October 2012 Archives

Disney buys Lucasfilm

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The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that it agreed to buy Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Associated Press reported that Disney is planning on releasing a trilogy of new "Star Wars" films. New films will be come out every two or three years, and the first one will be released in 2015.

Six "Star Wars" movies have been released, and the last was in 2005.

"I'm doing this so that the films will have a longer life," George Lucas, the creator of "Star Wars" said in a YouTube interview. "I get to be a fan now ... I sort of look forward to it. It's a lot more fun actually, than having to go out into the mud and snow."

Analysis: Multimedia Videos

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I decided to compare ESPN's multimedia content to Yahoo! Sports's multimedia content. ESPN has a lot of videos on its website that appeared on TV. There are clips that feature commentary's by their on-air personalities, clips that feature highlights and many other videos.

Yahoo! Sports seems to have less videos, but they seem to have similar content. This makes sense because Yahoo! Sports isn't in the industry of producing 24-hours of video content a day.

Many of Yahoo! Sports videos aren't associated with specific articles whereas a lot of videos on ESPN's website can be found on the same page as an article. I find the writing in videos to be more straightforward and to the point. It doesn't need to have the same amount of detail as an article because viewers can see images.

Although not the case on either of these two websites, a lot of websites have the same text in the article as they do in the video. I think that the multimedia aspect should be separate from the article; it should be used to either a) complement the article or b) present the information. I don't need the same different information in two different formats. Often times I'll read an article and then go to click on the link and be disappointed when the video is the exact same as the text.

China blocks New York Times website

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Authorities in China have blocked access to the English and Chinese New York Times websites after the Times ran an article about Premier Wen Jiabao's family wealth, CNN reported.

The article, written by David Barboza, said his relatives "have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion." Barboza cited corporate and regulatory records in the article.

According to the New York Times, the English and Chinese New York Times websites are hosted on servers that are not located within mainland China.

Lawyers for Wen's family said the reports was incorrect, according to the Washington Post.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will close down the subway, commuter rail and bus service Sunday night in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the MTA will begin to shut down at Subway service at 7 p.m. Sunday and bus service will stop at 9 p.m., CNN reported.

"A situation like this, you don't want to be overly panicked and overly prepared, but you want to be prudent and you want to do what is necessary," Cuomo told reporters, according to CNN.

The BBC reported that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the worst of the storm would hit New York City on Monday.

Romney within margin of error

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Star Tribune poll results released Sunday revealed that Republican candidate Mitt Romney is three points behind President Barack Obama in Minnesota, which is within the poll's 3.5-point margin of error.

The Star Tribune contacted 800 likely Minnesota voters and the results revealed that Obama has support from 47% of voters and Romney has support from 44%.

The Washington Post reported that a "senior Obama adviser" who requested to remain anonymous is confident that Minnesota will not be a problem for President Obama.

The state has the longest streak in the country of voting for a Democratic presidential candidate.

Nelson leads Gophers to victory

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True freshman Philip Nelson led the Gophers to a 44-28 victory over Purdue on Oct. 27 at TCF Bank Stadium.

The win was Minnesota's first in Big Ten play of the season and puts it one win away from being bowl eligible. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that it would be the first time it was bowl eligible since 2009.

Nelson had 246 passing yards on the day and threw three touchdowns in the first half in just his second collegiate game. The Gophers scored 34 points in the first half.

Minnesota's top receiver A.J. Barker left the game with an ankle injury, but the Minnesota Daily reported that he is "cautiously optimistic," that he will play next Saturday against Michigan.

Apple introduces iPad Mini

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Apple introduced the iPad Mini at an Oct. 23 event in San Jose, Calif. The new iPad will be 53% lighter than the regular one.

The New York Times reported that the device will be 7.9 inches diagonally and will compete with Google, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, all of which have similarly-sized tablets of their own.

According to the Washington Post, many other tablets that are the same size cost consumers about $199. Apple's new iPad will start at 16 GB and will cost $329.

The Washington Post also reported that Apple picked the dimensions of the iPad Mini to "fit the ratio of the larger iPad so that developers could scale their apps to fit well on the iPad Mini.

Analysis: Three Killed in Shooting In Wisconsin

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In the New York Times article "Three Killed in Shooting at Spa in Wisconsin," the reporter used the inverted pyramid. Just by reading the lede, the reader knows who (three people dead, four injured), what (a shooting in Wisconsin), where (a spa in the Milwaukee suburbs), when (Sunday) and why (three people died because a gunman opened fire).

This is an effective application of the inverted pyramid. All of the important details are in the lede. If readers stopped reading after that one sentence, they would know essentially all of the critical details. The suspect's name is listed in the fifth paragraph. That is important information but since readers likely do not know the man, it does not need to be in the first paragraph.

I think the writer, Michael Schwirtz, could have had the suspect's name listed in the third paragraph. The only thing I would have done differently is moving up the suspect's name. It would have made sense in the third paragraph because he was talking about the suspect's death.

Other information, such as the fact that a different gunman had opened fire in the same suburb in 2005, is pertinent to the article but it does not need to be near the top. Schwirtz recognized this and concluded with that fact.

I think he summarized the important details effectively. He interviewed a witness but made sure to put that information after all of the important facts. The interview is important to the article but Schwirtz recognized that with an article like this, it had to be grounded in facts first.

Minnesota assistant basketball coach put on leave

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Saul Smith, an assistant coach with the University of Minnesota's men's basketball team, was put on leave after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early Saturday morning, USA Today reported.

Smith, 32, is the son of head coach Tubby Smith. He has held his present job since 2007, the year his father took over at the helm of the Gophers.

The Minnesota Daily reported that Smith was put on "indefinite administrative leave," and that he will appear in court on Dec. 3.

"While we do not want to rush to judgment before the legal process proceeds, coach Tubby Smith and I are taking this matter seriously," athletics director Norwood Teague said in a release.

In July, the team's star, Trevor Mbakwe was arrested on a drunken driving charge.

Passenger steamboats return to St. Paul

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Passenger steamboats will return to St. Paul after four years, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

American Queen, a 436-passenger vessel, will once again be making the trek from St. Louis to St. Paul to show off the fall foliage along the Mississippi River.

According to the the Burlington Hawk Eye, the American Queen was built in 1995 and is the largest passenger ship to float along the upper Mississippi River.

The Queen of the Mississippi, a brand-new 150-passenger ship run by the company American Cruise Lines will also make stops in St. Paul this fall.

Red Sox looking into tapping John Farrell as manager

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ESPN reported that the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays were in negotiations Friday. Blue Jays manager John Farrell is at the center of those negotiations.

According to the Associated Press, the Red Sox have asked the Blue Jays for permission to talk to Farrell about their managerial position. Farrell has one year left on his contract.

The Red Sox fired their manager, Bobby Valentine, after they finished 69-93 and last in the American League East. Valentine took over the job on Dec. 1, 2012.

Farrell is very familiar with the Red Sox. He was Boston's pitching coach from 2006-10 and he just completed his second season as the manager of the Blue Jays, a frequent opponent.

Israel seizes ship heading to Gaza

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The Israeli navy has seized a ship headed toward Gaza Strip. Reuters reported that the ship was carrying 30 "international pro-Palestinian activist[s]."

According to CNN, the ship was 30 nautical miles from Gaza when it was seized.

An segment of the Israeli military statement said numerous calls were made to the passengers and the navy boarded the ship because of "their unwillingness to cooperate," CNN reported.

The ship was diverted to the Port of Ashdod and the passengers were taken into custody for questioning.

Israel has imposed a naval blockade on Gaza since 2009 because it is worried that arms will be smuggled into the Palestinian area. Gaza is governed by Hamas, which Israel--and the United States, amongst other countries--considers a terrorist organization.

NHL cancels games through Nov. 1

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The National Hockey League has wiped out another week of games, the New York Times reported.

So far, 135 games have been cancelled through Nov. 1. USA Today reported that for a full slate of 82 games to be played, the players and owners must come to a new collective bargaining agreement by next Thursday.

On Tuesday, the NHL submitted a new proposal which was rejected by the players association. Thursday, the NHL rejected three counterproposals from the NHLPA.

Commissioner Gary Bettman told media that the two sides were "not speaking the same language," when addressing the counterproposals.

Analysis: Baumgartner makes record freefall

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In the ESPN article, "Baumgartner makes record freefall," the writer, Megan Michelson, used three sources. The sources she named are Felix Baumgartner, the subject of the article, Joe Kittinger, Baumgartner's mentor, and Robert Hager, a news broadcaster.

Michelson scatters quotes throughout the article, although the first three paragraphs are simply setting the stage and do not have quotes. After the first three paragraphs, quotes appear in almost every other paragraph. The article is short and there are plenty of quotes, but aside from one quote from Baumgartner about the experience, none of the quotes are particularly informative.

The information is from people, although it is not clear if Michelson talked to all of the sources or if she used their quotes from the televised broadcast. She made sure to specify when each quotes was spoken (i.e. "Baumgartner said beforehand") and the quotes are effectively placed throughout the article, although, as stated above, the quotes are not great.

Most of the quotes used are direct quotes, but Michelson does use some paraphrasing. The paraphrasing ("Baumgartner said his visor fogged up.") makes the article stronger because it includes important information but avoids yet another weak quote.

Man stabbed near Candlestick Park

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A man headed to the San Francisco 49ers game was stabbed and wounded seriously near Candlestick Park, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The victim, whose name has yet to be released, was stabbed in the torso. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive, the police said.

The victim was walking with a group of five friends when he was approached by two suspects. The suspects, also 49ers fans, got into a verbal altercation with the group, which led to the stabbing, according to the Silicon Valley Mercury News.

Last Sunday, a Chicago Bears fan was fatally stabbed at a Jacksonville bar before the Bears beat the Jaguars 41-3.

Turkey bans Syrian aircrafts from entering airspace

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Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, banned all Syrian aircrafts from entering Turkey's airspace, according to the BBC. Davutoglu made his announcement a day after Syria imposed the same ban on Turkey.

The New York Times reported that in his televised comments, Davutoglu "accused Syria of using civilian flights as a cover for transporting military equipment."

Wednesday, Turkey intercepted a plane headed to Demascus, Syria. The plane was forced to land in Ankara, Turkey because Turkish officials believed the plane was transporting weapons from Russia. Both Russia and Syria denied that claim.

The two countries were once allies, but Turkey has supported the rebel effort to take down Bashar al-Assad, Syria's president.

Former senator Arlen Specter dead at 82

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Arlen Specter, a former U.S. senator died Sunday, the New York Times reported. Specter was 82.

His son Shanin told the Associated Press that he died because of complications from non-Hodgkin lymphoma at his Philadelphia home.

Specter served as a Pennslyvania senator from for 30 years from 1981-2011. He was known as a political moderate, but was an elected Republican. In 2010, he switched parties but lost in the Democratic primary for senator.

During his early political career, Specter worked on the Warren Commission investigating John F. Kennedy's assassination. He then served as a District Attorney of Philadelphia from 1966-1974 before unsuccessfully running for senator and governor. Specter won a Senate seat in 1981 and would become the longest-serving senator in state history.

Two men died early Sunday when their car crashed into Lake Mille Lacs, the Star Tribune reported.

Minnesota State Patrol said that alcohol was a factor in the crash that killed the driver, Andrew Nickaboine, 37, of Minneapolis, and Ronald Dorr, 42, of Columbia, Minn. Nickaboine and Dorr were pronounced dead at the Onamia Hospital.

A third man, Keegan Morrison, 32, was taken to the hospital with injuries that were non-life threatening. Morrison was sitting in the back seat of the car, which crossed over U.S. Highway 169 into a ditch before rolling into the lake.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Nickaboine wasn't wearing a seat belt, but the other passengers were.

Vikings to play home game in London in 2013

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The Minnesota Vikings will call Wembley Stadium home for one game next season, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has learned.

The NFL is expected to release the Vikings' opponent and the date of the game Tuesday at the owners meetings in Chicago. The Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers will also play a game in London next season.

The Vikings haven't played internationally since 1994. From 1983-94, the team played four exhibition games abroad, including one in London.

If the game goes well, there is a possibility that the Vikings might play another game in London the following year, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the next archive.

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