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BlackBerry 10 L-series tutorial videos surface online, give a literal peek at the future (video)

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BlackBerry 10 Lseries tutorial videos surface online, give a literal peek at the future video

Those of us who’ve used a BlackBerry PlayBook will be familiar with the inevitable first-boot tutorials showing how to navigate the swipe-driven interface before we’re let loose. Thanks to a series of demonstration videos leaked by BlackBerryItalia, it’s apparent that we won’t escape that educational process on BlackBerry 10 devices, either. The four clips show the basics of what we know the gesture experience will be like on full-touch L-series phones, including the signature BlackBerry Peek to check notifications and the unified inbox. Anyone looking for a direct clue as to what production BlackBerry 10 hardware will entail might be frustrated, mind you — the rendered phone appears to be a placeholder rather than the L-series or a Dev Alpha B, and the device name is censored in an attempt to protect the source. That said, the clips provide a very straightforward explanation of the new interface concept and give us one more indication that RIM is closer to launch.

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MILEY CYRUS IN TALKS FOR ‘BONNIE AND CLYDE’ MINISERIES

by: Jessica Sager

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus seems to be enjoying her time on the small screen. The former ‘Hannah Montana’ starlet recently wrapped filming a guest arc on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and now she’s in talks to play a bank robber in ‘Bonnie and Clyde!’

Cyrus is currently meeting with directors to discuss taking on the role of Bonnie Parker in the upcoming Lifetime/History Channel dual project, per The Hollywood Reporter. The miniseries will be the first to air on both the History Channel and Lifetime (both of which are AETN networks) and will be helmed by ‘Smash‘ directors Neil Meron and Craig Zadan — does that mean it’s a musical?! (We sorta hope so!)

‘Bonnie and Clyde’ will be the next in a series of miniseries and cable movies featuring marquee names. Kevin Costner won an Emmy for his work in the History Channel miniseries ‘Hatfields & McCoys,’ while tabloid queen Lindsay Lohan got her first starring role in what seems like forever as Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Liz & Dick.’

It appears that television is a kinder medium to Cyrus than movies have been lately. Her last feature film, ‘LOL,’bombed following a limited release. We’re glad to see more of Cyrus — and we don’t mean that in terms of her leaked nude photos, either!

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MILEY CYRUS IN TALKS FOR ‘BONNIE AND CLYDE’ MINISERIES

As iOS 6 debuts minus YouTube, video apps fight for attention

Support from Apple and a changing YouTube could give apps like Squrl and ShowYou the opportunity they’ve been waiting for.

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Squrl's app searches for videos across a wider range of sites than YouTube's does.

Squrl’s app searches for videos across a wider range of sites than YouTube’s does.

When Apple users start upgrading to iOS 6 this morning, it’ll be missing an app that’s been baked into the operating system since the release of the first iPhone: YouTube. For the first time, consumers will have to search for a video app on their own — and that has developers eager to get their attention.

Most consumers will doubtless start by simply downloading the YouTube iPhone app thatGoogle released last week. But for now, that one’s iPhone-only — an iPad version is months off. In the meantime, makers of other so-called video discovery apps are pouncing on a rare opportunity to gain users in large numbers.

They’re launching new versions to capitalize on YouTube’s sudden absence. They’re courting the tech press to get the word out. And they’re hoping users will follow. No one expects these apps to dethrone YouTube. But they’ve never had an opportunity like this before — and might not have another for ages.

Also in their favor: Apple is doing its best to help them along. Last week the company updated its App Store to showcase a wide range of video apps on the store’s “Featured” page, in a collection called “TV Time.” Notably, as we reported last week, YouTube was left off that list — while discovery apps like SqurlShowYou and Vidyou get prominent placement.

“Now all users will be faced with at least making a decision,” said Mark Gray, co-founder and CEO of Squrl.

All these apps make use of YouTube’s content, piping videos into their app using APIs. The value they add lies in the way they organize and surface videos to people looking for something interesting to watch — something that YouTube seems to be growing less interested in over time.

Building a better search
The question is whether, over time, users come to prefer a kind of universal search app to YouTube’s, which has become more narrowly focused on channels and subscriptions. Spend some time playing with apps like Squrl and ShowYou, and it’s easy to make a case for the former.

Squrl, which launched last year, launched a redesign today aimed at making finding easier. In addition to YouTube, it searches Netflix, Hulu, Ted, Vimeo, AOL and Blip.TV. You can also connect accounts from Twitter and Facebook to Squrl; it will collect all the links shared there over the day and show them to you whenever you’re ready to see them.

The app uses algorithms to track your video-watching habits and to suggest things it thinks you’d like to see. It also tracks videos that are trending across the Web.

In short, it finds videos in places that didn’t even exist when YouTube was created in 2005. YouTube remains the top video search engine, handling billions of queries a month. But it won’t find videos across the range of popular sites that have sprung up in YouTube’s wake, like Hulu, Netflix and Vimeo. Squrl and its fellow apps will.

For your basic cat videos, YouTube search will more than suffice. But what happens when you’re looking for a TV show or movie and aren’t sure which service it’s available on? Or when a video you thought was posted to YouTube is actually hosted on Vimeo?

As high-quality video migrates onto an ever-increasing number of platforms, YouTube search could become less useful. The need for an app that searches more broadly will only increase.

YouTube’s app is evolving to emphasize channels over user-generated content.

A changing YouTube
There’s a second factor that could play to the advantage of apps like Squrl: YouTube is changing.

The original iOS YouTube app, designed by Apple to Google’s specifications, shows us the YouTube we used to know. It prominently features the most-viewed videos of the day, along with a serendipitous assortment of “featured” videos.

It’s an app, in other words, that is built for discovery.

Now pull up the new YouTube app. Mostly what it will show you is the channels to which you’re subscribed. Occasionally your feed will include a recommendation based on other videos you’ve watched. But open the sidebar and YouTube’s focus on channels becomes clear: all your subscriptions are stacked on top of one another. “Popular” videos are buried at the bottom of that list, with no option to see the most viewed videos of the week or all time.

YouTube launched its channels initiative last year in an effort to attract viewers and advertisers that it couldn’t reach with the user-generated content that made the site famous. It invested $150 million in 100 or so channels, and in June said it would spend $200 million more.

The Wall Street Journal reported that YouTube already recouped its initial investment with advertising revenue generated from the project. But the new channels have been slow to produce breakout stars. Many of the site’s most-viewed channels rely on established stars and brands — and fewer than 20 channels are doing even 1 million views a week, according to AdAge. (The most viewed videos of the week, by contrast, average at least 2 million views.)

That suggests users are more interested in finding the quirky viral hits that made YouTube famous than they are subscribing to the low-budget pop culture gabfests that have become the new channels’ stock in trade. And if YouTube won’t drive traffic to those viral videos through its own apps, someone else is happy to.

“I don’t know if I would say the opportunity is huge,” said Mark Hall, the thoughtful founder and CEO of Remixation, which makes ShowYou, a Squrl competitor. “YouTube has a dominant, massive brand. It’s the no. 1 free app being downloaded right now from the app store. I wouldn’t want to overstate it and say that suddenly it’s an even playing field.

“But,” he added, “I definitely think it’s a good step forward for us.”

Even if they fail to crack the mainstream, the developers could be in for a rich payday. A company that solves video discovery to the tune of millions of users will be an attractive acquisition target to Google — a company that loves buying startups. If the Squrls of the world can’t beat YouTube, don’t be surprised if they join them.

 

Shazam App to Expand TV Identification

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Shazam App to Expand TV Identification

Shazam, the makers of the popular smartphone app of the same name that allows users to identify a song from a short sample, today announced that it now has 250 million users worldwide.

Shazam also announced an expansion of its “Shazam for TV” feature, which allows users to identify TV shows the same way the app allows music identification. The expanded feature now supports any U.S. TV channel, 24 hours a day. Identifying a show will allow users to see cast details, photos, music from the show, trivia, tweets, and additional links. Users can also, of course, share the show to Facebook or Twitter.

“With more than a quarter of a billion people who have used Shazam worldwide, no other app has our scale when it comes to offering the opportunity to engage with the media that interests them the most, whether it’s music or television,” said Andrew Fisher, Shazam CEO. “And now, that experience is even better than before, enabling people in the US to engage with any show at any time,”

Different TV shows may have different results from Shazam. For example, a sporting event will include stats, scores and schedules.

“Over the last year, Shazam has been testing and learning what works by building dozens of custom interactive second-screen experiences for select television shows and events like the Olympics on NBC, American Idol, the Grammys, and the Super Bowl, as well as other live and scripted programming across sports, reality, dramas, comedy and awards shows,” said Doug Garland, chief revenue officer at Shazam. “We’ve applied what we’ve learned to our newly expanded service, and will continue to work closely with our network partners and show producers to build special, unique second-screen experiences for their tent-pole television events and many of the most popular shows on TV.”

Greater social media integration is now a part of Shazam as well. Users who use the “Shazam Friends” feature will be able to see their Facebook friends’ tags and tag their own content to their own Facebook Timeline. Sharing via Twitter and Google+ is also available.

Shazam App to Expand TV Identification

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‘Prometheus,’ ‘Family Guy’ Coming to YouTube

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Family GuyModern FamilyNew GirlX-MenIce AgeBlack Swan and more than 600 other Twentieth Century Fox TV shows and films will soon be making their way to YouTube and Google’s Play store, Google and Fox parent company News Corp. announced Tuesday.

The deal means that all six major film studios, along with 10 independent studios, have now agreed to rent films through YouTube and Google Play, bringing the total rental catalog to around 10,000. The penultimate holdout, Paramount Pictures, signed a licensing agreement with Google in April. All six studios (Disney, Sony, Warner Bros. and Comcast Universal are the other four) sell films through Apple’s iTunes service as well.

Fox and Google haven’t yet detailed pricing, but 48-hour movie rentals typically cost between $2.99 and $3.99 for standard-definition versions, and a dollar more for HD (720p) editions. You have 30 days from the time of purchase to begin watching a movie, and 48 hours from the time you begin to finish watching it. Many films can also be purchased, usually for somewhere between $9.99 and $14.99.

Fox’s content will first be released in the U.S. and brought to additional countries soon, Jonathan Zepp, manager of TV and film content partnerships at Google, said in a blog post.

Around the announcement is a big push for Fox’s new release Prometheus, which is being made available through Google three weeks ahead of its release on Blu-ray, DVD, video-on-demand and other digital distribution portals. The price for the film has also been discounted from $19.99 to $14.99 through the Google Play store. However, you can watch it for $2 less if you wait until Oct. 11 to purchase it through Amazon Instant Video.

‘Prometheus,’ ‘Family Guy’ Coming to YouTube

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Emma Watson ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online

Emma Watson has been named as the favourite bait for cyber criminals attempting to lure internet users to malicious sites

Emma Watson is the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace according to new research

Emma Watson is the most dangerous celebrity in cyberspace according to new research

The American internet security firm McAfee said that the Harry Potter actress is the ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online.

Many sites use Watson to trick users into downloading malicious software or to steal personal information.

When searching for the 22 year-old Watson there is a one-in-eight chance of landing on a malicious site.

Cyber criminals often use the names of popular celebrities to lure users to sites that are actually laden with malicious software.

They follow the latest trends to lead users to sites which are designed to steal passwords and personal information.

According to McAfee this year, searching for a celebrity name with ‘free downloads’ and ‘nude pictures’ as part of the search term resulted in the highest result of risky sites.

The research reveals the riskiest Hollywood actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, designers, and comedians on the web.

This is the sixth time the Intel-owned security technology company has conducted the study, which was last year topped by Heidi Klum.

Female celebrities are far more likely to be utilised by cyber criminals. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was the only male in the top 20.

Paula Greve, director of web security research at McAfee said: “In today’s celebrity culture, consumers expect to be able to go online to catch up with the latest photos, videos, tweets, and stories about their favourite celebrities.

Due to the richness of the data and the high interaction, often times consumers forget the risks that they are taking by clicking on the links.”

She added: “As the sophistication and expectations of consumers with respect to their online experience has increased, so has the level and ability to deliver malware either by malvertising, exploiting the user’s browser without their awareness, or masking malicious URLs behind shortened URLs.”

Others among the riskiest celebrities to search online are Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Selena Gomez and Halle Berry.

Emma Watson ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search for online

It’s Awkward Family Photo Time! Snooki and Jionni Pose With Baby Lorenzo

Lorenzo appears to have slept his way through his first photo shoot with mom Snooki. Thanks goodness for that!

By Lucia Peters

Snooki Jionni Lorenzo LaValle

It was inevitable: Now that Snooki’s little meatball, Lorenzo Dominic LaValle, has been on the planet for more than a week, she and fiancé Jionni LaValle are releasing a set of super posed photos of their new family. Awkward and uncomfortable? Sweet and adorable? You tell us!

The full photo spread, which was shot on September 1, will be available for all of us to gawk at in this week’s issue of People, due out on Friday. In the meantime, though, MTV has gotten a hold of a sneak peek, giving us our first non-Paparazzi look at Baby Lorenzo. To be fair, it’s a surprisingly tasteful photo; true, Snooki is wearing leopard print, but a) at least it’s a little less tacky than the usual Jersey Shore animal print getup, and b) thank goodness she didn’t put baby Lorenzo in a matching leopard print onesie. Jionni’s role in the photo seems to be to provide a pop of color, because of course it wouldn’t be a photo of Snooki if there wasn’t a piece of hot pink something somewhere in the picture.

Read Up for Grabs: Kim Kardashian’s Discarded Wardrobe Is On Ebay. For Real.

MTV is currently asking who we think Lorenzo looks like more, Snooki or Jionni. Honestly? I can’t tell. The kid is a week and a half old. Babies don’t really look like anything (other than babies, that is) for a while, so I think it’s a little too soon to be playing that game. Don’t you?

Anyway, Lorenzo appears to have dozed his way through the shoot, which is probably just as well; maybe his lack of concern about the cameras means that he’ll be able to handle life in a fishbowl. We hope for his sake that it does!

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It’s Awkward Family Photo Time! Snooki and Jionni Pose With Baby Lorenzo

Bikini-Clad Jennifer Lopez Flaunts Tight Abs, Swims With Casper Smart

BY ZACH JOHNSON

Jennifer Lopez at the pool with her family in Miami Beach FL.

Jennifer Lopez at the pool with her family in Miami Beach FL.

Muy caliente!

Hours before she performed at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, September 1, Jennifer Lopez, 43, sneaked in some pool time at a local hotel with her twins, Max and Emme, 4, and her boyfriend of nearly a year, backup dancer Casper Smart, 25.

VIDEO: Half-naked Jennifer Lopez shows off her boxing skills

Wearing a black bikini that featured an asymmetrical strap around her right shoulder, Lopez showed off her enviable abs and world famous booty. The “Dance Again” singer also sported retro-inspired sunglasses, gold hoop earrings and a Hermes cuff.

Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend Casper Smart go for a swim at their hotel in
Miami.
Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend Casper Smart go for a swim at their hotel in Miami.

After taking a dip with her twins, Lopez spent some quality time frolicking in the pool with Smart. At one point, the former American Idol judge wrapped her legs around the choreographer as he waded in the water and soaked up the sun.

PHOTOS: Jennifer Lopez’s style evolution

Lopez recently turned to celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson to keep her in shape while touring with Enrique Iglesias. When the entertainer is pressed for time, “We skip dance cardio, since she’s always rehearsing, and do legs and arms,” Anderson told Us Weekly earlier this year.

PHOTOS: Jennifer Lopez’s life with her adorable twins

During her trainer’s rigorous workouts, Lopez depends on high-energy tunes to keep her motivated. “She’s dedicated!” Anderson raved.

Bikini-Clad Jennifer Lopez Flaunts Tight Abs, Swims With Casper Smart  

 

In Isaac’s Wake, the Bayou Blackout: 900,000 Without Power as Storm Moves Inland

Hurricane Isaac, while dissipating, is still wreaking havoc on the area surrounding New Orleans, causing major flooding in Mississippi, threatening a dam failure in low-lying areas, and causing one fatality so far.

By MADISON GRAY

Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Rescue workers transport residents trapped by rising water from Hurricane Isaac in the River Forest subdivision

Almost two days after Hurricane Isaac made landfall, striking the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, entire towns have been inundated with floodwaters, downing power lines across the region. Workers are scrambling to restore electricity to the affected area, a 300-mile wide swath of land stretching from southwesternMississippi to eastern Texas.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said utilities through the state are reporting a total of 900,000 were without electricity Thursday. Power utility Entergy said more than 760,000 of their customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas are experiencing power outages. As the storm moves toward Baton Rouge at a painfully slow nine miles per hour, despite flooding and storm surges still gripping the state, Entergy says they’ve dispatched a crew of 10,000 workers to help turn the lights back on.

“We have damage assessment teams on the ground in southeast Louisiana and repair crews are starting to restore power, so restoration has already begun,” Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde told TIME. “But we’re still being hampered by weather conditions, so that will slow us down.”

(PHOTOS: Scenes of Isaac’s Wrath)

He said that the utility is working as fast as possible, but given the circumstances, there’s no estimate when power will be fully restored to the area. “Until the storm gets out of here and there’s a full assessment, it’s hard to tell.” Some New Orleans residents are approaching their second day without power, and with temperatures expected to climb into the upper 80s this weekend as the storm vacates the city, concern turns to the stifling heat.

“We’re asking for customers’ patience. It’s been a very frustrating storm because it’s moved so slowly,” Lagarde said. “We couldn’t get people on the ground yesterday, so we’re asking customers to give us some time.”

(PHOTOS: The Most Destructive U.S. Hurricanes of All Time)

While no deaths have been reported because of lack of electricity, the storm has claimed its first victim. A tow truck driver was killed by a falling tree in Picayune, Miss., Sue McClaney, associate administrator in the Pearl River County planning office told TIME. The Associated Press reports the tree fell on the driver of the truck, identified by officials as Greg Parker, just after midnight. McClaney said the area is still inundated by the storm’s effects — 37 roads in the area are flooded. To compound matters, she said: “We’ve got high tides coming in right now.”

Those tides are stoking fears that a dam close to the Louisiana-Mississippi border may fail, threatening low-lying areas and forcing the evacuation of Tangipahoa Parish, La. Gordon Burgess, the parish’s president, told  WWL-TV that the threat affects 50,000 to 60,000 people, who were given a mandatory evacuation notice at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

Jindal said that officials are working on a controlled breach of the dam, without which waters would rise to a level of 17 feet affecting several communities along the Tangipahoa River very quickly. “If this dam were to break, it would take about 90 minutes for this water to get to Kentwood,” he said, referring to the Louisiana town lying south of the dam in McComb, Miss.

At a news conference, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu said Isaac brought heavy precipitation to the area, but noted that preparations and improvements made since Hurricane Katrina held. “Isaac dumped 10 to 15 inches on the region,” he said. “Our levees and floodgates held as they were designed to do.”

Also on Thursday, President Obama declared a major disaster for Louisiana, which releases FEMA funds to 36 parishes for emergency measures. State and local recovery efforts will be supplemented by federal aid on a cost-sharing basis, the agency said in a statement.

As Isaac begins to dissipate and cleanup efforts begin in the Gulf Coast region, the National Weather Service reported that the fifth named hurricane of the 2012 season has formed. Kirk is currently located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is moving northwest at 12 mph. However, it is not yet considered a threat to land.

In Isaac’s Wake, the Bayou Blackout: 900,000 Without Power as Storm Moves Inland  

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

But magazine says she’ll be knocked off in coming years

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year.

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year. 

Oprah Winfrey earned an estimated $165 million US in 2011-12, putting her atop the Forbes.com list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities for the fourth year in a row.

She may have given up her day-time talk show and be struggling to gain an audience with her new television network, but Winfrey still has a bevy of Harpo productions raking in the cash. Among them are syndicated TV shows such as Dr. PhilRachael Ray and The Dr. Oz Show as well as her still-popular O magazine.

Winfrey is taking to the airwaves again with shows like Oprah’s Lifeclass andOprah’s Next Chapter in an effort to boost ratings at OWN, Forbes notes, but the magazine estimates she will not remain the highest-paid celebrity in coming years. That’s because it plans to revise its method of ranking to exclude earnings from syndication.

Movie director Michael Bay earned only $5 million less than Winfrey, largely on the back of box-office smash Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which also led to toy sales and other spinoffs. Forbes estimates Bay earned $160 million between May 2011 and May 2012.

There are an impressive array of movie and TV producers in the Forbes top 10, among them Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Jerry Bruckheimer and Simon Cowell. Music producer Dr. Dre was a surprise addition to this year’s list, coming in at No. 5 with income of $110 million because of the sale of part of his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones business to handset maker HTC.

Spielberg is estimated to have brought in $130 million with films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, Dreamworks TV series Smash and his cut of Universal theme parks.

Bruckheimer had a box office hit with the latest Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, while Lucas contines to get residuals from the Star Wars franchise, as well as from his Industrial Light and Magic, which provides effects for movies like Battleship and The Avengers.

Forbes estimates celebrity earnings from upfront pay, profit participation and residuals and interviews with agents and industry insiders.

Forbes highest-paid celebrities

  1. Oprah Winfrey, $165 million.
  2. Michael Bay, $160 million.
  3. Steven Spielberg, $130 million.
  4. Jerry Bruckheimer, $115 million.
  5. Dr. Dre, $110 million.
  6. Tyler Perry, $105 million.
  7. Howard Stern, $95 million.
  8. James Patterson, $94 million.
  9. George Lucas, $90 million.
  10. Simon Cowell, $90 million.

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

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