Microsoft & Yahoo - Together at last?

How can your friendly neighborhood business correspondent pass up a story like this? Microsoft has just made a $44.6 billion bid (yes that's a "b") to buy Yahoo. The move comes following search giant Google reporting pretty sad earnings for the final quarter of last year.

The bid is an aggressive move by Microsoft to gain dominance in an area where they're lagging: online advertising. Google's expertise is search, but they make their money in internet advertising. And they're really good at it. But with its tepid recent earnings and Microsoft's latest move, could the Google juggernaut be in danger of hitting a wall, or at least a bit of molasses? What do you think?

Media consolidation: Coming soon to a city near you

Today, the Federal Communications Commission has given media companies a bit more freedom. On party lines, the Commission voted to allow businesses to own both newspapers and television or radio stations in the same city. So what does this mean? It means that MediaNews Group, owners of the The Detroit News could start buying up Detroit television stations, if they so choose.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance [AUDIOBOOK-CD]

Dreams from My Father by "Barack Obama", is one of the best audiobook memoirs about race and exploration of one's identity and family history I have ever listened to. Obama's father (Barack Obama Sr.) was black from Kenya and his mother (Stanley Ann Dunham) was white from Kansas. His descriptions of the struggle to figure out who he is and who his relatives are, are compelling. The whole scenario regarding racial concerns is very informative; it exposes the world to this reality and at the same time teaches us to be more considerate. I really enjoyed listening to such a wonderful Audio Biography of a smart, well-intentioned and accomplished man; as well as, the interesting Memoirs of his past, present and future life in the great land of freedom and opportunities--USA.

Fox television stations, now with added business!

Not content with merely acquiring the businessperson's bible, Rupert Murdoch has been reaching business folks through the cable lines as well. The newly-launched Fox Business Network is positioned to compete with the previously (almost) unrivaled CNBC.

Certainly, Fox Biz Network must be hoping to snipe a few CNBC viewers. But at least based on the first week, it's not wholly clear that they'll attract the same people. CNBC is known for its sometimes, well, overly passionate commentary about the stock market. Fox Biz seems like it's going beyond the minutiae of the market to target a broader audience.

Television news, of course, has a sordid history, to which Mr. Murdoch has contributed his own fair share. The question on people's minds now is whether Fox Biz will do to CNBC what Fox News did to CNN, especially with the power of the Wall Street Journal behind it. Perhaps Murdoch is writing the next chapter in that sordid history.

Steve Carrell

Steve CarrellSteve Carrell

Steve was interviewed on 10-24-07 on NPR’s Fresh Air program. Carell currently is one of Hollywood's hottest actors. He starred in 40 Year Old Virgin and Little Miss Sunshine, is a former correspondent for Comedy Central's The Daily Show and is the lead in the very successful American version of the TV show “The Office”
I’ve enjoyed seeing Carrel in several of his works but can’t put my finger on whether I really like his acting or that I watch while wondering if the role(s) he plays are believable?
If you can’t listen to NPR interviews when first aired you can pick them it up another time via NPR. They also have an interesting (over 500) list of podcasts that one can access anytime.

Need to sue for libel? Head to England!

For libel cases in the United Kingdom, the burden of proof is on the defendant, meaning that the defendant must prove why their work is not libel. Consequentially, this New York Times article discusses how the UK is becoming a destination for "Libel without borders", where foreigners are bringing libel cases against other foreigners.

What do you think constitutes libel? Do you think libel cases should be restricted by nationality or by country borders? Want to read more? Check out Mclibel : burger culture on trial about a libel case against McDonalds in Great Britain.

Do women read more than men? Do younger generations read less?

Pile of BooksPile of Books

This article on NPR does claim that women read more books than men, but what do you think? Is that true for your household? The article also says that despite the Harry Potter phenonmenon, younger generations are reading less. Do you agree? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Linda Peeno, Health Care, and Sicko

Sicko Movie Poster: From http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386032/Sicko Movie Poster: From http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386032/

In 1996 Louisville physician Linda Peeno testified before Congress for the debate over patients' rights versus HMOs. This article from NPR covers Peeno's latest reappearance in the news, involving the same testimony and her spot in Michael Moore's recent movie, Sicko.

A captivating summer read from 1860

If you are looking for a captivating read for the end of the summer, check out this recommendation on NPR from author Jennifer Egan. Egan recommends The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, a thriller that was published in 1860 and continues to captivate audiences to this day. If you are waiting on the hold list for that title, check out The Moonstone, another Collins book that Egan recommends.

The Wall Street Journal, brought to you by Rupert Murdoch

Big news in the business world this week: Dow Jones, and along with it the vaunted Wall Street Journal, now belong to media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The WSJ reports that, despite some heavy opposition from the controlling Bancroft family, Dow Jones accepted the $5 billion offer from Murdoch's News Corporation.

The WSJ is quite a laurel in Murdoch's already well-laureled hat. News Corporation is one of the largest media companies in the world, with holdings including HarperCollins, The Times, MySpace, 20th Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting Company, and many more names you've probably heard of. Murdoch hopes that Dow Jones will complement these already formidable media holdings by providing trusted business and stock information.

Opponents of the sale, notably Leslie Hill of the Bancrofts, fear that Murdoch will compromise the journalistic integrity of the newspaper, as has been alleged with other of his holdings including Fox News, ReganBooks, and The Times. Whatever the ultimate result, there is one group that will undoubtedly be overjoyed by the sale: Dow Jones shareholders. Murdoch's $60/share bid is worth two-thirds more than current DJ stock prices.

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