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Posts Tagged ‘John Oliver’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Facebook Buys Oculus | Atlantic Makes Changes | Amazon Credits eBooks

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facebook oculus

Facebook Bets $2 Billion on Virtual Reality (Financial Times)
Facebook is making a $2 billion bet that virtual reality headsets will be the next big social platform after computers and smartphones, with the sudden acquisition of Oculus VR. The deal marks an unexpected move by the world’s largest social network into the hardware business, at a time when arch-rival Google is investing in robots, its own Google Glass headset and other long-term ventures. Facebook believes that virtual reality’s applications could extend beyond gaming into entertainment and education. AllFacebook The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter, and it is comprised of $400 million in cash, 23.1 million shares of Facebook class-A common stock (worth $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of $69.35 for the 20 trading days leading up to March 21) and $300 million in potential cash and stock based on reaching certain unspecified milestones. Facebook said in its announcement that more than 75,000 orders have been placed for Oculus Rift development kits, adding that it plans to help Oculus expand into verticals including communications and media. Adweek The Irvine, Calif.-based company’s Rift headset covers the eyes of users and plants them in a virtual reality world in which they can play games, watch movies and interact in new ways. GigaOM Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he sees Oculus as an opportunity to move beyond the console and toward ubiquitous computing. He doesn’t expect Facebook to make money off of selling Oculus hardware; instead, it might become a ubiquitous world for communication that might contain advertising. “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home,” Zuckerberg explained. Bloomberg The deal follows a spate of acquisitions that Facebook has used to build up its mobile business. Last month, the company agreed to purchase messaging application WhatsApp for $19 billion. In 2012, Facebook bought mobile photo-sharing program Instagram for about $700 million. Facebook had $11.4 billion in cash and investments at the end of 2013.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Google Wins Fair Use Case | John Oliver Joins HBO | Baldwin’s Outburst

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Google Wins 8-Year Book-Scanning Battle (GalleyCat)
Google has won its controversial book scanning fight with the Author’s Guild. U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled in favor of Google on Thursday claiming that Google’s massive book scanning project, in which the online giant scanned millions of books and made them available through search without obtaining the permission of the copyright holders, to be legal. According to Chin’s ruling, Google’s project makes life easier for research, makes it easier for libraries to obtain digital copies of books, brings old books to light and gives people who would not have access to books access. GigaOM Chin also rejected the theory that Google was depriving authors of income, noting that the company does not sell the scans or make whole copies of books available. He concluded, instead, that Google Books served to help readers discover new books and amounted to “new income from authors.” Reuters “This is a big win for Google, and it blesses other search results that Google displays, such as news or images,” said James Grimmelmann, a University of Maryland intellectual property law professor who has followed the case. “It is also a good ruling for libraries and researchers, because the opinion recognizes the public benefit of making books available,” he added. Wired / Threat Level If the ruling had gone the other way, Google would have faced the Copyright Act’s hefty damages of up to $150,000 per infringement. NYT Google began its book-scanning project in 2004, without obtaining permission from copyright holders. The next year, groups representing authors and publishers sued Google claiming copyright violations, beginning an eight-year court battle. The Author’s Guild “We disagree with and are disappointed by the court’s decision,” Authors Guild executive director Paul Aiken said. “This case presents a fundamental challenge to copyright that merits review by a higher court. Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world’s valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of fair use defense. We plan to appeal the decision.”

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Jon Stewart to Go on Hollywood Hiatus

Don’t expect The Daily Show to keep you occupied this summer on those hot, concrete-baking nights. Deadline reports that Jon Stewart is taking a 12-week hiatus from the show to make his Hollywood directorial debut.

From Deadline:

Stewart has written the script, and will direct Rosewater, an adaptation of the book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. Published in 2011 by Random House, the book is Maziar Bahari’s harrowing ordeal of leaving London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential elections. With a pregnant fiance left behind, the BBC journalist expected to be away for a week. Instead, he spent the next 118 days in Iran’s most notorious prison being brutally interrogated by a man he knew only by one thing: he smelled of Rosewater. Bahari wrote the book with Aimee Molloy. Scott Rudin will produce with Stewart and Gigi Pritzker. Pritzker’s OddLot Entertainment is financing the film.

Daily Show fans should take solace in the fact that John Oliver will take over hosting duties for eight weeks this summer in Stewart’s stead. So stay strong. You can handle four weeks of re-runs.

The Daily Show Has a Few Sarah Palin Today Thoughts

Obviously, The Daily Show had a few things to say about Sarah Palin‘s protracted Today appearance yesterday. Jon Stewart had a pretty good rant, but we prefer John Oliver‘s shenanigans.

The Daily Show Takes On Civility in Journalism

The Daily Show‘s John Oliver made syndicated columnist and Association of Opinion Journalists President Froma Harrop look rather silly last night.

Harrop bore her beating stoically. “Sure, much of my careful reasoning ended up on the cutting-room floor,” she wrote on her blog this morning, “but it was fun.”

The Daily Show Sums Up Murdoch News of the World Scandal

The Daily Show‘s John Oliver does a tremendous job summing up just how big a story the implosion of the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World is in his home country: “Do you know how hard it is to disgrace a British tabloid?”

And how can you not love this line about Hugh Grant, who wore a wire to help expose News of the World‘s phone hacking: “The guy who got car head from an LA road prostitute is now the moral compass of my nation.”

The Daily Show Embeds With the White House Press Corp

Hot on the heels of Jon Stewart‘s CNBC takedown, The Daily Show‘s John Oliver visits the “luxurious press corps offices.”

“It’s like what Donald Trump would have designed if he’d decided to keep journalists as pets…all the greats did time here before getting real careers.”

After which he runs into Helen Thomas, who suggests he go home. He also appears to stump Robert Gibbs a bit when he asks “Which of the questions which your staff insisted be pre-approved, would you like to answer first? One, two, or three?” Snap!

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