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Archive for February, 2011


February 11th, 2011

AOL has a huff(ington post)

AOL has a huff(ington post)

$315 million is a lot of money. It’s enough to make one and a half Harry Potter movies, get your hands on 1570 Aston Martins, or buy 1,363,636 pairs of Prada shoes. And, if you’re America Online (AOL), it’s enough to buy the Huffington Post.

The Huffington Post was founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005 as a liberal alternative to right wing media outlet. Initially envisaged as a place for free comment (largely from Huffington’s celebrity pals), the site grew when it started to present and comment on content from other sites. Now, it’s one of the internet’s top 10 destinations for cultural and global news with an average of 25 million U.S. visitors per month.

With that in mind, you can see AOL’s interest, but experts believe the Huffington Post itself is less important to the company than the woman that created it. According to analyst Rob Enderle, the $315 million is  “really just the hiring fee to get Arianna.”

Indeed, word is that when the sale’s done and dusted later this year, Huffington will be in charge of AOL’s growing range of content providers, including technology sites Engadget and Tech-Crunch, news site Patch.com and online mapping service Map-quest.

AOL will be hoping this new acquisition is more successful than those it’s made in the past. Its merger with Time Warner in 2000 is considered by many to be one of the biggest disasters of the dotcom boom, and the subsequent split in 2009 left both companies smarting, both financially and in terms of public perception. In 2008, AOL acquired social networking site Bebo for $850 million (that’s worth 3,679,653 pairs of Prada shoes!). In 2010, it sold Bebo for somewhere between $2.5 million and $10 million.

In short, AOL really needs a win, and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Having picked up a publication with an explicit liberal agenda, will the company get something more right wing to balance it out? Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has lost money recently – perhaps he’d consider selling them FOX news…


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February 9th, 2011

(Glow) For A Run

(Glow) For A Run

Just like many others, I enjoy running at night to stay fit and also relieve stress from a long day. Running at night isn’t the safest option, but by using glow sticks, purchasing reflective jackets, and sneakers with reflectors I feel more safe and visible while out for a run.  Unfortunately I’m sacrificing fashion for safety. Thankfully Adidas is doing something about this.

Adidas is known to be more appealing for male consumers, since it’s the leading provider for NBA apparel. A new collection however has literally caught my eye because it is not only stylish – with its very futuristic looking workout gear – and safe since it glows in the dark, but it is also designed with women athletes in mind. For runners who find it convenient to run at night, the Run Glow line – signed by Stella McCartney in 2010 – is available for $295, which includes the run glow jacket and run glow footwear, from ShopAdidas.com. The garments are designed for safety and visibility with carefully placed LEDs around the chest and shoulders in the jacket, as well as being embedded on running shoes, and other workout accessories, giving the gear a slick glow in the dark effect. . Most companies that try to attract consumers with glow in the dark embellishments have traditionally used reflective patches, or heavy lights, but never actually used LEDs to get a real glow in the dark effect, making this a one-of-a-kind technical outfit. This collection is growing because it is not only stylish, but safe.

You don’t have to be a runner either to purchase these. With padded shoulder look ,ruche sleeve creating shape to the work out gear, and a zipper that comes across the body in a diagonal, this is very modern and appealing to young women no matter what your athletic prowess is.

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February 7th, 2011

Brits ready to smash 1000MPH+ land speed barrier

Brits ready to smash 1000MPH+ land speed barrier

Bloodhound SSC begins its race towards elusive 1000mph speed record

Vrooooom! It really is Boy’s Own stuff. The British team behind the much anticipated Bloodhound SSC car formally announced today that work now starts to create the vehicle designed to exceed 1000mph (1600kmph) when it races for glory on a dried South African lake bed later in 2011.

Bloodhound SSC will be a beast of a car when finished, powered by a rocket bolted to a Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine, delivering a total thrust of 47,000lbs (that’s the same as the thrust of one of Concorde’s enormous jet engines – shoe-horned into a six tonne car).

The extraordinary man preparing himself to drive the Bloodhound SSC, Wing Commander Andy Green, provided a video tour of his runabout to the BBC.

If all goes well, he’ll race past the previous World Land Speed Record of a mere 763mph (1228kmph) set by the Thrust SuperSonic Car back in 1997. Green was also at the wheel for that groundshaking run, together with the same team now accelerating towards the coveted 1000mph mark – Richard Noble and Ron Ayres.

Try and keep up to speed with Bloodhound SSC if you can, by regularly visiting the official ‘engineering adventure’ website.

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February 3rd, 2011

Angry Birds due to fly to the big screen

Angry Birds due to fly to the big screen

It’s been revealed this week that Angry Birds, the smart-phone game, is due to be made into a full length feature film. Rovio, the game developer, is looking to cash in on its franchise and release those Angry Birds onto the big screen in all their free flying glory. The game features birds with varying special abilities being launched via a slingshot in a bid to destroy their arch enemy, the evil pigs.

At this point I should admit, I’ve downloaded the game and have taken great satisfaction out of bombarding, collapsing and blowing up those dastardly pigs. I’m 26.

Video game based big screen adaptations, have always seemed to be a bit of an anti-climax. Street Fighter, Doom, Mortal Kombat, Silent Hill have all been major hits in the video game market but have fallen short of the mark in their cross over to the big screen. Poor adaptation, loss of atmosphere and cheesy acting have seen these franchises lose not only value but suffer a backlash from their loyal fans after attempting the crossover.

Admittedly, there are those franchises which have been a success. Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, although heavy on the special effects, managed to convert a video game concept successfully to the big screen. Although, a scantily clad Mila Jovovich and a snugly dressed Angelina Jolie may have aided their success.

Discussion forums are currently buzzing with suggestion over who is going to provide the voices for the birds and pigs. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell all names being touted about as perfect suggestions to complement the in-game characters.

It will be interesting to see who gets handed the roles, with over 50 million [and counting…] downloads will come 50 million paying viewers. It would be fair to say that financially the film will be a box office hit, but an animated bird with the comic tones of Steve Carell hardly holds the same lure as Angelina Jolie’s leather clad Lara Croft, does it?

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