The view from my run this afternoon:
Today’s pace was 41 seconds faster than Monday’s run. I cut 4:07 of Sunday’s three-miler. Tomorrow I’m going to run at a different place, flatter, but with more boring views. I’m going to run farther, and probably slower.
We went back to Ulta today, the store I just learned about yesterday, because there was something there of a cosmetic nature we did not pick up yesterday.
Technology is great, not only does my phone time and map my runs and give me various breakdowns of the poor splits therein, it also gives me an excuse to stand near the front of the story and just scroll through things. I can give off the disinterested vibe without making anyone feel uncomfortable about their choices.
“Oh, no, not that blush, dear,” he never said to any stranger, “it will never work with your complexion.”
Things to read … because this stuff matches your tones.
The one everyone is talking about, Sony Pictures Cancels Holiday Release of ‘The Interview’ After Threats:
The film’s collapse stirred considerable animosity among Hollywood companies and players. Theater owners were angry that they had been boxed into leading the pullback. Executives at competing studios privately complained that Sony should have acted sooner or avoided making the film altogether. To depict the killing of a sitting world leader, comically or otherwise, is virtually without precedent in major studio movies, film historians say.
And some Sony employees and producers, many of whom have had personal information published for the world to see, bitterly complained that they had been jeopardized to protect the creative prerogatives of Mr. Rogen and Mr. Goldberg.
The multiplex operators made their decision in the face of pressure from malls, which worried that a terror threat could affect the end of the holiday shopping season.
That movie cost $44 million to make, but the losses directly stemming from Sony’s entire cyber nightmare are piling up much higher. Sony’s Very, Very Expensive Hack:
(T)he corporate hack seems likely to be among the most expensive of all time – up there with the 2014 Target breach (price tag: about $110 million), TJX’s 2007 hack (about $250 million), and Sony’s 2011 Playstation hack (about $170 million).
It’s still too early to know just how badly the hack might hurt Sony’s bottom line, especially given that the hackers keep on putting out new leaks and new threats. But some early estimates of the corporate damage have started to trickle out. And $150 or $300 million does not seem like a bad guess at the moment, meaning the hack might wipe out half of the Sony pictures unit’s 2013 profits.
Big federal money coming into UAB … UAB’s annual NIH funding up 20 percent:
The University of Alabama at Birmingham received $225 million in federal research funding from the National Institutes of Health during the 2014 fiscal year, which places the school 10th in NIH funding among public universities.
That total is up 20 percent from last year when UAB secured $188 million in NIH funding.
And smaller amounts, too … Meet the 5-year-old Ohio boy who sent his $1 allowance to try to save UAB football.
Rouble turmoil leads to Apple halting online sales in Russia:
The company stopped sales of its iPhones, iPads and other products in the country after a day in which the currency went into free-fall.
The rouble has lost more than 20% this week, despite a dramatic decision to raise interest rates from 10.5% to 17%.
By afternoon trade the rouble was flat with one dollar buying 68 roubles.
Its all time low, set on Wednesday, saw one dollar buying as many as 79 roubles.
Apple last month increased its prices in Russia by 20% after the weakening rouble left products in the country cheaper than in the rest of Europe.
That’s some serious volatility.
The amounts at play here are interesting. NowThis Media Raises Another $6M To Deliver Video News Stories In Less Than A Minute:
(T)he startup has become focused on “being a distributed media company and finding audiences where they live.” In other words, it’s less focused on drawing audiences to the NowThis mobile app and website, and more on finding viewers on social media.
Apparently the strategy is paying off — Mills said the company was seeing 1 million monthly video views as recently as early summer of this year, but it was up to 40 million monthly views in November. NowThis has also launched NowThis Studio, a division focused on branded content, and it acquired another startup, Cliptamatic.
That acquisition provided the foundation for a new platform called Switchboard, which is scheduled to launch early in 2015.
NowThis seems to work better in the app than in the browser, a good first step for social reach. I just watched four videos on it. Things move fast there. You get context, but not a complete story. There’s a fine idea there, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it matures.