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August 31, 2015


Shark Tank is going to inspire a lot of bad jokes about water, being eaten

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 22nd 2009 9:35AM
Question: what do you get when you combine The Apprentice and American Inventor? Well, possibly a headache. Of course, you could also get a new hit reality show, and that's what ABC is hoping they'll get with Shark Tank. It features new business people and inventors pitching new products and ideas to a panel of judges/successful businessmen and women. Who gets the thumbs up? Who gets investment money? Who has to haggle and deal? Who cries? Who argues with the judges? The preview below makes me want to watch at least the first episode, though I wonder if ultimately this is a show better off on cable.

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TiVo CEO Tom Rogers' 3000 mile commute

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 1st 2007 1:04PM
Tom and Sylvia RogersEver wonder what makes the guy behind TiVo tick? If not, you can probably skip the rest of this post, but the Lower Hudson Journal Times has a detailed profile of TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. If that sounds like a New York area paper to you, you're right. Rogers flies from his home in Harrison, NY to TiVo HQ in Alviso, CA every Monday morning, and makes the return trip on Thursday evenings.

I used to have a 90 minute commute each way to work, and that was hard enough. Rogers spends six hours in the air twice a week. While that's technically fewer hours in transit, he gets to spend less time in his own bed.

Anyway, there's not really any news in the profile. TiVo used to be an advertiser's worst nightmare, now the company's working with them. TiVo faces competition from generic PVRs, but Comcast will be rolling out generic boxes with TiVo software later this year. And so on.

But it's an interesting read if you're interested in Rogers' background and what drives a person to spend four days a week away from home. Here's a hint: if TiVo can afford to fly Rogers across the country twice a week, you can imagine that he's pulling in a decent salary.

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Donald Trump digs at NBC but might do another Apprentice

by Bob Sassone, posted May 31st 2007 11:25AM

TrumpI know that the most devastating news that came out of the recent network upfronts was that NBC didn't announce when or if The Apprentice was coming back. I think I actually saw people crying and screaming on the street that day, shaking their fists to the heavens. But then NBC said it wasn't canceled, they just hadn't decided what to do yet. And then Donald Trump "quit" before they could "fire" him.

But wait! Trump told Larry King the other night that NBC wants to do another season of the show and he wants to do it too. He also criticized the network, saying they ruined the show by putting it all over the schedule (yeah, OK). So I guess they'll be another season.

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CNBC looks at financial impact of Star Wars

by Adam Finley, posted May 21st 2007 4:02PM

star warsStarting today and running throughout the week, CNBC will be looking at how Star Wars has changed the way movies are made and financed (it is a business channel after all). This is all in celebration of the movie's 30th anniversary. Reports will also be shown on the CNBC Web site.

I'll admit that I'm a huge Star Wars nerd, but even I think this is a bit too much. I'll sit down for any special that delves into the making of the trilogy, the technology behind it, the mythology, and all of that cool stuff, but I couldn't care less about box office, financing and merchandising. That's obviously part of the whole package when talking about a huge blockbuster like Star Wars, but none of that stuff mattered to me when I first saw the movie all those years ago. The truth is, even if Star Wars wound up just being some cult movie that only a few people saw, it would still be one of my favorite movies of all time.

I have to ask, is anyone interested in an examination of the financial side of the Star Wars phenomenon? Please comment, I'd love to hear your views on this, too.

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Digeo drops price on HD PVR

by Brad Linder, posted May 7th 2007 11:30AM
Moxi HDDigeo CEO Mike Fidler tells Multichannel News that the company plans to offer its upcoming set-top-box to cable companies for 1/3rd the price of current boxes.

The high definition PVR will be released during the fourth quarter of 2007 and will feature a 160GB hard drive and an eSATA port for additional storage.

While Digeo's Moxi user interface has won awards, only about 400,000 cable subscribers currently use boxes with Moxi. Fidler says the goal of selling the new boxes at reduced pricing is to remain competitive with offerings from Motorola, Scientific Atlanta, and TiVo.

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Tori and Dean open the Chateau La Rue

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 5th 2007 7:01PM

tori spelling and dean mcdermottLast October I hepped y'all to a possible new reality series from Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott in which the couple would run their own bed and breakfast. Well, it's a-comin', and it's a-gonna be on Oxygen. I'm-a gonna stop typing like that now, if you don't mind.

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SalesGenie: "100 Free Sales Leads"

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 4th 2007 7:00PM


Not sure I get what SalesGenie does, but then again I haven't been involved in sales and marketing for quite some time. You go to their site and you can get sales leads? What type of sales leads? Any industry, any business? How do you qualify those leads? Are they up to date?

Then again, if I'm asking the question and I'm not even into sales anymore, I'm sure a lot of business types will be going over to their web site and checking out exactly what this is all about. Is the ad effective? If you want salespeople to go to your site, I guess it is.

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The secret to winning Millionaire? Neuroscience, of course

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 10th 2006 12:34PM

Who Wants To Be A MillionaireInteresting piece over at Seed magazine. A Boston University researcher decided to try out for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and used his training in learning, memory, and decision-making to win $500,000.

Ogi Ogas describes his thought process for each question he got, and how he got the answer that he chose for each question. How he would use bits and pieces of knowledge and what he knew was right about an answer to put together the pieces that would give him the final answer, like a memory detective. There's also a bit of intuition involved, as with the question of the first produce that Sears sold in its catalog. Ogas had no idea what the answer was, but for some reason, immediately, "watches" came into his mind. Was it some sort of information that he had read quickly once and had been stored in his memory bank? I wonder if intuition isn't pure intuition at all, but a decision we come to from what we've learned in the past and stored. I'm not sure if this explains why I can't remember to pay certain bills every single month but I remember the Bionic Woman's telephone number (555-2368), but it's fascinating.

Of course, if various aspects of memory and learning are the keys to winning Millionaire, I guess luck and a lack of greed is the secret to winning Deal Or No Deal.

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10,000 coins topple

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 21st 2006 4:12PM
coinsA new series on SkyOne in the UK called The Big Idea pits inventors and entrepreneurs against one another for a chance to have their invention or business idea realized, and to win £100,000. Since I live in the US I've never actually seen the show, but I did find a commercial for it I think you guys will enjoy. It features a ton of English pound coins toppled over like dominoes, a feat that may or may not have been accomplished with some clever editing, but who cares, it's still cool to look at. I think pounds are a bit thicker than American coins, but I still imagine it would be difficult to make them stand up like that. I don't think I would have the patience to pull off such a feat. In fact, I know I wouldn't. Check out the coinage after the jump.

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Gumby gets new owner, plans comeback

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 8th 2006 9:03AM
gumbyPremavision Inc, the company that owns Gumby, recently entered into a joint deal with Classic Media which will see Classic Media manage all rights to the Gumby characters, including any television, film and video releases. This includes a library of 223 episodes of the original Gumby Show series. The companies also plan to have a direct-to-video movie released sometime in 2008. I'm too young to have grown up with Gumby, but thanks to video I did see several episodes of his 50s television program when I was a kid. Even then I found it too sugary and slow-paced for my enjoyment, and I wonder if kids today would have any interest in Gumby at all. While I'd hate to see the little green guy disappear completely, I still have to ask if it's possible for him to have the appeal he once did, or if he's merely a relic from a more innocent era of children's television.

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The Office: The Convention

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Sep 29th 2006 9:55AM
The Convention(S03E02) After a magnificent season premiere last week, it would have been difficult for this episode to come close. It didn't, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a very satisfying viewer experience anyway.

Michael can be such an ass at times, but underneath all of the bravado, he is a very vulnerable guy. He generally is hurt that Jim left the Scranton office for greener pastures in Stamford but, of course, Jim admits that he didn't leave because he hated Michael. We all know why he left, but he had to tell Michael about his rejection by Pam. We then see Michael do his best to be a friend to Jim, and when he just acts like a regular guy and not a combination of a comedian and businessman, he can be just fine.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Glass Eyes

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 4th 2006 11:18AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E14) If you check out the Adult Swim schedule grid, the words "Worst episode ever" are written next to this particular episode. The men and monkeys who run Adult Swim have never been above a bit of self deprecation, but I actually thought this episode was pretty damn hilarious.

The show opens with the Mayor poking Tom in the eye with a sharp metal rod. It's okay, though, because Tom's eye is made of glass. It seems he had an accident while playing with his step-sons. Tom, however, isn't there just to have his eye poked buy the inquisitive Mayor, he's there to sell hoagies for the annual Father/Son Barrel Goat Hunt, in which the father/son teams hunt the dreaded barrel goat, a creature that is driven insane by the scent of pickle barrels. The Mayor has never heard of a hoagie (he pronounces it "hoogie") before, and he can't get enough of the sandwiches. He also takes a liking to Tom's glass eye and buys two for himself, which of course makes it difficult for him to see and move around.

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30 Days: Outsourcing

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Aug 3rd 2006 3:44PM

Chris in India(S02E02) I think a better title for this episode would be "Outsourcing--Where's the Outrage?"

As we all know, many jobs in the United States, mostly in the computer programming and telemarketing sectors, have been outsourced to foreign companies, mainly to India. Outsourcing continues to be a hot topic in this country, and I think it would be safe to say that the majority of American workers abhor the idea of an American-based company outsourcing American jobs to another country in order to save on labor costs and increase their own profits. I'm sure there are plenty of people who say outsourcing is a good thing, but I haven't been able to find them.

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Charlie Rose returns on Monday

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 8th 2006 3:04PM
Charlie RoseFor those of you who have missed Rose, he returns to the table on his PBS late night talk show this Monday. Rose has been gone from the show after having emergency heart valve surgery overseas in March. It was his second valve surgery, and he was in the hospital for a month.

It was interesting to see various fill-in hosts over the past few months. Some did really well, while others were noticably uncomfortable in the host chair (*cough* Peter Travers *cough*).

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Take a vacation from Donald Trump

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 7th 2006 10:42AM
donald trump travelThe Donald's latest venture is in the travel business. He launched GoTrump.com, a website that promises low airfare and lodging rates. I checked it out and it's just a Trump-ed up version of Travelocity. Literally. It's a joint venture between Trump and Travelocity. Trump told the New York Times that his site offers special deals on his hotels and will allow normal, middle-class folks to live like the rich and famous. So far, it just looks like your run-of-the-mill travel website and Trump's hotel deals are nowhere to be found. There are also pictures of Trump planes on the site, but don't expect to ride on The Donald's airlines because that tanked in 1992.

Gee. You think we're going to see some GoTrump plugs on this season of The Apprentice? Yeah, me too.

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