Archive for the 'News' Category


Another star gone – RIP Patrick Swayze

What will you remember him for? Here, it’s Ghost — then again, I’m really a sucker for romantic movies.

Actor Patrick Swayze, whose turn as a smoldering dance instructor in “Dirty Dancing” made him one of the iconic film stars of the 1980s, died on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.
Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze dead at 57 | U.S. | Reuters


Wal-Mart “Family Night Centers” mean opportunity for hobby stores

Mass market board game sales increased 10% during the first half of 2009 (vs. the same period in 2008) according to research firm NPD Group. Citing that increase, Wal-Mart rolls out a focused “Family Night Center” in all stores this month, featuring board games, movies, and related products.

Hobby stores can jump on the bandwagon as well with media outreach, in-store “parent training sessions” on how to hold a family game night, and demonstration events for popular board games. Get going, folks!!

Responding to moms’ rising interest in more affordable entertainment activities at home, Walmart is featuring a new “Family Night Center” in all stores this month. The area aims to help customers find new ideas for memorable family time activities and savings on popular items from Hasbro and Disney among others in a convenient “one-stop” area. Walmart Adds “Family Night Center” in All Stores


Apple aims the Nano at Flip

How does Apple keep making the iPod Nano more relevant and useful in every version? They almost had me with its size, screen, and the ability to watch movies, but my continuing devotion to Rhapsody kept me in the Sansa camp.

Now that the Nano plays music, shoots video, and tracks my steps through the day with a pedometer, I’m seriously thinking of adding a Nano to my life. If it just worked with Rhapsody… (I know, I know… and I wish for a pony and a milkshake, too.)

I wonder how the folks at Flip will react to the announcement? The new Nano shoots about the same video (640×480, 30 frames per second) as their basic cameras, but delivers a lot more memory and functionality at the same price. The Flip made its mark for portability, simplicity, and easy uploading, and it might still hold its own there. We shall see. Regardless, it looks like there’s a video war heating up in time for the holidays.

iPod nano now comes with a built-in video camera that lets you spontaneously shoot video wherever you are. Yet it’s still the same ultraportable size. Apple – iPod nano – Music player, movie player, and video camera.


A legend of news passes on

CBS news legend Walter Cronkite died on Friday. He was 92 years old.

Like most families of the 1960s and 1970s, my family spent a lot of time watching television. We ate dinner to the local and national news, wiled away evenings with sitcoms and variety shows, and learned about the world through various National Geographic specials. Most of it slipped from my memory since then (probably on the same night that I originally watched it), but some things remain.

Among those memories, I distinctly remember watching Walter Cronkite.

Dad called him “Walter Crankcase” sometimes, for reasons I never knew. As a child, he was like the grandfather I never had, telling me things that I needed to know and reassuring me that, despite everything, the world was fundamentally okay. I remember him reviewing the casualty rates during Vietnam, telling me about the moon landing, and sharing all kinds of other stories, from fun to sad to dramatic.

He did it all with a calm power. I knew that I could trust him. I just knew.

Those nights listening to Walter’s newscasts probably impacted my desire to go into journalism, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Even thought I turned off the TV many years ago, I’ll miss you, Mr. Cronkite. For me, you were the grand gentleman of the news.


eReleases launches 11 week anniversary party

The folks at celebrate their service’s 11th anniversary in October, but they decided to start early with an 11 week party! Check out their products and services here: Press Release Distribution Services and Press Release Writing

Their big thing is what they call Web 2.0 Online Press Release Distribution, which covers everything from release writing to proper formatting to get the most from search engine optimization.

Be sure to register for their contest while you’re there! They’re giving away 11 Asus netbooks and 77 days of free press release services. Enjoy!


Let’s have “inflexible over-regulation for $200”

Some British police have no sense of civic fun. (Or, apparently, any sort of fun at all.)

Despite the efforts of the Norwich City Council and the Norwich Theatre Royal, the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car can’t participate in this year’s Norwich Street Procession. The Norfolk (UK) police ruled that because Chitty doesn’t have a current Ministry of Transportation certificate, then it’s a public hazard, and can’t drive slowly down a closed street in city parade.

“The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car does not have a valid MoT certificate and therefore breaches regulations,” said a police spokesman.

Thank goodness they’re protecting public safety!


One toy, two boys, and a radiation alert

nuclear-symbolA toy made by pair of inventive six-year-old boys accidentally triggered a nuclear radiation alert and forced the lock-down of several city blocks in Berlin. The kids decided to play “nuclear power station” in the back yard, so they downloaded and printed a yellow and black nuclear symbol from the Internet, and then pasted it to an old computer case. They left the toy outside while took a break from their play to eat dinner. A passer-by saw the box and the nuclear symbol, and called the police.

Thankfully, the kids weren’t charged with anything.

Read the full story on Reuters.