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It’s In The Clouds, Stupid!

April 29, 2016 Leave a comment

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The New York Times

Friday, April 29, 2016

Daily Report
Ten years ago last March, Amazon started the era of renting data storage and computing over the Internet, what is now known as cloud computing. On Thursday, Amazon showed how critical it is to the retailer’s future.
As Nick Wingfield writes, the Seattle-based Internet retailer reported net income of $513 million, a great showing for a company with thin profit margins that often reports losses.
The star of the show was Amazon Web Services, or AWS, that cloud business. Amazon breaks out that sector from the rest of its business, and it makes for impressive reading: Operating income as a percentage of sales for Amazon’s retail business was 3 percent; for AWS it was 24 percent.
AWS is still a relatively small part of the company’s total business, but that outsize profitability is reshaping Amazon. Over all, the company’s operating income is 3.6 percent of revenue, but that is up from 1.1 percent a year ago. A big reason is that AWS has doubled its profitability.
The effect of new, cloud-based businesses is everywhere in tech this earnings season, from Intel cutting 12,000 jobs as it reorients itself from personal computers to the cloud, to Microsoft reporting lower profits, but investors buying the stock on word of growth in its cloud business, which is similar to AWS.
Cloud computing makes a lot of money in part by automating things: A large data center, supplying potentially thousands of customers, may be run by just a half-dozen people. The people engineering these systems have become very clever about running them efficiently too, devising special semiconductors and software.
Google and Facebook are also cloud-based companies, though for now they get most of their money from advertising.
As we near the end of the tech earnings season, it is useful to look at net income earned per employee at the company. Microsoft had profits of about $32,200 per person in the quarter, a healthy performance considering how many employees it still has in older businesses. It came in just ahead of Goldman Sachs, on a profit per employee basis.
Google was twice that, however, at $65,600 per employee. Facebook, which had a great quarter came in tops, at $115,000.
There are two more, both largely sellers of retail products to consumers. Apple, which had its first quarter with lower earnings in 13 years, still managed to make $105,000 per person. At the other end of the spectrum was Amazon, earning just $2,092.
There are two lessons from that: If you do sell retail products, it helps to sell highly profitable fetish objects, like iPhones — which, not incidentally, have a lot of value because of the cloud-based apps running on them.
And if you are selling bargain retail, it’s a very good idea to be in the cloud computing business, too. — Quentin Hardy
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eMarketer Roundup: Optimizing Mobile Advertising

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment
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SOURCING JOURNAL PRESENTS: Regulation Education Workshop

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment

 

SOURCING JOURNAL PRESENTS: Regulation Education Workshop
Confused about conflict minerals or Prop 65? Need an update on children’s product safety? Or a lesson in Made in USA labeling?Sourcing Journal is hosting an educational workshop, “Regulation Education” on June 15 in NYC, to provide insight on the manifold elements of maintaining compliance. Join us for a half-day workshop to learn how to adhere to regulations for Conflict Minerals, Made in USA labeling, Children’s Product Safety and Prop 65, plus get up to speed on the latest changes to the rules.

Before the half day is up, you’ll have an understanding of the Conflict Minerals section of the Dodd-Frank Act, know how to properly test and adhere to required chemical and labeling regulations, and be well aware of the ramifications for non-compliance–key in today’s world where compliance is ever-more paramount to business success.

Speakers include:
Barbara Jones, Attorney, GT Law – Conflict Minerals
David Callet, Attorney, Callet Law LLC – Children’s Product Safety Act
James Kohm, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission – Made in USA Labeling
Ben Mead, Managing Director USA, Hohenstein – California Prop 65

WHEN: June 15, 2016
TIME: 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: LIM College Townhouse, 12 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022

For more information, visit our event page or contact Tara Donaldson.

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FIVE MINUTES ON MOBILE

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment
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Introducing Filestack’s File Exporter

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment

 

Using Filestack’s Export widget, you can turn any <button>, <input type=”button”>, or <a> tag into a cloud-enabled save button, so your users can save files to Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive and more for future use. Exporting content via a responsive modal is a must for mobile applications, where the local filesystems are essentially black holes.
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Featured Customer – Tilt

Tilt increases engagement on crowdfunding “tilts” by encouraging users to upload images and gifs from social media using Filestack’s scalable file infrastructure.
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NBCUniversal Buys DreamWorks

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment

 

Acquisiton will build on NBCUniversal’s presence in the family and animation space.

NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast and the world’s No. 11 licensor, has acquired DreamWorks Animation (the world’s No. 18 licensor) for approximately $3.8 billion.

As part of the transaction, DreamWorks will become part of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandago and NBCUniversal Brand Development.

Top licensor rankings are based on License! Global’s exclusive Top 150 Global Licensors report, which will be released in the May issue next week. In 2015, NBCUniversal reported $4.5 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise, while DreamWorks brought in $3.3 billion.

Following the transaction, DreamWorks chief executive officer and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will become chairman of DreamWorks New Media, which will be comprised of the company’s ownership interests in AwesomenessTV and NOVA. He will also serve as a consultant to NBCUniversal.

The acquisition will give NBCUniversal a boarder reach to new audiences in the competitive kids and family entertainment space with DreamWorks’ franchises such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, among others. Additionally, DreamWorks Classics properties such as Where’s Waldo and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will also become part of the NBCUniversal portfolio, as well as DreamWorks’ consumer products business.

NBCUniversal, which already has a strong lineup of kids and family entertainment properties, will also be able to bolster its current offerings–which include Despicable Me, Minions, Jurassic World and its upcoming film, The Secret Life of Pets.

“DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” says Steve Burke, chief executive officer, NBCUniversal. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come. We have enjoyed extraordinary success over the last six years in animation with the emergence of Illumination Entertainment and its brilliant team at Illumination Mac Guff studio. The prospects for our future together are tremendous. We are fortunate to have Illumination founder Chris Meledandri to help guide the growth of the DreamWorks Animation business in the future.”

“Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world’s most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential,” says Katzenberg.  “This agreement not only delivers significant value for our shareholders, but also supports NBCUniversal’s growing family entertainment business.  As for my role, I am incredibly excited to continue exploring the potential of AwesomenessTV, NOVA and other new media opportunities, and can’t wait to get started.”

DreamWorks stockholders will receive $41 in cash for each share of DreamWorks common stock.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks’ stock soared above the $40 mark after the announcement and Comcast’s stock also rose on Thursday and was up 0.5 percent at $61.58. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter also reports that Liongates’s stock rose more than 7 percent after the announcement.

The boards of directors at DreamWorks and Comcast have approved the transaction, and the controlling shareholder of DreamWorks approved the agreement with written consent. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

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The Art and Science of Trend Tracking

April 28, 2016 Leave a comment
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eMarketer Week in Review

April 24, 2016 Leave a comment

 

 

April 24, 2016
WEEK’S TOP ARTICLES

The hype around artificial intelligence (AI) is ramping up, especially as big tech companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft attempt to commercialize its use. Agencies are also starting to figure out how they can leverage AI to make their clients’ marketing and advertising efforts more effective. eMarketer spoke with Josh Sutton, global head of the artificial intelligence practice at Publicis.Sapient, to demystify how AI is used for marketing and what its future may hold.

Full Interview »

Josh Sutton
Global Head, Artificial Intelligence Practice
Publicis.Sapient
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CHART OF THE WEEK

eMarketer Webinar: US Election 2016 – Digital Advertising, Data and Targeting

Election cycles drive ad spend in the US, with 2016 expected to be the biggest yet for paid media. Join eMarketer for a complimentary webinar to learn about digital’s growing role – from raising awareness to getting out the vote. Register now.
MORE ARTICLES
Digital Political Ad Spending to Skyrocket in 2016
Ad Blocking Moves into the Mainstream in the UK
Streaming Music Subscriptions Boast Big Revenues, Growing Bases
Microsoft Ad Revenues Continue to Rebound
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Denim Newsletter

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment

 

22nd April 2016

Luxury Denim - Ready To Wear Fall 2016 Looks (Part 1)
As denim is becoming posh day by day so the top luxury brands comes out with their amazing denim collection for Fall 2016 Ready-to-wear.
H&M Aims to Become 100 Percent ‘Circular’

H&M Aims to Become 100 Percent ‘Circular’ :

In its 14th annual conscious actions sustainability report publishedThursday, the Swedish fast-fashion giant said 78 percent of its electricity used came from renewable sources in 2015….. Read more
Ralph Lauren Japanese Raw Denim

Ralph Lauren Japanese Raw Denim :

Ralph Lauren brings out some cool raw and very  chic denim vests, jackets, dresses this season .  Made with Japanese denim detailed and sharp stitching, high end horn and other buttons.. .Read more
Amsterdam Denim Days: Cleaning Up A Dirty Business

Amsterdam Denim Days: Cleaning Up A Dirty Business:

The denim industry is one of the largest in the world and the Netherlands is its capital. Major denim brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Scotch & Soda, Calvin Klein and Pepe, design… Read more
Ralph Lauren Japanese Raw Denim

Top Denim Stores In Taiwan :

Taiwan is a place not normally  associated with denim. However, the people here love denim and there are some cool stores which keep very selected denim labels with them….Read more
Amsterdam Denim Days: Cleaning Up A Dirty Business

Discover What Makes Japanese Denim Worth Its High Price Tag :

When blue jeans were invented in the 1870s by the Bavarian-born American Levi Strauss, denim was weaved and manufactured using cast-iron shuttle looms… Read more
The First Ever Denim Show In Vietnam | 16th-17th June, 2016
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The No-Good Week in Tech’s (Hopeful) Trip to a Bright Future

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment

 

 

Friday, April 22, 2016

The New York Times

For the latest updates, go to nytimes.com/technology »

The New York Times

Friday, April 22, 2016

Daily Report
The No-Good Week in Tech’s (Hopeful) Trip to a Bright Future | Judging from the way the technology industry hypes itself, tech has a bright future, and always will. This week is a different matter.
On Monday IBM reported a 21 percent profit decline. Intel came out with lower than expected earnings on Tuesday, along with word that it would lay off 12,000 people. That same day Yahoo, which is trying to sell core parts of itself, reported declining revenue and cash flow.
Then on Thursday, Microsoft said its most recent quarter resulted in slightly lower revenue and sharply lower net income. Alphabet, the parent of Google, reported increased revenue and profit, but still disappointed Wall Street by earning less than expected. Google’s own transition to selling cloud services has moved slowly.
It might seem O.K. to sneer at the companies that increasingly run much of our lives, but a deeper reading of the reports shows an industry in transition, and perhaps getting ready to get even bigger.
Of course, each unhappy company is unhappy in its own way, and Yahoo has a very particular form of sadness. For over a decade it has tried to figure out if it was a technology company or a media company, succeeding in neither while holding a sizable audience.
The others, however, are each coping with transitions: All save Google are dealing with a transition to cloud computing, and the diminishing importance of personal computers at home and in the office.
Even IBM counted on its software being consumed in a world where people used PCs. Now, the old services and hardware business are in trouble, but it showed progress in selling cloud and artificial intelligence services. The company also almost doubled its cash on hand, to $14 billion, in just one quarter.
Microsoft has to adjust to selling fewer PC operating systems and making money off its cloud, and before Thursday’s slip saw its shares near a 16-year high. It has $105 billion in cash, up $9 billion in the last three quarters.
Google may not have made premium profits on some ads, but as a recent report noted, Google and Facebook together get 85 percent of online advertising dollars.
Wall Street appears to be worried that Google increased its head count over the last quarter, but net income per employee was $65,616 in the recent quarter, up from $63,426 a year ago. Earlier this week Goldman Sachs, considered pretty good at making money, had per-employee net earnings of $31,095. Google also bumped the cash it has on hand by about $2 billion over the quarter, to $75 billion.
All these cash stockpiles look increasingly like war chests: If it’s tough at the giants in tech, it’s probably harder at some of the hopefuls. On Wednesday Bill Gurley, a noted venture capitalist, posted a long critique of the overvalued start-ups — the “unicorns” with imputed values of $1 billion or more before going public, or even making money.
If the new hopefuls don’t make it and have to sell at big markdowns compared with their once-lofty valuations, there are a few big tech companies that have gathered the cash to buy them.
Alphabet’s stock price on the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York in February. On Thursday, as soon as its earnings were released, the stock fell about 5 percent.

Alphabet Earnings Disappoint as Google Ad Clicks Cost Less

By DAVID STREITFELD

Revenue for the Google holding company was about $150 million less than expected.

Microsoft is pinning its future on the business of renting computing infrastructure to other companies, where it has become a credible No. 2 to Amazon.

Microsoft’s Cloud Business Falls Short of Investors’ Hopes

By NICK WINGFIELD

Both revenue and earnings were short of analysts’ forecasts, and the company’s shares fell after hours.

A small interactive robot from IBM’s Watson A.I. department at CeBit, the digital business fair in Hanover, Germany, last month.

IBM Results Show Progress in Cloud and Data Analysis

By STEVE LOHR

The company reported a 21 percent decline in first-quarter earnings for the first quarter, though operating earnings per share were above estimates.

Brendon Villalobos demonstrates gloves he made that translate hand gestures into computer text input with the help of Intel’s latest sensor-laden chip package, Curie.

Intel to Cut 12,000 Jobs as PC Demand Plummets

By QUENTIN HARDY

The company, the largest semiconductor maker, will lay off 11 percent of its work force as it shifts to supplying chips for phones and other devices.

The first bids for Yahoo’s core Internet business were due this week, and Verizon Communications was widely viewed as the leading contender.

Yahoo’s Troubles Mount, and Revenue Shrinks, as It Vets Suitors

By VINDU GOEL

The company’s first-quarter results put more pressure on it to find a buyer quickly for its Internet operations.

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“How to Be the Luckiest Person Alive, Again”

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment
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Invista Introduces High-Performance Knit Denim

April 20, 2016 Leave a comment

 

Lycra Hybrid

Invista, owners of the Lycra brand, unveiled its newest patent-pending technology for knit denim fabrics, Lycra Hybrid, at Kingpins Amsterdam on Wednesday. The fabric combines the comfort and flexibility of a knit with the authentic appearance and performance of a woven.

Lycra Hybrid fabric employs a specific construction to achieve the look and feel of traditional denim, but with greater stretch and flexibility. The fabric can also be engineered for brands to choose the particular level of stretch they wish to achieve in their designs. Invista has been able to create fabric with over 100 percent stretch in one direction and more than 50 percent in the other with less than five percent growth.

Advanced Denim, Knitdigo, Santanderina and Willy Hermann have been the first mills to partner with Invista for the project.

“What distinguishes this technology from existing knit denim is that the Lycra Hybrid fabrics integrate a true denim look and feel with low growth, low shrinkage and multi directional stretch,” said Jean Hegedus, Invista global director for denim. “Additionally, the fabrics can be engineered for use in a range of different garment types, each serving different consumer needs.”

Lycra Hybrid fabrics are segmented into three categories based on Invista’s proprietary wear force testing protocols: Level 1 includes everyday denim fabrics that meet Invista’s standards and can carry the Lycra brand; Level 2 fabrics meet Invista’s shaping technology standards and can qualify for the Lycra Beauty brand; and Level 3 fabrics meet Invista’s athleisure standards, making it qualified for Lycra Sport branding.

The introduction of Lycra Sport in denim is a sign of the times. The company began to develop new technology several years ago as demand for athleisure and performance fabrics in the denim space grew. Last year, Invista made a splash by extending Lycra Beauty to jeans to help shape and sculpt the body comfortably.

“We’re very excited about the integration of Lycra Sport fabrics into the denim market space,” Hegedus added. “Our testing helps identify the right level of stretch, recovery, and force to ensure comfort, freedom of movement, and performance in an active inspired garment.”

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E-commerce giant Fanatics scores a new deal with the NFL

April 19, 2016 Leave a comment

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E-commerce giant Fanatics scores a new deal with the NFL

The NFL Players Association picks Fanatics as the lead manufacturer and seller of licensed merchandise featuring players’ names and images. One of the top draws is Carolina Panthers and Pro Bowl quarterback Cam Newton.

Nike Inc. may be used to being the biggest maker and seller of National Football League player merchandise like jerseys and T-shirts featuring the name of Pro Bowl quarterback Cam Newton, but starting next year it will have to go through Fanatics Inc. and pay it a sub-license fee to sell the same stuff.

Any company that wants to sell official NFL player products—Cam Newton jerseys, Odell Beckham Jr. bobbleheads, Richard Sherman dangle earrings—will soon have to go through e-commerce giant Fanatics, a designer, manufacturer and retailer of licensed sports merchandise. Fanatics was founded in 2011 by itsexecutive chairman, Michael Rubin, who founded and then sold e-commerce, fulfillment and digital marketing services company GSI Commerce Inc. to eBay Inc. in 2011 for $2.4 billion. GSI, originally known as Global Sports International, developed and operated e-commerce sites for professional leagues and associations, including Major League Baseball, the National Association for Stock Car Racing, and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America as well as theNFL—a business Rubin retained as he sold GSI and started Fanatics.

The NFL Players Association is granting the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fanatics the right to say who can use players’ names and images on apparel and other merchandise, according to a letter the union sent Friday to its current partners and reviewed by Bloomberg News.

Starting in March 2017, Fanatics will replace Nike as the biggest maker and seller of player merchandise. If Nike or others want to sell player t-shirts or other merchandise, it will have to pay for a sub-license from Fanatics.

Both Ahmad Nassar, who leads the union’s marketing division, and Fanatics spokesman Meier Raivich declined to comment.

The Players Association chose Fanatics, already the biggest online seller of fan gear, in part because its design and production process is remarkably fast. When a big moment happens on the field, the company can put celebratory T-shirts for sale within hours, regardless of whether the player involved is Pro-Bowl quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers or sixth-year tackle Derek Newton.

For example, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. became an overnight sensation in 2014 when he made an acrobatic one-handed touchdown grab in a game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. It took weeks to get product related to Beckham’s catch in the hands of consumers. By then the enthusiasm had died down, and the commercial opportunity was lost.

In the past few years, NFL Players Inc. has looked to make more sweeping deals, but with fewer companies. It’s made Panini America Inc. its exclusive licensee of trading cards, and broadened its relationship with Electronic Arts Inc.’s EA Sports video games.

Those categories cater to a deep player assortment—both trading cards and video games have always included stars and backups alike. Apparel and hard goods are more challenging. Last year roughly 1,000 NFL players, about half the league, was featured on a piece of clothing or merchandise, or made an official appearance. The union’s ultimate goal is to make all 2,000 players marketable in some way.

“The driving charge of the NFLPA’s licensing and marketing arm, NFL Players Inc., is to maximize the sales and assortment of player-identified products and to generate increased exposure for our members,” the NFLPA said in the letter. “We have spent significant time evaluating industry trends and new business models in order to determine the most effective way to achieve these objectives.”

Fanatics, which has licensing agreements with all four major U.S. leagues, runs the NFLPA’s e-commerce website, and has worked with the NFLPA since 2012 on what’s called the All-Player Program, offering jerseys of every single NFL player.

Fans may not care who holds the NFLPA licenses. The most noticeable change may be that Fanatics will be able to make available more products featuring a wider range of players. The players — especially those that aren’t superstars — may notice too, because every time one of “their” products is sold, they get a portion of the revenue.

Fanatics is No. 38 in the 2016 Internet Retailer Top 500, which ranks companies by their annual web sales. Nike is No. 47 in the Top 500 and No. 12 in the B2B E-Commerce 300, which ranks companies on their B2B web sales.

Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web—Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer.

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The New York Times BITS April 19, 2016

April 19, 2016 Leave a comment

 

 

Monday, April 18, 2016

The New York Times

For the latest updates, go to nytimes.com/technology »

The New York Times

Monday, April 18, 2016

Daily Report
Microsoft Goes on Offensive Against Justice Department | Sometimes, you have to go on the offensive. That appears to be the thinking behind a lawsuit filed by Microsoft on Thursday against the Justice Department, arguing that the government is wrongly preventing the software giant from letting customers know when investigators armed with a court order have obtained customer data.
Law enforcement, of course, has long had the ability to get a court order requiring someone to provide access to information, whether it’s a filing cabinet or a computer hard drive. Usually, it wasn’t too difficult for the target of the investigation to find out what was taken.
But cloud computing has changed that equation. When customer information is stored in a giant data center run by companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, investigators can go straight to the information they need, even getting a judge to order the company to keep quiet about it.
There are plenty of reasons for this secrecy. Law enforcement often does not want to tip off a target, or someone’s life could be put at risk if certain information is revealed.
Microsoft argues, however, that law enforcement is overdoing it with its gag orders and unfairly depriving the company of its right to be transparent with its customers.
The case could wind its way through the courts for years. So maybe a decade from now we’ll find out who was on the right side of the law.
An employee working at LinkedIn Corp. Wall Street is paying more attention to the number of stock grants that the company pays workers.

Tech Companies Face Greater Scrutiny for Paying Workers With Stock

By KATIE BENNER

Stock-based compensation is largely unquestioned during boom periods, but tech companies’ rocky performance this year is prompting a closer look.

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Based on reader feedback, we have updated the design of this newsletter. Please continue to enjoy the same great coverage in a fresh new layout and feel free to submit any feedback to newsletters@nytimes.com.
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Jim VandeHei, co-founder and former chief executive of Politico, says that “journalists are killing journalism.”

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Nolan Sullivan, a social studies teacher at La Salle Academy, a Catholic high school for boys in Manhattan, uses Kahoot with his ninth graders. He says he often has them write their own questions based on what they have learned in class.

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TECH TIP
Open a contact file in Edit mode and tap the Add Photo button to take a new picture or grab an old one from the iPhone’s Photos app.

Putting Faces to Names in the iPhone Contacts App

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You can add a picture from your iPhone’s photo library to a person’s address card in the Contacts app with just a few taps.

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ELVIS & NIXON coming 4/22 at theaters

April 16, 2016 1 comment

this is a MUST SEE! and this is the MOST requested photo of modern times from the National archives:

The most requested photo in the National Archives is of …

factually.gizmodo.com/the-mostrequestedphoto-in-the-national-archive…

Jan 8, 2015 – What do you suppose the most requested photofrom the U.S. National Archives might be? … It’s Richard Nixon shaking Elvis Presley’s hand. … The meeting opened with pictures taken of the President and Elvis Presley.

download.jpg

 

Elvis-and-nixon_web_1
FILM GUIDE FEATURE NARRATIVE

ELVIS & NIXON

Directed by Liza Johnson
3:45 PM – WED 4/20

Liza Johnson’s Elvis & Nixon tells the untold story of the legendary meeting between Elvis Aaron Presley (Michael Shannon) and Richard Milhous Nixon (Kevin Spacey), immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives. Days before Christmas in 1970, the most famous man in America turns up at the doorstep of the most powerful one, inexplicably seeking to be made a Federal Agent at Large for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. What follows is a farcical scramble, as entourages jockey to coordinate a mutually acceptable meet-and-greet. One of the more surreal encounters in American history, the Elvis and Nixon meeting perhaps captures perfectly a pre-Watergate moment in time: before their names came to evoke tragedy and corruption; when the cultural cachet was passing from politicians to celebrities; and when America had both a King and a President.

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