Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via mobiletechforum)

In: Ross Levinsohn. The President of Fox Interactive Media is making all sorts of news at the UBC sponsored Media Week event. For one, NewsCorp is "listening" to proposals from several search engine businesses -- like Quigo. Also, Fox Interactive Media is expected to pull in $300 million --! -- in revenue next year, most of it online ads.

According to PaidContent:

"Yes, you're reading a lot about Ross Levinsohn here this week but that's what happens when people making news are in the spotlight at consecutive conferences ... I tried to get a picture with my nifty new little camera but the lighting wasn't right so you'll have to trust me: after his session at UBS Tuesday, Levinsohn was surrounded by the largest group I've seen this week for more than 30 minutes -- a symbol of the intense interest in what News Corp. and FIM are doing with their $1.4 billion investments (including retention deals) in, IGN and Scout.

"... -- The deal between IGN and 20th Century Fox is along the lines of the deal the movie studio made recently with Movielink. Fox Digital Media manages the rights and licensing and negotiated the deal with FIM/IGN.

"-- The 'Family Guy' originals being created for online distribution also will be available via mobile. Pricing: Don't be surprised if the download fees for Family Guy and similar Fox video is $1.99. 'Wal-Mart sets the price,' Levinsohn said, comparing leaders in their respective markets. But Fox could try some variations like charging more for faster access, etc. 'You can play with some pricing schemes,' he said.

"Personal 'portals': During the session, Levinsohn showed a mock-up of what a future personal page could look like. The idea is for every page to be a personal portal of sorts. The plans for the concept, which will grow off, are not fully formed. For instance, the deicision on whether pages have to be public or can be limited access. Right now, he's leaning toward all public. It's at least six months away, possibly as long as a year. At the same time, he expects to have 'deep verticals across all of our businesses.' may be the umbrella. Don't call it a portal, though: 'The notion of a portal is obsolete to me.'"

(Sniff,sniff) Excuse us. The full report here.


Sacrificial lamb. (image via

Out: Republican Drama. What is it about having such power that causes internal chaos within the Republican ranks? Drama!

Here in New York, there is a grand opera taking place. (Cue to the gentle plinkety-plonkety of Pleyel harspichords and viola da Gamba) Despite the fact that the Republicans have control of the State Senate, the Governorship and the Mayoralty of New York, Governor Pataki's eccentric vanity run for the President (Or, more likely: Vice; and, most likely: neither) has left something of a power vacuum in Albany.

Since, as Pascal said, Nature abhors a vacuum, Joe Bruno, the most powerful elected Republican in the State, and Steven Minarik, the most powerful unelected man in the state have rushed in to fill the void and stave off an expected Democrat landslide in the state the 2006 elections.

This split has led to the backing of dual candidates for Governor. Bruno backs charisma-challenged billionaire Tom Golisano, whom, inturn, he hopes will reciprocate with blank checks to the New York Republican party so that he maintains conrol of the state senate; Minarik -- a Pataki-D'amato crony who favors postprandial brandies and cigar smoke filled backroom deals -- backs Bill Weld, the intense, charismatic, copper-topped, former Governor of Massachusetts. The intra-party split has also led to the embarassing Pirro-versus-Hillary soap opera. Pirro should -- according to the rumors -- withdraw next week; though, if she decamps to an Attorney General campaign, look for the disgustingly aggressive former HUD Secretary, Andrew Cuomo, to tear her to shreds via her shady husband's biography.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, Congressman Blunt's sheer fucking incompetence as Majority Leader and Whip as well as Monday's announcement that Tom DeLay's legal troubles won't be going away in the near future has led to some -- dare we say it? -- "drama" by the ambitious Representative Boehner, among others vying for a taste of power.

Curiously, the Conservative darling of the House, Congressman Mike Pence, who had a solid shot at Majority Whip, put his own ambitions aside and stepped down quietly for the good of the party; quite gentlemanly that.

And now, as if there isn't enough division in the party of power, there's Frist anxiety, even as former Majority Leader Lott, is angling, behind-the-scenes, for a greater role within the Grand Old Party.



(image via thrillist via guy vasquez)

In: Thrillist. The Corsair has actually found TheThrillist quite useful in planning what to do in the city on any given night. They describe themselves thusly:

"Thrillist is a free email newsletter for guys in New York, exposing The City's most glorious bars, sporting events, services, gadgets and restaurants. Thrillist is the voice that keeps you plugged into everything new, unknown and underappreciated.

"Thrillist's goal is to create a network of undeniable greatness, write-up by write-up, delivered to your inbox 4 times per week. We refuse to post filler, or any of the other useless garbage that defines most 'cityguides.' For every recommendation we make, we've investigated dozens of alternatives, then ridiculed them fiercely for not living up to our standards."

We like; we really do. (Thrillist)


(image via theobserver)

Also In: Nabokov's Laura. We adore Vladimir Nabokov (We are still trying to catch all the multidimensional puns in Ada. or Ardor). We also like Ron Rosenbaum, when he's not writing about Yale Secret Societies. Put Naobokove and Rosenbaum together and you get his column today about the unfinished manuscript of "Laura" for the salmon-colored weekly:

"My Observer story put the focus on the apparently perilous situation of the manuscript, whatever Dmitri (now 71) decides. He told me that knowledge of the location of the safe-deposit box containing Laura (which he disclosed to me was in Switzerland) was limited to him and 'one [unidentified] assistant'�raising the question of whether the manuscript might be lost before anyone had a choice whether to burn or preserve it. I called upon some museum, foundation or university to offer a plan for its preservation and access for scholars. At the very least, get it out of the questionable confines of some bank vault. Banks have been known to be robbed, flooded or burned, after all. The locations of secret Swiss safe-deposit boxes have been known to be lost upon the death of their holders, due to the banking-secrecy laws there.

"And so it appears that once The Observer made his threat public, and the eyes of the world were upon him, awaiting his decision, Dmitri rethought words he may have uttered in haste or irritation. What he initially told me was that because of 'the repugnant atmosphere typical of current �Lolitology,� as he called it, 'I shall probably destroy it.' In the past, he�d spoken of consigning it at some point to a scholarly institution that would preserve but not publish it, and that would permit access to certain scholars. While it may have contravened his father�s wishes to destroy the unfinished work (maybe a third of a short novel), it was a reasonable compromise."

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