Steve Martin’s Advice to Eddie Murphy

More Cuts at Sony Pictures – This Time 3D Glasses

Sony Pictures issued a heads-up Tuesday to exhibitors and theatergoers: Next summer, its 3D pics will be Bring Your Own Glasses!

So Sir Howard, do the TV glasses work for the theatre?

The studio announced plans to stop subsidizing 3D glasses next May with “Men in Black III” and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” bucking the trend that Disney started in 2005 when it provided them outright for “Chicken Little.”

Exhibitors, already under siege from shrinking theatrical windows, are expected to push back against Sony’s 3D-glasses maneuver, just as they did in 2009 when 20th Century Fox tried to get outof paying for specs for “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.” (Forced to relent, Fox ultimately wound up footing the bill.)

But if Sony holds its ground and other studios follow suit, exhibitors will not only have to cover the costs somehow, they’ll also be forced to sort out sales and distribution logistics. Exhibitors may have to follow the standard set overseas, where moviegoers are encouraged to buy their own glasses and reuse them, in some cases paying a lower ticket price upon return visits.

For instance, Dolby controls most of the Japanese 3D market, and in March, the company started offering reusable 3D glasses for $12 per pair. In Europe, RealD sells its reusable glasses at concession stands or the ticket window for about 1 Euro, saving auds the repeated expense.

In any case, the costs will in some way trickle down to theatergoers already wary of 3D surcharges, as evidenced by the steady erosion of 3D market share over this past summer.

The bring-your-own-glasses model poses a logistical headache for U.S. audiences, as varying 3D systems require different eyewear. What’s more, foreign exhibitors don’t pay as much to studios, giving them more flexibility with ticket prices.

Tension over the glasses question has mounted throughout the rise of 3D, as studios have increasingly balked at the cost. At 50¢ to $1 per ticket, eyewear often means millions of dollars in additional distribution costs.

But the news is good news for one facet of the biz: the companies who manufacture custom and high-end 3D glasses.

As of now, RealD controls about 90% of the 3D space in North America and contracts with the majors to provide most of the 3D frames, a dynamic that’s likely to change as auds seek more durable alternatives to the freebies they’re used to getting.

I wonder if the Sony 3D Television glasses work at the theatres?  Is this really a marketing ploy..?


J Edgar Trailer released


Warner Bros today released the theatrical trailer for J Edgar, with Clint Eastwood directing star Leonardo DiCaprio. WB plans a limited release on Nov. 9 before going wide two days later.


Does Leo seem like the right guy for this?

Adobe Muse already used by 260,000 developers; gets software update

Summary: Adobe’s new Muse software is still only in beta mode, but the program is being touted as a runaway hit already.

Last month, Adobe introduced Muse, a new program targeted towards graphic designers that serves as an InDesign equivalent for creating websites and publishing websites.

Although the program is still in beta mode, Adobe is pleased with its success thus far as more than 260,000 developers have already downloaded a copy in the first 40 days of release.

Now Adobe is releasing a software update, Muse Beta 3, that includes approximately enough fixes to bugs discovered by Muse users to correspond with each day that Muse has been available.

Many of the improvements are related to performance, including addressing the way in which Muse generates code. For example, these improvements should reduce website load time and data usage by cutting the size of generated HTML and CSS files by up to 60 percent.

For reference, graphic designers can build websites quickly and easily without confining templates or any kind of code input of their own. The pages are written behind the scenes in HTML5 and CSS3.

Avatar comes to Disneyland

Fans of Avatar, the 2009 hit movie, will get an experience that goes beyond even IMAX 3D when Walt Disney World launches rides based on the film in 2017 or so, according to a report.

Disney has lined up exclusive agreements with Avatar distributor Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment, director James Cameron’s production company, reports The Wall Street Journal. Construction on the $400 million project will begin in 2013 in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. Disney ride designers, a.k.a. “Imagineers,” will be collaborating with Cameron on the effort.

Cameron, who appeared at a press conference Tuesday, said the rides will recreate environments from Avatarand possibly two sequels planned for 2014 and 2015. Full terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Cameron is set to collect a fee, rather than a percentage of ticket sale. He will also get royalties on merchandise, food and beverages.

The Avatar rides will join other attractions based on movie franchises at Disney, such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Twitter Begins Accepting Political Ads

Twitter on Wednesday started accepting political ads and announced a sales team dedicated to the category.


The company ran its first such ad today, a Sponsored Tweet from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. (See below.) Romney is one of a small group of candidates and national party committees that Twitter is working with on a pilot program for the effort. Those partners will also run ads in coming weeks. The ads will be distinguished from other advertising by a purple “Promoted” icon and a Federal Election Commission disclaimer.

Twitter’s new political sales team will be run by Peter Greenberger, who until recently ran political sales for Google.

The 2012 presidential election has gotten under way in earnest. The FEC estimates that candidates for the 2008 presidential election spent $1.8 billion on ads.

October 4: Apple’s next big event; iPhone 5 expected to be unveiled

Reports are circulating around the media wires this morning that Apple’s new chief executive, Tim Cook, will take to the stage and announce ’something’.

John Paczkowski with the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD network, says that Apple’s next event will be held on October 4, where it is most likely that the next-generation iPhone 5 smartphone will be unveiled.

Hedging on the side of caution, Paczkowski has long claimed through sources of his own that thelaunch will be in October. Sources say that the iPhone will be made available for purchase within a few weeks after the announcement.

There has been wide speculation over the device, which is believed to have changed in screen size and dimensions. Other leaks point to a radical new design, whereas leaked device cases show that the smartphone will remain widely the same.

The truth is: Apple has done it again. We have no real idea what the next-generation iPhone will look like.

But while consumers will be looking for the new iPhone, as the highly anticipated Christmas and holiday season seller of the year, analysts and journalists will be looking at Tim Cook, who replaced Steve Jobs over the summer after he resigned from the company.

Cook will be in charge of the event, and no doubt will take to the stage as Apple’s new chief executive to announce the device. He has to be — he’s the boss. But Cook has never done this before, and will no doubt be aided by other executives to make their own announcement.

But as this may be Cook’s first presentation to the world, it has not been his first major challenge as chief executive.

HP reportedly pondering Whitman for Apotheker CEO swap??

Has HP lost their minds?

Leo Apotheker’s days as HP’s CEO look to be over after less than a year at the helm.

Can Meg Whitman do what Leo Apotheker couldn’t for HP?

Looks like we may find out fairly soon. Kara Swisher at AllThingsD is reporting that former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is being considered by HP’s board as a replacement for Leo Apotheker.

This swap isn’t a done deal, but just the fact that multiple sources are telling Swisher that Whitman is an option indicates Apotheker’s days may be numbered.Bloomberg is also reporting that Apotheker, who took over at HP on Sept. 30, 2010, is close to getting the boot.

Whitman has the chops since she ran eBay, which was a large organization. It also doesn’t hurt that Whitman has worked at Procter & Gamble, Disney and as a consultant at Bain.

HP could clearly use a whiteboard and some strategic thinking from an outsider. Apotheker’s missteps are numerous. Here’s the short recap:

Add it up and the Apotheker era hasn’t been a good one for HP and the board looks like it wants to start anew even though changing CEOs after just a few months is very embarrassing. The largest question for HP is this: What exactly does the company stand for? Today, HP is sort of an IBM-lite as it tries to do hardware and software while ditching low margin businesses like PCs. Who knows what Whitman will do.

On the bright side, at least Apotheker’s tenure will have lasted longer than the TouchPad—but not by much.

Investors liked the idea of Apotheker leaving HP.

What is next?


The 4TB GoFlex Desk drive will retail for $249.99 and is expected to be available through online retailers within the month. UK pricing has not yet been confirmed. The new drive will be able to hold 2,000 high-definition movies or about one million .mp3 music files.

The drive is the latest in the GoFlex product family launched last year . The new GoFlex Desk represents the line’s first redesign, and it features a sharper “industrial look” with a smaller footprint. The entire line of GoFlex drives will adopt the new industrial design over the next few weeks.

Seagate chose to use a USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) connection on the new drive instead of one that uses the latest USB 3.0 (5Gbit/sec) SuperSpeed specification.

The company does, however, provide a USB 3.0 adapter that also features an illuminated gauge to display available space on the drive

Seagate said in a statement that with USB 3.0 still maturing and Apple now pushing Thunderbolt I/O technology, the adapter made more sense for use with existing desktops and laptops.

The GoFlex Desk comes with pre-loaded backup software that provides automatic, continuous back-ups with encryption for all stored files.

The GoFlex Desk for Mac external drive features both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 and will be available in Apple stores by the end of the month.

“Yet another industry first for Seagate, we have reached a new high-capacity in the 3.5-inch hard drive form factor,” Patrick Connolly, general manager of retail products for Seagate, said in a statement.

The GoFlex drives are Windows and Mac OS X compatible and have the flexibility to go between both operating systems. In addition to cross-platform compatibility, the GoFlex Desk drive can also be utilized with the GoFlex Home adapter if an owner chooses to use it as a network drive.

Google Launches Offline Versions of Gmail, Calendar & Docs

Google is launching a new Gmail web app and updates to Calendarand Docs, in an effort to increase its products’ offline utility.

Google users have called bringing Gmail, Calendar and Docs offline an essential step for improving productivity, Group Product Manager Rajen Sheth told Mashable. The problem, he explained, is that when users need offline access to their email or calendar, they really need it.

To that end, Google is launching a new Chrome app called Gmail Offline. Separate from Gmail itself, the new app is designed for accessing, managing and sending email while you’re disconnected from the web. “We can build on top of a lot of HTML5 standards, which gives us the capabilities to make it work offline,” Sheth said.

The HTML5 app looks and feels a lot like the Gmail app for tablets. That’s because Gmail Offline is based off the tablet version, which was designed to function with or without Internet access. It focuses on the key features users need to access while offline, including organizing, starring, labeling, archiving and responding to email. It won’t give you access to Gmail Labs features, but it will get the job done.

In addition to the Gmail Offline app, Google is rolling out the ability to access Calendar and Docs offline. The feature, available by clicking the gear icon at the top of the page, lets you view events and RSVP to appointments in Calendar and view documents in Docs. Offline document editing isn’t available yet, but Google promises to find a way to make it work. Part of the problem is finding a way to make sure document edits made offline don’t override edits made by online collaborators.

The apps are only available through the Chrome Web Store at the moment. If you try to use the Calendar or Docs offline features, you will be prompted to first install Chrome. Google says that it intends to roll out its offline apps to other browsers once they support the functionality.