Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Oct 23, 2013
October 23, 2013
He's dead, Jim:
British singer and actor NOEL HARRISON died of a heart attack at age 79 after a performance in Devon, England on Saturday. Noel had an interesting career --he began as a skiier, and represented Great Britain at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics. Then he became a recording artist and sang the Oscar-winning ballad "The Windmills of Your Mind," the theme to "The Thomas Crown Affair" in 1968.
But most people will know him as the co-star with STEFANIE POWERS in the TV series spinoff, "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.," which ran from 1966-67.
Apple released its first iPod, 2001. The digital storage device has allowed us to take our entire music collections with us anywhere we go and those white ear buds have been shutting out folks from the real world ever since. What's not to like? The iTunes store accounts for over 80 percent of online music sales.
Looking at Logos:
As expected, Apple yesterday unveiled its latest take on the iPad concept: The iPad Air.
Thinner and lighter, this new edition clocks in at just 7.5mm thick and weighs a single pound. It's got the same screen as the previous iPad --a 9.7-inch Retina Display-- and the same 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor as the iPhone 5S. The design has been subtly tweaked, with the side bezel reduced, but even that modest change represents the first tweak on the device's look since 2011.
The Air will be available on Nov 01, with prices starting at $499 for Wi-Fi-only versions and $629 for cellular ones. Rounding out the iPad line will be a new iPad Mini featuring Retina Display and the A7 processor, starting at $399; the original iPad Mini, now down to $299; and what some refer to as the "geriatric" iPad 2 for $399.
More on yesterday's event here, here, here and for those not into portable computers, Apple's new superpowered desktop computer. (Maiman)
I'm a Poll Man:
The shutdown's over but the bad news for Republicans keeps coming.
A new CNN poll finds that a whopping 75 percent of Americans think most Congressional Republicans should not be re-elected.
Even worse for the GOP, Democrats have an eight-point advantage over Republicans in early match-ups for the 2014 midterms.
A majority of those questioned blamed the Republicans for the shutdown, with nearly eight in 10 said the shutdown was bad for the country (who are the other 20 percent?), and seven in 10 said another shutdown is likely.
At least it's not an election year. And if it's any comfort, Republicans have Ann Coulter back on their side. Coulter said Monday that the shutdown was "so magnificent, run beautifully" by Republicans. (Maiman)
Sucking the life out of the wire services:
BOB BARKER has a soft spot for pachyderms. KTXL-TV in Sacramento reports the former "Price is Right" host ponied up a cool million-dollars to have three elephants transported from Canada to a San Andreas, California sanctuary called PAWS --the Performing Animal Welfare Society. The 89-year-old TV legend had tears in his eyes when the former circus animals arrived and has no problem spending a boatload of cash to save the beasts. Bob admits he was "very well paid" on the game show, is "now spending my money" and intends to die broke! (Lee)
A retail analyst says the popularity of Victoria's Secret's bestselling "Pink" brand is decreasing. By a lot. A customer survey by Jeffries L-L-C says consumers think the line of sweats, yoga pants and undies is "overpriced" and "expensive." They compared "Pink" to Juicy Couture's flavor of upscale loungewear. That could spell trouble for the lingerie retailer. According to Racked.com, the Pink line generated 25 percent of Victoria's Secret's profits last year. (Bartha)
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