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Techno

Samuel L. Jackson Squares Off Against Siri

Holy cow… This “Real Siri Ad” (with audio NSFW) is right up there with the million and one memes derived from that Hitler scene in The Downfall:

Kudos to Alex Moschina and the rest of the gang at slacktory.com for piecing together what will no doubt be a m#&f&*$&ing monster viral hit.

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Wolfgang Puck Adds to Media Empire with First iPhone-iPad App

Here’s an idea: Let’s fold the Governors Ball into the Academy Awards ceremony and enlist Wolfgang Puck to host the mercifully shorter, looser affair. FishbowlLA has no doubt that he could capably handle the double duty, and now, he’s got the iPhone-iPad app to further promote it to those young-demo viewers the Academy so desperately pines for.

Just as the Brits tend to dominate the annual Oscars ceremony with their erudite and handsomely shot productions, Puck created his Live Love Eat! App with the help of UK firm Gourmet Pixel. From today’s press release:

The App features never-before-published recipes, cooking and technique videos, one-touch calling for reservations, event planning tools and social media integration… “I’m excited to bring my favorite recipes, cooking tips and tricks to our fans who share my passion for food and entertaining,” said Puck. “It’s VIP access to the best of what we have to offer!”

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Casual Remark by Shannon Tweed Sparks Attack of the Groupies

Sometimes, great ideas arise from simple, casual conversation. Case in point: the new iPhone-iPad game Attack of the Groupies.

Per an article in St. John’s, Newfoundland paper The Telegram, when Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed attended the Atlantic Brand Confabulation event there last year, they met Gogii Games president George Donovan. The company, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, has created titles such as Escape the Museum and Princess Isabella: A Witch’s Curse.

Donovan asked Mrs. Tweed-Simmons if she had ever thought about doing a video game:

“I’d played some of those games on my phone as a way to waste time, but that’s it,” Tweed-Simmons told The Telegram. “He said, ‘You should do one,’ and I said, ‘Like what — ‘Attack of the Groupies’ or something? He said, ‘That’s a great idea.’”
The game features an animated Tweed-Simmons fighting off hordes of crazed female groupies intent on getting their hands on her man.

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Video: James Cameron Talks About His Voyage to the Ocean’s Floor

Director James Cameron gave his exit interview to National Geographic shortly after he emerged from his yellow submarine and became the first person in history to take a solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Can’t wait to see the footage of what he found down there.

James Cameron Reaches Deepest Point of the Ocean

Director James Cameron conquered possibly the last great exploratory feat on Earth over the weekend. He reached the deepest point of the ocean–35,756 feet down, at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. And once he got there, he tweeted.

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U.S. Copyright Office is Virtual Marilyn’s Best Friend

While author-filmmaker Keya Morgan continues to put the final touches on his upcoming Marilyn Monroe twin bombshells, including this week the first-ever on-camera interview with one of the deceased movie star’s bodyguards, we’ll have to make do with the next best thing. That would be Virtual Marilyn (pictured).

She’s actually been around since 1996. But late last month, in this 50th anniversary year of the Hollywood icon’s death, the U.S. Copyright Office officially confirmed VM2′s originality. From today’s press release:

“The U.S. Copyright Office’s registration of VM2 as a virtual actress adopting the persona of Marilyn Monroe is a milestone in the convergence of Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the Internet,” declared Becky Altringer, manager of digiconmedia.net, the holder of exclusive licensing rights to the newly registered copyright. “Advances in computer generated animation and global broadband Internet links now make it viable for a virtual personality to ‘live’ in cyberspace and interact with a global Internet audience.”

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KTLA Reporter Uses Old iPad to Report About New iPad

Apple couldn’t have staged it any better. When Rich DeMuro encountered satellite truck problems this morning while reporting from San Francisco about the 10 a.m. PT unveiling of the latest iPad, he found a synergistic solution.

Using his iPad 2 and a Skype connection, the KTLA Morning News reporter was able to beam back down to LA, no problem.

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Google Ditches Android Market, Launches Google Play

Google has decided to consolidate its Google Music, Google Books and Android Market online properties under a single banner: Google Play. The new digital superstore launched today.

As TechCrunch notes, Google had spent loads of time and energy in recent months trying (unsuccessfully) to brand Android Market. But Google simply has too many digital items to shop outside the smartphone realm. The consolidation has the potential to put Google on par with iTunes. Interestingly, though, unlike iTunes, Google Play is cloud-based. Meaning content can be accessed from any device without the need to clog up space on your hard drive.

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Livestream a Double-Edged Sword for Social Movements

FishbowlLA alum Tina Dupuy has a nice piece in CityWatch on the emerging Livestream–unedited raw video streamed live online–trend in covering grassroots political movements–especially Occupy Wall Street.

I asked [UpTake] founder and director Jason Barnett, who’s trained hundreds of “citizen journalists” (they call themselves UpTakers), if it’s unusual for protesters to morph into journalists because they downloaded a smart phone app. He explains, “It’s the natural byproduct of livestreaming. You’re forced into the role of the person handling the truth.”

There are no edits. There’s only what’s happening at that moment and maybe some commentary or explaining, says Barnett. If sunlight is a disinfectant, livestreaming is a laser.

“People are tired of being lied to by the media,” says [Occupier] Tim Pool, who adds, “Transparency is paramount.”

But here’s the rub: As Occupy tries to find itself, transparency and more specifically livestreaming has become a double-edged sword. Yes, all occupiers love when the police are being filmed. But not so much when they are caught on livestream doing illegal acts.

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LA Times to Put Up a Paywall Beginning in March

Beginning on March 5, visiting latimes.com will no longer be free. Today, the LA Times announced plans for a new online subscription service, joining the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among several other other major papers, in putting its website behind a paywall. Full access to latimes.com will initially cost readers 99 cents for four weeks. Those who don’t subscribe will be allowed to access 15 stories each 30 day period for free.

More from the Times:

After the 99 cents for the first four weeks, the rate will rise to $1.99 a week in a package that also includes the Sunday newspaper. Digital-only access will cost $3.99. Online access will be included at no extra charge for print subscribers.

The paywall is a bold move, but seems like a smart idea. The New York Times launched its paywall without diminishing its web traffic. It did, however, slow the site’s growth.

With the LA Times, packaging the digital subscription with the Sunday edition is a very good idea. The Times’ web traffic has been skyrocketing as of late, but its Sunday circulation has been waning precipitously. If this move gets the Sunday numbers back up, in exchange for a service the paper had already been providing for free, that’s a tough plan to argue with.

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