Who said there can only be one big portable computer announcement at Macworld Expo? The long-awaited Axiotron Modbook — a FrankenMac adaptation of the MacBook into a surprisingly sleek and functional tablet machine — was originally shown at last year’s Macworld Expo and has finally reached shipping status (available starting at $2290). Does the lure of a touchscreen outweigh the siren call of a MacBook Air? Can you get real work done with Ink gesture recognition?

Pole Position: Remix was seen floating around the iTunes Store in a couple of banners last week after the Jobs keynote, but wasn’t put up for download until today. This is a first for iPod games: it’s a 3-D racing game. This looks like a really cool game that could keep you company on your morning/afternoon commute (please note: we do not endorse playing iPod racing games while driving). The game features un-lockable tracks, themes, and player cars.

This game is available now on the iTunes Store for $4.99. This game is compatible with iPod nano (3rd generation), iPod Classic, and iPod with video (5th generation).

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Is the state’s film incentive program too successful?

That’s what staff with the Legislative Finance Committee want to figure out.

New Mexico’s film incentive program has triggered millions of dollars of media industry activity in the state, from movie to TV productions to Sony Imageworks relocating some of its animation work to Albuquerque.

LFC staff acknowledge the program has been beneficial but also question whether the credit should have a limit, the Albuquerque Journal reported in a copyright story Saturday.

“The LFC staff have proposed to the committee that we have some discussion of possibly limiting the credit,” said committee director David Abbey.

Dinosaurs Alive is a 40-minute large-format film is a captivating adventure of science and discovery that will enthrall audiences with its unique look at the entire age of dinosaurs. Narrated by Michael Douglas, it features spectacular animation and a live-action story that joins renowned paleontologists from the American Museum of Natural History and their graduate students in the field as they uncover new fossils-including the remarkable discovery of what may be the oldest dinosaur ever found in North America.

(Source: Techtree.com)      If the government of the state of Andhra Pradesh gets to have its way, India will soon get its first ever ‘Digital Entertainment City’.

The Andhra Pradesh government, in collaboration with a consortium of business/commercial establishments in the state, is mulling the country’s first ‘Digital Entertainment City’, to be located in the capital of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.  A public-private partnership, the initiative involves the likes of Gemini TV, FXLabs, DQ Entertainment, and Suresh Productions.

The proposed ‘Digital Entertainment City’ will house an eclectic mix of gaming and animation companies, film production houses and music studios, training academies and support offices, not to mention an entertainment complex — all within one sprawling space.

(Source: fxphd.com)            The night started well at restaurant Kate Mantilini just a couple of doors down from the Oscar Bake Off screening. The traditional pre and post show party at the famous restaurant was completely packed.

There was an honor roll of visual effects artists and senior vfx supervisors on hand including (but not limited to) Ken Ralston, Michael Fink, John Knoll, Price Pethel, Chris Watts, Rick Baker, John Landis, Michael Bay, John Dykstra, Leigh Pesqueira and the evening was hosted by Bill Taylor – of Illusion Arts fame.

“Cloverfield,” a low-budget Godzilla-style horror movie, scared up a monstrous $41 million opening at the weekend box office in North America.
“Cloverfield,” a $25 million movie with a no-name cast from Paramount Pictures, set a record for a January release, surpassing the $35.9 million reissue of “Star Wars” in 1997.

It will also set a record for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. “Black Hawk Down” earned $33.6 million during the four-day period in 2002. Paramount said its movie will earn more than $47 million after the Monday holiday is included.

With the AMPTP reaching a deal with the director’s guild, new light may be shining on the writers strike. In a joint announcement from the AMPTP and the DGA, the producers stated, “We hope that this agreement with DGA will signal the beginning of the end of this extremely difficult period for our industry. Today, we invite the Writers Guild of America to engage with us in a series of informal discussions similar to the productive process that led us to a deal with the DGA to determine whether there is a reasonable basis for returning to formal bargaining. We look forward to these discussions, and to the day when our entire industry gets back to work.”

Without a 3G iPhone announcement at MacWorld, Apple remains focused on increasing the penetration of their generation-one handset. True to the rumors circulating the intertubes last week, AT&T is now offering the iPhone to business customers. Plans break down as follows:

  • 2 year commitment, voice service, and data plan required
  • $45 per month for unlimited data, visual voicemail, and 200 SMSes; $55 ups the SMS limit to 1,500; $65 for unlimited everything
  • An extra $25 per month nabs a 20MB montly data plan good for 29 countries, $60 per month ups the limit to 50MB
    
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