Monday, November 01, 2010

Million Pound Drop

Million Pound Drop - Channel 4's Million Pound Drop Live hit a new audience high of 2.5 million viewers on Friday 29 October.

The Davina McCall gameshow, which aired between 10pm and 11pm, had a total audience of 2.711 million when viewers to Channel 4 +1 were taken into account.

It beat its previous high of 2.067 million on Wednesday, when it was also watched by another 221,000 viewers on Channel 4+1.

The second series of the show had begun on Monday with 1.781 million viewers and another 101,000 on Channel 4 +1.

Channel 4's quiz beat ITV1's News at Ten, which averaged 1.8 million, an 8.8% share, between 10pm and 10.35pm, and the first episode of BBC2's The Stephen K Amos Show, which began with 1 million viewers, 5.1% of the audience.

The slot was won by BBC1's BBC News, which had 4.7 million viewers, a 23% share, between 10pm and 10.35pm.

Channel 5's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had 1.2 million viewers, a 6.2% share.

Million Pound Drop

Take That Tickets

Take That Tickets - Take that's tour along with original member Robbie Williams broke records when they sold over one million tickets in 24 hours on Friday, having to add several extra dates to keep up with demand. Their concert promoter SJM Concerts apologised to fans after they had hours of trouble trying to get tickets for the Progress Live tour which will take place next summer in the UK and Europe. Ticketmaster said that they "alone have so far received over 20m page views from visitors arriving on the site, far in excess of that experienced for Michael Jackson last March. The sheer volume of fans also created problems for the UK telephone network."

"We are speechless, truly and utterly shocked. This is the most amazing news for all of us. To sell one million tickets in a day is mind blowing and we think we'll be in shock for a few days! We want to thank everyone who has bought tickets today and look forward to seeing them next year."

Take That Tickets

Paranormal Activity 2

Paranormal Activity 2 - If I were to make a list of “Feelings I Desire to Have,” a few things come to mind. Comfort. Happiness. Fun times. Fright? Not on there. Terror, discomfort, the suspicion one is about to be murdered by a demon in one’s own home? These don’t even make the bottom 100. But it has come to my attention that there is a segment of the population that not only relishes terror and misery, but is also curious about what exactly it looks and sounds like when someone is beaten to death with a bat or has their face eaten off by a ghost. Who am I to deny those people their thrills ‘n’ chills? Do what you want. It’s nothing personal, I just do not want it in my area.

However, every time I’m forced to review a scary movie (and it happens from time to time, such is the unfortunate nature of my job), I come out of it with the same feeling: can we please abolish this entire genre posthaste? It is repetitive. It’s often misogynistic. And it is huge – new horror movies come out all the time, but actual innovation is rare.

Furthermore, I really don’t get the whole concept of ghosts. I mean, why are ghosts supposedly so mad all the time? Isn’t a ghost just somebody’s grandpa? My grandpa was a Norwegian carpenter named Ole who smoked a pipe and ate liquorice all day. Why would he go haunt somebody? Isn’t there enough liquorice in heaven? I don’t know a single person who’s been killed – or even inconvenienced – by a ghost, and that’s why being afraid of a ghost is a waste of time.

Anyway, I saw Paranormal Activity 2. Although I object on principle, from time to time I attempt to give horror films a chance. Fortunately, Paranormal Activity 2 skirts many of my scary-movie gripes. It’s not bloody, gory, or gratuitously gross in any way. It is not mean to the ladies. It is innovative; it works. It does set off my ghosts-don’t-make-any-sense radar, but neatly sews up that hole by making its ghost into a demon.

Paranormal Activity 2

Nissan Electric Concept

Nissan Electric Concept - Nissan showed a two-seater electric vehicle resembling a go-cart Monday that isn't ready for sale but spotlights the Japanese automaker's ambitions to be the leader in zero-emission cars.

Nissan Motor Co. is planning to produce 250,000 electric vehicles a year, starting with the Leaf electric car set for delivery in Japan and the U.S. in December, and next year in Europe.

Its alliance partner Renault SA of France is planning to produce another 250,000 electric vehicles a year.

The two companies together will produce 500,000 batteries for EVs a year, said Nissan, which makes batteries with Japanese electronics maker NEC Corp.

"We don't want EVs to be a niche product," Corporate Vice President Hideaki Watanabe told reporters at the company's headquarters southwest of Tokyo.

He said Nissan boasts 18 years of development experience in lithium-ion batteries, which will power the Leaf, and the company developed its first electric vehicle in 1947. Lithium-ion batteries are common in devices like laptops but will be relatively new for autos.

Then Watanabe zipped around — smoothly and silently as is characteristic of electric vehicles — Nissan's showroom in the tiny electric vehicle called "Nissan New Mobility CONCEPT."

It has a range of a 100 kilometers (62 miles), and maximum speed of 75 kilometers (47 miles) per hour. The EV system was developed by Renault, but the car's design was by Nissan.

Some analysts are skeptical about the practicality of electric vehicles, noting they will make up only a tiny fraction of the overall auto market for some years to come.

Watanabe did not give a price for the concept car. He said uses were still being studied, such as amusement parks and Yokohama city's green mobility projects.

Nissan said it is setting up charging stations for electric vehicles, and forging partnerships with governments and companies, now climbing to more than 80 around the world from 30 last year in an effort to make the move to electric successful.

Nissan Electric Concept

Mortgage Bond Revival

Mortgage Bond Revival - Mortgage-backed securities were arguably the eye of the storm in the financial crisis. Though MBS have been around for decades, they grew increasingly risky and complex in recent years, and played a large role in allowing policymakers and investment chiefs around the world to underestimate the size and scope of the housing bubble.

Who in 2007 considered, for example, how large AIG(AIG_) had become, and made the connection between the giant insurer and people who quit their jobs and began flipping houses for a living in places like Arizona and Florida? Highly complex derivatives of mortgage-backed securities, such as collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and even more complex things known as CDOs squared, were the link.

Some 80% MBS in 2009 and 2010 were issued by government sponsored entities (GSEs), compared to about 20% in 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data. Two of those GSEs, Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB)and Freddie Mac(FMCC.OB) guarantee or own 53% of the $10.7 trillion in U.S. mortgages, according to Bloomberg.

The GSEs, as well as many other private and public entities that bought MBS, are expected to challenge the legality of billions of dollars worth of those securities, on the grounds that they contain mortgages that were sloppily underwritten by banks. Bank of America(BAC), Wells Fargo(WFC_), JPMorgan Chase(JPM_) and Citigroup (C_) each are thought to face billions of dollars worth o potential "putbacks" of mortgages they underwrote and/or serviced improperly.

Mortgage Bond Revival