MediaFile

Tech CEO turns to trusted adviser on key decision; 10-year old daughter

Anyone who thinks the word “executive” in CEO stands for a person who actually executes decisions and strategy should think again, at least according to Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

“It’s very funny, you get a job as a CEO and everyone says you’ve got this absolute power,” Rose told the Reuters Global Media Summit in Paris.

“The reality is, the power you have, the authority you have is to basically guide and to give direction…and if people don’t want to follow, they’ll just forget to do it,”

Rose said that since he took the helm of the video technology specialist in September 2008 he really only took one decision on his own — but if you want to get technical someone else helped him along.

“The only true executive decision that I have taken all by myself was the choice of the logo,” Rose said, showing Technicolor’s logo.

Apple’s iPhone 4 press conference LIVE BLOG

iphone steve jobs

Apple is expected to announce a fix for the iPhone 4′s reception problems, rather than a recall, at a surprise press conference on the device on Friday. The event, which comes only days before Apple reports its quarterly results, may find the company offering hardware or software tweaks, ranging from a rubber bumper case to something more drastic. Or perhaps no fix at all.

Reuters is live at the event, and we are hosting a live blog with updates as fast as we get them. Stay tuned for more, and please post your comments about Apple’s decisions.

Motorola Droid X ads make quiet digs at iPhone 4

droidxsmallerMotorola’s phones may not draw overnight campers and lines outside stores that Apple still inspires four years after its first iPhone launch. However Motorola is getting to have a different kind of fun.  

Taking advantage of  widespread complaints about the iPhone 4 around antenna related reception problems, Motorola has been making some thinly veiled digs at Apple in its advertising for the new Droid X, which launches July 15.
 

While Apple has suggested that users avoid holding their phone in a certain way to help improve their phone reception, Motorola happily offered an alternative with Droid X.  After listing the Droid X features Motorola had this to say in a full page ad in New York Times on June 30:

If you sell iPhone, they will come… and sit in filth

iphone launch att
Five days after thousands lined up around the world to nab the iPhone 4 at Apple stores around the globe, the lines are back. Now its customers who ordered the smartphone from retail stores run by AT&T, the exclusive U.S. provider for the iPhone.

Shoppers braved the early morning heat, and Times Square grime, to get their hands on this version of the phone, which is already a huge hit, selling 1.7 million units in its first 3 days on the street.

Hardware love aside, blogger Kevin Tofel says that AT&T’s new upgrade policy and phone data  pricing plan played a significant role in spurring customers to order the device.

Entrepreneurs swarm at iPhone launch

In New York, the annual launch of iPhone upgrades has morphed from being a odd meeting of tech-geek-love into an  giant marketing opportunity for scrappy business-minded folks looking to promote a small business.

Hey, why not? Where else can you find hundreds of potential customers, stuck in line for hours with wallets deep enough to buy a pricey piece of hardware, a swarm of TV news cameras as well as myriad other member of the media (including yours truly), and minimal security?

As far as the business of the day — Apple selling a new phone; customers buying them — the iPhone 4 launch was business as usual. The real show in New York was on the periphery, watching entrepreneurs at work hawking websites, phone-swapping services, a radio station, vampires and more. Is there an economy growing here?

PluggedIn: Gesture tech eyes growth

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By Unnikrishnan Nair and Mansi Dutta, in Bangalore

Gesture-recognition technology is set to motion in a new level of interactivity in everything from games to phones, and poses a serious challenge to the ubiquitous mouse and remote controls.

The technology works by tracking and interpreting hand and body movements of users, and is viewed by many as the next game changer in consumer electronics. Users can just wave their hands in front of a screen to bring up control menus and select the relevant option by pointing a finger. They can zoom pictures, raise and lower volume, switch on and off devices, or do just about anything they can with a mouse or a remote, all with different gestures.

Video game consoles are leading the way. Like Sony’s motion-sensing game console for its PlayStation 3, its answer to Nintendo’s popular Wii.

Wow! My Blockbuster is closed

blockbuster for sale 2b

The fate of the Blockbuster movie rental chain really hit home this weekend when I saw a “for rent” sign on what was once a busy location. That particular shop — on a high-traffic Westchester, NY  strip, across the street from a always-busy mall — was once a bustling spot, particularly on weekends. The economy is rough, of course, but I would have bet it would outlive its smaller neighbors.

Nope. The mom-and-pop pet supply store a few doors down, which is spitting distance from a mega-PetSmart and PetGoods? Still open. The baseball card memorabilia/comic book shop? Open AND buying stuff.blockbuster for sale 2

Sure, Blockbuster, which is facing tough competition from Netflix and Redbox,  has said it planned to close up to 1,560 stores by the end of this year. And I — a Netflix member and cable on-demand user — can’t remember the last time I was actually in that store. Maybe its my fault.

The end of the story…

……is the cash cow for Chinese company Shanda Literature Ltd, a
subsidiary of Shanda Interactive Entertainment.

The company’s business model is simple: read the first half
of a book online for free, and if you want to know the rest
(which usually is the case if you have read that far) you need
to pay for it. Revenues are split with the stories’ authors.

In China, this proves to be successful. According to Shanda
Literature CEO Hou Xiaoqing, the company now has cash reserves
of $1.8 billion, with 800,000 authors creating up to 80,000 new
pages of content per day, he said at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Target makes the scene with a magazine

You know how it is when you take a trip to Target: You’re going to buy just that ONE THING that you need, and you’re going to keep it cheap. As you leave the store, you wonder how you dropped hundreds of dollars on things that you didn’t realize you needed until you walked into the store.

Target is hoping to spawn a similar phenomenon on its website, where it has begun offering a magazine newsstand. Rather than starting from scratch, it has signed on Zinio, a digital publishing company that offers magazines and books from more than 350 publishers.

Zinio will sell electronic versions of magazines on a page on Target’s website, either as single editions of current and older issues, or as annual subscriptions – usually at a discount. People can read them in a Web browser version or through an application that Zinio offers for download. This is similar to what they’ve done on other websites, like the one operated by Barnes & Noble.

Frankfurt Motor Show tickets going once… going twice…

Some say the Frankfurt Motor Show, which started on Sept. 15, has lost a bit of its lustre amid the crisis that has hit the global car industry with an economic baseball bat. But there are still people out there who are willing to shell out the big bucks to go see the new car launches. One lucky bidder, identified only as i
l on www.ebay.de paid 158 euros ($232) for two tickets to get into the car show today, days before other mortals are allowed to pass through the big white doors leading into the halls of the show. There are 150 separate auctions for tickets to the car show, with sale prices starting at 7 euros for tickets valid on the days that are open to the public, which start on Sept. 19. So it looks like there are still plenty of people out there who are just wild about cars even though the government has to pay tightfisted consumers to buy a new one with their cash for clunkers programme. Would you pay that much to get a glimpse of  what the automotive industry has in store before others can?