November 18, 2006
MERCEDES-BENZ - THE DRIVE FROM PARIS TO BEIJING
PHOTO: Beijing - The fascinating long distance drive from Paris to Beijing ends successfully. The 36 E-Class cars after reaching Beijing in 25 days, on a 14,000km journey through 2 continents and 9 countries.
November 17, 2006
Cingular Wireless and Island Def Jam Present an Invite-Only Jay-Z Concert
Jay-Z Set to Perform 7 Mini Cingular Sounds Live Concerts, in 7 Cities in Less Than 24 Hours.
ATLANTA -- On Saturday, November 18th, in celebration of the release of his new album, KINGDOM COME, Jay-Z will touch down in seven cities and perform 30 minute shows, all within 24 hours.
PHOTO: "Jay-Z Hangar Tour" hits 7 cities in less than 24 hours as part of the Cingular Sounds Live series.
Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, and Island Def Jam Records have joined forces to bring one of the most unique music events of the year. The seven-city "Jay-Z Hangar Tour," as part of the Cingular Sounds Live concert series, will kick off in Atlanta at 6 am for the first of seven shows in less than 24 hours. Jay-Z will perform 30 minute sets in Atlanta, Philadelphia, DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
NIKE LAUNCHES THE RONALDINHO SIGNATURE COLLECTION
Soccer Legend Ronaldinho to Unveil Global Signature Collection.
The Ronaldinho Signature Collection, Nike's first signature soccer compilation, reflects the legendary Brazilian's insight on and off the pitch in both footwear and equipment.
BARCELONA, Spain – Nike yesterday unveiled the new Ronaldinho signature collection to celebrate one of the best and most inspiring football players of all time. This collection is the result of a long-term collaboration between Nike and Ronaldinho which honours the player on and off the football pitch. Working with Ronaldinho to gain insights into his life, personality and the way he plays his game, Nike developed products to the player’s specifications.
Ronaldinho's signature collection is Nike's first signature line ever introduced with a soccer athlete, joining the ranks of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and LeBron James.
NAMM Launches Wanna Play? Program to Inspire More Americans to Play Music
Campaign Ambassador Gavin DeGraw Promotes Benefits of Music Making.
CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Playing a musical instrument can increase memory, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, build confidence and result in greater academic success. Americans will learn about the many social and health benefits of music making thanks to a new national campaign launched today by NAMM, the not-for-profit trade association for the international music products industry. Designed to inspire people to become active music makers, the Wanna Play? campaign will raise awareness and inspire people of all ages and talent to get involved in making music, from taking lessons to purchasing their first instrument or software.
PHOTO: Music artist Gavin DeGraw serves as ambassador for NAMM's "Wanna Play?" campaign.
The International Music Products Association, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for- profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $16 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM, visit www.namm.org.
"At age 5 or 85, everyone can benefit socially, mentally and physically from playing an instrument," said Joe Lamond, President and CEO of NAMM and a life-long drummer. "It's never too late to start, and playing an instrument is something that can last a lifetime."
Most people associate music making with fun or entertainment, but few know that playing music has been scientifically found to:
• exercise the brain
• inspire creativity
• increase productivity
• fight memory loss
• reduce stress
• lower blood pressure
• stave off depression
• enhance cognitive development in children
• build confidence
• create social connections/bonds
Not surprisingly, a number of musicians -- naturally passionate about the issue -- are joining NAMM in supporting the campaign.
"Music has been my airline ticket to a new world of possibilities," said Gavin DeGraw when asked what music means to him. For Gavin DeGraw, who broke onto the music scene with his hit "Chariot," the 29-year-old singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist's passion is apparent.
DeGraw is reaching out to kids and adults alike as the first ambassador of the Wanna Play? campaign, convincing people to pursue -- or perhaps revisit -- their passion for playing an instrument. To view an interview with Gavin, visit this website: www.namm.org/initiatives/wanna_play/media-center .
Photo: Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s ''i'' minicar was presented with the RJC Car of the Year award for 2007 by the Automotive Researchers' & Journalists' Conference of Japan which favored its novel, rounded design and roomy interior. (Kyodo)
November 16, 2006
Paige Davis Brings Touch of Holiday Cheer to Jewel Osco Grocery Shoppers in Chicago
Pay By Touch Partners With TV and Broadway Star to Give Chicagoans an Early Holiday Gift.
CHICAGO, Nov. 16 -- Pay By Touch(R), the leader in integrated biometric authentication, personalized marketing and payment solutions has joined forces with Paige Davis, formerly of TLC's "Trading Spaces," to kick-off the holiday season for Chicagoans.
The "Touch of Holiday Cheer" program is being launched on Nov. 17, 2006 by Pay By Touch and Davis, who will visit a local Chicago Jewel Osco grocery store to surprise random shoppers by paying for their groceries.
The Pay By Touch service uses a simple finger scan to authorize an electronic withdrawal from a customer's existing checking account. Each fingerprint is unique, which helps prevent fraud or identity theft, and since there is nothing to carry, there is nothing to be lost or stolen. The one-time enrollment in the secure program takes only a few minutes to complete at participating stores.
DURACELL: OFFICIAL BATTERY OF NORTH POLE
PHOTO: Madison Rathbun, 7, ducks under the covers in her North Pole, Alaska, home to write a "Dear Santa" letter in November 2006 by flashlight, compliments of Duracell. Recently named the "Official Battery of North Pole," the company is supplying batteries and flashlights to all North Pole residents this year. (PRNewsFoto/Duracell, Susan Goldman)
US AIRWAYS PROPOSES TO MERGE WITH DELTA
Transaction Valued at Approximately $8.0 Billion in Cash and Stock.
Consumers Will Have the Advantages of a Larger, Full-Service Provider with the Cost Structure of a Low-Fare Carrier.
US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) announced yesterday that it has made a merger proposal to Delta Air Lines, Inc. (OTC: DALRQ.PK) under which both companies would combine upon Delta’s emergence from bankruptcy. The proposal would provide approximately $8.0 billion of value in cash and stock to Delta’s unsecured creditors.
PHOTO: US Airways proposes an $8 billion takeover of bankrupt Delta Airlines on November 15, 2006. (Kamenko Pajic/UPI Photo)
The combination of US Airways and Delta would create one of the world’s largest airlines and would operate under the Delta name. Customers would benefit from expanded choice as well as the reach and services of a large-scale provider within the cost structure of a low-fare carrier. As a combined company, the “New” Delta would be the number one airline across the Atlantic and the second largest airline to the Caribbean. The New Delta would reach more than 350 destinations across five continents, including North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. In the U.S., the combination would create a leading competitor in the Eastern U.S. and an enhanced position in the Western U.S. The combined company would be the number one airline at 155 airports.
November 15, 2006
Aven Inc. Launches Innovative Microphotography Technology
New iLoupe(TM) combines digital camera technology with state-of-the-art microscopy to create the world's first digital portable field microscope/camera.
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 14 -- Aven Inc., a leading provider of advanced precision visual inspection systems, recently launched its latest patented technology -- iLoupe(TM), the world's first portable digital field microscope/camera.
The iLoupe combines patented state-of-the-art technology with an easy-to- use portable format, making the product as functional as it is innovative. By simply attaching the removable microscopic module, which features lens magnifications ranging from 60x to 150x, to a digital Canon SD600 six-mega pixel camera, the unit easily transforms into a fully functional field microscope in a matter of seconds.
Aven Inc. manufactures and markets more than 750 precision tools for optical inspection and electronic equipment assembly and service. Its product lines include stationary and portable microscopes, loupes, video inspection systems, specialty high-resolution digital and video cameras, lenses, illuminated magnifiers, electronic testers and a wide range of hand tools. Aven Inc. was founded in 1983, and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich.
"We created the iLoupe with the goal of simplifying on-the-job technology," said Bakir Kanpurwala, Chief Executive Officer, Aven Inc. "As a tool, iLoupe translates easily into a professional environment and allows users to work on location and communicate their research effortlessly and effectively."
With its dual microscopy and photography capabilities, the iLoupe has many uses. The portable digital camera-microscope unit can be utilized by law enforcement officials conducting forensics research to capture microscopic images right at the crime scene. The iLoupe also ensures quality control in a variety of industries, providing effective, on-site inspection of fabrics and industrial components. In the automotive industry, the user-friendly iLoupe can assist manufacturers and suppliers in detecting and documenting defects on the assembly line and prior to shipping.
The iLoupe is the latest in Aven's high technology iSeries product line. Other iSeries technology includes iVue(TM) an all-in-one, plug and play video inspection system that allows users to view, capture, and save images without the use of external hardware or software and iScope(TM) an all-in-one microscope-based video inspection system that allows the user to view images in 3D using a binocular microscope, or view the image on an 8.4" LCD monitor.
Alamo Launches First-of-a-Kind Rental Car Check in Kiosks Throughout the U.S.
An Industry First, Kiosk Cuts Average Transaction Time in Half.
An industry first, Alamo Rent A Car announced today it will roll out new self-service kiosks at rental locations throughout the United States. The new system cuts check in time for customers by about 50 percent when compared to average counter check in times.
PHOTO: VANGUARD CAR RENTAL ALAMO RENT A CAR KIOSK
The kiosk roll out comes after successful testing by customers in Dallas, Las Vegas and Jacksonville, Fla.
The touch-screen kiosk allows any customer with a valid driver's license, major credit card and an existing reservation to skip the rental counter and check in directly at the kiosk. After a customer agrees to the terms and conditions, a receipt-sized rental agreement is printed from the kiosk and the customer is directed to his or her rental car on the lot. At the exit booth, the customer simply shows the booth agent his or her rental agreement and driver's license and then drives away.
Alamo Rent A Car is one of the largest car rental brands in the world, with locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.
Sony Supports Internet Video With Expanded Line of Hard Disk Drive Camcorders
Sony's U.S. camcorder business is getting a boost from the growing popularity of video websites, such as YouTube(TM), MySpace(TM) and Grouper(TM).
More than 35 percent of U.S. adult Internet users -- approximately 48 million -- have posted video online this year, according to the May 2006 Pew Internet and American Life Project, which points to the popularity of user-generated content on the Web.
Starting at about $600, the Sony(R) hard disk drive Handycam camcorder line includes five models, with such varying features as 60GB of hard disk drive storage, 1080i high-definition recording, HDD Smart Protection to safeguard against data loss, and Dolby (R) Digital 5.1 channel surround recording.
Cisco and Athletics Announce Cisco Field
PHOTO: Oakland Athletics (A's) Owner and Managing Partner Lew Wolff, standing left, and Cisco President and CEO John Chambers, right, unveil the 'Cisco Field' logo, while Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig sits, left, at an event Tuesday at Cisco headquarters in San Jose, Calif., to announce an agreement to build a baseball park in Fremont Calif. to serve as the new home of the A's. (Cisco photo by Scott Griggs)
November 14, 2006
AIRTRAN AIRWAYS AND FRONTIER AIRLINES MARKETING PARTNERSHIP
A Tail of Two Partners.
PHOTO: Plane tails for AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines lined up at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport before the Low Cost Carriers announced a marketing partnership on Nov. 14, 2006. The relationship enables passengers to earn frequent flyer rewards between both airlines through AirTran Airways' A+ Rewards program and Frontier's Early Returns program. (Terri Hanson Photography)
Microsoft's New Zune Digital Media Player on Store Shelves Today
Wireless sharing poised to change the way people experience digital music.
SEATTLE, Nov. 14 -- Celebrating the U.S. launch of the new Zune(TM) digital media player and music service, Microsoft Corp. has worked with a number of cutting-edge artists to stage free concerts in public parks and plazas in urban centers across the country. At Westlake Park in downtown Seattle at the first of these Zune concerts, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates took the stage to share his excitement for this next step Microsoft is taking in music and entertainment.
PHOTO: MICROSOFT ZUNE LAUNCH CONCERT: At a downtown Seattle concert to celebrate the launch of Zune, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates invites Melanie Gray of Tacoma, Wash., on stage and gave her his Zune device. The event, which featured the band Secret Machines, was the first of six concerts across the U.S. marking the launch of Zune, the new digital music player from Microsoft. Zune will be on sale at retailers across the USA today, Nov. 14.
Zune is Microsoft's music and entertainment platform that provides an end- to-end solution for connected entertainment. The Zune experience includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service, and a foundation for an online community that will enable music fans to discover new music. Inspired by the vast and varied community of music fans, Zune focuses on helping emerging artists shape the digital canvas.
Gates outlined the Zune vision to create new ways for people to connect, discover and share music and entertainment experiences. He was joined onstage by John Richards, morning show host of popular community radio station KEXP, to showcase the new Zune-to-Zune wireless sharing feature. Richards wirelessly sent the inaugural song to Gates, who then surprised the crowd by giving away his Zune device to a member of the audience. Building on the "Hello from Seattle" greeting printed on the back of every Zune device, Richards created a playlist to celebrate Seattle music in honor of the Zune launch. The complete KEXP "Hello from Seattle" playlist will be available on Zune Marketplace for consumers to download.
"We wanted to bring Zune to life with a celebration of live music, shared between artists and fans across the country, and really make today all about embracing the social aspect of music," said Bryan Lee, corporate vice president of the Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "Zune is all about changing the game to make music more social, and at launch we are just scratching the surface of how wireless technology is going to enable social interaction in the future."
The Seattle launch concert, which featured New York-based, three-piece rock band The Secret Machines, drew crowds to the heart of downtown Seattle and kicked off the first of six shows to take place across the country. Celebrating the style and energy of local music scenes in Atlanta, Chicago and Miami, T.I., Lupe Fiasco and Richie Spice with Morgan Heritage will also play free public concerts throughout the afternoon and evening. Today's celebration culminates with performances in New York and Los Angeles where hundreds of lucky fans will get to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queens of the Stone Age at intimate venues. Post-show musings, images and video will be available at http://www.zune.net/ beginning this evening.
Working closely with industry partners, Zune is exploring new models for distributing and promoting music that benefit the artists as well as consumers. Through managed wireless sharing, Zune empowers consumers to promote and sample select tracks, in turn increasing exposure for artists. Zune logs the music that people have shared, making it easy to purchase their favorite songs the next time they connect their device to their computer.
"Music has always been experienced in a community, and through Zune, Microsoft is building a robust and unique digital music community platform that enables consumers to share, sample and download their favorite music," said Alex Zubillaga, executive vice president of Digital Strategy and Business Development at Warner Music Group. "Warner Music commends Microsoft on the launch of the Zune digital media player and Zune music store, and is proud to be a content partner of this important addition to the dynamic and growing digital music space."
Staffed by a team of music writers and editorial music programmers, Zune Marketplace helps customers discover and purchase new music and uncover old favorites. Zune Marketplace will feature music from major and independent labels and music publishers, including Artemis/V2 Records, BMG Music Publishing, Digital Music Group Inc., EMI Music, EMI Music Publishing, Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA), peermusic.com Inc., Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sub Pop Records, SuperEgo Records, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Warner/Chappell Music and many more. In addition, Zune Marketplace is working with leading editorial providers XLR8R, The FADER, and NME.
Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front
American Girl's third made-for-television movie.
MIDDLETON, Wis., Nov. 14 -- This fall, Molly McIntire(R), a lively, lovable, and patriotic heroine growing up on America's home front in 1944, takes center stage in American Girl's third made-for-television movie, Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front. The new film, based on the popular Molly book series, is set to air Sunday, November 26, at 8:00 p.m. EST/7:00 p.m. CST on Disney Channel. To further engage girls in Molly's world, American Girl(R) also introduced several new Molly movie-related items this September, including an 18-inch Emily doll, Molly's English friend and the newest doll to join its popular historical line of books, dolls, and accessories.
PHOTO: Maya Ritter and Molly Ringwald star in Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front airing Sunday, November 26 on Disney Channel.
American Girl, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT) ( http://www.mattel.com/ ), world's leading toy company.
One of American Girl's original historical characters introduced in 1986, Molly has engaged millions of girls over the past twenty years with her stories of hope, heart, and sacrifice amidst the hardships of World War Two. Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front brings Molly's touching stories to life -- providing girls with a whole new way to explore the world of this popular character. In the film, Molly struggles to come to terms with the changes the war has brought to her family. But with the help of her new friend, Emily, an English girl who has come to live with the McIntires to escape the bombings in London, Molly learns the importance of getting along and pulling together -- just as her country has to do to win the war.
Produced by American Girl, Revolution Studios, and Red Om Films in association with Warner Bros. Television Production Inc., Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front stars up-and-coming actress Maya Ritter as Molly McIntire; Tory Green as Emily Bennett; and Molly Ringwald (The Big Time, Pretty in Pink) and David Aaron Baker (The Hoax, Melinda and Melinda) as Molly's parents, Helen and Dr. James McIntire. The Molly movie was directed by filmmaker Joyce Chopra (The Last Cowboy), and award-winning screenwriter Anna Sandor (Felicity: An American Girl Adventure) wrote the teleplay.
American Girl fans looking for more information about Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front can visit the Molly movie headquarters at http://americangirl.com/movie . The fun interactive site offers girls a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Molly movie, as well as cast and character bios, a photo gallery, and Molly-related games and activities, and much more.
The Emily doll and book and other Molly movie-related products are available through the American Girl catalogue, at American Girl Place(R) Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, or at americangirl.com . To request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005.
Since American Girl's inception in 1986, American Girl, Inc. has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators.
November 13, 2006
Filmmakers Honored at the Behind the Camera Awards in Hollywood
Awards Saluted Artists in Film Making.
HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 13 -- Last night in Hollywood, Hamilton, the American watch brand, and Hollywood Life magazine held the Behind the Camera Awards which honored ten artists for their visual and emotional impact on the film industry. The awards were created to pay tribute to these filmmakers whose individual work contribute to the success of a movie, thus recognizing their creative ability to connect to the audience through the eyes, ears, and heart.
PHOTO: Sharon Stone and James Woods at the 4th Annual Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards.
Many celebrities were in attendance to present the awards and support their fellow filmmakers such as Sharon Stone, Greg Kinnear, Christina Applegate, Michael Pena, James Woods and Regina King.
Hamilton has had a long-standing relationship with the Hollywood community for over 50 years as its timepieces were selected by filmmakers to be featured in hundreds of movies. In grateful appreciation to costume designers for their inspiring work, Hamilton began to pay tribute to them in 2003, only concentrating on this category for three years in a row. This year, Hamilton, in partnership with Hollywood Life, has decided to also honor other categories to truly grasp the whole body of work done behind the screen.
The awards this year included the following categories and honorees:
TRUE GRIT DIRECTOR - Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
"Little Miss Sunshine"
SUPER PRODUCER - Holly Wiersma "Bobby"
SCREENWRITER - Andrea Berloff "World Trade Center"
PRODUCTION DESIGNER - Dante Ferretti "Black Dahlia"
CINEMATOGRAPHER - Vilmos Zsigmond "Black Dahlia"
FILM EDITOR - Stephen Mirrione "Babel"
COSTUME DESIGNER - Sharen Davis "Dreamgirls"
PROPMASTER - Ty Teiger "Casino Royale"
MOVIE MARKETING NINJA - Tim Palen, Lion's Gate
INTERNATIONAL COSTUME & ART DIRECTOR - Tim Yip
STYLIST OF THE YEAR - Special award presented to Jessica Paster
"Last night's event was truly an amazing experience. Hamilton and our media partner, Hollywood Life, were so excited to witness the genuine emotion shown by each honoree while receiving their Behind the Camera Awards. They really deserve this acknowledgement, as their creativity and talent play a big role in the spirit and meaning of a film and its influence," said Patric Zingg, Hamilton U.S. General Manager.
Hollywood Life President and COO, John Evans added, "Hollywood Life is extremely pleased to have partnered with Hamilton in the creation of the Behind the Camera Awards. The event was truly a great success and we were pleased to honor such an illustrious group of individuals. The Behind the Camera Awards is a testament to the uniqueness of both brands and we look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come."
FORD S-MAX VOTED CAR OF THE YEAR 2007
BRENTWOOD, Essex, November 13, 2006 - The all-new Ford S-MAX has been awarded the prestigious title of "Car of the Year 2007".
The Car of the Year is an international award, judged by a panel of 58 top motoring journalists from 22 European countries. Its objective is to acclaim the most outstanding new car to go on sale in the 12 months preceding the date of the title. It is organized by a group of seven leading European publications: Auto (Italy), Autocar (Great Britain), Autopista (Spain), Auto Visie (Holland), L'Automobile Magazine (France), Stern (Germany), and Vi Bilagare (Sweden).
The Ford S-MAX was declared the winner following a closely fought competition in which 41 contenders for the award were reduced to a shortlist of just eight – the CitroÃ«n C4 Picasso, Fiat Grande Punto, Ford S-MAX, Honda Civic, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 207, Skoda Roomster and Volvo C30.
Commenting on the award, Ray Hutton, the President of the Car of the Year jury said: "This was a very close contest with all eight of the finalists deserving a place on the shortlist. It is clear from the voting that the jury is impressed by the concept of the Ford S-MAX: a spacious and versatile car that drives like a sports saloon. Its victory is well-deserved."
With UK sales of over 4,000 since its launch in June and with the order bank still growing, S-MAX is proving a huge hit with UK customers. Data from sales so far indicates that over 50 per cent of vehicles being sold are top specification, Titanium models and that a similar percentage are being sold to customers who are new to Ford.
Available in LX, Zetec and Titanium variants, S-MAX shares the latest technology with the all-new Ford Galaxy including new safety systems with optional Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control (IVDC) and an optional active suspension system. Both vehicles boast a maximum five star Euro NCAP rating. It is also the first production Ford vehicle to feature elements of Ford's "kinetic design" language. Sporty styling expresses energy in motion, emphasizing Ford's dynamic driving capabilities in a more overt way.
CHEYENNE KIMBALL AT KOHL'S
PHOTO: Singer/songwriter Cheyenne Kimball was at the new Kohl's department store in Jersey City, N.J., to sign autographs for fans in celebration of the store's recent opening. Kimball is the face of the Candies(R) line of apparel, shoes and accessories sold exclusively at Kohl's.
November 12, 2006
NEWSWEEK COVER: NOVEMBER 20, 2006 ISSUE
PHOTO: In the November 20 issue (on newsstands Monday, November 13), "Father Knows Best," Newsweek looks at whether the foreign policy team from George H.W. Bush's administration will be able to chart a new course in Iraq and save his son's presidency. Plus: The stars of the new majority party, Karl Rove's faulty election metrics, an interview with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, why Sony's PlayStation 3 is sure to be a hit and the latest research on amniocentesis.
November 11, 2006
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY: CONTOUR BOTTLES
PHOTO: Phil Mooney, director of Archives for The Coca-Cola Company, holds one of the two remaining original contour bottles and displays earlier prototypes.