Rupert Murdoch Loves His iPad. But Is It A Revolution?

Apple iPad

The iPad

New Corp. boss Rupert Murdoch is all a-twitter about the first round of numbers on Wall Street Journal subscriptions on Apple’s new iPad.

In a conference call about the company’s latest results, Murdoch notes that WSJ subs on the iPad are much more profitable on the iPad than the Kindle, with the WSJ keeping all the $18 sub fee, while Amazon’s Kindle splits the proceeds. Murdoch says:

Unlike the Kindle, we keep 100 percent of the revenue from the iPad.

In the first month, the WSJ had 64,000 iPad subscribers.

Meanwhile, numbers from Apple show 1 million iPads sold in 28 days — more than twice as fast as the original iPhone. Apple CEO Steve Jobs says demand for the device continues to outpace supply.

So is the iPad truly a revolution? Perhaps no tech device  in recent memory has been this controversial. Some deride it as a giant iPhone that discourages creativity and corrals users in Apple’s restricted, Flash-less walled garden, while others say it introduces a revolutionary new form factor that puts an end to the PC era.

In the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal this week, guest columnist Steve Hankins, CEO and co-founder of tech firm Accio.US, notes people’s grumbles with the iPad but says like it or lump it, this thing’s a revolution:

While all of the criticisms of the iPad are technically correct, the point they make is that the technology status quo is again being threatened. This latest threat has finally caused the core technology people to rise up from their trees and get a view of the forest. And they don’t like what they see.

What most technology critics fail to understand is this simple concept: Most people want to use technology, not work on technology.

The convergence of the major trends in computing is changing the world that most technology people love into one that they are not so familiar with. Devices like the iPad do not seem to require the intervention of a technology person to enable the owner of the device to actually use it.

You read Hankins’ complete column here.

Scott Brown: New Massachusetts Senator is Your Wednesday Cheesecake, Ladies

Scott Brown, the gentleman from Massachusetts

What can Brown do for you?

David Kinkade is known to post a little cheesecake to drive some extra clicks on The Arkansas Project. What’s stopping us?

So here to the right is our Hottie of the Week, Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Yep, this one’s for the ladies. Although I’ll bet some Republican dudes wouldn’t be above a little canoodling with this former centerfold model after last night!

More

Scott Brown roars to Senate upset win [Boston Herald]

“Blanche Lincoln should look at this and realize if Democrats can’t win in Massachusetts, she can’t win in Arkansas.” [Gilbert Baker vis Jason Tolbert on Twitter]

Brown’s victory ending super majority seems “overstated” [Max Brantley, Arkansas Times]

Sen. Jim Webb: Suspend votes on health care until Brown is seated [Politico]

Rep. Barney Frank: Our approach to health care “no longer appropriate” [Huffington Post]

Brown: Democrats will pay in November if his seating is delayed [Associated Press]

Nagourney: What a difference a year makes: Brown win leaves Obama with tough choices [New York Times]

Change bites back [Politico]

One Year Later, Dems’ Dream Deferred [RealClearPolitics]

What Does Obama Do Now? [RealClearPolitics]

Voters Send Washington a Ringing Message [Boston Globe]

Massachusetts Voters Tea Off on Obama [New York Post]

Dems Should Still Pass Health Reform [Washington Post]

No Obama Obits, Please [New York Observer]

Obama Needs to Fight Back [The Guardian]

Win Sends Shock Waves Through Blue-State Races [Kyle Trygstad, RCP]

Blame the Left for Massachusetts [Wall Street Journal]

Is Print Hot Again? BusinessWeek, Chicago Sun-Times Have Bidders

Did you know that instead of reading constantly updated breaking news online, you can also access a summary of yesterday’s news in physical, printed format? There are several types of “print,” including things called “magazines” and “newspapers.” Several are for sale, including one here in Arkansas. But so far, not many folks want to buy them. Until now!

Struggling newspaper publisher Sun-Times Media Group said Tuesday that a private investor group led by Chicago banker James Tyree will bid $5 million in cash for its assets in a bankruptcy court auction.

The group, called STMG Holdings LLC, also would assume about $20 million of Sun-Times’ liabilities, the company said.

Sun-Times Media, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times and 58 suburban Chicago newspapers and Web sites, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.

Surely, the Sun-Times Media Group is saying, “Where do I sign?” But there’s a hang-up. STMG wants concessions from the paper’s union workers, which the Chicago Newspaper Guild says “bascially guts our contract.” Doh!

Meanwhile, struggling BusinessWeek magazine (which boasts a vibrant Web site — irony!) has not one, not two but several suitors, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s own firm, Bloomberg LP:

Mayor Mike’s company is now seen as the frontrunner, replacing Lazard boss Bruce Wasserstein, owner of New York Magazine and The Deal.

A bidding war for a magazine?

Print = not dead yet!

More

Bloomberg Enters Bid Fray for BuinessWeek – Jon Fine

Sun-Times Gets Offer of $5 Million – WSJ

The July Unemployment Report: The Numbers Behind the Numbers

That surprise report on U.S. job losses, showing a drop of one-tenth of a percentage point in the unemployment rate from June to July, is being greeted warmly on Wall Street today, despite that the decline doesn’t quite reflect reality.

First, the numbers. The U.S. Department of Labor today put the unemployment rate with 9.4 percent, with the economy having lost 247,000 jobs last month. That’s the fewest job losses in one year, and a big drop from the 443,000 jobs lost in June. Meanwhile, the report revised its number of job losses in May and June, adding back about 43,000 jobs for those two months.

Analysts had been calling for the July unemployment rate to increase to about 9.7 percent. Economists called today’s report a “turn for the better,” with some thinking the worst of job losses are over. They might be right.

But the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal today note the numbers behind the unemployment rate.

Over at the New York Times, economics blogger David Leonhardt says the only reason the unemployment rate dropped is because more people stopped looking for work and were thus ineligible to be counted as officially unemployed. He says the share of adults with jobs actually fell from the previous month.

The Wall Street Journal goes a step further, and says 10 percent unemployment is still very likely — even as the economy begins to recover:

When the economy recovers, more people are likely to reenter the labor force looking for jobs. People who decided to return to school during the downturn, for instance, would eventually return to the job search and help push the unemployment rate higher. (The government’s broader jobless rate declined a fifth of a percentage point to 16.3%. But its still-elevated level signals how many people want full-time jobs but stopped looking because they can’t get one.)

Still, investors are happy to take what good news they can get today. And so’s the White House (though even President Obama expects the rate to rise again). Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost about 6.7 million jobs.

Reports: Rupert Murdoch to Charge for All Online Content

No more free ride

No more free ride

Rupert Murdoch, the Australian media baron who controls the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox News and dozens of other print and broadcast properties, says he will begin charging for all the online content of his newspapers and TV news channels sometime within “this financial year,” as his News Corp. posts a $203 million quarterly loss in part on plunging ad revenue.

From the Financial Times:

The comments by News Corp’s chairman came as he predicted a “high single digit” rebound in the group’s operating profits next year. The worst of the media sector slump might be behind the company, he said, as he reported “some good signs of life” in advertising.

“All content” apparently includes FoxNews.com, the Web site for the popular cable news channel, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster News Corp. earnings report. Fox reported operating income up 50 percent and primetime ratings up 45 percent from the same quarter last year.

Of his decision to charge for online content, Murdoch said:

“Quality journalism is not cheap. An industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalising its ability to produce good reporting.”

Murdoch’s lockdown would be a drastic change in strategy. While the Wall Street Journal has charged for online content for years, Murdoch’s other sites, like the New York Post and Fox News, are free. Murdoch had said he would begin experimenting with new paid models on his Web sites next year, but this week’s News Corp. earnings report have obviously prompted a change in thinking.

After the jump, more about what the move means, some questions it raises and other notes from Murdoch’s earnings report.

Continue reading

Media Notes: Blogfight! Plus, Google in Talks With Major Newspapers

More media notes for folks who love them some media!

Brummett v. EveryoneJohn Brummett quotes David Simon re: “newspapers, you’re gonna miss ’em, etc.” and stirs up some lively debate from The Arkansas Project, Blake’s Think Tank and their respective commenters. It’s even inspired this helpful chart.

Micro MachinesThe Wall Street Journal is giving micropayments a whirl.

Free MarketsMarketWatch, the Dow Jones-owned financial news site that launched a redesign last night, plans to keep its content free and out in the open.

Got It For a Song – Record mogul David Geffen wants to buy a stake in the New York Times, according to the Financial Times, in this locked-down article. Fortunately, here’s a free story from Bloomberg!

Kiss the Ring – After lambasting Google for having the audacity to send newspapers untold traffic via links and for paying to licensing content from the Associated Press, some of the nation’s biggest newspapers are said to be in talks with the search giant aboutsomething to get their asses out of a sling.

News Flash – Keep Washington out of the newspaper business. Some of these antiquated things must be allowed to fail.

Life After Newspapers – Will Democracy collapse? Will bloggers shoot themselves? Will TV stations broadcast waterskiiing squirrel footage 24/7? Jack Shafer at Slate thinks it over.

You Have 10 New Messages. Would You Like to Hear Them?The end of voicemail, thanks to Google. Good riddance.

X FactorSlate launches a new site for women called Double X. Right out of the gate: A (linkbait!) critique of Gawker’s Jezebel, a competitor.

Blogger Shares ‘True Mom Confessions’ Saturday in Little Rock

Time for confession

Time for confession

Blog alert! Kyran Pittman, an Arkansas native who blogs at Notes to Self, will be speaking and signing books at Wordsworth Books on Saturday in the Heights in Little Rock.

The book in question, “True Mom Confessions,” features essays from mothers of all walks of life sharing heartbreaking, hilarious, frank and outrageous stories of raising children. It sprang from the comments contained on this blog, TruuConfessions.com.

Pittman, who is also a contributing editor to Good Housekeeping, is one of the many moms sharing her story within its pages.

Interestingly, the book has sparked all kinds of discussion about motherhood, particularly about what’s good mother behavior, what’s bad mother behavior, and whether these books and Web sites are a bad thing.

On her blog today, Pittman talks about the reactions the book has received:

The point of the book isn’t to condemn or condone the particulars, but to tell the secrets, relatable, poignant, unimaginable, wonderful, despicable. To bioposy a slice of motherhood and just hold it up for what it is: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hilarious. The Today Show coverage of the book got that. The commenters to the Wall Street Journal story didn’t. Romi, the book’s editor, summed it all up nicely on Huffington Post recently. I don’t know what it is about our society that we have such a hard time accepting the multitude of experiences there are in raising children, or why we mothers are so jumpy whenever motherhood is up for discussion.

Want to share in the multitude of experiences? Come out to Wordsworth on Saturday. Our monthly family magazine, Little Rock Family, is one of the event’s sponsors. You can get more details here.

And be sure to read more from Pittman at her blog here, her Twitter account here and at Good Housekeeping here.

More on the Book

Coverage from “The Today Show”

The book’s editor, Romi Lassally, on The Huffington Post

Lassally on NPR