New Movies from Pixar Announced…

Pixar has announced it’s newest movies this weekend at the D23 in Anaheim. The first movie is set for 2014 and looks inside the human mind. Directed by Peter Docter, the Academy Award-winning director of Up, the new Pixar toon is just starting its designs and sets and anticipating castings.


The other movie is about dinosaurs set sometime in the future. Director Bob Peterson was inspired by his childhood visit to the 1964 New York World’s Fair, where he saw animatronic dinosaurs. Disney made  announcements to 4,200 fans at the Anaheim Convention Center as part of its D23 Expo this weekend that brings all things “Disney” under one roof: Parks & Resorts, Consumer Products, Media Networks, and of course the Studio. D23 is the first official Disney fan club, and the expo takes place every other year. This year’s arena presentation was hosted by Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross and featured John Lasseter from Pixar, Kevin Feige from Marvel, Sean Bailey from Walt Disney Studios and talent from upcoming films from animation, Marvel, and Disney live action.

Another PC Maker is Hurting…

Taiwanese PC maker Acer, the world’s No. 2 PC vendor, reported its first-ever loss as it and PC makers see their market eroded by strong sales of Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and rival tablets. Acer lost $234.3 mil in the April-June quarter, vs. analyst views for a $114 mil loss. Still, analysts said Acer and Dell (DELL) could benefit from Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) exit. HP, the world’s largest PC maker, last week said it plans to spin off its PC unit, valued at $10 bil to $12 bil.

Who is Tim Cook (new CEO) of Apple?

Tim Cook, the man named to replace Steve Jobs as Apple’s chief executive, already has extensive experience running the company.

Cook, who has served as Apple’s chief operating officer for seven years, was named as its new chief executive today with the resignation of Jobs, the iconic co-founder of the company. Cook, a reserved and private man, was tapped to fill in for Jobs during his three medical leaves of absence.

“The board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, said in a statement on behalf of Apple’s board.

Long considered a front-runner to replace Jobs, the 50-year-old Cook joined Apple in 1998 as a senior vice president of worldwide operations and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2004. Before joining Apple, Cook briefly served as an executive at Compaq and spent 12 years at IBM, where he ran manufacturing and operations for the company’s PC business. Cook earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University and an MBA from Duke.

Cook is credited with completely restructuring Apple’s manufacturing operations, insisting that Apple shut down its overseas factories and farm out the work to third-party manufacturers. As a result, the company reduced inventory and improved margins on its entire product lineup.

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Ticketmaster to meet it’s match?


Anschutz Entertainment Group will roll out its much-hyped challenge to chief rival Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster this Saturday. So the battle is on. AEG has partnered with start-up Outbox Technology to form AXS with a plan to sell tickets through more than 100 arenas and theaters by the end of 2012. AEG — which owns L.A.’s Staples Center and London’s 02 Arena — was Ticketmaster’s biggest client, so not only will the loss hurt Ticketmaster’s bottom line but the new entity could challenge.


Ticketmaster’s dominance in this cutthroat biz. Turns out that a primary architect of AEG’s Outbox strategy is none other than Fred Rosen, who was Ticketmaster’s CEO in the 1980s and masterminded the company’s rise by creating a centralized ticket sales system used by the venues. The revenues came from service fees which, as anyone who’s bought a ticket to a live event in the past 20 years knows, have spiraled higher and higher. The AEG plan instead has the venues selling the tickets themselves via Outbox software that can be customized. AEG’s expansion into the ticket-sales business was seen as inevitable after the U.S. Justice Department approved the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger in 2010. But as a condition for that merger, the feds insisted that AEG have the opportunity to license Ticketmaster’s software. AEG ultimately chose to go with Outbox instead.

Steve Jobs steps down at CEO

Legendary leader Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple (AAPL) , the company he co-founded and saved from the brink of disaster 14 years ago.


Steve Jobs

Jobs, who survived pancreatic cancer, has been on medical leave since Jan. 17. Neither he nor the company have stated his latest health issues. It’s his third medical leave in six years.


In a statement, Apple’s board said Jobs had been elected chairman, and that Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook has been named the new CEO. Cook has run the day-to-day operations during Jobs’ leave, and has received good reviews for his work. But Jobs retained a huge influence over the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Jobs left Apple after losing a power struggle with former CEO John Sculley in 1985, but returned in 1997 when the company was struggling to survive.

Jobs then oversaw the development of the iPod music player, iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet, among other top-selling products that has made Apple the U.S. publicly traded company with the second-largest market cap and the technology leader in many fields.

“Steve’s extraordinary leadership vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” Apple director Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech, said in a statement.

In a letter to the board, Jobs said:

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come. I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

“As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

“I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

“I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.”

Dish Network looks to deliver High Speed Internet Service?


Another layer of a cryptic Dish Network plan for its future was peeled back today when the nation’s second-largest satellite TV provider formally asked the U.S. government permission to offer a mobile high-speed Internet service. The move brings into clearer focus Dish’s potential goal: building a mega video-streaming service for itself and its newly acquired Blockbuster on a network that would bypass the broadband pipes of its cable competitors. Dish and chairman Charlie Ergen have been on a buying binge of late, including acquiring spectrum from DBSD North America and TerreStar Networks; those are the assets that Dish is asking the government to clear, according to an FCC filing, which would allow the high-speed plan to move forward. During Dish’s 2Q earnings call this month, CEO Joe Clayton said the company would not “tip its hand” to plans, but that “video is our primary objective,” including having broadband-connected set-top boxes for its subscribers and adding licensing arrangements for Blockbuster that could include subscription VOD. Its own high-speed service would supply all of this and makes sense, but the question remains how much will such a network cost to build? Already, Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Jonathan Chaplin has weighed in on that one,saying it could be “costly.” As with everything Dish-related, stay tuned.

Next Mission Impossible with Mr. Cruise

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