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Welcome To The Future Of Media – “Distribution” is bigger…

admin » 04 January 2012 » In Internet, Marketing, Social Media, Tech News, Uncategorized » No Comments

Welcome To The Future Of Media – “Distribution” is bigger…

Welcome To The Future Of Media - Distribution is bigger...

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Roche to Face Hollywood Stars Sheen, Dennehy in New Jersey Accutane Trial

admin » 02 August 2010 » In Defective Products, Legal News, Mass Tort, Uncategorized » No Comments

Roche to Face Hollywood Stars Sheen, Dennehy in New Jersey Accutane Trial

Roche Holding AG faces a lineup of Hollywood stars in the New Jersey trial of an actor’s lawsuit alleging he suffered the loss of his colon after taking the company’s Accutane acne drug.

James Marshall, who played U.S. Marine Louden Downey in the 1992 hit movie “A Few Good Men,” claims his acting career was derailed by his use of Accutane, which Roche no longer sells. Marshall will ask a jury to award at least $11 million in damages at a trial starting next week that will feature testimony from stars such as Martin Sheen and Brian Dennehy, according to court filings.

Sheen, Dennehy and director Rob Reiner will testify that Marshall, 43, was headed for stardom before bowel ailments allegedly caused by Accutane forced doctors to remove his colon, Michael Hook, the actor’s lawyer, said in an interview. Basel, Switzerland-based Roche faces thousands of lawsuits claiming it failed to warn patients that the drug could cause inflammatory bowel disease in some users, Hook said.

“The jury will hear that James Marshall had the potential to be the next James Dean-like star,” Hook said. “That dream is gone because he took something to treat acne.”

Roche said today that Accutane’s safety label has warned about the risks of inflammatory bowel disease for more than 20 years.

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Remembering Howard Twiggs

admin » 09 March 2010 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Remembering Howard Twiggs

With utmost sadness we inform you of the passing of our beloved friend, mentor, and past president Howard Twiggs. Howard passed away this morning in Raleigh, NC. Our AAJ hearts are breaking.

A lawyer’s lawyer, a legislator’s legislator, a leader of leaders, we mourn the passing of a seeker of justice and one of the world’s sweetest people. Howard’s joy of life infected everyone he ever met. He made us better because he believed we could be better. Howard’s passion for service and his absolute commitment to the justice system had no rival.

Howard served the people and the law. He served as President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now American Association for Justice) in 1996–97, and served as President of the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (now North Carolina Advocates for Justice), where he was a member of the Board of Directors for 34 years. He was a director of Roscoe Pound Civil Justice Institute in Washington, D.C. for 20 years and served as president for two years. Howard began his practice in his hometown of Raleigh in 1957, establishing his own firm, now Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland & Rabenau, P.A., in 1960.

In the North Carolina legislature Howard was a champion of persons whose voices often are not heard. His major legislative accomplishments included improving protection for the disabled and injured citizens of North Carolina, rewriting the laws relating to mental health, and, in 1969, removing all references to race from state laws. He served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1966 to 1974, serving as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in 1973–74. During his time as chair of the State Building Code Committee, the North Carolina Building Code was rewritten, making buildings, sidewalks, vehicular parking, and other areas accessible to the handicapped.

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Microsoft Gazelle Could Take On Google Chrome OS

admin » 13 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Microsoft Gazelle Could Take On Google Chrome OS

Microsoft’s ace in the hole in its upcoming battle against Google Chrome OS, the search giant’s new browser-based operating system, could be a browser-OS hybrid project code-named Gazelle. As more and more applications move into the cloud, the need for a browser-based OS, one that can intelligently interface with a PC while managing Web resources, may become more intensive than ever for both Microsoft and Google as they compete for market share.

The media cycle of past few days has been dominated by word of Microsoft’s apparently imminent demise at the hands of Google Chrome OS, the search-engine giant’s newly announced operating system initially intended for mininotebooks, known popularly as “netbooks.”

While predictions of the death of Windows may be premature, Microsoft may already be in the midst of developing a competitor to Google’s stripped-down operating system, a project code-named Gazelle.

Microsoft has offered no official comment on Chrome OS, nor has it mentioned any potential release dates for a netbook-oriented operating system. However, it may feel pressure to respond to Google in order to hold its substantial market share in the netbook arena, which may erode if Chrome OS provides a satisfactory user experience.

“Google Chrome OS is not a full-frontal assault on Microsoft Windows, but instead coming at it from one side,” Ray Valdes, an analyst with Gartner, told eWEEK. “Google’s usual approach is to narrow the scope and solve one part of the problem in a deep way. We saw that with Google Maps and to a lesser extent with Gmail and Chrome browser.”

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Is Voicemail Dead?

admin » 09 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Is Voicemail Dead?

Taylor Davis, 20, a college student waiting tables in Wellesley for the summer, waits days to listen to her voice mail messages and, even then, checks her inbox only when she’s bored.

“Usually it’s from my boss or people wanting me to pick up shifts,’’ she said, shrugging off missed opportunities, “or from my mom or my aunts. They like to talk a lot.’’

Ja-Nae Duane, 32, CEO of Wild Women Entrepreneurs and Ja-Nae Duane Ventures, in Woburn, deletes many of her voice mails without even listening. “What I really hate are the soliloquies,’’ she said. “I spend more time listening to your message than I do responding to it.’’

Brian Walshe, 32, a Boston-based international art dealer, keeps his phone’s mailbox full to ward off new messages. The maneuver annoys those who want to reach him, but he estimates it saves him 30 minutes a day. “People complain,’’ he said. “Everyone likes to leave a message.’’

The problem is, these days, not many people like to listen to them.

In an age of ever-speedier communications, a growing number of people are unwilling to endure voice mail’s shortcomings. Some can’t stand the endless prompts just to hear a longwinded – and often pointless – message. (Hi, it’s me. Why aren’t you picking up? I’ll call you later.) Others dislike voice mails that can’t be searched, easily forwarded, or surreptitiously played during a meeting or lecture. And on the off chance a message does contain key information, it’s often left at the end of a ramble and spoken rapidly, forcing the recipient to listen all over again. And then write it down, of course.

In other words, after the beep, please don’t leave a message. Or do so at risk of being ignored.

More than 30 percent of voice mail messages remain unheard for three days or longer, according to uReach Technologies, which designs voice messaging systems for Verizon and other phone companies. And more than 20 percent of people with messages in their mailboxes rarely check them, said Saul Einbinder, the firm’s senior vice president for marketing and business development.

A little more than 25 years after it caught on in offices and homes, voice mail has developed what could be called a Norma Desmond problem. “I am big,’’ the silent-screen star famously says in the film “Sunset Boulevard.’’ “It’s the pictures that got small.’’ The same idea applies to voice mail. “Traditional voice mail hasn’t changed,’’ Einbinder said, “but it has become less acceptable because everything around it has changed. We’ve been very conditioned these last few years with instant forms of communication.’’

A survey done for Sprint by Opinion Research Corporation found that with the exception of people age 65 and over, adults respond more quickly to a text message than to a voice message. Those under the age of 30 are four times more likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice mail. Adults 30 and older are twice as likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice message, according to the survey.

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Google to launch Chrome operating system

admin » 08 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

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Google to launch Chrome operating system

On Tuesday night, Google announced plans on its blog to launch Google Chrome OS, an operating system designed to directly challenge Microsoft’s Windows. The software is projected to be available to the public in about a year.

“This is a direct attack on Microsoft’s revenue base,” Rob Enderle, a technology analyst in San Jose who consults for the Seattle software company, told the L.A. Times. “Microsoft’s Windows operating system platform and its Internet Explorer browser are the keystone products the empire is built on.”

But how will it work? Our tech blog reports:
Google Chrome OS, the operating system, is designed to work with the company’s Chrome Web browser, launched nine months ago and downloaded by 30 million users. Google said the software will be optimized for small, lightweight laptop computers called netbooks, a fast-selling category of inexpensive machines that sell for as little as $250 and are used primarily to surf the Web and check e-mail.

In a blog post announcing the product, Google’s vice president of product management, Sundar Pichai, and engineering director Linus Upson made heavenly promises about speedy start-up times and a minimal, out-of-the-way user interface. But the really exciting — or, if you’re Microsoft, unnerving, thing was this:

We are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

Microsoft has been so plagued by security issues that they have their own, regular security intelligence report that tracks which of its operating systems is the most vulnerable to attack. (Good news for Vista owners, bad news if you’re using Windows XP).

With all of the troubles Microsoft has had, you might think it’s impossible to build a secure operating system. But since Apple has managed it, why shouldn’t Google be able to do the same?


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Henry Blodget: Sorry, There’s No Way To Save The TV Business

admin » 06 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Henry Blodget: Sorry, There’s No Way To Save The TV Business

The traditional TV industry–cable companies, networks, and broadcasters–is where the newspaper industry was about five years ago:

In denial.

There are murmurings on the edges about how longstanding business models will come under pressure as Internet distribution takes over. But, so far, the revenue and profits are hanging in there, so the big TV companies don’t really care.

Specifically, the TV industry’s attitude is the same as the newspaper industry’s attitude was circa 2002-2003: Stop calling us dinosaurs: We get digital; We’re growing our digital businesses; We’re investing in digital platforms; People still recall ads even when they fast-foward through them on DVRs; There’s no subtitute for TV ads. And traditional TV isn’t going away: Just look at our revenue and profits!

After saying all this same stuff for years, the newspaper industry figured out the hard way that, eventually, reality intrudes, that you can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle. And over the next 5-10 years, the TV industry will figure this out, too.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell:

As with print-based media, Internet-based distribution generates only a tiny fraction of the revenue and profit that today’s incumbent cable, broadcast, and satellite distribution models do. As Internet-based distribution gains steam, therefore, most TV industry incumbents will no longer be able to support their existing cost structures.

Specifically, TV business models for the past half-century, from broadcast to cable to satellite, have been built on the following foundation:

* Not much else to do at home that’s as simple and fun as TV
* No way to get video content other than via TV
* No options other than TV for advertisers who want to tell video stories
* No options other than cable–and, more recently, satellite–to get TV
* Tight choke-points in each market through which all video content has to flow (cable company, airwaves), which creates enormous value for the owners of those gates.

And now, slowly but surely, look what’s happening:

* Other simple and fun options emerging at home: Internet, video games, Facebook, IM, DVDs
* New ways to get TV content other than traditional TV companies: Hulu, YouTube, iTunes, Netflix
* Video-story options for advertisers beginning to emerge: Hulu shows, for example (But NBC, et al, making a lot less per viewer now than they do on TV)
* More options for getting video content: telcos, cable cos, wireless cos (soon)
* Fewer choke points in each market: With an Internet connection anywhere in the world, you will soon be able to get to almost anything. And not just to your computer–to your television.

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Aqua-Leisure Inflatable Baby Floats Recalled

admin » 02 July 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Aqua-Leisure Inflatable Baby Floats Recalled

A voluntary recall of Aqua-Leisure Inflatable Baby Floats was announced today by The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Aqua-Leisure. They urge consumers to stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed

Aqua-Leisure has recalled about 4 million baby floats due to a risk of drowning. The report warns leg straps in the seat of the float may tear, which can lead to children unexpectedly falling into the water.

The floats have been sold at major retailers nationwide, including Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Wal-Mart, Dollar General, Kmart, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, and Bed, Bath & Beyond from December 2002 through June 2009.

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Drug cos at odds with FDA over acetaminophen risk

admin » 30 June 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Drug cos at odds with FDA over acetaminophen risk

Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and other manufacturers on Monday said cough and cold drugs with the pain reliever acetaminophen should stay on the market despite concerns from U.S. regulators.

While the Food and Drug Administration is weighing a ban on such combination products — often marketed to consumers with colds or other mild illnesses, the industry instead urged a widespread effort to warn buyers about the risks of liver damage linked to the ingredient.

“We believe there is a clear public health benefit with OTC (over-the-counter) products containing acetaminophen,” Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) President Linda Suydam, whose group represents the two companies along with others, told an FDA advisory panel meeting to discuss the risks.

Too much acetaminophen has been known to cause liver injury for decades, but FDA officials are worried that the rise of products that combine it with other medications can lead consumers unknowingly to overdose by taking too much of a medication or taking too many different products at once.

The agency called for stronger liver warnings earlier this year but is seeking advice from outside experts at a two-day meeting on whether such over-the-counter and prescription combination drugs can safely remain on the U.S. market.

A total ban on combination products could dent sales of acetaminophen-containing products, which were $2.6 billion in 2008, the FDA said, citing IMS Health. Nearly 80 percent of that stems from combination products sold directly to consumers, it said.

Impact could be especially significant for Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare division, which CHPA said makes up 27 percent of the sector with its Tylenol brand as well as its Sudafed and Benadryl products.

Some of Procter & Gamble’s NyQuil, Vicks Formula 44 and other nonprescription medications contain acetaminophen. Other companies that make related products include Bayer AG, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Perrigo Co, Schering Plough and Wyeth.

Some prescription medications also contain the ingredient, including Abbott Laboratories’ Vicodin and Endo Pharmaceuticals’ Percocet. Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc is also seeking to sell injectable acetaminophen.

Other possible FDA actions include reducing the amount of medicine sold in packages, lowering the available strengths for over-the-counter products, and adding a strong, black-box warning on prescription medications.

Industry representatives said most overdoses result from people trying to commit suicide and that more deaths were seen with prescription versions than over-the-counter ones.

In April, the FDA ordered bolder warnings about the liver damage risk with acetaminophen products to highlight them better for consumers, and companies agreed to comply.

But a further ban on certain products would be “overly drastic,” said Paul Desjardins, a vice president for Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

Instead, the FDA should require approval of nonprescription acetaminophen products before they could be sold, Desjardins told the panel. Wyeth, known for its widely-used ibuprofen pain medication Advil, also sells Robitussin Cough Cold & Flu and Dristan Cold over-the-counter products with acetaminophen.

FDA officials consider the ingredient safe when taken as directed but worry that the number of liver failure cases that continue to be reported despite various interventions since the 1990s show “overdose remains a serious public health problem,” the agency said in a memo released before the meeting.

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Matrixx recalls Zicam nasal cold products

admin » 24 June 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

Matrixx recalls Zicam nasal cold products

Matrixx Initiatives Inc. said Wednesday it started a previously announced recall of Zicam nasal cold remedies following last week’s Food and Drug Administration warning that the products were unsafe.

Meanwhile, the company is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the FDA warning letter.

The Scottsdale, Ariz., company said the recall was voluntary. Still, it occurred as the FDA warned consumers to not use the nasal cold remedies due to hundreds of reports of patients losing their sense of smell. Matrixx said it disagrees with the FDA’s safety warning, but “voluntarily” recalled the product to cooperate with the regulatory agency.

The FDA also alleges the products were unlawfully marketed. Matrixx also disagrees with that allegation.

“The company is also in the process of preparing a submission to the FDA and, as previously reported, will soon ask to meet with the agency to present comprehensive scientific and medical data and analyses demonstrating that these products are safe,” Matrixx said, in a statement.

On June 16, the FDA issued the recall notice for Zicam products, which accounted for 40 percent of Matrixx’s sales last year. The regulatory agency said the products contain zinc, which could damage nerves in the nose needed for smell.

Matrixx has settled hundreds of lawsuits connected with Zicam in recent years, though it maintains the nasal spray does not harm users’ sense of smell.

Shares of Matrixx rose 3 cents to $4.86 in morning trading. The stock has lost three-quarters of its value since the FDA issued its warning last week.

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