Tag Archives: department

Universal sets screenwriters loose on Twitter – helped Ted to gross near $200 million

The teddy bear’s first tweet, from an account called @WhatTedSaid set up by the Universal Pictures marketing department, was “Hello, Twitter. Kindly go f— yourself.”

The author of the greeting was Alec Sulkin, co-screenwriter of the R-rated comedy “Ted,” who together with his collaborator Wellesley Wild was paid extra by the studio to build buzz on social media ahead of the film’s June 29 release. Who better to embody the random musings of a foul-mouthed stuffed animal than the writers of the script? The suits left them alone.

“The parameters were, ‘Just go to town,’ ” says Doug Neil, Universal’s senior vice president of digital marketing. The tweeting started March 30, two days before the “red band” (uncensored) trailer appeared online, depicting the namesake bear smoking weed, cuddling with co-star Mark Wahlberg and pantomiming suggestive acts for a supermarket checkout girl.

It worked spectacularly. Tracking polls, which movie executives rely on to guide box office expectations, suggested an opening-weekend gross of $35 million to $40 million for the film, which was co-written and directed by Seth McFarlane, creator of “Family Guy,” who also provided the voice for Ted. Instead, “Ted” generated $54 million, catching the industry by surprise.

 

More on this: The Wall Street Journal - Twitter Goes to the Movies

 

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Facebook Programming Challenge – solve a challenge, get a phone interview

 

How does this work?

Take the timed challenge. If your code passes the test, you will be contacted for a telephone interview. If your code is too similar to another applicant, you will both be disqualified, so please don’t share or post your answers online.

What position are these tests for?

These are for various positions in our Software Engineering department. You can check them all out here.

 

Take the Facebook Programming Challenge!

Unemployment rate at 8.1% – job growth seen in manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and computers

Hiring continued its slow pace in April as employers added a modest 115,000 jobs to their payrolls.

The jobless rate inched down to 8.1% last month, the Labor Department said Friday, but that wasn’t because more people were employed. Rather, the rate fell as more workers dropped out of the labor force (about 342,000 workers).

The April jobs report was highly anticipated because job growth slowed sharply in March after three strong winter months of payroll gains averaging 252,000.

Job growth last month was bolstered by continued strength in manufacturing, which added 16,000 jobs to payrolls, and professional services such as architecture, engineering and computer systems design also increased staffing.

Wages overall were subdued; average earnings for all private-sector employees went up by a mere penny from March, to $23.38 an hour.

via LA Times

Energy 101: Wind turbines, how those slow moving blades create electricity

“The same wind that used to pump water for cattle is now turning giant wind turbines to power cities and homes.”

“The blades only turn about 18 RPM, not nearly fast enough to create electricity, so the rotor shaft spins a series of gears that increase the rotation up to 1800 RPM. At that speed the generator can produce a lot of electricity.”

The retail recession

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the bankruptcy of Borders Bookstores and the repercussions it could have.

Add in Blockbuster and Tower records and collectively the retail industry for music, movies, and books is disappearing. Well, you might be able to add clothing stores to that list.

A rash of closings here in Orange County, CA, (the OC) has the entire industry on edge. Some say that “so goes Southern California, so goes the industry,” and if that is true then trouble is brewing.

One of the largest and most popular outdoor shopping malls, The Block, is shaking things up. Even though they are ideally located between Disneyland, Anaheim Stadium, and three intersecting freeways, they can’t keep the stores full. In response they are changing their focus and name, now called the The Outlets.

Does this mean that retail is going “off-price”?

The big box stores are in huge slumps. Mervyns is bankrupt and Sears is on the verge, closing all of it’s stores in California. There are many others already gone that most of us have trouble remembering (Linens ‘N’ Things, Circuit City). Guess what is replacing them…gyms. A whole lot of them.

Are gyms the new retail?

Say hello to 6 new gyms in OC shopping centers from LA Fitness, Gold’s Gym, and 24-Hour Fitness. They are taking up space formerly occupied by Gap, Nike, Tower Records, Bristol Farms (supermarket), Mervyns, Circuit City, and Linens ‘N’ Things.

Good for the healthy person inside of us!

Another trend to think about is the Chinese exportation of cheap clothes. Retailers like Forever 21 are booming with four new massive stores in the OC (all occupying those empty department stores).

Take a look at the “Made in…” label and notice how much of your outfit is Made in China.

So far the only response to this Chinese competition are the outlets stores mentioned above and perhaps, double secondhand stores. Ross, “Dress for Less”, is opening a discount store for discount stores.

Is new no longer cool?

For me it is. Long ago I ditched all the retail stores for the high-end thrift stores like Buffalo Exchange. They carry a wide range of sizes (you mean not everyone is a medium or large) and an even wider range of styles. I definitely hope to see more of these stores popping up.

That may happen as another 500 day recession for clothing retailers is starting. Retail is not out of the woods yet. We will see who survives until early 2013.

Photos by: Abdullah (gym), Prayitno (coach), Nicole (Buffalo Exchange)