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Amazon Announces Set-Top Box ‘Fire TV’ (LostRemote)
Amazon continues its quest to become more than an e-commerce powerhouse, announcing Wednesday a set-top box that allows HDTV viewers to connect to Amazon’s video offerings. Mashable The set-top device, called Amazon Fire TV, will be sold for $99. It is a small flat box with a remote control. The hardware aims to take on the Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. The Internet-connected set-top box, which uses voice search when you speak into the remote and also serves as a gaming console, was announced during a launch event in New York City on Wednesday with Amazon VP Peter Larsen playing master of ceremonies, not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. WSJ The new Fire TV is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions. Sales of streaming media devices such as Roku are expected to grow 24 percent this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple currently leads the market, followed by Roku and Google, the firm said. NYT Fire TV will show a range of content from other providers, including Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. With a separate $40 controller, it can be used to play games, including a version of the extremely popular Minecraft. Among the improvements and enhancements promoted for Fire TV: a voice search function that allows users to utter a name like “George Clooney” or a genre like “horror” and see results instantly pop up, and a prediction feature that knows what you want and queues it up. THR The small black box began shipping Wednesday, Larsen told a crowd of reporters. It has a premium price point in line with Apple TV. Roku, meanwhile, costs as low as $50 and Chromecast retails for $35.

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Afternoon Lede Check 4.2.14

The Supreme Court hands down a doozy of a ruling; DC voters send Vince Gray packing; and Nats Park is now serving sushi.

 

From WaPo to WJLA, here are the stories that are leading your homepages today, after the jump…

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Morning Splash

What’s Happening

— Luncheon with US Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen at the National Press Club, 12:30 p.m.

– SESAC presents Grammys on The Hill 2014

 

The Revolving Door

Know of someone leaving or leaving a job? Let us know.

 

Fishbowl Fun Fact

The saying “taking the bull by its horns” comes from the Greek myth of Hercules saving Crete from a raging bull by seizing its horns.

 

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2014 Ratings: Fox News No. 1 for 49th Consecutive Quarter(TVNewser)
Fox News finishes its 49th consecutive quarter and 147th consecutive month as the top-rated cable news network, besting the competition in both total day and primetime during the first quarter of 2014. In addition to delivering cable news’ top 14 programs in total viewers and top seven programs in the adults 25-54 demographic, Fox News was the only cable news network to grow compared to the year-ago quarter. Despite a strong March for CNN, MSNBC held on to the second-place spot among the cable news networks in both total day and primetime. HuffPost The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was one of the biggest stories of the month, and CNN — whose obsessive coverage of the plane has brought it both ratings victories and repeated criticism — reaped the rewards in March. The network beat MSNBC in weekday primetime in the demo at the end of the quarter, averaging 240,000 viewers in the 25-54 category to MSNBC’s 201,000. Those numbers represent a 71 percent increase in the demo compared to March 2013. Variety The numbers come as MSNBC pushed hard during the period to cover the “Bridgegate” scandal surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and they raise the question of whether CNN will be able to sustain its March momentum when and if the MH 370 story loses the interest of news audiences.

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ICYMI: WaPo HQ on the Move, Plus Other Stories of Interest…

Afternoon Lede Check, 4.1.14

DC voters head to the polls; Obamacare enrollments top 7 mil; and Paul Ryan unveils yet another budget plan that will never be enacted.

From WaPo to WJLA, here are the stories that are leading your homepages today, after the jump…

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Morning Splash

What’s Happening

— RTCA Correspondents Dinner tickets go on sale, $250 each

— Elizabeth Dole Foundation press conference at the National Press Club, 11 a.m.

The Revolving Door

Know of someone starting or leaving a job? Let us know.

Fishbowl Fun Fact

An average Los Angeles resident spends 27 gallons per year sitting in traffic.

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al jazeera journalists egypt

Al-Jazeera Reporters Plead for Release (The Associated Press / The Big Story)
Three Al-Jazeera journalists on trial in Egypt directly asked the judge on Monday to release them, insisting the terrorism charges against them were preposterous. The judge denied the request for bail by Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed during the fourth hearing in the trial that opened on Feb. 20. TVNewser The judge did not accept their plea, adjourning the case until April 10. Australian Broadcasting Corp. It was Greste’s fourth appearance in court after more than 90 days in prison, and in an unusual move he was allowed to directly approach the judge and tell him why he should be freed. In words translated for the judge, Greste said that he had only been in Egypt for two weeks before his arrest and he had no connection with the Muslim Brotherhood. NYT One of the journalists even recounted drinking alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam. It was the first time the journalists were allowed to speak in court, about a hundred days after being detained. All three worked for Al Jazeera’s English-language news channel, and their case has elicited protests from human rights and free-speech groups. Mansour has said in public letters to the journalists’ families that he hoped they were soon released. And for a brief moment on Monday, the judge appeared sympathetic to the journalists’ arguments. CNN International Fahmy told the court that he and his colleagues worked in public rather than in secrecy, and covered Egypt as they would other countries. He questioned how any journalist could be labeled a terrorist. Their lawyers also took up the issue of Fahmy’s health. Fahmy injured his shoulder before his arrest in December. He has complained about not getting proper medical treatment while in prison and says that because of the lack of treatment, he no longer has full use of his right arm. The trial was adjourned until April 10.

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Afternoon Lede Check, 3.31.14

Not this again -Obamacare website has yet more technical glitches; Another Michigander quits the House; and the body of Khalil Tatum is found in Kenilworth Park.

From WaPo to WJLA, here are the stories that are leading your homepages today, after the jump…

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Morning Splash

What’s Happening
— Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius talks on HuffPo Live, 10:15 a.m.
— Luncheon with Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds at the National Press Club, 12:30 p.m.
— Cocktails with Lawrence Wright at Buck’s Fishing & Camping, 7 p.m.

The Revolving Door
— Arelis Hernandez‘s first day at WaPo
David Eldridge‘s first day at Roll Call
David Frum‘s first day at The Atlantic
Erica Pyatt‘s first day at McMurry/TMG
Ryan McCarthy starts at WaPo
Scott Havens‘ last day at The Atlantic

Fishbowl Fun Fact
Warren G. Harding bet the White House china collection in a poker game and lost it all in one hand.

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