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Posts Tagged ‘Josh Earnest’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire Phone | Carney’s Final Briefing

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Amazon Launches Smartphone (GalleyCat)
Amazon has gotten into the smartphone business with the launch of the Fire, Amazon’s first smartphone. NYT Though the device is called the Fire phone, Amazon’s new gadget is less a phone than a pocketable cash register hooked directly into the retailer’s intelligent warehouses. And it’s not cheap. The Fire phone sells for $199 with a two-year AT&T contract. Although it also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon’s Prime membership, the Fire phone is essentially the same price as high-end phones made by Apple and Samsung. For Amazon, a company whose previous devices have had innovative pricing plans that often involved selling devices at cost, the Fire phone’s uninspired price tag is a surprising disappointment. The Washington Post / The Switch The phone lets you scan products in stores, so that you can buy things directly from Amazon, using a new service called “Firefly.” Users can even use the phone to “listen” to songs or videos, and link users to places to buy them. It can also recognize art, and scan text such as phone numbers and then immediately place a call. The Verge There’s one big difference here: the Fire phone’s interface changes based on how you’re looking at it and how you orient the device. Amazon calls the feature “Dynamic Perspective,” which basically means that some apps on the phone will have a three-dimensional depth to them, and tilting the phone will let you peer around edges, just as you can with real objects. Mashable The history of 3D-type screens in mobile suggests consumers aren’t interested in the feature. The two most notable devices, the HTC Evo 3D and the LG Optimus 3D, both flopped. The only real 3D success in mobile so far has been the Nintendo 3DS, which is explicitly a game console.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Lewis Katz Dies | Carney Steps Down | Zuckerberg Donates

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Co-Owner of Philadelphia Inquirer Dies in Plane Crash (Philly.com)
Lewis Katz, 72, co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, died Saturday night in the crash of a private jet at a Massachusetts airfield. All seven people aboard were killed when the Gulfstream IV crashed about 9:40 p.m. as it was departing Hanscom Field in Bedford for Atlantic City International Airport, said a Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman. Boston Globe The plane exploded in a blast that sent a fireball and a large plume of black smoke into the air, said Bedford resident Jeff Patterson, 43, who lives beside the runway. The flames rose 60 feet in the air, he said. His 14-year-old son, Jared, said the explosion rattled the house. Bloomberg Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest won control of the Inquirer and its sister publication at a court-ordered auction four days earlier. A native of Camden, N.J., Katz was increasingly involved with his philanthropic giving. In May, Temple University announced it would name its medical school after Katz, who told the Inquirer that while his mother wanted him to be a doctor, he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. CNN Katz was formerly the principal owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He was a shareholder of the Nets, the New York Yankees and the YES Network at the time of his death. New York Daily News The Yankees honored long-time minority owner Katz in the Bronx with a moment of silence before the national anthem on Sunday at the Stadium. Katz will be remembered for his hot-and-cold relationship with George Steinbrenner. NPR / The Two-Way Drew Katz, Lewis’ son, said in a statement that his father’s sudden death has brought “an incomprehensible amount of grief.” He added: “My father was my best friend. He taught me everything. He never forgot where and how he grew up, and he worked tirelessly to support his community in countless ways that were seen and unseen. He loved his native city of Camden and his adopted home of Philadelphia.” Read more

White House Stops Staging Pictures of Live Speeches for News Photographers

Since Ronald Reagan, the White House has had a policy that still photography cannot be taken during a live presidential address, like the one President Obama gave announcing Osama bin Laden‘s death.

The reason still cameras are not allowed is simply because of the noise from the camera shutters and the placement of the teleprompter. But this policy results in the president having to re-enact part of his address so photographers can take pictures. After Obama’s speech on bin Laden, for example, once the president had finished addressing the nation, he “then re-enacted the walk-out and first 30 seconds of the statement for us,” explained Reuters photographer Jason Reed.

Apart from just being an odd thing to do, this re-enactment goes against the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics, which says: “Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.”

Even though this policy has been going on for decades, since Obama’s speech, it has blown up into a huge story, and not just on journalism blogs — we’ve even seen it covered on cable news channels. Perhaps the unexpected public outcry is because, as Poynter found in a survey,  30 of 50 newspaper front pages that used an Obama photo from the speech “implied or strongly suggested it was an image of the live address.”

But really, we think it had more to do with the fact that headlines on this story allowed for the serendipitous combination of the words “Bin Laden,” “Photo,” “Obama,” and “Staged.”

In any event, the White House caved into the demands of the angry public, and now has ended its practice of re-enacting presidential speeches, the Washington Post reports.

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