking Clinton, but to her 3AM phone call ad
but as the string of emails (and SMS text messages) above indicates, Obama continues to deftly harness digital in a manner that time and again successfully informs and galvanizes at the grassroots level, and provides a halo effect that hits mainstream media and the masses. This continues to be a master class in the use and power of social communications in a way that will forever change the face of American politics, and takes the Howard Dean 2004 election online initiatives to a new level. Pay attention folks - video, viral, SMS, social networking, email - these tools are all being orchestrated in a grand way, as they continue to not only keep Sen. Obama in the news cycle, but continues the two-way dialogue direct and unfiltered with consumers. The interesting story will come in November and beyond if Sen. Obama wins, and if/how he uses the very tools moving forward that will have played such a critical role in his election.

Monday, August 18, 2008

NBC Universal Launches Gemini Division, First Network Web Series




Today marks the premiere of Gemini Division, a sci-fi web-only series starring indie-flick hottie, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Clerks II).

This bold move by NBC Universal could very well change the face of original programming as we know it. A recent Advertising Age article claims that this is "perhaps the most significant original programming ever developed by a broadcast network specifically for the web."

According to industry rags, "Gemini" will roll out as a 50-webisode series, with the first two segments premiering today on NBC.com, SciFi.com, and GeminiDivision.com, and will be featured on several video-on-demand platforms including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, Dish Network, Amazon Unbox, and Microsoft's Xbox Live and Zune. Wow, that's an exhaustive list of partners, not to mention a number of top advertisers who have signed up, including Microsoft, Intel, and UPS.

It'll be interesting to see how this is received by the people who matter the most - the online audience and regular TV viewers. Supposedly, if viewers respond favorably to a given story line or character, the network will also be prepared to shoot ancillary footage and create social media spin-offs. They've apparently already released a series of blogs which you won't know until episode 30 are actually related to the show. Regardless, I for one intend on keeping close tabs on this endeavor, if not for anything else but to get up-close and personal with senorita Rosario.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The PR Industry In Need of Good PR As Usual




Sighhhhh....So I was reading some of the industry trades and blogs before going to work the other day, and came across a post in TechCrunch that has the following title: The PR Roadblock On The Road To Blissful Blogging, written by Michael Arrington. The nature of the article - how PR practitioners and the industry as a whole don't have a clue when it comes to interacting with bloggers or executing a social communications strategy.

I'm absolutely fed-up with the lack of respect that PR gets from both traditional (magazine, newspaper) and new media (bloggers, etc.), but I understand it. It's frustrating that traditional PR agencies don't understand that they can't just "cut and paste" the same tired, traditional tactics as they would for online. And really if you think about it, why would you want to? The beauty of digital PR and social communications management is that one has the ability to engage consumers in a two-way dialogue without the middle-man and generate targeted, qualified eyeballs from consumers who not only give a damn about your message, but will carry the torch - and your message - to their network of friends, readers and loyalists. Unlike traditional PR, digital allows for the ability to tailor your message in a manner that speaks directly to the consumer - not at them.

And unlike traditional PR, where many journo-types both loathe and begrudgingly need Publicists, bloggers (for the most part) are pretty down-to-earth, everyday people who are open and willing to listen to, and post your message - so long as you take the time to actually read their blogs, engage by commenting, etc.

What's my point? None really except to my PR brethren: stop taking shortcuts and do some due-diligence to understand who you're pitching at the end of the day; be forward thinking, be strategic, be engaged and be bold. Take pride in yourself and your profession and challenge those that work for and/or with you to live by the same standards. As for Michael Arrington, I don't necessarily disagree with your pov, as I think you raise a somewhat valid point; but let me ask you a question: where does TechCrunch get most of the information that it posts? Hmmmm...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bernie Mac - Respect.




Dead from pneumonia at a mere 50, Bernie Mac leaves behind a legacy of great success and unfulfilled promise. We can be grateful for the hits ranging from Def Comedy Jam, and The Original Kings of Comedy tours to most notably the sitcom The Bernie Mac Show.

Isaac Hayes was a bad motha - shut yo mouth!



Respect and prayers go out to the family and friends of the legendary Issac Hayes,the pioneering singer, songwriter and musician whose ode to blaxploitation in "Theme From Shaft" won not only Academy and Grammy awards, but defined a genre and a generation, died Sunday Aug. 10, 2008 at the age of 65.

Hayes was able to redefine himself and captured the following of a whole new generation through the character of Chef on South Park, and though Hayes famously left the show in 2006 due to ripple effects stemming from the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet" (a funny as hell satire of Tom Cruise and Scientology, of which Hayes was a drone, err, member), perhaps his greatest claim to fame for the newer fans will be his "Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You)." Rest in peace Iassac - You were the man.




Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stephen King Dips His Bloody Toe into the World of Graphic Video

I used to be a HUGE fan of Stephen King novels back in the day, and though I don't read as many of his novels now, I still both appreciate his writing and have affinity towards the man. Heck, the he paved the way for my rampant imagination to run wild with fright back in the day with such novels as Cujo, The Stand, Pet Cemetary, Firestarter, etc. So it makes me feel somewhat warm and fuzzy to see that unlike many a writer today, Stephen King has not only evolved but has come to embrace New Media.

King brings his previously unpublished short story “N” to life through a series of 25 graphic video episodes. The series tells the story of a psychiatrist who falls victim to the same deadly obsession as his patient.

The cool thing about "N" is that it’s an original comic-style book adaptation specifically developed and produced for viewing on small screens, presented in a highly designed “pan and scan” format, complete with comic book style graphics, an original score, sound effects, and a full cast of voiceovers.

To demonstrate even further just how King gets it, he's made this content portable and accessible by way of allowing us to watch “N.” online, on your mobile phone or download it at iTunes. Pretty cool, and great for King to stretch himself as a writer to embrace "the unknown." Check out the widget below...


Paris Responds To McCain...

Loaded only 21 hours ago on funnyordie.com
this video response to Sen. John McCain from Paris Hilton is already amongst the most popular ever on the site, having already been viewed 3.5 million times. This could very well be the rally call for the Grand Old Party (emphases on OLD).
See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My First Time...

The memory is so vivid - my body trembling, shaking, the tears in my eyes and the sweat that broke out over my body. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm not talking about sex, but rather my first time experiencing and participating in what has since been dubbed as the ubiquitous and ever elusive "viral campaign." I was working in experiential youth marketing at a big agency working on a big account. One of my colleagues sent me an IM with the link and a note: "you have to see this! It's hysterical!" The link brought me to what was then iFilm, and the clip was as follows:



Yes, that did it for me; I fell hook, line and sinker for that 15-second clip, dubbed "Afroninja,". The first few hundred times I watched it I was overcome with guilty, pleasurable waves of uncontrollable laughter, and to this day when I look at the clip, it brings a big smile to my face and more often than not elicits at least a chuckle or two. In those first few innocent viewings, I couldn't wait to send the clip to everyone I knew, and did so with reckless abandon and gusto. I was so happy to be the guy in the know, the "influencer" sending all my friends a clip that I knew that would enjoy as much as I did. Fast forward years later, after The Dramatic Chipmunk and Chocolate Rain videos, and it turns out that Mark Hicks, the stuntman whose misfortune while filming a Nike commercial blazed a trail throughout the net, may end up having the last laugh. He is apparently making a full fledged movie called Afroninja: Destiny based in large part on that very clip. Check out the great interview with Mark on Wired.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

FooFighters Rock On and Rock Hard!


Last night I attended the Foo Fighters concert at the Izod Center (formerly Continental Airlines Arena) in New Jersey. My love for the Foo goes back sometime now, back to 1990 and the days a little grunge band out of the state of Washington called Nirvana shook up the world and changed the face of music as we now know it. Back then Dave was merely the silent drummer for the band and in awe of front man Kurt Cobain (let's face it, back then everyone was in awe of Kurt).

When Kurt died in 1994 after only three albums and Nirvana dissolved, Dave formed Foo Fighters, and released the first album based off many of the songs he'd written while on tour with Nirvana, but never recorded. Pretty friggin' great stuff on that first album. Since then, Foo has grown and matured, as have I, and Dave has become somewhat of an elder spokesman who deftly bridges the gap between 80's rock, the early days of 90's grunge and the current days of "alternative" in all it's many forms. Granted, Dave is no Kurt, and Foo's music definitely does not have the intensity, depth or passion that Nirvana had, but it's still good ol' rock and roll music, and the band puts on a kick-ass concert, and that's all fine by me.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hasbro Flexes and Facebook Submits - R.I.P. Scrabulous?!




I saw the writing on the wall months ago, but ignored it, couldn't bring myself to accept the inevitable, and now the inevitable has happened. With one simple message, office workers, friends and foes alike are in mourning. What was this powerful message that has evoked such an outcry? Behold...

Scrabulous is disabled for US and Canadian users until further notice.




This is the culmination of the just recently announced suit that Hasbro filed against the Agarwalla brothers, the blokes behind the ubiquitous Facebook app, Scrabulous. Of course Hasbro has an alternative motive (no, really?!) and hopes that players going through Scrabulous withdrawal give the official Hasbro version of Scrabble on Facebook a try. Silly corporate old school brand - don't they realize that social networking platforms have become so popular if not a part of the fabric of many people's lives in part to avoid being told what to do and how to do it by "the man." No, no no Hasbro - this was a bad move, and though I understand the intention, the execution was poor. Wouldn't Hasbro have been better served by reaching some formal agreement with the Argawalla brothers, and working with not just them but with Facebook by creating a rev share model that all would benefit by having? I mean really, who played Scrabble with regularity until the app was developed for Facebook? Embrace the light Hasbro, turn away from the Dark Side, and embrace your consumers, for they mean you no harm.

For all you diehard Scrabulous fans who refuse to give in to the man, open a new browser window and play Scrabulous on Scrabulous.com, which still appears to be functioning.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

EA's Dead Space new gametrailer is AWESOME!

Wow! I'm not a heavy gamer, more the casual type - you know, once in a while I'll throw in Call of Duty, Madden, or the likes and get my game on. I've never been one to really anticipate a new game the way I do a new gadget (iphone anyone), movie or cd from one of my favorite bands. That said, their are exceptions to every rule, and Dead Space is that exception. Check out the following trailer - I defy you to not feel some sense of excitement and awe...

FYI - this is a Red Band video, the ESRB would not allow this trailer to be released for the US.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Talib Kweli - Rock To Save Darfur Concert

So last week, I attended a Rock To Save Darfur concert benefit at BB King's on 42nd St that featured one of my favorite MC's ever, the lyrical master Talib Kweli. For those that don't know, Talib is a Brooklyn MC who represents the next generation of what to me was one of the Golden Era's in hip hop, the time of the Native Tongues. Talib, Mos Def, Common are all cut from the same socio-political cloth.

Anyhoo, the venue was packed with a surprisingly young, diverse crowd, and the night of "edutainment" included speakers and performances all to shed light on the current genocide in Darfur, where 400,000 have been killed and millions made homeless. All proceeds from sales for the night went towards organizations dedicated to ending the suffering in Sudan. Check out the video from below of Talib (sorry for the poor quality, crappy camera phone!).



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Product Placement R.I.P.? Say it ain't so!

So according to Reuters, the FCC will be investigating the role of product placement in TV shows, and whether or not there should be some "warning" for consumers watching these programs advising them to the fact. Apparantly, a coalition of 23 consumer and health advocacy groups said in a letter to the FCC that they were concerned that consumers are being duped with subliminal messaging? Ummm...o.k., I'm processing this as I write it. I can see the disclaimer now:

TV
PP

The following program has product placements from the following companies:
Volkswagon
Coke
Evian
True Religion
Motorola
Nike
Apple

Seriously, give me a break!

NYC Leads Nation in Tech Jobs

According to a recent report by AeA (“Cybercities 2008: An Overview of the High-Technology Industry in the Nation’s Top 60 Cities'), a national tech industry trade association, the leading metro areas by high-tech employment in 2006 were the New York Metro Area
(316,500), Washington, DC (295,800), San Jose/Silicon Valley (225,300), Boston
(191,700), and Dallas-Fort Worth (176,000).

Cookie Monster Loves...Fruit??

Who knew the power of Cookie Monster? And where the heck have I been - under a rock?

According to an article posted on June 6th in USA Today and based off the findings of The NPD Group, fruit has surpassed cookies as the preferred snack for kids under the age of six. Say what??! This apparantly aligns well with the new cookie box, or day I say "fruit bowl" that Cookie Monster has been standing on and promoting on Sesame Street. When did this happen? Don't get me wrong, as the father of two I think this is great, but I just wonder about the data, and how real and reliable it is.

The study was based on the journals from 500 mothers in 1985-1987 and 600 mothers in 2005-2007. The women kept diaries for 14 days on all the foods and beverages their children under age 6 consumed. O.K. - so riddle me this: what did the kids eat the remaining 351 days of the year that led to childhood obesity statistics revealing in October 2007 the stunning fact that almost 60% of children in America are obese children. 60%!!! The obesity statistics of 2002 say that 22% of US preschoolers were overweight, and by the time an obese child turns six years old, his/her chance of becoming an obese adult is over 50%. So, while I inhale my peanut M&M's and Twizzlers, read through the article (link below) and the recent appearance by Mr. Monster on The Colbert Report.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2008-06-10-kids-snacks_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip