Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chipotle Special Feb 1 to 12, 2008

Buy a gift card for $10 at Chipotle and bring back the receipt from the gift card purchase on February 13 or 14 and get a FREE burrito!

Gift card must be purchased online and you have to use the certificate on a separate visit from the free burrito.

Sounds like a pretty good deal. Usually the burritos at Chipotle are very good and run about $5+.

This is a link to the offer:

Forbes: Madonna richest woman in music

Forbes released there list of richest women in the music biz. And we think the music biz in trouble. We should look at the men or groups.

Forbes: Madonna richest woman in music Wed Jan 30, 7:47 PM ET

Madonna is the richest woman in music. The 49-year-old entertainer leads's list of the top 20 "Cash Queens of Music," earning $72 million between June 2006 and June 2007.

The pop star's "Confessions" world tour pulled in $260 million, Forbes said. She also made money from album sales, her fashion line with H&M and a deal with NBC to broadcast her concert performance at London's Wembley Stadium. said it compiled the list by examining concert grosses, merchandising revenue, album sales and other revenue from clothing lines, fragrance deals and endorsements.

Barbra Streisand is No. 2 with $60 million, thanks to her comeback tour of North America and Europe.

Celine Dion ranks third with $45 million, largely from her successful "A New Day" show in Las Vegas, which she wrapped up in December after a five-year engagement at Caesars Palace.

Shakira is fourth with $38 million, followed by Beyonce ($27 million), Gwen Stefani ($26 million), Christina Aguilera ($20 million), Faith Hill ($19 million), the Dixie Chicks ($18 million) and Mariah Carey ($13 million).

Hilary Duff, Avril Lavigne and Martina McBride each banked $12 million.

Britney Spears ranked 14th on the list, earning $8 million from music royalties and sales of her fragrances with Elizabeth Arden.

Spears is followed by Carrie Underwood and Nelly Furtado ($7 million each); Fergie, Jennifer Lopez and Sheryl Crow ($6 million each); and Norah Jones ($5.5 million).


On the Net:


Internet Outage: Ship Anchor Cuts Undersea Internet Cable

From Internet Patrol
Ship Anchor Cuts Undersea Internet Cable, - India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Middle East Countries Lose Internet Access 1/30/2008 - 5 Comments
Summary: If you are having trouble getting email to or from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or the Middle East, it's probably because a badly dropped ship anchor has damaged an undersea Internet provisioning telecom cable in the Mediterranean, disrupting Internet service throughout India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Middle East. The cable, belonging to Flag Telecom, was badly cut when a ship anchored off the cost of Alexandria was told to anchor in a place that was not their usual anchor location - resulting in the anchor dropping on the cable.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Looking for a recording or rehearsal Studio?

Are you looking for a studio?

This new site is listing recording and rehearsal studios in the US. Look for many more studios to be added on a daily basis.

For example this link has all the studios in California. I understand there will be a new site built from this database of studios.

When looking for a rehearsal or recording studio you want to check out at least 2-3 studios before selecting one.

If your studio is not listed, you can add it by clicking here.

Thousands of babysitters, nannies and pet sitters nationwide

Planning a night out for Valentine's Day, but can't find a sitter? has hundreds of thousands of babysitters, nannies and pet sitters nationwide.

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Now, in addition to babysitters, users can find nannies, petsitters, housesitters, elder care providers, and tutors.

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Celebrate Valentine's Day: eHarlequin

$5 off + Free shipping

Celebrate Valentine's Day your way. It's your choice at Pick sweet reads (think chocolate) or choose spicy stories (think chocolate body paint). Spend $20 USD on featured titles and get $5 USD off + free shipping with coupon code EHQNLOVE at checkout. This offer expires on February 29, 2008. is a premiere web destination for women who love to read. It's no secret why thousands of readers choose every month. Only here will you find everything you desire: bestselling authors, everyday value, free book offers, a convenient “bill me” option and much more!
We offer contemporary romance, thrillers, inspirational romance, african-american fiction, chick lit, suspense, spanish, sensual romance and more!

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Plus, every book is discounted at 20% off the cover price!

Valentine's Day is just two weeks away

Las Vegas Air + Hotel vacation packages from $353 pp!

Valentine's Day is just two weeks away and we've got some great ideas for your Valentine shoppers. Diamonds, romance novels, winter getaways, and babysitters for the big night out: we've got it all. Take a look at the offers below and find something sure to please sweethearts of all ages.

Winter Getaway Sale

We're brightening up the season with deals on trips for every taste—and budget. Head someplace sunny, schuss down the slopes, or really get away from it all on a cruise. The choice is yours and deals start from as low as $169 USD. Now is the time to save on your winter getaway—save even more when you book your flight + hotel together!

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Welcome to Brushstrokes®…The New Original

Brushstrokes® is a revolutionary new art form that fully captures the exquisite color, shadows and every stroke of the artist’s brush in three dimensional detail. In a side-by-side comparison, even the most discerning eye will find little difference between a Brushstrokes® image and the original oil-on-canvas. Faithful to the artist’s vision, the result is amazing — an authentic painting that is closer to the original than any other reproduction. So much so, that we call it…The New Original.

The Making of a Brushstrokes®
Brushstrokes® offers the unique combination of modern day technology and Old World craftsmanship. We start with a proprietary process that captures with incredible accuracy, all the vibrant and subtle colors of the original painting as well as the depth, sweep and force of each of the artist’s brush strokes. This information is then used with our patented process to create a painting on canvas with three-dimensional texture, rich in authentic colors that are indistinguishable from the original.

At this stage in its creation a Brushstrokes® is far superior to any other reproduction including Giclees. This is only the beginning. Our master artists, academy trained from some of the finest art schools in the world, apply a variety of special finishes to each painting to allow the light in your home to highlight its vibrancy and beauty, as well as to provide protection to the finished product.

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CommunityNext presents Next Generation: Media and the Web

CommunityNext presents Next Generation: Media and the Web
March 29.2008
West Hollywood, CA

Community Next::Next Generation-Media and the Web

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Caltech/MIT Forum 2/9/08: The Entrepreneurial Landscape for Developers of Robotics

The Entrepreneurial Landscape for
Developers of Robotics

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Several years ago, Sony demonstrated a corps of bipedal robots that perform a fully-coordinated elegant modern dance. They could do everything but jump, but they needed to be programmed in detail. Last year, a Carnegie-Mellon researcher joined with a Japanese counterpart to produce a toy-sized robot that would move rhythmically on its own to music. Service robots are no longer a fantasy. The Roomba will vacuum your house when you are away and it won’t knock anything over in the process. New high-end cars parallel park themselves. Visions of C3PO may still be a gleam in the eye, but autonomous and semi-autonomous special-purpose devices are no longer limited to laboratory experiments, and no longer limited to government customers and military applications.

Manufacture and sale of heavy duty manufacturing robots is still pretty much limited to industrial giants. What has changed is that there are now opportunities for emerging businesses in the marketplace for smaller scale and more autonomous devices. Much of the market is still wide-open. New companies can develop components, or they can even develop and sell whole assemblies -- provided that they understand their customers and markets, and do not bite off more than they can chew.

The February 2008 session of the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum will look at the entrepreneurial opportunities in the robotics industry, illuminate the market segments and their entrepreneurial profiles, and highlight the kinds of strategic relationships would-be purveyors will need to take their robotics products to market.

Keynote Speaker

The Growing Commercial Markets for Semi-Autonomous Devices
Thomas Paige
Project Engineer
Robotics Special Project
Aerospace Corporation


Moji Ghodoussi, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Interface Surgical Technologies, L.L.C.

Wei-Min Shen, Ph.D
Polymorphic Robotics Laboratory
Information Sciences Institute

Rogelio F. Nochebuena
Nochebuena R&D


Ira D. Moscatel
Arnold & Porter LLP


Rogelio Nochebuena
Nochebuena R&D

Sponsor for this Program

Saturday morning, February 9, 2008

Registration and Continental Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. at Baxter Hall, Caltech
Program: 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Baxter Lecture Hall
Networking: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon at Baxter Hall, Caltech
Directions/Maps: Directions to the Forum; Caltech's Interactive Map

$40 on-line registration fee. $50 at-the-door. $10 for students with full-time student ID (must show at door); free to Caltech students. Registrations will be accepted on-line up to 5 p.m., Thursday, February 7th. There are no refunds for no-shows.

FOUNDING SPONSORS Caltech Industrial Relations Center
Caltech Alumni Association
MIT Alumni Association

The Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum is administered in
conjunction with Entretech

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Qtrax - in a pickle?

Music labels say no deal with Qtrax
Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:45pm EST
By Yinka Adegoke

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The world's biggest music companies, including Warner Music Group Corp and Sony BMG, denied that they have agreed to license songs for a free download service that was launched by Qtrax on Monday.

Qtrax told Reuters and other media outlets last week that it had deals with the major labels representing about 75 percent of all music sales, to let users download songs for free in a new service to be supported by advertising revenue.

But by Monday, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner had publicly denied that they had agreed to back the new Qtrax service.

A source close to Universal Music, the largest of the group, said it also had not signed a deal for the new Qtrax service and is still in discussions.

And a source close to EMI Group said that while its song publishing unit has an agreement with Qtrax, its recorded music arm, EMI Music, does not.

"Sony BMG can confirm it has not signed a deal with Qtrax for the ad-supported service," said a spokesman for Sony BMG, a joint venture between Sony Corp and Bertelsmann AG.

EMI Music, Sony BMG and Warner all previously had agreements with Qtrax, which was testing a paid music download service. Sources say those agreements expired in the last year and did not cover the new free, ad-supported model now being promoted by Qtrax.

The first denial came from Warner late on Sunday and appeared to force the startup to backtrack on its earlier claims of having deals with all majors.

Qtrax said late on Sunday, "We are in discussions with Warner Music Group to ensure that the service is licensed and we hope to reach an agreement shortly."

Qtrax did not immediately respond to further queries about its agreements with other companies.

Qtrax is not the first startup company proposing a new business model for marketing music to run into licensing difficulties with major labels.

Social music network Imeem was sued by Warner Music before agreeing on terms with all majors late last year. A free ad-supported download service from SpiralFrog has struggled to sign any other major record company since launching last September with music from Universal Music.


Hilton Grand Vacations

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Panic at the Disco

It’s that time of year again – time to get fired up for the Honda Civic Tour and this year’s electrifying headliners, Panic At The Disco.
These four nice young men from Las Vegas have created quite the buzz for their theatrical performances, sharp lyrics and pop-driven tunes. And it shouldn’t come as any surprise to see PATD following last year’s band, Fall Out Boy, since PATD is signed by Pete Wentz’s record label. The tour starts on April 10, 2008 in San Francisco, CA, but start planning your musical rendezvous ASAP. PATD is thrilled to follow in the tradition Fall Out Boy, The Black Eyed Peas and Maroon 5 to promote environmental consciousness with the Civic Hybrid. Come back soon to see what’s new at, the official tour site. We’ll bring you band and tour information. And don’t forget to sign up for e-mail updates so you always know what’s up.

Open House: Side Street Projects

You are cordially invited to an open house on a solar powered vintage trailer...
Please join us on February 2nd for fun and informal Open House. Side Street Projects staff and board of directors will be on site to meet & the greet the community and give tours of our unusual "facility." For the kids, Side Street Projects will provide free workshops aboard our renowned woodworking buses. Complimentary food and beverages will be provided.
Saturday, February 2nd (gates open from 12pm - 4pm)
730 North Fair Oaks Avenue
(NE Corner of Fair Oaks & Orange Grove, behind Church's Fried Chicken)
A Public (Art) Experiment:
Side Street Projects
In (Temporary) Residence @ 730 North Fair Oaks, Pasadena CA
Side Street Projects is pleased to announce the completion of a 2-year project that has effectively transformed us into a completely mobile, off the grid, community-based arts organization. Our offices are a pair of restored vintage travel trailers, manufactured by J. Paul Getty's Spartan Aircraft Company. Our communication systems are 100% wireless, utilizing cell phones and satellite Internet. The whole operation runs on a 3,000 watt solar energy array which is (of course) also on wheels.
For the next several months, we will be field-testing our mobile headquarters on a vacant lot behind Church's Fried Chicken that's slated for development. Until the developers break ground, we will temporarily occupy this space and will provide programs and services for kids, artists, and members of the community. Our goal is to transform this unused space into something positive for the community that blurs the line between public art and public service. When our time's up at 730 North Fair Oaks, we'll tow the whole organization to another temporary space in the community, set up camp, and start the process all over again. Being on the road and off the grid gives us the unique capacity to plug into a variety of transitional and unused spaces throughout the City, both public and private, ironically achieving a sort of stability through mobility.
Jon Lapointe, Creative Director
Side Street Projects
(626) 798-7774

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T-Mobile 30 million subscribers!!

T-Mobile USA closing in on 30 million customers
T-Mobile USA added 951,000 subscribers during the fourth quarter to end the period with 28.7 million customers. Monthly churn improved from 2.1% to 1.8% year over year. On a global scale, parent Deutsche Telekom announced its global wireless customer base reached about 120 million at the close of last year. Reuters (1/29) , MarketWatch (1/29) , The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (subscription required)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tommy Nast Available

Tommy Nast On The Move

Nast Is Nice
Radio and music industry veteran TOMMY NAST has left CENTERSTAGING MUSICAL PRODUCTIONS, where he was EVP/Business Development.

NAST, a radio veteran and one of the principals at ALBUM NETWORK, is available to share his vast knowledge with your company. Reach TOMMY on the cell at (213) 445-6278 and e-mail at

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Digital Prints for 10¢

10¢ Prints are back at the Kodak Gallery!

Guitar Center Discount/Rebates

Instant Rebate of up to $70 with Code: AFF50

We've decided to extend out Instant Rebate Coupon! Now customers can get instant savings from now until Jan. 31, 2008.

Code: AFF50
Expiration: 01/31/2008

Instant Online Rebates
We're extending the online rebates and increasing the discounts! Customers can get instant saving of up to $70. Please use our links to go directly to the coupon desciption page. There is important information on exclusions located there. Here are the details:

Spend $150-$299.99, get $15 off
Spend $300-$499.99, get $30 off $40 off
Spend $500+, get $50 off $70 off
Make sure your coupon code ‘AFF50’ has been applied
Some brands may not participate, many do!
By hitting this URL the coupon will automatically be applied to customer’s orders.

Clearance Sale
Our clearance sale is still going and we're offering hundreds of deals with savings in every department. You can walk away with monster savings on guitars, pro audio, and much much more.

Instant Rebate of up to $70 with Code: AFF50

Friday, January 25, 2008

Movie Rentals at iTunes

Apple iTunes

iTunes Top 10

Top 10 Movie Rentals
1. Superbad
Genre: Comedy
2. The Simpsons Movie
Genre: Comedy
3. 300
Genre: Action & Adventure
4. Live Free or Die Hard
Genre: Action & Adventure
5. Waitress
Genre: Comedy
6. Transformers
Genre: Action & Adventure
7. Ratatouille
Genre: Kids & Movie
8. Spiderman 3
Genre: Action & Adventure
9. Blades of Glory
Genre: Comedy
10. Pirates of the Caribbean:
At World's End
Genre: Action & Adventure

Chicano Art Exhibitions at the Muzeo

Chicano Art Exhibitions at the Muzeo
Sunday, January 27 10:00a to 5:00p
at Muzeo, Anaheim, CA
Price: $9.95-$12.95
Phone: (714) 956-8936
Web: Event Web Site
Age Suitability: All Ages
Tags: gallery, art, chicano, anaheim, muzeo
The Muzeo, an all-new concept in regional cultural centers and southern California’s newest museum, debuts its second showcase exhibition entitled Chicano Art & Soul.

The new exhibition is comprised of three traveling exhibitions including Papel Chicano: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin, The Chicano Collection / La Colección Chicana, and an elaborate interactive exhibition (Target Presents Chicano Now: American Expressions) integrated into one major show. In addition to the multi-media interactive elements, the exhibition highlights nearly 100 works of art by 29 prominent Chicano artists depicting urban life and the Chicano experience from 1969 – 2001 and beyond. “Chicano Art & Soul” opens at the MUZEO in Anaheim on January 27, and continues through April 13, 2008. discount, promo

Beginning today, gift certificates are 60% off! Customers can purchase $25.00 gift certificates that would normally sell for $10.00 for only $4.00!

This offer is valid from January 25th through January 31st .

60% off sale at Purchase $25.00 Gift Certificates for only $4.00 with savings code EASY.

What We Do: serves as the community matchmaker, introducing great restaurants to great people. From appetizers to dessert, from wine to dinner, helps restaurant owners promote the new and unique aspects of their restaurants while providing diners with great value in a fun, new and cost effective way. Your favorite restaurant is in your neighborhood – maybe you just don't know it yet. is here to help.

Why We Do What We Do:
The world is made up of thousands of communities. Local restaurants are the social centers of those communities. In restaurants, people grow relationships, spend time with family, and celebrate special occasions. With each dining experience we are treated to the simple pleasure of good food, good friends and good times… and so goes our mission to bring people together to share in the celebration of a dinner well served.

Garth Brooks Staples Center Tickets are still available!

Search for Tickets here. Lots of tickets still available for the Garth Brooks concert at the Los Angeles Staples Center.

Garth Brooks at Staples Center in Los Angeles

Garth Brooks is performing 5 concerts in the next 2 days at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Broadcasted live tonight!

Tickets may still be available. If you are looking for tickets check out some of these sources for primary and secondary sources.

RazorGator - Buy Hard-to-Get Tickets

Premium Seating and Tickets to Sold Out Events - Get Tickets to Sold Out Shows & Events Here

Congrats to the Dramarama, Ellen DeGeneres

Congrats to the Dramarama crew for a fantastic performance for Ellen and the audience. Watch them rock out.

Stryker arranged for John Easdale, Mike Davis, and the rest of the band to come to the studio in Los Angeles.

If you want to buy the song performed you can find it here on iTunes.

Dramarama - Cinema Verite - Anything, Anything

Watch the performance here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Museums in Southern California raided - warrants

This is breaking news....

Authorities Raid California Museums
By GREG RISLING – 2 hours ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal agents executed search warrants Thursday at several Southern California museums, looking for stolen antiquities, officials said.

Authorities were searching the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A search warrant was also issued for the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.

A law enforcement source who had been briefed on the matter but spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation said authorities are looking for looted artifacts from Southeast Asia and whether appraisals of the items were inflated for improper tax deductions.

No arrests have been made, authorities said.

Officials videotaped certain exhibits and took notes on legal pads at the Bowers Museum while reporters waited outside. A phone message left with a museum spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, reporters also gathered outside the front doors.

"We are cooperating fully with the investigation," said LACMA spokeswoman Allison Agsten, who declined further comment.

A call to the Pacific Asia Museum was not immediately returned.

Associated Press Writer Gillian Flaccus in Santa Ana contributed to this report.

Wireless internet on Southwest airlines

Southwest Gets Ready to Pack(et)
Southwest Airlines will test wireless Internet access via satellite on domestic flights in the second quarter of this year, and also could test IP-based television.

Prints for 10¢ from Kodak.

10¢ Prints are back at the Kodak Gallery!

Coupon code: PRINT150.
Kodak will be releasing a coupon code for 10¢ prints.

For those customers that still have not printed up those holiday photos or just want to make their memories tangible, the Gallery is offering 150 4x6 prints for just $15! That’s only 10¢ a print, regularly 15¢! All prints feature Kodak Perfect Touch processing for richer detail, more vibrant color and fewer shadows. Customers trust their memories to Kodak.

Offer will run from 1/25-1/31.

10¢ prints were one of our top offers last year so hurry and take advantage!

10¢ Prints are back at the Kodak Gallery!

Coupon Sites Promo Codes

Just watched Kurt the Cyberguy tell people to copy and paste coupon codes as opposed to clicking the link. It sounded to me like he was saying not to click on the link to prevent the owner of the site who brought you the code earning some money as an affiliate of the advertiser.

I say copy the code and click the link. Somtimes the best deal is available by clicking the link and then pasting in the promo code.

Also use promo code + advertiser to save money.

Like with DVDPlay you can get free rentals of top movies by using the codes. The latest codes for DVDPlay are:

01/24/08 (Thu)
Free DVD Rental
01/23/08 (Wed)
Free DVD Rental
01/22/08 (Tue)
Free DVD Rental
01/22/08 (Tue)
Free DVD Rental

With this site you take the code with you and input it at the kiosk and get a movie. Just be sure to return it before 7pm the next day, or you will pay for the extra day!

New Travel site to save money

LessNo has launched. is an innovative airline travel company which offers fares both from retail and wholesale sources at very low prices. Our specialty is international air travel. Lessno was recently featured in and various publications including a book by

Save 50% on international flights with Lessno

Newport Gas Station

On the week Jan 6 there was a device installed at the Chevron station in Newport Beach.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

NAMM Follow-up

The folks at Musicians Friend have some videos from the show, with some of the best products from the show.

Lots of software and hardware, emulations, etc..

Orelex studio foam, uses soy instead of petroleum. Easier to change colors, less fire retardent.

Sustainable woods, green friend products.

Check them out.

Musician's Friend, the World’s Largest Music Gear Company, offers over 40,000 products on our website, Products offered include guitars, basses, keyboards, percussion, amps, as well as recording, mixing, lighting, and DJ gear. Hundreds of new products are added monthly as our company continues to broaden and deepen its offerings.

Get the latest and greatest gear from the Musician's Friend New Product of the Day!

Caltech Beckman: The Pacific-North American Plate Boundary

The Pacific-North American Plate Boundary
Joann M. Stock

Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 8:00 PM
Beckman Auditorium
FREE; no tickets or reservations required

The Pacific-North American Plate Boundary, Mexican Style
The San Andreas fault system in California marks the boundary between two of the earth's major tectonic plates: the Pacific plate and the North American plate. What happens to this plate boundary as it goes south into Mexico and underwater in the Gulf of California? From the international border region southward, the plates have been moving slightly apart, leading to deeper sedimentary basins and more volcanism. Recently-recognized correlations of these deposits over distances of hundreds of kilometers allow the changes in the plate boundary over the past six million years to be more easily reconstructed.
Dr. Stock will discuss how studies of volcanic and sedimentary rocks in Mexico and southernmost California help us understand the slip history of the San Andreas fault system farther north in California, and will highlight the dramatic changes in the geology and geography of land and ocean that have occurred in the plate boundary region.
Joann M. Stock is Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Caltech.
Joann M. Stock
Please Note: This event will be digitally recorded and made available for viewing on the Caltech Theater site. Many past Watson Lectures are available for viewing online on the Caltech Theater site, and are available for purchase: DVD Order Form (PDF)

Barnes and Noble Books

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seth godin seminar

New! Seth Godin Live and Unplugged: you've read "Meatball Sundae", now get your questions answered!

When: Tuesday, February 26 at 1:00pm EST / 6:00pm GMT

Speaker: Seth Godin, Entrepreneur, Agent of Change and Author of Meatball SundaeSeth Godin is back to answer more of your questions and this time he's bringing along Search Engine Strategies' Kevin Ryan. Participants must purchase a copy of Meatball Sundae in order to register for this webcast.
To reach the registration page, you must enter a login and password.
Login: meatball (lowercase)Password: ?
The password is the answer to this question:What is the last word on page 60 of Meatball Sundae?
Register Today »

Limited number of media outlets vs countless media outlets
limited physical retail outlets vs countless online retail outlets
emphasis on horizontal success hits vs

Seth Godin - Meatball Sundae - Is Your Marketing Out of Sync?

Seth Godin - Meatball Sundae - Is Your Marketing Out of Sync?

Buy the book here:

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED)

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) - I'll be doing research on OLED displays. This is the next big development that saw at CES.

John Easdale from Dramarama on Ellen DeGeneres

We have word from Richard Morales over at Hothouse Studios that John Easdale from Dramarama will be on the Ellen DeGeneres show this Thursday, Jan 24th, 2008.

Apparently it is Ellen's Birthday and one of her favorite songs is "Anything, Anything" by Dramarama.

Be sure to check it out.

Here's the video of the performance. We are so proud of John Easdale for a fine performance and to Ellen DeGeneres for being a fan of Dramarama!

World's Largest Pool in Chile

It's really a lagoon.

115' deep

1.5 billion dollars to make and fill

Major crowds already coming to the South American resort of San Alfonso del Mar in Chile, this artificial lagoon and swimming pool is eight hectares in size and contains an incredible 250,000 cubic metres of water.

Acknowledged by Guinness World Records as being the world’s largest swimming pool, the lagoon trounces all other record holders in the category, including the Orthlieb pool in Casablanca, Morocco, itself a huge 150 metres by 100 metres – the San Alfonso pool is ten times this size, measuring 1km in length. The revolutionary clear water artificial lagoons, transparent to a depth of 35 metres and unprecedented in design and construction methods, are the brainchild of Crystal Lagoons founder, biochemist and Chilean businessman Fernando Fischmann. Equivalent in size to an incredible 6,000 standard domestic pools, details of its technology are to be unveiled for the first time at Cityscape Dubai later this month.

It seems the world has gone crazy for the massive pools, with Crystal Lagoons confirming that they are in advanced planning stages with companies all over the world, in particular in the Middle East, where, says Fischmann, companies are only too keen to take advantage of the way in which the lagoons form “impressive artificial paradises, even in inhospitable areas”, and at surprisingly low construction and maintenance costs. Currently in talks with both the Nakheel and the Dubai Property Group, Fischmann will be at Cityscape to outline the technology in detail which involves the use of unlimited volumes of clear water: “This advance provides something that until now was not technically possible - the generation of monumental masses of water in a crystalline state to provide a beach life environment and aquatic sports at the top level.”

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Dead

The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon in an apartment in Manhattan, according to the New York City police. Signs pointed to a suicide or an accidental overdose, police sources said. Mr. Ledger was 28.

Dell Deals Jan 22

10 Days of Deals! Unbelievable savings on select desktops, laptops, electronics and accessories. Keep checking from Jan 15th to Jan 24th.

Ebay CEO Meg Whitman to retire

eBay’s CEO To Retire

It has been reported today that eBay CEO Meg Whitman, is getting ready to retire from the company. She is one of the most powerful women in business and her exit comes at a time when the brand is attempting to re-establish its one-time astronomical growth.
Whitman will be heeding her own advice that no CEO should stay in the same job for more than a decade, reports Reuters. It is speculated that John Donahoe, the current president of the auction site’s business unit is at the top of the list of successors for Whitman.
A report in the Wall Street Journal said that the official announcement of Whitman’s departure could happen in the next few weeks.
Shares of the company fell about 4% to $27.14 in morning trade on the Nasdaq, however the recession could still churn out business for the company due to users searching for lower prices on desirable items.
It has been under Whitman that the company has become more than a household name, but an Internet icon.
Recently though, the firm has been slowing down with a decreased pace in core auction business and the blunder in buying Skype have plummeted its stock prices by about half.
Whoever succeeds Whitman will need to figure out how to keep both the “powersellers” and the shareholders satisfied. This, according to industry insiders, will take drastic actions.
It is anticipated by analysts that once eBay announces its fourth-quarter earnings, it will cut the list prices of items on the site and charge sellers more for a completed sale.

Rain in Los Angeles

We are getting rain in Los Angeles. The temps are cold.

The WGA is still on strike. They are in front of Paramont Studios and their picket signs have plastic bags. They are wearing red bands.

The deal could be in the works and a solution in the next two weeks. At least that is the buzz.

The WGA and the studios need to keep talking. It is hurting our economy, not just the studios, but all the supporting businesses.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sell Your Old Books

well here is another way to make money. Do you have any old books sitting around your house collecting dust. If you answered yes to this then you have I have a solution.

When you first think about selling your books you think man what a hassle. I have to go to and post it there hope that some other student need this book well not no more is you solution. you can Turn your unwanted books into cash and put it towards your debt, buy something new or deposit it in your saving account for a rainy day.

Ebookdrop makes selling your books quick, easy and painless. All you need is a box to ship your books.

How does work?
1. You enter your book’s ISBN number or UPC Barcode. It will give you the price they are offering. If you decide to sell it for their offer, you add it to the shopping cart.
2. After you determine which books you are selling, you can print up the prepaid labels. You can also use their contact form to request prepaid labels.
3. You enter your information and how you want to get paid. They offer three payment methods: paypal, check and money order.
4. You put the box in the mail and wait for your payment.

Are there any restrictions to the kinds of books buys?
1. The site says they will take books with some highlighting or handwriting, but they reserve the right to adjust the price for anything excessive. They will contact you in this case.
2. They will not accept books that are moldy, stained, unclean copies or damaged books with missing pages.
3. They will not buy “promotional use only” books, advance reading copies (ARCs) or uncorrected proof copies

so go to the and make yourself some money.

Foreclosures on

You can now search for foreclosures on, through a partnership between RealtyTrac and

Visit the nations #1 site for foreclosures

1000’s of Foreclosures Now Available on Partners with RealtyTrac Enabling Users to Search for Condo Foreclosures Nationwide.

Miami, FL, January 21, 2008 --(, the World’s Largest Condo Marketplace, announced today that it has partnered with RealtyTrac, the leading website for foreclosure properties, to enable users to access over 1 million default, foreclosure, auction and bank-owned properties.

During a downturn in the real estate market, foreclosures generally increase. Through the second half of 2007, there were over 1,000,000 foreclosure filings across the U.S., representing an increase in foreclosure activity of more than 50 percent compared to the same period in 2006. This new relationship with RealtyTrac will provide buyers visiting with the ability to search for the latest foreclosure and bank-owned properties in their local markets and across the country.

All foreclosure listings offered through will feature a property heading, description and thumbnail image. The listing will be further integrated into’s platform later this year. “This new relationship will make it easier for homebuyers, investors and real estate agents and brokers to search and view foreclosure properties on our site” stated Richard Swerdlow, founder and CEO of

Foreclosure properties are the latest addition to over 450,000 condos already searchable on including condos for sale and for rent, condo-hotels and distressed condo projects offered at bulk discounts. is the most comprehensive resource for condos in the world and allows people to search for condos by price, location, type or by bargain, based on the prices below the average price per square foot in a building or local market.

About ,, is the world’s largest condominium marketplace with inventory of over 450,000 listings valued at one hundred billion. lists condos in the United States and 70+ countries around the world and cost-effectively delivers exposure to developers, brokers and for-sale-by-owners through the seamless distribution of its listings to a global network of real estate websites visited by over 15 million viewers per month. is a privately held company headquartered in Miami, Florida. For more information, visit

About RealtyTrac
RealtyTrac Inc. ( is the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, and one of the fastest-growing real estate sites on the Internet. RealtyTrac offers the largest national database of pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, For Sale By Owner and new home construction properties, with more than 550,000 properties across the country. RealtyTrac hosts 2 million unique monthly visitors, and provides the comprehensive property data, productivity tools and extensive professional resources that home seekers, investors and realtors need to locate, evaluate and buy real estate properties at below market value.

Visit the nations #1 site for foreclosures

TasteBooks - custom personalized recipe books

Welcome to TasteBook

The ultimate culinary gift. Make a personal cookbook at

A personal cookbook from TasteBoook is the hottest new product for home cooks. TasteBooks are beautiful, hardbound cookbooks you can create in just minutes. Choose from among 25,000 recipes from, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and add recipes from your own kitchen. Many more recipes are on the way! Add personal photos and beautiful cover images to customize your book. A TasteBook costs $34.95 and includes 100 recipes, ten chapter dividers and an easy-open binder to add new recipes anytime.

Customers who use their own recipes and photos tend to order multiple books and distribute to their entire family!

TasteBook is a one-of-a-kind service, the only place where every cook can publish her own cookbook filled with her favorite recipes. It should be a big hit on your sites. A TasteBook also makes a perfect gift.

Want to know what's on the top of every cook's shopping list? A personal cookbook from TasteBoook, the hottest new product for home cooks. TasteBooks are beautiful, hardbound cookbooks you can create in just minutes. Choose among 25,000 recipes from, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, (many more to come) and recipes from your own kitchen. Add personal photos and beautiful cover images to customize your book. A TasteBook costs $34.95 and includes 100 recipes, ten chapter dividers, and an easy-open binder to add recipes anytime.

“It’s really simple!” -CNN American Morning
“A cookbook for the Google Generation”
“iTunes for recipes”
Founded by the core team who built Ofoto, the largest online photo service (now Kodak Gallery), TasteBook is bringing on-demand printing to the Food & Cooking category. Last year, over 5 million cookbooks were sold in the US in November and December alone. Imagine the possibilities with personalized cookbooks - essentials in every cook's kitchen.

Tastebook. Make a personal cookbook.


This story from Shelly Palmer - Media30

YAHOO will reportedly layoff up to 20% of its workforce in the next two weeks. Both Silicon Valley Insider and TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington have reported on the pending layoffs, saying that the announcement could come during the company’s earnings call on January 29th. 1500 to 2500 people may be affected. The potential downsizing would be the result of a project during Q4 that sought out redundancies and waste within the company. CEO Jerry Yang is expected to make the decision this week.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lecture at JPL

This month’s lecture: Where in the World Will Our Energy Come From?

For directions and more info:

Summary : Where in the world will our energy come from? What would it take for the world to get away from fossil fuels and switch over to renewable energy? It takes more than willingness to buy a Prius or to install solar panels on your roof. If we want to use wind, solar thermal, solar electric, biomass, hydroelectric and geothermal energy it will take a lot of planning, and willingness on the part of governments and industry. It takes R&D investment, a favorable price per unit of energy to get anyone to produce alternative energy, and plenty of resources to create those energy sources.

Speaker : Dr. Nate Lewis
George L. Argyros Professor of Chemistry, Caltech

Location: Thursday, February 28, 2008, 7p.m.

The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA

Friday, February 29, 2008, 7p.m.
The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

NAMM Report

I'll posting some pictures from my visit to NAMM later.

The place was packed and my legs are a little sore from walking the whole show floor in about 4 hours. Amazing like last year.

Friday, January 18, 2008

More on Twiistup

With the help of Mike Jones, Debbie Landa and Mark Jeffrey, we've selected the following Showoffs to share their new work at Twiistup 3 on Jan 16 2008. All about these Showoffs.

• Askmenow - askmenow
• Docstoc - docstoc
• Magento - magentocommerce
• OfficeZilla - officezilla
• PeopleJam - peoplejam
• Rubicon - rubiconproject
• Speeddate - speeddate
• ThemBid - thembid
• Yellowbot - yellowbot

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rose Sources

Check out Rose Source for buying roses. These roses are direct from Ecuador at the best prices!

Twiistup 3

Twiistup 3 took place last night in Venice at the Air Conditioned Club on Lincoln.

The event was packed and the number of showoffs was more than the previous Twiistup.

I am looking forward to Twiistup 4, hopefully in the next 3-6 months.

Congrats to the team that put the event together and for drawing an amazing group of people!

Custom T-Shirts

Make T-Shirts Online

Shirtmagic has developed the only Custom Shirt Designer that allows partners and customer to create custom Full Color Shirts, Screen Printed Shirts and Embroidered Shirts from the same shirt designer. This tool allows partners to capitalize on the fast growing individualization market.

Customers use the easy to use designer as Your customers will have access to an expansive catalog of products, competitive prices that remains competitive from 1 shirt to 10,000 shirts and 3 different customization methods (digital, screen printing, embroidery). Easy to use designer. Jan 2008

Search for Foreclosures Nationwide. has been in business since 1999. We were the first to introduce features such as FREE foreclosure email alerts, and the FREE 7-Day Trial. We are pioneers in this industry and we continue to revolutionize it every day. Imagine having the ability to view every crack and crevice that appears on a foreclosured, property's exterior without leaving the comfort of your own home. has recently added an enormous, innovative feature to their site. Members can now view detailed photographs of listed homes on Not only that, but they can view a whole neighborhood, through new image technology, Pictometry.

Everyone knows that the most important thing when purchasing a home is the first impression. By adding this great technology to our site, we have a leg up on the competition and this feature is what your customers are looking for. Rest assured, we'll still be around years from now doing what we always do best — supplying you with the very best foreclosure-related information so you can be successful in the real estate market.

Search for Foreclosures Nationwide.

RealtyTrac Larry Spencer

Press Release Source: RealtyTrac Inc.

Real Estate Industry Veteran Larry Spencer Joins RealtyTrac
Thursday January 17, 11:00 am ET

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- RealtyTrac(TM) (, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today announced the hiring of real estate industry veteran Larry Spencer. In his role as Vice President, Spencer will focus on industry relations, with a special emphasis on forging relationships with Multiple Listing Services.

"We are delighted that Larry has joined RealtyTrac," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "Larry brings the kind of industry experience and expertise that will help us move forward, growing and expanding the RealtyTrac brand."

Spencer brings more than 25 years of real estate experience to RealtyTrac. He has held senior management positions in sales, business development and data licensing with a diverse group of companies, including DataQuick Information Systems, TRW, Inc. and Landata/Stewart Title. He most recently was vice president of business development at Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions. Prior to Fidelity National, Spencer was Vice President and General Manager at NewportWorks, where he was responsible for the development and distribution of unique voice recognition technology and applications for REALTORS® and multiple listing services.

"I am excited to join the RealtyTrac family," said Spencer, who will develop and manage executive-level relationships with senior real estate executives, customers, and prospects. "I look forward to building new partnerships between RealtyTrac and leading players within the real estate industry and finding new ways to strategically leverage our proprietary data and content." A graduate of Florida State University, Spencer now lives in Southern California with his wife Debra and their two daughters.

Malware Quietly Reaching 'Epidemic' Levels

Malware Quietly Reaching 'Epidemic' Levels

New reports say malware increased by a factor of five to 10 in 2007

JANUARY 16, 2008 | 5:40 PM

By Tim Wilson
Site Editor, Dark Reading

Everybody knew it was bad, but few knew it was this bad.

In separate studies released yesterday, two research firms now say that malware increased between 500 percent and 1,000 percent in 2007, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

"The number of new strains of malware that appeared in 2007 increased tenfold with respect to the previous year," said PandaLabs, Panda Security's research arm, in a report issued yesterday. "Over the last year, PandaLabs has received an average of more than 3,000 new strains of malware every day. This represents a malware epidemic which -- although silent, with little media coverage and no widespread alerts -- is nevertheless dangerous."

The results indicate that signature-based defenses for malware are no longer effective, the research firm said. Some 72 percent of networks with more than 100 workstations -- and 23 percent of home users -- are currently infected with malware, despite having operative antivirus or other signature-based tools in place, PandaLabs said.

Experts at AV-Test, an independent testing organization, also reported skyrocketing incidence of malware yesterday. After a detailed count, the organization said it identified nearly 5.5 million different malware files in 2007 -- more than five times as many as in 2006.

AV-Test counted the number of files with different MD5 hashes, sometimes called "fingerprints." This includes malware which is packed using a different run-time packer or is differently encrypted, the testing organization said.

In 2007, AV-Test found almost 5.5 million such files, up from about 973,000 in 2006 and 333,000 in 2005, the report said. And the trend is accelerating: The group already has identified more than 118,000 different malware files in the first two weeks of January.

The results drove AV-Test to concur with PandaLabs's assessment. "The figures clearly demonstrate that the signature-based approach of current anti-virus software is no longer appropriate," the report said.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Panda Security


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New York Times Link Generator

Link to New York Times articles:

Concrete Frequency at Walk Disney Hall

On Jan 6, 2008 we attended the La Philarmonic 89th season presents David Robertson - Concrete Frequency I.

We went on the MTA Goldline from Pasadena at the Filmore station to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and walked up the hill to the Walt Disney Hall.

We sat in the second row in the very front. Amazing view and the sound was great.

You can learn more about the performance at:

IndyMac Continues to cut staff

Pasadena based IndyMac Bancorp has announced that over 2400 employees will be let go. This in response to the mortgage crises.

In the past few years IndyMac built up a huge headquarters in Pasadena and opened branches around the area. Bank branches.

We are learning that several regional wholesale mortgage centers around the country are being closed. From Kansas City, Tampa, Columbia, SC, Phili, to start.

Reading the release it sounds like further cuts could be coming as the crises continues.

Countrywide has been in the news recently for laying off approx 12,000.

Sun Microsystems to acquire MySQL

Sun Microsystems has announced that it will be acquiring MySQL. Great move for Sun.

I use MySQL and PHP for a couple of sites I have and it is a great alternative to Microsoft SQL Server.

More details coming....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

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Apple Mac News

We have huge announcements from Macworld today! The Apple Store has just launched several new products that you'll definitely want to share with your customers. Please see below for creative examples for all the new products.*

MacBook Air - The thinnest, lightest Mac ever! Free shipping and customization. Starting at just $1,799.
Apple just announced the .16-inch thin MacBook Air weighing in at only 3 lbs. The newest addition to the Mac family features a full-size keyboard and LED-backlit 13.3-inch display with built-in iSight, and the new larger trackpad supports multi-touch gestures.

Apple Online Store

January Software Upgrade available for both iPhone and iPod Touch.
All-new Apple TV. Now with movie rentals and more. No computer needed. Get free shipping.

Apple Store

Time Capsule - Automatic wireless backup for your Mac. Available in 500GB and 1TB models.
Microsoft Office '08 for Mac is now shipping.

Marguerite Edna Hannah McCreery passed away in her sleep this morning

To All Who Loved Her;

Marguerite Edna Hannah McCreery passed away in her sleep this morning, Jan. 15th, '08. She died peacefully at the rest home, Rose Meadows, in San Jose. She was 99 years and 2 mos. old.
Marguerite was born in Longueil, a suburb of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on Nov. 21, 1908. She traveled with her family across Canada and ended up in British Columbia, where she grew up on Vancouver Island, later attending the Univ. of British Columbia. During the depression she relocated in the United States, finding work in Piedmont, Ca. An avid golfer, Marguerite met Hal McCreey on the Stanford golf course. They married at Stanford cathedral and lived in Menlo Park, Ca. They had two children, Glenn McCreery [of Idaho Falls, ID] and Anita Margaret Bradley [of Hawaii Kai., HI].
Marguerite is also the grandmother of Mara K. Benson, Ryan T. Benson, Anita McCreery, James Sellman, and the great-grandmother of Allie Benson, Jake Benson, Sophie Joughin, and Marco Benson.
Marguerite was the captain of a women's golf team at Los Altos Country Club for many years and was a champion golfer, making 4 holes in one. She was a volunteer for Larabie, worked for Los Altos library, and did many other charitable works. Since she was an animal lover, donations can be made in her name to The Animal Humane Society. A family memorial will be held in her honor in Los Altos.

MacBook Air!! Macworld Expo

MacBook air is released.

It is so thin it fits into a vanilla envelop! And we get a demo. It is so much thinner than any other product.

13.3 " display! .76" thick. .16" at the shorter end.

World's thinest notebook!

LED backlite.

Isight camera

full size keyboard

gestures support

1.8" HD 80 gig
64 gig SSD

Core 2 Duo smaller version 60% smaller for the MacBook Air. Good going Intel!

Comes with EVDO, 802.11n and bluetooth

Smaller 45w ac adapter

Buy an external optical drive for $99

Everything on the Air is wireless, music, remote disk, shows you all the software, Mac and Windows version. Ask to borrow the optical drive.

Paul Otellini from Intel takes was on the stage to make the presenation of the Core Duo chips.

Aluminum case - recycle friend, arsenic and mercury free display.
Retail packaging is 50% less than previous small packaging.

$1799, 5 hour battery life with remote disk

MacWorld Live Video

I am searching around the net for a live video feed.

This is the best so far....

Someone streaming over a cell.

Aptera - Electric Car

Aptera - Check out the design of the Aptera. To be available this year. You can reserve yours for $500. The cost of the vehicle is supposed to be around $30k.

Electrics cars at the Detriot Show

There are clear signs that the future of the automotive industry will be focusing on plug-n-go.

Fisker automotive is showing a car that will be available next year for about $80,000. Former Vice President Al Gore has already placed a pre-order.

This car is very sporty looking and can go zero->60 in seconds.

Congrats to Henrik Fisker and his group to putting together a product that is sure to disrupt the old-school thinking.

People need to realize that we need to invest in the future. There needs to be tax incentives so that everyone buying cars has an opportunity to buy electric cars.

I am seriously thinking that my next car will be electric/hybrid. Hydrogen is not ready, the infastructure us not even close, could be at least 5 years before we see if this is going to work.

Biodiesel is another area that has potential. More on that later.

Ideally I can image a car that has the ability to capture light(PV- Solar) and convert to a charge of on board batteries, batteries that are lighter, because that is the big challenge too. How much the batteries weigh. We need to reduce the weight of batteries in half! This is a big opportunity area just like solar.

EMI Restructuring

Is the recording industry broken?

EMI is looking to cut more than a third of its staff, with boss Guy Hands accusing the industry of "burying the creative process in bureaucracy". Are music companies bloated? Can artists now reach fans directly via the internet, and run their own merchandising and gigs? Or is the marketing muscle of the major labels still essential for bands to break into the big time? Add your views below.
Hosted by -

Hands close to raising £200m for EMI
By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Martin Arnold in London
Published: January 13 2008 22:03 | Last updated: January 13 2008 22:03
Guy Hands is close to raising £200m ($391m) of fresh equity to inject into EMI as he prepares to slash more than a third of the staff in its problem-hit recorded music business.
In his first interview since completing the £3.2bn acquisition, Mr Hands dismissed fears that Terra Firma, his private equity group, could lose money on the deal, struck just before the credit squeeze began.
He accused the music industry of “burying the creative process in bureaucracy” and losing sight of its real function. “Our job is to monetise music for the artist,” he said. Instead, EMI’s network of labels had 19 managers, marketing executives and lawyers for every “A&R” talent scout.
Mr Hands rejected accusations from artists and their managers that he did not understand creative businesses, saying the challenges at EMI were no different from those he had faced in pub, train and aircraft leasing businesses. He declined to say if he would inject more capital but is thought to be close to sealing the largest co-investment round Terra Firma has raised, allowing it to hit earnings targets agreed with bankers and fund A&R investment.
He defended the deal’s price, saying: “Terra Firma’s history has always been that when the market thinks we overpaid the most, we make our most money.”
Staff and managers expect to hear at meetings Tuesday that 1,500-2,000 jobs will go from EMI’s music division.
Mr Hands also hinted at a clear-out of EMI Music’s roster of 14,000 artists, saying just 200 of them made most of its revenues.
About 85 per cent of artists lose money for their labels, he said, and EMI spends £70m a year subsidising the 15 per cent who never produce an album. The group has exceeded marketing budgets by about £60m a year, he added, and wastes £25m a year scrapping unsold CDs.
Allan Leighton, the Royal Mail chairman and one of Mr Hands’s closest advisers, said fundamental change was essential: “The model’s broke. It is not the sort of thing you can tinker with.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

The industry that killed itself
by Dj Epicenter 15 Jan 2008 12:50 PM As a promoter, sound engineer, and a DJ, the industry has not kept pace with emerging technologies and new media gateways. The big giants are taking media sharing outlets and their users to court rather than utilizing their client base. Musicians have always been the best promoters of themselves and now the technology is there to promote worldwide via a cost effective medium, the


by Luke 15 Jan 2008 12:40 PM What a lot of people are forgetting here is that despite the record companies holding the proverbial keys for the development of an artist, it is the artists themselves that are the business. If the artists aren't happy (i.e. they don't want to commerdcialise themselves by effectively ripping off fans with clothing lines and fan clubs etc.) then altrnative channels of music distributiuon will be sought out. As has been witness over recent years, many more artists are releasing their work themselves either over the internet or funding their own records.

To me, the future looks bleak for the record companies!


by Cor 15 Jan 2008 11:32 AM As an outsider who likes to enjoy music, what strikes me is the lack of innovation the music industry output shows. It seems like an endless stream of low-risk, low profile music, always playing on the same middle-of-the-road taste patterns. Couple this with persistent high prices and it is quite clear why their customers are not satisfied any more. Innovation and risk taking is the only thing that can catch immagination of customers again and lift the industry out of their current problems.


Is the recording industry broken?
by ray 15 Jan 2008 11:14 AM The recording "industry" is made up of artists, studios, managers, booking agents, marketing people, lawyers, promoters, and record labels. For most of these people the industry isn't broken, it has just changed in the same way the horse's and buggies went the way of the car. Bands probably don't need labels anymore, but there may be some who choose to be on one. The internet is the distribution channel now, and it is up to the artist to make great music, and decide how the best want to get the word out. By themselves, with a label, or through some other means.


Is the recording industry broken?
by Nitin Sareen 15 Jan 2008 11:03 AM Well, this does certainly pose an opportunity for companies like google/Yahoo/MSN which have marketing muscle as well as internet clout, provide a platform for artists where they can publish and release albums and other creative content. Most of the peices, traction, payment gateways, syndication, social netwoking user base are already in place. Tie all these together and we couldd have a personalized message from Joe Satrianni to all gmail users (who have signed up for music updates for example) to check out his new album on say, Google Music. Sample and buy on the web. Cut cds at home if required. Lower costs, easy access could be one of the ways to tackle piracy as well.


by Charles West 15 Jan 2008 10:38 AM The problem with the record industry is that they have gone from selling a luxury product (CD's) to selling a commodity (songs, MP3's) but they haven't changed their marketing and pricing accordingly.

A vast drop in prices will lift sales and profitability. I am aware that this will kill the conventional sales channel but I don't think that can be saved in whatever scenario, making it a painful but inevitable loss.


We need to focus on the contents !
by Antonio-Carlos Pasinelli 15 Jan 2008 09:55 AM When it came to talk about taxes on mass-storage devices in Europe, some people argued that it would be better to focus on the contents rather than on the device used to listen to the music. This is a pragmatic approach, yet original for todays trends and moods. And of course, what is valuable in music is the music itself, not the MP3 nor the record containing the information.

But sometimes the music itself is not enough to promote a band. Touring, merchandising, fan clubs and advertisement is essential too. Everything that physicaly or virtualy connects the listener to the artists is a powerful communication tool.

The music industry has never been driven solely by records sales, even if sales are a good means to measure artists apeals.

The rise of the internet and music downloads lack these kinds of promotional tools, mainly because electronic adverts are quite inefficient and live performances can hardly be reproduced on a YouTube video.

Music industry business has changed, and the actual model may not benefit the industry nor the customers' needs.


Re: Is the recording industry broken
by Josh 15 Jan 2008 05:46 AM Recording companies need to shift their focus from selling artists' music to selling artists themselves, as complete brands. Rather than using piracy, tanking album sales, etc to provide less support to artists, Co.'s need to develop more robust relationships and explore alternate revenue streams (clothing lines, ringtones, cross-over to tv/movies).

This cross-over from artist to brand requires more, not less corporate support. More diversified media companies are in the best position to capitalize on this new model because they can leverage the "artist as a brand" across more more diverse content platforms--something artists can't do alone.

Look at what Jay-Z did for the movie American Gangster or what Disney has done with Hannah Montana -- the key for the music industy to create more robust relationships which capture more of the value from the alternative revenue streams flowing from an "artist as a brand." If the industry shifts to this model and stops looking at album sales as a proxy for their future, a turn around may be in store.


No certain outcome
by RP 14 Jan 2008 05:42 PM The cost structures within the recording industry are notoriously thick and overly bureaucratic - a change is quite frankly a matter of necessity. I think now more than ever with access to "social networks" like Facebook, MySpace and the like, there is an opportunity to monitor changing tastes as they emerge, and otherwise direct the attention of a larger audience to the social "buzz" (for want of a better word) as it develops. The historical emphasis on creating big hits and moulding the marketing budget to form is in need of reshape, in favour of greater flexibility and efficient marketing.

EMI set to take corporate world for a spin
By Martin Arnold and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson
Published: January 14 2008 21:21 | Last updated: January 14 2008 21:21
The next Coldplay album could be brought to you by Sudafed, under plans being unveiled by Guy Hands on Tuesday to boost EMI’s flagging earnings with corporate sponsorship.
The Terra Firma chief executive told the FT his private equity group’s plan for EMI would include several new ways of making money for artists.
“Football teams have very distinct corporate sponsorship. Why shouldn’t some of the leading bands have the same sort of relationships?”
As an example, he said EMI could help bands who would not make it on the international stage find local sponsors who want to break into the student market.
Mr Hands will on Tuesday present staff and artists’ managers with plans to cut £200m of costs at the struggling music group.
He dismissed outsiders’ claims that his purchase could face financial trouble. Citigroup – which financed the £4bn EMI deal – had agreed for his buy-out fund to put £200m of extra equity into the company last year, he said, and Terra Firma had raised £250m of cash from co-investors in its funds in the past week.
The extra equity allowed Citigroup to reduce its debt exposure to the deal from £2.7bn to £2.5bn. The co-investor fundraising has re-duced Terra Firma’s equity stake from £1.5bn to £1.25bn, still a large share of its latest £3.7bn fund, and raised money for restructuring and acquisitions.
“From a financial point of view, EMI is in an extremely strong position, and frankly is in the strongest position it has been for a long time,” Mr Hands said.
Terra Firma has agreed “unlimited cure rights” with Citigroup, giving it more flexibility on financial covenants by counting any fresh equity it puts into EMI as operating profit until 2010. Terra Firma expects returns on EMI to be between 30 per cent and 35 per cent a year over the course of its five-to-eight year investment.
When he reveals plans to cut 1,500-2,000 jobs – a third of EMI staff – Mr Hands will also present a vision of how to tackle the challenges of the internet era.
The Terra Firma boss dismissed claims that artists would suffer, arguing he was doing what musicians and their managers have long called for.
EMI’s marketing budget will shrink from over 20 per cent of total spending to 12 to 15 per cent. But Mr Hands plans to boost spending on digital marketing.
Acquisitions will probably focus on EMI’s more stable music publishing business.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
Hands-on approach helps EMI play to different tune
By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Martin Arnold
Published: January 14 2008 21:21 | Last updated: January 14 2008 21:21
Three months after Eric Nicoli moved out as chief executive, Guy Hands has taken little time to make the corner office in EMI’s headquarters his own.
The new owner has to rifle through cardboard boxes on his desk to find his papers and an old model of Nipper the Gramophone dog still watches over the room.
Mr Nicoli left little else behind, except a drawer-full of previous plans for revitalising a company, which was struggling for most of his tenure. The sheaves of consultants’ presentations offer a sad reminder of previous failures to turn things round.
What has changed is the pace of activity in the fifth floor executive suite. Mr Hands bustles between offices, consulting the advisers who have been scouring the company for savings since September.
Below, visible through the glass walls of the atrium, hundreds of employees are waiting to hear what Mr Hands’ plan means for them. At presentations at the Odeon cinema in Kensington High Street on Tuesday, he will tell them that one in three people in recorded music will be gone by July.
Mr Hands admits that EMI’s staff are used to restructurings. “Within the company, not at the senior level, but at the coal face level, the general view has been that past restructurings have been both tinkering and unfair, with the wrong people having been got rid of.”
The difference this time, he says, is threefold: “One is we are not trying to do something which is just tinkering; two is that it will be much fairer and more objective; and three is that we are actually changing the organisation at the same time.”
Although the prospect of 1,500-2,000 job losses has grabbed the headlines, his planned changes to EMI’s structure are as important, he says. The biggest change is that A&R executives – those in charge of finding and developing artists – will no longer have responsibility for other areas.
All the non-A&R functions, from marketing and promotion to manufacturing agreements and digital strategy, have been placed in a new “music services” division under the eye of Mike Clasper, the former BAA chief executive.
Mr Clasper will also oversee a separate “back-office” division, handing financial and legal affairs. The changes will see activities that had been spread out around dozens of labels in scores of countries centralised into a few hubs.
The idea is that A&R will find the artists and explain how they think they should be marketed to music services, which will then negotiate with retailers, digital music services and other partners while the back office ensures the plans are “seamlessly executed”.
Pat O’Driscoll, the former Northern Foods chief executive, has been put in charge of the process of deciding what skills the newly structured company needs and whether they exist in-house or need to be brought in.
Up to half of EMI’s staff will have to convince Ms O’Driscoll and her team at interviews that they have what Mr Hands describes as the skills, the ethical approach, the determination and the passion to do the job.
“We want the organisation to be fully in place by the end of June. The faster you get through the process of change, the better,” she says.
The pace and scale of the project is unusual, Mr Clasper admits. “We are taking a business that is global that has only acted local and making it act globally,” he says.
The changes have alarmed some artists and managers, who fear seeing the people they know at EMI disappear. “It’s not only about money,” says John Webster of the Music Managers Forum. “This business is built on relationships.”
Dave Holmes, who manages Coldplay, says he is keeping an open mind before hearing the full plan. However, he says he would “definitely not” advise one of the new artists he represents to sign to EMI because “it’s a label which is going through too much change”.
Mr Hands admits the process will be painful. “In an ideal world there would be no pain in achieving gains. Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world.”
The changes he is making, he argues, have been called for by EMI’s artists and their managers. “We have listened to why Paul McCartney left EMI. We have listened to why Radiohead decided to do a digital release without a label,” he says.
Even before Tuesday’s briefings, Mr Hands has begun to get the message out, sending staff a 50-page booklet of ideas and advice he has gathered in the past three months. Any employee who has read its first page will be in little doubt of his intentions.
It begins with a line from the latest Joss Stone album put out by EMI, delivered by the former hard-man footballer Vinny Jones. “See although the players change/ The song remains the same/ And the truth is/ You gotta have the balls to change.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

Top Stories Today

By Victor Caballero

Top stories this morning:

EMI restructuring: Guy Hands and the execs at EMI - owned by investment firm Terra Firma are planning to layoff about 1500 or a quarter of the staff. This would reduce the workforce of EMI to about 4,500 worldwide. EMI is also cutting the artist roster, and reducing advances to artists. And interesting enough will focus on emerging artists, who sell less albums.

Yamaha artist center: The Yamaha center opens today. Targeted towards top artists, with state of the art tools that artists will use to get the "right" sound. The LA Times has a full story in the center located in Buena Park, CA. This ahead of the NAMM conference starting tomorrow in Anahiem, CA.,1,5344086.story
There doesn't appear to be info on the Yamaha site, but here's the link:,,VNM%25253DLIVE,00.html

Home Sales: The MBA(Mortgage Bankers Association) is predicting that 2008 will be the year that home sales bottom out. This after predicting that 2007 would be the year that sales bottom out. All indicators point to mid 2009 being when the sales would start to rise. There are many factors that would impact any reverse of the downturn. Especially when we are seeing 20 year records in foreclosures, the subprime mess, pending further rate cuts in interest rates.

Wine: Does the cost of wine impact how your opinion of the wine? A Caltech study shows that the price of wine impacts how people feel about the wine.
To demonstrate the power of marketing, researchers in California showed you can increase a person's enjoyment of wine by just sticking a higher price on it, according to a study released yesterday.Caltech economics professor Antonio Rangel and his team asked 21 volunteers to sample five different bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon and rate their taste preferences. All they were told was the price of the wine. The researchers also presented two of the wines twice, once with the true price tag, and again with a fake one. They passed off a $90 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon as a $10 bottle, and a $5 bottle as one worth $45.Subjects were given brain scans during the tests to see how the brain itself was reacting to the taste. The study found that inflating the wine price genuinely boosted a person's experience of drinking it as shown by the neural activity.They consistently said the "pricier" wines tasted better and the brain scans backed them up.

Zagat looking for buyer?: Tim and Nina Zagat are looking for a buyer. The estimated price about $200 million! Wow.

MySpace: Implements steps to protect young users from predators, a good step, especially in light of the incidents that have taken place. Profiles under 18 will be set to private. Predators will be arrested. 31 of 51 predators arrested in 2007 used MySpace! Unreal! Attorney General's from various states are working with MySpace. I would imagine out of 110 million MySpace users around the world this is expected(although sickening) when compared to the offline world.
Kuddos to MySpace for continuing to make efforts to curb and implementing proceedures to prevent this type of activities. - you need to get all the info on the primary elections? This is a good site. Registration deadlines, etc.

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