Midway Gets a Stay of Execution, Debt Extended

debt clamp midwayJust in time for the New Year, Midway Games got a stay of execution.  SEC filings discovered this week indicate the company was able to extend its rapidly approaching debt redemption obligations in order to buy more time for renegotiation.

According to the filing, an agreement signed December 30th gives the company until February 19th before some of its noteholders can exercise redemption rights.

These rights stem from an early December transaction.   Sumner Redstone, the company’s majority shareholder at the time, liquidated his 87% stake for pennies on the dollar. His massive sale triggered clauses in the company’s debt agreements which provided redemption rights in the event of a material change in control. Subject to these rights, the noteholders can seek repayment of all outstanding principal.

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Connected Devices: LG TVs to include built in Netflix Streaming Functionality

netflix lg small tv metueIn October of 2007, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting spoke to analysts about convergence and digital movie distribution.   In the remarks, he defined three long term goals for the company: “to expand the content [Netflix] offers online.”  “To make it inexpensive and easy for consumers to view that content on the television,” and lastly, “to understand what the financial model for the hybrid service will be in the long term.”  Throughout 2008, the company made progress on all three, especially one and two.  Heading into 2009, the company looks poised to keep pushing forward.

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Macworld Revealed: iTunes Set Free

macworld 2009When Steve Jobs gives a keynote, there’s a script.  His is a process that’s been polished through years of practice.  Usually, first comes a warm-up.  Steve baits the audience with facts and notable achievements.  Something to grab their attention.  Next comes a teaser where he hints at the things he’s about to mention.  “I have three quick things to tell you about” he’ll say.  “It’s really exciting.”  “We’re absolutely thrilled.”  Then the announcements and product demonstrations follow.  There’s experts and music, applause pauses, and where possible, even celebrity cameos.  Each announcement builds off the last until, finally, to cap it off, there’s “one more thing” seemingly (but not really) that was almost forgotten; the big cherry on top of it all.  That’s when he throws out the big ace up his sleeve. Then the music plays.  (And the press and pundits begin their critiques).

This morning at Macworld, before the music of Tony Bennett paved the way for his exit, Phil Schiller stood in for Steve Jobs and did his best to follow the same routine. 

Phil had his list of talking points.  He had his “oh, by the way.”  He had a captive audience.  He had his musical departure.  Click to Read More

Applevine Report: Macworld Rumor Recap

macworld 2009 rumorsMacworld has been going on since 1985, the same year Steve Jobs resigned from Apple.   Since  1997, the year he came back, Apple has used the show as a springboard to introduce new products and as a pulpit for Steve to evangelize. 

In 1998, Jobs took to the stage to introduce the iMac.  In 2001, he enthusiastically showed iTunes and Apple’s first widescreen notebook.  In 2005, it was the Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle.  Two years ago, in 2007, the iPhone took the spotlight.  Last year, it was the Macbook Air.    

Tomorrow, a new page will turn.  It will be Apple’s last year at the event (Apple announced they were pulling out of Macworld in December) and Steve Jobs won’t be giving the keynote.  Marketing exec. Phil Schiller will do it instead.   No one’s sure what the changes mean.  Will Apple quietly part ways with the independently run Macworld show? Or will the company say goodbye blazing with a surprise announcement of something new and unexpected?

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Early Zune Owners Ring in the Year with Silence

zune clock crashIf you type “hate Vista” and “Microsoft” into Google, the search engine returns 91,200 results.  “Vista Sucks” and “Microsoft” returns 124,000.  It’s no secret Microsoft’s latest operating system offering has its critics.   Xbox and Zune owners are far less venomous.  Many, in fact, are fiercely loyal to the products that come out of Redmond.   This new year, however, the ranks of Zune faithful may thin by a few.

On December 31st, some owners of first generation 30gb Zunes were forced to ring in the new year with silence after a program error temporarily rendered their MP3 players into digital paper weights.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

After a short break, Metue will be back on January 2nd, 2009 with fresh content and new material.

Until then, in tribute, we offer this visual look back on some of the famous faces – from Paul Newman to George Carlin to Tim Russert – who passed away in 2008.

2008 remembered smallclick to enlarge

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