BusinessBits
News, Reviews, Commentary and More



DJIA 13357.74 chart+119.01
NASDAQ 2596.36 chart+31.06
S&P 500 1473.99 chart+16.35

1/31/2006

Im Back-Anti-War Games

Filed under: — 11:18 pm

Sorry for delay since my last post I began a job this week which I like a lot and I have been a little busy getting into the swing of things.

Ivan Marovic helped cofound Optor (”resistance”), which was the movement that toppled Slobodan Milosevic’s dictatorship. He did the next logical thing after he orchestrated one of the most important regime changes in recent memory, he is coming out with a video game.

The game is called A Force more Powerful: The Game of Non-violent Strategy. The object of the game is to start a non-violent movement and attract as many followers as possible until you are powerful enough to overthrow your current regime.

Interesting contrast to the games of today like Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil. Don’t know if its really going to find the audience. Much like many ideas like that, it may be good in theory but flawed in practice.

In all seriousness though, props for that Milosevic thing.

1/27/2006

Awesome Beer Robot

Filed under: — 1:06 pm

Every man’s dream has come to fruition, a robot that serves beer and only beer. The robot’s internal fridge contains space for 6 cans of beer and when you push the button his head opens up, two arms come out and it and pours a cold cup of beer. Do I detect a Nobel Prize possibility?

The robot is made by Asahi and they are giving away 5,000 as a promotion, filled with their own Asahi beer. The only flaw is I do not know how to get one.

Beer Robot

Online community Age barriers

Filed under: — 12:37 pm

I was talking to my cousin recently about which online communities people were in and I found it kind of interesting that there was a seperation between which age ranges go on which communities. Most people who are at least two years out of college are big Friendster users because they were using it at the height of its popularity and they continue their loyalty towards it.

College age students and even ones who just graduated are using Facebook because that seems to be the portal to all their friends at other colleges. The Facebook craze also really exploded in the last 2-3 years while these students were in college. They are making it available to high school students now but, it will be hard to displace their community of choice, MySpace.

MySpace, is the most popular of all these online communities. It seems to dominate everyone in that age range that is pre-college, and many others after. Do not know if this is because all their other friends use it, they enjoy the music facet of it, or they simply like the fact that they have their own customizable pages. It is probably a combination of all three.

Others fall into the category that gets people from a lot of age ranges like LiveJournal and Xanga, although Xanga is primarily teenager used.

So the breakdown in general is as follows:

Post college (Graduated at least 2 years ago)- Friendster

College (and 1 year after graduation)- Facebook

Pre-college- MySpace

1/26/2006

Funny Videos

Filed under: — 11:12 pm

Here is a great example of those popular videos on the Internet. It is a hilarious remix of the Sleepless in Seattle trailer. A similar one was done a while ago for The Shining, that made it seem like it was a romantic comedy.

Build your own Film Studio

Filed under: — 5:12 pm

Nothing represents the ever changing digital landscape better than the success of the filmmakers who gain popularity through the circulation and download of their online films. It used to be talented filmmakers would make interesting films with no venue to show it and no distributor to deliver the films. The Internet however, has afforded not only a venue to these filmmakers but, also an easy way for people to create buzz about them by sending them to other people.

An article in Business Week talks specifically about the creators of JibJab Media, Evan and Gregg Spiridellis and their very popular downloadable animated political musical shorts (long description). This is one example of two people who gained notoriety in mainstream media by making a good popular film on the Internet. Creative Artists Agency(CAA) represents the JibJab brothers, which also rep directors like Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, and that alone speaks volumes. Jason Reitman, son of Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, was able to get his film Thank You for not Smoking produced because of the success of three live-action films he made that were distributed online.

Another example is Andy Samberg, who got to be on Saturday Night Live based on the success of short films he made on his site, The Lonely Island. A film like the rap he and Chris Parnell of SNL did called “Lazy Sunday” is one of the most downloaded videos on the internet.

Thanks to broadband and the unbelievable amount of content out there, the studios no longer have the final say in what in an audience will see.

You have a good idea put it out there, it could be the next JibJab or “Lazy Sunday”.

What we can learn from our waiter

Filed under: — 1:00 pm

Great article by Frank Bruni in the New York Times, the paper’s head restaurant critic, who took a break from his job and worked as a waiter for the week. He talks about the lessons he learned like multi-tasking and customer care.

Some CEO’s do similar things like David Neeleman of Jetblue who takes turns serving fast food and drinks to his customers. He say it gives them a better appreciation about the specific jobs that people in his company do and therefore it allows him a better perspective in running the company.

Guess my waitering experience was more valuable that I thought.

Also came back from the interview,thank you to the well-wishers it went really well.

Interview

Filed under: — 9:41 am

Well I am off to a job callback interview, wish me luck. I will let you all know what happens don’t worry.

Be back in a little…

1/25/2006

Craigslist

Filed under: — 4:40 pm

A very interesting interview with Craig Newmark of “Craigslist” was done by Tavis Smiley on PBS in case you did not catch it, which I assumed most people did not because most people do not watch PBS, including me. (Someone pointed it out to me)

You might think when you hear of Craig Newmark and the name of the site “Craigslist” that he is either CEO or some high level executive. Well if you check, you will notice that Jim Buckmaster is the CEO and Newmark is not listed as an executive. He, believe it or not, works in customer service. He works with apartment brokers with certain listings on Craigslist. Most people who created a site this successful would have either named himself CEO or another high position however, when asked why he did not, he simply says, there is only a certain amount of money a person needs to be comfortable, after that it is excessive.

He could have sold out his company in a lot of ways and would be extremely wealthy at this point but, did not see the point in having so much more than he needed.

It is kind of refreshing to know that someone who reached that level of success is still so down to earth, although I am sure a lot of people that will be reading this is probably thinking “what is wrong with this guy”.

Family Guy’s Stewie to host his own show

Filed under: — 3:16 pm

FOX announced that Stewie of Family Guy fame will begin hosting his own internet radio show. The show will be based on familyguy.com.

It is the second animated character to get his own radio show. The first was “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” which was on the Cartoon Network

Lists

Filed under: — 1:50 pm

When anyone thinks of lists one of the first places they think of is Forbes. As a big list person myself I have looked at alot of their lists, it is actually quite entertaining and you should check it out when you have a couple of minutes.

There are some lists in there that you would not really expect Forbes to have, and some that are just really weird. Some you would expect would be like the 400 richest Americans and 200 best small companies.

Some you may not expect are ones like World’s Best Topless Beaches and World’s Sexiest Islands.

Many of them are just quite weird like Most Expensive Diseases, Top-Earning Dead CEO’s, and the Best Places to Die.

Check out all of Forbes lists here.

New Form of Philanthropy

Filed under: — 11:37 am

Peter Diamadis created a contest about 10 years ago and someone finally won it. The contest was called the Ansari X contest and it was a $10 million dollar purse for anyone who can have a private craft make a suborbital flight flight twice in two months. The prize went to 2 people for which the $10 million is quite unnecessary (Paul Allen and Burt Rutan).

The content of the contest was less important than the innovation of the contest itself. It is using philanthropy as a “high leverage mechanism” for changing the world. Other contests are being created right now like hotelier Robert Bigelow has announced a $50 million dollar prize for the first private craft that can send 5 people into orbit twice in 60 days.

There will be some earth bound projects as well.

Look for this trend to become huge, especially in the fields of medical cures for certain diseases like Cancer and HIV. It would not be a bad idea with some of the money the Lance Armstrong Cancer foundation has gathered.

The last time a contest was created like this with this much publicity, Charles Lindberg got $25,000 for his 1927 transatlantic solo flight.

The whole article in Fast Company.

WB-UPN Update- or CW

Filed under: — 2:37 am

The executives who will be tasked with running this newly formed network has been announced and Dawn Ostroff will be put at the helm of programming while, John Maata will take over the business side as he is named chief operating officer. Ostroff had been president of UPN and Maata was formerly the COO of the WB.

In case it was not apparent the brilliant new name and logo of the network gets its C from CBS and the W from Warner Bros, so the WB still has its name in there somewhere, while the UPN name has been banished forever never to be heard from again. Here is hoping the UPN shows are erased with it.

CW will air on Tribune owned stations around the country, like WGN in Chicago and WPIX in New York. Tribune Co. will shed their 22.5 percent share in the WB in exchange for a 10-year affiliate agreement according to Forbes.

Both companies did well with their announcement as CBS shares rose 86 cents to $26.68 and Time Warner’s went up 15 cents to $17.24.

1/24/2006

Disney/Pixar Update- Deal Done

Filed under: — 8:20 pm

Well the deal is now officially done. Disney put out a press release that they have officially acquired the animation giant Pixar in all-stock transaction valued at $7.4 billion dollars or $6.3 billion net of Pixar cash.

This puts Steve Jobs, who now has a seat on the Disney board of directors, in an unprecendented position. It allows him to be at the crossroads between content, technology, and distribution.

At some point it feels like the world is a giant game of Risk and the only people playing were Rupert Murdoch, Walmart, Viacom, and a couple of others, and now Steve Jobs is in the game too and he has the dice.

Whale - $$$

Filed under: — 4:48 pm

Well after a couple of posts I hope I am getting the hang at this, one of my first blogging experiences. Please let me know if anyone has any suggestions, tips, or even just comments on how you like the posts and about anything you would like to see in the future.

On a lighthearted note, apparently if you are walking on the beach and you walk by some whale excrement you should not be that quick to run away. According to this report by the BBC a couple found some ambergris which is an awful smelling part of whale fecies but, very useful because it is used in making certain perfumes and medicines. They netted in the area of $295,000 dollars for the lump.

WB and UPN to merge

Filed under: — 1:29 pm

The networks WB and UPN announced a deal that will merge them into one network called, “The CW”. UPN, owned by CBS, which is owned by Viacom will have a 50-50 partnership with the WB which is owned by Time Warner.

Both networks will be shut down in the fall when they will launch their joint fall programming schedule. Leslie Moonves, CBS chief executive, announced that they will air “30 hours of programming, 7 days a week”. It seems they will maintain it as a network aimed at younger viewers.

I have not yet heard what will happen to each of the shows on their respective schedules. This announcement definitely bears watching because the success or failure of it could spell a trend of network mergers so they can better compete against the giants of Disney’s ABC, NewsCorp.’s Fox, GE’s NBC, and CBS Corps.’s CBS.

Read the Disclaimer before acting on any information found here.
All content and materials Copyright ©2006, Blog News Channel - Powered by WordPress