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Vikram n MANI Ratnam

vikram

Though Vikram had been in the film industry for long, he carved a niche for himself after starring in offbeat films like Sethu and Kasi. In fact, Kasi, the film in which he played the role of a blind man, remains one of his best performances. Vikram has time and again openly stated that he preferred to act in a role similar to that of Kasi but due to his current stature in Kollywood he had to move on to more commercial roles. The actor is now busy with Kanthaswamy and Mani Ratnam’s project. Meanwhile, there is a buzz in the industry that Vikram is keen on doing a deaf and dumb role and has been listening to such scripts. Also, the actor is now researching on the mannerisms of the deaf and dumb people, our source say. It may be recalled that he excelled in his performance as a blind man in Kasi by doing a thorough research on the mannerisms of the blind.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | cinema | , , , | Leave a comment

Hollywood’s top earning couples

What happens when you marry an $82 million hip-hop brand and an $80 million R&B empire? You get Hollywood’s best-paid power couple.

Thanks to a monster year filled with music, movies, fashion and endorsement deals, Jay-Z and his new bride, Beyoncé Knowles, collectively raked in $162 million between June 1, 2007 and June 1, 2008. The jaw-dropping sum garners them bragging rights atop our first annual ranking of Hollywood’s Top-Earning Couples, a list that also includes A-list pairings Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, David and Victoria Beckam,Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, among others.

“Naturally, powerful people tend to gravitate toward other powerful people,” explains clinical psychologist and celebrity researcher Jim Houran, for reasons that range from proximity (stars hang around other stars) to familiarity (people are attracted, at least initially, to others like them) to clearer expectations (shared priorities make it easier for celebrities to relate). No matter how they get together, the results are good for the bottom line.

Take Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. They hauled in some $85 million over the past year, making them No. 2 on our list. Though Jada’s resume continues to grow, Will’s the family breadwinner. He raked in $80 million in the year ending June 2008, thanks to another set of top-performing blockbusters: I Am Legend, The Pursuit of Happyness and this past summer’s Hancock. Together the flicks banked $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office, making him Hollywood’s most bankable star.

Jada pulled in $5 million during the same 12-month period, thanks to roles as an actress (The Women), producer (The Human Contract) and businesswoman (a stake in beauty line Carol’s Daughter).

The next comes  David and Victoria Beckham. Conquering fans on both sides of the Atlantic, the power couple brought in $58 million over the year-long period.

Becks’ share was $50 million, proving the much-covered move to America has paid off for the British soccer star. Though his Los Angeles Galaxy salary was $5.5 million, the sum more than doubled when his cut of the team’s ticket, merchandise and sponsorship revenues were factored in. He also pulled down a cool $35 million from lucrative endorsement deals with Motorola , Coty and Pepsi Co.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | cinema, photos | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yahoo’s five biggest mistakes

Exerts say these things as Yahoo’s five mistakes

1. Aborted Projects
Yahoo! is rife with projects that have been started, with great fanfare, only to die quietly months, sometimes years, later.

2. Missing the Google Express
Yahoo! had the chance to buy Google in 2002. Then-Chief Executive Terry Semel reportedly balked at the $5 billion price after months of negotiation. In retrospect, that was clearly a mistake.

No Yahoo! employees would touch that one. “I have no idea,” one employee said.

“I need to go off to a meeting now,” another answered.

3. Hiring Terry Semel
Another commonly cited mistake: hiring former Warner Bros. studio honcho Terry Semel as chief executive. Yahoo! stumbled in the wake of the tech bust early in the decade. It brought in Semel to turn things around. In retrospect, however, Semel was just riding a powerful rebound that other managers, such as the boys at Google, were playing far more skillfully. Semel declined to buy Google; at the same time, he funded a push into media that has largely foundered.

“You should really talk to a press spokesperson about that,” one employee said.

4. Failing to Click With DoubleClick
Another deal Yahoo! missed out on was DoubleClick. The advertising network specialized in the display ads that had long been Yahoo!’s strength as it struggled to hold back a surging Google. But when Yahoo! didn’t move quick enough to purchase the ad network, Google pounced, helping to close the gap.

“I don’t know, I’m not in a position to really speculate,” one employee said as he clutched a pair of boxes and a cup of juice.

5. Not Bonding With Ballmer
Perhaps Yahoo!’s biggest bonehead maneuver was failing to deal with Microsoft’s acquisition offer quickly and cleanly. As a result, the drama dragged on for months, sapping Yahoo!’s energy and opening the door to Carl Icahn, the aggressive corporate raider who grabbed three seats on Yahoo!’s board in August. The move undoubtedly led to Yang’s ouster this week.

“It’s difficult to know, difficult to know,” a Yahoo employee said when asked about the matter.

All these mistakes can be summed up in one word: indecisiveness. One employee, at least, wasn’t shy about blaming management for the problem. “When you hear the culture is indecisive, that’s referring to people who are higher up,” one employee said. “Many of the employees are making great efforts to turn the tide.”

Other employees blamed bigger problems for Yahoo!’s woes. Some cited vague “macroeconomic” problems. Others cited competition from newer, “cooler,” Web brands such as MySpace and Google.

And several argued that Yahoo! can still compete. One mentioned Yahoo!’s cloud computing initiative as an effort that could help the company claw its way forward once again. “It’s a talented group of individuals, and we’re working on some interesting technologies,” he said.

“We are competitive, particularly with Yahoo! Mail and Finance,” another added.

And, unlike banks and domestic auto manufacturers, no one at Yahoo! is asking for a government bailout. “I don’t think anyone in this industry is going to pop that question,” one engineer said, shaking his head. “If you do, you’re admitting you’ve got nothing left, no future.”

God bless Silicon Valley.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft rules over the Yahoo bid

microsoft

Microsoft has ruled out the bod from Yahoo but said it was intrested to have a tie up with search related products.Ballmer’s comments to a meeting of Microsoft’s shareholders were the first from the company since the announcement on Monday that Jerry Yang was stepping down as Yahoo CEO. That move was seen as raising the chances for a Microsoft buyout since Yang had been the company’s staunchest opponent of the deal that valued Yahoo at $47.5 billion – more than three times what it is now worth.The comments by the Microsoft boss sent Yahoo’s shares plunging by as much as 20 per cent after they had rallied on news of Yang’s move.

“We thought we had something that made sense. But it didn’t make sense to them. We’ve moved on,” said Ballmer at Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting. “Let me be clear. We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo.”However he stressed that a partnership between Microsoft and Yahoo in the internet search market is “an interesting possibility”. Such an alliance would help the companies challenge Google, which dominates the US online advertising market that is expected to grow 25 per cent this year.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian Navy blows up Pirate boat

Indian Navy

A Indian war ship blew up a pirate ship in the Gulf of Aden and gunmen from Somalia seized two more vessels, defying the foreign warships patrolling the seas off their anarchic country. Buccaneers have taken a Thai fishing boat, a Greek bulk carrier and a Hong Kong-flagged ship heading for Iran since Saturday’s spectacular capture of a Saudi supertanker carrying $100 million of oil, the biggest ship hijacking in history.

The supertanker Sirius Star was seized despite an existing effort to guard one of the world’s busiest shipping arteries by naval ships from the United States, France, Russia and India.

“The pirates are sending out a message to the world that ‘we can do what we want, we can think the unthinkable, do the unexpected’,” Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Program, told Reuters in Mombasa.

India’s navy said one of its warships destroyed a pirate ship in the Gulf of Aden in a brief battle late on Tuesday.The pirates are armed with grenades, heavy machineguns and rocket-launchers, and foreign navies have usually steered clear of direct confrontation once ships have been hijacked, for fear of putting hostages at risk. In most cases, the owners of hijacked ships are trying to negotiate ransoms.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somali pirates transform villages into boomtowns

Pirates Of Somali

pirates

Somalian pirates are turning to be the most intelligent because they enjoy their lives in luxury not only the pirates but all the people who support them.In Haradhere, residents came out in droves and were celebrating  as the looming oil ship came into focus this week off the country’s lawless coast. Businessmen started gathering cigarettes, food and cold glass bottles of orange soda, setting up small kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to re-supply almost daily.

Somalia’s increasingly brazen pirates are building sprawling stone houses, cruising in luxury cars, marrying beautiful women even hiring caterers to prepare Western-style food for their hostages and in an impoverished country where every public institution has crumbled, they have become heroes in the steamy coastal dens they operate from because they are the only real business in town.”The pirates depend on us, and we benefit from them,” said Sahra Sheik Dahir, a shop owner in Haradhere, the nearest village to where a hijacked Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying USD 100 million in crude was anchored on Wednesday.

These boomtowns are all the more shocking in light of Somalia’s violence and poverty. Radical Islamists control most of the country’s south, meting out lashings and stonings for accused criminals. There has been no effective central government in nearly 20 years, plunging this arid African country into chaos.

Life expectancy is just 46 years; a quarter of children die before they reach 5. But in northern coastal towns like Haradhere, Eyl and Bossaso, the pirate economy is thriving thanks to the money pouring in from pirate ransoms that have reached USD 30 million this year alone.

In Haradhere, residents came out in droves to celebrate as the looming oil ship came into focus this week off the country’s lawless coast. Businessmen started gathering cigarettes, food and cold glass bottles of orange soda, setting up small kiosks for the pirates who come to shore to re-supply almost daily.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | global | , , , , , | Leave a comment