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Morning Media Newsfeed 09.26.12

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Google's 360-Degree Tours Give You Deeper View of Great Barrier Reef (NBC News / Cosmic Log)
Thousands of images from Australia's Great Barrier Reef and other coral locales are being stitched together into an eye-popping array of 360-degree panoramas for Google Maps' Street View feature -- but this million-dollar-plus project isn't just about pretty pictures. It's about sharing the wonders and the woes of the world's coral reefs with people around the globe. BBC News The material was gathered by the Catlin Seaview Survey -- a project studying the health of the reefs, including the impact of global warming. The program's director said the effort would help scientists analyze ecosystems and raise general awareness. It is also a publicity coup for Google at a time of growing competition. USA Today "Underwater is a little different than walking down the street," said Jenifer Foulkes of Google's Ocean Program, which aims to provide people with a view of coral reefs they can steer around as simply as a street map online. CNET "With these vibrant and stunning photos you don't have to be a scuba diver -- or even know how to swim -- to explore and experience six of the ocean's most incredible living coral reefs," Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Earth, said in a blog post announcing the feature. "Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays in Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii." Daily Mail Using a combination of HD cameras, deep-diving robots and survey equipment, the deep-water component will provide a comprehensive study of the health composition and biodiversity of the deep-water reefs on the Great Barrier Reef.

Jonah Lehrer Hints at a Self-Defense (Forbes / John McQuaid)
On a recent episode of Louie, a TV producer played by David Lynch gives Louis CK three bits of showbiz advice. One of them is: "You have to go away to come back." The science journalist Jonah Lehrer, who made a brief cameo appearance on the media scene this week in a piece in Los Angeles Magazine, would be wise to heed it. The Atlantic Wire Lehrer is so very close to giving us an on-the-record first-hand account about all that self-plagiarizing, his resignation from The New Yorker, and his made-up Bob Dylan quotes -- he just has to finish writing it. Los Angeles Magazine Was Lehrer just lazy? When Forbes' John McQuaid noted that Lehrer's deceit allowed him to avoid "the drab scutwork of journalism" -- the tedium of tracking down facts -- I knew exactly what he meant. New York / Daily Intel "When I emailed Lehrer... he responded right away," Los Angeles Magazine's Amy Wallace writes. "Despite the avalanche of coverage, he said, I was only the third person to contact him for comment. (Apparently Lehrer wasn't the only person guilty of laziness. Or was it that a potential response from Lehrer might not jibe with what the commentariat wanted to say?)" Gawker Even if Lehrer is telling the truth about only three people of the dozens who wrote about him being willing to contact him for comment, the Daily Intel's skeptical response should serve as a reminder of how hard it is to reclaim people's trust. Jonah's got a long road ahead of him.

Howard Stringer, Jeff Zucker Among Those Considered for Top CNN Post (TVNewser)
CNN is still actively searching for its new worldwide president, who will replace Jim Walton when he steps down at the end of the year. As we have noted before, former Today EP and NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker is one of the names being considered. NY Post Sources said Time Warner will likely look at other broadcast-news chiefs including Neal Shapiro, who led NBC News, and David Westin, the former president of ABC News.

New York Times Company Sells Interest in Indeed.com, Nets $100 Million (FishbowlNY)
It's only Tuesday, but it has already been a pretty good week for The New York Times Company. The paper just announced that it is selling its interest in Indeed.com, a jobs site, and expects that sale to net The Times Co. $100 million in profit. Reuters The Times Co,, which used to be a sprawling media conglomerate with holdings in cable networks, magazines, newspapers and sports teams, has been shedding assets over the past few years to streamline operations and shore up cash reserves as advertising dollars dry up. Boston Globe / AP The move comes a day after The Times Co. said it had closed its sale of The About Group to Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp for $300 million. Deadline New York The new deal will deliver the company's stake to Japan's Recruit Co, which specializes in classified ads. Bloomberg Businessweek Recruit Co., which had 807 billion yen ($10.4 billion) in revenue in the year ended in March, will use Indeed as its global system for online recruitment, said Rony Kahan, co-founder of Stamford, Conn.-based Indeed. New York Observer The Times Co. said that it has decided to sell off the investments and assets in order to focus on the newspaper and website.

Barnes & Noble Launches New Nook HD (Boston Globe / AP)
Barnes & Noble is rolling out two new versions of its Nook tablet with sleek new hardware and a sharper high-definition screen. The bookseller's move heightens the already intense tablet wars heading into the holiday season. HuffPost You didn't think Barnes & Noble was just going to let Amazon release a flashy set of breathlessly-hyped Kindle Fires without returning a punch, did you? USA Today The Nook HD starts at $199 for a model with a 7-inch screen and 8 gigabytes of storage, or $249 for 16 GB. The Google Nexus 7 tablet and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD also sport 7-inch screens. Apple is rumored to have plans to introduce a mini version of its iPad. WSJ / AP Barnes & Noble Inc. says it will also launch a video service this fall that lets users buy and watch movies and TV shows on their mobile devices and televisions. Publishers Weekly Consumers will be able to access movie content through a Nook Video app, which will be released shortly. Like the Nook Reading app, the Nook Video app will provide access to the movie/TV content for purchase or rent and will be stored in the Nook Cloud, allowing consumers to watch their video content on any connected devices.

Financial Times Calls Social Media Its Fastest-Growing Source of Referral Traffic (SocialTimes)
In the checkout stand at the grocery store, the front page of a publication is what grabs a reader's attention. Online, headlines and high-quality images are still valuable, but the homepage is not always a reader's first point of entry. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ also play their part in distributing the news. Do social shares actually lead to more page views? According to the Financial Times, they do. Folio: In late July, the Financial Times' digital subscribers grew to about 300,000 paying readers, an increase of about 31 percent when compared to the same time in 2011, with the publication's total circulation increasing to almost 600,000. Meanwhile, the FT social community reaches 3.9 million people -- 2.2 million on Twitter, 1.3 million on Google+, 430,000 on Facebook and a surprising 18,000 on LinkedIn. To put this into perspective, there are about 500 percent more people interacting with the brand on social media than there are paying for its content. Financial Times Mark McDonald, head of executive programs research at Gartner, the research company, says: "The economy we are now in places a higher value on participation, and consumers want to connect with each other and demonstrate their knowledge. That changes their association with the product, or the brand."

BlackBerry Maker Plants Seeds for Comeback Attempt (US News & World Report / AP)
Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins is promising to restore the BlackBerry phone's stature as a trailblazing device even as many investors fret about its potential demise. Heins took the stage Tuesday at a conference for mobile applications developers to rally support for the upcoming release of BlackBerry 10, a new operating system that Research In Motion is touting as its salvation after years of blundering wiped out some $80 billion in shareholder wealth. NBC News Research In Motion said on Tuesday its BlackBerry subscriber base has risen to 80 million from the 78 million it reported earlier this year, surprising many on Wall Street and sending its shares up more than 3 percent. NYT / Bits Research In Motion said on Tuesday that its coming line of BlackBerry 10 phones would include the company's popular BlackBerry Messenger service, a feature still absent on its tablet computers. But during his presentation to software developers in San Jose, Calf., Thorsten Heins, the president and chief executive of RIM, still did not offer a specific date for what he called "our most important launch ever."

Ross Perot Memoir Coming Out in January (Yahoo! News / AP)
H. Ross Perot is again getting down to brass tacks -- this time in print. The 82-year-old Texas billionaire and former presidential candidate has a deal with Simon & Schuster for his autobiography, scheduled to come out in January. The publisher announced Tuesday that Perot's book is called Ross Perot: My Life. USA Today / The Oval Simon & Schuster said Ross Perot: My Life will discuss his business career as well as his 1992 and 1996 independent campaigns for the presidency. Perot also plans to discuss his work with the military and education in Texas.

iPhone Users Might Get a Google Maps App for Christmas (The Atlantic Wire)
Despite Eric Schmidt saying Google isn't doing a Google Maps app for iPhone on Tuesday, that doesn't appear to be the case. The Google Maps app is coming, according to new reports, and it could be in the App Store before Christmas. NYT / Bits One reason that it will take Google some time to build the iPhone app: it expected the app with Google's maps to remain on the iPhone for some time, based on the contract between the two companies, and was caught off guard when Apple decided to build a new application to replace the old one.

Foursquare's 'Always On' Feature Tracks Your VIPs Near or Far, Android App Regains Nearby Check-In Filter (Engadget)
If you have an urge to always know what your close friends and family members are up to, then Foursquare has the remedy. The popular social network has announced the availability of its new "Always On" option which allows you to receive continuous check-ins from a selected list of people -- even if you have notifications disabled.

Is Islam's Prophet Muhammad to Have More Screen Time? (LA Times / Movies Now)
A prohibition on depicting him has long been sacrosanct, but then came Innocence of Muslims. And two ex-Muslim filmmakers are seeking to develop biopics.

Narrative.ly Taps Into NYC's Untold Stories (PBS / MediaShift)
After a few minutes of talking to Noah Rosenberg, you are reminded of the 1920s journalist caricature that we have grown to love as a society. Fast-talking, witty, entrepreneurial, and passionate about people. However, one major difference stands out -- his multimedia storytelling skills and geek power which he is using to tell the stories of New York City in a new way with his venture Narrative.ly.

Rick Sanchez Returns... on Fox News Latino (TVNewser)
Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez -- who was let go from the network in October 2010 following comments he made on a radio program -- is getting back into the cable news fold. TVNewser hears that Sanchez will make his debut as a columnist on Fox News Latino Wednesday.

How H&M, Starbucks and Google Became Centers of Attention on Twitter (Ad Age / Media News)
Last week Ad Age and our editorial partner Bluefin Labs started ranking the brands generating the biggest lifts in buzz on Twitter -- but with added insight into the role played by national TV advertising and integrations. This week's ranking shows why that's important for brands to understand.

Entertainment Weekly Ramping Up Fashion Coverage on Website (WWD / Memo Pad)
Entertainment Weekly has made a few hires from the fashion world over the past few months: first hiring Bronwyn Barnes from InStyle and then taking publisher Karin Tracy from People StyleWatch, so it will come as no surprise that the title is not only looking for more fashion ad pages but producing more style-related content.

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