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The Biz Roundup January 2

The last time somebody tried this, Apple broadcast software that blew up the phones.

But on Wednesday, a group called the iPhone Dev Team released a free piece of software called “yellowsn0w” that unlocks the iPhone 3G. The software lets users reprogram the phones so they can work on any wireless network based on the same technical standard. Several users said they successfully installed the software on their iPhone 3Gs and were able to make calls on non-authorized networks.

(“Group Unlocks Apple’s New iPhone,” Wall Street Journal, January 3) Now, I know that if Microsoft did half the suck-the-money-out-of-your-wallet, Daniel Plainview sort of things that Apple does, we’d have all burned Redmond to the ground by now. But yellow snow? What’s the logo look like? Is there a mascot?

This is exactly the reason I didn’t vote for McCain.

The owners of Kona Joe Coffee on the Big Island have created a blend of Hawaiian, Indonesian and Kenyan coffees called “Barack O Blend.

(“Kona Joe Coffee creates ‘Barack O Blend’,” Honolulu Advertiser, December 30) You heard it hear first at The Biz: the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress are going to throw trillions of dollars at the economy over the next couple years for everything from bridges to banks. But decades from now, when the history books are being written, historians will all agree that Barack Obama single-handedly rescued us from another great depression by . . . being the inspiration for a thousand product ideas.

Maybe you should start by not paying Jim Carrey $20 million dollars a pop to make goofy faces in movies nobody wants to see.

The fallout from declining local TV ad revenue, weakening DVD sales and diminishing sources of film financing will continue to pound Los Angeles’ signature industry, which employs more than 200,000 people and pumps an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion into the local economy. Many expect that will trigger further layoffs at the studios, networks, independent production outfits and other media companies on top of the thousands of job losses that have already occurred in recent months. Industry executives contend that the steep downturn will force Hollywood to fundamentally change the way it does business.

(“Hollywood starts ’09 with little to celebrate,” Los Angeles Times, January 2) I’d pay real money to see what those bailout hearings in front of Congress will look like. It’s not like we can offshore movie production to India . . . oh, wait, scratch that.

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