Liana's Feed
Feb 1, 2012
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Zynga’s Pincus fights back against copycat accusations

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Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, isn’t pleased with reports that Zynga is ripping off games from small developers so he is doing something about it–wielding his pen to write passionate manifestos to employees invoking Silicon Valley greats like Apple.

After a game developer accused Zynga of copying a game called “Tiny Tower”,  Pincus sent a 60-line memo to employees to make sure his flock knows Zynga has done nothing wrong, (the memo was leaked to the blog VentureBeat and later obtained by Reuters).

Jan 30, 2012
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Legendary Cosmo editor gives $30 million to Columbia, Stanford

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Helen Gurley Brown, the 89-year-old former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of “Sex and the Single Girl” is donating $30 million to Columbia University and Stanford to fund a media and technology institute.

Columbia will pocket $18 million while Stanford’s Engineering School will net $12 million. Columbia will use $6 million to build a “highly visible signature space” at the journalism school’s building in New York. This marks a record donation for the journalism school.  

Jan 20, 2012
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Could Zynga gamble with friends?

Investors were salivating on Friday at the prospect of Zynga breaking into online gambling. The company said it is in “active conversations with potential partners” to try and figure out the market, which sent its shares up 7 percent.

Last month, the U.S. Justice Department declared that only online betting on sports is unlawful, setting the stage for some U.S. states to legalize online gambling.

Jan 9, 2012
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Dish’s kangaroo pitchman doesn’t cooperate

Dish Network went kangaroo-crazy at this year’s CES. Not only did a mascot in a kangaroo suit greet attendees at its press conference, but CEO Joe Clayton took to the stage cradling a wallaby, which resembles a small kangaroo.

Whilst Clayton cuddled the marsupial, someone whispered in the audience: “Does PETA know about this?”

Dec 15, 2011
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Howard Stern’s TV judging stint a boost for Sirius XM

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Howard Stern is going to be a judge on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent,” this summer and Wall Street is already betting this is going to benefit the shock  jock’s satellite radio home, SiriusXM Radio.

Stern, who will replace the less potty mouthed Piers Morgan, will raise the profile of his radio show and drive new subscribers, at least one analyst said on Thursday.

Nov 11, 2011
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Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer makes fun of News Corp hacking scandal

On the same day that James Murdoch was fighting for his career at a parliamentary hearing on Thursday in London, Sony’s CEO Sir Howard Stringer was making fun of the whole situation an ocean away.

At a fancy breakfast hosted by News Corp’s Wall Street Journal in New York (where Sirius XM’s CEO Mel Karmazin was in the house), Stringer was the guest of honor.  WSJ editor Robert Thomson kicked off the Q&A session introducing Stringer, who later took the opportunity to show off one of Sony’s new products, a pair of binoculars that can be used to record video or pictures in 3D. That’s when Stringer seized the moment to turn the breakfast into an impromptu roast about News Corp’s woes.  Wielding the binoculars, he said:

Nov 8, 2011
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 hits stores tonight

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcalNiyxDJw&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

One of the biggest video game launches ever is going down tonight at stores all over the U.S.  “Modern Warfare 3″, the eighth game in the “Call of Duty” series is going on sale at midnight While the usual suspects like GameStop and Best Buy will be open late to accommodate the crowds, Wal-Mart is going all out by hosting tournaments centered around the game at more than 2,700 stores starting at 8 p.m..

To give you some idea of how big the market for this game is, last year it took a little over two months for ”Call of Duty: Black Ops”  to generate $1 billion in global sales.

Oct 21, 2011
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Struggling Kodak had to pay for CEO’s vacations in Spain

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Over the four years that Kodak’s stock fell 80 percent, the photography icon’s private jet made its way several times a year to Vigo, Spain — the balmy fishing town that is the hometown of CEO Antonio Perez.

The Wall Street Journal’s flight tracker for private jet travel makes it easy to trace Perez’s vacations in Spain. It also estimates that the cost of each roundtrip was more than $50,000 a pop.

Oct 12, 2011
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Is Zynga’s lead slipping on Facebook?

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Electronic Arts, the second-largest video game company in the U.S., is stealing market share away from Zynga, the top dog in social games on Facebook, according to a new report on gaming behavior.

The report, released on Wednesday, is based on data that tracks the game play of more than 10 million users of Raptr, a website that automatically tracks its users’ video game activity on Facebook, consoles and PCs.

Oct 12, 2011
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The Hoff wants a video game of his own

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David ‘The Hoff’ Hasselhoff wants to stay “hip and current with the kids,” so he’s doing it the way he knows best–by getting beat up in cheerleader outfits and chicken suits in an ad campaign.

The Hoff is Electronic Arts’s latest pitchman in online videos for “Burnout Crash,” a racing video game on Xbox Live with the motion controller, Kinect, but he’s not stopping there: He wants a game of his own, he told Reuters in an interview this week.