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TV Academy is eliminating distribution of DVD screeners starting with the 2020 Emmy cycle; screeners will henceforth be provided via digital platforms (Daniel Holloway/Variety)

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The Television Academy will eliminate distribution of DVD screeners for eligible shows beginning with the 2020 Emmy cycle.

Designed to eliminate both monetary and physical waste, the move will have a substantive impact on the strategy of Emmy marketers. It also makes the academy the first major entertainment-industry organization to bar physical screeners.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Academy to take an important first step to move the industry forward in an area of great concern for both our partners and members, reducing costs and delivering a tremendous positive impact for the environment,” said Television Academy chairman Frank Scherma. “Television has an ever-expanding role as the world’s most innovative and popular entertainment medium, and this decision embraces the evolution of viewing practices and preferences of the Academy’s 25,000 members and the industry at large.”

The new policy will go into effect immediately following this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, scheduled for Sept. 22. Going forward, screeners will be provided only via digital platforms hosted by producers and distributors, or through the Television Academy’s viewing platform.

Spending on DVD screeners has ballooned in recent years, as the number of Emmy-eligible programs has skyrocketed — with some companies, such as Netflix, spending millions of dollars on physical screeners alone.

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25 minutes ago
the leaks will FINALLY be in UHD/HDR! :)
Moscow, Russia
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New Year blues: Sun disappears from skies over Paris

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Parisians would be forgiven for thinking that the sun had still not come up in 2019.

That's because since New Year's Day the sun has only been seen for a grand total of 4 minutes in the skies over the French capital.

And that's apparently the gloomiest start to the year since 1990.

The average for the first week of the year is around 2 hours, according to BFM TV. 

So, why exactly has it been such a dreary few days in Paris?

Well apparently it's all down to an anticyclone which has pushed moisture and clouds down. 

"In recent days we have had winds coming from the north and north west, bringing air loaded with moisture from the North Atlantic whereas if we had east winds, it would be calmer and much sunnier," said Etienne Kapikia, a forecaster at France's national weather agency Météo France.


But while it looks like the capital could continue to suffer from a lack of sunlight for much of the coming week, there should be some sunny spells in the capital from Tuesday.


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11 days ago
пиздарики городу света!
Moscow, Russia
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'My anger boiled over': Yellow vest boxer explains reasons for violent assault on French police

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The man, named by French media as 37-year-old Christophe Dettinger, is a former heavyweight professional boxer who reportedly works for the local government in the Essonne area south of Paris.

Dettinger had been on the run since Saturday after he was filmed landing several punches and kicks on policemen, just a few hundred metres from the national parliament building.

On Monday morning Dettinger turned up at a French police station in Paris with his lawyer and handed himself in.

But before he surrendered to French police Dettinger made a video explaining his actions, that was posted on Facebook.

"I was tear gassed with my friend and my wife and the anger boiled over in me. I reacted badly," he said.

Dettinger said that he had participated in all the "yellow vest" protests in Paris and that he had witnessed the "repression" administered by French police towards protesters.

"I have seen people injured. I have seen pensioners tear gassed," he said before adding that he was neither extreme-right nor extreme left, simply "proud to be French".

He then appealed for protesters to continue their struggle albeit "peacefully".

France's Interior Ministers Christophe Castander announced that he was immediately remanded in custody and "will now have to answer to these acts before the justice system".

The shocking images went viral in France at the weekend, but Dettinger was quickly identified by French police.

"Sir, you knocked a colleague to the ground. You have been identified," said a tweet from France's SCPN police union said. "For a boxer, apparently you don't respect any of the rules. You are going to learn those of the criminal code."

'Surrender plea'

The French boxing federation issued a statement condemning the violence, saying that it "ran completely contrary to the values of our sport."

"The French Boxing Federation sends its support to the family and loved ones of the officer who was a victim of this individual, but equally to all the security forces who have been on duty these last weeks," it said.

Dettinger's former coach, Jacky Trompesauce, had urged the father of three to give himself up to police after he was caught on camera on the 
Leopold-Sedar-Senghor bridge which links the Tuileries gardens to the Musee d'Orsay.

"There was something that set it off, which I learned overnight," Trompesauce told RMC radio on Monday morning. "There was a woman who was attacked by CRS (riot police)."

Attacking and injuring a police officer in France can lead to up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (51,000 dollars), though sentences can be increased in certain circumstances.

Another video that shocked France from Saturday's protests was that of a high-ranking policeman throwing punches at several protesters in Toulon.


Around 50,000 protesters took to the streets again on Saturday in cities around France to protest the centrist government of President Emmanuel Macron, leading to clashes in Paris and Bordeaux.

Several men driving a forklift truck also smashed open the doors of the ministry of government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux in Paris, who denounced the break-in as an "unacceptable attack on the Republic".

Protests against fuel taxes began in rural and small-town France in late November, but then mushroomed into a wider revolt during December against the policies and governing style of 41-year-old Macron.

On Friday, Griveaux had denounced those still protesting as "agitators who want insurrection and, basically, to overthrow the government".

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11 days ago
как его не упиздили прямо на входе, я не понимаю
Moscow, Russia
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Take Your Lumps

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The Gotham Gal and I went through our (actually her) angel investments yesterday and figured out which ones went under in 2018 so we could take the tax write-offs on our 2018 returns.

It is an odd exercise. Kind of like reading the obituaries.

But it is an important exercise for several reasons.

First, taking the write-offs against the gains shelters the gains so they can be re-invested in full. Over her first six years of investing (2007-2012), she has realized a bit more than she invested and the losses have sheltered the gains so all of that capital can be reinvested. And the investments that remain unrealized from that cohort are all solid now and will likely produce another 2-3x on invested capital.

But it also a nice “post mortem” process to go through the ones that didn’t work and think a bit about what went wrong. We don’t obsess about the losses, but taking some time to run through them is helpful.

Sometimes failed investments turn into the “living dead” in which you end up a tiny investor in another company by virtue of an acqui-hire, a distressed sale, or some other such transaction. It is generally a smart idea to sell your stock back to the company or another shareholder or abandon your interest and take the loss on those kinds of investments. The tax loss is often worth more than the stock you own. A regular process of going through the losses will surface opportunities like that too.

The bottom line is that angel investing is risky business. Super early stage investing, like the kind the Gotham Gal does (she is most often the first check into the company), will produce loss ratios of 50% or higher. The winners eventually bail you out and super early stage investing ought to produce 3x on capital or better (or you shouldn’t be doing it). One nice advantage of this model is the losses come early and the wins come much later. Taking your losses, getting the write-offs, and sheltering your gains is an important part of the model and it is best to have a regular process to make sure you are taking the losses when you can.

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11 days ago
Moscow, Russia
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Survey of 5,067 US-based published book authors finds median author income in 2017 was $6,080, down 42% from 2009; median pay for full-time authors was $20,300 (The Authors Guild)

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The Authors Guild’s 2018 Author Income Survey, the largest survey of writing-related earnings by American authors ever conducted finds incomes falling to historic lows to a median of $6,080 in 2017, down 42 percent from 2009.

The Authors Guild surveyed its membership and the members of 14 other writers organizations in 2018, receiving detailed responses from 5,067 authors. This included traditionally, hybrid and self-published authors who have commercially published one or more books. When discussing median incomes, the survey looked at both full-time and part-time authors.

The respondents reported a median author income of $6,080, continuing a sharp decline over the last decade: $8,000 in 2014 and $10,500 in 2009 (per the Authors Guild’s 2015 Survey), down again from $12,850 in 2007, as reported in a joint Authors Guild/PEN survey.

Earnings from book income alone fell even more, declining 21 percent to $3,100 in 2017 from $3,900 in 2013 and just over 50 percent from 2009’s median book earnings of $6,250.

The survey showed a shift in book earnings to other writing-related activities, such as speaking engagements, book reviewing or teaching. Including those sources, respondents who identified themselves as full-time book authors still only earned a median income of $20,300, well below the federal poverty line for a family of three or more.

Access the full results and data, HERE.

“When you impoverish a nation’s authors, you impoverish its readers,” said James Gleick, the Authors Guild’s president. He noted that more books are being published than ever, but that books of quality often demand time and research that can’t be sustained if an author also needs to teach and lecture to make ends meet.

The drop appears to affect almost all categories of authorship, with writers of literary fiction experiencing the biggest recent decline in book earnings: 43 percent since 2013. This raises serious concerns about the future of American literature—books that not only teach, inspire and elicit empathy in readers, but help define who Americans are and how the U.S. is perceived by the world.

The only exception came among self-published authors, who saw book-related income almost double since 2013. Despite this uptick, self-published income levels remain 58 percent lower than traditionally published authors.

The Causes

Among the factors contributing to the pressure on authorship, the Guild cited the growing dominance of Amazon over the marketplace, forcing publishers to accept narrower margins and passing those losses onto authors through lower advances and royalties, including the extremely low royalties paid on the increasing number of deeply discounted sales and the 25 percent of net ebook royalty.

In addition, many electronic uses, such as classroom course packs, Google Books and Open Library, are now made on a royalty-free basis arguing fair use, whereas royalties traditionally were paid for comparable analog uses. Increased competition from Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program adds to the equation, as do the massive number of books sold cheaply as new by Amazon resellers right alongside the publisher’s copies, often even claiming the buy box.

Amazon controls approximately 85% of the self-published market and so most self-published authors have no options other than to accept Amazon’s non-negotiable terms.

“Amazon, but also Google, Facebook and every other company getting into the content business, devalue what we produce to lower their costs for content distribution, and then take an unfair share of the profits from what remains for delivering that reduced product. We get that they like to move fast and break things, but it’s no longer in their own interest to break us. If even the most talented of authors can no longer afford to write, to create, who’s going to provide the content?” asked Authors Guild vice president Richard Russo.

Other key findings of the Authors Guild’s 2018 Author Income Survey are:

Authors are having to take on other work.

  • Just 21 percent of full-time published authors derived 100 percent of their individual income from book-related income last year.
  • Only 57 percent of full-time published authors derived 100 percent of their individual incomes from book- and other writing-related activities combined.

Self-published authors’ earnings are rising rapidly, but they still make less than traditionally published authors.

  • While the median book-related income for self-published authors nearly doubled since 2013, rising to $1,951, they still earned 58 percent less than traditionally published authors.
  • Among the authors surveyed who ranked in the top decile for book-related earnings, self-published authors earned 50 percent less with an annual median of $154,000.

Many long-time authors made no book income in 2017.

  • Roughly 25 percent of all published authors surveyed earned $0 in book-related income in 2017; 18 percent of full-time authors earned $0 in book-related income during the same time period.
  • Those zero earners are not included in the mean figures provided above. When the zero earners for 2017 are included, they bring the mean total author earnings down to $1,784 and the book earnings down to just $490.

In support of the survey results, Author Guild Council members have provided these statements:

Richard Russo, vice president of the Guild, said:
“There was a time in America, not so very long ago, that dedicated, talented fiction and nonfiction writers who put in the time and learned the craft could make a living doing what they did best, while contributing enormously to American knowledge, culture and the arts. That is no longer the case for most authors, especially those trying to start careers today.”

Nicholas Weinstock, a Guild Council member, said:
“Reducing the monetary incentive for potential book authors even to enter the field means that there will be less for future generations to read: fewer voices, fewer stories, less representation of the kind of human expression than runs deeper and requires and rewards more brain power than the nearest bingeable series on Netflix or Amazon or GIF on your phone.”

T.J. Stiles, another Guild Council member, furthered:
“Poverty is a form of censorship. That’s because creation costs. Writing requires resources, and it imposes opportunity costs. Limiting writing to the financially independent and the sinecured punishes authors based on their lack of wealth and income.”

Roxana Robinson, a past president of the Guild, said:
“Amazon’s market share (72 percent of the online book market and nearly 50 percent of all new books sold) allows it to lock publishers into a vise, relentlessly demanding increasing discounts and narrowing margins. Publishers pass on losses to the writers, by shrinking advances and royalties.”

“But maybe the worst blow to writers is Amazon’s online secondary market,” Robinson continues. “Within months of a new book’s publication, ‘new’ and ‘lightly used’ copies are offered alongside the publisher’s, for a fraction of the price, in a sale that provides no royalties to the author. Writers can’t survive without royalties. Copyright was intended to protect them from just this: the sale of their work without compensation.”

What Can Be Done?

  • Publishers and self-published authors should be able to negotiate collectively with Amazon, Google and Facebook to equalize the bargaining power. Congress should enact an exemption to antitrust law to permit it.
  • Royalties should be paid by resellers to authors for resellers’ sales of new books.
  • U.S. should establish a federally funded equivalent of a public lending right to provide authors a benefit from the public use of books; and libraries should be better funded.
  • Publishers should pay higher royalties on ebooks and deeply discounted books; and they should destroy all bookstore returns to prevent them from getting into the secondary market.

The following writers organizations and publishing platforms participated in the survey: Authors Guild, Romance Writers of America, Society of Children’s Book Writers, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Textbook and Academic Authors Association, National Association of Science Writers, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association for Garden Communicators, Independent Book Publishers Association, PEN American Center, Authors Alliance, Next Big Writer, B&N Press, Authors Registry, IngramSpark, Reedsy and Lulu.

[1] Book-related income is based on royalties, advances, ebook subscriptions contracts, subsidiary and international rights, audio and film rights, reprints, distribution rights and earnings from book awards or prizes. Writing-related income refers to 18 types of jobs that rely on professional skills published book authors possess to earn income beyond book sales, such as speaking engagements, teaching creative writing, freelance journalism, editing and ghostwriting. Author-related income is the combination of both these two amounts.

About the Authors Guild

The Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers. Its mission is to empower working writers by advocating for the rights of authors and journalists. The Guild protects free speech and authors’ copyrights, fights for fair contracts and a living wage and provides an engaged and welcoming community for all published authors. For more, visit


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12 days ago
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Marriott says a total of 383M records were stolen in its hack, less than the initial estimate of 500M, but 5M+ unencrypted passport numbers were accessed (Wall Street Journal)

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A data breach at Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, is rivaled only by a hack of Yahoo in 2013 and 2014.
A data breach at Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, is rivaled only by a hack of Yahoo in 2013 and 2014. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Marriott International Inc. MAR 4.40% said fewer customers were affected in a massive data breach than initially feared but confirmed that hackers had compromised the passport numbers of millions of people in what security analysts have described as a potential foreign-intelligence gold mine.

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, disclosed in November that a hack in the reservation database for its Starwood properties may have exposed the personal information of up to 500 million guests.

The incident marked one of the largest data breaches in history, rivaled only by a hack of Yahoo Inc. in 2013 and 2014.

The company said early Friday in a release that the number of guests involved in the data breach is lower than the original 500 million, but it didn’t specify a number.

Marriott said a total of about 383 million records was “the upper limit” for the number potentially compromised in the incident. That figure includes passport numbers, email addresses and payment-card data of some guests, the company said.

Marriott said that in many instances, there appear to be multiple records for the same guest, meaning that it is unlikely 383 million people were affected.

“The company is not able to quantify that lower number because of the nature of the data in the database,” the company said in its release.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading an investigation into the Marriott hack. U.S. officials familiar with the probe as well as independent cybersecurity researchers have said they increasingly view China as the leading suspect in the breach, due to a variety of forensic clues and Beijing’s history of pilfering large American data sets for intelligence purposes.

A Marriott spokeswoman declined to comment on possible suspects in the breach and said the company is working with authorities. The company gave no further guidance on who may have been behind the hack.

“As we near the end of the cyber forensics and data analytics work, we will continue to work hard to address our customers’ concerns and meet the standard of excellence our customers deserve and expect from Marriott,” Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Marriott has more than 6,700 properties world-wide, including its Starwood brands, which account for about a third of the company’s total collection. Those brands include Sheraton, W Hotels, Westin, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft.

Marriott said more than 5 million unencrypted passport numbers were included in the information accessed by hackers, and about 20 million encrypted passport numbers. Encrypted data is scrambled into a code, making it harder for outsiders to access information.

The compromise of passport information in the Marriott breach would have been especially valuable to foreign spy agencies in China or elsewhere, former and current U.S. officials said, because it would allow them to track the international travel of government officials and business executives and could be paired with other sensitive information to compile detailed dossiers on certain individuals.

The data breach also affected about 8.6 million encrypted payment cards. Of that number, Marriott said 354,000 were active as of September 2018. The company said it hasn’t found evidence that the hackers were able to “decrypt” the payment card numbers.

The company also said fewer than 2,000 payment card numbers may have been unencrypted and it is “undertaking additional analysis” to uncover more information.

China has routinely denied allegations from the U.S. and other countries that it is responsible for cyberattacks against governments or private companies.

Investigations into data breaches typically take several months at least, and the government often doesn’t publicly attribute a hack to a foreign adversary until years later, if at all.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month appeared to publicly implicate China in the hack during a live television interview on Fox News. While discussing Beijing’s espionage in the U.S., a host interjected that the latest example was Marriott, to which Mr. Pompeo replied, “That’s right.”

Alarmed by Mr. Pompeo’s remark, lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee requested a briefing from U.S. intelligence agencies about the Marriott intrusion, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

Write to Kirsten Grind at and Dustin Volz at

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14 days ago
ну, тогда-то всё нормааально!
Moscow, Russia
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