Breaking the celluloid ceiling: Kathryn Bigelow wins Directors Guild of America award for ‘The Hurt Locker’…

Right on. An incredible and powerful film, ‘The Hurt Locker’ keeps beating ‘Avatar’. Shockingly, Bigelow is the first woman to win this award in the history of the DGA. (and I must fess up and admit that I really get a kick out of her beating Cameron over and over, especially since he is her ex, lol).

Variety:

Kathryn Bigelow has won the Directors Guild of America award for directing “The Hurt Locker,” becoming the first woman to do so in the 62 years of the DGA awards.Bigelow’s win was announced Saturday night at the conclusion of the DGA awards ceremonies at the Century Plaza. She defeated James Cameron for “Avatar,” Lee Daniels for “Precious,” Jason Reitman for “Up in the Air” and Quentin Tarantino for “Inglourious Basterds.”

Bigelow, who shot the gritty drama in Jordan, was only the seventh female to be nominated for the DGA trophy.

Bigelow said she was “stunned, honored and proud” in her brief acceptance speech.

“I felt A deep obligation to tell this story with as much honesty as possible,” she added. “This is the most incredible moment of my life.”

The DGA award is viewed as a reliable predictor of the Academy Award for best director. The same director has won both in all but six years since 1948, including last year, when Danny Boyle won both trophies for “Slumdog Millionaire.”…

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January 31, 2010. Tags: , , , . Armed Forces, Celebrities, Entertainment, Film, Terrorism. 1 comment.

Update: E-Book price wars: Amazon defends Kindle readers, refuses to raise customer prices for Macmillan e-books…

Update 2: Shxt, they are reporting AMZN has caved. Is this a double fake? Is AMZN really happy to charge us higher prices (recall AMZN was losing money on titles to promote the sale of Kindle).

I am pixxed! Why the hexx should I pay $14.99 for an ebook (when I cannot lend it), when I could buy the hardcopy? I guess that is what publishers figure, win/win. ARRRRGLE!!! They are stopping what was going so well! I mean yeah it SUCKED that TOR (Macmillan imprint) delayed the e-book of the Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson WoT , (it was FINALLY released on e-book like a week ago, more than 2 months after the hardcover came out) but I was okay with that cuz frankly I still buy hardcover for my ginormous fantasy series (hell I collect the first editions of those! lol!!) and it is my choice to pay more or wait, but now they are really pixxing off the readers here.

We had a good thing going and Apple has done gone and frakked the whole thing up!! For a device that the Apple fans dont even like! frakkers.

NYPost:

Amazon.com says it will give in to publishing giant Macmillan and agree to sell electronic versions of its books even at prices it considers too high.

…Amazon wants to keep prices low as competitors such as Barnes & Noble Inc., Sony Corp. and Apple Inc. line up to challenge its dominant position in the rapidly expanding market. But Macmillan and other publishers have criticized Amazon for charging just $9.99 for best-selling e-books on its Kindle e-reader, saying the price is too low and could hurt sales of higher-priced hardcovers.

…Amazon said in a posting on its online Kindle Forum Sunday that it “expressed our strong disagreement” with Macmillan’s determination to charge higher prices. Under Macmillan’s model, to be put in place in March, e-books will be priced from $12.99 to $14.99 when first released and prices will change over time.”We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books,” Amazon said in the posting…

Update: Macmillan CEO statement includes the following new pricing model they want to impose on Amazon and ALL DISTRIBUTORS, thanks a lot Apple you tools!! And YES the typos are theirs!:

…Under the agency model, we will sell the digital editions of our books to consumers through our retailers. Our retailers will act as our agents and will take a 30% commission (the standard split today for many digtal media businesses). The price will be set for each book individually. Our plan is to price the digital edition of most adult trade books in a price range from $14.99 to $5.99. At first release, concurrent with a hardcover, most titles will be priced between $14.99 and $12.99. E books will almost always appear day on date with the physical edition. Pricing will be dynamic over time….

amazon ceo jeff bezos

Go Jeff go!! Apple really tried to screw we e-book readers with their deal with the publishers for the iPAD, and those publishers are pushing Amazon to raise Kindle e-book customer prices as a result.

Jeff said, uhm no. Yay Jeff! Why should the publisher have control over what price the storeowner sets on the ebook?! They cut their deal with Amazon already, and we Kindle owners made our deal with Amazon on how much we would have to pay for new releases of e-books. Thus our high dollar investment in the Kindle ($400 for my first gen model, now down to $259 , still quite an investment and one I think is made by those who spend a substantial amount( a % of which goes to these publishers, guaranteeing them a revenue stream to these dying publishers in an electronic world) . Also please consider most of we Kindle users read at least 3 books a week, some of us considerably more. We are no flash in the pan purchasers.

I am already pixxed at publishers DELAYING new releases from Kindle! Some titles have been hitting shelves and not Kindle, fine for a week or two, but for months?! Well frak them, I am waiting until it is available on my Kindle!Jeff has kindly made the classics that are in the public domain available for free on the Kindle to tide us over. (This has always been available, but I used to go to ProjectGutenberg and email my classics in .txt format to my Kindle account and then get them converted. Now they are listed in the Kindle e-books for purchase for free and already formatted for us 🙂

Not a good strategy for the publishers, pixxing off we voracious readers. We WILL support Amazon’s call on this and we WILL wait you out publishers. Do they think some Apple iPhone techno-lovers in the future can possibly make up for the sales to Kindle readers??! HA HA!

I am going to go send Jeff Bezos a lovely email on Amazon thanking him for DEFENDING THE READERS!

With my Kindle I can carry around my library with me. I love it and will support Amazon in this fight against the publishers

WSJ:

Amazon.com Inc. has removed all e-book titles published by Macmillan from Amazon and its Kindle e-reader site in a battle over pricing, according to a statement issued by Macmillan late Saturday.

The move follows this week’s launch of Apple Inc.’s new iPad device, which is expected to shake up the publishing industry by competing directly with Amazon’s Kindle reader and by enabling publishers to set their own retail prices on their books.

Yeah I call SHENANIGANS!! Why the hell should the publisher set the retail price of an ebook! Apple set the price of an iTune right? Not the studio. frakkers.

Macmillan CEO John Sargent said he visited Amazon on Thursday in Seattle to discuss “new terms of sales for e-books” and that by the time he returned to New York, he’d been informed that Macmillan’s e-books would only be for sale on Amazon.com “through third parties,” according to the statement, which appeared as an advertisement on publishing industry Web site PublishersMarketplace.com.

…Publishers have agreed to a new pricing model with Apple, under which they will set their own e-book prices, with Apple taking 30% of the revenue. They are expected to price many e-book titles at $12.99 and $14.99, with fewer carrying the $9.99 price that Amazon currently charges on most best-sellers.

It is expected that publishers will now seek to do business with Amazon and other e-book retailers on the same terms as with Apple. By setting their own prices, publishers would be able to eliminate discounting on Amazon and elsewhere that they believe threatens the long-term business model of publishing.

See if someone had done this shxt when iTunes was starting none of us would be able to buy a song for .99 now. And the music industry would still be dying on the vine. Frakkers.

And the publishers are shooting themselves in the foot here, I have no more frakking room for hardcopies of books! I will not move to a backlit reading device like the iPAD! (no one who reads 4 books or more a week can read on a backlit device without hurting their eyes, thus the JOY of e-ink on the Kindle display)  I want my damn Kindle, they have been making money and now want to gouge us. Frak them! These books are FREE at libraries!

Go back to the agreed upon price model or face the readers wrath Macmillan!!!!

January 31, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . American Literature, English Literature, Entertainment, Fiction, Popular Culture. 2 comments.

SNL – New Senator Scott Brown heats things up on the Hill

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January 31, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Politics. Comments off.

The Vampire Diaries 1.13 Sneak Peek 2 & Supernatural ‘The Song Remains the Same’ sneak peeks

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Still lovin the Zeppelin track names as episode titles…

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January 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Entertainment, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Popular Culture, Supernatural, Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Warner Bros.. Comments off.

The Vampire Diaries 1.13 ‘Children of the Damned’ sneak peek

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January 29, 2010. Tags: , , , . Celebrities, Entertainment, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Popular Culture, Supernatural, Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Warner Bros.. Comments off.

TGIF! LOST Season Premiere – first 4 minutes

SPOILER ALERT!!!! watch it while you can!!!

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January 29, 2010. Tags: , , , . Entertainment, Fantasy, Mystery, Popular Culture. 1 comment.

Market Mover Friday: First read of 4Q GDP…

Update: CalculatedRisk has the economic chops to be believed when they give the analysis that MiM does (we do it with no economic degree just Main St instincts), so here it is:

Any analysis of the Q4 GDP report has to start with the change in private inventories. This change contributed a majority of the increase in GDP, and annualized Q4 GDP growth would have been 2.3% without the transitory increase from inventory changes.

Unfortunately – although expected – the two leading sectors, residential investment (RI) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE), both slowed in Q4.

  • PCE slowed from 2.8% annualized growth in Q3 to 2.0% in Q4.
  • RI slowed from 18.9% in Q3 to just 5.7% in Q4
  • …The transitory boost from inventory changes is frequently a great kick start to the economy at the beginning of a recovery – as long as the leading sectors (PCE and RI) are also picking up. This report has to be viewed as concerning … and is reminiscent of Q1 1981 and Q1 2002 … both examples of inventory changes making large contributions to GDP, but underlying growth remained weak.

    Update: Comes in at 5.7%. Yowsa, double dip baby….no way they maintain….

    Should be a nice reading with the sugar high provided by government spending inventory build! Govt spending in this GDP went down, kewlin’. . Update 2: Well Christy Romer wants to give the stimulus credit, so the govt contribution to this GDP data is big in her definition:

    CEA chair Christie Romer blogs on the latest economic data:

    This broad-based rise in GDP was surely fueled in part by the tax cuts and investment spending in the Recovery Act and other rescue actions, but some appears to be the result of private sector demand returning.

    Ironically the higher it is, the more likely IMO the double dip comes sooner. That rate of ‘growth’ cannot possibly be sustained. Team Obama no doubt hopes the 1 million temporary census jobs coming on board combined with this goosed up juiced up GDP reading will make everyone feel good.

    GDP data is not enough to create consumer spending. Neither are the temporary 1 million $18.00 an hour Census jobs (although we should get a nifty bump). We need sustained private sector job creation and in this ‘anything can happen’ Obama political environment we will not get that. Mid term electiomns cannot come soon enough,. Once we preclude the possibility of passage of regressive economic policy the economy can get back to growing….

    CNBC:

    …A Reuters survey predicted that gross domestic product, which measures total goods and services output within U.S. borders, expanded at a 4.6 percent annual rate, up from 2.2 percent in the third quarter.

    Analysts reckon the change in inventories could constitute as much as three-quarters of the GDP figure and overstate the strength of the recovery from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression 70 years ago.

    “We shouldn’t dismiss it (GDP number), but the problem is the inventory cycle really doesn’t last that long. It’s not what we call self-sustaining growth,” said Paul Ashworth, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto….

    Inventory builds are nice but they generally happen when business expects consumers to you know, buy things. What this number represents is similar to the 400k in lost jobs we are seeing in the weekly data. It is ‘less awful’ than earlier readings, IMO b/c there are hardly any workers left to fire, and not much more productivity to be squeezed out of businesses at this point. Shelves are empty so some inventory build is expected. (UPDATE: Inventory Build was 3.5% of this GDP number) Again not meaningful without the consumer engine, for that we need JOBS.

    …Consumer spending is expected to have risen in the last three months of 2009, but below the 2.8 percent annual pace in the prior quarter, when consumption got a boost from the government’s “cash for clunkers” program.

    Spending has been hamstrung by the worst labor market in a quarter century. Analysts noted that during periods of strong economic growth, consumer spending was rising at an average of 4 percent a year.

    “If you are looking for a strong and sustainable recovery, it’s hard to see that happening unless consumption accelerates,” said Capital Economics’ Ashworth….

    January 29, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Comedy, Economy, Finance, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. Comments off.

    Hitler responds to the iPad

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    January 28, 2010. Tags: , , , . Comedy, Popular Culture. Comments off.

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