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Aussie Reporter Admits to Wii Bit of E3 Conflict-of-Interest

Jonathan Ross and-or his Sydney Morning Herald editors get points for the funny Star Trek-wink headline topping a dispatch from E3 about the new Wii U console. The banner reads: “It’s a Nintendo Jim, But Not As We Know It.”

Not so enterprising is the fact that the company pretty much paid cash for those words. Per Ross’ article:

In the interests of the very fullest disclosure, I must say that I am here as a guest of Nintendo, a company whose products over the past 20 years I have loved and continue to feel great affection for…

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THR Tests Josh Flagg’s Star Maps App

For a Hollywood Reporter piece about Million Dollar Listing host Josh Flagg’s recently released Star Maps App, reporter Daniel Miller compared the 99-cent product’s data with that of a couple of the more conventional six-dollar paper products. Miller discovered that the westside mobility of past and present celebs can be a hazard of this specialized trade:

The comparison revealed that only a handful of about two dozen randomly selected notables were listed on all three products: Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty, Aaron Spelling and Frank Sinatra. And each map gave a different address for Sinatra and Beatty. Flagg and [Movie Star Homes and Notorious Crime Scenes publisher Marko] Joelson say their Sinatra and Beatty addresses are correct, though they concede the stars lived at multiple properties.

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Matt Stone, Trey Parker Still Chasing After Epic Video Game

Will this be the year the co-creators of South Park finally manage to replicate their zany brand of comedy into a truly memorable video game? ABC News blogger Dan Milano seems to think the chances are good. after attending today’s XBox media briefing at E3.

Milano, the network’s social media editor, writes on the side about tech and video games. He notes that with The Stick of Truth “at last it seems that gamers are in for a South Park game with a scope as epic as 1999′s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.”

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Putting Samuel L. Jackson’s Siri Ad to the Test

Boston-based comedian Paul Kafasis has shared a very funny post on his blog One Foot Tsunami. After endlessly watching the “Date Night” TV ad in which Samuel L. Jackson works with Siri to prepare a romantic evening of gazpacho consumption, he decided to cook up a real-world test.

It was bad enough when Kafasis articulated to Siri the words, “Remind me to put the gazpacho on ice in an hour.” But things got really dicey when he then used a recording of Jackson mouthing the dialogue. Kafasis’ Siri responded with:

- Call Mirium Booksbaum
- Call Anna-Genelle Harev
- Call Ron Ridenhour

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Voice of San Diego Adds Monthly Print Magazine

Thanks to some financial assistance from The Knight Foundation and the technical transom of MagCloud, Voice of San Diego is heading in a very non-traditional digital media direction. The respected regional news source is adding a monthly print magazine.

Free to paying members as a perk and available for purchase to non-members, Voice of San Diego Monthly comes on the heels of the LA Timesdecision to shutter their Sunday magazine. Perhaps the paper can take a page from VoSD and consider re-upping the insert as a similar paywall subscriber benefit. From today’s Knight Foundation blog post by VoSD editor Scott Lewis:

When I discovered MagCloud, I got an idea and couldn’t shake it. Rather than let our stories sit on some virtual shelf, why not offer the chance for people to catch up? We floated the idea to Knight Foundation, which loved it and decided to help with the experiment by funding it.

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Gavin Newsom Promises a Technology-Driven Program

As the current Lieutenant Governor of California reminds at the top of his Hollywood Reporter mini-essay, he had his own radio show when he was the mayor of San Francisco. He says he loved how the broadcast allowed him to relay snippets of workplace conversation and that his return to the media airwaves via Current TV was borne largely out a desire to repeat that experience.

Since his radio days, Newsom has become a much bigger fan and proponent of technological innovation. Something he wants to use to shape his Current TV program The Gavin Newsom Show:

We don’t want this to just be a once-a-week show that’s repeated twice other days… We’re coming up with what I hope will be, in very innovative ways, the ability to reach a large audience and create an important feedback mechanism. Some of my friends in the technology world will come up with interesting, creative ways, and we will experiment with these.

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LA Startup Promises to ‘Fix Freelancing’

Any of you freelancers out there ever get screwed out of a payment? We know we have. A new site,, is promising to “fix freelancing.”

How exactly?

According to a recent writeup in Fast Company, the site will offer “a complete pitch-to-payment cloud workflow system for freelancers and their employers. It helps digitally manage work assignments, editorial calendars, invoices, pitches, expenses, contract information, and payment. Freelance journalists, meanwhile, will be able to have access to all their outstanding invoice and payment information in one place. The startup also plans to implement a clip and algorithm service to match freelancers with potential new clients.”

We spoke with one of Assignmint’s founders, former New York Press editor and recent LA transplant Jeff Koyen, who told us more about how the site will work.

“In short, as currently planned, the system will be free for all writers (and, in the future, any kind of freelancer). These are fully functioning accounts, no throttles, no limits. Freelancers can create, send and track pitches, create assignments from the ones that land, then track and manage these assignments all the way to the end. We’re also building editor-side tools — the same tools, in fact. Editors can filter and manage incoming pitches, issue assignments and then handle all related fulfillment (e.g. contracts and invoices) right from their dashboard. We’ll also have premium team editorial accounts that feature more workflow and sharing tools.”

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An Occupier’s Worst Nightmare: Forbes Launches Real-Time Billionaire Tracking

Assets check! Assets check!

That might be the new battle cry from the Occupy front in the face of a ridiculously humbling widget launched this week by ForbesReal-Time Billionaires. Just as the name implies, the website is now tallying the aggregate hourly and daily value of stock market assets held by 50 of the world’s richest individuals.

Thanks to this new feature, it is now also possible at any given moment to confirm whether a certain Chinese mogul is living up to his prophetic name. We’re referring of course to Hong Kong high school dropout Lee Ka-shing.

LAT Database Producer Discusses His LAPD Experiment

The future of journalism was sliced, diced and debated in a myriad of ways this past weekend at the 13th International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ). Held April 20-21 at the University of Texas at Austin, the event featured innumerable keynote addresses and industry panels.

During one discussion titled “From Desk (lap) top Computers and Smartphones to Tablets: How Journalists are Responding to the Mobile Revolution,” LA Times database manager Ben Welsh suggested that he’s aiming for a Minority Report-like future. He envisions layers of computer-assisted reporting – operated by robotic spiders, and explained how he has been experimenting with the concept. Per a report by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas:

“You find a simple, repetitive and moving data stream that updates every day,” Welsh said. His data stream? The Los Angeles Police Department emails he receives at 2:30 every morning.

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Grateful Dead Game Aims to Cultivate ‘Digital Heads’ Following

Burbank based Rhino Entertainment and Asheville, NC game developer Curious Sense have today officially unveiled phase two of The Epic Tour, an online world inspired by the legacy of the Grateful Dead and the band’s devoted “Dead Heads” fan base.

What’s most intriguing here is that Curious Sense crowd-sourced the latest aspect of a game first launched last December. From today’s press release:

Curious Sense created a website in which Grateful Dead fans browsed a catalog of more than 2,500 Grateful Dead concerts, voting for shows they deemed “epic.” After collecting more than 30,000 votes over a period of two months, the fans’ top ten Grateful Dead shows were announced, and those ten concerts will make up the destinations in The Epic Tour.

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