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Full memo: Msnbc.com becomes NBCNews.com

It’s official. Microsoft has sold off its stake in msnbc.com, the Redmond-based online news venture that it has operated with NBCUniversal for the past 16 years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but The New York Times reports that Microsoft could get up to $300 million for its 50 percent stake. As part of the… Read More

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Mike Daisey to debut altered version of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Mike Daisey’s fall from grace was well documented after This American Life retracted a story about the worker abuses that the playwright claimed he saw at Chinese consumer electronics factories. Daisey — after several days of painful rumblings in which he said, among other things, “What I do is not journalism” — eventually apologized for making stuff up. But… Read More

P-I newspaper boxes. Photo Kurt Schlosser

Many residents in state live in ‘rural information ghetto’

Researchers at Washington State University have concluded that large segments of the state are marooned in what they call a “rural information ghetto,” stuck with a lack of news coverage exacerbated by poor Internet access, bad cellular coverage and dwindling local journalism. For example, the report notes that 3.8 percent of the state’s residents do not… Read More

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ThePlatform inks deal to power multi-screen video for USA Network, Syfy, Oxygen

Here’s a partnership that’s all in the family. ThePlatform has inked a deal to provide its online video publishing system to NBCUniversal’s USA Network, Syfy and Oxygen, making it easier for those networks to push their content across various devices as part of an expanding “TV Everywhere” strategy. As you may recall, ThePlatform was acquired by Comcast… Read More

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Hellraiser director to create Zombies vs. Gladiators movie for Amazon

Amazon.com continues to expand into the original content arena, with news today that Hellraiser director and noted fantasy writer Clive Barker plans to direct a new movie for Amazon Studios called Zombies vs. Gladiators. “Zombies vs. Gladiators is now in the hands of someone who has written genre-defining material throughout his career,” said Roy Price, director,… Read More

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Hark inks deal to access movie audio clips from Warner Bros.

Hark CEO David Aronchick recently disclosed that the company — essentially a YouTube of audio clips — topped 50 million monthly visitors. It was a significant milestone, but Aronchick isn’t stopping there. The Seattle entrepreneur announced today that the company has formed a new partnership with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, giving Hark access to audio clips from… Read More

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Tech Moves: Medio taps Microsoft vet as chief architect; Zooppa, PATH, etc.

Medio Systems is making a big move into the predictive analytics arena, helping gaming, financial services, entertainment and other companies better engage with their customers who are using mobile devices.  And now the Seattle startup has picked up a 9-year Microsoft veteran to help lead the charge. Ewa Dominowska has joined the company as chief architect,… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: American Idol meets Facebook in FameMe

Brett Marl is back in the startup game. The former chief technology officer at Pure Networks, which sold to Cisco back in 2008, is having a ball trying to help discover the world’s next Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Hicks. In fact, FameMe, as Marl describes it, FameMe is essentially American Idol for the Facebook generation…. Read More

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The new Cheezburger redesign: Faster, funnier and fewer trolls

Cheezburger’s rise to the top of the Internet charts has certainly been impressive to watch, leaving some investors kicking themselves that they didn’t have the foresight to invest early in the online comedy network. But what’s been most impressive about Cheezburger is how the company has strung together so many oddball Web sites, slapping things… Read More

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Q&A: Hulu CTO Richard Tom on the future of television

It’s rather stunning to think that Hulu was just a germ of an idea five years ago. Obviously, the entertainment industry has experienced a tectonic shift of epic proportions in that time. Backed by the likes of NBC Universal, News Corporation and The Walt Disney Company, Hulu has very quickly become one of the most… Read More

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Bill Gates-owned Corbis unveils an ‘iTunes for music licensing’ with GreenLight Music

Corbis may be best known for licensing digital images. But the Seattle company, started by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in 1989, is expanding its footprint in the digital music arena today with the launch of GreenLight Music. Some heavyweights from the industry have already lined up behind the effort, namely major labels such as EMI, Sony/ATV… Read More

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USA Today’s internal app stats show Amazon’s Kindle Fire trouncing other Android tablets

Hey, looky what landed in our inbox. Here’s an interesting slide from a USA Today presentation that shows the number of downloads for each of the newspaper’s mobile apps — providing some insights into the latest trends in the mobile market, including the rapid growth of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The undated slide shows 260,000 downloads… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: TinyPass looks to line publishers’ pockets with new way to charge for content

In an opinion piece for Bloomberg this week, former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold lamented the demise of the physical newspaper and wondered if the solution might be in a payment system for news content. That message certainly will resonate with TinyPass, a 12-month-old startup that’s created a new way for news organizations to… Read More

Some of the product placements from Norm Marshall

Bill Gates-owned Corbis buys LA product placement firm

Product placements are everywhere, from movies to TV to city buses. Now, Corbis — the Seattle-based digital image company backed by Bill Gates — is making a big move into that advertising arena with the purchase of Norm Marshall Associates of Los Angeles. Terms of the deal are not being announced, but Norm Marshall’s 50… Read More