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James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Growing up I wasn’t a big fan, but after seeing this preview – I think my kids and I will DEFINITELY be in the IMAX theater opening night (12/14).

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Nicole Westbrook: It’s Thanksgiving

Move over Rebecca Black, the 12 year old singer YOU discovered may be the next biggest YouTube sensation since, well you…

Nicole Westbrook is blowing up the interweb, and iTunes with her song about Thanksgiving – she loves some Thanksgiving – evident by her singing into a turkey leg and dancing with a turkey dude!

At the time of this post, the video has gotten an respectable 7.7M views. However 112,000 folks gave it a dislike vote.

You be the judge.

The song, written and produced by Patrice Wilson and performed by Nicole Westbrook.

New Survey Finds Women Who Suffer From Migraines Want A Better Understanding Of Migraine Triggers

Ninety percent of women who suffer from migraines agree that with an increased understanding of the triggers, they can better manage their migraines, according to a survey recently conducted by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin Migraine.

That is why today, the makers of Excedrin Migraine have joined with singer, actress and Broadway star Jordin Sparks, and well-known Lenox Hill Hospital internist Keri Peterson, MD – both migraine sufferers – to launch “Managing Migraines: Know Your Triggers. Know Your Treatment,” a new education campaign. It’s designed to raise awareness of the importance of tracking migraine triggers so sufferers can better manage their migraines.

While certain triggers may increase the risk of a migraine, triggers vary from person to person. According to the women surveyed, 83% said they would like better tools to help them track the triggers that lead to their migraines so that they can better manage attacks.

To help migraine sufferers, Excedrin Migraine has developed a convenient, new tracking tool, My Migraine Triggers App, with a neurologist. Available for free, this app allows migraine sufferers to track the causes of their migraines and share them with their physician. Migraine sufferers can chart out a daily log of information into customizable reports to easily understand which activities, foods and beverages are associated with the onset of their headaches

As they say in my business … the show must go on. As someone who suffers from migraines, it is important for me to understand my migraine triggers so I can stop my migraines before they stop me,” says Sparks. “That’s why I’m thrilled to be teaming up with the makers of Excedrin Migraine to launch this education campaign and help migraine sufferers become better informed about their triggers and symptoms.

I encourage all my patients who suffer from migraines to download the My Migraine Triggers app,” says Lenox Hill Hospital internist and migraine sufferer Keri Peterson, MD. “I was shocked to learn that less than half (45%) of female migraine sufferers surveyed regularly share migraine trigger information with their physician. The new My Migraine Triggers app has a great feature which enables my patients to send me data about their migraines before they even walk into my office, allowing me to create a better treatment plan.

For more tips on managing migraines visit www.excedrin.com/migraine or on Facebook. You can also follow Excedrin on Twitter.

Shania Twain Shuts Las Vegas Strip DOWN!

For the first time ever, an orchestrated stampede of more than 40 horses stopped all traffic on a portion of the famous Las Vegas Strip as Shania Twain marked her arrival into Las Vegas by making a grand entrance via horseback to her new home at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

Fans and visitors lined the street in front of the iconic Caesars Palace fountains to welcome Shania as The Colosseum’s newest resident artist.

With Shania’s hits “Man, I Feel Like A Woman” and “Still The One” taking over the Strip, the international superstar showed the world that she is ready to rock the Las Vegas stage.

Tickets are still available for performances beginning Dec. 1, 2012. Show dates are:

Dec. 2012: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15

March 2013: 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30

April 2013: 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10

Prices range from $55 to $250, plus applicable fees, and may be purchased by calling 800-745-3000, online at www.shaniainvegas.com or www.thecolosseum.com and in person at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Box Office, open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. PT. For groups of 10 or more, call 1-866-574-3851. You can also keep up with everything happening at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Twitter.

Ah yes, I remember the good ol’ days when I worked for Clear Channel Entertainment and I, and a handful of colleagues, literally carried Shania around the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California as the opening segment of one of her shows. Good times….

Transcript of President Obama’s Election Night Speech

The following is the full text of President Obama’s victory speech on Wednesday (Transcript courtesy of the Federal News Service).

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. (Sustained cheers, applause.)

Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. (Cheers, applause.)

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. (Cheers, applause.)

Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.

(Cheers, applause.) I want to thank every American who participated in this election. (Cheers, applause.) Whether you voted for the very first time — (cheers) — or waited in line for a very long time — (cheers) — by the way, we have to fix that. (Cheers, applause.) Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone — (cheers, applause) — whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference. (Cheers, applause.)

I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. (Cheers, applause.) We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service. And that is a legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. (Cheers, applause.) In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.

(Cheers, applause.)

I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden. (Cheers, applause.)

And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. (Cheers, applause.) Let me say this publicly. Michelle, I have never loved you more. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you too as our nation’s first lady. (Cheers, applause.)

Sasha and Malia — (cheers, applause) — before our very eyes, you’re growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women, just like your mom. (Cheers, applause.) And I am so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now, one dog’s probably enough. (Laughter.)

To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics — (cheers, applause) — the best — the best ever — (cheers, applause) — some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning.

(Cheers, applause.) But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together. (Cheers, applause.) And you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way — (cheers, applause) — to every hill, to every valley. (Cheers, applause.) You lifted me up the whole day, and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you’ve put in. (Cheers, applause.)

I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or — or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. (Cheers, applause.) You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. (Cheers, applause.)

You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. (Cheers, applause.)

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight. And it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — (cheers, applause) — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.

We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers — (cheers, applause) — a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation — (scattered cheers, applause) — with all of the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened up by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. (Cheers, applause.)

We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known — (cheers, applause) — but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag — (cheers, applause) — to the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner — (cheers, applause) — to the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president.

That’s the — (cheers, applause) — that’s the future we hope for.

(Cheers, applause.) That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go — forward. (Cheers, applause.) That’s where we need to go. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.

But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. (Cheers, applause.) A long campaign is now over. (Cheers, applause.) And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead. (Cheers, applause.)

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. (Cheers, applause.) You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.

And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together — reducing our deficit, reforming out tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do. (Cheers, applause.)

But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self- government. (Cheers, applause.) That’s the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared — (cheers, applause) — that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great. (Cheers, applause.)

I am hopeful tonight because I have seen this spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back. (Cheers, applause.) I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. (Cheers, applause.)

And I saw it just the other day in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care. (Cheers, applause.) I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd, listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes because we knew that little girl could be our own.

And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president. (Cheers, applause.)

And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We got your back, Mr. President!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. (Cheers, applause.)

America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love (ph). It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. (Cheers, applause.) You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

(Cheers, applause.)

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

And together, with your help and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you, America. (Cheers, applause.) God bless you. God bless these United States. (Cheers, applause.)

Image Source | news-instantly.com

What is the Electoral College?

We figured this would be one of THE most asked questions for the day/night. So, here is the data straight from the Congressional Research Service about the Electoral College and the number of votes each state has.

Quick disclaimer:

The Office of the Federal Register presents this material for informational purposes only, in response to numerous public inquiries. The list has no legal significance. It is based on information compiled by the Congressional Research Service. For more comprehensive information, refer to the statutory provisions provided.

No Legal Requirement
Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:

ARIZONA – 10 Electoral Votes
ARKANSAS – 6 Electoral Votes
DELAWARE – 3 Electoral Votes
GEORGIA – 15 Electoral Votes
IDAHO – 4 Electoral Votes
ILLINOIS – 21 Electoral Votes
INDIANA – 11 Electoral Votes
IOWA – 7 Electoral Votes
KANSAS – 6 Electoral Votes
KENTUCKY – 8 Electoral Votes
LOUISIANA – 9 Electoral Votes
MINNESOTA – 10 Electoral Votes
MISSOURI – 11 Electoral Votes
NEW HAMPSHIRE – 4 Electoral Votes
NEW JERSEY – 15 Electoral Votes
NEW YORK – 31 Electoral Votes
NORTH DAKOTA – 3 Electoral Votes
PENNSYLVANIA – 21 Electoral Votes
RHODE ISLAND – 4 Electoral Votes
SOUTH DAKOTA – 3 Electoral Votes
TENNESSEE – 11 Electoral Votes
TEXAS – 34 Electoral Votes
UTAH – 5 Electoral Votes
WEST VIRGINIA – 5 Electoral Votes

Legal Requirements or Pledges
Electors in these States are bound by State Law or by pledges to cast their vote for a specific candidate:

ALABAMA – 9 Electoral Votes
ALASKA – 3 Electoral Votes
CALIFORNIA – 55 Electoral Votes
COLORADO – 9 Electoral Votes
CONNECTICUT – 7 Electoral Votes
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – 3 Electoral Votes
FLORIDA – 27 Electoral Votes
HAWAII – 4 Electoral Votes
MAINE – 4 Electoral Votes
MARYLAND – 10 Electoral Votes
MASSACHUSETTS – 12 Electoral Votes
MICHIGAN – 17 Electoral Votes
MISSISSIPPI – 6 Electoral Votes
MONTANA – 3 Electoral Votes
NEBRASKA – 5 Electoral Votes
NEVADA – 5 Electoral Votes
NEW MEXICO – 5 Electoral Votes
NORTH CAROLINA – 15 Electoral Votes
OHIO – 20 Electoral Votes
OKLAHOMA – 7 Electoral Votes
OREGON – 7 Electoral Votes
SOUTH CAROLINA – 8 Electoral Votes
VERMONT – 3 Electoral Votes
* VIRGINIA – 13 Electoral Votes
WASHINGTON – 11 Electoral Votes
WISCONSIN – 10 Electoral Votes
WYOMING – 3 Electoral Votes

Image Source | www.joshuakennon.com

#TeamUSA Goes Gangnam Style

PSY and Gangnam Style don’t seem to be going away (except deeper into the fabric of popular culture) – you can’t knock him for that…

In this latest installment we find members of the #TeamUSA figure skating, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, shooting, triathlon, weightlifting, and wrestling teams doing their best horse gallop dance. Enjoy!

Intel Folsom – Halloween Thriller [video]

What is Halloween without a little Thriller?

Check out this great video from members of the team at Intel in Folsom, California that decided to to display some serious Halloween spirit.

The lead, playing Michael, is my big brother, Mr. Clifton Roberts (he still has some smooth moves).

Looks like a great place to work…If you have any videos of you and your office crew doing a flash mob, or talent skit – send it to us, if it’s good – we’ll publish it!

George Lucas: ‘The Future of Star Wars Movies’

A lot has been written and spoken today about the purchase of LucasFilm by Disney. There has definitely been mixed reaction by fans and followers of both organizations.

All that aside – I wanted to share with you the news right from Mr. George Lucas himself, as he speaks on why this decision is the right one to make at this particular time.

If you want to read the official press release of today’s transaction you can expand the link below.

[showhide type=”pressrelease”]Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue theStar Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration ofStar Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Warsresonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.[/showhide]

Video Via | YouTube

Siri, Meet Google Voice Search

Coming from a serious Apple fan as I am – this is significant.

Google’s updated Search app for #iOS has finally been approved by Apple (there’s a story behind the story as to why it took so long for this app to get approved…)

After testing it for a while today, I must say – Siri you’ve got a strong competitor.

What’s also cool, is the same Knowledge Graph technology that powers this mobile app, is also the engine behind the voice search functionality built into the Chrome Browser.

You can download the new version of Google Search via our App Store here.

The Open Textbook Challenge [infographic]

As college tuition and costs continue to rise, many students are finding it difficult to foot the bill. Fortunately, some are investigating ways to save students money by creating low-cost and free alternatives to traditional college textbooks. One such example is open-source textbooks, saving students up to 80% on college textbooks.

Check out the infographic below and give us your thoughts on this new concept.

Record Number of Top Automotive Manufacturers to Exhibit at the 2013 International CES

A record number, seven of the top 10 auto manufacturers will showcase their latest technologies on the CES show floor, including Audi, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru.

This will be Subaru’s first time exhibiting at CES.

The record number of top automotive manufacturers exhibiting in 2013 verifies that CES is the leading event to experience the latest in automotive innovation and in-vehicle electronics,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA. “With major exhibits in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s (LVCC) North Hall, as well as outdoor exhibits and demonstrations in Central Plaza, the 2013 CES show floor will feature a compelling display of the technologies transforming the future of the auto industry.

The International CES features the most innovative automotive product debuts. Automotive exhibits will cover more than 100,000 net square feet of exhibit space in 2013, up 5 percent over the 2012 show. More than 110 total automotive tech companies, including Delphi, Mitek, Pioneer and more will display their latest automotive technologies and services on the show floor.

The 2013 CES will feature two TechZones revolving around today’s latest automotive technology. The GoElectricDrive TechZone, sponsored by the Electric Drive Transportation Association in the North Hall of the LVCC, will showcase electric drive technologies, products and services. Electric vehicles and their associated charge stations – for homes, condominiums, public facilities – and a range of electric mobility products and services will be on display. The Safe Driver TechZone in the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) will focus on technologies that empower drivers to use their in-vehicle electronics in a safe and responsible way. Featured products assist in auto collision avoidance, lane drift assistance, parking, speed monitoring, hands-free, text-to-voice, driver drowsiness detection, GPS, mapping technologies and much more.

The 2013 CES will also offer targeted conference sessions, including the Connect2Car:Optimizing the Connected Driver Experience SuperSession, focused on the integration of new systems, features, functions and apps into the car, and the In-Vehicle Technology Conference Track, which includes the following conference sessions focused on aftermarket technologies and trends that are reshaping car electronics:

  • Are Automakers Running the Aftermarket Off the Road?: Opportunities for suppliers and retailers of aftermarket technology have reached an all-time low as it has become increasingly difficult to integrate audio systems and other electronics systems into OEM dashboards. Automotive and aftermarket executives face off in a spirited debate over the future of the car aftermarket.
  • Dashboard Tech: Five Hot Trends Coming Down the Pike: From in-dash apps for Facebook and Google Local Search, smartphone integration, apps that let you control the car with your phone to voice-controlled dashboards, in-vehicle tech is one of the most dynamic areas in consumer electronics today. A leading expert in car technology dissects the trends that are reshaping car electronics.

INFOtainment News will be covering all the announcements and activities at #2013CES – make sure you’re following us on Twitter and bookmark our EXCLUSIVE CES Coverage Page.

Hurricane Sandy – Frankenstorm

Hurricane Sandy has already slammed Cuba, bringing heavy rain and winds around 110 miles per hour on Thursday, as it moved north. By Friday morning, the death toll had already risen across the Caribbean.

The pre-Halloween hybrid weather monster that federal forecasters call “Frankenstorm” is looking more ominous by the hour for the East Coast, and utilities and local governments are getting ready.

The brunt of the weather mayhem will be concentrated where the hurricane comes ashore early Tuesday, but there will be hundreds of miles of steady, strong and damaging winds and rain for the entire Eastern region for several days, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Social media is tracking all news and events of this storm – follow the hashtag #Frankenstorm to stay aware.

Sirius XM Radio has announced that as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast, it will air The Weather Channel to help those in the path of the hurricane and others around the country track the progress and severity of this storm.

Beginning October 26, The Weather Channel will air nonstop on Sirius channel 184 and XM channel 1 throughout the course of the storm, offering millions of listeners across the country in-depth, expert coverage including evacuation and safety tips, an explanation of the winds and pressure of the storm, its projected path and landfall expectations, tips on how to deal with severe storms and flooding and more. Advisories with extended coverage and local updates from The Weather Channel are airing hourly on SiriusXM’s First Traffic and Weather, channels 132 to 140. In addition, SiriusXM’s Road Dog Trucking Radio (channel 106) will keep the nation’s truckers updated with information on highway closures and weather.


Hurricane Sandy: Live Report (via AFP)

2221GMT: People have posted more than 270,000 photos with the #sandy hashtag on photo-sharing platform Instagram. One shows a resident hunkering down with a flashlight, another shows a person next to the ocean getting lashed by fierce waves, and yet another depicts an uprooted tree. 2212GMT: In amidst…

Be safe out there folks.

Summary via | Huffington Post