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Disney

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According recent reports, Walt Disney is close to confirming a deal to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for about $60 billion.

The sale would include the 20th Century Fox film studio and the Sky and Star satellite broadcasters in Europe and Asia.

Disney was left as the front runner after Comcast, the NBC owner, dropped out of the race on December 11.

According to the Financial Times, talks about the price were continuing on December 12.


CNBC reported that Fox and Disney were on a “glide path” for an announcement on December 14, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

The Murdoch family was said to favor a deal with Disney because it would rather be paid in the entertainment giant’s shares than Comcast stock.

Image source Wikipedia

A deal with Disney could also face fewer regulatory hurdles, although it is extremely unlikely to be waved through.

Also in question is what will happen to 21st Century Fox’s bid to buy the 61% of Sky that it does not already own.

Walt Disney Profits Jump 11% in Q1 2017

The deal is already under scrutiny by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is expected to publish its provisional findings in January.

It is not clear whether Disney will continue with the takeover if it buys the 39% stake from 21st Century Fox as part of the wider transaction.

The assets being sold by Fox include its FX and National Geographic cable channels, 22 regional US sports networks and the company’s stake in the Hulu streaming platform in the US.

It would also add to Disney’s extensive movie and TV library, with movies such as Avatar and Deadpool, as well as small screen hits including The Simpsons and Modern Family.

The Fox broadcast network, Fox News and Fox Sports would remain under the Murdochs’ control.

As well as its film studio, Disney also owns the ESPN sports network and cable channels.

Rupert Murdoch’s decision to sell most of Fox has surprised many commentators given his desire to continually expand his media empire over the past five decades.

Talks were understood to have been held between the two companies in November but did not result in an agreement.

Shares in Disney rose 0.5% in New York on December 12, valuing the company at $162 billion, while 21st Century Fox added 1%, valuing it at $62.6 billion.

Fox shares have jumped by close to a third over the past three months.

In a new YouTube video, PewDiePie has rejected allegations of anti-Semitism claims made by Disney.

The world’s highest paid YouTube star said the allegations – which resulted in Disney cutting ties with him – were “insane” and “unfair”.

PewDiePie said any offensive comments he had made were taken out of context and that he had been “blatantly misrepresented”.

Some of the Swede’s videos in the past few months were found to contain Nazi references or anti-Semitic imagery.

Image source Wikimedia

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said in his YouTube video: “I am sorry for the words I used as I know they offended people.

“I do strongly believe that you can joke about anything, but I also believe that there is a right way and not the best way to joke about things.”

PewDiePie said that as a “rookie comedian” he could take jokes too far.

The YouTube star insisted that he did not support right-wing groups that advocated hatred and that recent articles highlighting his alleged anti-Semitism by newspapers including the Wall Street Journal were personal attacks and attempts to discredit him.

He is reported to have made $15 million through YouTube in 2016.

PewDiePie has been associated with Disney via Maker Studios, a company with a network of YouTube stars. He has drawn several billions of views per month and generated vast amounts of income from advertising.

On February 14, Disney said that while Felix Kjellberg had a reputation for being provocative and irreverent, some of the videos he made were “inappropriate”.

In one of the controversial videos, PewDiePie paid two Indians through a crowd-sourcing website to hold up a sign which read “Death to all Jews”.

In his response to the criticism, PewDiePie said he was trying to show how people “would say anything for $5”.

In other videos the YouTuber also showed swastikas drawn by a fan, played the Nazi Party anthem and did a brief Hitler salute – all of which he says was done as a joke and taken out of context.

PewDiePie said that he had been accused of “normalizing hatred” in the jokes, whereas in fact it was his media critics who were doing this by their unfair attacks on him.

YouTube itself said earlier that it had canceled the release of Felix Kjellberg’s new series Scare PewDiePie 2, and had dropped him from its Google Preferred scheme, which highlights advertiser-friendly content creators.

In 2016, PewDiePie was temporarily suspended from Twitter after making jokes about ISIS.

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Disney has decided to cut ties with PewDiePie over allegations of anti-Semitism.

PewDiePie is the world’s highest paid YouTube star.

The decision came after several videos PewDiePie released over the past few months were found to contain Nazi references or anti-Semitic imagery.

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, accepted the material was offensive, but said he did not support “any kind of hateful attitudes”.

He is reported to have made $15 million through YouTube in 2016.

Image source Wikimedia

The 27-year-old Swede has been associated with Disney via Maker Studios, a company with a network of YouTube stars, drawing several billions of views per month – generating vast income from advertising.

Maker Studios said: “Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate.”

In one of the controversial videos, Felix Kjellberg paid two Indians through a crowd-sourcing website to hold up a sign which read “Death to all Jews”.

In a response to the criticism, PewDiePie said he was “trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online” and that people “would say anything for five dollars”.

PewDiePie said it was “laughable” to suggest he endorsed that message but added that “though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive”.

In other videos PewDiePie also showed swastikas drawn by a fan, played the Nazi Party anthem and did a brief Hitler salute – all of which he says was done as a joke.

In 2016, PewDiePie was temporarily suspended from Twitter after making jokes about ISIS.

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Disney is to buy most of Disneyland Paris theme park operator Euro Disney.

The deal could end private investing in the company after more than 26 years, leaving just two shareholders.

Disney set up Euro Disney to run the Disneyland Paris resort, which opened in 1992.

The American company said it would plough 1.5 billion euros into Euro Disney and aims to buy out private investors, offering 2 euros per share.

The 2015 terror attacks on Paris and “challenging business conditions” in France and across Europe have dented its finances, it said.

The latest rescue follows a 1 billion-euro refinancing in 2014 in the wake of falling visitor numbers and spending.

Image source Flickr

Disney injected more than 400 million euros into the business, while about 600 million euros in debt was converted to shares in the US group.

While the 2 euro-a-share offer is 67% higher than February 9 closing price, it may not be as attractive to investors who bought shares earlier in the company’s history.

Disney first sold shares to the public in 1989 for 72 francs apiece, the equivalent of 10.98 euros, and the stock climbed as high as 165.2 francs in 1992.

It has had to bail the company out through restructuring its debt on a number of occasions and has been gradually increasing its stake. Before the latest announcement it owned 76.7% of Euro Disney.

The latest move includes buying 9% of the company’s stock from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holdings, which bought a stake in the company in 1994 during one of its early restructurings.

Kingdom Holdings will keep a 1% stake in Euro Disney, and if the remaining private shareholders agree to the latest offer, Disney will own the rest.

Shareholders could reject the offer and keep their shares, but if Disney buys enough of the stock to own more than 95% of the company, it will have to buy the rest under French stock market rules.

Despite being the largest theme park in Europe, Euro Disney has recorded losses in 18 of its 25 financial years. Fewer than expected visitors and fees charged by Disney for the use of its branding have been blamed by investors for its poor performance.

In 2016, Disney paid 75 million euros in royalties and management fees on revenue of 1.28 billion euros.

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Disney has decided to withdraw a children’s costume promoting its Moana animation movie, after accusations of cultural appropriation.

Moana “brownface” costume, a full-body suit with brown skin, traditional tattoos, grass skirt and bone necklace, represents the character Maui, considered a demi-god and ancestor by many Polynesians.

Activists said it was “brownface”, or mocking of the culture by creating stereotypes.

Disney said in a statement it regretted any offence: “The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some.

“We sincerely apologize and are pulling the costume from our website and stores.” moana-costume-kids

Moana, due for release in November, tells the story of a young girl who teams up with the demi-god Maui to make an ocean voyage and save her people.

The character of Moana has been widely welcomed because she is feisty, independent and with a more realistic body shape than most Disney female leads.

Moana also has no love interest in the story, which was written by New Zealand Maori film-maker Taika Waititi.

When the trailer for Moana was released in June, many people were offended by the depiction of Maui, saying he was an “obese” caricature of Polynesian men.

Among the merchandise promoting Moana was the Maui costume, on sale for about $44.

The costume was advertised as helping children “set off on adventures”, with his “signature tattoos” and clothing.

Among the angry responses were people saying “our skin is not a costume”, and pointing out that white-skin outfits are never sold for white characters.

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Dean Jones has died of complications related to Parkinson’s disease at the age of 84.

The legendary actor was best known for his starring role in Disney’s The Love Bug.

Dean Jones performed as a TV and theatre actor, but his career was defined by Hollywood; appearing in 46 films, including 10 for Disney.

He was one of Disney’s major stars of the 1960s and 1970s, appearing in That Darn Cat!, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo and Beethoven.

Photo IMDb

Photo IMDb

The Love Bug was Dean Jones’ most successful film. He plays a struggling racing driver who acquires a Volkswagen named Herbie that shows human traits.

Dean Jones was proud of the family-friendly entertainment that was his hallmark.

In 1995, Dean Jones earned a spot in the Disney Legends Hall of Fame.

He worked regularly into his 70s, appearing often on TV and in movies.

Dean Jones, a native of Alabama, is survived by his wife of 42 years, Lory, and three children.

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Toy Story 4 will see Woody and Bo Peep reunited in a love story, Disney revealed.

Woody and Bo Peep were romantically linked in the first movie in 1995 but this time their relationship will be a big part of the plot.

Speaking at Disney’s D23 conference, Disney Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter confirmed Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, would be at the centre of a love story.

“It’s something we’ve never done with Toy Story before,” he said.

“At Pixar and at Disney we only do a sequel if we have come up with something that’s as good or better than the original. That’s our rule.”

“We don’t do things just to print money. It’s about great stories, that’s what we do.”Toy Story 4 love story

Pixar previously announced that Toy Story 4, which is set to be released in June 2017, would be a standalone film separate from the trilogy.

John Lasseter, who is co-directing the movie, said the story is very emotional and personal and has been inspired by his own wife.

Plans were also announced for Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.

The 11-acre park will feature large objects to make guests feel as though they are in Andy’s back garden.

Speaking during the event, lead creator for Walt Disney World Kathy Mangum explained how the park will include two new attractions.

She said: “One will see little green aliens pulling you around as the Claw looms over you. The other is a family roller-coaster where you ride on the back of Slinky Dog.”

Finding Dory, a sequel to Finding Nemo, as well as follow-ups to Frozen and The Incredibles are also in development at the moment.

There was also news on Pixar’s delayed release Good Dinosaur – which will come out in November having been pushed back by a year.

Disney also announced a Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation called Gigantic, which will feature a 60ft tall girl who Jack meets when he climbs up the beanstalk and songs written by the team behind Frozen’s Let It Go.

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Disney has announced a Star Wars spin-off movie that will tell the back story of space smuggler Han Solo.

The new movie is to be directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the men behind the hugely successful Lego movie.

The charismatic criminal turned Rebellion hero returns in Star Wars‘ next installment: The Force Awakens this Christmas.

Harrison Ford last played Han Solo in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.Han Solo movie 2018

No details or casting have been yet been announced but the Hollywood Reporter said the script would be written by father and son team Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.

The senior Kasdan co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, the latter with director JJ Abrams.

There was a huge excitement in the fan community earlier this year when an extended trailer for the new film featured a brief appearance of Han Solo and his Millennium Falcon co-pilot Chewbacca, appearing to be on the deck of his famous spaceship, uttering the words, “Chewie, we’re home…”

The untitled Han Solo project is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018.

The movie follows the first stand-alone Star Wars anthology film Rogue One, which is due in 2016.

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The soundtrack for Disney’s movie Frozen has become the biggest-selling album in the world in 2014, shifting 10 million copies.

The sales figures have been revealed by the IFPI in another report published in addition to the one we mentioned earlier.

The Frozen soundtrack sold 4 million more copies than its nearest rival, Taylor Swift’s 1989, which sold 6 million.

Pharrell Williams’ Happy was the biggest-selling single of the year worldwide, shifting 13.9 million copies.Frozen biggest selling album 2014

Global top five albums 2014:

  1. Frozen – Various artists (10 million copies sold)
  2. 1989 – Taylor Swift (6 million copies)
  3. x – Ed Sheeran (4.4 million copies )
  4. Ghost Stories – Coldplay (3.7 million copies)
  5. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith (3.5 million copies)

Global top five singles 2014:

  1. Happy – Pharrell Williams (13.9 million copies sold)
  2. Dark Horse -Katy Perry featuring Juicy J (13.2 million copies)
  3. All Of Me – John Legend (12.3 million copies sold)
  4. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor (11 million copies)
  5. Let It Go – Idina Menzel (10.9 million copies)

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Disney’s Cinderella has topped the US box office on its opening weekend.

The new live-action adaptation directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James and Richard Madden, earned $70.1 million over the weekend.

The success of Cinderella replicates that of previous Disney live-action films including Maleficent.

Liam Neeson saw his star falter with Run All Night making just $11 million.

The New York crime saga, co-starring Ed Harris, marked the weakest debut weekend for Taken star Liam Neeson as an action film lead.Disney's Cinderella tops US box office on debut

Cinderella follows the box office lead of Into the Woods, based on the Stephen Sondheim musical, which made more than $173 million worldwide to date.

Live action Disney adaptations of The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo are all on the way.

A sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is also due to be released in 2016.

This year will also see Disney releases The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Elsewhere in the box office chart, last week’s top film, the South African sci-fi thriller Chappie from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, dropped to fifth with $5.8 million.

Kingsman: The Secret Service and Focus rounded out the top five.

North American box office Top 5:

  1. Cinderella – $70.1 million
  2. Run All Night – $11 million
  3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $6.2 million
  4. Focus – $5.8 million
  5. Chappie – $5,8 million [youtube 20DF6U1HcGQ 650]

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A Frozen sequel is under way, Disney has announced.

Frozen became the highest-grossing animated film of all time in 2014.

The Oscar-winning animation made $1.27 billion at box offices worldwide, and led to record sales of related merchandise.

Frozen 2 will reunite the team behind the original feature, including director Chris Buck, writer Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho.Frozen 2 announced

The studio did not name a release date.

Shares in parent company Walt Disney were up by almost 4% following the news.

Toy-maker Mattel, which currently owns the license to sell Frozen products, saw its shares rise by almost 5%.

Last month, Disney credited the continuing success of toys based on Frozen for an “incredibly strong quarter”.

Net income rose 19% to $2.2 billion in the three-month period, with revenues up 9% to $13.4 billion – both figures better than forecast.

In December, Frozen became iTunes’ biggest-selling movie of all time, while the soundtrack sold more than any other album in the US in 2014.

Additionally, DVD and Blu-ray sales of the animation broke the three million mark on the first day of their release.

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Disney has unveiled its first Latina princess, Princess Elena of Avalor.

Princess Elena of Avalor is the star of a new animated television series for Disney Junior.

She will make her debut in a 2016 episode of Sofia the First before getting her own spin-off series.

Disney described the 16-year-old as the “bold, caring, funny and clever ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor”.

The kingdom will be inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore.

Disney made history in 2009 with its first black princess, called Tiana, in The Princess and the Frog.

The series will feature “a universal story” with themes that “authentically reflect the hopes and dreams of our diverse audience”, according to Nancy Kanter, the executive vice president of Disney Junior Worldwide.Disney Princess Elena of Avalor

“What excites us most is the chance to use distinctive animation and visual design to tell wonderful stories influenced by culture and traditions that are familiar to the worldwide population of Hispanic and Latino families and reflect the interests and aspirations of all children as told through a classic fairy tale,” said Nancy Kanter.

While the show will centre around the “confident and compassionate teenager” Elena, it is being targeted at children aged two to seven.

Disney said the series, which will be presented in 25 languages around the world, will communicate “positive messages and life lessons” for young children about things like “leadership, resilience, diversity, compassion and the importance of family and family traditions”.

Princess Elena’s story starts when she is trapped inside an amulet while trying to protect her sister and grandparents from evil sorceress Shuriki, who took her parents and kingdom away.

It turns out to be the same amulet worn by Princess Sofia, who will set out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor.

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Frozen follow-up, Frozen Fever, will be screened ahead of Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Cinderella in March 2015.

Frozen Fever, a one-off short film, will once again feature Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf the snowman.

Frozen is the biggest animated feature of all time, making more than $1.25 billion at the worldwide box office.

The original team behind Frozen Fever will reunite, including directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee,

The plot will see Elsa’s icy powers threaten to overshadow her sister Anna’s birthday party.

The short will also feature a new original song by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

Voice actors Kristen Bell (Anna), Idina Menzel (Elsa), Jonathan Groff (Kristoff) and Josh Gad (Olaf) will to return to their Frozen roles in the short.Frozen Fever short film

Frozen has become the fifth highest-grossing film in box office history and won two Oscars, for best animated feature and best original song for Let It Go.

The movie, which was released in November 2013, has taken $1.27 billion worldwide, overtaking Iron Man 3‘s total haul.

It now stands behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, with $1.34 billion in global ticket sales.

The animated hit has sold more than three million copies on DVD/Blu-ray and is on track to become the biggest seller of the decade, according to the Official Charts Company.

Cinderella stars Lily James Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter.

Disney announced the film in 2010 following the success of its live-action version of Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton.

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Big Hero 6 has beaten star-studded Interstellar into second place at the North America box office over the weekend.

Disney’s cartoon Big Hero 6 – based on characters from Marvel comics – amassed $56.2 million, eclipsing Interstellar‘s takings of $50 million.

Space movie Interstellar, starring Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey, took first place in the global box office rundown.

Ouija and Nightcrawler, last week’s joint number one, fell to four and six.

It is only the fourth time in US box office history that two films have opened with $50 million or above, according to experts Rentrak.

Big Hero 6 has beaten star-studded Interstellar into second place at the North America box office over the weekend

Big Hero 6 has beaten star-studded Interstellar into second place at the North America box office over the weekend

Interstellar, the latest film by Dark Knight and Inception director Christopher Nolan, which tells the story of astronauts who are searching for a habitable planet after the Earth is decimated by dust storms, cost $165 million to make.

It has inevitably been compared to last year’s starry space epic Gravity, which had a bigger box office haul in its opening week.

Interstellar is likely to enjoy a further worldwide sales boost when it opens in China on November 12, while its makers have said they will target families and young men in a bid to sustain its ticket sales.

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Saudi Prince Fahd al-Saud has spent some 15 million euros ($20 million) during a private visit to the Disneyland resort near Paris.

Prince Fahd al-Saud is said to have booked entire areas of the park over the 22-24 May period to celebrate getting his degree.

Euro Disney, which runs the theme park, confirmed that a prince had spent three days there with some 60 guests.

Disneyland says it regularly organizes private events for firms or people.

Saudi Prince Fahd al-Saud has spent some $20 million during a private visit to the Disneyland resort near Paris

Saudi Prince Fahd al-Saud has spent some $20 million during a private visit to the Disneyland resort near Paris

The festivities included tailor-made events involving “rare Disney characters”, Euro Disney told the AFP news agency.

Special security was put in place for the prince, one of the park’s top customers, added Euro Disney.

The theme park attracted 16 million visitors last year, but Euro Disney says it has not made any profits since it was set up in 1992.

Last year, it lost 120.9 million euros in the first half of its financial year compared with a net loss of 99.5 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

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A 1946 cartoon, produced by Disney in collaboration with Kotex, explains “the story of menstruation” – and as the first film to use the word vagina, it was played to 105 million students in health classes across the country.

Complete with a soothing-sounding narrator and plenty of wide-eyed illustrations, the film avoids all mentions of sexuality and reproduction, instead emphasizing the importance of sanitation and cosmetic appearance, because girls “shan’t let menstruation get you down”.

The 10-minute film expels myths about not being able to bath or exercise during menstruation, and assures viewers that they will be able continue their “usual” activities while on their periods, such as putting on makeup, completing house chores, and going on dates.

The film says: “There’s nothing strange nor mysterious about menstruation. All life is built on cycles,” which is shown over a heteronormative illustration of the cycle of an average woman’s lifetime at the time: Baby to toddler, to a young woman, to menstruation, to dancing with boys, to a white wedding dress, and then a baby.

Throughout the video, the Disney narrator debunks “the old taboo against bathing during your period”, saying, “not only can you bath, you should bath!”.

“As for the old taboo against exercise, that’s nonsense,” she adds.

“Exercising is good for you during menstruation. Extremes however, should be avoided.”

A 1946 cartoon, produced by Disney in collaboration with Kotex, explains the story of menstruation

A 1946 cartoon, produced by Disney in collaboration with Kotex, explains the story of menstruation

The video also warns against the dangers of feeling down while on your period, which it explains can be remedied with cosmetic application.

It explains: “Some girls may have a little less pep, the feeling of pressure in the lower part of their body, or a twinge of a nerve. But don’t let it get you down.

“After all, no matter how you feel, you have to live with people, and more importantly, yourself. Once you stop feeling sorry for yourself you’ll find it’s easier to keep smiling and even tempered.

“It’s smart to keep looking smart. That well-groomed feeling will give you new poise, and lift your moral.”

Gynecologist Mason Hohn was hired as a consultant to ensure that the film was scientifically accurate, which gave a stronger emphasis on biology than previous health videos in the same vain.

However, it still skips the sex-equals-pregnancy talk, instead explaining: “If the egg is impregnated, which happens when a women is going to have a child, the egg will stay within the uterus and the lining with provide nutrition for the budding human being through the early stages of its development.”

It was one of the first commercially sponsored films to be distributed to high schools, and it came with a booklet for teachers and students called Very Personally Yours that featured advertising of the Kotex brand of products.

The booklet discouraged the use of tampons, because the market was at the time dominated by the Tampax brand of rivals Procter & Gamble.

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Disney is exploring the use of 3D printers to build new kinds of light features into objects.

The firm’s researchers are working on a range of techniques including “light pipes” and tubes of enclosed air that can be made to glow in controlled ways.

They say that 3D printers can create objects with “micron accuracy” that would otherwise be more complicated and costly to build.

It paves the way for the firm to create new kinds of toys.

However, one expert suggested it might be some time before the innovation became cheap enough to use to create mass produced items.

A paper published by the entertainment giant’s Pittsburgh labs details prototypes already created including a bug-like figure with glowing eyes that display different graphics; chess set pieces that use light to display information about their position on the board; and blocks of plastic that appear to show explosions inside when light is shone at them.

“We envision a future world where interactive devices can be printed rather than assembled,” wrote the team.

“A world where a device with active components is created as a single object, rather than a case enclosing circuit boards and individual assembled parts.”

The engineers used computer software to make objects which included innovative lighting elements. They explained that creating the toys on 3D printers allowed them to create a real-world prototype within minutes, rather than having to wait for a factory to be retooled.

The process used a liquid substance that hardened when exposed to ultraviolet light. The printer deposited and hardened this polymer layer by layer with a high degree of accuracy that equated to a print resolution of 600 dots per inch.

One application involved the creation of air pockets in the shape of thin hollow tubes of various lengths which were arranged to resemble the shape of a cartoon heart inside an animal-shaped figurine.

When illuminated from below using a light emitting-diode (LED) the tubes looked as if lots of tiny lights had been built into the toy and programmed to shine in sequence to resemble a beating heart.

Another example involved creating “light pipes” as a 3D-printed alternative to optical fibre.

The engineers said the pipes could be easily shaped to fit a toy’s specific form, with joints placed at specific places allowing them to be linked to other light pipes. They said this would have been much harder to achieve with traditional fibre.

The Disney team used a series of these pipes to funnel light up from the base of a toy demon into its eyes. Engineers could control which bits of the eyes were illuminated in a specific color, to make the toy appear as if it was rolling its eyeballs, blinking, or showing two small throbbing hearts.

The team also showed how a large number of light pipes could be used to form a kind of dot matrix display. By controlling which pipe received light at any one time they were able to make text and numbers glow through the sides of the bases of specially constructed chess pieces.

They suggested the technique could be used to show the pieces’ location and a suggested move during a game.

The researchers acknowledged they needed to do more work before the technology was ready for market. For instance the light pipes currently suffer from too much light loss unless they are kept short, and there were complications in creating completely enclosed hollow areas.

However, the researchers appeared confident that these setbacks could be overcome and added that future 3D printers should permit greater control over reflectivity, light absorption and other factors allowing toy designers to incorporate additional functionality.

But one industry watcher had doubts.

“The toy industry will always look to see if it can use technology to enhance the <<wow factor>>,” said John Baulch, editor of Toy World magazine.

“But the key thing is whether this can be used to make toys at a price that makes the end-product commercially viable.

“So far the small number of other companies that have developed 3D printing methods have found that the resulting products end up being expensive and have targeted them at adult collectors, rather than children, as a result.”

In the meantime some in the toy business see 3D printers as a potential threat, allowing users to download designs and create their own toys at home.

File-sharing site The Pirate Bay already hosts a limited number of 3D file blueprints and has claimed “physibles” would be the “next step in copying”.

 

On August 27, AFP announced that Goethe had been voted the greatest

German of all time in a poll of 2,000 people.

 

The survey was conducted by the Forsa institute for the daily Bild newspaper.

Konrad Adenauer, West Germany’s first chancellor after World War II (1949-1963) was the second choice of the readers, while Albert Einstein was the third.

There were only two living personalities who received votes: Helmut Kohl, longest-serving leader (1982-1998), in fifth place and Helmut Schmidt, Social Democrat leader (1974-1982), in seventh.

 

Goethe and Schiller monument in Weimar, Germany

Goethe and Schiller monument in Weimar, Germany

 

August 28 marks Goethe‘s 262th birthday anniversary.

 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) is best-known for his epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther and his long poem Faust, but he was a polymath, or Homo Universalis (universal man), as he tried and succeeded to cover a lot of fields of culture (philosophy, literature, science).

The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) was somehow autobiographic novel and belongs to the Sturm und Drang (storm and urge) period in German literature. The novel started Werther-Fieber (Werther Fever) with young men adopting Werther’s dressing style and led to some copycat suicides.

Goethe in someway regretted he had written this novel because he had exposed his youthful love. The Sorrows of Young Werther became almost the only work for which Goethe was known.

Goethe came up with hundreds ideas that later became widespread. He created poetry, essays, criticism, a theory of colours and early work on evolution and linguistics. There is even a mineral goethite (iron oxide), named after him, because of his studies of mineralogy.

His philosophic writings stimulated philosophers, such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Jung. Goethe’s poetry inspired Austrian and German composer like Mozart, Mahler, Beethoven. He also influenced French drama and opera.

Fantasia (1940 Disney film) was based on the story from Goethe’s poem Der Zauberlehrling (1797), which is translated The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Mickey Mouse plays the apprentice. The movie was so popular that Fantasia 2000, a 1999 sequel, followed.

 

Goethe and Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller were leading personalities of Weimar Classicism.

 

Steve Jobs resigned as Apple’s CEO. Tim Cook is the new CEO.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in Europe blocked by Apple

 

iCloud – a new platform for developers

 

Steve Jobs, the man who had visions with people loving the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007), iPad (2010), has resigned from Apple CEO, possibly because of an [googlead tip=”vertical_mediu” aliniat=”dreapta”] aggravation caused by pancreatic cancer.

 

Steve Jobs has been perceived as an technology’s oracle, thus his health and medical condition have been considered strong related with Apple’s stock position. Right after he announced his retirement as CEO, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares dropped fell 5.4 percent and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) stock fell 1.5 percent.

 

Steve Jobs was diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer (pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor) in 2004. Since then he only took three medical leaves from company. He underwent surgery (pancreaticoduodenectomy) intended to cure the malignancy, and a liver transplant in 2009.

 

Perhaps  Steve Jobs pancreatic cancer forces resignation.

“About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. […]

[googlead tip=”lista_medie” aliniat=”stanga”]I lived with that diagnosis all day.[…] I had a biopsy […] I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.” Said Steve Jobs (Stanford Commencement speech 2005).

 

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor develops from hormone-producing cells (islet cell) of the pancreas. Around 5% of the pancreatic cancers diagnosed each year are neuroendocrine. It is less aggressive and more curable than other types of pancreatic cancer, but if the cancer metastasizes (spreads into other organs), the survival rate decrease dramatically.

 

The researchers of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University have deciphered the genetic code of neuroendocrine tumors. This open the way for personalized cancer therapy. Also, this year, Food and Drug Administration approved two new drugs for neuroendocrine tumors, sunitinib and everolimus.

Steve Jobs resigned possibly because of an aggravation caused by pancreatic cancer

Steve Jobs resigned possibly because of an aggravation caused by pancreatic cancer

 

The billionaire with $1 salary a year co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne in 1976. In 1985 Steve Jobs was head of the Macintosh division and he was fired by John Scully who was Apple CEO.[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]  

Then he founded NeXT Computer, bought Pixar, which would be bought by Disney, making Steve Jobs Disney’s largest single shareholder with (around 7 percent). In 1996 Apple bought NeXT and Jobs returned to the company.

The youth, perseverance, vision, and hard work of the man who “never graduated from college” made Time (1982) to describe him as “the most famous maestro of the micro”. Also, Steve Jobs has been a character played by Noah Wyle in Triumph of the Nerds (1996), Nerds 2.0.1 (1998), Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999).