Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Heart Radio - Great search Tool for Recording Artists Mailing Lists

MEMPHIS TN (IFS) -- It took me along time to sign up with I Heart Radio.  But what I discovered will put radio promotion companies out of business.   It's the greatest search tool for creating your EMAILING RADIO PLAYLIST   - FREE.  

By joining and using customs settings, you can match your favorite type of artist(s) up against what you have recorded and created, and use your song comparing what's being played.  Use the competing fields of  that same kind of music and create your radio mailing list..  

This program searches and list all of the stations that plays that artist that sounds like you.  So if your new song sounds like David Bowie, you get a list of all the stations playing his music. You send your digital downloads to that station.  And You can save you playlists.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Harrison Ford to Play Han Solo Again? Say It Ain't So, Disney!

MEMPHIS TN (IFS) -- Let's hope that it is so.  The Hans Solo character dominated the toy sales market out of all the dolls.  Can't really say who was doing all the buying and for what age group.  If Ford signs on along with the other stars, I'll go and see the it.  If one of them is out of place, the feeling will not be the same, the continuity of the action and all of the inside jokes of the film will be lost.  Hans Solo is more than just a "doll", he really is a very important part of the movie(s).  I hope Disney will put all the pieces together and move it forward.  Hell, I'm a baby boomer, and these guys are my last heroes for going to another galaxy far far away. - KHS

Harrison Ford to Play Han Solo Again? Say It Ain't So, Disney!

by Linda Sharps

You felt it, right? The great disturbance in the Nerd Force when the Internet reacted to the news that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm for a cool $4.05 billion, and simultaneously announced plans to release the first of at least three more Star Wars films starting in 2015?

Well, depending on how you feel about episodes 7, 8, and 9 of the Star Wars franchise having become a sure thing -- a Mouse-driven sure thing, at that -- you may be shocked, horrified, or downright dumbfounded by the latest news: Harrison Ford is reportedly on board with the idea of playing Han Solo again.

Yes. A 70-year-old Han Solo. I ... just ... wow.

How to Design the Perfect Kitchen Island (Cultivate)
What's this?

Ford himself hasn't confirmed anything, but according to a "highly placed source":

Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it.

If this is craziness is actually true, we'll likely only see Ford for one more Star Wars episode, because he reportedly has one big caveat in mind: he wants Han Solo to die. His character was actually supposed to kick the bucket in Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of the Jedi, but George Lucas supposedly thought it would tank the merchandising sales. As Ford put it in 2010,

I thought he should have died in the last one to give it some bottom ... George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.

I'm not convinced this whole thing isn't pure gossip, because Ford himself hasn't exactly minced words when describing how he felt about playing Han Solo:

As a character he was not so interesting to me.

Then again, he's been equally clear about why he was considering -- at least at one time -- donning Indiana Jones' hat yet again for the rumored fifth movie in that franchise. As I remember, when asked about it on David Letterman, he simply rubbed his fingers together in the universal symbol for ka-ching.

The thing is, regardless of Harrison Ford's continued appeal as an older gentleman, I don't want to see an aged Han Solo. I like Han exactly how he WAS: Hot. Young. An iconic figure from my youth. Forever known for that insanely arrogant response to Leia's declaration of love: "I know." A grandpa version of Han, who would surely toss off lines like "I'm gettin' too old for this"? HELL NO. DON'T DO IT, DISNEY.

What do you think? Would you want to see Harrison Ford play Han Solo one more time?

Iron Man 3 - The Trailer

Thursday, January 17, 2013

YouTube to Acquire 10 Percent Stake in Vevo

The Google online video site is expected to invest about $50 million and renew a distribution agreement with the Internet music venture of Universal Music and Sony.

Google-owned YouTube is set to take a stake of around 10 percent in online music destination Vevo, AllThingsD reported.

The deal on the table would include an investment worth an estimated $50 million and the renewal of a distribution agreement, which has been in place for three years. The renewal would keep hundreds of millions of music clips and videos on YouTube.

The overall deal hasn’t been signed and could still be derailed at the last minute, AllThingsD said.

Vevo was founded by music majors Universal Music Group, part of Vivendi, and Sony Music and launched in late 2009. The two labels are investors in Vevo along with Abu Dhabi Media. EMI is also providing music to the joint venture.

Vevo has also looked at distribution deals with Facebook and Viacom/MTV, according to past reports. which has an online video service backed by the other major global record company label Warner Music, to look at improving the revenues it can feed back to the music industry.

Google last year also invested $35 million into Machinima, a Web video network aimed at gamers, that relies on YouTube for distribution.

"While we don't comment on individual negotiations, we always hope to renew our relationships with valuable partners, so we can continue to provide YouTube users with the best possible music experience," said a YouTube spokeswoman.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looking For Radio's Future? Check The Car

By John Paul Titlow 
Looking For Radio's Future? Check The Car
You'd think terrestrial radio would be at death's door by now. 
Just like written news, audio content is delivered much more effectively via the Internet than by traditional means. But FM radio is going strong and Internet services comprise only a tiny percentage of total listening time. Now, though, more and better in-car integrations are about to give Internet radio a huge shove into the future. 
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, the partnerships are springing up left and right. Chrystler and GM are teaming up with iHeartRadio. Rhapsody is coming to new Ford cars. So is Amazon Cloud Player. Slacker Radio is integrating with Chrystler's UConnect in-car entertainment system, which happens to be Pandora's 19th such partnership as well. 
Expect to see many more of these integrations between cars and digital media services. Not only are one-on-one formal partnerships becoming more common, but cars are becoming platforms for third-party app developers. Ford just launched an open-source software development kit (SDK) so apps can be built right into the steering wheel and dashboard. One of Ford's technical partners is jacAPPS, an app development house with along list of digital radio projects under its belt. "They're people who understand radio, working on radio's in-car future," writesradio futurologist James Cridland
Terrestrial radio isn't sitting idly by, either. Clear Channel has been aggressively developing its iHeartRadio service, which is being built into more and more new cars. Meanwhile, NPR is already working with Ford Sync, Audi, Honda and Subaru, with several more partnerships with carmakers in the works for 2013. 

Changing The Face Of Radio, V-e-r-y S-l-o-w-l-y

All of this is a big deal for Internet radio adoption. Americans do about half of their radio listening in the car. Connecting smartphones via auxiliary cables and Bluetooth is increasingly common, but the user interface remains clunky and jumping from app to app and queuing up Internet radio stations can be cumbersome - if not outright dangerous - while driving. That's why Apple is working with car manufacturers to integrate Siri into the dashboard. It's also why voice control is a central feature on Ford Sync. 
These deals aren't going to kill terrestrial radio overnight, or perhaps ever. After all, radio stations don't crash or experience service outages like Internet apps and services too often do. And radio signals remain much more reliable than Internet connections, especially in moving vehicles. More to the point, though, while all of the new innovations are neat, new cars are expensive and the roads are filled with older ones that run just fine but don't have the latest technology. It will be decades before technology like this exists in a majority of U.S. cars. 
By bringing the most popular Internet radio and music streaming services directly to the dashboard, car manufacturers are making the user experience even more seamless - and crucially, putting more listening options at driver's fingertips. It will be a slow process, but expect radio to sound more decidedly less old-fashioned as more connected cars fill the road.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Queen Latifah's New Daytime TV Show

 It was almost exactly 1 year ago today when it was announced that Will Smith, his Overbrook Entertainment cohorts, and Queen Latifah were teaming up with Sony Pictures TV to produce a syndicated daytime talk show for the Queen to host.

 Details were scarce at the time, except that the program was scheduled to debut in 2013, and it's apparently still on schedule, as Deadline reveals today that, after some competitive bidding between networks, CBS has landed what will be called The Queen Latifah Show (recall the Queen once hosted a talk show, also titled The Queen Latifah Show, which had a rather short run, from 1999 to 2001. Expectations for this upcoming new program are probably higher).

 The show will launch in the fall of 2013, and will feature... ... celebrity interviews, human interest stories, comedy, pop culture and musical performances. It is expected to showcase Queen Latifah’s talents, blending comedy and music into her hosting duties.

 Latifah will join what is already a crowded daytime talk show market, although none of the current crop of new shows has produced a breakout hit, which might give a high-profile show like Latifah's the opportunity to fill in a gap left vacant by Oprah Winfrey's departure. Provided these shows are all still around in the fall of 2013, she'll be joining the Wendy Williams Show (Fox, although it's syndicated), Steve Harvey (NBC/Universal), Trisha Goddard (also with NBC/Universal), Live on ABC, The Talk, The View, and others. Latifah stays busy (via her Flavor Unit production house, along with partner Shakim Compere), both in front of and behind the camera, on TV and in film.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chinese Paper Has Long History of Challenging Authorities

William Gallo

January 08, 2013

The influential Chinese newspaper at the center of a rare protest against government censorship has a long history of progressive and controversial reporting that has tested the limits of free speech in China's strictly controlled media environment.

The Southern Weekly is part of the larger Nanfang Media Group, which is known for its in-depth and aggressive reports on sensitive topics, such as the 2003 SARS outbreak or China's massive network of illegal detentions centers.

The controversial coverage has often landed the media group in the bad graces of Chinese propaganda officials, who have tried - with limited success - to get it to conform to their standards.

Rachel Lu, editor of Tea Leaf Nation, a website that monitors Chinese media,says the paper has undergone several purges in recent years, where staff have been fired, presumably for their reports.

"There have been incidents where editors were replaced, and they would helicopter in new people to run the paper and they helicopter in a new propaganda chief to run Guangdong (province), where the paper is based," says Lu.

She says the restrictions have been successful, but only to a certain point.

"Some would say it's definitely been reined in a little bit. But it has basically retained that flavor, that sort of liberal bend, even throughout all these years where the government tries to restrain its coverage and angle," she says.

One of the most famous incidents came in 2003, when one of the group's editors published an investigation into the death of a young worker who died in police custody after being beaten.

The story led to the discovery of a vast network of underground police detention camps - a revelation that embarrassed Beijing. It also resulted in the detention of Cheng Yizhong, the editor who published the investigation.

Chinese propaganda officials have also tried pre-publication censorship to silence the newspaper. The Southern Weekly said in a recent statement that over 1,000 articles were censored to some degree in 2012 alone.

In the most recent case, editors say state censors replaced an editorial calling for greater constitutional rights with one that praised the accomplishments of the Communist Party.

The government has so far not responded to the incident, which has prompted two days of small protests outside the Southern Weekly, as well as messages of support from a wide array of Chinese celebrities and public figures.

Related - Chinese Continue Protest Against Media Censorship

A Tuesday editorial in the state-run Southern Weekly insisted the paper's editors, not state censors, were responsible for the publication of the editorial in the Southern Weekly. It accused "external activists," including the exiled blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, of inciting the controversy.

But Michael Anti, a prominent journalist and commentator on Chinese social media, says the issue is being driven by journalists who are upset with government meddling and by a general public who wants to know the truth, not by outside forces.

"Of course not. There is no evidence to say that. It is definitely just an excuse. The funny thing is, they even use a blind lawyer in New York City as a scapegoat. I think it's just a joke," Anti says.

Observers say they expect the Southern Weekly, which has a circulation of 1.6 million copies that are spread across China every week, to remain influential among China's intellectuals and progressives, noting that this week's controversy has done little to curb its influence.

Myanmar magazine license pulled for sexual content

The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.

 Myanmar's Hnyo Magazine license pulled for sexual content 

Myanmar's new reformist government revoked the publishing license of a magazine for the first time Wednesday, saying it violated regulations by publishing sexual material when it was supposed to cover fashion.

The information ministry announced on its website that the monthly magazine "Hnyo" deviated from its charter as a fashion magazine by publishing sexually arousing photos and articles.

The December issue of the magazine carried several pictures of scantily clad Myanmar women in provocative poses and articles that the editor said constituted sex education. The content appears tame by the standards of similar publications in the West or in neighboring Thailand, but Myanmar's society is notably more conservative.

"Hnyo" editor Ko Oo Swe told The Associated Press that whether the photos were sexually arousing depended on "the eyes of the beholder."

He said other magazines have also published material that differs from their charter but have not been shut down.

"What I want to tell the government is to treat all publishers equally," he said.

Myanmar abolished direct censorship of the media last year and announced last month that it will allow the first private daily newspapers in decades starting in April, in the latest steps toward allowing more freedom of expression in the long-repressed nation.

The government's tolerance has been tested previously, with articles exposing alleged official corruption and sensationalistic coverage of ethnic strife that threatened to inflame passions. It instituted lawsuits alleging the corruption stories were false, and temporarily suspended publication of some magazines.

13,000 boat people flee Myanmar

13,000 boat people flee Myanmar, Bangladesh: UN
Myanmar to free 452 prisoners ahead of Barack Obama visit

(AFP photo)

YANGON: About 13,000 boat people, including many stateless Rohingya Muslims, fled Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh in 2012 with hundreds dying during the perilous sea voyage, the UN said on Friday.

A wave of deadly sectarian violence in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine has triggered an exodus of refugees, mostly heading for Malaysia.

"We know of at least 485 people who've drowned or are lost at sea," said Vivian Tan, spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, adding the real death toll was probably far higher.

"These numbers are very worrying," Tan said.

"The fact that even women and children are increasingly risking this journey shows the growing sense of desperation among the Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh," she added.

More than 10,000 people have attempted the sea voyage since October 2012 — a sharp increase on last season's departures, according to the Arakan Project, which lobbies for the rights of the Rohingya, considered by the UN to be one of the most persecuted minority groups on the planet.

"It's already more than the previous boat season, which itself was the most we'd seen," with more than 8,000 people making the journey, according to Arakan Project director Chris Lewa.

She said the estimate does not include boats that left the Rakhine state capital Sittwe, where tens of thousands of Rohingya are living in camps, as her NGO is not able to monitor those departures.

October is the end of the monsoon season and traditionally marks the start of an annual wave of migration by people trying to reach Malaysia from the Bay of Bengal — often on rickety wooden boats.

The latest exodus shows "the urgent need for countries in the region to respond to this humanitarian crisis by keeping their doors open to people in need of international protection from Myanmar", the UN's Tan said.

Myanmar views the roughly 800,000 Rohingya in Rakhine as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and denies them citizenship. Thousands more live in squalid refugee camps across the border in Bangladesh.

Malaysia has become the sole hope for many Rohingya refugees, after Bangladesh closed its shared border to them and Thailand as well as Singapore refused to provide asylum to members of the Muslim-minority group.

Kuala Lumpur expressed concern at the influx of refugees, saying Malaysia's patience was being tested.

"There is the humanitarian aspect," Malaysian foreign minister Anifah Aman told AFP on Friday, citing the recent rescue of 40 shipwrecked Rohingya who were turned away by Singapore.

"But we cannot allow Malaysia to become a destination of choice," he added, noting that the country was already sheltering some 80,000 Rohingya.

About 500 Myanmar boat people swam to shore in Malaysia last weekend after a 15-day sea journey, according to police there. Another died after being hit by a boat propeller when he jumped into the sea.

UN: Refugee Camps in Western Burma 'Shocking'

Ron Corben

December 08, 2012

BANGKOK — The United Nations humanitarian affairs chief says a Rohingya Muslim refugee camp in Burma for victims of recent inter-communal violence is "shockingly overcrowded." Valerie Amos, head of humanitarian affairs for the United Nations, has called on the international community to press Burma to address issues of citizenship for the stateless Rohingya and move forward on reconciliation efforts within the community.

Amos speaking to reporters Saturday at the end of a four-day official visit to Burma, says conditions in camps housing victims of inter-communal violence are among the worst she has witnessed in terms of overcrowding and sanitation.

Amos travelled to eight camps in Western Rakhine State, where clashes and arson this year left almost 200 dead and around 115,000 displaced. She says while conditions varied, the Myebon camp was "particularly shocking".

"The people are very crowded. Men, women, children are inside these tents that basically are for smaller numbers," said Amos. "Sanitation is very, very poor indeed. Water for people; getting access to water, for bathing for cooking and so on is terrible. There is no school and the children cannot go to school anywhere else."

The U.N. humanitarian affairs chief said Burma (also known as Myanmar) faces several humanitarian challenges with 500,000 people displaced because of local conflicts. Amos says the violence has left a deep fracture between Buddhist and Muslim communities.

While Amos welcomed political reforms under President Thein Sein, with whom she held talks, Amos also called on the government to address the U.N.'s concerns and offered U.N. assistance. The issue of citizenship for stateless Muslim Rohingya is highly sensitive in Burma. Many Buddhists claim the Rohingya are Bengali.

"Donors and countries need to continue to put pressure on the government of Myanmar to sort out the issue of citizenship and at the same time to begin the process of reconciliation," Amos added.

The U.N. says $27 million in aid has been received for the displaced in Rakhine state, but $41 million more is needed by June, 2013.

Amos also pointed to concerns over thousands of internally displaced people in eastern Burma's Kachin State. Some 75,000 people have been forced from their homes due to fighting between Kachin and the Burmese army. She said aid was badly needed to assist 40,000 people in areas where the U.N. has no access.

The U.N.'s call for assistance and reform in Burma was welcomed by the rights group Alternative ASEAN Network. But the group warned the international community should ensure that the government in the capital, Naypyidaw, will adopt the U.N.'s recommendations.

"If Naypyidaw does not do anything or in fact start behaving in a more negative way then I think that's going to be a wakeup call for the rest of the international community - a high ranking U.N. Official has flown in, got the relevant briefings and now has a clear picture for the situation, which she has communicated in public," said Debbie Stothard, the Alternative ASEAN Network's spokesperson.

Rights groups say it is urgent for the international community to access the internally displaced, especially the Kachin who are facing the on-coming winter in northern Burma and need more than plastic sheeting for shelter.

U.N. Humanitarian chief Amos says the Rakhine community also feels it has been "left behind" in terms of development across Burma, pointing to an immediate need to address their grievances.

Free WiFi in New York City, thanks to Google

Free WiFi in New York City, thanks to Google
By Esme Vos
on January 8, 2013 in City & County WiFi Networks, WiFi News

Google is starting free WiFi in New York City, beginning with the district of Chelsea, in the west side of Manhattan. The coverage zone includes the area between Gansevoort Street and West 19th Street, from 8th Avenue to 10th Avenue.

According to Google, the company spent only $115,000 to build the network (this sum includes the cost of the access points). Annual maintenance costs $45,000. Google paid two-thirds of the cost of the network, and the Chelsea Improvement Company paid for the rest. This has nothing to do with Google’s fiber projects in other parts of the US.

I am sure mayor and city council members across the country are salivating over the prospect of a revival of muni WiFi — courtesy of Google. Remember that several years ago, Google launched the Mountain View, California Wi-Fi network, free of charge to users. Mountain View is the location of Google’s headquarters. After that, Google focused its efforts on building a fiber network in Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS where it is now offering 1 Gbps service.

There’s already lot of free WiFi in New York City, notably in cafes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Irene Joanne Tarbell created Ocean Records name and logo for Merrell Fankhauser's company

MEMPHIS TN (IFS) --There are two released version of the the album "Wipe Out" by the Impacts.  The one above is by Del-Fi Records and the second one with the same cover with the inclusion of "featuring Merrell Fankhauser" and on Merrell's Ocean Records, was commissioned by Evelyn Fankhauser, Merrell's mother. 

As Merrell had suffered a heart attack back in 1986 and was confined to bed rest, and Del Fi Records had released all interests of the album back to Merrell, Mrs. Fankhauser wanted to re-issue the album for her son.  It was an emotional time as Merrell had to cancel his European tour and he was riding the charts with his "Doctor Fankhauser" LP and the number #1 album in France.  

Sandra Smith-Williams and Irene Joanne Tarbell, early days at KHS/Futura Records, Rosamond, California.  Williams would go on to sing with Quincy Jones and produce many records from her church in Martinez, California.  Tarbell would go into computer engineering systems in Columbus, Georgia.

The re-issue was produced by Irene Joanne Tarbell who came up with the Ocean Records name and logo.  Tarbell was also the record producer and music publisher for Kenny Smith, Jay and John Ciano on the Rosamond, California based KHS/Futura Records label which later became a unit of D-Town Records.  Jay's single entitled "Natural People" reached  CashBox Magazine's top 20 songs back in 1971.

Tarbell would later work for T/Systems in Columbus, GA as their computer analysis for credit card systems.

Merrell Fankhauser's "Wipe Out" or "WipeOut" - The Legal System rules - It’s still the App Store and the Appstore, for now

It’s still the App Store and the Appstore, for now, Really?

MEMPHIS TN (IFS) -- It was back in the middle 1960's when the smash hit record "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris went into the court system.  Before the record was released to then Dot Records which later became ABC/Dot Records, Merrell Fankhauser received all of the credits from the original producer as the writer of "Wipe Out" as the Impacts released it first, one whole year before the Surfaris version.

As the Court granted the writers to the group "The Surfaris" as the sole writers, because of the spelling of the song.  "Wipe Out" verses "WipeOut".  As the song was exactly the same in opening, verse, chorus, lyric, etc., the court ordered two different versions of the song all because of the spelling.  Even though, the songs in questioned were recorded by the same group - The Impacts.

It is stated by then president of Del-Fi Records, Bob Keene that he recorded over seventeen different takes of the same song.  When the disgruntled record producer picked another version of the production and formed a new group and called them "The Surfaris" and the rest is history.  It took over thirty (30) years for Merrell Fankhauser and the Impacts who released the original "WipeOut" one year earlier to get all of the rights to his song.  Just a little note about the legal system and names. -KHS

December 21, 2010 08:00 AM Eastern Time
Father of ‘Wipe Out’ Nominated for Grammy

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A song written and performed by Merrell Fankhauser, father of the iconic surf song “Wipe Out,” has been nominated for a Grammy.

Fankhauser's “Tomorrow’s Girl” is part of a collection of ’60s songs released by Rhino Records titled “Where the Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965 — 1968.”

The collection has been nominated in the Best Historical Album category.

“After 47 years in the music business, this is quite a thrill,” Fankhauser said on hearing of the nomination. “It just proves that if you wait around long enough doing the thing you love, good things will happen.”

Fankhauser wrote “Wipe Out” in 1961 and recorded it with his group The Impacts in 1962. The album “Wipe Out by The Impacts” was a best seller for Del Fi records. But a rival manager heard The Impacts’ basic track of the song, changed it around, and recorded it with another group, all without Fankhauser’s permission. It took Fankhauser 32 years to get the copyright back.

Fankhauser recorded the Grammy-nominated selection, “Tomorrow’s Girl,” in 1967 with his band Merrell and The Exiles, and it was later released on his album “Fapardokly.” It is now one of the most sought-after ’60s albums.

Fankhauser, who recently signed with the British label, Gonzo Records UK, has recorded hundreds of songs over the years and has collaborated with rock luminaries such as Harry Nilsson, Nicky Hopkins, drummers Jim Gordon and Ed Cassidy, singers Dean Torrence and Peter Noone, and the legendary Willie Nelson.

“Merrell’s music is timeless,” said Gonzo Records President Rob Ayling. “We’re very excited about having him on our label.”

To commemorate the Grammy nomination, Gonzo Records will release Fankhauser’s “Return to Mu,” a deluxe CD/DVD set of exotic tropical rock songs, in February. Gonzo also plans to release several more of Fankhauser’s CDs in 2011.

“I’m so glad to still be able to do what I do,” Fankhauser said. “Recording and playing music is my life. It’s an honor to be part of the Grammys and a nice boost of inspiration to keep on going.”

Fankhauser lives in central California. Besides recording music, he hosts a TV show called “Tiki Lounge” that can be seen up and down the California central coast and in Hawaii.

The Grammy Award winners will be announced Feb. 13, 2011.

A federal judge dismisses Apple’s false advertising claim against Amazon over the store name.

By Bill Siwicki
Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce, Internet Retailer Magazine

Apple Inc. sells apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch through an online destination known as the App Store. Inc. sells apps for smartphones and tablets running Google Inc.’s Android operating system, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, through an online destination dubbed the Appstore.

Apple was first to name its application store and is suing Amazon, claiming false advertising and trademark infringement.

But the judge presiding over the case has dealt Apple a blow, granting’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss the case’s false advertising claim. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton wrote in a Wednesday order that Apple did not show how Amazon’s Appstore name confused consumers.

“Apple contends that because its App Store offers so many more apps than Amazon’s Appstore, consumers will be misled into thinking that Amazon’s Appstore will offer just as many,” Judge Hamilton wrote. “There is no evidence that a consumer who accesses the Amazon Appstore would expect that it would be identical to the Apple App Store.”

Hamilton also noted the clear exclusivity of each store, in that the App Store only sells apps for Apple devices and the Appstore only sells apps for Android devices. “Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement (express or implied) of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience,” Hamilton wrote.

Apple and did not respond to a request for comment. The false advertising claim was just one part of the suit. The case’s trademark infringement claims will be deliberated at trial, which is scheduled to begin in August. "Although I don't think Apple has a good trademark claim, the court's decision isn't a harbinger of its resolution of that claim," says Rebecca Tushnet, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Law.

"It's simply a ruling that, whatever Apple's claims are, they have to be pursued through trademark law." Apple filed the lawsuit, which is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in March 2012. It seeks an injunction against Amazon using the words “app” and “store” to describe its application outlet along with profits Amazon has made that are attributable to the name “Appstore.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Vegas Strip Club Unveils Plans For A New Adult Pool

Monday, January 07, 2013

The Sapphire strip club, which bills itself as the largest in the world, has just announced plans for an adults-only pool, built next to the club on Industrial Road. It'll be a pool complex with cabanas and DJ, due to open this spring at an as yet-undisclosed date, according to a press release.

Expect club dancers to enhance the appeal of the $8 million Sapphire Pool & Day Club; however, the Las Vegas Advisor says that women who doff their bikini tops must wear pasties.

This is not the first time Sapphire has dipped its toe into Vegas' bubbly party-pool scene. The Sapphire Pool at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino drew dancers, and was a talked-about scene until it voluntarily closed in July 2009 after failing what was called a Las Vegas police "integrity check."

The Las Vegas Sun reported that nearly a dozen people were arrested in a drug and "prostitution-related" bust and published a photo gallery of some of the people arrested.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Harrah's Entertainment, which owns the Rio, said at the time it had police check up on its clubs, pools and other attractions just to be sure there's nothing illegal going on.

“She Is So Raped Right Now”: Partygoer Jokes About The Steubenville Accuser The Night Of The Alleged Rape

By Deadspin The video above was released today by the hacktivist outfit KnightSec, which has been leading the digital crusade in response to the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl at the hands of two Steubenville (Ohio) High School football players. In the video, Michael Nodianos, a former Steubenville High student and baseball player, talks flippantly about the accuser on the night of the incident. Nodianos has been connected to the case since the beginning. His tweets on the night of the alleged rape helped investigators form a hazy picture of what took place that night, and the video here was mentioned in a thorough New York Times story about the case, but was not readily available to the public until now. The video is over 12 minutes long. It's not very easy to watch. Nodianos tells jokes about how "dead" the alleged victim is and openly and jokingly acknowledges that she has been raped.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Google chairman visit may signal shift in North Korean internet policy

By National Monitor

Internet restrictions may be relaxed in the hermit kingdom in the wake of an upcoming visit by Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

North Korea’s 24.6 million residents may then gain the opportunity to add to the impressive view count (recently surpassing a record 1.1 billion) of ‘Gangnam Style’ on YouTube, as the impoverished nation strives to more closely resemble the affluent Seoul suburb of Gangnam described in the hit song.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has publicly expressed a desire to utilize the power of science and technology to boost the nation’s stagnant economy. The trip may signal an important shift in the country’s strict limits on access to information.

Locals currently require government consent to interact with foreigners, and only a small portion of the ruling elite are able to access the World Wide Web. Others are restricted to an extremely limited nationwide intranet service.

Mr. Schmidt has long been an advocate of global internet access and the transformative power of internet connectivity to help lift people out of poverty and political oppression.

Joining Schmidt on the trip are former New Mexico governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, along with Korea expert Kun “Tony” Namkung.

The trip will come at a delicate time in North Korea’s relationship with both South Korea and with the United States.

In a New Year’s broadcast on state media Kim Jong-un called for an end to the ongoing confrontation between North and South Korea, according to Reuters. The two nations have technically been at war since 1950, in the absence of a formal peace treaty to end the conflict.

“An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontation between the north and the south,” Kim said in a televised address, the first of its kind by a North Korean leader in 19 years.

“Past records of inter-Korean relations show that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war,” he continued.

South Korea recently elected Park Geun-hye, daughter of assassinated military ruler Park Chung-hee, as president. Ms. Park has called for increased dialogue and engagement with the North, but has demanded that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

Evidence from recent history suggests that this is unlikely to happen.

In December North Korea shot a satellite into space using a three-stage rocket, purportedly as an innocuous step forward in North Korea’s quest for peaceful space exploration.

Officials in Washington and elsewhere suspected the effort to be a covert test of long-range ballistic missile technology, potentially capable of sending a nuclear warhead as far as California.

The UN Security Council condemned the launch, which violated international bans on developing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs imposed after the rogue nation conducted weapons tests in 2006 and 2009.

North Korea also announced recently that an American citizen has been jailed in Pyongyang for committing “hostile” acts against the state.

U.S. State Department officials have called the timing of the trip “unhelpful,” citing the recent rocket launch. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added that “they are private citizens and they are making their own decisions,” and “are not carrying any messages from us.”

In 2011 a group of North Korean economists and diplomats visited Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, according to the Associated Press.

When asked about the potential for Google’s expansion into North Korea, Nuland remarked, “all U.S. companies are subject to the U.S. sanctions regime with regard to the D.P.R.K.”

“Obviously we support internet freedom around the world,” Nuland added. “We support the right of all people to have access to the internet, and we oppose government restrictions on that wherever they are found.”

State Department representatives said they had no further comments on the issue when contacted with additional questions.

In recent years Google has been working hard to expand its presence throughout Asia, but has encountered problems in North Korea and China due to censorship concerns.

Kim Jong Un’s welcoming of Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Richardson may herald the beginnings of the “scientific and industrial revolution” proclaimed by the North Korean leader. Or, like many other seemingly promising developments in the country, it could prove to be a bitter disappointment for both the outside world and millions of impoverished North Korean citizens.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Authorities charge 5 in New Delhi gang rape

Associated Press /  January 3, 2013

NEW DELHI (AP) — Five men accused of raping a university student for hours on a bus as it drove through India’s capital were charged Thursday with murder, rape and other crimes that could bring them the death penalty.
The attack on the 23-year-old woman, who died of severe internal injuries over the weekend, provoked a debate across India about the routine mistreatment of females and triggered daily protests demanding action.
There have been signs of change since the attack. Rapes, often ignored, have become front-page news, politicians have called for tougher laws, including the death penalty and chemical castration for rapists, and the government is examining wide-scale reforms in the criminal justice system’s handling of sexual assaults. Activists say the tragedy could mark a turning point for women’s rights.
In a nation where court cases often linger for years, the government set up a special fast-track court Wednesday to deal with crimes against woman, and that is where the charges against the five men were filed Thursday evening. The government said it planned to open four more such courts in the city.
Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan filed a case of rape, tampering with evidence, kidnapping, murder and other charges against the men. The charge sheet was not released and he asked for a closed trial. A hearing was set for Saturday.
The men charged were Ram Singh, the bus driver; his brother Mukesh Singh, who cleans buses for the same company; Pavan Gupta, a fruit vendor; Akshay Singh, a bus washer; and Vinay Sharma, a fitness trainer. They did not appear in court. Authorities have said they would push for the death penalty for the men.
A sixth suspect, listed as a 17-year-old, was expected to be tried in a juvenile court, where the maximum sentence would be three years in a reform facility. Police also detained the owner of the bus on accusations he used false documents to obtain permits to run the private bus service.
The Bar Association said its lawyers would not defend the suspects because of the nature of the crime, but the court was expected to appoint attorneys to defend them.
‘‘Strict, strict, strict punishment should be given to them,’’ said Ashima Sharma, an 18-year-old student attending a protest Thursday. ‘‘A very strict punishment ... that all men of India should be aware that they are not going to treat the women like the way they treated her.’’
The woman was attacked Dec. 16 after boarding the bus with a male companion after watching an evening showing of the movie ‘‘Life of Pi’’ at an upscale mall. The vehicle was a charter bus that illegally picked up the two passengers, authorities said.
The pair were attacked for hours as the bus drove through the city, even passing through police checkpoints during the assault. They were eventually dumped naked on the side of the road. The woman, whose name was not released, was assaulted with an iron bar and suffered severe internal injuries that eventually proved fatal.
The attack caused outrage across India, where women are routinely subject to everything from catcalls to assaults. Many say they fear being outside at night.
Outside the court, about 50 woman lawyers held a protest, demanding wholesale changes in the criminal justice system to ensure justice for women. ‘‘Punish the police, sensitize judiciary, eradicate rape,’’ read one protester’s sign.
Indian Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said the accused should be tried swiftly, but cautioned that they needed to be given a fair trial and not be subjected to mob justice.
‘‘Let us not lose sight of the fact that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,’’ he told reporters Wednesday, while inaugurating the new fast-track court. ‘‘Let us balance things. Let us not get carried away. Provide justice in a fair but swift manner so that faith of people is once again restored that the judiciary is there behind the common man.’’
Many cases never even get to court because of intense social pressure against families reporting sexual assaults, which are often blamed on the female victims. When women do report rapes, police often refuse to file charges and pressure the victims to reach a compromise with their attackers.
To try to rectify that, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced a special recruitment drive for women police officers Thursday and ordered every police station in the capital to be staffed by at least nine female officers to make them more attentive to women’s needs.
In a sign attitudes might be changing, and that even powerful men are being held accountable, police in the northeastern state of Assam arrested a leader of the ruling Congress party Thursday on accusations he raped a woman in a village in the early hours of the morning.Continued...

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