Thursday, March 17, 2011

Netflix declares war on cable


Boom.  In what could be the shot heard round the world for the cable industry, Netflix has fired the first volley: the company will create it’s own content.  The company has secured a 90s British miniserieis (hey it worked for The Office).  The series will feature Kevin Spacey and David Fincher (of The Social Network fame).
Clearly, Netflix can profit more from original content then spending billions to secure the content of other producers.  Recently, Netflix spent a reported $1 billion to secure Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM pictures for five years.  If Netflix finds success, we anticipate more original Netflix shows will follow.
How successful does Netflix have to be to become a legitimate alternative to cable?  The definition of what a content provider should be is in flux.  Some suggest a stable of news programing is a must.  Other suggest access to nationalnetworks such as ABC, NBC and FOX.  At the end of the day, the only vote that matters is what consumers are willing to pay for.

Raphael Saadiq - Still Ray

Pensado's Place: Into The Lair #8 Part 1/2 - Vocal Effects



Blip Drums Premiers Ableton Livepack Drum Machine


Blip Drums has premiered Magenta, a fusion of Blip Drums electronic drum library and Ableton instruments and effects. Within Magenta is over 1000 original electronic drum samples contained within 16 drum pads. All samples are instantly available via unique sample selector knobs. This allows the freedom to explore drum sounds during play back without the hassle of loading external samples. In addition, automation of the sample selector knobs allows musicians to explore a whole new world of rhythm programming.
Blip Drums Magenta
Each of the 16 drum pads has it’s own set of 8 specifically designed sound shaping performance knobs giving the musician instant access to over 128 knobs that tweak every aspect of each drum sample. This moves Magenta away from simply being a drum play back sampler to a powerfully effective drum synthesizer.
Blip Drums’ Ableton Livepack Drum Machine costs $19 bucks and requires Ableton Live Suite 8.1 plus Impulse, Operator and SamplerMore. More information on Blip Drums Ableton Livepack Drum Machine.

Ludacris Jumps On Headphone Bandwagon


Signeo has teamed with everybody’s favorite gun-guy turned actor Ludacris to debut the SOUL by Ludacris headphone series. The SOUL brand kicks off with an initial 5-model line-up of headphones. Here’s the breakdown…
ludacris soul headphones
Signeo SOUL by Ludacris SL300
High-definition, noise canceling headphones combine sleek style with professional sound
» Powered amplification for studio quality balance of deep bass and crystal clear mids and highs
» Features noise canceling technology and comfortable over-ear design to seal in sound, block out ambient noise
» Advanced, breathable headband pad and ear cups
» iPhone Ready: compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod
» Comes with standard and iPhone detachable cords with in-line remote
» Features sleek folding design and hard protective case for on-the-go storage
» Gold plated connectors provide seamless signal transfer; included: 1/8″ (3.5mm) to ¼ adaptor
Price: $299
Signeo SOUL by Ludacris SL150
High-definition on-ear headphones boast professional sound, distinct personal style
» Engineered for powerful deep bass with mid and high clarity
» Advanced, breathable headband pad and ear cups
» iPhone Ready: compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod
» Comes with standard and iPhone detachable cords with in-line remote
» Features sleek folding design and hard protective case for on-the-go storage
» Gold plated connectors provide seamless signal transfer
Price: $199
Signeo SOUL by Ludacris SL100
High-definition on-ear headphones deliver big sound with stylish urban aesthetics
» Engineered for powerful deep bass with mid and high clarity
» Advanced, breathable headband pad and ear cups
» iPhone Ready: compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod
» Comes with standard and iPhone detachable cords with in-line remote
» Features sleek folding design and hard protective case for on-the-go storage
» Gold plated connectors provide seamless signal transfer
Price: $149
Signeo SOUL by Ludacris SL99
High-definition in-ear headphones designed to seal music in and keep noise out
» Full range sound technology offers a blend of highs, mids and lows
» Includes small, medium and large replacement ear tips for ideal fit
» iPhone Ready: compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod
» Comes with a hard protective case for on-the-go storage
» Tangle-resistant cables
» Gold plated connectors provide seamless signal transfer
Price: $99
Signeo SOUL by Ludacris SL49
High-definition in-ear headphones offer precision sound and sleek style
» High precision audio balance offers the perfect blend of highs, mids and lows
» Includes small, medium and large replacement ear tips for ideal fit
» iPhone® Ready: compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod
» Comes with a hard protective case for on-the-go storage
» Tangle-resistant cables
» Gold plated connectors provide seamless signal transfer
Price: $69
The Future: An interesting Me-Too! product endorsement choice by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges…if you can’t Beats them, SOUL Them.

THE ALL NEW LOTUS ETERNE

Group LotusThe ultimate paradox - incredible sports car performance and four doors? In true Lotus fashion, when there are no rules to be broken, then it is time to define them instead. The Eterne delivers everything a driver could desire - luxury, performance, handling - all packaged with unsurpassed style and practicality. After all, the need to accommodate passengers should never detract from true driving pleasure.


BBE Two Timer Demo (Sultan and 2112 styles)



The Two Timer was inspired by the long discontinued DM-2 Delay, which was known for its warm, haunting reverb and tape-like echoes. The Two Timer offers two independent delay times foot switchable via the Time1/Time2 mode footswitch. This makes it possible to have one delay set up for a short slapback rhythm sound while another is set longer for solos.

Two very different styles in this demo, both using a G&L Legacy. We start with a Sultans of Swing passage through a vintage Fender Deluxe, first with short delay setting on Time 1 then switch to a longer delay on Time 2. Next we do the classic into to Rush's 2112 through a Marshall JCM 800. Rush fans will note the latter half of the demo, with the delay setting dimed on Time 2, nails it. In each demo, we used a moderate Repeat settings, though you can get really extreme with all the analog goodness of the Two Timer.

The World’s Richest Street: Hong Kong’s Severn Road



Hong Kong’s Severn Road, a winding street of mansions and tony apartments, is still the priciest address on the planet.
For the second year running,Financial News, a  London-based sister publication of The Wall Street Journal, has determined that properties on Severn Road cost more per square foot than those anywhere else.
The financial publication surveyed real-estate agents around the world to compile its list of the 10 most-expensive streets. Properties on Severn Road were valued at US$78,200 a square meter (about US$8,689 a square foot), up from US$70,000 in last year’s survey. (In 2009, Severn Road was in eighth place on the list, prices having taken a 40% dive at the start of the global economic downturn.)

Lady Gaga Song Muffled in Malaysia



Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy

The song is largely about tolerance:Lady Gaga’s hit song “Born This Way” doesn’t sound the same in Malaysia as it does in other parts of the world, according to reports.
“Whether you’re broke or evergreen,
You’re black, white, beige, chola descent,
You’re Lebanese, you’re orient,
Whether life’s disabilities,
Left you outcast, bullied or teased,
Rejoice and love yourself today”
But it includes lyrics such as ‘No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track, baby.’
On Malaysian radio, those lines have been edited out.
The country is notoriously conservative when it comes to Western popstars. A few of Kylie Minogue’s music videos have been banned there; Black Eye Peas’s Fergie covered up during a 2009 gig in Kuala Lumpur; and in 2009, BeyoncĂ© was asked to tone down her concert in that country (she later postponed it).

The 'lost' footage of Bob Marley's early career


Esther Anderson talks through the footage she shot back in the 1970s
A film charting the rise of Bob Marley and The Wailers to international stardom - made from footage shot in the early 1970s and lost for 30 years - is set to get its first public viewing.
It was New York, late 1972, and Esther Anderson was attending an event hosted by Island Records, when Bob Marley walked in.
"He didn't smile but he was very handsome with strong features, he reminded me of Jimi Hendrix," she remembers.
Bob Marley and Esther Anderson in Trinidad'Bob and I were very similar,' says Esther Anderson (© Esther Anderson 1973. All rights reserved)
Bob Marley was a guest of record producer Chris Blackwell, who had recently signed his group The Wailers to Island Records. The band was on a promotional tour for The Wailers' first album, Catch a Fire, although at that point sales were low.
Ms Anderson had just finished co-starring in A Warm December with Sidney Poitier. Due to the success of that movie, Bob Marley told her he knew about her and had been following her progress in the newspaper The Gleaner back in Jamaica.
After hearing The Wailers' first album, Ms Anderson realised the huge potential of the group.
'An outsider'
"I hear the lyrics I hear the sound, and I know this is an original sound and original lyrics," she says.
The world in 1973 was a very different place - the idea of a Jamaican supergroup in the vein of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones was radical.

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Esther Anderson
Bob wasn't famous then and you see it in the pictures - he's like an outsider”
Esther Anderson
To help with the publicity for a relaunch of the Wailers album, Ms Anderson decided to photograph and film Bob, as they travelled with Island Records' lawyer and his girlfriend, and Jim Capaldi from Traffic, across the Caribbean.
"Bob wasn't famous then and you see it in the pictures... he's like an outsider, he's not really with them," she says.
Returning to Jamaica, she carried on filming with her Super 8 camera, taking photographs of all the members of The Wailers.
One moment captured on camera stands out for Ms Anderson.
"A human moment I call it," she says as she points to one of her photographs showing Bob Marley helping a man fit a tyre to his car.
"The taxi broke down. Bob got out of the car. He picked up the tyre and he started to help the man change the wheel," she says.
"Here is this guy who thought he wasn't big enough to help a fellow human being. I just found that so amazing and so human and unaffected."
Under the mango tree
Another of her photographs shows Bob Marley sitting under a mango tree.
Bob Marley changing a tyre in TrinidadEsther Anderson photographed Bob Marley and The Wailers as they travelled around the Caribbean (© Esther Anderson 1973. All rights reserved)
"Bob used to call this his office," says Ms Anderson, "because he said, 'a man sitting behind a desk can con you in every kind of way.' So, if Chris wanted a meeting with him he'd have to have it under the mango tree."
Much of the footage was recorded at Island House, then Island Records' office, at 56 Hope Road, Kingston, Jamaica, which is now home to the Bob Marley museum.
This would be part of a documentary to get what Ms Anderson describes as an intimate portrait of the musicians, to help The Wailers get into the mainstream. It was to be targeted at university students in the US.
"I was shooting the film to be shown in the universities because that's how we crossed over all our artists. The students embraced the music in America first," says Esther Anderson.
But it wasn't easy. She had to use the money she had earned from A Warm December to fund the shoot.
"I had no budget. Chris said go ahead but I had to do it on my own. So I gathered a crew and equipment and I started to film," says Ms Anderson.
The original Wailers, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Neville Livingston (later renamed Bunny Wailer), spent the days at Hope Road "talking about philosophy, the sufferings of the people". Esther Anderson captured all this with her filming and photographs.
Rasta and Reggae
She encouraged Bob to meet true Rastafarians, arranging a picnic with Ras Daniel Hartman, premier Rasta painter of Jamaica and star of the 1972 film The Harder They Come.
Bob MarleyBob Marley died 30 years ago
With her camera she captured Bob Marley and Ras Daniel Hartman together. From behind the lens she recognised that the marriage between the two, Rasta and Reggae, would show the world where the music came from.
Her images reflected this realisation and have become among the most iconic portraits of Bob Marley. Her innovation was to marry Rastafarianism's colours and lifestyle within her compositions of the band.
"The red, green and gold and all of that were my ideas," she says. "I shot the thing and put it together and sent it over [to London]."
The images were used for the first poster of Bob Marley, T-shirts and the album cover of Catch a Fire.
Ms Anderson remembers taking the iconic picture of Bob smoking a spliff that is still used to sell his image.
"That picture was taken on a beautiful morning. I made him take his shirt off because I loved the colour of his skin. The sunlight hitting on his body reflecting back on my lens. I used Kodak Ektachrome which gives that lovely golden light.

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That picture was taken on a beautiful morning. I made him take his shirt off because I loved the colour of his skin”
Esther Anderson
By March, 1973 Esther had left Jamaica to accompany and help manage The Wailers' tours of the UK and the US. She left the film and the video tapes with Island Records for safe keeping while she toured with The Wailers in the UK and US. She says that by the time she returned, the films had "disappeared".
The recordings were lost until 2000, when a British documentary maker turned up at her door.
Jeremy Marre had come to interview her for his own documentary, Rebel Music. It was then she realised that among the archive material he had were tapes that actually belonged to her.
Reunited with her footage, Ms Anderson is now, after 38 years, presenting her film, Bob Marley - The Making of a Legend.
Bob Marley died 30 years ago, although his music is bigger than when he was alive. As she finishes off the last-minute editing, Ms Anderson says she regrets his untimely passing despite his "prodigious legacy of work".
And what does she think he would be doing were he still here? "He would have continued to have been writing great songs, probably breaking a lot of women's hearts and having many babies, just the same as Charlie Chaplin," she laughs.
Esther Anderson and Gian Godoy present a look at their film in progress, Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend on Saturday, 19 March at the British Film Institute in London as part of the African Odysseys programme.

Heinz Launches Limited-Edition Ketchup on Facebook in U.K.

So Mr. Heinz would likely be very happy that the recommendation economy is alive and well: In the U.K. this week, Heinz launched a balsamic-vinegar-ketchup variant by selling the first 3,000 bottles exclusively on Facebook to people who were prepared to "like" the product and recommend it to their friends.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup with Balsamic Vinegar is the company's first limited-edition product.
Heinz Tomato Ketchup with Balsamic Vinegar is the company's first limited-edition product.
There are precisely 1,057,000 bottles of Heinz Tomato Ketchup with Balsamic Vinegar, which Heinz said is its first limited-edition product. Heinz sent out 57 free bottles to food bloggers and VIPs and for use in a sampling breakfast, and the remaining bottles will be available in supermarkets starting March 23.
Neil Kleiner, head of social media at Havas' Media Contacts, part of MPG, said, "This is a great PR stunt. It's unexpected for Heinz -- which is not the first brand you think of in terms of social media -- so it has created a lot of buzz. People go to Facebook to engage with friends; they are only interested in brands if there's something in it for them, like discounting, vouchers or exclusives."
Heinz Tomato Ketchup already had 45,000 U.K. Facebook fans thanks to a site set up by agency We Are Social in September. The number has risen to 54,000 since the page started selling the new ketchup at $2.40 a bottle, with free shipping. Facebook users can buy the bottles via credit card using an embedded payment system.
However, the brand's Facebook page is clogged up with people who have had difficulty ordering the product, and on day three of the promotion there are still a few bottles left.
"Heinz is very much aware of the evolving channels consumers use to buy and engage with brands," Heinz marketing manager Ian McCarthy said in a statement. "Social media is increasingly at the forefront of this consumer-consumption evolution, which is why we decided to use our U.K. Facebook page" to launch the product.
According to AC Nielsen, Heinz sells more than 76 million bottles of ketchup each year in the U.K., and around 650 million bottles and 11 billion individual packets across six continents.
Social commerce is becoming increasingly popular, and a number of big brands including Dove, French Connection and Best Buy are all selling through Facebook. Online fashion retailer Asos recently set up a full shop on Facebook, making its entire inventory available through the social-networking site.
Mr. Kleiner said not all brands are not well-suited to social commerce. "I couldn't imagine buying something like toothpaste through Facebook," he said. "Brands like Best Buy and Asos are ideal for social commerce because electronics and fashion are very influencer-led, and people look to buy things that their friends have recommended."