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Thompson on Hollywood

Netflix Splits Its DVD and Streaming Business, Hastings Says 'I Messed Up'

Reed Hastings has posted a letter at his Netflix blog (below, the comments are fascinating) admitting that "I messed up," and explaining why he initially separated Netflix's DVD and streaming businesses. Basically, one is the past, which threatens to drag down his company's stock price, and the other is the future, and should continue to thrive and grow. You can tell where Hastings thinks Netflix's future lies because that's the business that's getting the Netflix name. The company that is going to dwindle and die gets called Qwikster. The red envelope will be the same and will add video offerings, but the logo will change. (Here's Techcrunch.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2011 4:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Tech Watch: Is Twitter a Media Company or a Social Network? Google Buys Zagat

While the social network that prides itself on instant updates was always guarded about updating its numbers, Twitter now claims 100 million active users--tweeting, following, and reading content on the network. Tech Crunch (whose own AOL future post-Michael Arrington is in some turmoil) reported that Twitter is looking to increase the presence of "promoted tweets."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 5:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Foursquare to Offer In-App Movie Tickets Via Movietickets.com

Pretty soon our smart phones are going to be smarter than we are. Movietickets.com announced today that it is joining with location-based social networking site foursquare for the debut of foursquare's new events feature. Foursquare allows users to check in at specific locations and venues for points and badges--and annoy their Twitter followers with announcements of their mayoral appointments.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 18, 2011 8:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Academy Announces Technology Interns

The Academy announced today that its Science and Technology Council had selected as its 2011 interns five students who will have the opportunity to participate in 10-12 week internships providing the opportunity to experience advanced movie-making technology.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 5, 2011 6:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Rotten Tomatoes Founder Launches Movies with Butter

Four years after leaving Rotten Tomatoes, founder Senh Duong is launching yet another movie site called MoviesWithButter.com. (He also founded newspaper rack site Wopular.) The website allows movie enthusiasts to track the latest developments of upcoming movies by title, director, actor or development stage.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2011 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Academy Presents 30th Anniversary Digital Screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark June 17 (UPDATE)

It's hard to believe that I sat in a screening room at Paramount's New York headquarters 30 years ago to watch Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Needless to say, it blew my head off. I made my first trip to the west coast to interview producer George Lucas at his Lucasfilm headquarters in Marin, California, for Film Comment Magazine (the archives don't go back that far, alas). The Lawrence Kasdan/George Lucas/Steven Spielberg original turned into a blockbuster and spawned a franchise. The concept of remaking a 40s adventure serial was novel; so was producing an action-packed period romantic comedy (with 6,000 live reptiles). And Harrison Ford nailed Indiana Jones, needless to say.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 10, 2011 8:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Flicklaunch: Indie Distributor Builds on Facebook

Berkeley entrepreneurs Craig Tanner and Erik Moore are building Flicklaunch.com, which they call the first indie film distributor platform to build atop Facebook. Filmmakers can pay $250 to set up, reports FilmNewBriefs:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2011 4:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cisco Kills Flip Cam: Boo!

I am heartbroken that Cisco has decided to kill the Flip Camera, due to restructuring (see release below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 12, 2011 7:28 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Google Changes Algorithm to Block Low-Quality Content Farms

Applaud Google for doing the right thing in the fight against low-quality content farms. Google has announced that it has altered its search algorithms (stateside for starters) to favor high quality content. They explain here:Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Warners Cancels 3-D on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In a welcome sign that the studios are recognizing the hazards of retrofit 3-D--even if done well--Warner Bros. is dumping the idea of releasing Deathly Hallows Part I, the penultimate film in the Harry Potter series, in 3-D on November 19. (An IMAX release will proceed.) Smart move--although the studio blames a lack of time for the change in conversion plans. With time to spare, they say they'll still release Part II in 3-D on July 15. I'll believe it when I see it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2010 4:19 AM
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  • 7 Comments

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