Tuesday, January 15, 2008
'50 weeks left'
From CNN's Dan Simon
Jobs AirThe Steve Jobs keynote is over and many in the crowd will be going across the street to the main convention to get a glimpse of the new products and features.
The MacBook Air was clearly the highlight of the presentation. Jobs said all the new innovations and announcements today will be available in 2 weeks.
"And we have 50 weeks left," he joked.
This was an impressive presentation, but probably not quite as exciting as last year's iPhone announcement. However, I'm sure most computer makers will soon be trying to figure out how to match the thinness and features of the new notebook.
Apple is obviously hoping that the new Apple TV will finally catch on after a disappointing first try. Allowing consumers to rent movies directly to their televisions with Apple TV, certainly gives it a chance of being successful. They'll be competing in this arena with Netflix, which recently announced a similar service.
Wafer-thin notebook rumors true
From CNN's Dan Simon
Apple will, in fact, release a new kind of notebook computer. It's called the MacBook Air, Jobs announced.
Jobs said it is the world's thinnest notebook -- just .76 inches at its thicket point and .16 inches at its thinnest.
"We're talking thin here," he said.
The crowd went crazy over the the new laptop.
There's no doubt that it looks impressive. It has an 80 gig hard drive and a built in iSight web camera.

The MacBook Air is built to be a wireless machine and does not have a built in optical drive. You can buy a disc drive as an accessory.

Here's some of the basic features:
Weight: 3 pounds
13.3 inch display
Full sized, backlit keyboard
2 GB memory

Price $1799.00

It's scheduled to ship in two weeks.
Movie rentals for those with patience
From CNN's Dan Simon
Apple plans to start offering rentals of a thousand films by the end of next month. Movies will be available 30 days after they come out on DVD.
Jobs said they got participation of all of the major movie studios.
The movies will play on iPods, iPhones, Macs and PCs.
Renters will have 30 days to watch the movie, but will only have 24 hours to finish it.
New releases will cost $3.99, while older tiles will be $2.99.
Four big things
From CNN's Dan Simon
Steve Jobs takes the stage dressed in his customary jeans and a long-sleeved black T-shirt. He tells the thousands of people in the audience that Apple made "extraordinary" accomplishments in 2007.
Jobs says he wants to talk about four things in today's speech.
First there's Leopard, the company's newest operating system. He says 5 million copies have been delivered, making it the most successful Mac OS 10 release.
He also introduces a new product called "Time Capsule" -- a wireless network and hard drive combined. You can back up notebook or desktop wirelessly to Time Capsule. Coming in two forms, 500 gig= $299 and 1 TB model= $499, ships in February.
Jobs said 4 million iPhones have sold in the 200 days it's been on the market. He said it has 20 percent market share in the U.S. smartphone category.
New iPhone features include maps with location, webclips, customized home screens, SMS multiple people at once, chapters, subtitles, and languages for videos.
Waiting ...
From CNN's Dan Simon

There are just a few minutes to go before Steve Jobs' keynote, and the doors of the convention hall are still closed. Thousands of journalists are waiting outside. So far, the only clues to what is coming is a big Apple poster that says "2008, There's something in the air."
Hope and hype at Macworld
Apple's Steve Jobs is getting ready to give his annual keynote address at the Macworld Conference in San Francisco. Jobs has used the speech to introduce new products and services in the past (take last year's unveiling of the iPhone) and Apple works hard to keep the announcements under wraps.
There's no live video coverage of the event, so CNN's Dan Simon will be sending us updates from the conference hall.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Live Blog: Britney Spears/K-Fed in court
CNN Producer Jack Hannah is live at the Los Angeles Superior Court this morning coordinating CNN's coverage of the latest in the Britney Spears-Kevin Federline child custody case. He is contributing reports throughout the day as events unfold at the courthouse.

5:02 p.m PT

We finally know what the court decided.

In a press conference outside the courthouse, we were told that the ruling from January 4th, which states that Spears is to have no visitation rights, will continue to be enforced.

In other words, we spent the day reporting from court that there's nothing new to report.

The next court date on the schedule is February 19th.

4:33 p.m PT

Everyone has exited the courtroom. Federline's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, said there will be a press conference "eventually" today outside the courthouse.

Anne Kiley, one of Brit's attorneys, said she had "no comment."

3:41 p.m PT

Kevin Federline's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, just went back into the courtroom. On his way in, he told us that it's "quite possible" that he'll speak to the press AFTER today's proceedings are over.

In other words, be prepared for a press conference outside the courthouse later...

Meanwhile, court spokesperson Allan Parachini just told us that there will likely be four witnesses TOTAL today and that it's "not clear" whether or not there will be any proceedings tomorrow.

3:24 p.m PT

All attorneys for both sides just left the courtroom, Kaplan told reporters "we'll be back."
When, we're not so sure...

3:00 p.m PT

According to Public Information Officer, Meredeth Pierce, attorneys are through witness #3 out of eight (she "thinks" there's 8 total). So, most likely, there will be more to come tomorrow.

1:58 p.m PT:

15-20 police officers, 20-25 members of the media... waiting.
First, Brit's lawyers arrive... then, K-Fed and his entourage arrives...

Security guards assume their positions. The media gathers.
"Is she in the building?"
"TMZ says she's here!"
"What, she's gone!?"
"No, she's on her way up right now."
"No, she's gone, she's on the 101...she left."
The Public Information Officer tells the media "to the best of my knowledge, she's left."

It's 1:55p, court is back in session... without Britney.

1:45 p.m PT:

Kevin Federline is just now arriving at court while at the same time, we're being told by court spokesperson, Allan Parachini, that Britney is leaving.

1:26 p.m PT:

Tension is growing as Britney's arrival is imminent. Officers just told us there will be absolutely no photography in the courthouse and if they witness any they will take cameras away.

1:15 p.m PT:

Security at the courthouse is being beefed up in anticipation of Britney's arrival. By my count, there are six sheriff's department deputies as well as two additional security officers.

In an odd twist of events, I'm hearing word that both security and Spears' attorneys are learning about what she's doing and her movements via the media outlets.

12:32 p.m PT:

We're told that court will resume after lunch at around 1 p.m. PT.

There seems to be a lot of chatter around here (mostly media types) about what Britney needs to do. "Britney needs to do this." "Britney needs to hire so-and-so." "Britney needs to stop with the fast food and cigarettes." "Britney needs to move back to Louisiana and stay there."

Suddenly we are surrounded by Britney experts.

12:11 p.m PT:

One of Britney Spears' attorneys, Sorrell Trope, told reporter's he's "hopeful" that Britney will show up this afternoon.

The court is breaking for lunch.

11:32 a.m PT:

On her way back into the courtroom, Anne Kiley, an attorney from the Spears camp, said she had "no comment" when asked if she knew if Britney is going to show up.

Members of the media out here are now commenting how nice Anne Kiley's shoes are.

11:20 a.m PT:

Members of the media have been asked multiple times to keep the noise down. Apparently there are other cases being heard at this courthouse. Go figure.

10:32 a.m PT:

The attorneys for both sides are taking a short break.

Federline's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, walked briskly past members of the media and held up both hands as if to say, "Back away, I have nothing to say yet."

There are media outlets from all over the world. As I type this, a lady is sitting next to me speaking German.

10:23 a.m PT:

What time Britney Spears arrives at court depends on who you talk to.
At first we were hearing that Spears wouldn't show until 1:30 p.m. Now People.com is reporting on their site that she has "no plans" to attend.

I asked the People reporter here and he says it's not his source so he can't confirm that.

9:20 a.m. PT:

We just got kicked out of court after a minute or so.

After a motion was granted to clear the court by judge Scott Gordon, a reporter for gossip site TMZ.com sighed, prompting Gordon to respond, "Ma'am, do you have a problem with that motion? Well, maybe next time you'll find a nicer way of expressing it."

Kevin Federline arrived around 9:03 a.m. surrounded by what I'm told are bodyguards and witnesses (about six or seven). He's sporting a mohawk and wearing a navy suit. He seemed very calm. Not suprisingly, it's crowded -- so far, no sign of Britney.


Best Globes ever?
The Golden Globes went by so fast last night, I thought I'd left my remote on fast-forward.

And yet, could this be the wave of the future?

Consider: No acceptance speeches. Short clips (some of them couldn't have been any more than a second or two). Just a list of nominees, the name of the winner, occasional chat and on to the next one.

What if the Oscars tried this?

As an aside in talking about the importance of the writers' strike, Don Cheadle observed that the Oscar ratings have been declining for years. Commentators have pointed out any number of reasons for that -- a lack of rooting interest in nominees, a culture inundated with celebrities -- but a biggie is bloat. The awards simply go on forever.

It's not the speeches, either. It's all the musical numbers, and routines, and presenter patter, and the "why film is important" segments. What if the Oscars consisted of a red-carpet fashion show, a recitation of winners, a bunch of after-parties and called it a night?

As NBC (yes, I was watching NBC ... old habits die hard) moved on to "American Gladiators" after the Globes, a friend looked at me and asked, "Could this have been the best Globes ever?"

Occasional musings and gab about the world of entertainment.
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